Last week, Pew Research Company, a respected polling company, released a poll indicating that 18% of Americans think that President Obama is a Muslim. More interesting to me is that only 34% of respondants believe that he is what he claims to be - a Christian - or that a full 43% of people say that they don't know. This prompted the White House, aided by their usual allies in the mainstream media, to issue full-throated denials. Many news organizations including flatly stated that the perception of Obama as a Muslim is incorrect. The Associated Press calls the belief "incorrect", the Washington Post calls the belief "wrong", and the New York Times calls it a "misperception." I'm not even going to try to figure out how these organizations make that determination. I assume they take what the President says at face value which, as the last two years has shown, is a risky proposition.
Of course, the usual suspects are crying foul. John Farrell at US News and World Report says that those people who think Obama is Muslim are either "not paying attention" or are "willfully stupid." The George Soros funded Media Matters claim that Americans are falling for Right-Wing lies. And, of course, Ramzi Kassem of the New York Daily News, among others, claim that the rumors are due to . . . wait for it . . . you guessed it . . . racism.
I think that Byron York in the Washington Examiner gets it right in his typically outstanding article when he says that, if people are confused about Obama’s religion, he has only himself to blame. For the record, I don’t believe that President Obama is a Muslim. You can put me in the “none of the above” category. I think he is probably agnostic or possesses a belief outside of mainstream Christianity.
What, then, to think of the 1 in 5 people who think the President is a Muslim? First, we have to realize that is the same percentage that believe that aliens have visited earth, that believe the sun orbits the earth, and that is less than the percentage of the people who believe that the United States government was behind the 9/11 attacks (36%). In other words, approximately the same number of Americans believe the President is Muslim as believe that little green men with anal probes are kidnapping West Virginians. I think we can see that there are some people who will believe anything, no matter how strange.
Of course, some of those people may just be like me. If my caller ID was broken and I accidentally picked up the phone for a survey like this, I might claim that President Obama was born on a rocket ship inbound from Planet Zygon 6 and worships Neptune, just to mess with the pollsters.
So, does it really matter if the President is a Muslim? Well, some might say, it would undermine American’s trust in him because he lied about it. I’d reply that if they are just realizing that Obama lied to them, they haven’t been paying attention.
In actuality, if Obama was a Muslim, it might explain a lot, but it would change very little. Already, Obama is much more conciliatory toward Muslim countries than he is toward our traditional allies and, especially, toward Israel. From bowing before the Saudi king to drastically rewriting history in his Cairo speech to standing by silently while Iranian Republican Guards mowed down protestors in the streets, Obama has bent over backwards to curry favor with Islamic countries. At the same time, he has shown the back of his hand to our traditional Middle Eastern ally, Israel.
In the United States, Obama has been the apologist-in-chief for Islam in the United States, lecturing the public on the glories and beauty of Islam and, most recently, giving his imprimatur to a mosque planned for New York’s Ground Zero. While Obama has cancelled the National Day of Prayer ceremonies during his tenure in the White House, ostensibly concerned about the propriety of hosting a religious event, he has, over that same period, held Iftar dinners to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
So, it doesn’t really make a lot of difference if Obama is a Muslim or not. He clearly has a greater affinity for Islam than he has for traditional Christianity or Judaism. His foreign policy would not appreciably change, with the possible exception of dropping the pretense of a modicum of support for Israel. I could hardly see how much more hostile to Christianity and Judaism or conciliatory to Islam that this administration could be.
Meanwhile, while we are arguing over is-he-or-isn’t-he, we are losing jobs, going deeper in debt, destroying our health care system, and running our economy into the ground. There are plenty of excellent reasons to oppose this President and his policies, his religious affiliation, or lack thereof, is not one of them.