Not that there’d be anything wrong with it, but President Obama was not, as the Reverend Franklin Graham so unequivocally states, “born a Muslim.”
After that sad Pew Research poll came out suggesting that a record 18 percent of Americans now believe that Obama is Muslim and 43 percent say they don’t know what he is (he is, of course, Christian), Franklin Graham, son of evangelist icon Billy Graham, went on John King’s CNN show and spouted this drivel:
“I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim. His father gave him an Islamic name. Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the Prophet Muhammad and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That’s what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said.”
So much is so wrong with that, starting with the Rev’s “that’s what he says” dog whistles. Hillary was slammed for punting that “as far as I know” Obama wasn’t Muslim, but now coy innuendo about Obama’s faith is standard GOP fare. "The president says he’s a Christian,” Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on Meet the Press. “I take him at his word." (Mitch and Franklin say they’re Christian family men with valid birth certificates. I cannot say they’re not. So I just have to believe that they are what they have said.)
Meanwhile, Graham, who has called Islam “a very wicked and evil religion,” was foisting outright falsehoods. The president has not, as Graham claimed, “renounced” Islam—and before some winger twists that to “The Nation admits Obama never renounced Islam!”—let’s be clear: He had nothing to renounce. He was not a Muslim, he wasn’t raised as a Muslim, nor did he choose to practice or worship as one. Perhaps Franklin Graham (who surely has his own daddy-seed issues to deal with) has confused Obama with his Kenyan father, who was indeed raised a Muslim. But, as the president writes, “by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition.” Which leads to Graham’s next doozy: The atheist father was highly unlikely to have given his son “an Islamic name”—but he did give him his own name, Barack Hussein Obama.