This nation was indeed founded on principles that are derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Daily News, predictably, is treating McCain’s remarks as if he were saying that this is a Christian country in some kind of sectarian or exclusionary sense. I hold no brief for McCain, but I doubt that’s what he meant. He might have expressed himself more clearly, explaining that the views of the dignity of all people and their equality of rights before the law were Judeo-Christian principles that traditional Islam, with its devaluation of the life of unbelievers, denial of the freedom of conscience, and more, does not share. This is one of the major points of my book Religion of Peace?.
“McCain: No Muslim president, U.S. better with Christian one,” by Helen Kennedy in the New York Daily News (thanks to JoJo):
GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn’t want a Muslim in the Oval Office.
“I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it,” he said. “But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”
“I admire the Islam”? Do you speak the English, John?
In a wide-ranging interview about religion and faith with the Web site Beliefnet, McCain said he wouldn’t “rule out under any circumstance” someone who wasn’t Christian, but said, “I just feel that that’s an important part of our qualifications to lead.”…
McCain later clarified his remarks, saying, “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and to defend our political values.”
A Muslim rights group ripped the Arizona Republican’s remarks.
“That kind of attitude goes against the American tradition of religious pluralism and inclusion,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
He urged McCain to “clarify his remarks” and “stress his acceptance of political candidates of any faith.”
Honest Ibe could set a good example for McCain in this by clarifying his organization’s ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The manifest disingenuousness and incompleteness of the unindicted co-conspirator CAIR’s explanations of these ties only fuels the suspicions that lead Americans to believe that CAIR’s political agenda is actually quite different from the agendas of various groups within the spectrum of American pluralism.