I recently came across a post online that said something to the effect of how the mere fact that every American president going back to George Washington having sworn the oath of office on a bible is “proof that America was founded as and is a Christian nation. The poster went on to conclude that with a perceived pursuit of Sharia law by our courts under the administration of a supposedly undercover Islamic president that the tradition could change at the next inauguration if our president is reelected. The implication was that President Obama would shock the world by swearing into a second term with his hand on a Koran. My reply to this post was that if tradition were to be broken it would be far more likely that it would be someone swearing in with their hand on a Book of Mormon. In doing this, I wasn't trying to stir angst against any religion or political figure but instead I was simply trying to keep it real for the radical right. By the way, I cannot remember where this post was and all attempts I have made to re-locate it for this blog post have failed.
In reality a person’s religious beliefs generally should not matter in a presidential election unless that candidate intends to govern the nation by imposing their religious beliefs on the nation. Vice President Biden said it best in the VP debate when he said about his faith and belief on abortion, that his Catholic faith “defined” him but that he did not believe he should impose his faith on Americans of other faiths. I proudly share Vice President Biden’s Catholic faith and his belief on the role that our shared faith should play the public arena.
Islamophobia like many other phobias, irrational by definition, has no business in our political process. Those who profess such irrational fears should be ignored and pushed out of every political discussion. To those on the right who continue to think that being Muslim is somehow a disqualifier to the Office of President of the United States of America and that our current president is a latent Muslim, I have to ask then, did you believe President Obama to be a Muslim when you tried to stress the years he and the first family spent sitting in Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ?
Irrational fear of something the very definition of a phobia. It is irrational to fear other religions, other sexual identities, other nations, other ideologies, and other people in general, simply because they are different from us. I suspect that it is not a matter of religious beliefs but appearance, melanin in the skin, that is the difference between the first family and the majority of Americans, particularly right wing Americans, and that is the source of this irrational fear of our president.
In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” I ask you all to fear not but instead to vote and to vote to continue progress!
-The Progressive Cop
-The Progressive Cop