Obama: World’s First Christian Muslim Atheist

The loony right has always had a difficult time with Barack Obama’s religion. Some acknowledge that he’s a Christian, some say he’s a Muslim, some say he’s an atheist. And of course, some say he’s both a Muslim and an atheist. But David Barton is the first one, so far as I know, to call him a Christian atheist.

The President, you know he’s gone to church to twenty years in Chicago but he’s really secular.

A Christian Deist is someone who wears the label “Christian” but they really act and live as if God doesn’t really get involved in affairs and He’s not really close. And I would even call them Christian Atheists. They’re Christians by label but they really act like God’s not alive.

I’ve got a lot of folks I can point to who are Christian Deists or Atheists and I’d put the President in there as one of them. He’s more secularist but he’ll tell you he’s a Christian. He gets offended if you say he’s not and he’s always challenged anyone who claims he was a Muslim, not a Christian. Great, alright, but you’re a Christian Atheist, you’re a Christian Deist.

So it’s really a distinction on how pious you are.

Well I’m glad you cleared that up for us, David.

27 comments on this post.
  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp:

    I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a few quotes from John Adams on how Obama is an Atheist.

  2. eric:

    Hey, if we’ve come this far we might as well complete the set. He’s also a Christian Muslim!

  3. Brain Hertz:

    Obviously, it’s very important to specify which god it is that atheists don’t believe in.

  4. Mr Ed:

    Christian Atheists. They’re Christians by label but they really act like God’s not alive.

    Christian Thug – A nominal Christian who claims to be superior to any one not in his gang – church – because god favors him while living a life almost completely unlike the Christ described in the gospels.

  5. jamessweet:

    Surprisingly, especially given the source, I think this is not a completely crazy conjecture. It’s a wingnutty choice of terminology, to be sure… but it’s not too far different from the impression I got of Obama’s relationship to religion when I read Dreams From My Father. Certainly, there is nothing in his conversion experience that resembles a sudden revelation that all this nonsense is true — his reasons for become suddenly enamored with Christianity all appear to be secular ones. I don’t think Obama much cares whether religious truth claims are accurate; he seems to just like belief.

    All that said, this sort of speculation is often unhelpful. Broadly speaking, we should take people at their word as to what they believe unless there is a VERY good reason to think otherwise.

  6. Taz:

    So it’s really a distinction on how pious you are.

    I have to agree with Baron here, considering that one of definitions of “pious” is:
    characterized by a hypocritical concern with virtue or religious devotion; sanctimonious.

  7. Bronze Dog:

    Christian Atheists. They’re Christians by label but they really act like God’s not alive.

    Wouldn’t that effectively make Christian Atheism the biggest denomination of Christianity by far?

  8. Tobinius:

    It’s weird how a politician who professes to be christian could act like they have constituents who aren’t. Obviously we aren’t dealing with a rethuglican.

  9. TCC:

    I thought Christian atheism was something different. (Incidentally, until about a month and a half ago, that label might have actually accepted for myself.)

    Let’s call this what it is: a “no true Scotsman” argument meant to make Obama the “other” a little more.

  10. raven:

    It’s just that perennial xian pasttime. Sectarian hatred.

    Santorum is on record as calling mainline Protestants lost to xianity and taken over by satan.

    Ken Ham did something similar just recently to the mainline Protestants.

    Barton is calling Obama a xian atheist because he isn’t a fundie death cult xian.

    When they aren’t hating their long lists of groups to hate, they hate each other.

  11. John Hinkle:

    I’m going to guess that what Barton did there was actually quote the lyrics to a song by that great Christian rock band, The Pious Baloney.

  12. cottonnero:

    “Ah, but is it the Catholic God or the Protestant one you’re not believing in?”

  13. pelamun:

    Look, Obama’s not behaving much differently from most moderate Christians. Heck, back when I was an agnostic, I would become all touchy-feely when participating in religious rituals, though I never got to the point of actually committing to one (I was agnostic after all).

    So I would implore all atheists trying to claim Obama as a crypto-atheist (though on this thread so far, only jamessweet seems to be doing this), to stop doing this, until he actually declares himself to have been one. We have no way to know.

  14. reverendrodney:

    “So it’s really a distinction on how pious you are.”
    Whoa, then there is a TEST that indicates one’s degree of piety!

    I presume this is the same David Barton, ‘historian’, that the right slavishly follows?

  15. Chiroptera:

    pelamun, #13: …(though on this thread so far, only jamessweet seems to be doing this)….

    And even he is not actually doing this!

  16. Rasmus Odinga Gambolputty de von Ausfern....of Ulm:

    The Franklin Mint needs to put out a line of collectors plates (or some other crappy knick-knack) featuring Obama along with one of these ridiculous phrases. This month it’s “Obama the Muslim Atheist!”, next month is “Obama the Christian Deist!”, etc. They could keep that line going for at least a 12 month period, and possibly indefinitely.

  17. pelamun:

    Chiroptera,

    yes, at the end he says we should take them at their word, sorry, James.

  18. Modusoperandi:

    John Hinkle “I’m going to guess that what Barton did there was actually quote the lyrics to a song by that great Christian rock band, The Pious Baloney.”
    Also, a porn movie.

  19. reasonbeing:

    He should take a poll at his local church. He would be surprised at how many Christian Atheists he finds. It is amazing to me how much the Christian Right tries to discredit his view of religion. The fact that they only want a Christian in the White House is foolish. The fact that they only want their version of a Christian is outlandish.

  20. pinkboi:

    By his definition, our country was founded by Christian Atheists.

  21. DaveL:

    pinkboi,

    By his definition, every Christian is an atheist if they look both ways before crossing the road.

  22. Azkyroth:

    Now if they can find a way to add that he’s gay and seduces white women…

  23. Jason Thibeault:

    So… religion is like multi-classing? I’ll do them all one better. I’m a Christian Muslim Atheist Magic-user. (In fairness, I only took a level in Christian for the ability to claim that I’m being oppressed.)

  24. typecaster:

    I’m a little surprised that no one so far has pointed out the way that Barton is trying to change the meaning of the word “secular”. He uses it as if it’s a synonym for atheist, which would suit the right-wing agenda perfectly. He is (of course) ignoring the history of the word, and the fact that many of the most ardent secularists were also deeply religious individuals. But they wanted the government to be neutral in regard to religion (the actual meaning of secular) rather than wanting to use the government to promote their religion. Jefferson’s famous letter to the Danbury Baptists, certainly a deeply religious group, supported this meaning of secularism.

    But if they can tar the word “secular” with the implication of “anti-religious”, then they’ll make sure that fewer of the religious majority will be willing to stand up against eliminating the Constitution’s definition of the US as a secular nation. They’ve done it before with the word “liberal”. They’re trying it again here.

  25. Michael Heath:

    typecaster writes:

    I’m a little surprised that no one so far has pointed out the way that Barton is trying to change the meaning of the word “secular”.

    Bill O’Reilly has done so as well since at least the early-2000s. The fundie church I grew up in the 60s and the 70s did the same, naming them ‘secular humanists’ back then.

    The words when preached are also spit out in visceral hate and venom. That was one reason I was really annoyed at how the entire media went after Jeremiah Wright in 2008 when conservative Christians pastors across the entire U.S. for many decades have long said far more worse stuff far more frequently. Now the media is rightly going after Brian Gleick for fraudulently exposing some Heartland Institute documents while defectively ignoring the evil perpetuated by the denialist community.

  26. Chris from Europe:

    @Michael Heath
    His name is Peter Gleick. I think that exposing the evil of the Heartland Institute justifies the means in this case.

  27. Modusoperandi:

    Michael Heath “The words when preached are also spit out in visceral hate and venom. That was one reason I was really annoyed at how the entire media went after Jeremiah Wright in 2008 when conservative Christians pastors across the entire U.S. for many decades have long said far more worse stuff far more frequently.”
    When a white Republican has a scary [white] padre, he says things that sound awful (even in context) out of love. In Obama’s padre’s case he said those things because he hates America and Jesus and America.
    Besides, every True Christian™ knows that “Black Liberation Theology” has at least two words that:
    1) Should not be there, and
    2) Should not go together.

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