Obama’s Strange Reassurances of Faith

“However, I think that President Obama, through some of his own words and actions, including his outreach efforts to the Muslim world, his seeming indifference and/or hostility to Israel, his cancellation of the National Prayer Breakfast for two years in a row, and his lack of church attendance while President, has contributed to people’s misunderstandings about his religious background, both past and current.” Weekend Seven: Obama’s Religion & Saudi Torture

Well, he did it again.  This time in the largest Muslim country in the world.  President Obama, on his world-wind trip to Asia last week, took the opportunity to criticize Israel yet again.  In what appears to many to be a petty and gratuitous slap at the Jewish state and only stable democracy in the Middle East (Iraq does not count as a stable democracy), President Obama responded to Israel’s announcement of further construction in Jerusalem by saying:

 “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.”

What activity is Obama referring to?  Israel’s building of new residential homes in east Jerusalem, the capital of one of America’s closest allies and friends in the world.  But, if Obama really believes in a special friendship between our two countries, he has a strange way of showing it.

For what is supposed to be the most intelligent, most politically savvy Presidential administration that has ever served this country, the latest flap either reveals a continuing amateurishness to Obama’s foreign policy (except for when to bow) or an intentional strategy of appeasing Muslims while attacking those dastardly “Zionists.”  Frankly, I’m not sure which is better.

Andrew C. McCarthy, in “Obama Knocks Israel in a Budding Sharia State,” at National Review Online, sets forth a devastating analysis of President Obama’s apparent anti-Israel verbal smack down.  If Obama is a friend of Israel, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

For all his spin about Indonesia’s values and religious tolerance, Obama either does not know (I doubt that) or conveniently ignores (most likely) the real facts of Indonesia’s Muslim-majority views of Jews and Christians.  According to The Voice of the Martyrs report on religious liberty in Indonesia, Indonesia is not as tolerant of non-Muslims as the President would have us believe.  Israelis can’t even enter Indonesia.

Perhaps President Obama is remembering the more tolerant time of his childhood spent in Indonesia or his advisors simply didn’t do their homework on the current religious climate in the world’s largest Islamic country.  Whatever the reason, the President of the freest nation on the face of the earth missed a golden opportunity to defend the religious freedoms and rights of Indonesia’s minority Christian community.

But, why should that surprise anyone?  For a President who criticizes Israel at the drop of a hat, who refuses to condemn jihad, and who goes out of his way to defend the Ground Zero mosque, Obama certainly has a strange way of reassuring the American public of his Christian faith.  And, he wonders why so many people think that he is a Muslim!

6 comments for “Obama’s Strange Reassurances of Faith

  1. Stephen Fox
    November 15, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    I am convinced President Obama’s Name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    Not only the Bible, but David Remnick’s The Bridge Tells me So.

    Ed Young’s longtime associate Jim DeLoach is not the only Christian view of Israel on the table, and I’m not sure DeLoach’s view is Christian.

    • November 15, 2010 at 9:09 PM

      Stephen,

      As to President Obama’s faith, this is what I wrote in an earlier post:

      While I may not agree with many of President Obama’s policies or with how he understands the Christian faith, I think we begin to walk on dangerous ground when we make pronouncements about someone else’s self-professed faith. However, I think that President Obama, through some of his own words and actions, including his outreach efforts to the Muslim world, his seeming indifference and/or hostility to Israel, his cancellation of the National Prayer Breakfast for two years in a row, and his lack of church attendance while President, has contributed to people’s misunderstandings about his religious background, both past and current.

      I continue to take him at his word, but I do think that the President has contributed, at least somewhat, to others misunderstanding of his Christian faith. I’m not familiar with Jim DeLoach, but I do think that it is strange politics, if not strange faith, to knock Israel in the largest Muslim nation in the world. That was the gist of the post, not necessarily questioning Obama’s personal faith, although the faith that he practiced for 20 years at the Rev. Wright’s church would be far removed from my understanding and practice of the Christian faith here in NM. Thanks again for the continued dialogue on this and other issues. God bless,

      Howell

  2. BDW
    November 16, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Howell,

    I think you’re doing exactly what you’ve accused President Obama of doing.

    You say “I continue to take him at his word” but then make a number of statements that leaves readers with the impression that you don’t take Obama at his word…

    A couple of points:

    Is it really fair to say that Obama is “knocking Israel” or perhaps he’s just knocking the decisions of the top governmental leaders in Israel? It’s not like the people of Israel are in lock-step agreement with Mr. Netanyahu. Same is obviously true for our country. For many seeking peace and a Palestinian state, Netanyahu isn’t exactly a cup of tea.

    Also, do you really think Obama goes out of his way to defend the Ground Zero mosque? Seriously? He acknowledged the Muslim group’s legal rights but then turned around the next day and wouldn’t say whether the project was wise or not. That’s some pretty weak support in my book. And compared to most involved in the discussion, it was a weak position to take.

    And what’s up with this Obama refuses to condemn jihad line? What message are you trying to imply, that Obama is somehow sympathetic to the terrorists or that he is a Muslim or what? This was a talking point on Fox News and Talk Radio for a few days recently. Interesting that only Obama gets lambasted for his remarks on jihad.

    Here is a snippet from President Bush’s Veterans Day Speech back in 2005:

    “Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; and still others, Islamo-fascism. Whatever it’s called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent, political vision: the establishment, by terrorism, subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom. These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Hindus and Jews — and against Muslims, themselves, who do not share their radical vision.”

    And a snippet from Bush’s speech at an Iftaar dinner in 2005:

    “As we work together to defeat the terrorists, we must be very clear about the enemies we face. The killers who take the lives of innocent men, women, and children are followers of a violent ideology very different from the religion of Islam. These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against anyone who does not share their radical vision, including Muslims from other traditions, who they regard as heretics.”

    Sure seems like Bush and Obama are on the exact same page with regard to jihad.

    • November 16, 2010 at 5:51 PM

      Aaron,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I had to go back a re-read my own post because I did not think that I had stated in the body of the post about “taking him at his word” regarding his Christian faith. And in fact, I did not state that in the post. That was in reply to Stephen’s assertion that he was “convinced” that Obama’s name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I think that that is a rather bold statement to make, but I will not challenge Stephen’s belief of such. In fact, I quoted from my previous post where I said we were treading on dangerous ground to question someone else’s profession of faith. Even if I do not agree theologically with someone, I am going to take that person at their word that he/she is a Christian except in extreme circumstances where perhaps the person denies Christ.

      The post dealt mainly with what I see as Obama’s strange religious and political mixture in his recent trip to Indonesia. I found it strange or curious that the President would “knock” Israel, a suppossed “friend and ally” of the United States while in the world’s largest Muslim country, a country which denies entry to Israeli citizens and which has seen persecution of the Christian minority increase in recent years. I think that it feeds into the PERCEPTION of many Americans that Obama is a “sub-standard Christian” or even a Muslim. The perception may not be true, but I think that Obama himself has said and done things that have contributed to this (mis)perception of him and his Christian faith. You may or may not agree that his latest missive against Israel feeds into that misperception, but it becomes just another in a line of words and actions that the President has taken that gives people a reason to question his faith. Plus, it just does not make sense politically for him to say negative things about Israel in Indonesia unless he was intentionally saying them for purposes that only he and his advisors know.

      As to the answer to the Jihad question and as to Bush’s answer, I never said that I agreed with everything that GW Bush said about Islam. In fact, I would disagree with some of his theological conclusions regarding Islam. And, if he were still President and said some of the same types of things as Obama, I would lambast him as well. I think that Obama — a Harvard trained lawyer — and Bush were trying to be politically correct when it comes to answering questions about radical Islam. Are all Muslims radicalized? Obviously not. But a growing number are, especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. When you give lawyerly answers to what should be fairly straightforward questions about Jihad and radical Islam, people pick up on that. Whether you like it or not, there is a growing perception that Obama has a skewed view of Islam. Each incident only contributes to this negative perception.

      Aaron, I appreciate the dialogue and your passionate expression of your views, even if we don’t always agree on every issue. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Hope this gives a bit more clarity to some of your questions/concerns. Look forward to continuing the diologue on this and other issues. God bless,

      Howell

  3. Stephen Fox
    November 17, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Serious students of Obama’s Christian convictions will read David Remnick’s The Bridge.
    Howell, you are my friend, and I appreciate your response to my initial comment. I stand corrected, a little.
    I want to give more thought to your exchange with Aaron Weaver.

    I take you to be sincere in your convictions on these matters and I have an honest respect for that.
    I do hope you can find the time to give serious look at portions of Remnick’s The Bridge, even if you can’t find time to read the whole thing.
    Maybe you can come to the next Baptist Covenant meeting with Progressive Baptists and meet Otis Moss. He can help you understand President Obama better.
    You need to do an unflinching investigation of Ed Young’s sidekick, Jim Deloach.

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