Is Obama A Radical Muslim Or A Radical Christian?

March 14, 2008

I had really hoped that the political discourse in America would actually focus on the issues of the day and be conducted in an intelligent and respectful manner.   Now, I’m not going to say that there haven’t been a few moments of this thus far, because clearly there have been, but lately it appears to have gone off the rails and taken a detour into the land of the bizarre.  The internet has been especially burgeoning with wild theories and attacks that have little to do with any of the candidates platforms (not that the net is known for reasonable voices, but still), and its beginning to get just plain ugly out there.  Accusations about (and implying) racism, sexism and bigotry are becoming more prevalent, along with trying to hold the candidates accountable for statements that someone else made, or who endorsed who (a sort of guilt by association/identity politics run amok).  

For just one example of how crazy this has become, let’s take this post from Gateway Pundit:  Obama’s Gave $22,500 to Racist Church in 2006

There are mosques that preach Radical Islam.
There are churches that preach Radical Christianity.
Unfortunately, the leading Democratic nominee for president attends such a church.
Unfortunately, its really not a surprise.

Not a surprise?  Well, just two weeks ago the same blog highlighted Obama’s supposed connection to Radical Islam: Obama’s Militant Muslim Brother Abongo Is Luo Activist

The “Obama is a closet Muslim” angle is a meme that trailblazing bloggers such as Atlas have been pushing for quite some time.  They’ve apparently had a hard time making it stick, since only 13% of Americans think that Obama is a Muslim (although that % has increased since December).   

The rightosphere really ought to make up its mind, ’cause it’s getting confusing and I’d like to get back to the issues.

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  1. Just imagine if ChenZhen decided to do a little homework first before becoming an Obama apologist…

    So ChenZhen, what is Obama’s claim to fame?

    What has that man accomplished?

    Anything? Anything at all?

    Is the following an accomplishment?

    Obama, Hagel, Cantwell Introduce Bill to Fight Global Poverty

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Reading it sounds like yet another socialist bit of drivel which is expected from someone like Obama…

  2. juandos-

    Incidentally, I have commented on both the “Name an Accomplishment” game and the global poverty bill.

    And I have been doing my homework.

  3. Chen I think both sides enjoy this diversion. I further stip that this is a bigger issue and a real issue when the fullness of it all is explored. I have been in threads defending Obama in the past over the church. I did so under the thinking that attending a church isn’t necessarily the same as being a full member.Then I find out that the Rev and Obama go way back. That the Rev has an extensive history of what can only be called by sane and honest people as hate.I imagine Obama has missed many sermons but over 20 years he’s been exposed and part of something that quite frankly deserves consideration before pulling the lever for him.
    The 08 election has sick religious entities on both parties resume. Hagee for example with his endorsement and McCains somewhat hypocritical pawing over it. Sad but I’m inclined to believe Hagee’s views would not be welcomed in a McCain WH and there wouldn’t be any need for any more of his $ or support. I can’t say the same that the Rev Wright wouldn’t find himself still a confidant of a President Obama and/or Michelle whose comments and attitudes are more understandable considering her moral compass. Sorry for the length Chen Take care.

  4. Chen,

    I didn’t believe you could stoop so low to become an Obama apologist after watching the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s obvious message from the pulpit. I assume we are to believe, though being 20 years in attendance, Obama has absolutely nothing in common with the “pastor” that both married him and baptized his children?

    America hating, racism and venality of a candidate should be an issue…with the left, it seems to be of little concern if it is their candidate.

    There was a time, I thought you only confused. Now I think you blatantly dishonest.

  5. I think that this is exposing how nutty some of these religious leaders in general are. I mean, if you dive into enough of this stuff, it might just turn someone into an atheist.

    And Tex, until I actually hear Obama talk like that, I don’t think I’m being dishonest. I haven’t made an issue with McCain or Romney’s religious associations on this blog, so I don’t feel at all hypocritical about my position here.

  6. As a Christian speaking to another professing Christian, there are all kinds of things I would say to Obama. But since I am speaking before a larger audience, I’m going to say little …

    I have concerns, and I’d have left a church with such teachings long, long ago.

    However, I think that you hit on two things brilliantly:

    1) Romney’s religion was off-limits. If we’re not supposed to talk about the Second Coming happening in Missouri and how God used to be human, then why is Obama fair game?

    2) Some of the Right has been using the shotgun approach to Obama and religion. What exactly is the problem? Is he one of those Islamic Christianists now?

  7. Obama is neither; he’s a radical politician, and that’s precisely what this country needs.

    Radical Muslims are merely Christians with a few more years under consideration (i.e., to Mohammed), just as radical Christians are just Jews with an extra few stories in their books.

    All church’s are inherently racist, because all preach a doctrine of exclusionism and inflammatory rhetoric. Any church that preaches Jesus as the “way” is, pretty much by definition, anti-Semitic.

  8. I have to agree with Will on this one.
    I might add that McCain supporters were quick to say judge him by his own words,(when Hagee embraced him) cannot we extend the same courtesy to Barack?

  9. I have to agree with Will on this one.
    I might add that McCain supporters were quick to say judge him by his own words,(when Hagee embraced him) cannot we extend the same courtesy to Barack?

    – kip

    I don’t think it’s completely analogous. I mean, this is a church that Obama attended for many years, and the minister he’s described as “like an uncle”, so it goes a bit beyond simple pandering. I’d say there is a legitimate question that could be raised as to why Obama chose to stick around for so long if these types of comments were commonplace. Nevertheless, it was the minister’s words, not his.

  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7297943.stm

  11. Radical and dangerous are 2 different things. McCain was endorsed by John Hagee, a nut from way back. Bush is a religious nut and was endorsed by most of the worst of nuts in the religious fruit cake.

    Of the bunch only Bush has shown a tendency toward destruction rapped up in religious ignorance. Everyone else knows better than to get caught up in that crap. McCain and Obama have demonstrated enough common sense to discuss the issues and avoid that kind of B.S.(until now).

  12. Sphinx-

    I think Obama’s done himself more harm than good by his reaction. I watched him go on 3 networks and attempt to distance himself from the controversial statements. By throwing his longtime pastor under the bus, it calls into question his judgement (for staying with the church) and his sincerity. And by stating that he wasn’t present when such fiery rhetoric was uttered, he opens the door to those drooling to dive into church records and try to catch him not being completely honest (which they probably will). It keeps this issue in the spotlight. Although he was probably screwed either way. If he hadn’t said anything, people probably would have took it as an endorsement of the views. Either way, its not good for the campaign.

    Like I stated at the outset, I had hoped that the political discourse in this country wouldn’t go here. We’ve got real problems that need attention, and going around sticking cameras in the candidates churches really isn’t the most productive thing I can think of toward this end, but that seems to be where we’re headed. In fact, after Obama’s appearance on their network, CNN started with footage of some unhinged preacher that is tied to McCain. I just shook my head. I mean, if you had video of half of the church sermons on this country you’re bound to find things that others are going to deem objectionable. We need to move past this.

  13. Personally, I do not care what religion Obama is or even whether he has one. I believe in religious toleration, and that is what I want to see from a candidate. I am more concerned that my candidate is not anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic than I am that he or she is Muslim, Jewish or Catholic or evangelical Christian. It seems to me that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who has not made religion an issue in this campaign, and I applaud her for that.

  14. Anybody that would equate John Hagee with this vile heretic of a pastor is a complete moron. Of course, I already knew that…

  15. Well, as a christian from a land far away…

    Until The Sphinx posted that link I was wondering ‘In what way is it a ‘radical’church?’ as by nature christianity should be radical. [just read The sermon on the mount]

    I’ve been a ‘member’ of churches where I did not entirely agree with the pastor/minister/vicar – yes I have wandered widely but have stuck it out in various churches because I either thought I should be at that church or a combination of things – one of the things I would say is that despite having disagreements we still agreed on many other issues… I have ‘campaigned’ within churches to get my fellows to think through what they believe rather than merely taking the word as if it came from the pulpit and my entire experience of the leaders has been at worst ambivalence and at best they have ‘used’ me to try to get folk thinking as keenly as if they had been waiting for an opportunity to get down to it. I have no idea how ‘successful’ my ‘campaigning’ has been, nor do I really want to.

    I think Will, you should have another look if you think that the only differences between jews, christians and muslims is the amount of pages they have between the covers of their books… and saying that “Any church that preaches Jesus as the “way” is, pretty much by definition, anti-Semitic.” misses the fact that although all christians, pretty much by definition, see Jesus as ‘the way’ a whole mass of them/us recognize that Jesus was a jew. And to that end and from Jesus’ teachings – discrimination by christians is not something we should engage in…

    I hope, getting back to the post’s point, that Obama is assessed on what he says/means – not by some of his friends and associations – I have a wide range of friends and if you started to judge me by them you’d be confused in pretty short order…

  16. @ Tex Hagee is a vile miscreant who bludgeons theology for his own power.He’s as vile and disturbing a pied piper as Wright and way too many others.He identifies a group think and he runs with it. Wright gathers up the concept and realities of racism in America and then tries to justify his hate spew via blatantly false interpretations of Scripture. Hagee et al do the same and they represent that fine line between genuine attempts to explore Christ and a cult.The other Abrahamic religions all have their demons too.
    @Chen I think his “throwing his pastor under the bus” will be the initial and false negative that flaks Obama. The real hit should be how disturbingly uneasy he appeared. He was not handling the crisis of this situation well at all. What can we expect from another crisis of even higher import and consequence ?
    Which leads me to Free’s closing line. Yes let’s judge him by what he says and does. So far his talk has been focused on the 9/11 sermon which politically Obama is supportive of the thinking behind that one and as noted he isn’t handling this well. Barack has all along been a great orator but thinking on his feet doesn’t seem to be his strength.

  17. Will – Jesus was Jewish. Any church that actually preaches about Jesus has to reject anti-Semitism.

    In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek. Sigh …

  18. In my opinion the only real distasteful statement that Wright made was the one about the government creating AIDS. That’s a myth. The rest of his shit was inflammatory, yet mostly true.

  19. I have a idea to remove the dumb religious controversies from politics. Can we have a agnostic and/or atheist candidate please run for President? The American people who are scared of their own shadow would freak out so ok not likely. I am sure we already have had a agnostic/atheist President in the past but of course he would not have been able to come clean.

    The people with the comments about Obama on experience, what has he done?, and he can’t think on his feet. Ummm… George Bush? Were you making these statements when he first ran in 2000?

  20. Obama hasn’t done anything really. He’s run an a good campaign that has had less pitfalls than his competitors a further answer goes on too long. Also I commented on the thinking on his feet thing. Yeah he’s an articulate and intelligent speaker when working off his scripts. In conversation based on just chit chat I imagine he’d be pretty good.Bush can’t talk period if you get right down to it and he’s definitely more comfortable in certain settings. Bush however has been most loudly called a cowboy in those times he’s spoken the best and most “on his feet”. Barack hasn’t and so far I have no reason to believe he can.Also in a full disclosure way to your (MJRP)open ?.I’ve always been pretty clear on my cringing when W speaks especially when he was in joint conferences with say Blair.
    As for religion etc. The candidate would have to be stronger than many that have run lately.

  21. Oh he threw Rev. Wright under the bus alright:

    Pastor Wright Erased From Obama’s Website

    Another question: Would Rev Wright have anything to rant about if Obama gets elected POTUS? Maybe that’s how Obama should have played this. Like, “I know some of his sermons were off the rails, but I figured that if I got elected he’d finally realize that some of his hysterics where unfounded”. Something that would acknowledge their relationship and his controversial comments without completely throwing him overboard.


    I’m a little disappointed with Obama’s reaction myself. He probably didn’t expect the videos to hit all the networks and create a instant buzz like that, but he must have known that these kinds of questions might have come up eventually and would have prepared for it. He looked like he was taken a bit off guard there.

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