He obviously feels compelled to talk frequently and in great detail about his Christian beliefs. He did so again Saturday at the African Christian Methodist Episcopal quadrennial conference in St. Louis.
"I let Jesus Christ into my life," Obama told the AME delegates. "I learned that my sins could be redeemed and that if I place my trust in Jesus, that he could set me on a path to eternal life. That I submitted myself to his life. I dedicated myself to discovering his truth and to carrying out his works."
Short of nailing himself to a cross, Obama could not make a clearer confession of faith.
And yet, at the same time, he obviously feels compelled to distance himself from inaccurate but insistent rumors that he was or is a Muslim. As Post reporter Jonathan Weisman noted, Obama also tried Saturday "to dispel the notion that he comes from Muslim roots, pointedly mentioning that his father, a Kenyan who left his family and returned to Africa when Obama was a small child, was an atheist."
How bizarre. A presidential candidate, forced to resign from his church because of things said from the pulpit by Christian preachers, relying on his long-dead father's atheism to rescue him from any long-ago family ties to Islam.
But what else can Obama do?
On one hand, if he ignores the lies about Islam he risks losing swing-state voters like Ohio's Jim Peterman, who told Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow said he keeps hearing from friends and neighbors -- people he trusts -- that Obama is Muslim.
"I'll admit that I probably don't follow all of the election news like maybe I should," Peterman said. "I haven't read his books or studied up more than a little bit. But it's hard to ignore what you hear when everybody you know is saying it. These are good people, smart people, so can they really all be wrong?"
Makes you wonder about this whole democracy thing, doesn't it?
On the other hand, if Obama continues to distance himself from Islam (candidate Obama has yet to visit a mosque), he risks losing idealistic voters like Abed Z. Bhuyan, a recent Georgetown University graduate and On Faith blogger who feels betrayed by Obama's bow to Islamophobia.
"Obama has failed to understand that this whole issue about him being 'a secret Muslim' is not about him, but about Muslims and the criticisms of our faith," Bhuyan wrote recently.
That's too bad for all of us. If ever we needed a president with a deep understanding of and appreciation for Christianity and Islam, a president who could help us bridge the widening and more threatening gap between St. Peter the Rock and the Kaaba in Mecca, it is now.
But the Peterman vote is larger and more crucial in a presidential election than the Bhuyan vote. So Obama likely will keep talking about Jesus to assuage our fears and pacify our phobias. What else can he do?