everything from Obama being some sort of conniving secret-Muslim seeking todestroy America to his being the Anti-Christ became all the rage in online forumsand blogs. Yet these claims were quickly disputed, and all but forgotten . . . untilnow.Now, with the refusal to release his birth certificate, Barack Obama seems to haverekindled the flame beneath this rumor. The benefit and drawback of releasing thedocument, then, fall along the same lines: releasing it could either prove theseclaims true, or quickly and efficiently prove them false.The next rumors all hinge on the validity of Senator Obama's name. Some claim hechanged his name from Barry to the more Middle Eastern/Islamic sounding Barack.Others claim his middle name was not Hussein, but Mohammed. Of course, manyhold that, whether Obama released the document or not, the latter claim holdslittle weight.What, many ponder, would be the significance of his changing his middle name fromone Muslim sounding name to another? Some, however, might seem to believe thatthe name change suggests an attempt to sound
Muslim, an idea few grant anycredibility to, and others call just plain, well, dumb. In regards to the formermatter, again, releasing the birth certificate would yield little to be concernedabout.A Newsweek.com report already addressed Senator Obama's shedding of the"Barry" nickname in college, instead choosing a preference for the name he shareswith his father, Barack. Thus, even if he had changed his name officially from abirth certificate record of "Barry" to "Barack," it wouldn't show a change to be"more Muslim," but instead simply adopts the name of his father. In other words,despite the hype, there seems to be little cause for controversy over this issue,either. However, the refusal to release the document, if not inflaming this issue,also suggests to some that something else might be "hidden" there.In light of all these issues, most of which have already been disputed anddisregarded in the past, many question whether or not the issue of the birthcertificate should be an issue at all. The issues which have been sparked over thebirth certificate's release seem to be nominal at the most. Many have agreed the"controversy" seems more of a distraction than an actual issue; a report from theOnline Journal calls the issue a "GOP dirty trick".