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Nothing Hateful Here. No Reason to Disbelieve Given Evidence.

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama's Muslim Childhood
in response to reader comment: Who Proved What

Submitted by Sofa Sogood (United States), May 22, 2008 at 07:40

There was nothing hateful about my post, and it was certainly not "dirt mongering." I'm very offended at these accusations. There was nothing I brought up that is not a perfectly legitimate subject for consideration regarding a Presidential candidate. If, at this point in time, you don't think that deep connections to Islam, and/or being untruthful about it, is a relevant issue, that's your right. But don't accuse others of hatred and dirt mongering just because you disagree with them. By doing that you are doing exactly what you claim to detest.

"Intellectually honest discussions is all I ask from people"

But it could be said that it is your post that lacks intellectual honesty.

You compare having heard a lot of racist speeches because you lived in the South, and that you read a lot of rantings on this site, with a man belonging to and attending a Church for 20 years, who brought his children there, who had a very close relationship with its Pastor, and donated $20,000 a year! These are not comparable, and this is not an "intellectually honest" position.

You say that in Islam, the religion does not pass from the father to the child, but others have said it does. I'm not an expert, but it certainly makes sense that it would.

A Catholic child is Catholic, from baptism on. Should the child die before the Confirmation ceremony at 7 or 8, where the child is actually confirmed in the faith, the child would be buried as a Catholic. There is something similar in almost every religion. Confirmations, Bar Mitzvahs, are rites of passage into responsibility, not a point of acceptance into the faith, which is already presumed.

It's pretty much universally accepted that when one is born into a religion, that you are of that religion until such time as you refute it. I doubt that Islam has any exception to this -- quite the contrary.

You say that although you attended a Mosque as a small child, that doesn't make you a Muslim. Well that's fine. You aren't a Muslim now. From your perspective, you were too young to have been a Muslim. That's a very unusual perspective. If you or Obama choose to discount the fact that you were at one time Muslim because your childhood religion is no longer important to you, you both can do that -- when it comes to your personal definition of your life.

But you are not running for President. Obama is. Definitions about his past need to be factual -- not based on his attitude about it.

I'm sure, if you asked any practicing and religious Muslim family if their 3, 5, 7 or 10 year old children are Muslim, they would not say that they are too young to be Muslims. And those children would say they are Muslims. When I was 4 or 5, I knew what my religion was, and so did my friends of the same age. We said prayers. That's practicing the faith. If I had converted at 10 or just stopped practicing then, I would have clearly known what my original religion was.

To repeat again, it's not an issue, not my issue nor Dr. Pipes, that Obama, is now a Muslim. He is a practicing Christian now. The issue is that he has denied that he ever practiced Islam, which is untrue. He was Muslim as a child. Most people would agree that it's very wrong of him to deny it. There is nothing hateful about that opinion. No one is forcing you to agree with this, or think it's important. It seems, to many people, nothing they discover about Obama is important enough to overcome their dream of his promises of undefined "change" that's going to make everything much better.

As far as proof goes, Dr. Pipes' quotations in his article are pretty clear, as are many other articles, and then there's the NY Times. You are free to do your own research. I see no reason to disbelieve these. If they are incorrect, Obama's campaign aides should make the corrections, without attacking anyone as hateful, and with facts, not attitudes.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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