The liberal host of a popular cable television talk show recently cast doubts on President Barack Obama's espoused Christianity during a discussion on the president's current political leanings.
"I think he's a centrist the way he's a Christian," Bill Maher of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher said to a round of laughs Friday.
He continued, "He's pretending to be a centrist."
Philosopher Cornel West disagreed emphatically with Maher's description of the president's political identity and religious beliefs.
"He is a Christian. He is a Christian," West said."He's just a centrist Christian. He's not a prophetic Christian."
Maher, whose atheist worldview was captured in his recent documentary "Religulous," replied that Obama was reared by his late mother who described herself as a "secular humanist," which the host later said he believed Obama to be as well.
"But he reacted against that though," West responded. "He changed his mind on the God question, Brother Bill."
Maher then explained his point that Obama has pretended to hold a Christian viewpoint standing against same-sex marriage, for example, only to further his political ambitions.
West, however, insisted that being a Christian is not necessarily a "political orientation" for Obama.
"He is a Christian," he maintained, to which Maher quipped, "I just don't believe him."
But West did get the second to last laugh when Maher attempted to move the discussion away from religion.
"But somebody is wrong about this thing, you know?" West said.
The meme that Obama is a "secret Muslim" was evident during the 2008 presidential campaign. The president has yet to shake the label, according to a recent poll Maher quoted.
The video is from HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, broadcast Feb. 11, 2011, as snipped by Mediaite.