President Obama is a Christian.
What he means by that no one has ever been very sure. But it is what he claims nonetheless.
When callers to my radio shows claim, "He is a Muslim." I remind them--quickly--that he has only ever said that he is a Christian.
This usually then incites various discussion points about the validity of his claim vs. theirs.
Frequently the conversation will dwell upon the fact that his name is Islamic. To respond to this I simply point out that many former Muslims still carry their given name upon conversion to Christianity.
They may say, "He seldom attends church." A valid point and weighty criticism but still not an essential element to one being a follower of Jesus Christ as Messiah to secure one's salvation.
They will say, "He has treated Israel miserably." Another valid point, but far from being a core component of what defining oneself as a Christian truly is. (Though Christians do stand in solidarity with our friend and only ally in the region.)
They may criticize his former "pastor"--and well they should--because he is not a practitioner of Biblical theology. They may question the evidence of spiritual fruit in his life--yet he appears to live a life with his family that many in local churches can't seem to master.
They may say, "He has said things in the defense of countries (that are not our friends) that appear to be pro-Islam." Of this there is no argument.
This week he even went far out of his way to say that America is not at war with radical Islam.
Which is an odd take on reality, considering that the group we are attacking has ISLAMIC as the first word of the name they identify themselves by. Also odd because they claim the holy book of Islam as their scripture. They established an Islamic state, and named an Islamic prophet whose instructions they now follow.
So you understand our dilemma here.
A man whose faith he claims, while practicing precious little of it, declares that tens of thousands of people practicing another faith, are not in fact practitioners of that faith. And he declares this while being an expert in neither faith.
Head spinning yet?
Which brings us to the letter "N." ("Nun" in Arabic...)
It is the letter that--in the world of Islam--stands for a term of severe disrespect--The Nasrani--the ones who follow Jesus of Nazareth. (Not dissimilar to the "n" word that represents racial degradation in America.) Though it is not a racial term, it is a term of abject dishonor, disrespect, and even death.
It has been commonly used in the battle with ISIS. For when Islamic jihadists roll into an ancient Biblical area like that of Mosul, Iraq, they paint the letter "N" on the homes of Christians. The Christians are given anonymous phone calls in the night and instructed to convert to Islam, to flee, or to die. (Previously they had allowed Christians to pay a tax--under Islamic rule--but when the family goes to flee they now simply take everything they own except the clothes they are wearing.) They rape the Christian women--mothers and daughters--while fathers and brothers are forced to watch. They have beheaded children in at least two documented locations. And they have claimed Christian girls for overnight brides, where over the course of a week or so, one girl may be raped by as many as ten to fifty Islamic men. (Not Yezidi, not Christian, not Jewish, but Islamic.)
Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been literally obliterated, expunged, removed from ancient Bible lands in Iraq. And when the displaced Christians tell their story they say, "But at least we didn't have it as bad as the Christians in Syria." (*Perspective*)
President Obama claims to be a Nasrani, a follower of Christ, an "N" word marked for conversion, flight, or death.
Yet he is incapable--as is his entire staff, of labeling those who would kill him what they are--in word and deed--Islamic radicals.
It causes me to wonder if when the stakes truly count, and eternity is on the line, when his family is displaced or threatened with extinction, will his Christianity have been a banner of comfort and convenience, or of conviction even with consequence?
I know where I stand!