During a discussion in which he questioned Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's (IL) patriotism, guest co-host Jesse Herron on the October 23 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Ride Home with The James Gang falsely asserted that Obama "is openly a Muslim." As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Obama is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and his campaign has stated that he "has never been a practicing Muslim."
After complaining that Obama did not have his "hand over [his] heart for the national anthem" in a Time magazine photograph, Herron stated, "Makes me wonder what's gonna happen when that chief justice walks up to him, if he gets elected, and places a book in his hand -- we know where, what that's going to be; that's going to be the Quran, because Barack Obama is openly a Muslim." Herron added, "And is he going to even raise his right hand and say he can defend and support the Constitution of the United States of America when he won't even place his hand over his heart?"
Herron's comments echoed remarks about Obama and the national anthem by the conservative blog Newsbusters, which noted in an October 20 post that Time magazine had photographed Obama without his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
As Colorado Media Matters noted, Obama's church on its website refers to itself as "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian" and states that among the "Black Ethics" to be taught as part of the "Black Value System" is that God "will give us the strength" to become "soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind."
Further, the Los Angeles Times reported in a March 15 article (accessed through the Nexis database), that the Obama campaign issued a January 24 statement that: "To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago." The newspaper said it also received a statement from the Obama campaign on March 14, which "offered slightly different wording, saying: 'Obama has never been a practicing Muslim' " while acknowledging that as a child in Indonesia the senator spent time in his neighborhood's Islamic center.
Herron's comments echoed a December 18, 2006, column ("Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always a Muslim") in which right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel questioned Obama's patriotism and his religious faith, as Media Matters for America has noted.
From the October 23 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Ride Home with The James Gang, with guest host Jesse Herron:
HERRON: "During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flan, flag with the right hand over their heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being held over the heart," according to United States Code Title 36, Chapter 10, Section 171. Why am I saying this? Well, it turns out that not wearing a flag lapel pin isn't the only way Barack Obama chooses to show he's a different kind of Democrat. In a photo from the October 1st, 2007, edition of Time magazine, it shows Hillary, Bill Richardson -- I'm sorry -- Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, and Barack Obama at the steak fry of Senator Tom Harkin on September 17th in Indianola, Iowa, during the national anthem. Richardson and Clinton have their hands on their heart, but not Obama. No, he's standing there with his hands clasped firmly in his -- well, hanging down from about his waist level, looking off in what appears to be in a direction opposite of the flag. This -- they ran the photo -- Time ran the photo without comment. No one else -- I haven't seen anywhere, anyplace else except for, let me see -- where did I get this? -- I believe this was on newswithviews.com or, oh, I can't remember the name of the other place. But -- what is this? During the national anthem Barack Obama decides, not only does he -- I don't care about wearing a little American flag pin. That's just an issue that somebody can bring up themselves. It's no big deal. I don't wear an American flag pin, so I can't say much about that. But to not put your hand on your heart for the national anthem and you want to be the leader of the United States of America? Makes me wonder what's gonna happen when that chief justice walks up to him, if he gets elected, and places a book in his hand -- we know where, what that's going to be; that's going to be the Quran, because Barack Obama is openly a Muslim. And is he going to even raise his right hand and say he can defend and support the Constitution of the United States of America when he won't even place his hand over his heart?