The question of Obama’s faith - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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The question of Obama’s faith

How much should the president’s religious affiliation really matter?

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Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 6:30 pm

According to recent polls, around 20 percent of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. This kind of perception regarding a sitting president has never been seen before in our country. It appears that many who believe this are not his supporters, but there are an increasing number of Democrats who share this view. His Muslim-sounding name, his Kenyan Muslim father and his time spent in a Muslim Indonesia school are given as evidence of the president's affiliation with this religion, even though he has proclaimed he is a Christian. But there are a few questions to consider:

• Is President Obama a Muslim?

• Is he a Christian?

• Can he govern well regardless of his spiritual beliefs?

• Should his faith be the concern of Americans?

While there are some Muslim ties in his past, there doesn't seem to be much proof that President Obama is affiliated with, or spiritually aligned with, the Muslim religion. He has not been known to attend services at mosques or follow any specific requirements of this tradition. However, neither does he currently attend Christian church services regularly.

The general populace has very limited access to seeing what President Obama is like when he's out of public view. He has publicly professed faith in Christ and is reported to read a daily devotional and to have attended a Christian church for years. President Obama attended Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for more than 20 years. Wright's race-driven views about Christianity and the doctrine he espoused from those views were decidedly inflammatory and non-Biblical.

There have been many previous U.S. presidents whose allegiance to God was questionable (based on some of their quotes regarding Christianity), yet they accomplished much, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. While it is also true that those who have a strong Judeo-Christian faith would prefer to have their president and other elected leaders be of like mind, the Bible is clear that Christians are to submit to their elected officials because God has allowed them into those positions. Believers must trust in the sovereign will and omnipotence of God to reveal His purposes for those who are elected.

The bottom line is that we can't know President Obama's heart any more than we can truly know the heart of anyone. Christians don't have a pretty crown on their heads to identify which one is "the real deal." The concern of believers should be to follow God and His ways so that it is easy for others to know our hearts. We should also strive to help elect those who have historically lived their lives with integrity and surround themselves with people who do the same.

As the elections are fast approaching, now is the time to learn as much about candidates as possible so we aren't wondering, questioning and complaining (about their faith or other issues) after they've taken office.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Diane Markins can be reached at Visit her blog


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