Non-Belief Gets Left Out Of President Obama’s Speech On Religious Freedom

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official image of President Obama visiting Baltimore mosque 2/3/2016
President Obama visiting Baltimore mosque 2/3/2016

On Wednesday (2/3/2016), President Obama visited a mosque for the first time while in office. I applaud his visit and his remarks against bigotry toward Muslims, but when he talked about religious freedom, people who don’t subscribe to any religion seemed not to be included.

And so if we’re serious about freedom of religion — and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country — we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths. (Applause.) And when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. And we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion.

Remarks by the President at Islamic Society of Baltimore

While I agree with the idea of his visit and the speech, in general, I only wished he had made one small change.

From:

…we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths…

To:

attacking anyone based on religious beliefs or lack of them is an attack on us all…

I get he was trying to take the heat off Muslims in the US who are currently punching bags for the GOPers running for President but my edit at least makes religious freedom more inclusive – as it is suppose to be.

It is also of note that most Americans, in a recent poll, rejected making scapegoats of Muslims.

A new poll out Wednesday by the Pew Research Center shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans — 68 percent — see the problem of religious violence as really being about “violent people using religion to justify their actions,” compared with 22 percent who say some religious teachings promote violence. However, for those who said some religions promote violence, Islam was by far the most common religion named, with 14 percent of respondents.

At Baltimore mosque, President Obama encourages U.S. Muslims: ‘You fit in here’

The bad news is that 22%, who have the wrong view of religion and violence, seems to drive all the media coverage giving a distorted view of the world.


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