Obama’s secular upbringing

Over the years, much has been made of the fact that American president Barack Obama was born to a Muslim father and attended a Muslim school in Indonesia. Those who object to the “Obama is a Muslim” meme point to the fact that he also attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, was raised by an “atheist” mother and went on to become a Christian.

Obama’s “true faith” has been debated since he began his presidential campaign. His constant pandering to Islam has not helped the perception that he is a Muslim and, indeed, outside of the U.S., millions of Muslims globally evidently believe he is a Muslim, based on the fact that his father was one:

Barack Obama’s father was Muslim and therefore, according to Islamic law, so is [he]. In spite of the Quranic verses explaining that there is no compulsion in religion, a Muslim child takes the religion of his or her father.

The point of course is not that Obama is really a Muslim, because in America he is whatever he says he is. American ideas about such things as choice, religion, freedom of expression – including the freedom to choose your own faith – are different from the rest of much of the world. For us, a man is whatever religion he wants to practice, or not practice. But for Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim.

“For Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim.”

One of Obama’s brothers, Malik, is said to be quite devoutly Muslim and committed to the cause of spreading Islamic law in Kenya and elsewhere. Obama himself, however, engages in non-Islamic behaviors such as consuming alcohol and pork, but, then again, so too do many Muslims, at least as concerns alcohol, including the Saudi king.

Muslim, Christian or Secularist?

While Obama claims Christianity as his religion – cynics suggesting that he did so in order to become elected – what he has to say in his autobiography, written while he was a senator, suggests his views are far broader and more in line with those of secularists like me.

From the quote below, Obama’s mother sounds like me! This comment from the POTUS is encouraging, but I wish he had gone in that direction, rather than pandering to one violent faith with all manner of inaccurate statements.

“For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.”

“I was not raised in a religious household….

“For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.

“This isn’t to say that she provided me with no religious instruction. In her mind, a working knowledge of the world’s great religions was a necessary part of any well-rounded education. In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology. On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites. But I was made to understand that such religious samplings required no sustained commitment on my part–no introspective exertion or self-flagellation. Religion was an expression of human culture, she would explain…

“In sum, my mother viewed religion through the eyes of the anthropologist she would become; it was a phenomenon to be treated with a suitable respect, but with a suitable detachment as well.”

–Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (316-319)

“I was not raised in a religious household.”

Would that Obama could riff on mythology, instead of empowering Islam at every turn! Indeed, we have THIS very serious problem with the man: “Awkward: Group embraced by Obama hit by Canadian government for terror support.” This ISNA organization Obama is pandering to relentlessly is under investigation in Canada for terrorism support. Obama’s never met an Islamic organization he didn’t love, it appears.

His mother’s views were a step in the right direction at least. Mr. Obama, there are hundreds of millions of secularists globally who would like to see you go in that direction, as your mother wished, rather than the one you have been headed in all over the Near/Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

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  1. His religions
    He could be a multi theist, he believes in islam and some of hinduism and has chosen to be a christian for the benefits it brings. Ultimately he is a jihadist, no one else would treat the nation that supports him so badly.

    1. Atheists are stupid too!

  2. I somewhat agree
    There could be some contextual misunderstanding going on. I agree that for those of us who dislike Religion(s) it sounds bad when a president makes a statement like that. However, I think he’s right if he means something like “Muslims who slander their own faith by their violent actions should not hold the future of Islam.” Replace Muslims/Islam with Christians/Christianity, with Jews/Judaism… Atheists/Atheism… There is always a great temptation to take the power (rhetoric) of Religion and use it for causes that damage not repair. Then what good is Religion :-?: In summary, I feel that a president is best to leave G– and Religion out of the picture. I agree the secularist approach would be better.

  3. It would be so great if Obama would be more secular.

    1. Quite obviously, Obama’s words about “slandering” Mohammed had to do with the critics of Islam, not its extremists. His remarks came on the heels of the fracas about the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which his dishonest admin tried to blame for Benghazi.

      In other words, he’s talking about people like me who refuse to accept a completely evil child rapist, murderer and slaver whose doctrines have led to the slaughter and enslavement of hundreds of millions globally.

      According to Obama, the future does not belong to truthtellers like me. His statement is egregious, and there can be no excuse for it. He is simply parroting sharia law and essentially the death penalty for “blasphemy.”

      Obama’s actions in the ME and Libya have been disgusting and abhorrent. His attempts at deflecting off Benghazi are horrendous.

      1. Bhengazi tragedy–
        RECENTLY, WITH THE NEWS ABOUT THE NSA READING OUR EMAILS, ETC., WRITING ANYTHING ABOUT OBAMA THAT DOES NOT PRAISE HIM COULD GET YOU BANNED FROM THE INTERNET.

        I HAVE BECOME A VERY SUSPICIOUS CITIZEN.

  4. Islamonausea …
    I can’t get past his seemingly incessant Islamopandering. I used to like and had high hopes for the guy, but that’s all gone now and I can hardly wait for his term to be over. I wish it had been different. Of course, the older I become, I see politicians as hardly any more than self-aggrandizing/serving absurdities that we have no choice but to tolerate for their given times.

  5. This castigation of President Obama for addressing the haters/
    attackers of Islam is shameful. While I am not Muslim, I do not believe all believers of Isam are our enemies. Nor do I believe all Christians are this country’s friend to wit, we are currently listening to some of this most vile, hateful words coming from some leaders of our country who proclaim the faith In which I was raised – Christianity. Do these Congressional leaders not realize the damage they doing to our country? Do they not realize the world is watching and listening to their venomous words?

    President Obama as well as President Bush have attempted to speak out against the potential violence against Muslims, and others, (Sikhs) borne out of 911 and our sorry, uninhibited and ignorant disdain for anyone or anything we don’t understand. This, Acharya, is what I believe you have been fighting against. And yet, after you have suffered such misjudgements of your intent and character, you appear to be joining the legion against our President. I am surprised and saddened. I hope you give equal time to address the current ugliness of spirit, words and deeds by our Congresspersons against President Obama and ultimately our country.

    1. Thank you, but if you are here to defend Islam in any way, shape or form, you are on the wrong page. Islam is an oppressive ideology that should not be defended. Its biggest victims are Muslims themselves. I’m told that millions of HUMAN BEINGS in Afghanistan and Iran want to leave Islam, but they can’t because they are terrified of being murdered.

      [quote]The majority of Muslim scholars hold to the traditional view that apostasy is punishable by death… [/quote]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam ([url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam[/url])

      I have many friends who are ex-Muslim, and they live in fear for their lives – and you are going to defend this ideology?

      Islam says the following about my – and your – gender, and you are going to defend it?

      SUMMARY OF KORANIC QUOTES REGARDING WOMEN ([url]http://www.freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/574-what-does-the-koran-say-about-women.html[/url])

      Menstruating women are unclean, and men must stay away from them. Women are men’s “fields,” and men can have sex with them whenever they want. Men are superior to women and have authority over them, while women must obey men or risk being beaten. A woman is worth one-half of a man. Muslim men can own sex slaves.

      Islam has been used to justify the enslavement of tens of millions of human beings ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/498-islams-disturbing-legacy-of-slavery.html[/url]) – and you’re going to defend it?

      Obama needs to be criticized strongly and harshly for encouraging and enabling this misogynistic and infidelophobic ideology. Your defense of it is what is shameful, not our criticism of Obama. Obama’s policies in Syria, Libya and so on have been disgraceful. People are being beheaded, tortured, raped and having all kinds of atrocities committed against them because of his policies – and you are here defending him and them? Are you not aware at all of what is happening in Syria? He’s arming ISLAMIC RADICALS, for God’s sake. He’s got an utterly heinous Muslim Brotherhood fanatic, Mohammed Elibiary, in the Department of Homeland Security, for crying out loud!

      Did you see what the Egyptian people are saying about Obama’s policies in their country? One could suggest that your ignoring of the plight of the Egyptian people is a reflecting of [i]your[/i] “sorry, uninhibited and ignorant disdain for anyone or anything we don’t understand.” What have you got against the Egyptian people? They did not want to be enslaved under the vile Muslim Brotherhood government ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/801-egypt-throws-off-muslim-brotherhood-enslavement.html[/url]) that Obama helped empower. Do you have any idea what the Egyptians suffered under this Islamic gov’t? If not, it is your ignorant disdain that is shameful.

      Why you would ever think that I would support someone who has gone out of his way to enable Islamic fanaticism globally is beyond me. I have far too much morality for such a thing.

  6. Acharya S

    I am not defending Islam, Christianity or any other system of religious belief whose radical followers do harm to people. But it not the intent of many of the people of these various beliefs to do harm. Therefore, should we castigate rather than educate people about the depth and breath of the harm being committed? Should we not point out the policies that have existed in our government throughout its history, under all of its presidents, not just President Obama, in “defense” of this country? What indeed is the true power of any presidency?

    I am an old African American woman who have seen, felt and lived through much hatred directed against me and Black people. I know deeply what it feels like to be judged based solely on appearance. I need no lessons in this kind of hatred. Is the world filled with ignorance, lack of knowledge and fear? Yes, it is. But pouring hatred on top of hatred is, hatred for me, is not the solution. Educating is! This is what I have respected you for. Our policies are not created by President Obama; they are continued by him. They don’t require our approval; they require our research in the context of our history, our doctrines. Presidents come and go. What are we about as a country? What are we about as people living in this country? Not a pretty picture in many instances, but I don’t condemn everyone. I understand the ignorance and miseducation and I look to those of us who better to enlighten and educate.

    1. Thank you.

      We are talking about an IDEOLOGY that is responsible for the deaths of over two hundred million human beings – do you really not hate such a thing?

      To this day, Islam is used to justify SLAVERY of black Africans (http://freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/498-islams-disturbing-legacy-of-slavery.html) – again, you don’t hate such a thing?

      There continue to be SLAVES in the Muslim world, as in Sudan – black people like Simon Deng. You don’t hate the fact that he was enslaved under this cult?

      You are conflating the ideology with human beings – these are two different things. I have already addressed that there are millions of human beings nominally called “Muslims” who want to escape from Islam but who can’t. We are concerned about THEM, not about this disgusting ideology, which in itself is EXTREMELY HATEFUL and needs to be criticized fiercely.

      You previously said: “This castigation of President Obama for addressing the haters/attackers of Islam is shameful. “

      I responded that it is shameful to support Islam in any way, shape or form. You came back and changed the subject to people – Islam is not a person.

      I stand by what I’ve said, and I will never defend this ideology that abuses humanity in every way imaginable.

      Knowing the history of the ideology of Christianity, would you feel that its haters/attackers are “shameful?” Would you continually confound the ideology of Christianity with people called Christians? Would you defend Christianity, despite its centuries of abuses? We are not allowed to hate what Christianity has done to the world? Islam is even worse, so please stop defending it.

      Obama’s defense of this abusive “religious” enslavement is reprehensible. He has enabled it to spread like no other president in history, and for that he deserves to be roundly castigated. His international policies appall and horrify me – they frighten me about the future. He has helped enable horrible crimes to occur in Libya, Egypt and Syria, among other places, by pushing Islamist governments on the people there and helping destroy their secular governments.

      If you are so concerned with hatred, you should go talk to all the Muslim fanatics in the world who believe that the following HATE SPEECH is part of “Allah’s eternal Word.”

      UNBELIEVERS

      “This Book is not to be doubted…. As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them.” Quran 2:1/2:6-2:10

      “God’s curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To deny God’s own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God’s most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers.” Quran 2:89-2:90

      “Lord…Give us victory over the unbelievers.” Quran 2:286

      “Lord…give us victory over the unbelievers.” Quran 3:147

      “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers.” Quran 8:12

      “Let not the unbelievers think they will ever get away. They have not the power so to do. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of Allah and your enemy…” Quran 8:59-60

      “When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” Quran 9:5

      “Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate.” Quran 9:73

      “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous.” Quran 9:123

      “Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another…” Quran 5:51

      “He that chooses a religion over Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost.” Quran 3:85

      “Let not believers make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful – he that does this has nothing to hope for from Good – except in self-defense. God admonishes you to fear Him: for to God shall all return.” Quran 3:28

      “Garments of fire have been prepared for the unbelievers. Scalding water shall be poured upon their heads, melting their skins and that which is in their bellies. They shall be lashed with rods of iron.

      “Whenever, in their anguish, they try to escape from Hell, back they shall be dragged, and will be told: ‘Taste the torment of the Conflagration!'” Quran 22:19-20

      “Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” Quran 48:29

      “Those that deny Our revelations We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise.” Quran 4:56

      “Believers, know that the idolaters are unclean. Let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year is ended.” Quran 9:28

      “The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.” Quran 98:6

  7. Obama’s parents, their parenting, and their dangerous and deliberately oppressive and violent colonialist, imperialist SAID/CIA connections seriously concern me. I do not see that as a healthy upbringing for any child. His was a heavily idologised family, little doubt, and for sure he will not speak about his step-father’s hand in the 1965 Indonesian massacre of communists. I see his mother as a “true believer” with PAY. No one did that to me in my own childhood. My honest, kind and hardworking grandparents, unschooled and illiterate, raised a thoughtful little human, and a humane being. Bright, bi-lingual and an avid reader, I took it upon myself to learn about my ethnic background–all the while it was being attacked in the print media, films and schools ( southern California, 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s). I did not know about stereotypes, but I could see that Hollywood and the educational system took great liberties with my people’s image. At seven years of age I told myself that all cultures are beautiful in their own way “like the flowers in grandma’s garden”, while soon noticing, but too diplomatic to point out, that some people “hadn’t been raised like me” about respecting other cultures. As soon as I saw Omama’s dark skin I thought “it’s about time.” But immediately I saw the strong possibility that he might be a Trojan Horse for some terribly undemocratic and socially unhealthy social/economic/foreign policies–and did not vote for him in either election. I was quite right, in hindsight. While the establishment media called his speeches brilliant and moving I saw them devoid of substance.This discussion I find limiting if it’s only about his religeon–as an activist I see many other things to consider–humans are too complex to do otherwise. I see Mr. Obama as too glib and clever–which unfortunately can pass for intelligence. He spends a lot of time “getting over” on us, a poor example for youth, It is people such as he that make politics “dirty.” But he is only the figurehead for something rather evil. I am an artist and a cultural worker.

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