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Talk about going from one extreme to the other; for the past year and change, there have been rumors being spread via TV, Internet, and word of mouth, that Barrack Obama is a “secret Muslim”. Obama has – besides the occasional denial – pretty much ignored these claims, as he should. Even the few times that he denied it he probably went about it the wrong way; saying that he is not a Muslim is fine, but why can’t he at least say something like, “so what if I am?” He went though a year of speculation concerning his running, debates, and a few primaries without any kind of strong denial; until yesterday. Yesterday he woke up and realized that he needed to win the heavily Christian South Carolina and therefore decided to come up with a brochure. He really drives home the fact that he is a dedicated Christian whose has been chosen by Christ to be a follower (of god and a leader of people). I understand that a lot of people (even occasional thinking people) have a belief in a god, and that’s fine; people need something to make them feel like they have a purpose. What I don’t understand is why it is so important for anyone running for any major political position in our country has to be a god fearing, Jesus worshipping member of one of our major (not including Islamic) religions. If someone has led a good life – takes care of his or her fellow human beings, does the right things simply because they are the right things to do, and so on – is it really important that they go to a building once a week and (pretends to?) worship something that will never be proven? For the past seven years and two days we have had a president who feels like he was personally chosen by Jesus Christ to rule the world, has declared a crusade on Islam, and has pretty much shat on poor people throughout the world, but he continues to get at least 30% approval no matter what he does, simply because of his supposed belief in and following of an old bearded man in the sky. And which one is the fundamentalist country?

                If someone running for president would admit that she or he is a Muslim (or – possibly worse – a Pagan or something) they would not stand a chance. If someone said that they had no belief in any sort of omnipotent creator and ruler, their approval numbers would quickly go down to single digits. However, when someone who is already in power – and claims to have strong belief – tell lies and manipulates information which lead to upwards of one million deaths, we cannot hold that person responsible. Although the call to impeach Dick Cheney is growing by the day, it still has nowhere near enough steam for anything to actually happen with it. There are nine Democrats (of 23) on the House Judiciary Committee who favor beginning impeaching proceedings; more importantly, the majority of the country thinks that there should, at the very least, be hearings. I know this has been said thousands of times and it is common knowledge, but I feel that it bears repeating: Bill Clinton was brought to trial for lying about getting head from someone that wasn’t his wife! That was fine, that wasn’t a witch-hunt, there were no show trials there, but trying to hold a murderer accountable would somehow prevent congress from doing their jobs. The Democrats live in this world of constant fear- they’re afraid that if they back the impeachment thing and it actually gets under way, maybe it won’t be successful. If it isn’t successful (or if it’s simply not finished by the time elections roll around) then the Republicans would go on the warpath, saying the Democrats are just trying to make headlines, they are wasting taxpayer dollars, and they are ignoring real issues like immigration and gay marriage. At what point is it time for one to start doing things simply because they are the right things to do and not because of money or political power?

                I hear about members of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Iranian government calling for the destruction of Israel and I get angry and nervous; it would be a sad day, should a country (any country) be hit with a nuclear device. However, seeing the way the Israeli government treats the Palestinian people, I can understand why some of their neighbors may get a little angry. Although some fuel and food are allowed into the Gaza strip, there is still a blockade, people are still starving, no one knows if and when they will simply run out of fuel, and there is sewage flowing into the streets. This is being done because other citizens are firing rockets into Israel. Firing rockets is by no means the right way for Hamas to be acting, but punishing people who are taking no part in it is only creating more enemies. I just really have trouble with a group of people who created their own country from almost nothing because they needed protection from another Holocaust, fighting tooth and nail for the right to live together, and then treating human beings as poorly as they are right now. Some kind of minister of something (from Israel) was on the BBC yesterday talking about how the people of Palestine are the ones who elected Hamas, so they deserve to be punished for the actions of Hamas. I’m not arguing for or against that train of thought, but if it is to become something we follow, then it should apply to the whole world.

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