Many Americans remain confused whether President Obama follows Islam or whether he follows Christianity. Recent polls indicate nearly one-fifth of Americans still believe he’s a Muslim, in spite of the president’s repeated attempts to convince America otherwise.
Last month in Albuquerque, N.M., Obama again tried to set the record straight. At a backyard question-and-answer session, a member of the audience asked him why he’s a Christian. In a fairly detailed response, President Obama said that he came to Christianity later in life.
He pointed out his spiritual belief that flawed people “achieve salvation through the grace of God.” “And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes,” Obama told the audience.
On the surface, his words may appear to squelch questions about the genuineness of his Christian faith. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama didn’t end there.
Speaking about the religious diversity found in America today, the president added, “But we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own.”
His words could suggest a deeper belief that all religions provide alternate paths to God’s grace and subsequently, heaven. Further causing confusion, not only did Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists make it onto his list of valid world religions. No, Obama also included atheists and agnostics, but these people reject religious belief systems. Therefore, it seems even people with no faith have their own path to God’s grace according to President Obama. Since he appears to believe that numerous spiritual and non-spiritual paths equally lead to the gates of Glory, it’s no wonder Americans remain confused about his true religious beliefs.
Do Obama’s remarks suggest he gives equal footing to all world religions? Just possibly, his comments reveal that he’s a religious pluralist. Pluralism is a spiritual belief that multiple paths lead to the same God. A pluralist might follow one religion, such as Christianity, while leaving open the possibility that other religions are equally legitimate. Today, this notion is visually demonstrated by a bumper sticker found on the rear of numerous American automobiles. The sticker simply reads “CO-EXIST.” It contains various religious symbols, including those from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and others.
As a politician, it makes sense for Obama to outwardly subscribe to religious pluralism. The inclusiveness of the belief allows him to accommodate all of the various religions in America, thus offending few. While liberals applaud his inclusiveness, it leaves conservatives with little to criticize concerning his religious ideals.
However, it does leave one significant problem for the president. One-fifth of America continues to believe Obama worships at a mosque instead of a church. Perhaps, his religious inclusiveness doesn’t help to convince them otherwise.