image The Pew Research Center released a poll that showed 1 in 5 Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, and that has caused an uproar.  Then Iowa’s National Republican Committeewoman, Kim Lehman (who is a friend and contributes here on occasion) tweeted on Thursday, “@politico you’re funny. They must pay you a lot to protect Obama. BTW he personally told the muslims that he IS a muslim. Read his lips.”  Now she’s taking some heat for those remarks.

There are a number of reasons why some believe he is a Muslim.

Those who have done more research than I’m willing to do on the subject could point out other reasons I’m sure.  I personally don’t believe that he is a Muslim.  He had a Muslim father and Muslim influence in his childhood.  Because of this he does have sympathy toward Muslims and one can definitely accuse him of pandering to Muslims.  If he is or was a Muslim he would be an apostate one because he certainly isn’t a practicing one.

He identifies himself as a Christian, though I would say that he and I would define that differently.

We do know for certain that he was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for 20 years pastored by Dr. Jeremiah Wright whom he considered a spiritual mentor.  Dr. Wright is a proponent of Black Liberation Theology.  Those spiritual leaders whom he goes to for guidance, like Jim Wallis, speak more about social justice than they do the Gospel.  You can see this influence in his policies more than you can see Islam.

What you can see in his policies and interviews looking at his career is that he is impacted by social justice, does believe in redistributive justice, believes that Government is the solution to our societal ills, and does not believe in American exceptionalism.  This is why he goes on apology tours of Europe.  This is why he can pander to Muslim nations, and throw Israel under the bus.  When you consider his worldview it sheds a lot of light on why he promotes the policies he does even at the expense of some in his own party.

No, President Obama is not a Muslim, but he is a statist who has given up on the traditional idea of American exceptionalism and that frankly scares me more.  Debating that he is a Muslim to mean is a distraction from what his real agenda is.

15 comments
  1. I am curious about this statement, “He identifies himself as a Christian, thought I would say that he and I would define that differently.” I do not understand what you imply here. Would you mind explaining how the President and your definitions of Christian differ?

    1. Graham, I think a joke told long ago by Emo Phillips may shed some light on the significance of different definitions of being a Christian. Here’s the joke:

      Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

      He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

      He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

      Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

      1. Um no, but thanks that for the joke, I’ve told that one myself. The differences are a *little* more pronounced than that.

        To answer Graham’s question – Fundamentally I believe that a Christian is one who has put their faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. One who responds to God’s grace (demonstrated in Christ’s vicarious death on the Cross for our sin and His being resurrected in victory) through repentance and belief. That is the Gospel, that is not the Gospel preached in Black Liberation Theology specifically or with most United Churches of Christ in general.

        Also I believe that a person is saved through Jesus and Him only. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father, but through me,” (John 14:6).

        Teaching anything other than that that is proclaiming universal salvation and that is true heresy.

      2. Thanks, Shane. I am trying to get my head around this issue. I do not have an opinion or point I am trying to make, so I truly appreciate your response.

        However, your statement, “He identifies himself as a Christian, though I would say that he and I would define that differently,” nags at me.

        I believe religion is about finding one’s way to the light. We each make our way along the path in our own way and, if we can, help others along the journey. I wonder if your statement nags at me because it smacks more as a judgment about another’s religious route than helps other’s on the way.

        Perhaps, I have made too big an issue out of what may have been a simple statement of fact. You and the President have made different worship choices. Your faith would not allow you to have made the ones he did. However, it is possible your paths may converge yet.

        Maybe I can make the nagging abate by looking at your concluding statement, “Debating that he (the President) is a Muslim to mean is a distraction from what his real agenda is.” You may be right, but it may be possible your implicit suggestion that his “brand” of Christianity may be to blame for political decisions you see as destructive is no less of a distraction and one that muddies the argument you try to make about them.

        Again, you have given me much to consider. I appreciate that.

        Graham

      3. Graham, you said, “I believe religion is about finding one’s way to the light. We each make our way along the path in our own way and, if we can, help others along the journey.”

        This may be the path to “religion,” but the verse Shane quoted, John 14:6, is the only way to salvation. There will be some really “religious” people in hell.

  2. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” –Matt. 7:21 (ESV) So from a theological viewpoint, a true Christian is on that Jesus would recognize as actually following him in doing the Father’s will, not just anyone who calls himself a Christian.

  3. I got this from a friend that was arguing against the notion that Obama is a Muslim:

    I got this from someone else that is arguing against such a notion.

    For one thing, he drinks beer:
    http://golfbeerrepeat.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/obama-beer.jpg
    and he indulges in mild profanity:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXBSotezfc4
    he allows his wife to show skin other than face and hands:
    https://0.tqn.com/d/womensissues/1/0/a/3/-/-/MichelleObamaGunShow.jpg
    and for another he eats hot dogs:
    http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/07/05/amd_obama-hotdog.jpg
    and also shows no signs of fasting during Ramadan.

    So, as you say, Shane, if he is one, he certainly isn’t practicing it.

  4. “[President Obama] identifies himself as a Christian, though I would say that he and I would define that differently.”

    Shane – agreed.

    I, too, define Christianity differently. My Christian faith identifies me, not the other way around. There is no necessity to “identify” myself as Christian. If my actions do not confirm my Christianity, then I must reevaluate my actions and come correct.

    Your closing remark regarding President Obama merits repeating. These words hit the mark.

    “…[President Obama] is a statist who has given up on the traditional idea of American exceptionalism and that frankly scares me more. Debating that he is a Muslim to me [sic] is a distraction from what his real agenda is.”

    Quite true, Shane – and perhaps that is the intention: to distract.

    President Obama and his ilk collectively reject the traditional idea of American exceptionalism. See President Obama’s non-sensical rhetoric regarding the American exceptionalism: http://bit.ly/BA4kb

    Indeed, there is a trend in the United States toward the belief that apologies are appropriate to redress the “misguided notion” of American exceptionalism. I posit that the One whom the United States most needs to “apologize” is Our Father, Who Art in Heaven.

    The United States is no longer a paradigm among nations. This begs the question: if not the United States, then whom? What nation will emerge to replace the United States as a paradigm? Perhaps we should posit that question to President Obama.

    President Obama, Muslim or not Muslim, is a moot query. Maybe he is; maybe he isn’t. If President Obama is Muslim, then is he an apostate? Maybe he is; maybe he isn’t. Maybe – just, maybe – President Obama is practicing Muslim expediency rather than apostasy.

    Hmmm. Let us mull over that for a moment.

    In regards to your commentary that President Obama seeks counsel of those who “speak more about social justice than they do the Gospel,” I must vehemently rejoin that true social justice is the Gospel. Who, if not Christ Jesus, is the Author of social justice?

    Moreover, if indeed President Obama’s goal is social justice, he missed the mark magnanimously.

    I cannot express more eloquently than these:

    “Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” Blessed Mother Teresa http://www.motherteresa.org/

    “Social justice begins in the womb.” Bryan Kemper http://www.motherteresa.org/

    Actions speak louder than words.

    1. Great comment…

      What you call social justice I would just call service. But you did add the caveat of “true” social justice, so we both recognize what is often foisted as social justice truly is not.

      I would disagree that social justice (even “true social justice”) is the Gospel. The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Social justice (service to the poor, downtrodden, etc.) is an implication of the Gospel, but not the Gospel itself.

      I think that Bryan Kemper nailed it that “true social justice begins in the womb.” So often those who promote “social justice” care little about the preborn.

  5. Greetings & Good morning, Shane.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response to my comment.

    I cannot agree with your definition and description of the Gospel. I am obliged to re-iterate my belief:

    I must vehemently rejoin that true social justice is the Gospel. Who, if not Christ Jesus, is the Author of social justice?

    Shane, the Gospel is so much more than the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The Passion is the glorious and triumphant victory over death achieved on our behalf by Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Passion is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Passion is Christ Jesus sacrificing Himself that we may live.

    But the story doesn’t begin and end with The Passion of Our Lord. The story of Christ Jesus begins in the prophesies of the Old Testament, and continues as the fulfillment of the prophesy begins in the Gospel. The Gospel is also the conception, birth and life of the Son of Man, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Again, let me use the words of ones more sage than I:

    While the New Testament contains four writings called “gospels,” there is in reality only one gospel running through all of the Christian scriptures, the gospel of and about Jesus Christ. Our English word “gospel” translates the Greek term euangelion, meaning “good news.” This noun was used in the plural by the Greek translators of the Old Testament to render the Hebrew term for “good news” (2 Sam 4:10; possibly also 2 Sam 18:20, 25). But it is the corresponding verb euangelizomai, “to proclaim good news,” that was especially significant in preparing for the New Testament idea of “gospel,” since this term is used by Deutero-Isaiah of announcing the great victory of God that was to establish his universal kingship and inaugurate the new age (Isaiah 40:9; 52:7; 61:1).
    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/gospels.htm

    I appreciate your acknowledgement that social justice begins in the womb, with the pre-born. It saddens me greatly that Christians are not united in their views on the sanctity of life. Pray for a conversion of hearts. Pray without ceasing for Life, and thereby pay homage to The Passion of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I close with words from The Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 1, verse 26 through 33.
    Luke, the author of this and The Acts of the Apostles, is my favorite Gospel writer. http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/luke/intro.htm So much so is Luke my favorite author of the Gospel that I named my beloved pup, miniature dachshund, Luke of Bass Kennel. In that way, I witness each and every time I say the name of my precious pup. Whenever I am asked his name, I respond,
    “Luke. He is named for Saint Luke of the Gospel, my favorite Gospel writer.”

    26
    In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
    27
    to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
    28
    And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
    29
    But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
    30
    Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
    31
    Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
    32
    He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
    33
    and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/luke/luke1.htm

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