Against all the facts, 25 % of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, according to a new poll. It is hard for me to find the words to express how discouraging that piece of information is.
I have it on good authority from reliable personal contacts that President Obama and his family were members and regular attenders at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which happens to be the largest congregation in my denomination, the United Church of Christ. Yes, that is a Christian Church. The members of such churches are Christians.
The Obamas would probably still be members there if Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor, hadn’t got off his talking points and scared many of the electorate during the campaign.
That the Obamas have not found a church home in Washington, D.C. may be a result of the painful memories of the Wright incident, when the 24/7 news media scoured Wright’s sermons for evidence against the candidate. That some of the phrases they took out of context sounded very much like the kind of thing that many of us preachers have often said from the pulpit made them sound no less scary when played back on Fox “News” (sic).
Like Supreme Court nominees who do best to have no record to derail their nomination it may be prudent for a president of the Untied States to detach himself from church membership to avoid defending every jot and tiddle spoken from the pulpit of his church.
The irony now is that the Obama campaign nearly got derailed when the media portrayed his Christian pastor as being a loose cannon, but apparently a good 25% percent of the electorate never even heard about it. Or maybe they forgot, which is even more discouraging. So I don’t know, I must conclude that one in four Americans is just not paying attention.
But one thing I do know for sure, the right wing demagogues, and the benighted citizens who pay attention to them can’t have it both ways. President Obama can’t be BOTH a Christian with a dangerously unstable former pastor and be a Muslim. He just can’t.