Once Again, Christian Conservatives are Compared to the Taliban

By Michael Brown Published on April 24, 2023

On April 19, while appearing on The View, actress Patti LuPone said that she has “no idea what the difference is” between “our Christian right and the Taliban.”

With reference to Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis and his positions on LGBTQ issues, she stated, “I said this before, and I’m going to get in trouble, but I have said this before, and it’s been in print: I don’t know what the difference between our Christian right and the Taliban is. I have no idea what the difference is.”

No idea at all? Really?

But this is hardly the first time such comparisons have been made.

We’ve Been Compared to the Taliban a Number of Times

Already in May, 2005, John McCandlish Phillips, formerly a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, pointed out how newspapers like the Washington Post and the Times told their readers that evangelicals and traditional Catholics were engaging in a “jihad” against America. Phillips noted that, days before his article was published,

Frank Rich, an often acute, broadly knowledgeable and witty cultural observer, sweepingly informed us that, under the effects of “the God racket” as now pursued in Washington, “government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma.” He went on to tell Times readers that GOP zealots in Congress and the White House have edged our country over into “a full-scale jihad.”

By 2010, Markos Moulitsas, founder of the radically left-leaning DailyKos.com, had written an entire book on the subject. The title says it all: American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right.

In the Introduction Moulitsas claimed that “the Republican Party, and the entire modern conservative movement is, in fact, very much like the Taliban. In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban.”

And remember: This was not meant to be satire. Moulitsas was dead serious, as are many of his readers, who share his views.

So Being Pro-Life is Like Being Murderous?

During the 2012 presidential debates, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched a tirade against Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, calling Ryan’s pro-life position “extremism” and claiming it was “almost like Sharia.” He opined, “You’re saying to the country, we’re going to operate under a religious theory, a religious belief. We’re gonna run our country this way, to the point of making a woman’s decision to have an abortion, her reproductive rights, as criminal, perhaps murderous.”

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This claim of Matthews, which raised quite a few eyebrows in 2012, now seems tame when compared to the latest rhetoric launched against conservative Christians. Comparing us to the Taliban wasn’t enough. Instead, we were as evil and oppressive and violent as was ISIS. (Today, with the Taliban still going strong and ISIS in great decline, it’s more fashionable to compare us to the Taliban, as LuPone did.)

I gave some anecdotal evidence of this in an article published September 13, 2012, titled, “When Committed Christians Are Compared to ISIS.”

Because We Want to Protect Innocent Babies in the Womb?

In the article, I noted that, a few days earlier, “Dixie” posted on my Facebook page, “You are just as ugly as Isis!”

I asked in response, “Because we want to protect innocent babies in the womb? Because we care about marriage and family? Because we feed the poor and needy around the world? Because we want the whole world to know how wonderful Jesus is? Please be kind enough to explain your views.” Dixie didn’t respond.

Just a few days before that, “Jeromeno” posted this on my YouTube page: “Kim Davis [the county clerk who went to jail rather than issue same-sex marriage certificates] is an ISIS infiltrator in America with a mission to spread. The most radical interpretation of Sharia Law. ISIS needed a hero a Jeanne d’Arc and they found one in KIM DAVIS.”

His post was followed by “Charlie,” who commented,

Kim Davis, by Virtue of defying the Constitution and the Supreme Court is NO BETTER than those men who conceived, executed, and plotted those attacks on the World Trade Center and the pentagon on September 11. Granted, there haven’t been any lives lost in the wake of Mrs. Davis’ shenanigans, the ideology of using her religious beliefs as justification to defile the Supreme Court and the Constitution make her a religious terrorist along the order of Osama bin Laden and ISIS.

At the risk of being redundant, I remind you that these people really believe what they’re posting, as hard as it is to believe.

Somehow, They Seem to Believe Their Own Ridiculous Comparison

In response to these comments I wrote (in the article),

So, ISIS is beheading Christians who refuse to convert to Islam and crucifying Muslims who are not radical enough. ISIS is burying little children alive, burning prisoners alive, drowning them in cages, raping teenage girls and selling them into slavery, and throwing gays off buildings. Yet when we say, “Gays are free to live how they please and enter into the relationships of their choosing – that’s between them and God – and if they want a minister or judge to sanction their ‘marriage,’ they can do that, just don’t force us to participate in their ceremony” – we are now like ISIS.

But it is not just random, virtually unknown individuals posting these things online.

Outspoken gay activists like Wayne Besen brought similar charges more than a decade ago, in this case, responding to Rev. Billy Graham’s ads encouraging voters to uphold natural, male-female marriage.

Besen wrote in response,

I’m a little confused here, because I thought we lived in America. Yet, Graham is now trying to jam his own church’s rules and doctrine down my throat. The last time I checked, I never signed up for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (BGEA). I don’t even like his church, yet he thinks I should be forced against my will to live by its rules.

Do we now make our civil laws based upon Christian Sharia? Do we all have to follow his version of the Bible or be punished by government? And if this is the case, are we really a free country? Are we really much different than Iran, or is it only by a matter of degrees or a matter of time until these so-called “Christian Supremacists” get their paws on all of our laws?

Christian Sharia? Christian Supremacists? Isn’t this a little extreme?

Media personalities like Montel Williams similarly compared supporters of natural, male-female marriage to ISIS policies, while articles with titles like this are common: “It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban.”

If They Were to Live Under the Rule of Sharia, They May Realize the Difference

Perhaps it would be worthwhile if some wealthy benefactor could pay for Chris Matthews, Wayne Besen, Markos Moulitsas, Frank Rich, Montel Williams, Patti LuPone, and others to spend 6 months living in a country like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.

I’m talking about countries where the hanging of gays and the beheading of adulterers is commonly practiced (and fully sanctioned) under Sharia Law, and where conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death.

Perhaps then they would get a good idea of the difference between ISIS (or the Taliban or Sharia-observant countries) and Christian conservatives. It is the difference between death and life.

(Some of the material in this article was excerpted from Michael L. Brown, Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation.)


Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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