The Corner

Obama’s ‘Conventional’ Faith

When you’re done reading Kurtz’s excellent piece on what Obama’s faith says about his leftist politics (as well as the Chicago Reader piece he highlights), I suggest you this read Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani’s interview with Obama about his faith from 2004:

“So, I have a deep faith,” Obama continues. “I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.

“That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.”

It’s perhaps an unlikely theological position for someone who places his faith squarely at the feet of Jesus to take, saying essentially that all people of faith — Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone — know the same God.

Over the weekend, Obama defended his decision to leave his church saying, “You know I did not anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subject to such challenge and such scrutiny.” The problem seems to be that Obama thinks his Christian faith is conventional when it’s anything but.

Further, the eagled-eyed Jeffrey Weiss, who drew the article to my attention, notes that Falsani has a blog and has posted the full transcript of the original interview. Among the intriguing revelations in the transcript:


Do You still attend Trinity?


Yep. Every week. 11 oclock service.

Ever been there? Good service.

I actually wrote a book called Dreams from My Father, it’s kind of a meditation on race. There’s a whole chapter on the church in that, and my first visits to Trinity.

I think what Obama meant to say is, “Every week, except when Wright is planning on saying something controversial, I stay home so I can deny it later — in other words, I hardly ever attend.” There’s also this:


Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?


Well, my pastor is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for.

I have a number of friends who are ministers. Reverend Meeks is a close friend and colleague of mine in the state Senate. Father Michael Pfleger is a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely.

Well, he’s now disowned two of those three — and heading for a trifecta. As for the remaining minister Obama claims a close relationship with, Meeks hasn’t gotten much media scrutiny yet, but he’s a big problem as well. For starters, some enterprising reporter might ask Obama what he thinks about Meeks’ suggestion that “Hollywood Jews” were responsible for Brokeback Mountain.


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