I always enjoy watching Jon Stewart go after Fox News. Sure, it’s like
shooting fish in a barrel, but when the shooter’s hilarious and the
fish have been hard at work misinforming America and playing to its
worst instincts, it’s a satisfying sight.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll,
54 percent of New York State voters agree "that because of American
freedom of religion, Muslims have the right to build the mosque near
Ground Zero." That strikes me as a shockingly small majority—almost
half don’t feel that “religious freedom” by definition applies to all
religions, even when the question’s put that way?—but hey, glad to hear of majority support for basic American principles, right?
The scenario might have seemed unlikely: prominent Muslims and Jews from the United States trekking across the Atlantic in mournful, spiritual solidarity to visit two Nazi concentration camps—and doing it together.
Could President Obama have avoided incurring the mistaken views of a surprising number of Americans who say in surveys that they think he is a Muslim? How to account for others polled saying they do not know what faith he follows?
The political-moral spin from online bloggers and television opinion-makers is enough to make citizens dizzy, if not profoundly unsure of where U.S. public opinion is headed. The controversies relating to religious views have put the nonpartisan Pew polls in the spotlight.
I used to sit on the front porch with my grandmother, otherwise the
gentlest, most unconditionally loving person in my young life, while
she regaled me with stories about what was going on under the dome of
the Roman Catholic cathedral one block away. They're storing guns in
the basement, Grandma assured me, and I imagined that the windows in
the dome were gunports through which "they" planned to fire on the rest
of the city.
Christians and Muslims need to recognize that they are "spiritual siblings," said speakers at a recent global Baptist congress in Hawaii, even as they warned fellow Baptists against the signs of Islamophobia displayed in Western countries.