Barrack Obama is clearly a man of faith. I am not. I do not believe that Obama is pretending religion for votes, something that I do feel other candidates do. My wife has criticized Obama for some of what he says in his one of his books about nonreligious people. I have not read his books, so I can't comment about those statements.
The video excerpt below [via PZ] is from an Obama speech in 2006, in which O speaks on faith and its place in American politics. This short clip does two things.
The first is that it shows exactly what O is good at: he takes complex, controversial issues (as he later did with race) in which most people have a vested personal interest. He acknowledges the difficulty of addressing the issues, not just by saying it's controversial, but by explaining the controversy, why both sides feel their side is justified. This is something I don't see any other major American politician do. Barrack Obama is just one hell of an eloquent, elucidating speaker, the kind of clear voice we have not had in a president during my lifetime.
The second thing he does here is that he tells, pretty conclusively, why people of faith, however deeply felt their religious convictions may be, should never base public policy on their religion. Obama expresses that the nonbelievers have a right to be heard. This is a big step up from George Bush Sr.'s "atheists shouldn't be considered citizens" statement. And Even if we were a "Christian nation," whose Christianity should we teach?
Anyway, I won't belabor the point. Here's the video.
Look who popped up in the latest This Modern World: