Recent polls suggest that a significant number of Americans (18%) believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A near majority isn't sure. What does that mean? Well, it could mean that he is our first Muslim President. But the FACTS lie elsewhere. Barack Obama is a Christian -- by baptism and by confession and by practice.
So, why all the confusion? Well, have you checked your email box lately? If you're like me, you get a barrage of emails nearly every day that pass on "information" that is contrary to facts. Many of these emails imply, suggest, or declare that Barack Obama is a Muslim (not that there's anything wrong with that -- unless you believe as some do that being Muslim is incompatible with being an American). In fact, some suggest that Islam and democracy are incompatible, which really undercuts the two wars launched in the middle east over the past decade in the name of DEMOCRACY. Yes, George Bush couched the Iraqi Invasion in terms of liberty and freedom and democracy. But if democracy and Islam are incompatible, as many on the Right seem to suggest, then we've made a major mistake in going to war (of course many of us made that point years ago, but for different reasons).
Anyway, back to the confusion. There is confusion because there are deliberate attempts to undercut the President's leadership. It goes back to the campaign, when opponents loved to intone his middle name, in an attempt to raise worries in the American people. During the campaign, the Obama folks did their best to respond, but lately they've been trying to govern during trying times and haven't had time to address these LIES. That 41% of Republicans by into these LIES is disturbing. It raises questions about what GOP leaders are saying to their people?
None of this, of course, is helpful to resolving the problems facing the American people. It is merely a politically motivated distraction, that needs to be addressed, and so people like me and Chuck Currie must make the point in the public debate. Chuck points out that not only is President Barack Obama is a CHRISTIAN, until recently he was a member of Trinity UCC until hullabaloo over remarks made by his pastor at the time forced him to sever ties. As a help to those who might wonder, Chuck provides a UCC statement of faith.
Like many Presidents of late, Obama has found it difficult to find a place of worship, and so has chosen to do so in more controlled ways -- such as at Camp David. He does have a core of spiritual advisers whom he consults and prays with regularly. Two of these people are the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) --my denomination -- and the Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter, pastor of an evangelical congregation in Florida.
I'll just end the conversation here by posting a video interview with Joel Hunter and Stephen Mansfield on CNN: