This just in: America is afraid of Islam.
A Kansas minister recently posted a sign outside his church informing passers by that, apparently, president-elect Barack Obama is a Muslim.
"America we have a Muslim president this is a sin against the Lord! Ex. 20:3."
Click here to see the CNN video.
In the video the minister explains to the CNN reporter that because Obama believes in "many paths to the same place," or universalism, he is therefore a Muslim. The pastor doesn't, however, explain why he thinks Obama is a Muslim and not a member of any other faith.
It seems the pastor simply picked the faith which with he is the least familiar. If the pastor really knew what he was talking about, he would know Islam is a monotheistic faith. It speaks against false idols and polytheism just as strongly as Christianity does. So... if Obama were really a Muslim, he wouldn't believe in universalism.
The reporter properly brought up the age-old struggle over "separation between church and state," the phrase derived from the first sentence in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." James Madison, an anti-federalist (meaning he liked small government), pushed for the Bill of Rights to counteract the strong federalism of the Constitution (meaning it supported big government).
The purpose of the Bill of Rights was, and is, to make sure the government doesn't abuse its power to manipulate the people. In case the of the separation of church and state, the "Founding Fathers" wrote that part of the amendment to ensure the government couldn't control any religious institution. The motivation behind the amendment was the British government's control over the Church of England, which even today the Queen of England heads up. At several points in time the Church of England outlawed other forms of Protestantism (recall the reason for the Pilgrim voyage) and Catholicism. Obviously the FF's had good reason to protect religious institutions aginst the soon-to-be American government.
What does that brief history reminder have to do with the Kansas minister and his illogical and unintelligent sign? Even if Obama were a Muslim, the First Amendment prevents him from legislating his faith. Even if Obama were a Muslim, he couldn't funnel money only to mosques, he couldn't outlaw other faiths and he couldn't order a genocide against Christians. That's all to say even if those acts were on his to-do list. You don't see George Bush requiring Bibles in schools and replacing the Pledge of Allegiance with the Our Father.
So why did the minister declare Obama to be a Muslim? Because he's scared of Islam, along with most of the country. He's scared that evangelicals will lose their grip on the country just because its future president isn't a cookie-cutter Protestant. Obama's faith is foreign to the minister, so he took advantage of Obama's Muslim heritage and Arab name, found an Old Testament verse to support his thinking, and slapped it up on a sign. And he knew people would buy it, because that's all gullable Christians need to attack another faith-- a random Bible verse and fear.
The pastor didn't say Obama's Jewish, which Americans would accept because our culture is predominiantly Judeo-Christian. He picked a religion he knows Americans at large either disapprove of or just plain hate.
Obama may not read the King James Version and hear fire-and-brimstone sermons, but that doesn't mean he's not a Christian. No human in this world can know the heart of anyone else, including that of Obama. If the country held open season on McCain's faith, I would have the same opinion.