Politicians are like drum majors. To many unaccustomed to what marching bands do, it seems they rule the roost. In fact, they merely are little garnishes, of what composers, and directors, and first chairs, have done. So too politicians, they are, and desire to be, inkblots, whatever you read into them as long as it's positive.
Anyway, I read a snippet from Obama's Dreams of My Father, that Barack Obama thought that his brother Ray was "The person who made me proudest of all, .. he converted to Islam." Sounds nice at the very superficial level, but it actually reveals what a typical politician Obama is.
So his half-brother Ray is so authentic he was more admirable than Obama's half-brother Mark, a Stanford physics major who avoids the spotlight. But isn't Barack a Christian? Isn't the essence of Christianity accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? I don't believe in any of that stuff, but my parents gave it a try and I did learn the basics, which at the very least said you had to believe in your heart that Jesus Christ was God's conduit, and no one else. Thus, logically, if I were a Christian (ie, believed in Christianity), I would think my brother becoming a Muslim would be turning his life to eternal damnation and a tragedy much worse than being 'inauthentic'. Indeed, 'authenticity' seems to mean 'doing what your race primarily does', which in the context of heaven and hell is irrelevant. I mean, heaven is +inf, hell -inf, and so your brother chose -inf, but, he was keepin' it real! WTF?
If Obama were a Unitarian I would give him a pass, because that's atheism for people who want it both ways, a nonoffensive religion that no one takes seriously. But the United Church of Christ? That would seem uniquely advantageous for a South Side organizer with big aims. I guess it works.