Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama Is Not A Muslim (Duh)

Another rumor flying around the internet is that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, who, when he is elected President, will do things that Muslims do (what, kill all Jews and Christians?)

Why would anyone think that Obama is Muslim? Well, the little germ of truth in this rumor begins with the fact that his birth father was a non-practicing Muslim from African (he claimed to be an atheist). The Senior Barack Obama left Junior when he was two and only saw him once before he died, so there's seems to be little influence there.

Then, Obama's mom, Ann Durham, an atheist raised in Kansas by Protestant parents but now living in Hawaii (whew, this gets confusing!), married an Indonesian man who was said to be a non-practicing Muslim (which makes sense if Ann was an atheist). The family moved to Indonesia for four years when Barack was six, where he attended a Catholic school for three years, then a Indonesian public school for one year. After this, Barack moved back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, where he lived a normal American life in the 70s, until he went off to college in California.

So, there is no evidence at all that Barack Obama was ever a practicing Muslim. Having said that, if he had been, that would not disqualify him for political office, though it is almost certain he could never get elected as President in the United States at this time! These things take time after all. A Catholic wasn't elected until 1960. A Jew has not yet been elected. Does it need to said that there is no religious test in the Constitution to be elected President?

Barack Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago sometime in the 1990s, having been an unchurched, non-believer before that time. (I don't have an exact date.) Presumably he was baptized, since the UCC requires this, and professed his faith in Jesus Christ. Earlier this year, he resigned his membership in Trinity UCC, due to the controversy over Rev. Wright, but he remains a baptized Christian, and plans to join another church as soon as possible (where probably depends on whether he moves his family to the White House or not).

To my knowledge (f.y.i. I studied world religions at Syracuse University as a doctoral student), a person cannot be both a Muslim and a Christian at the same time. That's just the way it works, given both the Islamic and Christian faiths. So, unless one is really conspiratorial, the obvious fact is that Barack Obama is a practicing and faithful Christian.

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