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Christian Anti-Defamation Commission Challenges Obama Christianity Claims

Christian Group Reviews Obama History, Writings, and Interviews to Expose Presidential Candidate's Disingenuous Religious Proclamations

Contact: Sharaya Cass, The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC), 760-630-2232

MEDIA ADVISORY, October 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, has repeatedly claimed to be a Christian, but there is more evidence disputing that declaration than affirming it according to Dr. Gary Cass, Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

Dr. Cass observes, "From his speeches and his writings, even his personal history--despite protestations to the contrary--it appears that Obama's 'Christianity' is carefully constructed to appease traditional American voters." 

Americans expect their leaders to embody Judeo-Christian ideals and beliefs, so it is important for Obama to be perceived as a practicing Christian.  Every one of the forty-three United States presidents, regardless of political party, has mentioned God in his inaugural address.  George Washington, the hero of the American Revolution, the first president of the United States, and often referred to as the 'Father of Our Country' stated: "It is impossible to properly govern without God and the Bible."

Dr. Cass summarizes: "Here's a man, Obama, who desperately needs to convince half the voters in the United States that he believes in something that he doesn't truly understand...even two decades after his alleged conversion to Christianity."

Unfortunately for Obama, it is not his political opponents who expose this fiction, it is his own words, as well as those of his friends and family.

Obama's Muslim Roots

Dr. Cass explains, "The most glaring misstatement of fact in the packaging of Obama for the presidency is assertion that--in his words--he is rooted in Christian tradition.  The claim is unsubstantiated.  His mother was, at best, an agnostic.  His biological father was a Muslim.  His stepfather was from a devout Muslim family.  Throughout his formative years, Obama lived in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim society where--according to a passage in his first memoir, Dreams from My Father--he studied the Koran.  He lived his teen years with his maternal grandparents who, by his own description, were Universalists, not Christians."

In a 2007 New York Times interview, entitled Obama, A man of the World, Obama fondly recalled the Islamic evening call to prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."  According to the article, "Obama went on to recite its opening lines with a perfect Arabic accent: "Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah! I witness that there is no god but Allah! I witness that Muhammad is his prophet!"

"A devoted follower of Jesus Christ would never say 'Allah is supreme and there is no god but Allah,'" argues Dr. Cass.  "Sitting in a pew from time to time doesn't make someone a Christian.  If anything, Obama is rooted in Islamic tradition."

Obama On "My Muslim Faith"

On September 5th, 2008, in an ABC television network on-air conversation with former Clinton advisor turned political pundit, George Stephanopoulos, Obama uttered the line, "You're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith."  Stephanopoulos quickly saved Obama from political disaster by reminding him that he meant to say his "Christian" faith.

"I have never met a Christian, especially one who claims to have been a Christian for twenty years, mistakenly confuse Islam with Christianity when referring to his or her personal faith," notes Dr. Cass.  "Perhaps this was Obama's only candid public comment on his belief system since people started keeping track of the things he has said."

Libyan Strongman Identifies Obama as Muslim

On June 11th, 2008, Libyan leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi was videotaped and broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV at a gathering as he referred to: "A black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim who studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.  His name is Obama.  All of the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man.  They welcomed him and prayed for him and his success and they have been involved in a legitimate contribution campaign to win the American presidency."

Dr. Cass observes, "Clearly one of the world's most vocal anti-American Arab leaders is convinced that Obama is a Muslim and is cheering the possibility of having a brother Muslim named the leader of the free world.  Just as troubling is the candid admission that Muslims in Arab countries and in Africa are making financial contributions to the Obama campaign.  It is against U.S. election laws for foreign nationals to give money to any candidate for federal office, but that is apparently not a deterrent to Obama or to Qadhafi."

Marketing Obama In America

At a time when the United States is at war with Islamic fundamentalists, it has been vital that the candidate obliterate any connection to his Muslim roots.  For the American public to buy the Obama brand, it was pivotal that the candidate convince voters that he was a bona fide Christian.

As Dr. Cass observes, "Once he decided to run for president, Obama and his surrogates started attacking anyone who questioned his Christianity.  So, for an accurate insight into his duplicity, we need to look at an interview he gave to Chicago Sun-Times religion columnist, Cathleen Falsani, on March 24th, 2004, a few days after he was nominated to run for the U.S. Sentate from the state of Illinois and three years before he was considered a presidential candidate."

During the exhaustive interview with Falsani, Obama showed himself to be profoundly uninformed about the basic tenets of the Christian faith.  Falsani, who currently also writes a blog for the pro-Obama website, The Huffington Post, authored the book, The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, a collection of spiritual profiles.  (Published in 2006 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.)

Obama's Statement of "Faith"

To Falsani's question, "What do you believe?" Obama answered:  "I am a Christian.  So, I have a deep faith.  So I draw from the Christian faith."  Then he qualifies that statement by saying, "On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences.  I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10.  My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim.  And I'd say, probably, intellectually I've drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith." 

Obama continued to distance himself from the teachings of Jesus when he finished his answer saying, "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." 

"Nowhere in the Bible is there a reference to Obama's many paths," explains Dr. Cass.  "Nor is there any biblical basis for his astoundingly erroneous assertion in the Falsani interview that, 'All people of faith--Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone knows the same God'." 

Obama's Alleged Christian Foundation Part One:  His Mother

In his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote derisively, "My mother's confidence in needlepoint virtues depended on a faith I didn't possess."  He continued, "She was a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism." 

In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope Obama wrote, "I was not raised in a religious household."  He explained, "My mother's own experiences only reinforced this inherited skepticism.  Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones."

Yet a year later, in 2007, shortly after Obama declared his intention to run for president, he described his mother as "a Christian from Kansas."  He went on to explain that, "I was raised by my mother, so, I've always been a Christian." 

That statement is even further suspect when compared to his half sister's description of their mother that same year in the July 16, 2007 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.  When asked whether her mother (and Obama's) was an atheist, Maya Soetoro-Ng answered, "I wouldn't have called her an atheist.  She was an agnostic.  She basically gave us all the good books--the Bible, the Hindu Upanishads and the Buddhist scripture, the Tao Te Ching--and wanted us to recognize that everyone has something beautiful to contribute."

Since Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, married two Muslim men, it would be perfectly reasonable assume that her library also contained a copy of the Koran among "all the good books."

Obama's Alleged Christian Foundation Part Two:  His Grandparents

In the 2004 Falsani interview, Obama was asked, "Have you always been a Christian?"  Obama replied with the historically inaccurate assertion that, "I was raised more by my mother and my mother was Christian."

That statement was in direct contradiction to a 2007 speech when Obama claimed, "My mother, whose parents were nonpracticing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew.  But she had a healthy skepticism of religion as an institution."  Accepting the "my mother was Christian" statement at face value, Falsani next tried to narrow down Obama's denominational influence by asking, "Any particular flavor?"

Without answering the question about his mother, the senatorial candidate replied that his Kansas grandmother was Methodist and his grandfather was Baptist.  "This was at a time when I think the Methodists felt slightly superior to the Baptists," he expanded.  "And by the time I was born, they were, I think, my grandparents had joined a Universalist church."

"Universalists aren't Christians," Dr. Cass counters.  According to its own website (www.uua.org),  "Unitarian Universalism (today's version of the Universalist church which merged with the Unitarian church in 1961, the year Obama was born) is a liberal religion with Jewish-Christian roots.  It has no creed.  It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, open, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion."

As Dr. Cass explains, "Although Unitarian Universalists tend to retain some Christian traditions from their Protestant history, they do not necessarily identify themselves as Christians, nor do they necessarily subscribe to Christian beliefs.  Visit the Unitarian Universalist website.  The name 'Jesus Christ' isn't used a single time.  This is clearly a case of misrepresentation by Obama of his past."

Obama on Prayer

In the course of the interview, Falsani questioned Obama about his prayer life.  To which the candidate responded, "Uh, yeah, I guess I do. It's not formal, me getting on my knees.  I think I have an ongoing conversation with God.  I think throughout the day, I'm constantly asking myself questions about what I'm doing, why am I doing it." 

Few mature Christians confuse self introspection with praying to God as Obama suggests.

Obama on Heaven

When Falsani followed up the prayer question by asking Obama if he believed in heaven, the candidate needed clarification.  "Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?" he asked.

"A place spiritually you go to after you die?" the reporter clarified.

Obama demonstrated a clear ignorance of the Bible's teaching on the subject of the afterlife.  He answered, "What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing."

Obama on Sin

The next question from Falsani was, "Do you believe in sin?"  To which Obama replied, "Yes."

Since the answer provided little insight, Falsani asked him to define sin.  "Being out of alignment with my values," the Harvard educated former law professor answered.

Noting that Obama's response was inconsistent with the Christian definition of sin, Falsani queried, "What happens if you have sin in your life?"

"I think it's the same thing as the question about heaven," Obama responded.  "In the same way that if I'm true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I'm not true to it, it's its own punishment."

"Again," Dr. Cass points out, "Obama demonstrates a total disregard to the teachings of the Bible."

Obama on Jesus

Perhaps the most telling exchange from Falsani's interview of Obama was the simple inquiry:  "Who is Jesus to you?"

To Barack Obama, "Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.  And he's also a wonderful teacher.  I think it's important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history."

The question about Jesus was the final proof Dr. Cass needed to determine the paucity of Obama's Christian insight.  "I'm more than a little skeptical of an avowed twenty year Christian who is so blatantly uninformed about the Bible and its teachings.  How many of the two billion Christians in the world when asked 'Who is Jesus?' would get the answer wrong?  How many couldn't define sin as explained rather succinctly in the Bible?  How many have no idea what heaven has promised in Holy Scripture?  This guy is checking the box 'Christian' on an application form without any idea what he's talking about.  Unfortunately, the application he's filling out is to be the president of the United States."

Obama's Political Christianity

Contrary to all available evidence, while ignoring two thousand years of Christian tradition, Obama has the audacity to hope that people will accept him as a Christian simply because he says so.  Obama's statement: "I believe that there are many paths to the same place" defines him as a non-Christian.  Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Dr. Cass concludes with the observation that, "Judging the intent and the degree of Mr. Obama's deception is above my pay grade.  My greatest concern is that Christianity is being hijacked by a prominent individual purely for personal, political, and financial gain.  There are two billion Christians in the world.  Every one of them should be insulted that their Savior is being used as a hollow campaign promise."

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education corporation whose purpose is to work constructively to advance a robust religious liberty in public opinion and policy so that Christians everywhere might fulfill their biblical duties to God and neighbor.  The commission is dedicated to responding to attacks by any individual person or groups of persons, institutions, or nations that defame and/or discriminate against Christ, Christianity, the Holy Bible, Christian churches and institutions, Christian individuals, and Christian leaders. 

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About the Christian Anti-defamation Commission

In October of 1999, former General William Hollis, J.D., Ph.D., incorporated the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.  General Hollis is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, Ranger, paratrooper and decorated Korean War veteran.  After leaving the Pentagon, he served as Vice President and General Legal Council for one of the world's leading medical instrument and implant companies.  Dr. Hollis also served as the Dean of the School of Business Administration at California Polytechnic Institute in Pomona, California. He is the author of over twenty articles and two books, including The Character of Christ. 

In the summer of 2007, after serving three years as the executive director of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries, founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, Reverend Gary Cass, M.A., D.Min., was named Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

About Dr. Gary Cass

Dr. Cass has been a pastor, missionary, as well as an elected official for over twenty years, speaking out and acting on behalf of the Christian faith and Christian values.  Dr. Cass began in ministry preaching the Christian message behind the Iron Curtain and working with the persecuted church in the Soviet Union.  For twenty years Gary served as a pastor in the San Diego area and is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America with graduate and post graduate degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary in California.  While serving as a pastor, Dr. Cass was recognized for his leadership in the pro-life movement and for helping other Christians get elected for political office.  A former executive committee Member of a major San Diego County political party, Dr. Cass also held a non-partisan elected office.  In 2004, Dr. Cass became the Executive Director of The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy.  Dr. Cass is the author of Gag Order and co-author of The Bible and the Black Board.  He has appeared in national and regional TV, radio and print media including ABC News and The Washington Post.

About Contacting Christian Anti-Defamation Commission

Call toll free: (866) 508-CADC (2232) or email [email protected].  Or visit the website, www.christianadc.org.