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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. Fairy-tells

    ..
    Who is God?

    September 18, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  2. Faithful Catholic

    Why Catholics must not vote for Obama: http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/2012/08/catholics-must-not-vote-for-obama/

    September 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • El Flaco

      Should Catholics for for Romney, a non-Christian?

      September 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Faithful Catholic

      Hi El Flaco. Regardless if you think Romney is a Christian or not, the point is Obama is attacking the Catholic church and Romney isn't. One is a flamethrower – if you read the article, the other isn't. If you don't want to see the Catholic church destroyed, don't vote for the flamethrower. God bless.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Catholics should vote for the candidate they feel best expresses the teachings of the Church on social matters regardless of which religion they claim.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • El Flaco

      Obama has never attacked the Catholic Church. That is a lie, as you well know.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Faithful Catholic

      El Flaco. It is not a lie. Obama attacks the Catholic church by supporting the views/causes of liberal leaning dissident Catholics, people who disagree with what the Catholic church actually teaches (and has always taught unchanged for about 2,000 years) and yet call themselves Catholic, and using them as a way to support his own agenda of abortion, contraception, etc. It is a gross misrepresentation of what the Catholic church teaches. Furthermore, the HHS mandate forces everyone including Catholics to pay for these evils via the tax requirement or penalties, which means it is impossible for the Catholic organizations to survive financially without violating the Catholic church's own teachings.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  3. greg

    Very sad that in this day and age some people still believe in god. Surely the time has come to embrace reality and stop hating each other.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  4. Carm

    For everyone who is asleep, and thinks Obama is a Christian, wake up!! He is a muslim. Jesus said "you will know them by their fruit". Obama has catered to the muslims ever since he was elected. He went to the middle east on an apology tour. He is throwing Israel under the bus, over & over again. A real Christian will support Israel, Obama does not. Shame!

    September 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • El Flaco

      You are insane, carm

      September 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Huebert

      What is it like to live in a world that doesn't rely on facts as the basis for one's opinions?

      September 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Pat

      It doesn't matter. This is America. You can change to another religion any time you want so who cares what you are at the moment.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  5. Carm

    Christians & Jews need not apply. Obama is a muslim.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things. .

    September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      Please don't feed the trolls.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      Define trolls.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • .

      Troll: aka Christopher Hitchens

      September 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      September 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! .

      September 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  8. Sony Bozo & Chair

    O'mama: Careful what you pander to. Regi rights today, extremism tomorrow !

    September 18, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  9. El Flaco

    Obama is a Christian.

    Romney is not.

    Mormonism is a different religion with a different theology, different gods, and a non-Christian history. Mormons cannot recite the Nicene Creed. They do not believe in the Trinity. They do not believe that Jesus is a manifestation of God. Jesus was just a very good man, sort of like the Muslims think of Mohammed.

    It is merely a coincidence that many of the Mormon gods have the same names as Christian gods.

    Mormonism is no nuttier than Christianity, but it is not Christianity.

    September 18, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Abinadi

      It is the Protestants and Catholics who have changed the true doctrine. A good example is the Nicene creed. The Nicene Creed is nowhere in the Bible. It was totally fabricated by Constantine and his council of pagans, Capadocians, Nicenes, Gnostics, Arians, Apolinarians, Greek mystics and others who had an agenda. Constantine didn't know any doctrine. He just wanted peace in his empire from all the factions who were fighting over doctrine. He just settled for the first thing that the majority could agree with. The sad thing is that there were probably people there who knew the truth, but couldn't prevail over all the other factions – doctrine by committee! Paul would not have approved of the mess christianity is in. He said, "5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism," (Ephesians 4) Obviously, there can not be more than one true church or more than one true doctrine. The question is, which one? We invite all to visit mormon.org for the answer. Christ taught the true doctrine of the Godhead when he suffered himself to be baptized by John. In Luke 3:21,22 we read, "21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
      22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
      ​​​​​​
      This is the true doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost which was taught by the Bible – that the Father and Son are two separate beings.  Funny, the smartest religious leaders have been reading the Bible for 2000 years but it took a 14 year old boy to point out the obvious!
       

      September 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Abinadi

      The thin one, I realize that you are probably not a christian but a liberal posing as a disgusting christian.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Carm

      Where have you been? Obama is NOT a Christian! He is a Muslim. Get educated. He's pretending to be a Christian, to get their votes. Wake up!

      September 18, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • El Flaco

      Abinadi, there is no Trinity in the Bible. It is in the Nicene Creed. It was the Council of Nicea that invented the Bible. It did not exist before 330 AD

      September 18, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Pat

      "They do not believe that Jesus is a manifestation of God." They are correct.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  10. timinfla

    HEY VOTE FOR OBAMA- get free food, cell phone, money, heck Im gonna quit my job! Isnt this a great country?!?!?!? GO OBAMA

    September 18, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  11. GO_GOP

    We need strong Christian leaders like those in GOP to take this country out of the mess. Remember HE died for our sins. Wake up people pray and ask for forgiveness and pray ceaselessly. Only through prayer and repentance we can bring this country around. VOTE GOP

    September 18, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Religion has ruined the GOP. The GOP once had a "don't thread on me" att.itude. Now their att.itude is "please thread on me with your archaic system of morality". The GOP's consistently poor treatment of Ron Paul, a true Republican, is evidence of this.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • same old song

      we do need strong leaders with Christian Faith ..unfortunately that is neither Obama or Romney....so basically this election is about the lesser of two evils...

      September 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • same old song

      I'm American...I'm black...and i loves me some Ron Paul....but the powers that be pushed him aside real quick....now we got these two....damn shame...RON PIZZY BABY..

      September 18, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • El Flaco

      Obama is the only Christian running for the Presidency.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Bob

      Jesus didn't seem to be a fan of what we now call "social Darwinism" as espoused by Romney/Ryan and the rest of the right-wing extremists. But at least you have a good screen name. The current GOP should go- maybe to Switzerland or the Caymans, to live with Romney's money.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Social Darwinism is the only way to go.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • El Flaco

      Libertarianism is totally irrational. It is based in fantasy theories of economies that have never existed in the history of the world. It is merely a welfare program for the wealthy.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  12. IrishGuy

    "Comon Americans" ? "you need to go back to your roots in other words..." ? "It is believe in HIM..." ?

    It seems like you need to go back to school and study English.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • GO_GOP

      You can make fun of me all you want. But what will you do when you stand before the LORD with your head bowed and answer for your atheism? Who is going to save you then? There is a very special place in HELL for atheists like you.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Surely Satan and atheists are pals. I imagine I'll be in the VIP section of hell. Myself, Hitchens and Satan shooting the breeze over a bottle of JW Black Label. Sounds good to me.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  13. 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 18, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Reality

      And It is very disturbing that we give legal protection to the fer-tilized eggs and the developing young of protected animal and ins-ect spe-cies but give no legal protection to our own growing young ones.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Bob

      If there is something coherent in your rambling, I think we're missing it. But I doubt it.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Reality

      For those who are "reading-challenged".

      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 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  14. Mike Texoma

    The voice of Christian fundamenalism is so loud these days, i am glad to see that liberals and progressives who are people of faith may also be heard.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  15. Atheist Hunter

    Christians don't call the Muslim call to prayer the most beautiful sound. Only a complete idiot would believe Obama is Christian! Neither candidate is Christian, however, Romney seems to have much better moral values than Obama.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Bob

      Ah, another member of the tinfoil-hat brigade speaks!

      September 18, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  16. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the president’s faith life, we invite you to read the articles ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’ and ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’ listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Also, we invite you to read the articles ‘Bill O’Reilly – Fox News’, ‘Glenn Beck – Fox News’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’. The articles explain why politicians and the media continue to mix religion with the country’s political agenda, while they continue to be separated from the true and living God. The article ‘Repent’ on our website explains in detail what mankind must do to be able to understand the Word of God and to overcome the spirit of this world (1 John 5:4).

    While you are on the website and since Mitt Romney is running for President may we suggest you also read the article ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’.

    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 18, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a TROLL on this site. They are well known liars and only want to sell their book to support their cult. Don't bother going to their website, it's full of lies. Click the report abuse link instead.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  17. Atheist Hunter

    Obama's Christian faith! BULL!!! What a oxy MORON!

    September 18, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  18. John

    No evangelical Christian,which Barna research and Gallup polls identify as being more than 63% of the American population,in their right mind would vote for Obama.No president in US history has led us farther from biblical values.What we called sin 4 years ago,democrats now call a civil right.Righteousness exalts a nation,but sin is a reproach.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Primewonk

      John wrote, " No president in US history has led us farther from biblical values."

      Well, there's your problem right there! For some bizarre reason you think the US is, or should be, a theocracy.

      Perhaps you need to re-read Article VI, Section 3, of the US Constîtution, and Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Bob

      63% evangelical Christians? Not. And that little thing called the First Amendment prevents the imposition of your extremist "Christian" version of sharia law. Maybe you read it some time.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @John,

      63% Evangelicals! You've got to be kidding me – another usurper of the "Christian" brand. Please show me some references.

      http://religions.pewforum.org/reports
      Pew (2007) has the following data for the largest Christian traditions:

      Evangelical Protestant ………. 26.3%
      Mainline Protestant ………...… 18.1%
      Historically black Protestant …. 6.9%
      Catholic …………………….… 23.9%
      Mormon ……………………...… 1.7%

      Your estimate is wrong by a factor of 2.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  19. Mirosal

    It was a self-proclaimed "deeply religious" idiot (Bush Jr.) that got us INTO this mess. To put the same type of people back in office is only asking for more trouble. Before you go blaming Obama, the housing markets, stock dips, and the dollar sliding down in value ALL started BEFORE the election of 2008 even took place. Pretty easy to narrow down whose fault it is now, isn't it?
    Try this.. instead of votong for Romney, why not just cut out the middleman and cast your vote directly for "god" itself" Go ahead.. write in "god" on your ballot. Why vote for someone who thinks they know "god", when you could just vote FOR "god"? Then we'll see what happens on Jan 20th, 2013

    September 18, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • GO_GOP

      You have a terrible misunderstanding and I feel sorry for you. The financial crisis etc are LORD's work to punish us for moving away from Christian values. Wake up and pray..pray ceaselessly and ask for forgiveness to get out of this mess. The LORD died for our sins. Don't you repent? Didn't you read the BIBLE?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Mirosal........God already wrote the story and it is playing out just like he said it would. He don't need your vote!

      September 18, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Mirosal

      I know your little book all too well. You'd be suprised at how many Atheists have had formal religious schooling. I'm one of them. How do you think we became Atheists in the first place? We see through your book, and all the fables it holds. If you look back on the myths before the bible was ever conceived, you'll see too many similarities from the old stories that your bok copied from, edited, then claimed as its own. And "god" never wrote a thing. Deluded men who had NO understanding of the world around them wrote the stories.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  20. GO_GOP

    Comon Americans you need to go back to your roots in other words you need to turn to the LORD. It is believe in HIM that made this country great and now our greatness lies in danger because we are removing HIM from schools, courthouses, government. We need the GOP and deeply religious Romney to take us out of this mess and not through the atheist currently in office.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • soulsnake

      SAID IT BEFORE AND I WILL CONTINUE TO SAY IT, IT'S THE SO CALLED "CHRISTIANS" THAT IS DESTROYING THE WORLD. faith is to be exuded from the inside out. acting in faith and walking and talking in faith is two different things.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Bob

      You clearly have no understanding of the precepts on which this country was founded, nor the religious beliefs of the founders. Hint: They weren't a particularly religious group, and as a group, understood the danger of the theocracy you say we need.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:52 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.