August 21st, 2010
03:21 PM ET

Opinion: GOP knows Obama's not a Muslim, but what's a little misunderstanding?

By John P. Avlon, Special to CNN

Editor's note: John P. Avlon is a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for The Daily Beast. He is the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America."

As the mosque debate dominates the summer spin cycle, a new Pew Research Poll shows that an increasing number of Americans believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim - now up to 18 percent from 11 percent in March 2009. At the same time, only a third of Americans say Obama is a Christian, down from nearly 50 percent last year.

And while the biggest jumps in believing Obama is Muslim come from self-described conservative Republicans - from 18 percent to 34 percent - the number of Democrats who describe Obama as Christian fell from 55 percent to 46 percent. Independents - while being the group least likely to want professions of religious beliefs from politicians - have also fallen in with the drift.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Muslim • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Anthony

    David Johnson, you can slam the bible all you want but the fact of the matter is that you cannot prove that Jesus is not God.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • ICEMAN

      I can just read the bible. "well the shorted version" if you don't know the 66 book version

      August 24, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • ICEMAN


      August 24, 2010 at 12:11 am |
    • peace2all


      1) You can't prove there even was a jesus.

      2)And you most certainly can't prove that even 'if' there were a jesus.... that a)there is a god. b)jesus was the son of said, non-existent god.

      Peace to you...

      August 24, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • ICEMAN

      Peace2all i'm a christian and i know that you are right. But to me everywhere i look that is proof to me that there is a God........Just look at the makeup things/worlds,space everything.....even more and more scientist now are starting to believe in some from of God/Maker/Higher Power whatever you want to call it cause they say the makeup of the worlds and space are to jelled to just start with a spark " like this was already mapped out

      August 24, 2010 at 12:24 am |
  2. Anthony

    It really doesn't matter that cnn tries to imply that Barrack Hussein Obama is not a muslim. I knew he was a Muslim before the election. It really has no bearing to his presidency whether he is or not, he should be honest to himself and stand up for his islamic faith. The more he hides it only hurts him as muslim and as an american. There is nothing wrong with being a muslim, the problem is that he lied about it. America is on to him. He was born a muslim and should come out of the closet once and for all. May Allah forgive him.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • ICEMAN

      hey you think so "that's an hell of a lie..........let's see
      going to church for 20 years just so he can become the president of the USA? i MEAN THINK ABOUT IT DUDE? HE'S BLACK " WE NEVER HAD A BLACK PRESIDENT" NEVER.NEVER SO OBAMA REALLY PULLED A NUMBER ON ALL OF US.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  3. Doug

    Republicans need lies to win elections, from a hate filled lib bot, priceless!

    One cannot be a Democrat without being a liar. Go ahead, compare the morals, values, decency, and integrity of blue and red America. it explains why Demolibs freak out on some radio host saying the N word, but fully support and defend a US Seantor who was in the klan using the N word on national Tv, Demolib hero and architect of their great society plan that has killed thousands of Americans in our cities, Robert Byrd.

    Just read their words and see how they act in blue America, I'm not religious but it is hard to argue that their is no satan when the world has liberal Democrats.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • AF

      Doug – If I'm a Democrat, and I said the statements "One cannot be a Democrat without being a liar," "Go ahead, compare the morals, values, decency, and integrity of blue and red America" and "Just read their words and see how they act in blue America, I'm not religious but it is hard to argue that their is no satan when the world has liberal Democrats" is based in bias and close-mindedness, would I be a liar?

      The lie is to believe there are 2 Americas. America is a melting pot, full of people who disagree with each other on pretty much everything. If you believe 1 America is better than another, that being born on the Coast vs. being born in the middle makes one better, who's the real elitist? Who's really buying in to the lies of the parties? Who's the real sheep?

      August 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  4. Joe from Ohio

    Anyone ever wonder? If the Republicans are so sure of the right path for America why do they need lies to win elections?

    August 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Burn Notice

      @Joe from Ohio

      tsssshhh! Good burn!

      August 23, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  5. Den

    It does appear to me that our President does take the Muslim side against the Christian and the Muslim side against our long standing ally, Israel. Our President is at least as clever as former President Clinton so what is his agenda? He is making what appear to be glaring errors but are they? He is way too smart to take sides unless he truly has another motive. I wonder what it could be.

    To those of you who wonder if I have wasted my time praying to and developing a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ I say that if I am wrong, what have I lost, a few Sundays? What have I gained, a peace that surpasses all understanding. If you are wrong, what have you lost?

    August 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • verify


      You said, "To those of you who wonder if I have wasted my time praying to and developing a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ..."

      Yes, I do wonder about this 'relationship'.

      When you talk to him, does he talk to you too?

      Does he tell you anything that you don't already know, or that you couldn't figure out by deep thinking, or that you couldn't use your imagination to dream up.

      Does he tell you facts that you really don't know - your genome sequence? Where Osama bin Laden is hiding?

      Deep thought and focusing (which you call prayer) can be helpful in finding your inner wisdom, but there is nobody there but yourself.

      August 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  6. Windfall

    The conclusion that Clueless Comrade Barry is Muslim is not at all irrational and is in truth supported by facts and evidence.

    He was born to a Muslim father. Under Muslim tradition (and law) one who is born to a Muslim father is a Muslim, period. If he renounces Islam, he becomes an Apostate and must be killed. No Muslim leader has yet called upon the true believers to kill Comrade Barry, therefore, all Muslim leaders must – according to their own faith and law – believe that he is still a Muslim and simply lying, again, as Muslims are taught to do, about his conversion to Christianity in order to further both his political ambitions and the cause of Islam.

    In further support of this theory, we have the absolutely bizarre spectacle of Clueless Comrade Barry bowing – deeply, subserviently and quite obviously – to King Abdul of Saudi Arabia; his lack of support for Israel, his lack of an effective response to Iran; his erroneous statements concerning the number of Muslims in the U.S.; his support of the ground zero mosque; his sniveling address “to the Muslim World” in Turkey; his pilgrimage to Pakistan which he undertook at a time when travel to this country was banned by the U.S. State Department; and his failure to join a Christian church or attend services on a regular basis or enroll his children in a regular Christian Sunday school in Washington, D.C.

    We also have the fact that, very un-Christian like, he has never lifted a finger to help his impoverished brother George still living in a roofless shanty-town shack in Kenya. Whatever he may say or even believe, it is an indisputable fact that Comrade Barry is certainly not a practicing Christian in any sense of the word.

    Whether you ultimately agree or disagree with this analysis, there is nothing irrational whatsoever about the conclusion that Clueless Comrade Barry was born a Muslim (a fact which he admits) and now lies about his alleged conversion to Christianity simply to further his political ambitions (a very plausible scenario to which at this point it seems hardly likely that he would confess).

    Those who call others “numbskulls” (and worse) for considering these facts have on their side of the debate only the word of a politician who claims that despite much evidence to the contrary, he has rejected the faith into which he was born and raised and now accepts a faith which he quite obviously does not practice.

    Now I ask you, who is more naïve: Those who believe that a Clueless Comrade Barry just might be lying – about a lot of things – or those who believe their Dear Leader could never possibly tell a lie?

    Newsflash: Politicians have been known to lie… and Comrade Barry has been caught in several already.

    August 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • str8

      Your distortion of the facts based on a truth based on one or two facts is typical of right wing Republicans who still can not accept the fact that an uppity nigger won the Presidency. President Obama has made some errors, but they are minor compared to the errors made by the person he replaced. For most of President Bush's tenure he would have had a broken nose had Cheny stopped suddenly. That is not true of course, but most of what you wrote, are sly distortions of the facts. Just one example: President Obama did not "support" the mosque, he pointed out that religious freedom still lives in this country. Answer this: Why is the mosque in the Pentagon (right near where the airplane impacted the building) not a target of your attack? Why did President Bush stand at ground zero and state 9/11 was a result of actions by terrorists and not a religious attack? What is the basis for saying that President Obama converted to the Christian faith for political reasons? How do you reconcile your ridicule and hate with your Christian faith? May GOD have mercy on your soul!

      August 23, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  7. Fayrouz

    Obama just wants to be friendly toward the Muslim world, which is going to require doing 'a little' extra more than what Bush did (like not insulting Islam in his speeches and waging a 'crusade'). What's important is that his four years pass by peacefully. Is it really a problem what religion he practices? America was founded on Christian values, but America is no longer a Christian country. Someday in the future, we might have an atheist president...or Hindu, Buddhist, etc. So does it matter? Whether he's Muslim or Christian or anything else? If it does matter, then you're simply racist. In that case, Obama doesn't have a 'problem'...you do.

    August 22, 2010 at 11:13 am |
    • Reality

      BO continues our War on Terror- a summary of said War:

      1. – Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed,

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – The Third Axis of Evil, Islamic Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – Libya has become almost civil. Recently Libya agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the victims of their terrorist activities. Apparently this new reality from an Islamic country has upset OBL and his “cra-zies” as they have thre-atened Libya. OBL sure is a di-sgrace to the world especially the Moslem world!!! Or is he???

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – Bin La-d-en has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.

      – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still koranic-driven terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      And of course the terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:07 am |
    • Anthony

      It does matter Fayrouz. It matters just as much as if you were to deny that you are a muslim. It matters.
      Would you deny Mohammed? He needs to be honest, thats why you elected him...Integrity.
      Praise Allah.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  8. MattRS

    Its hard for me to explain how I feel about the right-wing treason being enacted upon the USA, but I came across this post in a different CNNblog that I would like to share as being my opinion too.
    Posted on CNN Political Ticker........August 21st, 2010 3:44 pm ET

    Ignorance of the people

    ""If you read or if you listen at all, you should know that your country has:
    Been raped by insurance, banks, wall street, ponzi schemes, big oil, mining etc).
    All the money they have taken from taxpayers is either in off shore tax shelters or is
    used to make bets in the market place to increase wealth without producing anything.
    Your local economies destroyed, no homes no jobs, using 401Ks for every day living if
    you have not lost them already.
    The world for the average Joe is bleak. Out of work, no job, losing home and no health
    Why has this happened? the answer is because the Great United states of America has bee
    RAPED by big business. Note that the supreme court has sold the rights of the US to the
    Corporate world where they can buy what they want as allowed by the 5 Republican or
    right leaning Judges.
    RAPE, it need to be flushed out. The symptoms are, victims usually do not report it,
    they are generally severely damaged (Mentally and Physically) don't heal to quickly or
    want to talk about it.
    In the Rape of the USA, those that have been hurt, financially, physically and without
    jobs, will not recover fast. It will take years and most dreams will be lost. There will
    be no wealth to pass on to the next generations as it has been used to keep what they
    have today.
    Realize one thing today. The USA has been raped, the money is gone and you need to work
    for the next fifty years to get back to where the world was before it tanked. Then the
    rapists will be back for more.
    The Republicans want to take all of your entitlements (medicare, medicaid, insurance,
    social security) you enjoy today and privatize them all and give them to the free
    market, where you will have to pay more for what you get today and recieve even less.
    They can cut you from programs if the money is not there and even deny you service.
    Again you will be raped.
    This needs to stop and have some compassion to your fellow citizens.
    It is a reason to listen and read about the issues. don't let all of the destraction
    issues get into the message as they are destructive to your society.""
    30 end of quote

    All this fearmonging, hatemonging, and demagoguery is coming from these traitors to their country.

    In fostering "islamaphobia", they pile subversive act upon subversive act.
    These people are the worst sort of criminals. Nothing seems to be out of reach for them.

    Treason is a federal crime. The treason needs to stop now.
    I call upon the FBI to investigate and prosecute all those traitors to the fullest extent of the LAW.

    August 22, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  9. Reality

    Once again as a reminder:

    Into the arena of rationale and common sense-

    John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed.- Somerville

    Add the fraud, follies and flaws in the history and theology of all religions and one easily concludes that religion has exhausted its usefullness.

    It is therefore very disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth and the obvious cons pulled on the "sheep", pew sitters, bowers, and kneelers of all religions. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    BO from his words, actions or lack there of has recognized this significant stupidity but does not have the balls to address it for fear of losing the next election.

    August 22, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  10. Markos

    A man who criticized the Old Testament and the New Testament in Public on the senates bench and who praised Quran in public and bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia in public and quoted Quran verses in Cairo in public and said that the nicest and most peaceful thing he has ever heard is the Islamic call for prayers and he never advocated for building any church but was endorsed building the Mosque on the corps of the 3000 infidels and 19 Muslim Martyrs would be a ( ) Fill in the blanks There are prizes for the right answer!

    August 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      If there were a made up controversy over a church being built, he might weigh in on that too. But people don't seem to get stupidly-upset over those here.

      August 22, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  11. David Johnson

    You said, "In Revelations, a warning was given about the times of tribulation that would come. It warned that in the final evil generation, those of liberal minds will cause things which were known to be wrong to be seen as right and things which were known to be right will be seen as wrong."

    People in each generation, for the last 2000 years, have thought they saw the signs. They believed their generation would not pass before baby Jesus would return.

    Even Jesus thought he was on a turnaround flight: “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34

    August 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • ttwp

      Jesus was not talking about that generation that was alive back then. He was talking about the generation that saw all these things come to pass. Surely it could not have been that generation, because as he says in Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

      I don't believe the gospel was preached to the whole world by the time he was crucified and then resurrected.

      August 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • seth

      Wait, ttwp, you are saying that the generation that witnesses something will not pass before the thing it witnesses happens?

      August 25, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  12. Riaz Ahmed

    I am tempted to worship all Gods of all religion as a precaution, just in case.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Riaz Ahmed

      You would still be at risk! What if we haven't yet discovered the one true god that can save us?

      There is always risk!

      August 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  13. anon

    Why can't Obama be real and take a stand for something? G.W. Bush may not have been popular, but he stood up for his beliefs. The U.S. has been drowning in a see of relativism, which is the belief that Obama just made public when he said that he believes that there are many paths to GOD. While it's true that every person has a path that they will travel, it is irresponsible to say that any path can be chosen and that people should find GOD no matter which path they take. That is not the Christian belief as Jesus said himself that he is the light, THE path, and the way. Jesus is who casts a light on evil in the world, exposes it for what it is, and allows his believers to stay on their path. Jesus is the one who lights our path, we can chose to follow it, or to stumble in the darkness. Jesus also made it clear that it was your relationship with him that saves you, not your traditions or charity. Jesus stated that GOD cares nothing about long trips that people make in the name of their religion or traditions that people follow. He warned that even your charity is seen as filthy rags by GOD unless you are doing the charity in Jesus name. The Bible clearly states that if you do not profess Jesus Christ as your savior and the son of God that you will be judged by Moses and his law when you die. Your conscience will appear fully exposed before GOD, without the privilege of having the relationship with Jesus to hide your sins from GOD. Those who have never heard of Jesus also will stand before GOD with their conscience fully exposed before GOD. Before Jesus, the Jewish high priest was responsible for sacrificing lambs on a daily basis for the forgiveness of the Jewish community. When Jesus came to Earth, he was GOD's final sacrificial lamb and high priest all in one as the Bible clearly states. Jesus also warned the Jews that because of their disbelief, Jerusalem would be completely destroyed, as it was in 70 A.D. The temple is no more and there are no longer sacrificial lambs. Jesus also warned that many who refused to believe in him would believe in another who would come after Jesus and who would come in his own name, not GOD's. Jesus made it clear that Jesus was to be held far above any of the previous prophets and no further prophets were to be followed. In Revelations, a warning was given about the times of tribulation that would come. It warned that in the final evil generation, those of liberal minds will cause things which were known to be wrong to be seen as right and things which were known to be right will be seen as wrong. Even if you live to be 90 years old, this life is like a spec of sand compared to the expanse of the universe. The afterlife therefore is nothing to leave to chance by randomly picking a religion. Remember, an unexamined faith is a weak faith.

    August 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You have no proof the Christian god is the one true god. The bible is not inerrant. It was written by men.

      You believe you are "saved" from hell, because of belief in your god. If the Muslim god is the true god, you are going to be at a very large barbecue.

      Do you realize there are over 1000 different Christian denomination? Several believe only their members are going to heaven. Did you pick the right one? How do you know you aren't wasting the time in this live, worshiping a god who doesn't exist?
      You can't avoid risk. There is no sure thing.

      What proof do you have. other than the bible, that there is even a god? Give me your best argument for there being a god. Pray to your god, that he give you the perfect argument. Dazzle me. But don't quote a book that you can't prove is not a work of fiction.

      August 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      If the temple was destroyed in 70AD but the gospels were written between 60AD to 100AD (This was after Jesus's death) I tend to suspect that the writers embellished the sayings of Jesus to make it more substantial as a religion.
      In other words, they predicted the event after the fact. LOL

      August 21, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • verify

      David Johnson,

      You are a hero for being able to pick through that rambling wreck of a sermonette. It's like he/she tagged together every random buzz-phrase that he/she could think of. Good on ya'.

      August 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
    • stan183


      August 23, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • steve

      Democrats lie all the time... they throw lies like a spaghetti machine-gun until something sticks... like their Bush lied kids died crap chant. The Democrat inner circle will make their accusations of racism, sexism, elite-ism, or any "ism" until their ignorant, uneducated Democratic, MTV watching, hippie, drug smoking followers believe it like it came from the burning bush. Especially especially towards a Republican woman or a minority. These liberal scum have the audacity to cry foul that the vast right-wing conspiracy is behind the 20% misconception that Obama is a muslim and that bible thumping Americans are the ignorant ones that believe this... and they'll probably blame Fox News. I am sick of of you retarted gay loonies... grow a pair of testicles, move out of your parents house and get a job!

      August 23, 2010 at 12:21 am |
    • Edgar Friendly


      "he said that he believes that there are many paths to GOD"

      does not mean this:

      "any path can be chosen and that people should find GOD no matter which path they take"

      Just in case you were confused.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • jimm

      What has he not taken a stand on? By your post, I guess you don't believe in the sepaeration of church and state.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:40 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.