My new book, "Crimes Against Liberty," has just been released, and in many of my radio interviews, hosts have been asking me whether I believe Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim. Though I don't address that subject in my book, I'll take a stab at it here.
First, let me confess that we can't possibly know for sure whether someone is a Christian, in the sense that we can't read another person's soul. We can sometimes get a pretty good idea based on someone's statements, professions and actions, but ultimately, Christianity is about an individual's beliefs and his faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
With that disclaimer and the further admission that I'm no expert on Islam, let me share with you some factors that I believe merit our consideration on the question of whether he is Muslim, Christian or neither.
In some ways, Obama exhibits a worldview that more closely resembles a secularist than it does either a Muslim or a Christian, especially in his views on social issues. Also, he seems to place a great deal of confidence in himself and in government to bring about transformational change. How many God-fearing people have you known who would say "we (meaning I) are the ones we've been waiting for" or "generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? The staggering conceit of these statements cannot be overstated.
Those who mocked George W. Bush for openly declaring his faith in God and sharing that he prays to God for strength squawked about the horrors in Bush's allowing his beliefs to influence his governance. Apart from the mockers' misunderstanding of the proper intersection of faith and governance, let me pose another question. Are you more comfortable with a chief executive who, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, humbly admits to reliance on God or one who projects the impression that he himself is messianic? Which has a firmer grip on reality or comes closer to your own worldview?
Though the mockers would have us believe the former is abnormal, this can only be true if enormous numbers of Americans are lying to pollsters about their Christian faith. It's time we quit acting as if belief in God and Christianity were some kind of oddity or government officials should or even could fence off their beliefs from their governance. Secularists certainly don't.
Some counter with the oft-reported tidbit that Obama heavily relies on his spiritual advisers and receives a daily devotional on his BlackBerry. But can they explain away his messianic complex or satisfactorily square his apparent personal idolatry with his profession of Christian faith?