Tales from the Trail

Religion issue hurting Obama with Indiana cafe patrons

April 30, 2008

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – Barack Obama can talk about his childhood years in Kansas and upbringing by his white Midwestern grandparents, but if voters at one small-town Indiana cafe are any indication, he has a long way to go to convince them he represents heartland America.

“Obama has great ideas but his background scares me,” said Chris Leighton, 60, a secretary having lunch at the Chaperral Cafe in Shelbyville, in southeast Indiana. “Everyone talks about him being a Muslim and having ties to terrorism, but how do people really find out?” img_1530_1.JPG

The incorrect belief that the Illinois senator is a Muslim was shared by half a dozen others in the restaurant — a sign that dirty campaign tactics and Internet innuendo has taken root among some voters in Indiana, the next state to vote.

Construction worker Ron Debaun, 61, said he hadn’t yet decided whether he would support Obama or Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s May 6 primary, noting they both “have good ideas.” But he’s leaning toward Clinton.

What doesn’t he like about Obama?

“His Muslim ties,” said Debaun.

Why does he think Obama is a Muslim?

“Let’s just say that he admits it himself,” he said.

Retired locksmith Leslie Hedman, 61, said he doesn’t like any of the three candidates — Clinton, Obama, or Republican John McCain – because none are committed Christians.

“Obama is a Muslim,” he said. Where did he hear that?

“He said he was but then he said he’s not,” said Hedman.

Ironically enough, many of the lunchtime crowd said they were also turned off by Obama’s ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright – the former pastor of Obama’s Christian church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ.

“I definitely don’t like Obama because of the mess with him and his pastor. I don’t think he’s been honest about it,” said Candace Demmin, 37, as she had lunch with her mom.

“How can you go to a church for 20 years and not heard your minister say something off-color? Either he’s heard it and is lying about it, or he’s lying about going to church as much as he does,” said Demmin. “In which case he’s not the Christian he says he is.”

Obama strongly denounced his former pastor on Tuesday and called his racially charged comments “appalling.”

And if Obama’s Muslim ties and Christian pastor aren’t bad enough, his atheism is the last straw.

“A person who doesn’t believe in anything? I don’t want anything to do with him,” said cafe owner and Clinton supporter Shirley Bailey, 70. “He says he won’t take an oath on the Bible, he won’t salute the American flag. That doesn’t sit well with me.”

Obama was sworn in at the U.S. Senate with his hand on a Bible. He stopped wearing an American flag lapel pin — standard issue for U.S. politicians — saying that a pin on the chest matters less than what’s in the heart.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Andrea Hopkins (Shirley Bailey, owner of the Chaperral Cafe in Shelbyville, Indiana, said she can’t support Barack Obama in Indiana’s May 6 primary because of his religious views. Many of her customers agreed.)

Comments
126 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Obama will say and do whatever it takes and use and disown whoever it takes as long as it benefits him and his political agenda. He likes to throw out words he knows people love to hear and would love to believe, like “hope” and “change” . Look at Chicago, I fail to see where he brought any “hope” or “change” there, Chicago is well known for the corrupt politics there and Obama remained loyal to the corrupt regime, instead of supporting those who could help bring change. He got his Mansion with the help of his slum-lord pal Tony Rezko. He looked the other way,while people had to live without heat in Rezko’s slum housing and his Mansion only being just minutes away. Now, we’re suppose to believe he’ll bring hope and change for the entire country.

Posted by Jess | Report as abusive
 

I see why Bush was elected two times. If people in small town America are this dumb, this country is in serious trouble.

Posted by Midwest Independent | Report as abusive
 

It is very insulting that Obama expects the voters to believe that just now, he is finally “outraged” by Rev. Wright. Interestingly, the things said by Rev. Wright over the last couple of days were pretty much what we all know he has said before. The only thing different that I picked up was when Rev. Wright twice said that Obama says what he has to say, because he is a politician. So, what is the lesson of today’s denouncement by Obama? I think it is that Rev. Wright can say anything he wants about white people and America, but if he dares “diss” Obama, then Obama is “OUTRAGED.” This latest act by Obama is self-serving damage control, and nothing more.

Posted by Fred Jones | Report as abusive
 

The right candidate….
There are many who live a life based on rumors, anything that is subject to change. However you turn it, it still remains a lie and is again the subject of anothers opinion.
But there are others who live a life based on facts, yet they strugle because they can do nothing to change the truth. Now let us all try to choose a candidate based on everything we hear from the MEDIA, because they had a one-on-one talk with the candidates. Can we believe or justify facts based on preperation for schedule appointments, when it took me years to know my wife who share the same bed.

 

This seems to prove we need a national pre-voting
test and a pledge from prospective voters to spend
at least 5 minutes doing simple non-gossip research
before deciding who they think should be the leader
of the executive branch. Or at least, ask a 2nd
grader whom they should vote for.

Posted by flinter | Report as abusive
 

What is so smart about Obama? How about schmoozing the working class out of a Universal Healthcare plan, or maybe out of their Education, or maybe out of their patriotism.

Hillary stands for the people, and she has the bruises to prove it.

Barack, it’s time to go home.

Thank you Hillary Clinton for being a great Presidential Candidate!!

You are right on with your plan for Universal Healthcare, you are right on with your plans for education, you are right on for supporting working class America!!

You are not a flip-flopper, or a windsock, you don’t try to fool us all by switching to what everyone wants to hear. You are the genuine article.

In a time when a man named Obama is trying to pull off the biggest Schmoozing of America in recent history, you are rock solid in your character and your commitment to the American people.

Hillary, no skeletons of 20+ years of hate and racism are jumping out of your closet to claw America in the face. No parlor jokes of demoting our American flag come from you.

Thank you Hillary for all your surprises are joyous ones, not ones that make a person think “wow I didn’t know you supported that extremist person”.

After months of standing your ground in the face of formidable odds, you have proven that you have got what it takes. No other presidential candidate has had the stuff shoveled on them like you have, and you made it through to the other side. You have shined through as the most tested Presidential candidate of the whole entire contest.

Thank you Hillary for allowing us to continue to have our individual GOD BLESS America. We are a nation with problems, but at the end of the day, Americans are full of heart, and at the end of the day, I know you’ll be right there fighting for us.

Hillary for President 2008

Posted by Working Class | Report as abusive
 

To use an old Arkansas term, Rev. Wright just talks “to hear his head rattle”. None of the current media noise is of any real significance.
None of the candidates even mention the deliberate transfer of our industry to China over the past thirty years. Or that in the last fifteen years there has been a deliberate outsourcing of intellectual jobs to India.
This from an old man who grew up in the Deprssion and went through two wars – and still can do most of a day’s prooductive work.
My patroitism has been tested. I don’t need to wear a “made in China” flag bauble to prove it.

Posted by AUBREY BURKE | Report as abusive
 

Obama’s step father is muslim. Obama did attend a muslim school for 4 years.(any one read his book? or look on wikipedia?) Its not a good idea for Americans to elect anyone with muslim ties to be our president. That’s stupidity. Most American’s are uninformed not because they are lazy but the internet and news give unimportant and here say information. Obama is good at saying it’s time for change. Agreed but If you’ve ever really listened to Obama you will hear him not say anything it’s yes and then no it’s kind of weird.

Posted by Dawn | Report as abusive
 

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thats the problem….we can await to be screen/influence
because there are gov. restriction and codes in a message….. live with it.

 

John Marohn said: “What I find disheartening about so many of the reactions is that they are driven by fear, misinformation, rumor among other things…too many people in the United States are profoundly misinformed, do not read, or are incapable of finding out information on their own and rely on too few sources.

Have any of these people actually read Obama’s book? Have any of them actually read or heard his speech about his pastor?”

You’re assuming they can read? Be careful about jumping to conclusions!

Posted by Jeff Melton | Report as abusive
 

My wife, a European, groans at these stories, “It’s your country,” she says. “Want to go to mine now?”
No, please. Please, America. Not all Indiana voters have ambient room temperature IQs. You: you’re literate. You’re reading this. You know Obama’s not a secret Muslim (and even Hillary “as-far-as-I-know” concurs). Rev. Wright is no Svengali. Eloquence is not automatically a sign of elitism.
Please, America, have lunch in a diner. Chat up the folks at the next table. If they fuss over an absent lapel pin, please set them straight. Gently. Don’t proselytize, it’s unnecessary. Just educate.
Just a little bit of common sense, liberally applied, and my wife will probably stop bringing home moving boxes.

Posted by Stuart | Report as abusive
 

This article is sad. It exemplifies Americans stupidity. How can Obama be condemned for his Christian pastor’s comments, and yet and still be of the Muslim faith? How can he be an atheist but have ties to the Muslim faith? Furthermore, I’m tired of hearing white America being so appalled at Rev. Wright’s comments. If you shared the history and daily experiences of African-Americans, then you to would be outraged at America’s racist, sexist, and classist practices. The people interviewed in this article do not want to admit that they are not comfortable voting for an African-American. Honestly, I don’t see the honor in being the President of a country who still allows people to be exploited and objectified on a daily basis. I hope Obama doesn’t when, because that would save his life. He’ll probably be assassinated before he could complete his first year in office.

Posted by J.D. | Report as abusive
 

Hagee

Posted by Carole-Anne | Report as abusive
 

Over half of the posters here show exactly why it was so easy to believe that Obama was being an Arrogant Elitist when he “mis spoke” in SF for Bittergate.
These posters are doing the same thing (most are SnobAmaBabies), so why wouldn’t anyone think Liberals are all arrogant elitists?
Read these posts! aImagine they were about blacks/hispanics/etc instead of just people in the Heartland. I don’t see any difference, But I’m sure the rest of you will try to rationalize your prejudices.
You are talking about real people here! Calling them idiots and such. Who made all of YOU idiot police?
Posts like “have any of these idiots read Obama’s books” WHAT? Now you are not smart or cool if you don’t run out and buy Obama’s trash? What are you people, grade school kids?

“As a hoosier, I am not shocked at how ridiculous the answers/responses from these people are. Shelbyville is hillbilly central anyhow. Why not interview in the “brighter” regions eg: Indianapolis, Muncie, Bloomington, Lafayette etc.
- Posted by Hoosiers are dumb ”
But they are VOTERS! So now you want to take away their rights to vote and have a voice?

And they are RACISTS because they don’t like a persons views, real or imagined?
And Liberals are supposed to be “enlightened” and “progressive”. Well, from these posts, it’s obvious that’s crap.
You all make me sick!
And now I know I haven’t been wrong about Liberals, They ARE whiny wusses that get together and attack a whole group of people, not face to face, but in a closed fund raiser or behind a keyboard.
I owe you for that knowledge, at least.

Posted by RoBoTech | Report as abusive
 

Democracy gone wrong. It’s great to have these people casting votes.

Posted by some guy | Report as abusive
 

Barack Obama is always preaching about how what matters most is being right on day one, not ready like Hillary is. Well Obama is NEITHER, Obama is not right for America and he wasn’t right about Reverend Wright either! Wright was Obama’s mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 some odd years, 20 years, nearly half his entire life people., hello? Wright was the pastor that married Barack and Michelle Obama and Wright baptized Obama’s children! fact. How wrong could Obama be staying so closely associated with this racist, hate mongering preacher for 20 whole years. Those who know Wright have said he has always been like this, so it is safe to conclude Obama was not only WRONG about associating himself with Wright, he also knew all about Wright’s very wrong views of America, Catholics, Italians, Jews and all the others Wright has slandered and denounced. ENOUGH, Vote for Hillary Clinton, it is the only actual right thing to do!

Posted by Hillary All the Way!!! | Report as abusive
 

Obama and Wright are smart, but Wright mainly wants to advance his agenda, play the prophet of old Israel, rather than try to achieve his agenda from behind the Sanhedrin’s (or Caesar’s, or Herod’s) curtain, while Obama wants essentially to be Caesar and try to change America that way. Both people have a point: Wright is whining about how America is unfair, and Obama is trying to make it less so. Unfortunately, Wright might be undermining his own ability to make America more fair. waaaaaay to go, moron. That and the support you gave of an anti-Semite (Louis Farrakhan) turned me off. I could care less whether Obama is an athiest, a durka, a believer in Hawaiian tikis, a Christian, or a worshippor of Mudkip, but he has to be fair, reasonable, and nice to Americans, and he has to try to associate with Americans who are nice to Americans as well. Not whiners with a point.

Posted by Ricky the American | Report as abusive
 

To the moderator: Would you mind replacing “durka” with “Muslim”? I used 4chan slang for a Muslim and people might not understand that. Oops.

Posted by Ricky the American | Report as abusive
 

Tales from the Trail

Man love publicity, and it took 45 minutes of the last debate before getting into the issues that is important for the country.
Why 2x another debate, can this improve the facts that Michigan and Florida votes are now relevant. all the problems we create, proves we are double minded.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

The media has only focused on McCain, Clinton, & Obama. There are more candidates running in the presidential race. It’s too bad that realistically we can’t get a decent person elected in this country. The very rich corporations and big wigs that run America decide our fate with money, propaganda, and the media so even if you think that Obama rocks it’s because you’ve been swayed that way. New and exciting doesn’t mean the best person for the job. By the way I wish we would stop with the racist America crap I won’t vote for Obama not because he’s Black but because he’s other things that don’t fit with my idea of a good president. I also won’t vote for Hillary not because she’s a woman but again because she’s other things that don’t fit with my idea of a good President. I won’t vote for McCain just because he’s a white man. no way. I wish someone like Sec. Rice was running I really like her AND OH MY GOSH she’s black and a woman.I say Shame on Americans still shoveling the race card it’s so tacky and out of date.

Posted by Dawn | Report as abusive
 

For those who took the time to watch Bill Moyers interview Reverend Wright on his PBS show The Journal, they would know that he is a highly intelligent articulate man who served his country for six years in the military, spent the last 40 years attending to his church, operating so many social outreach programs, building the congregation from under a hundred to several thousands. The snippets are cruelly out of context and completely misrepresent the man. When he gave the speech at the National Press Club, again the networks took snippets and edited out the cheers and the applause his answers received. But he then went wild at the NAACP meeting, mocking his denouncers and acting rather irreverently – ignoring the political repercussions of his actions.

If Obama can weather this storm, and I believe he can, he will prove himself to be a formidable adversary to McCain, a tired old school politician with no demonstrable ability for higher office. But then he doesn’t have a hard act to follow, does he?

America has a golden opportunity to redeem itself with this election cycle. Obama has integrity and intelligence. Clinton has shown her hand several times now, proving that she represents old school politics ever bit as archaic as McCain. She doesn’t represent change. And her hawkish rhetoric won’t make friends around the world either.

So the choice appears in the next two stages, a great step forward or running on the spot. One brings promise, the other more of the same.

Posted by MM | Report as abusive
 

How the American people react to the Wright controversy and the innuendos that Obama is a Muslim is a test of how mature they are in the areas of racial and religious tolerance. Apparently, though, many Americans have not gotten over their racial and religious bigotry, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they admit it or not. No wonder, America continues to lose respect, prestige and moral ascendancy around the world. Electing a man to the presidency despite his dark skin and Muslim-sounding name, but who is a unifier and had the right judgment not to support a foolish misadventure can probably restore some of that lost respect and prestige.

Posted by Joel B | Report as abusive
 

Wendy – Obama’s legislative accomplishments were in his final 7th year and were handed to him by his mentor, IL State Senate President Emil Jones. These small town people are proud of where they come from, insulting them will push them farther away from Obama. So don’t be to surprised if blue states go red if Obama is the nom. The idea of the far left liberals picking our president might be to much for small town voters.

Posted by Windy in Chicago | Report as abusive
 

Obama doesn’t care about changing America. Obama is as ego centric as his ex-pastor and only got truly offended when Wright called him out as being the say anything politician that he truly is.

Why did Obama pick Wright’s church in the first place? Probably because at the time he thought it would be politically advantageous to do so.

Posted by david | Report as abusive
 

Obama supporters should stop insulting the people of Indiana. They will be voting next and they may not vote for your candidate. That’s their choice. Since you know him best, name some of his accomplishments. There’s nothing listed on his website.

Posted by goldenstate | Report as abusive
 

SEN Obama will stand with the muslims , he said in his book ‘audacity of hope’
You have to challenge him now about this , not later
when 3/4 of our cities are all blown to pieces.

Posted by h | Report as abusive
 

Forget about these people. They are just dumb-asses.

Posted by ed | Report as abusive
 

Jeremiah Wright here is what you need to know.
He is an enabler of US military marksmen commencing
friendly fire. This man is deadly for the USA ,Just
listen to the tape 2001 played today at Hannity Radio Show.
Hannity overheard it , so did not comment on it.
SEN Obama is finished because these gang wars experienced Reverands Manings , Aires etc. will now extort him.
If we are lucky , the Fort Dix Bombing investigation will be re-opened and bring even charges against SEN Obama .Makes sense,because in SF CA Speech we learned he would like
his supporters to get their guns ready and expect command and control from the pulpit . The wrap song star ‘ showed
allegiance to those pulpits.
Today the tide has turned.SEN Obama split up with the previous planed command and control structure. It is the fight about being in control of the million men holding on to their guns in USA . It is not presidential , SEN Obama.Newt Gingrich, one of the brightest heads in this USA, sees you downhill also . It is the “milieu” that is not acceptable, the millieu SEN Obama is coming from, he would never make it for a top secret clearance .

Posted by h | Report as abusive
 

It’s just killing you far-left liberals that your deceitful ‘politician’ – your golden boy Obama doesn’t resonate well with most Hoosiers, especially now that his association with the racist, America-hating Wright, Rezco and the terrorist bomber Ayres have surfaced. That’s one thing about Midwesterners, we can see through the glitter straight to the deceit and arrogance AND the inexperience. It’s funny that when we have opinions that differ from yours, we’re considered racist, ignorant and unenlightened. Now, WHO is the ignorant ones? People like you are the reason ‘hypocrite’ is a word.

But don’t fret about your leader; he’ll get a good showing in Indiana. In Gary, close to Chicago – where the population is almost 100% black, Indianapolis with a large population of blacks and liberal whites, and in the liberal college towns like Lafayette or Bloomington where IU is located, tons of liberal professors reside there who have indoctrinated their students well. There will be plenty of young, ‘enlightened’ anti-America professors and students to vote for your candidate. Now, THEY resonate well with Obama and his lovely “America is down-right mean” and “I’ve never been proud of my country until now” (until hubby started doing well in the polls) wifey-poo Michelle. Ahhh….what a great AMERICAN First Lady she would be, eh?

This small town, Hoosier republican – who, by the way, has done her research and is indeed ‘informed’, is doing my part and voting for Hillary May 6 JUST TO STOP OBAMA. I’m telling my republican family and friends to do the same; come November we’ll hold our noses and vote for McCain.

Posted by Brendy | Report as abusive
 

this article is a shame!what do people think of Hillary’s connection to a group called the fellowship?

 

People DO research the candidates and find info such as below, but I’m sure you Obama supporters will say it’s bogus or an outrageous lie. People form their own ideas when they read things, but you sheep who follow Obama absolutely refuse to accept anything that hints at negativity towards your idol:

http://frontpagemagazine.com

Obama asserted in December, “I’ve always been a Christian,” and he has adamantly denied ever having been a Muslim. “The only connection I’ve had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father’s side came from that country [Kenya]. But I’ve never practiced Islam.” In February, he claimed: “I have never been a Muslim. … other than my name and the fact that I lived in a populous Muslim country for 4 years when I was a child [Indonesia, 1967-71] I have very little connection to the Islamic religion.”

Obama’s Kenyan birth father: In Islam, religion passes from the father to the child. Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (1936–1982) was a Muslim who named his boy Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. Only Muslim children are named “Hussein”.

Obama’s Indonesian family: His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was also a Muslim. In fact, as Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng explained to Jodi Kantor of the New York Times: “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.” An Indonesian publication, the Banjarmasin Post reports a former classmate, Rony Amir, recalling that “All the relatives of Barry’s father were very devout Muslims.”

The Catholic school: Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports that “documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim” while at a Catholic school during first through third grades. Kim Barker of the Chicago Tribune confirms that Obama was “listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school.” A blogger who goes by “An American Expat in Southeast Asia” found that “Barack Hussein Obama was registered under the name ‘Barry Soetoro’ serial number 203 and entered the Franciscan Asisi Primary School on 1 January 1968 and sat in class 1B. … Barry’s religion was listed as Islam.”

The public school: Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times learned from Indonesians familiar with Obama when he lived in Jakarta that he “was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended.” Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star visited the Jakarta public school Obama attended and found that “Three of his teachers have said he was enrolled as a Muslim.”

Although Siddiqui cautions that “With the school records missing, eaten by bugs, one has to rely on people’s shifting memories,” he cites only one retired teacher, Tine Hahiyari, retracting her earlier certainty about Obama’s being registered as a Muslim.

Posted by Brendy | Report as abusive
 

When did Obama live in Kansas? IIRC, Obama’s grandparents moved from Kansas to Washington state when his mother was a child. From there, they moved to Hawaii. It was while they were living in Hawaii that Obama’s parents met and they still lived in Hawaii when Obama lived with them while he was in high school. Obama went to college in California, and then moved to Chicago before attending Harvard and then moving back to Chicago.

So when did Obama live in Kansas?

Maybe the author of this article should have spent a little more time getting her facts right and a little less trying to make the people of Indiana look like hicks. It is hard to take an article seriously when the very first sentence wrong.

Posted by Maggie | Report as abusive
 

Barack Obama is a good, decent man and will make a wonderful President of the United States. Remember he was very young when he met Wright and the pastor is a charasmatic man. White people attend his church. They are all their to hear the Word of God. They, and Barack Obama believe in the love of Jesus Christ for his children. Let it go, for God’s sake. Wright has seen a way to put himself in the spotlight at his parishiner’s expense. Senator Barack Obama is a Christian, a leader among men and he wants to bring people together in the pursuit of peace. I pray he’ll be given that chance, and that ignorance and irrational fear won’t rob us all of the opportunity to send this very special human being to the White House.
God be with you, Senator Obama!

 

It’s interesting for me to note that the National Press Club appearance was anamolous: the audience was not the working press and the questions were not from reporters! The NPC is an institution and the performances there are somewhat ritualized. So this was like watching a karaoke performance in the senate chambers. Something was amiss. Had this been filmed in a church basement during a potlatch dinner of parishioners, I don’t think the impact would have been quite so dramatic. I found nothing in what Rev. Wright said objectionable; even his remarks about the U.S. government and AIDS were framed conditionally: He thought them capable (but not culpable). It seems that Senator Obama is being targeted.

Posted by rhetoric | Report as abusive
 

I have always wished I was an American. We have looked at America as a dreamland where freedom and equality exist. Where reasoning overides sentiments and where quality is the order of the day. A country where what brings people together is stronger than what puts them apart. Obama’s candidacy for president of the USA is a litmus test for Americans. The echos we are getting from this presidential campaign is pushing America out of its position as the leader of the world in the 21st century. Might be we were only dreaming. The dollar is crying, America needs to stand up or loss its position to the Asia (China and Japan)

 

Intellectual laziness at its worst. It is completely fine not to support Obama if you disagree with his ideas and plans for America but saying you don’t like him because he has ties to Muslims and won’t salute the flag is ignorant and lazy. I grew up in small town America and went to school in Indiana and I have to say I ashamed to read this. What is happening to our country?

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive
 

A good deal of what is said about the candidates by the press, and in the media, have absolutely nothing to do with how one would do as President, and voters need to distinguish what is important with what is not, and what is truth. That can be difficult. But one other point to make, and it’s more important than any other…..Let’s remember that the President has limited power, really, to influence some of the issues that are debated. That is a plus of our system of rule, that power is balanced out. When you look at the party system, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish a Republican from a Democrat. Vote the person that stands more for traditional American values, and places importance on national security, bringing jobs back to America, and improving the educational system in our country. Don’t be swayed by hype and spin. Compare the views and values of these candidates, and vote for the person who can best represent our country, on an international scale.

Posted by PirateVoice | Report as abusive
 

I live in Indianapolis and am all too familiar with the mindset of rural Indiana. Barely a day goes by where I do not hear someone quoting from the bible or praising Jesus. When Mr. Obama made his comments about small town Americans and their tendencey to cling to guns and religion, he was describing rurual Indiana to a tee.

Combine the fear of non-Christian religions with ongoing undertones of racism, and rural Indiana is not a place where Mr. Obama will garner much support. It is ironic to me that in the Democratic primary, Indiana must choose between Hilliary Clinton, whom most on the right view as being more distasteful than Hitler, and a young, black senator with a Muslim sounding name. If there was a white man on the Democratic presidential primary ballot, that person would easily win 90% of the vote in this state.

It’s sad, but true. Once you leave Indianapolis or the nortwestern part of the state which borders Chicago, these sort of hyper-religious, narrow minded views are more the rule than the exception.

Posted by Michael Coleman | Report as abusive
 

I follow this so closely out of interest. I am so saddened to see dirty companioning affecting Sen. Obama chance in this election. The fact that he is black does not make him less important. I do not believe he is a Muslim. If I do he would certainly impact my view on him. It is so sad to see a few Americans think the way they do simply because he is not white. I watch some nasty programs on Fox and feel some people are paid to be very much against him because of his race. They are prepared to put nasty stories for him to loose. America needs to fight what other nations are doing to its economy and I sincerely believe Obama has the brain to sort this out more than any of the other two competitors.

Posted by michael | Report as abusive
 

These underground republican and Hilary attacks are fruitless and someone needs to tell them they are wrong!

 

Once again, misinformation praying on ingonrance and fear will make it business as usual in D.C.
Will we ever stop fearing change for the good, and actually send someone to D.C. who will help us? Main stream media has not helped at all, except for the “fear” factor.
So sad.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive
 

I encourage all American citizens to get themselves a college education. The social classes are at their best. What is so embarrassing to America is its uninformed citizens who would rather go off of hearsay than to research the contrasts between presidential candidates. The American dream isn’t a house anymore, its EDUCATION. Trevor from Brooklyn!

Posted by Trevor from Brooklyn NY | Report as abusive
 

If this means people are more likely to vote based on random e-mails than candidates’ positions on issues.. Words espace me.

Posted by JP | Report as abusive
 

To this day, I still do not understand what people fear about Obama’s ties to Wright. Obama’s 40+ years of history (personal and professional) would indicate that he doesn’t share Wright’s political views but people weigh Wright’s influence more heavily than Obama’s actual words and deeds. Even if Obama did agree with Wright on certain issues, how do people fell this would effect his policy decisions? What are these folks afraid of? It’s despicable that rural whites have such control in the political process. This article and others would indicate that they are very mis-informed voters and they are not equipped to make intelligent decisions about the next POTUS. People blame Bush for doing a poor job for America, I think we need to blame these people who value the “good ole boy” network over anyone who looks different or has a different background.

Posted by Bryan | Report as abusive
 

Well. We all have noticed that Sen. B.O. is clean, sincere
& honest. He already made himself clear about Rev.J.W.´s
attacks. In America, people are free to express their opinions, so does Rev.Wright, too. Sen.Obama is not in a
position to have Rev.Wright keep quiet! This is part of
the American Democracy of free speech. Therefore, Sen.
Obama should not be held accountable to what is being said,
reported or argumented by 2nd.or 3rd.parties. Voters should judge Sen.Obama by his Deeds, his Speaches, his Policies & Issues, rather than by what was said/reported
on his Campain´s behalf. Only Sen.Clinton who is enjoying such developments is benefiting nowadays!
It´s too bad, that some Voters are turning against Mr.Obama, instead og supporting him in such a situation.

such developments

Posted by Jean Michel Nehme | Report as abusive
 

This is typical of the paranoid political discourse of many Americans both left and right, including many with college education. Many see a conspiracy under every rock. Look at the wild conspiracy theories about Bill Clinton’s supposed corruption thrown out by Falwell and company. Go around a college campus and find how many believe wild conspiracy theories about 911, or think that evangelicals are “American fascists” about to overthrow the constitution. Many believe the worst about their political opponents because it is what they want to hear.

Posted by Tired Evangelical | Report as abusive
 

Maybe Andrea Hopkins (poster or the article) should head down to Jasper, Texas or rural Louisiana to see how they will vote. Come on! Why not pick an enlightened place for informed opinions? Or maybe it was what you wanted?

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

WHAT A SAD SPECTACLE. For weeks now, Obama supporters, political pundits, talk show hosts, and even “The View” panel members have been defending Rev. Wright; defending the statements of Rev. Wright; saying that they were taken out of context; even saying that they were true; all in order to defend their candidate, Barack Obama. And now, with one fell swoop, Obama himself has taken the rug out from underneath all of these supporters and de-legitimized their arguments by saying that he himself, is “outraged” by the statements of Rev. Wright, and that he no longer wishes to have any relationship with him. Interestingly, the things said by Rev. Wright in his recent public appearances and interviews were pretty much what we all know he has said before. The only thing materially different was when Rev. Wright twice stated that Obama says what he has to say, because he is a politician. So, what is the lesson of this sad spectacle? Three things. Firstly, it is that Rev. Wright can say anything he wants about “white people” and America, no matter how disgusting or untrue, but if he dares “diss” Obama personally, then Obama is finally “OUTRAGED.” Secondly, it has shown the extent to which some Obama supporters and apologists will go to justify and rationalize any action on the part of Obama or one of his advisers, even to the extent of sanctioning racist and anti-American hate speech, in order to defend Obama and promote his campaign. Finally, it has shown once again that Obama will do anything, and jettison anyone, in his quest for power and the Presidency. The “denunciation” of Wright by Obama is self-serving damage control, and nothing more. The actions by some of his supporters in trying to defend the indefensible, represent a shameful combination of political expediency, lack of objectivity, and hypocrisy.

Posted by Fred Jones | Report as abusive
 

I can honestly say that the media has succeeded in distracting Americans from the “REAL” issues at hand. We’ve become so wrapped up in issues like “Obama being Muslim” (which he is not, if people do their research before passing comment) and “Rev. Wright speeches.” We really need to focus on the down spiraling of the economy, these outrageous gas prices, the effects of the job loss (GM, Delta/Northwest merger) in the U.S., Healthcare, Education….I could go on for days. THESE ARE ISSUES WE NEED TO FOCUS ON AND WHAT SOLUTIONS THESE CANDIDATES BRING TO THE TABLE ON SOLVING ALL THIS MESS. Who cares about what Rev. Wright is saying or has said, he’s not the one running for president. I’m an Obama supporter 100 Grand. However, we can’t go wrong with either candidate (Obama or Clinton), I highly doubt they can worsen the issues currently going on. At least they are making an attempt address these issues and have solid solutions…can’t say the same for Bush…(oops did I say that!)

Posted by Malene | Report as abusive
 

This is bad reporting….period. It’s blatantly done to make Obama and Hoosiers look bad. There is a huge difference between southern and northern Indiana, and let’s keep in mind that the KKK had a huge stronghold in southern Indiana at one time. The media and reporters of today are a disgrace to the entire world. There is no such thing as good reporting anymore. They just try to create as much division in the world as possible, and they know that none of us can do anything to stop it………until now. THAT’S what this election is REALLY about. OBAMA 08

And he WILL win Indiana AND the Presidency!

Posted by Danny in Indiana | Report as abusive
 

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