Fox News correspondent Caroline Shively asserted that "[Sen. Barack] Obama says 'Enough already. There's nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I have been a Christian for two decades now.' " In fact, Obama has said that he has "always been a Christian," and has also repeatedly stated that he has never been a Muslim or ever practiced Islam.
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During the March 3 edition of Fox News Live, correspondent Caroline Shively falsely asserted that "[Sen. Barack] Obama says 'Enough already. There's nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I have been a Christian for two decades now. Enough.' " In fact, Obama has not said that he's "been a Christian for two decades now"; he has said, "I've always been a Christian," and has also repeatedly stated that he has never been a Muslim or ever practiced Islam.
Obama has said repeatedly that he is not a Muslim. For example:
- According to the Associated Press, on February 27, Obama told Jewish leaders in Cleveland, Ohio: "If anyone is still puzzled about the facts, in fact I have never been a Muslim."
- In a January 23 interview with Christianity Today, Obama stated:
OBAMA: I think it's really important for your readers to know that I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam. I am respectful of the religion, but it's not my own. One of the things that's very important in this day and age is that we don't use religion as a political tool and certainly that we don't lie about religion as a way to score political points. I just thought it was important to get that in there to dispel rumors that have been over the Internet. We've done so repeatedly, but obviously it's a political tactic of somebody to try to provide this misinformation.
- According to a December 22, 2007, post on MSNBC.com's First Read blog, during a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Obama was asked "to explain his Muslim heritage":
"My father was from Kenya," he said, "and a lot of people in his village were Muslim. He didn't practice Islam. Truth is he wasn't very religious. He met my mother. My mother was a Christian from Kansas, and they married and then divorced. I was raised by my mother. So, I've always been a Christian. The only connection I've had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country. But I've never practiced Islam."
- In a memo dated January 23, 2007, the Obama campaign addressed false rumors that Obama attended a madrassa during his childhood in Indonesia and explicitly stated that Obama "has never been a Muslim":
Senator Obama was raised in a secular household in Indonesia by his stepfather and mother. Obama's stepfather worked for a U.S. oil company, and sent his stepson to two years of Catholic school, as well as two years of public school. As Obama described it, "Without the money to go to the international school that most expatriate children attended, I went to local Indonesian schools and ran the streets with the children of farmers, servants, tailors, and clerks." [The Audacity of Hope, p. 274]
To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago. Furthermore, the Indonesian school Obama attended in Jakarta is a public school that is not and never has been a Madrassa.
These malicious, irresponsible charges are precisely the kind of politics the American people have grown tired of, and that Senator Obama is trying to change by focusing on bringing people together to solve our common problems.
- An entry in the "Know the Facts" section of Obama's campaign website states: "Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim. Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ."
From the 2 p.m. ET hour of the March 3 edition of Fox News Live:
GRETCHEN CARLSON (anchor): One thing I was wondering is, as a presidential candidate, you know, you're going to continue to get the same questions over and over and over again. Seems to me that Barack Obama didn't want to answer this anymore, he wanted to answer it once and be done with it.
SHIVELY: He says basically, "I'm tired of answering this one." This rumor has been dogging him for years, Gretchen. It's been on the Internet for many, many years. It keeps whipping up over and over again.
Remember Bill Cunningham, the conservative radio host, he used his full name, Barack Hussein Obama --
CARLSON: Yeah --
SHIVELY: Cunningham said there's nothing wrong with that, but many people connect that Hussein with Islam, so that helped whip it up a little bit. It is out there. Obama says, "Enough already. There's nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I have been a Christian for two decades now. Enough."
CARLSON: Yeah, and I don't think that it helped the whole situation when that picture showed up last week -- this one right here. Two years ago he was over in Somalia, I believe, and he donned the traditional garb there.