I got the following email yesterday:
From: fred beebe
Do you happen to know if Barack Obama a muslim or a Christian?
That was it. It struck me as a somewhat odd question to ask until I recalled that there was some recent dirt slinging in the media that he’s a Muslim as though that would make him a horrible President who’d sell us out to the terrorists as soon as he finished his inauguration speech.
I sent back a reply pointing to this TIME magazine article in which Obama discusses his spiritual journey:
My work with the pastors and laypeople there deepened my resolve to lead a public life, but it also forced me to confront a dilemma that my mother never fully resolved in her own life: the fact that I had no community or shared traditions in which to ground my most deeply held beliefs. The Christians with whom I worked recognized themselves in me; they saw that I knew their Book and shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed that a part of me remained removed, detached, an observer among them. I came to realize that without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith, I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart, free in the way that my mother was free, but also alone in the same ways she was ultimately alone.
In such a life I, too, might have contented myself had it not been for the particular attributes of the historically black church, attributes that helped me shed some of my skepticism and embrace the Christian faith.
Seems the answer is he’s a Christian. I didn’t think to check his official website until just now and it turns out that he and his family attend Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. So unless the Muslims have started naming their mosques to make people think they’re Christian churches then I’d have to say he’s most likely a Christian of some sort. Probably Christian progressive to the point that the Religious Right will claim he’s really an atheist.
Just in case anyone else was wondering.