Considering that religion and ethnicity are such sensitive issues in this election year, it might not help Obama to have the vocal support of an Indian politician named Brij Mohan Bhama, who will hold an eleven-day prayer for Obama’s victory in New Delhi. Not that there is anything wrong with the Hindu faith—aside from the lack of protein and scrumptious Chipotle barbacoa beef, *droooooooooool*—but (O?)-Bhama made headlines around the world, including the right-winger-frequented Drudge Report.
As if this weren’t enough, Bhama sent a giant golden monkey idol to Obama’s office, and explained to the media, “Obama has deep faith in Lord Hanuman and that is why we are presenting an idol of Hanuman to him.” (Jesus fucking Christ.)
An Indian-American (not American Indian) representative for Obama accepted the golden monkey love idol on the senator’s behalf, saying, “Obama has extended his thanks for the support.” This was gracious, and rejecting the gift might have caused offense to Indian-American voters, as well as the fine people at Dell tech support.
A significant chunk of the U.S. population believes that Sen. Barack Obama is an anti-Christian foreign weirdo with heretical religious beliefs and a mystical power to brainwash the masses. USA Today reported that a tenth of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, including 14 percent of Republicans and a fifth of rural Americans. For God’s (and/or Allah’s) sake, 10 percent of Democrats believe that he’s a Mecca-kneeler-towarder-fives-times-per-dayer.
Republicans are counting on this perception in November. You won’t hear Sen. John McCain say it—and to McCain’s credit, he has chastised right-wingers who pathologically utter the name “Barack Hussein Obama” as a scare tactic—but the whisper campaigns have gone on for months.
Apparently Obama carries a miniature Lord Hanuman lucky charm with him, which is why Bhama gave him the golden idol in the first place. (Don’t tell Focus on the Family leader James Dobson, who criticized Obama earlier this week for “deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology.”) But when it came to generating publicity for his candidate of choice, Bhama should have kept the monkey in his pants.