Why I don’t care that Obama’s not secretly a Muslim
October 23, 2012 21 Comments
PostLibertarian gives the best evidence that Obama is not secretly a Muslim. Not that I think Obama ‘is secretly a Muslim’, but the fact that his argument ultimately rests on the axiom that Muslims Just Don’t Kill Other Muslims should probably give one pause. Reality clearly violates this axiom. Face it: when it comes to killing Muslims, NOBODY takes a back seat to Muslims.
That said, when it comes to religion, Obama is presumably what he appears to be, a guy who had a mixed/transient/confused upbringing that (as it happens) involved a fair amount of Muslim influence, before settling as an adult into regular attendance at a slightly cuckoo black-nationalist Christian-affiliated church with an incoherent, illegible theology that does not seem to have affected his soul to any degree given that he was able to hastily drop the association when it became a political liability. As far as I can tell he’s not a Muslim, he’s not a Christian, religiously, he’s a ‘social-democrat’ politician. So yes I think the people ‘accusing’ him of being a Muslim are probably wrong. But where do we go from there, besides making ourselves feel superior by ranting and raving about stupid mouthbreathing rednecks?
In between said ranting it might be nice to at least acknowledge in passing that the ‘Obama’s a Muslim’ sentiment is a natural reaction to an absolutely true, non-crazy observation about Barack Obama, which is that his origin and upbringing are quite culturally different to that of the median American. It is neither racist nor prejudicial nor insensitive to make such an observation nor to wonder or discuss what it may harken for his leadership style.
This fact is reflected in many (perhaps seemingly trivial) things – the refusal to place his hand over his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance; the ostentatious bowing to non-Western autocrats; his wife’s implication that she had never approved of America prior to his election. But despite those examples its effect is not seen only through meaningless trivia or fashion statements; his after all was a campaign run almost entirely on a need/desire to ‘change’ or ‘transform’ America, with nary a tangible description let alone open discussion of what that was supposed to mean.
We now know
two three things it means: one, to overhaul the U.S. health care system in a fascist way. Two, to wage war in the Middle East without Congressional approval, war that in some places ends up empowering radically-Muslim factions. Three, to ramp up spending to such an irresponsible degree, in a time of high unemployment and low economic growth, so that tax raises and inflation in a depressed economy are now the baseline assumption about our future. Sorry but those are not small changes or effects, yet I don’t believe these eventualities were given any serious discussion prior to his being elected.
Instead the discussion was: “It’s cool. First Black President.”
So the problem is that politically-correct rules of politeness prevented these things from being discussed in the mainstream media, in any open or honest way. Precisely how did American need to ‘change’? To what did it need to be ‘transformed’? Such a discussion was disallowed, because to bring these things up made you a racist, a mouthbreather fearing The Other. Political correctness instead required everyone to assume Obama’s cool because he reminds us of that cool professor, or whatever. It’ll be fine. Historic.
Amazingly this means that, in effect, everyone agreed and acknowledged that Barack Obama is an Other. What we weren’t allowed to talk about which Other, what specific form his Otherness might take, and what that would mean for the future of a country under his leadership. These entirely rational questions and concerns were basically all waved away as unimportant and/or uncouth things to worry about.
And that created the vacuum which inevitably got filled by notions like Obama being secretly a Muslim. When rational, understandable viewpoints are disallowed in polite circles, only the extreme forms of them get aired. Yet people act surprised?
No, I don’t think Barack Obama is a Muslim. But I don’t think it’s a big deal that some people do (or say that they do, when – perhaps – they’re really trying to say something else, and ‘he’s a Muslim’ is what comes out in frustration). What Religion People Think Barack Obama Is, when you get right down to it, just isn’t that big a deal. But maybe that’s because I think it’s a far bigger deal that Barack Obama’s views and beliefs – whatever they are, let alone his background – went largely unexamined due to political-correctness reasons prior to us making him a U.S. President.
But nobody cares what I think.