February 16, 2015
President’s Day. Washington’s Birthday.
The third Monday of February is the federal holiday honoring George Washington. Nearly half of our 50 states have made President’s Day the state holiday, expanding their focus to include all of our former presidents. The details of history do matter.
That reality was highlighted about two weeks ago, at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama offered his thoughts after NASCAR veteran Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote. Waltrip recalled a crash in the 1983 Daytona 500 that changed his life. He asked himself the key question after regaining consciousness: “What if I’d lost my life?… Would I have gone to heaven? …I got down off my high horse and got down on my knees… and that was the greatest day of my life. That changed everything…”
Obama followed Waltrip; while he made sweeping observations about faith and life, it was his comments about the historical context of the ISIS that caught many off-guard. Regarding the current actions of ISIS in the Mideast, he said: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” That “high-horse” seemed to get around at the Prayer Breakfast…
Our generation is far more fixated on the future than precise about the past. Drawing moral equivalence between the Crusades – waged between 700-900 years ago – and the emergence of the push for a worldwide Islamic Caliphate by ISIS is a frightening rewrite of history.
Thomas Madden is an American academic – former chair of the history department at Saint Louis University; now the Director of the University’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies – and author of the book, The New Concise History of the Crusades. His perspective: “The crusade, first and foremost, was a war against Muslims for the defense of the Christian faith…. They began as a result of a Muslim conquest of Christian territories.” Madden says the goal was that “…the Christians of the East must be free from the brutal and humiliating conditions of Muslim rule.”
The contrast between protection of Christians and the recovery of territory taken by conquest and the contemporary effort by ISIS to slaughter everyone who does not embrace their view of Islam and wage war against Western Civilization is startling and demands challenge with the facts of history.
Bill Warner holds a PhD in physics and math. He has been a university professor, businessman and applied physicist. His personal interest is religion and its effects on history, and for years has studied the source texts of the world’s dominant religions. He founded the Center for the Study of Political Islam, and is its director (see www.cspipublishing.com).
Click here: learn more in five minutes with Bill Warner than you would ever know from listening to the politicized rewriting of history that makes the nightly news.
America relates to countries; war – American style – is waged between countries. Today, we’re faced with a war between cultures, based on the clash between two faith-based worldviews.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Today, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world that Jesus died to redeem. The god of this world, Satan – radical Jihadists call him Allah – is out to steal, kill and destroy. The God of Heaven – He calls Himself Jehovah; His Son is the Lord Jesus – is out to rescue and redeem.
Make no mistake: there are significant spiritual forces in play – around the world, and here at home – even on our holiday, President’s Day.