I am perplexed why 24% of the population would think an obvious atheist is a Muslim. — Catholic Minority Report on Twitter
Well the actual Pew research pew said it was up to 18% of people who believed that the President was a Muslim. What I thought was more interesting and much more of a story is that 46% answered down’t know to the question “What is Obama’s Religion?”, which was up from %36 percent. There is that old question of “What if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” and it looks like almost half of America says no to this question. Seems doubtful that Americans would answer “don’t know” if this had been asked about President Bush. The President certainly does not wear his religion on a sleeve or any other article of clothing for that matter. Even among Democrats only 46% identify him as a Christian.
The answer that people thought he was a Muslim is of course what made the headlines because of course trying to broadcast the stupidity of people is what makes headlines, especially if you are trying to make a specific segment look dumb. But of course there were all those people who believed 9/11 was an inside job — so finding people who believe things such as this is no difficulty.
Now if I had to answer this poll question it would be rather difficult to answer. I certainly don’t think he is a Muslim. I think where the confusion comes into play is that he is very sympathetic to Muslims and his apparent buddying up with Muslims over Christians lends to that. His announcements at the start of Ramadan are much more of a event than a simple message he releases for the start of Lent. His first television appearance after becoming President was on Arab TV and his next two speeches were to Muslim leaders. It is quite obvious his friendliness to dominate Muslim countries with nary a word of rebuke for any human rights violations. To think of the President as a believing Muslim is to equate religious belief with appeasement. If Obama prays five times a day, it is to a mirror.
As to his being a Christian we should first look to the fact that he says he became a Christian after being raised in a non-religious background. So he could very well believe in Christ, but acting like the majority of progressive Christians in that they become radically inconsistent and have a version of social justice involving government that is in no way the fullness of Social Justice. Jesus says let the little ones come to me and Obama votes to send them to Jesus on a much earlier schedule then intended. Being so radically pro-abortion if he is indeed a Christian then he is a very wicked one. Hypocritical Christians are nothing new. He wrote very little about his conversion to Christ in his books and it was in light of seeing people from churches doing good and he would not be the first to convert for this very reason.
Now I move into the area of pure conjecture. I certainly can not read the President’s mind and to know with any certainty his actual belief in Jesus. As an armchair observer if I was going to guess the President’s religion by his actions I would say he was either an atheist or an agnostic. I would choose agnostic as more likely since it is a form of voting present, something that State Senator Obama had much practice at. He would not be the first politician who joined a church for reasons other than worship.
Ultimately it is really hard to separate some forms of progressive Christianity from atheism/agnosticism. They can both align on many of the same causes without feeling out of joint and when it comes to abortion the arguments for it are usually identical. The same can be said for many other issues such as euthanasia, same-sex marriage, etc.
Regardless I offer a simple prayer for the President. If he is not a Christian I pray he converts. If he is I pray he becomes a better one.
Which brings me to the next story that is getting so much attention and besides the world needs another pundit spilling pixels on the issue of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.
First off those that put this issue as a religious rights one are quite misguided. If no Mosques were allowed to be built in New York City or in any other city for that matter it would be another story. The question is not whether Muslims can build places of worship, they certainly have that right and living in a country which follows the God-given right of religious freedom they have been and are able to do so.
The real issue is a prudential one as to the location of this Mosque to be built. This is an area where people are certainly entitled to weigh in on this precisely because it is a prudential issue and not one involving rights. As is often the case too much of a debate gets involved in side issues and do not focus the attention where it should be.
We have heard that the builders of this Mosque/Islamic Center is for purposes intended towards reconciliation. This is certainly a laudable goal and just for the sake of argument let us say that this is indeed the actual motive. If I had a project whose aim was for reconciliation on a sensitive subject and as I proceeded I found that I was causing much more heat than light, I hope that I would see that my efforts for such a reconciliation were causing more harm than good. So if the prudential question is if they are causing more harm than good than I would say this building should be built elsewhere on this point alone. After all they could build an Islamic Center elsewhere in the city with the same goal and if their motive was actually reconciliation could show that there are indeed Muslims who find the attack on 9/11 repellent and not morally acceptable in any way’I find the side issue of the proposed building site not really being part of ground zero a rather odd one. Even if you consider a building actually damaged during the attack on 9/11 not part of ground zero it is still adjacent to the site and many of those who lost loved ones during the attack don’t see this a very effective argument.
Add in to this equation that the person behind this has said things in the past that were not intended towards reconciliation, you have to wonder about the motive behind this in the first place. Islamic Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf said “I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.” and that the United States deserved the attack on 9/11. It is hard to see how this whole issue is not a deliberate provocation with not interest in reconciliation or religious dialogue. So if a Mosque/Center was to be build by ground zero than one of the last people who should do this would be him.
But like too many things a reasoned discussion on this is not possible because it gets mired in a topic not to the point such as religious freedom. The President framed his support based on this idea and ignored any prudential arguments on this. Interesting that the left often accuses the right of seeing things in black and white when really there are just so many shades of gray, yet they often do precisely this. I am so glad he is concerned about religious freedom and the next time a Catholic adoption agency is forced to close down because of state laws mandating homosexual adoptions he will be denouncing this action. No doubt he is already planning to write a speech denouncing the lack of religious freedom in the Muslim world and will be advocating that Saudi Arabia allow at least one Christian church to be built there.