Saturday, November 14, 2015

More Religious Right Reactions to the Paris Attacks

Steadily, members of the Christian Right are responding to yesterday's terrorist attacks in Paris. Not surprisingly, some are using the tragedy as an opportunity to sermonize on their favorite political topics. In the past twenty-four hours, commentators have used the Paris attacks to slam President Obama, demand closed borders, and warn believers about "moral decadence" leaving nations vulnerable.

First, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee issued a statement on the Paris attacks. In his November 14th statement, Huckabee defended his positions on Syrian refugees and tighter border security, arguing that these were reasonable responses to "a threat to western civilization."
"...We are clearly not dealing with leashed animals or with a JV team. We’re dealing with a threat to western civilization. During the debate last week, I stated that we should not admit those claiming to be Syrian refugees and was condemned by the left for that position. I was right and the events in Paris affirm that. Even the far left and politically correct government of France has closed its borders. It’s time for a President who will act to protect Americans, not just talk and protect the image of Islam.

I call for the following:

1. Close our borders instead of Guantanamo.

2. Institute an immediate moratorium on admission to those persons from countries where there is strong presence of ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

3. Build a coalition that will include NATO, Russia, and nations of the Middle East to aggressively destroy ISIS. Nations who refuse to participate will be sanctioned and isolated.

4. Revoke any agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear capacity. Radical Islamists, whether Sunni or Shia, are a clear and present danger to civilization."

Huckabee was not the only candidate whose response was tinged with right-wing sentiments. During the November 14th morning edition of Fox and Friends, Texas Senator Ted Cruz accused President Obama of underestimating the threat of Islamic extremism in the wake of the Paris attacks, even though the President condemned the attacks the day before.
"...these attacks underscore that we are facing an enemy who is fierce, who is relentless, who is at war with us even if our own president does not understand that it is at war with us, and who will not stop until it is defeated. That enemy is radical Islamic terrorism. As long as we have a commander-in-chief unwilling even to utter the words radical Islamic terrorism, we will not have a concerted effort to defeat these radicals before they continue to murder more and more innocents, whether Europeans or Israelis or Americans."
Like Huckabee, Cruz saw the Paris attacks as an example of the problems that erupt from unchecked immigration. He warned Tucker Carlson that if the U.S. accepts Syrian refugees, it could unwittingly allow terrorists onto its soil. Cruz argued that the U.S. should provide "safe haven" for Christian refugees but resettle Muslim refugees in the Middle East.
"You know President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syria Muslim refugees to America is nothing less than lunacy.  If you look at the early waves of refugees that have flooded into Europe, one estimate was that 77% of those refugees were young men. That’s a very odd demographic for a refugee wave. The director of national intelligence here in America has said of those refugees in Europe, it is clear that a significant number of them may well be ISIS terrorists.

It makes no sense whatsoever for us to be bringing in refugees who our intelligence cannot determine if they are terrorists here to kill us or not. Those who are fleeing persecution should be resettled in the Middle East in majority Muslim countries. Now on the other hand, Christians who are being targeted for genocide, for persecution, Christians that are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them."
Other voices used recent events in Paris to blast President Obama as well. In a column at World Net Daily entitled "A Dance of Death in the West", Michael Savage mocks President Obama as a "Caesar" who supposedly fails to grasp the gravity of the extremist threat.
"There is a dance of death in the West and actual death in the Middle East, courtesy of the Islamofascists. Meanwhile, the Caesar in the White House entertains himself with a thousand sycophants, partying on behind closed doors as if the Islamofascist hand will not touch him. He thinks he’s protected from this new plague, the Black Death of radical Islam.


This is a barbaric revolution, and we have a man in the White House who denies its existence. But whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not, it’s going to continue until someone puts a stop to it."
Still other voices used the tragedy as an opportunity to decry the world's alleged impiety. One American church leader living near Paris argued that society has descended into "moral decadence", resulting in God's removal of his protection. In a commentary piece at Charisma entitled "3 Ways to Pray for Paris After Deadly Terrorist Attacks", Robert Baxter told readers that he and his loved ones were praying for three things in the wake of the Paris attacks.
"We are praying for God's great mercy and compassion to be poured out on those who have lost a family member, friend, colleague. We are praying for this evil to be turned into a wave of salvation for the French.

God has told us that there are other terrorist cells active in France; and we are praying that they would be exposed to the authorities and dealt with adequately.

And finally, we believe God has called us to repent for the silence of the church as our society has slid into moral decadence. We believe that the "normalization" of immorality has destroyed God's protection over our nation. And He is calling us to repent."
Would it really be so hard to hold off on political sniping and decrying "decadence" until more time has passed? Can we please grieve for the victims instead of using their deaths to score political points?

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Associated Press: Santorum uses Paris attacks to criticize Clinton

Media Matters: Right-Wing Media Immediately Criticize Obama After He Condemned Paris Attacks

CNN: Cruz ties Paris attacks to religious liberty pitch


  1. "Not surprisingly, some are using the tragedy as an opportunity to sermonize on their favorite political topics."

    I watched the bit on "48 Hours" last night that played more like an infomercial/propaganda piece for increased government surveillance powers than a legitimate report on the Parisian tragedy. I'm also not surprised at how quickly the vultures start circling any carnage to exploit it for their own agendas. Yet at the same time I really cannot fathom the dark underbelly of humanity that sees in every tragedy a self-serving opportunity.

    1. Agi Tater -- It suggests a lack of empathy for others who have suffered and died.


All comments are subject to moderation. Threatening, violent, or bigoted comments will not be published.