No. Absolutely, unequivocally he is not. He is a Christian. For months now there have been slanderous and bigoted emails circulating around the internet suggesting that he is really a “secret Muslim.” This further appeals to the most base fears of a small portion of Americans who are just scared that the potential leader of the free world might end up being a man of color with a “funny name.” Snopes.com in particular does a fantastic job at discrediting all the false Obama rumors. However, my very observant friend Arun in L.A. sent me the following email with a link to a picture in Time Magazine. Says Arun:
I spend an extraordinarily unhealthy amount of time surveying political blogs for the most minute of minutia on the election. Mostly I marvel at the absolute inanity of most punditry (see: Stephanopolous, George) and the fact I’m stupid enough to waste time reading it. Occasionally, I’m surprised by something particularly astute or though-provoking (usually the blogs at the Atlantic). However, this picture caught me completely off-guard:
Yes SM readers, that is correct. The Democratic nominee for President carries Hanuman with him for good luck (although to beat McCain, who carries a penny, he might need to upgrade to this Hanuman, or else use this stick that he got earlier this week).
I’ve heard many of my friends who are minorities say that they can relate to Obama because he has a multi-ethnic background like them. In addition, he has lived abroad (Indonesia) and spent time in both Pakistan and India as I previously blogged, so it isn’t all that surprising that he is aware of Hanuman. Looking into Obama’s open hands above I am reminded about a great article by David Brooks that was in the New York Times a few weeks ago. In it he coined a new term “neural Buddhism.” He writes:
First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is. [Link]