Will Demanding Proof of Obama’s Baptism Become The Next Right Wing Crusade?

I always thought that the central tenet of the Christian faith was … well, faith.  But, as it turns out, when someone like President Obama claims to be a Christian, that can’t just be taken on faith, which is why we keep seeing column after column written by right-wing activists claiming that they don’t believe that Obama is, in fact, a Christian … and it is entierly his own fault, of course:

The current president has neither a church, nor, to my knowledge, even a denomination. When I’m asked questions about his faith, by sincere people not looking to attack, I sincerely can’t give a good answer. It’s a problem I didn’t have with any of the Bushes, the Clintons, Reagan, Carter, and on and on.

Of course, it shouldn’t be difficult to rectify misperceptions. Throughout American history, presidents have been asked about their faith and sat for lengthy interviews sharing their thinking, explaining precisely what they believe. Why doesn’t Obama simply do the same? This isn’t rocket science … Obama’s problem isn’t a tiny fringe that believes he faces Mecca to pray five times a day, but an increasingly large number of Americans that aren’t sure what he believes. Until he makes that clearer, confusion will understandably reign.

Sure, Obama may claim to be a Christian, says Mychal Massie, but that means nothing:

In the aftermath of Obama’s unsolicited, controversial dictates over the Ground Zero mosque debate, White House image-makers are now trying to convince the public he is a devout Christian. Specific to that point, he may not be a Muslim, but I’m convinced he isn’t a Christian, either.

As evidence of his devoutness, the White House has entered into evidence that he allegedly prays every day. Let me be clear – praying every day no more makes one a Christian than walking across a stream makes one a fisherman.

Scriptures tell us that by our works we shall be known (Matthew 7:15-20). Where is Obama’s fruit? I think it can be reasonably argued that, if he were a Christian following after Jesus, there would be no questions about his faith. If his actions were Christ-like, people wouldn’t question whether or not he is a Muslim.

And if you thought the Birthers were an annoyingly insistent bunch, let’s just hope that Cliff Kincaid’s demands for proof that Obama was actually baptized never catches on:

Obama talks about hearing a Wright sermon, “The Audacity of Hope,” which inspired the title of his second book. However, there is no mention of any baptism in this—his first—book. The reference to being baptized came in the second book, as Obama was preparing to launch his presidential campaign. The timing is significant.

These are the facts as Obama himself reported them. So how have the media handled them? Needless to say, there has been no serious investigation into whether the claims are true and what they mean.

“Obama’s religious biography is unconventional and politically problematic,” Newsweek’s Lisa Miller reported. “Born to a Christian-turned-secular mother and a Muslim-turned-atheist African father, Obama grew up living all across the world with plenty of spiritual influences, but without any particular religion. He is now a Christian, having been baptized in the early 1990s at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.”

The phrase, “having been baptized,” is apparently based on Obama’s claim about being baptized. Our major media haven’t questioned the claim.

Miller went on to say, “His baptism presents its own problems. The senior pastor at Trinity at the time of Obama’s baptism was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the preacher who was seen damning America on cable TV…”

Notice the formulation, “at the time of Obama’s baptism.” She carefully does not say that Wright performed the baptism. In fact, there’s no evidence it was a baptism in the traditional sense that it was performed by Wright or anybody else. It looks like Obama walked down the aisle and made a profession of faith. That is not a Christian baptism.