And you thought Nationwide’s Super Bowl ad was depressing. The President spoke at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, but instead of focusing on faith, hope and love, he dwelt on violence, anti-Semitism and the Crusades.
Obama cataloged an impressive list of Islamist terror attacks, oddly never mentioning Islam. But he wasn’t so careful when it came to calling out those dastardly Christians.
We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion…
Ah yes, the Crusades; the ne plus ultra of root causes. Whenever a terror attack is perpetrated by Al Qaeda, Boko Haram or ISIS, a flock of secularists will mutter, “to be fair, Sir Godfrey of Bouillon got a little chippy with the Antiochians in 1097.”
We’ve all heard radicals like Jeremiah Wright excuse Islamist violence as “chickens coming home to roost,” but even President Clinton named the Crusades as the root cause of the West’s conflict with Muslims.
Contra Edward Said, the Crusades were primarily defensive campaigns which sought to liberate once-Christian lands from their Muslim conquerors. Expansionist Islam had overrun heavily Christian Palestine, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain. Once Mohammed’s heirs took Asia Minor, the emperor in Constantinople begged western Christendom for help.
Once the Crusades were launched, awful things happened on both sides; war is indeed hell. But to claim 800 years later that malcontents flew airplanes into towers half the world away to protest their brusque treatment at the siege of Acre is tough to swallow.
The second most popular root cause is the mere existence of the state of Israel. So provocative is the presence of Jews in their ancestral homeland that zealots from Paris to Sydney to Ottawa are forced to shoot up markets and chocolate shops.
The funny thing about root causes is that they always stop precisely when the West can be blamed. Israeli independence is considered a root cause, but not the Arab attacks on Jews that helped motivate that independence. The Crusades are the root cause, not the capture of Christian Jerusalem by the Caliph Umar. If you follow any historical path back far enough, you can always pin the blame on the out group. So why do Western leftists always stop at the incident where they can blame their own culture?
Ultimately every root cause winds up at Adam and Eve, so maybe Obama can focus on them at next year’s prayer breakfast.