Over the past week since President Obama took the moral high road and reminded Christians of the atrocities committed in the name of Islam by the Islamic State are no different than the historical killing for Christianity, the religious right has screamed there is no similarity whatsoever. What has been fascinating to observe is the preponderance of Christian and conservative criticism of the President’s remarks asserting that the comparison is unwarranted and unfair because the Crusades occurred in 1097. If the 1097 Christian Crusade and Inquisition was the only time Christians went on a mass killing spree, the President’s detractors would have a fair point, but that is not the case.
Many articles have been written citing the other Christian Crusades and there were just as many accusations that they too, were a long time ago and not relevant to the President’s statement. There has also been a rash of commentaries citing the Holocaust as a “more current” Christian-inspired mass-killing with just as many arguments that the attempted extermination was over 60 years ago and not a valid comparison. It is also, according to Christian conservatives, completely irrelevant and unfair to compare Christians’ attempted extermination of Muslims in the 1990s Balkan war, or evangelical Christian George W. Bush’s ‘righteous crusade’ in Iraq that killed over 655,000 innocent Iraqi civilians because those mass murders too, were in the past.
The common demand from the religious right is “show just one instance of Christians killing anyone NOW,” not 1,000, 60, 30, or even 12 years ago. It is really an unfair demand, but one that is easily answered without ever looking outside of America’s borders, or in the past because there is an ongoing and concerted effort among Christian conservatives to kill other Americans; most who are likely other Christians. In fact, last week a Christian minister in Tennessee prayed to god for assistance to kill other Americans in what is an ongoing killing-spree in Republican-controlled states and legislatures.
The so-called Christian minister in Tennessee gave the invocation before a series of state Senate committee hearings on whether the state should support Governor Bill Haslam’s attempt to expand Medicaid. The Christian preacher emotionally prayed for god’s will to be done in “ending any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.” The Christian minister beseeched god “to save Tennessee for Jesus sake, and I pray that your will would be done that you would be our coverage, that we would not be forced into these edicts from Washington DC or any other quarter, but let the people know that our coverage is the same as with Moses and the children of Israel when they went through the wilderness with only the divine providence of almighty god.” Failing to expand Medicaid in Tennessee may not be an immediate death sentence for poor citizens, but it is still a death sentence all the same. It is also a pre-meditated killing spree perpetrated by “conservative Christians” on behalf of the Koch brothers. Subsequently, it appears the Christians’ god answered the preacher’s impassioned prayer so now Tennessee residents will die. Not a thousand, sixty, thirty, or twelve years ago; now and the foreseeable future.
The Republican governor had proposed a plan to expand Medicaid to 250,000 adults, but Koch-Christian Republicans killed it by a vote of 7-4 in the state Senate committee after the Christian minister prayed for divine intervention to withhold medical care from a quarter-of-a-million Tennessee citizens. The governor’s expansion plans had full support of the Tennessee’s Hospital Association, the Business Roundtable, and the Medical Association, but they were no match for the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and the biblical god; if one believes it answers prayers to stop Medicaid expansion and “provide coverage the same as Moses and the children of Israel going through the wilderness.”
In Alabama late last year the governor refused to expand Medicaid that affected 300,000 Alabamians and is responsible for closing down hospitals. In fact, according to statistics, by rejecting the free Medicaid expansion the governor’s rejection will kill more than 700 Alabama residents each and every year. It is not ISIS type-numbers, but for a state like Alabama that prides itself on being a “very Christian state” like Tennessee, conservative Christian Republicans are wantonly killing their fellow citizens with valuable assistance from the Koch brothers. And, it is happening NOW; not a thousand, sixty, thirty, or twelve years’ ago like critics of the President contend.
There is a current “crusade” in several Republican state legislatures filled with conservative Christians, and Republican governors advocating for Medicaid expansion, to kill any attempt to help provide their residents with access to lifesaving medical care. One such crusade led to the death of a Wyoming Medicaid expansion bill last week that enjoyed the support of Republican Governor Matt Mead and would have provided lifesaving medical care for over 17,000 low-income residents.
In Montana, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (AFP) have been threatening legislators who refuse to sign “no Medicaid expansion pledge cards” because the governor, Steve Bullock, is attempting to help 70,000 residents stay alive. The local AFP director said that the reason the Kochs put them to work helping Christian Republicans’ impose ‘slow death’ on mostly Christian Americans is because “some legislators are not acting like adults” because they likely believe the proper Christian path is helping poor residents avoid death due to no access to medical care.
Some so-called Christians who have not needed the Koch threats are Louisiana governor and avowed evangelical Christian Bobby Jindal, and former Texas governor Rick “pray for rain” Perry among many others. There is intense pressure in Ohio, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska to block or roll-back Medicaid expansion, and in every case the Koch-GOP efforts will withhold medical care for their residents causing deaths NOW and in the future. Each and every one of the Republican governors and state legislatures are funded by the Koch brothers and the allegedly-Christian anti-medical care crusade will kill residents.
This ongoing Crusade by Christians in Republican governors’ mansions and state legislatures may not result in the same kind of brutal deaths being publicized by ISIS, but killing is killing and death; whether it is slow or immediate, it is still death. In fact, what makes the American terrorists’ (evangelical Republicans) killings all the more despicable is they are killing other Christians that likely voted them into office to look out for their best interests.
It is true that President Obama cited one centuries’ old Christian Crusade and Inquisition that resulted in wanton killings he meant as a reminder for Christians to temper their criticism of all followers of Islam, but in the same way that killing is killing, a crusade is a crusade. The current crusade being waged against other Americans, most of them Christians, is being carried out by Republicans claiming Christianity as their guiding force, and although most are not praying for god’s assistance to kill Americans slowly by withholding medical care like in Tennessee, the result is the same; Americans are dying and their killers are Christians ensconced in the Republican Party heavily-funded by Charles and David Koch.