I have previously stated that I found the Western Conservative Summit to be a positive experience. I did have a couple of reservations. One being the overwhelming and somewhat exclusive religious overtones of the Summit, which I have already written about. My second reservation was the inclusion of Geert Wilders as a featured speaker. Often times at an event like this, all we know about a foreign speaker is what they tell us during their speech. Geert Wilders told us all about his hatred for Islam. He wrapped up that hatred with “Judeo-Christian values” (a term he must have used 25 times during his speech), and then he sealed the deal by ingratiating himself to the entire crowd by giving away copies of his book for free.
About halfway through his speech I began to be concerned by his extreme views. He actively promotes banning the Quran in the Netherlands (and everywhere else), which the Summit crowd loved. I was shocked. I actually witnessed red-blooded Americans promoting the banning of a book. Haven’t we come farther than this? But he wasn’t done there. He also supports banning the building of any new mosques, and encouraged the crowd to support the same. And in a final completely counter-American recommendation, he believes we should also stop allowing any immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. As I have said before, legal immigration is what built a solid foundation for this country, and it is what continues to make it strong. I was genuinely flabbergasted at his speech, and at the outpouring of support he had from the Summit attendees.
Many of these attendees walked away in awe at what they thought was a persecuted, revolutionary Christian man. In reality Geert Wilders is an extremely discriminatory, agnostic xenophobe. Yep, I said it. And I can back it up. His speech alone is support for my description of him as discriminatory. He has picked a specific group of people to hate. He can shout to the rooftops that he “hates Islam, not moderate Muslims,” but his actions and other recommendations against all Muslims say otherwise. He is also, indeed, an agnostic. This is a well-known fact, and he even describes himself as such when it does not benefit him to say otherwise. I was first alerted to this Christian/non-Christian discrepancy when the Twitter feed lit up with dozens of Dutch voicing their shock at the gullibility of the Summit. (Their words, not mine.) The consistency of their claims that Wilders was not a Christian led me to look into it further. Sure enough, they were right. And lastly, in support of my opinion that he is a xenophobe, I give you the definition of the word: one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin. I do believe his fear is undue and extreme. One of his final comments was, “Do not tolerate those that are intolerant of us.” My dear friends, this received a standing ovation from the Summit crowd. I wanted to sink through the floor. If we start institutionalized discrimination of Muslims, where will it end? As an American and a Christian, this breaks my heart. This is not what the Bible or the Constitution would support. We are to love the sinner and hate the sin. We are called to witness to those who don’t know Christ. We are not supposed to shut ourselves up in our puritanical hole and say, “To hell with the rest of ‘em!”
I’m not saying that there aren’t some seriously bad guys out there. And if they strike us, we should indeed strike back, specifically at the terrorist cells that support eradication of all Christians. But we cannot support a man or his ideals when they are so blatantly enshrouded in an un-Christian hate. Please be vigilant about whom you voice support. And please do your own fact checking, and don’t believe everything you hear this political season.