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Obama campaign expands faith effort
The Obama campaing is adding to its effort to woo faith voters
September 17th, 2012
03:31 PM ET

Obama campaign expands faith effort

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–President Barack Obama's campaign is continuing its push for people of faith to cast a November ballot in their favor.  On Monday they unveiled a "People of Faith for Obama" a new initiative to mobilize voters that included Web video of the president and a faith platform.

In the video candidate Obama makes the case that his faith plays a major role in his decision-making process.  He says when hearing stories of faith from Americans he is touched, “They reinforce the power of my Christian faith which has guided me through my presidency and in my life, as a husband, as a father, and as a president.”

The president also made specific reference to the issue of religious liberty.  “In a changing world, my commitment to religious liberty, is and always will be unwavering,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Religious liberty has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign cycle after the administration was criticized by religious leaders over a mandate on insurance companies covering the cost of contraceptives in certain situations, which some felt were a violation of their beliefs.

In the video the president also framed the auto bailout and the passage of health care legislation, two signature issues of his presidency, as playing into his faith narrative.  "We're greater together than we are on our own.  These shared moral obligations have guided me as president," he said.

“On issues like education, poverty, and immigration, I’m standing on the side of human dignity and the belief in the inherent worth of all human beings,”  he added.

The campaign is also releasing what it's calling a "faith platform."

"This document really puts together a full picture of the president's case to people of faith," a campaign staffer close to the effort said speaking on background because the information was not yet public.

On campaign trail, Romney ratchets ups God rhetoric

The platform is broken down into three categories the staffer said: economic security for families, being our brothers and sisters' keeper, and faith in public life.

The platform will be hosted on the campaign website and sent out to campaign field offices.

This effort was long-planned, a campaign spokesmen speaking on background said and not in response to any particular hot-button issue like religious liberty.  "We've been launching programs over the last year or so and they are on a rolling basis."  The staffer noted they launched an effort targeting support among African-American voters in February among others.

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The campaign staffer close to the initiative said they thought the program would have specific resonance with key groups the campaign has been targeting for support, Catholics and young evangelicals.

Catholics, their thinking goes, would be attracted to the appeal for working for the good of everyone.

"A constituency the president has spent a lot of time thinking about and a lot of time engaging with has been young evangelicals, the sort of 18-39 subset," the staffer added.  "These are folks who care about international aid.  These are folks who care about things like adoption."

The campaign initiative is being headed by Michael Wear, the Obama campaign's National Faith Vote Coordinator, Derrick Harkins, Director of Faith Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, the Rev. Regena Thomas, pastor of Allen A.M.E. Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Katherine Archuleta, a political director for the campaign, and Broderick Johnson, a campaign adviser who focuses on Catholic outreach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Belief • Politics

soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Pearl

    It is our actions and not our words that speaks for itself when it comes to matters regarding Faith.

    September 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  2. Tim Thomerson

    It shall not be faith in what Obama can do for us as a Nation that will garner my vote, but facts about what he has done to avoid a catastrophic collapse of our financial system while also helping support the social safety net for all Americans, not just the privileged rich white 2 percenters.

    Button me Mittens...

    September 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  3. IslandAtheist

    Closet atheist

    September 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  4. Russ

    Politics as usual:
    Obama's claim that his Christianity leads him to disregard clear biblical teaching on marriage & the sanct.ity of life is as ridiculous as Republicans claiming their Christian faith leads them to support Ayn Rand's political philosophy.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Russ,

      'politics as usual' it is.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      I wish the president would NOT use faith to base any decisions on. Following some bronze-age fiction novel in the 21st century is about as silly as basing our agriculture plans on prayers to Isis for a great harvest.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  5. The Groove Merchant

    We will have a five armed muslim president in this country before an atheist. Yet christards keep whining about their rights being trampled on.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Victimhood is at the core of Christianity.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  6. End Religion

    @pntkl: "To paraphrase Paul, "If I have faith, and yet lack charity–I am as coins in an empty barrel.""

    To paraphrase Bob, "If i have faith and lack facts, I am religious nutter."

    September 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      "If i have faith and lack facts, I am religious nutter."
      Religious people have faith. Atheists have "assumption". They all want "facts" and make the astonishing assumption that they have all the facts. They also assume they understand these hand-picked facts.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Right on PN

      Prime number's statement is the best this site has ever posted.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @PrimeNumber

      Tell me, upon what basis do you assert that atheists "assume they have all the facts"?

      September 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      @OptimusPrime: "Religious people have faith. Atheists have "assumption". They all want "facts" and make the astonishing assumption that they have all the facts. They also assume they understand these hand-picked facts."

      1) It is only the religious that chastise or besmirch those who require facts. It's understandable. Facts get in the way of your delusions.
      2) I don't know a person, have never read a story, textbook, paper or blog post, have never seen a video or met anyone who has claimed to have all the facts - on any topic. We do now have a theory for what premeditated the big bang and it is being tested inasmuch as we can (see Lawrence Krauss "Something Rather Than Nothing"). But even then, even if we could solidly show what started the chain of events for this universe, we don't know what existed before that. A current theory is that we are part of a multiverse (many universes), but even then, what created the multiverse? We don't have all the facts but we do insist on a theory we can test, and which can in its testing, show repeatable results. Each time we surmount a hurdle god gets pushed further back. Time has shown us, every time we've moved the possibility of a god further back in the chain of creation, it seems less probable that any god is an answer to remaining questions. But that doesn't make it a fact. We don't know. However, its just lazy and juvenile to continue to think "i don't know so it must be magic."

      September 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • End Religion

      @OptimusPrime: "Religious people have faith. Atheists have "assumption". They all want "facts" and make the astonishing assumption that they have all the facts. They also assume they understand these hand-picked facts."

      3) I don't understand the higher level aspects of science and math. I only made it to calculus before I graduated and stopped studying math. I never paid much attention in science class. But that was 25 or so years ago. While I don't personally understand certain aspects of science or math, the thing is, they're based on facts that are tested and retested by those who do understand until we rely on them as a truth. They are facts as much as anything can be a fact in our shared universe. Like it or not, the theory of gravity continues to be true, and we agree its a fact. This is why its important to base your reasoning on fact and not faith. When you base your claims on fact we have a body of previous tests that we can build on. When you base your claims on faith you have ZERO evidence. That is the definition; faith is a belief without and sometimes even contrary to evidence.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Prime number's statement is the best this site has ever posted."

      This is why intelligent people have no regard for religious people's thoughts. They are trained not to think, not to question. If its in favor of god it must be good. Its a child's game that is holding mankind back. It's time to grow up. End religion now.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  7. Umboogamubooga - the prophet

    Romney will get 100% of the Mormon vote and go on to lose the election.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I don't think Sen. Harry Reid (D) will vote for him.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  8. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    Give it a REST will you!!! I mean how much Jesus and God can we take? OK, so you "got Jesus" and you think God is cool and stuff. Big F ing deal! We want JOBS and we want lower gas prices, and how's the healthcare debate going? ISSUES that mean something, not praying to the Magic Sky Daddy, he isn't listening.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Perhaps when the Etch-a-Sketch candidate goes back to "plan a" (the economy) we can have some discussion centered on how to move the United States forward and stop pandering to religious interests.

      Given that both campaigns have probably identified that Catholic swing voters in a handful of counties in PA, OH, and WI will determine the election, both candidates will look like crucesignati before the end. Deus Vult

      September 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  9. 1crusader

    The nuns on the bus did a protest tour against Paul Ryan's budget.The Catholic bishops wrote letters to Congress protesting its harsh treatment of the poor and disadvantaged., calling it "immoral"Romney-Ryan's budget will hit most of America hard; and Romney now for tax purposes is attempting to redefine the middle class' tax brackets( for tax purposes) stretching up to near $200,000.The GOP's economic policies don't line up with Christianity.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Reality

      How to start paying down our $16 trillion debt:

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers thereby starting the pay-down process ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

      – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

      – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed as far as anyone can tell.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

      September 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    You know, I wouldn't want an airline pilot to fly by faith. Similarly, I wouldn't want the President/Commander in Chief to lead by faith. I'm not too alarmed. I don't think Obama would act on faith alone. Of the two viable candidates, I think Obama may be the one who hasn't actually swallowed religion entirely.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Athy

      And he's a lot smarter to boot.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  11. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    November 7 can't arrive fast enough.

    I am sick and tired of this "Who would Jesus vote for?" nonsense.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • angrybabykitty

      Come the south and you will see the "we vote for Jesus" signs and bumper stickers. It is getting old. Had someone try to put one on my work vehicle (city owned) and got told to promptly move along. Also told them its not a good idea unless they wish to meet Jesus to go around putting bumper stickers on people's cars without asking.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Election coverage 2012

    Welcome to the first debate of the 2012 election. Okay Romney you have the first opening statement.

    Romney: "God."

    Okay...and Obama now for your opening statement.

    Obama: "God."

    Alrighty then...

    September 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  13. anoel2005

    the Dems take the word God out of their platform and yet Obama has the BALL$ to ask "people of faith" to vote for HIM.

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    September 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Maybe it's because for once you have a president who believes in the constitution of his country...the part of separation of church and state and the other part of freedom of & from religion. Good for him!! Equality should be everyone's concern in this world!

      September 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • anoel2005

      Our country was founded on freedom of religion.

      Too bad so many Democrats are Atheists.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Notice the 'of'??? It refers to none-zippo!! I understand how reality is frightening but it is time to grow up and leave your imaginary friend behind...join the 21st century!!

      September 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • captain america

      For a more honest view consider liar prefails is not a citizen of America and has no part in our political process. Its opinion is worth less than day old dog crap here and apparently less in its own country. There's your sign

      September 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Truth

      The captain there is really a Canadian Mountie, or at least get's mounted by a Canadian daily, so you can discount anything he tries to add to the conversation. The majority of Democrats are Christian unfortunately, but that is what it takes to garner 51% of the vote in America so I think were stuck with Christians or sudo-Christians like Romney for a while longer. That is because well informed, intelligent, reasonable, moral citizens of the United States tollerate all religions as our forefathers intended. We are a nation of tollerance but we are also a nation that demands our government make no establishment of a national religion so the one thing we cannot tollerate is intollerance. When evangelical Christians start demanding we adopt their religious world view in liu of a more secular state, we must stand up and fight for our country and our forefathers vision of a free nation that had no official religion dictating the peoples morals and daily lives.

      People of God, people of faith, people of reason, people of logic, people of Truth, will be voting for Barack Obama this November, because they know he understands the line that must be drawn between our faith and our common goals as a nation.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    September 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Not the 3000 prayers I heard being screamed from the falling towers on 9-11, unless God was answering Muhammmed Atta's prayers, and not those of the 17 pregnant woman who have their fetus steamed to death inside their crushed corpses.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • truth be told

      Muslims do not pray to God allah is not God. You have no knowledge of what if anything was prayed on 9/11 and it is low end to use the suffering of others to bolster your own self inflated ego.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      tbt: "allah" is the arabic word for god.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      "....and it is low end to use the suffering of others to bolster your own self inflated ego."

      sounds like the christian god

      September 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      TBT: So the prayers of the christians who died that day were not heard??

      September 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • captain america

      @liar prefails
      What kind of an assinine comment is that. No one said anything to that effect. You really should mind your own F'n business. There's your sign

      September 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • truth be told

      @sam
      allah is Arabic for god. allah is not God. god even as you already know refers to a false god or idol, God with a capital "G'" is used to refer to God.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • truth be told

      @sam on your other comment
      You could not be more wrong if you tried.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  15. Reality

    Obama's real faith:

    Only for the new members of this blog–

    Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO's support of abortion/choice however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting bloc in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39.

    39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is ~ one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    i.e. THEREFORE AS IN THE PREVIOUS ELECTION, HE WILL EASILY WIN THIS ONE.

    And the irony:

    All because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT NOW OR IN THE FUTURE.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  17. AvdBerg

    The above subject story is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media industry as the main culprit.

    The local media, including CNN, Fox and your local TV stations and newspapers are a very important element of social and political behavior, as society is shaped by what it sees, hears and reads and it is conditioned by the events that influence the mind of every person. You reap what you sow.

    To allow anyone to be directed by public opinion is dangerous because most public opinion is the view of the media. If the media does not like something, their bias taints information getting to the public, and this forms public opinion. Public opinion is never based on research and facts. The public uses the media for its sole source of information and for this reason social behavior will continue to deteriorate and wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

    For a better understanding of the role of the media we invite you to read the articles ‘Influence of the Media’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The media does not provide accurate information on ‘Religion’ as it continues to ignore the truth and the history of deceptions (John 14:17). They only report how they want you to hear things. They have created the big chasm that now exists without offering any solutions.

    Consider the truth about Mormonism, Judaism, Evangelicals, Christianity and Islam and all other religions and ask yourself the following question.

    Are so-called Mormons, Israelites, Evangelicals and Muslims and all those that call themselves ‘Christians’ followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, or do they follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8)?

    For a better understanding of the history of Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam and its spread throughout the world, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’ and ‘Clash of Civilizations’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama's faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’ and ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’, listed on our website.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jake-413451

      Wow, a 'Christian' claiming everyone else who calls them self Christian isn't.

      Professing they know the truth and others are lying to you.

      Now that is something I have never seen before.
      Go be stupid somewhere else.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a well known lying TROLL on this site. Don't bother checking out their site which is full of lies so can sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Who cares if a troll posted it or a Christian posted it? It is always on here.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  18. William Demuth

    Has either Romney or Obama recieved an endorsement from Jeebus yet?

    It's a shame Obama has to pander to the cult, but I guess that is politics!

    I am waiting for some politicos to start being outed as non believers.

    It will start slowly and become a torrent.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  19. Jake-413451

    TL;DR?

    Vote for me, I believe in the same invisble sky daddy as you.

    Really and truly, my day to day decisions are formed in not too small a point from my belief in such invisible people.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  20. pntkl

    To paraphrase Paul, "If I have faith, and yet lack charity–I am as coins in an empty barrel."

    September 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      pntkl,

      If there are coins in the barrel, it is not empty...

      September 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • pntkl

      Empty coins in a barrel make a lot of noise, yet accomplish little; unless you're needing a rattle.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      You're not supposed to get it. Perfect example of flawed religious thinking. You're just supposed to abandon reason and stand agape at the Iron Age logic. They do not want you to look behind the curtain.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • pntkl

      End Religion: Such comments ultimately say all Cretins are liars. Yet, it stands to reason that A = A != B. You might choose your words more carefully, if you were to become cognizant of what was plainly written. Abstracting the original post's idea of faith, applying it to your own, if you want someone to agree with you, yet use your tongue as a whip to break their bones–I'd say such behavior was known to be ineffective ages ago, is a logical fallacy in and of itself, while doing nothing to further the agenda of one lashing out. For that matter, as I AM I, that is to say I still exist with the same faith I came here with, your words are not as hurtful as they seem have been intended. It takes effort to abandon bias and perfect reason. When desiring to convince others, it is nothing short of a primly bias to resort to hate, fear, and lies; all catalysts of unreasonable and abusive behavior many would dare only in isolation. If you seek what is reasonable, my demonstrably charitable contribution to you is to explain how you may refrain from damaging your own faith in kind. Thank you for exemplifying the original post; it was almost poetic.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      "Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Macbeth Quote (Act V, Scene V).

      Sounds about right.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:21 am |
    • pntkl

      "It's against reason," said Filby.
      "What reason?" said the Time Traveller.
      – H. G. Wells,
      The Time Machine

      : ) ( :

      September 21, 2012 at 2:47 am |
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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.