August 21st, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letter to the President #579: 'With God on our side'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/08/18/obama.ohio.jobs/t1larg.obama.ohio.gi.jpg caption="President Obama remains under fire over his religious views, but he is hardly alone" width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: President Obama remains under fire over his religious views, but he is hardly alone. Cue the heavenly choirs, my letter today is about religion once again.

Dear Mr. President,

Yesterday I used a phrase in my letter about Americans questioning your religious faith, and it's been bugging me. I said you are “accused of being Muslim.” What bothers me is that “accused” implies there is indeed something inherently wrong with following Islam, which is emphatically not the case. (I know, there are strong believers of other faiths who would disagree on religious grounds, but I’m just saying in a general, secular sense.)

Anyway, all of that has me thinking about the degree to which we demonize all sorts of people over their faith in politics these days. I know many Muslims who are wonderful people; respectful of other faiths, peaceable, loving, and dedicated to harmony with all the people of the world. Just as I have known many Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and yes, atheists, who are the same.

And yet the currency of politics often involves writing checks backed by religious intolerance. Right now, Muslims are taking a beating, and aren’t happy about it. But they are hardly alone.