The Democratic candidate spoke to the popular religious Web site beliefnet.com and highly respected Christianity Today magazine to set the record straight that he is a “devoted” Christian and never was a Muslim.
“I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam,” Obama stated in a Christianity Today interview posted Wednesday. “I am respectful of the religion, but it’s not my own.”
“It wasn’t an epiphany. I didn’t ‘fall out,’ as they say in the black church,” Obama noted. “It was an emotional and spiritual progression, as well as an intellectual one. And it didn’t happen overnight.”
He said he prays everyday on the campaign trail, and before running for president, to be an “instrument of God’s will.” The often described charismatic candidate said he applies the Golden Rule to campaign politics, being challenged by his faith to be respectful and courteous to everyone, including his political opponents.