National Catholic Reporter

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20 Percent of Americans Think Obama is a Muslim

There are many reasons that our nation’s political discourse has become coarsened over the years. But, here is the main one: willful stupidity.

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 20 percent of Americans now believe that President Barack Obama is a Muslim. More than a third of self-identified conservative Republicans, believe Obama is a Muslim, which is more than the percentage of Republicans who vote in your average primary election.

During the campaign, Sen. John McCain was at a Town Hall meeting when someone in the audience suggested that Obama was a Muslim. McCain corrected the person then and there. Who among the Republican leadership will stand up now and correct the record?

Read our new blog series, La Iglesia Hispana, focusing on Hispanic Catholics, the church's new emerging majority.
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We can disagree about many things in a democracy, indeed such disagreement is the very stuff of democracy. But, there is no arguing with stupidity. As Cong. Barney Frank once said to a woman holding a photo of Obama defaced to make him look like Hitler, it is better to argue with one’s dining room table than to argue with such stupidity.

Update: Cathy Grossman treats this issue at her blog at USAToday. She raises the important point that the use of the word "muslim" may now have become a slur.

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