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Religion in the Oval OfficeThe Religious Lives of American Presidents$
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Gary Scott Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391394.001.0001

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

“We Are Our Brother’s Keeper”

(p.367) 11 Barack Obama
Religion in the Oval Office

Gary Scott Smith

Oxford University Press

Barack Obama’s faith has significantly influenced his life, and it has been both widely misunderstood and highly controversial. Although religious issues played a major role in both the 2008 and 2012 elections and Obama has explained his religious convictions in two autobiographies and numerous speeches, many Americans still profess to be confused about his faith. Critics accuse Obama of waging war on religion, claim that his professions of faith are politically motivated, and charge that he is a practicing Muslim. Some religious conservatives complain that Obama is trying to destroy the nation’s Christian heritage and denounce his support of abortion and gay marriage. Other Christians praise Obama’s efforts to help the poor, especially by providing universal health care. Obama has emphasized that Christians are called to be their brother’s keeper and has challenged Americans to help meet the needs of the impoverished, disabled, disadvantaged, and emotionally troubled.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, brother’s keeper, faith, Muslim, Christian heritage, abortion, gay marriage, universal health care

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