Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010

      One of the oddities of Barack Obama's presidency is that so many Americans say, wrongly, that they think he's a Muslim.  One recent Pew Forum survey shows that 18% of us think Obama is a Muslim, up a bit from a 2009 survey.  34% say he's a Christian,
down from earlier surveys, and 43% say they don't know what his religionis.
     Obama himself spoke of his religion in a New Mexico campaign stop this week, telling voters that he wasn't raised as a churchgoer but embraced Christianity as an adult.  "It was because the precepts of Jesus spoke to me," he said, "in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead--being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me."  His public service, he said, is "part of that effort to express my Christian faith."  He went on to say that he's somebody "who deeply believes that part of the bedrock strength of this country is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faith."
     Fair enough.
     Religion is something which draws controversy, especially when it's mixed with politics.  I'm old enough to remember voters grumbling that if John Kennedy (our first Roman Catholic president) were elected, he and we would be taking orders from the Pope.  Didn't happen, of course.
      And will Obama's latest comments end the rumor-mongering about his religion?  It would be lovely to
think so, but I'm sure it won't.

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