Paul Waldman reacts to Bill Maher's assertion, above:

This is a very different question from whether Obama is actually a Muslim. The question here is whether long ago, he decided that he'd get nowhere in politics if he didn't present himself as a believer, and so he started going to church, and every once in a while he talks about his relationship with God. Is it possible? Sure. Will we ever know? No. But what's interesting is that both his most fervent opponents and some of his most fervent supporters think the same thing -- that for political purposes, Obama has hid his true beliefs. Many secular progressives want to believe that in his heart he's just like them, and many religious conservatives want to believe that in his heart he's as alien from them as he could be.

It also makes you wonder how long it will be before an avowed atheist could mount a serious run for the White House. In case you're wondering, the number of publicly atheist members of Congress is one, California's Pete Stark.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.