In Briefs: 20 Percent Think Obama Is Muslim

HOWARD MEGDAL: Honestly: does this matter? Aren’t these the same 20 percent who weren’t going to vote for him anyway?

JESSICA BADER: It matters in the sense that most of the people who think that also think very bad things about Muslims.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Right. But if that 20% who conflate the two are harsh critics anyway…

JEFF MORROW: It doesn’t surprise me that you can find 20 percent, because I tend to believe you can find that many people who would believe almost any terrifically stupid claim.

What surprises me is the number increasing.

DANI AKEXIS RYSKAMP: I’m even more surprised by the large increase in the percentage of people claiming not to know what religion Obama is. Either a lot of people just don’t remember what they used to know (have we forgotten the whole Rev. Wright thing so soon?), or all this “omg Muslim!” nonsense is actually giving some people pause.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Question: should the White House send out Rev. Wright on a “Goddamn America” tour?

Or is the bigger point to make that every day the White House is talking about this a day they aren’t touting HCR, Financial Reform, and discussing ways to get America working?

JEFF MORROW: I’d like to see the numbers on how many Americans believe Rev. Wright is a Muslim. I’m guessing it’s in the 30% range.

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP:
I certainly think the White House talking about the president’s religion is a waste of time, given that I fail to see why it matters whether or not he prays every day and in what capacity said prayer does or does not include Christ. But I realize that’s a (jaded?) personal opinion, and that in some contexts it probably matters very much.

That said, I think Robert Gibbs should send Rev. Wright on a “Goddamn Liberals, we gave you cake so shut up!” tour and get back to doing his job.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I thought that this breakdown of the polls done was interesting:

I would think that given the choice between many religions and ‘Muslim or Christian?’ that people would be more apt to choose Christian. But apparently that’s not what those who analyzed the polls thought, nor what happened.

I also wonder: Why did they conduct this poll? Was it to create pointless yet polarizing news? It kind of seems that way. Thanks, guys.

ALLISON REILLY: Another question that needs to be asked with these polls is “In your lifetime, have you ever a. visited a predominantly Muslim country, b. lived with a Muslim, c. worked with a Muslim in a professional setting?” I bet many of those people thinking Obama’s Muslim haven’t done any of the three. If they had, they would be more sensible about this whole issue.

JESSICA BADER: While we’re at it, I’m really annoyed with the segment of punditland saying that it’s Obama’s fault that 20% of the country thinks he’s a Muslim because he’s not constantly shoving his Christianity in everyone’s face.

ALLISON REILLY: What hypocrisy! When JFK was elected, we wanted reassurance that he wouldn’t shove Catholicism in everyone’s face. Now we’re suggesting that we need religion thrust upon us in order to secure trust? It’s nonsensical.


EMILY SAIDEL:
Apparently 20% of people also admit to peeing in pools and being excessively tired. So…statistics with a grain of salt.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN:
I pee in pools mainly out of fear of our Muslim president!

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