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Obama Defends His Faith, Says He Became Christian By Choice

New Mexico: President Barack Obama defended his faith at a political function in New Mexico on Tuesday as critics continue to question his religion.

"I am a Christian by choice," Obama responded to an attendee in the audience who asked why he followed the faith.

The event was part of a four-state tour meant to rally Democrats ahead of the midterm elections, but with polls showing that a significant number of Americans believe the president is Muslim, Obama decided to set the record straight.
"I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead," Obama said.

He said these precepts include "being my brothers' and sisters' keeper," treating others the way you would want to be treated and the humility shown by Jesus Christ dying for the sins of humanity.

"So that's what I strive to do," he went on. "That's what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith."

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, however, nearly 1 out of every 5 Americans believes Obama is a Muslim.

Much speculation centers on the fact that President Obama's father was a Muslim and that Obama attended a mostly Muslim school as a child. Recently, he has also supported the religious group's right to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

On top of this, Obama rarely attends service. Because of this, his decision to attend a church service for the time in almost half a year attracted headlines last week.

But this choice has only drawn more criticism from the right. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, said at a recent conservative event that a good way to stop the talk would be for the president to attend worship on a weekly basis.

Obama has consistently said that while he would like to attend more often, it's just not possible with the security entourage that has to accompany him. The president said it disrupts the service and those there to worship.

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the president wrapped up his faith speech by making clear that while he believes in God, he respects everyone's right to choose their own religion.

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