Obama’s Gives Muddled View Of Religious Tolerance In Speech To The United Nations
President Obama addressed the United Nations today and delivered a thoroughly muddled view of religious tolerance. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.
First, let’s not the President’s hypocrisy. He states that we should also condemn those who desecrate the image of Jesus. Would he be talking about something like the infamous “Piss Christ” which was funded, in part, with taxpayer subsidies from the National Endowment for the Arts?
President Obama’s own party has a long history of supporting taxpayer subsidies for the very sort of religious desecration he now wants condemned. Leave it to the liberals to only be concerned about religious tolerance when it’s some religion other than Christianity.
But beyond that, what Obama is calling for is essentially condemnation for anyone who criticizes any religion. Christians and Jews (among other religious denominations) do not recognize Mohammed as any sort of a prophet, which many in Islam take as a slander. Gays, and liberals in general given presidential candidate Mitt Romeny’s association, have taken aim at Mormonism in recent years. Is President Obama willing to condemn their objections to that religion as well?
Here’s the problem: Obama is trying to say that we can’t criticize one another’s religion (or, as is the case with some of us, lack thereof) when what he really ought to be saying is that we have to be tolerant of such criticism. Even when it’s hateful.
Under the standard Obama is setting, if Christians had reacted to the creation of “Piss Christ” with violence and murder, the artist would be to blame and not those responsible for the violence. Which is a utterly backward standard for a free society.
The price of living in a free society is having to tolerate the fact that others disagree with you., that others might not respect you or your beliefs, and they might not always be so nice about it.
President Obama ought to spend less time condemning the freedom of expression and a bit more time condemning those who respond to that freedom with murderous rampage.Tags: Barack Obama, religious tolerance