So, President Barack Obama's faith is back in the news.
Precisely, the headlines concern a new poll showing a surprising (or not?) number of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim:
USA Today boils down the latest news this way:
Despite a Hawaii birth certificate and repeated professions of his Christian faith, fairly large numbers of Americans still believe President Obama is a Muslim born outside of the United States.
Over at the Washington Post, Godbeat pro Sarah Pulliam Bailey offers this rundown of the poll numbers:
Even though President Obama nods to his Christian faith regularly in both serious and light-hearted settings, a large number of Americans still believe he is a Muslim. According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 29 percent of Americans say they think that Obama is a Muslim, including 43 percent of Republicans.
Sixty-one percent of Democrats say Obama is a Protestant, compared with 28 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of independents. Also, according to CNN, 54 percent of those who support Donald Trump say they believe Obama is a Muslim.
Education comes into play: 63 percent of college graduates believe Obama is a Protestant compared with just 28 percent of those who do not have college degrees.
Among all adults, 39 percent say they believe Obama is a Protestant or another kind of Christian, another 11 percent say he’s not religious, and 14 percent that they just don’t know. Of those who took the survey, 4 percent believe he is Catholic, 2 percent think he is Mormon, 1 percent believe he is Jewish, and 1 percent think he is something else.
The number of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim appears to have jumped since polls from earlier years of his presidency.
Keep reading, and former GetReligionista Bailey does a really nice job of providing insight and background related to Obama's faith and what he has said about it.
But here's my question: Are these poll numbers related to the number of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim really "surprising" or "startling," as news reports described them?
Or — at this point — should we just assume that a fair number of our fellow citizens are a bit nutty and a whole lot uninformed? (I'll resist the urge to make a Donald Trump joke here, even though I totally don't understand that whole phenomenon.)
I mean, yes, 29 percent of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim sounds like a lot.
That is, until you consider how many believe UFOs are real:
A new survey finds that 80 million Americans, or 36 percent of the population, believe UFOs are real. One in 10 respondents say they have personally witnessed an alien spaceship.
Honestly, I'd love to see figures on the percentage of Americans who personally witnessed an alien spaceship and also believe Obama is a Muslim.
UFO image via Shutterstock.com