I wasn’t going to say anything about this, because I don’t like to comment too much on politics. Especially in writing. But some afternoon reading has pushed me to it.
In a recent speech given in Cairo, President Obama made two statements (among many) that were quite surprising (brought to my attention in a recent broadcast by Al Mohler).
First, he said that he understands one of his duties, part of his job, as the American president is to have a “partnership with Islam.” Really? Is that really part of the role of our President? I don’t think it is the role of any President to have a partnership with any particular religion. Just imagine if he had said, “I think my role as American President is to have a partnership with Christianity.” How the press and many others would howl!
Second, he described Islam as a “religion of tolerance.” He painted a picture of a religious system that gladly embraced religious freedom. Really!?! Such a statement is untrue and reckless, and it connects to my afternoon reading. In this month’s Touchstone magazine, there is a little piece in thier regular spot on “The Suffering Church.” From Iran:
Accused of “acting against state security” and “taking part in illegal gatherings,” two Iranian Christian women have been held in a Tehran prison since early March, in a crowded cell with no access to legal representation. Amnesty International, in an appeal for urgent action, reported in April that authorities had made the accusations known but had imprisoned the women without filing official charges. The organization expressed concern for the women’s health and called on Iranian authorities to release them.
Hmmm…tolerance? Religious freedom? This is one of thousands of stories that flow from nations ruled by Islam.
I know the issues are complex. My first concern is certainly for the Gospel to spread in these lands. I realize that the President’s job is ridiculously challenging, and I would never want it. But please, Mr. President, get your facts straight (I think you really know the truth) and have the courage to speak for freedom in the face of a religious, political, and cultural system that oppresses over a billion people.