In the Latin, bellum sacrum means holy war (religious war) that during the Middle Ages were justified by religious differences involving one state with an established religion against another state with a different religion, or they can be waged to suppress one specific group because of its religious beliefs or practices. Historically, between 1095 and 1291 Christian crusaders (mainly Roman Catholics) from all over western Europe waged a series of Crusades against Muslims, and if some Republicans have their way, America will engage in new holy war against Islam even though Founding Father John Adams said America was not a Christian nation and harbored no enmity against Muslims. As is often the case with Republicans, they base their holy war advocacy on ignorance, hate, and their usual twisted sense of religious superiority.
Since the terror attacks on 9/11, there has been a large and rather vocal group of extremists who conflated a criminal act of terrorism with a religious assault, and have called for a war against Islam that inflamed the Middle East and incited radicalized Muslims to attack Americans at home and all around the world. After the Boston marathon bombing, there were virtually immediate calls for America to declare war on Islam, and it brings up some important points the 21st century crusaders cannot grasp because they are blinded by hatred that is jeopardizing the security of Americans, both Muslims and Christians. The loudest advocates for war against Islam represent a growing segment of the population who are equally as ignorant as the politicians calling for a war with Islam, and they ignore a simple fact; America does not wage war on a religion, and that the religion, Islam, is not a country or nationality, but just another group of people following a mythological figure who claimed to be a prophet of god.
Earlier this week, perennial Christian nutjob and co
ngressional representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX), lashed out at the President and claimed “It’s very clear to everyone but this administration that Islam is at war against us, and this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.” Gohmert then assailed Attorney General Eric Holder for “having spent more time before being AG trying to help terrorists than trying to corral them, the first impulse was let’s get him to stop talking.” Gohmert was referring to Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the decision by the Obama Administration Justice Department to read him his Miranda rights and try him in criminal court like any other criminal, and incidentally, exactly like George W. Bush and his Attorney General, John Ashcroft, did with about 800 suspected terrorists who were taken to criminal court during the Bush administration. That is right; war monger and convicted war criminal George W. Bush sat down with John Ashcroft and made the right decision to try alleged terrorists as the criminals they were instead of declaring a holy crusade against Islam.
Bush may have been many bad things, but by trying the terror suspects in criminal court and not as “enemy combatants,” he sent a message that America was not at “war with Islam,” but was prosecuting suspected terrorists as criminals. Bush directed Ashcroft to try every high-profile case against al-Qaeda terrorists captured on American soil in civilian courts, and nearly all of them were convicted and are living out the rest of their lives in federal supermax prisons. Only one suspect, Jose Padilla, was first designated an enemy combatant, but the case was moved to criminal court where he was tried, convicted and sentenced on a variety of terrorism charges. During the Bush administration’s crusade against suspected terrorists who were tried in civilian court and not as “enemy combatants,” Republicans were silent and did not call for waging war against Islam until something happened on January 20, 2009; Barack Obama became President of the United States.
After that auspicious day, the same Republicans who gave their blessings to Bush for not declaring war on Islam and for trying terrorists with great success in the American court system, determined that bringing terrorists to trial in civilian court constituted an existential threat to United States. The Republicans also condemned the President for pandering to Muslims among other faux travesties, and after relative quiet for three years, one criminal act in Boston brought calls for a holy war against Islam. Lacking an American military crusade against a spiritual belief system, Republicans have criticized the Obama Administration of aiding and abetting the enemy by not declaring war, and not designating an American citizen suspected of planting a bomb at a foot race an enemy combatant. The insanity of the Republican assertions are as pathetic as their hypocrisy.
It is unclear how Muslim haters like Gohmert and his ilk would prosecute a war against a spiritual belief system, because it is not a country, not a government, and is as widespread in the world as Christianity. Throughout this nation’s history, there has never been a declared war against a religion, and no condemnation of a faith as a national policy because as the Constitution’s Framers intended, America recognizes all peoples’ right to religious freedom. Even George W. Bush, in all his cowboy diplomacy bluster and war mongering for oil and imperialism, never once assailed the Muslim faith or assigned blame to all adherents of the Islam. For one thing, there is a relatively large Muslim community in America, and they are valuable members of society as well as American citizens exactly like the alleged Boston bomber was before he made the tragic decision to bomb innocent Americans as retribution for Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Gohmert, like many Republicans, even blamed the President for the Boston bombing for failing to “secure the border” to immigrants in spite of the fact it was during the Bush administration in 2003 that the suspected Boston bomber was granted political asylum to emigrate to America. However, now that the suspect turned out to have affiliations to Islam, a growing number of Republicans are condemning the President for not declaring war on radical Islam that has no country, government, or geographical location unless one considers the entire world a war zone. It is noteworthy, and prescient, that the most violent radical Islamic extremists have not declared hostilities against Christianity and by all accounts, they would be justified to reciprocate against Christian Quran burnings and calls for war against their spiritual belief system. Their attacks against America are based on this country’s foreign policy, pre-emptive wars against Islamic countries, and unwavering support for Israel despite their shameful treatment of Muslims, but never against a belief system. In that regard, radical Islamists are morally superior to the likes of Louie Gohmert and his ilk, who are stupid and hate-filled enough to demand the President wage war on a spiritual belief system. It is as absurd an idea as designating an American citizen alleged to have planted a bomb at a foot race an “enemy combatant,” and all for the sole purpose of initiating bellum sacrum against Islam; wherever that nation is.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.