I answered this question back in 2007. Let me repeat it for those of you who weren’t around back then.
Guys, Barack Obama is a Christian. I may have some serious problems with his theology -- after all, the UCC is such a mess theologically that it approaches apostasy on a regular basis -- but I have no reason to doubt his sincerity when he calls himself a Christian.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a prospective Republican presidential contender, said Saturday he does not know whether President Obama is a Christian.
“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.
Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.
“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”
Walker went on to point out, rightly, that the media focus on the question is a distraction and not relevant to most Americans. And given that Walker is the son of a Baptist minister for whom that question (“Is someone a Christian?”) has a certain theological context that folks who are Catholic or members of mainline denominations (not to mention secular Jews) don’t generally think about (“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?” as opposed to “Were you baptized?”), I can understand why he said that he is unsure based upon his lack of having had a conversation with Obama about his faith.
But the reality is that over the last several years, events have made it reasonable for folks to wonder about Obama and his religious beliefs. So let me make the following observation and suggest that there is a better response to questions about Obama’s faith than the one I gave in 2007, one that looks something like this:
Well, Obama SAYS he is a Christian, but that there is plenty of evidence that can lead one to be unsure about his faith.
- Like his long time membership in congregation that appeared to be more of a racist cult built around a monomaniacal leader.
- Like his seeming contempt for fellow Christians who take their faith and the Bible seriously.
- Like claims by his campaign manager that positions he took based upon his faith were mere vote getting lies.
- Like his great solicitude for Islam over and above any other faith -- including Christianity and Judaism.
As such, it isn't unreasonable to have doubts about the depth or sincerity of Obama’s Christian faith. But in the end that is a matter between Obama and God, not Obama and the American people, because our Constitution forbids religious tests for the holding of public office.
Would that satisfy the Democrat-Media Establishment? Probably not – but it ought to satisfy Americans who are more interested in solving America’s problems than bickering over non-substantive matters. After all, whether Barack Obama is or is not a Christian are irrelevant to solving the serious issues facing this country.