***Update***: Charisma has taken down the article from their website. Fred Clark points out that there’s no explanation or apology offered. Just a pathetic 404 page. (You can still see the article as they published it right here.)
By the way, on Sunday afternoon, I emailed Charisma‘s editors asking for information about their decision-making process for posting that article. They haven’t written back to me yet.
When charges of “Islamophobia” are leveled against atheists, it almost always involves their criticism of Islam, not Muslims. For that reason, I find that charge unfair and a way to deflect from discussing any justified problems with the faith itself. More importantly, when atheists do condemn the actions of some Muslims, they’re very clear about the fact that they’re only speaking about the extremists.
But if you want to see what Islamophobia really looks like, check out Rev. Gary Cass‘ disturbing piece at Charisma News titled “Why I Am Absolutely Islamaphobic” (sic). Cass, the president and CEO of DefendChristians.org, is a guy who’s going after Muslims and not Islam. And there’s little (if any) nuance between the handful of extremists and everybody else.
Cass acts like every Muslim is a member of ISIS — or will eventually be — and he proposes three ways of dealing with them:
1) Conversion to Christianity. (Good luck with that.)
2) Deportation, which he offers as an alternative to sterilization.
No, seriously. He wants to kill them.
The only thing that is biblical and that 1,400 years of history has shown to work is overwhelming Christian just war and overwhelming self defense…
… we must be prepared for the increase of terror at home and abroad. This is not irrational, but the loving thing we must do for our children and neighbors. First trust in God, then obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down.
You’ve got to be shitting me.
Only after he writes that does he narrow his rhetoric down to the extremists:
The true face of Islam is on full display even as Muhammad is burning in hell. We will have to face the harsh truth that radical Islam has no place in civilized society. Militant Muslims cannot live in a society based on Christian ideals of equality and liberty. They will always seek to harm us.
Did I mention he’s a Reverend? And a leader of a Christian group that works to defend against “anti-Christian defamation“? And that he justifies his points in this article by pointing to the Bible? And that he’s writing for a Christian publication that decided this was worthy of its audience’s eyes?
Jesus. H. Christ. (I know Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson‘s made similar remarks on Sean Hannity‘s show last week, but even he was specifically talking about ISIS.)
Charisma needs to take this column down, apologize and repent. And everyone there who touched this — solicited it, approved it, failed to resign in protest over the idea of it — needs to be fired. Twice.
Gary Cass has done us all a favor. The true face of Charisma magazine is on full display. We will have to face the harsh truth that radical right-wing Christianism has no place in civilized society. Militant Christianists cannot live in a society based on ideals of equality and liberty. They will always seek to harm others.
I would have to disagree with Fred about one thing: I don’t want them to take this article down. I want them to leave it up as a perpetual reminder of how crazy these Religious Right types can be. (Just in case they do take it down, which I doubt they will, I’ve saved the page right here.)
I used to think the worst articles posted on Charisma‘s website pushed anti-gay bigotry. Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg.