Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

obama.jpgIn the face of false rumors that he’s Muslim—two volunteers for Hillary Clinton were recently forced to step down for forwarding emails connecting him to the threat of Islamic jihad—Barack Obama has gone further than his Democrat rivals in trying to forge a Christian identity. The Associated Press reports that Obama continued his Christianizing campaign yesterday, addressing a United Church of Christ church in Mason City, Iowa:

Obama did not address the rumors, but described how he joined Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago two decades ago while working as a community organizer.
“What I found during the course of this work was, one, that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they come together and find common ground,” he told the congregation. “The other thing I discovered was that values of honesty, hard work, empathy, compassion were values that were spoken about in church …. I realized that Scripture and the words of God fit into the values I was raised in.”
Obama is known to invoke religious references in his speeches and has said he has a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ. He often has said that religion has a place in public life and that faith and politics are not exclusively the domain of conservatives.
“During this holiday season and during this political season I’m continually reminded that the values that I learned at Trinity and as part of the UCC community are values that can’t just stay in church but have to be applied outside of church,” he said.
Obama staffers and volunteers say they periodically encounter voters who say they cannot support Obama because he is Muslim, a claim that has been making its way through Internet sites and blogs since he announced his candidacy for president. Aides say he regularly attends church on Sundays, even while on the road, but without the news media watching

With the baggage of his middle name—Hussein—and a childhood spent partly in Indonesia with a Muslim stepfather, God-o-Meter expects the Illinois senator to step up the sermonizing during Christmas. His campaign is already distributing leaflets in South Carolina calling Obama a “Committed Christian” in boldface and all-caps. (Is that all that different than Huckabee’s Christian Leader ad in Iowa, by the way?) For its part, God-o-Meter wonders how anyone in the early primary states could mistake Obama for a Muslim after all his church-talk on the campaign trail. Remember his “40 Days of Faith and Family Tour?”


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