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#1 Edited by JasonR86 (9604 posts) -

According to an online survey by a Boise radio station, 60% of the polled Idahoans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.  I don't mean to pick on Idahoans as I've heard this sentiment from a lot of sources.  I've heard it from my own family and I live in the apparently progressive Washington state.  Here are some of the comments from readers responding to the article;  
 
"What does it take for you knot heads to finally get it through your sheeple heads?
* Obama is a foreign-born Muslim! 
He endorses a Victory mosque at the 9-11 sight. 
He is destroying our nation. 
Muslims are instructed to kill infidels. You all are infidels unless you are Muslim. 
Obama is doing his best to see that our country becomes a third world country." 
 
"First, the non-believers condemn the President about the Church he was a member of. Look at his family. Do they look like they are muslin? He smokes and drinks. Like any good Christian man."
 
"NO QUESTION OBAMA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!"
 
In response to this poll and the comments I immediately thought; who cares.  I want to pose a few questions to all of you.  Does the religion of our President really matter?  Does he/she have to have a religious affiliation?  Does a person's religion affect their job performance?
 
 I haven't been in a position to hire anyone as I'm a graduate student but my father has.  He has told me many times that there is a workplace-life and a home-life.  One can believe whatever they wish while they are at home.  That's their business and they are free to do whatever they wish.  But at work, everyone has to work together for a common goal.  He's a superintendent for a construction company.  Their goal is to build the highest quality concrete structures as quickly and as cheaply as possible so that their company can make a huge profit.  Where does religion fit in to this workplace environment and goal?  It doesn't.  He has told me he hires people based on their potential to meet the company's goals.  Whatever they do at home is their business just don't bring it to work.  I tend to agree with him.  
 
But, for some reason, we look at the president not as a person doing a job but as some sort of idolized role model.  Yes, his job is very important and he should be held to a higher standard then most.  But by what standard are we measuring him?  I would rate the president by his job performance.  I don't think one's personal life is relevant to their work unless one can't separate their work-life from their home-life and one adversely affects the other. 

But what would it matter if he did announce that he was a Muslim?  Would that be such a huge problem?  I know that Muslims have been stereotyped since 9/11 but what people need to realize is we are fighting against a group of people not a religion.  I know that many have realized this, and I may be preaching to the choir, but it worries me to see a poll like the one above, and the responses to the poll.  'News' like this perpetuates the idea that a religion, and its people, can be inherently bad.  It's sad.  It reminds me of how so many Jews have been treated over the years.  It saddens me to see how little we have progressed.  At times I hear people talk about how intellectually advanced we are in this modern day and age of advanced technology, growing research in medical fields, and so on and so forth.  Seeing things like this, I tend to disagree.
 
 
 
Source:
http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2010/08/31/idahopolitics/online_poll_kboi_listeners_obama_foreignborn_muslim   

#2 Edited by crusader8463 (14413 posts) -

In my experience it only matters to deeply religious people, because they have been taught all their lives that those who do not submit to the same beliefs that they do are lesser people that need to be pitied and looked down on for their ignorance. It's because of their ignorance they can't be trusted until they have been enlightened to think the same way they do. It's like they think that only religious people think things like stealing, murder, and rape are wrong and that by not following their religion you are saying it's ok to do those thing. So you obviously can't be trusted, because it's only a matter of time until you try to rape/murder me and try to rob me blind!
 
OBVIOUSLY this does not apply to every religious person out there so don't flame me letting me know how wrong I am because you follow religion XYZ. It is just that in my experience with people who take their religion very seriously that you can tell they always look down on others and feel like they are better then they are because they follow some religion. It's like you should be honoured that they are even taking the time to talk to you. 
 
EDIT: I would like to add that religion does plays an important part in who I vote for, because I don't trust people who come from deeply religious backgrounds. I feel that they will often times fall back on their religious indoctrination when it comes times to make important decisions, and since I find  about 99% of religion wrong I don't want the person leading my province/country to base their decisions on what some bible tells them is right or wrong.

#3 Posted by President_Barackbar (3432 posts) -

It shouldn't, seeing as the government is to be run completely outside of religious barriers to ensure impartiality and equal representation for all people. People who call Obama a Muslim just don't like him and are bitter that the neo con didn't win.

#4 Edited by NTM (7263 posts) -

Yay for WA [thumbs up]. Don't go to WSU... Anyways, Obama is neither Muslim, or Christian. Yes, I do care, but it all depends. He's spiritual, it doesn't mean he has to have a religion really. I'm still not sure what I believe in (though I do mostly follow by Christian faith).
#5 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

It shouldn't and it doesn't.

#6 Posted by mrfizzy (1517 posts) -
@JasonR86: you ask a very good question. The answer to that question is that no, it doesn't matter, or at least it shouldn't. Church and State should be kept separate anyway so it should be of no consequence as to who or what anyone in politics believes in assuming that they are willing to put aside their beliefs and be unbiased when it comes to decision making. Also i would really love if some of those who are screaming about him being a Muslim would offer some evidence of their claims.  
#7 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

It's pretty sad that this whole issue is even still a controversy. It really shouldn't make a bit of difference what the president's religious beliefs are, so long as they do not preclude the separation of church and state.

#8 Posted by jim_dandy (891 posts) -

It matters if you're a fucking xenophobe.

#9 Posted by BunkerBuster (1042 posts) -

If our next president was a devout Unitologist, shit would be awesome. 

#10 Posted by Tebbit (4449 posts) -

Oh baby, I was just skimming through this, read your quotes in the second paragraph and thought that they were your sentiment. I had a buttload of verbose-laden hate-crimes to launch at you... and then I read the rest and saw that you were not crazy. 
 
Bullet. Dodged.

#11 Posted by Shadow (4977 posts) -

Rednecks are fun, huh?

#12 Posted by Underachiever007 (2468 posts) -

It shouldn't. Although I'd like to see the reactions if our next President turned out to be a Scientologist.

#13 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

No

#14 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

You'd be a fool to think it doesn't factor into some people's voting behaviour.

#15 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Man,live and let live,it shouldn't  but many people do.  

#16 Posted by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

Well, it really doesn't matter. Ideally, I'd personally like a president that can at least claim to be agnostic, but it seems like it'll never happen. 
 
As long as he's doing things that progress the country, then religion doesn't matter.

#17 Edited by AngriGhandi (754 posts) -

It shouldn't, but hoo boy 
if you want to get elected you'd better check off that checkbox

#18 Posted by Gamer_152 (14051 posts) -

A president's religion shouldn't matter at all.

Moderator
#19 Posted by Pox22 (342 posts) -

I don't care what our president believes, as long his or her moral compass is guided by something beyond themselves--and that they uphold the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

#20 Posted by Video_Game_King (35976 posts) -

No, not really. It only counted for Kennedy, and like Obama's race, people forgot about it kinda quickly. At least I forgot that race was a factor rather quickly.

#21 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -

Where did all these "Obama is a muslim" rumors come from?

#22 Posted by 02sfraser (847 posts) -

In reality it shouldn't, but heavy Christians dominate such a big part of the vote you have to portray yourself as one. Even here in the UK the PM has to act in a Christian manner despite probably not having a care for religion at all.

#23 Posted by lilburtonboy7489 (1948 posts) -

noooooooooo

#24 Posted by TooWalrus (13135 posts) -

It absolutely matters, Christians, Jews, Muslims, they're cool with me, butI don't want to be led by a Scientologist, or a member of the flat earth society.

#25 Posted by scorch62 (103 posts) -

In the sense that it would sway voting in certain areas, yes. As far as being a decent President, no.

#26 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

no it shouldn't matter on what people's religion are. i don't care to much about that kind of stuff. i do agree with keep work life in the work place and keep home life at home.

#27 Edited by Jayzilla (2555 posts) -

It only matters when they try to impose it upon others. It also only matters if they try and take away religious freedom for all. Religious persecution is one of the most heinous crimes a leader can allow to happen. It leads to all other sorts of evils.

#28 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

Don't ask, don't tell!

#29 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Underachiever007 said:
" It shouldn't. Although I'd like to see the reactions if our next President turned out to be a Scientologist. "
Onion News Network covered this. Surry Cruise(Tom Cruise's daughter) will be the Black Queen of a new world order in 2037.
#30 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@TheSeductiveMoose said:
" Where did all these "Obama is a muslim" rumors come from? "
His complexion.
#31 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

How else would you know if he's a secret muslim that hates America and Freedom?

#32 Posted by Yummylee (21242 posts) -

Politics and Religion in one? I am astonished at the lack of comments/views this thread has.

#33 Edited by melcene (3056 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

" According to an online survey by a Boise radio station, 60% of the polled Idahoans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.  I don't mean to pick on Idahoans as I've heard this sentiment from a lot of sources.  I've heard it from my own family and I live in the apparently progressive Washington state.  Here are some of the comments from readers responding to the article;    "What does it take for you knot heads to finally get it through your sheeple heads? * Obama is a foreign-born Muslim!  He endorses a Victory mosque at the 9-11 sight.  He is destroying our nation.  Muslims are instructed to kill infidels. You all are infidels unless you are Muslim.  Obama is doing his best to see that our country becomes a third world country."    "First, the non-believers condemn the President about the Church he was a member of. Look at his family. Do they look like they are muslin? He smokes and drinks. Like any good Christian man." "NO QUESTION OBAMA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!"   In response to this poll and the comments I immediately thought; who cares.  I want to pose a few questions to all of you.  Does the religion of our President really matter?  Does he/she have to have a religious affiliation?  Does a person's religion affect their job performance?   I haven't been in a position to hire anyone as I'm a graduate student but my father has.  He has told me many times that there is a workplace-life and a home-life.  One can believe whatever they wish while they are at home.  That's their business and they are free to do whatever they wish.  But at work, everyone has to work together for a common goal.  He's a superintendent for a construction company.  Their goal is to build the highest quality concrete structures as quickly and as cheaply as possible so that their company can make a huge profit.  Where does religion fit in to this workplace environment and goal?  It doesn't.  He has told me he hires people based on their potential to meet the company's goals.  Whatever they do at home is their business just don't bring it to work.  I tend to agree with him.    But, for some reason, we look at the president not as a person doing a job but as some sort of idolized role model.  Yes, his job is very important and he should be held to a higher standard then most.  But by what standard are we measuring him?  I would rate the president by his job performance.  I don't think one's personal life is relevant to their work unless one can't separate their work-life from their home-life and one adversely affects the other.  But what would it matter if he did announce that he was a Muslim?  Would that be such a huge problem?  I know that Muslims have been stereotyped since 9/11 but what people need to realize is we are fighting against a group of people not a religion.  I know that many have realized this, and I may be preaching to the choir, but it worries me to see a poll like the one above, and the responses to the poll.  'News' like this perpetuates the idea that a religion, and its people, can be inherently bad.  It's sad.  It reminds me of how so many Jews have been treated over the years.  It saddens me to see how little we have progressed.  At times I hear people talk about how intellectually advanced we are in this modern day and age of advanced technology, growing research in medical fields, and so on and so forth.  Seeing things like this, I tend to disagree.     Source: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2010/08/31/idahopolitics/online_poll_kboi_listeners_obama_foreignborn_muslim    "

I understand your concerns but I wouldn't be terribly concerned about it.  Yes, people are stupid.  During the last presidential election process, some insane number like 70 or 80% of people had no idea who were the current Speaker and Senate leader.  Nor did they have any idea who some of the big names belonged to.  But not only that, people are also stupid about things like geography and history.  So of course you're going to see polls like this.  The media WANTS to show how dumb people are so that we can all feel hopeless. 
 
Also, Washington is a progressive state, at least on the western side of the mountains.  Eastern WA is very conservative.  And, may I point out that this kind of stupidity isn't at all limited to one side.
#34 Posted by Toxin066 (3254 posts) -
#35 Posted by TonyBlue87 (291 posts) -

I feel that the President's religion does matter, because that is what will inform his/her decision making process.  You can separate church and state on paper all you want, but you can't remove it from influencing the individual; it is part of who they are.  As a Catholic, I make decisions that are based on my faith.  They're not blind decisions, mind you, but I definitely have my morals guiding me in every part of my life.  It's part of who I am.
 
The problem, as the OP pointed out, is gross ignorance.  Muslims aren't taught to destroy infidels (especially not the way that particular poll-taker indicated), just like Catholics aren't taught to threaten others with eternal damnation.  So many people aren't smart or responsible enough to do some research of their own before making ridiculous accusations.  It's frustrating to read these things, and I am shocked that so many ignorant people can spew more hatred than the very people they're criticizing.

#36 Posted by glorious_leader (107 posts) -

It's not what religion the president is, but whether or not they're willing to put their faith before their people that makes a difference.

#37 Edited by Famov (768 posts) -

The president's religion only matters if he/she makes it matter. I am willing to vote for a Christian, but not a fundamentalist Christian. Ditto secular Jew vs Orthodox Jew. 
 
An interesting problem that Muslim politicians will face in the United States (and perhaps moreso in Western Europe) is how uncomfortable non Muslims are bound to be by the public demonstrations of Muslim faith. In most Christian sects prayer is private, but this is not the case with Islam. You can all count me among the people who are made uncomfortable by public prayer, especially if the religion in question is alien to me. 
 
I am almost certainly willing to vote for atheists, as long the person in question isn't on some crusade to secularize the world. The concept to keep in mind here is "tolerance".
#38 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @TheSeductiveMoose said:
" Where did all these "Obama is a muslim" rumors come from? "
His complexion. "
Ah, ok gotcha.
#39 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5094 posts) -

It's not supposed to.

#40 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Abyssfull said:
" Politics and Religion in one? I am astonished at the lack of comments/views this thread has. "
Topic title shoulda been "I am a girl and America and religion"
#41 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5250 posts) -

It really shouldn't but people can get real retarded when it comes to religion.

#42 Posted by JasonR86 (9604 posts) -

@melcene
 
I live in Washington and have for my whole life.  There are times when I get real tired of the whole 'progressive' nonsense.  It's snobbish and arrogant and I don't think we are as progressive as we would like to think we are.

#43 Posted by JasonR86 (9604 posts) -

@TonyBlue87
 
I see where you're coming from and I agree to an extent.  One's religion will dictate how they behave and how they think.  But I've always believed that one's job requires broader, more objective thinking.  I can't help but think that religion can only lead to passionate, subjective lines of thought that may not be very beneficial in a workplace setting.  There's nothing wrong with that line of thought but I think a job requires different ways of thinking.

#44 Posted by ProfessorEss (7278 posts) -

It's more important than anything ever.

...or at least that's what I've been led to believe.

#45 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Unless he's the second coming of Altman I'm utterly unconcerned.

#46 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:
" @melcene  I live in Washington and have for my whole life.  There are times when I get real tired of the whole 'progressive' nonsense.  It's snobbish and arrogant and I don't think we are as progressive as we would like to think we are. "
Where in WA is the big question.  If you live over in Eastern WA, of course you're not.  If you live on the Western side of the mountains, especially in King County, then you understand why people call the state progressive - most of the population is in King County, and the people in King County ARE snobbish and arrogant and like to think of themselves as progressive.  No, they're not as progressive as they'd like to think.  They're often too busy just trying to follow in California's footsteps.
#47 Edited by TonyBlue87 (291 posts) -
@JasonR86: 
 
You're absolutely right that one's job requires objective thinking; I'm not arguing that. My point is the old cliché "you take the man out of the ___, but you can't take the ___ out of the man."  If that wasn't true, then we wouldn't have 2 parties, special interest groups, debates, court juries, or anything else where views can differ. Nothing is ever purely objective.
 
As for "passionate, subjective lines of thought," that really comes down to whatever the subject at hand is. My faith doesn't influence my decision as to what file type I should convert a graphic to, but it will help me decide how I'll behave at the company's open bar Christmas party.
 
EDIT: Perhaps a more accurate example would be how I behave and present myself to my manager when asking for a raise.
#49 Posted by FlyingRat (1445 posts) -

This just in: Rednecks are fucking stupid.

#50 Posted by TheHBK (5463 posts) -

It matters to people because you want someone who thinks the way you do, believes what you believe.  Makes you feel better I guess.  But no, it should not matter.  Though in my belief, the person running this joint should not be religious.  Religion always seems to fuck shit up.