Sunday, 15 November 2009

I am a Christian

Some of you, especially in Christian circles may have been sent this short movie which claims to provide evidence that Barak Obama is a Muslim.

If you have already seen it, or see it because I have linked to it here, then I recommend that you also watch the speech that Barak Obama made at Cairo University on June 4 earlier this year.  You can download it from here (or lower quality video here). It's 54 minutes, but I think it's a significant enough speech in our times that it's worth taking the time to listen.

You will see that much of the video evidence in the first movie is cut, completely out of context*, from the second in such a way as to give a very different message from the one Barak Obama himself was actually giving. 

This will hopefully cause you to be sceptical of much of the rest of the short movie because it will be clear that little attempt is being made to present reasoned and fair arguments.  Whatever your opinion of Barak Obama (and I myself strongly disagree with him at some points), he should be treated justly.  I expect this particularly of Christians who ought to be concerned with truth.

The short movie fails to mention that most of what Barak Obama is quoted as saying is said as a prelude to confronting serious issues in the Islamic world.  It leaves out the small yet significant statement in which Barak Obama stands in front of a Muslim audience in a Muslim country and says, "I am a Christian".  And if we were better students of history ourselves, we would realise that what he says about history in his speech is true, not a glorification of Islam.

Other parts of the 'evidence' provided is simply laughable.  I certainly hope no-one will ever accuse me of being a Christian because I take a tour of Westminster Abbey.

In my opinion, the short movie is political propoganda aimed to turn people against an opponent by using existing fears of Islam.  It is misleading, deceptive and slanderous and Christians would do well to disregard it, especially if they wish to maintain a credible witness in the world.

* both the context of the speech and the context in which it was delivered are important considerations.


Mike said...

truth and facts aside, would it be a problem if he were a Muslim?

Rachael said...

HI Mike,
That's an interesting question.

First, I think it's worth saying that I thought long and hard about whether I should say that it was slanderous to 'accuse' someone of being a Muslim. I am sure that a Muslim wouldn't consider it slander to be called a Muslim. But, I suspect they would consider it slander to be called a Christian, especially if their self-confession was to be Muslim.

Second, obviously the people who made the movie think that it would be a problem if he were Muslim, or that they think there are enough people that think so that it makes it worth their while producing the movie. This is either because of the events that have happened throughout the world over the last ten years would make people (whether Christian or indifferent) extremely suspicious and fearful of a Muslim president. Or, it comes from a theological belief (which I think comes from a misreading of the Old Testament) that Israel (and Jerusalem) must be under Jewish control before the second coming of Christ. Thus, a Muslim president would probably severely impede these hopes. In this case it becomes a question of faith, not just security.

Me, what do I think? This is where I just don't know enough about American politics, Islam or Barak Obama himself to say. I would think that being a democracy should mean that it doesn't matter, particularly when the Muslim population is a minority.

What do you think?

Mike said...

I agree with your first two points. I think it would be highly unlikely for a muslim to reach that office in the present climate. Indeed, funnily enough for all of the separation of state and church that America holds dear, i suspect it would be highly unlikely for anyone professing not to be christian to hold the presidential office. In fact, I think they've only had one Catholic president (JFK (oh and Josiah Bartlett : ) )), so to be non-protestant seems to be an unwise political move (although see here: for a list of those who weren't associated with any religion). And I agree, that the people making the movie (which I've not seen) see being associated with Islam as a slur on his reputation.

That said, it would be an earth shaking thing, I think, for the president of the United States to be a Muslim. But ironically, a great statement of democracy, in which they seem to think exists the world's greatest freedom.

I too, don't know what it would look like in the US. So why don't we move the thought experiment to our own shores. Obviously, it won't have the same world wide ramifications given Aust. is not a super power.

If the PM were Muslim, currently I do not think that he could install sharia law. He would offer different values but apart from that, I doubt it would be very different from anyone else. Particularly when all the 'religions' are clumped together.

The President has more power, but he still has to persuade the two houses to vote.

Whatever the politics of it, I am confident that the gospel would not be suppressed, for it cannot be suppressed. No political leader can stop the Lord Jesus taking his people to himself. The Romans weren't particularly friendly when Paul wrote that the gospel is bearing fruit and growing all over the world.

Mike said...

oh, and one other thing that I was about to write but stopped myself, about having a muslim minority. It would be unfair to suggest that only muslims would vote for a muslim politician.