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. Anonymous

    he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling.... way to seperate church and state

    August 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Midwest

    Truly disturbing that so many Americans are ill informed nut cases.

    August 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. rightsaid

    And so what if he were?
    I won't be happy until we have an atheist in the WH.

    August 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. cathy

    I don't know what he is but he doesn't appear to belong to any religion and with his background I will continue to speculate that he is indeed a muslim.

    August 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Marty

    What difference does it make whatever he is? Another GOP creation. They have no ideas for anything, so they try to attack what they think is the weakest part of a person. Obama may be a Muslim, but Newtie is a bigot, Sarah an air-head, Mitt a Morman, shall I go on? This is too stupid to talk about.

    August 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. bluej

    Really, you cant communicate with those who allready know everything. It would seem that these are the same people who think that the POTUS is a socialist/ fascist who was born abroad, started the economic crisis, and who is the worst president in history (after less than a 1/2 term.) Sigh......

    August 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. AEK

    Oh come on folks! Just because President Obama doesn't go around with the previous President's "in your face I'm a Christian" attitude, you know, like most respectful people. This is just another glaring example of the neo conservative, religious right wing haters and their us or them mentality. Remember, this manifested in a political strategy is what cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in Iraq. And beware, they are still out there, trying to get elected so they can go in and Christianize the rest of the world whatever the cost to America.

    August 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Nick in L.A.

    The true results of this poll indicate the following:

    – 1 in 5 Americans is an idiot.

    – The right wing/tea party's message of hate & doubt appears to be working.

    In conclusion: we stand no chance of competing with established or emerging countries, who invest in education to create a better future.

    Y'all better dust off those "We're #1" foam fingers before they are totally obsolete. Ooops...too late!

    August 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Peggy

    I know some folks–who claim to be Christian– who believe Catholics aren't Christians too. Ignorance knows no limits in the USA. Don't confuse these biased people with the facts. They prefer their delusions and thus debase the wonderful culture(s) of the USA.

    August 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. bj

    Don't you have anything else to talk about? I thought there was religious freedom around here. I find it amusing that so many people are absolute idiots in America (they are dumbing down, that is).

    Well I guess it goes with the territory. If 20% think that Obama is a Muslim, then it follows that most of the Americans per my "poll" and your blog that 50% of Americans are racists. That is evident with the popularity of your sister station, FOX News. Whatever you push and the Republikans say influences those 50%, because none of them have ever had an original idea of their own.

    August 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. chester drawers

    I guess now he'll have to produce his Baptism certificate before the brain-dead will buy it that he's a Christian.

    August 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Smurf

    Our network news is so polluted with fiction and distortions that it's understandable how so many would believe things that are just not true. Makes you wonder what other nonsense we're being led to believe for the sake of politics. This is just craziness!

    August 19, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Laverne

    People should be worried about their own faith and religion and leave President Obama alone. With all the opposition this president get, he must be one special person and called to do something mighty special. I pray for my president and would pray for him even if he were a muslim. Some Americans are being guided by fear and lies. It is sad, but true!

    August 19, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Has there ever been a president under more scrutiny than this was has been? I can not recall any other president being questioned about his birth certificate or what religion he practices especially after he as already answered both questions numerous times. So what if he WAS a Muslim? Does that make him a terrorist? The far right in this country needs to stop playng the fear card as much as they do. I wonder if Romney were to run if him being a Mormon would cause as much problems. I mean Nixon was a Quaker and looked how HE turned out.

    August 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. GP

    Only the willfully ignorant believe Obama is a Muslim.

    August 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Nick in L.A.

    A quick follow up:

    I personally do not believe Mr. Obama to be very religious. But in this nuthouse of a country we call the USA, a president must give the appearance of Christianity.

    What a sad state of affairs.

    I certainly hope to be dead and gone before the outcome of this becomes clear.

    August 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Scott T

    I think he is a muslim. He stands with Hamas on the victory mosque at ground zero...

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    Just amazing how many totally absurd accusations are leveled at this president, from birth certificates to Muslim to socialist to fascist. Funny how all the white presidents never had to put up with this nonsense.

    Gosh, they keep trying to push that he is some kind of alien, but it's not where he was born or his religion. It's the color of his skin, which drives all you right-wing carnival freaks into a froth-mouth rage.

    And you are pissed about the gays and those pesky Mexicans.

    I wish you people would have the courage to admit you are racists. But you are coward racists, pretending you are not.

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. mary

    I found Barack Obama's Christian testimony (readily) online when I was trying to decide who to vote for in the last presidential election. Not so for John McCain- in fact I found his moral character based on stories I read about him very lacking. As a Christian I still support President Obama and all that he is trying to do for our country. He's not a Muslim!

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Greg

    As much as I can't stand the current administration, I also can't believe there are still people that care about this...much the same way I can't believe the "birther" movement is still struggling to gain traction despite being denounced by nearly every public Right-Wing pundent from Ann Coulter to Glen Beck.

    Oh well...I guess these are the same people who believe in Little Green Men from Mars.

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. rdepontb

    CNN: What a misleading headline: WH "strikes back"-indeed, how inappropriate. What is wrong with you guys??

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Marco

    We have the republican party and its radical fringe to thank for this!

    August 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    It is interesting that the Pew survey found a very high correlation between the people who say he is a Muslim and those most opposed to him, as well as with conservative Republicans and independents. This high degree of correlation should not exist if people were telling the truth, as the Obama supporters would be more heavilly represented in the group holding the Muslim belief.It is hard to believe a large fraction of these responders are so ill-informed to believe this kind of nonsense. It is just like the birther thing. If you oppose or hate the man, why not make up your own "facts" about him, even going so far as to lie in anonomous polls? With politics in the gutter, anything goes!

    August 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. JOhn

    This is the rights ability to re write reality into anything they want. What effect does this have on the economy? If consumer confidence is the key then it is clear the republicans don't want a recovery and don't care who they hurt as long as they get into power. Today's GOP is a comeplete and total fraud from the ground up.

    August 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. anthony

    So if he is such a committed Christian, why did he not observe the traditional National Day of Prayer that was originated by Christian leaders, yet he did take time to host a dinner and give a speech on the eve of Ramadan – the Muslim holy month? Why did Obama not stand up for the the right of the Greek Orthodox Christian church destroyed on 9/11 to be rebuilt, but he stands up for the right of Muslims to build their mosque and community center two blocks away? I don't actually believe Obama is a Muslim, but I also don't believe he is a Christian. Of course, what I believe about his religious beliefs really doesn't matter to the One who will ultimately be the Judge of us all. But I do think that Obama is a liberal, self-centered, egotistical politician who does not have a firm grasp of history or current events in the world. He thinks he knows so much; he believes he is our destiny, and yet he is proving everyday that he is not experienced enough or wise enough to lead our country. I personally hope Obama is genuine in his faith, and I hope the God we pray to will protect us from his destructive leadership.

    August 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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