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July 29th, 2012
07:41 AM ET

Letters to the President #1287: 'A question of faith'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has asserted many times that he is a Christian, just as I have asserted many times in these letters that I am around if he wants to call.

Dear Mr. President,

Considering that it is Sunday I want to write a wee bit about a figure I saw the other day that astounded me. I don’t remember all the details, but in short it suggested that a sizeable number of Americans still think you are a Muslim, and even more have no idea what religion you profess.

After all the kerfuffle we’ve seen over such matters, it just blows my mind that so many people still don’t know that you’re a Christian.

I’m sure some of your political enemies would have plenty of snotty cracks to make about that, like you ought to go to church more, or something along those lines. But I don’t think that is really fair. Many, many Americans are not going to church as much as they once did and yet, as a practical matter, no one is accusing them of giving up their faith.

I suppose I am interested in all this because faith has become such a lightning rod. You can hardly open a news website these days without finding some sort of reference to a politician courting the evangelical vote, or the lapsed Catholic vote, or the Jewish vote, or the Muslim vote, or the Amish vote, or whatever. I respect that this really matters to some people, but for most voters I imagine what counts is how someone actually behaves more than what credo he claims.

Anyway, I guess you’ll probably be making a little more noise about your Christianity in weeks to come as a response to this news, and I can’t blame you. But I’m also not sure why. Because do you think any voter who does not yet know what faith you follow is going to catch on at this point?

Hope everything is well with you and yours.

Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom