There seems to be a lot of confusion and consternation over Obama’s religious beliefs. Last week, the Pew Research Center’s survey on the President’s religious beliefs found that nearly one-in-five Americans say he is a Muslim. Just as noteworthy is the fact that the percentage on that question rose from 11% in 2009. This survey was completed before the recent uproar over the building of a mosque at ground zero.
While the church Obama attended for around 20 years was known as a Christian one, it certainly bares little resemblance to Orthodox Christianity. It appears to be more similar to certain sects of Christianity with everything in common with Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology.
Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, where our president attended church for 20 years, set off a firestorm with his incendiary tirades bashing America from his pulpit. He infamously eulogized the 9/11 tragedy by shouting that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Even more interesting is his reference to Malcolm X using that statement with Elijah Muhammad to describe the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
There is also a close kinship that exists between Louis Farrakhan and Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam and Reverend Wright. In fact Wright has held meetings with Lewis Farrakhan. Jeremiah Wright traveled to Libya with Louis Farrakhan to meet Muammar Khadafi, when Khadafi was one of the most important rogue-state leaders and terror-supporters in the world. Wright also labeled it “terror” when the United States bombed “Grenada, Panama, Libya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki,” and “argued that the United States supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa.”
These extremist statements illustrate a heavy influence from Liberation Theology. Liberation Theology is a movement within Christianity. It points to Scriptures in the Bible to sanction its tenets that describe Jesus Christ’s mission as bringing a “sword,” or social unrest, to combat poverty and bring about social justice. The movement began in the Roman Catholic church in Latin America in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The label is no longer a popular one since it was openly criticized by the Vatican later. Eventually, it also became contaminated by Marxist and Communist ideals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology
Black Liberation Theology is a more specific branch of Liberation Theology. It deals with the African American experience of oppression and the need for liberation from bondage due to “social, political and economic” causes. It also applies the gospel of Jesus Christ to liberation from these struggles in this present earthly life rather than focusing on eternity and the afterlife. Obviously, both of these rather unorthodox belief systems within Christianity hardly qualify as Islamic religions. Both are based on biblical teachings although they are not generally embraced by most Christians. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_liberation_theology).
It is easy to understand the American public’s confusion about President Obama’s religious beliefs. The only church he regularly attended seems unrecognizable as a Christian one for many Americans. His actions have further clouded our perceptions as he has continued to support Muslim causes in such a vocal way while simultaneously attacking Americans such as when he travels overseas on presidential visits.
Perhaps it is important to examine candidates’ religious beliefs before they are elected to office rather than scratch our heads afterwards in disbelief.