Greta Van Susteren helped further Franklin Graham’s religious attacks on President Obama last night. This, just a few days after Graham announced on MSNBC that President Obama is a Muslim under Islamic law and just may be a secret Muslim. You may recall that Graham questioned the president’s birth certificate and “where he really stands” on Christianity during an ABC interview about a year ago. But Van Susteren gave Graham a pass on those outrageous remarks and, at the same time, fed him openings to criticize Obama for not doing enough, especially in Iran, to help Christians in various conflicts against Muslims.
It was something of a twofer for Fox and Van Susteren - who seems to have cast her lot with Iran-war enthusiast John Bolton lately – because she hung the segment around a Christian pastor who is about to be executed in Iran for being a Christian and refusing to recant his religion. That offered a golden opportunity for Graham to drive home the evilness of Iran and President Obama’s failure to take a stand on behalf of Christianity – and all that that suggested.
“A war on Christians is spreading throughout the Muslim world,” Van Susteren announced gravely in her introduction. “Christians are being murdered, some by machetes, raped, jailed, burned, forced in their homes, you name it.”
Graham assured Van Susteren that there are “millions of Muslims out there” who are “wonderful people” who don’t agree with this kind of behavior. They’re the victims of the “scary system” of Sharia law.
But is President Obama one of those upstanding citizens? Graham suggested not.
Van Susteren did note that there’s not much the United States can do for the condemned pastor, especially given the problems we already have with Iran.
But Graham disagreed. He said President Obama could “call for a prayer meeting at the White House” or make a statement. Then Graham moved in for the “Obama’s not a real Christian” insinuation:
"(Obama) apologized to the Afghans because a Koran was mistakenly burned and this Koran had been used in smuggling out messages out of Bagram prison. And he apologizes to the Afghans after an Afghan soldier killed two Americans. But why doesn’t he speak out – he could, he could use the power of the White House to call pastors together at the White House and have a prayer meeting for this guy. But he hasn’t done it."
Van Susteren ignored the obvious implications. Instead, she moved on to other Christians being attacked, “especially in the Sudan.”
As Graham described "a race war" of civilian African Christians being bombed by Arab Muslims, a banner on the screen over B-roll footage read, “Samaritan’s Purse (Graham’s organization) Bible school bombed by Sudanese Air Force.”
Lo and behold, that was another chance to attack President Obama in the Christianity department. And Van Susteren provided the prompt. “You think that with South Sudan and Sudan that the President convening both leaders would go very far.”
“It would, Greta,” Graham agreed. He praised Jimmy Carter for forging a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and suggested Obama should do the same: “I think both sides want peace… but if someone like our president – and I think he could do it – brought them here to Washington, sat down at Camp David, and hammered out a peace deal, this thing could be solved.”
Don't get me wrong, religious persecution and strife is awful no matter what. And the horrific case in Iran and the crisis in Sudan are worthy of discussion on any news program. But covering these issues with just this one guest - a man who has made shockingly bigoted and ill-informed accusations about President Obama's ethnicity and faith - who then uses these issues to lecture Obama about his faith and allegiance, well, it smacks of Fox SOP partisanship dressed up in a new setting.
But, seriously, who cares what happens to Iranians anyway? Aren’t they scheduled for annihilation any day now?