Aug 212010
 

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.

  24 Responses to “Obama’s religion”

  1. “If Obama prays five times a day, it is to a mirror.”

    Indeed.

  2. Joseph had a coat of many colors. Obama has many coats of religion – which coat he wears depends on the situation.

  3. It’s too bad the media (Fox news) is constantly referring to him as a Muslim, no wonder people are confused.
    And the reason people would not answer, “I don’t know” about Bush, is that there was never an ongoing news war about what the hell religion he was. End of story. People weren’t confused, because they weren’t told to be confused.

  4. I don’t think Obama is a Muslim or even an Atheist. Agnostic…maybe, but rather, I think more likely he is a Deist who probably believes Jesus was a nice guy who went around doing good.

    But of course, we know that Obama thinks he is the savior, (remember his campaign? Democratic National Convention? “WE’RE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!”) So indeed…if he’s praying, it’s probably to himself.

    I bet he’s really lonely. Having a personal relationship only with oneself doesn’t leave a lot of room for change.

  5. Very simple:

    He is neither a Christian nor a Muslim so far as belief and practice are concerned.

    He is, rather, a pragmatic politician.

    That is to say, he is agnostic and thinks the whole question of religious truth isn’t knowable or important enough to waste time and energy on.

    But In the United States of America, an agnostic black man who was raised by a Muslim, and largely overseas, has no chance of becoming a state legislator, let alone President, unless he softens that biography a little for the general public, creates a firm power base in the black community, and finds an “in” which permits him to hobnob with other politically-aware folks.

    That half-crazed church Obama attended in Chicago, with the two-thirds crazed pastor, fit the bill nicely: Black identity? Check. Political connections? Check. Sufficient image-alteration to undercut the Islamic/agnostic questions? Check…until well after the election, which was all that mattered.

    Show me evidence that Obama seriously challenges the orthodoxies of his hard-left constituency for reasons of faith…or that his annual giving to church and charity approaches 5% of his income, let alone the normative 10%, let alone the more-than-tithe that such a financially-blessed person could be expected to give…and I’ll concede my error and admit he’s a believing Christian, albeit a confused one in important ways.

    Until then, the evidence is better explained by a different attitude: A “who cares?” indifference, coupled with “does this church membership WORK for me?”

  6. I would call him a “pragmatic agnostic.”

  7. What’s wrong with calling him UCC (United Church of Christ)? That’s the congregation he belonged to most of his life. Folks may not like the UCCs but his political positions line of straight as an arrow with them (except he may be a bit more of a hawk!). I can’t see any duplicity here.

  8. Obama’s faith is in Chicago style politics. Nothing else.

  9. He stated that he belonged to the UCC for 22 years, yet he can’t recall anything that was said while he was there?

    As for the mosque and how it has been portrayed, for the past 6 years I have been able to attend Mass at non-denominational Memorial Chapel at the Pentagon located where the plane hit on September 11. In addition to the 1130 Mass, they hold Jewish, Protestant, and Muslim services. Nobody has a problem with muslims regularly praying at the site. Prayer is not the issue. Muslims are not the issue. Particular individuals and their affiliations ARE the issue.

    I wonder how vocal these pro-mosque bleeding heart liberals would be if the Church wanted to build a pro-life center next to the abortion building that Eric Rudolph blew up in Birmingham, Al.

  10. Why has there been so little expenditure of ink or electrons on the Orthodox church a Ground Zero that simply wants to rebuild? It was already there, and has gotten the runaround.

  11. Is it possible that he has learned from Tony Blair the political expediency of being all thing to all men?

    Just a thought.

  12. There is one other aspect that may be relevant here about the “Ground Zero Mosque”. My admittedley imperfect understanding is that the organisation primarily responsible for this project calls itself “Cordoba”. I don’t know whether or not this name wll be atached to the mosque, if built; although I personally feel that this is a distinct possibility, given the imam’s chequered past.. The application of this name to any aspect of this project cannot be taken as anything other than making this a muslim gesture of defiance and victory against the victims of 9/11. Those who wish to see the Cordoba Cathedral restored as a mosque whether they are muslims or fellow travellers, seem to “forget” that it was a church first (from the 3rd Century). For muslims anyway, the name Cordoba is a rally-cry that is unmistakable. Neither it, nor the mosque, should be allowed.

  13. “If Obama prays … he prays to a mirror.” You may be more right than you realize. Obama literally told an interviewer in an interview I recently read that he prays to God throughout the day, by asking himself how he is doing! He also said he believes in Christ but skirted making a commitment to who exactly Christ is. He said he distrusts dogma. He went to Catholic school in Indonesia. I pray he gets converted to the true religion he was taught as a child.

  14. Wow, this post is WAAAY too long.

  15. I imagine (Plato: Opinion is not truth.) President 0 thinks (as deeply as possible) “Christianity was founded by “a young Palestinian named Jesus.” (HT: Catholic Caveman). That makes him a christian.

  16. Divide & Conquer, was used by B 16 in Regensburg, to divide rational and bigot muslims. He never excused himself, when asked so later in Turkey. He was only stating an historical fact-TRUTH.

    My point is that I agree with your: “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”, and the only way out of being so mired, is: to split the bigots from the peaceful ones in an intelligent way.

    Cordially.

  17. All this has to do to be framed in terms of “religious freedom” is for Obama to move heaven and earth–no pun intended–to find out why, nine years after the fact, the Greek Orthodox church that was already STANDING on 9/11 can’t seem to get permits from the city of New York for rebuilding and repair of their damaged house of worship. but His Hopeness doesn’t seem to either be aware of, or care about, that. Seems to me if this is about religious freedom…the houses of worship that were already standing deserve to be restored FIRST, before new projects come up on the drawing board.

    So why doesn’t anyone in the news media ask him about THAT? Or better yet, ask him and Mayor Bloomie both?

    JB

  18. All this questions and points of conversation should have been discussed before the election. But we were too politically correct to ask the pertinent questions. We didn’t ask about his time at Columbia or Harvard, we were gullible(or some of us were) and we bought into the catch phrases. If you couldn’t tell about his religious affliation after the weenie interview done by the California mega church preacher then you missed something important. He is of the church of the chameleon or whatever it takes to get elected. Could he be Muslim, beats me. He sides on the side of all things that we as Christians oppose. Abortion, partial birth abortion, embryonic stem cell research, to name a few. He is more new age than anything. He is an embarrassment to our country. I pray that he will be a one term Prez.

  19. Regarding Obama being a muslim…everytime the story came on the news I would get so irritated. Couldn’t people see that he has no religion, he was only taking the same side as other haters of America. Then I heard something David Limbaugh said on the radio while promoting his new book…Obama said ” Islam is a revealed religion. ” If that is true it was either revealed by God or satan. Someone who believes that it was revealed by God would not believe in the Divinity of Christ. Therefore maybe these people who think he is a muslim are not so far from the truth as I thought they were.

  20. Truth!

    Mayor Bloomberg said, “We are all muslims.”

  21. He is a socialist, I am a Catholic, can I be a socialist?

  22. I assume that “Cordoba” is a reference to the popular image of “the Convivencia”, when supposedly Moslems, Christians and Jews all lived together in exquisite harmony.

    Something I am still waiting for a straight answer on… will those who cry “build it somewhere else” be explicit on where “somewhere else” is? Otherwise, if “They” agreed to build “somewhere else”, how do They (and the rest of us) know that the heckler’s veto will not simply be invoked again? “No, that is STILL within the sacred exclusion zone!” Or the hecklers could simply invoke some other pretext. “Too close to the UN!” or “Too close to [fill in name of synagogue].

    After all, I have not heard Lazio, or Gingrich, or Palin say “Sure, the Staten Island project was DIFFERENT”, and can not help suspecting that the “sacred ground” cries are only an excuse.

    Oh, and anyone who is traumatized by the sight of a mosque had better not check into Jamaica Hospital. Every time I was there I had a window view of the al-Khoei Foundation.

  23. He didn’t go to church last Easter Sunday nor did anyone in the family.
    He played golf. The children did I don’t know what but neither their mother or grandmother got Christian children to church on Easter Sunday.
    Christians who believe Christ rose from the dead tend to get to church on Easter Sunday.

  24. Nobody in recent memory has had more different things said about him than Barry O. All of them can’t be right. All of them may not be wrong.

    He seems alright to me. Treats his wife and family good. He doesn’t preach hate like you.

    I guess you got to take a guy like that at his word

    Politics is a different matter. Politics and religion are separate. A guy like you wouldn’t care about that.

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