Last March I did a short post, “Obama is an atheist,” suggesting that perhaps our President was a nonbeliever, and just took on the trappings of a religious person for political reasons. I took a lot of flak for that, but I stand by my claim. Of course, there’s no way to adjudicate the issue—how can you look into his heart? And Obama’s nauseatingly conciliatory remarks about faith and prayer at a February 4 White House prayer breakfast will prove to some that he’s at least a theist.
We all share a recognition—one as old as time—that a willingness to believe–an openness, to grace, a commitment to prayer, can bring sustenance to our lives.
Ann Althouse notes (and don’t discount her opinion just because she’s a semi-conservative):
My source is “Dreams from My Father,” chapter 14. 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.
Face it: none of us really knows what the man believes. Consider this, though: what if he really was an atheist, as his earlier history suggests, but also had a burning desire to be President? What would he do? Pretend that he was religious, of course! Nobody who refuses to pander to the faithful could ever be elected President in this era. This fact immediately makes all the evidence for Obama’s “faith” suspect, like Michael Corleone assuring a Congressional committee that he’s just a simple importer of olive oil.
But unless Obama’s undergone a radical White House conversion to Jebus, I still think the evidence points to godlessness. Would that make him a liar and a hypocrite on this point? Of course.