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Christian leaders speak out on Obama

As the countdown to the 2012 presidential campaign begins, a new book, “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” has lined up Christians from across the nation to rate President Obama’s performance in office. The book, written by Bankole Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle and published by Iowa-based Global Mark Makers, Inc (www.globalmark, will hit bookshelves in October and launched Nov. 12 at a multi-speaker national forum in Detroit. The book will be featured at the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., (COGIC) 2011 Holy Convocation, Oct. 31-Nov. 9, in St. Louis, Mo., hosted by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, who heads the 6.5 million COGIC denomination worldwide.

The thematic book, with a didactic foreword written by Bishop P.A. Brooks, First Assistant Presiding Bishop of COGIC, who was a guest chaplain of the 102nd Congress, dissects President Obama’s performance across a myriad of issues including job creation, poverty alleviation, affordable housing, education, health care, gay rights, small business and entrepreneurial development, immigration, family stability, and the UN’s “responsibility to protect” principle under which Obama intervened in Libya, among other hot button issues.

The book also delves into the crucial role of faith-based socioeconomic initiatives of Christians across the nation and the global village faced with many difficult and sometimes disheartening challenges.

Global Mark Makers said it commissioned Thompson, who has written extensively on the Obama presidency since the historic 2008 campaign, to write the book after a poll last year showed one in five Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim.

After the poll, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of renowned Evangelist Billy Graham, told CNN’s John King in an interview that President Obama’s problem is that he was born a Muslim because the seed of Islam is given through thefather.

Graham, an authoritative voice for the Christian right, further cast doubt on Obama’s religious faith on Easter Sunday morning this year when he told ABC’s Christian Amanpour that even though Obama told him he was a Christian, for Graham that goes beyond attending church. In that interview Graham said he would support Donald Trump if he ran for president.

Bishop T.D. Jakes later told TV One host Roland Martin that he felt insulted by Graham’s remarks about Obama because no one questioned President George W. Bush’s faith when he gave his life to Christ.

Even though Obama wrote that his father was a confirmed atheist at the time he was born, some still wrongly believe he is a Muslim.

Some of the Christian leaders interviewed in the book include Hyepin Im, CEO of the Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and a White House appointee; Rogelio Orta CEO of the Latino Christian Business Network; Howard Gentry, former vice mayor of Nashville, who is leading an anti-poverty campaign in Tennessee; Cordell Uzonwanne, an IT consultant and philanthropist; and T.N. Williams, a Christian author, among others.

Im said in the book that she believes Obama’s faith-based initiative reflects the vision of KCCD because of the emphasis on “the partnership aspect of government working with faith-based communities and recognizing the importance of the presence and leadership of fathers in families.”

African American and Korean Christians can work together as well, Im believes.

“I have personally been enriched with mentors from the African American community. I believe there is great room for improvement in genuine partnership opportunities that create true communities with vested futures,” she said.

Orta from the Latino Christian Business Network wants Obama to push for a comprehensive immigration reform just as he did with health care reform. He also said Obama should work to budget cuts at the SBA. There are ways to improve the economy, with grants, small loans for new entrepreneurs.”

Cordell Uzonwanne said there is a need for American Christian leaders support Obama to push for more attention to children orphaned by AIDS, adddress malaria and other hot button issues on the continent of Africa.

“These issues challenge us as Christians everywhere in the world and as representatives of Christ here on Earth. If one is a Christian it shows in one’s compassion and commitment to others,” Uzonwanne said.

The Iowa publishers of the book said, “The Bible teaches us that Obama is a Christian if he believed with his heart and confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord. So, it’s up to Obama and God to decide on that, not Rev. Franklin Graham, Focus on the Family or Congresswoman Bachman. But whether he has been leading this “enforce the small business initiatives that have suffered nation according to Christian values and principles is up to American Christians, especially voters, and indeed citizens of the world to judge. That’s what the book is all about.”

In the book’s foreword, Bishop Brooks, a man who has prayed for presidents and world leaders, wrote, “Rather than merely review polemic speech, the book focuses on understanding how President Obama’s responses to the varying social and economic needs fit within the Christian perspective.”

Brooks added, “The test of true Christian loyalty lies not in whether one attends services, or speaks with all the nuances of the Christian dialect, it is in one’s devotion to God and humanity that ‘Christianess’ is proved. For this reason, I am so thankful for the scope of this book.”

By Bankole Thompson

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