Obama, the Crusades and American values

Monks bless Louis IX as he sets off on 7th Crusade

Monks bless Louis IX as he sets off on 7th Crusade

President Obama tripped in a snare at last week’s annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Essentially warning the pot not to call the kettle black, the President reminded the members of Congress and leaders of many faiths that no one is sinless, and that vicious atrocities have been committed in the name of religion by many peoples throughout history, including Christians and Americans. The spark that kindled a roaring flame was this:

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.

No one likes to be reminded of his own transgressions. Many deny them, expecting others to join them in denial. One of these is former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R):

The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime.

He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.

Is he deaf or just stupid? Were slavery and Jim Crow, shameful chapters in the American past, fabricated by our enemies? Does he think the European Crusaders and the Spanish Inquisitors were conjured up to enliven history books? What are the values Gilmore assumes “we all share”? Denial, dishonesty and deception?

Obama has, throughout his presidency, tried to make Americans aware of the pitfalls of believing that American “exceptionalism” means never having to say you’re sorry, never admitting to any fault. America, he told the United Nations in 2014, can be imperfect and still exceptional. He said Americans are exceptional “Because we fight for our ideals and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short.”

Is that so difficult to understand?

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Filed under American Society, Musings, People, Politics

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