Once again, the rumors are flying about Barack Obama being a Muslim "Manchurian Candidate." Jim Wallis of Sojourners who knows Obama well has an articulate defense of Obama against those who wish to spread false rumors about Obama. I urge everyone to read it just to get their facts straight.
The question Wallis does not address is what if Obama really were a Muslim? We supposedly live in a pluralistic society, and supposedly every person is free to practice the religion that he or she chooses. We've come along way from the days when JFK had to defend himself for being Roman Catholic, but we have not come as far as we should have. The brouhaha over Mitt Romney's membership in the Latter Day Saints this year proves it.
Beyond the falsity of the claims of Obama being a Muslim, what bothers me is the xenophobic attitude of so many Americans towards Muslims. Despite the fact that 99%+ of the Muslims in the world want nothing more than to live their lives in peace, the predominant picture of Islam in America is of a terrorist. Perhaps someday we will look back on the charges that Obama was a Muslim in the same way we now look back on the charges that JFK was a puppet of the Vatican. Hopefully that day will come, but I fear that prejudice will always be a part of our national discourse.
Grace and Peace,