The Radical Right Can’t Handle The Truth From President Obama

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It may be a revelation to Americans in the conservative and religious right movement, but truth means being in accord with facts or reality, or fidelity to an original standard or ideal. It is not a complex concept to comprehend, especially for the evangelical right that embraces the Ninth Commandment of the Decalogue that forbids “bearing false witness” (lying) leading one to believe that every Christian embraces truth. In fact, the Christian religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, is renowned for saying “the truth shall set you free” in John 8:32. The point is that all Christians should advocate and revere the truth with religious fervor; unless it is uttered by President Barack Obama at which point they “can’t handle the truth.”

Although the President stated the truth during that bizarre event in a secular nation, the National Prayer Breakfast, this week, he violated that unspoken American rule that at no time will any American utter an untoward remark about the Christian religion whether it is the gospel truth or not. The fact is that in stating an irrefutable truth about Christianity, the President grossly understated the reality that throughout history, there has been much more violence and killing in the name of Christianity as in the name of Islam. The truth of the matter is that despite the recent death and violence at the hands of radical Islamists such as the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or IS), it pales in comparison to the history, including very recent history, of violence wrought on humanity by Christians in the name of Christianity.

The President infuriated the Christian right during the National Prayer Breakfast when he said that no particular religion “has a monopoly on violence.” His exact words were, “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. Slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Of course the President spoke the truth, albeit a grossly understated truth, but it incited the Christian right to apoplexy as if he had insulted their god almighty to his face.

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The tea party claimed the President “threw Christians under the bus,” dirty Rush Limbaugh said the President’s remark was “an insult to Christianity” and the Daily Caller was certain the President’s truth was a ploy to put a halt to real Americans’ well-intentioned “criticism of radical Islamists.” None of the criticism is even remotely true, because all the President did was acknowledge that in the same way ISIS uses the Muslim faith to rally followers to, and advance, its violent agenda, radical fundamentalists in the Christian faith have done exactly the same thing throughout world history to horrific effect. The President could, and should, have just uttered Jesus Christ’s words and told Christians so ardently critical of Islam that “whosoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone,” but one thing the extremist right will not countenance is President Barack Obama citing a scripture or Jesus Christ’s words from “their” precious Caucasian bible.

Where the President held back in speaking “pure truth” was his reluctance to cite that “Christianist violence” was not just reserved to the Crusades and Inquisition, slavery, or Jim Crow. It has continued unabated and in nearly every instance it is just as violent as images and reports of ISIS atrocities. It is why Christians cannot possibly criticize the Muslim religion, or condemn all of its devotees, as violent monsters when their religion has been, and still is, responsible for unrivaled violence from the Old Testament to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and every era in between.

It may be a hard truth to handle, but it is a historically verifiable truth nonetheless and unfortunately for the faithful, Christianity’s violence has a scriptural basis permeating the Christian bible from start to finish. It is important to note that although Jesus preached to love your neighbor, he also instructed his followers to go and “make disciples” and that whoever rejected his message was doomed to a violent death by his own hands in A Revelation 19:11-16.

Besides the extreme violence under the direction of the god of the Old Testament, the Christian Crusades and Inquisitions, during the 20th Century alone, while Muslim violence claimed the lives of around 2 million people during the Iran-Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan, violence by Christians claimed the lives of close to 100 million people. These acts of religious violence include the “World Wars, the Holocaust, the colonial wars in Southeast Asia and Africa, and the sectarian warfare in the Balkans including ‘an explicit genocide‘ against Muslim Bosnians by Serbian Orthodox Christians.”

As Middle East historian Juan Cole notes, regardless the mass violence perpetrated by Christians may not have been directly in the name of Christianity, in “every conflict the combatants were overtly religious, and invoked their religion as part of their military campaigns.” This is particularly true of evangelical Christian George W. Bush’s 2003 “righteous crusade” in invading Iraq replete with “biblical verses engraved on weapons” that claimed the lives of over 655,000 innocent Iraqi civilians; nearly all devotees of Islam. Many of the Islamist warriors in ISIL are fighting to reclaim their homes and place in Iraq society after Christian Bush helped drive them out of their own country; not just because of religion. But as Cole points out, “they are organized around groups that share a common religious and cultural background;” not unlike America’s military forces that invaded, conquered, and killed hundreds-of-thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan under direct orders from their commander in chief; evangelical fundamentalist George W. Bush.

For many Americans, the idea of a National Prayer Breakfast is abominable, but for once President Obama made the most out of a bizarre event and put Americans in the religious right and conservative movement who portray all Muslims as violence-prone monsters in the proper perspective; they are rank hypocrites. Now, it is no more truth that all Christians are violent monsters because of their religion’s incredibly violent history than devotees of the Muslim faith are due to a terrorist criminal attack on America or ISIL militants reclaiming their homes, but it was refreshing to see President Obama, a Christian adherent, utter the truth to make a very prescient point at a multi-faith religious function.

Of course, one cannot possibly expect the evangelical or conservative extremists in this country to accept what they know to be true, because it is like that adage; “the truth hurts.” However, for some Americans being bombarded daily with Fox News and conservative lies that all Muslims are violent due to their religion, it is possible they will take the President’s truth to heart and acknowledge that in the same way all Christians are not violent monsters based on the faith’s precedent-setting historical violence, all followers of Islam are not members of ISIS or prone to violence. It was a truth Americans desperately needed to hear and one religious and conservative extremists can’t handle; especially because President Barack Obama had the courage to utter it in a highly religious public forum the nation’s faithful were paying attention to. From a secular humanist’s perspective, it was long overdue and a stroke of genius from a dying breed of American; a Christian humanist.

44 Replies to “The Radical Right Can’t Handle The Truth From President Obama”

  1. Christian religious violence isn’t reserved only for use on other religions. There are several massacres of Christian heretics in history as well as the wars during the Reformation.

  2. yeah… ya know that’s kinda the point…

    violence in the name of religion has an ongoing historical precedence…

    try the battle of Masala…

    the Christians being thrown to the lions…

    for all the religions preaching peace and non-violence and love your brother the corollary seems to be OR I’ll kill you…

  3. It should be expected that these types of comments would go over the heads of most Christians. Conservatives calling historical fact, “strange ideas” demonstrates the shallowness of understanding they are willing to commit for their pride to remain intact.

    “This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.” -GW Bush. Wasn’t it Republican President GW Bush who also said he was told by god to invade Iraq? 200,000+ innocent Iraqis died in that crusade. The Party of “pro-lifers” indeed.

    Republicans, the pro-torture Party, really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. One thing that is clear, is the war of the Abrahamic religions has given the most evil people in the world plenty of excuses to do horrific things, killing vast amounts of innocent people.

    I thank the heavens for Americans electing Barack Obama. He tells it like is most times. That Republicans hang on every word and their heads explode so often is a just an added benefit.

  4. While I suppose your point means something, Masada was a defense by Jews against the Romans who in turn did throw early Christians into the sporting ring with hungry lions. I have no idea what you’re driving at. Roman religion was anything BUT pacific – revenge, murder, duplicity etc. abounded in their firmament.

    The power of what President Obama said lay in not just ancient or even older history. It exists through the segregation and racial superiority jargon of today where being a White Christian seems to give the right to do violence against other Christians deemed inferior and certainly all NON Christians, people of color, immigrants, fill in the blank. That people were offended is their problem – refusing to accept the truth and be insulted by it is the refuge of scoundrels.

  5. my point would be that persecution of people in the name of religion has a long and storied history…

    sorry the point was too obtuse for you…

  6. Money Money Money
    For the love of money
    People will steal from their mother
    For the love of money
    People will rob their own brother
    For the love of money
    People can’t even walk the street
    Because they never know
    Who in the world they’re gonna beat
    For that lean, mean, mean green
    Almighty dollar, money

  7. The difference is this:

    Christians who do violence in the name of Christ are doing contrary To the teachings of Christ.

    Jesus taught to love your enemies and lived that out to his death.

    On the contrary, Muslims who carried out violence are not necessarily contradicting the teachings of Mohammed. Mohammed himself is engaged in many violent acts of war and made several statements advocating violence.

  8. Telling the “truth” to the Radical-Right is like shining a very bright-light on a group of C(K)OC(H)KROACHES and VAMPIRES. They really don’t like it!!! Keep the “Bright Lights” turned on them Rmuse. The truth shall set us free and condemn the true deceivers and liars among us.

  9. c’mon JC. Since I obviously agree with your point, the fault lies in poor communication by you. Take it like a grown up. Otherwise you’re like the RW who can’t.

  10. Euro-Christianity is a tool of European colonization. Born and bred in the 4th century, it is lily white and male. Except for the blood stained hands…

    But all Abrahamic religions look alike to me…

  11. I’m a Christian, and I’m going to throw the Christians under the bus too!! I’m ashamed to have these Christians represent who I am. I believe you’re suppose to be kind to people and help the ones in need. The majority of the Christians now a days have everything backwards. My honest opinion is that religions are all fake! If you truly believe in a higher power, you know, we all share the same God, and no one on this planet was given a VIP status. Most people’s ideas of religion are warped. Most religions contradict themselves as well. The real key is to just be good to others. The commandments are just basic laws of the land that all should exercise. I can’t wait for judgement day……Many Christians are not going to be saved like they think they are. Your sins are still alive in you when you wish others to lose health care but you have no back bone to fight the big guys that take everything away from you! Let’s see if your savior is happy with you?

  12. And you say you are a Christian? I dont think you know what you are talking about. Throwing your fellow Christians under the bus. Then complaining about people not being upset about others losing their healthcare? Do you really know anything about Obama care?

  13. Churchlady, in fact Masada was part of the Jewish revolt which saw Jews committing wholesale murder of other ethnic groups in the Near East and North Africa.And what do you think Hunnukah is? It is the wholelsale slaughter of secular Jews by Orthodox Jews

  14. I always thought it was, “they never know who in the world they gonna meet”. ? Either way truth be damed, cause that is and always has been the truth, it’s about that $ for too many!!! Greedy folk!

  15. Churchlady:

    If you agree with him, why do you continue to challenge him?

    You must be one of those “local volunteer leaders” who must always have your way accepted; your type is the type that drives others away.

    If you’re married, I pity your husband.

  16. Not:

    How did the Affordable Care Act get into a discussion about religious violence?

    You must be one of those reactionary Republican Tea partiers.

    Gene

  17. Read the Old Testament if you want violence in the name of religion. Read the Passover prayers if you want to see violence prayed for.

  18. The Old Testament is all violence in the name of God. The New Testament is all about love and forgiveness taught by Jesus. That doesn’t mean all Jews are violent and all Christians are benign. It just means that the Old Testament is devoted to violence and the New Testament is devoted to nonviolence. What believers do with that guidance is up to them, the same as with Islam. Believers go off the rails in all religions. That is what President Obama was saying. He was talking in the present tense, not historically.

  19. History and Science are not well accepted by the religious right, but if you lie about the facts it will be OK. The KKK was born as a Christian organization that still defends their hatred in the name of Christ. The Crusades killed and tortured thousands of “non believers”. 41,000 denominations of Christianity sums up the harmony of religion. Accept the facts and just keep killing people that don’t agree with your philosophy, but don’t call it in the name of God (any God).

  20. President Obama, attended that church in Chicago, remember with the rev. Wright. = Christian.
    VP Biden, Catholic = Christian.
    Point is these guys, our elected officials, are Christian. It saddens me to see the Christians turn so vehemently against their own. That’s not the lesson my bible teaches.

  21. The Inquisition! The Crusades! Slavery! Wounded Knee! Got anything current?

    The real issue is what’s happening NOW. We’re not beheading people for petty offenses or mere criticism. ISIS is. We’re not trafficking in slaves. It’s still being done in Africa and the Middle East. If you have to go back centuries to find comparisons, that’s revealing.

  22. Why is the government having a “prayer breakfast”? Why involve it in what is primarily a religious practice?
    In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said:
    “When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.” (CEV)

    Yet how many politicians want to make a public spectacle of religion that repudiates the teachings of their founders? It doesn’t matter if it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Buddhism.

    Our nation’s founders understood correctly that religion and government must be kept separate. Yet all branches of government have attacked the First Amendment’s religious freedom provision. We have a government of executive, legislative and judicial tyranny.

    All laws, the prayer breakfast, Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the Supreme Court’s anti-First Amendment decisions do nothing to protect citizens’ rights, safety or happiness. Government needs to cleanse itself of its religious c…

  23. Now every white male in their 40-50’s is just no good. Can you explain why the persistent attack? So the fall back is now Privilege? Where is the serious conversation, I am sure to be hit with all kinds of negative comments and accusations as to who and what I represent.

  24. Should Be No Us and Them, When We Are All American’s and While I am at this, Please put the Hyphen-American away as well.

    We are all Americans, not Something-American, You Are An American, be proud and stop pissing on your nation that has given people the right to write the silly shit I have seen on these threads, your freedoms are granted by our Constitution, not the losers we have in the ruling class known as politicians.

  25. Orangeburg, SC, 1968: The massacre of students you may not have heard of

    Most Americans know about the murder of students by National Guard troops at Kent State in Ohio on May 4, 1970, which was later immortalized in song. A smaller group are probably aware of the city and state police murders, at Jackson State in Mississippi, on May 15, 1970. Students from the campus were protesting racism. Two young black people died, 15 students were wounded, and over 460 rounds were fired into a dormitory.
    Two years before these tragedies occurred, three young black people who were protesting—not a war in Vietnam, but a war against black people called “segregation”—were killed by police. Twenty-seven more were shot (many in the back) or injured by being beaten with billy clubs. These events took place on February 8, 1968, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and have come come to be known by those who do remember as “the Orangeburg Massacre.”
    Read More
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/08/1361699/-Orangeburg-SC-1968-The-massacre-of-students-you-may-not-have-heard-of?showAll=yes

  26. The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree, Brutality’s Never Far Away
    They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death.

    After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept roaming the past trying to retrieve a vaguely remembered photograph that I had seen long ago in the archives of a college library in Texas.

    Suddenly, around two in the morning, the image materialized in my head. I made my way down the hall to my computer and typed in: “Waco, Texas. Lynching.”
    Read More
    http://billmoyers.com/2015/02/05/isis-brutality-burning-lynching/

  27. In an article on the idiocy of the right-wing complaining about Preisdent Obama’s comments on the history of religious violence on Earth, Vox’s Max Fisher sums up the bigotry of the last six years perfectly:

    Many critics have described Obama’s assertion that Christians are equivalent to Muslims as insulting to Christians. Whether this is because they believe that Christians are inherently superior or that Muslims are inherently inferior is irrelevant. It is not so different from, say, 1960s white supremacists who called Martin Luther King an anti-white racist for asserting that white and black people are fundamentally the same.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/2/7/7995803/obama-crusades

  28. If truth be actually told…when the French insulted Islam’s Diety, humans were slaughtered. .. so it seems almost passive that the president’s “perceived” insult towards Christ’s Church is understandably
    voiced by nothing but hot air ( that will soon disapate ).

    I believe these voices are quite civilized considering their options. Perhaps that is the contemporary point?

    Slaughter vs protest, which do you prefer now that we’re 1100 years wiser?

    This president surely recognizes progress.
    So which religion has progressed?

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