We have yet another campaign moment in which someone asserts that Barack Obama is a Muslim. I’ve looked into this carefully, and have come to the confident conclusion that he is not a Muslim. If he is a Muslim, believe me, he is the world’s worst Muslim! Here are three reasons I know this is true.
1. His religious statements
Obama has invoked Jesus as more than merely a prophet (which is the Muslim belief), but actually as a resurrected savior who took on the sins of the world. Muslim doctrine is that Jesus never was resurrected, because Jesus never died on the cross (Quran, 4:156-158); and that there is no such concept of “the sins of the world” since every person bears personal responsibility for his or her own sin. There is no place for a propitiating replacement sacrifice of one for another person’s sins in Islam.
Moreover, Obama has called Jesus “a son of God,” but in Islam, God has no sons (e.g., Quran 112:1-4). To claim that Jesus is a son of God is blasphemy and no true Muslim would make this statement.
2. His Policies
In social policies, Barack Obama stridently supports family planning, abortion, and same sex marriage. Even moderate Muslims generally oppose these policies, which are grounded in Western European secularism.
In foreign policies, Barack Obama has overseen ongoing attacks on Muslim nations and people. He is responsible for the broad expansion of drone attacks killing many Muslim leaders and civilians alike.
3. Obama belongs to the heterodox United Church of Christ
In fact, Barack Obama joined a United Church of Christ (UCC) congregation in Chicago and was a member there for twenty years, before leaving it shortly after the Jeremiah Wright controversy during the 2008 presidential campaign. When you look at Obama’s policies and statements, he is squarely in line with the UCC’s liberal, heterodox view of the Bible and Christianity. His emphasis on the social gospel (transforming society, by the power of the state, to do away with economic and social injustices) is exactly what the UCC endorses, including gay rights and same sex marriage. His stand on abortion matches the UCC position on abortion and so-called “reproductive rights.”
The only major place in which Obama conflicts with UCC social teachings is in continuing to prosecute wars (including wars against nations and groups that are predominantly Muslim). The UCC has long been essentially pacifist, but also has balanced the drive against the use of violence with the longstanding discussion of what constitutions a “just war” and “just conduct of war.” Obama’s idealism in the Christian just war tradition is pretty clearly expressed in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. And he has pulled US troops out of Iraq and has scheduled our exit from Afghanistan as well, which would fit squarely within UCC goals. Of course the chaos that ensued without the US military’s stabilizing presence in Iraq is disastrous, but that’s a different discussion.
In short, I am not arguing that Barack Obama is an orthodox Christian with orthodox views on biblical inerrancy, the nature of sin, the evangelistic imperative, the reality of a final judgement, or the objective truths of Christianity. But even in the squishiness of his beliefs in these areas compared with traditional Christianity, he matches quite closely the views of mainline liberal heterodox “Christianity,” such as those taught by the UCC, and does not match in critical ways central teachings of Islam.
People: Barack Obama is not a Muslim.
[EDITING NOTE: The original version of this linked to a Huffington Post article that provided ‘religious quotes’ from Barack Obama, but I since went back and verified the original sources. The HuffPo article is here, and the article above links to the transcripts where the original statements were made. Thanks to careful readers at the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook group for pointing out the original problem.]