A few days ago I was talking with an idiot. I don’t use that term lightly, but in this case, it’s appropriate.
Last week, a study came out that said 20% of Americans don’t know what religion President Obama follows. A similar study was released that stated 1 in 5 Americans believe our President is a Muslim.
Here’s the thing: How do we know what anyone believes? Simply put, we cannot. We can watch one’s actions, listen to their words and statements, but we can never truly know what is in another person’s heart, can we?
Think of it this way…
If I tell you I’m a Christian, simply based on my statement, you have no reason to believe (or not believe) me, right? If I tell you I’m a Christian and you know I go to church twice per week, the case for my faith is bolstered. If I tell you I’m a Christian, you witness me going to church and I act in the way you believe Christians act, again, more fodder for my claim.
But, could I be lying? Could I be going into a church but not worshipping? Could I be faking my actions? Yes, yes and yes. You will have no idea what my true, heart held beliefs are.
So, back to the Obama/Muslim thing. The idiot and I were discussing these new surveys that came out. Having 20% of Americans believe our national leader is a different religion than he espouses is pretty significant. The idiot says, “Oh yeah, I guarantee he’s a Muslim. I just know he is…”
I stopped, gave him my (as my wife calls it) the famous Marcus “WTF?” look. I posed this question to him…
1. You believe our President gets down on his knees five times per day and prays to the east to give glory to the Muslim god, Allah?
2. You think our president believes the main tenant of Islam; that there is one God, Allah, and that Mohammad is his prophet?
3. You believe that President Obama’s membership in the United Church of Christ (remember old Reverend Wright?) is nothing more than a farce?
The idiot begins back peddling and talks about the mosque at ground zero, President Obama’s bloodlines and heritage and how he’s sympathetic to the Islamic faith. Fair enough…but none of that makes him a Muslim. It simply shows our President is tolerant of the Muslim faith. But does that make him a Muslim? It does not.
IS President Obama a Muslim? I don’t know. Neither do you. Neither does the idiot.
I do know this. President Obama is a Democrat. His actions suggest a belief in tolerance of other faiths. Traditionally, Muslims and Jews have been at polar opposites; going so far as to kill one another on a annual, weekly even daily basis. There are a significant number of folks who claim to be Jewish in the Democratic party; people who are political allies of President Obama. If he’s a Muslim, wouldn’t these Jewish politicians be his arch enemies?
The idiot, like most idiots, starts talking before thinking things over. To state one’s belief is a step. To claim that belief to be undeniably true is a bigger step. To guarantee it is a third (and bigger…and stupider) step.
Before forming a belief system, and definitely before stating your beliefs and claiming their truth, think. It seems that people who don’t think typically raise their voices the loudest. And then others who don’t think begin to follow those ways because they, too, haven’t took the time to think things out rationally.
Will this ever change? Doubtful. The world has been saturated with people who believe ridiculous things since day #1. Yet, I don’t want to be one of these people. I want to see what’s behind the curtain before making claims I may have to retract later. I want to have a well thought out reason for my beliefs. Why? To win an argument or discussion? No. Simply because I want to have an accurate view of the world. Not an opinion based on short sided thinking.
What about you? Do you speak before thinking? Do you espouse claims that don’t pass the sniff test? Do you believe what others say, simply because they have the bully pulpit? I’ve been this guy in the past…but now, I’ll politely listen. And I’ll internally think. And I’ll come to the most logical, rational set of beliefs; not one that I buy into just because someone else does.