While reading Dr. Beverly Kelley's column on rebranding in the Ventura County Star (she's a former professor of mine, incidentally), I was inspired to comment on Barack Obama and religion.
First things first--when discussing Obama and religion you have to address the Muslim question, considering nearly a quarter of Americans thinks he's more comfortable in a mosque than a church.
For the record, he's a Christian--a very, very unusual Christian, but a Christian nonetheless.
In fact, he's such an unorthodox Christian, that I think it confuses many people into assuming he's a Muslim because he believes things that few mainstream Christians believe.
If you asked your friends and neighbors if they've ever been in a church where the pastor railed against Jews and America on a regular basis, they'll probably say no. Obama? He went to a church like that for 20 years and was married by just such a pastor, a pastor who describes his doctrine as Liberation Theology.
If you asked them what they think about the Ground Zero mosque, chances are they don't think it's a good idea that it be built. Obama is more open minded.
If you ask them if they should bow to leaders of Muslim countries, I think most people would disagree with that. But that's exactly what it appeared that Obama was doing.
Throw in the fact that his father was Muslim and he grew up in Indonesia, and it becomes understandable why many Americans are mistaken about his religion, apart from the insulting explanation that they are just stupid, ignorant white people.
Even Obama confuses the matter more when he discusses his faith:
I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences. I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10. My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim. And I'd say, probably, intellectually I've drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith.
Huh? And Americans aren't supposed to be confused?
I've concluded that Americans suspect he's not a mainstream Christian, and many of them assume that because he's something "else" it must be that he's a Muslim.
What they don't realize is that Obama is a Liberation Theology Christian--and if they knew what that was, they would be horrified.