Friday, March 28, 2008

Words Fail Me

Copied entirely from Ben Smith at Politico:

"The Muslim lie lingers"
A new Pew poll out today reports that the Wright affair hasn't really hurt Obama among Democrats, but he's still having trouble with the older, white, working-class members of his party:

White Democrats who hold unfavorable views of Obama are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions of him to express less tolerant views on race. In addition, nearly a quarter of Democrats (23 percent) who hold a negative view of Obama believe he is a Muslim.

The survey also notes:

There is little evidence that the recent news about Obama's affiliation with the United Church of Christ has dispelled the impression that he is Muslim. While voters who heard "a lot" about Rev. Wright's controversial sermons are more likely than those who have not to correctly identify Obama as a Christian, they are not substantially less likely to still believe that he is Muslim. Nearly one in 10 (9 percent) of those who heard a lot about Wright still believe that Obama is Muslim.


Robert Sievers said...

I think Obama would do well to denounce Islam as a viable religious system. However, I think he is unwilling to do that, and that fact causes concern for people.

Dan S said...

A political candidate who has religious tolerance is a cause of concern for you?

Also, why would you impose religious intolerance as a condition for Obama, but not McCain or Clinton?

Anonymous said...

If Obama in essence denounced Islam, the religion of his father, should not that be of greater concern to us as he "relates" to countries with historic ties to Islam. Will they not view him as an infidel worthy of disdain, even worthy of death?
As an American I hope this is not the case. Having read the Wall Street Journal account of Magdi Adam denouncing Islam and being baptized by the Pope and the resulting reactions, my hope lessens.

Robert Sievers said...


Yes, a candidate who shows religious tolerance for Islam concerns me. Read the biography of Muhammad, and see what happened to those people who had religious tolerance for Islam then.

And yes, I think Clinton and McCain should do the same. They should state that Islam is not an acceptable religion to them.

Is Islam acceptable to you? If so, why not go to the mosque?

PG said...

Words fail me at these comments. I have been to the mosque. And Muslims have visited my church. Muslims and Christians have worked together and shared. That is the work that needs to be done in these times, not denouncing each other's religion. I seem to recall as a teen in the Sixties that there was a lot of hand-wringing about Catholics being dangerous and evil. I was told (by adults, Christian adults) that priests had buried their babies (borne by nuns)in the basement of a monastery nearby. Sometimes I understand why atheism has become such a trend these days, growing in leaps and bounds: the people professing belief so often do so in terms of abject hate and fear.

Robert Sievers said...


It seems that you are denouncing my religious position, something you claim shouldn't be done.

So let's be straight. You have no problem denouncing other religious postions, the question is just which ones. At this point, we are just haggling over the price.

PG said...

Au contraire. I don't even know what your religion is. And I don't generally engage in endless Internet arguments. But I am replying because what you seem to be claiming is that your religion is the denunciation of another religion! Is that what you believe in? Intolerance for certain religions? I always am amazed at this kind of semantic argument. Those who profess intolerance for gays or immigrants, for example, decry it when people object to such an attitude. They say, "But you're being intolerant of me! You are intolerant, too." No. To be intolerant of intolerance is not the same thing as being intolerant of other people and their beliefs, race, or religion.

(You would be better to denounce violence, I believe, no matter in the name of what religion or political system it is practiced.)

For the record, I have read a biography of Muhammad. I'm not planning on converting any time soon, but I see no good emerging from denouncing Islam out of hand. It would be preferable to make that visit to a mosque and engage in meaningful dialog.

Are there other religions you would have Obama denounce? Mormonism? Buddhism?

But really, is this conversation on someone else's blog going to be meaningful in any way? I doubt it.

If you want to denounce Islam, you have that right. I'll at least listen (once)to your reasons.

It doesn't seem to be a very profitable use of time and energy and spirit.

Robert Sievers said...


I would agree that it is more productive to go to a mosque and have meaningful dialog than to sit around denouncing religions. However, Obama isn't in the business of winning people to Christ, he is in the business of running for president. If he wants people to know for sure he isn't a Muslim, he needs to say why.

And let's be clear. There is a different between being intolerant of people versus intolerant of beliefs. Some beliefs are just plain wrong. Are we no longer allowed to say that?

PG said...

Yep. You're allowed. Say whatever you want.

brownie said...

If a quarter of HIS OWN PARTY thinks he's a Muslim, I wonder what that figure will extrapolate to on the Republican and independant sides. It can't be good.

But then again, let us not judge too harshly, as we remember that ignorant or just downright dumb people have a right to vote too.

Tim said...


That is the most vile, un-American attitude I could think of. In fact, it is just plain WRONG. Am I allowed to say that?

There is a member of Congress who is muslim. Should he denounce Islam, too?

You never answered PG's question, "Are there other religions you would have Obama denounce? Mormonism? Buddhism?" And if not, then why aren't you practicing them? Because there's no difference, you know, between tolerating a religion and practicing it (according to your argument.)

Perhaps you could provide us with a list of "non-viable religious systems," so that we can amend the constitution to read, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (with the following exceptions provided by robert sievers)..."

If you had grown up in Iran, I guarantee you, you would be demanding that the leaders there denounce Christianity. ("Is Christianity acceptable to you? If so, why not go to the church?") You could replace that sentence with any of hundreds of religions, and it would still sound just as ignorant and intolerant. So what is it that separates Iran from the United States? Does it all come down to Christianity vs. Islam? Two fundamentalist states opposed to each other? Do American ideals mean nothing to you?

PS. You're doing a great job of "winning people to Christ." Every ridiculous argument that you post on this blog pushes me further away from having anything to do with your version of "Christ."

Robert Sievers said...


There are no other religions Obama should denounce. If 50% of his party thought he was Budhist, and didn't want to vote for him because of it, my answer would be different.

The constitution guarentees that the ability to practice any religion is equal across religions. It does not state in any way that all religions are equal. Obama has chosen his way, so BY DEFINITION, he considers that way superior to others. He needs to say that.

Dan S said...

"If a quarter of HIS OWN PARTY thinks he's a Muslim"

Actually, it is a quarter of his own party that have a negative opinion of him, which is probably a very small percentage of democrats.

It just goes to show that if people dislike someone, they will simply make up reasons to justify it.

Fingtree said...

While drinking the blood of Jesus for Holy Communion, the breakdown of the symbolic blood has tickled my taste buds as follows:
The most dominate flavor has been American Sausage, followed by British beef. A hint of Sunni Sushi and Shiite Shawarma along with Hindu Hummus has been there too. A slight sliver of Taliban Tabouleh and Turkish Tea gives it it's balance and full flavor. But I must say that it's the Judaic Jewish Falafel that gives the blood of Jesus that authentic bold and less filling flavor the most!
Can't leave out that conquering Spanish Conquistador Cranberry alcohol content of it as well. That's the ingredient that keeps the sheep numb.
Follow that up with a good smoke from the Hookah Hash Water Pipe and you may find yourself dillusionally reasoning like the daydream believers and robert sievers.

PG said...

What I learned from the young Muslim university students at the mosque near our church, is that -- because of the iconography of the cross and the emphasis on blood -- they believed Christianity was a religion based on and worshipful of violence. Not that our history and our government have done much to change that impression.