Slate has a funny (not that they meant it to be) subtitle for an article by John Dickerson: Why won't any Republicans condemn the "Obama is a Muslim" myth? I say this is funny because it is coming from dedicated myth-makers.
People are willing to believe that Barack is a Muslim because a) he's obviously just pretending to be a Christian and b) a large fraction of the American electorate sense they aren't part of his core range of loyalties. Basically, they feel they aren't in the same club or nation or allegiance as him and that this is a result of his upbringing and choices. They worry (justifiably) about where his real loyalties lay.
To think Obama might be Muslim isn't totally unreasonable given his father came from a Muslim family, his mother wasn't religious, and his stepfather came from a Muslim family as well. Given that his loyalties aren't clearly with the majority and that he dissembles about his loyalties this sort of speculation isn't surprising.
As for that Slate subtitle question, there's a far more compelling question about Barack Obama: Why won't any Democrats condemn the "Obama is a Christian" myth? The "Obama is a Christian" myth gave birth to the "Obama is a Muslim" myth.
The commentators in the mainstream liberal media are fully on board with the "Obama is a Christian" myth. Here's Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor proclaiming Barack's Christian faith:
Where are Americans getting their information about Obama’s religion? We ask that because, on this subject, a substantial and growing number of them are wrong. (Obama is Christian. We’ll say that up front, in case some of you are hazy on this point yourselves.)
You've got to be kidding. He's a political pretend Christian who, in order to help his political career, went to a black radical church for years. This church is led by one Rev. Jeremiah Wright (whose hostility to whitey and America was something that Obama took in for many years without complaint). Obama did this to try to establish his bona fides as a real American black and because he knows that in American politics it is harder for unreligious people to get elected. But Obama's obviously either agnostic or atheistic. What I want to know about Obama's religious beliefs: Is he a rational agnostic like myself? Or is he an extremist nutcase atheist who pretends to know that God (or the big universe simulation author) does not exist?
Obama needed to misrepresent himself to reach high office. Various elements of that misrepresentation are costing him politically now as the mythology becomes frayed and tattered. Competing mythologies are promoted by his political opponents. These mythologies provide a form of balance of falsehoods. Most people aren't up to getting their minds around the truth. So our political arena features an on-going battle of mythologies.
Update: OneSTDV, debating some liberal atheists about Obama's political beliefs, points to Obama's own revealed views of religion in one of his books:
I was unable to answer my daughter about heaven; I wondered if I should have told her the truth – that I was not sure what happens when we die; anymore than I was sure of where the soul resides or what existed before the big bang.
Sounds clear enough: agnostic.
I’m making the argument that given his childhood background, his ostentatious admiration of Islam (what other professed Christian would feel comfortable repeating “Allah is Supreme! There is no God but Allah! in perfect Arabic), his lack of Christian background prior to and now following his admittedly poor attendance at Rev Wright’s church, his name, his bowing to the Saudi king, etc… it’s not UNREASONABLE to be skeptical of his Christianity.
Further, we’re generally justified in considering politician’s claims incredulously because of the precedent of lying.
Now given these facts, one can’t forthrightly conclude Obama is a Muslim. But that’s not my argument.
My argument is that skepticism concerning his faith is a reasonable supposition.
Instead, according to Hemant and the media, only a bucolic, ignorant idiot would extrapolate these facts into skepticism.
The media want us to be left-liberal idiots, not right wing idiots.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2010 August 25 10:33 PM Cultural Wars Western|