Topic: Accuracy in Media
In his Aug. 24 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid makes a big deal out of a purported lack of evidence that Barack Obama was ever baptized as a Christian, claiming that "being a Christian is not just a function of attending church services. Rather, it is related to being baptized. Did this critical development occur in Obama’s life?" Kincaid goes on to quote a columnist who asked, "Where is the baptism certificate? We do not see one because there was no baptism."
Of course, this is nothing more than yet another effort to denigrate Obama as an "other"; Kincaid goes on to quote people who are "adamant that Obama is a Muslim, based on the fact that his birth father was a Muslim and that there is no evidence that Obama ever specifically rejected Islam."
In his Aug. 27 follow-up column, Kincaid defends bringing up the baptism issue, whines that he's being supressed for asking about it, and also denies that he's asking for proof:
The questions that have been offered by Accuracy in Media concern Obama’s claims about being baptized in the Christian faith. AIM believes that politicians should be held accountable for the claims they make about themselves, even on personal matters of religious faith.
Obama’s aides have claimed the President is a committed and practicing Christian and that he was baptized in Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. But he has gone to church only a few times since he became President.
“We understand that these are contentious times,” say the Christian leaders, “but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.”
However, the First Amendment expressly permits not only freedom of religion but freedom of the press.
The Christian leaders say, “We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.” They do not identify who has misrepresented Obama’s faith.
AIM also wants accountability. What AIM has done is quote directly from Obama’s books about his spiritual and political journey. We have pointed out that Obama’s claim about his own baptism, as reported in his second memoir, The Audacity of Hope, is subject to interpretation because of the lack of detail about how and when he was baptized and by whom. It appears, based on information provided by Obama’s own church, that Obama was describing how he became a member of that church.
Obama’s claim of being baptized is presented in the context of discussing the fact that he was not born and baptized a Christian. He describes his Muslim father and grandfather and attendance in a Muslim school as he was growing up. Obama acknowledges that, before he joined Wright’s church, some people regarded him as a Muslim. Wright himself dabbled in Islam before establishing his church, Obama concedes.
The proof of the baptism claim is precisely what is lacking in his book. There is no need or demand for a baptismal certificate, but there is no detail about the ceremony, other than talking about a walk down an aisle and a profession of faith, and no information about who performed the baptism and who attended. Traditionally, water is used in such a ceremony. There is no reference to water in Obama’s book.
To add further to the mystery, AIM cited evidence that Christian baptisms were not required to join Wright’s church, which emphasized liberation theology, and that Muslims were permitted to join and not disavow their faith.
Claims about a baptism cannot be taken at face value, especially because his statements and actions as President have led so many to believe he has a pro-Muslim bent. These have led to the perceptions, captured in the public opinion polls, that Obama may not be a Christian.
The controversy will not go away just because a few religious leaders demand that the media stop covering it.
If Kincaid is claiming there's "no need or demand for a baptismal certificate," why is he raising the question? Because he hates Obama, that's why. That makes him someone who can't be trusted in discussing such things since his agenda is to destroy, not illuminate.