From time to time, earnest pundits suggest that President Barack Hussein Obama is Muslim. Those unfortunates are uniformly and immediately shouted down and demonized for daring to make such an obviously impolitic assertion, but the issue will simply not go away, in large part because Mr. Obama so often says and does things that cause reasonable people to wonder.
The PJ Media Tatler, in 2012, reported on President Obama’s Ramadan message, a message that appears to give Islam a heightened status in American life that many would dispute actually exists.
Here in the United States, Ramadan reminds us that Islam is part of the fabric of our Nation, and that—from public service to business, from healthcare and science to the arts—Muslim Americans help strengthen our country and enrich our lives.
More recently, Mr. Obama chose to deliver a videotaped message to Iran for Nowruz. Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren reported on his commentary that takes a hopeful, and arguably naïve, view of the possibility of the Iranian mullocracy giving up its nuclear ambitions.
The Boston bombing and the fact that it was done by two young Muslims on the path of Jihad (by the apparent admission of the surviving terrorist) has brought into sharper focus Mr. Obama’s obvious fecklessness in dealing with Islamic terrorism in particular and with foreign affairs—including those with Muslim nations—in general. Mr. Obama appointment of former Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State is a case in point. Prior to that appointment, Kerry was not universally known as an Islamist apologist, or at least no more so than many on the Left. His claim to infamy was almost exclusively his treasonous actions against America during and after the Vietnam War, matters well documented elsewhere.
But where Islamists and their issues are concerned, Mr. Kerry is working hard to make up for lost time and opportunities. At a weekend press conference in Istanbul, Mr. Kerry compared families mourning those killed and injured in the Boston bombing with the families of Islamists killed in a terrorist attack on Israeli troops intercepting an arms-smuggling flotilla bound for Gaza in 2010. Readers will recall that the small flotilla of ships laden with arms to be used to kill Israelis was intercepted and Israeli soldiers attacked with knives, pipes and chains. They eventually fired in self-defense, killing nine.
Need I remind anyone that Mr. Obama appointed Mr. Kerry and that he has not, in any way, repudiated Mr. Kerry’s unconscionable drawing of moral equivalency between innocent civilian victims of an Islamist terrorist attack and an attack on Israeli soldiers preventing the terrorist murders of innumerable Israeli citizens by means of the arms they were illegally smuggling? Does Mr. Obama see no difference, or seeing it, is he simply picking sides—against America and for Islamist terror?
Americans are reasonably suspicious of Mr. Obama’s motives in that he seems to waste no opportunity to assist and prop up Muslim regimes that are overtly hostile to America and American interests. Yet he simultaneously distances America from Israel–our only democratic ally in the Middle East–and attacks domestic Christianity, as in his most recent hostility to religious liberty on several fronts, including forcing church-affiliated hospitals and charities to provide contraceptive and abortion services in insurance provided for employees.
Americans are inherently suspicious of and uncomfortable with politicians cloaking themselves in religion, particularly when their words don’t seem to match their actions. Beyond the usual American wariness for some of the most insincere people alive—politicians–claiming Divine sanction for their whims, there is good reason to be uneasy with Mr. Obama’s claims to Christian faith.
Is Barack Hussein Obama a Muslim? Mr. Obama has repeatedly claimed that he is Christian by choice. Americans routinely take people at their word on such matters, but Americans are free to change churches and religions at will. The world’s observant Muslims have quite a different take on this issue.
There is no question that Mr. Obama was born to a Muslim father. It is not only a matter of record, but Mr. Obama has admitted it in writing and in multiple interviews and speeches. In addition, despite progressives–and some Muslims–crying discrimination and racism when Mr. Obama’s middle name is mentioned, he has often traded on that name–and his self-confessed affinity for Islam–when he has considered it advantageous. The fact remains that only Muslim children are named “Hussein.” He was Mohammed’s grandson and is revered in Islam as a holy martyr. On his school enrollment forms in Indonesia, the young Obama was recorded as a Muslim. This is unsurprising as the children of a Muslim father are themselves Muslims; it is not a matter of choice, nor may one choose to leave Islam. Those who do become apostates and Islam dictates but one fate for apostates: death. That most Muslims would not try to kill an apostate speaks well of their individual character, but millions would, which speaks to the dictates of their faith and their willingness to follow it to the letter.
Mr. Obama may claim any faith he chooses and many Americans will accept that—as long as there is not convincing evidence to the contrary—but the world’s Muslims are a different story. This would seem to make Mr. Obama’s belief in his ability to engage and persuade the Muslim world naïve in the extreme. The leader of the “Great Satan,” who also happens to be a self-proclaimed apostate is unlikely to be well received or convincing, and his open, extended hand will most likely be met only with a clenched fist, as has been the case to date. His initiatives to the Iranians, Palestinians, Libyans, Syrians and Egyptians, for example, have been abject failures and have arguably made things worse. In fact, many devout Muslims—and surely all Islamists—would feel a religious obligation to kill Mr. Obama for his apostasy alone.
Is Mr. Obama a Christian? Mr. Obama’s Christianity was—again by his own words—born under the mentorship of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Mr. Obama attended that church for nearly 20 years, admitting to having attended as often as twice a week–more than 2100 services. However, Mr. Obama’s commitment to Rev. Wright and Christianity proved to be quite flexible. When the racism and actual theology of Rev. Wright and his flock came to light during Mr. Obama’s campaign, he initially said:
I can no more disown (the Rev. Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown my white grandmother.
Mr. Obama’s devotion proved short-lived. Mr. Obama at first attempted to dodge and weave, claiming that despite attending hundreds, even thousands of services under Rev. Wright (Mr. Obama’s story kept changing), he had no idea of the Reverend’s theology, anti-Americanism or lunatic, racist statements. But as greater attention was focused on the theology and sermons of Rev. Wright, and the euphoric response of his flock, Mr. Obama disowned him with amazing ease. He said:
All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.
The Reverend, like a great many others whose association with Mr. Obama became politically inconvenient, was unceremoniously thrown under the campaign bus. Mr. Obama’s “profound love for this country” remains a matter of some small controversy.
The practice of Christianity focuses on such personal qualities as honesty, integrity, self-sacrifice and humility. Mr. Obama’s behavior in the Wright affair—and others–would not seem to comport well with any of those qualities. All sin and fall short of the glory of God, but all must judge others through their words and particularly, their actions.
What kind of Christianity does Mr. Obama profess to follow? The Rev. Wright is one of America’s foremost proponents of Black Liberation Theology. It is essentially a political philosophy– a black racist movement steeped in Marxist orthodoxy–wrapped in religious trappings.
It does not seek to help blacks assimilate and succeed in society at large, but to keep them separate, alienated and angry. Unsurprisingly, it is class conscious and divisive, seeking to separate its believers from all other Christian believers–Scripture warns against this–particularly those that happen to be white. It is also quite anti-American as evidenced by Rev. Wright’s infamous “God damn America” sermon (far from his only anti-American diatribe). This was merely the Rev. Wright’s best-known foray into anti-American vitriol. On the Sunday after September 11, 2001, he preached that America’s “terrorism” was the cause of 9-11. According to Rev. Wright, AIDS is a plot by the American government to bring about black genocide. Such was the weekly discourse at the Trinity United Church of Christ on the South side of Chicago for the Rev. Wright’s tenure and for the nearly 20 years of Mr. Obama’s attendance.
Does Mr. Obama obviously practice Christianity? Matthew 7:1 notes: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Perhaps the most useful understanding of this passage is that we should not judge anyone’s relationship with God. This is in large part why Americans generally take others at their word in matters of faith. However, the Bible also makes clear that we must daily judge others by their words and actions. Christians, quite reasonably, expect one’s faith to be manifested in their words and deeds, or at the very least, their words and deeds should not speak too obviously to opposite beliefs. Two telling examples among a great many:
In April of 2008, Mr. Obama was speaking to a gathering of supporters, unaware his comments were being recorded. Explaining to the progressive elite the bizarre and unfathomable thinking of the barely sentient conservative denizens of flyover country, he said:
And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Christians that live their faith tend not to think—or speak—this way. One might be forgiven for thinking that in making such statements to his base, Mr. Obama was either engaging in mendacious political pandering, speaking his true beliefs about Christians, or both.
A second example is the ubiquitous photographic adulation of Mr. Obama in the form of endowing him with halos. The sheer number of such images—and to Christians, their blasphemous audacity and variety–is as amazing as it is deeply, strikingly disgusting. In examining these images, it is absolutely clear that Mr. Obama knew what was happening in many cases. It would have been necessary for him to actually pose for photographers so they could properly frame images to produce the required “holy” effect. In some cases, the photographer must have been kneeling at Mr. Obama’s feet to frame his head in a convenient, circular skylight or similar light source.
Perhaps the most egregious, and to Christians, the most insulting manifestation of this trend was the New York Time’s Easter 2010 image of Mr. Obama depicting him “preaching” before a brace of microphones, his hand raised in a Christ-like pose, his image superimposed over a cross, at the base of which is the White House. When Obama sycophants address Mr. Obama as “The One,” a title coined by Oprah Winfrey, they obviously embrace the messianic implications the name was given in the “Matrix” films, that of a transcendent, supernatural, all-powerful, savior figure.
Whether the NYT was trying to insult Christians or was merely so religiously tone deaf as to believe such an image would be pleasing to them and helpful to Mr. Obama, any Christian so depicted would move Heaven and Earth to disavow it and to ensure that such imagery never happened again. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t recall Mr. Obama doing this–for any of these images–which is not surprising for a man who, upon winning the nomination of his party for President, said:
…this [his nomination] was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…
Christians that live their faith tend not to think—or speak—this way, thinking it immodest at best. Actually, who–not being possessed by debilitating, clinical narcissism and/or messianic delusions–thinks or speaks this way?
There is substantial evidence to believe that Mr. Obama’s assertion of a conventionally Christian motivation for what are clearly socialist, arguably unconstitutional, political policies is nothing more than the rhetoric convenient to the moment and Mr. Obama’s purposes rather than the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This would surely be consistent for a man whose most profound beliefs change to suit the occasion and who arguably recognizes none greater than Barack Hussein Obama.
It is also possible to believe that Mr. Obama’s obvious tendency toward support of the interests of Muslims—and even Islamists—and their organizations and political organizations is not so much antipathy toward America, Americans and Christianity (among other faiths), but a reflexive leftist identification against traditional leftist enemies. In other words, Mr. Obama would, for example, side with Fatah and Hezbollah against Israel because the left generally hates Israel more so than because they are Islamists bent on genocide. However, even if this alternate explanation is entirely accurate, is it better to have a President holding these views for this, or any other reason or group of reasons?
Islam is also hardly comfortable with self-proclaimed messiahs, just as it is less than comfortable with self-proclaimed apostates who regularly lecture Muslims on political philosophy. Recent polls have revealed that despite Mr. Obama’s hubristic pre and post election claims to the contrary, his serial apologies have not made foreigners love America more than when George W. Bush was president. It is small wonder that Muslims, particularly those inhabiting foreign lands, have little affection for Mr. Obama, middle name or not.
Christianity is a matter of the transformation of the individual heart and soul and their journey beyond this Earthly existence. For the Christian, paradise on Earth is not possible. Mr. Obama’s expression of Christian faith–and his explicit rejection of Islam–would seem far more a matter of temporal—and temporary—political advantage. This is for us to judge and may help to explain much. The rest is between Mr. Obama and the Lord.