For quite a while, there was considerable public confusion over Barack Obama’s Christian faith. Thanks to an email chain and right-wing whispers, a
July 10, 2008

For quite a while, there was considerable public confusion over Barack Obama’s Christian faith. Thanks to an email chain and right-wing whispers, a few too many people were led to believe Obama is, or was, some kind of secret Muslim.

In the ensuing months, there’s been an aggressive push to help people hear the truth. The Jeremiah Wright flap, which received blanket media coverage for weeks, proved that Obama attends a Christian church. Obama frequently emphasizes his Christian faith, and there are even ads on Christian radio stations about Obama’s Christian witness.

So, given these efforts, public confusion is bound to dissipate, right? Wrong. It’s actually getting worse.

From the latest national survey (.pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press:

“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?”

Christian 57%
Muslim 12%
Jewish 1%
Something else 2%
Don’t know - Heard different things 10%
Don’t know - Haven’t heard enough 15%
Refused 3%

The number who mistakenly identified Obama as a Muslim was 12%. The number who made the same mistake in March was 10%. That’s obviously a very small increase, but isn’t it about time that number started going down?

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