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Why doesn’t Obama wear his religion on his sleeve?

What will it take for Obama to convince the world that he’s a Christian, or at least not a Muslim? Teaching Baptist Sunday School like Jimmy Carter? Putting a 'My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter' bumper sticker on Air Force One?

By Staff writer / August 21, 2010

President Obama bows his head in prayer prior to speaking at University of Notre Dame during commencement ceremonies in South Bend, Indiana, in 2009. Obama's religion has become a political issue, with increasing numbers of Americans believing him to be Muslim.

Jason Reed/Reuters

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What will it take for President Obama to convince the world that he’s a Christian … or at least not a Muslim?

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Teaching Baptist Sunday School like Jimmy Carter? Putting a “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” bumper sticker on Air Force One? Making a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Day after day, the White House has to keep knocking down questions about the President’s faith – a major distraction when Obama would rather be cheer-leading the economy, stumping for Democrats facing tough reelection fights this fall, or just hanging out with Michelle and the girls on Martha’s Vineyard these waning days of summer.

IN PICTURES: Inside President Obama's White House

The current flap stems from the Pew Research Center’s finding that the number of Americans who believe Obama is Muslim has swelled to 18 percent (including 34 percent of conservative Republicans).

Now, we would never agree with the headline on Joel Achenbach’s blog on the subject in the Washington Post: “Are Americans total numbskulls?” But as Achenbach points out, “Disinformation remains powerful and infectious, and … large elements of the country distrust the official story about anything.”

It gets worse. An earlier Harris Poll finds that “a quarter of Tea Party supporters believe he may be the Anti-Christ.”

The Rev. Franklin Graham (son of famed preacher Billy Graham), who has prayed with Obama, says he takes the president at his word that he’s Christian.

But in an interview with CNN’s John King this week, Graham said, "I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name.”

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