Earlier today President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, where he discussed freedom of expression along with highlighting the many acts of barbarism that are happening now and have happened throughout the centuries which were justified under the guise of religion. He also explained in depth about how as Christians, we can overcome these perversions of religion. President Obama spoke for about thirty minutes and used almost three thousand words today, but the only part of the speech the right wing media is focusing on is when he brought up the Crusades.
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. Michelle and I returned from India -- an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity -- but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs -- acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.
How dare the president put into context the historical atrocities performed over centuries in the name of God! As usual the Catholic League's Bill Donohue took front and center stage on Fox News and was fuming because Obama dared to mention Christ and demanded that he apologize. Neil Cavuto actually defended Obama for the most part which kind of surprised me, but Donohue, the pedophile priest apologist didn't.
Cavuto: Bill Donohue called that an insult to all Christians and said the president needs to apologize, but I think what he said Bill, obviously you're worked up over it, "look, what's done in the name of religion has often caused some heinous acts," you argue he hasn't said this enough about Islam.
Donohue: I'm saying this, had he said just said that, that people have killed in the name of their God and it's not unique to one religion, who could argue with that? But he didn't do that, did he? He spoke with specificity. he singled out the Crusades and the Inquisition. There's so many myths about..
What Donohue is actually demanding is to be the president's speech writer/approval monitor. Bill has no problem with the speech except when Obama mentions acts of brutality perpetrated by Christians and Catholics. he immediately tries to rewrite history and said that the atrocities happening name in the name of Islam far outweigh anything that happened in the history of the world.
After he bloviated for a while, Cavuto cut in.
Cavuto: Stepping back for this he is saying what's done in the name of God, his name or whatever deity you believe that we take it too far? Or you're not giving him the benefit of that..
Donohue: I think he should have said that. I think you're being exculpatory here.
Another real problem for the Donohues of the world is that they refuse to admit that Barack Obama is a Christian and will never allow him to discuss religion on those terms.
Bill continued, "We have a problem with Islam. Not just with Islamists, but a problem with Islam."
For some reason the right has focused on Obama for not constantly bashing the Muslim religion, as Bill Donohue does in this interview, but then they demand that Muslim countries join us in fighting groups like ISIS. Do they not understand the fallacy of their reasoning?
More of Obama's speech, which appears to make Donohue's whining completely unfounded.
But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge -- or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.