Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, June 13, 2008

Is Obama Really A Christian?

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani has an interesting column about the presumptive Democratic nominee's religious beliefs. This quote leads many to doubt that he adheres to genuine Christianity (emphasis added):

"So, I have a deep faith," Obama continues. "I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people."

Many people read this and assume that the "same place" he's talking about is eternal salvation, aware that no small number of nominal Christians believe such a philosophy. Obama doesn't specify the "same place," so he has an opening for an exit strategy from this quote.

But this passage is more problematic:

"The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they're going to hell."

Obama doesn't believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell.

But he's not sure if he'll be going to heaven, either.

"I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die," he says.

He says he's Christian, but doesn't have any idea what will happen to him when he dies. Doesn't his Bible have John 3:16? Isn't the "eternal life" remark at least a bit informative?

The remark about Obama believing "that all people of faith -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone -- know the same God" would be fodder for all sorts of fisking, if it were a direct quote from Obama and not Falsani's interpretation of his remarks.

For the record, animists do not believe in God:

[Animism] commonly refers to belief systems that attribute souls to animals, plants and other entities, in addition to humans. Animism may also attribute souls to natural phenomena, geographic features, everyday objects and manufactured articles.


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