The question of whether or not President Barack Obama is a Christian is one that has plagued him for a long time. Let me begin by getting this out of the way, right now: If he were white and/or a Republican, no one — and I do mean no one — would even be entertaining the possibility he’s anything else, much less a Muslim (as many in the country erroneously believe). Since he is a Democrat and black, though — and worse, has a foreign name — lots of people think otherwise.
One of the Religious Right’s whiney mantras, since he was elected, has been to ask why the mass media aren’t working harder at pressing the president on the matter of his religion. Well, he made an appearance at which someone directly questioned him on this issue, and he answered, as CNN reports (WebCite cached article):
An event billed as a discussion on the economy turned personal Tuesday when a woman asked President Barack Obama about his Christian faith and views on abortion.
The question came at a town hall-style meeting in the yard of an Albuquerque home as part of Obama’s public outreach to explain his policies and campaign for Democrats in the November congressional elections.
Here is what he had to say about it:
“I am a Christian by choice,” Obama began, standing beneath a blazing sun, when asked why he is a Christian.
“I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings.”
Humans are “sinful” and “flawed” beings that make mistakes and “achieve salvation through the grace of God,” the president continued, adding that we also can “see God in other people and do our best to help them find their, you know, their own grace.”
“So that’s what I strive to do,” Obama said. “That’s what I pray to do everyday. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.”
Here is CNN’s video of the questions asked of Obama and his answers:
Now … similar words have been said by many a believer over the centuries. In most cases this has been taken at face value. I expect, however, that Rightists will not accept this; they’ll say Obama was merely paying “lip service” to Christianity and isn’t a sincere believer.
It’s true that he might not be sincere … but short of being able to probe his mind telepathically and determine whether or not he’s lying, there is no way to know how sincere he is. One can only take his word for it; nothing else is possible or reasonable. The definition of “Christian” is “someone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.” As almost everyone knows, there are many ways to go about this; if this weren’t the case, there wouldn’t be as many different Christian sects and denominations as there are. A lot of the Christian Right is convinced that Obama can’t possibly be a “‘Real’ Christian,” because he’s pro-choice (GASP!) and (supposedly) a socialist and/or communist. Both of these are bullshit, however; it’s more than possible to be a pro-choice Christian, and there is nothing inherently un-Christian about liberal policies (even if the furiously-sanctimonious Glenn Beck says otherwise).
At any rate, the Right has been demanding for a couple of years that Obama be confronted about his Christianity; now that it’s happened, I’m not betting they’ll be happy with it. They will simply continue raging and screaming that the President dares behave in ways they personally disapprove of. Wah wah wah. It’s all so very childish … but being hyperreligious, they’re not capable of any maturity, so what else can one expect?Tags: albuquerque, albuquerque NM, barack obama, belief, believer, christ, christian, christian right, Christianity, christians, jesus, jesus christ, obama, obama is a christian, president obama, Religion, religiosity, religious, religious right, right, sincere, sincerity