Monday, February 23, 2015


At The Washington Examiner, Byron York explains that of course it's not the fault of the right-wing that so many Americans can't name President Obama's religion, and that double-digit percentages say he's a Muslim. Why, look at the numbers on church attendance!
For one thing, few people see Obama openly practicing any religious faith. After the president did not attend church on Christmas 2013, the New York Times, citing unofficial White House historian Mark Knoller, noted that Obama had attended church 18 times in nearly five years in the White House, while George W. Bush attended 120 times in eight years. Yes, there are a variety of reasons some presidents don't go to church very often, but in Obama's case, absence does nothing to change existing public perceptions of him.
So tell me: As president, how many times has Obama attended services at a mosque?

Should we ask Mark Knoller?

Michael McManus, a socially conservative religion writer, has said that President Reagan "attended church only once in his eight years of presidency." Why doesn't anyone think Reagan was a Muslim? Or an atheist? And why didn't York mention that fact?

Eric Boehlert notes this:

So it was okay, I guess.

York insists that Obama brings this on himself:
For example, it would not be a stretch to guess that those Americans who told Gallup and Pew that they did not know the president's faith would remain unsure after hearing reports that at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, Obama explained Islamic State violence by urging listeners to "remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Again, many people don't pay close attention to the news, and snippets of reports on Obama's faith, like his remarks at the Prayer Breakfast, could yield a confused picture.
Yes, people are exposed to that quote over and over and over again and are never told -- especially by right-wing media. Somehow, they don't seem to have been told quite as often that Obama also said this in the same speech:
But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge -- or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.
Oh, but it must be Obama's fault that that quote isn't reported. It couldn't possibly be the fault of members of the media who had a vested interest in reporting only the Crusades quote, could it?

ALSO, TOO: BooMan is right:
Was Laura Bush Russian Orthodox?

If we paid people to spread that rumor, people would start to believe it.

It wouldn't be Laura's fault, even though we all know that she loves Dostoyovsky, right?



D. said...

Jesus was pretty clear about ostentatious "worship."

(Matthew 6:5)

Just saying.

Ten Bears said...

What was it Jesus said about puffed-up pontificating pontificaters puffed-up-edly pontificating on street corners?

Oh, right, put it in the closet.

Matthew 6:5-6:

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

You want bonus points for that?

Mt 6:1-3 (just prior to the above). Do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Steve M. said...

Also: Luke 18:10-14.

Tom Hilton said...

One other thing about Walker's response to the "is Obama a Christian" question is that for decades now fundamentalist evangelicals have been waging an Orwellian campaign, largely under the radar, to redefine "Christian" to mean exclusively fundamentalist Evangelicals. If you pay attention to how they use the word "Christian" you'll see they invariably use it as synonymous with their specific brand of Christianity, but they go to great lengths to avoid acknowledging that this is how they define it.

So in fact Walker, son of a wingnut Baptist minister, is probably pretty sure Obama isn't a "Christian" as he defines the term. But he's also aware that it is impolitic to be open about how he defines the term (sorry Catholics: not "Christian"). So he can't say flat-out that Obama isn't but can't bring himself to say he is. That was Walker's genuine dilemma.

Heywood J. said...

I continue to hold out hope that Obama is actually a closeted atheist. That would really make their wittle heads explode.

Aunt Snow said...

They're pretty sure he isn't a Christian, yet hate the fact that he listened to Rev. Wright for all those years.


Ten Bears said...

Amen to that.

Eric said...

"...for decades now fundamentalist evangelicals have been waging an Orwellian campaign, largely under the radar, to redefine "Christian" to mean exclusively fundamentalist Evangelicals."

I grew up Catholic, and was told in grade school that I was most definitely not a "Christian", I was Catholic. and the only people who called themselves "Christian" were hell-bound heretic Protestants, and that I should never, ever associate with such children lest I be infested with apostasy cooties.

Ten Bears said...

You should have heard, Eric, what the Four Square Holy Rollers of my youth had to say about everyone else.

The thought occurs that while patting ourselves on the for knowing more about what their precious lord and master had to say we souldn't lose sight of the fact that these child molesting woman beaters have just about taken over the government. The country.