Nearly a third of Republicans wrongly believe President Obama is a Muslim, according to a Pew Research Institute poll. It’s even higher in other surveys.
But it’s one thing for random, delusional people to think that. It’s another thing when people running for office either believe it or perpetuate the myth to help rile up their base.
“I believe that — that he is a Muslim,” said Republican Robert Chipman of Plainville, a candidate for Congress in the 3rd District.
“Coming from an international background, there is no mistake that he leans into the Muslim faith,” Chipman said, explaining that he bases his belief on news reports.
Robert Delle of Westboro, another Republican running in the 3rd District against U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester, also said he believes Obama is a Muslim.
“There is no doubt about it. Obama is a Muslim,” he said.
Some don’t even think he’s a Muslim:
Michael Stopa, another Republican running in the 3rd district that includes Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Seekonk and Rehoboth, said he is convinced Obama is an atheist.
“I actually don’t think Barack Obama is a Muslim. I think he is a nonbeliever,” he said.
“I have no specific evidence, but I think he’s sympathetic to anybody who is opposed to America and American values,” Stopa said.
Wait, what?! Since when are nonbelievers opposed to American or American values? We’re the ones defending the Constitution and civil rights for all people! Which American values do I not agree to?
Apparently, there’s a third option, too:
Early Henry Sholley of Norfolk, a candidate in the Republican primary in the 4th District seeking to run against Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, said he has his doubts about Obama’s religion.
“I believe in his heart of hearts he is a true Marxist, and Marxists are atheists,” he said.
However, Sholley said without evidence to the contrary, he will have to accept Obama at his word that he is a Christian.
To paraphrase: I want to believe the lie that I’m spreading, but I guess I just have to accept the truth.
It’s pathetic. I’m opposed to voting for Republicans in general, but I don’t know why anyone other than the deluded base would vote for any of these candidates in particular — they’re purposely and willfully ignoring the truth because the lie better fits their narrative. Our country shouldn’t be led by those fearmongers.
(via Atheist Ethicist)
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