President Obama proclaimed to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
In keeping with this sentiment, his administration decided to scrub all federal law enforcement training materials in order to eliminate the use of such words or phrases as jihadists or Islamic terrorists, since the use of such terms could be viewed by Muslims as evidence of Islamophobia.
By contrast, the Obama administration, including the military over which President Obama presides as commander-in-chief, is engaging in a pattern of behavior targeting traditional Christian believers and their groups as extremists and mocking their beliefs.
For example, according to an October 23, 2013 report by Fox News, “Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Fort Hood, let’s not forget, was the site of the massacre committed by the radicalized Muslim soldier Nidal Hasan, shouting “God is great” in Arabic (Allahu Akhbar) as he proceeded with the slaughter of his unarmed fellow soldiers.
Yet, during the pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood, barely a word was said about Islamic extremism. As one soldier put it, “Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist. This is a slap in the face. The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”
Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported last April that, while briefing an Army Reserve unit in Pennsylvania, an instructor said that Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism were examples of religious extremism, equating followers with the KKK, al Qaeda and Hamas. The training materials also listed “Islamophobia” as a form of religious extremism.
In yet another example, Todd Starnes reported last January that “the U.S. military ordered soldiers to remove a cross and a steeple from atop a chapel and to board up cross-shaped windows at a remote American forward operating base in Afghanistan.” Whatever justification might be given for removing the very visible Christian cross symbol from atop the chapel, boarding up windows that happen to be cross-shaped is a step too far to rationalize on grounds that the design of windows in an American facility might offend Afghan Muslims whom our soldiers are risking their lives to defend.
Breitbart News has recounted still other examples of anti-Christian bias in the military under President Obama’s watch. These are not isolated examples. A Defense Department training document entitled “Extremism” was cited by Breitbart News to demonstrate the document’s reliance on an organization as an approved source of information – the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – that has an anti-Christian, anti-Tea Party bias. For example, SPLC has labeled such traditional Christian groups as the American Family Association and the Traditional Values Coalition as domestic hate groups.
This bias appears to reflect the Obama administration’s thinking at the highest levels. Indeed, as reported by Breitbart News, rather than embrace an amendment passed last June in the House Armed Services Committee protecting religious speech of service members in the military, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy with a threat to veto the bill if it passes the full House and Senate. “In other words,” Breitbart News concluded, “Obama says he will veto any bill that forbids his appointees or officers from telling a soldier that he cannot mention Jesus during prayer or have a Bible on his desk, or that keeps those appointees from telling a chaplain (who is an ordained clergyman) what religious teachings he is allowed to give in worship services, or what spiritual counseling he can give to another soldier.”
The Obama administration bends over backwards to avoid hurting the sensibilities of Muslims, even referring to Hasan’s jihadist attack at Fort Hood as merely “workplace violence.” But traditional Christians are a subject of mockery and disrespect by this administration.
The White House acknowledged, for example, that it asked Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, to cover up prominent Christian symbols for President Obama’s economic speech there in 2010. Is it any wonder that the military followed the example of its commander-in-chief in going overboard to remove anything that looked like a Christian symbol in the chapel at the Afghan base?
President Obama sets the tone for his administration’s dismissive attitude towards traditional Christians. Indeed, he came into office with a snide view of traditional Christian believers.
During the presidential campaign for his first term, Obama condescendingly dismissed those persons of faith whom he said “cling” to their “religion.”
Moreover, as the Christian evangelist James Dobson reminded us back in 2008, Senator Obama had delivered a speech mocking the Bible a couple of years earlier.
“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said, adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”
Once Barack Obama became president, Dobson no doubt had a target on his back. In fact, the Obama Internal Revenue Service went after the radio ministry, Family Talk, run by Dobson. His ministry was given the run around in its application for a tax-exempt status, including having to deal with burdensome paperwork requirements and demands for disclosure of Dobson’s political views. Only after a threat to bring the IRS to court did the tax agency relent and approve the application.
Sadly, the Obama Administration is evidently waging a concerted campaign to cast traditional Christians as extremists, while ignoring the real extremist threat to our way of life posed by jihadists.
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Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and the new book, Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.