Obama is a Muslim?

Obama is a Muslim, say simple minded anti-American bigots  090210

A recent Fox poll showed that 18% of those surveyed believe Obama is a Muslim.  First off, it’s Fox, so there’s a lot of doubt available there, and second, we don’t know what Revivalist tent meetin’ group they surveyed.  

Even so, there are probably people right here in the county who are happy to think Obama is a “Muslim”.  
The real point is, so what if he is, there is no reason we couldn’t have a Muslim president, that’s the whole point of “freedom of religion.”
Indeed, if the U.S. exists long enough, it will certainly see a Muslim president, since one person in four in the world is a Muslim.  There are Muslims in Indonesia and India and of course, Pakistan.  

Where Muslims Live, from Pew.

Islam has many very strange and unfamiliar beliefs: There is One God, Who is Lord of all; God loves us and wants us to live fruitful lives; a good life comes from knowing and praising God.  They believe that at the end of the world the Lord will come in judgement; this day is known to God but not to humans, and when the end comes there will be tribulations.  They believe that speaking against God or violating His law is sin, punishable by damnation to hell.  While millions of Muslims are no more devout than similar numbers of Christians or Jews, the majority of Muslims follow a very strict life which includes many hours of prayer; most pray at least five times a day.

The name of God, from Wikipedia.

God is all powerful, knows the hearts of people, and determines all events; for this reason, when making plans of any kind, many devout Muslims say, “Insha’Allah” or “if God wills; Good Lord Willing.”  

Islam is a religion in the line of Abraham, as Christianity and Judaism are.  Indeed, though currently Arabs, many of whom are Muslims, and the Jews of Israel are fighting, the Jews are known as “the people of the book” by Muslims, and Jesus Christ is revered as a prophet.

Very, very few Muslims want to kill you.

One could substitute the term “evangelical Christian” for the term “Muslim” in the paragraph above.  The two groups share much religion.  Indeed, to many from other belief systems, Christians and Muslims seem to be simply upgrading Judaism.  

So, how is it that a handful of anti-American bigots have come to see Muslims as ineligible for the presidency?  Does “freedom of religion” really mean “freedom to be Protestant or Catholic” or maybe “freedom to be any Protestant derivative you like?”

The really devout of any religion are bound to be trouble eventually.  If one believes one speaks for God, no behavior is too horrifying.  

In the real world, though, people of different religions often live together and trade and peace will reign until some political or economic motive emerges.  At that point, differences become important, and you have Ireland, where Christian killed Christian with glee for decades.

Indeed, modern anti-Muslim bigots are generating the economic and political tension which engenders that kind of violent outcome.  

They’re being encouraged by those who speak very clearly, in very simple sentences.  Those simple ideas (simple ideas are the easiest to corrupt) play very well with people who fear.  People who fear easily become people who hate.  People who sponsor hatred begin by “distancing” or “separating” the supposed enemy.  You show someone to be strange, or at least a stranger.

One reason it might be so easy to bring up the “stranger” stigma on Obama is that he is only half White.  Undoubtedly there have been other U.S. presidents with some Black heritage*, but this guy actually looks Black, sort of.
Not only Black, but it is pretty clear his father was a Muslim (though not much of a Muslim), and little Barack lived places where many Muslims live (the largest Muslim nation, Indonesia) and went to a school with Muslims.  He also went to a Catholic school, which probably doesn’t make some people much happier.

Obama.  He doesn’t look like other presidents.  (Photo courtesy Your Government.)

Like, Nixon,

Or Reagan, (We don’t know who owns this image)

Or Bush.  Can you count the plastic turkeys in this photo? 
(Source unknown, we believe it’s passed into public domain through common use.)

There are very good reasons to scare those who understand simple things, good reasons to raise hatred: votes.  For better or worse, the vote of a near lunatic carries the same weight as the vote of a wise and thoughtful person like Mountain Messenger Editor Don Russell.  That particular example might be tomayto/tomahto, but the point holds that even those who don’t get much can get a president who doesn’t get much elected (see the two plastic turkeys, above).  

Either way, no thoughtful person will sign off to the “Obama is a Muslim” perspective because, in America, religion doesn’t enter government.
Unless you listen to people who keep their ideas very simple.  Then, the Bill of Rights doesn’t matter, and the remarkable similarities between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims don’t matter.  All that matters is that people see him as separate, different.

*Our own beloved Thomas Jefferson is rumored to have Black heritage; little is known about his father.
Website Builder