Fox News host Megyn Kelly believes President Barack Obama's recent comments about the "less-than-loving expressions by Christians" could have a chilling effect on those who want to speak out against ongoing religious persecution of their religious brethren.
"I mean, the question is whether those comments do real damage not just to morale among Christians about what their own president thinks of them, but… that they feel he won't stand up for Christians who are under threat," Kelly said last night on "The Kelly File," according to Mediaite
Kelly was reacting to off-script comments made by Obama to an audience at Tuesday's Easter Prayer Breakfast
in which he reflected upon his own faith.
"On Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned," he said possibly referring to the current controversy over religious freedom legislation in Arkansas, Indiana, and several other states.
"But that's a topic for another day… I was about to veer off. I'm pulling it back," the president added.
Kelly took exception to the timing of Obama's criticism.
"His remarks come as Christians are increasingly being targeted by terrorists worldwide," she added, referring to the 147 Christians who were killed in a recent attack at a university in Kenya.
The president's decision to publicly scold Christians is not the first time he has created controversy.
In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast
in February, Obama called on the audience not to forget the "terrible deeds" people have committed in the name of Christ.
"Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ," noted Obama.
Obama's Easter Prayer Breakfast comments came after Pope Francis used his Easter homily to urge the global community to speak out against the persecution of Christians.
Pope Francis urged "concrete participation and tangible help in defense and protection of our brothers and our sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, slain, beheaded, solely for being Christian," according to Reuters.
Obama's repeated references to the sins of Christians while not discussing the religious affiliation of the perpetrators of the attacks exposes a fundamental hypocrisy, says Nina Shea, the director for Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.
"In an attack in Syria over the past weekend, the administration had no problem expressing condolences for the Alawites and Ismailis who were murdered," Shea told The Christian Post
. "This is in stark contrast to President Obama and the State Department's failure to mention that Christians were hunted down and executed in Kenya during the same period. This is a typical pattern for the administration."
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