President Obama said Tuesday that he is a “Christian by choice” and that his decision was influenced by gospel teachings about salvation and the importance of loving one another.
“It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.”
The survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that found atheists and agnostics generally know more about religions than the people who practice those religions has plenty of people talking – including Keith Olbermann, who expounded/riffed on the results with actor/comedian/outspoken atheist David Cross on tonight’s Countdown.
Especially amusing to Olbermann were the revelations that a majority of Protestants surveyed couldn’t pinpoint Martin Luther as the person who initiated the Protestant Reformation, and four out of 10 Catholics answering questions about Holy Communion incorrectly. To Cross, though, it made sense:
“The more you know about how religion came to be…illiterate people writing down stories for other illiterate people that were then edited over time – all based on fantastic, word-of-mouth…decades and decades, sometimes hundreds of years after the event took place – the more you realize that maybe it’s not so legit, and then you start questioning things and it’s a domino effect.”Question - How could illiterate people write down these stories? And how did illiterate people read the stories? Does Cross consider Obama illiterate?
Funny that Olby does this show just a couple of weeks after defending the ground zero mosque – all his outrageously outragey outrage about freedom of religion, and intolerance towards Muslims. "Religious freedom is an inalienable right in this country". Unless you're anything other than a Muslim, and then it's OK to openly mock you?
Did he ever do a story about how little Obama supporters knew about him? Will Olby do a story mocking Obama's knowledge of Chritianity?
“Treating others as they would treat me” ~Obama
It's “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Not – "treat people how they would treat me"…. That's like saying, "They started it!"
“Being my brother’s and sister’s keeper.” ~Obama
"Am I my brother's keeper?" The phrase comes from Cain's answer when God asks him the whereabouts of his brother Abel, whom Cain has just killed. Cain denies any knowledge, and adds the self-exculpatory question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The point of the story is not that Cain was responsible for looking after Abel. Cain was condemned not for failing to keep watch over his brother, but for killing him.
Makes me giggle a little that in the effort to tamp down the growing number of people that think he is a Muslim, he makes these kinds of blunders. It reminds me of this old debate.
It also reminds me of this:
Wolffe told the audience Obama was using religion, specifically his church attendance to garner support for the various offices he held - from Illinois state senate, the U.S. senator and ultimately President.Imagine that...using religion just to get elected. He trots it out, whenever he needs it. Elections, poll results, photo ops....
"And then at the same time, he was running for various offices," Wolffe said. "So when he went to church, and this is where the politician's slipperiness comes in - he didn't say, ‘I wasn't much of a churchgoer.' If he was in church, it just wasn't his church. He wasn't going to church to pray. He was going to church around the state of Illinois to get votes."
And I think it's safe to assume Obama wouldn't do very well on the Pew Survey, either.
I would love for someone to ask Obama why he chose Christianity over Islam, especially since his father’s side of the family is Muslim.
Now that would be fun to watch.