Obama’s Strategy in Refusing to fall for Religion Bait by ISIS

The stupidity or aggression of the American Christian Right!

By Melanie Nathan, February 16, 2015.

Coptic Christians, Christianity, Islam, ISISThe White House has received  criticism for not referencing the religion of the 21 Egyptians who have been beheaded by ISIS.  The victims have been described in media reports as “Coptic Christians.” .

Here is the statement released by Press Secretary Josh Earnest:-

“Statement by the Press Secretary on the Murder of Egyptian Citizens

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens. ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.

This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL. We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat. We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.”

I think President Obama is absolutely correct in refusing to play this out on ISIS terms. If the President referenced the religion of the victims, as Christians, he would be playing into the hands of ISIS. He would be handing them their desired press on a silver platter. The U.S. President is way too smart for that.

Yet again the U.S. religious right wing extremists, who have criticized the President for not referencing the religion of the victims, are all falling for the bait. They are politicians playing to their Christian base – insinuating through irresponsible rhetoric that the President is offending Christians.  The President is not so stupid as to fall into the trap of allowing this to be perceived as a religious war – one that risks the pitting of Christians against Muslims –  Christianity vs. Islam. To that end he noted that ISIS sees no bounds in its barbarism: “It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity” – should surely suffice to illustrate that this is not about Christianity per se, but rather about ISIS’ attempt at dominance regardless of who is in the way, including moderate Muslims.

Unfortunately some Americans are plain morons and cannot see this, and insidiously others are chomping on the bit to do just that – to indeed allow this to be the very Christian crusade that former U.S. President George W. Bush had the stupidity to allude to, when he invaded Iraq – now the ISIS killing field! And lest we forget those who simply choose to ignore our best interests and would rather use this issue to wage their war here at home – their admitted battle against Obama’s existence- their obstruction of his presidency, couched in a racist deluge.

The likes of the extreme right, – the Michele Bachmann’s of the world- would give anything to see this as a war between Christianity and Islam – and then to blame such on Obama; and if Obama is not going to buy into such, then the President will still be blamed for not making it one!

While the President is cautiously using terminology to keep the slaughter in perspective; a perspective that does not give ISIS its pot of gold. ISIS is nothing more than a terrorist organization – a group of thugs currently using their extreme version of Islam as an excuse for its wanton terror – to try and push an all out war between the religions. If this were to be a war of Christianity vs Islam or Islam vs Christianity, ISIS imagines that more Muslims will be encouraged to take its side.   The extreme right Christians pushing for this to be a war in the name of Christianity will soon be seen as extremists themsleves – in the same light as Islamic extremists –  if this is not handled in a diplomatic fashion. Emotion does not serve us, and dividing the moderates by pushing them to the edges of extremism serves us least of all.  Obama gets it!

We would risk an all out Christian vs Islam or Islam vs Christian crescendo if he did otherwise.

Let us not allow ourselves to take the bait of ISIS –

Let us not play it on their terms-

Let us keep this in perspective –

Let us see ISIS for the mere thugs that they are-

Let us not hand ISIS their dream of a worldwide outright religious war where they hope to win more Muslims crossing over toward the ISIS dream of world domination, using the alienation of Christians who buy into their game.

In short America, do not fall for the ISIS bait.  Do not fall into the hands of those who would pretend the murderous rampage has anything to do with Christianity.  It has nothing to do with Christians and everything to do with a handful of thugs, attempting to use an extreme religious context to assume power by “religion baiting.”

6 thoughts on “Obama’s Strategy in Refusing to fall for Religion Bait by ISIS

  1. Melanie, unless or until we can identify the ideological underpinings of anti-gay murderers, we cannot engage in any dialogue or debate with believers who also claim their faith.

    I note in passing that you DID avoid saying “Christian,” but come now: you’ve done so in the past, when condemning Evangelicals who have come to Uganda to encourage the arrest, imprisonment and even execution of homosexuals. We should.

    I welcome Muslims who say that ISIS “is not Islam,” but then what is? Is it “what the Prophet Muhammad originally intended?” Or, is it “what Islam once was,” or is it “what Muslims do today in the name of Islam?”

    Homosexuals and atheists are arrested, imprisoned, tortured and even murdered in the name of Islam and men and women of “that Faith” should be confronted about this. So should the Christians who are now trying to backpeddlle in the U.S. and deny that they approved of Uganda’s persecution of gays. I am a Christian and that’s NOT a problem with me!

    The 21 Coptic Christians were taken out and murdered BECAUSE they were Christians and for no other reason. Whether the perps can legitimately claim to be “Muslims” is beside the point. They cite one of the medieval Muslim theologians who claimed that all Christians “are Crusaders” and should therefore be murdered.

    1. I get all your points, but feel you have not read the article. That you skipped though it or that you did not understand the point I am making. You are taking this out of context. Its very simple. All I am saying is Obama is being very clever not to do this on ISIS terms and allow this to be defined on ISIS terms as a war between Muslims and Christians which it is not. Its a war between ISIS and every single religion including any Muslim who does not conform to their branding. Sorry you need to isolate homosexuality into this wider context to try and illustrate your belief that this is about christianity. OBAMA was spot on when he said it matters not what religion you are from – unless you conform to ISIS you are an enemy!!! So we are all common enemies to ISIS – Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindi Atheists, Gays, Women, etc…. and even Muslims who do not share their brand . MY POINT if you isolate Christianity because of this incident you start a war on their terms..Sorry you missed the point…..

      1. Sorry, Melanie, but I’m conservative AND gay and when I see a Leftists defending our President, I’m willing to call it out. The President did not support same-sex marriage because of conservative black Christians. This only recently changed. No props from me, but I thank him for the change in DADT, which DID help me.

        I’ve been referring to the jihdistsas “satanic” and not “Islamists” for the past few years and the Egyptian Islamic authorities in Cairo finally figured it out, too, after the burning of the Jordanian pilot. These folks are Kharajites – and 8th century Muslim heresy that the Muslims hunted down and killed.

        Verses in the Koran exist that, when taken out of context, can and do recreate the same heresy, every few hundred years. I note that the Sa’udi Arabian religious authorities have finally started calling at least ISIS “Kharajites.” At some point, they’ll stop funding al-Quaeda and throw them into the same pot to stew.

        Regretfully “Right-wing extremists” are not still opposing same-sex marriage in the USA: 45% of America still is and we must confront that historical and religious wrong.

        FINAL NOTE: I’ve got a great commentary on same-sex marriage I’m looking to get published as an OP-Ed. Any suggestions?

        1. Hey no need to apologize for being conservative! I simply extend my deepest sympathy to you! It must be hard to reconcile some of the values you expound with the social values or lack thereof of conservatives. With that said – your comments have very little to do with the article in question – . What has same-sex marriage got to do with ISIS policy pray tell? And if you want to bring up an irrelevant topic – answer this – what conservative do you recommend we support for President that would evolve to bring Same-sex marriage and be as open to it as our President. And if he had already evolved as some are now suggesting and as I always thought was the case- then good for him for playing the political game = like the rest – to say the right things to get elected. Bottom line no single President has given gays as much as this one. So who you gonna vote for Conservative gays? The guys who want to take it ALL away from you? Like the current line up. I mean really – and please Jim next time stick to the topic. Its old this deflection stuff to attack Obama.

          1. Honestly, there’s a heck of a lot of us who are conservative gays. First, a lot of us DID grow up in conservative Churches (Apostolic Pentacostal for me, Roman Catholic for my fiance), and we really do oppose adultery and do not particuarly approve of fornication. As gays, we simply have not been able to have the conversation about “pre-marital sex.” Much to my whiny annoyance those who oppose same-sex mariages are the SAME ones who cite the Kinsey report that “by the time they reach middle age, gay men have had sex with more than 1,000 other gay men.

            God, Melanie: I am SO not making my quota!

            For the rest of us, we tend to identify with fiscal and military conservatism: strong on defense, but strong on keeping our own money in our pocketbooks.

            As a gay man, I consider it my obligation to speak up, when I’m with conservatives and they make a disparaging remark. Usually it’s this way, “Hey, Dude: I’m marrying my fiance and HE is HOT! But if I can’t marry, can we at least agree I don’t have to pay taxes? I mean, why should I subsidize YOU? You already have a better tax rate (married filing jointly), and the government showers you and your spouse with benefits, including health care, if you are a Federal employee.”

            We’re usually VERY sympathetic to not paying taxes.

            These days, it’s “Hey, Dude: I’ve served 16+ years in the U.S. military and deployed three times in service to my county all to preserve YOUR right to be a religious bigot. At this point, I ain’t got nuthin’ to prove.”

            I live and work in Columbus, Georgia, so you can imagine the fun I have. If you’re interested in posting a guest commentary on the subject of same-sex marriage, let me know.

            As to who to vote for, I’m first of all concerned about national defense and then our failing economy. (Leftist politicians keep trying to put our entire country up for an abortion!) But I will say that yes, this entire debate has made me unlikely to ever give a dime to a Republican politician. We DID have 3 gay Republicans run for Congress this year, though, so hope – and wishful thinking – springs eternal!

            All the best; Jim Wherry

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