Sunday, August 24, 2014


Islamophobia. With a side order of irony.
The utter inanity of taking the paranoid rantings of conspiracy theorists seriously aside, if linking the Republican Party to a sense of leftist Islamophobia is considered a valid defense of President Obama, it's no wonder the man's having difficulty. Anyone stuck with idiots among their followers will find things harder than they need to be.

I don't think that President Obama's choice of which deity to pray to actually makes a lick of difference to anyone. Those people who seek to link him to Islam do so for the same reason that the creator of this graphic sought to link Republicans to Islamic values - the idea that Islam and Islamic values are somehow unfit for Americans, and that tarring someone with that brush will help paint them as equally "un-American," and thus someone to be shunned and resisted. But there is no real reason why Islam should be considered any more un-American than any other religion or value structure that has made its way to the shores of North America.

Our subscription to an often fictional public narrative of what it means to be an American does little other than get in the way of honest discussions of serious issues of division and disunity. And the need to constantly pay either piety or lip service simply drives disagreement underground, where it festers rather than find resolution. The idea that if we can just force everyone to pledge public fealty to the correct partisan values that the policy issues will automagically take care of themselves is facetious to the point of utter ludicrousness. Our values concerning religion and reproduction are not where the problem lies. The fact that we're generally unwilling to value one another likely is.

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