As presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney proudly boasted to a hometown crowd during a campaign rally in Michigan this past Friday that “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” the issue of President Barack Obama’s place of birth once again came to the forefront in this closely contested election. Mr. Romney later tried to downplay his jab at the president, saying that “there’s no question about where he was born” and that “we’ve got to have a little humor in a campaign.” The sad fact is though; there are a great many Americans, including many prominent Republican leaders that still believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that President Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen.
Why is it that my Republican friends, whom I consider intelligent though somewhat misinformed, still believe to this day that President Barack Hussein Obama (Republicans sure do like to throw in his middle name whenever possible, as if it ties the president to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein), is both a Muslim and Kenyan? They are wrongly convinced of both his religion and origin of birth no matter how many birth certificates, newspaper announcements or other facts are presented as evidence to the contrary.
However, what I really find ironic in their argument is that when asked the name of the of the controversial former pastor of the Trinity United Church Of Christ, the Chicago church President Obama attended for two decades, my Republican friends know the answer, that being Jeremiah Wright. It was Pastor Wright who baptized Obama in 1988, who married him to Michelle in 1992 and later baptized his two daughters. How then, do my Republican friends determine that the president is a Muslim? The president has described his mother and her parents as non-religious and his father as an avowed atheist. Even if the president was a Muslim, does this really matter? Does it make him incompetent to be president?
Regarding the origin of his birth, how much evidence does it take to convince someone the president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii? Why do so many Republicans, including many influential television talking heads, believe he was born in Kenya, into some sort of left-wing liberal, Islamic (isn’t this an oxymoron?) Manchurian candidate plot to overthrow the United States government, some fifty years after his birth? If the president were a white man named Joseph Smith, there would be absolutely no questions raised regarding his religion nor place of birth.
Even if the president was born in Kenya, Chapter 8, Section 1408 of the United States Code states: “If one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is not, the child is a citizen if: the U.S. citizen parent has been “physically present” in the U.S. before the child’s birth for a total period of at least five years, and at least two of those five years were after the U.S. citizen parent’s fourteenth birthday.”
I am not a constitutional lawyer, an expert on United States Code nor an authority on the genealogical history of President Obama, however, is seems that his mother did meet both criteria for his citizenship and as such, no matter where young Barack was born, he is a citizen of this country, thus making it a moot point as to whether he was born in Honolulu or Kathmandu. Yet, to my Republican friends, his incorrectly perceived birthplace and religion make him unfit to be president of the United States.
How pathetic and unpatriotic!
Steven H. Spring