First things first. ISIS is one of the most brutal militant organizations the world has ever seen. It has burned people alive. It has beheaded captives and gay men. It has used child soldiers to kill. ISIS has also enslaves, rapes, and sells women who are not Muslim. It has kidnapped, thousands of women of the Yazidi faith, and many fear they are now mere chattel to the militants.
ISIS is believed to have killed as many as 150,000 civilians last year alone, according to Iraq Body Count, which tallies such figures. In fact, statisticians have said that ISIS is killing people faster than they can count them — and doing so with apparent pride, recording videos of them and listing them in annual reports. So it seems nothing can compare to such horrors…but wait. There are a fair few out there who seem to believe that there are things in this world that are “worse than ISIS.”
50 Shades of Grey
In a post for the Christian blog True Woman, one contributing writer compared the book-turned-movie 50 Shades of Grey to ISIS. Bryon Paulus, the head of the Life Action Ministries, wrote:
“When it comes to desensitization to moral perversion resulting in cultural disintegration, the release of the movie Fifty Shades may be more destructive than ISIS. Why? Because at least we are still on our guard fighting against ISIS at some level. But on many fronts, we quit fighting against sin in the sexual realm.”
But it’s not just the “grey areas” explored by 50 Shades that he thinks are dangerous. According to Paulus, all of them threaten to destroy society.
“Even a small amount of societal grey can be destructive,” he wrote. “For us as Christians, the lightest shade of grey is destructive when we know it is a matter of disobeying the Word of God or the Spirit of God. Even a seemingly small area of disobedience is sin. And the wages of sin is death, in some form or fashion.”
Oh, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Paulus think the name of the BDSM aficionado character, Christian Grey, to be no coincidence.
In an episode of his YouTube channel “The Trews,” British actor Russel Brand takes down various statements made by anchor Jeanine Pirro on the network.
“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria signals the beginning of the reverse crusade,” she said, eyes wide. “They are coming for us. To them, we are the infidels.”
“ISIS is a fanatical religious terrorist organization,” she declared, to which Brand quipped, “So’s Fox News.”
“It’s a fanatical, terrorist, propagandist organization,” he continued, and compared Pirro’s commentary to the incendiary videos released by ISIS. “She’s totally espousing savage values.”
“I’m not being just sensational, that is more dangerous than ISIS,” Brand claimed. “That attitude. ‘Cause that’s far reaching. That’s affecting millions and millions of people.”
J.T. Smith, a Democrat running for Congress from Alabama’s Third Congressional District compared congressional Republicans to the Islamist militant group.
“The greatest country on earth is being bullied from within. Actions of Republicans in congress are worse than #ISIL,” he wrote in a tweet that he later deleted.
According to the IBTimes, he later clarified his position in a Facebook post that read, in part:
“I am not saying that the [R]epublican [P]arty is beheading people in the streets, obviously. Here in America, because we are a civilized democracy, we do not use violence against each other as a means of control. The [R]epublicans have used the economy as a means to terrorize the people of this country… The [R]epublicans and their interests have harmed the people of this great country long enough. Please, stand with me as we move towards election day.”
That post now appears to have also been deleted.
J.T. Smith referred to his controversial tweet again on Tuesday in reference to a letter 47 Republican Senators wrote to Iran earlier this week threatening to reverse the nuclear deal President Barack Obama is attempting to strike with the country.
— JT Smith (@jt4congress2014) March 10, 2015
“Planned Parenthood is worse than ISIS and lying about it,” a South Dakota lawmaker headlined a blog post about a bill he proposed to keep the women’s health organization from “beheading unborn children during dismemberment abortions.”
Rep. Isaac Latterell, a Republican, later edited the language in his post to remove reference to the militant Islamist organization after several media organizations reported and discredited the comparison.
Media organizations including ThinkProgress also pointed out that Latterell’s bill sought to outlaw a type of partial birth abortion known that isn’t even performed by the state’s sole abortion provider (you guessed it, a Planned Parenthood) which only offers first trimester abortions.
Jennifer Aulwes, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson confirmed to Talking Points Memo that the sort of abortion described by Latterell was performed only after the first trimester, and as such, would be performed by a doctor outside of Planned Parenthood.
“I think the majority of South Dakotans would agree that comparing Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization is just going too far,” she said. “No matter what you feel about abortion or about Planned Parenthood, it’s an inflammatory and really inappropriate comparison.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham joined those who believe they know of things worse than the murderous lot when he said that Iran is worse than ISIS on Sunday.
“It’s not even close,” Graham told NBC’s Meet the Press “An Iran with a nuclear weapon is the nightmare for us, Israel and the entire region.”
“They’re the root cause of this problem in the Middle East as much as ISIL,” he said using another acronym for the Islamist militant group. “I fear them more than I fear ISIL.”
He railed against a nuclear deal with the country or lifting sanctions on the country.
“Iran is our enemy,” Graham said, completely disregarding the fact that American forces are increasingly reliant on Iran’s efforts on-the-ground to contain ISIS. The reality of U.S. dependence on Iran bears a stark contrast to the portrait Graham painted when he said, “They’re a cold-blooded, cruel regime that’s killed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“They’re an evil regime,” Graham told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
It’s true that Iran has a rather abysmal human rights record. It has muzzled freedom of speech, disqualified women candidates from running in elections, and executed more people than almost any other country.
Contrary to what Graham has suggested, the country it does appear to be complying with the terms of an interim nuclear deal and ramping down its nuclear capabilities. Such civil diplomatic talks are certainly far beyond what one would expect from ISIS.