No Escape From History
It has been enlightening to watch this entire spectacle play out over the past week.
It has indeed. Remarkably, comments that acknowledge verifiable history are treated as controversial. Meanwhile the complete denial of this history, both recent and long past, has been accepted as reasonable instead of being greeted with the universal derision and laughter it deserves. Other than David Brooks, has anyone on the right simply acknowledged the accuracy of President Obama’s remarks.
From earlier in the piece:
Ross [Douthat] is disturbed to see the president drawing an “implied equivalence” between the barbarism of ISIS and the “the incredibly complicated multi-century story of medieval Christendom’s conflict with Islam.” This will not do. The present conflict in the Middle East is also an “incredibly complicated multi-century story.” And yet that fact does not (and should not) prevent Ross from drawing conclusions about the morality of burning a man to death in the name of God. The president’s comments are no different: “During the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” This is a manifestly true statement—just as true as: “During the Middle East conflict, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Allah.”
Beneath Ross’s claim of “incredible” complication is a plea for context and nuance on behalf of the murderers of Jews—one he does not make on behalf of ISIS.
The expectation always seems to be that Christianity (or America, the country supposedly founded on it) should never be judged by the standards to which other religions, countries, or cultures are held. Or more simply, Christianity and America should never be judged.