Saturday, August 21, 2010

Obama Lied About His Religious Affiliation

Because of recent poll findings (reported in Newsweek, for example, with factual errors) that as much as 31% of the public believes that Obama is a Muslim, there has been a spate of publicity concerning an issue that surfaced on my blog during the election campaign: whether then-Senator Obama was lying about his religious affiliation.  The Democratic Party's media refused to ask this question (Newsweek insists, without evidence, that the claim is factually wrong.  Unlike Newsweek, I look for evidence when I claim something to be a fact), and otherwise hard headed analysts such as Mayor Ed Koch happily allowed themselves to be duped.  It seems that party affiliation, political correctness and anger about George W. Bush made many eager to be conned.  The propaganda characteristically part of the Democratic Party's media also played a role.  For instance, Newsweek reports (assuming that they were able to get this straight, which is dubious) that the editors of the Atlanta Constitution now believe that a presidential candidate's religious beliefs ought not to concern the public.  Rather, I would suggest that the Atlanta Constitution's opinions ought not to concern the public. 

Sharad Karkhanis has forwarded Madeline Brooks's Canada Free Press article article to me (see below). For me, the question is not whether he is a Muslim or a Christian but whether he misrepresented his religion as well as his position on Israel, the Middle East and Pakistan-India conflict.  No issue is off limits with respect to a presidential race, and the fact that the Atlanta Constitution's editors think otherwise suggests that they are not an important or useful source of information.   The gullible willingness of many Jews and Hindus as well as Christians to believe the Democratic media's propaganda concerning Obama shows a serious weakness in our educations and in common sense.

Madeline Brooks called Obama's church to learn that, contrary to logic and any possible interpretation of either Christianity or Islam, Jeremiah Wright's church sees no conflict between Islamic and Christian doctrine. Hence, the fact that Obama had produced no evidence of conversion is entirely consistent with his legitimate membership in Wright's church.  He need not have converted to Christianity to belong to Wright's church, and the church says that many members are Muslims.  No one in the Democratic media ever asked Wright's church whether a Muslim could belong.  It turns out a Muslim can belong. Hence, his membership, far from being evidence of Christianity as the flightless birds at Newsweek claim, is actually evidence of his Muslim faith.  Nor is Obama's assertion of Christianity evidence of a thing.

Obama’s Unique Form of ‘Christianity:’ No Baptism Or Renunciation of Islam Required By Madeline Brooks  Saturday, August 21, 2010

New questions arise lately concerning whether President Obama is a Muslim or a Christian, as Mr. Obama gives his partial support to the mosque at Ground Zero. 

We’ve all heard by now that Obama became a Christian mostly to expedite his political career and that the Trinity United Church of Christ he joined, presided over by Reverend Jonathan Wright, was not exactly mainstream.  We’ve heard about Wright’s damning of America and we know that the church was – and might still be - a hot bed of black nationalism.  But what is not as well known is that no baptism is required, nor must Muslims renounce Islam to be accepted as full members in that church.

On a tip from a pastor, which I wrote about here I called the Trinity United Church back in February, 2010 to ask about the requirements of membership.  The church receptionist transferred my call to the Director of Membership, who told me that baptism is optional and that Muslims who believe in the prophet Mohammed can be full members.  In fact, she reassured me cheerfully, they have plenty of Muslim members.

Never mind that this is theologically impossible, except when one makes one’s own rules.  The doctrines of Christianity and Islam are incompatible.  Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is one with the Creator, through the doctrine of the Trinity, and that Jesus died on the cross in order to redeem humanity from its sins.  Islam calls the Trinity ‘idolatry’ because it sees the Trinity’s three parts as separate entities – three distinct gods – instead of one divine being.  Islam also denies Christianity’s claim that Jesus Christ died on the cross, or that he is the unique savior of humanity.

Baptism is central to Christian practices, both as a way to mark the convert’s entrance into a new life and as a washing away of sinful practices from the person’s past.  The core of the new life as a Christian is a renunciation of other religious beliefs.  The World Council of Churches is an umbrella organization for Protestant churches that represents about 550 million Christians throughout more than 120 countries.  It has declared the centrality of baptism for a Christian, and notes that no matter how much churches may differ in other ways, the vast majority of churches agree on the importance of baptism.
 
Why would a Muslim want to join a church that proclaimed these Christian beliefs?  It would be a betrayal of his own convictions.  Besides, the word “Trinity” is in the name of the Trinity United Church of Christ, which should discourage a Muslim who thinks the Christian trinity is blasphemous. What’s going on here?

The Trinity United Church of Christ is affiliated with the mainline United Church of Christ which branched out of Congregationalism, and going back even further, that denomination had its roots in Puritanism.  All these connections are very traditional.  The affirmation of faith of the parent organization, as found in their constitution begins with, “The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior.”  However, when the black pride movement burgeoned in Chicago during the 1960s at the time when Malcolm X made that city the headquarters for the Nation of Islam, the Trinity United Church of Christ appears to have made doctrinal adjustments to accommodate its constituents.  They were African Americans who wanted a veneer of Christianity, which many of them had been raised with, to cover their newly acquired black nationalism and Nation of Islam inspired faith.  At the same time, the church needed new members because church attendance was falling off. 

So a new syncretic religion was born, Muslim Christianity.  Never mind that it makes a mish mash of theology – in order to suit the emotional and cultural needs of the parishioners.  Obama may have been telling the truth when he called himself a Christian, even though he has not apparently spent much time in any church since leaving the tutelage of Rev. Wright.  But for the rest of us, there is confusion, a confusion that is sure to grow as not only the President but possibly many others influenced by him, take the side of Islamic political entities while still calling themselves ‘Christian.’

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you care about someones religion? What difference does it matter? Obama is what ever he says he is. He can choose to practice the religion the way he chooses to....or not.

If one chooses to believe in a higher power, they may also choose how that relationship fits into their life....if at all.

There is no penalty for not fitting into what someone else has as a preconceived notion of what religion is.

Eric Dondero said...

Hi Mitchell. Nice blog you have here. May link to it at LibertarianRepublican.net

Mitchell Langbert said...

Dear Anonymous: It does not require a detailed review of history, only a cursory one, to understand the fundamental importance religion plays in every aspect of a culture, extending to economic and political attitudes. Max Weber's "Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism" is still a foundational work in sociology. Weber argues that Protestantism was the fundamental pivot on which the industrial revolution turned. There are many other ways to demonstrate the fundamental connection between religion and the political policies that a candidate is likely to adopt. For example, Catholic countries have been less ready to adopt democracy than Protestant ones. Spain remained non-democratic until the 1970s, for instance. In contrast, Protestant countries, England, Switzerland, Holland and the United States, have had a much greater tendency toward liberalism.

Hence, the claim that the Democratic Party media makes that religion is irrelevant to their sponsored candidate's political beliefs is uninformed. Of course religion is critical and candidates cannot be evaluated without a grasp of their religious views.

Much of the motivation for the claim that Obama's religion is immaterial is the partisan eagerness with which the Democratic media has touted him. Moreover, of all the religions, none touches so deeply on politics and political power as the Islamic faith. If you are unaware of Islam's history and traditions in that regard, I recommend Bernard Lewis's "Muslim Discovery of Europe." You might begin to do some serious reading instead of parroting platitudes from some third rate newspaper whose writers are less informed than you are.

I do not blame you for being uninformed about the link between religion and various social attitudes demonstrated, for instance, in David McClelland's "Achieving Society". Surely, I would hope for better from the Democratic Party media. Even though it is unreliable and biased, I have never before seen such palpapable ignorance (being unaware, for instance of Weber and McClelland, the most elementary sociology) before it became Obama's publicity agency.

Most of all I blame the school system for leaving someone like you badly educated and susceptible to the media's propaganda.

joetote said...

In his own words from his book, the president makes it extremely clear where his loyalties lie! “ Quote from Obama’s book: Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction..'"

The man's religion aside, his loyalties are clear and they are in fact extremely pro Muslim. Or could it be that as in his entire presidency so far, his own words in his own book are also just a bald faced lie?

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