Not that it’s anyone’s business, but Obama is a Christian

This is troubling on so many different levels that it’s hard to know where to begin: New polls have found that as many as a quarter of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim. Since so many of his critics still refer to the controversy involving the views of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, how is that possible?
And why are some observers now insisting that the president must be more public about his religious practices, which ought to be one of the most private aspects of a person’s life?

From McClatchy:

The Pew survey of 3,003 adults found 18 percent of Americans saying Obama is Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009, two months after his inauguration. The percentage who identified him as Christian went from 48 percent to 34 percent, while 43 percent of Americans said they didn’t know what he believed.

The rise in those who insist that Obama is Muslim was found primarily among Republicans, from 17 percent last year to 31 percent today. More troubling for the president may be the increase of that view among independents from 10 percent last year to 18 percent today, and the decline among Democrats who consider him to be Christian from 55 percent to 46 percent.

The Pew survey was conducted July 21-Aug. 5, meaning it ended more than a week before Obama took his controversial public stand supporting the right of Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

It is clear testimony to the power of the rightwing noise machine, which dedicates itself to lies and innuendo about Obama, portraying him as un-American, racist, an illegal alien, etc.
Over at Swampland, Time magazine’s blog, Amy Sullivan blames the president for the widespread ignorance about his religious beliefs:

For my money, though, the real headline–and the news that should be causing heartburn over at the White House right now–is that the percentage of Americans who can correctly identify Obama’s religious faith as Christian has dropped by 14 points in the past year and a half. A plurality of Americans (43%) have no idea what religion he practices.

I’m going to repeat that because this is very unusual: a year and half after Obama moved into the White House, Americans are far less certain about who he is than they were during the campaign. That isn’t a good trend line for any political figure, but especially not the president. It may be appealing for an offbeat Hollywood actor or a reclusive writer to be seen as an enigma. But politics is a personal arena–voters like to feel that they can relate to a president or at the very least understand who he is. More dangerous for Obama is the fact that if a politician doesn’t define himself, his enemies are more than happy to do it for him. The Pew poll is evidence that the endless conservative media cycle of misinformation about Obama is working: of those respondents who identified Obama’s faith as Islam, 60% said they learned the “fact” from the media. (Note that the poll was conducted before Obama waded into the so-called Ground Zero mosque controversy.)

Some of the Christian ministers who know Obama well seem to agree that he needs to be more public about his faith, so they have decided to testify to his beliefs, according to McClatchy:

Pastors who’ve prayed with President Barack Obama defended his Christian faith Thursday as the White House downplayed new polling that showed a steep climb since he took office in the percentage of Americans who think he’s Muslim or at least don’t believe that he’s Christian.

“He is a Christian by choice, a devout Christian,” said Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. Caldwell is among a group of Christian leaders whom Obama regularly calls for inspiration. Caldwell also officiated at the wedding of President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna.

Pastor Joel Hunter of Northland Church near Orlando, Fla., said of Obama, “Those of us who’ve spent time with him and have had a part of forming his spiritual life can testify with certainty of his commitment to Christ.”

One of the ugliest things about American public life is the loud, showy religiosity that passes for profound Christian faith — the belligerent and frequently bigoted nonsense that comes from people like Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham. The New Testament is pretty clear about the practices of a real Christian: Matthew 6:6 and 7:16.

1,046 comments Add your comment

T-Town

August 20th, 2010
7:19 am

This shouldn’t really surprise you when so many people think Elvis is still alive.

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
7:21 am

One of the ugliest things about American public life is the loud, showy religiosity that passes for profound Christian faith

…and their utter disrespect for our foundational document:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Bud Wiser

August 20th, 2010
7:23 am

And I suppose Obama is a “real Christian”? You people love to batter Robertson and Graham and the like, but you also conveniently omitted the polling that showed that @39% of Democrats did not know Obama’s religion either.

Not that it matters, he only practices ignorance, stupidity and incompetence that, if they were a religion (outside the democrat party), he certainly would be the High Priest of Radical.

It is so easy to beat up on Obama, he provides so many targets. And, you alleged ‘media’ types are even more so, beating the continual drums of support for a president whose policies are failing faster than they are being written, and whose support is falling like an airplane with no wings. I use that as a clever analogy as his dimwitted supporters in th party in DC are going to hit the ground so very hard in November, while they sing and toast each other on the wingless (leaderless) craft plummeting downward.

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
7:24 am

but you also conveniently omitted the polling that showed that @39% of Democrats did not know Obama’s religion either.

I’d suspect that about 75% of that 39% don’t really give a good crap, actually.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

August 20th, 2010
7:27 am

I come from a tradition where it is “arrogance” to claim the mantle of Christianity. My actions should tell all about me to all who matter to me. The mark of a Christian is the desire to tell others of the joyous news, that there is an Architect of the universe who cares about His individual creations. I do not pretend to know the hearts of others, but I respect those who risk the epithet of “hypocrite” by demonstrating a willingness to publicly affirm the salvation of Christ. Each of us is aware of our own limitations, but the message of Christianity is that we can emerge anew.

Bubba

August 20th, 2010
7:28 am

This is not surprising to me at all. The ignorance of the masses was clearly demonstrated when they elected this man president. Here’s an indication of how Obama was able to be elected:

From AP:

Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” TV show than about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the TV cartoon family, according to a survey.

granny godzilla

August 20th, 2010
7:36 am

ghostwriter

August 20th, 2010
7:43 am

I say we compromise.
Obama is a Muslim. Clinton was a draft dodger. Bush was a military deserter.

JohnnyReb

August 20th, 2010
7:45 am

Yesterday, the Left was defending Islam and the Ground Zero Mosque. Today, they run away from Islam to declare Obama not a Muslim but a Christian. If Islam and the Mosque are OK, why the fear of Obama being a Muslim?

Charlotte V

August 20th, 2010
7:46 am

Like “You” know he is a Christian!

Mr. Grumpy

August 20th, 2010
7:46 am

Who could be surpised that a large proportion of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim? The right wing does a superb job of assassinating the character of anyone they want to hurt– such good Christians that they are. The numerous references by these so-called talk radio entertainers to Obama’s middle-eastern name can easily confuse an already ignorant and ill-informed public. The fact that a significant proportion of Americans would rather watch professional wrestling than trouble their small minds with searching for truth pretty much says it all. In the war of politics, truth is always the first casualty.

Tommy Maddox

August 20th, 2010
7:48 am

To borrow a line from Kamchack, what qualifies GG to judge who’s a better Christian – Obama or folks on this blog?

Besides, there’s always some valid reason to explain away statistics.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
7:49 am

If Ayetollah Obamas action protrayed he was Christian then no editorials or opinion polls would be necessary. The Imam projects to his followers precisely what he is.

Perception is reality.

granny godzilla

August 20th, 2010
7:50 am

tommy maddox

it takes one to know one I guess…..

perhaps that’s why you can’t see it

Joyce

August 20th, 2010
7:51 am

Are you stupid or what, oh yes it is our business, he is the president of the United States for the American People and the people voted him in office. Everything that man does is our buisness.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
7:51 am

“He’s a better Christian than most of us who will blog here today”

Oh…BRAVO!!!

Peadawg

August 20th, 2010
7:51 am

“It is clear testimony to the power of the rightwing noise machine”

Where’s the proof the 3,003 adults were all Republicans?

“so many of his critics still refer to the controversy involving the views of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright”

Which I believe is legit. How can you sit in that church for 20 years and not know? I mean really!

Keep up the good fight!

August 20th, 2010
7:52 am

Oh but he must be Muslim, I got an email that says it be so.

Freedoms depend on knowledgeable informed people, voting depends on informed people, markets depend on informed people….what does it say for all these crazy cons who yell about free markets, etc, when the basic truth is not disseminated properly. When even Repugnuts make these types of claims in the House and Senate. When the Palinistas do not call her out for obvious lies. Yes, even a number of dems believe it, but that is not news, that is the breadth of misinformation.

Oh wait…I got a new email…better go check it before I report to my death panel to decide who dies today. What part of the Constitution will the Republicans attempt to destroy today?

Joel

August 20th, 2010
7:52 am

Tommy, GG can judge anyone, remember shes a liberal.

CT, I believe Obama’s religion is everyones business. Once you become the President, you forgo most of your privacy.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
7:53 am

The Imam has only himself to blame regarding this latest controversy. The Left becomes more anxious and desparate by the day. Beautiful!!

Joel

August 20th, 2010
7:53 am

Granny, how do you know what kind of christian he is anyway?

granny godzilla

August 20th, 2010
7:54 am

Joel

In your “judgement” you believe Obama’s religion is everyones business. Once you become the President, you forgo most of your privacy.

Joel can judge anyone, remember shes a conservative.

granny godzilla

August 20th, 2010
7:54 am

ooops, he

sorry joel

Mr. Grumpy

August 20th, 2010
7:55 am

Cynthia Is Sexy!!’s name-calling precisely embodies the effort to assassinate anyone’s character who doesn’t adhere to right wing politics. Such a wonderful American!

Jeanne

August 20th, 2010
7:55 am

It’s hilarious to see the President of the US to BOW before a Saudi King who resides over the Muslims most holy place MECCA …his slip of the tongue in referring to his Muslim Religion (which I don’t think was a slip but a moment of honesty) His apologizing to the Muslim world..duh..nope he ain’t no Muslim..get real..like Human Beings won’t LIE to get elected?Actions speak louder than words..this man has radicals as his socalled PASTORS..Jeremiah Wright..doesn’t attend a REAL CHURCH or have a REAL pastor..what is one to believe

Peadawg

August 20th, 2010
7:56 am

“Not that it’s anyone’s business, but Obama is a Christian”

It comes w/ the territory of being President. Right or wrong, everything he does is scrutinized.

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
7:56 am

I believe Obama’s religion is everyones business.

So that “no religious test” thingie, stated loud and clear in the Constitution, you’re just going to ignore that part, are you?

JohnnyReb

August 20th, 2010
7:57 am

“Not that it’s anyone’s business, but Obama is a Christian”

Ms Tucker, what BS. The religion of the President has been public need to know especially since Kennedy. A person’s religion is as much an indicator as his criminal record. It may not matter your religion, but the POTUS is a different ballgame.

cgatlanta

August 20th, 2010
7:57 am

I doesn’t really matter what religion he follows, he’s a lousy president.

granny godzilla

August 20th, 2010
7:57 am

Granny, how do you know what kind of christian he is anyway?

By how tolerant he is of people like you.

cgatlanta

August 20th, 2010
7:57 am

“It”, sorry.

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
7:59 am

How can you sit in that church for 20 years and not know? I mean really!

Tell me what, exactly, was so offensive about that sermon of Wright’s (that Obama didn’t actually hear).

Because I’m sure you’ve actually read a transcript, or at least heard something more than the itty bitty “god damn America” soundbite, prior to passing judgement on the man for having attended Trinity United Church of Christ.

Go ahead; explain yourself. I’ll wait.

ghostwriter

August 20th, 2010
7:59 am

JohnnyReb:
A few years ago, the Right was defending big government spending. Today, they run away from deficits. If big goverment spending, earmarks, pork are okay, why the fear of deficits?

beau

August 20th, 2010
7:59 am

Republicans have no shame. In their collective lust to hate Obama they have masturbated all over Jesus message of love, acceptance and forgiveness.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 20th, 2010
8:00 am

Tommy Maddox, let me borrow at line from Paulie Walnut (Soprano’s); “Get the f** outta here.” Kam rhetorically question one’s “authority” to speak on behalf of others. The Constitution QUALIFIES (your participation in the blog) Granny, Kam and YOU to speak .

this is so far behond “who cares?” it’s like the is the GOP libertarian and is the tea party part of the GOP. it’s all political and not spiritual (just as the mosque dust up is political and not Constitutional or legal in nature). there is only ONE theology or dogma in DC and it is Partisanship, and both parties and their lackeys sacrifice OUR (alleged) rights every day at the alter of their arrogance and vanity. its’ really cool being a paleo-neo-Carlinist for the same reason it’s cool being agnostic; one can look objectively and dispassionately (or in my case, passionately) at the hypocrisy, duplicity and true nature of both Church and State (control the unwashed masses and exploit them for the enrichment and benefit of a few). concepts like, faith, god, and the lives of Jesus, Mohanned or the Buddha are interesting, ethereal ideas, which makes for good copy when you’re trying to impress someone, but religion itool of those in power to remain in power. these very same concepts compel simple men to kill others in order to validate their own pathetic lives. the very fact that Obama’s religion is even an issue is all the proof I need.

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
8:01 am

A person’s religion is as much an indicator as his criminal record.

Again I ask: what part of “no religious test” do you not understand?

Had enough yet?

August 20th, 2010
8:02 am

He needs to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I know that will be tough for him because he’s all talk.

andygrd

August 20th, 2010
8:02 am

Ms. T states, “It is clear testimony to the power of the rightwing noise machine, which dedicates itself to lies and innuendo about Obama, portraying him as un-American, racist, an illegal alien, etc.”

Andygrd states, “It is clear testimony to the power of the leftwing noise machine, which dedicates itself to outrageous positive spin stories about President Obama, portraying him as the second coming, he can do no wrong, he is for the average American (as long as they are Union), President Obama stubbed his toe and it is former President Bush’s fault, etc.”

First, his religion should not be anyone’s business… When President Kennedy was running for office, the good ole boys ran a campaign stating “The Pope would rule this country”… right and that never happened…

Second, the lack of a creditable media in this country fosters the continued smear campaigns on both sides of the isle… How can you tell when the media is lying, when their lips move………

Third, why do you think more and more people are watching or listening to the rightwing noise machine…. Simple,,,, the left wing stations are not covering or addressing the issues… For example, CNN and Fox (not the entertainment shows, but headlines) will cover a story about the number of individuals without jobs went up say 5%. MSNBC and CBS other liberal news outlets will not cover the story or bury it in fine print… Conversely, a positive story about President Obama will be covered on MSNBC & CBS and buried on CNN & FOX…

So what does that tell you…… You have left and right noise machines and many of you lefties and righties will not acknowledge that fact……..

Ms. T. wanna make a difference, for a week become neutral and present both sides, and chastise those right and left radicals that bring lower the standards of the discussion…….

Joel

August 20th, 2010
8:03 am

Granny, tolerance does not make a good christian. I am not making a jugdement about his privacy. He out it out there first.

james

August 20th, 2010
8:04 am

Southern redneck, racist Christians are on the attack. They no longer wear robes and scream at school-children, now they spread fear and lies to tear down a Country who had the audacity to elect a black man.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
8:04 am

Sorry Grumpy. Fact is your “Christian” President is a failure and his failings are apparent for all that are willing to see them.

Blinders are for horses.

Peadawg

August 20th, 2010
8:05 am

“Tell me what, exactly, was so offensive about that sermon of Wright’s (that Obama didn’t actually hear).”

Someone saying g.d. america doesn’t offend you?

Are you really that naive to think that’s the first time Rev Wright said something like that and Obama hadn’t heard something like that before? Pahlease.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 20th, 2010
8:06 am

no, rightwing theocrat nut jobs, once you become a Christian (ot Muslim), you surrender your privacy… and personal choice, and independent thinking, and diet, and sexuality, and, and, and,..

jt

August 20th, 2010
8:06 am

I’ll get this out of the way. If only………………………………………………………………………..

Reagan’s father was a nominal Catholic. Reagan’s mother was a devout member of the Disciples of Christ and Ronald Reagan was raised in the denomination. Reagan attended Eureka College, which is affiliated with that denomination. Reagan himself was a Presbyterian as an adult. Reagan said that in temperment and religious beliefs he took after his mother.

We miss you Sir.

JohnnyReb

August 20th, 2010
8:07 am

Stands – you gotta be kidding! The law of the land is one thing, the public litmus test another. If you are so intent on the Law, you should have no problem answering my question @ 7:45?

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
8:08 am

I grew up in the church and if the doors were open my parents had us there…ugh. Fact is I never heard a pastor curse like this so called Rev Wright, The Imam supposed religous leader.

Wright is nothing more than an instigator with a chip on his shoulder. Someone who seeks to sow discord amongst the masses. Wright didnt mean God Damn America what Wright meant was God Damn White America.

JohnnyReb

August 20th, 2010
8:08 am

stands for decibels

August 20th, 2010
8:08 am

Someone saying g.d. america doesn’t offend you?

You never actually heard the sermon, did you? Never read the bit that leads up to it, nor the part where Wright asks forgiveness of his congregation for swearing?

Admit it. You’re basing this on a 15 second clip, spoon-fed to you for weeks on end in the spring of 2008.

and the ease with which you and others smear a church denomination with a history inextricably tied to this nation’s founding (and founding fathers) is breathtaking.

ralph

August 20th, 2010
8:09 am

I pray that one day we will become a secular nation.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 20th, 2010
8:10 am

But all this and that its all Shurla-Burla and doesnt matter. The Ayetollah is a FAILURE. The left cant face it and its eating their hearts out.

Certainly was enjoyable trashing Bush over and over eh? We if ya cant take it then dont dish it. LOL!!