by Patrick Appel

Beinart acknowledges that Republicans have become more religiously tolerant, but he thinks it "virtually impossible to imagine a practicing Muslim winning a Republican primary for the House or Senate, as Democrat Keith Ellison did recently in Minnesota":

The GOP’s basic problem is that many Republicans equate Christianity, or at least Judeo-Christianity, with Americanism. They do not believe it’s possible to truly uphold American ideals unless you identify with the religious traditions that supposedly underlie those ideals. In a country with a growing Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Mormon and atheist population, that’s a significant source of political bigotry. Is it good that the South Carolina GOP has embraced a South Asian woman? Of course. When that woman can practice whatever religion she wants, without fear that it will wreck her political career, then Republicans will truly deserve to crow.

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