Barack Obama Sets the Record Straight at Christianity Today

Barack Obama, interviewed at Christianity Today:

I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn’t ‘fall out in church’ as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn’t want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

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  • http://withashout.net ajamison

    Thanks for the link Jeffrey. I’ve heard/read too much misinformation about Obama & his faith. Glad CT did this.

  • petertchattaway

    By “the record”, I meant he was answering the spreading rumor that he is a Muslim.

    Fair enough; I am unfamiliar with the e-mails to which the CT article refers.

    It may be that Obama is flat-out lying here, but that is not for me to judge.

    I agree; but when Obama says he has “never” done something and there is evidence to suggest that he did, then I think journalists who have access to him should at least ask him about that.

    I, too, am glad CT got involved, but I wish they had had a little more research at their fingertips — or had been willing to use it.

    At this point, please take the discussion of Obama and his politics to the comments section at Christianity Today.

    Ah, well, I posted here and not there precisely to avoid shouting matches. That, plus I don’t think I have ever commented on the CT website before, whereas your blog is like … well, not home, but a favorite pub. :)

    But okay, that’s the last comment I’ll make in this particular thread.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    At this point, please take the discussion of Obama and his politics to the comments section at Christianity Today.

    This post was intended to direct you there. If a debate starts up here about Obama’s reputation, trustworthiness, or politics, I won’t have time to read and moderate all of the comments that’s sure to inspire. (And as you can see over at CT, there are already folks announcing where Obama will be spending eternity, to the shouting match is on….)

  • epaddon

    Frankly, I’m more inclined to be dubious about his veracity about not knowing anyone who is pro-abortion then about is-he-Christian. He’d have to be ignorant of the Kate Michelmans and all others in that particular movement who for decades have held a powerful hold over what the Democratic party does on judicial nominees.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    By “the record”, I meant he was answering the spreading rumor that he is a Muslim.

    When someone answers, “I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life,” well, it is not for me to call him a liar.

    There are Christians who believe in “a woman’s right to choose” (or what I would call an ignorant approval of killing).

    There are Christians who were once Muslims, and there are Christians who were born in Muslim families but never chose that faith for themselves.

    It may be that Obama is flat-out lying here, but that is not for me to judge.

    So, insofar as he is going on the record very clearly as a professing Christians, well, that’s what I meant and I’m sticking with it. Please note, I did not write “Obama is exactly what Christ calls all of his followers to become, he has never had any association with Islam, and he goes to a perfect church.”

    Nor did I say ‘Vote Obama.’

    I’m just glad CT got involved, considering the slander I’ve read *and* heard in dismaying, rumor-based conversations amongst Christians.

  • petertchattaway

    It’s too bad CT let Obama get away with saying he has “never” practised Islam, without pressing him on the various reports concerning his childhood mosque attendance. (To an Anabaptist, the religion your parents and step-parents make you practise when you are a child may be a non-issue, but Muslims are not Anabaptists, and certain kinds of Muslims do take strong exception to Muslims who convert to other faiths. This could be of some significance if Obama wants to represent the world’s only superpower in its dealings with the Muslim world.)

    It’s also too bad CT didn’t ask him anything about that controversial pastor whose church Obama has been attending for the past decade or two; that would be the same controversial pastor that Obama “dis-invited” from taking part in the kick-off for his presidential campaign, presumably because Obama realized that his pastor (and the social and theological beliefs represented by that pastor) would become more of a liability than an asset.

    So, I don’t see much straight-setting here.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    Snippy, yes.

    But an important factor, yes.

    ONE important factor.

  • barbn

    >”Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.”

    “…..And Jesus is also peachy keen with my unqualified, fervent support of unrestricted access to abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and for fetal experimentation and embryonic stem cell research… and heck, for whatever else those damn pro-lifers are against!” (http://women.barackobama.com/page/content/WFOhome).

    Okay, maybe the quote marks are snippy. But I get snippy when God is being mocked. Even if it is unintentional. And I can’t say that’s the case here.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    And in certain quarters, on certain issues, his perspectives on other issues will seem like a breath of fresh air. My vote won’t depend on who can answer an interview question with the best version of “what it means to be a Christian,” but on who seems best equipped to lead and make progress with integrity and conscience. And compared to some of the other candidates, I find Obama’s affirmation of faith, and his prioritization of caring for the poor, to be encouraging.

    But I posted this primarily to follow up a previous post, about Christians who were rejecting him because of rumor and hearsay. I’m glad that Senator Obama took this opportunity to strike down lies and slander.

  • epaddon

    His delcaration that the “most important” aspect of belief in Jesus is the part about feeding the hungry rather than the “redemptive death and resurrection” will not be viewed favorably in certain quarters.


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