Last night, I turned on CNN for a few minutes and caught this interview between Anderson Cooper and Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America. The discussion was about the controversial mosque being proposed near "ground zero" in New York and Benham's protests outside mosques in Connecticut. Talk about hypocrisy! Pot, meet kettle.
There is currently a video on CNN's site, but I don't think there is a way to link directly to it.
FB = Flip Benham
AC = Anderson Cooper
AC: Rev. Benham, I understand that you don't like Islam, but in this country, doesn't everyone have the right to worship and hold the religious beliefs that they want?
FB: Well, I don't think there's any question about that, but what we do have is a battle over truth. Islam says that Jesus didn't die on a cross. Islam says Jesus wasn't raised from the dead. Islam says that Jesus isn't God. We have a diametrical problem here. Islam is a lie from the pit of hell and we need to be able to speak that truth from the corners and the streets and the highways and the byways.
AC: I understand you have the right to speak what you think is the truth, but why protest a mosque in Connecticut that hasn't done anything wrong? There isn't some terror plot that you've uncovered...
FB: I understand what you're talking about, but we're not protesting anything. We are proclaiming the truth, that Jesus Christ is the way the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the father but by him.
AC: Would it be alright if Muslims routinely came to your house of worship and yelled at you and said that you are promoting a lie and all sorts of things?
FB: They came to my country and smashed into the trade towers and killed almost 3000 people.
AC: You see no difference between extremists/terrorists and practicing Muslims who are citizens of the United States?
FB: You have to understand Islam is...
AC: I'm just asking, do you see a difference?
FB: Islam is not just...
AC: Do you see a difference?
FB: Islam is not a religion...
AC: You won't say whether you see a difference?
FB: Yes, I will, if you'll let me. The problem is that Islam is not just a religion, it is a political ideology that demands and forces its dogma down our throats.
AC: Let me point out that is not true for all Muslims. There are some extremist Muslims who believe Islam should be a political ideology, but there are some moderate Muslims living here that aren't saying that America should become Muslim under Sharia law.
FB: Anderson, I understand exactly what you are saying. You need to ask yourself, why are all terrorists Muslim? Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.
AC: That's just not completely true. In fact, the guy who blew up the Oklahoma City....
FB: Yeah, that one man, Timothy McVeigh, you will use that, but that's not his modus operandi, but that is the modus operandi of Islam from 622 to this day.
At this point, Anderson Cooper brings on another guest (Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible") who briefly discusses how if we were to put all the religions with violence in their past on one side of the room and all the religions that don't have violence in their past on the other side, one side of the room would be empty. Feiler then states how Jews, Catholics, Protestants, and all other religious sects have been persecuted at one point or another when they were the minority in an area (basically pointing out that it is in the best interest of all religions to be tolerant of the other religious beliefs). Then, it was more fun with the fundie...
AC: Rev. Benham, the logical conclusion of your thoughts, do you believe that Islam should be outlawed in the US? Do you believe a Muslim can be a good citizen in America?
FB: I think it would be impossible for a Muslim to be a good citizen in America because he must swear his allegiance to Allah.
AC: So the 5.8 million American Muslims, they aren't good citizens?
FB: Listen, they can't be if they swear their allegience to Sharia law. If you believe it's alright to beat your wife and that it's okay to have four wives, that's fine...
AC: You're making gross generalizations about people's religious beliefs that are simply not true.
FB: I'm telling you that is what it says in the Quran. Just look at Surah 9:5 and then you tell me what that means.
Feiler chimes in again, saying that if Benham wants to come on CNN on the opening night of Ramadan and disparage a billion people on the planet, that is fine. Before he can continue, he is interupted by Benham...
FB: Not the people...
AC: Wait a minue, what do you mean not the people? You just said that they can't be good citizens.
FB: Not the people, I'm talking about Islam. Islam is a lie from the pit of Hell. It brings destruction and death, that's what it does. Not the people, God loves those people.