Obama's Religious Ruse: His 'Conversion'

Part 2 of 3; read part 1 here.

During his presidential campaign, Obama the skeptic has touted his Christian identity as defining who he is. After Christians continued to question his faith's authenticity and evidence of his Muslim background had come to light, the champion of change changed his conversion account and his pandering became uncharacteristically evangelical.

One example -- the ruse at the café in December 2007 -- has already been noted in Part 1. His mouthing of evangelical slogans is no more credible now than when he told voters that he has "always been a Christian" because his atheist or agnostic mother "was a Christian," "somebody who believes in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior."[1]

A month later, in a questionnaire format that Christianity Today posted online as an "interview," he was asked to describe the nature of his momentous altar-call experience twenty years ago at Trinity UCC. Once again Obama said what he wants Christian voters to project, but this time he affirmed Christ's resurrection and the hope of eternal life: "I am a Christian. 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." He declared: "I have been a member of the same church for almost twenty years, and I have never practiced Islam."

Apparently the Christianity Today editors challenged none of this, as Obama concluded his answer: "You guys really help by getting the story straight."[2]

"The story" impressed by this answer is that in 1987-88 he became a believer in the crucified and risen Christ and has embraced the resurrection faith and the hope of eternal life from then to this day. A real interview would include follow-up questions such as:

  • At what point after the stark skepticism disclosed in a 2004 interview and your 2006 book did you actually come to believe in Christ's resurrection and an afterlife, and why? Are you still uncertain that God existed before your unquestioned Big Bang?
  • If now you really believe Jesus is risen, does this mean you now believe he is Lord of all, or are other religions still equally valid means to your experience of collective human consciousness?
  • What is the theological core of your church of twenty years, and what is the role of Black Power in its definition of God's love?
  • You deny that you ever practiced Islam; do you also deny that Muhammed is God's prophet?
In late March 2008, two weeks after video broadcasts of his mentor's preaching became a liability to his campaign, Obama told voters in a North Carolina townhall: "I'm a Christian and what that means for me is that I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and that his grace and his mercy and his power -- [that] through him that I can achieve everlasting life." "My mother was not a believer in the way I was," but "I'm sure that she's in heaven even though she may not have subscribed to everything I subscribed to."[3]

Senator Obama: Muslims may "subscribe to" Islam, but Christians don't "subscribe to" the reality of Christ's resurrection. That God raised Jesus from the dead is definitive of what we believe with our minds and hearts, not a doctrinal tenet.

In December 2007 he claimed his mother was a Christian; three months later she was not, and now he's certain of an afterlife, having "subscribed to" that notion of which he remained skeptical for two decades since the altar call. In this same response, to divert attention from his pastor's racist ideology Obama cited that Trinity belongs to a "99% white denomination" and "they're praising Jesus." As of this date he was still defending Jeremiah Wright, still masking Wright's core beliefs, still concealing that Trinity's Black Power teaches another Jesus and another gospel alien to what Christians have believed for 2000 years.

Just two weeks later in April, the self-described "devout Christian" expressed privately to San Francisco millionaires his derision of Christians who "cling to religion."[4]

He plays to his audience. His answer to that questionnaire in January created the impression that for twenty years he has believed in the crucified and risen Christ as Christians do. That revision is more explicit in a Newsweek article of July 2008. Originally accounts of his altar-call response were more consistent with his ongoing skepticism about the core of the Christian faith. The recent account is quite different, lacking any skepticism, and even lyrical:

At the point of his decision to accept Christ, Obama says, "what was intellectual and what was emotional joined, and the belief in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, that he died for our sins, that through him we could achieve eternal life ...I found that powerful."[5]

Whereas Obama originally boasted of his skepticism, in the July interview this skepticism has been transformed and minimized to circumstantial "doubts." Asked by Newsweek, "What is the role of doubt in faith?" he replied:

I wrote about this in Audacity of Hope, that even after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, that doesn't mean that I don't have doubts. I had doubts when my mother died. I have doubts every time I pick up the newspaper. [6]

He doubts his "deep" Christian faith every time he reads the newspaper? But Christians are not troubled about his having circumstantial doubts, which all may experience at times of personal hardship. The issue is Obama's ongoing deceit, concealing his previously touted skepticism of what Christians believe about Jesus. In Audacity of Hope (2006) he defines himself as "Christian and skeptic,"[7] and his skepticism at that late date is starkly evident in both his account of his mother's death and his inability to answer his daughter's question of an afterlife with even a hint about God's care.[8] No one who believes in the reality of Christ's resurrection is skeptical of an afterlife.

Another change concerns his attendance at Trinity for twenty years. Before he decided Wright was wrong for his campaign, he had emphasized his strong connection with the church that he attended regularly. But in July 2008 he told Newsweek that "[he] didn't hear a lot of sermons at Trinity," that at the beginning he attended "fairly frequently," much less when his children were born, then "probably twice a month" as they grew older. But "there was quite a big chunk of time, especially during the [2004] Senate race where we might not have gone to Trinity for two, three months at a time" because the venue of other churches' services was "one of the most effective ways for us to campaign." In Falsani's 2004 interview -- just after he had won his party's nomination -- Obama said he attends Trinity "every week. 11 o'clock service. Ever been there? Good service."[9]

At issue is not his church attendance, but his pattern of deceit.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches against making a public show of praying, as pretenders do to be seen as pious; instead, pray privately and God who sees in secret will reward you.[10] But when Obama made his pre-election victory tour to the Holy Land in July, at Jerusalem he made a political display of his "piety." The Obama campaign desecrated the Western Wall -- Judaism's most sacred site -- with an entourage of supporters displaying his banner and signs.[11] Mimicking the practice of devout Jews, Obama placed in a crack of the wall a slip of paper containing a humble prayer he had hand-written; on stationary of the King David Hotel the messianic candidate had asked God to make him an instrument of his will.[12] We know the prayer's "private" contents because it was a campaign prop, and its discovery was staged for public consumption.

The initial report was that a Jewish seminary student stole the prayer from the wall and gave it to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, which then published a closeup of the note next to a photo of the candidate placing it in the wall. In the blogosphere Leftists collectively tore their garments asunder, appalled by the sacrilege committed against Barack Obama, a man of "social justice" who is also "a devout Christian." His humble act of prayer had been violated; his piety, a victim of shameless media exploitation. Is nothing sacred?

The offense of publishing the note was potentially criminal, and sources from the newspaper Maariv confessed that before the messianic candidate went to the wall the Obama campaign had already given the newspaper a copy of his "secret prayer." Israel's most popular daily, Yediot Ahoronot, likewise received a copy of the prayer but chose not to publish it.[13] The prayer was "stolen" by an Obama supporter[14] (videotaped with his entourage) as a ploy for making its contents public, with Barry the pious victim. Maariv has since rescinded its original claim that it received a copy directly from the campaign, and both papers turned silent on the matter. Under pressure? Given Obama's pattern of deception, the most plausible scenario is that the campaign stunt was to impress voters of his piety - another of Obama's many ruses.[15] Verily, the pretender has received his reward.

More recently, at the Saddleback Church forum in August 2008 he claimed that Christianity "means I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that I am redeemed through him."[16] Could it be that since his scorn for Christians in April, and after July's revised conversion story and the Jerusalem stunt, he has at last had a genuine conversion? If so, let's hear Obama explain the profound difference it makes for him to now believe that the risen Jesus is Lord over all peoples and cultures. Let's hear him admit in repentance his sham piety, his concealment and support of a Black Power cult exploiting Christ's name, and his campaign's messianic charade. There would be joy in heaven and in churches across America over Barack Obama's repentance.

Don't hold your breath waiting. At that forum he defended his support for infanticide and flippantly remarked that it is "above my pay grade" to know when a baby acquires the rights of a human person.

To isolate these later "evangelical" statements as genuine requires that we ignore all else that Obama has said, forget about his twenty-year commitment to Trinity UCC, and close our eyes to his messianic pretence.

Barack Obama is no more a Christian than is his longtime ally, the terrorist Bill Ayers.

Some Obamunists will argue that it is unchristian to question whether his faith is genuine, or object that one's faith is not a constitutional requirement for becoming President of the United States. These objections are specious. Of course one need not be a Christian either to qualify for the presidency or to be a good president. Some of America's Founders were Christians, others were Deists who believed that the creator is not active in human affairs. But anyone who would mislead America about his faith, identity, or ideology is not fit to be entrusted with the presidency or any other office. For such a person, community organizer would be a better job match.

As for the validity of judging Obama's claim to be of the Christian faith: evaluating persons of influence is a Christian and biblical duty. At the end of his Sermon on the Mount Jesus warns to beware of false prophets who are wolves disguised as sheep and who exploit his name to deceive, and Jesus admonishes to identify them by distinguishing between good and evil:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.... So by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.[17]

That is a mandate from Christ himself to assess Obama's history and alliances and mentors and his claim to be a Christian -- a claim that the stealth candidate himself made prominent, to cloak his identity and agenda. Likewise Jesus' discourse at the Mount of Olives warns of not only false prophets but false messiahs who will seek to lead Christians astray:

If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Messiah! Look, there he is!" do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders in order to mislead, if that were possible, the elect. Be watchful! I have told it all to you beforehand.[18]

[1] Aswini Anburajan, "Obama Asked About Connection to Islam," MSNBC First Read, December 22, 2007.

[2] Interview by Sarah Pulliam, online editor, and Ted Olsen, news director and online managing editor, "Q&A: Barack Obama. ‘I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,'" Christianity Today, posted January 23, 2008, italics supplied.

[3] Remarks March 26, 2008 at a town hall in Greensboro, North Carolina, reported by USA Today, italics supplied.

[4] "Transcript of Obama's Remarks at San Francisco Fundraiser Sunday," Time, April 11, 2008.

[5] Lisa Miller and Richard Wolffe, "Finding His Faith," Newsweek, July 12, 2008.

[6] Lisa Miller and Richard Wolffe, "‘I Am a Big Believer in Not Just Words, But Deeds and Works,'" Newsweek, July 12, 2008.

[7] The Audacity of Hope. Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006), p. 9.

[8] Ibid, pp. 225-226.

[9] Cathleen Falsani transcript of March 27, 2004 interview.

[10] Matthew 6:5-6.

[11] Aaron Klein, "Obama Camp Plasters Posters at Western Wall, Advertises Democrat Candidate's Website, Official Slogan at Judaism's Holiest Site," WorldNetDaily, July 24, 2008.

[12] The full text of the note: "Lord - Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will" ("Paper, Rapped for Outing Obama Note, Claims Campaign Pre-Approved Leak," Israel Insider, July 28, 2008).

[13] "Another Israeli paper, Yediot Aharonot, published an article Friday saying it had also obtained the note but decided not to publish it, to respect Obama's privacy" (Aron Heller, ‘Ma'ariv Blasted for Printing Obama's Note in Kotel," Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2008); "Attorney: Probe Israeli Paper for Printing Obama Note," Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2008.

[14] Videotape shows the seminary student was part of the Obama campaign's entourage at the Wall. He confessed: "I'm sorry. It was a kind of prank. I hope he wasn't hurt. We all believe he will take the presidency" ("Yeshiva Student Returns Obama's Kotel Note," Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2008, italics supplied).

[15] Helen Cadogan, "Obama's Prayer - The Intended Audience (updated)," The American Thinker, July 31, 2008.

[16] "Transcript of Obama, McCain at Saddleback Civil Forum with Pastor Rick Warren" (August 16, 2008), Chicago Sun-Times, August 18, 2008.

[17] Matthew 7:15-21.

[18] Mark 13:21-22.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com