John McCain and the Crusades
Let’s give President Bush a little credit for something he was very careful about back in late 2001. When we decided it was high time to remove the Taliban from power after Osama bin Laden launched the 9/11 attacks, our government was very careful not to use terms like Crusade for what should be rather obvious reasons. I bring this up in light of something David Corn reported:
Senator John McCain hailed as a spiritual adviser an Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it … The leader of a 12,000-member congregation, Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this work, Parsley decries the “spiritual desperation” of the United States, and he blasts away at the usual suspects: activist judges, civil libertarians who advocate the separation of church and state, the homosexual “culture” (“homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree”), the “abortion industry,” and the crass and profane entertainment industry. And Parsley targets another profound threat to the United States: the religion of Islam. In a chapter titled “Islam: The Deception of Allah,” Parsley warns there is a “war between Islam and Christian civilization.” He continues:
I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.
Parsley is not shy about his desire to obliterate Islam. In Silent No More, he notes—approvingly—that Christopher Columbus shared the same goal: “It was to defeat Islam, among other dreams, that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492…Columbus dreamed of defeating the armies of Islam with the armies of Europe made mighty by the wealth of the New World. It was this dream that, in part, began America.” He urges his readers to realize that a confrontation between Christianity and Islam is unavoidable: “We find now we have no choice. The time has come.” And he has bad news: “We may already be losing the battle. As I scan the world, I find that Islam is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed, and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth at this moment.” Parsley claims that Islam is an “anti-Christ religion” predicated on “deception.” The Muslim prophet Muhammad, he writes, “received revelations from demons and not from the true God.” And he emphasizes this point: “Allah was a demon spirit.” Parsley does not differentiate between violent Islamic extremists and other followers of the religion:
There are some, of course, who will say that the violence I cite is the exception and not the rule. I beg to differ. I will counter, respectfully, that what some call “extremists” are instead mainstream believers who are drawing from the well at the very heart of Islam.
The spirit of Islam, he maintains, is one of hostility. He asserts that the religion “inspired” the 9/11 attacks. He bemoans the fact that in the years after 9/11, 34,000 Americans “have become Muslim” and that there are “some 1,209 mosques” in America. Islam, he declares, is a “faith that fully intends to conquer the world” through violence. The United States, he insists, “has historically understood herself as a bastion against Islam,” but “history is crashing in upon us.” At the end of his chapter on Islam, Parsley asks, “Are we a Christian nation? I say yes.” Without specifying what actions should be taken to eradicate the religion, he essentially calls for a new crusade.
Corn contends that McCain courts the support of Parsley hoping to garner strong support from certain “Christian fundamentalist voters”. Fine – let McCain court their vote while those of us who desire a return to sanity in foreign policy should vote for anyone else besides McCain. It’s a shame that the GOP does not listen to Ron Paul on these matters.