Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why do Republican candidates always say Allahu Akbar?

Last week, after the show ended at the Iowa political theatre, I watched, thanks to my favorite television channel, Marco Rubio's "victory" speech after he came third.  Towards the end of that speech, Rubio said:
I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ, I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to come this far with each of you
I find "God bless America" and "In god we trust" difficult to handle, and Rubio went far above and beyond those.

Which is when I got to thinking, what Rubio says so publicly is no different from saying "Allahu Akbar" when all that phrase means is "god is great."  If at all, Allahu Akbar is a lot more succinct than the lengthy manner in which Rubio phrased it.

The winner of the Iowa circus, Ted Cruz, opened his speech with, "Let me first of all say, to God be the glory."  There, isn't that also nothing but his version of "Allahu Akbar"?

Why is it ok for the GOP presidential contenders to walk around saying god is great, but then they want to hassle Muslims who want to come here as refugees fleeing dictators and chaos, and the Muslims who are here, only because they say "god is great" but in Arabic?

Can't we all agree to keep god out of the public square and refer to whatever gods in private spaces?  I am with Susan Jacoby when she writes about being Sick and Tired of ‘God Bless America':
our political campaigns are still conducted as if all potential voters were among the faithful. The presumption is that candidates have everything to gain and nothing to lose by continuing their obsequious attitude toward orthodox religion and ignoring the growing population of those who make up a more secular America.
How significant is the secular population?
Americans who say religion is not important in their lives and who do not belong to a religious group, according to the Pew Research Center, have risen in numbers from an estimated 21 million in 2008 to more than 36 million now.
Which means
At 22.8 percent, according to Pew, the unchurched make up a larger group than Catholics, any single Protestant denomination and small minorities of Jews, Muslims and Hindus.
The god (or the son of god) references by politicians means that "“religious freedom is in danger of becoming code for accepting public money while imposing faith-based values on others."

Jacoby ends with this:
Just once in my life, I would like the chance to vote for a presidential candidate who ends his or her appeals with Thomas Paine’s observation that “the most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason.”
We can dream, right?

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