I am not an alarmist. Really. I’m pretty centered and stable. I tend to abide by the belief that things are never as good as they seem on our best days, nor as dire as they seem on our worst days.

But am I completely out of line when I say that I see disturbing parallels between surging Islamophobia in the U.S. today, and conditions in Germany in the mid 1930s?


How many Americans still think Obama is a Muslim? 10%? 20% I don’t know. But that view is well-entrenched in the tea party crowd. The whispers continue: “He was born in Kenya;” “He’s a Muslim;” “He’s not Christian.” It is all made to sound as if he is some sort of mole, planted in our midst, and ready to turn the US into a caliphate at the first opportunity.

The great irony here is, of course, that Obama also got punched in the face repeatedly for his long-standing association with the United Church of Christ parish pastored by Jeremiah Wright. Politics is not a fair environment, but to be blasted simultaneously for being a Muslim and a member of Jeremiah Wright’s church, well, that’s pretty tough luck, that is.

None of that commentary so far represents any new thoughts, of course. Here’s what’s new in my mind. Two of the most prominent and influential conservatives are Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. Both Mormons. Poor Obama has to fend off patently false rumors of being un-Christian and Muslim; but somehow the religion these guys truly do practice isn’t given a passing thought. Where is the outrage? Where is the suspicion? Where is the vehement “You’re not a Christian” denunciation of these two?

Please don’t think I hate Mormons. I think neither Romney nor Beck should have to listen to a single word against them for their chosen faith. I just have to observe the bitter irony that Obama continues to have to deal with this false issue, while not a peep is made about the very real religious affiliations of Beck and Romney.

How can this not be a double-standard? And how can this hypocrisy be explained? Strange times.