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19% of white evangelicals still think Obama's a muslim

By Brandon - Posted on 02 April 2009

What is wrong with these people?  Things like this make me so mad because they just play into a certain Northeast/West Coast stereotype of what I consider to be people like me. 

Please someone tell me what we can do?

Brandon, you may not understand what I'm going to say here, but now you know how the real Jesus Christ feels.  There are so many distortions of him, distortions of scripture, thousands of Christian denominations because they all have THEIR list and HE has to take it all without any complaints (he's able to do that because he's not all human).

Unfortunately it all comes with a commitment to finding the truth and not trying to live up to the dictates of a church or denomination.  I did that in the 80's when I was Pentecostal, and the second best thing that ever happened to me was the day HE stopped that.


Also Brandon, I really hope you don't take any of my posts as PERSONAL attacks.  They're definitely not meant to be.  Many of us have been up against the type of people that have the mentality you speak of, and we know what they're like.  Really frustrating, really.

I don't see what makes Christianity any better than Islam.

B., I don't know if you'll beleive this, but I swear this is true and it has to do with the church this person was going to.  In 2004, one of my friends said that if Kerry was elected, he was going to have heterosexual marriage outlawed because the Republicans were against gay marriage, so that meant the Democrats were against hetero marriage.  That's what people are like.

Another friend tried to get me to vote for Christine Gregoire against Dino Rossi for Governor in 2004.  Rossi is a total social conservative type.  I decided to vote for Gregoire in 2008, particularly for the Democrats passing Gay Rights legislation in the 2007 session.  You can imagine the snear about that.

It's just crazy.

P.S. to Ron : some of don't believe that fundamentalism is a true form of christianity, but is widely accepted and predominant.  I think fundamental Christianity and fund. Islam are of the same spirit, which is why the sound so much alike. 

To Brandon, I'd say: keep your distance from the loudest voices in the American churches, because the loudest are often the most wrong-headed.

Also, let your actions be much louder than your tongue or fingers. The world has heard all of the arguments Christians have offered, again and again, and yet they are still able to counter them all with a simple, "well, why don't you live up to your standards?" Giving your time and resources to help those less fortunate than yourself is one of the most powerful witnesses for the gospel.

As for those who still think he's a Muslim, there's not much we can do about hardened hearts. There's only one person who can consistently break a hardened heart, and he doesn't do it unless it serves the greatest good.


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

81% of white evangelicals says he's not Muslim. People thinking Obama is a Muslim is weakening.
You're a glass-is-half-full kinda gal, Misty.  Me, too.  Make mine half-full of white wine, please.  Hee hee.

The worst part about the 19% of Evangelicals still believing Obama is Muslim is not that they would just blindly accept the fwd: fwd: emails, but that they seriously believe that being a Muslim would disqualify someone from being president. There is definitely a sickness there.


I like the way you look at things Misty.  The bright side is that  81% of us don't believe in some weird conspiracy theory.

Magus,  I get frustrated when more mainstream evangelical Christians start saying wacked out things about politics.  Usually, it is the fringe groups but sometimes I turn on Christian radio and hear some bizarre politics.

Lep, you've never posted a reply to me that I would consider a personal attack.  You always give me some opinion that makes me think.  I know you and I will likely always disagree about gay marriage and gay adoption, but that doesn't mean I'm anti gay anymore than I think you are anti Christian.  

Ron, I think one difference between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam is that the Islamic extremists believe in death to the infidels and they mean it and will carry it out.   

Some Christians were never meant to have the pulpit, yet there they are, and there they remain. Others aren't very Christian at all, and still others don't care that the ACLU and other interest groups can use their politicizing to threaten their tax exemption.

The point I was going for is similar to the 'net's response to James Dobson. I doubt the ones with the least reason in their preaching represent you, and yet you and I will be lumped in with them because of our identity as Christians. Both sides are now very stubborn and hardened, so the best we can hope for is a lot of prayer and silent service.


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

"I think one difference between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam is that the Islamic extremists believe in death to the infidels and they mean it and will carry it out."

You're partly right, Brandon. I say partly because fundamentalist Islam has had a much longer time to ferment - and thus achieve its current heights of extremism this time around. And I say "this time around" because history sadly and predictably repeats itself. Remember the crusades? The tables are simply turned now. They are living their own dark ages this time around. Given enough time (and power), the new Christian fundamentalist wave will take us down the same path, with the same results. Much like how any political "ism", be it Communism, Fascism, Nazism etc... starts out from its unique point but ends up at same dreadful finish line.

That's why moderates, both religious and political, have such an important (while grossly underestimated) role in defending the fragile balance that keeps us from falling victim to various "isms".

No Brandon I don't think you're anti-gay, it's just that most of the people I know who are anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption, are, and use that as a pretext.  I know some draw the line at different locations.
Um, Lep... tell me if I should stay out of this, but... what's the difference between anti gay marriage etc and anti-gay? To me it's sort of like someone during suffrage movement times saying "I'm no shovenist, I just think women shouldn't vote".

Alina, I'm going to butt into your butting into lep and   I think there are many people who are not anti-gay, but anti gay marriage.  They hold a deep personal conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Many of these same people support civil unions, equal rights and protection under the law. 

My opinion is that as long as those convictions are personal religious ones, and they do not try to force it into government as a religious issue, it's fine.  Everything isn't black or white, but varying shades of gray when it comes to moral and religious issues and individuals.

Speaking of the chauvanist angle, it reminded me of someone I know that says he isn't prejudiced, it's just that all of our problems started with integration.  Needless to say, he and I have had some rip-roaring arguements over civil rights and what constitutes prejudice. 


You may be right. It can be a religious, not political feeling. I'm curious though whether Brandon is against gay marriage etc. only on a religious level...

Alina, I'm against gay marriage on both a religious and political level.

My religious belief is that marriage is a sacrament ordained by God to be between one woman and one man.

On a social level, marriage between a man and a woman is practiced in almost every society and has been since the beginning of time.  There is no societal tradition of gay marriage in any culture.  Society's main reason to support marriage should be for the raising of children which is best performed by one man and one woman.

What other kind of agreement between two consenting adults in terms of financial and lifestyle is none of my business, so if a gay couple wishes to have some sort of civil agreement I have no problem with it.  But don't ask me to say that a relationship between two women or two men is equal to that between a woman and a man because it simply is not.

I have no problem with gay people and have many gay friends.  One does not work in radio/music without getting along with gay people.  The blind can't drive, short people usually don't get to play in the NBA, ugly people usually don't have careers as models.  That doesn't mean that the Department of Motor Vehicles hates the blind or that basketball fans hate short people, or that the fashion industry hates ugly people.  So it should be easy to understand how someone can be against gay marriage but not hate gay people.

The blind can't drive, short people usually don't get to play in the NBA, ugly people usually don't have careers as models.

You crossed the line into fallacy at "blind can't drive"-- you are equating a functional inability with a social one.


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

My point is Magus that just because someone is not allowed to do something does not mean that those who wish to prevent them from doing so are haters.

I can't sing, therefore I will likely never be a famous recording star.    

Gay people are not being discriminated against in marriage because they are free to marry people of the opposite sex just like anyone else.   

I don't believe we should redefine thousands of years of what marriage means.

At the same time, if the various state legislatures vote to allow or change their constitutions to redefine marriage, I will certainly accept it because that is how our system works.  If Vermont and Massachusetts want to have gay marriage and Utah and Louisiana do not, that is fine with me.   

Brandon, not being a good singer and not being ALLOWED to sing by law because you like bluegrass and the majority does not would be pretty different matters, now wouldn't they? Your analogies make no sense.

In any case, this is an interesting an important topic to discuss. I think we can all learn from eachother - at least partially answer the "what are they thinking???" questions on both sides. But why don't we take it to Golf's blog post, where it's the main topic at hand?

"Gay people are not being discriminated against in marriage because they are free to marry people of the opposite sex just like anyone else. "

That's just like saying banning interracial marriage is not discrimination because black people have the right to marry within their own race.

I don't believe we should redefine thousands of years of what marriage means.

Marriage means what it means because someone defined it. Just because it's been that way for thousands of years doesn't mean that it is right. Slavery was around for thousands of years and still is in some places, doesn't make it right. We progressed and abolished it, maybe it's time to progress and allow two people who love each the same rights.      

Brandon, this might shock you so much you might fall out of your chair, but Ii disagree with you.  I will give you two examples.  While 70% of the people in King County might be good liberal voters, the other 30% has it's share of wingnuts.  A few years ago, a friend of mine who was in radio and tv, felt called toward ministry and got his degree.  he was looking for a church and interviewed with one in Auburn.  The #1 hot button issue in the PCUSA is the ordination of practicing homosexuals.  They asked him if he would lay down his life to oppose this.  I'm not making this up.  How can you?

A teacher from one of my bible classes had a son who moved to that side of the state.  His family attended a church and he found out they didn't allow women to teach or be in any kind of position.  This is based on the scriptures that say that a woman should be silent in church and that Paul said he never allowed a women to be over a man.

However those of us who have read the WHOLE Bible have also read "there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free - but all are one in Christ."  That scriptures been there for almost 2,000 years but it took like 1,800 years before women started to get the freedom given them by Christ.

I know you'll blow your head gasket, but I think if that scripture was written today it would probably read "there is neither Black nor White, Male nor Female, Gay nor Straight - all are on in Christ."  A central part of his mission was the elevation of all people especially those percieved as outsiders by the social establishment.

He abolished the external prejudices of human thinking.  Because of the extreme prejudice inside conservative Christianity, there is probably only a small percent of gay people who are Christians, but if gay marriage and gay rights were accepted because of this, perhaps another rejected group would see the benefits accrued to them by the acts of his love.

Lep, I would certainly agree that gay people have not been shown the proper love that Jesus would demand we show for our neighbor.

Even if one believes that all forms of sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin, conservative Christians have somehow elevated being gay to being the worst sin of all and there is certainly nothing in the Bible that would support that belief.

Again, I have no problem with any kind of legal, civil union that two consenting adults wish to engage in.  But I still believe marriage has a special place in society and should be defined as one woman and one man.  

This issue has actually impacted me in a negative way.  The best employee I ever had was a gay man who was my part time assistant.  His partner was the CFO for a local tv station.  The station got sold and the new company did not recognize domestic partnerships so he could no longer be on his partner's health insurance. His partner transferred to a tv station in Las Vegas owned by a company that did recognize domestic partnership, so I lost the best part time employee I ever had.

Sorry to hear that.


No news from the planet Sarcasmo on this subject.

Again, I have no problem with any kind of legal, civil union that two consenting adults wish to engage in.  But I still believe marriage has a special place in society and should be defined as one woman and one man.

Brandon, it looks like you're saying basically that gay couples should have the same rights on a civil level as heterosexual couples, which is what I've been saying, so where do we disagree?

Are you concerned that legalizing gay marriage would force religious institutions to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples? I don't think there's any need to worry there. Separation of Church and State is supposed to work both ways.


Everyone should be allowed to enter into any kind of legal partnership contract that they wish. I'd argue that the government probably shouldn't be involved in "marriage" at all, leave that to the churches.

I think where the "gay rights" movement has probably made a mistake and has just created another hot button social issue is by calling this contract marriage. It is not so much a demand for a right but a demand that society accepts a gay partnership is an equal to a heterosexual marriage when it simply is not. 


I'd argue that the government probably shouldn't be involved in "marriage" at all, leave that to the churches.

What if one is not religious and doesn't go to church?

Like me.

Are you saying that my marriage isn't a marriage because I chose to get married outdoors by someone other than a priest? I consider nature my"Church" as it was created by GOD, churches were created by men.


Actually Hope, God created the church.  IAll of the people who believe in Jesus for their salvation make up the church.  The church is the bride of Jesus Christ.

To answer your next question, I would think the #1 supporter of rights for the disabled is Jesus Christ himself.


Lep, I understand your beliefs. They are not mine, however  I was just trying to make a point to Brandon on keeping Marriage definition in the church only. Other people believe in God and not the church, so to just keep marriage specifically to the church i think is wrong.

Hope, I'm saying that perhaps the government should stick to legal contracts and let marriage be defined by those getting married.  Those of us who go to some kind of church could get married by whatever standards that church accepts.

Someone like you could have a private ceremony outdoors and perform whatever marriage ritual you want.  Why does the government have to condone or not condone your beliefs?

Marriage is a holy sacrament to me, so I would attend a church that would only accept marriage between one man and one woman performed by a minister.

But my question is, is my marriage not a marriage because i chose not to get married in a church? Look I have no problem w/ any church or church going people who want to keep separate the two types. However there has to be a compromise of sorts so that neither side is left out of the "marriage term" if that is what they want. So on a previous post I stated why can't we have separate terms without getting rid of marriage, like Marriage by Church and Marriage by law? That way it includes all. I use Marriage by church instead of Marriage by God because, I do believe in God, I am just not  religious. 

I'm saying let's just not call "marriage by law" marriage.   The government should grant you and your husband a civil union by law.  If you want to call that marriage, you would be free to do so.

We all should have right of equal protection under the law.  There is no right for society to accept one's lifestyle.

Hope, I think you misunderstand my beliefs.   I'm sorry.  it's just you said God didn't make the church.  I wanted to correct that.

Let me illustrate by a point made to me by God, the LORD JESUS Himself, I never heard this from another person.  It's primary basis is Acts 10-1:15 esp verse 15.  As most people know certain foods were prohibited under OT law, especially known are pork and certain seafoods.  So if I go to Zip's (a popular Spokane fast food chain) and order a baconburger, I can eat it guilt free because of Christ's work.  so how many people do you think who eat bacon, pork chops, seafood, specifically say "Oh thank you Jesus, beacuse of what you did I can eat this!"  Hardly ever I bet.  Does this nullify what He did?  Does it mean if you eat these things and don't specifically mention it, you're sinning?  Not one little bit.  In fact, to use the Jehovah Witness formula, it's a double blessing because He did a good thing and was not acknowledged for it.

IMO it is the same with marriage.  Everyone who marries, whether it's in a church by two committed Christians or just people who want to be married in a church, whether you're married naked on a beach, skydiving or issued a certificate at city hall, are honoring God because of the 'institution He created.'

You know what Lep, you are correct. Because in my belief we are all a part of GOD, he is in all of us. That's is my belief, God is everything and everything is God. So by me saying that man created the Church, in essence God did create the church.


Exaclty. I use that argument when the discussion comes up. Christians aren't the only ones getting married. There might be two athiests, two agnostics, one religious person and one agnostic(my parents), etc. Hard to define something in the broad spectrum we live in...

The Church should have it's rights within it's own doors but it can't define marriage for the country...

I have to chime in here.  I discussed this very subject with a dear friend of mine who is gay.  At that time, I was of the opinion that there should be civil unions and marriage, so that no one would be denied their civil rights because of their sexual orientation.  As we talked, my friend, who has been in a committed relationship for longer than most marriages last, showed me where every argument I had for my position had flaws.  Bottom line, I was arguing semantics, and nothing more.  It's all about a WORD...nothing more.  One word.  So now here is what I believe, thanks to my good friend.  I believe that there should be  ______  license issued by the state.  Whatever word they choose is fine with me, but that same license should be issued to everyone equally.  If they choose the word marriage, then the couple could have it "blessed" in a church or where ever.    If they use the words "civil union" or "domestic partnership" the churches etc could bless, or call it whatever they want.  The spiritual aspect of marriage would become more like a baptism or bar mitzvah...a religious ritual, that was outside of the law.

Remember too, that divorce would then become the dissolution of the legal partnership, what ever name it has.  But it is just a much angst over a damn WORD.

But it is just a much angst over a damn WORD.

You are so right Suzi! It's just a word.

I don't believe we should redefine thousands of years of what marriage means.

Well, marriage used to mean somewhat of an ownership of his wife.  That's been redefined.  And thank goodness!

brandon, I don't agree with you analogy.  What about a man and a woman who don't choose to have children?  You said in a different post that you believe that funadamentalist christians are misunderstood.  I would be very interested if you could expand on that, in what way do you mean, could you give me an example? 

Certainly, there will be couples who never have children for one reason or another. But I believe the main reason God created the institution of marriage was for the bringing up of children.

As far as fundamentalist Christians being misunderstood, no group is hated more by the mainstream media.  Several years ago, the Washington Post had an article (not an opinion piece) where they stated the Christian Right was "poor, undereducated and easily led."  The truth is that these voters are actually just a little less educated as the public as a whole and have only slightly lower incomes.  Since 50% of them are in the South where the cost of living is very low, their standard of living is on par with average Americans.  The Religious Right lives much more like "mainstream" America than the media elites think.

Most do not want to see America turned into a theocracy, nor do they follow national figures like Pat Robertson or the late Jerry Falwell.  Most are actively involved in their local church and do not financially support the tv or radio ministers. 

I'm opposed to "gay marriage" but not opposed to homosexuality in general. And I'm not religious.

However for me, it's just a word choice issue. I don't have a problem with civil unions for same-sex couples.

On the third hand, though, it's also not a strong opposition so *shrug*. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

"Ron, I think one difference between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam is that the Islamic extremists believe in death to the infidels and they mean it and will carry it out."

But at one time, mainstream Christianity was the same way. Historically, more people have been killed by The Church than by Islam. Btw, I think all religion is nonsense, so I'm not trying to sound all "Christianity vs, Islam".

But more people have been killed by atheists than by either Islam or Christianity. 

Really? As of 2000, non religious people make up less than 13% of the world's population and Atheists are only 2.5%, and I imagine even less as we go back in time. But I don't even know what atheists have to do with the discussion. My point was, when it comes to fundamentalism, when you take the full history into account, Christianity is no better than Islam, and vice-versa.

Just see our other discussion about isms for the death toll caused by 3 brutal men who based their whole life on the concept of no God:  Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot.

Well, I don't have the time nor interest to look up every case of mass murder by Christians and Muslims, because my problem is with them specifically but religion as a whole, which has killed more than Atheism.

I would avoid a debate over "who killed more", because one can bring up the Israelite settlement of Canaan after they were emancipated. Some say it was "cleansing", others will call it "genocide".

It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

I agree that the "who killed more" debate is useless.  The bottom line is that morally bankrupt people will use any excuse that works in order to achieve their selfish goals of power and control.

It's funny how when dealing with a one social issue is a topic..."religion" you'll see a discussion about other social issues come up...very interesting. 

Obama loves Jesus whether other people believe him or not is their issue.

Brandon...I am new here, I am assuming that you are born again?  I was raised that religion.  I have a thought for you.  Of course, this is only my own spin on it. But, I think Fundamenatalist is a term for Legalistic dogma.  It is not my personal spiritual beliefs anymore but I have many family members whom still consider themselves as such.  My point being that it is rigid and judgemental and damning.  I certainly don't question your faith, I am suggesting that maybe your not a fundamentalist.  Maybe, your are just a Christian, pure and simple.  Maybe, you find yourself frustrated because at least in my experience you see a lot of judgement being throw around as righteousness.  I respect anyone's religion and I believe strongly that particularly in these times it is something to hold on to and feel one can count on, when so many things seem out of our control.  I have made comments here several times about my frustration with the exstreme religous right and I see that you do as well, take offense to those who seem to give Chrisitanity a bad name.  At the end of the day, Jesus doesn't care who believes that our President is a faithful follower of him and quite frankly it is quite unchristian in my opinion for anyone to question the faith of any person or thier relationship with God. 


I have always said that I'm part of the "evangelical right" as I'm very conservative politically and I'm a Southern Baptist.  

I have often said that I think the religious right is misunderstood and unfairly demonized by liberals and especially by the mainstream media.  My purpose for posting at RFO is to try and maintain a dialogue with more moderate and even liberal Republicans and others who believe my side has hijacked the Republican Party to see if we can possibly find enough common ground to make the Republican Party viable again.

 It angers me when I see evangelicals playing into those stereotypes and espousing wacked out beliefs like Obama is a Muslim.  I believe we should be able to defend our faith and our politics with logic and facts so it can be very frustrating to me when some of us start advocating nonsense. 

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