Faith leaders decry questioning of Obama’s faith

President has been ‘unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord’

August 31, 2010


Nearly three dozen Christian leaders across the theological spectrum have issued a public statement saying they are "deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama's faith."

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) signers of the statement include General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, General Assembly Moderator Cynthia Bolbach, General Assembly Mission Council Executive Director Linda Valentine and George B. Telford of the PC(USA)'s Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.

Titled "Faith is not a political issue," the statement says that even during contentious political times "questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far."

The statement comes as public opinion polls consistently show a large percentage of the American people believe Obama is a Muslim, despite his membership in the United Church of Christ and his frequent public professions of his Christian faith.

The full text of the statement:

Faith is not a political issue

As Christian leaders — whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world — we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama's faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.

President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith. Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshipped with this President. We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.

This is not a political issue. The signers of this letter come from different political and ideological backgrounds, but we are unified in our belief in Jesus Christ. As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith.

Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the President’s Christian faith. And we join with the President in praying that God will continue to bless the United States of America.

  1. Those are the type of false leaders you want run from. Gods word tells us TO TEST THE SPIRITS. According to Gods word, Obama is not a Christian, he's a false guide, and a divider. Jesus was questioned all the time, but Obama is exempt? He has twisted and misused the word of God to mislead people.. Proverbs 26:23 Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.

    by truthislove

    February 28, 2011

  2. I am truly shocked at some of the comments on this page. We have read and studied about the anti-christ. In which century will he come? Could it be that he is here now? All I ask is "Think about the anti-christ" Beware of cunning words and study the lives of Muslim nationalities. Find out if they are truly friends to the US. This is out country and we must pray together and have faith that our God will not turn His face from us, in our hour of need.

    by Chris Neuffer

    January 25, 2011

  3. Is it the work of the Church to protect government leaders from people's opinions? Is it for the Church to voice an opinion in the media to try to keep others from voicing theirs?

    by Orlando Cortez

    October 25, 2010

  4. I heard the letter read at a recent Presbytery of Lake Huron meeting. I was very pleased to hear that the PCUSA and other leaders brought this matter to the attention of the media.

    by Delphine M. Holland

    October 4, 2010

  5. Thank you Presbyterian leaders for speaking up and out. President Obama's faith is a private matter and not up for public discussion, particularly in the disrespectful way the integrity of his faith has been questioned and maligned. I am grateful that the President does not wear his faith on his sleeve. I believe his faith and values inform his public policies. I also support Separation of Church and State. The President is President of an entire country which is diverse and pluralistic. I pray for President Obama and his family, for their health, welfare and safety. Their devotion to our country and world is clear and amazing. We are a fortunate nation to have such an extraordinary President and first family, particularly during such difficult times in our country and in the world.

    by Dr. Michael J. Adee, More Light Presbyterians

    October 4, 2010

  6. Does this letter apply to Christine O'Donnell or just to the president? Are you calling for Bill Maher's show to be taken off the air for questioning a politicians faith?

    by Harry Vanpelt

    September 19, 2010

  7. Thank you for taking a stand against this kind of slander.

    by Marlys Lesley

    September 5, 2010

  8. Thank you for this statement. Could not agree more. The church cannot remain silent in this time when lies abound. Please continue to speak out.

    by George Spaeth

    September 3, 2010

  9. Great statement. Great President in a tough world. Prayers for him and our world abound.

    by Ginger Taylor Evans

    September 2, 2010

  10. Thanks for the straighforward clarification. Perhaps the folks at PresLay have not read this release correctly. They believe you have said faith has no place in the political realm. Obviously, they have misunderstood your attempt to place faith as the resource for all to use and live before everyone.

    by Rev Dan Clark

    September 2, 2010

  11. Faith is not a political issue? To quote Bishop Tutu: "which Bible have you been reading?"

    by John Stuart

    September 2, 2010

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been, and continue to be troubled by those questioning President Obama's faith. You are right, his faith is not a political issue. He, like all of us, has a right to worship in the way he and his family chooses. THAT is upheld by our constitution.

    by Rev. Mary Margaret Hicks

    September 1, 2010

  13. And so what is he were a Muslim? That really shouldn't matter, either. It is my feeling that his faith is personal, and that even if he had never "been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord..."--it shouldn't matter. In an ideal world, would we care what religion he is at all???

    by Dorothy Wilson Chappell

    September 1, 2010

  14. Amen, amen! Thank you for a bold and faithful statement!

    by Rev. Andy Acton

    September 1, 2010

  15. The people who signed this statement: Bishop T.D. Jakes Pastor and CEO Potters House Ronald J. Sider President Evangelicals for Social Action Rev. Sam Rodriguez President National Hispanic Leadership Conference Dr. Joel Hunter Senior Pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed Jim Wallis President and CEO Sojourners Luis Cortes President Esperanza Stephen Monsma Paul Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics Calvin College Miroslav Volf Director, Center for Faith and Culture Yale Divinity School Donald Miller Author Brian McLaren Author/Pastor Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie Thirteenth Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Church Kirbyjon Caldwell Senior Pastor Windsor Village United Methodist Church Wesley Granberg-Michaelson General Secretary Reformed Church in America Rev. Peg Chemberlin President National Council of Churches Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Dr. David P. Gushee Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics Director, Center for Theology and Public Life Mercer University Dr. William Shaw President National Baptist Convention USA Dr. Richard Hamm Executive Director Christian Churches Together in the USA Cynthia Bolbach Moderator, 219th General Assembly Presbyterian Church (USA) Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk
 Office of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church (USA) Linda Valentine Executive Director General Assembly Mission Council Presbyterian Church (USA) Dr. James C. Perkins First Vice President The Progressive National Baptist Convention Rev. Gabriel A. Salguero Lead Pastor, The Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene Executive, The Latino Leadership Circle Noel Castellanos CEO, Christian Community Development Association Vincent J. Miller Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture Department of Religious Studies University of Dayton Terrence W. Tilley Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Catholic Theology Chair, Theology Department Fordham University, Bronx NY Nicholas P. Cafardi Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Duquesne University School of Law T. Michael McNulty, SJ Justice and Peace Director Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) Steve Schneck Director Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies The Catholic University of America David Baak United Church of Wayland, MI George B. Telford Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Presbyterian Church (USA) Rev. Chuck Currie Rev. Jeff Johnston

    by Bethany Daily

    September 1, 2010

  16. Great action by all who signed it. i couldn't get a copy of who signed it so I could share it with my Church. Dick

    by Richard Humphries

    September 1, 2010

  17. Thank you so much for writing this!

    by Kristin Zeller

    August 31, 2010

  18. a million thanks for this letter from our PCUSA leaders. I do pray for President Obama, his family, the administration, our congress & our troops on a regular basis. it is time to focus on our nation spiritual condition, our economic crises, on our recovery & healing as a people. to use the faith of the president as a political game is not acceptable in the USA at this point in history. salaam in Christ, fahed Abu-akel, moderator of the 214th General assembly.

    by Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel

    August 31, 2010

  19. It's about time!!!

    by Dr Walter J Ungerer HR

    August 31, 2010

  20. Thank you for bearing witness against those who deliberately use fear, ignorance, and prejudice to manipulate people for selifsh and political purposes! I have no doubt that such questioning of our President's Christian faith, with simultaneous slandering of all Muslims as terrorists, has directly fed into atrocities against loyal Americans who follow the teachings of Mohammad, such as the attack on the site of the new mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and the hate-fed demonstrations against the projected Islamic center in lower Manhattan. As one who, as a Christian, has often experienced warm hospitality and welcome from imams and other faithful, when I have stopped to visit mosques in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and China, and admired their architecture and quiet serenity, I urge the G.A Council and other leaders in our PC(USA) to join with other Christians of many traditions to denounce even more strongly such actions and statements that call into question not only the U.S.A.'s heritage of freedom of religion, as grounded in the First Amendment, but betray Jesus Christ, who himself reached out to Samaritans, counseling with love and concern the woman at Jacob's Well, and also praised the faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman and that of Roman centurions. Thank you again.

    by Dwyn Mounger

    August 31, 2010