Benjamin Disraeli was born of a Jewish father but was baptized and had a Christian upbringing, joining the Church as an adult. The prime minister didn't practice Judaism.
Barack Obama was born of an Islamic father but, after some grade-school Islamic education, had a Christian upbringing, joining the Church as an adult. The president doesn't practice Islam.
Both attained the highest political office possible when Judaism was politically inconvenient in England and Islam was politically inconvenient in the United States.
Benjamin Disraeli has an entry in the Encyclopedia Judaica. Why? How is he a Jew? Why is he so often spoken of as a Jew? Yet no one is called "stupid" for calling Disraeli a Jew. People are called "stupid" for calling Obama a Moslem.
Obama is no less a Christian than Disraeli was a Christian.
On the other hand, how is Obama less a Muslim than Disraeli was a Jew? Why is it a crime to think of Obama that way when we speak of Disraeli that way?
No one is more moral for insisting that Obama's relationship to Islam never be raised, than one is moral for insisting that Disraeli's relationship to Judaism never be raised.
If the only reason is political -- for political partisans to insulate and protect a shrinking Obama while at the same time trying to intimidate Obama's political opponents -- then let's not be so high-minded about it and admit that's all it is.
Related & Recommended
Get The Jewish Week Newsletter
The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.