In both of his autobiographies, Obama characterizes himself as a Christian—although he describes his upbringing as mostly secular.
The senior Obama married a fellow student, eighteen year old Shirley Ann (Anna) Dunham of Wichita, Kansas. A self-professed atheist, Dunham was an anthropology student. Obama Jr. was born on August 4th, 1961, in Honolulu.
In “The Audacity of Hope,” Mr. Obama says, "I was not raised in a religious household." He describes his mother as secular, but says she had copies of the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita in their home.
Mr. Obama says his father was "raised a Muslim, but by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist...." Mr. Obama also describes his father as largely absent from his life. He says his Indonesian stepfather was "skeptical" about religion and "saw religion as not particularly useful in the practical business of making one's way in the world ...."
In his book, "Dreams from My Father," Obama wrote of his mother (who died of ovarian cancer in 1995), “She was a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for the New Deal and the Peace Corps.” In his book, "The Audacity of Hope," (pp 202-203), Obama wrote that she was “always too rational and too stubborn to accept anything she couldn’t see, feel, touch or count." She was the quintessential secular humanist, he told Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter and Daren Briscoe