There was some good stuff in Barack Obama’s speech to the UN. I’d offer him praise for those things, but in the midst of his speech were words that were fundamentally wrong.
That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.
Let’s break it down.
The video did not spark outrage throughout the Muslim world. Nobody had heard of the video – until it was used as a pretext to cover anti-Americanism and terrorism on September 11. Only after the fact – when the American government legitimized the acts of violence by casting the blame on those who made the film – did the video become a source of outrage.
Fair enough – the US government had nothing to do with the video. But the blame game – designed to take the focus off the failed policies of the Obama Administration – is shameful. The notion that “all who respect our common humanity” must reject the message that Muhammad used violence to advance Islam, that he took a child bride, and that there is nothing divinely inspired about the Quran is utterly false – and is no different than saying that followers of faiths other than Islam do not “respect our common humanity”. In effect, Obama has established Islam as the official religion of the American government, despite the fact that most Americans do not follow Islam!
Odd – in that same city (New York City) there is a play running that ridicules Mormonism, the faith of Barack Obama’s opponent in the current election. The taxpayer-funded work “Piss Christ” is about to go on display in that city, despite the fact it offends the religious sensitivities of Christians. At the United Nations itself, the leader of Iran has made statements insulting to and demeaning of Jews and Judaism. And yet somehow Barack Obama managed to leave these examples of outrageous speech against religion and religious believers out of his speech to the United Nations – because followers of those faith are not rioting and murdering those who they blame for the speech and because Obama does not see devout followers of those faiths as likely supporters of his candidacy.
True – but as noted in another post today, those Muslims demand that the speech of non-Muslims be censored to protect their religious sensitivities even as the concerns and sensitivities of non-Muslims are swept aside by Barack Obama and his appointees. Indeed, the Obama Administration has adopted policies that trample the religious beliefs and practices of many Americans – arguing that religious freedom does not extend beyond the confines of their houses of worship and into their daily lives – even as our president kowtows to the followers of Muhammad.
Yes, we do understand what about the video offends Muslims – but we really don’t care because this president has never shown the same sort of sensitivity to the beliefs and feelings of non-Muslims in this country. And we are tired of the favored treatment of the tantrum-throwing followers of Islam, who compose only a tiny fraction of Americans. While we expect – indeed, demand – that our government will not discriminate against the followers of any minority faith, we equally insist that our government not place the sensitive feelings of such a faith above the fundamental rights guaranteed by both the Bill of Rights and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After all, there is in neither document the right not to have one’s feelings hurt, the right not to be insulted, or the right to silence opposition to one’s beliefs. If there were, Christians and Jews would certainly have a strong case for banning Islam and the Quran, which contradicts and insults their own religious teachings and beliefs!
Let me be clear – Barack Obama does not speak for me on this matter.
What’s more, I do not believe that he speaks for the vast majority of Americans on this matter.
And his words are certainly not consistent with the letter or the spirit of the First Amendment, given the way they implicitly give special regard to Islam and mere lip service to freedom of speech and freedom of religion for those who reject that faith.