There are plenty of problems with President-elect Donald Trump selection of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret) to be his national security advisor. As we saw yesterday, he has a reputation for being erratic and unreliable, and perhaps best of all for Trump, none too careful with facts.
Remember, Flynn is the guy for whom a term was coined by senior aids over at the DIA – Defense Intelligence Agency – according to The Washington Post: “‘Flynn facts’ — for assertions that seemed questionable or inaccurate.” Not the kind of adviser most of us want to have.
He is also an anti-Semite and a racist, who once shared a tweet “Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore” and endorsed Mike Cernovich, who says “diversity is code for white genocide.”
It turns out Flynn isn’t leaving Islam out of his list of hates; he gave a speech in Dallas for ACT! for America, an anti-Muslim group, where he called Islam a “cancer” and “a political ideology,” claiming “It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion.”
Right Wing Watch shared a video posted by an attendee:
Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. And I have a very, very tough time because I don’t see a lot of people screaming ‘Jesus Christ’ with hatchets or machetes or rifles shooting up clubs or hatcheting, literally axing families on a train, or like they just killed a couple of police officers with a machete. It’s unbelievable. So we have a problem.
It’s like cancer. You know, I’ve gone through cancer in my own life. So it’s like cancer. And it’s a like a malignant cancer, though, in this case. It has metastasized.
This is an interesting charge coming from a man who follows a religion that is a political ideology hiding behind a religion. I am talking about the GOP, of course, which succumbed to the Religious Right and its bastardized form of Christianity starting back in the 60s with Goldwater’s defeat.
The implication here is that Islam is not a religion at all and therefore not protected by the First Amendment. The problem is that if this is true of Islam it is true of conservative Christianity. In fact, Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus once called the GOP a religion. Priebus, like Flynn, has joined the Trump White House, in his case as chief of staff.
Needless to say, with tensions so high in the Middle East, and with the US having some key Muslim allies in the region, a national security adviser who thinks of Islam as a cancer is not going to be helpful. Our nation’s treatment of Muslim’s will be about as “fair and balanced” as Fox News’ treatment of the news.
Even a president as screwed up as George W. Bush was careful to stress we were not at war with Islam after 9/11. President Obama has laid the same stress on our activities in the struggle against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
Those, believe it or not, may soon be seen as the “good old days,” now that we have a president-elect who says “Islam hates us” (beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy) and a national security adviser who says Islam is a cancer and not a religion at all, and who tweeted in February that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”
What the Republican Party has done is turn religion into an excuse for bad behavior.
Now we’ll be hearing it from the White House itself.
Clearly, neither civil rights nor even sanity is high on the list in the brewing Trump administration.
Photo: Screen capture NBC News
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.