Jewish Journal


November 18, 2008

The Obama Christian question



“When people say to me, ‘What about the fact that Obama is always talking about religion?’ All I can do is say to them, ‘I hope he’s lying,’” Bill Maher told me in a portion of the interview about “Religulous” that didn’t make the story. “I hope he is faking it for the election.”

This is why I don’t put much stock in what politicians say about their religious beliefs. It’s far too easy to be bluffing. But was Obama? We know Obama is not a Muslim, but can he really call himself a Christian?

That question has erupted on Christian blogs during the past few days because of the comments Obama made to Cathleen Falsani in an interview four years ago. I mentioned Sunday that Obama essentially gave the Jesus-was-a-great-teacher answer to the question of what his personal Lord and Savior meant to him. Moral relativism overwhelmed his discussion of sin. And Obama said he didn’t believe his God would send people who didn’t accept Jesus to hell.

Ethan remarked that these comments left him in awe at how naturally gifted Obama was at being political, at speaking in a language that offends as few people as possible. The CT politics blog has a round-up of what some bloggers have said about Obama’s theology. I particularly like Rod Dreher’s reflection:

“Unless Obama was being incredibly and uncharacteristically inarticulate, this is heterodox. You cannot be a Christian in any meaningful sense and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. You just can’t.”

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