The Muslim-peddling about Democratic nominee Barack Obama continues, mostly through lies trafficked over the Internet, but also in questions raised in polite company by well-known and influential members of the political establishment.
Here's what Dennis Baxley, a former state legislator from Ocala and the executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, one of the most prominent groups on the religious right, said during an interview with the Miami Herald about Obama's outreach to the Christian community:
"He's pretty scary to us,'' he said. "I think his Muslim roots and training -- while they try to minimize it -- it's there."
Asked what he meant, Baxley pointed to Obama's childhood stint in Indonesia and his Muslim relatives.
(Obama mostly grew up in Hawaii but lived in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, between the ages of six to 10. He was raised by his mother and her parents, all from Kansas. Obama says his Kenyan father, who left when he was two and returned for one visit before his death, was "raised a Muslim'' but became a "confirmed atheist.")
"That concerns me particularly in the period of history we are living in, when there's an active movement by radical Muslims to occupy us,'' Baxley said of Obama's background. "That whole way of life is all about submission. It concerns me that someone rooted in those beginnings, how it might have affected their outlook. That's what scary for me."
Baxley on Obama's trip to Europe: "I think you can tell from his appeal and how a lot of the media emphasized how loved he is in other places. I'm very concerned that our own American values rooted in Christian principles be protected. It's fine with me if he wants to run for chancellor of Germany or chief of the European union, but not for president of the United States. I'm concerned about someone who has those global priorities. I just want someone who will take those responsibilities of preserving American values and American culture and not try to make us citizens of the world."
On Obama's description of himself as a devout Christian: "I don't want to pass judgment. I take him at face value. I do look at his story and where he's been, and the influence of the Rev. Wright-type of Christianity, and I'm not sure that's what I relate to...He wants to tax the rich more and redistribute wealth to other people -- where I come from that's socialism. Karl Marx was not a Christian."
Asked if he speaks in public about Obama's "Muslim roots'': "I really don't talk about candidates. I talk about issues. My greatest challenge is not Obama, it's apathy. I'm trying to get values voters to rise out of their apathy and participate...I can't speak for anyone else but I'm probably typical of all of the people who are suspect of those Muslim roots. We all know what early intervention with children is all about, and I am really wondering what the influence was on him from his father's background and being in a Muslim country. I'm not cooking up some plot about Muslims trying to inject a leader into our country but I am wondering how it influences his thinking."
On Obama's interview with Bill O'Reilly of FOX News: "I think his contact and his outreach have made him less scary to people. I'm not going to be scared to death if he should be elected. The interviews are helpful for people being able to reach a comfort level with him, but the background of his early childhood makes you wonder."