In his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama spoke about the reality that any religion, including Christianity, can be used as justification for acts of terror.
Why should I be offended by that?
That’s a fact. That’s our history. Every Christian should be aware of what we are capable of when we turn our eyes away from the self-sacrificing love of Jesus and instead turn Christianity into an ideology that justifies terror, brutality, oppression and war.
[In a recent speech, Dr. Michael Brown reminded, and in many cases, educated the Christians present about the horrors committed in the name of Christ during the period when Christians, under the banner of the cross, rode through Europe and terrorized the Muslim and Jewish population. He pointed out that even today, the Jewish people associate the word "Christian" with the Crusades.]We humans have a long track record of twisting our most precious faith into a weapon of violence and hatred. This shouldn't be a controversial statement; it should be a matter of ongoing repentance and prayer for people of faith everywhere.
Christians and conservatives condemned the President's comments as petty and off point. It was as if denying the truth of Obama's statements or his use of these facts as a warning regarding the dangers of religious extremism would make everything just go away.
Denying the truth, or pretending it doesn't matter, will never change the past. The Church is guilty of terrible acts in the Name of Christ, and we must own up to this. We can't act as if it's a bad dream that we can forget.
Pointing our fingers at the one sharing truth doesn't change the truth.
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