Nonsequitur: The High Horse of Moral Equivalence

February 6, 2015

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama compared the current atrocities being committed by ISIS to the European Crusades of the Middle Ages. He likened the cruel torture and murder occurring right now to the Inquisition of hundreds of years ago. Then he compared the brutal acts of ISIS to US slavery and Jim Crow laws of the 19th century. You can view his full speech here:

Cruel acts have been committed in the name of Christianity and many other religions. But the “Christian” violence President Obama points to happened centuries ago. ISIS and other Islamic terror groups are killing people right now. The Christian church grew and adapted to reduce, limit and finally end such institutional violence to better fit the peaceful, forgiving message of the New Testament. Christian leaders themselves were outspoken and active in making this change within the Church. Current leaders continue to work to improve the Church to better fit its moral model.

Surely the President, being a scholar and professor, knows that the first Crusades were a response to the invasion of Islamic Moors, who conquered and occupied the Mediterranean lands in the 9th and 10th Centuries. The President must know that the earliest Abolitionists argued against slavery in this country on Christian, religious principles. And of course, he should remember that the Christian community in this country were allies within the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

President Obama appears to be a victim of his own moral ambivalence. Regardless of what the Medieval Church did nine hundred years ago, ISIS is an unjust, cruel organization bent on bringing violent jihad to the modern Middle East and the West. The President of the United States should be standing with our allies in the Middle East and in Europe to actively thwart this aim, not making weak excuses of moral equivalence.


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