Obama, Beck: Who is Christian? Who decides?

The answer may lie in how “Christian” is defined and whether the Mormon church, to which Beck belongs, considers Protestants to be Christians.

Is President Obama a Christian? Is Glenn Beck?

That’s the question that has been swirling in the media this week. The answer may lie in how “Christian” is defined and whether the Mormon church, to which Beck belongs, considers Protestants to be Christians.

The Church of Latter Day Saints insists that all converts, even those who have already been baptized, be baptized again in the Mormon church. Those who worship in non-Mormon churches participate in the what the church calls Great Apostasy’ defined below:

The Great Apostasy occurred after the Savior established His Church. After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread apostasy, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fullness of the gospel.

Do Protestants think that Mormons are Christian? It depends on who you ask, but after Beck’s denouncement of Obama’s religion, some Christian leaders this week have spoken against Mormon theology. On All Things Considered, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Dr. Richard Land reflected the sentiments of the 34 percent of Protestants who say that Mormons are not Christians.

DR. LAND: I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.

SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.

Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith.

So what about the president, whom Beck called a follower of ‘

Perhaps there has been too much discussion this week about words and labels. Kathleen Norris, author of A Cloister Walk was asked during a radio interview if she considered herself a Christian. The Episcopalian writer replied that she “often wondered if being Christian is something we should, or could, claim for ourselves; that if being a Christian meant incarnating the love of Christ into my own life, then maybe it would be best to let others tell me how well, or how badly, I’m doing.”

But if the Pew Research Center is calling to ask if you think that President Obama is a Christian, how do you answer? Do you accept the president’s profession of faith? Or do you view the validity of his faith through the teachings of your own?

 

Image via Shutterstock.

Elizabeth Tenety
Written by

  • TexLex

    President Obama is an American politician, and American politicians mostly don’t get elected if they don’t profess a religious faith. On the other hand, Obama is quite intelligent, well educated and likely doesn’t buy into the supernaturalism on which conventional religions are based.So, what I’d expect to find if the truth were known is that Obama is really an agnostic leaning toward atheism, but says what he has to say in order to get elected into office so that he can do the secular things he actually cares about.

  • lufrank1

    Unfortunately, many, if not most, organized religions preach that theirs is the ONLY true Religion.The worst aspect is those religions that preach that ALL (even children) who don’t accept THEIR particular image of God are forever condemned to burning agony or at best, purgatory.Madness! AND, in fact, EVIL!!!!!Organized religion is the WORST thing that has happened to human civilization. Just look at Religion’s bloody history, and modern day CRAP preached by Beck, Jimmy Swaggart, Bob Jones, AND the Dark Ages Vatican! – – Let alone fundamentalist djihad.

  • TexLex

    > Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.Oh, and, though neither group is likely to appreciate the comparison, it does seem that the Mormon foundational narrative is somewhat similar to the Muslim one.(Ducks and runs for cover.)

  • harrytam

    The first thing I do every morning is to give thanks to God. I thank Him every morning for His many blessings, for His love and for salvation through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. I also ask Him for forgiveness because I can’t relate to people who call themselves Christians and who are so FULL OF HATRED towards President Obama, the Democrats, immigrants and the poor. I can understand if Christians disagree on matters related to abortion, illegal immigration and homosexuality because I also disagree but the last thing that Christ wanted of us is the HATRED that is festering in the hearts of so called Christians. Just read the blogs. I know that the liberal left are angry and obnoxious and so full of themselves but if you read the blogs, the really angry ad hateful postings usually come from people who identify themselves as religious right or conservative Christians.I FEEL LIKE CHRIST AND ALL THAT OUR LORD STOOD FOR HAS BEEN HIJACKED. Just as Islam has been hijacked by terrorists, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda, so has the message of CHRIST, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, being hijacked by people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Franklin Graham, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson.These so-called Christians spit out the word “liberal” and “socialism” and “progressive taxes” as though those are dirty words and wrongly associate it with Nazi Germany. Yet Christ is a liberal and a socialist. Christ never ever look down at the poor and the sinners. He admonishes us time and time again to feed the poor, look after the widows, and take care of the sick. He didn’t join the crowd in stoning the fornicator or the prostitute but instead ask which among us is without sin to throw the first stone. CHRIST NEVER HATE NOR ENCOURAGE HATRED, yet all I see from Christians is hate towards the President, hate towards homosexuals, hate towards illegal immigrants and even hate towards “community organizers” who do good.WE EVEN QUESTION IF PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A TRUE CHRISTIAN when in our outreach, we always tell non-believers that if they confess their sins and accept Jesus as their personal savior, then they are saved. We did not say we need to do checkups in the future to make sure that they are true Christians.I believe the true Christian is the one who forgives, and who loves the poor and the sick.As for the anger about ending the Bush tax cuts (which incidentally was meant to last only 10 years ((and which is unconstitutional if they want to use their definition of constitutional but that is another subject)) so it is not ending the tax cuts but only not extending it); did not Christ say to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s (meaning pay your taxes).I DO NOT MIND THE POLITICS BUT JUST DO NOT HIJACK MY FAITH. Their actions cause non-believers and even believers to turn away from the salvation through Christ because in their hearts they know this kind of hatred is just not right.

  • tarapup

    @HarryTam THANK YOU! Very well put. Personally I am agnostic, but most Christians I know are well balanced like Harry. The only problem with these Christians is that you are polite and quiet. I think you should speak out and take back your faith from the hypocritical haters and dividers who are loud and unaccepting of others.

  • genericrepub

    As for the President, he is sort of like a Christmas Tree in front of a Courthouse. Its a public expression that conveys a sympathy toward the Christian faith, without endorsing it. The President like many others has chosen not to adopt a house of worship in DC. He is not Jimmy Carter or W, or Bill Clinton who showed at least their commitment by regularly attending church. Is a Christian a person who goes to church every Sunday, no. But it is a tell as to what is important in one’s life. As to Mormons, they are polytheists who believe in a form of deistic reincarnation. The 4th Abrahamic Faith,is charitable.

  • MichaelJones1

    This is an interesting topic. As a practicing Mormon myself, I have been embarrassed countless times by the antics and comments of Glenn Beck. He doesn’t speak for me or for the Church. I cringed when I heard about his characterization of President Obama’s Christianity. As someone who has spent hours defending my Mormon faith while others accuse me of not being Christian despite our deep doctrinal belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and his saving Atonement, I was upset that another member of my faith would also attack how someone practices their Christianity. Also, I feel like I need to correct something in Ms. Tenety’s original post. As I understand it, “The Great Apostasy” in Mormon teachings is a specific time frame that began as the apostles died in the first century AD following the death of Jesus Christ and lasted until the 1800s when God restored his Church to the earth. It was a time period like “The Middle Ages” or “The Reformation.” As the passage quoted above by the author seems to indicate, this period is over (past tense). However, Ms. Tenety implies that Mormons believe that those who are not baptized into the Mormon faith “participate” (present tense) in The Great Apostasy. This is not what Mormons believe. Like Mr. Beck, I don’t speak for the LDS Church. This is just what I have been taught about The Great Apostasy throughout my life attending weekly Sunday services, preaching as an LDS missionary, and studying as a BYU student. It’s a technical correction of semantics, but I believe it completely changes the characterization of Mormon belief in ways that are germane to this topic of who decides whether someone else is Christian. Mormons do not believe that other Christians are not Christian because they are not members of the LDS Church. We are all Christians, for we all believe in the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ.

  • qqbDEyZW

    The answer is in the bible. Those who give from the heart without reward God will reward. Bozo Beck and Sister Sarah got paid for their speeches while telling lies. Obama stepped in after Satan had brought a Recession, Two Wars and chaos/torture/lies around the World. God will be the final judge of man and our book of life tells the story.

  • JudasJones

    @ TexLexI would also be surprised if Obama really believed in the sillier aspects of the religion, virgin birth, etc. I feel like his real religion is the same as W & HW and Bill Clinton, indeed nearly every president that wasn’t assassinated, i.e. the Cult of Power. If he wasn’t doing occulty shyte before he became the president, I suspect he has started since. They know who their real masters are.Oh, and your analysis of the Islam/Mormon thing was right on. One guy receives the whole religion in a neat package that no one else can verify…

  • Pearl77

    Who is a Christian? Let’s see. How about all those people who claim they are? How about all those who are “pro-life” yet support every expansion of the death penalty and every war the republicans can dream up? How about about those “do unto others” folks who hate the government except when it forces people to do what they want it to, such as forbid abortions or ban gay marriage? How about those people who marvel at “God’s creation” yet support every environmental outrage immaginable? How about those folks who spend Sundays in church, then spend the rest of the week spouting as much hate, bigotry and racism as they can? Somehow, I think all of the above qualify.

  • Anonymous92

    I am no longer practicing, but I grew up Mormon and I can tell you that Mormon’s definitely are Christian in my mind. The Mormon faith is centered on Jesus Christ being the Savior. Attend a Sunday service and you will hear a lot about Jesus and his teachings. It is everywhere. Also, the Mormon Church does spend a lot of time and resources on actively following the teaching of Jesus. The Mormon Church is usually one of the first relief organizations providing comfort and supplies following natural disasters all over the world. The Mormon Church also has a very effective and well run church welfare program to provide locally. Taking care of the each other in the community and people around the world was one of the things I really liked about being a Mormon. There are some teachings and actions that I do not agree with the Mormon Church over, such as ‘you’re not going to heaven if you’re not a Mormon’ and gay rights. However, I think they are doing their best to try to follow the teachings of Jesus as they see them. I think that is what being “Christian” is all about. The only difference is in the specific details of the theology. In practice, those things like “polytheism” and what not, don’t really seem to matter.As for Glen Beck, he’s just a sensationalist fanatic and I’m embarrassed that he is a Mormon. Why does it even matter if the President is “Christian” or religious at all? I thought we lived in a free country. And really, don’t we have better things to talk about?

  • MrZ2

    Sad. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, not a Christian, who had a ministry of love and compassion for his fellow man.So-called “Christians” have never followed Jesus’ ministry from Rome in 300-ACE to today. Christianity has been used as an excuse and cover for hatred and domination over the eons.This does not reflect Jesus’ ministry of compassion and love.

  • Yarbroughz

    Three Points:

  • ThomasBaum

    It seems as if a lot of people are in for quite a surprise when they find out that God looks at the person, not the “label” whether the label is self-imposed or imposed by others.God’s Plan is, ultimately, for ALL to be with God in God’s Kingdom, this is the GOOD NEWS that we were asked to PROCLAIM.God’s Plan, which God has had since before creation, is unfolding before our very eyes and will come to Fruition.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ladyliberty1

    Yarbroughz,Hilarious and creative posting @ 6:34 p.m. Thanks for the humor. Still laughing.

  • greatgran1

    Christians believe in Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. It requires faith, confession and belief. No one can offer perfection to match that sacrifice on the cross of Jesus suffering all our sin. This a free gift given to all who ask and confess and change their heart. This is between you and your maker. No one knows your heart but Him. Who am I to say one is saved or not?

  • ladyliberty1

    President Obama is an American politician, and American politicians mostly don’t get elected if they don’t profess a religious faith. On the other hand, Obama is quite intelligent, well educated and likely doesn’t buy into the supernaturalism on which conventional religions are based.So, *TexLex* thinks that Mr. Obama had to “lie” to get elected, but that is okay so that he can do what he wants to do. IOW, the end justifies the means.The problem is, how does one trust a liar? Is it okay to have a liar as the president. Why should anyone trust someone who will lie about something as basic as their belief system?

  • thebobbob

    Glen Beck decides if you’re Christian. Ann Coulter decides if you’re an atheist. Sarah Palin decides if you’re a “real American”.And America decided on election day that Barack Obama was the president of the United States of America.Which world do you want to live in?

  • COWENS99

    I am totally amazed at the hatred, distortions and outright lies by the self appointed deity (Beck,Palin) and the rest of the wing nut crowd.The American people are not that stupid and I know will recover their sanity by November.Beck, seems to think he is the modern day nut case, Joseph Smith. The sad thing is that he is allowed a free run on his fanatical ideas.

  • alientech

    MichaelJones1:

  • Nik2007

    I thought to be a president you need to be democratically elected, which Obama was. Why is his faith important as long as he is not imposing it on anyone. For a country that calls itself first world too many ignoramus are around.it’s unfortunate that people who have not crossed their town till last year can still become celebrities and influence others with their arrogant ignorance ( think Sarah palin)

  • post_reader_in_wv

    People will continue to make judgments about other folks’ religion (or lack thereof). It’s in our DNA, and part of that DNA insists that we must be right in our beliefs (otherwise, why believe them?) and that others who disagree with us must be in error, which probably proceeds from them being stupid and morally degenerate to boot. We can’t really avoid that, apparently, however much we should. Want a poster child for this phenomenon? How about Glenn Beck?Full disclosure: I am a committed Christian but not a conservative evangelical like my parents. My mother, for all her strongly held beliefs about her Christian faith (trust me, she was determined!), managed to teach me a great lesson about how we should act toward those who believe differently than we. When as I child I asked her she why she treated my Jewish friend with all the love and respect she afforded to those within our Christian congregation (rather than disdaining him because he was a non-Christian), her response was spot on. She said, “When there’s judging to be done, it’s God’s job to do it. I shouldn’t presume to do GOD’s job. However, God did give ME a job. MY job to love God’s children, not to judge them.” Great lesson from a high-principled and saintly woman who happened to be a Christian. Rest in peace, Mom.Would that all persons of faith (and those of no faith as well) would live by that advice.

  • knjincvc

    Beck doomed Romney so Palin could run and take the hit for republicans.Palin in 2012 and … who’s the next neo-con in line to fuss-up the country??

  • knjincvc

    Liberation Theology … republican demand to LIBERATE more of the Middle Class’s money to support their life style.

  • sam38

    Judas Jones said: “Oh, and your analysis of the Islam/Mormon thing was right on. One guy receives the whole religion in a neat package that no one else can verify…”Yeah, kinda like Moses and those ten commandment tablets.

  • ChrisW1958

    I guess we have the answer in this spate of hate. When people had to justify their behavior by actually facing the the person to be a clown, they were much less willing to do so. Modern Religion has failed to adapt to this, some becoming more biased, others by whistling past the grave yard. There was an editorial a while back on why churches weren’t preaching to the problems: loud denunciations of homosexuals, for example, but nothing about the local bank president who refused to work with homeowners to save their homes. Because churches didn’t want to live with the fact that the homosexuals would identify themselves, and the bankers would move to other churches where their behavior would be accepted in return for that collection plate envelope. So it doesn’t matter — I think the Mormon argument in general, that churches have to churches again, instead of entertainment over the weekend, has some seed of truth to it. And it is a shame what Glenn Beck is doing to undermine even that saving grace of religion. And let’s face it, Mormonism is akin to Islam, a post-Christian faith. Original Mormonism shared many customs with Muslims until they were persecuted in America, a post-Christian prophet, polygamy, degradation of women; if you look closely, Mormonism has more in common with Islam than any other religion. You have to wonder where Joseph Smith got the idea.

  • rohit57

    Who is a Christian? Let’s see. How about all those people who claim they are? How about all those who are “pro-life” yet support every expansion of the death penalty and every war the republicans can dream up? How about about those “do unto others” folks who hate the government except when it forces people to do what they want it to, such as forbid abortions or ban gay marriage? How about those people who marvel at “God’s creation” yet support every environmental outrage immaginable? How about those folks who spend Sundays in church, then spend the rest of the week spouting as much hate, bigotry and racism as they can? Somehow, I think all of the above qualify.Do these people fall under your stereotype of people who oppose abortion?And did you know that it was Democrat, Lyndon Johnson who started the war in Vietnam and another Democrat, Truman who nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki?I respectfully request you to re-examine your views.I do not want to pretend, “Oh, it is the Republicans who are actually good.” Not so. Bush did start the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But not all wars in our history were started by Republicans.And not everyone who opposes abortion is a hateful person.

  • cstation

    A Christian, as the term is used today, can be anybody who believes in just about anything. Jesus has no copyright on the term. But those who are followers of Jesus can be identified by doing the kinds of things Jesus did for the same reasons he did them. Jesus never pronounced his followers Christian. That term was adopted by believers themselves.Monty Keeling

  • ThomasBaum

    alientech You wrote in reply to MichaelJones1, “Muslims also believe in Jesus and have their own false prophet. By your definition they’re Christians too.”Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God-Incarnate but that Jesus is merely a prophet, as a matter of fact from what I hear the “god of islam”, who happens to be satan, gets mighty perturbed if anyone claims that Jesus is God-Incarnate.At the very “heart” of Christianity is that God became One of us.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • bbrand_ca

    First, let me be clear. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. He is my Savior. Without him I am doomed. And, yes, I am a Mormon. …I have a theory that most-not all- but most people that believe Mormons aren’t Christians have very little first-hand knowledge about our church. Usually they have only heard what others (who who also have little first-hand knowledge) are saying. Anyway–my advice? If your curious about any religion seek out an official source. In our case http://www.mormon.org is good place to start. And before you’re done go to the real source. As Jesus taught, ask God.

  • blert

    This question of who is Christian and who isn’t has been with Christianity since practically the beginning. The disciples of Jesus in the Gospels questioned why Jesus would associate closely with certain people, expressing a mentality of “surely he cannot be one of us.” Paul’s letters subsequently comment on the problem of various Christians identifying themselves by “I follow Paul,” “I follow Barnabas,” or “I follow Aquinas.” Christianity was spreading, and different teachers were leading different communities and developing different traditions. Before this, a similar dispute had arisen over the identities of Jewish and Gentile Christians, and whether Gentiles should be forced to abide by Jewish law. All of these disputes essentially boiled down to defining who is Christian and who gets to decide who is Christian.Eventually, a series of church councils established formal theology, adopted a canon, and defined Christian from heretic. Even this never really created unity in Christianity, though. Competing theologies and traditions remained. East split from West, and finally the West splintered with the Protestant Reformation. Protestants have been at a loss ever since for how to deal with heresy. When a group like the Mormons takes a bit of Christian terminology, but then entirely rewrites the theology, the identity of the deity, and the nature of our relationship with that deity, the Catholic Church would have simply called an inquisition in the past. Protestants managed a bit of persecution against Mormons, but never really accomplished a strong opposition to them, probably because it’s harder to argue for theological consistency and unity when yours is the tradition that smashed that all to bits.Ultimately, if the Christian message is true, God will decide in the final judgment who is Christian and who is not, and those who are jostling among themselves to claim that power on earth of defining Christianity may be in for quite a surprise. On the other hand, those who claim to be Christians, but who openly tolerate anything and don’t keep themselves separate from obvious violations of Christian teaching may likewise be in for a surprise. This is a great challenge of Christianity. God will know his own, and to know on earth who is and is not Christian is to know the mind of God.

  • spk202

    Christ: I want to thank Sarah and Glenn for last Saturday. For any of you posters that insist they are not truly Christian, I am at a loss as to your authority. The Great Apostasy still exists here on Earth, if you are not aware of it, you may be part of it if you are a believer, insisting to know the truth. The Devil has often created schismatic churches to waylay those searching for the truth. The Devil is very powerful and has the ability to sway humans to her path. She can visit in the Spirit and tell humans what to do, often times pretending to be God or some other benevolent spirit. In a low tech environment without any information to the contrary it was easy to create churches with doctrine that strayed from the truth. a True Believer searching for the Light needs to be aware that some that pretend talk to God do not. Some error is easy to detect. Many teachings are refuted by their opposition to the Law which is found in the Holy Bible. I know the Mormon Church follows GOD and they are Good People. To say they are not Christian is an error. I think it is important to stick to basics before one wants to explore advance concepts of spiritualization. You know that there are some actions which God does not condone. My advice to is to stop listening to your preacher, many of which are on my bad side, and to throughly review the major works of Scripture which are available. Then we can have a discussion. Im watching.

  • samscram

    The issue is a fabulous example of how religion crisps the brain.One person says, in effect that one’s own profession is insufficient, that we should be leave it to others to tell us if we are Christian.Another loves Beck because “he’s done so much”, which presumably means dividing the Christians and those who according to him aren’t “real Christians” and by denigrating the Martin Luther King Birthday by playing the role of “Mr. Interlocutor”, in his white face minstrel act.Irony upon irony. The Founding Fathers, and the people at large, including Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Franklin and Paine were agnostics or atheists, but understanding the deleterious effects that religion and the real threat to human freedom, which in the past and in the future will continue to pose, attempted to prevent it and its institutions from being embedded in the fabric of our government by adopting Constitutional provisions, such as: Article VI, Para.3 which reads: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, ”And, Fhe First Amendment; “Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion.”But the beat goes on despite, as Jefferson noted:“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

  • samsara15

    As a non-theist, non-religious person, I think the less said about the religion of any politician the better. Politics and religion have nothing to do with each other, and I would prefer that religion be left out of politics, and vice-versa. The history of humankind indicates that when the two are mixed, the result are often tragic, and sometimes result in monstrous crimes against humanity.

  • JohnRice

    I would oppose the election of anyone who was a member of an actively violent faith that called for the submission of all other religions to its beliefs. At present, Islam is such a religion.

  • frank69

    You can be a Christian and disagree with whoever.. that would include Presidents.I agree spitting out vile comments is unchristian but to say the President could have a socialist agenda and might ruin a country is NOT unchristian.God gave us a brain to think and then make up our mind about things including politics.We might not be right but we still have the God given right to say what we truly believe.Jesus when He walked the earth confronted the Pharisees on many points because He disagreed with what they were telling the people also the disciples after Him.Christians shouldnt be afraid to do the same but it should be done as if Christ was standind beside you (which He is by the way)

  • DwightCollins

    obama carries a statue of the hindu monkey god, a false idol…

  • critter69

    Some quotes that all who consider themselves Christians should consider. These were not made by Christians, but embody what Christ (in my understanding) tried to teach, or others have observed about Christianity and Christians:”That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.”(Christ most likely rephrased the above as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, popularly known as the Golden Rule.)”I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.””I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.”The last quote from Ghandi does not include anything about any of the other great religions of the world (Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism, etc.), but in India and South Africa (the two places he spent the majority of his life), Ghandi only had major acquaintance with Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.

  • lhale3

    President Obama is not a Christian.Obama believes that all should be free to worship God according to their own tradition and their own conscience. He does not believe that those who do not share his own religious perspective will burn in hell for all eternity. He believes that women, gays and lesbians, and racial minorities should be afforded full rights under the law. He believes that all Americans should have access to decent health care, regardless of their ability to pay. He believes that constructive engagement needs to be a hallmark of the way we deal with enemies; that America needs to do to others, as we would expect others to do to America. He believes that government can have a positive role in the lives of ordinary people, when its power is exercised prudently. Obama respects diverse points of view, and does not believe that people who disagree with him are fundamentally evil.All of these principles are rarely shared in the contemporary Christian community, particularly in the U.S.So, no, Obama is probably not a Christian.

  • IgnorantHillbilly

    Most conservative Christians would affirm 6 fundamental beliefs (Conservative Christianity is far and away the most popular form of Christianity in American and the reference point for most professing Christians. The reference point is not the liberal Washington post and its secular humanist readers.):1. The Bible was written by God through the Holy Spirit and contains no errors. If you believe those things then you are a Christian; if you do not believe those things then you may believe in something, but it is not Christianity in any sense.

  • richard36

    Like many I suspect President Obama is a Christian for political reasons. Hence, his involvement with Rev. Wright. I back up this opinion, given the fact that he does not take his family to church. Any Church. The vast majority of Christians are concerned about the Christian upbringing of their children, as well as worshiping together. All of this is just conjecture on my part, but worthy of thought.

  • 79USMC83

    The “Speech Giver” is a Christian,he is a Muslim, he is a Progressive,he is a Socialist, he is a Communist,he is a Liberal, he is a MODERATE DEMOCRAT. He is the WORST CAREER POLITICIAN that has ever served WE THE PEOPLE. The “Speech Giver” lives a life telling lies for one purpose. “HIMSELF” Why was he a community organizer? To make contacts with the RICH like Rezko who financed his 1.5 million dollar home below cost. Are the people any better on the South side of Chicago because of his hard work or has the “Speech Giver” gained from it? It is very simple ALL Christians believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Religions are tied into a set of beliefs. The many denominations believe in theirs. Some say no dancing,drinking or smoking. Catholics love to drink LOL!!! You pundits want to make it Beck , “Speech Giver” and RELIGION thing. Lets make it a CHARACTER and HONOR thing like Beck pointed out 8/28. The “Speech Giver” lacks CHARACTER and HONOR or he would not be LYING to WE THE PEOPLE about everything in HIS AGENDA !!! It was not a TAX to have to mandatory Health-care. But now that he knows it will lose in court, it is a TAX!!! Oh and sooooo much for it all being on CSPAN.TERM LIMITS NOW !!FAIR TAX NOW !!

  • jaxas70

    For me, this is all a silly, irrelevant discussion. Most people who claim to be believers do so because of societal peer pressure. I live among the Mormons because I married a Mormon. But, like all other religions and particularly those that feel compelled to evangelize, I tend to see them as populated by people who look for simple, easy answers to the mysteries of life and are simply too intellectually lazy to do the hard work science requires in the search for enduring knowledge and understanding.I find it perverse in these modern times when science and empirics has revealed the true nature of a dynamic Cosmos that is in constant states of flux–creation, destruction, re-creation–and is far vaster than anyone had ever comprehended, that we still cling to these old superstitions. It persists because people are fearful, lazy and fully willing to turn these questions over to anti-intellectual hacks who use such dialogues to control the hearts and minds of such sheep-like people and make a tidy profit in the process.Ever notice how all of these large denominations spend most of their time collecting and counting money? To me, that is what most of them are seeking rather than enlightenment.

  • jaxas70

    Why are conservatives so much more likely to accept the fundamentalist, evangelical type religions? Because it does not require anything of you other than strict obedience and a zealous devotion that brooks no challenge or compromise.Conservatives tend to seek simplicity. They detest complexity. That is why they so childishly accept the delusional hokum that a single, mysterious, SuperBeing somewhere out there created all things in the Cosmos for some unknown reason that only He understands. And of course this SuperBing–this God, if you will–must be an older white human male because as we know older white human males are superior in every way to all other life forms.

  • thebuckguy

    Mormonism rejectcts important componenets of Christianity, although it’s loosely tied to the Protestant tradition, which includes everything from snake handling to Unitarianism and Christian Science. Given that context almost anything with a weak link to a Christian tradition can apply. It’s no wonder some people identify as spiritual rather than place themselves within such a heterogeneous tradition, while others claim to be the only true adherencts of that tradition. The chose of liberation theology was an odd one given its identification with Latin American Catholicism. Protestants from snake handlers to semi-agnistic Unitarians used to be united in their hatred of all things Catholic. Serious religious people, particularly Christians should take issue with Beck’s theological incoherence, but also recognize the intellectual and ecclesiastic incoherence of the Christian tradition. the only one who can say if Obama is a Christian is Obama himself. Noatbly, his churchgoing habits aren’t much different from those of our previous president–someone who seemed to barely have a “Dummies Guide to Christianty” understanding of the Bible, but a clear understanding of how to pander evangelical voters.

  • jaxas70

    I am a proud Atheist. I find all religions to be nothing but childish fantasies that attract simple minded idiots who prefer to not have to do the hard work that science demands to find the nature of reality.Look. The Answer is right before you in Nature itself. All things simply recycle–even the Universe itself will one day fly apart as new Universes are popping up out of the same recycling process that created this one. Scientists are very close to discovering the existence of extra dimensions.But, I digress. Just look around you. It is Autumn. The leaves are dying and falling to the ground. They will be absorbed into the earth, decay and their constituent parts serves as the nutrients for other living things which will also die and serve the same useful purpose. The electrons buzzing about in our brains that provide the fuel for consciousness do not die. They simply find a new home as part of some other conscious life form that itself is recycling through its own process.One of the world’s most renowned scientists, Steven Hawking has renounced his former assertion of the existence of God and proclaimed that new discoveries imply that God is not necessary for Creation and that Universes being born and dying are as common as every other element of creation.When we die, all that dies is this artificial identity we have created. Our consciousness is all part of the same recycling process. It isn’t reincarnation. It is just simply that conscious energy is fixed. And it will always find a new home when its present residence is no longer feasible. And it doesn’t really care what the form of that new home is.

  • fsartori

    Why, in God’s name would the Washington Post print such venom. Why are you even giving credibility to someone (bekc) who is obviously such a negative promoting person. Why?

  • areyousaying

    How disappointing for Jesus that those who use his last name don’t denounce the political treachery of Glenn Beck Christians, the vile hatred of Fred Phelps and the criminal racketeering of the Catholic Church that hides it’s “ebephile” priest from civil prosecution. They’re no better than Muslims who don’t denounce their murderous terrorists.Abraham was the original Satan and is dancing in delight to Beck’s right-wing, shock-jock demagoguery.

  • imZandor

    All Religion is phony & fake full of lies, bigotry & hate for others who are not like them!!The President of the United States is president of ALL THE PEOPLE, that includes Christians & non-Christians. Do the Christians believe that the President works for them and them alone?Does that mean that a Christian President like Bush only works on behalf of Christians? Does that mean that the rest of the people in America can just convert to their brand of Kool-aid or have NO VOICE IN GOVERNMENT? Is that what a Christian President is these days? Look where that got us under Bush? TRILLIONS IN DEBT, A NATION LEFT IN SHAMBLES FROM CORRUPTION OF THE CHRISTIAN KIND. 2 WARS WITH OVER 9,000 US TROOPS DEAD! ALL BECAUSE OF A CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT AND FOR WHAT…THE SAKE OF Christianity? What a wast of human life!! AMERICA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION!!YOU PHOOEY FAKE CHRISTIANS ARE GOING TO GET MORE PEOPLE KILLED FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FAKE RELIGION.KNOW GOD; NO PEACENO GOD; KNOW PEACENEVER EVER TRUST A REPUBLICAN AND NEVER TRUST A CHRISTIAN EVER AGAIN…THEY BOTH LIE LIKE DOGS & NEED TO BE PUT DOWN (in the voting booth)!half truths to confuse the idiots who believe the BS lies!

  • Anne12

    The Jewish traveling rabbi Jesus, should he magically appear in this country, would be first asked for a birth certificate, and then chased out of town by the “real Americans”, aka “good Christians, because of his socialist teachings.

  • jonswitzer

    Mormonism teaches that Jesus was a god and that you and I can become a god as well if we do what is right. That is clearly not Orthodox Christianity.Liberal Christianity teaches that the morals Jesus taught are important but that it is NOT important that Jesus actually rose from the dead. Clearly that is NOT orthodox Christianity. Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who died and rose physically from the dead, that all who believe in him do not become gods but simply are promised everlasting life.

  • cbmuzik

    Most conservative Christians would affirm 6 fundamental beliefs (Conservative Christianity is far and away the most popular form of Christianity in American and the reference point for most professing Christians. The reference point is not the liberal Washington post and its secular humanist readers.):1. The Bible was written by God through the Holy Spirit and contains no errors. If you believe those things then you are a Christian; if you do not believe those things then you may believe in something, but it is not Christianity in any sense.That’s one way of looking at it, but Jesus himself says something in the Bible that defies some of what you’ve just mentioned because unless true Christians believe THIS, you argument could be debated.Matt. 22:34-46 “After the Pharisees heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they came together in one group. And one of them, versed in the Law, asked, testing him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”Those verses proves true Christians will FIRST acknowledge Jesus Father just as Christ did. Jesus did not call himself “God”, he gave that headship to his Father. Everything else in the Bible starts to make sense after this.

  • PSolus

    IGNORANTHILLBILLY,”If you believe those things then you are a Christian; if you do not believe those things then you may believe in something, but it is not Christianity in any sense.”Can you please list the things that indicate that I might be a redneck?Thanks in advance.

  • rgreervolleyball

    To JAXA S70Albert EinsteinAnd you do realize by saying that Stephen Hawking does not believe in God anymore as proof for your arguments you are saying people need to put their faith in what Stephen Hawking says. Either way you are still saying that faith is necessary.

  • dozas

    Long ago, Sir Richard Burton had it figured out: “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.”

  • RedBlueGreen1

    It is interesting that once Elizabeth gets done mis-labeling The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by rudely naming them what the popular press frequently calls them “The Church of Latter-Day Saints”, she then cites people calling mormons a non-christian fourth Abrahamic faith. Elizabeth then changes direction and goes on to cite people who label Obama’s faith. After feeling that pain she suggests maybye we should not label people. I guess it is not too hard to see who Elizabeth is being hard on and who she likes. I hope everyone understands this article is tying two favorite liberal themes together – beat down Beck and his religion for talking about how the country is being guided and prop up Obama regardless of the way he guides the country.Let us appreciate each other and celebrate the positive things each of us brings to society. Let us avoid personal attacks while we discuss legitimate issues of our day.

  • thuma02

    I have no particular opinion of Mormonism, however, it does enlighten me a little about how Glenn Beck can come out with some of the crazy stuff he does. He thinks he has had a revelation and is destined to be a great leader. Not so much different than say, a Warren Jeffs the polygamist leader. Once you get into that mind frame and understand the concept of revelation to the Mormons you understand him. Really Mormonism and Muslims are very close; both believe that Jesus was a prophet but that a prophet came later that fully disclosed the truth. Only men can have a direct line to God in Mormonism. Both Islam and Mormonism have strong ties to polygamy. Both believe women should be subservient to men. As for Glenn Beck claiming that Obama is not a Christian. I would say that Obama is more Christian than Beck based on his respect and caring for the poor, uneducated and disenfranchised. Beck is just a pitiful name caller preying on hatetriots in America and claiming it is religion.

  • thuma02

    I have no particular opinion of Mormonism, however, it does enlighten me a little about how Glenn Beck can come out with some of the crazy stuff he does. He thinks he has had a revelation and is destined to be a great leader. Not so much different than say, a Warren Jeffs the polygamist leader. Once you get into that mind frame and understand the concept of revelation to the Mormons you understand him. Really Mormonism and Muslims are very close; both believe that Jesus was a prophet but that a prophet came later that fully disclosed the truth. Only men can have a direct line to God in Mormonism. Both Islam and Mormonism have strong ties to polygamy. Both believe women should be subservient to men. As for Glenn Beck claiming that Obama is not a Christian. I would say that Obama is more Christian than Beck based on his respect and caring for the poor, uneducated and disenfranchised. Beck is just a pitiful name caller preying on hatetriots in America and claiming it is religion.

  • thomasmc1957

    If Beck is a Christian, then why does he LIE constantly?