City of Brass

City of Brass


Christians do takfir on Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Takfir is what excommunication is called in Islam – the process of declaring someone to be outside the faith. This is a pernicious concept because it is usually used by self-appointed guardians of the faith to try and impose their own strict interpretations on others. In many ways, it’s as much a political act as a religious one. This is why I find it interesting to see that President-elect Obama is now being declared insufficiently Christian, because he does not subscribe to the belief that those who do not accept the Christian faith are automatically damned to hellfire for eternity (including his own mother):

Obama: …There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people
haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re
going to hell.
FALSANI: You don’t believe that?

OBAMA: I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in
India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for
all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.

It’s an interesting twist that a man might be called un-Christian for being too compassionate and loving, and for believing that God is not merciful, but there you go. Islam has its own fair share of such rigidity – people who believe that even the slightest deviation from doctrine results in immediate damnation. That, despite the prayer that every muslim utters ten times a day: Bismillah a-Rahman al-Rahim, “In the name of God, most Benevolent, Most Merciful.” Perhaps Christians and muslims alike who are so ready to engage in takfir should consider how their own message and actions contradict the word of God, and ponder what that means for their own salvation.

Related – Steven Waldman makes the inconvenient observation that the  majority of the world’s Christians would also be excommunicated by the standard being applied to Obama. Also, Rod Dreher follows up by pointing out that Obama did not strongly affirm the divinity of Christ, which is firmer ground for arguing his embrace of Christianity is lacking, but Obama did not deny that divinity either, and so it’s premature to infer such things from his words.



  • http://Truth Sherrill Carlin

    THE TRUTH IS THAT OBAMA IS UNAMERICAN, MUSLIM LOVING AND SHOULD BE IMPEACHED BECAUSE HE IS NOT A NATURAL BORN AMERICAN, HE WAS BORN IN KENYA BECAUSE HIS MOTHER WAS IN THE LAST STAGES OF PREGANTCY AND COULDN’T FLY BACK TO HAWAII, EVEN HIS GRANDMOTHER SAID THAT SHE WAS THERE IN KENYA WHEN OBAMA WAS BORN, HIS HALF SISTER AND BROTHER SAID THE SAME THING…INPEACH HIM.//////

  • Pam34

    As a rebuttal to Ms Carlin above – you are wrong.
    And even if you weren’t wrong, that would be irrelevant. Barack Obama’s mother was an American citizen, no matter WHERE she might have been at the time of his birth -
    which was in Hawaii, our fiftieth state.

  • Your Name

    Thank you for providing an Islamic voice on these issues. For some of us with limited exposure to Islam, you are helping us begin to ask the right questions. There’s an injunction in the Christian New Testament against speculating who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, the reason being, and this is in terms of the Christian Bible, of course, to raise these questions is to draw attention away from Christ. How sad it is that so many Christians hate Obama more than they love their G-d.

  • Your Name

    For moderate Christians only: Lets order martinis and sit at the campfire drinking a few and loving God. We will send all of the Islamofascists and Christianofascists and allotherfascists to the field of battle, wait for them to kill each other and then inherit the Earth as we have been promised.__Judge not lest ye be not judged__Those who are without sin shall be the first to cast the stone__Blessed are the Peacemakers, they shall be called children of God__Love your enemies__Love one another as you have loved me__Faith without works is nothing__Thou shalt not kill____Hmmm…all of the religious radical nut cases from all religions are definitely NOT speaking for the God of Abraham, who is loved by Jews, Christians and Muslims….since God is a trinity…if you love one, the other 2 come automatically with the Trinity, whether one believes that or not. Love the Lord thy God with all of your heart and mind. Thus, whenever you say I love God, seek to do his will, ask for forgiveness when you fall short, and have works to demonstrate the Love…well…that is enough. Jesus used to drive the Theologians nuts, so those Pharisees screamed to Pontius Pilate..”Kill him” __Remember Sarah Palin and the McCain Campaign exhortation that Obama was nothing but a worthless community organizer….well Ms Palin:__Jesus was a Community Organizer, Pontius Pilate was a Governor.____We do need to Pray for Obama to Change his radical position on Abortion, keeping in mind that Cindy McCain said “There are more important things going on, when asked for her position. Cindy, both Mrs. Bushes and Mrs Geral Ford are all prochoice. The Republicans say they will end abortion, the last 5 Republican Presidents have not, they just pander to the right during the campaign then tuck it away till next time and religious people eat it up.

  • http://www.rca.org/islam jhubers

    Brilliant observation, Aziz. The good news, despite the sentiments of the first commentator is that the attitude represented by your observation was soundly rejected in this election. It is at least partly because of the incongruity many Christians have noted between the hard core position of those among us who think Rush Limbaugh actually has something valid to say and the good news which Jesus delivers as God’s Word. Obama in this case is much closer to what most American Christians understand to be the Christian message. Tolerance is a virtue to most. And we can look to Jesus for guidance here: “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

  • Nehemiah

    I learn a lot just reading your blogs; and our Islamic Brother(I am a Christian)
    is a learned man. Keep this forum open and healthy. When I learn more, I shall
    be delighted and honoured to contribute. In the meantime, I remain, unworthy to
    make any statements.
    I do however believe President Elect Obama has a sufficient amount of personal
    faith which drives him to be the man he is. I hope he is sincere.

  • Liberty Now

    Sherrill Carlin
    November 17, 2008 9:39 PM
    http://Truth
    THE TRUTH IS THAT OBAMA IS UNAMERICAN, MUSLIM LOVING AND SHOULD BE IMPEACHED BECAUSE HE IS NOT A NATURAL BORN AMERICAN, HE WAS BORN IN KENYA BECAUSE HIS MOTHER WAS IN THE LAST STAGES OF PREGANTCY AND COULDN’T FLY BACK TO HAWAII, EVEN HIS GRANDMOTHER SAID THAT SHE WAS THERE IN KENYA WHEN OBAMA WAS BORN, HIS HALF SISTER AND BROTHER SAID THE SAME THING…INPEACH HIM.//////
    —————————————
    First of all Obama was proven as USA born, and a certifate of place of birth was issued. No question about except what is in foggy brain.MCCain was not born in USA, but he ran for president, and I didn’t hear you making any objection? The only thing I see you only a racist ignorant? So, die of your madness. Obama won land slide with the vote of the true Americans.
    Second, suppose Obama is a Muslim? is that shame to be Muslim. True Muslims are more honest to deliver their promises in a complete package than whoever pretents he is Christian, let us take Bush as example?

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