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Ignoring the real story

August 23, 2010, 6:56 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

In today’s Washington Post, columnist/torture-apologist Marc Thiessen dismisses the importance of a recent Pew poll revealing that 1-in-5 Americans mistakenly believes President Obama is a Muslim. According to Thiessen, the President shouldn’t bother correcting the misperception, but rather should concern itself with addressing other reasons for his approval ratings:

Clearly the White House is worried by the poll results. And it should be worried — but not for the reasons it seems to think. It should be concerned that, after watching the president in office for a year and a half, many Americans still don’t know who Obama really is — and that a growing number have concluded that he does not believe what they believe.

Rather than trying to convince Americans that Obama is indeed a practicing Christian, White House officials should be doing some deep thinking about why the president’s job approval rating has flipped — with most polls showing that more Americans now disapprove of his performance in office than approve of how he’s doing.

Thiessen misses a crucial point – the high correlation between belief that Obama is a Muslim and disapproval of the job he’s doing as president. The Pew poll found that the President’s job approval/disapproval rating among people who (correctly) believe he’s a Christian is 62/29; among those who don’t know his religion it’s 44/40; and among those who (incorrectly) believe he’s a Muslim it’s 26/67. (Emphasis added.)

Correlation is not causation, of course, and myriad nebulous factors influence approval ratings, but the link between believing the president is a Muslim and disapproving of his handling of his job is striking. Couple this with the consistent effort by conservative media to portray the President as a Muslim, and it becomes apparent that cultivating this misperception is a political strategy meant to discredit the president by appealing to religious bigotry and Islamophobia. Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and other purveyors of fear and prejudice are maligning a religious minority to further the short-term goal of scoring political points.They should be called out, not ignored.

One Response to “Ignoring the real story”

  1. Janet Goddard says:

    You do not know how much it means to me to have found your website. I have my belief system clearly in place all of my life, but have not seen it publicly until I found your site. I have never seen such hatred and fear being spread in the name of God as I do now in the political field. More need to listen to your site, and ignore those spreading the hate. I share almost every post I find so that Christians will know there is REAL truth out there.

    Thank you all for coming together to try to heal this nation.