The Pew Institute released the following graphics to visualize the shift in perception regarding the religion of the president:

obama religion

The Pew Institute asked the poll question:

Now, thinking about Barack Obama’s religious beliefs… Do you happen to know what Barack Obama’s religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, or something else?

Contrast the difference in opinion from 2009 to 2010 regarding the received religion of President Obama:

Perceived Religion of President Obama
Perceived Religion of President Obama

According to the Washington Post:

White House officials expressed dismay over the poll results. Faith adviser Joshua DuBois blamed “misinformation campaigns” by the president’s opponents…

Among those who say Obama is a Muslim, 60 percent say they learned about his religion from the media, suggesting that their opinions are fueled by misinformation.

But the shifting attitudes about the president’s religious beliefs could also be the result of a public growing less enamored of him and increasingly attracted to labels they perceive as negative. In the Pew poll, 41 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, compared with 26 percent disapproval in its March 2009 poll.

More than a third of conservative Republicans now say Obama is a Muslim, nearly double the percentage saying so early last year. Independents, too, are now more apt to see the president as a Muslim: Among independents, 18 percent say he is a Muslim, up eight percentage points.

Does it matter what the president’s religion is? Does it matter if a president attends church on a regular basis? Did either Bush attend church regularly? How about Clinton? Reagan?

Did the fact that Joe Lieberman is Jewish affect the outcome of his bid for vice president when he was on the Gore ticket?

What is your explanation for why the misperceptions about the president’s religion have shifted so much?

How much of the shift in perception is deliberate rumor mongering?

Is the Muslim issue in part because of 9/11? How much of the negativity is because it is perceived that President Obama is not Christian vs. Muslim?

Pew Institute Questionaire>


31 Thoughts to “Belief that Obama is Muslim Continues to Rise”

  1. What matters is that I pray for Barack, my president and Robert, my governor.

    You model your faith by your actions, and this president has done that.

    As for misperceptions, they are like the forwarded “urban legend” emails I get from sister. I send her the link to and then delete.

    Check out and search on “Obama.” There are currently 240 urban legends about the current president. Bush had 356, but then, he was in office longer.

  2. @ Slow

    Boooo Hissssssssssssss

  3. Elena

    Just.wondering…..IF he were Muslim, is that a problem? I thought I lived in a Democracy!

  4. Censored bybvbl

    What is your explanation for why the misperceptions about the president’s religion have shifted so much?

    I think the shift came from people who believe anything that they receive in email. Both parties try fear-mongering on the dimwitted, but the Republicans excel in using scare tactics. Their base is more conservative and scared to begin with so the tactics work more efficiently.

  5. Slowpoke Rodriguez


    We live in a representative republic….not a democracy. How much did you wager?

  6. The shift has come because he does not appear to be a faithful member of any church and he has bent over (forwards 😉 ) backwards to show deference to the Muslim world.

    That, and technically, because his father was Muslim, the Islamic world considers him to be Muslim or a Muslim apostate.

    I don’t care what religion he is as long as he puts the needs of America first in his heart. I don’t see that either. I see that he supports the needs of certain political groups over America.

  7. Hit submit too soon again.

    I think that his truth faith is progressivism.

  8. He doesn’t cater to Muslims half as much as George Bush used to.

    What church did George Bush go to? He rarely attended services.

    I find it odd that for most of the many years of my life I grew up in a democracy. within the past 10 years it seems we have changed. Now we live in a Republic. I guess it wouldn’t have a damn thing to do with the name Republican now would it.

    Sorry, I still live in a democracy. Old Miss Clark didn’t like to me, nor did Mike Galgano.

  9. punchak

    Has anybody “caught” Obama visiting a mosque for worship?

    Has anybody found him on a prayer rug on a Friday afternoon?

    Did Ronny and Nancy go to church. Nancy used a sibyl for guidance, as I recall.

    Does it REALLY matter whether a president attends church?

  10. punchak

    Not to me, it doesnt!

  11. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    Sorry, I still live in a democracy. Old Miss Clark didn’t like to me, nor did Mike Galgano.

    Allright, who’s going to explain the electoral college to her?

  12. I think this shows that despite advances in technology we are entering another “Dark Age” cycle where human error in perception coupled with misinformataion and an abandonment of reason will lead to mass hysteria similar to the conditions that lead to the rise of the NAZI party.

    The question I have is will we slap ourselves out of it before or after we start cremating the remains of the Muslims who died of starvation in our “Freedom Labor Camps.”

    Unless we can get some reasonable people in positions of power in this country, I fear we are on the fast track to creating one of the sadest irony’s in the history of the world…

  13. starryflights

    Where did the Web rumors about Obama come from?
    WASHINGTON — Some things about Barack Obama rub some voters the wrong way.

    “We don’t need a Muslim,” said Jannay Smith, a retiree from Kokomo, Ind. “Who’s to say if he gets in there what he’ll do?”

    Added Steve Shallenberger, a Kokomo electrician: “He’s just calling himself a Christian because he knows that’s what we in Indiana want to hear.”

    Then there’s Sherry Richey, also from Kokomo: “He wouldn’t put his hand on the Bible; he wanted the Quran. He won’t put his hand over his heart during the anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance. He’s too un-American.”

    All of these slurs on Obama are categorically untrue.

    Obama, the front-running Democratic presidential candidate, is a Christian, has never been a Muslim, swore his Senate oath on the Bible, says the pledge and generally puts his hand over his heart when he sings the national anthem.

    So why were people aware enough of current events to attend political rallies in the days leading up to the Indiana primary saying such things?


    One practitioner in Virginia, who hates Obama like a dog hates cats, led a reporter through his efforts. Because the man is a retired clandestine CIA officer, identifying him could endanger officers or operations that remain classified, so McClatchy will not reveal his name.

    In late 2006, convinced that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for America, he decided to start an anti-Obama operation. He combed the public record on Obama. He used a couple of allies and informants — half-jokingly dubbing his group “The Crusaders” — to learn about Obama’s background, especially his Africa connection and how he came to be the editor of the Harvard Law Review.

    He assembled a dossier on Obama, including allegations that Obama attended a madrassa, or Islamic religious school, in his youth in Indonesia.

    Then the retired spook tried to get Israeli intelligence officials interested in his Obama dossier. They weren’t, to his chagrin. He also shopped it to some foreign reporters. Again, no luck.

    He wound up posting some of it on a blog — and where it went from there in the vast world of cyberspace is anybody’s guess.

    But a few months after the man began his work, the allegation that Obama was educated in a madrassa appeared in an anonymous article in Insight Magazine, an online publication of the Unification Church, in January 2007. It also claimed that Clinton operatives had dug up the information. The article was cited by several conservative commentators, including on Fox News, before it was debunked.

    The piece had the markings of what’s called a “false-flag” operation: Make a covert operation appear to be the work of another party. And, like many misinformation campaigns, it “takes what you might believe without any factual basis and seen circulating around …a lot of speculation spun into a story,” said Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA official.

    The retired CIA officer, who said that he and his fellow Crusaders have abandoned their effort, said he wasn’t the source of the Insight story.

    “I might have been a secondhand, or third-hand, or fourth-hand source,” he added. “But I don’t think so.”

  14. hello

    I could care less… I don’t care of he is Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist. Having said that, I think that this was driven back in 2008 buy that ultra right wing rag, the NY Times!

    “As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood.”

    When are people going to stop listening to these wing-nuts!?!

  15. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Well, according to Islam, Obama was born Muslim. Better yet, he left Islam and converted to Christianity of his own free will, which makes him an _____________ according to Islam. Worse, actually, than an infidel. The best part is the number of folks who said “I don’t know what the heck he is!”

  16. Starry, that guy is too unstable to work for the CIA. Maybe someone needs to start a dossier on him.

    Hello, and if his mother was Jewish, he would be considered a Jew. I wonder which religion would win out?

    Slow, what word goes in the blank?

    I don’t care what religion Obama is. It is his business and no one else’s unless he uses his religion to make policy, which he doesn’t.

    What does everyone think of the Israeli/Palestine peace talks coming up in 2 weeks. Maybe Obama will be able to accomplish what Bill Clinton came so close to achieving. He should bring Bill in to schmooze them.

  17. TWINAD

    I’m with Elena. Why does it even matter? It’s ridiculous.

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Apostate. Look up sharia law on apostates….good stuff!
    Obama is no Bill Clinton. Carter, you bet, but no Bill Clinton.

  19. RingDangDoo


    I find it odd that for most of the many years of my life I grew up in a democracy.

    Actually, you never did, but, obviously, you were somehow taught that.

    … within the past 10 years it seems we have changed. Now we live in a Republic.

    The United States has been a representative Republic since the ratification of the Constitution (1789). It has never been a true “democracy”. The only thing “democratic” about it is the election of representatives of the People.

    I guess it wouldn’t have a damn thing to do with the name Republican now would it.

    Only to those that have a visceral hatred of Republicans. 😉

    FWIW, there was no “Republican” Party until 1854.

  20. ya think? I expect it probably has a great deal to do with when I was educated. I was always taught the United States was a republican dempcracy, with republican relating to the fact that there was a collection of states.

    Just to be on the safe side, I asked Mr. Howler who is a govt/politics major and he said we were a republican democracy.

    Our type of govt is a democracy. The make up of our country is a republic, just like the Czech Republic, the United Soviet Socialist Republic, etc. We obviously don’t have the same form of government that they do.

    Why do you think I don’t know when the Republican Party started?

    I don’t have a visceral hatred of all Republicans, just the more strident ones. I actually like some of them. I used to even be one until they got bitten and changed over.

    I don’t think there are any pure democracies.

  21. Slowpoke, I agree, Obama is no Bill Clinton. However, if you had voted for Hillary you could have had Bill back.

  22. Slowpoke Rodriguez


    As a registered Republican, I don’t THINK I can vote in the Democratic Primary (I could totally be wrong about that). If I were voting in the Democratic Primary, I probably would have voted for Hillary for that very reason. I’m not a huge Hillary fan, but I did like Bubba, and I don’t care who knows it! By the time it came to me, I couldn’t vote for Hillary. And don’t tell anyone, but I might have voted for Hillary (to get Bill) over McCain. I can’t stand McCain.

  23. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Oh, and Moon, I think you are correct that there are no pure (or true) Democracies.

  24. Starryflights

    I seem to recall the Rev Wright flap a couple years ago. That was all about Obama’s Christian church.

  25. Pat.Herve

    just another anti Obama fear mongering tactic.

  26. Emma

    Watch the sleight-of-hand–America gets all worked up over his religion while Obama quietly bypasses the Senate to make unvetted recess Cabinet appointments. Someone’s getting played here, and it’s not the prez.

  27. They all do that…the …what do you call them…recess appointments. I remember the Democrats all screeching about Bush doing it (some judge brought out the largest, loudest shrieks). Now the Republicans can follow suit and moan and groan about Obama doing it.

    Why doesn’t Congress address this since both groups hate it? It should be a shoe in bill to do away with recess appointments.

    They don’t act on it because both groups want to be able to do it when their guy is in office. It also gives them something to work everyone else up over. Look what that awful Bush is doing!!!! Look what that stinking Obama is doing!!!!

  28. Whose the cabinet appointment? I forgot to ask and I haven’t seen anything about it.

  29. Slowpoke, that registration doesn’t count in Virginia. You can vote in either Republican or Democrat primaries. Sometimes you can even vote in both if they are held on different days.

    Virginia doesn’t register by parties.

    I don’t care who knows I like Bill Clinton either. H/F

  30. Rick Bentley

    “What is your explanation for why the misperceptions about the president’s religion have shifted so much? ”

    Abject stupidity. And the decadence of the modern age that people even have the luxury to think about stupid things like this.

    What we should be talking about is how lazy he is, how he’s not working at his job. “Come on guys, I’m trying to eat shrimp here!”

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