Though Pres. Obama has come under fire for his speech at the national prayer breakfast, at least in one sense I have a profound respect for him in the delivery of this presentation
Before citing the reason for my respect, let me identify some aspects of his speech which are not worthy of respect.
First, though he did not stipulate the names of the religions regarding which he was speaking, it seems apparent that he was telling at least some Christians to get off their “high horse” for linking Islam with the atrocities of ISIS. Instead, he called people to show humility.
I have a problem with this castigation because it denies the connection of ISIS with Islam, a connection which he has continued to deny across the past months. This denial that ISIS is an expression of Islam represents an irrational position in that ISIS claims to be an expression of Islam, is comprised of Muslims, and bases its actions on their Koran. Perhaps more to the point, many of their activities reflect historic tendencies of Islam: conquering by the sword and gross mistreatment of those conquered. Beyond that, though many Muslims are not involved with this type of behavior or even condone it, large segments of the Muslim population have chosen not to disassociate themselves with this movement. It is of interest that the President was quick to associate the Crusades and the Inquisition with Christianity while refusing to associate ISIS with Islam.
A second aspect of the President speech not worthy of respect is his insistence on multiculturalism and relativism. He asserted that we should all have the humility to realize that none of us can know the truth and therefore we should be accepting of all religions. Again, the current political context suggests that this perspective was meant to be a slap in the faces of Christians who viewed ISIS to be a reflection on Islam, thus suggesting that Christianity was better than Islam.
The record shows that Christianity has been the most tolerant religion in history and Islam one of the least tolerant, if not the least tolerant. The multicultural position is erroneous. It is lazy at best and dishonest at worst. Anyone caring to do the work and willing to be honest with the facts can easily conclude that Christianity has been a greater blessing by far to this world than any other religion.
In light of these concerns, what about the President’s speech caused me to respect him? The answer is found in his courage to stand for what he believes in the face of opposition. In a previous post I have made the case that Pres. Obama is a Muslim, at least culturally and perhaps religiously. His hostility toward Israel and toward Christianity and his corresponding support of the cause of Islam, especially radical Islam, substantiates that perspective. His avid support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt provides a graphic example.
At a time when the President is under fire for his unwillingness to refer to militant Islam as militant Islam, in the face of strong public hostility toward militant Islam for burning a man alive, and speaking at an overwhelmingly Christian prayer breakfast, rather than avoiding any discussion of current issues related to Islam, he took them head on, defending Islam and castigating Christians as being on a high horse and lacking humility. I am convinced he was aware of the uproar that would follow, and yet that did not deter him from giving strong support to Islam.
As Christians we are too often timid, fearing to offend, concerned about how people will respond, not willing to take opposition head on. Pres. Obama provided a good example for us regarding commitment to our faith.
An even better example than Pres. Obama was Darrell Waltrip, who spoke at the same prayer breakfast. I would urge you to listen to his speech. He was also courageous, but he utilized his courage in advancing the truth.