A Relativist, Wrapped in a Muslim, Inside an Agnostic - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Relativist, Wrapped in a Muslim, Inside an Agnostic

Why does a significant chunk of the American electorate think Obama is a Muslim? Let’s count some of the reasons: he speaks of his “Muslim roots,” says he hails from “generations of Muslims,” was born to a line of Muslim males and given by them an Arabic name, went to a Muslim school in Islamic Indonesia, speaks glowingly of Islam whenever he gets the chance, holds a Ramadan dinner in the White House, tells his NASA head to turn the space agency into a Muslim outreach program, and last but not least insults doctrinal Christians routinely.

The voice of the people is the voice of God, the pander bears and demagogues of the left usually say. But not on this one. With great impatience they have appeared on cable shows this week to lecture the American people on Obama’s “real” religion. Has the left-wing chattering class ever been more eager to pronounce a president Christian?

The American public hasn’t seen this level of hyperactive defensiveness from them, or what they would call a “teachable moment,” since that terribly insensitive New Yorker cover depicting Obama in a turban. Or was it the time that Hillary Clinton slyly said that Obama isn’t a Muslim “as far as” she knew? Or was it the time the Hillary campaign allegedly sent to the Drudge Report an image of Obama in Muslim garb? Or when Hillary-consultant Mark Penn’s offensive memos leaked out saying that he couldn’t “imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values”?

Oh well; all is forgotten in politics. But, wait, what did Mitch McConnell say again?  “I take him at his word” that he is Christian, said the Senate Republican Minority Leader last Sunday. The left is in no mood to forgive that one, since “his word” counts for so little in the eyes of Republicans like McConnell.

So what religion is Obama? Probably the most generous description of Obama’s elusive religious identity, should one take him at “his word” as it appears in his slippery memoirs and speeches, is that he’s neither Muslim nor Christian; he’s something else. His late mother, whom he once called a “Christian from Kansas” but actually was a non-believing anthropologist from Kansas, would have found classifying him tricky too. But perhaps he can be clinically described as a practicing agnostic, with deep roots in and sympathy for Islam, who views his now-professed, politically necessary religion with barely concealed disdain while allowing himself from time to time bursts of syncretistic sophistry and quasi-religious uplift.

At least this much is clear: his greatest fear is not radical Islam abroad but the growth of doctrinal Christianity at home. Imagine if he treated Muslims in the same arrogant manner that his administration treats pro-life Christian doctors, nurses, and pharmacists; imagine if he imposed secularism on imams the way his administration uses it to silence Christians opposed to “LGBT rights.” Islamic groups like CAIR would accuse him of rank persecution.

His de facto culture war with Christianity is of more interest to him than the real and ongoing one with radical Islam. He is the Harvard agnostic and dilettante who stands above all religions, save Islam, and judges their “rationality” and usefulness to the utopia to come. Islam is an intrinsically peaceful religion by his lights, while Christianity, unless it assumes the platform of the Democratic Party and sees Jesus as a forerunner to Saul Alinsky, is dangerously bigoted and an impediment to “progress.” Obama’s America has a friend in Islam, but Christians can be “un-American,” as actor Tom Hanks once described Proposition 8 proponents.

The more irrational a religion, the more Obama-style “rationalists” and relativists like it, and if the religion is non-western their enthusiasm grows still more. Obama’s gushing about Islam stems not only from his “roots” but also from the western agnosticism to which he essentially converted: relativists quietly admire the rupture in the relationship between religion and reason in Islamic culture because they engineered a similar rupture in their own.

Radical Islam and relativism take different routes of irrationality — the former adopts “faith” without reason while the latter adopts “reason” without faith — but come out on the same trail of blood: a culture of death, with daily abortions in the west, suicide bombings in the east, and a “leader of the free world,” who reads secularist propaganda at the Huffington Post with memory’s ear cocked to the “call of the azaan,” blind to both.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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