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God, Islam, American Christians and redistribution: A response to Christina

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama's Muslim Childhood
in response to reader comment: WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Submitted by skram (United States), Nov 3, 2008 at 10:01

Christina's comment of October 19 seems to reflect the views of a religious fundamentalist, full of fear and suspicion and incapable of rational thought. But that's not true, is it, Christina? Your arguments are in two parts, one for American Christians, and one for non-Christians.

The core of your argument for American Christians is that "a person even mildly affiliated with the beliefs of the muslim religion" would be bad for America as president because Muslims are "responsible for all the deaths on that horrible day [of 9/11]" and "because many of the citizens of this country have completely turned from God." Of course Christina, you know that Christians have committed acts of terrorism, including in the US (Oklahoma) and you do not condemn Christianity or all Christian for that.

You also know that the acts on 9/11 are condemned by most Muslims, including the leaders of the major schools of Islam, as contrary to fundamental tenants of the faith. Christina, you must also be impressed that Barak Obama is not among the "citizens of this country have completely turned from God." Quite the contrary. His faith has sustained him and provides the basis for his moral convictions and he is someone for whom, as for you, "religion is extremely important."

Your second argument is about the founding fathers, who "never intended for the government to provide people with health care, welfare, and all of the other government sponsered programs." Christina, you also know that they never intended to end slavery. In their wisdom, the three branches of government have responded to many challenges the founding father never envisaged but fortunately provided the tools for our democracy to deal with. Obama would be the last to expect "the government to give you everything on a silver platter." Christina, you are correct to raise doubts about the Bush administration pushing so hard for the "government to buy and own stock in our banks" with the support of the Republican candidate McCain, who wants to continue his policies at home and abroad. Christina, are you asking if Bush and McCain are in favor of "socialism or communism"? I would be curious to know your answer. Obama is not.

The progressive income tax he explained to Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (the Plumber) is an idea of Theodore Roosevelt, whom McCain so admires and one that is basic the the Christian worldview. As a devout Christian, you may be unhappy that the deep sense of charity and solidarity for the less fortunate in society, which is so fundamental to Christian theology, is not better reflected by greater redistribution of wealth that the 4% marginal increase in the taxes of peoples earning over $250,000. Perhaps you are upset that Obama does not go far enough in proposing to redistribute the wealth to meet your religious convictions.

Perhaps you favor McCain, who said "Here's what I really believe. That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more." Is McCain a socialist, Chritstina? From your implied definition of socialism (progressive income tax without regard to state ownership in the means of production) Sarah Palin is much more of a socialist that Obama or McCain since she said "it's collectively Alaskans [who] own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs." So I agree with most of your points that seem to support Obama strongly as someone who understands that Islam has been distorted by fundamentalists who commit terrorism, whose Christian values guide him, whose approach to progressive income tax is in a long tradition Republicans have supported and certainly is reflected in statements by McCain and Palin, and who agrees that "this country will not change until people hold themselves accountable for the current problems they have." I cannot follow you when you conclude that they should not hold the government accountable. Our current problems (financial, security, reputation abrod,etc) have been created by the Bush government, which should be held accountable. I also cannot agree that "this country is so great is because GOD BLESSED US FROM THE VERY BEGINNING." That is the sort of reasoning that led a few misguided Muslims to embrace the horrendous hostility to us and to use terrorism. Think hard, Christina, about whether the problem is not with people like you who believe God made them and their country/religion great, rather than with a 4% increase in marginal taxation on those earning over a quarter of million dollars a year.

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