Last night, the former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. First of all, I think it is simply outrageous that Khatami would be given a visa to begin with. And don’t start on me with “we are America and we should accept diverse viewpoints.” Bull. We are at war. And Khatami is no reformer, despite the attempt by the American media to portray him as such.
We wouldn’t have invited Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, or Joseph Stalin to speak at one of our nation’s most revered religious buildings.
Three Episcopal bishops protested the Khatami visit to the Episcopal cathedral in advance of his speech.
Calling Iran a “threat not only to our own nation, but to world peace itself,” the bishops of Northern Indiana, Rhode Island and Southwest Florida have written a letter of protest to the Bishop of Washington and the Dean of Washington National Cathedral over the speech to be given there on Sept. 7 by Muhammad Khatami, the former president of Iran.
“Mr. Khatami’s actions do not support the goal of reconciliation for which our Church has so fervently prayed and worked,” wrote the three on Sept. 5. “During Mr. Khatami’s term of office, women continued to be marginalized, and homosexual persons were executed (two gay youths were hanged on July 19, 2005). Mr. Khatami has not renounced either Iran’s nuclear ambitions or the virulent anti-Semitism of the current regime, known for its Holocaust denial and call for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
In fact, Khatami has already said during his time in the USA this week that the current regime is, more or less, “misunderstood” and current Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn’t really mean the things he says. Riiiiiight.
The Institute on Religion and Democracy shares the outrage over Khatami’s speaking at the National Cathedral.
“The Cathedral Dean, the Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd, III, claimed that Khatami is committed to dialogue between civilizations and cultures,” said Faith McDonnell, IRD’s Religious Liberty Programs Director. “But IRD believes that the cathedral’s praise of Khatami shows only a commitment to monologue. We urge the National Cathedral, and all of the American universities and other venues hosting ex-President Khatami, to have the moral courage and integrity to engage in true dialogue, challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran’s former president to denounce repression and persecution.”
Just five years ago, President Bush delivered an eloquent tribute to the victims of our nation’s worst homeland attack.
America is a nation full of good fortune, with so much to be grateful for, but we are not spared from suffering. In every generation, the world has produced enemies of human freedom. They have attacked America because we are freedom’s home and defender, and the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time. On this national day of prayer and remembrance, we ask almighty God to watch over our nation and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come. We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.
Khatami comes from a nation that is producing evil around the world. His speech defames the Cathedral itself and those who have been honored there in the past. It is simply outrageous that he was even allowed in our country. But should I expect when we aren’t truly fighting this war as we should — balls to the wall.