Obama, the United States, and Islam

Earlier Obama recognized an important fact while in Turkey. That the U.S. is not at war with Islam.

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.”

In fact, what he should have done (yes, 2nd guessing here) would have been to emphasize that this has a long historical precedent. In the Treaty of Tripoli ratified by the United States Senate in 1797, it is clearly stated:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Obama also needs to take the step of recognizing the other part of Article 11, namely that the United States is not founded on the Christian religion. That the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson erected a wall of separation between church and state that is of benefit of both the church and the state. The mingling of the twain is good for neither. The basic recognition of this fact should lead to the realization that the faith based initiative (and here), however well intentioned it may be, needs to be cut. Also, given the fact that the government is designed to be secular and is representative of people of all or no faiths, he needs to stop opening public events with prayers from local community leaders. When we release new products, we don’t start them off with a prayer. It’s work, not a church. Likewise, when our secular government opens up a public event, this is not an appropriate time to be sanctioning any one religion.

So, please Obama, when applying the hands off religion approach of the U.S. government, be consistent.

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