Thursday, February 19, 2015

Barack Obama - Jews, Muslims, Christians and Atheists can claim him!

I was reading about Barack Obama's family today. What really confused me was the sheer number of religious combinations in his immediate family.

Buraq. Source: Wiki
First of all Barack sounds very much like the Arabic Buraq, the al-Buraq horse which carried Prophet Mohammed. It is an unmistakably Muslim name.

Barack could also be derived from Barak, the son of Abinoam, a military commander in the Book of Judges of the Bible. So very easily this can be termed as a Jewish or Christian name.

Barack Obama's paternal grandfather Onyango had converted from African tribal religion to Catholic Christianity first. Then he converted to Islam. He had at least three wives. Barack senior was the son of his second wife Akumu.
Barack Obama Senior. Pic: History

Barack Obama's paternal grandmother Akumu had to convert to Islam, and took the name Habiba upon her conversion. She was Onyango's second wife. Later she left him and remarried in Tanzania. 

Barack's father, Barack Obama senior, was raised a Muslim. His name was Baraka. He rejected Islam soon and converted Anglican Christianity. Had 3 wives in his life.

Barack Obama's mother, step father and step sister. Pic:
Kezia Aoko was his first wife. Kezia had many children. One of them, Bernard, which she claims was from Barack senior, converted to Islam as an adult. So Bernard, Barack's alleged half brother, raised a Christian, but later became Muslim. Later in life Barack Senior rejected Christianity and became an atheist. Sarah Onyango Obama, Barack senior's sister, is still a practicing Muslim and terms herself as a strong believer in Islam.
Grandpa Stanley, Barack's mother and step sister. Pic: Wiki

Obama's mother Ann Dunham was from a family of Baptist and Methodist Christian combination. She was supposedly an atheist or at least a skeptic non-practicing Christian. Later in life, Ann married Lolo Soetoro, a Muslim from Indonesia. They had a daughter named Maya, a Hindu name going to Advaita school of philosophy of Vedic Hinduism!

Barack Obama's maternal side was Jewish? Pic: henrymakow
Obama's step mother (his dad's third wife) was a Jewish woman Ruth Beatrice Baker. She's not the only Jew in Obama's close family circles. Barack's wife Michelle's first cousin Capers Funnye, Jr also converted to Judaism after feeling that Christianity was imposed on his ancestors who were slaves from Africa.

There's a lot written on the internet about Barack's maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham. Even though by most accounts his family is described as Unitarian Christian (they kind of don't believe that God is three different entities, which Christians usually believe in), there are many which suspect that his family was secretly Jewish

There are many who secretly brag that Barack Obama is in fact America's first Jewish President, as Jews trace religion from mother's side.

Mark Ndesandjo, Barack's half brother - Jewish. Pic: Blogspot
Barack's step brothers Mark and David were born to this Jewish woman Ruth Beatrice Baker. She is from a Lithuanian Jewish descent. After Barack Obama senior, she married a Tanzanian Christian. Mark Ndesandjo, Barack's half brother married a Chinese woman later. You can guess what would be her religion addition into this family from China - Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism etc.

Coming to the big man now.. Obama - Lists himself as a Christian. He says that he was not raised in a religious environment as a child. He claims his father at the time of his birth was a confirmed atheist and his mother was a non-practicing Methodist+Baptist Christian.He also says that his step father, though from Indonesian Muslim family, was a man who did not find religion that useful. But as an adult Obama picked up Christianity. By the time he became the President of the most powerful country of the world, he was claiming - "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."

The latest is that Barack Obama prays at the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodists are historically linked the Protestant form of Christianity.

Now here is the real confusion and conflict:
  1. Obama has links to Islam, Christianity and Judaism in his immediate family. All three Abrahamic religions kind of claim him in some way or another. He also has links to those who reject religion like Atheists directly from his father.
  2. In strict Islamic terminology, Barack's father is an apostate. Born Muslim family, but rejected Islam and converted to Christianity. Forget medieval times, this warrants death penalty in many countries even today!
  3. In strict Christian terminology, Barack's father rejected Christianity too to become an atheist, which would anger fundamentalist Christians. Barack's mother too was a non practicing Christian when Barack was born. Also, Barack's paternal grandfather had converted to Catholic Christianity first, but later rejected it in favor of Islam. Catholics would not be happy at all. During medieval times, this warranted death penalty! More so, Christians would be unhappy that Barack's mother Ann married an Indonesian Muslim later. Barack's half brother Bernard converted to Islam from Christianity.
  4. To make both fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians, Barack Obama's father married a Jewish woman as his third wife! Now her son is married to a Chinese woman of unknown religion. Also, Barack's wife's cousin is a convert to Judaism now. Muslims would be more unhappy knowing that Barack's step father did not really practice Islam when Barack was young. 
  5. And to make strict Jews unhappy, Barack's step mother married a man who had rejected Islam and Christianity both, but did not accept Judaism. They would also feel unhappy, Barack's maternal grand father is rumored to have Jewish connections, which was never publicly announced (Maybe world war time?).
  6. So we have many forms of Christianity, Islam and Judaism in the mix. We also have Chinese unknown ideology and atheism involved. And the name Barack itself can be claimed by Muslims, Christians and Jews.. all together for different reasons.
  7. To make it even more spicy, I mean really spicy as in the historic land of spices, Barack Obama's grandfather Onyango had traveled to India during British rule. Who knows, what Hindu, Jain, Buddhist or Sikh connection he might have picked up there! Barack's step sister Maya already has a Hindu name :)

Barack family's religion topic is surely a controversial issue. Isn't it?