A new Time poll finds that one quarter of Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. What’s most interesting about that fraction is that more Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim than believed it when he was running for President two years ago.
As Americans have gotten to know their President better, more have apparently come to believe he prays to Allah.
Big media predictably is interpreting the poll as exposing Americans’ ignorance and xenophobia. But it is actually the best evidence yet that, whatever his faith, the first new President since 9/11 has exposed himself as the Islamophile-in-Chief.
Obama’s Islamophilia has manifested itself in ways big and small—in his unflinching antagonism toward Israel and his bowing to Muslim autocrats; in his 2007 comment that the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on earth,” in his hosting of a Ramadan dinner at the White House while cancelling National Day of Prayer events at the White House.
But it is perhaps most evident in what has become clear about Obama’s view of religious freedom: that God rarely has a place in the public square unless that god is called Allah.
Obama’s initial remarks about the Ground Zero mosque were illustrative. In defending the Cordoba Initiative’s right to build the mosque, the President said, “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country … is essential to who we are.”
Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of religion is defined as the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
But Obama is very selective in his concern for religious liberty.
Under Obama’s definition of religious freedom, we have not just the right but the duty to erect a mosque mere blocks from the site of the greatest attack on America at the hands of radical Islamists.
And bureaucratic red tape seems to melt away as the mosque moves forward to construction. Meanwhile, the Greek Orthodox Church has continually met bureaucratic roadblocks in its attempts to rebuild a quiet church destroyed when the towers fell on 9/11 just steps from Ground Zero.
Under Obama’s definition of religious freedom, the obvious link between Islam and terrorism can never be acknowledged. Instead, his Department of Homeland Security has told law enforcement officials to be alert for terrorist acts by Christian Identity Groups.
Obama’s left has long been at war with public displays of Christianity. Most textbooks in our government-run schools downplay Christianity’s profound contributions to the West, while white-washing Islam’s troubling history.
The left’s judges ban prayer in schools and strip the Ten Commandments from public buildings. This week a federal appeals court ruled against a cross memorial erected along a highway in Utah to honor fallen state highway patrol troopers. The court ruled that the display was unconstitutional, even though it was paid for with private money and erected with the permission of the fallen troopers’ families.
The left has no room for religious freedom or free speech rights when they collide with the so-called right to abortion. That’s why under “bubble zone” laws, pro-lifers who pray on public property at abortion centers risk arrest if they get within yards of someone walking to get an abortion. And it’s why Obama has refused to further protect the conscience rights of Christian doctors who wish not to perform abortions.
When same-sex marriage became legal in the District of Columbia in March, Catholic Charities, which contracts with the D.C. government to provide social services to the city’s poor residents, had to terminate health coverage for employees’ spouses. That’s because the liberals in the D.C. government forced the church to choose between its core values and offering benefits to same-sex couples.
Obama calls America’s commitment to religious freedom “unshakable.” But under Obama, America has shown a conspicuous lack of concern for religious liberty abroad.
It took Obama 17 months to nominate an ambassador at large for international religious freedom. In April, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) criticized Obama for softening his stand on protecting religious freedom.
As Thomas Farr, a former director of the State Department’s office of international religious freedom under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, wrote in June, “The Obama Administration seems to have decided that other policy initiatives—outreach to Muslim governments, obtaining China’s cooperation, advancing gay rights—would be compromised by vigorous advocacy for religious freedom. In fact, such a decision would harm the victims of religious persecution.”
We know where most of those victims reside. The USCIRF report showed that 10 of the 13 countries designated as “Countries of Particular Concern” are Muslim nations. They are exactly the countries with which Obama has been attempting to forge relationships based on “mutual respect.”
But only Obama could offer mutual respect to countries that refuse to respect even the most basic religious freedom rights of their non-Muslim citizens. No wonder, according to the Time poll, the share of Americans who believe Obama is a Christian has plunged to less than half. Even among blacks, the percentage that believes Obama prays to Jesus has dropped from 56% to 43% in just the last year.
Obama has even changed the language he uses when speaking to Muslims about religious liberty. Instead of invoking the “religious freedom” to which Obama appeals in defending the Ground Zero mosque, he now calls on others nations to protect “freedom of worship.” The latter term is narrower than the former and fails to capture the right to publicly live out one’s faith.
To most Americans, radical Islamists are the enemy. But to the American President, orthodox Christians are a greater nemesis because they present a larger threat to the advancement of his agenda.
That’s why Obama’s embrace of all things Islamic has been matched by his political jihad against the religious freedom of Christians.