Another candidate for 2012?Iowa GOP committeewoman says she believes Obama is a Muslim
A poll last week showed that 20 percent of Americans falsely believe that President Barack Obama is Muslim. Now an Iowa Republican national committeewoman interjects herself in the debate.
Iowa’s Republican national committeewoman said today that she believes President Barack Obama is truly a Muslim, contradicting his earlier statements that he’s a Christian.
This screen shot shows Kim Lehman's Twitter post about President Barack Obama's religious faith.
Kim Lehman, who is one of Iowa’s two national Republican Committee members, may be one of the first national committee members to publicly state she believes Obama is a Muslim.
In a speech in Egypt in June 2009, Obama said he is a Christian. But Lehman said the speech “just had the appearance that he was aligning himself with the Muslims.”
Lehman in a telephone interview this morning said what matters is not her personal view that Obama is a Muslim, but his own answer to the issue.
“He’s the one that the news is about. It isn’t about me. Call the president. … Say, ‘Are you a Christian or not?’” Lehman said. “If I’m wrong, I’m more than happy to say, ‘Oh, I’m wrong.”
Lehman began to attract attention when she posted a Twitter message last week in response to a Politico news article about a Pew poll that shows 31 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats believe Obama is a Muslim. The Politico article pointed out that Obama — whose father was raised as a Muslim — has repeatedly found his faith questioned, and has “confronted the rumors head-on.”
“@politico you’re funny. They must pay you a lot to protect Obama. BTW he personally told the muslims that he IS a muslim. Read his lips,” Lehman said on her Twitter page on Thursday.
This morning, Lehman said she was referring to an Obama speech in Cairo last summer in which he reached out to Muslims “to seek a new beginning.” In that speech, he makes no comment about being Muslim, a transcript shows.
Lehman said she objected to Obama’s speech because “it just had a sense of embracing or aligning with the Muslims. I don’t know. It was unnecessary the stuff he said. That’s the whole point.”
Lehman said she would never give anyone the impression that she is anything but a Christian.
“I don’t give myself an appearance to the Muslims that I am aligning myself with the Muslims. I am strictly a Christian. I believe that. I stand by that. I’ll die by that,” she said.
Again, she repeated that reporters, including the one from the Huffington Post who also called this morning, should be questioning Obama, not her.
“He’s the one that should be asked the question, ‘Look, the country’s confused, President. You went over there. We know what you said before but things have changed. What’s your position. Are you a Christian? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven because that’s what the Christian faith believes. It’s the defining difference between Christianity and other religions.”
Derrick Plummer, the Democratic National Committee’s Midwest regional press secretary, said: “We have no comment regarding her statement.”
The Register is seeking comment from the White House.
Last week, when a reporter asked Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton about the Pew poll, Burton answered that Obama is obviously a Christian.
“Well, I think you have to understand that for most Americans, they’re not reading a lot in the news about what religion the president is and anything other — what they’re focused on is, you know, what you guys are focused on, which is important issues like what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, what’s going on in the economy, what are we doing to create jobs — all these different issues,” Burton said.
“And so the president is obviously a — is Christian. He prays every day. He communicates with his religious advisor every single day. There’s a group of pastors that he takes counsel from on a regular basis. And his faith is very important to him, but it’s not something that is a topic of conversation every single day.”
Click here for a transcript of the speech. In it, Obama again identified himself as a Christian.
“Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith. As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam,” he said.
Obama has addressed the issue of his faith multiple times, news articles show.
In an interview with Christianity Today in January 2008, he talked about his belief in Jesus Christ.
“I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn’t ‘fall out in church’ as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn’t want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.”