Maxine Box, Stanley Ann Dunham's best friend in high school, in speaking about Obamas’s mother, said, "‘She touted herself as an atheist, and it was something she'd read about and could argue. She was always challenging and arguing and comparing. She was already thinking about things that the rest of us hadn't.’" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Dunham.
“In his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father Barack Obama wrote, ‘My mother's confidence in needlepoint virtues depended on a faith I didn't possess... In a land [Indonesia] where fatalism remained a necessary tool for enduring hardship... she was a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism.’" “In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope Obama wrote, ‘I was not raised in a religious household... My mother's own experiences... only reinforced this inherited skepticism. Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones... And yet for all her professed secularism, my mother was in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I've ever known.’" “Religion for her was ‘just one of the many ways — and not necessarily the best way — that man attempted to control the unknowable and understand the deeper truths about our lives,’" Obama wrote. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Dunham.
Some of Obama's answers he gave during a 2004 interview to Chicago Sun Times columnist Cathleen Falsani when he was running for U.S. Senate in
Who's Jesus to you?
(He laughs nervously)
Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.
And he's also a wonderful teacher. I think it's important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.
Is Jesus someone who you feel you have a regular connection with now, a personal connection with in your life?
Yeah. Yes. I think some of the things I talked about earlier are addressed through, are channeled through my Christian faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s sister, when asked if her mother was an atheist, said, "‘I wouldn't have called her an atheist. She was an agnostic. She basically gave us all the good books — the Bible, the Hindu Upanishads and the Buddhist scripture, the Tao Te Ching, Sun Tzu — and wanted us to recognize that everyone has something beautiful to contribute.’" "Jesus, she felt, was a wonderful example. But she felt that a lot of Christians behaved in un-Christian ways.’" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Dunham.
Now in 2007, Obama said the following: “In 2007 Obama described his mother as ‘a Christian from
Obama has stated and written that his mother was the most influential force in his life. You would then think that she had a great influence on his religious upbringing and the religious beliefs he eventually developed as an adult. In her high school years, she proclaimed to be an atheist, not a Christian In his Dreams From My Father, Obama wrote that his mother survived in
Given what appears to be his rather shallow, even if that, faith in Christianity, one wonders what Obama did in the Trinity United Church of Christ for nearly twenty years, notwithstanding his statement that “[m]ost importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barack-obama/on-my-faith-and-my-church_b_91623.html. I am not saying that any one running for President must be a Christian. I am not questioning Obama's religion, whatever it is. Rather, I am only questioning Obama’s sincerity regarding what he says his religious faith is. I believe my suspicions are justified given that he made his statements in books he personally wrote and while campaigning for public office. Then, my next question is why would Obama tell us he was a Christian if he really is not? Why could he not tell us what his real religion is, if he has any?
Again, I am not condemning or denouncing Obama’s religion, whatever it is. I fully support freedom of religion for all people, provided that the religion is not used to harm others or self, is tolerant of other religions, is not used to convince its followers that they are superior in some way to the non-followers, and is not used for political purposes. I also believe that religion should never be used as an excuse to hurt or subjugate other people. Religion is suppose to show people that we, regardless of sex, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical and mental disability, are basically all the same, mortals with limited time on earth. It is suppose to show people that they are to do good works during their time on earth and that they will be rewarded in the afterlife based on those good works. How can a religious person therefore use religion to harm another human being? I also recognize that all religions have been guilty of doing harm at one point or another in history. That has been the human condition and does not mean that we cannot find good in those religions. We have to prevail and make a peaceful world today and in the future. Why could not Obama, who professes to be a unifying force for all peoples, tell us what his true religion is and give us the same message?
© Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
January 4, 2009