As I said in my initial post, I don't have the authority (not being a theologian) or much right (not being a Christian) to decide what is or isn't Christian. My point is, first, that from a standpoint of nomenclature unbiased by fidelity to any particular Christian creed, neither does anyone else. That's not to say that members of individual Christian doctrines can't necessarily proclaim that someone's view of Christian living is wrong. My point is merely that, in a world with literally hundreds of Christianities, where there has been so much blood and treasure sacrificed in the name of defining who, exactly, is a representative of Christ, American courtesy and Christian charity would demand leniency and flexibility in determining who is fit to call themselves a member of a flock.
Of course, I think the more important response is also the more boring one. I simply don't find what Obama said actually dismissive of the idea that Jesus was divine, or the Son of God, and I find the certainty of some of his critics that it was very weird. Additionally, there are other interviews where Obama expresses quite explicitly the divinity of Christ, and endorses a perfectly mainstream, mundane Christian faith. That seems much more dispositive than an individual interview with a little ambiguity, into which has been injected a tremendous amount of supposition. As for Carter's complaint that he wasn't really attacking Obama's Christianity, or making a big deal about it, well... the bandwidth is mostly free, I suppose, but say something or don't, partner.
Now this... this is my guy, and a reminder that I will never arrive at an atheism so crude or so unyielding that I cast believers from the heart of conscience. He is talking, by the way, of real love, not some symbol or analog, not in metaphor or riddle, but actual, Christian love, erotic and divine. The same way, if you ask me, Jesus regarded love, the love he constantly demanded that Christian men and women show to their neighbors, no different from that which they felt for themselves.
Eros lo fucking volt.
Update: In comments, paul asks for some content from these other interviews. I'm here to serve. I'll quote one of Joe Carter's own commenters:
In an interview in Jan ‘08 with Christianity Today, Obama said:
I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life.
In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes about what happened to him after he submitted himself to God’s will and dedicated himself to discovering God’s truth. Obama describes this discernment as an “ongoing process for all of us in making sure that we are living out our faith every day.” Obama has consistently pointed to his faith as the primary motivator for his career of working for the common good.
In a July 2008 interview with Newsweek magazine, Obama spoke to this directly:
I am a big believer in not just words, but deeds and works. I don’t believe that the kingdom of God is achievable on Earth without God’s intervention, and without God’s return through Jesus Christ, but I do believe in improvement.