Honestly, I thought we'd had this discussion already, but America is again talking about the religious background of our elected Big Cheese. The discussion has taken itself over to Twitter, where the phrase Obama is a Muslim is trending. The reaction comes on the heels of a recent survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a North Carolina-based polling firm affiliated with the Democratic Party. The firm surveyed more than 1200 likely Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi, over your standard-issue range of topics (age, gender, political identity, opinion of Republican primary candidates, religious beliefs, etc.). Oh, and also, they asked poll-takers to identify the President's religious affiliation.
In Alabama, 45% of those polled believed Obama was Muslim, with 14% correctly identifying him as Christian and 34% unsure. To the west in Mississippi, 52% believed the President as Muslim, 12% identified him as Christian, and 36% were unsure.
The poll also asked subjects whether they believed in education (Alabama: 60% No, 26% Yes, 13% Not Sure; Mississippi: 66% No, 22% Yes, 11% Not Sure), and whether they believe interracial marriage should be legal (Alabama: 67% Legal, 21% Illegal, 12% Not Sure; Mississippi: 54% Legal, 29% Illegal, 17% Not sure). The margin of error for the study was about +/-4% in each state.
Here's a video several people have linked to. It examines how closely the President follows the Five Pillars of Islam:
Most people tweeting about the study wonder why this is trending (we just told you), remind us of the correct answer (he's not), or wonder why the president's religious affiliation is even an issue:
Obama is a muslim is trending why?
What if obama is a muslim!(He's not) Isn't USA a free country! Plus i dont think he did any harm against anything the US doesn't believe in!
I hate these trends like "Obama is a Muslim"..what difference does it make? to anyone? who cares? IT'S IRRELEVANT TO WHAT HE DOES!
Obama is a Muslim is trending. And what if he is Muslim? Muslims are humans too, if you're trying to insult someone, just stop
Others found it a ripe topic for satire or playfulness:
45% of Alabama GOP thinks Obama is a Muslim but have no idea what 45% is.
Obama is a Muslim? Then I'm a Jedi 🙂
Obama is a muslim? Bart Simpson is yellow, day follows night, I ate nodles for dinner - other things that don't matter, at all.
And others point to the President's stance on Israel, or suggest that the his religious affiliation could have an affect on geopolitics:
Ok so Obama is a Muslim but he supports Israel? Im now convinced that people are just ignorant
People say "Obama is a Muslim" shouldnt trend and it doesnt matter, but it could effect his handling and opinion of the Iran/Israel issue!
This last guy could have a point, except that Obama himself has publicly identified himself as Christian. Even then, though, while I never actually looked at the job application for President of the United States (thought about filling it out, once, but it seemed daunting), I know that there's no line on the form asking about your religious beliefs. To do so would be unconstitutional.
Unconstitutional to ask or no, the fact that the President's religion is such a hot conversation topic suggests it will come into play in the coming election.
And how about you? What do you think about the President's religious beliefs, or its validity as an item of public discourse. You could tell your friends via facebook, but they'll probably ignore you. Still, you can let us know what you think in the comments. Please keep it civil and germane.