Monday, January 28, 2008

Why should religion matter?

Leonard C. Pitts, jr. asks this question of people who e-mail, blog a smear campaign about what they presume is Obama's religion. Regardless of what Barack Obama says, that he is a Christian, the smear goes, he must be a Muslim. Aside note here, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured an FBI agent who is Arab-American and presumably Muslim. And also the only guy who was tasked by the FBI to question Saddam Hussein over a period of many months. If we can trust an Islamic FBI agent with this sort of job, we could surely trust one to be a politician, even president. Mr. Pitts agrees that fanatics are scary, those who use violence to make their point against those who dissent represent a religion that no reasonable people should ever want. I'll go along with that 100%.

Now for the people who blog nastiness about the African-American who's father had Muslim roots, have they noticed that religion matters greatly between McCain and Romney? McCain basically makes himself out to be a patriot who would continue GW's disastrous policies in Iraq. Romney is implied to be a "traitor" because at some point he argued a need for troop withdrawal. Romney is a Mormon. Where Huckabee is concerned, religion is all that matters. How about the country? How about the U.S. Constitution? Pitts makes it a graphic statement that bigotry is alive and well, still in this country. Religious bigotry is still a major issue.

So let us rehash the constitutional requirements for being a president: You have to be of a certain age, you have to be an American. Where does it say you need to be of one race and of a specific religion? Not as far as I know. Barack Obama is just as qualified to be president as I am.

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