Now that Barack Obama has decided to be for the Ground Zero mosque before being implicitly against it (perhaps), discussion about his faith has once again reached a fever pitch. To many, his stance proves he's a Muslim, with a recent poll showing that almost 20 percent of Americans hold that opinion; to others, it just reflects a desire to be faithful to the Constitution (now, that would be change). The truth, however, is a bit more nuanced. Obama is not religiously Muslim. Culturally, though...well, that's a different matter altogether.
In reality, calling Obama a "Muslim" gives him too much credit. As G.K. Chesterton once said, "We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end." The truth, however, is that few people have thought thoroughly and to a definite end. And Obama is no exception. He hasn't even thought matters through enough to understand the folly of statism. Even more to the point, he is a moral relativist, a position the antithesis of any absolutist faith. Inherent in Islam is that belief that Allah, not man, has authored right and wrong and that, consequently, it isn't a matter of opinion. Thus, Obama cannot truly believe in Islam -- or in Christianity or Judaism, for that matter.
Oh, and since some will ask, how do I know Obama is a relativist? It's simple: Virtually all leftists are, as the denial of moral reality that is relativism lies at the heart of liberalism.
Speaking of relativists, this matter of Obama's "faith" much reminds me of Adolf Hitler and paganism. Like Obama, Hitler sometimes feigned a belief in Christianity, but in reality he held the religion in contempt. He believed it was "the greatest trick the Jews ever played on Western civilization" and lamented that it was not a warrior creed like Islam or the ancient Germanic paganism with which the Nazis wanted to replace Christianity (I wrote about this here). Yet while Hitler's second in command, Heinrich Himmler, certainly believed in the ancient pagan myths -- going so far as to launch expeditions to the Far East to prove them, à la Raiders of the Lost Ark -- it's silly to think that the leader himself viewed them as anything but a utilitarian . He wasn't quite that romantic.
But what about culturally? For sure, Hitler preferred seeing Swastikas and runes (respectively, pagan symbols and letters) to crosses and crèches, rebuilt Germanic pagan temples to churches. That was where his passions lay. (If some are upset at a comparison between Hitler and Obama, know that I'd never call the president a National Socialist. He's an international socialist. Also, Hitler was patriotic.)
Obama also has passions, and there is no question as to where they lie. As journalist Todd Fitchette wrote in "The un-faith of Obama,"
... he continues to openly praise Islam; he bows to Muslim leaders; he claims that the Muslim call to prayer is "the most beautiful sound in the world;" he regularly quotes from the Koran and cites it for directing his life; ...In the past year alone he made a big out of a celebratory dinner to open the month of Ramadan -- held in the state dining room; he refused to the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts (an avowed Christian organization), and, refused to attend the National Day of Prayer because he claimed to do so would be offensive to non-Christians.
Then there is that king of Freudian slips, when Obama matter-of-factly said to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, "You're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith," and he didn't seem headed for a correction until Stephanopoulos interjected. (Note: This doesn't contradict my assertion that Obama has no real faith. Nancy Pelosi has spoken of her Catholic faith, but, as she is also a relativist, it can be nothing more than part of her cultural tapestry.) CONTINUED