Ben Affleck got slammed pretty hard for his views about Islam on Bill Maher’s show. He was trying to equate Islamic violence with past acts of Christian violence.
He was correct when he said that a few representatives of a religion like Islam should not be used as a gauge to evaluate all adherents of that religion. The problem is, there are millions of Muslims who agree with and support the violence.
Most don’t see the connection. Even atheists like Sam Harris, who was also on the show, and Maher disputed the comparison.
Others have taken on Affleck for the faulty association. Yes, there were abortion clinic bombings and even some murders. The perpetrators were swiftly punished and almost universally condemned by Christian leaders.
“[Sam] Harris argued, ‘liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy, they’ll criticize white theocracy, they’ll criticize Christians, they’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happen in 1984, but when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us.’”
Paul Hill was convicted and executed for murdering abortionist John Britton and his bodyguard in 1994. In 1993, Hill was excommunicated from the church where he was a member, and he was routinely and regularly counseled not to kill in “the name of the Lord.”1 In fact, I was one of those who told him that he did not have biblical grounds to assassinate abortionists. There were others. The excommunication came after appearances on The Phil Donahue Show, Larry King Live, CNN’s Sonya Live, and ABC’s Nightline where he made a public defense of his views.
Others have dealt with Affleck’s poor analogy.
There were some other things that Affleck said that have not been widely commented on. First, Affleck described opposition to Islam as “racist.” The majority of Muslims are Semites, like the Jews. Semites are Caucasian. Yes, there are a lot of blacks who are Muslim, but the majority of Islamists, at least those who have engaged in terror at the international level, are of a Semitic background.
Like Christianity, Islam is multi-racial and multi-cultural.
I’m always amazed that most liberals like Affleck are so quick to defend Islam even with the many atrocities done in the name of Allah, and few if any excommunications, but are quick to attack Christians even though are very few examples of crimes done in the name of Jesus.
Second, Affleck said something in passing that many people apparently missed. He said, while mangling the Declaration of Independence, that are rights come from our “forefathers.”
Affleck was about to quote the Declaration of independence correctly, that we are “endowed by [our] creator with certain unalienable rights,” but he caught himself, not wanting to bring God into the equation, by claiming that are rights were an endowment from government.
Neither Maher nor Harris comment, but move on in the conversation, probably because they do not want to bring God into the discussion.
When Harris says, “Islam, at the moment, is the motherload of bad ideas,” Affleck blurts out “Jesus Christ,” not in an exclamation of praise, but as an expletive. It seems that he has disdain for all things Christians.
And what about “moderate Muslims”?
“Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele argued that moderate Muslims do not receive enough coverage, to which Maher responded that this is because Islam is the ‘only religion that acts like the Mafia that will f*cking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book. There’s a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7.’”
Affleck, like so many Americans, needs some re-education on the source of our rights and what religion is driving international violence.
- Tom Hess, “Murderer of Florida abortionist executed,” Citizen (November 2003), 6. [↩]