Last Sunday Colin Powell said this on Meet the Press regarding the off suggestions of Obama being a Muslim:
“I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, ‘He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.’ This is not the way we should be doing it in America.”
On Powell’s overall premise I completely agree. Too many have this idea that being Muslim is a negative thing. However, I want to disagree with Powell.
He has essentially said that if Obama was a Muslim and not a Christian, it shouldn’t matter at all. In other words, if Obama wasn’t a Christian, those Christians who are voting for him should do so anyway.
On this, I think Powell is wrong. I’ll explain why…
- The faith of a Christian believer should influence how they vote. Faith should integrate with all other parts of life including politics. This isn’t to say that we should use our faith and politics to talk down to others or force views on others. It is to say that faith shouldn’t be put in one section of our lives, it should be in all sections.
- The statistics show that younger Christians are less Republican than their parents. Part of the reason there is this idea that Obama is big among young Christians is because he is a professing believer in Christ. It is weird to have the outspoken Christian on the Democratic side, and have the person who says faith is more of a personal thing on the Republican side. 4 years ago it was directly the opposite. And I think that makes big difference.
- So if a Christian’s faith integrates with how they vote and because Obama is such an outspoken Christian…if he was a Muslim, wouldn’t that totally change how many of those young Christian voters are supporting him? I think that many of them are voting for him because he is an outspoken Christian. If he was a Muslim, I believe that many Christians who are supporting him would not. This isn’t because being Muslim is bad or means Obama is a terrorist though.
So I disagree with Powell if Obama was a Muslim it shouldn’t be a big deal. Because there are plenty of Christian supporters of Obama and I think many would be less inclined to vote for him if he wasn’t a Christian. Christians often vote for Christians and I think that is a good thing because faith should influence how people vote.