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

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" 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. Julia- Idaho Native American

    God Bless our President.

    August 19, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. S.positive

    Those who believe his is a Muslim are those who prefer to believe in lies and live with lies. There are no two ways about it. The Truth is the Truth and a lie is a lie.

    August 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Midwest

    I did not vote for him , but I believe President Obama to be an intelligent, fair minded, listening, citizen with good intentions. I just disagree with his politics. I have great respect for the man. And I must say that as a Christian myself, I almost wish he were a Muslim. I think it is very sad the bad rap that Muslims get in this country, which comes really from ignorance. The fanatics that terrorized this country on 9/11 and that continue to do so throughout the Middle East, are no more Muslim than the fanatics that claim to be Christian and then proceed to kill the doctors that perform abortions.

    Wake up people. Step out of your fear and ignorance. What do you really even KNOW about Islam? Do you feel the way you do because of what you have 'heard'...........because it's certainly not a result of what you have 'learned'

    August 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Brandon

    WHAT DIFFERENT DOES IT MAKE. Historically Christians are the ones who have done the raping and killing.

    August 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Jeff from Va

    I would love to know who the "Small Circle of Pastors" are???

    August 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    It's a sad day when the POTUS has to come out and defend himself from this kind of baseless trash spewed by hateful, ignorant, racist morons who are spewing it for no other reason than political gain. "He's not like you...he's not one of "us"...he doesn't understand you." Please. He understands more than the thimble's worth of brain capacity these conservatard demogogues have decided to fill with talking points and hate instead of knowledge and understanding.

    August 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Ed

    First why would it make a difference if he was though he clearly is not.

    Lastly somebody tell me why we Americans are so dam stupid.

    August 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Len

    Republicans and conservative racists have succeeded in telling lies to a unintelligent, racist population. What a shame and what embarrassement to all of America. Our true colors have been realized!!!


    August 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. jim

    Why does it matter that Obama is of Christan faith when he actions are that of a Muslim?Comes from 20 -plus years sitting in Rev.Wright's church listening to hate America sermons.

    August 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Felonious Monk

    If this truly is a country that has "freedom of religion" then why is this even an issue?

    August 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Felonious Monk

    America will have a muslim president someday in the future, but evidently not today.

    August 19, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Dal From California

    It is quite funny that the President is now called a Muslim. In the primaries we had a huge outcry about the his pastor" Rev. Jeremiah Wright". Looks like the American public is not at all educated or believes whatever comes out of some stupid right wingers mouth.
    His comment on the ability of a religious entity to build a house of worship is what is causing this outcry. It seems the Republicans want to debate differently. They want to create issues which have no direct meaning to the current financial situation in USA. They are just looking to get as many seats in the senate or the house of representatives as they can to filibuster the legislation's for next 2 years.

    August 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Sue

    I believe the President should keep his Religious life private.......his Faith is between him and God.......not the Republicans, birthers, Tea Baggers, Racists.......he shouldn't prance around like so many other Christians professing their beliefs for all the World to see and hear.....The President should keep it Private

    August 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    I hate to say this but if President Obama was an Ordained Pastor in the Baptist church, there are some that are so full of hate, they would still lay the "Muslim" claim on him.

    I remember a comment by Gen Colin Powell Ret. from several months ago when he asked the question, "so what if he was a Muslim?" Being Muslim would not disqualify him from being President. This is part of our national problem today. So many are so full of hate that they are dividing our nation and stirring up vulgar and vile thoughts and acts on the parts of the simple minded that are willing to believe anything they are told if it helps to justify there thoughts.

    August 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Hongli

    It's amazing how many different stones are thrown at this "Black President". How funny! Race and colour of skin and hair still plague the BEST COUNTRY of the world. Shame on all the white Americans who still look down on coloured people.

    August 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Jake

    Cmon people, use your brains for a change. If he says he's a christian and he lives a christian lifestyle and he prays to his god then does that not make him a christian? These are the same morons that say he's not black or that he's not american or that he's not this or not that and not not not not. That's the problem right there. Think about it. This guy is good for the USA and at the right time too no matter what religion he is.

    August 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Matt

    Why should the White House have to defend Obama's Christianity? So what if he IS a Muslim? He could be a witch, for all I care. It's his own choice, and we enjoy freedom of religion in this country.

    August 19, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Duck Fallas

    So? Lots of people believe Glenn Beck is a human. Doesn't make it true.

    August 19, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Smart Human

    Why ANYone would listen to a rethuglican these days is beyond me.

    EVERY single thing out of their mouth is a lie, so let's grow up and start completely ignoring them altogether.

    August 19, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. IKE

    This only tells me that the number of Americans who are ignorant has risen from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5.

    August 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Aaaaand, just to show you how in line with traditional American values and our founding fathers' intentions for our nation and society it is for the conservatives to have ginned up their minions to question this man's faith, I give you this:

    "I am... averse to the communication of my religious tenets to the public: because it would countenance the presumption of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience which the laws have so justly proscribed."
    –Thomas Jefferson

    Admittedly and unfortunately, Jefferson's writing style probably flies right over the conservatives' heads anyway, but it was worth the shot. They probably won't learn anything anyway, but they certainly won't learn if we stop trying.

    August 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Mick

    I don't think he is religious – Muslim or Christian. He is like most libs they do not hold God in high regard but he says he is Christian for political purposes. He had to put on a show to get elected and you have not seen him near a church since.

    August 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. johnRJ08

    Psaki and White House should know that no amount of logic and contrary evidence will ever convince the lunatics in this country that he is anything but a Muslim, socialist, baby-killing communist who is trying to destroy our constitution. It is a waste of breath and energy to address any of the statements made by any of these people. They are driven by an irrational hatred of this president that goes back to his early candidacy for president. I'm not saying they're all racists, but I am having a hard time coming up with any other explanation for their deranged, paranoid thinking.

    August 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. LooneyBin

    Wrong! The correct answer should have been, "I don't care what you think I am. If you think I'm Muslim, I don't care. I think you worship Sarah Palin as a false idol. Tell Satan I say hi!"

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

    Those twenty percent of Americans ARE nutty, too!!!! A ridiculous bunch that lives in the bubble of fear and darkness.

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