Andrew Sullivan picks up on the recent battle over President Obama's Christianity involving David Barton. He links to an article of Paul Harvey's that references John Fea's recent "experience" discussing Obama's Christianity.
Given Obama’s frequent Christian testimony—explicit enough to make most founding fathers uncomfortable with its public expression of private matters—how can this view be so widely held?
Is it because, like Thomas Jefferson, Obama has been sitting in his office, snipping away with his scissors and cutting out the relatively few passages of the Bible that he has deemed worthy of inclusion in his own expurgated text of trustworthy Gospel sayings? Is it because, like Andrew Jackson, he has opened the White House doors to the huddled masses, yearning to sip some “cider” with the POTUS and his crew? Is it because, like Abraham Lincoln, he avoids any explicit mention of Jesus, and confesses that the ways of the Almighty are unknowable to humans?
No, of course not. Rather, it boils down to this: because Chuck Norris, Franklin Graham, and the American Family Association ... say so. And because David Barton has 47 footnotes that say so.
Obama is a "Christian" in the sense that he professes to be one and has also professed his belief in certain "minimums" like putting his faith in a divine resurrected Jesus. Granted, the liberation theology thing makes his faith a bit "unconventional"; and I'm not sure whether he'd pass CS Lewis' "mere Christian" test that, at a minimum Christians believe Jesus 2nd Person in the Trinity (he might).
But I do know that President Obama's professed faith is closer to "mere Christianity" than either Jefferson's, John Adams' or that of the Mormons.
But, according to Barton, Glenn Beck gets to be a Christian (and a Mormon at the same time) because his politics better match up with Barton's?
I'm not sure if that's a fair charge; but it's how Barton comes off "smelling" to me.