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A secular anthropologist

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?
in response to reader comment: Barack Obama's mother MUST HAVE converted to islam if only temporarily.

Submitted by Steve Jacobs (United States), Mar 28, 2008 at 14:11

I know these things about Sen. Obama's mother... 1) She was an anthropologist, 2) she was secular, per Sen. Obama's own statements. I believe that it is very common for anthropologists to be secular. I have a good friend who has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology who is a secular humanist (which I am too) and it believe me, it is their nature to look at religion very academically/scientifically, not elevating any one religion over another.

I would not find it at all surprising if she married a muslim without converting to the religion and having that understanding with her husband up-front. Even if she did participate in the religious activities, I would bet she viewed it as only as 'playing the game' she had to play to get what she wanted out of it (as many 'religous' people do) and I would also bet that she found the experience very interesting and useful as an anthropologist.


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