This is not a political blog but with all the news buzzing about President Obama's faith and views on Islam it fits with my writing on religious matters.
First, let me state unequivocally that I do not believe that Obama is a Muslim. He professes to be a Christian. There is no reason to doubt that this profession is not real. Shame on Christians who say otherwise. This is the President and we want him on our side!
However, a recent Pew report suggests that a growing number of Americans don't agree with me on this issue. According to this Pew survey, between March 2008 and August 2010, the percentage of Americans who believe that Obama is a Muslim has increased from 12% to 18%. The number who believe he is a Christian has declined from 47% to 34%.
Clearly, the idea that Obama is a Muslim is on the increase.
Why is this? It could be the polemical push of the political right, of course. This is the argument that the political left will be making. According to this view, it's a right-wing conspiracy designed to win the fall elections. There is much truth in this argument.
Another reason could be Obama's own actions. I note the following (culled from online sources across the Internet – feel free to fact check this and I will make corrections if they are wrong):
- Obama offered no Easter prayer or offeratory statement on the White House website even though he did both for Ramadan.
- He did not participate in the National Day of Prayer in the way past presidents have. In fact, he "disinvited" the prominent evangelical Franklin Graham for negative comments on Islam.
- He did participate at a Ramadan prayer dinner and made what I perceive as a positive, pro-Islamic speech at the dinner.
- He supports the very unpopular Ground Zero Mosque initiative. I happen to agree with his first statement (that they have the right) but that doesn't equate with it being an acceptable project. He should have stayed out of this debate but by entering he appears to be pretty pro-Islamic.
- He has made the decision to avoid joining a Washington DC-based church of any kind. I think it's pretty obvious to most people that Christians tend to go to church, "good Christians" tend to belong to a church (however you want to define that).
The list could go on, and I have been sent some lengthy lists of quotations that sure seem to be anti-Christian and pro-Islamic. I don't have the time or energy to research these and I bet some or most are taken out of context. In politics, of course, that doesn't always matter.
When combined with his childhood exposure to Islam these actions are lending credibility to the claim that Obama is a Muslim in the minds of many Americans. His support for the Ground Zero Mosque is just one more example of this.
To be sure, George Bush also made many conciliatory statements about Islam while in office. The difference, to me, is that Bush did it out of a concern for national security against a backdrop of outspoken Christianity. Obama's "canvass" is quite different.
As I noted in a previous post on the Ground Zero Mosque, I am concluding that a liberal pursuit of diversity is the real reason for Obama's Islamic push. Because Christianity is the dominant, majority faith in America, this diversity must come at its expense.
This is religious affirmative action at work. No more, no less.
I invite your opinions on this… but let's keep it friendly if we can!