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February 8, 2015 10:32 am

Barack Obama’s Apology Tour Continues

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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President Obama has stirred quite a hornet’s nest of criticism with his claim that Christians are just as guilty of atrocities as ISIS. But it’s not the first time he has done so – and he is not even the first president to have done so.

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama argued that ISIS and Al Qaeda are not the only religious extremists to use violence. “This is not unique to one group or one religion,” he claimed. “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.” For proof of this assertion, however, he had to go all the way back to the early Middle Ages: “[L]est we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” he declared.

In other words, because Christians killed non-Christians nearly 1,000 years ago, that makes the Christian world today morally comparable to the beheaders and immolaters of ISIS. It’s a way of saying that we are all guilty – and therefore nobody is guilty.

The President’s remark is actually a continuation of the theme he promoted during his infamous “Apology Tour” in early 2009. In a series of speeches in Europe and Muslim countries that spring, he rattled off a list of past American transgressions.

At a town hall meeting in Strasbourg, France, on April 2, he said: “There have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. Next came the G-20 summit in London, at the conclusion of which President Obama pledged that the United States would henceforth “show some element of humility and recognize that we may not always have the best answer…”

Four days later, the President addressed the Turkish parliament. There he implicitly compared America’s past actions to Turkey’s genocide of the Armenians – although, ironically, in order to avoid offending the Turks, he refused to acknowledge that it was genocide, calling it only “the terrible events of 1915.” (This despite his explicit pledge as a U.S. Senator to publicly recognize the genocide.) “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history,” Obama announced, citing “the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”

America’s past treatment of African-Americans and Native Americans is of course deeply regrettable, but should such mea culpas be presented to the parliament of the country that committed the first genocide in modern times, and that to this day, in the worst tradition of Holocaust-deniers, insists that the genocide never happened?

Stung by widespread criticism of his we’re-guilty-too perspective, President Obama generally refrained from revisiting that theme in the years to follow. But now that he does not have to run for re-election, Obama evidently feels more free to express his genuine feelings. And since he does not want to undertake a serious military effort against ISIS and other Islamist terrorists, he now seeks to minimize the problem of Islamist violence by spreading the blame to Christians.

Not that President Obama is the only occupant of the Oval Office to have tried to shift blame from Muslims to Christians. He has company on this from former president Jimmy Carter. Last year, Carter authored a book about violence against women around the world. He allotted less than three pages to the problem of “honor killings” of women in Arab and Muslim countries, in which women are murdered by male relatives who suspect them of transgressing some aspect of fundamentalist Islamic morals.

In an attempt to minimize such Muslim murders, Carter asserted that the phenomenon of honor killings “has a justification in the ancient Holy Scriptures of Jews and Christians.” He then quoted a verse from Deuteronomy prescribing capital punishment for certain instances of adultery. He did not bother to explain that the verse in question, like other biblical references to capital punishment for various crimes, pertained to ancient times and are obviously not carried out in our day and age.

Carter and Obama share an approach to foreign policy that flows naturally from the “we-are-all-guilty” mindset. Both have refused to fully acknowledge and seriously combat the forces of evil in this world. And that has led, in turn, to American defeats and retreats. As president, Carter stood by as the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, and as Ayatollah Khomeini took over Iran and then held Americans hostage in Teheran for more than a year.

Obama’s non-response to the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, his lip-service “red line” in Syria, and his repeated attempts to minimize Islamist violence (from denying its Islamist nature to covering it up with terms such as “work place violence”) echo Carter’s foreign policy. The fact that both men embrace the Palestinian cause is no coincidence, of course, but it is a reflection of the much broader problem of how they view – and interact with – the world.

The authors are president and chairman, respectively, of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the current U.S. World Zionist Congress elections.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Fred

    Obama is the best Muslim defender. The do no wrong Obama says so. With his tacit encouragement Muslim are inserting themselves into American curriculum & other venues by stealth. He should read more history prior to the Crusaders .

  • Yale

    The country that most deserves an apology from Barack Obama is the United States.

    For his politics of “divide and conquer” that have made him the most divisive president in history.

    For blaming George Bush whenever he has failed to deal with the problems facing this country.

    For enabling the Iranians to obtain nuclear weapons with which they seek to make good on their creed of “Death to America”.

    For devising ways to collect essentially unlimited cash to fuel his campaigns, and not being too concerned about whether it was all legal.

    For his indifference to the real suffering of Christians in the Muslim world even as he seeks to address the mainly self-inflicted “suffering” of the Palestinians.

    For seeking to enhance his personal power by abandoing Constitutional limitations.

    For his arrogance in being unable to acknowledge his many mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.

    The list gets longer with every additional day he spends in the White House.

  • Donn Peters

    I believe you have strained out the gnat and swallowed the camel. The point in not about blame, the point is about arrogance that often accompanies blame. We can hold ISIS responsible, but not with the attitude that we are above this kind of thing. We are not.

  • gilgulman

    Apparently our fearless leader does not grasp the differences between corporate, collective, and personal culpability. Mr. President, please stop your attempt to place blame on me, my crowd, and my acquaintances for events transpiring hundreds, even thousands of years ago. A worthwhile beginning would be for you to shoulder personal culpability for your miserable foreign policy decisions, decisions apparently springing from a mind lock of generous proportion. Yes, I am aware that a society of cavemen once dragged women around by the hair, and that they weren’t Muslim, but you can’t use that as a justification for Muslims who do it now.

  • Truly what is this man ?
    What “Faith” does he believe,Practice ?
    Is it just the “Faith” of politics ?
    Is it what he finds convenient at the moment.
    In my opinion he acts more as a “closet” muslim than a man of specific faith.
    His arrogance playing the “Race” card borders on Hubris !
    His actions have created a greater devide between blacks and whites in the U.S.!
    Can we survive till the end of his term, questionable.
    He is the face of the “Great Satan” that the Arabs always refer to.

  • Auntie Cathie

    As Karen Armstrong says so clearly in Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, it behooves us all to admit our history and choose nonviolence!

  • zadimel

    Yet,despite the above criticism of the Obama administration, Obama has provided Israel with the largest amount of military aid in US history. In addition to over $3 billion per year, more than $500 million in supplemental funding has been extended to the Jewish State to further develop the Iron Dome missile system, sold the F-22/F-35 fighter aircraft to Israel,continued joint military exercises with the IDF,maintained the storage of over a billion dollars of military equipment in Israel for American use as well for Israeli use in an emergemcy, and defended the legitimacy of Israel, as well as protested efforts to isolate Israel at the UN and UN bodies.

  • Let’s face it Obama has had very little education viz-a-viz history. The consequence being he is not equipped to deal with the middle east. His knowledge is too limited bearing in mind he was raised under Islamic theology. We are under siege and now facing a new Crusade world wide. This demonic Arabic religion needs to be wiped out. The King of Jordan for all his bravado needs to dump Islam and Sharia Law. As for the House of Saud it is time for it to fall irrespective of how much OIL is found in the desert. Turn the Sahara into a huge electricity producing area through solar power. I recently came across an article in a Scientific report there would be enough generated electricity manufactured by solar power to turn into a commercial energy source. We do NOT need Islamic OIL.

    • Almondleaf

      It seems YOU are the one with little education- actually MISEDUCATION concerning the President of the United States. He was raised by CHRISTIAN AMERICANS. He is a CHRISTIAN American. Perhaps YOU are not equipped to offer intelligent commentary regarding the Middle East.

  • M Lawrence

    Christians have killed non-Christians throughout history, not only during the Crusades, but during the Holocaust and continue to do so today as the KKK is a white Christian organization. To gloss over Christian atrocities is to forget that for thousands of years they have accused Jews of deicide as well. Every single religion has killed non-adherents and that includes Jews. Shame on you for this piece.

  • It is to late for obama we thought he was going to erase, destruction evil ideology that is done by country and partners.hhhmmm that man killed gadaf.and wife of bill then she ran away when her blood was freezing,tripoli is not safe people are dying that sucks braa

  • Degel

    From “Current Communist Goals”(1963)
    3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
    4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war
    13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
    42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [“]united force[“] to solve economic, political or social problems.
    (see Congressional Record–Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963
    It’s good to review from time to time Communist (read KGB) Goals, to see, which of them had already fulfilled and which are still in their plans

  • Anschel Schaffer-Cohen

    You said “For proof of this assertion, however, he had to go all the way back to the early Middle Ages”. Which suggests to me that you haven’t actually read the next sentence of the speech: “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” So he didn’t have to go back to the middle ages; he went back to an era that ended within his own lifetime.

    You are welcome, in this country, to hold any opinion you like. But make sure the facts you are using to support that statement are actually true. And should hire a fact checker. You readers, whether or not they agree with you, deserve better.

    Here’s the transcript of the President’s remarks. If you have an opinion about them, but haven’t actually read them, now’s your chance:

  • How revealing to those who thought better of him.

  • Not to put too fine a point on it: Obama whores for Islam.

  • Michael Gilovitz

    “At a town hall meeting in Strasbourg, France, on April 2, he said: “There have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. Next came the G-20 summit in London, at the conclusion of which President Obama pledged that the United States would henceforth “show some element of humility and recognize that we may not always have the best answer…””

    Obama pledge is to anyone but not to Jews or Israel

  • Zay Mir Gezunt

    There is little with which i would agree on when it comes to President Obama. But i do not disagree with his comments at the Prayer Breakfast.

    Perhaps Christians do NOT wish to be reminded of the horrible deeds committed in the name of their religion. As Shakespeare might aver, they “doth protest too much, methinks.”

    These folks probably can’t relate to crusades and inquisitions, however I, and many Jews with whom I talk immediately get it. Perhaps this is because we never allow ourselves to forget history or what it has been like to be on the receiving end of the worst that other religions have decreed about us and our Jewish religion.

    You may think those of us who understood Obama are fools. I, for one, grew up with tattooed survivors, my family tree includes Jews who left Spain in the 1400s, and a grandfather whose mother was killed in a pogrom in Ukraine for no other reason than she was a Jew, not a Christian.

    This is one time i agree with this President.