Obama’s faith questioned

November 17, 2008 — by Mira Chaykin and Kavya Nagarajan

Presidential candidate Barack Obama frequently has been accused of following the Muslim faith and even deemed the Anti-Christ, despite the fact that Obama is an avid follower of Christianity.

These flimsy claims were derived mostly from the fact that Obama’s middle name is Hussein and that his father is Muslim, but Obama had almost no connection to his father. He was raised by his Christian mother and her Christian parents for the majority of his lifetime, due to his parents’ divorce when he was only 2.

The matter at hand, however, is not Obama’s religion, but religion affects politics.

It is common knowledge that church and state are, as outlined in the Constitution, supposed to be independent of one another. As long as Obama keeps his religion separate from his politics, we have no means by which to condemn him for following a faith. What he does in private practice is completely irrelevant to what he will do in office.

Despite this written freedom, it is obvious that if Obama were a Muslim, he would be fighting a losing battle in his presidential, pursuit especially after 9/11 demolished the image of the Muslim people.

Even if Obama had been Muslim, though, it would be absolutely ridiculous to use that as reason to deny him his candidacy. Our job as citizens is to vote for a president based on his or her policies and future plans for our country, not on their religion.

America claims itself to be a forward-thinking nation that has taken several steps in the fight against discrimination, from the Jews in the Holocaust to the African Americans in the Civil Rights movement. Clearly, we have yet to grasp the concept of equal treatment, as demonstrated by the uproar over Obama’s faith.

Even if Obama were a Muslim, which he is not, it wouldn’t mean that he conspires with Al-Qaeda, nor would it mean once in office he would take it upon himself to become a suicide bomber. His middle name is unrelated to his faith, and it is preposterous that these connections are made at all. These references are similar to asserting that a Christian president could potentially restart the Crusades. The actions of a few can never determine the motives of an entire people.

America needs to stop promoting generalizations and show that we can look beyond the surface, and base one of the most powerful positions in the country on capability, not appearance. George W. Bush is a white Christian, and most of us would agree that didn’t turn out so well. To take a stand against discrimination once and for all, it is imperative that we judge future presidents by their ability and talent, not by their religion. ◆