IF YOUR TIME IS SHORT
- At a voter outreach event aimed at Muslims, Biden said, “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith… about all the great confessional faiths.”
- Conservative commentators said Biden was anti-Christian and against prayer in schools, leaving out the context of him talking about theology in general.
- Biden is Roman Catholic and has talked about how faith led him to run for public office. He has said he supports the separation of church and state.
As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spoke in support of increasing Muslim American voter turnout at a recent summit, he said he wished American schoolchildren were taught more about Islam.
Biden thanked advocacy group Emgage Action for endorsing his campaign and having him at their “Million Muslim Votes” event July 20. Then he said: “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith.”
Biden said more than that, but the backlash on social media didn’t catch it. Conservative activists, including Charlie Kirk, tweeted out the comment and went on to say Biden didn’t support prayer or studying the Bible in schools. One former Republican candidate called him anti-Christian. Biden is a lifelong Roman Catholic.
On Facebook, a text post quoted Biden incorrectly as saying: “We need to teach our children the ISLAMIC FAITH in our schools!”
The misquote left out important context from the rest of Biden’s speech and his campaign as a whole.
Biden said he wished schools taught not only the Islamic faith but “all the great confessional faiths.” He also said that he is interested in theology and “we all come from the same root here in terms of our fundamental, basic beliefs,” referencing his own Catholic background.
His reference to “confessional religions” includes different denominations of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which are religions that each have their own statements of faith, sometimes called a confession.