December 23, 2015

I'm linking to this article because it's in The Washington Post and because I don't believe it.

"The quiet impact of Obama’s Christian faith/Why the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country — and why he failed."

Sheer propaganda. Very long and earnest.

I think President Obama has some admiration for religious people, but mostly he's aware of how religion operates within the human minds that he seeks to influence. You could rewrite the article and title it: "The muffled impact of Obama's faith in religious faith/Why the president’s understanding of religious convictions led him to believe he could perform in the theater of Uniting a Divided Country — and why no government official ever really can or should bring us completely together."

The general rule in America is not to question the sincerity of claims of religious belief, but Obama revealed what religion is to him in his book, "Dreams from My Father," chapter 14. I'll just quote the summary of the text I wrote back in 2010:
While working as a community organizer, Obama was told that it would "help [his] mission if [he] had a church home" and that Jeremiah Wright "might be worth talking to" because "his message seemed to appeal to young people like [him]." Obama wrote that "not all of what these people [who went to Trinity] sought was strictly religious... it wasn't just Jesus they were coming home to." He was told that "if you joined the church you could help us start a community program," and he didn't want to "confess that [he] could no longer distinguish between faith and mere folly." He was, he writes, "a reluctant skeptic." Thereafter, he attends a church service and hears Wright give a sermon titled "The Audacity of Hope" (which would, of course, be the title of Obama's second book). He describes how moved he was by the service, but what moves him is the others around him as they respond to a sermon about black culture and history. He never says he felt the presence of God or accepted Jesus as his savior or anything that suggests he let go of his skepticism. Obama's own book makes him look like an agnostic (or an atheist). He respects religion because he responds to the people who believe, and he seems oriented toward leveraging the religious beliefs of the people for worldly, political ends.

75 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

I'm not in the business of questioning people's faith but the disconnect between this article and what I've seen and heard from the President makes me question his faith.

gspencer said...

"I think President Obama has some admiration for religious people . . ."

I too believe that. Significantly that admiration runs only to Muslims and their murderous ways.

The Drill SGT said...

“(O's) faith had been central to his identity as a new kind of Democrat who would bring civility to the country’s political debates by appealing to Republicans through the shared language of their Judeo-Christian values.”

yeah right. He has taken every opportunity (after courting the religious in the 2008 election) to poke a stick in the eyes of both Evangelicals and Catholics.

The man likes the trappings of religion only to the extent it can help his political agenda. nothing more.

damikesc said...

Obama is, clearly, not a practicing Christian by any rational definition of the term. He might be an atheist. He might be an agnostic. It's not my concern.

But the man is not a Christian.

David Begley said...

In every way and every day the MSM shills and covers for the Dems.

EDH said...

"I think President Obama has some admiration for religious people . . ."

Inasmuch as it draws them to his leftist ideals, no more.

And quite the opposite when it doesn't (see also, "bitter clingers").

show me one socialist success in world history said...

Access journalism at its finest! Just wonder what the author of this article had access to? Anyone that could write this tripe is seriously deluded. Total horseshit.

This president and his propagandists have done more to bring us to the Soviet's practice of Orwellian newspeak than I could possibly imagine would be possible in the America I grew up in.

David Hampton said...

Where is his soul?!

Levi Starks said...

Religion is simply a tool to be used as needed to shape the minds of the less enlightened. As a hobby I carve wooden spoons, I have a nice selections of knives and gouges with which to shape the wood. I work very hard to keep from cutting my own flesh in the process. Ditto Obama.

rhhardin said...

Obama believes anything and is sincere about it.

Curious George said...

“There’s all this goodness and decency and common sense on the ground, and somehow it gets translated into rigid, dogmatic, often mean-spirited politics,” Obama said in a recent interview.

James Pawlak said...


That fellow is not a Christian or a Muslim as he worships only himself.

Bob Boyd said...

"It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief." – Lionel Trilling

PB said...

Do these journalists even recognize they are participating in propaganda? Or do they even care?

Quaestor said...

Why the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country — and why he failed

Greg Jaffe's entire premise is absurd. Firstly, Obama has neither confessed nor displayed reliable evidence of any convictions or foundational principles other than (1) Islam is the religion of peace, (2) Global warming is worse than war, and (3) America is much too powerful. If one assumes Obama's core principles are consistent with the state of the nation he leads, then he has not failed, he has succeeded.

Obama campaigned for office promising to fundamentally change America. By any standard he has achieved that goal. We are weaker diplomatically and militarily. We are much poorer. And we are more polarized than ever before.

AllenS said...

"And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," -- Obama

Tank said...

Zero is a con man. Who knows what he really believes? He is like the Vagina in that he lied yesterday, he'll lie today, and he'll lie tomorrow. He is a user of religion, as he is a user in general.

He is a bad man.

EDH said...

Why the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country — and why he failed.

That reads like Obama thought he could unite the rest of the country by jailing all of his opponents.

Fritz said...

It's pretty sad that the WAPO put that editorial on the front pages as news. Typical, but sad.

Mick said...

"I will stand with the Muslims when the ill winds blow" (or something like that).
"The shahada is the most beautiful sound I ever heard" (or something like that)
"My Muslim faith"

It is documented that he went to Muslim schools as a youth and was considered a Muslim. To be a "Christian" now is to be an apostate.

Of course the compliant lapdog, bootlicker WAPO ignores all of this. Obama (his handlers) and HRC created ISIS (who do you think they were arming when they armed the "anti- Assad" factions through Libya, and the CIA Benghazi station). Then they let Ambassador Stevens be murdered (and blamed it on a film that offended Islam). Do you think ISIS just sprang up out of the desert with American weapons and Toyota trucks?

This is TREASON many more handles higher than there has ever been.

The Usurper doesn't care anymore-- it's all right in front of your face.

n.n said...

Obama is pro-choice. Hardly Christian. Perhaps liberal.

n.n said...

His anti-labor, anti-capital, and anti-native policies suggest an ulterior motive: unity through marginalization.

ddh said...

As President, Obama rarely attends church, even missing Christmas and Easter services. As he told Cathleen Falsani in 2004 that sin was "being out of alignment with my values," so we have no need to question the depth of his religious convictions.

(Some people think the sin quote is apocryphal, so here is a link to the full transcript:

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/stevenwaldman/2008/11/obamas-interview-with-cathleen.html)

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I read this and immediately thought of Kipling, "Though I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, Your a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

The Drill SGT said...

n.n said...
Obama is pro-choice. Hardly Christian. Perhaps liberal.


Leftist, hardly a classic Liberal in the tradition of the Enlightenment

Cog said...

These kind of secular press “faith articles” popular in the Christmas season always are a waste of time. In fact, the secular media deserves to be ignored nearly everytime they choose to present religiously-themed commentary. The writers are routinely ignorant about religion at every level.

Unfortunately, much of the religious news media self-censures themselves due to not wanting to alienate the religiion establishment. etc.. However, provocative insightful religious commentary is produced at various independent websites and blogs. As long as there’s an independent internet, it can be well worthwhile the search.

Snark said...

Faith can be a nuanced and shifting mix of an uncertain belief in God and a conviction that faith itself is a good and powerful force in the individual and in the community. So Obama's faith in God may be more a faith in the power of the concept to himself and others. Either way, it wasn't his faith in God that underwrote his belief that he could be a uniter, it was his faith in himself. Obama believed in Obama and wildly overestimated the power and efficacy of his communication style. His relaxed, disarming personal calculus might have worked in little ponds, but in the big swamp of national politics it was never going to do anything more than irritate people and make them more resistant. Who wants to feel like they're being handled, particularly by a relative political naïf? When this previously reliable personal charm fizzles there's nothing left to do but fall back to what feels like lecturing to all involved. All utterly predictable.

NB That top photo just looks like Obama is holding his nose. Which immediately made me think of Hillary going to the bathroom. Donald Trump rots minds.

CStanley said...

Well it was surprising that they included the part about the doctor who inspired Obama to be more respectful of religious belief and practice, and that doctor's disillusionment when ACA forced the Catholic nuns to pay for birth control.

Mrs. X said...

Obama's a Christian. And I'm a Martian.

Quayle said...

I don't perceive in Obama any real depth of thought. I have concluded he is actually not really very intelligent. I compare him to a lot of sales people with whom I've worked. They have a veneer of competence and they've mastered some lexicon and vocabulary, but when asked a tough question they flail, and they usually don't have a sense when they are sounding ridiculous. In Obama I pretty much always sense a very shallow, platitudinous world view and not one that I can discern as being at all coherent.

dbp said...

""The quiet impact of Obama’s Christian faith/Why the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country — and why he failed.""

This is where Instapundit would say, "Another rube self-identifies."

mezzrow said...

They're just putting down a marker of althist for future historians digging through the stacks to set up some structure for an Obama apologist yet to join this life. That's about all that's left for them, really. How long did it take for the truth to get out about Wilson?

see: Truth, Trumbo

jr565 said...

Obama is not a committed Christian. He simply is not.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Sheer propaganda" is exactly right. What a worthless article.

Obama may be many things, but he's not an active Christian by any definition. He worships generalized Leftism. He thinks like Alinsky -that the Haves got theirs thru a rigged system, at the expense of the Nots. His 3-fold mission in life - like most Chicago polls- is to take from the Haves, redistribute to the Nots, and get rich in the process.

Robert Cook said...

"His anti-labor, anti-capital...policies...."

Hey, what do you want him to be...pro-labor or pro-capital?! He can't be both!

As it happens, your analysis is wildly wrong, as he is a loyal servant of the financial elites who own and run this country.

Mike said...

Irony and satire have apparently died when they were crushed by the wrong side of history rolling progressively forward. At least they died doing what they love.

damikesc said...

Keep in mind that the media still thinks Jesus was a refugee. Reporters are thoroughly oblivious to reality in life and, based on the journalism majors I knew in college, not terribly bright.

Goldenpause said...

So how do you write a long, long article on Obama's "Christian faith" and manage not to mention Obama's pastor for 20 years: Jeremiah ("God damn America") Wright? I guess it's easy if you are a Washington Post "reporter" writing a puff piece for the subject of your article or an "editor" placing it on the front page. A truly cringe-worthy example of just how low "journalism" has sunk.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I'm a Christian but I often lack faith and think that it's all a bunch of bullshit that some of us believe, primarily because we don't want to die (very simplified). I think that Obama has always thought, at least in his adult life, that it's a bunch of bullshit. Yet he has cynically, and transparently, claimed to have religious faith in order to move up the community organizer ranks and to be elected to public office.

The most sickening single thing I have ever seen Obama do, among his many disgusting sociopathic displays, is break into Amazing Grace at the Charleston memorial. I think that the fact that he was not struck dead on the spot is about the best evidence there is that it IS all a bunch of bullshit, now that I think about it.

Mick said...

PB said...
Do these journalists even recognize they are participating in propaganda? Or do they even care?

Propaganda is legal, by executive order.

http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/06/first-time-since-1948-propaganda-is-now-legal-in-the-u-s/

Robert Cook said...

The article is pure propaganda.

Even if Obama were truly religious or driven by his faith...is this what we want? Is it something that warrants a newspaper article, (except as an expose that he was secretly imposing upon the nation his personal theocracy)? Do we want him to make executive decisions according to his religious faith or according to the law and the constitution? If he WERE making decisions according to whatever religious faith he is purported to have, does that matter if the decisions are bad, or have bad outcomes? Jimmy Carter is and was unquestionably a faithful Christian, yet, as president, he made some egregious decisions. Is this mitigated by whatever basis he had for making those decisions?

I Callahan said...

Hey, what do you want him to be...pro-labor or pro-capital?! He can't be both!

Without capital, labor doesn't get paid. I assume you've not run into the bearded Spock lately?

CWJ said...

"...the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country..."

There is zero evidence for that statement, And after seven years of this president's actual behavior, it actually angers me that someone could still write it as if it were true. It's insulting. All the no red states no blue states talk disappeared immediately after he finished mouthing the oath of office. My only explanation is that the author fell into a deep sleep in early January, 2009, and woke up no earlier than last week.

CWJ said...

Robert Cook,

Just curious. Are you a Wobbly?

khesanh0802 said...

Curious George picked out the most important quote: "There’s all this goodness and decency and common sense on the ground, and somehow it gets translated into rigid, dogmatic, often mean-spirited politics,” This from the most rigid, dogmatic, mean-spirited and divisive president ever to hold the office.

Gusty Winds said...

He never says he felt the presence of God or accepted Jesus as his savior or anything that suggests he let go of his skepticism. Obama's own book makes him look like an agnostic (or an atheist).

Remember George Snuffleupagus correcting Obama slip referring to his "Muslim" faith? I'm sure all the insiders know what Obama's true faith is. We take guesses at what it is not. But boy, they sure try to shove it down our throats that he's a Christian.

And then they wonder why Trump is a "phenomenon". A lot of people are sick and tired of their manipulative lying. Washington Post included. The smart phone changed everything in media. They're still pounding away like blacksmiths.

Roughcoat said...

Bearded Spock is a hero. Also, Pizza Rat.

David said...

"Thou shalt not kill."

There is apparently a drone exception.

I know. Cheap shot. Deal with it.

Perhaps Obama has a deep abiding faith in the Christian God. It could be. You never know for sure what's deep inside someone. This reporter certainly did not, so he made stuff up.

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook said...

The article is pure propaganda.

Even if Obama were truly religious or driven by his faith...is this what we want? Is it something that warrants a newspaper article, (except as an expose that he was secretly imposing upon the nation his personal theocracy)? Do we want him to make executive decisions according to his religious faith or according to the law and the constitution?"

The Man spent twenty years attending The Goddamn America Church and his governance dispels any doubt that his personal faith guides his policies and actions.

Original Mike said...

"The quiet impact of Obama’s Christian faith/Why the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country — and why he failed."

Forget religion. This "observation" fails on the claim that Obama has attempted to unite us.

Char Char Binks said...

Religion is just another way for Obama to influence people. I'm not saying that's bad; it's just what politicians do.

Gahrie said...

Hey, what do you want him to be...pro-labor or pro-capital?! He can't be both!

Actually he can be, and intelligent people would be. Labor (workers) live far better (and far longer) in Capitalist systems than they do in any other.

jacksonjay said...

"The quiet impact of Obama's Christian Faith ... he failed." Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby might have a different view of how quiet his impact has been.


"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. "Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans."

"The future MUST not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam."

Noted Christian,
President Barack Obama


“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."

Jesus Christ

Michael said...

Unite a divided country? WTF. He wasn't in office ten minutes before he squandered the nation's goodwill and began acting as the president of Democrats. ONly.

n.n said...

pro-labor or pro-capital. he can't be both... actually he can be

That's right. In a capitalist system, the people own the capital (e.g. wealth, means). Capital formation occurs in accumulation beyond needs. This is in contrast to Marxist variants (e.g. feudalism, communism, socialism) where a ruling minority control redistribution and accumulation through cronyism and affirmative action.

n.n said...

Religion or moral philosophy and faith (i.e. a logical domain intersecting with the other domains: science, philosophy, and fantasy) are separable.

Obama is pro-choice or a follower of the quasi-religious doctrine of selective principles. He pulls his religion out of a penumbra that is inferred by mortal beings with a god-complex.

rightguy2 said...

My experience with people I find enlightened spiritually is that they are profoundly humble. Our president is the opposite of that as I find him egotistical in the extreme- as far as he is concerned, everything is all about him, all the time.

n.n said...

The Drill SGT:

Do classical liberals recognize the moral principle of intrinsic value?

For example, I consider Americans to be classical liberals tempered by Judaeo-Christian faith and religion or moral philosophy (i.e. behavioral protocol).

I think this characterization is validated by both The Declaration of Independence (i.e. articles of incorporation) and The Constitution (e.g. "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"), where each recognizes individual dignity, intrinsic value, and a God-given religion as opposed to human-created religions or secular law.

Will said...

You have accurately captured the veneer of cynicism and manipulation that covers Obama. He was, and remains, a blank canvas unto which people, including WaPo writers, project their own wishes. And Obama observed from Rev Wright how to manipulate this. He's not above studying how to push the buttons of low-information voters and bitter-clingers.

I agree he is an agnostic or atheist. You cannot deduce otherwise from his deeds.

Yet note, however, that this agnostic-atheist was not above "spontaneously" breaking into "Amazing Grace" when it suited his political purposes. If you can call running this "spontaneous" expression of emotion performance theatre past Valerie Jarrett and Michelle on the ride to the memorial ceremony "spontaneous." And he made damn sure the cameras were on. And the right poll-tested buttons were pushed.

He is a televangelist in the religion of Obama and he was not above spending $1billion to ruthlessly smear a good man.

Maybe he can make something of his life in retirement, because he has been an abysmal failure as President.

JAORE said...

"The quiet impact of Obama’s Christian faith"

"God damn America"

I think I see your point, WaPo.

BobJustBob said...

The good Rev. Wright preached Black Liberation Theology. A combination of Jesus, Marxism and Black rascism.

holdfast said...

I guess Obama's faith, like his promises, comes with an expiration date.


"In August 2008, he told Southern California megachurch Pastor Rick Warren his definition of marriage: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix. "

He later added: "I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.""


http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/11/barack-obama/president-barack-obamas-shift-gay-marriage/

Hyphenated American said...

Obama approvingly quoted rev.Wright in his memoirs: "White man's greed keeps the world in need". How could anyone expect a man with such views to "unite the country"?

hombre said...

The WaPo article is absurd secular progressive pap.It's not surprising that the sycophants at WaPo fail to grasp that Obama is a narcissist and, as such, cannot be a committed Christian.

Moreover, the folks who say, "If he says he's a Christian, I don't question that," fail to comprehend the difference between professing Christians and practicing, committed Christians - a distinction Christians are obliged to make. Titus 1:15-16.

hombre said...

"I think that the fact that he was not struck dead on the spot is about the best evidence there is that it IS all a bunch of bullshit, now that I think about it." 12/23/15, 9:04 AM

Fortunately, God does not promise to strike down blasphemers, pretenders, backsliders or assholes. It would put too many of us at risk.

William Chadwick said...

Pretty much once you've based an agenda on coercive income redistribution, you've already divided the nation--that is, between the mugger and the "muggee."

mccullough said...

Obama's experiences with religious people are too limited. He respects the power of religion because he respects power and wanted to wield it effectively. But he has no idea why he wanted to wield power nor was he skeptical of his ambition to do so (same as W. whose fake humility and piety is as bad as Obama's arrogance and ignorance).

He understands the power of religion but doesn't understand particular religious beliefs and their effects on individuals and groups.

This can be merely insulting as in misjudging the effects of Obamacare on particular Christian beliefs and their opposition to certain regulations. But his misunderstanding of the various sects of Islam has been dangerous and deadly.

JamesB.BKK said...

Isn't he an apostate? http://www.danielpipes.org/pics/new/706.jpg. No matter what he holds in his heart now besides the apparent great love of himself, in the more liberal realms, that'd just get him time in the slammer. Too bad about that redistricting in 2010.

Terry said...

First of all, most liberals don't believe that Obama is a Christian:
January 23, 2008

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 most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. […] Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals. […] I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam. I am respectful of the religion, but it's not my own. One of the things that's very important in this day and age is that we don't use religion as a political tool and certainly that we don't lie about religion as a way to score political points.

http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/quotes/barack-obama-on-his-personal-faith-in-em-christianity-today-em-interview

Magic son of Sky-God cleansed Obama of his 'sins' two thousand years before Obama was born? These are the beliefs that atheists mock as the irrational, stupid superstitions of Christians. If Obama believes it himself, the liberal project is insignificant in comparison.

walter said...

Worship is powerful...

Nichevo said...

12/23/15, 6:28 AM

Mr. Obama,

I find your lack of faith disturbing...

SukieTawdry said...

Obama didn't care about uniting the country. If you listened to him carefully in 2008, you would have understood that all he was after was a working majority. On occasion, he was quite specific about it. He managed to cobble together a coalition based on identity politics and was able to achieve that working majority. After he was elected, his attitude was basically "I won."

He said he looked for a church that would "speak to me" and found that church in Trinity United. That he would choose a church espousing a Marxist, anti-semitic black liberation theology speaks volumes to me and surprises me not in the least. As he has demonstrated time and time again, he knows very little about Christianity and what it means to follow Christ's teachings.

He has "some admiration" for some religious people. Depends on whether their brand of religious cleaves to his world view. If you preach wealth redistribution, open borders, social justice and big government and are fairly loosey-goosey about so-called value issues, you're his guy (or gal--see Rabbi Susan Talve). He did handsprings over the Pope because he recognizes Francis as a fellow traveler when it comes to spreading the wealth and saving the planet (never mind about all that inconvenient anti-contraception-abortion-divorce-samesexmarriage stuff).

I'm perfectly willing to accept his professed Christianity. But, I don't believe it for a moment.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The quiet impact of Obama’s Christian faith

There is no sane way to get through that phrase.

...the president’s convictions led him to believe he could unite a divided country...

The president's convictions or the writer's understanding of them are detached from reality. Possibly both.

Terry said...

Let me get back to this part of the Obama quote:
"But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful."
Obama feeds the hungry in photo-ops, and as far as I know he has never so much as put a bandage on a stranger's finger.
God could fill every hungry belly and heal all the sick in the world in the wink of an eye, if he chose to do so. This is 'Jesus as social worker' stuff. I am not going to say that it is not legitimate Christianity, but to me it diminishes Christ. It reduces miracles to the commonplace (eating and healing are not miracles).
In one of Obama's memoirs (Jesus wrote no memoirs, Obama wrote two) he is clear about how and why he chose to become a member of Jeremiah Wright's church. It served Obama's social and personal goals. Keith Ellison, who was raised a Catholic, says much the same about his decision to become a Muslim. Both Obama and Ellison began their professional lives as community organizers in urban centers. Both chose their religious beliefs based on worldly considerations.

Nichevo said...

mccullough,
12/23/15, 3:03 PM
Is a rotten thing to say, and groundless, unless you have grounds.