Chicago Politician Discusses Muslim-Christian Values

April 13, 2004

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On April 13, 2004 the Chicago Sun-Times sat down with Barack Obama and Jack Ryan, and Dick Durbin, to "talk about what they believe, why they believe it and how it affects their lives." Young local politican Barak Obama explained: "'I went to a Catholic school in a Muslim country, so I was studying the Bible and catechisms by day, and, at night, you'd hear the [Muslim] prayer call,' Obama recalls. 'My mother was a deeply spiritual person and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world's religions and talk to me about them. 'Her view always was that underlying these religions was a common set of beliefs about how you treat other people and how you aspire to act, not just for yourself, but also for the greater good.' Obama earned a degree in political science from New York's Columbia University in 1983 and in 1991 graduated magna cum laude with a law degree from Harvard University. Since 1993, he has been a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Those experiences, as much as his multireligious childhood, affect how he expresses his faith, Obama says. 'Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion,' he says. 'I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a big believer in our constitutional structure.'"