President Obama is a Christian

President Obama is a Christian October 22, 2012

It is incredibly frustrating to see American after American say that Barack Obama is not a Christian. This sign from a church in Texas has been getting a lot of attention today:


The only way I can make sense of such statements is to conclude that many Americans are deeply confused about what a Christian is. They have listened to the voices of politicians and self-proclaimed pundits who have raised a Christian flag and hoodwinked many Christians into losing sight of what the Bible actually says and replacing it with another set of values.

This image seems to me to make this point that I often try to make, more clearly and powerfully than I manage to make it:

The crucial point is this: Just because you consider yourself a Christian does not mean that, if someone disagrees with you, then either (1) that the other person is not a Christian, or (2) the other person’s view is less Christian than yours, or (3) the other person’s view is wrong. It could be that you are wrong. And unless you engage the person openly, you might miss an opportunity to gain much-needed correction.

CNN has a nice treatment of how some who’ve expanded the Gospel to include certain political and economic policies conclude that Barack Obama is the “wrong kind of Christian.” To which The Lead has added its observation that if Barack Obama is the wrong kind of Christian, then so are most of us.

Let me also link to an article at Religion Dispatches which offers the provocative suggestion that Barack Obama is a pro-life hero.

Let me conclude by emphasizing that my saying that Barack Obama is a Christian doesn’t mean that every view he holds or every policy stance he adopts is Christian. Conservative Christians regularly forgive their own for scandal after scandal without ever concluding that the fallen individual in question is necessarily not a Christian. Remember that the same applies to other Christians – the question of whether he is right, and the question of whether this or that policy reflects Christian values, is not the same as the question of whether he is a person with a deep personal commitment to his own Christian faith. But that so many American Christians fail to see that some of his stances on some issues have deeper roots in the Bible and Christianity than some stances on some issues Republican Christians adopt is not evidence that Barack Obama is not a Christian, but evidence of the rampant Biblical illiteracy in the United States, even among Christian who pay lip service to the Bible’s importance and authority.

Content Director’s Note: This post is a part of our Election Month at Patheos feature. Patheos was designed to present the world’s most compelling conversations on life’s most important questions. Please join the Facebook following for our new News and Politics Channel — and check back throughout the month for more commentary on Election 2012. Please use hashtag #PatheosElection on Twitter.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Scott F

    After reading Obama’s book and watching him these last years, I have concluded that he is not really much a religious man at all. I’m okay with that.

    • $1512802

      So how is he not a Christian? Romney is a cult member. As a Christian Mom and Scout leader I do not know where you are getting that!

  • Scripture warns Christians against spreading rumors and gossip, and yet how many Christians have spread rumors that your President is secretly a Muslim, believe that he is the Antichrist, or have been involved in the Birther movement? If you don’t like him or what he stands for, then vote him out on election day.

  • Oh I love that tweet! And your absolutely right – just because someone thinks differently about an issue does not mean they abandon Jesus.

  • Claude

    It seems CNN has taken down their original headline to that story: “Is Obama the ‘Wrong’ Kind of Christian?”

    Well, I suppose he’s black.

  • Randy Johnson

    Since when does Jesus represent the government? Jesus clearly acted outside of the government, in fact avoided government in many cases. To equate his actions with that of our government is more crazy that what you accuse others of doing. Try acting like Jesus in your own life, rather than passing the buck and trying to get the government to do it for you.

  • ednebet

    Right, if you’re a CHRISTIAN, vote for the MORMON, even though you don’t believe in the same things fundamentally. This is essentially a white vs brown issue, and this sign couldn’t make it anymore apparent than that.

  • $20028221

    there are many, many flavors of Christianity. however, it is simply impossible to be a “secret Muslim.”

  • Anthony Simeone

    Well, a majority of Americans live in deep fear, which is bestowed upon them by the media. They are scared little sheep that want other people to do their thinking for them, and who want to be a part of a big herd so that they have warmth and protection. It’s easier to have some shouting, pontificating, pandering talking head tell you what reality is, rather than do the hard work of thinking for yourself. So if some “authority figure” tells you over and over that Barak Obama is a secret Muslim and you are desperate to believe, you will believe. With all your quivering, quaking sheep heart. Oh, and can we finally admit that calling Obama a “Muslim” or “not American” are just euphemisms for what many Americans want to say: he’s BLACK. And that’s the real issue these narrow-minded closet racist are railing against. Let’s be real here, people. Stop being a coward and admit that his ethnicity is the reason for your suspicion and ire.

  • T. Webb

    I’ve said this for years, if you took a list of quotes from George W. Bush and from Barak H. Obama, you wouldn’t be able to tell which president said which. They express essentially the same belief. Yet it’s interesting to me how both “conservative” Christians and “liberal” Christians perceive each.

  • Preben Jensen

    It looks like it is not possible be become a president if you are an atheist. Most people in USA are brainwashed with religious nonsense.

  • Tik

    Jesus clearly states in the Bible that we cannot hate anyone and we must love our enemies. I see so many Christians having hatreds against President Obama, and they called their selves true Christians. Pray for our enemies and love them as we love ourselves.

  • Peter

    Obama may not be a Muslim, but neither is he a Christian. He
    is an atheist. He plays everyone, all the time, and early on he knew that to
    advance in high office in the USA he had to pretend to be a Christian, and
    politically Reverend Wright’s church was the place to be in Chicago politics.
    If you think Obama is a Christian, you are just as misguided as those who think
    he is a Muslim.

    • I take it you are a friend of his, and can prove that you are? If not, this sounds like hollow speculation at best, and ideologically-driven slander at worst.

  • WillBell

    What I especially hate is the doublethink we see around this, I remember seeing video of interviews that had people calling Obama an atheist and a muslim in the same sentence. I just can’t understand how that works.