Katie Couric's Notebook: Obama's Background


Is America ready to elect a President whose connections with Islam were the subject of rumor and innuendo?

Barack Obama has arguably the most diverse religious background of any candidate, ever. He was raised in Indonesia by a Christian mother and Muslim stepfather, and attended a Catholic school, but while growing up, also studied Islam. That background sparked rumors that he had studied in a radical madrasa, or Koranic school – rumors later disproved . Obama is now a practicing Christian.

Last month, the Los Angeles Times interviewed a person who grew up with Obama. In the LA Times article he said, "We prayed in the mosque, but not seriously," noting that Obama also prayed with his Catholic schoolmates. In a later Chicago Tribune article, however, the source said he was not certain whether they prayed together.

It's too soon to know what America will decide about Barack Obama or his background.

But it's not too soon to wonder if America will see that background as an asset...or a liability.