I really wish President Obama hadn’t made his comments about the Crusades a few days ago at the National Prayer Breakfast, because I don’t believe the comparison is really valid. The discussion over radical Islam is referring to present day atrocities that are being carried out, not something that happened a thousand years ago. But I knew when I read his remarks that they were exactly what conservatives needed to amp up the “Obama hates Christians” nonsense they’ve been spewing since even before he was elected. And even though I understand the context of what he was trying to say (that almost all religions have committed horrible acts in the name of their God), it’s still one of those things he was probably best to have just never said.
And as expected, many conservatives are trying to make a huge deal out of the president’s comments.
Take Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who made several idiotic statements on Fox & Friends concerning President Obama’s remarks.
“What’s so striking though is his mention of the Crusades as a way to make the point, ‘Before you judge ISIS, keep in mind that that Christians did it too,’” Carlson said. “The Crusades is a fixation among jihadis. There’s not a press release from ISIS or from al Qaeda that doesn’t call us Crusaders.”
“And so for the president to use that specific word, aping the language of the jihadis is ominous and bizarre,” he continued.
He’s completely mischaracterizing what the president said. He didn’t say “before you judge ISIS…,” he simply used the Crusades as an example of how all religions can act out horrifically in the “name of religion.” And he didn’t use that “specific word” for any sort of ulterior motive – they were called the Crusades.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the dumbest thing Carlson said on Sunday.
“So we’re responsible for the Crusades a thousand years ago?” Carlson stated. “Who’s ‘us’ anyway? And by the way, who ended slavery and Jim Crow? Christians. The Rev. Martin Luther King. Christians.”
“Christianity is the reason we don’t have slavery in the world today,” he added.
Actually, Christianity was often used by the Confederacy to defend their right to own slaves. Slavery didn’t “end” in this country because of some religious awakening, and if Carlson truly believes that there’s no slavery in the world today then he’s ridiculously naive.
Religion was also used by many Southern states (you know, the ones that are “strongly Republican” today) to defend segregation and oppose interracial marriage. Just because Martin Luther King was a Christian doesn’t mean he wasn’t fighting against millions of Americans who were using that same religion to oppose his push for civil rights.
I guess we should also ignore that for centuries slavery was driven and exploited by Christian nations, or that this nation was founded and expanded by Christians who slaughtered Native Americans to near extinction, often forcing them to convert to Christianity against their will.
Even today millions of homosexual Americans are still having to fight for equal rights in the face of unconstitutional Christian ignorance.
So for Carlson to try to give credit to Christianity for ending slavery is just asinine. Especially when history shows us that religion was actually used to justify slavery, bigotry and intolerance. And if it wasn’t for our secular Constitution preventing some from forcing their beliefs onto others, millions of Christians would still be trying harder than they currently are now to use their religion to justify their prejudice and ignorance.
Watch Carlson’s absurd comments below via Fox News: