President Obama's comment to French television on June 1 that the United States is "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world," plus his Islam-praising speech in Cairo, Egypt on June 4, raise anew questions about his own faith and how he views America.
Questions can also be asked about his math. The CIA Factbook estimates America's Muslim population at 0.6 percent, or about 1.8 million, which puts it in 58th place among nations' total Muslim populations. Even if you take the Islamic Information Center's high estimate of 8 million, that still puts the U.S. at 29th out of 60 nations.
In Cairo, he quoted from the Koran, used his middle name of Hussein, and indicated that the United States and Muslim nations have the same commitment to tolerance and freedom. To fathom the absurdity, think about the possibility of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution springing from the pens of Islamic scholars Thomas al-Jefferson and James al-Madison.
Over the past three years, Obama has made it his business to insist that "we are no longer a Christian nation." He has said it in many places, here and abroad. In 2006, in Washington, D.C., he said, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation. At least, not just." He posted the same sentiment on his campaign Website.
At the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Pennsylvania on April 13, 2008, he said, "We are not just a Christian nation. We are a Jewish nation; we are a Buddhist nation; we are a Muslim nation; Hindu nation; and we are a nation of atheists and nonbelievers."
In Turkey, at a press conference on April 10, he said: "Although we have a large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of values."
During the presidential campaign, the media pounced on anyone who inquired into Obama's Muslim upbringing in Indonesia, his two Muslim fathers or his later 20-year attendance at radical pastor Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Now, his Muslim roots are touted as an asset.
No one can say for sure what Obama actually believes, since only God can know the human heart. So we are left examining his words and actions.
The media-enforced line for the past three years has been that he is a self-described mainstream Christian, end of story. Even when Obama badly distorted Jesus' Sermon on the Mount into a clarion call to accept homosexuality, the press yawned. They yawned (or cheered) when he mocked the Bible's relevance for politics in that 2006 Washington, D.C. speech:
"Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith, or should we just stick with the Sermon on the Mount, a passage which is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application. Folks haven't been reading the Bible."
More cheers came when he spoke the language of unity while taking a shot at his political opponents during a speech at the United Church of Christ convention http://www.ucc.org/news/significant-speeches/a-politics-of-conscience.html in 2007:
"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us.
"We can recognize the truth that's at the heart of the UCC: that the conversation is not over [God needs an editor]; that our roles are not defined [men in dresses, unite]; that through ancient texts and modern voices, God is still speaking [yes, we're ripping out pages of the Bible daily to suit our appetites], challenging us to change not just our own lives, but the world around us ... hate has no place in the hearts of believers."
Question: Is it not hateful to suggest that people who disagree with you are full of "hate?" Is it unifying to accuse opponents of inventing fights that they didn't start?
Some more odd things have been happening since Obama's election that should give pause to even the most cynical observers. On the Saturday before Obama's swearing-in, V. Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, gave an invocation at a pre-inaugural event at the Lincoln Memorial. The New York Times interviewed him http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/openly-gay-episcopal-bishop-to-deliver-invocation-at-lincoln-memorial/ beforehand:
"Bishop Robinson said he had been rereading inaugural prayers through history and was 'horrified' at how 'specifically and aggressively Christian they were.' Bishop Robinson said, 'I am very clear that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that. The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer.'"
As one of his first judicial appointments, Obama named Indiana federal judge David Hamilton to the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton, who had ruled that a pastor could not invoke the name of Jesus in an opening prayer for the Indiana legislature, said that, on the other hand, invoking Allah at a public event is fine.
In April, it was reported that Obama appointed Harry Knox, a Catholic-bashing homosexual activist, to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox, who directs the religion program at the largest gay pressure group, the Human Rights Campaign, described Pope Benedict and other Catholic clergy as "discredited leaders" because of their stand for traditional marriage, and called the Knights of Columbus "foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression" because of their support of California's Proposition 8 marriage amendment.
On April 14, 2009, the Obama team had Georgetown University cover up the Greek letters IHS, which stand for Jesus, so they would not show up when he spoke in front of them.
On May 7, Obama declined to hold any White House event to mark the National Day of Prayer, a decision hailed by Barry Lynn's hard left Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
In his eloquent commencement speech at Notre Dame on May 17, Obama sounded a conciliatory note, lamented, sort of, the abortions that he wants taxpayers to fund, and gave more clues that Christianity will move over and shrink before a universalist moral relativism:
"The size and scope of the challenges before us require that we remake [not "reform" or "restore," but "remake"] our world to renew its promise; that we align our deepest values and commitments to the demands of a new age.
"Your generation must decide how to save God's creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it..... And we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity -- diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of belief."
If diversity in and of itself is god, where does that leave Jesus Christ - the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the Way, the Truth and the Life, through Whom all things were created?
Well, the Obama Nation might just ask Him to change his name to ... Allah.