Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Obama, The Crusades and Islamic Fundamentalism

"Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history, and lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."

This recent comment by President Obama, attempting to somehow minimize the horrors of 21st Century Islamic fundamentalism by comparing them to the Crusades and other historical evils perpetrated in the "name of Christ," is inappropriate to say the least.  Lecturing Americans and other members of Western civilization about "getting on our high horse" when being outraged at the indescribably unspeakable acts of beheadings and immolations of conscious human beings in the 21st Century, is disgraceful.

First of all, drawing immoral equivalents never minimizes the immorality of an act.  The immorality may be equivalent, but using such equivalents to somehow explain or minimize an outrage is just wrong!  

Secondly, it is a poor historian who attempts to compare acts committed during the 11th century, 15th century, 19th century, or for that matter, during  Biblical times, or the times of the Neanderthals with the acts of brutality committed today.  The cruelty of human beings never disappears, but today's world will not abide the hacking and burning to death of human beings.  The Crusades were then - this is now!  Humans may have wantonly slaughtered humans back then (they even burned people at the stake!) but to say that the acts of Biblical Hebrews, or 11th Century crusading Christians, or 15th Century Spanish inquisitors, or club-wielding cavemen can be used to somehow minimize the barbarously brutal acts of 21st Century Islamic fundamentalists, is a contemptible use of history and an unfortunate example of deplorable moral leadership.

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