August 19th, 2010
02:26 PM ET
4 years ago

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

 The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.
The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (CNN) - The White House is responding to new polls Thursday that show an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

Psaki added that "the President's strong Christian faith is what guides him through the challenges – a recovering economy, bringing troops home from Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in place - but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve."

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year.

While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the president's religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown, including among Obama's political base. For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian according to the Pew poll.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Religion
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. MikeH

    This issue illustrates a variety of problems.

    First and foremost, it is demeaning to Obama and the Presidency for there even to be a defense of Obama's choice of faith. It's Obama's, and nobody's elses buisiness.

    The First Amendment is the FIRST Amendment for a reason. Christianity is drenched in blood, they've slaughtered each other and other faiths over the ages, and it was AMERICA and FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION that began the reduction of Christians killing each other and those of other faiths.

    It is a failure of Journalistic media that this is an issue, and that so many think that Obama is Muslim, that he's not Christian, etc. I submit that the majority of journalistic media is corrupted by the Right Wing, and no longer objectively reports, but slant's news for the Right-Wing agenda, likewise fails to educate on the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, which IS America.

    Where is the outrage over the fact that the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendments are currently under assault by the Republicans, why aren't the media overwhelmingly reporting on that? There are so many For-America-and-Americans issues to report on that would benefit the people. Instead the right-wing-slanted media feeds this false outrage over a Manhattan Mosque, and Obama's faith.

    August 19, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. ST

    First it was his birth, his race, now his religion! So what is coming next? that his ghost talks whenever he gives speeches and not him personally!!!!! It is Absurd.

    August 19, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Michael in Houston

    It matters not what this President does or says.....he will be labeled a foreign born practicing Muslim by his critics.

    This is the world we live in. No matter what the facts are...that he was born in the US and is and always has been in the Christian faith there will still come those who insist otherwise.

    I mean why dont just say that he is not actually human......he is a polar bear. Say that enough times and the next freakin CNN poll will reflect that 2 out of 5 republicans believe the President is really a polar bear.

    August 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. all the news that's fit to omit

    For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian according to the Pew poll.

    So much easier to blame Bush, Republicans or Fox news.

    57 states visited – what religion recognizes 57 states????

    Talking to George Snuffaluffagus – "My Muslim faith.....", before George corrected him by filling in the "Christian" blank that was missing.

    His dad was a Muslim.

    His middle name is Muslim.

    His bowing to all Muslim leaders whenever the chance happens.

    Never see him leaving a church of ANY kind as ALL other Presidents have.

    His never attending the National prayer breakfast.

    I honestly don't care what he is, I just know he is a brutally inept president (no cap ever deserved).

    August 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Bill

    Frankly I believe that he is an Atheist. If we can lose more jobs and have the recovery slowing and almost reversing then he lives in a fantasy world with no God.

    August 19, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. marlene

    The President can't do anything without media scrutiny. If he and his family went to church, not only would it disrupt the service for other church members, but the event would be criticized for the church he chose to attend, the amount of interference and the time he took of the job of "being" President to do it. He is an American, a christian, and a patriot, but he is not free to do as he wants. Marlene in Mich

    August 19, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Chris

    They both concern me; I would only be comforted if our leader was a rational athiest who didn't believe in fairy tales...

    August 19, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Jason

    I'm more worried about Christian politicians than Muslims.

    August 19, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. DR.GEORGE JAMES

    Why should the people decide about Obama's faith and religion???Afterall,dumb heads talk anything about a person whom they donot like.

    August 19, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. ronalde

    people are just stupid and ignorant,how many times does the president have to tell these brain dead idiots that he is a christian.

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. HappyinVA

    It’s a sad day in the US when a man (President) has to prove or even denounce his religious beliefs. He’s said it time and time again – he’s a Christian, but people want to associate him with being a Muslim b/c why? Is Muslim a curse word in America? If he were Muslim, would he be looked at differently? What does a person’s religious beliefs have to do with politics? Truly?

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. fastrack

    Good Grief, people! What difference does it make if the man is an athiest? He's an AMERICAN, he's the leader of the "Free World"...At the risk of being called out for repeating myself: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Valor

    A muslim is one who submits to God. There is only one God. But more important, why does it matter what his religious beliefs are? The President is a God fearing man. He is a good man. He is our elected official to these United States. Why do we keep attacking him instead of his policies?

    It is so very sad that as a country, we will not grow beyond our own constitutional rights. Freedom of speech and religion. Everybody wants it but some done want our President to have the same basic right at themselves.

    He is not a Muslim. He is a Christian. But why does it matter? First he's not an American, now he's not a Christian. Oh, and he's not Black either. We must define him right?

    Please stop unnecessary polling.

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Truth Teller

    Anyone who thinks our President is a muslim is an idiot. Not saying this because I am against muslims, I am not, in fact, I'm very much for the 1st amendment.

    August 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Barry

    If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a duck then.........

    August 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. bk

    If Obama is a Muslim, isn't George Bush an alcohalic?

    August 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. SanFran

    Obama states in his book "The Audacity of Hope" that he converted to Christianity in the 1980's, but the Trinity Church is not a Christian Church, it is a Black Liberation Theology Church, run by black racists. Quote from J.H. Cone, who Jeremiah Wright derives his guiding principles. “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."

    August 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    The President simply doesn't use his faith for political advantage like so many politicians in this country. He has chosen instead to let his life and his family reflect how he attempts to walk out his faith. I would rather he walk the walk than talk the talk. Americans have seen enough of that with others who have proved to be nothing more than wolves in sheep's clothing. Besides he was chosen to lead by example and for my money he is doing that. Signed: Former Republican

    August 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Dee

    What can you expect when even people who know better start ranting about him being a Musllim to score political points. Politicians have increasing becoming like angry children. They tell outright lies to get their way. I am all for Freedom of the Press. But the lies coming out of Fox News in the guise of "news" is abuse by the press. It has become a vendetta. When you know something is untrue and say it for political gain or ratings you have abused your rights. Air a soap opera and say it there, at least it is not being sold as news.

    August 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Cpoole

    Americans have become a people of thoughtless, faithless, racists, reactionaries to what they are not. Most of whom don't have a real opinions ....relies on those extremists of hate..... anti givers, selfish people who are incapable of being lead by any thing other than white.
    Bush never said much, done less, behind the S&L failures, created one of the biggiest deficit in our history and these same people never said a word. They don't anythig about christianity.

    August 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Anupam

    I know that the President is a Christian and there should be no debate about it. However, what's the problem if he was a Muslim? Can't a Muslim be a President so long as that person is born in the country and possesses the other requirements of being a President? We must stop being fixated on Islam or Muslim or this religion or that religion and focus on being Americans.

    August 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Roberto (Legal) in AZ

    "Christian" Counselors like Jeremiah Wright, for instance?

    August 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. Michael from Ventura

    The fact that 20% of the Nation believes the President is Muslim is truly astounding to me. How stupid can some folks be? Sad.

    August 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Linda

    A former law professor upholds the constitution and because of that he's called a Muslim. Or perhaps it's because his father who he saw only twice in his life was Muslim. Never mind that he was raised Christian by a christian mother and grandparents. People think!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Peace

    Why should people define him while he knows himself who is! And who defines those people! This is totally childish!

    August 19, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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