We see a sad irony in the fear-mongering of some so-called Christian leaders over the religious orientation of our president-elect, Barack Obama. Over the many months of the campaign, they vigorously circulated the claim that Obama was a closet Muslim, or at the very least, not a “real” Christian as he has publicly professed to be. The more viable Obama’s candidacy became, the more vitriolic the alarm.
With the election past and Obama’s victory secure, the concern is still heard on occasion, and the tone now is of looming gloom and doom. For the sake of discussion, let’s say a committed Muslim would run for president. What exactly is the great fear? “Muslim” does not necessarily equate to “terrorist” just as “Christian” does not necessarily equate to “crusader” or “klansman.” In truth, the more committed an adherent is to the ethical heart of either religion the more slanderous such a connection would be.
Every indication is that our president-elect is an honorable and reasonable man. If these so-called Christian leaders oppose Mr. Obama because he offends their conservative political convictions, then call him “liberal,” not the “antichrist.” There is a difference. Cloaking political persuasions with the sheep’s clothing of religious language is shameful demagogy. Especially in a land where freedom of religion is the fortress that protects all citizens, not just those launching verbal artillery in the name of Jesus. —DR