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Feb 9

Written by: Greg Runyon
2/9/2011 11:35 AM 

When I was a boy, my mother would sometimes sing to me the Halo shampoo jingle, which, if it penetrated my then-spongelike (now more sieve-like) brain correctly, went:

Halo, everybody, Halo
Halo is the shampoo that glorifies your hair
So Halo, everybody, Halo

I thought of this recently when I dug the word "halal" out of some back corner of my noggin. The reason that word came up for me was I saw a report on the news discussing how a frighteningly large percentage of Iowa Republicans believe that President Obama is Muslim. Now that I think about it, I'll amend:  If fifteen percent thought that was the case I'd call it frightening; perhaps a better term would be horrifying, because the number as I recall was reported to be something on the order of fifty percent. Now, granted, this was a small group, assembled, I guess, for the Sean Hannity TV show which was picking Iowa Republicans' brains with the help of pollster Frank Luntz, presumably to get a jump on the 2012 Caucus hoopla, which will be here sooner than I'd care to contemplate, but regardless, they assembled a couple dozen people, around half of whom believe this Muslim business. Frightening is indeed too mild a word.

What we learned, I guess, is that Iowa Republicans have no Internet access. Or television, radio, newspapers...really no contact with the outside world at large. You see, if Mr. Obama is a Muslim, he's got to be about the lousiest Muslim ever. Here’s where halal comes in. Halal is a term for items that are dietarily acceptable under Muslim teachings. Akin to kosher, if that helps. Now, let's think back to an early, widely publicized moment in the Obama presidency that anyone not living under a rock will recall:  The Beer Summit. There the president sat, in full view of cameras sipping on a beer while trying to smooth some ruffled racial feathers between some cop and a college professor. Beer is a great many things, but do you know one thing that beer is not?  Halal, that's what. Alcohol is a pretty big no-no to Muslims.

But okay, so you missed the Beer Summit. You were off at an Iowa Christian Republican Pep Rally and Bake Sale that week. How about just days ago when the Superbowl happened? Did you catch none of the mentions of the First Family's Superbowl party? The well-publicized menu included beer (not halal, see above), as well as bratwurst and kielbasa, both of which I confirmed with a quick web search to contain pork, which is, say it with me now, NOT HALAL!

So what you're telling me is that our HMIC (Head Muslim In Charge) is so crafty (and don't you think Muslims are kind of a crafty, scheming bunch?) that he outwardly flouts halal, all the while being Mr. Muslim when the cameras aren't on. Probably wears a secret invisible turban. No one's heard that he even had the White House jacked up and turned so it faces Mecca now? That doesn't mean it's not true!

Here's a new song we should all learn:

Halal, everybody, halal
Halal is something the President is not
So halal, everybody, halal

The funny thing, to me, is that the people who are so frightened that we might have a religious zealot in the White House are not properly frightened about the idea of having a religious zealot in the White House but rather that we simply might have a religious zealot that they disagree with. They'd love it if only they could install someone in that office who would sufficiently kowtow to their brand of idolatry. But stick a Jew in there and they'd similarly be off their collective rockers about that, too, I’m sure.

Apparently what our president needs to do is publicly eat bacon every morning. Maybe he could bring a pound or two to the next State of the Union address and gnaw on a slice every time there is an annoying burst of applause from the gallery. Or maybe every night he could get on TV and do a modern-day fireside chat while swilling a six-pack of beer. God knows he's earning it.


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