Barack Obama is not a Muslim. Can we all please just accept that fact? Perpetuating lies about anyone, especially a national figure, simply creates hysteria and does no one a good service, especially America.
Telling the truth and disagreeing vigorously about policies seem like simple enough strategies, don't they? Yet nearly one-third of Americans persist in believing this untruth about Obama's faith.
For the past few years, Pew surveys have shown that 12% of Americans believed Obama was a Muslim. For some reason, according to a recent Harris poll, that number has now skyrocketed to about 33% of Americans. What is driving this obsession with misidentifying our president's faith life?
Perhaps the persistence of the rumor, and its recent expansion in numbers of adherents, has something to do with the divisive first year of Obama's administration. Many Americans simply do not like President Obama at all. The reasons are many. His obsession with health care while neglecting economic leadership. A distaste for American business leadership and financial markets. An unwillingness to call terrorism what it is. Hand-wringing in the face of Afghanistan decisions. Perhaps there are just a lot of Americans who do not like President Obama, and this faith falsehood allows them to vent that dislike. Labeling Obama a Muslim feels viscerally good to many a voter. After all, many in the Muslim world would seek to destroy America.
However, disliking President Obama, or disagreeing with his philosophies or leadership, does not make lie-fabrication acceptable. Calling him ineffective or misguided is one thing; misrepresenting the facts is another thing altogether.