A Trib Talk person ranted in our Columbia Tribune that he refused to acknowledge Barack Obama as our president because he couldn’t confirm that Obama wasn’t Muslim or that he’d converted to Christianity…I find myself scratching my head. Fear mongering is not new in America. When John F. Kennedy was elected, anti-Catholicism reared its ugly head all across the country. So here we are again. I don’t know whether President Obama is a Christian or not. But if he’s not, should it matter? We’ve had adulterers for presidents (many of them, as a matter of fact), we’ve had openly racist presidents, ignorant presidents, and we’ve had more than our fair share of elitist, richer-than-God presidents. How many of our past presidents represent me, for who I am, how I live, and what religion I practice? Not very many. I’m a middle-class woman, and to date, there’s not been a female president, so should I say, “Ah, hell no, I’m tired of all these rich, power-hungry men making decisions for me…I’m not going to acknowledge my president until we elect a woman!”
It sounds absurd because it is absurd. No matter who my president is, I back him. Peanut farmers, rich men, Catholics, Baptists, Atheists (and we’ve had several)…white, black, cat lovers, adulterers, liars (and wouldn’t that constitute most of them?)… No matter their flaws, they’re still our president, the president of the most amazing country in the world. So people who denounce Obama and say, “He’s not my president,” I find myself wanting to tell them to go find a country that has a leader satisfactory enough for them. Except I know that fear-mongering is about ignorance and intolerance, and I find it most disturbing that God-loving, God fearing people are often the most judgmental. Those are the people who should take out their mirrors before they get out their magnifying glasses.
I wonder what those people would’ve done had they known all the other indiscretions of past presidents. Thomas Jefferson, for starters… Then again, at least he was a Christian, right? But can we prove it?