Obama: ‘Get off your high horse,’ Americans
Obama reminded Americans that slavery was previously justifiable in the U.S. and terrorism is not unique to Muslims
U.S. President Barack Obama had a pointed message for a congregate of fellow Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday after international media reported on the grisly killing of a Jordanian pilot by ISIS militants.
Obama warned them against their so-called “high horse” behavior regarding religious extremism.
He said: “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history, advising them “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.”
He also reminded the group that in the United States slavery was justified in the name of religion.
“In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Jim Crow was a series of rigid anti-black laws which were not exclusively in southern and border states between 1877 and the mid-1960s.
Obama’s statements were not welcomed by all.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, described Obama’s comments about Christianity as “an unfortunate attempt at a wrongheaded moral comparison,” the Washington Post quoted him as saying.
What we need more is a “moral framework from the administration and a clear strategy for defeating ISIS,” he said.
Some Republicans were also infuriated.
“The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” said former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore. “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.”
However, Farhana Khera, executive director of the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, one of 13 participants, said the session gave Obama a chance to focus on Muslim Americans the way he has done with other constituencies, such as African American and Jewish groups.
“I started off by saying the biggest concern I hear from Muslim parents is their fear that their children will be ashamed to be Muslim” because of discrimination, Khera told The Washington Post.
“We are asking him to use his bully pulpit to have a White House summit on hate crimes against religious minorities, much like the summit on bullying reset the conversation around LGBT youth.”
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