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August 31st, 2010 // posted in Leadership, Trends

Is Mr. Obama a Muslim?

During the past few weeks a shocking amount of media coverage has been committed to the argument about whether President Obama is a Muslim. This battle was ignited by aggressive comments from a handful of high profile Christian leaders, followed by a letter signed by 70 Christian pastors asking the media to stop giving coverage to such claims. That letter, of course, only served to provoke additional attention to the issue, producing media hysteria about specific pastors who had not signed the note, particularly Rick Warren (who had prayed for Mr. Obama at his inauguration ceremony). The fact that Pastor Warren reportedly gave a “no comment” in response to this matter raised new questions in some quarters. Finally, a Pew survey kept the flames burning by reporting that almost one out of five American adults believes Mr. Obama is Muslim and about two out of five say they do not know.

Several things strike me about this absurd situation.

First, Mr. Obama ran for the office of President of the United States, not President of Christianity, not President of Heaven. Given the biblical injunction that none of us are to judge the heart and soul of others, it strikes me as personally irrelevant and biblically beyond my call of duty to ascertain whether he is or is not a Christian. If he claims to be a Christian and actually is, that’s wonderful; but, in the end, he answers to God, not us. If he claims to be a Christian and is not, that’s too bad; but, in the end, he answers to God, not us.

The aggressive judgmentalism surrounding this matter is suffocating. Call me naïve, but I am convinced that God can defend Himself and His territory; He doesn’t need me to cast doubt on the integrity and stated commitments of others in order for Him to retain control of the universe. My job is to pray for the president, regardless of what his faith is, and as Paul reminds us in Romans 13, to obey the leaders the Lord allows in public office.

Second, once again Christians are being portrayed – with some justification – as people who are against things. I think the world is now sufficiently appraised of what we stand against. Perhaps it’s time to put up a positive front and show them what we are for by demonstrating the love of Christ in all that we think, say, and do.

Third, we’d better figure out how to handle concerns about the potential of people who believe differently than us becoming president. (No, that’s not a sly way of insinuating Mr. Obama is not a Christian.) Once the mid-term elections are behind us and the 2012 presidential race begins in earnest (i.e., November 10), Mitt Romney will likely be the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination. If you don’t already know, you will hear plenty about how Mr. Romney is a devout Mormon. While our surveys suggest that even in this post-everything culture Mr. Romney is unlikely to make it to the White House (largely because of his choice of faith), he will be a formidable presence and his faith will emerge as a bigger issue than it was in his 2008 bid. It is ironic that the Republican Party – i.e., that which is most closely associated with evangelicals and other conservative, Bible-believing people – is the one that must ponder what to do about a legitimate candidate who is associated with a faith group that most evangelicals and many conservative Christians consider to be a cult.

How will Christians respond to Mr. Romney’s candidacy? I think the answer to that question may wind up being more important than who gets elected president in 2012.

I don’t know about you, but all of the wasted energy and public anguish that we Christians devote to pursuing marginal concerns is awfully tiresome. When do we get to the part where we focus on cleaning up our own house and demonstrating genuine humility? At what stage do we impress the world with the abundance of our love, generosity, and tenderness? When do we abandon the witch hunts and the lust for power in favor of justice, service, and compassion?

I guess I don’t really care if Mr. Obama (or Mr. Romney) is Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, Hindu, Mormon, or Scientologist. I simply want a true leader who honestly reveals what he/she believes, offers a full-blown vision for the future, makes good on his/her promises, and serves the people in harmony with the values that have made this country great. All things being equal, I’d probably prefer a genuine Christian to someone who is not a devoted follower of Christ. But, then again, all things are never equal and past experience has shown that being a committed Christian is not necessarily a recipe for successful political performance.

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45 Comments

  1. Farrah.com

    August 31, 2010

    THANK YOU, for so eloquently blogging this message that so many Christians need to hear! Last night while in the grocery store checkout the headline “Obama Is A Muslim” was blaring at us from everywhere. My husband and I when, ministering to others, find we have to spend a lot of time apologizing for the negative view of the Church due to behavior like this. Not only is this tiring, but I could that time could be much better spent pointing to the beauty of our Lord. If only more of His followers here would do the same!

    • toFarrah.com

      November 17, 2010

      You don’t have to apologize for the church. Jesus loved the church and He died for it. Hence, He apologized. He knows the church is full of sinners, we need to focus on the Gospel and not how “awful” the saints are because the world “hates” them. I don’t understand why you feel the need to apologize for sinners who are sinful. When someone is offended by a person, that person owes the apology. If, for some reason, the person is offended because of the Gospel, then Jesus Himself said it would offend. The world does not love Christians and frankly if it did, then Jesus is a liar because He said they would hate us. If they are offended because a Christian behaves like a sinful human being then maybe you can let them know “that is why we all need Jesus”.

  2. Pat

    August 31, 2010

    AMEN and AMEN! I just posted at another site on the hypocrisy of some Evangelicals who are following Glenn Beck (a Mormon) hook, line and sinker but have in the past and will probably again in the future cast doubt on Mitt Romney and other Mormons. Either we disagree with someone’s theological bent or we don’t. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t castigate people but then when they promote an agenda you like, fall in line with them. But then again, I guess you can….

  3. Michael O.

    August 31, 2010

    WORD!
    HaHaHaHa. Really good stuff George.
    I find that I agree with Obama more than I did Bush Jr. No he (POTUS, Obama) isn’t Muslim, and if he was, big deal! Also Obama has a birth certificate so get off that one too people!
    Also, get off the Mosque in NY thing people. If we start dictating and micro-managing Muslims, next it will be christians. Republicans aren’t chosen by God either. Pound for pound the Democrat positions exhibit more christian values than do Republicans.
    IMHO.

  4. Karen Swim

    September 1, 2010

    George, AMEN! I read this post nodding my head vigorously, thankful to read words that I felt, heard and said over the last few weeks. Truthfully, who among us is a perfect representation of Christ. I can stand boldly proclaiming my faith yet each day I must humbly ask forgiveness for falling short of what I believe. It saddens me that there is such an air of hatred and divisiveness and Christians are in the middle of it. I wonder how much better the world would be if we turned an eye and passion toward the man or woman next door to us who could use a word of encouragement or a bag of groceries? What if we turned to the matters of faith that we agree upon and worked collectively for change?

  5. Michael O.

    September 1, 2010

    We need to pray for our President Barak Hussein Obama, who is a Christian Brother. You may not completely agree with all of his politics, but he professes Christianity, so he is not the enemy, but is on our side. I think he is a good family man and has a beautiful family and I am proud when I see him and his beautiful wife and beautiful two girls representing the diversity of our country. I am happy that a black family is representing the American people. Our President inherited a very diffucult set of problems to deal with. That alone is hard enough but people are attacking him personally in addition with foolishness. We need to support him and back him up. The problems he faces are all of our problems and I want him to do well and you should also. I was proud of what he said and the position he took regarding the Islamic Mosque two city blocks away from the former World Trade Center. It was the right thing to do. The world is watching how we handle this Mosque issue and President Obama did us proud by his statement and position, besides it is in the Constitution, freedom of religion. Our President is under attack, it is draining on him, he is trying to do the best by the American people. Support him. If you don’t agree, voice your concern, but don’t belittle him or the office. I like the mans heart, I think he has a good heart. He is compassionate, we need that right now. I also like how he has gone around the world trying to make amends for past US foreign policy matters that were just plain wrong, arrogant, and mean spirited. President Obama for the most part has done the US proud in the eyes of the rest of the world. I like him the longer I observe him. He is exhibiting christian principles and good moral character.

  6. Jack Son

    September 1, 2010

    Sorry, Mr. Barna but you seem to perpetuate what you rail against. And blaming 70 Christian pastors for asking people like to “stop giving this coverage” and blaming Rick Warren for “no comment” makes it clear to this first and last reader of Barna that you have your own agenda. You judge against the Christian community as one while at the same time railing against the Christian community for calling President Obama a Muslim when in fact this is all about one blowhard – Beck. Look up hypocrite – it fits.

    • George Barna

      September 1, 2010

      No offense intended, Jack Son, but it seems to me that you are the one with an agenda. I did not “blame” the 70 Christian pastors for anything. I did not “blame” Rick Warren for his position. I’m not sure what you’re claiming my “agenda” is, but let me simply describe it: for the Christian Church to be the loving, serving, worshiping, trustworthy group of people that Jesus enabled us to become. In the past few weeks I have been accused by various people of having a Deomocratic agenda and by others of having a Republican agenda. I have been accused of being a conservative and accused of being a liberal. When will the judgmental attitudes stop, replaced by willingness to seek truth and lifestyles that will honor Christ rather than break His heart? And please don’t distract people by raising the Beck card. This is not about him. It’s about you and me being genuine followers of Christ and serving others in accordance with biblical principles. Please do not throw accusations like “hypocrite” at people you do not know. Jesus can do that; you and I should not.

      • Royces1

        November 7, 2010

        Is Mr. Obama a Muslin?

        Does Mr. Obama know for sure? Does a Pear Tree know it’s a Pear tree? The fruit will confirm the tree. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is listed in the bible of God’s word. To produce the fruit of God’s Spirit, God’s word in the bible, clearly states you must be born again.
        It’s my observation that the news accounts, from many sources, of the fruit of Mr. Obama, since becoming President of the United States, does not seem to be that of the Holy Spirit.
        Does his fruit witness to you?

    • Michael O.

      September 2, 2010

      Jack Son,
      I am not sure if you read the same blog as I did to start this topic? The 70 Christian Pastors were asking for the old school Greek Rhetoric to be turned down a few notches in regards to our President Obama being portrayed as a Muslim. Within and without Christianity. He (Obama) goes to Christian church confesses Salvation as giving his life to Jesus Christ. He (Obama) is also being portrayed as not having US citizenship. Within and without Christianity. His birth certificate has been examined and found in order.
      He (Obama) is portrayed as being a Socialist, Muslim, Communist, Facist, Black Racist, etc. Within and without Christianity.
      How do I know? Because I get forwarded emails by christians weekly with all of this stuff from christian individuals and christian groups.
      The reference to Rick Warren I took as he (Rick Warren) just didn’t want to get involved in the utter nonsense of it all. Warren was probably to busy in Africa teaching people how to grow food to feed themself and drilling water wells so they don’t die from waterborn disease. In that part of the world it is neccessary to first actually produce results in the tribe to show them you have bigger juju than the local witchdoctor, before you hit them with the Gospel.
      I took the supposed agenda in the opening post to be for christians to quit judging, and start praying for the President and don’t believe all of the cranked up rhetoric.
      A valid point made in the opening piece was this thing within christianity to elect presidents as president of christianity or president of heaven.
      I seem to remember a tribe representing God on earth earlier called Judaism who were looking for a Savior to ride in on a white horse and take political control and usher in the kingdom politically and crush the Roman adversary. We (christians) seem to have the same bent wanting our politicians to usher in the new christian theocracy. It ain’t in the cards people. In fact I’ve got a news break for you. America is NOT a christan nation.
      The best you can hope for is that the supposed Christian-Republican Party don’t get their wish and ban that Islamic Mosque two city blocks away from “ground-zero”. Because in the near future your pretty little white steepled church might get banned because it is within two city blocks of the Federal Building.
      While we are on the subject of the christian-republican party, they are playing the christians like a fine tuned violin. As is the case with the “hot-button” issue ground-zero Mosque. Once you get past the “hot-button” issues of abortion and gay marriage. What does the republican party really do for christianity? They are against affordable health care within the reach of all Americans. They love to run around starting wars lately. They bail out criminal professional thieves in the banking industry and wall street. They bail out big huge corporation’s who have bad business practices and move manufacturing to countries that have slave child labor and and pay people pennies an hour while they enrich themselves with bloated prices in this country. Yet the republicans vote 4 times to not extend unemployment benefits to out of work American Taxpayers who are trying to not get thrown out in the street because they can’t pay the rent. Right now we have millions of Americans living in their cars because they cant find work. Where is the christians? Voting Republican.
      I didn’t see Beck mentioned in the opening piece? I’m not sure where Beck is going with this? It seems he is headed towards a religious theocracy? Being a Mormon, Jesus won’t be the Head of the Theocracy. The Elders of the Mormon church will be.
      hypocrite n., a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; one who pretends to be better than is really so, or to be pious, virtuous, etc. without really being so. (Websters New World College Dictionary Fourth Edition.)
      I would characterize the opening piece as an individual, an American, expressing his Constitutional right to free speech, rendering an informed opinion, within a blog on the internet paid for by the writer.
      I personally agreed with the piece and did not see it as hypocritical, but a call for christians to pray for their leaders, and stop perpetuating lies about those leaders, and turn down the rhetoric.

  7. John, an unlikely Pastor

    September 2, 2010

    George–

    thanks. You’ve got a level headed response to a peaky but irrelevent question that is well reasoned and insightful.

    Many, like Abe Lincoln, have served this nation faithfully while never fully joining any church (Mary Lincoln was a Presbyterian but her husband never joined, he only attended some). It might be worth a look back to see if there’s more depth to this comparisson or not.

    Our nation has never been fully Christian and its time we learn how best to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.
    Peace, John

  8. yoyo7th

    September 3, 2010

    George,

    What I find pertinent is your phrase to the right..
    “Evangelism without discipleship is spiritual abuse.”

    Almost all clergy are into “you suck, try harder” troubleshooting sermons..that are basically vitamin therapy homilies addressing some perceived deficiency. They really produce no training for discipleship or outreach.

    Because of this, most pew warmers remain overwhelmed in the flesh and end up constantly fighting with the choir because they are NOT tasked with any purpose or mission.

    Bench sitters whine.

    There is a small % of clergy who train by presenting expository bible book study sermons which “equip the saints”.

    The overwhelming majority do not.. usually the reason is that they are lazy and/or unconsecrated/unconverted.

    Support: 1 Cor 1…divisions = fleshly

  9. Jenny

    September 9, 2010

    Thank you for an insightful post. I’d add one comment: You point out that “Obama ran for the office of President of the United States, not President of Christianity, not President of Heaven.” Yes, that’s true, and as third party onlookers, we’re unable to judge where he stands with God.

    However, in some sense, Obama’s religion is the voters’ business. During his campaign, he claimed to be a Christian. That factored into people deciding whether or not to vote for him. His religious affiliation becomes somewhat like a campaign promise: He’s promising to uphold some sort of standards. The problem is that this country is filled with people who call themselves “Christian” but disagree as to what standards should be held. It’s just like some of his supporters becoming upset because he didn’t come through on “health care reform” to the extent they themselves expected. To a number of Christians, Obama hasn’t kept up with their expectations as to what a “Christian president” should do.

    If Obama wanted the public to stay out of his religious affairs, then he really should’ve kept quiet about it during the campaign. However, he chose to make a claim so as to appeal to Christian voters. Now no one should be surprised if those voters take issue with it.

    • Michael O.

      September 10, 2010

      Jenny,
      I am sort of curious as to what “christian voters” would take issue with with Mr Obama?
      In addition, the “number of Christians” you refer to that “Obama hasn’t kept up with their expectations as to what a ‘Christian president’ should do.” What might those expectations be?
      My personal christian position is that POTUS Obama, has exhibited very good christian character, morals, and policy that lines up quite nicely Biblically.
      Further, as a christian, I am very clear where Mr Obama stands with God. He obviously confesses christianity, he has stated so numerous times recently, and in the past. I have no reason to doubt him. Do you?
      I am very satisfied with Mr Obama’s standards that he has upheld, you seem to imply he has not in many christians opinions. What might those standards be?
      I might add for the record that I am a christian, white, baby boomer, who did not vote for Mr Obama, but probably will next time because I think he is exhibiting better christian attributes than George Bush, as far as policy goes.
      I think that there are some vicious rumors, inuendo, lies, being perpetuated, by professing christians. I am not saying you, but I receive emails daily from christian individuals and groups forwarding these lies and character assisination.
      Observing Mr Obama I am quite impressed how he has handled the sheer volume of attacks.

  10. Judith

    September 12, 2010

    Thank you Mr. Barna and those who expressed their views. Many battles have been fought through prayer. Let us pray for Mr. Obama, Muslims and Christians alike. Christian prayer is a freeedom guaranteed to us by our constitution. Let us do our part in praying authentic prayers for our nation and each other.

  11. Denise

    September 13, 2010

    Thank you Mr. Barna. So well spoken and a much needed voice of reason and faith. Knowing the truth sets us free. Thank you for being a light in the darkness to illuminate the truth of both how we are preceived as Christians and what is on our minds collectively as well as demographically. Knowing oneself is the first step in effectiveness, so knowing how we are perceived and what we do that either points people to Christ or away from Him is truth I want to hear more of. As you said, in humility and love is the key. Otherwise Love the Lord Your God and Love Your Neighbor As Yourself would not be the foundation of the Word and ministry of Chirst that we are left here to carry on until His return.

  12. Mike McDade

    September 14, 2010

    The problems with this country started long before Mr. Obama took office. Whether he is Muslim or Christian matters little to me as long as he is courageous, honest, compassionate and focused. These should be the measures of our presidents not their religion. Jesus will be the one who judges his life. I wish people would quit worrying what everyone else is doing and help someone. This could be our greatest hour as Christians helping others through difficult times, but instead all we do is complain about what is not being done. It is time for us to lose the victim mentality.

  13. Dday

    September 17, 2010

    Good stuff Mr. Barna! I’m definitely on the same page, although sometimes I wonder if we continue to make this a big deal by talking about it so much. Like Michael O who doesn’t seem to realize his very biased summary of your original blog and in his response to Jenny. We all struggle with our biases and with the continued influence of others that we care about. However, the irony stems from the fact that we have looked around as beleivers and asked for a king. And that lie is so deep within us that we actually think we are seeing and discussing politics clearly although really we are just looking to people to lead or save us instead of God. A true believer has but one King, and one Lord, and one Savior an that’s Jesus. The power is not in the politics, but in the prayer and self sacrifice of Christ followers; afterall I think that’s what Jesus seemed to care about. However, this wouldn’t be the first time I put God in a box if I’m wrong about a few things!

    • Michael O.

      September 20, 2010

      Dday,
      I enjoyed your response. Please define how my response was biased to the original blog and Jenny? I don’t understand? I didn’t vote for Mr. Obama, nor am I a Democrat.
      Observing his response and reaction (Obama) while he is under foolish attack about being Muslim or not a citizen of the US. I might consider voting for him next election. He is exhibiting christian character.
      I do not look to politics for anything other than a stable environment for my family, and a culture that christian belief can flourish in freedom.
      I do believe that the US citizens have entrenched themselves in two basic camps and christianity has joined one by in large. Right now it is a stalemate and the politics have become more important than the peoples business.
      Republicans have thrown christianity two bones to chew on ( abortion and gay marriage) but aside from that, what do they provide for christianity?
      What concerns me is the large volume of emails I get from christians and christian groups who perpetuate the myths about Obama and Democrats in large. My Democrat Congressman in the House of Representatives is more Republican voting than the majority of Republicans.

  14. ivy

    September 23, 2010

    I totally agree with the author’s perspective. Christianity as depicted in newsfeeds, blogs, and mainstream media is not one that Christ came to set up on this Earth. Christians should be more focused on their bibles and exhibiting the Christianity portrayed by Christ, than they are about politics.

  15. Jim Brothers

    September 28, 2010

    Mr Barna-

    First, I would characterize what you observed, not as “aggressive judgmentalism”, but taking the Lord’s name in vain. Contrary to popular belief, the Commandment is not about cussing. It’s about purporting to speak for God when doing no such thing. Accusing President Obama of being is Muslim is the kind of accusation that can only come back and bite Christians in the butt. It’s a poor excuse for leadership. It’s a poor excuse for political savvy and it’s antithetical to those of us that prefer to fight evil, not redefine it to fit a political belief.

    Second. President Obama has a highly developed sense of Liberal, secular ethics.My ethics are Christian and politics are somewhat Conservative and Libertarian. So I have no great love for Mr. Obama or his policies, but accusing a President of sin, (outside his Church, if you are an Elder) is one of the least discerning things Christian “leaders” can do. If you don’t believe it, Ask what happened to President Clinton when he was clearly engaged in sexual sin. He is now an Elder Statesman and his foreign policy lives on in our current Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Last, I think Christians would be wise to examine candidates’ ethical systems, not their belief systems. It would be a much better predictor of their actions.

    • Michael O.

      September 28, 2010

      Jim,
      I hope grace is extended to me to go a little off topic here.
      I must say that I find the politics of the Republican party particularly eggregious in the eight year stretch of George Bush, and including present Republican policy and position.
      I find corporate business and personal greed and avarice as offensive as “liberal secular ethics.”
      We witnessed with evangelical zeal and support for the Republicans by a large segment of christianity, the following.
      An 8 Trillion deficit run by the Bush administration, borrowed by in large from communist countries with ethics violations against christianity so terrible I hate to mention them.
      2 wars started, one of which I am still wondering why, and why are we still there?
      Winking at uncontroled greed exhibited by the American business establishment as a whole.
      Bailout of rich bankers.
      Bailout of rich Wall St investment/stock firms.
      Bailout of rich Insurance Co’s.
      Bailout of large corporations.
      All of the above companies with bad business practices an just plain unethical dealings, even criminal.
      Meltdown of the Mortgage industry.
      Meltdown of the Banking industry.
      Meltdown of the Insurance industry.
      Meltdown of the stock/bond industry.
      Acceleration of the trade deficit with China, who martyers the Chinese Saints.
      The Republican corporate welfare system.
      No health care system reform, with 50 Million Americans not covered, or eliminated due to pre-existing conditions and other inventive ruse.
      A consistant Republican benevolence toward large organizations as opposed to living human organism’s.
      The continued Republican entrenched support of immoral greed and avarice offends me as a christian. So I have no great love for the Republican National Commitee Plank policies.
      I think christianity needs to examine the Republican’s ethical systems as well as the Democrats. The Republicans throw the christians a couple of bones for their support (abortion/gay marriage). Christianity needs to wake up.

      • Wilson Chili

        November 4, 2010

        Michael O.

        I could not agree more with your assessment of the republican party (and democratic)— they are simply competitors with the same goal. While I hope and pray that people will wake up, sadly they remain in a slumber. The mainline conservative evangelical has lost their way. And now, more than ever, they demonstrate (and, this I am sad to say) total Idolatry—the bible is reduced to little more than a fraternal handbook; Christianity, an industry.

  16. WestCoast Christian

    October 21, 2010

    Mr. Barna,

    I am a Christian, and regard myself as being neither Democrat nor Republican. I will opt out of identifying with any political party until they come up with one called the “Intellectually Honest” Party.

    I find your comments refreshing, particularly coming from a man who bears much fruit (I read your book GROWING TRUE DISCIPLES, and have been a strong admirer of yours ever since). For too long, we have conflated Christianity with a certain political bent, resulting in a great deal of anger, hate, and many other non-Christian attitudes being aimed at anyone who dares to think differently. Even here in “liberal” California, I sometimes don’t know if I’m entering a church or a political rally (one preacher at a nearby church even cites Glenn Beck quotes in his sermons). So I get it that everyone is not convinced that Obama’s a Christian. Does that make him a Muslim? And I also get that some may not favor his policy initiatives. Does that make him Hitler? These are accusations coming from representatives of the church body.

    Remember that old hymn “And They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”? Whatever happened to that?

  17. Jonny Rodgers

    October 25, 2010

    OFF TOPIC:

    Mr. Barna where are you? You’re neglecting your own blog space. I’ve looked forward to and enjoyed reading what’s been on your heart.

    We haven’t heard from you since August 31st.

    :(

    • George Barna

      October 26, 2010

      Sorry, Jonny. Four things have held me back. One is extensive travel recently, which ends next week. Two, illness (now largely overcome). Three, concentrating on finishing three books that will be out in the first half of 2011. Four, I try to resist writing when I don’t have anything significant or fresh to say (obviously I don’t always stay true to that). I marvel at bloggers who write daily or even weekly. I just don’t have that many worthwhile things to say. But I’ll have a few new posts soon. Thanks for noticing…

      • Michael O.

        October 29, 2010

        George,
        Please do add some posts.
        I find myself talking to myself?
        You know what they say about that.

  18. Ron Klaus

    October 27, 2010

    The charge that Obama is a Muslim is ridiculous and should be rejected on that basis alone. However, I was surprised at your somewhat dismissive attitude about a person’s religion and its effect on the way he might conduct himself in political office. Lincoln’s Christian pilgrimage certainly influenced his eventual conclusion that slavery was an evil that needed to be completely wiped out. George W Bush’s anti-aobrtion stance and his stem cell research position were certainly more influenced by his Christianity than by the fact that he was a Republican. I certainly don’t think a candidate should be rejected just because he is of a certain religious faith. But which faith he espouses, what the values of that faith are, and how sincere a practitioner of that faith he is all are certainly important predictors of how he or she will behave in office. We would certainly expect an atheist, for example, possibly to have behaved differently from the two presidents I mentioned.

    • Michael O.

      October 29, 2010

      Brother Ron,
      Given that there are an estimated 22,000 divisioned sects within christianity. We probably should define: “what is christianity?” My wife and I walk our two dogs each evening. We live behind two christian sacred buildings (otherwise known as church’s) that are right next to each other. Each night of the year my wife and I have to climb over the fence and the dogs under the fence that divides one sect’s sacred building from the other sects sacred building. I am struck by the significance of the barrier between “christians” 365 days a year. I am uncertian as to whether it is to keep the other imperfect group from encroachment? Or to keep ones sheep in the proper pasture and prevent them from slipping to the other side to greener pastures? One group meets on Saturday and speaks Spanish only. The other group on Sunday and speaks English only. So I really don’t see the need for all of the security?
      My guess is that the group on the North side of the fence Presidential preference, is quite different from the group on the South side of the fence Presidential choice.
      Bush II although he did toe the party line on the republican christian right hot button issues of “abortion”, “stem cell research”, “gay marriage/rights”. It is interesting to note that his wife first lady Laura, didn’t share his sentiments.
      I’m guessing my “christian” neighbors with the fence don’t either.
      I would remind that Bush although he did line up with a segment of “christianity” on the above issues.
      He and the republicans did start two wars and run the deficit to around 9 Trillion. Bailed out numerous huge financial systems involved in criminal avarice and greed. Amongst several other issues of questionable “christian” character and plain contrary to clear Scripture.
      I’m guessing since “christians” don’t agree on theology. They certianly don’t on political issues.
      A huge issue with President Obama is his brand of christianity and frequence of attendance to one of the sacred buildings.
      It is brought up by “christians.”
      So I guess the question would be.
      Which brand of “christian” would be agreeable to the status-quo?
      In addition, what about Mitt Romney? He is Mormon.
      I remember when JFK was running and catholic was a huge issue with him.
      The term “christian” is a loaded word meaning many things to many people.

      • Michael O.

        October 29, 2010

        I failed to mention.
        My two dogs upon negotiating the fence dividing the christian sacred buildings. Always turn stareing with a puzzled look on their faces while my wife and I are negotiating the defensive fortification. Even they seem to question the senseless stumbling block.
        And nightly they lift a leg to baptize the impedimate, to our shared amusement.

  19. Mark R.

    October 31, 2010

    This 2004 interview where Cathleen Falsani interviews Mr. Obama about his faith may be of interest:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman/2008/11/obamas-interview-with-cathleen.html

    His own words appear to place him in Barna Research’s Notional Christian category as opposed to the Born Again or Evangelical categories.

  20. Michael O.

    November 1, 2010

    The interview is March of 2004.
    It would be interesting to ask the same questions now. But I would guess Obamas answers to be even more guarded than those. He has been a Senator and President since then. I don’t now believe many things I had believed in March 2004. I now believe many things I didn’t, in March 2004.
    One thing is sure by the interview is that he is not Muslim. He did state that he made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ. He also said his faith is progressive and on going. I was somewhat reminded of another conversation by Obamas answers to the line of questioning. It was a conversation I remember of C.S. Lewis. He said in answer to a question about his conversion that, he wasn’t a christian at the start of a motorcycle ride when he got in the sidecar. But upon arrival at the destination and exit from the sidecar, he was a christian. Obamas answers seemed a bit along that tact.

  21. Nancy

    November 26, 2010

    Read your article if Obama Chrisian or not.He signed to end the ban on late abortions.Is that Chrisian? I do not agree with his decision on this however, if he was down and out I would be a good samaritan to him but would not spiritually hold hands with him. The Bible says WE WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.Obama signed in the Gov.Health Care with euthnasia in it.Is that Christian?Bible says A nation will rejoice with good king.A nation will mourn with a bad King

    • Michael O.

      November 29, 2010

      Nancy,
      My sister in Christ, Mr Obama was not elected high priest of the Christian States of America. I am in agreement with you on the the two mentioned issues.
      I refrain from listing 25 Christian principled things POTUS Obama supports and presented for action.
      I have earlier addressed that the Republican side (miniority of republicans) of the equation throws Christianity two bones, abortion and gay marriage. But an ever decreasing number of Republicans now continue to support those positions. I would add, my Democratic Congressman is against abortion and gay marriage, as well as a substantial number of democrats are in agreement with that position also.
      Therefore; in looking at the broad picture of Democrat vs Republican plank party politics. I would suggest that Democrats support more christian principles than Republicans do.
      Democrats are definately more benevolent towards people than Republicans for example.

  22. Bill

    December 15, 2010

    Just read through these “letters” for the first time and see what I see so many other places. One person who posts many long posts, claiming to be Christian, and advancing an agenda that is non-Biblical. Mr. O, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” … Matthew 5:37

    • MichaelO

      January 14, 2011

      Bill,
      I just now found this post, I apoligize for not answering you sooner.
      The topic is about POTUS Obama not me.
      I am curious why you did not comment at all about the topic? Do you think Obama is Muslim like so many christians who email me think he is?
      Perhaps you think he is not an American like so many christians emailing me think he is not?
      Enjoyed your judgemental opinion of me though, which is wrong, but I forgive you my brother.
      Since this is a blog and everyone just yesing and noing would be rather boring.
      Perhaps you would enlighten us as to what I am
      “non-Biblical about?
      My Brother since you roughly pulled Matthew 5: 37 out of context, and strangely applied it to me, please allow me to lovingly place it back into the proper context for us.
      If you will notice the subject starting in verse 33 is about false vows and verse 34 oaths. Since that has nothing to do with anything I said or the topic at hand nor did I even imply anything about vows or oaths. Your comment will be taken for what it is my brother. If I have offended your political affiliations or your sensibilities I apoligize.

  23. Craig

    December 18, 2010

    I appreciate this article. I would like to add an element of President Obama’s campaign behavior that I think ought to inform the way we look at this topic. In the week of the Presidential election I was living in PA, I received two phone calls from the Obama campaign, one a live person and one a recorded message. Both calls earnestly reported that Mr. Obama is a committed Christian–that was the only point of the call. Whether he is or not, I don’t know, but he promoted himself to this country as a committed Christian specifically to help get elected. If he is anything but a committed Christian (and I think the church can discern who is and who is not among people we know–not so sure about it from the media coverage), then he has lied to the nation to get elected or has back slidden since the election. When someone publicly promotes himself as a “committed Christian,” is it appropriate for other Christians to publicly comment on whether his behavior (fruit) matches these claims?

    • MichaelO

      January 15, 2011

      Craig,
      I’ll take that one on.
      You said: “When someone publicly promotes himself as a ‘committed Christian’, is it appropriate for other Christians to publicly comment whether his behavior (fruit) matches these claims?
      GW Bush made the same “committed Christian” claim. Was his behavior matching his claim? Bush started a war in Iraq and I or no one else is sure why? At the expense of over 3,000 lives and growing daily plus thousands maimed for life. His stated objective in Afghanistan was to “bring Bin Laden to justice”. The CIA operative Gary Powers in charge of tracking, finding, and capturing or killing Bin Laden found him. He called the white house, he had Bin Laden located, the deal was cancelled? Here we are 10 years later and thousands dead, and tens of thousands wounded. Were spending 2 Billion dollars a week on these wars borrowing it from a communist country who is persecuting and murdering christians as a policy of the government. Why?
      Bush approved and implimented the TARP bailing out of criminals in the American financial institutions rewarding swindling. WHY?
      The term “committed Christian” in America is as broad as it is long. Ask 100 American “christians” what is a “committed Christian” and you will get 100 different answers.
      Ask 100 institutional divisions within christianity what is a “committed Christian” and you will get 100 different dogmas.
      I would have to say that in GW Bush’s mind he is a “committed Christian” and in Barach Obama’s mind he is a “committed Christian”.
      It is called relativism. In relation to the of the rest in the uncommitted christian church we are all surrounded by and immersed in. They (Bush and Obama) are as committed as the overwhelming majority of the rest.
      I suppose the real issue is. Is the Church gulliable enough to vote for a guy who talks a big game and throws them his support for a couple of christian hot button issues in exchange for the christianity vote?
      Or should we be making hard and fast demands as a christian block? That is a rhetorical question, I’ll answer it for you.
      Western Christianity in it’s division can’t agree the the sky is blue and the grass is green. Let alone agree on issues and policy that christianity as a whole should with one voice demand.
      But.
      I debate professing “committed Christians” that argue for gay marriage rights and gay clergy.
      I debate professing “committed Christians” who say the Bible is not scientifically accurate and that it is full of errors and is just a bunch of stories.
      I debate professing “committed Christians” who argue for seperation of church and state to the extent of no religious icons allowed on government property and no God speak in public places.
      What’s your take on it Brother Craig?

  24. Jessi

    February 12, 2011

    Why do I feel this whole discussion has gotten off topic? Can’t we all just get along? Should we really be arguing about who is or isn’t a christian? If you love Jesus Christ YAAAY! if not, well, it must suck to be you but I’m not gonna beat you with The Word of God! And Obama knows about God ( I didn’t say he knows God because I really don’t know him well enough to be sure he really does) so he’s well aware of Hell and what happens if he’s just being a big fat liar about being a Christian! Let Obama and God duel over their own problems. Yaay Jesus!! <3

  25. Linda Hafer

    May 20, 2011

    I’ve no doubt your motivations are sincere, but whether or not Obama is a Muslim is a very big deal indeed. September 11, 2001 was a shining example of what the radical Muslim world wishes to do to America, and I believe it misguided to ignore the seriousness of the possibility that this president is aligned–by any association–with Islam.

    It’s not just another religion. It is a Theocracy, intent on dominating every aspect of life (via Sharia law), and those who are the “good” Muslims have one goal: to convert the entire world to Islam. The “good” Muslims are the terrorists!

    Dissenters will be annihilated, as history as shown–over and over again (and as Palestine wishes to do to Israel). That this destruction is intended was demonstrated–clearly–on September 11, and it is very naive indeed to adopt such a weak, politically-correct position.

    There is a time for love, but love never excludes truth.

  26. katie

    July 15, 2011

    Obama is indeed a Muslim He is out to destroy our country through his politics. Destroy business and so goes the workers

  27. katie

    July 15, 2011

    Is a name like Patty O’ brian Irish?

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