August 24th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Does the president's religion really matter?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is Christian, yet somehow it's a fact that seems up for debate these days - with a growing number of Americans saying he's Muslim.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/24/art.obama.pray.jpg caption=""]
It's a false rumor that the president has been battling since he was a candidate, yet for many the issue is murkier than ever:

A new Pew Poll shows nearly one in five Americans believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim. That's up from one in 10 who felt that way last year.

Most of those who believe the president is Muslim are Republicans; but the number of Independents who think this way has grown significantly from last year. The number of people who are unsure about the president's religion is also higher - even among his supporters. Fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans say that President Obama is Christian.

Part of the reason for this misinformation just may be comments like these: The Rev. Franklin Graham - son of the evangelist Billy Graham - told CNN, "I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim." Graham says "the seed of Islam" was passed through Mr. Obama's father; and although the president says he's accepted Jesus Christ, the Islamic world sees him as one of theirs.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also weighed in with this quote: "The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word."

Critics argue a remark like this suggests the debate over the president's religion is legitimate.

The White House says that the president is Christian and he prays daily. They point out Mr. Obama has spoken extensively about his faith in the past; but making sure Americans know he's a devout Christian isn't his top priority. And they have a point - it's not like there's a shortage of serious problems facing this country.

Here’s my question to you: Does the president's religion really matter?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Pat writes:
To me, it does not matter what the president's religion is, and I do not understand the current brouhaha over this topic. I think it's a real shame that we have grown adults trying to diminish any religion and in particular the president, who stated long ago that he is a Christian. So, who is muddying the waters? And why?

Koopa writes:
Our founding traditions would be better served if the president's religion was kept private and personal and not subjected to the purview of theological gadflies and media voyeurs.

Phyllis writes:
Yes, it does matter. This country was founded on Christian values.

Bob writes:
No, no it should not. If you are born a citizen of the United States and have not been convicted of a felony, you can become President of the United States. Kennedy caught some flack for being Catholic. It is a hypocritical stance to take considering the election of an African-American man as president proved to the world that America can live up to its ideals of equality.

Jeff writes:
Nope. I don't care if he professes a particular faith at all, although I would prefer he be a moderate Muslim than an extremist Christian. I am looking for solid consistent leadership across the board. Haven't always seen that but I give him points for trying.

Sandy in California writes:
No. What matters is his lack of transparency. Everything is a guessing game with him. We are not sure of anything: his religion, his birthplace, his social ties, etc. As far as we know, he slept the through the 20 years he attended Rev. Wright's church since he never recalls any of the incendiary speeches he made about the U.S.

Dan in Virginia writes:
It's not surprising that 1 in 5 people believe this. I'm sure 1 in 5 Americans believe in Bigfoot, little green aliens, ESP, and the Loch Ness monster. What's really scary is that if he were Muslim, 4 of 5 people wouldn't vote for him for that reason alone. The president's religion shouldn't matter, but to the average voter it's issue #1.

Filed under: President Obama • Religion
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Scott P

    No, Jack, I do not think the religion of President Obama, nor any president matters. If a person has proven to be a worthy candidate for any job, namely president, then their religion is obsolete. The fact that a nation supposedly built on freedom and tolerance is judging their leader for such a thing goes against the what our country stands for. Letting a few bad seeds in any religion spoil a whole religion is ridiculous. The same thing has happened with Christianity and it is the same people who are denouncing Islam that are screaming "Blasphemy!" at the denouncement of Christianity.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  2. Rick Houston TX

    No it doesn't because religion and government should be two different things. This is plainly an excuse to try to weaken Obama's popularity ratings(which are still very high.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  3. Tom

    Of course it shouldn't matter – this country was founded on religious freedom, religious plurality, whatever you want to call it. But in the small minds of those right-wing lemmings who want the US to become a christian theocracy, of course it "matters". The so-called "debate" over our duly elected president's religion is bogus, as anyone with a brain knows, and the notion that it matters is even less relevant.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  4. Ryan

    I am Republican and I will say it does not matter at all. I really could not care less about what a person's religion is as long as they do a good job. There are plenty of things to complain about in his performance as president. We certainly do not need to focus on something that is invented, trivial, and not in any way related to his job performance.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  5. luckjoe

    The President's religion mattered when the candidate was a mormon.
    It does not seem to matter to the liberals or the press is the President if the President sat in a church listening to hate America sermons for 20 years or if he could be a Muslim, known to hate Christians and Jews.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  6. Bobbie Wood Mission Viejo, Ca

    How amazing it is to me that so many 'devout'(????) Christians (???) believe that THEY are 'the way, the truth, the light' instead of Christ. Faith is the personal...yes...one on one...relationship each and every person has with God. Some, seem to miss that fact.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  7. ps

    This is the biggest waste of time issue I can remember.

    Why not ask if he's alien or not? I heard someone say that they take him at his word that he is human, therefore there must be a question about it.

    1 in 5 Americans believe the world is flat – that doesn't make it so!

    Jack, the fact that you are evening asking the question fuels the fires of stupidity.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  8. Jason

    Well, let's think about it- if I were to ask you, or anyone, "Are you a Christian?" before deciding if I wanted to work with you, or be friends with you, I imagine you'd be pretty offended.

    This country was founded on freedom of religion. It should NOT be an issue if the President is Christian, Muslim, Atheist, or whatever. "Christian values" is not an indicator of someone being American. We are all Americans, and we are free to practice whatever religion (or non-religion) we choose. The President's (or anyone's) religion should not matter.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  9. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack

    Freedom of religion is an individual freedom! This reminds me of the book The Stranger from Albert Camus where his main character is misjudge when people does not see him cry at a family funeral! In other words, it is not because we do not see President Obama pray that he does not pray! God bless you all!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  10. Curtis, Kennesaw GA

    No! It can't be said in more simple of terms – no!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  11. Jim

    If Americans accept the concept of the separation of church and state, President Obama's religious preferences make zero difference. This entire Obama's religion bit is part of an attempt by people who do not accept his presidency as legitimate to discredit him. Whether this is based upon skin color, his parentage, or upon allegations that he is Muslim, it is fundamentally racist and consequently un-American.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  12. Abdiwali

    Of course it does! Even though there is no official religion in America, Americans expect their president to be Protestan-Christian. We all know the last president who was not Protestant. America is not ready for non-Christian President. It took 300+years for America to elect President that is not White. Let's hope it does not take 500 years!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  13. jamie S

    Personally, I could care less what religion the President is. If he's Christian, Pagan, Hindu, Muslim or a Satanist – it should not matter!!! We cannot live in a country that proclaims to have freedom of religion, and then try to treat a religious group as if they are 2nd class citizens and do not have the same rights as everyone else. It's disgusting that these so-called people call themselves Americans.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  14. Jason

    Not really. The fact that he belongs to any religion only means that he suffers from the same collective delusion as most Americans. It's amusing that "God" is the only invisible man you can believe in without everyone questioning your sanity.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  15. Adam

    No it doesn't matter. What does it matter if he is either. Does his religion really play a role into how well he can do his job. The only reason people think he could be muslim is because of the color of his skin. If Mccain was president, would this even be an issue. No!!! If Obama says he is Christian, then he is Christian. If he comes out later and says he has changed to Islam, then thats his right. Why do so many people really care.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  16. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Your damn right it matters. Islam is a bloodthirsty CULT where fathers kill their own daughters for "dishonoring" the family. A person of the Islamic faith has NO PLACE sitting in our White House. End of story.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  17. omgamike

    The President's religion should not be a concern to anyone except him and his family. This is such a personal matter that we should not even be discussing it. That said, it really saddens me to read of so many people who are buying into this hogwash. The man says he is a Christian. He is a Christian. Unless and until someone can show any proof of something different, they should shut up. All the Obama haters should really get a life. I for one am very tired of hearing nothing but hate speech.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  18. Hussein

    I was never a supporter of Obama and his campaign and his policies, but lets be realistic, aren't there jews and christians and other people who hate America as well? whether he is a muslim or not it doesn't make any difference, Pres. Bush was a devoted christian, and yet many did not like him, and they were concern about his devotion to his religion and all of that, so all of the sudden right now every one is concerned about Obama not being a christian. Give me a break, this is pure hypocracy. it is back and white, either you love America or you don't, regardless of you religion and beliefs. you can be a jew, and eithiest a buddist, or what ever.......

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  19. Mark Stone

    From Encino, CA

    I believe that too much emphasis has been placed on religion in America. We should be leading the world by example, the example fo tolerance and acceptance. Instead some of our so-called leaders pray on fear and prejudices. We just went through 8 + years of the religious right and "moral majority" trying to impose their brand of religion on the nation and every aspect of daily life. Now they want to stir up doubt and fear and the real reason . . . because they don't like someone's politics. Freedom to practice the religiion (or no religion) of one's own choice is the corner stone of our society and it should not be infringed upon by anyone. The issue of a politician's (or anyone's) religion, especially the President's, is and should be irrelevant to everyone except that politician so long as the practice of that religion does not interfere with the rights of others, does not bias or prejudice that individual towards others or interfere in that politician's ability to perform the job that the "people" elected him or her to perform. This country has many more issues of much farther reaching import to deal with than what brand of religion the President practices.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Racer X

    It matters because the President chooses to lie about his religion. If he is a Muslim...fine, we have Muslims in Congress, the Secret Service and the Military. Obama needs to remember that Christians don't pray five times a day.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    No. My own spiritual beliefs are just that, mine. As far as the rest of you out there, providing no one is harmed and there are no human or animal sacrifices, I couldn't care less.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  22. Richard W. Kirisits

    Americans would do well to remember these words of Thomas Jefferson regarding religion: It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no gods. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    Buffalo, NY

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  23. Andrew D

    Why do we insist on beating a dead horse, This issue is such a none issue except for the hate filled fear based rust and dust worshiping jerks who spread lies and indifference for self gain backed by a blind following of some of the worst of mankind . What a sad state of mentality.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  24. Steve in Spokane

    Jack, when a "Christian" sits and listens to the hatred spewed by the likes of Rev. Jerimiah Wright for more than 20 years and expects the American public to believe he's a "devout Christian", yes I would think that it matters!...at least as much as if Reagan or Bush Sr. & Jr. were to attend Anti-Semite or KKK rallys for 20+ years!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  25. wileysee

    It does matter if his religious beliefs conflict with doing what is right and prudent for America. For example a lion is fine being in charge of a society of other lions, but don't put him in charge of a herd of sheep. Pretty soon there will be no sheep for him to watch over.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  26. Karl from SF, CA

    It doesn’t matter, regardless of what it is. In high school in 1960 I learned early what an ignorant bunch of people populated this country when John Kennedy was running for President. The Pope was going to move into the White House and call the shots. Now their equally ignorant direct decedents are still buying into the illogical Republican religious brainwash regarding a black president and a trumped up religious affiliation. Unfortunately the elected Republican leadership, like Boehner and McConnell, are doing everything in their power to keep the flock as ignorant as possible with word games, instead of telling the real truth, to try and win another election. May they be properly rewarded for bearing false witness in November and lose big time.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  27. Nathan

    In principal no, but in practice yes. Come on, how could we have an Amish President? Whats he going to do, paddle across the Atlantic on a log raft whenever the Israelis and Palestinians need a moderator? Maybe caulk a wagon?

    See these are the things you have to think about (arches eyebrow and taps head wisely)

    August 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  28. Dee

    That's the question I've been asking myself since all of this has come up. To me, it does not matter whether President Obama is Christian, Muslim, or any other faith. I believe that he is Christian, however whether he is or not is none of my business. Freedom of religion is. Respect for fellow human beings is.

    Humanity has fallen into the traps of fear and judgment before – McCarthyism during the Cold War, Adolf Hitler's influence over German society, even the Salem witch trials (absurd as that sounds today). All of these led to unimaginable cruelties. The real question is, can we outgrow this behavior?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  29. Karen

    Religion is (or should be) a very personal thing. As long as he doesn't push his religion on the American people, the president's religion is irrelevant.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  30. Ralph

    As I recall from 8th grade, one of the reasons for coming to America was to practice religous freedom. While it may not have started that way w/the Puritans back in the early 1600s, it evolved and soon other religons came over to enjoy that freedom.
    Since the establishment of the constituion, I have not heard of Congress dissolving the First and/or the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing those rights.
    Insofar as the religon that the President is practicing, does it make a difference? Why? I know of no religon today that states "Killing women and children is OK".

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  31. Edward

    sure it matters because voters tend to vote for a candidate whom they relate to. Having said that, It is a shame that we are treating the word Islam with a negative connotation. This is manifested from an extreme and vocal right that is growing more hostile by the day.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  32. USARight

    Yes it matters, first america has a majority of christian people in it, it was founded on those peoples morale values, there are muslim countries and they follow different values. With that said is America big enough and tolerant enough to allow for freedoms that follow other religions, yes to a point, not to the point of other muslim valued countries though. Second President Obama was elected based on his statements that he was a christian and American had a right to expect christian values from him. If i found that he is not a christian then he was elected on FALSE statements he made. Based on that alone it matters. Also if he caters to values outside his professed christian faith and makes efforts to favor one religion over another, like he did with the head of NASA and the ground zero mosque then people have the right to question his loyalties and his faith.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  33. Pat of California

    It doesn't matter to me, but I'm sure it matters to those who are looking for ways to rationalize their hatred for the Obamas. If they could prove he isn't what he says he is, whether it's being a Muslim or using a false birth certificate, they will have something other than race to hold against him. I think there are more Americans than you think who do not like having a black family in the White House, but most of them don't want to admit that. They will, however, spread rumors about his religion or birth.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  34. Steve from New York City

    Jack, your question should be worded as "Does a president's choice in religion affect his performance?" The people obsessing over President Obama's religion are doing the same thing that they did when JFK was campaigning regarding his Catholicism. I don't care about his creed or where he prays or who he prays with. Do a good job for this country and make me proud that I voted for you (or ashamed that I had not voted for you). I want to hear more about your performance, not what you do in your spare time.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  35. Rev. Jeffery Johnson


    Your question is a sad reality. I am an African American. I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I have been a minister for nearly 30 years, and I have been ordained since 1986, yet in the eyes of some predominantly White churches my legitimacy is questioned by the pigmentation of my skin rather than what I believe as a brother in Christ. Many African Americans are as conservative as their White counter points, but sooner or later they will make it clear to us that we are not one of them Presidency or Not.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  36. Chip

    Just because he prays everyday, does NOT make him (someone) a Christian. Quit being so naive. Who is he praying to? What God does he believe in? Of course it matters what religion he is? Does it matter whether he is Christian, Jewish or Catholic, NO! Does it matter if a president worships celestial Gods; a prophet named Jesus; stuffed animals; or Ivory figurines, YES!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  37. Harvey

    The President's religion does matter, as long as he is President of a country founded on the fundamentals of Christianity. And, because he affirms that he is Christian, we should respect his declaration of same to be true. Its unfathomable to believe that he would deny being Muslim in favor of being a Christian if he were truly Muslim or any other religion. It would seem blasphemous to the denied religion and would come with its own set of consequences – – both on this Earth and not.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  38. Amy

    I believe it isn't about one's religion. It's about morals and knowing right from wrong. Not about what you eat, where you pray, who your prophet is etc. A message to the Republican party, can we please get back to the real issues, leave Obama alone and tell us what you're plans are. Thank you.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  39. Rick, AZ

    Doesn't matter one bit as long as he keeps his religious views, whatever they may be, out of his decision making process.

    Bush put too much of his personal beliefs into his decision making and it had a direct impact on a lot of people. Think stem cell research.

    As the leader of a nation that has many religious and non-religious view points, the president and people in all branches of government must keep those personal views out of the process.

    Good of the whole, not one group or individual.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  40. PiedType

    Of course the president's religion shouldn't matter. But it does. It matters to those who fear he is a Muslim. It matters to those who wish he was an atheist and to those who reassured because he's "one of them." It matters to those who think religion should be kept out of government and to those who think it should be a part of government. One way or another, as long as religion exists, the president's religion will matter.

    Denver, CO

    August 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  41. Oneworld

    Sincerely and without hesitation, It doesn't matter at all to me if he's jewish, muslim or christian or anything else.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  42. Rosemary

    For anyone to say yes to that question tells the world what kind of nation we may really be. One that wears a mask of religious freedom but speaks in words of division and hatred.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  43. RC

    only if he's muslim !!

    hey jack what are the chances that 1/5 Americans would believe and support such a ridiculous statement?

    what a hysterical frame of mind were in as Americans

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  44. Ann King

    So what if President Obama was muslim! As long as he does his job I couldn't care less about all these petty, malicious non-issues. Any nonsense is being put out to try to diminish and destroy this leader's presidency.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  45. Jeff

    Of course it really matters. But given our constitutional right of religious freedom, it really shouldn't. Barack Obama is our Chief Executive, responsible for the business of our nation and should not be held up to anyone else's religious measuring stick.


    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  46. Kathy F.

    No, the President's religion is of absolutely no concern to me whatsoever. What I do care about is what he does to help the most vulnerable among us. How the President worships is his private business. It is between him and his god. We have freedom of religion in America and everyone, including the President, is free to worship (or not worship) however they choose.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  47. Lora Huff

    To me it does matter – however, I believe he's a Christian and is trying to live out that Christianity as he tries to do good to all people. At the same time he must uphold the Constitution which promises everyone freedom of religion. It's rediculous to hear people saying he's a Muslim when he openly professes Christ as his Savior. He's doing a good job considering all the problems this country faced when he took office and still faces today. We need to pray for him daily.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  48. Sunny SD

    This country was founded on the separation of church and state for a reason. Religion needs to be a personal belief or non belief in whatever god one chooses. Religion should not be a litmus test for being President. Look at those who wore the bible on their sleeves while in office. Just think back to the previous administration....if that is what is required...I would rather have an atheist in office. All the religious right wants is their way or the highway. The fear mongers warned the Vatican would have a satellite office in the JFK White House. I agree with others who are using the Muslim issue because they can't stand the thought of an African American in the White House ergo 'take back our country' slogans. Who do they think they are kidding? What will they do to Romney when he runs again? Look out Mormans – you will be the next group to hate.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  49. John R from Oregon

    YES it matters to all Americans that care about keeping our constitutional right to have freedom of religion. It simply shows how much work is yet to be done to educate Americans that we get to choose our religion(s) or lack there of. This whole issue has changed my mind. I now think the New York mosque should be built, just to prove that we still are a country with a first admendment.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  50. Don

    I receive a daily deluge of Obama bashing mails. Many of them still question his brithplace/certificate/religion. Many of them are professionally done. Makes one wonder if there isn't a think tank out there being financed by someone or a political party. Voters are going to find it difficult to believe anything come November.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  51. Adam

    No it does not, otherwise it'd have been in our constitution. The one everyone is starting to forget about. We are just using Islam and all of these divergions to take our attention away fron the main issues in question (Economoy, Employment, Wars, Heatl care, and above all our feeedome and tolerance).

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  52. Towheed from Arkansas

    President Obama declaring to be a Muslim is a fact, not opinion. It's something proven. Just like saying the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I don't understand why Americans don't understand that. His faith is irrelevant to his performance. More and more Americans seem to think he's Muslim after his backing of the Ground Zero Mosque in New York. People should be more worried about the real, legitimate, problems in this country ranging from the economy, education, war funding, and cleaning up the Gulf oil spill. This country is a melting pot and a conglomeration of different religions. This is a country founded on separation of church and state. This is America

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  53. Casey Kuhn

    In the twenty-first century, when one in five American adults subscribes to such an aggressive ignorance as to believe something that is as demonstrably untrue as "The president is a Muslim," it is up to the other four in five of us to wield the club of sanity and keep beating back the tide of misinformation as best we can. Having said that, the fact that anyone cares about the religion of a president who has so tacitly enumerated his rigorous defense of the separation of church and state seems a phenomenal waste of time.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  54. shukan

    the fact that this has become an issue makes the doubters seem like they have a problem with an american president being muslim. is there something wrong with a 10 year old muslim child thinking they could become president one day? the answer is no, thats not america. the administration shouldnt even dignify the skeptics by responding to them

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  55. Lamine Kane

    I just don't understand why we devide ourselves soo much. We shouldn't judge president Obama or any person by what religion or culture they live. I am muslim and alot of my very good friends practice other religions, including my best friend. We should judge each other by character and stop defferentiating ourselves. We are all sisters and brothers and we can walk any direction that we desire.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  56. Amelia

    I am so confused as to how it could possibly matter to anyone. It absolutely drives me crazy when someone says this is a "Christian nation." Last I checked, we had a little something called separation of church and state!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  57. Mikki B

    In this country, it shouldn't matter. The polls indicate that it matters to at least 1 in 5 people, so apparently 1 in 5 people are ignorant about what the Constitution actually means. When are people going to wake up and find that it's the fear-mongering that is destroying our country, not whether or not an official, elected by a majority of the people, is affiliated with any particular religion. I'm for Freedom FROM Religion, considering the negative effect that religion, being used by those who prosper from it, has had on our great country.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  58. Wes

    This president's religion matters, how else can those who see race, america's demographics changing, voice their fears. What we once knew no longer exists and fear of this magnitude of losing "your country" will blindly lead folks to ethnic cleansing, intolerance and grasping for a forgotten era when they thought all was right with their country. God bless our youth, they see differrence as normal and don't fear the country changing. If we can survive another ten years without the gop "dumbing" us down, maybe the next black (female-hispanic) jew or muslim president will have it a little easier. Intelligent leadership should matter.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  59. phath

    Any President is shackled by current events.
    Religious extreamist are the new political reaities. A Clear thinking, empathtic and secular commander in chief is the order of the day.
    in America Religion is personal and the attempts of the opposition to paint President Obama as anything other than an American because of his name is an attack on our

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  60. Francis Schafer

    It should not matter what the President's religious beliefs are. Our forefathers came to this country to avoid religious persecution, and a key founding principle is freedom of religion. What makes our right to worship how we choose any less important than our right to freedom of speech or to bear arms.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  61. Debbie

    Read your Bible Jack. King James version. We're not here to judge people. We can judge for ourselves and turn from one that shows he isn't a Christian. I choose not to vote for him in 2012.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  62. John Hennesy Black


    I long for the day when we will have the courage, rationality and understanding to elect an Atheist as President of the USA, so we can be a truly secular nation as our founding father’s envisioned!

    Religion(s), faith based, sky pilot nonsense is nothing more than superstitious, ignorant, lonely people attempting to create a solution, in a very chaotic world, to their own essential loneliness. It is the source of 95% of all evil, greed, intolerance, hatred and abuse in the world!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  63. Kevin

    his religion has nothing to do with it. this is a secular nation. always has been. when people think its a christian nation they are utterly wrong. ALL the evidence and the foudning documents support a secular nation. there are absolutly no christian principles anywhere in the Constitution.

    Religion has no meaning in government.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  64. Daryl

    The president's religion is important to me as what Your religion is Jack Cafferty, or anyone else's faith.....I want a "human being" for the President. Come to mention it,....would like the same in our Congress, but that's been debateable since Replublicans lost majority.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  65. Don

    Living in Honolulu, I know many people who have known Obama since he was little (in fact, when he was brought home from the hospital after his birth), his mother, his grandmother, his sister. They all know him as a Christian (and incidentally, born in Hawaii, which is of course part of America, and was at the time of his birth). They later knew him in school. I can say without hesitation that he is a Christian ... not that it makes any difference - he is a bright man, he has a caring heart, and he has been pointing America in the right direction. I'm proud of what he's been able to accomplish in the face of unreasonable and ill-conceived attacks on his background.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  66. billie

    oh my goodness! standing in the grocery store line this weekend and seeing the full-page story on the face of one of the "sludge news" sickened my stomach.
    our president is a good man. he is a good president. he is an excellent president with the heart of the people, the u.s. people & all the peoples of the world, in mind.
    what is wrong with these scaremongers???? they need to be thrown in a hugh pit along with the other vipers that are racist and just plain unamerican!! let them live with each other, and let the rest of the peoples go forward working together hand in hand.
    religion is a private thing with god and god alone. the actions of the president are a public thing. pres. obama's actions are good.
    huntsville, texas

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  67. dede46

    What is more important is......... is he an American patriot ?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  68. Hotlanta


    Now can we get on with important things?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  69. Nancy Bachelder

    I believe that President Obama is a christian. However, his long attendance at Rev. Wright's church leaves many to question what type of christian he is. As to the idea that he is a muslim comes from his actions. The apology tours and seeming unseemly deference to muslim leaders of those countries, along with the position he has taken on the mosque only add to the suspicions that people have because of his father and the fact that Obama had attended what they believe to be a muslim school at a formative time in his life.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  70. Zack

    No, it really doesn't. Most of the problems the country faces are economic, not religious. Debates like this fuel dangerous political movements at home, make us look like a nation of sanctimonious hypocrites abroad, and do no nothing to solve our real problems. However, they are good at keeping the populace distracted with a noisy sideshow, so politicians can keep their jobs this November.

    Woodbridge, VA

    August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  71. James Garrett

    Yes, his religion does matter! One comment found earlier in this space referred to "what you do in your spare time" ... My religion is my top priority in life ... not something relegated to my spare time!

    I want a president who is strongly grounded in his faith. I see Mitt Romney as the most capable person to lead this country ... he is a very religious man ... although not of my specific faith.

    I want my president to attend the National Day of Prayer ... our current president was the first president to skip this very important event.

    James, Arkansas

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  72. Jay Watkins

    No but people will make religion an issue in any debate

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  73. Pat Denney

    As a Christian, it does matter to me about the President's religion.
    What he says re this is not as important as whether he walks the walk and talks the talk. Past Presidents have flaunted their "Christianity" in order to gain votes, and many people have fallen for it.
    Can President Obama be held accountable for his father being a Muslim? Does anyone of us have control over the family into which we were born? I think not!
    President Obama needs all the prayers we can give him, even if we do not agree with his politics. All of our leaders need our prayers.
    They are making decisions that affect us all for years to come, even after they leave office.
    This President has suffered from attacks on almost every issue he has proposed.
    We need to quit harping about his religion, as important as this is to many of us, and let this man do the job for which he was elected–run this country. Most importantly, those of us who claim to be Christians, need to pray for him daily.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  74. Alex Caemmerer Jr M.D.

    Jack, you quoted Franklin Graham as saying that the " Muslim seed passes through the father," and elsewhere he also added, but 'the Jewish seed through the mother.' Therefore he claims that Obama is a Muslim.' His misinformation is as follows. Muslim refers to his religion, not nationality. Jewish refers to nationality , descendants of the early tribes of Israel. Their religion is Judaism. No one is born either Muslim or Christian, as they both require a belief in their particular dogma and , in Christianity, that Christ is the son of God. No newborn baby is capable of professing religious preference. Obama was born an American to a Muslim father and Christian mother. He is a practicing Christian.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  75. Lili from Santa Fe, NM,

    For a country founded on the values of religious freedom and a separation of church and state the President's religious beliefs should not be an issue, nor should it effect his ability to govern and lead the nation.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  76. Steve

    Jack, the presidents religion does not matter to me. What does matter is the demonizing that the far right is engaged in right now. I've seen signs that say Obama is the antichrist, a nazi, a communist, a socialist, the n-word, a destroyer of the country, and of course a sign depicting him as a witch doctor. Now, let's not forget those same people say he wasn't born in Hawaii and still want to see his birth certificate. And now he is a Muslim. Give me a break. All I can say is these people are Stuck On Stupid.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  77. Dorothy K.

    It's pitiful to see the way people are so ignorant about out president and so misinformed. Trying to tear the man down instead of showing respect for his office and for the man himself. This is what the poles show and how effective are these poles? Are we all so ignorant of the facts. Are we all so prejudiced as to try and destroy our county instead of trying to think positive and trying rebuild our country, together? We have so many good things happening in our country. Where is the news media reporting that? The media hops on an issue, doesn't report it correctly, and then is so amazed at the results. We all need to grow up and take responsibility for what we see and hear, and believe. Religion is man made and needs some sane belief systems for it to work too.
    Let's work together to support our basic freedoms.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  78. John from Louisiana

    Jack, I think the president has been very clear about his religion! It does not matter what people think because it really does not matter. That's some of the criticism you get when you are cleaning up someone else mess, Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  79. Joe

    Yes it matters to me what Religion any leader would have apparently something is wrong with the information the Amercian people are getting this is not good we are loseing lives every day fighting overseas. Someone from the current admin should clear this up after all we elected him over the years do not people know his religious habits?? If not we should.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  80. Al Devile

    It appears that Americans have forgotten that AMERICA was founded on Christian principles...Our forefathers believed in God, not Mohamed...and we have always been blessed as a nation due to our Christian beliefs...However, things are changing, we are no longer the world power we once were, and in my opinion (and that of most God fearing believers) is that we as a nation will continue to go down the further we get away from God.
    So if our leader does not believe in Christ, and continues to undermine the efforts of our founding fathers, the farther we will sink in this economic hole, among other things.
    The best example is his tacit approval of a Muslim Mosque in NYC two blocks away from the Twin Towers...
    This is said to be a typical Muslim show of victory, to place a mosque at the place of a battle...and 9-11 was a one sided battle.
    If I wanted a muslim President, then I would move to a muslim country. This was a Christian country, and hopefully still will be in 2012...just in time for elections.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  81. Tim form California

    It doesn't matter, so long as he protects America. So he better do all he can to prevent another attack and be as successful as President George Bush. But he's absolutely Muslim, he slipped and admitted it in a 2008 interview with George Stephanopolis. It's on Youtube, and undeniable.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  82. Darrell from Michigan

    Dear Jack, He claim to be a christen, he always did. Why do people still try to make him out to be what they want him to be a muslim. Is it because of his race. And no, it don't matter. What do matter is to lead this country out of the mess that we are in.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  83. Gary C.

    I believe in this country, we are allowed to have the freedom to choose our religion. Maybe these polled people, politicians and tea baggers should try reading that crumpled document in the corner called, "The Constitution."
    Perhaps the american people are watching too many reality TV shows and now feel it normal to pry into everyones lives for entertainment. What religion is Snooky?

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  84. Robert Spath

    The debate about Pres Obama's religion is just plain ridiculous. I would like believe that all the so called "christians" in congress behave in a christian manner but evidence, time and time again, seems to indicate that being a christian or any other basic religion is just so much chin buggy that unfortunately seems to be a requirement to get elected.
    Our government should be separate from a persons religion; there is no evidence that it improves things. SAD!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  85. Juanita Abbptt

    It seems President Obama favors Muslims over Christians or the regular public. He cancelled the "world day of prayer" and yet hosted Muslims in the White House. This among other things that favors others over Christians.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  86. Robinski

    YES, the President's values and morals are developed based on how he was raised, his environment, his parents and his spirituality. The United States was created and founded upon Judeo-Christian values and principles. The King of Saudi Arabia would not be in his position if he were a Christian or of any other faith other than Islam. A person's values and principles (stemmed from spirituality) is the core of their being and character.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  87. Sharon

    From California – President Obama's religion should not makes any difference. I do not care. This is USA, adnb we enjoy freedom of religion without persecution.

    But I do see "claim President Obama is Muslin" has been used as a prejudiced form of attack. This is definitely a psychological type of attack where eaqch article/speaker, etc hopes to gain political/religious support. Seems like Muslim, Blacks, Hispanics are just three examples of groups being presently being attacked.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  88. Laura

    Some Evangelical Christians bomb clinics, shoot doctors, and scream obscenities at the funerals of fallen soldiers. Some Muslims plants bombs and disfigure and murder women for having that audacity to expect rights. No religion has a monopoly on violence and stupidity. At the end of the day, all religion gets warped into an “us versus them.” That we have come so far as a species, but still pay homage to an imaginary daddy-figure in the sky is very disheartening. I would have much more respect for all of our leaders if they stopped paying lip service the religion of the ignorant masses and based their decisions on rational, analytical thought.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  89. Steven

    No. There are those who want it to matter. However, the vast majority of the 6 billion people on this earth more critical issues to worry about like simply feeding their families and surviving through the day.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  90. BarMChopper

    For you who laud the Constitution the way you do the Bible, take note: there are only two Constitutional requirements for President: 1) he (or she) must be 35 years old or older, and 2) he (or she) must be a U.S. citizen. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a word– a syllable –mandating the religious preference of the President.

    The Puritans fled Europe because they were persecuted for their religious preferences; they came here for freedom of religion. You have become the persecutors. You say you believe in the founding fathers' edict of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but you really don't. You want everyone to be white and Christian, and you don't know a thing about history or the principles on which this country was founded. You embarrass yourselves and don't even know it.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  91. Sean

    I would prefer not to know a politician's religious views. Religion, oftentimes, is one of those issues that causes a person or a population to be predisposed to an opinion of another person. This predisposition, when applied to politics, can impact a leader's ability to lead. The cynical side of me also believes that some less than reputable politicians merely use religion as a way to garner support from people that would otherwise not be willing to listen by falsely claiming some kindred connection to certain populations of voters.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  92. Juandero

    You know Jack I can care less of what the President's religion is.Its none of my business as it should be for millions of Americans out there. It seems to me that there is an hidden agenda behind all of this. In fact many people still question whether the President was born here in the U.S. when the State of Hawaii has proven more than once that He's an American citizen.What people need to do is spend six months worrying about their own business and six months staying out of other people business this country can be a better place to live in once and for all.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  93. George Shollenberger

    Only recentlly has Christianity's knowledge about God stepped ahead of Judaism and Islam with the development of panentheism. So, President Obama must spend more time comparing the God of these three three religions.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  94. Dave Siegel

    Of course religion matters. We are a nation under God. We trust in God. Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim. Come on people. You have to look no further than his name. The name he chose to be known as. We don't want to believe it but Barack is a wolf in sheeps clothing. Or should we say a Muslim in a suit. He no longer belongs to any church. He comes from Indonesia, a country that is predominately Muslim. His father was Muslim. He's listed on his school records as Muslim. He supports the building of a mosque near ground zero. He mocks the bible. He preaches about collective salvation. Are all of you people blind. Don't over think this issue. Our country made a mistake. It's time to correct it.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  95. rita new york

    Sitting next to your spouse(Michelle) in a Christian church pew does not make one a Christian. Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism does. Once and for all was Obama Baptized– where and when? Unless I have it wrong,Obama's bio father and stepfather were both Muslim. Unless he renounced his previous faith and became a Christian via Baptism, he is not officially a Christian. Even Jesus Christ was baptized !!!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  96. Robert Stroney

    No, the President's religion has no bearing on his effectiveness. Religion is a personal journey, with or without a entity.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  97. Rev. Dr. Kenneth Adderley


    I'm surprised that neither the Rev. Franklin Graham, Glen Beck, nor Mitch McConnell has uncovered that the name Barak is a good old Jewish (Israelite name) as found in Judges 5: 15 of the Jewish Scriptures. Barak in Hebrew and/or Swahili and some Arabic cognate means "Blessed" "Blessing" "Cursed" or "Cursing".

    The real meaning depends upon whether one speaks well of the person (then they'll be "Blessed" or then they will invoke a "cursing" if they spoke ill of the bearer of the name. This interpretation can easily be proved from God's conversation with Abraham in Genesis 12: 1-3 in the Torah.

    I spoke face to face with President Obama for about 8 minutes in April 2008 in Iowa and we discussed the Bible Prophecy I had given him 14 months before. If he was a practicing Muslim, i would have known it at that time–because I have taught World Religions to University students for more than 12 years.

    Dr. Adderley

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  98. Louise Counts

    I personally would like to think that my country that I love was being headed up by a godly person. Constitutionally we are free to practice any religion we choose, but the first settlers who left England and came to this land, were here to be able to worship God the way they chose. I don't think it was until the revolution and the constitution that other religious freedoms were introduced. Just see what a fix our country is in today; not from religious freedom but from a lack of respect for any religion. I do not like to be called religious. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and though I fail Him, He has never failed me.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  99. Joe

    I'm old enough to remember the hateful fear and loathing when Kennedy was elected the first Catholic president. "The Pope is coming to America to take over the American Government!!!" There will always be Cretans who hate the president no matter what his party, race, religion or views.
    The only difference is that one year they'll be Klansmen, another year they'll have tea bags sewed on their tractor caps.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  100. Bill from St Clairsville, OH

    Let's see, President Obama's agenda includes healing the sick, feeding the hungary, giving to the poor. His agenda is an inclusive agenda that encourages people take care of each other and realize that we are all in this together. Maybe in a previous time, but that really doesn't sound like a lot of high profile Christians today.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  101. John

    FDR was accused of being a JEW.
    JFK was sidelined for being a Catholic.
    Obama is now being accused of being a Muslim.

    In time, it will not matter and we'll see the "MEN" not their religion.
    Until then, we just have to wait until all the hate filled Christians die off.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  102. Larry

    The question of Mr. Obama's religion is one that he created. Take the time to do unbiased journalistic research. You will find that his many statements about his faith leaves one not knowing what he is. Christianity calls for personal salvation, and he has claimed consistently that it is "collective salvation", which is not a biblical teaching. He doesn't take wife to Muslim countries which on the surface shows a connection to Islam. (Do the research). He says and does a lot of things that are attempts to connect him with Christianity and Islam. I think it is important to know what their President believes.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  103. Pat from Kentucky

    No. It's important that the President be ethical, not religious. We all know there are plenty of religious people who lack morals – and plenty of ethical atheists. I'll take the ethical atheist any day.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  104. Niki Singh

    When President Eisenhower was asked to comment about the Catholic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy he said, "I do not agree at all with the theory that prejudice, religious prejudice, should rule our choice of candidates and officials in this nation" and again "if I saw a man that I thought was really a qualified, responsible individual running for office, my vote would never be changed on the basis of his religion."
    Niki Singh
    Camp Hill, PA

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  105. Johanna from DE

    First of all it does not matter what religion he is long as it is not affecting is job. Second, what is religion? It is a man made concept for faith in a power higher than us. It does not matter if I am Muslim, Jew, Christian, Catholic, Hebrew Israelite, Buddhist, Seventh Day Adventist, etc. just as long as I am living so that my light shines and the good I can do I do. I get that our President is the most public spotlight but his religion is not relevant and some of us need to move past this non-issue. On the chance that he did lie, but I doubt that, I am sure it would have been because of the prejudice that exists in the world.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  106. Bryan

    Absolutely not. Being a Christian is not a requirement to be president. The Constitution condemns religious favoritism of any kind. Before right-wing religious crazies stick up for the Second Amendment, perhaps they should be reminded of the First.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  107. Adam

    First, he is black, then, he was not born here, and now he is Muslim. Give him a break. Did we ever care about the religion of Bush, Clinto, Regan. Did we ever ask if they were born here. We had a born again Christian before this president, where are we today. Two wars, bad economy, high unemployment, and alot of hatred. The fanatics need to STOP

    August 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  108. Chris Peck

    No. Why should the religion of any president matter? According to the Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution the president must; "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Where does it say that he or she must be a christian and go to church? This is 2010 not 1789, wake up America.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  109. Al from Washington DC

    No it does not, and should not matter. The fundamental problem is that we even think religion matters. Religious people are some of the more intolerant people I know, especially when another expresses a different religious view than the one hold.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  110. Al


    The president's religion does not and should not matter. Throughout Great Britan's history, it was illegal to be a Catholic, or an Anglican, or some other type of Protestant at one tine or another. It is precisely for that reason that the framing fathers made the seperation of church and state part of our constitutiion. Although throughout our history Presidents were predominantly Christian, or so they said. The fact is that the day will come when we will elect a presidemnt who is a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or even an atheist.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  111. russ from calif

    The problem with this country is nobody is concerned for the real problems faciing this nation such as unemployment, housing and just people fighting for survival , listing to all these wingnuts from the birthers to the tea party makes me sick what religion our president is shouldn't matter as long he is doing the job he was elected to do.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  112. David from California


    No. The President's Religion does not matter as long as there is religious freedom in this country – something the Republicans apparently are against given their stance on this mosque issue. (interesting how the Republican party just got 1 million dollars from Fox – who is in part owned by a Saudi, Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, – the same Saudi Prince that's financing the protested cent

    August 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  113. Shirley - Jacksonville

    We live in a country that allows us freedom of religion. Why the subject continue to come up is quite understandable, the people that claim to not believe him to be a christian do so because It makes them feel justified with a reason to hate.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  114. Jose Luis

    No, absolutely not, the President's religion does not matter. The truth is that the Republicans and prejudice "white America" cannot and will not accept that a President who belongs to a minority group of people can accomplish what their presidents could not or would not do for ALL the AMERICAN people. This President represents ALL of US, not just the rich, special interest groups etc. He is OUR PRESIDENT.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  115. Curtis Koch Tucson, AZ

    I believe he is a Christian, however, it should not matter since our constitution says anyone regardless of their religious faith can run for president. I don;t like what is happening with all the hate and fear
    being flamed by Fox News, Shaun Hannity, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, etc. Obama is the most hard working president I know of and with no help from the Republicans who only want him to fail. When are our congressmen going to start working for the country instead of only thinking of the next election.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  116. Alvin

    Absolutely Not, what happen to real issues like the economy, healthcare, jobs, etc. Salvation takes place individually. I can't wait until the rapture. We will know who's who then. The handwritting will be on the walls.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  117. Clarence

    His religious status shouldn’t matter since this country was allegedly founded under “FREEDOM OF RELIGON”. It’s very unchristian to demonize President Obama on his religious beliefs. I like to know how many folks were up in arms that a Christian was running the country after home grown terrorist Timothy McVeigh a Christian attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. These so called Christians should stop being devilish and start being true Christians.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  118. Toni Hyde

    I think that his religion is important and I have heard him say that he was a Muslim more than once. He slipped in an interview and said "I'm a Muslim" and the interviewer corrected him "you mean Christian" Obama than said "oh, yes, Christian." At the UN he also mentioned the fact that he was brought up as a Muslim. I believe that it's time to face the facts Jack! In his own words, "We are not a Christian Nation!" Speak for yourself, Obama!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  119. Pat from AZ

    There are good and bad items in every religion, regardless of how some would like to cover up the bad stuff. Religion is a very personal thing and should not affect anything but a person's personal life. When it spills over into the public domain it means the person is a loud mouth and many times a bigot and that scares me. There are too many people who are willing to tell me how I ought to live.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  120. Frank Avila

    No No No it does not matter. What we need right now is someone to work for the people and try and work to put this country back together.the only religion I would probably be against is the religion of greed!!!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  121. silkphoenix

    I don't care if President Obama is a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Atheist. All I care is his ability to be the President of USA. And so far, he's doing a good job in his short term as a President. He has done more for this country and Bush in 8 years!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  122. Ali, Seattle

    Wow, I suppose I cant be what I want to be.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  123. carmen

    As far as I think, he has been a role model as a father, friend, husband and so far me have no complaints of his role as president of the United States of America. He has given us the respect back, we no longer had respect from other nations before he came aboard. So why should his religious preference matter? it's just a way to distract our society from what really matters.....and we fall for it. Let's all wake up and let people in Washington do what's needed to bring America to the way it was two decades ago.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  124. Richard in Gainesville FL

    His close personal friend, bodyguard, and biographer Ward Hill Lamon said:

    Mr. Lincoln did not, to my knowledge, in any way change his religious ideas, opinions or beliefs, from the time he left Springfield till the day of his death. I do not know just what they were, never having heard him explain them in detail, but I am very sure he gave no outward indications of his mind having undergone any change in that regard while here.[1]

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  125. sandrakay

    Religion doesn't matter, Jack. This president couldn't convince those who are against him that he is a black man. We should be mindful of the religious right in this country lest we become a theocracy.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  126. Michael/DC

    Christianity is an absolute religion. Anyone that does not believe as they do is going to hell. They do not trust anyone outside their faith or who doesn't live life according to their beliefs (even though many of them don't live their own lives according to their beliefs). So it matters a great deal to a big chunk of this country.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  127. Tommy from Santa Monica

    It shouldn't matter, and I don't care, but I do have to say, most people have it wrong about religion. Religion is a just like a school which teaches you about your faith. Your faith is what is in your heart. Only President Obama knows what is in his heart...

    August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  128. James Byrnes

    The first presidential act of Obama was to repeal President Bush's order stopping overseas abortions with US taxpayer dollars. Whatever you think, don,t tell me Obama's a Christian.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  129. Kurt from Sacramento

    It matters only if you're a bigot.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  130. Charles

    If Obama does not like the pressure of others accepting his religion or beliefs, he can exercise his freedom as an AMERICAN, and quit; otherwise, get busy getting the country out of the slump it is in by bringing jobs home, defending our borders, and evicting the illegals. Stop protecting countries that would not give the US a drink of dirty water if was dying of thirst. Bring the warfighters home and clean up crime, durgs and gangs on our city streets. Stop the violence on the Mexican border and drive the drug dealers back to Mexico. Stop the influx of illegals from enterning from Canada. Man up and just say no the those who would bring us down. The buck has to stop somewhere, it should be the White House.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  131. Guess Who

    Obama is not a devout religious person, in that he smokes, he drinks liquor, he cusses. But, in my opinion, is of the Christian Faith and maybe just agnostic about this as well. The deeper more cynical meaning currently being designed is; Obama is some kind of secret operative of the Jihad Movement. Some kind of Tales Of The Crypt conspiracy which seem to always invade our Hollywoodistic minds.
    Similar too many folks who believe Bush and Cheney designed 911.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  132. Blake

    Only in two circumstances:
    1) If it adversely impact demoestic and foreign policy toward terrorism
    2) If he seeks to use it for politcal advantage, and what he claims is untrue

    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  133. terry

    I am so sick and tired of the christian majority shoving their beliefs and opinions down my throat. I thought our country was founded on religious freedom and now we are suspicious of anyone or anything that is different. And, the sad thing is, I would NEVER say this face to face to anyone because I would be judged as immoral and unethical. Why can't religion be private? Why do those who wear their religion on their sleeve appear to be some of the most hateful and intolerable groups in our country - how christian is that? We seem to be looking to always blame someone else for our problems. Obviously that will get you no where. Jeez just leave it alone and judge a person by their character and not by what they do or don't do at church. Oh, so in answer to your question, no it does not make a difference if President Obama prays in a church, in a field or in a mosque. I will not be sucked in to this ridiculous frenzy.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  134. Craig

    Religion is one of many metrics we use to judge others, and this includes our elected officials. As to your question, does it matter? Regretfully, I say yes. The conservative movement has become increasingly purist, intolerant and bigoted. It sees politics as a life and death battle for the soul of America and is quite willing to use any tactic, falsehood and method to achieve its end. Machiavelli would be proud.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  135. Rick

    The answer is absolutely not! What happened to separation of church and state? What happened to religious freedom? What god our president prays to should have no bearing on his ability to do his job. If our politicians and politicians throughout the world would simply let their religious beliefs be part of their private lives then we would have far less conflict throughout the world. We could focus on getting things done that actually improve the human condition rather than waste time arguing over something that you can't even prove right or wrong.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  136. Dan Franklin

    Sitting in a church listening to Rev. Wright should say everthing!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  137. Proud American

    The religious, and policy, and theological leanings of any 'elected official' SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BE A MATTER OF IMPORT
    WHEN AND IF THE THAT theological leaning has Murdered MILLIONS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE AS he/they.

    The facts Obama's own words seen on TV, heard on radio, or reviewed in print those facts, absolutely shows that Obama has sympathies for the Islam Brotherhood.
    Wake up America!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  138. Jeff

    Does it matter constitutionally? No. However, the constitution isn't really in style at the moment. Americans give more importance to the flag than to the constitution. No one seems to notice that most oaths of office swear to uphold the constitution, not the flag.
    Since we are so ignorant of our government, how it works, and the principles upon which it is based, yes, sadly, his religion matters a lot, so much so that people are lying about it.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  139. Paul

    As long as he's not as religious as our last President, it doesn't matter much to me. However, the fact that he believes in any dogmatic nonsense is definitely not a positive.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  140. Rick S

    Whether or not it should matter isn't the real question. The fact this is even an issue is because this country is deeply seeded in prejudice and racial and religious ignorance. It's just coming to light because we have our first black President who has an Islamic name. A couple of dozen wackos attack the WTC and now everyone is scared of Muslims.

    This is similar to when everyone accused Paul Robeson and even MLK Jr. of being communists. This is fear-mongering for the ignorant and political leveraging by the politicians.

    CNN and Jack – let's call it what it is. This is outright prejudice and ignorance.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  141. Angela from Worcester, Massachusetts

    Absolutely. This country was founded on Christian ideals. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Christian nation. Our leader should not only espouse those principles, but live them in his own life. Attending church is the first and minimal step. Having a president who can't find the time to do so and whose only church affiliation is with an America-hating "pastor" is troubling indeed.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  142. Mason

    Come on, Cafferty!! How about a question that is important?! I am as offended by you asking this question as I am by the possibility that someone might be offended by Obama's religion – whatever it is!!

    August 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  143. John from Oklahoma

    Yes, it does matter. God should be an important part of this Country and it's leadership. Our government has tried to take God out of the picture for long enough. This Country is in a sad state, our people are weak and our morals are sick. So I'm going to shout and protest louder than all the muslims, atheists and gays in this Country. God Bless America.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  144. Aaron Moore

    From Sacramento, CA

    As long as people are flying planes into buildings in the name of their god, and Jews and Arabs are killing each other over land their god has promised them, and "Christians" in Florida are burning another religion's holy book, it matters. While the US provides religious freedom, other countries do not. And if the President of the US is involved in international relations with such countries, it REALLY matters.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  145. Dot

    I believe he is a Christian, and is doing a good job.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  146. Stan Engleton

    As you can see from some comments on this blog, it matters. People are so well informed. A majority thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 at one time. A majority supported the Iraq invasion which resulted in the deaths of over 4000 Americans and nearly 100,000 Iraqis. A majority then supported the withdrawal from Iraq when things looked dire.
    Change a few words from somebody's quotes to make them look bad, and they shout and protest the building of a Mosque. Where Imam Rauf said America is already Sharia compliant (because he thinks that America is what a perfect Islamic society should look like), Hannity changes it to "Rauf wants America to be Sharia compliant". And on and on...
    Arrogance of Ignorance...

    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  147. Janine S.

    Heck no! It does not matter one bit what the President's religion is. It IS a problem if (no matter what the religiion is) he uses his religious to run the country. Our founding fathers knew what they were talking about when they formed this goverment of separation of church and state!

    People are mis-interpreting President Obama's RESPECT for other cultures and religion (eg Islam) as BEING of that culture or religion. It's just good diplomacy. It's akin to Jackie Kennedy speaking French in France. It does not make her French, but the people of France appreciated her doing that and it made for a better unity between the nations.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  148. CATom

    If it helps him move out of office any faster then yes it is important. We need to get him out of office ASAP.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  149. Gary O

    In the USA? Religion matters?! Seriously Jack isn't that a bit of a stupid question? If it didn't matter, you wouldn't have to ask.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  150. Paul Collen

    Yes, a Presidents "religion" does make a difference. A President's "religion" dictates his world-view, and must be consistent with the mores, morals, and laws of the Country he is governing. Islam has a very different world-view, and very different mores and morals than the predominantly Judeo-Christian religion of the Western world. Personally, I do NOT think Pres. Obama is Muslim. But it would not be correct for him to deny it , feining Christianity, if he was. But whereas Christianity holds in high esteem the person who does not deny his religion in the face of death, the Islamic Qu'ran teaches that it would be better to deny ones religion and live to fight for it another day.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  151. mark

    Just an FYI: God and allah are not equal, nor the same. Jesus was NOT allah's son. Allah was a person, not God. Jesus Is God and was God, in human form.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm |