Confessions Of A Christian Nation: The Real Reason We Continue To Ask If Pres. Obama Is A Muslim

July 27, 2012  |  

Ever since the first anonymous email circulated claiming he was a Muslim, President Obama has maintained that he is a Christian. In fact, he told Christianity Today “I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

That widely-publicized interview and his repeating of that same statement on several occasions did little to sway those that refused to believe he isn’t a Muslim. In fact, according to The Huffington Post that erroneous belief continues to this day:

 Three and a half years into the presidency of Barack Obama, 17 percent of registered voters still believe that he is a Muslim despite the fact that he is a Christian, according to a poll released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Forty-nine percent correctly identified that he is a Christian, while 31 percent of respondents said they did not know.

Of course it would be easy to dismiss 17 percent of people in this country as bonafide idiots. However, the fact that a significant percentage of people believe President Obama is a Muslim says more about what we believe about religion and less about what religion he believes.

Roughly 80 percent of people in this country call themselves Christians. Christianity is an easy religion to assume considering that the most popular aspect of its message is love, mercy and grace. More accurately, Christianity is one of the easiest religions to fake. Why? Because there are no hard and fast “rules”. Sure we have a Bible that we can base our actions on, but many have dismissed the Bible as not being absolute truth and instead being up to individual interpretations. Therefore, should someone point out un-Christian behavior such as fornication, alcoholism, or some other unapologetic, deliberate and consistent sinful lifestyle choice, that person will undoubtedly be hit with the “only God can judge me” Tupac verse that people believe is in the Bible. A person can be having sex with every man she meets and still describe herself as “a God fearing woman” in her Twitter bio. Heck, James Holmes goes on a mass killing spree and people back in his hometown in California were calling him “Christian”. Some of the most hate-mongering people on the far-right claim to be Christian despite spouting hateful, racist rhetoric. This country as a whole was built on the backs of slaves, but don’t you dare say those Founding Fathers weren’t Christians. Plenty of people are out here claiming to be Christians yet do not believe in Heaven; the omnipresence of God; the virgin birth, crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus; the infilling of the Holy Spirit; the pursuit of holiness; the infallible Word of God; or Hell. They don’t look, act, or talk Christian, but who are we to say they aren’t Christians?

The Islamic faith, on the other hand, is not like that at all. The reason why people think President Obama can drink beer, eat pork, ignore Ramadan, never step foot in a mosque (at least not in the past three years), claim Christianity, say he is not a Muslim and yet people still believe he is a Muslim is because we have no concept of what it means to truly believe in and practice our religion. So many people in this country claim to be Christian yet live blatantly un-Christian lifestyles, so we automatically believe other religions tolerate the same behavior. In fact, when someone does do or say something that is contrary to popular culture but keeps with their Christianity, we’re shocked and ready to protest. As Wajahat Ali (who is a Muslim) pointed out in 2008: “We would have to disavow common sense, history, evidence and truth, and, instead, rely purely on hysteria and hearsay created out of conjecture…[to] conclusively prove Obama is a Muslim.”

But we know President Obama isn’t a Muslim. This report isn’t about that at all. Think about it: if President Obama said he were a Muslim tomorrow, there isn’t a single policy or act of his presidency that we could point to as evidence that he has been anything but a Democrat in office. Muslims would undoubtedly rebuke him as an “Apostate” and droves of people would be calling him a liar and pointing out any and all anti-Muslim practicing behavior.

Nobody who deserves to be living outside of the local insane asylum really believes Obama is a Muslim and, at this point, no thinking individual even cares because it has no bearing on his presidency whatsoever. This report and the resulting headlines are  simply a subtle reminder to the many Muslim-Americans in this country that they are still not welcome here. The mainstream media is using these types of stories to remind Muslim-Americans that our prejudice against them in this country will not dissipate and that relentless prejudice may in fact be the only thing that unites the rest of us.  Don’t believe me? Next time someone says they believe President Obama is a Muslim, ask them why it matters. This isn’t about President Obama at all. This is about our country’s persisting, shameless hatred of people born on American soil who happen to be Muslims. Cause after all, [insert the most sarcastic tone ever] we’re a “Christian” nation.

Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink

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