Wednesday, November 11, 2009

McDonnell's Mentor: Islam "Not a Religion; Violent Political System"

During the campaign, Bob McDonnell was often referred to as "Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate." After a recent episode of The 700 Club, that nickname is even more disturbing. From Rosalind Heldermann's WaPo blog:

In a broadcast of the 700 Club Monday night, the Virginia Beach pastor had some choice words about Islam in reaction to the shootings at Fort Hood. Robertson said that Army Maj. Nidal Hasan's troubles were overlooked because of a politically-correct refusal to see Islam for what it is.

"Islam is a violent--I was going to say religion--but it's not a religion. It's a political system. It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of governments of the world and world domination."

"They talk about infidels and all this. But the truth is, that's what the game is. You're dealing with not a religion. You're dealing with a political system. And I think you should treat it as such and treat it's adherents as such. As we would members of the Communist party and members of some Fascist group." (my emphasis)


It's really a shame that this is how Robertson chooses to respond to the terrible tragedy at Fort Hood. The way I see it, it's actually pretty understandable that people react this way--the same thing happened after 9/11 and, for that matter, the same thing happened to the Japanese in World War II. We humans are imperfect, and we're prone to showing our ugly side in the aftermath of a tragedy. It's a sad statement about the human condition, and it's something we have to overcome.

But Robertson had an opportunity to provide leadership to his viewers and instead, he appealed to our darker nature. He could have reminded his audience of the Christian notion that we are all broken and therefore capable of great evil. He could have cautioned his followers that most Muslims are in fact peace-loving people attempting to live normal lives and that folks like the gunman are only a very small, very warped segment of that population. It could have even been an instructive tale that this is what happens when evil people hijack a faith to justify murder, so don't ever let anyone convince you that it's okay to hurt someone in the name of God. But he didn't. He chose confrontational theology, and his worldview will have sway in the Governor's Mansion for the next four years.

It's worth noting here that I think the secularists are also wrong when they point to religious violence as a reason to abandon faith. The answer to religious violence is not less religion, but better theology. Christianity produced the Crusades, the Inquisition, sectarian violence and abortion clinic bombers; it also produced Martin Luther King, Jr and Bishop Desmond Tutu.


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Moss said...

I agree with Pat. Islam is a poisonous, predatory, supremacist, totalitarian political ideology masquerading as a religion.