Randall Balmer, Episcopal priest and professor at Dartmouth, asks if any of us are fit to question if the President is Christian.
Balmer remembers an evangelical childhood in which he tried to convert his best friend, a Roman Catholic, before playing a game of catch. It’s in this tradition, he argues, that many American Christians can’t see President Obama as a fellow Christian.
Citing surprising results that found only 9% of Republicans polled believed Obama to be a Christian, Balmer explores the idea of what makes a Christian, and by what standards can our Christianity be judged.
From the column:
Is Barack Obama a Christian? I stand by my refusal to render such judgments, which properly belong to the Almighty. But I will note that Jesus said we should evaluate others “by their fruits.” Elsewhere, in the same passage where Jesus describes the last judgment, when God separates the sheep from the goats, he characterizes his true followers as those who acted with compassion toward “the least of these.” In this final reckoning, Jesus commends the actions of the faithful: “I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.”
Balmer has previously written about the faith of Jimmy Carter, in his biography, Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. This biography traces the rise of evangelicals in modern politics through the campaign, presidency, and fall of Carter.
Posted by David Streever