Prisoner Swaps and the Politics of Deceit and Hate

For years, religious-right groups screamed that President Obama was ignoring the imprisonment of a Christian pastor in Iran. The American Family Association (a prominent backer of former Texas governor Rick Perry) has been so hateful that it even suggested the president cares more about Muslims than he does a Christian like that pastor, Saeed Abedini.

Then over the weekend Abedini was among four Americans released after a long and delicate period of negotiations between U.S. and Iranian officials. (Iran also released a fifth American, although reports indicate that release wasn’t directly related to the larger deal.)

On Monday the AFA sent out a celebratory email without even noting the Obama administration’s actions in gaining Abedini’s release. In fact, here’s the only mention of President Obama at all:

Through the AFA Action Alert, hundreds of thousands of emails, letters and phone calls flooded the State Department, members of Congress and President Obama during his time in prison.

That’s it. The email goes on:

Regardless of the publicly stated reasons for his release, we know that God has answered the prayers of His people.

“Regardless of the publicly stated reasons for his release”? What does that mean?

Here’s what the AFA said June 17 of last year in an email blast headlined: “Tell  President Obama: Get Christian pastor out of Iranian jail.”

Sadly, President Obama has been relatively quiet when it comes to religious persecution against Christians, but recently fought hard for a Muslim prisoner.

President Obama made an extensive effort to free Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan, who was released from an Egyptian prison last month where he had been sentenced to life for accusations of affiliation with the radical Islamic terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

I really like Franklin’s appeal to President Obama: “Soltan worked on your campaign and his father was a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. President, I hope you’ll do the same to help Saeed Abedini-who is guilty of nothing, was sentenced to 8-years in prison, and whose only affiliation is with the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Sign our petition to President Obama, urging him to do everything possible to secure the freedom of American Saeed Abedini.

Religious-right groups like the AFA are so consumed with hate that they can’t even acknowledge when President Obama does something they want. In fact, Texas-based religious-right groups have also been largely silent about the president’s role in Abedini’s release. That’s because doing otherwise would undermine the deceitful and hateful campaign to portray President Obama as hostile to Christianity. After all, that’s the strategy the religious right uses against all of its opponents.

8 thoughts on “Prisoner Swaps and the Politics of Deceit and Hate

  1. Actually Dan Obama needs to stop screwing around with Israel. He obviously hasn’t learned from history that those that malign Jews are asking for a pot full of trouble. Countries have ceased to exist and Germany took over fifty years to rebuild after their little foray in extermination.
    He is heading us down the path of Nazi Germany if he doesn’t quit.

    1. Amazed, I’m not sure what that has to do with the blog post. Regardless, the Obama administration has been strongly supportive of Israel, and we remain that country’s biggest military ally.

    2. Another jaw-droppingly stupid comment by Amazed.

      Why am I not amazed that Amazed goes all Godwin right out of the box? (Godwin’s Law, Amazed. Look it up and learn something for a change.)

      1. Quite familiar with Godwin’s law. Biblical law is quite clear. Malign the Jews and be prepared for God’s wrath. Ask the Egyptians, Assyrians (extinct) and after Christ passed through the planet, the Romans, The Germans (last Century).

        Obama is no friend of Israel.

        So grow up, quit attacking people who don’t agree with you because you show yourself to be a very small-minded hateful person who can’t stand to be challenged.

        1. Who maligned the Jews? And there is zero evidence backing up the claim that President Obama is no friend of Israel. Friends don’t always agree with each other. To pretend that disagreement equates to hostility is a deceitful political argument.

        2. Ha, ha! You ask me to “grow up” when you’re the one with the childish belief of “God’s wrath.”

          Oh, my, that’s just too rich. Hey, Amazed, I hope the Tooth Fairy brings you a quarter next time. Spend it wisely!

  2. Well I am not sure that Obama has deliberately let Christians die but my point was that you don’t ally yourself with Iran when their stated goal is Jewish extermination. So Christian and Muslims aren’t the only players in this game.

    1. The Obama administration hasn’t allied itself with Iran. It’s not like the nuclear agreements and prisoner exchanges we initiated with the Soviet Union were examples of the United States allying with Moscow during the Cold War. Diplomacy is an important part of foreign policy, and that includes dealing with countries that aren’t your friends.