A Third of Republicans Think Obama is a Muslim

Two recent polls point to a rather perturbing trend, more Americans now believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim than ever before.

A survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found 18 percent, or nearly one in five, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly note that he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent. An astounding 43 percent said that they didn't know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009. The Pew poll found that about three in 10 Republicans think Barack Obama is a Muslim. Among independents, 18 percent say Obama is Muslim -- up from 10 percent last year.

In another poll by Time magazine/ABT SRBI conducted Monday and Tuesday -- after Obama's comments about the mosque -- 24 percent said they think he is Muslim, 47 percent said they think he is Christian and 24 percent didn't know or didn't respond.

According to the Pew poll conducted in October 2008, only 12 percent of Americans believed that Obama was a Muslim on the eve of his election. Then white evangelical Protestants (19 percent) and Republicans (17 percent) were among the most likely to view Obama as a Muslim. Fewer than half in each group -- 38 percent of white evangelicals and 46 percent of Republicans -- correctly identify Obama as a Christian. On the plus side, fewer Americans must now think that he is not a member of Black Liberation Theology Church.

More from Washington Post:

Among those who say Obama is a Muslim, 60 percent say they learned about his religion from the media, suggesting that their opinions are fueled by misinformation.

But the shifting attitudes about the president's religious beliefs could also be the result of a public growing less enamored of him and increasingly attracted to labels they perceive as negative. In the Pew poll, 41 percent disapprove of Obama's job performance, compared with 26 percent disapproval in its March 2009 poll.

The President at Hampton University

After assailing the President yesterday in a post for not talking enough about the duties and responsibilities of citizenship given the increasingly lackadaisical attitude too many Americans have towards civic involvement coupled with the open hostility that the right has towards government, the President today delivered a commencement address at Hampton University in which he addressed such concerns.

Like his address at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor a week ago, this is Obama at his finest. It's more the pity that few seem to be paying attention because the Michigan address was perhaps Obama's best speech yet which is saying something since the one thing Obama excels at is giving great speeches. But no one seems to care. Cut through all the noise of the Tea Party, pull back the insidious hate therein as well and much of their core philosophy is a "leave us alone" mantra. It's the exaltation of Grover Norquist's most misbegotten creed. It's a worldview that in essence cries out "leave me alone so I can sin." It underpins everything on the right from their aversion to taxation to their contempt for a proper regulatory environment. Theirs is a view that puts the narrow interests of a few over the general good. They call it freedom couching it in terms of individualism but it is really a feudal tyranny reborn. It empowers the strong at the expense of the weak and in such a society, democracy is marked for extinction. And it is not hyperbole to suggest that we in the United States are on that path. We are well on the way to becoming a less egalitarian society and unequal societies are inherently undemocratic.

It is perhaps the saddest of commentary that so far the only news agency covering this address is Agence France-Presse. And if you want to see the ignorant delusional right's take on this try Pajamas Media which typically for the ignorant right takes a pebble of truth and turns it into a boulder of lies.

The Hampton address, as prepared for delivery, is below the fold. It's well worth the read.

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