Is your blood is still boiling from the President’s insults at the National Prayer Breakfast last week?
John Hayward over at Breitbart.com perfectly emulates the Left’s apologists:
C’mon, folks, all he did was insinuate that you’re permanently guilty, for the rest of eternity, for what European knights did in the 13th century. He told you to get off your “high horse” and stop criticizing Islam’s violent tendencies, because who knows – you Christians could all come boiling out of your bake sales tomorrow and launch a new Crusade or something. What are you being so touchy about?
Here, The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates provides the perfect foil for deconstructing the Left’s moral equivalence between the Crusades and the Islamic State. Or, depending on your perspective, past Christian bigotry and radical Islam.
Christians need not assume the President is impugning Christianity as a whole or their individual practice of religion in order to take offense to his parallel to the Islamic State. His statements are offensive at face value, but the reason why can be difficult to articulate, as most value judgments are. I will attempt it here.
The false assumptions key to the anti-Christian narrative are:
- Christians are “illiterate” about their Christian heritage; and
- Christians have no rational basis to be offended because statements regarding past Christian bigotry are rooted in historical fact.
The fact that Christianity has been cited as justification for violence and bigotry by historical figures is not a secret to the modern world, least of all, modern Christians – the militant atheists make damn sure of that.
It is not remarkable that history is rife with bigots and murderous megalomaniacs who justify their crimes in the name of religion. All mainstream religions have their radicals, as does atheism, humanism, communism, environmentalism, feminism, etc. While true, such assertions are unenlightened and pedestrian. They serve no purpose other than to inflame passions, and they have no place in civil discussion.
In accusing Christians of illiteracy, the Left is projecting its own weakness.
Whether ironically or by deliberate deceit, the Left demonstrates its historical illiteracy by failing to recognize that Christianity is the only mainstream ideology to reform itself in accordance with doctrine rather than in spite of doctrine. The justification for reforming Christian radicalism and bigotry came from within Christianity.
Islam can’t claim that, nor can any other religion or secular ideology.
This deceit is painfully obvious to millions of Americans. The deceit is twofold:
- When the President coopts the reformative nature of Christianity to justify his moral equivocation of radical Islam and past Christian bigotry, he mutes the progress Christianity has uniquely contributed to humanity.
- Atrocities justified for the sake of Islam serve as a political pretext for the President to opportunistically accuse America of blanket racism justified for the sake of Christianity. The President and his minions do not habitually distinguish between past and present racism.
It is intellectually dishonest to raise the specter of past Christian bigotry and violence in order to muster the moral courage presently needed to combat radical Islam. President Obama reminds us that our Christian heritage undermines our moral justification for combating radical Islam, when in reality our Christian values are precisely the foundation for our outrage toward radical Islam. Even the American atheist shares those values.
Americans are desperate to believe that the President is empathetic to Christian values and wishes not to be controversial, but that is simply not evidenced by his rhetoric. It is an ideological blind spot of his leftism.