Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent. . . Pew analysts attribute the findings to attacks by his opponents and Obama's limited attendance at religious services, particularly in contrast with Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whose worship was more public.The only reasonable answer to the question about the president's religion is, of course: "I don't know and I don't care." In the last few years, Christian fundamentalists have taken this country hostage to the extent where politicians are now required to participate in showy acts of piety in order to persuade fanatical and ignorant voters that they are worthy of being elected. As anybody even remotely familiar with the origins of this country knows very well, there is hardly anything more un-American than these attempts to conflate politics and religious fundamentalism. It's mind-boggling that people would be interested in how often a political leader visits a religious service.
The funny thing, though, is that people who are actually Christian (unlike fundamentalist buffoons of Sarah Palin's and George W. Bush's ilk) know very well that absence, rather than presence, at public rituals of worship makes one a true Christian:
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.The words of Jesus on the matter of public worship could not be clearer. People who pray in religious buildings and in public are hypocrites and only do so to gain an earthly reward. Jesus exhorts his followers to engage in prayer secretly.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6: 5-7)
Spiritual matters are a deeply intimate affair. People who make a public show out of their presumed spirituality, in truth have none. It's sad that voters often prefer candidates who prostitute their souls by performing religion they know nothing about.
An interesting report on the issue from http://www.newsy.com/: