If the Orlando massacre had been committed by professed Christians, would Barack Obama have called them out for their faith? Without hesitation, says one prominent evangelical pastor.
President Obama's reluctance to name radical Islam as the enemy in the fight against terror has puzzled many of his critics for quite some time. Witness the president's statement on the afternoon following the nightclub shooting by Omar Mateen in the early hours of June 12:
"We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer."
Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist-Dallas finds that strange, since it was already known Mateen had made at least four phone calls in which he said he was motivated by a devotion to ISIS.
"The president, for whatever reason, will not acknowledge the true threat of radical Islamic terrorism," Jeffress states.
Still, the president has called out Christians by name for acts of violence – although the example he chose at the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2015 happened about a thousand years ago:
"Remember that during the Crusades and the inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."
Pastor Jeffress says, "It raises the question of why it is he takes every opportunity to criticize conservative Christians – and yet when it comes to these repeated attacks by radical Islamics, he is strangely silent."
And so, apparently, is his attorney general, Loretta Lynch. She told a Sunday news program that the FBI would be releasing only a partial transcript of Mateen's 911 conversation during the standoff because – in her words – the administration wasn't going to "further proclaim this man's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda."
When the partial transcript was released this morning, it contained quotes in which Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier, spoke in Arabic to the dispatcher, and demanded a stop to bombing in Syria and Iraq.
Jeffress suspects that if conservative Christians had carried out the Orlando terror attack, the president would not hesitate one moment to call out the Christian church by name. Then again, notes the pastor, it's hard to predict that – because that's not what's happening.
"The fact is, whether we're talking about Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Fort Hood, or now Orlando, these attacks were not committed by militant Methodists – they were committed by militant Muslims," he concludes.