In 2008, we woke from our national nightmare of Dominionism to the statesmanship and presidency of Barak Obama, and I, like most of the world, recognizing the need for courage, vision, and purpose in the face of deep-rooted, systemic problems in the American political and economic system, braced ourselves with a measure of relief and hope.
We knew that the project before our President would be uphill and waged with unsensationalized reason against an ideologically entrenched and resentful establishment; our hopes were high and we recognize that it is a bad system that makes bad politics of good policy.
But my patriotism is, for the first time in my adult life, undemure and I continue to see in his gestures and method a character of sincerity and strength to which I aspire.
An early gesture which struck my attention at the time was President Obama’s decision to include on his first international trip as President, a stop in the Islamic nation of Turkey, speaking before the Grand National Assembly in Ankara, April 6, 2009.
We had suspected since the attacks of September 11, 2001 that a quiet racism had intruded into our national discourse, bolstered by fear and theological ideology, and we knew that the mere act of presenting himself to an Islamic nation would carry a symbolism that indeed represented those of us with Muslim friends.
And because we really do desire ‘friendship with all nations,’ as Thomas Jefferson put it, we were pleased to hear our President equivocally honor the Islamic culture and civilization.
“We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.”
For Barack Obama, presenting American friendship and well-wishes to the Turkish people meant exposing himself to certain criticisms, some based on what might become Obama’s shifting of military and diplomatic strategy in the Middle East, but most based on brute racism: a preposterous fear that Barak Obama is secretly a Muslim.
That racism found acute expression on YouTube; recall the speech to the Turkish Grand National Assembly:
“The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.”
One YouTuber edited this very sentence as follows:
“The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans […] I know, because I am one of them.”
Most noted for his plagiarism, Brock Lawley is a suave and vain fundamentalist and his plagiarism, which, while being well documented, persists on his channel, is but one of his behaviors which illustrate what I would call uncomplicated immorality.
We see now his willingness to distort quotations, which is to say, to lie and because the apparent intent of this lie is to portray Obama as a Muslim – as if that were a bad thing – we see now his apparent racism.
The larger problem is always this: according to Christianity, to have faith in God and to love God is to love truth and reason for faith and love impart truth and there can be no genuine conflict between revealed truths and the knowledge of Man; according to Christianity, to fear truth is the very absence of faith and that is the fear which begins in self-loathing and ends chaos and crime.