One wonders what the point of asking questions like these might be other than to trash Republicans as rubes and nuts, but the new CNN/ORC poll asked respondents what the president’s religious affiliation is and some 29 percent said he’s a Muslim – and 43 percent of the Republicans polled said he’s a Muslim.
The writeup on the poll at The Hill gives exactly the coverage one imagines the pollsters were looking for.
A new poll finds that 43 percent of Republicans believe President Obama is a Muslim, and 20 percent of all adults believe he was born outside the United States.
A CNN/ORC poll out Sunday finds that while the vast majority of Americans believe, correctly, the Obama was born in the United States, there remains a solid subset of people who still believe he is foreign-born.
That poll also found that 29 percent of Americans, and 43 percent of Republicans, believe Obama is a Muslim. The president is a Christian.
Nine percent of those polled believe there is solid evidence Obama was born elsewhere, while 11 percent just say they suspect he was not born in America. The president was born in Hawaii.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll in 2010 found similar numbers when asking about the president’s birthplace, with 20 percent saying then he was born outside the country.
Since then, the president has produced a birth certificate proving definitively he was born in Hawaii.
A plurality of Americans were able to correctly identify Obama’s religion, with 39 percent saying they believe he is Protestant or Christian. Another 11 percent say the president is not religious, while 14 percent had no opinion on the president’s faith.
Another poll out at the beginning of the month from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling found 54 percent of Republican voters believe the president is a Muslim.
Here’s the thing – the American people aren’t convinced Obama is a Christian. The real story out of the CNN/ORC poll is that less than 40 percent of the American people are convinced Obama is a Christian, and almost 30 percent think he’s a Muslim.
That’s not an indication of ignorance. It’s an indication they look at his words and deeds and more than 60 percent of the respondents don’t identify that with Christianity.
The mere fact that pollsters continue asking what Obama’s religion is ought to be a fair indication that his race isn’t the only difference the American people notice about him. And while there is no particular evidence that Obama was born anywhere but Hawaii (and the fact his mother was an American citizen makes the birther question moot anyway), that a core of people continue saying he was born elsewhere is an indication that they don’t see him culturally as an American.
Most people are not birthers. Birtherism with respect to Obama has always been a waste of time and it has missed the mark; the problem with Obama is that culturally he’s alien to the rest of us and that alienation manifests itself in how he governs.
Obama says if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin and he sends his people to all the funerals the #BlackLivesMatter crowd riots over. He backs the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and he does the Iran deal while foiling Israel’s attempts to stop the Iranians from building nukes. He deposes Qaddafi in Libya and hands the country over to Islamist militias, while allowing the Syrian civil war to fester; both actions set forth a Muslim Hijrah into Europe. Meanwhile, he lectures Christians about the Crusades and sends federal agencies out to force Christian charities and businesses into court to defend their right to live out their faith in the marketplace.
Better than 60 percent of the American people notice, and they don’t buy his claims to be a Christian.
And the 29 percent of the country who think he’s a Muslim can defend their opinions. From the comments at the Hill piece on the poll, a nice collection of Obama quotes that, taken in combination, make a pretty good case for why nearly a third of the country thinks he’s a Muslim…
#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”
#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”
#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
#6 “Islam has always been part of America”
#7 “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”
#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
#10 “I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”
#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”
#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”
#14 “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”
#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”
#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”
#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”
#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”
The last quote (and also #6) is the one which makes the closest case for Obama as a Muslim, because there were no Muslims of any note who helped bring America into being. Islam’s only relationship with the United States’ founding was that (1) Christopher Columbus’ expedition to the New World came about because he was looking for a passage to the Far East from Europe that didn’t involve going through Muslim lands, in which Christians could be expected to be attacked and enslaved rather than gain unmolested passage through which to conduct trade, and (2) the molestation of American trading vessels by Muslim pirates from North Africa necessitated our first foreign war and the de-facto birth of the United States Marine Corps.
Other than that, it takes a special kind of ignorance to think Islam has anything to do with American history – and that’s an ignorance spouted by crackpot Saudi clerics and Louis Farrakhan.
Obama isn’t a Muslim, or at least not a practicing one. But to call him a Christian, you have to think Jeremiah Wright, of “God Damn America” fame, ran a Christian church all those years Obama attended it – and that would be a pretty expansive view of Christianity most Americans don’t buy into.
And The Hill’s dismissive view of the cultural alienation the majority of those poll respondents feel is another reason trust for the mainstream media is lower today than it’s ever been.