Think you know what religious faith President Barack Obama practices? It may be one of the more controversial questions in America, but the believed answer is surprisingly not simply dichotomized between Protestant Christianity and Islam.
CNN recently released results from a poll asking 1,012 adult Americans “Do you happen to know what religion Barack Obama is?” and the results are a beautiful example of the misinformation roaming about our United States.
In total, 39% of the people polled said correctly that the President is Protestant Christian, versus 29% who said that they think Obama is Muslim, Islam, or Islamic. The latter choice is not surprisingly skewed toward older, white, collegiately uneducated, Southerner conservatives.
The next most chosen option for the President’s faith is the “no opinion” option at 14%, followed by “not religious” at 11%. Note that almost seven years of Obama’s presidency is not enough time for a substantial number of Americans to have an opinion on the subject.
Now mathematically proactive readers have already figured out that only 93% of those polled are accounted for, and this is where the poll responses get fun.
A total of 4% of Americans, as reflected in this poll, believe that Obama is Catholic. This is plausible, I suppose, as the President has been vocally supportive of Pope Francis in recent months, though it remains wrong.
Another 2% of Americans polled responded that Obama is Mormon/LDS. If true, this would no doubt surprise Mormons who thought that 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney would have been the first Mormon president. But it is not true.
More unusual, 1% of adult Americans polled responded that Obama is Jewish. Interestingly, the region “West” skews higher than the national geographic average with 2% of western Americans believing that Obama is our first Jewish president.
The last 1% of people polled believe that Obama is some other religion completely (these percentages add up to 101%, an outcome due to statistical rounding). The CNN poll does not list exactly what these other religious faiths might be, but it is amusing to speculate.
Pastafarianism? Scientology? The Prince Philip Movement? In the interest of full journalistic disclosure, I personally am committed to the belief that President Obama is a member of the Prince Philip Movement, and he is trying to supplant our American judicial system with Yaohnanen law.