Alex Theodoridis, a political scientist at the College of California, Merced, performed a survey final fall of Individuals’ understanding of President Obama’s spiritual beliefs. Remarkably, he discovered that in response to the query, “Which of those do you assume most certainly describes what Obama believes deep down? Muslim, Christian, atheist, non secular, or I don’t know,” 54 p.c of Republicans mentioned Obama is Muslim. Solely 9 p.c mentioned he’s Christian.
Writing on the Washington Submit’s Monkey Cage weblog, Theodoridis elaborated:
The proportion choosing “Muslim” is notably greater than in different polls performed on this matter. This distinction possible is dependent upon how the query is phrased.
Earlier survey questions on Obama’s faith are inclined to sound like a pop quiz — resembling “do you occur to know the spiritual religion of Barack Obama?” However by asking “what Obama believes deep down?” I used to be deliberately granting respondents license to stray from the pesident’s self-reported Christian religion. This reveals a prevalent willingness to mistrust this pesident or categorize him as “the opposite” when it comes to faith.
In fact, respondents is also “cheerleading” — utilizing a survey query to precise their basic dislike of Obama relatively than a real view about his spiritual religion.
However, if these outcomes have been largely pushed by anti-Obama cheerleading, we must always anticipate extra respondents, particularly Republicans, to decide on the very unpopular class of “atheist.” Comparatively few achieve this.
Earlier ruminations on the Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim theme have recommended varied sources for it: ignorance, Fox Information, racism, an excessive amount of World Internet Every day in your weight-reduction plan.
Theodoridis’ publish was impressed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s remarks that he didn’t know whether or not Obama is a Christian. However do different elected Republicans recommend that Obama is just not solely not a Christian, however a Muslim? I ran a search within the Congressional File for current flooring speeches by which the phrase Islam or Islamic and the President seem. That is snapshot, in fact, and the variety of constituents who truly pay attention to those speeches is infinitesimal. But when elected Republicans aren’t afraid to query Obama’s spiritual commitments for the everlasting document, consider what they could say to constituents in smaller settings, or the nicely that they’re drawing from once they make remarks in Congressional periods for which they obtain no pushback, and actually obtain encouragement.
Republicans drew from current conservative complaints that Obama refuses to say that Islamic State and different terrorist teams are “Islamic,” that he doesn’t take the specter of terrorism critically, and he’s insufficiently protecting of American exceptionalism.
On February 24, 2015, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) mentioned on the Home flooring that his constituents “shared with me their frustration on the ambiguous language from this administration in describing the evils of radical Islamist terrorism,” and that he himself has “grown weary on the timidity” of Obama, who “continues to be defensive, at finest.” He went on:
At first look, the silence seems to be passive or poor management. However I’m inclined to imagine that the President’s posture is just not one in all weak spot however, relatively, an intentional directive in each rhetoric and motion. It seems that his promise to take our nation in a essentially new route is being performed out in realtime. As an alternative of defending our liberty and our lifestyle, which is probably the most charitable on the earth, our President appears to scoff on the perception that our nation has been uniquely blessed by God.
I might be remiss at this time if I didn’t pause and keep in mind our Egyptian Christian brothers within the current barbaric assaults in Libya. ISIS murdered harmless husbands and fathers who clearly died for his or her religion and their beliefs.
Simply this morning, we hear additional reviews out of Syria that Islamic State militants have kidnapped dozens of Christians, together with girls and kids. Weeks prior, the President chastised the Christian neighborhood for getting on their judgmental excessive horses. But, in describing our martyred brothers from Egypt, the President refused to even utter the phrase, “Christian.”
The undermining of our beliefs has turn out to be a problem with this President.
Opposite to Walker’s assertion, which echoes a declare circulating in conservative circles that Obama didn’t establish the Coptic victims of the Islamic State bloodbath as Christians, finally week’s summit on countering spiritual extremism, Obama famous that that Islamic State’s “slaughter of EgyptianChristians in Libya has shocked the world.” Discover, in Walker’s speech, the juxtaposition of the assertion that Obama “appears to scoff on the perception that our nation has been uniquely blessed by God” (i.e., he’s not a Christian) together with his personal remembrance of the murdered Egyptian Christians “who clearly died for his or her religion and their beliefs.”
Among the flooring statements come from ardent Christian supporters of Israel, who distinction Obama negatively with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a February 5, 2015 flooring speech, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) referred to as Netanyahu “some of the prescient voices that we now have in your entire world to deal with among the topics and among the risks that face the United States of America.” In distinction, Franks claimed, Obama “chooses to pay attention to those mysterious voices of those that didn’t vote in our Nation’s election,” but “has sought to go after and silence” Netanyahu. (He didn’t specify whose “mysterious voices” have been whispering in Obama’s ear.) Franks questioned whether or not Obama is “so naive or, worse, so smug as to imagine that we will have any sort of credible, diplomatic settlement” with Iran.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), in February 2, 2015 flooring remarks, requested, “this administration additionally refuses to say that we’re at battle with radical Islam. There may be a lot sensitivity within the White Home over its statements that one is puzzled to marvel: Why are they delicate about calling terrorists ‘terrorists?’”
Hmm. Gotta marvel, proper?
The following day in a flooring speech, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), after describing atrocities dedicated by terrorists, added, “I suppose in case you are a part of this administration, you shouldn’t think about that to be all that radical as a result of this administration, below their watch, with Commander in Chief Barack Obama, had orders given to take away crosses from the chapels on our army installations.” (Gohmert repeats this declare, regardless of it having been debunked in 2013; the army, based on FactCheck.org, “has a longstanding coverage towards everlasting spiritual symbols being connected to army chapels.”) Within the speech, two days earlier than the Nationwide Prayer Breakfast, Gohmert famous Obama’s upcoming look, including, “I’m significantly appreciative of the President’s espoused religion.” (emphasis mine).
In a January 14, 2015 stemwinder, after laying out a litany of Obama’s alleged sins in failing to recognizing “that radical Islam is a menace to our very existence and lifestyle,” Gohmert delivered a quick lecture on how Christians are alleged to act (and govern):
I’ve Christian mates that say: Sure, however as Christians, we’re supposed to show the opposite cheek. That’s as people. Particular person Christians ought to stay out the beatitudes as Christ gave them. However the authorities has a special position. When you do evil, try to be afraid as a result of the federal government, inside the bounds of Christianity–Romans 13:4–is meant to punish the evil, eradicate the evils, and defend your individuals. I don’t attempt to convert anyone utilizing my place in authorities, however for individuals who misunderstand Christian educating, it’s essential to learn Romans 13.
Romans 13 is about submission to governmental authority, and the actual verse Gohmert cited reads: “For the one in authority is God’s servant in your good. However in the event you do incorrect, be afraid, for rulers don’t bear the sword for no cause. They’re God’s servants, brokers of wrath to deliver punishment on the wrongdoer.” In different phrases, Obama isn’t punishing (purportedly Islamic) wrongdoers; he due to this fact doesn’t perceive what Gohmert believes to be biblical imperatives for governing. Draw your individual conclusions.
In fact Poe, Franks, and Gohmert symbolize the far proper flank of their occasion, however their fellow Republicans don’t dispute them. As Theodoridis theorizes, Scott Walker is a “reasonable” on the spectrum of misrepresenting Obama’s faith as a result of he merely mentioned he didn’t know whether or not Obama is a Christian. However you can argue that Poe, Franks, and Gohmert by no means explicitly mentioned Obama is a Muslim. But based on Theodoridis’ analysis, a majority of Republicans assume he’s.