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October 18th, 2011
08:54 AM ET

The liberal church of Herman Cain

By Eric Marrapodi and John Blake, CNN

Editor’s note: CNN’s John Blake was formerly a member of Antioch Baptist Church North. He left 13 years ago.

Atlanta (CNN) -  Herman Cain has vaulted to the top of the polls as a Republican presidential candidate, but there’s one audience that may prove tougher for him to win over: his hometown church.

Cain, a conservative who recently said African-Americans were “brainwashed” into voting Democratic, is an associate minister at an Atlanta megachurch that has been a stronghold of liberal activism and is led by a pastor who cites Malcolm X as one of his influences.

Cain is a longtime member of Antioch Baptist Church North, which sits near the former college and home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The church, founded by freed slaves 134 years ago, boasts 14,000 members and an operating budget of more than $5 million. For years Antioch has hosted a “who’s who” of civil rights activists as guest speakers, including Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young.

Antioch’s powerful senior pastor, the Rev. C.M. Alexander, doesn’t share Cain’s political philosophy, Atlanta clergy say. But Cain and Alexander are so close that Cain sang “The Impossible Dream” for the pastor’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Atlanta businessman-turned-presidential hopeful is well liked by many members of his church, though some disagree with his politics, Antioch pastors say.

Cain’s piety may be just as fascinating as his politics, interviews suggest.

“He’s a real person who is more complicated than the sound bite you may have heard from him,” says the Rev. Fredrick Robinson, a friend of Cain’s who was an associate minister at Antioch before leaving to form his own church.

At Antioch, Cain has had to share the pews with fiery critics of the Republican Party like Joe Beasley, a man born to sharecroppers who once said he’s been called the “N-word” more times than he can count.

Read about Cain's stint as an Atlanta radio talk show host

Beasley is a deacon at Antioch and serves as Southern regional director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He also knows Cain and has no problem with his presence at Antioch.

“We’re good friends. He’s a great speaker and a great singer. He has a great love for the church,” Beasley says.

Beasley says he doesn’t talk politics with Cain, though.

“I respect him – and I want to keep my respect for him,” Beasley says.

Beasley, who worked with Cain on his unsuccessful 2004 run for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, says Antioch’s acceptance of the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO is not unusual. It’s an attitude, he says, that starts at the top with Alexander.

“The reverend’s position is when we open the door, whosoever comes, let them come,” Beasley says.

Alexander did not return calls seeking comment. Cain also was not available to comment for this article.

‘He’s family’

The black church has long been a paradox. It is one of the most politically liberal but theologically conservative institutions in the black community. Cain’s house of worship embodies some of these contradictions.

Antioch is a member of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., a denomination in which some churches do not ordain women. The denomination’s leadership publicly broke with King over his civil rights activism.

But like many black Baptist churches, Antioch has developed a strong social justice component to its ministry over the years. It offers ministries for people suffering from drug addition and those infected with HIV/AIDS, and it has been a Sunday stopover for black politicians running for office.

Cain and his family blossomed in this world, according to some people who’ve known them at Antioch.

Robinson, the former Antioch minister, says Cain’s parents were pillars of the church. Cain graduated from Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, and went away to make his fortune. He returned to Antioch amid “great fanfare,” Robinson says.

Cain eventually became a fixture in the church’s deacon’s corner, a row of seats near the pulpit. On any Sunday, Cain could be seen sitting with the other deacons in his favorite light-blue dress shirt shouting, “Preach Rev!” or “Say it,” as the minister preached, Robinson says.

In 2002, Cain became a licensed minister at Antioch, he told Christianity Today.

Antioch members accept Cain because “he’s family,” Robinson says.

“If Herman Cain was one of those real uppity ‘I’m too good for regular blacks folks’ kind of person, he wouldn’t have mingled with us like he did,” Robinson says.

Robinson left Antioch to form his own church in rural Georgia and invited Cain to speak three times. All Robinson could afford to pay Cain was $200. It didn’t matter to Cain, whose speaking fee is usually far more, Robinson says.

Cain accepted the offer and brought a group of worshippers along with him to support Robinson’s small church, the pastor says.

Cain’s views on race aren’t simplistic, Robinson says. Cain says he doesn’t think racism is a huge obstacle for blacks, but Robinson says Cain has privately told him it’s a problem and once even complained about “the good ol’ boy” network in Georgia Republican politics.

“He knows there’s racism in the tea party, but he’ll never say that because they are his supporters. That bothers a lot of people, but he plays to that base not because he’s a sellout but because he’s a politician,” Robinson says.

In one video on his campaign website, “The Official Herman Cain Train Music Video,” Cain poses with young African-American and white supporters at a tea party rally and bellows, "To those who say the tea party is a racist organization, eat your words!"

The Rev. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta and a longtime activist, recalls when Cain performed the key song from “Man of La Mancha” for Antioch’s pastor.

Cain sang “The Impossible Dream” in his deep baritone and “got a standing ovation,” Durley says. (Cain, who recently released an album of gospel tunes, also belted out the song at a recent campaign stop.)

Cain’s conservative message that blacks should forget about racism and focus on pulling themselves up by their bootstraps doesn’t mesh with his pastor’s philosophy, says Durley, himself a longtime leader among Atlanta clergy.

When the evangelist Billy Graham visited Atlanta in 1994 for a crusade, Alexander demanded that Graham include blacks on the various committees that organized his speaking event at the Georgia Dome, Durley says.

“He’s not going to talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” Durley says of Antioch’s pastor. “It’s about providing bootstraps.”

Alexander has said pastors should be agents of social change, not “religious pop stars.” He says Malcolm X and Rosa Parks are some of his civil rights influences.

“It’s not enough to talk about what black folks ought to do,” Alexander once said. “We have to also look at what government is not doing to ensure fairness and equal opportunity. God is on the side of the least of these. Jesus said, ‘The first shall become the last and the last shall become the first.’”

But Durley says Alexander can separate Cain’s political and religious beliefs.

“(Alexander) has respect for him,” Durley says. “Cain has been there for years. I would imagine that Alexander would say, ‘I can separate his spiritual soul and salvation from his political dogma.’”

‘Very clear … faith walk’

Ken Blackwell - former Cincinnati mayor, former Ohio secretary of state and fellow African-American Republican - first worked with Cain on an economic growth and tax reform commission in the mid-1990s.

“(Cain) is a person who tries to live his faith in the way he conducts himself in public and private life,” Blackwell says. “He doesn’t just talk the talk. He actually lives what he says and believes in.

“We have prayed with and for one another,” Blackwell says.

Both Cain and Blackwell are cancer survivors, and the two men leaned on each other during their health struggles. Blackwell beat prostate cancer in 2000 and Cain was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2006. Cain has said his faith, coupled with the right medical treatment, was a major reason he was able to fight and beat the disease.

“I was able to see he has a very clear and discernible faith walk he was very comfortable with and very dependent on as he met his challenges,” Blackwell says.

Ralph Reed, head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and former Christian Coalition leader, says the time Cain spent behind the podium at Antioch has helped him connect with voters on the campaign trail.

“Herman Cain can hold his own with Mike Huckabee in terms of his ability to connect with and really develop a rapport with voters of faith,” Reed says. Cain heads back to Iowa next week to speak at a Faith and Freedom event with Reed.

“He shares their faith, he shares their values and he’s extremely good at being able to communicate his views,” Reed says. “I think someone who is comfortable with the lexicon of evangelicals is clearly going to over-perform in the early primaries.”

But while voters have welcomed Cain and helped rocket him to the top of polls, there are some fellow African-American clergy who are not as accepting.

The Rev. Artis Johnson, an Atlanta pastor, wrote an open letter to Cain in a local online newspaper, the Cascade Patch, after Cain said last month that blacks were brainwashed into voting Democratic.

“We are not circus animals or attendees of hypnotism shows that cannot make the reasonable and right decisions about who our greatest political enemies are, ” Johnson wrote.

In his letter, Johnson asked Cain why blacks would vote Republican when the party desires to disenfranchise blacks at the voting booth, denies the power of racism and believes the free market is going to address the needs of the poor and elderly.

“In my heart,” Johnson wrote, “I was hoping that you would represent a politician that did more than appeal to the worst in the electorate.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Herman Cain • Politics

soundoff (1,058 Responses)
  1. AL

    you can have to masters cain.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  2. ROFL

    Shhh, he is secretly planted.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  3. I.B.Wondering

    999 is 666 upside down.
    Could Herman really be an agent of Satan?

    October 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Maggie19

      I think Obama is more the agent from Satan!!!!!!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Actually...

      So that would be opposite.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • What me worry.

      Well, checking his hairline is easy, we can rule out being the Antichrist.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Scott

      Did you copy and paste that or did you notice that all on your own?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Wo0F

      Maggie, you were doing fine until you said "I think", thats when the wheels fell off and your statement took a sharp right turn into the ditch.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Christopher Ndekwu

      u are damn right!!!!!!!!!!

      October 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  4. AL

    And he calls himself a christian. His own people and those close to him know of the real devil he really is

    October 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Actually...

      Umm... No.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Ben

      Did you even read the article, Al? Even those who vehemently disagree with him politically love him! Your post is rubbish.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • rizzo

      I disagree with him politically and morally. His plan is to help the rich at the expense of the poor. He is a morally bankrupt sleazebag that's just in it for the money.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  5. John

    A... liberal... church? Those still exist?!

    October 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • tensor

      There is no such thing as a liberal church; it's an oxymoron – heavy on that last part.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Maggie19

      True!!! I thought they all atheist the way they put down christianity. I suppose when it suits them they become christians again.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Larry L

      Wasn't Christ a guy who cared about the poor and had little regard for the greedy? That doesn't sound like a conservative of today... From the description of "hair like wool and skin of bronze" I suspect he wasn't an angry old white guy who spent his life listening to the ravings of bigots and fools. No, Christ was a liberal.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • rizzo

      Conservatives of today go to megachurches where their pastors tell them that Jesus wants them to be rich. See, apparently, Jesus didn't hate rich people, he hated people that 'love money', or so conservatives here educated me the other week anyhow. Now, when I personally read the Bible, it didn't say that, but these pastors go to school for this and I guess there's a subtext or a plot cut out of my Bible where Christ was hanging out with all sorts of rich dudes that just didn't love money so they were cool. So just remember, it's cool if you own a company that employs 100,000 Chinese children, it's only bad with Jesus if you love the money that you make from it.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Joe B

    Seem like Cain's Pastor is like Barack Obama's former Pastor. It doesn't really matter though as both the Republican and Democratic Parties are agents of the 1% that own everything in this country. Time for a third party candidate to become president.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Marie Marshall

      "like"

      October 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Ben

      Are you one of the mindless drones that recites everything a speaker says at an OWS sit-in? I'm not part of the 1%, but I hope to be someday. And for the record, I own my own house (and a rental home), pay my bills, and have made wise decisions on how to invest what I have EARNED. Personal responsibility does not seem to be a hallmark of you 99% drones.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Kool-aid

      @ Ben – Keep on hoping to get into the 1%... it won't happen. You are either born into or fall into it. It's not something that you work yourself into. If you don't get this then you don't really understand how much money the 1% have, *hint* there are an awful lot of zeros in their salary...

      October 18, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Linda

      Ben, you are a Republican's DREAM. You think you can work your way into the 1%? And, even funnier, you think a lousy two houses is the kind of money that will get you into the top 1% (by the way, I make 6 figures and own two houses, and I am well aware that I am nowhere close). Most of the money people in the 1% get does not come from income. Take some time to read: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

      October 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  7. ROFL

    I am waiting and expecting the 24h viral loop of this by FAUX news as they did with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. All day, all night, all weekend.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • B.C.

      It has nothing to do with Obama being apart of a liberal church. It was the fact Wright would make outrageous comments. Do you not remember what he said about H. Clinton who is democrat?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • jim

      Don't cry.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  8. ajgorm

    We have two head strong candidates and one of them is bound to pop a cork before all this is over. I cant wait to watch the debates.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  9. us1776

    The bible warned us about this guy.

    .

    October 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Actually...

      Really? Where?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • smellarat

      No the Bible warned us about the likes of Barack Hussein Obama.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Chris

      the same was said about W and Obama....whatever

      October 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • HellBent

      The bible also warns against wearing mixed textiles. What's your point?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • smellarat

      Revelations.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Bubba

      Actually the Bible says that if you do not LOVE your fellow man, you burn. Good luck, guys. Most of you don't even seem to LIKE your fellows.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • rizzo

      @smellarat: Not sure where you found this Revelations part of the Bible. Mine has a part at the end by John of Patmos that is called Revelation where it talks in metaphor about how Imperial Rome will fall, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't say anything about modern politics in the USA. You better check, you might have mistakenly been reading a copy of the Satanic Bible.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      HellBent, you wrote "The bible also warns against wearing mixed textiles. What's your point?"

      Answer: What righteous linens have you weaved in your life, so far? Or, are you just another one (aka fool) that will go back to the Lord when you die, butt naked?

      Amen.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Publius Novus

    Oh my, oh my. The Rev. Herman Cain, associate pastor of a LIBERAL church. What will the Tea Party do now? Will the same standards be applied to Mr. Cain as were applied to President Obama? Guilt by association? Somehow, I doubt it. See #2, above.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Anne S

      Doesn't this say he left that church 13 years ago?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Ned Racine

      What will the Tea Baggers do now? They will do what they would have done before. Vote against the black guy. The only difference is, now they have another excuse.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • B.C.

      J.W. He got voted down in the senate on his last job bill by his own party. You shouldn't just repeat what he says :). Also, the first two years his party had complete control and we are still in this mess.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Jim Sedberry

      O.k., so lets' bring wright back and have him speak a few words of wisdom for you!!!!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • J.W

      Good job posting in the right place. The economy was a disaster way before he was in the White House. You really think that he caused all of the problems? Economic growth was still lower under Bush than Obama.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  11. Phil in KC

    I respect Cain for being a self-made man and for being a man of faith. But I think his politics do collide with his faith. But, then, Ithat could be said for all those who maintain that they are strong Christians and still vote for the politics of greed.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Actually...

      One could say the same of all who say they are strong Christians and vote for the politics of the abortionists.
      Actually, a vote for Cain is not a vote for greed. Christ, himself, was rich but made Himself poor for our sakes. He did that by His own choice. We have no right to judge those who have wealth and we have no business assuming what they do or will do with their wealth. Would you want someone judging you?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • NoOneImportant

      Jesus also told the Jews in respect to paying taxes to Rome. What belongs to Ceasar is paid to Ceasar. What belongs to God is paid to God.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Bill, Bloomington Il

      interesting how comservatives are guilty of greed but liberals are never guilty of envy.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • rizzo

      Christ wasn't rich, he was the son of a carpenter and a member of the oppressed class of his time. Oh man some people really need to actually read a Bible sometime...

      October 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  12. Sandy

    As an African American, I am embarrassed by Cain!

    I'm sure his family is embarrassed as well, that's why you don't hear from them.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Actually...

      Can you explain why you are embarrassed? First read about his background.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Maggie19

      Why are u embarassed of Cain? Because he went out there in the world and made something of himself instead of relying on a government handout. This man has done something fantastic for the black race showing them that even though the color of his skin was different he was just as intelligent and hard working like the white man. We should be proud of someone of our color who has made it in this world andnot begrudge him. Do you begrudge someone like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Denzil Washington, Oprah, etc.. who have shown that we black people can make it in this world without having to demean ourselves. Why should he be embarassed ...is it because he is a republican? To each his own as to what you believe in and you can make whatever choice you want to make ...freedom of choice. Would you rather him be on welfare and collect his food stamps every month because that is what is happening under Obama to so many black people. I am proud to be black and I would follow in Mr. Cain's footsteps than take the route of being on welfare for the rest of my life with no ambition to better myself.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Larry L

      I'm guessing that Sandy is embarrassed by Mr. Cain's greed, his disrespect for the poor, his hostility towards immigrants, and his tax plan that would do nothing but give the rich a tax break. Like with President Obama, race isn't really the issue. However, the diference in these men is President Obama is compassionate, thinks before he speaks, and he cares about all Americans, not just those who are wealthy. President Obama also understands tolerance and the value of diversity. He would never propose a "death fence" to kill those trying to leave the hopeless poverty of Mexico.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • B.C.

      Obama has a teleprompter all the time and remember when spoke about that police officer who was just doing his job? He spoke before he even got any of the facts.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Actually...

      I don't think so Larry. He's not the sort of guy you would like him to appear to be. Being successful does not mean greedy, wanting illegal immigrants to abide by our laws is reasonable and the fence should help them in that respect. Helping the poor should not be enabling those who make themselves poor by working the system to get undeserved handouts. Not all of the poor are poor because they can't work; some choose not to work.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • HC12

      The more I hear of the left not liking Cain, the more I am convinced of who the real racists are. Such a shame that blacks have been brainwashed. It's sad that slavery ended, but the majority of the black community are still slaves to the Democrat Party. So damn sad.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Larry L

      "Actually" I partially agree with you in that some people work the system and don't really deserve a handout. However, from your other postings I see you practice Christianity. Would your Christ build such a fence? Would he place hardships on the poor, especially the children of the poor, because some percentage of that population chooses to fail? Would he create barriers to prevent the playing field from being level enough for those with a true work ethic from improving their life? I always understand the conservative position when the argument is presented with simplicity – like they tend to do on right-wing radio. Lazy people should starve, everybody should speak English, illegal immigrants should be deported, we need small government and low taxes, etc. But when the problem is presented in depth the results are different. Will you allow children to starve because their parents are lazy? Really? Are you willing to face the challenges (prisons, courts, potential civil war, etc.) of arresting and deporting 11 million people – knowing some of their children are legal under existing law? The logistics and potential for chaos are huge! Are you really willing to give up all of the services supported by our taxes? No Social Security, Medicare, environmental protection, a weak military, poor infrastructure of roads, bridges, etc.? None of this is really supported by the reality of life in a huge nation with great diversity of people and high expectations for our standard of living. Look around the world at places with a high standard of living, good healthcare, and a hopeful outlook for the future and you'll find places with a level playing field for the poor. Every time the gap between rich and poor gets too wide the result is revolution – and due to the sheer size of the masses the poor normally win and produce a civilization worse than the one it replaced. It would be good to avoid that historical outcome.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Patricia

      Iagree with you Sandy!! I am embarrassed as well. He is a sellout

      October 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  13. realist

    Does anybody actually remember that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican ?

    October 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • HellBent

      Does anyone actually think that he would be a Republican today?

      Party philosophies change. You realize that, right? Maybe try reading up on the Dixiecrats to understand why the parties underwent an overhaul a little under fifty years ago.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • realist

      The only overhall was Democrats figuring out how to use the masses to their advantage. Credit LBJ for that.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Maggie19

      I am glad to hear that. Also, its the republican party that stopped slavery in this country. Or have we forgotten that in our lost ways?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • realist

      Herman Cain represents the dream better than any of these poverty pimps running around – true equality and freedom amongst men.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • J.W

      I think HellBent is right. Political parties are completely different now than they were back then, in King's day and especially Lincoln's day.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • rizzo

      @Maggie19: Wasn't someone saying about reading up on the history of the parties? Yes, the Republicans ended slavery and also elected a president that at least tried to fight big business and stand up a bit for the common man. And that was over 100 years ago before they accepted the Southern Democratic party into their party. The Southern Democrats split from the main Democratic party because the SD's were horrible racists. Why do you think Strom Thurmond was once a Dem but became a SD and then a Republican? READ HISTORY!

      October 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Dan

      The Democrats did not have a change of heart, just a change of strategy. If they could not legally own the slaves, they could keep them on the plantation by appearing to be their "champions". Make a few rich and famous by promoting the "new democratic party and keep the masses in line. A few get it and brake away, they are met with the most vile hatred imaginable.
      Did George Wallace, Bull Conner, the democratic KKK, Al gore Sr really have a change of heart?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Bubba

    He seems to genuinely believe the stuff himself, but I'd still rather french-kiss a bear in the rear than have this clown be in charge of my family's lives.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Actually...

      Of all the candidates it seems to me he would be the one who has less to do with being in charge of your family's life – less government control.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • realist

      Thats the problem with liberals. They want someone to take responsibility for their lives instead of being responsible for it themselves.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Bubba

      Realist, how did you get from "I'd rather french-kiss a bear" to "please take care of me?" Are you incapable of reading, or do you just ignore the content when you copy/paste your stuff? Nobody 'takes care of me.' I pay my way, and I don't mind if some of my taxes go to make my country strong. Act, he wants to double my taxes AND make my groceries and gas cost more, while giving breaks to his billionaire golf buddies. Just go get Cheney back if you want that.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • tonelok

      @Bubba
      He was commenting on your statement "have this clown be in charge of my family's lives". And you flame HIM for not reading/understanding the post. A 9-9-9 plan may have flaws, but the raw income tax would be less than what you currently pay. I support a flat tax with no loopholes for individuals. You can't complain about the rich getting a better deal when it's the same as yours, or maybe you like someone to blame.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Bubba

      Nice of you to apologize for him, but I still don't want a clown as president. 999 is a dumb plan, and it came from the SimCity computer game. What's next, he plays WOW and wants to give us each a pegasus? He's just another distraction while you guys try to get rid of the Mormon spoilers.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  15. Maggie19

    I am surprised that CNN would even have such an article about Cain and his church when our current president Obama was a member of a church whose Reverend Wright made such horrible remarks about America and its peope. Cain is a religious man and if this church is his choice then let it be. At least he is not saying that the Reverend is his mentor like what Obama said about Rev. Wright and he was still elected president. So CNN where are u going with this article? If you are going to bring this up about Cain then also report on Obama's friendship wtih Rev. Wright.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Bubba

      You do know Obama left that church, right? Wright went overboard when he got a spotlight, and the Obamas pulled out of the church. There's not much left to write about. Wright couldn't handle the national attention. When you say stuff like "Obama is the one throwing his own people under the bus," does it make you proud to lie for Jesus? It's ok to fool people if they end up putting money in Jesus' collection plates, you know, but it still seems like something a con man would do.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • realist

      Obama is the ultimate con man.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Actually...

      In the Church that follows Christ's teaching the money collected is used to support the functions of the church, those in need and missionaries. It's voluntary giving.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  16. DJ in TX

    I admire the church for how Mr. Cain is received. The pastor is right, when the doors of the church are open, ALL are welcome to come and receive the Lord. You don't have to agree to get along. Mr. Cain is christian who believes in Jesus. So is the pastor of the great church. That makes them brothers in Christ. They don't have to see eye to eye on everything to be respectful of each other, fellowship together or pray together.

    Just like the people who say Mr. Obama is good person, but people just disagree. No problem with that. We need more of this in our politics, disagreeing, fiercely debate, but respectful debate. At the end of the day, we are ALL God's children.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Actually...

      I agree with you except on one major point: not all of us are God's children. That comes by faith. Check it out for yourself. It's in the gospels.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Actually
      Faith is the willing cessation of rational inquiry. It is not a virtue.
      Any God that demands you not ask questions isn't one worth worshipping.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Actually...

      @Doc, I wasn't talking about Allah, I was talking about God/Christ/Holy Spirit. Questions are allowed. The bible bears witness to that. As a matter of fact Job asked lots of questions and eventually was blessed because though he didn't understand the purpose of his suffering he still kept his faith in God.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  17. JiminTX

    Black or white, believing in an ancient Mesopotomian sky deity who grants wishes is a sign of mental illness.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • realist

      Who ever said God "grants" wishes ?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • HellBent

      @realist. god did. Haven't you read your bible?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • tonelok

      God, apparently now played by Robin Williams:]

      October 18, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  18. HeavenSent

    Need I have to mention that grocery shopping these days is consider a luxury! Prices for everything is outrageous, while the puppets in DC refuse to have a clue as they collect their overpriced paychecks.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      For once HeavenSent, I agree with you but seriously we couldn't expect them to give up any of their not-so-hard-earned dollar to help as.sist. I think Warren Buffet has it right...tax the rich slightly more and stop giving tax beaks to them.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • realist

      Taxing the rich a little more won't even make a dent in the problem. Stealing the earnings of all those that make a million or more a year won't even reach a trillion dollars. Stop listening to the evil rich and corporations mantr. The problem is in DC.

      Aren't you tired of Congress creating all these ridiculous regulations that add cost and discomfort to your life ? The solution is to downsize their staffs, make them research, understand and really understand the cause and effect aspect of the legislation they churn out. The last three rounds of their banking regulations have had devastating effects on Americans ability to get and use their credit, percentage rates and now fees banking customers get charged.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • tonelok

      @realist
      Pretty much nailed it, but congress won't actually understand and promote good law changes as long as they are worried about re-election and want to appease the "99%". "Oh, people are mad about so many foreclosures? More regulation and more stringent requirements to get loans! That will show those banks..." WHAT!? But hey, it got most of them re-elected...

      October 18, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • rizzo

      @realist: No, but taxing the rich a LOT more will make a dent in things. Also, taxing business more will help, and closing loopholes. Nobody needs or deserves to have hundreds of millions of dollars, but they definitely owe it to society to pay for the things like roads and security to do business that either they or the people the inherited their money from used to get said money.

      Also, here's a hint: The national debt is not the big deal you think it is. A nation does not run like a business, and China would never be stupid enough to call it in.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      TruthPrevails, it's obvious that government (on all levels) is top heavy (cronies making outrageous salaries for doing nothing) and the hourly folks being on 40 hours per week. Time to cut the hours they work (to start, back to 35 hours/week), freeze the outrageous salaries and 10% bonuses for the do nothing managers and then the tax payers can take a breather from the outrageous spending.

      Too logical a solution to start with? You bet it is. Then again, these folks are blinded by the sins of pride and greed. Did I mention greed and pride?

      Amen.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    Black Baptists confuse me in the same way that gay Catholics do.
    When the American south was forced to rescind the Jim Crow laws and accept racial integration, it was Baptists who most strongly opposed equality.
    Wallie Criswell, an extremely popular and influential Southern Baptist Minister famously said "Let them integrate! Let them sit up there in their dirty shirts and make all their fine speeches. But they are all a bunch of infidels, dying from the neck up."

    October 18, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • William Demuth

      Here is something even crazier.

      Baptists are militant in their hatred of Islam.

      Yet the black contingent of the church are almost guaranteed to have descended from slaves who were Muslim when they were kidnaped.

      People seem to ignore that most of Northern Africa (where the slaves were collected from) was MUSLIM when they were stolen.

      It seems religious indoctrination is a mental slavery whose chains haven proven strong than the iron ones their great grandparents spent their entire lives in.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • realist

      They were Muslim when they were kidnapped ?
      Where did you come up with that crap. ? You would be more accurate if you said Muslims ran the slaving trade.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  20. William Demuth

    I believe Herman Cain is the first Uncle Thomas!.

    He will gladly throw his own people under the bus for a buck.

    October 18, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I agree. He's conditioning folks for extreme tax hikes. He's such a joke and the talking heads are blabbing nonsense left and right.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Maggie19

      I would think that Obama is more more of an Unclue Thomas because he plays up more to the white folks than Cain does. At least Cain speaks his mind but Obama is told what to say. Big difference!!!!!!!!!!!! Right now its Obama is the one throwing his own people under the bus with the high unemployment percentage (around 16%) among blacks. He is doing absolutely nothing to help his own but make them become more dependent on the handouts from the federal government.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • J.W

      Actually Obama may be able to do something if everything he did was not blocked by republicans.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • realist

      Ahh isn't that sweet... one little, two little, three little racisits...

      October 18, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Actually...

      Democrats block him too.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • J.W

      Who here is a racist?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:44 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.