First and foremost, this article is not intended to denigrate Islam in anyway. Islam is a peaceful religion but has it’s extreme radicals just as most religions have. Having said that…
I was listening to the talking heads of MSNBC this morning, discussing the latest poll that says 30% of Republicans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. Chuck Todd pointed out a couple of good points.
1. The Obama/Wright controversy established that Obama and his family were Christians and attended church regularly for over 20 years.
2. Secondly, Todd felt the media wasn’t doing enough to dispel the rumors of Obama being a Muslim.
Some others were discussing the fact that he hasn’t gone to church very regularly, while president. In fact Matt Lauer recently did an interview with the President and asked him why he doesn’t go to church more often? Obama answered that going to church causes too much attention and disruption, hence his hesitation.
I recalled that when Ronald Reagan was president, there was a slight brouhaha about him not attending church, also. I researched it and found this:
President Reagan almost never left the White House to go to church, and he seldom invited a chaplain in to give services (though he attended church occasionally upon leaving office). Reagan defended religion against those who sought to purge it from public life, but he hardly wished to see Americans submit themselves to an ecclesiastical establishment.
WASHINGTON — Americans increasingly are convinced – incorrectly – that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.
Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.
The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don’t know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009.
The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center there, though he’s also said he won’t take a position on whether they should actually build it.
In a separate poll by Time magazine/ABT SRBI conducted Monday and Tuesday – after Obama’s comments about the mosque – 24 percent said they think he is Muslim, 47 percent said they think he is Christian and 24 percent didn’t know or didn’t respond.
In addition, 61 percent opposed building the Muslim center near the Trade Center site and 26 percent said they favor it.
The Pew poll found that about three in 10 of Obama’s fiercest political rivals, Republicans and conservatives, say he is a Muslim. That is up significantly from last year and far higher than the share of Democrats and liberals who say so. But even among his supporters, the number saying he is a Christian has fallen since 2009, with just 43 percent of blacks and 46 percent of Democrats saying he is Christian.
Among independents, 18 percent say Obama is Muslim – up from 10 percent last year.
Pew analysts attribute the findings to attacks by his opponents and Obama’s limited attendance at religious services, particularly in contrast with Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whose worship was more public. Continue reading…