The Obama campaign’s repeated insistence that the president is a Christian is having little impact in two Southern states where a new poll indicates about half of the likely GOP primary voters believe he’s a Muslim.
Skeptics have pointed to his Muslim father and step-father, his Islamic training in Indonesia and his statements that America is no longer a “Christian nation” and can be considered one of the largest Muslim nations. The White House and the Obama campaign, meanwhile, officially have maintained Obama is Christian, sometimes citing his membership in the Chicago church of radical preacher Jeremiah Wright.
No matter to those polled by Public Policy Polling.
The survey of 600 likely Alabama Republican primary voters found a full 14 percent believe Obama to be Christian. But 45 percent said he is Muslim and another 41 percent said they are unsure.
The same question presented to 686 likely Mississippi Republican primary voters found 12 percent believe Obama to be Christian. But 52 percent say he is Muslim and another 36 percent were uncertain.
Washington Times columnist Catherine Poe was startled at the results. She wrote: “No matter what your own political persuasion, such downright ignorance is frightening. But it gets worse when they basically insist that President Obama is a Muslim no matter what he says.”
Religious beliefs have become a 2012 campaign issue, perhaps partly because of GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum has indirectly addressed Obama’s beliefs, denouncing a “phony theology” espoused by the White House. He described it as a “theology not based on the Bible.”
Franklin Graham, founder of the evangelical relief group Samaritan’s Purse and the son of evangelist Billy Graham, publicly noted that Obama has said he’s a Christian, “so I just have to assume that he is.”
But that less-than-hearty endorsement of Obama’s beliefs set off a firestorm of criticism of Graham.
Among the issues stirring the controversy has been the Obama administration’s demand that Catholic and evangelical Christian employers – against church doctrine and personal religious beliefs – pay for their employees’ birth control, including chemicals that are considered abortifacients.
Obama also has helped advance the aims of homosexual activists, in defiance of Christian teaching.
Just days ago, faith and American freedom historian David Barton of WallBuilders documented 50 anti-Christian and anti-Jewish actions Obama has taken since assuming office.
Barton concluded Obama is “America’s most biblically hostile U. S. president.”
“When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century-long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic,” Barton writes. “But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs.”
Barton suggests his list – which includes links to stories from NBC, WND, the Los Angeles Times, Christianity Today and dozens of sources – demonstrates a pattern of “disrespectful and appalling treatment” toward anyone who holds to biblical values.
“Perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as ‘anti-biblical,’” Barton writes. “And then when his hostility toward biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-biblical actions.”
Among the 50 actions taken are:
- May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House.
- Oct. 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
- April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring.
- January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand. But the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
- June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.
- September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating, “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”
- February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei).
- February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
- May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
- 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha.
“Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history,” Barton concludes following the full list. “The hostility of President Obama toward biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.”
Movie and television star and WND columnist Chuck Norris suggested no matter what Obama calls himself, he should be judged by his actions.
In a series of commentaries, he explained how Obama is using U.S. Special Envoy Rashad Hussain, his own presidential position and others in his administration to deepen and expand the partnerships between the United States and the religion of Islam.
He also detailed Obama’s real spiritual beliefs based upon a rare, in-depth 2004 interview by a religious reporter for a major newspaper, including his beliefs about prayer, sin, heaven, the Bible and the person of Jesus.
Norris wondered why Obama does not “consider it his responsibility to ‘fight against negative stereotypes’ of Christianity.”
“As president, why doesn’t he defend the rights of Christians too, especially those whose voice and freedoms have been suppressed because of opposition?” Norris wrote.
“In just the last few months, why didn’t the president step forward and stand up publicly for any of the following Christians who had their First Amendment rights trampled upon by others, just as he had done for Muslims who are attempting to build the Ground Zero mosque?”
- “Why doesn’t the president stand up for the rights of Christian organizations, whose rights to hire same faith or mission-minded employees are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment, but are right now having to urge Congress to reject legislation that would prohibit them from hiring only fellow believers?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the rights of the North Carolina pastor who was fired from his duties as an honorary chaplain of the state house of representatives after he closed a prayer “in the name of Jesus”?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the children from the Christian private school who were “abruptly” ordered by a court police officer to stop praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court building?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the rights of those in Utah who erected 14 memorial crosses on highways for state troopers killed in the line of duty, but were told by federal judges they are to come down because they are unconstitutional?
- “Why didn’t the president himself stand up for the human rights of the Christian missionaries and medical team in Afghanistan, including six Americans, to practice medicine and their faith, even after they were murdered by Islamic extremists? Wouldn’t other medical missionaries in Afghanistan appreciate Obama’s defense more now than ever?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the four missionaries arrested at an Arab festival in Dearborn, Mich., just for exercising their freedom of speech and religion?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the rights of the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham, who was disinvited from a Pentagon prayer service on the National Day of Prayer because of his “extremist” Christian views and values?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the rights of the Christian student who was booted from her graduate counseling program at a public university over her belief and conviction that homosexuality is morally wrong?
- “Why didn’t the president stand up for the three Christian evangelists who were arrested for sharing the gospel and singing hymns on a public sidewalk outside an Islamic mosque in Philadelphia?
- “And, mostly, why didn’t the president stand up for the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church, the only church that was actually destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, as church leaders have been frustrated and fouled by New York officials who have virtually turned their backs on the reconstruction of the church near Ground Zero?”
“In countless speeches and actions since taking office, Obama has sympathized and supported pro-Islamic ideologies and practice. That is why the New York Times even recently published a multiple-page report on how the “White House quietly courts Muslims in the U.S.,” Norris wrote.