Unlike Ann Coulter, multitudes of radio talk show hosts, and even some of the internet's most recognizable blogs, I don't think that using Barrack Hussein Obama's middle name accomplishes all that much. The argument that he is a muslim is, as I argued on Chicago talk radio last week, most probably the weakest attack one can levy at the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois. Making this argument with such weak substance reduces an examination of Obama's belief system, particularly his faith, to one dimension.
It also gives Obama a hugely unfair advantage: a path to dishonesty that is unchallenged, one that he should be accountable for.
For every time that Coulter slips a "B. Hussein Obama" into the discussion with Neil Cavuto, he simply slips in a little bit of "I pray to Jesus every night" at his next campaign stop. Partisan sides are already disinclined to believe the other anyway, and the useless rhetorical exercise repeats itself all over again the next day.
On the level of fact, we have no record of Obama, particularly in his adult life, ever associating himself with a mosque, Islam, or the fundamental system of jihad that the "B. Husseiners" attempt to imply. As a matter of fact, part of his extended family once converted to Islam, but even that was for a brief time. So on the facts, Mr. Obama's Kenyan relatives have every right to be angered that he would be so slandered.
The bigger danger in the controversy is that it is giving cover for the candidate to continue to spread the fraudulent idea that he is, in fact, a Christian.
I suppose one could possibly allow him to make the claim that he is a cultural "Christian" from the standpoint that he is not Atheist, Buddhist, Jew, or Muslim. But Obama is trading a good deal more on the meaning of the term than simply cultural - and he's had help doing it.
Rick Warren was warned repeatedly when he invited Obama to address his congregation, from behind his podium, in his worship center that the already declared aspirations for President would be greatly benefitted by the identification with Warren. That it would in essence be an implied "stamp of approval" upon Obama expressly as a "Christian." Warren's neck grew stiff, his ears grew deaf, and the cache he traded at the time was a huge hit of popularity--and possibly frequent invites to a future Obama White House. All this in exchange for a little implied endorsement, or at the very least, the inaction of differentiating himself from Obama's positions on issues of biblical importance.
I predicted all of it, and a week ago Senator Obama proved it true highlighting his appearance at Warren's church as evidence of his spiritual commitment.
The other help Obama has received has come from African-American clergy who willfully choose to ignore biblical imperatives in what good stewards should look for in placing a man in leadership and giving him the responsibility of protecting the life of God's creatures.
Sharpton and Jackson were quick to embrace Obama because long ago both traded genuine spiritual conviction for political power and prestige. Yet with Obama there have been increasing numbers of more traditional black clergy who, until now, have strongly, almost violently disagreed with Obama's position on protecting the life of the most downtrodden, on protecting the fidelity of the institution of marriage, etc., and are now kowtowing to Obama's coattails and refusing their biblical responsibility of speaking truth.
The New York Times did a multi-page feature piece last year supposedly "profiling" Obama's faith. Yet nowhere in the piece did they describe Obama's conversion or salvation experience, his confession of personal sin, need for repentance, or willingness to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and King.
And then there is the issue of what his "pastor" of the "church" Obama does attend actually does teach...
Dr. Jeremiah Wright is famous on Chicago's South Side, and because of Obama's profile he has been raised to the highest national profile of his years as a leader. Yet as any African-American born-again Christian from Chicago's South Side would tell you, the gospel he preaches resembles little of what's found in the Bible.
Dr. Wright is as likely to drop an "F-bomb" from his pulpit as he is to discuss the idea of self-sacrifice, taking up one's cross and following Christ. He is more prone to expound upon the percentages of the racial make-up of the prison system, regardless of and separate from the issue of the actual guilt of the prisoners, than he would be to teach that all of us as sinners must admit our sinful nature and yield ourselves over to the redemption Christ made available through his death and resurrection. He even goes so far as to blame the United States of America for "starting" the AIDS virus--a patent lie--as opposed to speaking truthfully about different choices of sexual behavior having consequences. And none of this even begins to touch the whole "scriptural text isn't to be understood literally but is really an analogy for African Americans in today's world" mishandling of the text issue.
And though Obama gives vague statements of "disagreement" with some things his pastor says, Obama has never expounded on what a single one of those disagreements would be.
In reality, Barack Obama has claimed a mainstream Christian faith. He has done so to soothe over ruffled feathers of traditional black clergy. He has done so to hoodwink the seeker friendly and emergent church movements who thrive on feeling and not on substance. He has done so to attempt to portray himself as outwardly friendly to the same Christian principles as Dr. James Dobson.
Yet he, in his own words, by his own votes, and under the spiritual voices he submits himself to, resembles little of the mind of the one the text calls 'The Christ.'
Hope, Change, and Jesus - three words Obama has built a campaign around, yet lacking context, he will surely bring doom to the future meaning of all three.