Op Ed: Why Do People Still Think Obama is a Muslim?

Faithful readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home read a version of this last week.  I cleaned it up a bit and published it at Al Jazeera-America.  Here is a taste:

Last Thursday night, during a question and answer session at one of his campaign rallies, Donald Trump was asked about how he planned to get rid of Muslims in the United States. The question also resurrected the idea that President Barack Obama is a secret follower of the Islamic faith and is not a citizen of the United States.
Most GOP candidates have condemned Trump for his refusal to publicly rebuke the man who asked this question. But Trump has doubled down.
“Am I morally obligated to defend the President every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him?” Trump said on Twitter. “I don’t think so!” On Monday, in an interview on The Today Show, Trump again suggested that Obama might be a Muslim.
What explains Trump’s stubborn insistence on letting the Muslim canard thrive? Perhaps the answer resides in a recent CNN poll that found that 54 percent of Trump’s supporters and 43 percent of all Republicans still believe that Obama is a Muslim. 
Read the rest here.

14 thoughts on “Op Ed: Why Do People Still Think Obama is a Muslim?

    The case was filed by California attorney Orly Taitz, who has brought many of the major court challenges to Obama’s eligibility based on a lack of evidence that he meets the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural-born citizen.”

    New York Times best-seller, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?”, which addresses Obama’s Social Security Number, is now available for
    immediate shipping, autographed by the author, only from the WND

    The case at hand was filed against the Social Security Administration because Obama’s number indicates a Connecticut residency, yet there is no evidence he ever lived in the state. He claims he grew up in Hawaii and apparently had a Social Security Number there, as he reported he worked in a Honolulu ice-cream shop.

    The judge, Royce Lamberth, credited Taitz for her dedication to her cause but said that “today is not her lucky day.”

    He concluded that there’s no real interest in determining whether the Obama Social Security Number is genuine or fraudulent, arguing that the need for privacy for the president trumps all else.

    “The SSA explained that the Privacy Act of 1974 … protects the personal information of social security number holders,” he wrote. “The SSA determined … the plaintiff had identified no public interest that would be served by disclosure.

    “Plaintiff makes no secret of her intention to use the redacted Form SS-5 to identify the holder of social security number xxxx-xxx-4425 – or, as plaintiff puts it, to confirm her suspicion that the president is fraudulently using that number,” the judge wrote.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2011/08/339629/#bzZiCxEOllJu02ZH.99


  2. John, fair enough. Thanks for your candor. I would argue for a narrower definition. Namely, I would argue that the Reformed confessions represent a more accurate form of genuine Christianity and none of those would contradict the earlier creeds you mentioned. In either case, their more nuanced statements have been needed in the course of church history, especially as crucial issues regarding the redemption of Christ and the nature of the sanctified life have required greater clarity.


  3. MSC: Obama claims he is a Christian but I have never heard him articulate a particular statement of faith. He has talked about his conversion experience and he has said that many of his social policies stem from his Christian faith. I don't know much about the content or quality of his Christianity so I can't judge. Is he an evangelical? No, I don't think so.

    I would just caution someone defining him as a Christian because of his views on marriage or abortion or health care or active government.

    Would Obama be comfortable in my evangelical church? Probably not. Would he be elected to a position of lay leadership in my evangelical church? I don't think so. But neither would a Catholic, and I would certainly call them Christians.

    How would I define a Christian? I think a Christian would need to affirm some of the basic historic creeds of the church–the Apostles Creed or the Nicean Creed. If someone can affirm these creeds–whether Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical Protestant, or Liberal Protestant–I would call them a Christian. I think these creeds affirm a belief in God, the deity of Christ, the incarnation, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the resurrection, the practice of good works and the pursuit of a holy or sanctified life of faith and discipleship. I am sure you can come up with more things, but this is a start.


  4. John, without making a judgment one way or another on Obama's faith (we can set him aside entirely), may I press you a bit on your answer? Are you indicating that as long as a person makes a claim to be a Christian that is all that is necessary in order for them to be one? In other words, are there no identifying marks of true Christianity other than making a claim, “I am a Christian”? I am not seeking to be snarky here (I very much enjoy your blog though I may disagree with some of your perspectives). I am a pastor and this is an important question for people coming to my church. Likewise, you are a professor at a 'Christian' college with a distinct 'Christian' mission statement. When a student seeks you advice about what it means to be a Christian and they have uncertainty about what identifies a genuine Christian, what do you tell them? Is that not a great opportunity and responsibility for you as a 'Christian' educator?


  5. No worries about your “curtness”, I was interested in your knowing perspective before reading more of your blog. I'm not much on theocracy of any flavour.

    And thanks for responding. I like to be anonymous, though I'll use my OpenID in future if I comment on any of your posts.


  6. Unknown. My apologies for being so curt, but I usually do not respond very well to folks here who go by the handle “unknown.” Anyhow, I do believe Obama is a Christian because he says he is one. That is the best I can do on this side of eternity. I do not believe he is a Muslim.

    And yes, I would say that John 3:16 is an important verse for defining who is a Christian.


  7. Yes, it is a serious question. I found your article reprinted on Al Jazeera, and I'm unaware of your particular views because I've never come across your work before.

    Let's just say, to avoid belaboured theological definitions, that being “a Christian” means believing the message of John 3:16. Never mind the nuances of doctrine or denomination.

    Do YOU believe Obama is a Christian?


  8. That would require a definition of what a Christian is. That would then require criteria rooted in an authoritative source, which would be consummate with a proper interpretation of said source. And I guess that would get us in trouble because in our world outlining objective standards of interpretation is tricky business. All we are left with is opinions… right?


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