ABC reporter’s Twitter consumed with defending Obama’s Christian faith

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, August 23, 2010 19:46 EDT
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The President of the United States adheres to the Christian faith, according to all available, credible evidence.

And if you’re ABC’s Jake Tapper, you’re likely sick of talking about it.

That’s because after reporting on widespread and growing misconceptions about the president’s religion, Tapper’s Twitter account became inundated with challenges to the facts, leaving him to spend seemingly half his tweets on Monday defending the story and continually insisting that, yes, all evidence points to Obama being a Christian and not a Muslim.

“Its true that I don’t ‘know’ Obama is Christian any more than I ‘know’ George W. Bush is Christian,” he wrote. “But all credible evidence says they are.”

That same hour, Tapper wrote: “Those objecting to my reporting that Obama is Christian don’t seem concerned with the notion of empirical fact…”

And again: “I suppose using the ‘pure empirical fact’ guideline one can’t ever report that anyone adheres to a certain religion or political philosophy.”

And again: “In any case, whether it’s 18% or 99%, if americans believe something that all credible evidence says is false, I will say so.”

And again: “Bush/Obama: both say they’re Christian, friends + religious leaders vouch, they talk and write about it, no legit evidence to contrary.”

And again: “Life is too short to debate this – many of u are relying on false internet reports (or out of context ones, e.g., ‘my muslim faith.’)”

And yet again: “The Pew poll indicates the most reliable indicator of belief (wrong) that Obama is Muslim is opposition to him, and many seem blinded.”

Tapper’s seemingly relentless defense of Obama’s religious orientation (those are approximately half his Monday tweets on the subject) comes just days after a Pew Research Center poll found that 18 percent of Americans believe the president to be a Muslim, and nearly half of respondents said they were unsure of Obama’s faith.

While most mainline Republicans have been reticent to jump aboard the conspiracy alleging that Obama secretly harbors Islamic faith, it’s conservatives who are more likely to make such an assumption.

The poll found that only a third of Americans think he’s Christian.

Responding to the poll, White House spokesman Bill Burton insisted on Thursday that Obama is a Christian who prays every day.

The lies about Obama’s faith, spread almost exclusively by GOP-leaning media personalities, have been a persistent nuisance to Democrats since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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