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. garc

    Remember Rev. Wright, whom these same "Muslim" accusers had such a hard time with? Would they please explain how the President can be both Christian (attending Wright's church) and Muslim?

    August 19, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. BD

    Is there any question as to why people wonder about this. He has said that we are not a christian nation and from my point of view, he has supported muslims much more than he has the christians. People are starting wake up in America and they are starting to see him for what he is. We will be lucky if he doesn't destroy us all before we can vote him out.

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. shock and Awwwww....

    Wow, americans need to educate themselves or something. The USA is becoming the laughingstock of the entire world.

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Connie in Tennessee

    The American people are getting dumber and dumber. Next they will be saying the Earth is flat!

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Natch

    Well, I imagine you could chalk this up to some folks just calling a spade a spade.......but then, that wouldn't be very politically correct, with our current administration, would it?

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Dale

    He caters to Muslims. He caters to all non Americans and countries.
    He don't listen to us or care what we say. He just focuses on pissing us off.
    That's why people are saying this. No American president had ever done this. It leaves us questioning his agenda.
    He is the president of the united states, he should act like it.

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Kraig Rasool

    This country is in a sad state of affairs when everyday in the news our president is being hounded by ludicrous....vial and total pions. President Obama's plate runneth over and is on the floor.....He has two wars....threats from communist countries...the gulf...and many more situations to deal with firsthand...and now people question his faith! How many times does he have to respond to these critics who doubt every step he takes....Even his place of birth is being questioned (after posting his birth certificate for the public to see)...and people wonder why some are being called racists? Let the president continue to mop up the mess bush left for he can get to issues of the here and now.

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Joe

    Here is another example of how utterly the American school system has failed. It's is alarming how few people can tell the difference between propaganda and truth. Do we teach no critical thinking skills at all any more?
    The president should not have to claim any religious affiliation to counteract rumors. And even if he were a Muslim–AND HE IS NOT–it shouldn't matter.
    I think the main reason the right wing nuts are spreading this BS is that they can't get away with using the "N" word any more. So "Muslim" has become a code word for what they really mean. In the end, all the bizarre and rapid mean spirited nonsense about the president is rooted in racism with a dash of xenophobia mixed in.

    August 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Scott

    It's because he's a muslim.

    August 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Lisa from St. Louis, MO

    Two questions... 1. who cares?? 2. What difference does it make what religion he is as long as he makes good policy decisions?? To think that only a "Christian person" can make good decisions is so out of whack with what the founding fathers intended... the pilgrims came to North America to get away from religious persecution for heaven's sake.

    By the way, before anyone starts yelling about my faith, I am a Christian/Methodist.

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. mike

    Really!! Come on, we got better things to be doing at this particular time.

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Clt

    I wonder where Americans are getting that idea from? This is ridiculous. He was raised a Christian and is one now and I believe him. This country is built on freedom of religion. Since when is suspicion of a certain religion enough to smear someone? Ironically the people that claim to love the Constitution so much are the ones responsible for spreading these rumors. I don't need to see him entering church every Sunday. He should keep it private between him, his family, and God. These people praying in public every second are frauds anyone. You can't be racist, spiteful, mean, stupid, and a liar and bow your head in prayer to God and Jesus and have it all go away.

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. James

    People have nothing else to worry about. The President is a Christian. He says so. So people let it go and worry about more pressing concerns going on.

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. blaqmajik

    what does it matter?!?!

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Mary

    I think if I were Obama I would wonder about being a Christian in light of the way the so called "Christian Country" is treating him...He has tried over and over again to state his beliefs but the far right just do not want to think he could be, although he has shown a lot better Christian attitude towards the slanderers than any of the so called.....
    ones who would turn the most faithful Christian away....

    August 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |

    One antiquated and debunked Abrahamic mythology is just as bad and fictional as another.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Hawk1

    Just shows you how many dingbats are listening to faux so called news.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Adam

    I guess that 20% of America are morons.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. ben

    Muslim law is very clear about this. According to law Obama is a muslim. There is no such thing as half a muslim. Since Obama's father was a muslim, he is a muslim. In fact he has committed the greatest crime a muslim can by denouncing his faith. The penalty for this is death.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Tori in Texas

    I don't care what religion a person is, as long as they are capable of making informed decisions that are in the best interests of our Constitution. Considering so few Repubs have even studied it, or even had basic civics classes for that matter, I'd say President Obama (as a Constitutional Law Professor) is the best fit for these difficult times left by the Bush/Cheney admin.

    How sad that 20% or so of Americans bought what the Repubs/Cons/Baggers are selling – Hate. They refuse to see their bigotry against Islam is exactly the same as the Islamist extremist' bigotry against Christianity. Where is their outrage against Fility Fred Phelps & his Westboro Baptist "church" when they protest military funerals?

    Thank goodness there are more moderate and independent voters who are intellectually curious enough to look further than FoxSpews, Beck, Hannity, Palin, Limpbaugh, Britebart etc... The Right's "Party Before Country" behavior is more Anti-American than anything anyone else has done recently, and the voters are finally seeing it for exactly what it is – open hate and bigotry towards non white, non-christian, GLBT, human beings. And they claim people are biased agiant Christians? The only time I ever felt christian-bashed was by OTHER christians who didn't think I was christian ENOUGH by their personal standards.

    The burns....

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Those who are unhappy with the Presiden't policies - or unhappy that he's in the White House in the first place - are the one's fuleing the "he's a Muslim" fire.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. STEVEN

    This shows what the MEDIA is really interested in and that is to confuse people and issues and make it look like this is really the most important issue in our lives. If many AMERICANS believe this crap, then it also says something about the AMERICAN people and that, they have this intellectual laziness where they depend on others to think for them. If you really want to think for yourselves, you have so many resources where to find information that will guide you to the TRUTH.
    I am so saddened about how all these polling businesses have come up with divisive issues to gain attention and divide AMERICANS. It is absurd that it is happening in acountry like AMERICA. No wonder why many are against HIGH EDUCATION, why support it when you can keep them in the dark for ever even if it means conducting a single poll! AMAZING!

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. BADGER

    Only the repugs spin machine keeps this and the birther myths alive, all the mental midgets that are republican's the 20% in this poll believe anything that is said to instill hate and fear against the President.

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Whatever. So I guess the whole Rev. Wright controversy was a ploy. Get real people. People who report this nonsense, you are just as irresponsible as the hateful, right wing, divisive racist from Fox News.

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Mohamed

    And what would be wrong if he is Muslim?

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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