Religion

Mike Huckabee Distorts Obama’s Comments On Religion

The following post first appeared on FactCheck.org.

Mike Huckabee made a number of twisted claims about President Obama’s recent reference to the Crusades and the Inquisition at the National Prayer Breakfast.

In an appearance on Fox News on Feb. 9, the former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential prospect said the president’s statement was “nothing short of shocking,” and added that Obama was against Christians, against Jews in Israel, and that Muslims are the “one group of people that can know they have his undying, unfailing support.”

Huckabee was attacking Obama’s remarks at the annual event on Feb. 5, when the president denounced the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS or ISIL, for committing “unspeakable acts of barbarism” in the name of Islam, and added that centuries earlier “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” as well.

“How on earth he could go back a thousand years in history and pick up something that Christians did in response to Muslim aggression and somehow blame Christians for the burning of a Jordanian pilot, for the cutting off of the heads of children who are Christians, it’s just absolutely stunning to me,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee wasn’t alone in criticizing the president’s remarks, but his attack distorts the facts. Obama did not “blame Christians” for the burning of the Jordanian pilot or the beheadings. Obama, who focused his speech on humanity’s struggle to reconcile the good and evil that has been done in the name of religion, said religious fanatics “throughout human history” have “distorted their faith.” He said this perversion of religion is “not unique to … one religion.”

Obama, Feb. 5: From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

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.

So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities — the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths,…

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