If your middle name is Robin, does that make you a bird? By the same token – if your middle name is Hussein (Husayn, Hussain, Husayin, Husein, Hussayin, Huseyn, Huseyin, Hosayn, Husain, Hossein, or Husseyin), does that make you a Muslim?
It’s true that many Muslims are named Hussein (often in honor of Islamic martyr, and Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali). It’s also true that many who are named Hussein are not Muslims. The name Hussein is actually a diminutive of the word Hassan – which means good, handsome or beautiful in Arabic. It is often given to people of secular backgrounds – and sometimes to people of other religions.
Barack Hussein Obama is amongst the latter. He is a Christian by faith, belief and practice. Christianity (or Islam – or most religions, for that matter) is not defined by genealogy – nor is it defined by etymology. A middle name and/or a parent does not an adherent make. While questioning whether Obama’s religion should be fodder for public speculation, USA Today’s Faith and Reason nevertheless asserts: But it appears that short
of enrolling in a Protestant seminary, there may not be many more back flips Obama could do to prove he’s as Christian as he says. An explanation follows with numerous examples of Obama’s Christianity. These include his years-long membership in Rev. Wright’s Chicago church, his so-called “Christian cabinet” of pastors “with whom he talks of faith and prays,” his daily Blackberry Christian devotions that are sent to him by a Pentecostal pastor, and his own public disclosures.
Perhaps, then, the real question is not about Obama’s faith. The real question might be about faith in general. Is any person’s religion determined first and foremost by his or her inner faith – or is it instead subject to any number of relative externals such as politics, genetics, sociology, psychology – this latter list is well-nigh endless, but not as infinite as faith.
When Jews are defined (as Nazis did) by the amount of “Jewish blood” that runs through their veins – and
presidents are judged by what their forefathers may or may not have even practiced – a very dangerous
precedent is set… a precedent that is resting on grounds well below zero negativity-wise.
Did you know…
New York’s Governor David Paterson is still talking about a “land swap” regarding the proposed Islamic community center on Park Place near Ground Zero. He has spoken of the possibility that state land be
offered for this purpose. Many see this type of offer as a violation of the First Amendment.