The list of things that annoy me would span the circumference of the earth if it were written down. One thing on that long list is the notion that we’re not allowed to make determinations about the faith of public figures based on their behavior. It’s forbidden!
If a public figure states that they’re a Christian, that’s it. No one is allowed to say, “Well, what about his behavior? That doesn’t point toward Christianity.” Gasps and pearl-clutching follow such inquisitions.
Thursday, Rush Limbaugh asked his audience why Obama chose Christianity over Islam, given his apparent reverence for the Islamic faith:
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“He talks about how awesome Islam is all the time, one of the most beautiful sounds he’s ever heard is the morning call to prayer in an Islamic country. He says it’s the most peaceful, most giving religion out there…My question is, given all this, why did he choose to become a Christian? I’ve always wondered that. He’s such a defender and promoter of Islam, and on the other hand he and his party are constantly denigrating Christians.”
In Rush’s question lies an assumption: Obama is a Christian. The Republican Presidential candidates have even gotten in on this.
In September, Jeb Bush said:
“Barack Obama is a talented man…And, by the way, he is an American, he is a Christian.”
Ben Carson said something similar in October–though it was a bit more oblique:
“He says he is. I have to take him at his word.”
Obama says he’s a Christian, so he is. The end. Why can’t anyone disturb that narrative? Moreover, why isn’t anyone willing to?
Obama’s actions don’t reflect Christianity. Not to me, at least. He aggressively supports gay marriage–which is antithetical to New Testament teaching; he supports abortion, and as a state senator, voted against the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” which would have granted personhood rights to infants born alive following botched abortions (a nearly identical bill passed the U.S. Senate unanimously); he rarely attends church, which is also not in line with New Testament teachings and early church practice that tells us to gather with fellow Christians regularly.
Looking to his actions, a person could easily make the claim that Barack Obama is not a Christian–yet no one seems willing to do so.
If someone claimed to be a Muslim, but didn’t pray regularly, rarely visited his mosque, and generally didn’t follow the teachings of his faith, people would say he wasn’t a Muslim. Same for Judaism. Same for any faith. What is a participatory faith without participation?
Likewise, I could say I’m a conservative, but if I then proceed to vote for Hillary Clinton, and support on-demand abortions, is nobody allowed to challenge me on my claim? People get so distraught when someone challenges Obama’s Christianity. I just don’t understand it.
Fine, say you’re “religious,” or the even more vague and annoying “spiritual.” At least that’s more honest. To say that you’re a Christian, then proceed to ignore the practices and morals of that faith is just dishonest.
So here I am, challenging Obama’s claim that he’s a Christian. Nobody else seems to want to do it. I don’t take him at his word; I observe his behavior.