The Audacity of Agnosticism


Over at The American Spectator, Sean Higgins argues that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is an agnostic. He notes that in his memoir, Obama pointedly says he did not have a religious epiphany at the moment he became a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's congregation; additionally, Obama was raised to view religion as a cultural thing, rather than a source revealed truth. Higgins closes with this: 

His Republican opponent [for a Senate seat in Illinois] was the bombastic, erratic and quite possibly insane black conservative Alan Keyes. Obama crushed him in the general election, but says it was harder than it looked.

"[A]s the campaign progressed, I found him getting under my skin in a way that very few people have. When our paths crossed during the campaign, I often had to suppress the rather uncharitable urge to either taunt him or wring his neck," Obama writes.

How did Keyes do this? By questioning Obama's Christian faith.

"Christ could not vote for Barack Obama," Mr. Keyes once said, "because Barack Obama has voted…in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved."

It touched a nerve in Obama and he was by his own account tongued-tied, irritable and tense during their debates. Keyes prodded Obama on the question of biblical literalism.

How could Obama believe the Bible's proclamation that life was sacred and yet support abortion rights, Keyes would ask? Obama gave "the usual liberal response" about separation of church and state.

"[Y]et even as I answered, I was mindful of Mr. Keyes's implicit accusation—that I remained steeped in doubt, that my faith was adulterated, that I was not a true Christian," Obama complains.

Well, it wouldn't have annoyed him that much if Keyes wasn't onto something.

Whole thing here.

I'm not convinced the "real" Christians can't be pro-choice, but I do think Obama's candidacy is forcing a discussion of the intersection of religion and politics that is very interesting and relevant to figuring out how pols govern.