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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Does Obama Believe?

The Gospel According To (Chris) Matthews:

(Mt 16: 13-16) Now when Obama came into the district of Washington DC, he asked the MSM, "Who do Americans say that I am?" And they said, "Some say Christian, others say Muslim, and others say American or perhaps Kenyan." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Matt Lauer replied, "You are the One, the one we have been waiting for."

As the 2008 Presidential election results pointed to an Obama victory, NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw said something along the lines of "Well, now we'll get to know all about Barack Obama."

And almost two years into his administration, more and more people are confused about the man - not so much regarding his policies (they suck) or his ideas of reshaping America (they're awful), but rather about the man's faith. Is he or is he not a Christian?

From the Washington Post:

The number of Americans who believe -- wrongly -- that President Obama is a Muslim has increased significantly since his inauguration and now accounts for nearly 20 percent of the nation's population.

Those results, from a new Pew Research Center survey, were drawn from interviews done before the president's comments about the construction of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, and they suggest that there could be serious political danger for the White House as the debate continues.

The president's religion, like his place of birth, has been the subject of Internet-spread rumors and falsehoods since before he began his presidential campaign, and the poll indicates that those rumors have gained currency since Obama took office. The number of people who now correctly identify Obama as a Christian has dropped to 34 percent, down from nearly half when he took office.

White House officials expressed dismay over the poll results. Faith adviser Joshua BuBois blamed "misinformation campaigns" by the president's opponents.

"While the president has been diligent and personally committed to his own Christian faith, there's certainly folks who are intent on spreading falsehoods about the president and his values and beliefs," DuBois said.

DuBois said the president's Christian faith plays an "important part" in his daily life. And he pointed to six speeches on faith that the president has given in which he talked about his beliefs. But Dubois said coverage of Obama's Christianity has been scant compared with news about the economic crisis, legislative battles and other issues.

Among those who say Obama is a Muslim, 60 percent say they learned about his religion from the media, suggesting that their opinions are fueled by misinformation.

But the shifting attitudes about the president's religious beliefs could also be the result of a public growing less enamored of him and increasingly attracted to labels they perceive as negative. In the Pew poll, 41 percent disapprove of Obama's job performance, compared with 26 percent disapproval in its March 2009 poll.

"Misinformation campaigns"? You mean his family picked a church soon after moving to Washington DC in 2009, and no one was told about it? Or the fact he disassociated himself from Reverend Wright early in the campaign? Or maybe it was this interview with George Stephanopoulus in 2007 -

Personally, I don't care what his faith is. Given the fact that the man plays golf nearly every Sunday puts him in the majority camp of so-called Christian men in this country. I've never sensed sincerity when he has mentioned God or Christ or Christianity in any of the speeches I've heard him give, but then again - there are a heck of a lot of insincere Christians in the world, too. So yeah, in some respects, he fits the description.

However, I find it interesting that during the campaign, he was caught complaining about Christians as "bitter clingers". Has he ever called Muslims "bitter clingers"? I don't think so. I also find it interesting that one of NASA's primary goals is Muslim outreach. It'd sure be nice if the Dept. of Education had Christian outreach as one of its goals, instead of Christian smackdown.

And if he is a Muslim - so what? Why should it matter? Isn't the Left all about tolerance and acceptance (unless you are a Christian - or a member of the LCWR. The liberals love those gals). The Left, of all people, shouldn't express any concern whatsoever what faith Obama is, right? Why all the fuss to convince people that Obama is a committed Christian? In fact, that ought to be self-evident.

Regardless of which faith he follows (and there are some who contend that since his father was Muslim, then he was born a Muslim; and if he claims to be Christian, then technically he'd be an apostate.), the fact remains it isn't all that evident what Obama believes. People are becoming more and more confused - not just Republicans and independents either. His supporters are growing more unsure as well.

One thing I do know - if this issue doesn't go away or get settled, the administration will further politicize Obama's Christianity, by making sure he is seen attending weekly services, or referencing God and his faith in more speeches, or carrying a Bible with him. And it will become more pronounced as the 2012 campaign approaches. They read the polls, and will respond accordingly. In the end, it won't mean anything, except to them and their constituents. Because in their minds, displaying one's faith disingenuously is more important than living one's faith sincerely.