As I’ve said before, I don’t believe he is.Â Others may feel differently.
His fathers were and he was unarguably schooled in Muslim-only environments early on.Â His mother wasn’t.
Obama’s father, raised Muslim in Kenya, was, by the time he met Ann, “a confirmed atheist” who considered religion “mumbo jumbo,” writes Obama in “The Audacity of Hope.”
But by that same token, if you were raised in the U.S. chances are you could just easily say that you were raised in Christian-only environments and still not be a Christian.
For arguments sake, let’s say Obama is a Christian.Â Admittedly, he has said that it came to him much later in life thanks to the liberating theologies of one particular Reverend whose name is escaping me at the moment.
Goddamnit I hate it when that happens. I mean “goddamnit” in the sense of “aww, hell I can’t remember who it was” and not in the “not God bless America, Goddamn America” sense colloquially deployed by some in front of children at a church if given to rhetorical, anti-American flourishes.
To me, he is like many others – a Christian of Convenience.Â A chameleon who changes colors to blend in with the background of wherever he happened to be.Â You aren’t winning any Senate seats in a major metropolitan city running as a proud atheist.Â Or as he said:
Was it a conversion in the sense that he heard Jesus speaking to him in a moment after which nothing was the same? No. “It wasn’t an epiphany,” he says. “A bolt of lightning didn’t strike me and suddenly I said, ‘Aha!’ It was a more gradual process that traced back to those times that I had spent in New York wandering the streets or reading books, where I decided that the meaning I found in my life, the values that were most important to me, the sense of wonder that I had, the sense of tragedy that I hadâ€”all these things were captured in the Christian story.”
Sure, The Bible’s a good read.Â It’s got action.Â Drama.Â The triumph of the human spirit.Â In the greek tragedy sense, the hero suffers and the audience can enjoy watching his suffering because it allows them a form of escapism from their own problems.Â Â But you can find that in every bargain rental bin at Blockbuster.Â He did not have a “coming to Jesus” moment because he’s picking and choosing a cafeteria style faith.
I’ll have the eternal salvation, hold the limbo and extra beatitudes, por favor.
There’s a surefire way to determine if the non-churchgoing President is a Christian or not in one easy question if someone would dare to be so bold.Â As he has a White House press corps that is available to ask silly questions every day I’m not sure that would ever happen.
Simply ask, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he is the way, the light, and that there is no other way to heaven except through Him?”
Any Christian should be able to deftly answer that question.Â If you think the way to heaven can be achieved through Allah, Buddha, Stephen Colbert or the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodley appendages then you are not a Christian.
Now, as a politician, we can expect one to answer that question but put in a qualifier that they respect the beliefs of others and the Letter to the Danbury Baptists, separation of church and state, blah, blah, blah.Â But if you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to get to heaven then you are not a Christian.Â Or as Obama has also said:
“It is a precept of my Christian faith that my redemption comes through Christ, but I am also a big believer in the Golden Rule, which I think is an essential pillar not only of my faith but of my values and my ideals and my experience here on Earth. I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know â€¦ I do not believe she went to hell.”
Well, good for you.Â That technically answers the question. Â Nobody ever wishes their mother went to hell.Â Grandmothers may go under the bus but mothers shouldn’t go to hell.Â Who doesn’t agree with that?Â If you don’t believe you go to hell.Â Them’s the rules.
Case closed.Â I’m glad we were able to have this discussion.