I’m sure this will come as a surprise to no one, but it appears that the Rev. Franklin Graham doesn’t know wtf he is talking about when it comes to Islam. Hoocoodanode:
Evangelist (and hateful bigot) Franklin Graham said this weekend that President Obama was ‘born a Muslim’ because, he said, Islam is transmitted through the father just as Judaism is transmitted through the mother.
Presumably it is this sort of thinking that has led an increasing number of Americans to believe, incorrectly, that Obama is a Muslim.
Graham as usual is not only hateful but also plain wrong. The Talmudic rule that one is a Jew by virtue of having a Jewish mother has been responsible for imagining the Jewish people as a race as well as a religion. (They are not actually a race, of course, and most Jewish women are descended from a Gentile ancestor).
But Muslims are not a race even in the imagining, but rather a world-religion to which belong people of virtually every ethnic group in the world. Thus, unlike in Judaism, one is not born a Muslim. Rather, children of Muslim parents who embrace Islam typically recite the confession of faith around puberty and undertake to fulfill the obligations of Islamic law at that time. Until that time, they are not mukallaf or obliged to perform the rituals of the religion. Franklin’s allegation would imply that children are Muslim by birth and have to fast the month of Ramadan when they are 5. It is ridiculous.
Seriously, though. Don’t they cover this kind of stuff in seminary? What exactly do you learn if you don’t learn how the world’s largest religion is transmitted?
And again, as a non-believer, I have a hard time explaining how extremely surreal it is to watch all these penis-measuring contests over whose God is better.