In May, Rev. Billy Graham took out full page ads in North Carolina newspapers stating in part, “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment.”
Gay activist Wayne Besen responded by asking, “Do we now make our civil laws based upon Christian Sharia?” (Note to the reader: This was meant to be taken seriously.) “Do we all have to follow his version of the Bible or be punished by government? And if this is the case, are we really a free country? Are we really much different than Iran, or is it only by a matter of degrees or a matter of time until these so-called ‘Christian Supremacists’ get their paws on all of our laws?”
Markos Moulitsas, founder of the radically left-leaning DailyKos.com, published an entire book on these themes in 2010, entitled American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. In the Introduction he wrote, “the Republican Party, and the entire modern conservative movement is, in fact, very much like the Taliban. In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban. . . . the Republican Party, and the entire modern conservative movement is, in fact, very much like the Taliban. In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban.” (Additional note to the reader: This book is not intended to be a spoof on the left, a la the old Mad Magazine parodies. It too is meant to be taken seriously, even if it does make for some unintended comedic reading.)
Already in May, 2005, John McCandlish Phillips, formerly a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, penned a telling article in the Washington Post: “I have been looking at myself, and millions of my brethren, fellow evangelicals along with traditional Catholics, in a ghastly arcade mirror lately -- courtesy of this newspaper and the New York Times. Readers have been assured, among other dreadful things, that we are living in ‘a theocracy’ and that this theocratic federal state has reached the dire level of -- hold your breath -- a ‘jihad.’”
He observed that, just days earlier, “Frank Rich, an often acute, broadly knowledgeable and witty cultural observer, sweepingly informed us that, under the effects of ‘the God racket’ as now pursued in Washington, ‘government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma.’ He went on to tell Times readers that GOP zealots in Congress and the White House have edged our country over into ‘a full-scale jihad.’”
Bringing us back to reality, Phillips noted that, “If any ‘emboldened minority’ is aiming to ‘remake America according to its dogma,’ it seems to many evangelicals and Catholics that it is the vanguard wanting, say, the compact of marriage to be stretched in its historic definition to include men cohabiting with men and women with women. That is, in terms of the history of this nation, a most pronounced and revolutionary novelty.”
But that is the voice of clearheaded, rational thinking. In the world of Chris Matthews, if you argue that a baby in the womb, upon conception, is entitled to personhood status, you are espousing a position “almost like Sharia,” which Matthews sums up by exclaiming, “This is extremism!” Indeed, for Matthews, in the early stages of pregnancy, we are certainly not dealing with a baby in the womb, let alone “a fetus,” but “rather an egg that had just been fertilized, right after sex, if you will.”
So, the high regard for life and the protection of the innocent that fuels the Republican platform on abortion is nothing more than Sharia-like extremism. (To repeat once more, this is meant to be taken seriously.)
The good news is that the more these leftwing commentators play their “Jihadist, Sharia, Taliban” card, the more the absurdity of their positions will be revealed. The bad news is that a considerable number of listeners and readers will continue to believe them.
Perhaps it would be worthwhile if some wealthy benefactor could pay for Matthews, Besen, Moulitsas, Rich and their ilk to spend six months, all expenses paid, living in a country like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, where the hanging of gays and the beheading of adulterers is commonly practiced (and fully sanctioned) under Sharia Law, and where conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death.
Perhaps they could even write their columns or do their broadcasts from there (that is, if the prisons would allow them to after their arrests).
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.