In the wake of his weekend rally, Glenn Beck kept up the drumbeat of criticism about President Obama’s religion, calling it a “perversion” and saying that America “isn’t recognizing his version of Christianity,” which Beck characterized as “liberation theology.”
Despite critique of Obama’s Christianity, a recent poll showed that nearly 20% of Americans believe falsely that the president is Muslim.
Why is there so much attention on Obama’s religion? Does it matter what religion the president is?
If our constitution proclaims that we must keep religion out of the affairs of the State, and I believe it does, then insisting that our President should be a member of any one religious group is going against the Constitution. Not to speak of how ridiculous it seems for an advanced country to elect a president with ancient religious beliefs. Should humankind remain stagnant in their religious beliefs while advancing in every other field? I would, and I am sure a majority of Americans would, like to have a president who has the ability to lead a country, to deal with international relations and handle world and local issues efficiently and compassionately.
I have always marveled at the purile and ridiculous attitudes of conservative Christian groups. Some years ago I was invited to deliver a lecture on Gandhi and nonviolence at a prestigious Nebraska University. Among the audience was an old couple who came up to me after the lecture and shook my hands. The husband asked: “Are you a Christian?” I said: “No, I prefer to be known as a Universalist since I respect all religions as equal and honorable.”
“Oh, what a pity,” was his response. “You would have been such a wonderful Christian.”
I wonder what he, and people instigated by Glenn Beck, would have thought of the Rev. Louis Fisher’s description in his biography of Gandhi as: “The most Christ-like person”?
I often do marvel at the number of Americans who choose to remain blissfully ignorant of developments around the world, and in our own country, because they are so disgusted with and distrustful of the media. They depend so much on someone telling them what is happening and then it does not matter if that someone is biased or not. With a middle name “Hussein” it is somewhat understandable that many believe the president to be a Muslim. But then this was known to everyone even before he was elected to the office so why does it make such a big difference now?
Finally, it does make me wonder how can God (and what kind of God would that be?) who would open a hot line with Glenn Beck and inspire him to spread hate and prejudice, especially in an election year? Does Mr. Beck’s God awaken only when America is about to go to the polls?