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Obama's Religion

Barack Obama calls himself a Christian, but does he consider himself an "evangelical?" That question was posed to him recently by Cathleen Falsani, the religion reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Here is Obama's reponse:

"Gosh, I'm not sure if labels are helpful here because the definition of an evangelical is so loose and subject to so many different interpretations. I came to Christianity through the black church tradition where the line between evangelical and non-evangelical is completely blurred. Nobody knows exactly what it means.

"Does it mean that you feel you've got a personal relationship with Christ the savior? Then that's directly part of the black church experience. Does it mean you're born-again in a classic sense, with all the accoutrements that go along with that, as it's understood by some other tradition? I'm not sure."

He continued his answer: "My faith is complicated by the fact that I didn't grow up in a particular religious tradition. And so what that means is when you come at it as an adult, your brain mediates a lot, and you ask a lot of questions.

"There are aspects of Christian tradition that I'm comfortable with and aspects that I'm not. There are passages of the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go, 'Ya know, I'm not sure about that,'" he said, shrugging and stammering slightly.

Obama's response doesn't bother me at all, and probably won't probably bother most people. But some on the right have already made some repugnant insinuations about his religious beliefs and how they may affect his "loyalties," and I suspect his comments about not growing up in a particular religious tradition and not being comfortable with certain "aspects" of the Christian tradition will, unfortnately, only serve to keep those dark innuendos circulating.