Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama A Muslim?

Maybe John Adams was Muslim too.

At WorldNetDaily, Pieder Beeli, in an article entitled Obama's faith: Christianity or Islam? writes:

Central tenet of the faith

When speaking of the origins of Islam, why does Obama use the word "revealed"? In his Cairo speech, Obama said, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed [emphasis added]." One does not expect a Christian to suggest that God revealed Islam to Muhammad for the simple reason that if God did such, then Christianity is wrong.

Why would not Obama instead choose to say, "when Islam was invented" or "fabricated – or at least use the more equipoise "when Islam began…"?

I find this especially telling in that I have not been able to find Obama use the term "revealed" to speak of God's doings in a Judeo-Christian context. For example, I have not heard Obama affirm the central Christian tenet, "The love of God was revealed to us on the cross of Jesus Christ."

Taking score so far, concerning the depictions of the origins of Islam and Christianity (Obama's professed faith), the score is Islam +1, Christianity 0.

Foundational book

Similarly, when referring to the foundational book of Islam, why does Obama regularly and forcefully append the word "holy"? Obama calls the Quran, "the holy Quran." Again, one does not expect a Christian to suggest that the Quran is holy, because the Quran and the Bible contradict each other. If the Quran is holy, it should also be true – and if the Quran is true, then the Bible is incorrect.

Let's ignore for a moment the falsehood that Obama has never affirmed his belief in Jesus dying on the cross; he has. There is no question that Obama doesn't endorse the kind of Christianity that holds either Christianity is true or Islam is true; the two contradict one another. In that sense he is no different than the first five American Presidents; they didn't believe in that kind of "Christianity" either. And like Obama, they considered themselves "Christians" not Deists or Muslims.

As John Adams put it:

"It has pleased the Providence of the first Cause, the Universal Cause, that Abraham should give religion not only to Hebrews but to Christians and Mahomitans, the greatest part of the modern civilized world."

-- John Adams to M.M. Noah, July 31, 1818.

So Obama doesn't seem "Christian" enough to satisfy certain kinds of "Christians." But is he really "Muslim" enough to satisfy the kinds of "Muslims" we are afraid of? Puleeze. This "Muslim" just got in trouble with religious conservatives for affirming families on Fathers Day headed by two fathers. Some "Muslim." If only the entire Muslim world were "those" kinds of "Muslims."


Pinky said...

heh heh heh

Brad Hart said...

As-Salamu Alaykum

Pinky said...

I never would have guessed that Brad is a Muslim.

Brian Tubbs said...

Jon writes: "There is no question that Obama doesn't endorse the kind of Christianity that holds either Christianity is true or Islam is true; the two contradict one another."

You're correct that Obama comes from a postmodernist, progressive camp of Christianity. But you go too far in your next statement...

"In that sense he is no different than the first five American Presidents; they didn't believe in that kind of 'Christianity' either."

You go way too far, there. Not only do you paint way too broad a brush in lumping the first five Presidents together, but you imply that the first five Presidents would have been comfortable in the postmodern world of relativistic truth. Not even Jefferson went that far.

Say what you will about the specifics of our Founders' religious beliefs, they were all universally in the modernist, objective truth camp of the Enlightenment. They believed in facts.

Consequently, none of them would've dared suggest that Islam and Christianity could both be true in all their claims. In the case of Jesus, for example, one religion says he died on the cross and rose again. The other denies this. They can't both be true. Either Jesus died on the cross or he didn't. Either he rose from the dead or he didn't.

It's one thing, Jon, for you to asser that the first five Presidents held nonorthodox beliefs with respect to their public Christianity. It's quite another to throw them into the postmodern "truth is relative" camp.

Jonathan Rowe said...


I may be guilty of imprecise wording, but I think you, and the author of the WND piece, are both guilty of reading things into words that aren't there. In your case you may be misreading both me and Obama.

First with Obama, his public words never have explicitly embraced post-modern relativism, though he MAY personally hold to such convictions.

[If I am wrong let me know where he has explicitly embraced such notions as the truth is relative.]

If he is a pomo-relativist, he's probably a secret atheist and his religious speak is noble lie territory.

Steve Sailer, from what I've heard, makes this argument (not the pomo-relativist stuff, but that Obama is a secret atheist).

I agree with you that the FFs were most certainly NOT relativists, that they believed in objective truth, objective facts, par for the case for that period of the Enlightenment.

And part of that objective truth was there really is a Providential God and that most if not all world religions, including Islam and Native American Great Spiritism, worship the same God Jews and Christians do.

I understand that these religions make incompatible claims. And I also understand that too many incompatible claims canceling one another out can lead to a relativistic kind of philosophy.

How the "key FFs" (the early Presidents) threaded the needle between their belief in objective reality that included a Providential God and their belief that most if all world religions teach, at heart, the same truth, is complex and in some ways what my work on this blog is all about.

When you write, "Consequently, none of them would've dared suggest that Islam and Christianity could both be true in all their claims."

I'm not sure if Obama's words support this any more than their the FFs' words do. It depends on how one defines "Christianity" "Islam" and their truth claims.

As far as I see it, the these FFs would find lowest common denominators among the different world religions and hold that to be the "essence" of them. The ways in which for instance, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity differ with one another are irrelevancies that can be discarded or ignored so the different world religions could "get along" under the rubric of naturalistic Providentialism.

I really believe they believed this. Obama and the other modern American Presidents? I'm not sure whether they really believe it or not. But they use the language because it serves the purpose of the American Presidency.

Whether it's sound theology, is a matter for another debate. But notions like Jews, Christians, Muslims and uncoverted Native Americans worship the same God is what the American Presidency is all about.

Brian Tubbs said...

Jon, I concur that the leading Founders tried to find common ground between the faiths and emphasize that common ground as a way of building unity. GW's rhetoric shows this. Franklin out and out said this. So, you're right on that point.

What I objected to was the association of the first five Presidents with Obama's beliefs. Rhetorically speaking, the first five Presidents and Obama may all share the desire of uniting Americans under the acknowledgment of a Providential God - and leaving the other details to the churches, synagogues, and mosques. But, privately, I seriously doubt they saw Islam and Christianity compatible, doctrinally speaking.

Jonathan Rowe said...

What do you think of the above quote John Adams about Judaism, Christianity and Islam all having "religion"?

Daniel said...

"But notions like Jews, Christians, Muslims and uncoverted Native Americans worship the same God is what the American Presidency is all about."

And Hindoos. Even polytheists get in on the party.

I agree with the notion that Enlightenment thinkers would not affirm that all teachings of the Bible and of the Koran can be true. But the could affirm that many teachings of the Bible and of the Koran can be true. The Bible and the Koran cannot both be "inerrant" (as the Fundamentalists use that term). But each can be inspired.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Of course, John Adams, theological dilettante that he was, seems to have had no real knowledge of Islam.

John Quincy Adams had some rather pointed opinions, however.

As for President Obama, he was more forthcoming about his beliefs than the first few presidents:

"And I went over to Trinity on 95th Street on the Southside and I heard a sermon about hope and faith and the love of Jesus Christ. During the course of the sermon I was introduced to Jesus in a way that I had not been introduced before. And I learned my sins could be redeemed if I placed my trust in him. That he could set me on the path of eternal life. It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the isle one day and get baptized. I have to say, I didn’t fall out in church, it didn’t come as an epiphany. It was a gradual process, all the questions and the doubts and the pain that I sometimes felt didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath the cross I heard God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to his will and I dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works."

Pinky said...

One wonders why that video doesn't get more mileage.

Pinky said...

I'm not sure how I came to find this site:
But, I am reading Howard I. Schwartz on Natural Rights and The Declaration of Independence: (PartII): Diverging Theories Of Natural Rights Theory Before the Revolution.
Very enlightening.

Tom Van Dyke said...

[James] Otis offers an alternative theory of government’s origin, basing it on human nature. “I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the author of nature, whose laws never vary…Government is therefore most evidently founded on the necessities of our nature. It is by no meansan arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence. ”

Schwartz is staring directly at natural law theory, but doesn't seem to realize it. For him it's some mysterious "alternate theory."

But good on him that he recognizes its presence.

Pinky said...

Schwartz goes deep into the development of Natural Rights showing how it was instrumental in building unity among the separate colonies.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Heheh. When Schwartz brings in Locke's "workmanship of God" argument against suicide, he's really talking natural law, not "natural rights," he just doesn't realize it.

It's actually very good work, and in the end you'll be appalled at how much he agrees with the arguments I've been making all along.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Baraq Hussein Obama said, "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."

But this statement, even if spoken by a non-liar, would not be hard forensic evidence of being a Christian.

James 2:19 tells us that even the demons likewise believe “that that faith [of Christianity makes one righteous].” But the demons do not exercise that faith personally.