LOUISVILLE

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.