Religion and The Prez

As you may have heard, there has been a great deal of uproar over the fact that, according to a recent poll, approximately 1/5 of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim. Now, I think that this is false, as do most people. However, I can see where people might get that idea: he spent a good portion of his formative years in Indonesia (the nation with the largest Muslim population) and his father’s side of the family in Kenya is Muslim, and his whole name (Barack Hussein Obama) is very Arabic/African/Islamic. Despite all of this evidence, I do not think that the Prez is a Muslim. Has anyone ever seen him praying toward Mecca, or entering a mosque? He hasn’t even spoken at a mosque during his presidency, something that George W. Bush did to reach out to Muslims after 9/11. Aside from having a post-Ramadan feast in the White House, he really hasn’t done much that signifies his supposed status as a Muslim.

Having said that, I’m not really convinced that President Obama is a Christian either. He attended Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church which was Christian in name, but not in what was taught there. Racism and hatred of the United States seemed to be the two main lessons from Reverend Wright. Also, President Obama’s mother was an atheist, so it is not likely that she took little Barack to Sunday school. His grandparents on his mom’s side were Unitarian, and he did live with them for awhile, so any snippets of Christianity that were picked up in his childhood likely came from the Unitarian church that they attended. Since he has taken office, President Obama has not attended church more than a handful of times. The President is, of course, a very busy man, but (at the risk of sounding like every conservative pundit ever) he has had a lot of time to play golf and take vacations, so why not go to church? My theory here is that the President is not really a Christian. I think he’s basically non-religious – maybe not an atheist, but he simply doesn’t think about religion very much. It is not a priority for him, which may be why he declared that the US is not a Christian nation (even though most people who are religious in the US are SOME form of Christian). I think he declared himself a Christian because that’s what people expect from an American president, but I’m not sure he really buys into it. Obviously no one can know for sure. This is a private matter – the President’s religion (or lack thereof) is between him and God.

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