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MSNBC host Joy Reid stirred up controversy earlier this week when she compared Christian conservatives to the Taliban. But Reid is hardly the only public figure on the left making that analogy.
Actor Tim Russ, best known for playing Lieutenant Commander Tuvok on the sci-fi series “Star Trek: Voyager” and Principal Franklin on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” tweeted Monday that, “The Taliban are as fanatical about their beliefs and culture as the millions of people right here in the U.S. who believe in religion, conspiracy theories, and alternate reality.”
This isn’t the first time Russ has disparaged Americans of faith generally or Christians specifically. The comic book news site Bounding into Comics, reprinted several past anti-Christian comments from Russ, including:
Author and freelance journalist Feminista Jones, who has contributed to outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Vox, has made similar inferences, saying Thursday, “Always funny to me when [Christians] pretend their religion is somehow less oppressive of women than Islam [laughing my a** off].”
When someone replied that they would pray for Jones, she mockingly responded by posting an image of a crying child holding a wooden cross.
The day before, John Max Smith — son of famed British author Harry Leslie Smith, and a writer in his own right who has been published in Canada’s Globe and Mail and the U.K.’s Independent — said, “Make no mistake; Christian evangelicals are America’s #taliban and [wield] as much power too in their society.”
But it isn’t just atheists and the actively anti-religious equating Christians to the Islamic terror group.
Duke University theology professor Curtis Freeman is the director of the school’s Baptist House of Studies and has written for outlets like the Raleigh News and Observer and the Houston Chronicle, along with authoring several books on Christianity and the Baptist denomination. He’s also been cited as a religious expert by USA Today and CNN. On Tuesday he argued, “The Taliban allow no liberty of conscience. They are like #ChristianNationalists and other American Christian fundamentalists.”
In the past, Freeman has taken even sharper aim at other members of his own faith. As The American Conservative reported, in March, he claimed, “Evangelical Christianity is the greatest threat to human existence today. It must be laid waste.”
According to Wheaton College’s 2016 analysis, around 90-100 million Americans qualify as Evangelicals.
After receiving pushback from fellow Christians, Freeman deleted both his comments.
At the same time that the Taliban is reportedly killing women for not wearing burqas and opening fire on civilians, the other commenters have, so far, let their comparisons stand.