Superstition is Truth: What is often barbaric in the West is normal in Islam

Superstition is Truth: What is often barbaric in the West is normal in

Islam

I briefly talked about the Undercover Mosque documentary from Britain yesterday. The reply to the show makes for an interesting reading.

The programme also showed the preachers discussing what are actually normal Islamic opinions and practices and seemed to suggest that they were morally equivalent. For example, the command to enforce prayer on older children in the family, and to hit them if they refuse, is not limited to the people shown up as extremists in the programme: it comes straight from the Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

That’s the core problem. Islam is extreme.

Just look at the guy who is thought to be the perfect moral example for Muslims: he married multiple women; had sex with a 9-year-old girl; ordered to kill those who criticized him; had all the adults of a Jewish tribe murdered and took their women and children as slaves and on and on.

How the hell is that in any way moral?

But you see, for Muslims, morality is defined by what Muhammad did and what he told others to do. Period.

The documentary implicitly showed the prophet as an immoral man. This presents a “problem” for both non-Muslims and Muslims.

  • Non-Muslims cannot criticize Islamic practices in a logical manner without inferring that Muhammad was a monster.
  • Muslims can’t explicitly and openly disagree with the odious imams and preachers without saying that Muhammad was wrong.

The entire rotten foundation of a religion is one evil man and the non-Muslims should not be afraid to say just that.

If Muslims think that that is wrong, then they can point out the flaws in the argument. (Saying that Muhammad did X and thus by definition X is moral ain’t an argument.)

If the non-Muslims are right, then Muslims ought to wake up and leave their decrepit ideology.

Kamila, from the comments:

Islam is originally from Saudi Arabia and Muslim knows that, so the modern Muslims should not complain about the extremism because Islam never originated from Pakistan, Iran or England. So if the Saudi are extreme then the original Islam is extreme and it should be practiced to the fullest.

Yusuf Smith, from the comments:

Andy: parents hit their kids in this country for petty “P’s and Q’s” matters all the time, not just because they won’t do their homework. To a lot of parents it’s the only way to chastise a recalcitrant child. I got smacked many times and don’t think my parents barbaric. Maybe Islam is superstition to you but to us it’s the Truth.

Indeed. What is often barbaric in the West is normal in Islam.

Ergo, Islam is barbaric.

Jimmy Carter: Our Worst Ex-President

Jimmy Carter: Our Worst Ex-President
By Thomas E. Brewton

To give him the benefit of the doubt, former President Carter may 
have Christian intentions, but he supports a major swath of the 
atheistic materialism of liberal-socialist-progressivism.

While Franklin Roosevelt remains, without contest, our worst-ever 
President, Mr. Carter is our worst living ex-President.

For a scholarly exposition of Jimmy Carter’s place in history, read 
the <a href=”http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/
viewArticle.aip?id=10824″ title=”article”>article</a> by Joshua 
Muravchik from the February issue of Commentary Magazine.

What emerges is the picture of a man prepared to present half-truths 
and deliberately distorted versions of fact, a man ready to praise 
the most loathsome of dictators, while denouncing the policies of the 
United States.

As supplemental background on Mr. Carter’s actions, see <a 
href=”http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/
democratically_elected/” title=”Democratically 
Elected?”>Democratically Elected?</a>, which describes one aspect of 
the liberal paradigm espoused by Mr. Carter.

Another aspect of his liberalism is explained by Mr. Carter’s brand 
of Christianity, which is more akin to the last century’s Social 
Gospel movement than to the Bible-based traditions of Judeo-
Christianity.

With regard to the Social Gospel movement, the progenitor of Mr. 
Carter’s quasi-Christian world view, I wrote in <a href=”http://
www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/truth/” title=”Truth”>Truth</a>:

<i>Even before the 1917 Russian Revolution, leading universities in 
the United States had begun a transition from the Christian roots of 
our nation into atheistic, secular materialism in their teaching of 
the so-called social sciences.

Nominally-Christian theological seminaries were in the vanguard of 
the movement toward socialism.  Rochester Theological Seminary’s 
professor Walter Rauschenbusch, one of the best known socialist 
spokesmen of his era, was a founder of the Social Gospel movement 
late in the 19th century.  Social Gospel was nothing more nor less 
than socialism masquerading as Christianity.

Social Gospel embraced the avowed aims of socialism, which sound 
similar to the results that flow from the Bible’s commandment to love 
one’s neighbor as he would wish to have his neighbor love him.  The 
insurmountable problem is that socialism, and therefore Social 
Gospel, is atheistic and materialistic, i.e., the antithesis of 
Christianity and religious Judaism.

To believe that Social Gospel is true Christianity is to believe that 
the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat was truly democratic.

In “Christianizing the Social Order” (1912), Professor Rauschenbusch 
wrote:
“The Socialists found the Church against them and thought God was 
against them, too.  They have had to do God’s work without the sense 
of God’s presence to hearten them…..Whatever the sins of individual 
Socialists, and whatever the shortcomings of Socialist organizations, 
they are tools in the hands of the Almighty…….Socialism is one of 
the chief powers of the coming age……God will raise up Socialism 
because the organized Church was too blind, or too slow, to realize 
God’s ends.”

Two other prominent seminaries, among many others, were active 
promoters of socialism.  Their spokesmen also were nationally known 
figures: Dr. Harry F. Ward of Union Theological Seminary in New York 
and Dr. Bernard Iddings-Bell of St. Stephens College in Annandale, 
New York.

Dr. Ward wrote “The New Social Order,” to express sympathy for 
Socialism and to laud the Bolshevik revolutionary movement in Russia, 
which he regarded as a desirable replacement for the Russian Orthodox 
Christian Church.  Dr. Ward also was chairman of the American Civil 
Liberties Union (ACLU), which actively defended the terrorist tactics 
of the radical IWW labor organization, whose members murdered more 
than a dozen employees and executives of industrial companies they 
sought to intimidate with demands for labor seizure of management 
control.

Dr. Iddings-Bell in “Right and Wrong After the War,” in this case 
World War I, advocated Sigmund Freud’s version of Marxian 
materialism, in which human life is controlled by hunger and the sex 
urge.  From this theory of secular and materialistic human nature, he 
concluded that (1) private property should be abolished; (2) income 
earned from investments, savings accounts, and rental property is 
robbery; (3) the family as a social unit should be abandoned except 
as a temporary arrangement for purely sexual relations.

In his sermon delivered on May 23, 1920, at the Cathedral of St. John 
the Divine, Dr. Iddings-Bell gave his support to revolutionary labor 
demands for abolishment of the wage system and control of industry by 
communistic labor unions.  He declared that the New Social Order had 
arrived and that people were obliged to accept it.  Among other 
things, that meant that internationalism must replace American 
patriotism.</i>

That is essentially the foreign policy stance that Jimmy Carter 
tirelessly promotes in his self-appointed role as diplomat 
extraordinaire.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. 
The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of 
writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776
http://www.thomasbrewton.com/

Immigration hurting Mexican families

Immigration hurting Mexican families
January 12,2007

STAFF WRITER

A study of immigrant families conducted in Lenoir County and Eastern North Carolina shows the influx of migration has negative effects on the traditional Mexican family.

The year-long study is the first of its kind on the sociological effects of mass migration; most have focused on economic aspects of migrant populations.

More than 35 Mexican immigrants and 10 immigrant families living in and around Lenoir County are part of the study, conducted by Olivia Resendiz and Blanca Ivett Vázquez, social psychology graduate students at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City.

Research shows that fathers and males typically leave family behind to come to America and earn money to send home. Consequently, there is a high rate of divorce and emotional disturbances in children of migrant families.

“Many children drop out of school to follow their fathers to the United States,” Vázquez said, through the aid of an interpreter Thursday at Lenoir Community College. “What we are finding in children and youth is that they often develop psychosomatic diseases as a result of the stress.”

The effects on children can be more profound if siblings are forced to split up – with some remaining in Mexico and some living in the U.S.

The study, to be presented to the Mexican Congress in April, also follows hundreds of families still living in Mexico, of whom members have migrated to America. Mothers and grandparents left behind must assume traditional male roles, breaking the family unit Mexico is built on, Resendiz said.

“We are seeing the traditional family disintegrate,” Vázquez said.

The study will help American and Mexican governments, organizations and schools serve communities, said Juan Pablo Servin, president of AMEXCAN Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, who helped arrange the students’ 18-day study of Eastern North Carolinians.

“The benefits are going to be to institutes and organizations who are trying to understand how migration is affecting people psychologically,” said Juvencio Peralta Jr., LCC Occupational Extension Coordinator.

Peralta hopes to bring Resendiz, Vázquez and their advising professor Juan Antonio Barrera, here to present the study to state government this spring.

US secret force against Iranian influence in Iraq

US secret force against Iranian influence in Iraq

Douglas Hanson
US News & World Report tells us of a secret unit operating in Iraq to erode Iranian influence
This is a good thing, but I hope the USNWR article doesn’t reveal everything important: like how come they are not operating in Iran?  Seals, Delta, CIA are all assets trained to operate at the strategic level.  If they are confined exclusively to Iraq, it’s a waste of men and materiel.

Insanity and the Mistake Trap

Insanity and the Mistake Trap

By Amil Imani

When people hear the word “insanity,” they conjure up the image of someone out of touch with reality and out of control; a dysfunctional person fit to be tied. Yet, insanity comes in numerous types as well as degrees. It is also widely prevalent in groups, even in nations as a whole.
One common and troubling form of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” warned Albert Einstein.
When individuals make mistakes, the consequences are limited. But when nations make mistakes, the results can be catastrophic. It is disheartening to see the world’s best hope for freedom and democracy, the United States of America, repeatedly making the same mistake at crucial junctures. Once again, America is at a critical point and facing troubles in several hotspots of the world. A particularly dangerous threat is gathering momentum in the greater Middle East. Iraq is an inferno, Palestinian Territory is ready to ignite, the Syrians are busy with their machinations, the Lebanese’ Hezbollah is stirring, the Taliban in Afghanistan is resurging, and the Iranian Mullahs are working overtime fanning any and all fires while furiously racing to make the bomb.
The common denominator in all these troubles is Islam, with Iran’s Mullahs its linchpin. The petrodollar rich Shiite Mullahs are busily bankrolling any and all who are fighting the “infidel” world, while their Sunni kin try to outdo them and claim the mantel of leadership for the Ummeh.
Islam, in actuality, is a house of cards. Once the Mullahs fall, the rest will quickly crumble with much less effort. Muslims are among the world’s apt fence-sitters. They flock to the source of power, as flies to honey. The minute they sense the defeat of Islamism, they will likely abandon it en mass.
Presently, fanatical Islam is lashing out with mad fury before its own final demise. The “infidel” world has been complicit in the surge of Islamism through its mistakes, complacency, and greed.
“You can trust the capitalist to sell you the rope to hang him with,” proclaimed V.I. Lenin. He was convinced that greed will blind the capitalists and will spell their doom. Today, Lenin’s dictum applies to both the capitalists and the Communists alike. All manner of capitalists such as the French, the Germans, and the European Union stumble over one another, buckets in hand, rushing to the Muslims’ oil spigots. The Communist Chinese, even in the face of having a potentially explosive Islamic problem of their own, are elbowing their way in the oil queue to the front of the line. The ever-duplicitous Russians are making a fortune selling arms and nuclear gear. One and all feel that they deal with the Islam problem when they absolutely have to and not a minute sooner. They also find perverse satisfaction in seeing the United States pay the price of fighting the Islamic menace, in both money and blood, for everyone else.
Such are the vagaries of this world.
Containing and defusing the present crises of the larger Middle East requires the united efforts of Americans and other free people. Regrettably, even the American house is badly divided and may not be able to deal effectively with the threat it faces. Lincoln’s ominous warning, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” comes to mind.
The American public, as well as in-power and out-of-power politicians, sorely tried by the Iraq mess, are advocating vastly different piecemeal strategies for dealing with the crises. Some propose nuking Iran to stop it from bankrolling the Iraqi insurgency as well as preventing it from acquiring the bomb. Others want to negotiate with Iran and somehow mollify it. As for Iraq, some say that the United States has no dog in its sectarian bloodletting, that the American forces should be brought home or pulled back to safe barracks and let the parties slaughter one another until they run out of guns and blood. Similar “solutions” are offered in dealing with the other hotspots.
All extreme solutions, if unwise, are fraught with extreme dangers. During the presidential campaign of the Vietnam War, Barry Goldwater proclaimed, “Extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice.” The collective wisdom of the American public prevailed and Goldwater didn’t get a chance to put his belief into practice. It is prudent to reserve extreme measures for extreme cases. Just as important, it is best to follow the less glamorous solutions of the problems as they gather momentum and diffuse them.
With respect to the multifaceted problems of the Middle East, a multi-prong, long-term, strategy is needed. A partial set of proposed actions is listed below.
 The overarching goal should be the ideological defeat of Islamism. A comprehensive long-term campaign of education, using all available media, and pointing out the errors and futility of this cult of death and destruction should be directed at the masses of Muslims. The ever-burgeoning Islamic communities in the West should be assisted in breaking with Islam and join the free people of their new homelands with a new vision of life.

* The oil Sheikhs of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, who have been leading a charmed life under the protection of the United States, should be told that they must mend their ways and do so without delay or equivocation. They must fully purge all their media from engaging in hate-propagating indoctrinations of the populace.
* Arab governments and Sheikhs should completely cease supporting any exclusionary or hate-based Islamic orders or organizations such as mosques, Islamic centers, madresehs, and lobbyists.
* The free societies should enact laws to prosecute the Imams and Mullahs, the traditional lead communicators of the Islamic hate virus, who take advantage of the freedom they enjoy by instilling bigotry in their congregations.
* The U.S. government should, without delay, underwrite a massive program of making the nation energy independent so that the Islamic gas station nations could no longer hold the country hostage for oil. Each citizen, in the meantime, must do everything possible to conserve energy and deny the flow of dollars to the coffers of the enemy.

The not so grateful world owes the U.S. an infinite debt of gratitude for defeating the evil of Nazism, and then the scourge of Soviet Communism. Once again, this champion nation of freedom is called upon to defeat the most tenacious and deadly enemy, Islamofascism.
The Mullahs’ Iran is the heart and the nerve center of the battle with the U.S. Any mistake by either side poses a great threat to the survival of the other.
It is insane for the Mullahs to prematurely celebrate their victory over the “Great Satan,” by citing the mess in Iraq and the divided house of the U.S. The U.S. may not win in Iraq, but the Mullahs are making a great mistake by believing that it will vacate the region for them to rule.
It is also insane for the U.S. to make the mistake of placating the Mullahs through concessions, attacking Iran militarily, either in a limited or comprehensive fashion and, failing to wholeheartedly support the Iranian democratic oppositions.
The U.S. has, in secular Iranians, its best friends in the entire Islamic world. It is imperative for the U.S. to help these Iranians to dislodge the vicious doomsday Mullahs, not as an act of altruism, but as a prudent measure of enlightened self-interest.
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. He maintains a website, http://www.amilimani.com/

Middle Eastern Policy From the Beginning

Middle Eastern Policy From the Beginning

President Bush’s aim to bring political liberty to Iraq, right or wrong, is not new; it goes back to the beginning of our nation.

Read More…

function showHide(entryID, entryLink, htmlObj, type) { if (type == “comments”) { extTextDivID = (‘comText’ + (entryID)); extLinkDivID = (‘comLink’ + (entryID)); } else { extTextDivID = (‘extText’ + (entryID)); extLinkDivID = (‘extLink’ + (entryID)); } if( document.getElementById ) { if( document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display ) { if( entryLink != 0 ) { document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display = “block”; document.getElementById(extLinkDivID).style.display = “none”; htmlObj.blur(); } else { document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display = “none”; document.getElementById(extLinkDivID).style.display = “block”; } } else { location.href = entryLink; return true; } } else { location.href = entryLink; return true; } }
The following op-ed piece from the Los Angeles Times limns American attitudes and foreign policy aims, from Jefferson to Truman.  The Bush administration’s execution of its policy can be criticized, but we should separate execution from the basic objectives. 

Mr. Oren’s article, while he doesn’t make the point explicitly, highlights the stark contrast between Western Christian attitudes and the subjugate-or-slaughter ethos of Islamic jihad.

Apple pie and the Middle East
The U.S. has long tried to steer the Mideast toward Western values.
By Michael Oren

MICHAEL OREN, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, is the author of “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, from 1776 to the Present.”

January 15, 2007

THE STALLED U.S. mission in Iraq has prompted calls for a return to “realism” in American foreign policy. Instead of striving for freedom and national cohesion in the Middle East, realists argue that the U.S. should negotiate with Syria and Iran and abandon the dream of remaking the region on a democratic, federated model. Realists claim that replacing a faith-based policy with an agenda based solely on economic and strategic interests will return the United States to its traditional posture in the Middle East.

In fact, long before the rise of radical Islam and even the discovery of oil, Americans worked to bring liberty and human rights to the Middle East. For well over 200 years, U.S. citizens have sought to endow Middle Eastern peoples with the same inalienable liberties Americans enjoy at home.

The absence of basic freedoms in the Middle East was well known to the founding fathers. In contrast to the young republic, observed John Adams, the ancient dynasties of the Middle East were rife with “avarice and fear,” ruled by despots who treated their subjects like “so many caterpillars upon an apple tree.” Thomas Jefferson believed the U.S. could never rely on a peace treaty with any Middle Eastern state, whose word was only as good as the life of its ruler. The prevalence of tyranny in the region was noted by Jefferson’s friend, John Ledyard, who in 1788 became the first American to explore the Middle East. “It is singular,” he wrote, “the Arab language has no word for ‘liberty.’ “

But merely lamenting the lack of liberty in the Middle East was insufficient for some early Americans, who dedicated their lives to emancipating its inhabitants. Starting in the 1820s, New England missionaries began building schools throughout the region and introducing their pupils to American-style ideas of patriotism and civic virtues. The missionaries also established the area’s first modern institutions of higher learning, the American University of Beirut (originally named the Syrian Protestant College) and Turkey’s Roberts College, to further disseminate their views. “A man white, black or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or heathen, may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution,” declared AUB’s first president, Daniel Bliss, in 1866. “[He may] go out believing in one God, or in many Gods, or in no God.”

A similar open-mindedness was imparted by the Civil War veterans, Union as well as Confederate, who in the late 1860s joined in creating the first modern school system in Egypt.

By the end of the 19th century, the United States had become renowned as the defender of minority rights in the Middle East, protecting Bahais, Jews and Armenians from government oppression. Another group of Civil War veterans tried to lead the Syrians in a revolt against Ottoman rule. Yet the fullest expression of American support for the independence of Middle Eastern peoples came early in the 20th century with President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, which promised self-determination and “undoubted security of life” to the former Turkish provinces. Although the U.S. failed to follow through on these pledges, it refrained from participating in Europe’s carving up of the Middle East and, after World War II, led the effort to decolonize the region. In addition to supporting a two-state solution for the Israel/Palestine dispute, President Truman was instrumental in assuring the independence of several Middle Eastern states, including Syria and Iran.

Over the last 60 years, during which it became the dominant power in the area and grew increasingly dependent on oil, the United States has often acted selfishly in the Middle East, supporting cooperative dictators and undermining popular leaders who opposed American hegemony. And yet this period also witnessed repeated attempts to fulfill American ideals in the Middle East. The United States intervened to protect the democratically elected government of Lebanon in 1958 and 1983, liberated Kuwait in 1991 and launched numerous Arab-Israeli peace plans. Indeed, the story of Washington’s postwar involvement in the Middle East has been one of a struggle to reconcile its great-power interests with its role as the champion of state and individual rights.

In rethinking its future course through a complex and turbulent Middle East, the United States should continue to pursue realistic goals, seeking viable ways to extract its troops from Iraq while maintaining American primacy in the region. At the same time, however, U.S. policymakers should remain cognizant of their country’s long and benevolent record in safeguarding fundamental freedoms in the Middle East and promoting democracy.

The U.S. needs a multidimensional approach that advances its interests while upholding its laudable legacy.

Visit MoveOff Network Members

Stem Cells: The Cruelty of Media Hype

Stem Cells: The Cruelty of Media Hype

Recent passage in the House of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 portends, not cures for sufferers, but Federal funding for Dr. Frankenstein.

Read More…

function showHide(entryID, entryLink, htmlObj, type) { if (type == “comments”) { extTextDivID = (‘comText’ + (entryID)); extLinkDivID = (‘comLink’ + (entryID)); } else { extTextDivID = (‘extText’ + (entryID)); extLinkDivID = (‘extLink’ + (entryID)); } if( document.getElementById ) { if( document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display ) { if( entryLink != 0 ) { document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display = “block”; document.getElementById(extLinkDivID).style.display = “none”; htmlObj.blur(); } else { document.getElementById(extTextDivID).style.display = “none”; document.getElementById(extLinkDivID).style.display = “block”; } } else { location.href = entryLink; return true; } } else { location.href = entryLink; return true; } }
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s website carries a press release headlined Pelosi: ‘Stem Cell Research Will Give Hope to Millions of Americans who Suffer from Devastating Illnesses’.

Sadly, the hope that Speaker Pelosi ballyhoos will prove a cruel disappointment to sufferers, because, rather than the promised cures, more likely results are death or irreversible disability from malignant cancers or non-malignant, abnormal tissue growths.

Stem cell researchers enjoy the enthusiastic support of liberal media, including naturally the New York Times.  As with so many policy issues, the general public have heard only half of the story.

To understand how remote is the possibility of useful stem cell therapy, and how life-threatening to experimental patients is is, read What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells, by Maureen L. Condic, on the First Things website.

Visit MoveOff Network Members

Report from Baghdad: Iraqi voices

Dobson Misrepresents McCain

Dobson Misrepresents McCain

Posted by Jeremy at 2:33 PM

James Dobson used to be a helpful resource to Christian parents on issues related to childrearing. Lately he seems to prefer being a political hack whose only two goals are preventing gay people from calling their unions marriages and stopping abortion. I think the abortion issue is very important, but I also believe in certain ways of pursuing change on that issue, and he has a more expansive view of how pro-lifers can implement changes to limit abortion than I do. I disagree even more strongly on gay marriage. I’d prefer to have the government out of the business of declaring anything a marriage, which I’d prefer to keep as a private category for religious groups to define as they see fit. But if you have to tie that particular sound in the English language to particular legal rights like hospital visitation, health insurance benefits, adoption and other parental issues, and so on, then I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s pro-family rather than anti-family to treat families with gay parents as non-families.

But one thing is clear to me. You can be opposed to gay marriage as a matter of public policy without thinking the right way to implement such a policy is through amending the U.S. Constitution. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) hold exactly that position. But James Dobson is perfectly happy to say that Senator McCain “is not in favor of traditional marriage” [ht: Race 4 2008]. Dobson has a Ph.D. in psychology and shouldn’t be stupid enough to be unable to distinguish between (1) being in favor of gay marriage and (2) being opposed to it but also opposed to a constitutional amendment banning it. He has to be aware of McCain’s statements on the issue, or he wouldn’t have any basis at all for his statements. As far as I can tell, he simply considers someone an enemy for not advocating his particular method of opposing gay marriage, and it doesn’t matter to him that someone happens to oppose gay marriage as long as they opposed the amendment. His definition of being in favor of traditional marriage is basically supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. He hasn’t just reduced traditional marriage to heterosexual marriage (as if traditional marriage doesn’t involve anything more than the fact that the two people who are married are a man and a woman). He’s reduced traditional marriage to a constitutional amendment.

Obama’s Religion as reported by Cathleen Falsani a liberal religon reporter read the text carefully

Obama’s Religion

Barack Obama calls himself a Christian, but does he consider himself an “evangelical?” That question was posed to him recently by Cathleen Falsani, the religion reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Here is Obama’s reponse:

“Gosh, I’m not sure if labels are helpful here because the definition of an evangelical is so loose and subject to so many different interpretations. I came to Christianity through the black church tradition where the line between evangelical and non-evangelical is completely blurred. Nobody knows exactly what it means.”Does it mean that you feel you’ve got a personal relationship with Christ the savior? Then that’s directly part of the black church experience. Does it mean you’re born-again in a classic sense, with all the accoutrements that go along with that, as it’s understood by some other tradition? I’m not sure.”

He continued his answer: “My faith is complicated by the fact that I didn’t grow up in a particular religious tradition. And so what that means is when you come at it as an adult, your brain mediates a lot, and you ask a lot of questions.

“There are aspects of Christian tradition that I’m comfortable with and aspects that I’m not. There are passages of the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go, ‘Ya know, I’m not sure about that,'” he said, shrugging and stammering slightly.

Obama’s response doesn’t bother me at all, and probably won’t probably bother most people. But some on the right have already made some repugnant insinuations about his religious beliefs and how they may affect his “loyalties,” and I suspect his comments about not growing up in a particular religious tradition and not being comfortable with certain “aspects” of the Christian tradition will, unfortnately, only serve to keep those dark innuendos circulating.

Login | Register | RSS