Earlier today, Scott posted President Obama’s statement about the barbaric murder by ISIS of the Jordanian pilot. Obama took the occasion to warn Americans not to “get on our high horse and think [what ISIS did] is unique to some other place.”
It’s not surprising, given his view of our country, that Obama would deny that Americans ever have standing to get on a high horse. But if we can’t see ourselves as morally superior by a comfortable margin to terrorists who burn people alive, we must be a morally bankrupt and fairly barbaric country.
What evidence did Obama cite for the propositions we shouldn’t get on our high horse and think that ISIS’s conduct is unique to some other place. First, he cited the crusades and the Inquisition. These events occurred more than 500 years ago in “some other places.” They had nothing to do with America, whose founding was centuries away.
To suggest that the crusades and the Inquisition should preclude Americans from a sense of vast moral superiority to ISIS is to carry moral relativism to an absurd extreme.
Obama also claimed that “in our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” I don’t doubt that some who argued in favor of slavery and Jim Crow tried to reconcile these institutions with Christianity. But the Bible doesn’t call for enslavement or racial discrimination. In fact, as John has pointed out, Christianity fueled the abolitionist and civil rights movements. By contrast, Muhammad favored, and in fact committed, beheadings.
By reaching so astonishingly far to find examples he can equate to ISIS’s murderous practices, Obama again betrays his contempt for American and the West. Does he really believe that we’re not so very far removed from ISIS style barbarity? Or is he afraid of what Americans might do if we get on a high horse? Either way, Obama has a shockingly low opinion of his countrymen.
Ironically, if you ask ask anti-American Muslims for an example of American barbarity, its likely that many would cite not Jim Crow, but rather our bombing campaigns that have killed innocent civilians. Obama couldn’t go there, though, having himself ordered bombing campaigns that almost surely killed innocent civilians.
There is, or course, no real equivalence between deaths of innocent civilians that result from bombs aimed at terrorists and, say, the beheading of a humanitarian worker or a journalist. But the comparison is more apt than any of the ones Obama posited, which occurred centuries ago.
But why would an American president stretch to find any parallels at all between his nation’s conduct and that of ISIS? Anti-Americanism seems to be the only plausible answer.