Open thread: From birthers to dunkers

Cliff Kinkaid makes the argument that Barack Obama is really a Muslim because there is no proof Obama was ever baptized. Amazing.

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"Proving" Christianity

Traditionally, Christianity teaches that baptism is a sacrament involving the use of water to signify acceptance of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Since Obama was not born and baptized a Christian, in order to become a Christian he had to enter into the sacrament of baptism some time later in life.

For nearly 2000 years, theologians have debated what it means to be a "Christian." The debate over the meaning of baptism, and specifically whether baptism is a requirement,continues every day in our seminaries and churches. With all our scholarship, all our reasoning, and all our "divine revelation," we can't even agree on what constitutes an acceptable method of baptism. Traditionally (in the Orthodox tradition), baptism is NOT a symbol of acceptance of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (implying a conscious acceptance by the recipient of baptism). Instead, baptism occurs as an infant, and is symbolic of the presentation of the child to God by the parents (as the infant Jesus was presented and dedicated in the temple by Simeon). It is only in the Baptist tradition that baptism represents a conscious acceptance of Christ as savior and receiving the Holy Spirit.

Using baptism as an offer of "proof" that one is a Christian is akin to using a tattoo as an offer of "proof" that one is a sailor. More importantly, it seems to me that those of us who call ourselves "Christian" should be very leery of the temptation to compare our faith to that of others. "Judge not, lest ye be judged" and "Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling" stand as clear warnings against the kind of litmus test that is increasingly coming from those who oppose the President.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR