More than a year after he was forced to disown his Chicago pastor, President Obama has begun to attend services led by a Christian chaplain who views Islam as a violent faith.

Obama has been an irregular church attender since becoming President, but has expressed a fondness for Carey Cash, the navy chaplain at the Camp David presidential retreat who has been criticized for proselytizing in the military and his mistrust of Islam.

The White House insists that Cash, the great-nephew of the singer Johnny Cash, has not become Obama’s new pastor, but it appears that the President has heard more sermons by him than any other minister since taking office.

The emergence of Cash, 39, who was profiled on the front page of The Washington Post yesterday, will pose some tough questions for the White House — and for President Obama, whose father was Muslim. In a 2004 book describing his deployment to Iraq the year before, Cash calls Islam violent, a faith that “from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions.”

Cash, a chaplain in one of the first units to reach Baghdad, believes that a “wall of angels” protected his troops when they fought their way to the Iraqi capital in March 2003. During his deployment he baptized more than 50 servicemen. In his book, A Table in the Presence: The Dramatic Account of How a U.S. Marine Battalion Experienced God’s Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq, Cash said of the mission: “Yes, our men were lost and separated. But our God was not confused. Just as He had from the very beginning of the war, He was providentially working all things together for the good of a cause that was just and true.”

He added: “Sadly, grace is often absent in Islam, which is based upon binding religious law, requiring strenuous adherence to every tenet of the ‘Five Pillars of Allah.’

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