Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The next time a pollster asks you about a candidate's religion, you say: "I don't care."

A recent LA times/ Bloomberg Poll shows that 7% of registered voters in Ohio and Florida believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Another 44% in Florida did not know what religion Barack Obama is (that seems like a lot to me). I must admit that a part of me feels like I should not bring it up because it would bring some sort of sense of accomplishment or validity to those who began this smear.

However, I think the reaction to this smear shows a harsh and overlooked reality: throughout this election, Muslims have been demeaned by both Republicans and Democrats in a way that is disgraceful in a country this great. As Colin Powell put it on Meet the Press a few weeks ago: "it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are, if you're an American, you're an American." What if Barack Obama were a Muslim? (he's not) Should it matter? (no) What if there's a Muslim-American child doing his civics homework who decides that someday he wants to be president? Is someone to tell him: no you can't have your shot at your American Dream because you're a Muslim? (of course not!)

Anytime Obama has been confronted with the question "are you a Muslim?," he has responded with the answer "no I am a christian." In doing so, he has implied that being a Muslim would disqualify him as a candidate. The correct answer to this question (in my oh so very humble opinion) is: "Not that it is any of your business, but I happen to be a Christian. However, if I were a Muslim, there would be nothing wrong with that because we live in a great country where we don't discriminate against people because of their religious beliefs" (or lack thereof for that matter).

So, next time a pollster calls you and asks: "What religion is Barack Obama/John McCain/any other candidate for public office?" you say: "I don't care."

Read more about the poll here


Snazel said...
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Snazel said...

It's sad, that in politics, being Christian implies immediately that you are morally superior, to all of those who are not.

I have met immoral Christians in my time, and I have many moral people who are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Agnostic and of course, Christian.

Religion isn't the same as morality. You have to earn morality by deeds, not just by going to church, and those who do good deeds come from all kinds of religious backgrounds.