Why do many people believe that Barack Obama is not a Christian?

March 22, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Our minds are big bags of tricks, many of them helpful out in the wild, but prone to deceive us in the modern world. Princeton Psychologist Samuel Wang points out that two of our mind’s heuristics, “source amnesia” and “bias dissimulation” (confirmation bias) account for the persistent belief of many people that Barack Obama is not a Christian, in the absence of any evidence supporting this claim.


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Category: Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    There are so many different versions of Christianity (see http://dangerousintersection.org/2006/05/29/the-m… that virtually *any* self-described "Christian" can be labeled a non-Christian. Indeed, given that Christian doctrine declares that humans are inherently sinful and that Jesus was without sin, no human is truly "Christian."

  2. The point shouldn't be what Obama's religion is. The point should be that in America (with no religious test) it should not matter.

    grumpypilgrim: Indeed. We're all someone's infidel.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Modusoperandi, you have an excellent point.

    Implying that Obama is Muslim is a way to use the bigotry of the masses "educated" by media portrayals of all Muslims in a childish attempt to discredit the president. ( I personally know many Muslims and can say that media is slanted almost to the vertical)

    Conservative Republicans seem to have developed an unwholesome obsessive hatred of Obama as president and the Democratic party in general, to the degree that this hatred completely suppresses any sense of nationality.

  4. Well, this is the same group that pushed most of the "RINOs" out of positions of power because they were Moderates, and decided that the solution to their fall from federal power was to "appeal to the base". As much as I dislike the Right (the moral Right more than the economic Right), without a counter-weight a two-party system is useless.

    The Christian Right works only in broad brushes ("In-group=good, out-group=bad"). It's partisanship taking to reductio ad absurdum, where the "other side" isn't just wrong, it's evil.

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