Wednesday, March 26

Either or Neither

While American media pundits have wondered aloud in recent weeks if Barak Obama, his pastor, and his church have an unorthodox view of Christianity, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes continues to wonder if Obama might have a similarly unorthodox view of Islam. In a controversial article last December, he presented evidence that Obama had actually been raised as a Muslim (despite fierce denials by the Obama campaign, the national media corps, and a host of "experts" on the subject). In a follow-up article in January Pipes confirmed the information--and then added a raft of new evidence. Now, the Indonesian Press has picked up on the story and tracked down the students and teachers who knew young Obama in the days when he was a youngster in a practicing Muslim household. All this has gone far, far beyond the category of "urban myth," "political mudslinging," or "campaign gossip." So which is it? Is Obama an apostate Christian or an apostate Muslim? Or is he neither?

13 comments:

Eric Sidler said...

I'm not sure how you can make the argument that Obama is an apostate Christian, given the fact that he has been a member of the same Christian church for at least 15 years. And, if Obama could conceivably be viewed as a murtadd by being baptised into a Christian church after having grown up in a generally secular household in a nation in which Islam is the official religion, I'm not sure how his being President would inspire any more anti-American vitriol on that part of Islamic terrorists than a continuation of Bush-era foreign policy.

George Grant said...

Eric: The argument that Obama is an apostate Christian is most assuredly not mine--though his stance on abortion and euthanasia alone might warrant heresy charges. Nor is it my assumption that it is logical for him to be considered a Murtadd Muslim. My point was only that both arguments ARE being made and will likely continue to be made. Having "achieved" Shahada, now a fairly certain fact, makes Obama vulnerable to the latter if not the former.

Josh said...

I don't know that much about Obama's personal faith, but from what I've learned about his church and Rev. Wright, his theology is a little divergent from mainstream evangelicalism, but not so divergent as to make it apostate or heretical.

Now, the abortion issue should be a make-or-break issue for any Christian, but how many "pro-choice" Christians are blind to the truth? The entire government educational system as well as popular culture has for years been indoctrinating people with the idea that an unborn child is just "tissue." A large number of Americans are ignorant on the issue, and a large number of Christians seem to be apathetic about it.

Bret L. McAtee said...

Or is he both?

Actually, I think he practices the religion of Black Nationalism, which both Christianity and Islam can be made to conform to.

Bret

Josh said...

Actually, I think he practices the religion of Black Nationalism, which both Christianity and Islam can be made to conform to.

It might be more Afrocentric than Black Nationalism, but then how much do we really know about Obama's relationship with God?

Bret L. McAtee said...

"though his stance on abortion and euthanasia alone might warrant heresy charges."

Obama's stated beliefs display that he serves a god other then the God of the Bible.

David said...

To those who are following him, they seen to have their own religion of Obamaism.

As far as Senator Obama, who knows?
As C.S. Lewis put it correctly in the Last Battle-there is no such thing as "Tashlan" He cannot mix true God and a false God and say they are the same.

Robert said...

Dr. Grant, I have looked through the follow-up Daniel Pipes article linked from your post, and I must say I find it thin indeed. I don't think this kind of journalism is worthy of the dignity that you have provided it, and am disappointed that you chose to make this post. And your response to the first comment, that the arguments being made are most assuredly not yours, and that your point is simply that such arguments ARE being made, just makes me want to cry. Come on, Dr. Grant, I look for much better than this from you. There are certainly plenty of solid criticisms of all 3 leading candidates to occupy us. Please, help us bring a Christian world view to bear on interpreting our times, help us to see how the lessons of history apply, and leave this foolish drivel to others.

- Rob

George Grant said...

Rob: Pipes is one of the most respected Middle East scholars currently working. You're entitled to assert your opinion--but to belittle that of others is a bit much. The fact that these issues are being discussed by serious thinkers and analysts is hardly "foolish drivel." Murtadd is very serious business indeed.

bpr said...

I do think it interesting that life takes many different forms depending on denomination.

The conservative crowd emphasizes that of the unborn child. Why are we killing those who have no way to defend themselves?

The liberal crowd emphasizes that of killing human beings in other countries. Why do we kill those who have different religious views, even if that view is to harm us?

Take an average and you might get this question:
Why are people, especially Christians, even discussing killing as an option?

George Grant said...

BPR: Interesting argument theoretically--though there is a vast difference between the horrors of a militarized war involving armed combatants and the horrors of an ideological war on innocent children in their mothers' wombs or of a war of terror on noncombatants.

bpr said...

I agree that there is quite a difference.

Although I'm fairly certain you would agree that historically the combatants of militarized war are often naive people, even children, who have little if any knowledge about what they do. Instead they blindly follow government and religion.

Both are tragic situations.

Robert said...

Well Dr. Grant it's long overdue but I certainly owe you a public apology. I obviously got carried away, especially in the last line of my earlier post ("drivel"); please forgive me. And now this week the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/opinion/12luttwak.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) and WSJ (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121094989664298777.html?mod=Best+of+the+Web+Today) are covering the same story! So the egg's on my face, but good. Thank you for your service to the body of Christ. Still a regular reader,

Rob