Thursday, October 15, 2009

‘Islam is violent’ says President Obama’s new pastor

I wsa over at the New English Review doing some Rifqa Bary research and what do I find, but this post from Rebecca Bynum.

Ms. Bynum got it from The Times, which in turn referred back to an original piece in WaPo. However, there was no link so I’m going with this as is, from The Times story.

Definitely file this one under the “don’t that just beat all??!!” category.

Mr Obama has been an irregular church attender since becoming President, but has expressed a fondness for Carey Cash, the navy chaplain at the Camp David presidential retreat who has been criticised for proselytising in the military and his mistrust of Islam.

The White House insists that the Rev Cash, the great-nephew of the singer Johnny Cash, has not become Mr Obama’s new pastor, but it appears that the President has heard more sermons by him than any other minister since taking office.

The emergence of Mr Cash, 39, who was profiled on the front page of The Washington Post yesterday, will pose some tough questions for the White House - and for President Obama, whose father was Muslim. In a 2004 book describing his deployment to Iraq the year before, Mr Cash calls Islam violent, a faith that “from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions”.

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My word! From the Rev. Jeremiah Kill-Whitey Wright to a preacher who thinks Islam is violent. Is anyone else experiencing cognitive dissonance here? Where are my smelling salts?

Mr Cash, a chaplain in one of the first units to reach Baghdad, believes that a “wall of angels” protected his troops when they fought their way to the Iraqi capital in March 2003. During his deployment he baptised more than 50 servicemen. In his book, A Table in the Presence: The Dramatic Account of How a US Marine Battalion Experienced God’s Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq, Mr Cash said of the mission: “Yes, our men were lost and separated. But our God was not confused. Just as He had from the very beginning of the war, He was providentially working all things together for the good of a cause that was just and true.”

He added: “Sadly, grace is often absent in Islam, which is based upon binding religious law, requiring strenuous adherence to every tenet of the ‘Five Pillars of Allah’.

“A religion that emerges from the soil of strict adherence to law as a means of gaining God’s favour will always tend toward extreme self-sacrifice.”

I’ll bet they just love this guy at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Since Mr Obama, who opposed the war in Iraq, disowned the Rev Jeremiah Wright for his incendiary sermons during the presidential campaign last year, he has been hesitant about choosing a new pastor and has declined to pick a church to attend regularly.

He likes Mr Cash and the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, which is 70 miles (113km) from Washington and closed to the public and press. He told reporters this summer that Mr Cash “delivers as powerful a sermon as I’ve heard in a while. I really think he’s excellent”.

The interesting aspect of this story isn’t covered at all. How did the Rev. Cash end up at Camp David? Do you have to be very good or very bad to pull duty as the chaplain there?

Does anyone know?

4 comments:

DP111 said...

How did the Rev. Cash end up at Camp David? Do you have to be very good or very bad to pull duty as the chaplain there?

God works in mysterious ways.

Carolyn said...

Interesting post, as the story you have quoted seems to generalize Rev. Cash's comments. I do not know of any military chaplain who would say something like that about another religion; their job is to provide an ecumenical experience for the troops they minister to(my father was a military chaplain; he's been retired for 20 years). For example, there are many in the Armed Forces who are not Christians; we have Jews, Pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.

I think context is important, and the news story might have left out something that would provide more insight on Rev. Cash's comments.

Godffrey said...

"The interesting aspect of this story isn’t covered at all. How did the Rev. Cash end up at Camp David? Do you have to be very good or very bad to pull duty as the chaplain there?"

answer: keep your politically incorrect mouth shut for a really long time.

Dymphna said...

Carolyn--

I agree with you, but I doubt that Rev. Cash aligns with our pov.

Here's his book:

, A Table in the Presence: The Dramatic Account of How a US Marine Battalion Experienced God’s Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq...

The reviews consist of forty or so 5 stars, two 1 stars, and a few 4s.

It's not my cup of theology, but the parents of soldiers who were deploying/had deployed was obviously grateful for this book.

In their shoes, I'd probably be walking in the same direction --i.e., anything that made me less fearful for my kid as he's being sent into Fallujah.

That said...the fact that the President found this southern Jacksonian chaplain's preaching palatable is...remarkable.

It's still incongruent, though.