Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Roger Ebert, telling it like it is

Rogert Ebert, in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Our political immune system has only one antibody, and that is the truth.

The time is here for responsible Americans to put up or shut up. I refer specifically to those who have credibility among the guileless and credulous citizens who have been infected with notions so carefully nurtured. We cannot afford to allow the next election to proceed under a cloud of falsehood and delusion.

We know, because they’ve said so publicly, that George W. Bush, his father and Sen. John McCain do not believe Obama is a Muslim. This is the time — now, not later — for them to repeat that belief in a joint statement. Other prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also certainly do not believe it. They have a responsibility to make that clear by subscribing to the statement. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh must join, or let their silence indict them. Limbaugh in particular must cease his innuendos and say, flat out, whether he believes the President is a Muslim or not. Yes or no. Does he have evidence, or does he have none? Yes or no.

To do anything less at this troubled time in our history would be a crime against America.
Update, September 2, 2010: Ebert has appended a brief coda, to leave no question about his meaning:
Many readers have made the same point: What if Obama were a Muslim? What would be wrong with that? There would be nothing wrong. There is no religious test in this nation for holders of office. This is not a “Christian nation,” although you often hear that, because of what is specified in the Constitution. America was founded by refugees from religious persecution, and the Founding Fathers deliberately wrote in safeguards to prevent an Established Religion.
Related posts
Barack Obama on facts
Timothy Egan and Leonard Pitts, Jr. on American ignorance

comments: 2

Simon Crowe said...

The "problem" with Obama being a Muslim (which he clearly isn't) is that it would mean he had been lying about his religious affiliation from the start of his public life. I certainly don't want a system where candidates must profess their religious beliefs, but I also want candidates who can answer a simple question honestly.

Michael Leddy said...

About lying: of course Ebert doesn’t mean to suggest that it would be okay to practice one faith while claiming to belong to another one.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s words (if they are his words) are relevant to this climate of innuendo and rumor: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” The story’s in The Audacity of Hope (typed out in my post Barack Obama on facts).