Monday, September 08, 2008

On Obama: No Secret Muslim

Is Obama an undercover Muslim?

I don’t see what benefit there is for the GOP in focusing on Obama’s verbal gaffe--a small mistake that reinforced the questions some people have been asking about his religious beliefs--and obsessing about whether he is secretly Muslim. A little bit of confusion during a conversation does not qualify as evidence; a lengthy membership in a Christian church (even one that many of us find repulsive) is a far more convincing measure of his convictions. Of course, that works both in the positive (for those that care, it should be reassuring that he is a Christian) and in the negative (for those that care, and I am one of them, the long association with the church implies some philosophical questions, as well).

Beyond that, though, it distracts from real issues and the real differences between the candidates. With momentum on the side of the Republicans after Sarah Palin’s introduction to the country, getting stuck in this dead end conversation only blunts the forward motion.

Hell, for that matter, I wouldn’t much care if Obama were a Muslim. While I’m fairly sure that America isn’t ready to vote a Muslim into office, I can’t personally see that it would change my vote, and not just because I’m not planning to vote for the guy. Atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Toaist--I don’t really care. The only question to me is whether a candidates political philosophies and policies match the template I’m shopping for.

For me, Obama isn’t that guy regardless of how he chooses to worship. 


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