Half-Muslim and Other Odd Identities

Friday, 31 October 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I had a chat over the weekend with a guy here in Tucson, AZ. He was a young, gay guy, and he was planning to vote for McCain. Well, I was surprised… don't you want gay rights? He said he didn't care if gays got the right to get married. I said OK, what about benefits! Not sure he thought about that.

Why McCain? He told me McCain deserved it. OK, why? He told me McCain deserved to be President because he had run SO many times that we should just give it to him. He's tried so hard, and according to this guy, he had never heard of Barack Obama before he was running for President. I thought this was like giving the Miss America crown to the girl who's been doing pageants the longest, whether or not she had won any. :)

The guy I was talking to goes on to say that Obama is half-muslim, and he seemed to think that was a bad thing. I said that Obama was a Christian, and that you kinda can't be half-Muslim. If your mother is Christian and your father is Catholic, you are not half-Catholic. You are whatever religion you were raised, or whichever one you choose to follow. If you chose to follow Christianity, the Catholic church may not see you as half-Catholic.

And this got me thinking about people's ethnic identities. If your mother is from Spain and your father is from France, you might say you're half Spanish and half French. Well, if you were born and raised in the USA, I'd probably say you are just American.

My evil grandma was born here, but her parents were born in Poland. So with two Polish parents, does that make her Polish? Well, she'd be of Polish descent, but she wouldn't be half-Polish or full-Polish. If your grandparents came from Ireland, but you were born and raised in the USA, you are American. I wouldn't call you Irish-American unless you had spend enough time in both countries to culturally identify with both countries. Most of the Americans who will tell you they're "Irish" have never been to Ireland, don't speak the language, and wouldn't know anything about Ireland. My great-grandparents mostly came from Poland, but I don't say I'm Polish!

I have a friend who used to tell me that he hated the term African-American. Evidently, to be politically correct, people would use that term for him (he's black), but he said all of his family traces back to the Caribbean. So wouldn't he be Caribbean-American? No family he can trace came from Africa, but people will look at him and call him African-American.

I think we should be looking at the labels we put on ourselves and each other. I think a lot of these don't make sense, especially to call someone half-Muslim. Either are you are a follower of Islam or you're not! I don't think there's a halfway here. :)

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Categories: Just An Observation

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