What’s Obama’s Religion on Facebook?

By William Wan After spending hours upon hours on Facebook for this fun story about all the crazy/intriguing things people … Continued

By William Wan

After spending hours upon hours on Facebook for this fun story about all the crazy/intriguing things people list as their religion on Facebook, I started wondering what DC’s political heavyweights put on their Facebook pages. How does Obama (or more likely his staffers) categorize his beliefs? For that matter, what did South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford list as “religious views”? What about Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin or John McCain?

Here’s what I found…politicians’ profiles and pages–just like regular users–span the range when it comes to Facebook. You have your highly active ones–guys who seem to post every other hour (yes, we’re talking about you, Newt Ginrich). Then you’ve got some on the other end of the spectrum, who haven’t updated their wall in nearly a year (exhibit A: Michelle Obama, although it seems kind of of understandable, what with two active kids, a husband with a demanding job, a huge house to run, fashions to keep up with, not to mention some education issue work on the side).

As far as the Obamas go, both the first lady and the president play it a bit vague, going with a generic “Christian” label in their religious views boxes. No mention of the United Church Of Christ denomination of their old church in Chicago, or of their current search for a new church home. Obama also mentions the Bible among his favorite books (along with Moby Dick,
Shakespeare’s tragedies, Parting the Waters, Gilead and, of course, Lincoln’s Collected Writings). His favorite quote? “The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
towards justice” (from Martin Luther King Jr.).

As far as former presidents, it’s hard to tell if George Bush has an official page (I had to wade through a lot of mock pages out there, including some with pretty cruel jokes). Bill Clinton, doesn’t use the traditional info tabs, and so he doesn’t have anything in his religion box. Some of his comments in the “about me” field, however, point to some really fascinating insights about how he views the intersection between politics and religion:

If you could time travel to any period who would you have dinner with and why?
I would have dinner with someone great whose own writings about his or her life are unavailable – Socrates, Jesus, Genghis Khan, Shakespeare. We know what they did and what others said they said. I want to know why Socrates decided to die, in his own words; why Jesus drew a bright line between the power of faith and temporal power; why Genghis Khan, once he conquered all Asia, allowed his new subjects complete religious and cultural freedom; and how Shakespeare came to be the keenest observer of human behavior, with profoundly modern insight into human psychology.

A few more tidbits from other politician’s Facebook pages:
* Hillary looks like she had a page during the campaign but deleted it after the election.

*Newt Ginrich, doesn’t mention his recent conversion to Catholicism on his sparse profile page, but there are two prominent discussions by fans on his topics page, discussing his running for prez in 2012.

*Republican party leader Michael Steele‘s box says he’s Catholic. Democratic leader Tim Kaine doesn’t fill anything in for religion but his favorite quote is from 1 Corinthians: “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

*Sarah Palin‘s got a pretty spare page, fills out party box with Republican but nothing in religious views box. Plenty of prayers from fans on her wall though.

*For all his talk of God, his membership to DC’s secretive “Fellowship” of high-powered believers, scandal-plagued Gov. Mark Sanford doesn’t have anything in his religion box, nor much else about religion in his profile. He did however post onto his wall this link to his now infamous letter for forgiveness after cheating on his wife. It includes this line, which, I guess, is as close to a religious views as any you’ll find on Facebook:

“I’ve always believed God’s laws were there to protect us from ourselves, and what has transpired over this last week vividly illustrates the damage that comes personally, and to those you love and respect, in doing otherwise.”

About

  • BobfromLI

    Here’s an idea: let’s have our leaders lead us with some greater degree of imagination and fairness! Too many leaders in the past have used religion as justification for inhumanly evil deeds. Therefore, religiosity of any kind has ceased to have any particular value as a leadership exemplar.A politician’s religion, or lack of it, is up to them. Based on all that I have seen and read, there is no particular reason to believe that a ‘religious’ person has any unique or viable claim on morality. Based on everything I’ve seen in the last many years, our religious icons and their disciples only seem to know the words. The fact that several of our current crop of political attractions have chosen to respond or not speaks not at all to me. Remember: “He who protesteth…”

  • krj1944cableonenet

    i don’t give a damn what his religious views are.

  • furtdw

    krj1944cableonenet wrote:”i don’t give a damn what his (Obama’s) religious views are.******************************************I do.

  • furtdw

    Obama’s dubious relationship with Christianity. While in Turkey during his March 09 “European Apology tour,” Obama announced that America is not a Christian nation. (Constitutionally, true. Demographically, not true. America is not *EXCLUSIVELY* a Christian nation and welcomes those of all faiths or no faith at all). Yet that month, a poll conducted found that 62% of Americans think of America as a Christian nation. Demographically, when all denominations are combined, the USA has the number one largest Christian population of all nations at >224M. On June 3, 09, Obama told a French newspaper the USA has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world which is not true. (Mr. President, stop suckin’ eggs/pandering to Muslims and Arabs). The USA has only the 38th largest Muslim population with

    On the preceding day (June 2, 09), President Obama declared June 2009 to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month and outlined his plans to advance homosexual political concerns. Odd? I don’t recall Obama declaring any month as Christian Pride month? The “National Day of Prayer” was held May 7. Unlike his predecessors, President Obama attended no events.

  • coqui44

    Anything that a politician (above all the president) writes in FB must be considered campaign material. You can’t trust ANYTHING a politician writes there. If you believe it , you are just a sucker.

  • rannrann

    I haven’t been to FB, considering it a “tweenie” thing, you know, the thing all the “tweens” and teens do to keep tabs on each other. The fact that so many “adults” do FB I find quite interestng.I do check out a couple of sites where folks post blogs and other’s comment on them and by “a couple” I mean exactly that, one would have to be spending all day online to check out much more than a couple, but my point is that what if find interesting is the pictures people post of themselves with their comment. I can just see them choosing the “very best” picture that is the most complimentary to their appearance. Most look very professional and if not then they make sure it is the best one of the bunch. Like everyone wants and needs to be “seen” and everyone wants others to see how “attractive” they are, smiles galore to fill the little square box for all the online world to see. There is something so “tweenie” and “teenie” about this even though most on these particular blogs are adults. Something sad about the need to post that picture. I still wonder what they are thinking when they do it, what they tell themselves, because you know it is a “crock of justifications” when all it is, bottom line is “everyone’s chance at their five minutes of fame.”I get tweens and teens need to FB but I have yet to understand any adults need to. As for the business networking thing, well, that is just crock full of nothings.So, no I do not know what President Obama has on his FB about his religion and frankly I do not care, I am not EVEN tempted to check it out. FB, MyS, and Twittering are for “tweenies” and “teenies, only, imo.

  • segeny

    It’s rather embarrassing to have to admit that one worships oneself as the Neo-Messiah. That’s why “He” can’t come right out and state that “His” church is “His” own self.

  • Alex511

    fr furtdw:>…On the preceding day (June 2, 09), President Obama declared June 2009 to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month and outlined his plans to advance homosexual political concerns. That’s because the other 12 months of the year are “Christian Pride months”. Why would you begrudge THOUSANDS of glbt’s the RIGHT to strut our stuff for once little month out of the year? We’re not hurting YOU. Get a life, and get real.>…The “National Day of Prayer” was held May 7. Unlike his predecessors, President Obama attended no events. So? Maybe he heeds the admonition to not pray out in public like the Pharisees (the james dobsons for example) and to go off by himself to pray, silently.

  • Alex511

    >…That’s because the other 12 months of the year …My apologies. That should be the other 11 months. My fingers get to typing too fast!

  • hightech2

    It is Time to change our view of the Gods of religion, and Unite as One Human Race.All the back and forth about Religion, Atheism, and Creation Science and Evolution. Which came first on Earth?

  • hightech2

    Are there Christians that do not believe this religious teaching that “only through Jesus” you can come to God”? Is it possible to be a ‘Christ’ian and not believe this?And we who are Living today, and can ‘See’ that the Proophecied Judgment Day Fire, ‘will be done’ by the High Tech Religious Human Majority today, not God.

  • hightech2

    What has Obama’s religion got to do with Health Care?(A Meeting in a Church) “a way for people of faith to hear from other people of faith about how their own faith traditions inform their thinking about health care.”Are most members of faith, from the different Parties of Government, that each have a different Health Care Plan? Would this cause dissent among Church Members?How does the USA Government give Justice and Equality, and Health Care for All Citizens? By Being “One Nation, Under God”? Which God?

  • hightech2

    What has Religion to do with Government?Are there 2 distinct sexes? Did God make ALL the different sexes? Heterosexuals and GLBTs?

  • hightech2

    What has Labor Day to do with Religion?”I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”This Pledge was written in the 1890s and was made part of Government in 1942.

  • hightech2

    A comment about Religion:

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