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The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET

The Gospel according to Obama

By John Blake, CNN

President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”

The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:

“There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”

Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for “the least of these,’’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.

“Barack Obama has referred to his faith more times than most presidents ever have, but for many it’s the wrong kind of faith,” says Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, an evangelical activist group based in Washington that focuses on poverty and social justice issues.

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“It is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”

Some see a 'different' kind of Christian

Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.

No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.”

“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”

Some Christians, however, still see Obama as the “other.” He doesn’t act or talk like other Christians, says the Rev. Gary Cass, a conservative Christian president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

“I just don’t see or hear in his accounts the kind of things that I’ve heard as a minister for over 25 years coming from the mouths of people who have genuinely converted to Christianity,” says Cass, pastor of Christ Church in San Diego.

Cass says he’s never heard Obama say he’s “born-again.” There’s no emotional conversion story to hang onto.

Obama talks about his faith and attends church, but Cass says that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian.

“Joining a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. “You can put me in the garage, but that doesn’t turn me into a car.”

The origins of Obama’s faith

The suspicion about Obama’s faith may seem odd at first because he’s written and spoken so much about his spiritual evolution in his two autobiographies, “Dreams of my Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Other books, like “The Faith of Obama” by Stephen Mansfield, also explore Obama’s beliefs.

The 1925 “Monkey” trial of John Scopes, a high school biology teacher who taught evolution, drove fundamentalists underground, some say.

Mansfield says Obama is the first president who wasn’t raised in a Christian home. Obama’s mother was an atheist and his grandparents were religious skeptics (Obama’s family has challenged the description of his mother as an atheist. Obama called her “the most spiritually awakened” person he’d ever known, and his sister called their mother an agnostic).

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

Mansfield called Obama’s boyhood a “religious swirl.  He was exposed to Catholicism, Islam, and strains of Hinduism and Buddhism while growing up in Indonesia during the 1960s.

“In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology,” Obama said in Mansfield’s book. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

Obama became a Christian while he was a community organizer in Chicago. He joined a predominantly black United Church of Christ. The UCC became the first mainline Protestant denomination to officially support same-sex marriage in 2005.

Obama’s faith showed many of the elements of a liberal Protestant church: an emphasis on the separation of church and state, religious tolerance and the refusal to embrace a literal reading of the Bible.

In a 2006 speech before a Sojourners meeting, Obama talked about his approach to the Bible:

“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”

When many people think of Obama’s religious experience in Chicago, though, they cite his exposure to the angry sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and “black liberation theology,” a movement that emerged in the late 1960s and blended the Social Gospel with the black power movement.

Bass, the church historian, says another black pastor shaped Obama’s theology more: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

He attended liberal Protestant seminaries where he learned about the Social Gospel’s concern for the entire person, soul and body.

Obama has reached out to evangelical leaders like Rick Warren, seen here praying at Obama’s inauguration, but many still doubt his faith.

King once wrote that “any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them …is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”

But King and the black church also fused the Social Gospel with an emotional fervor missing from white Protestant churches, Bass says. Other presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were influenced by the Social Gospel, but they weren’t shaped by the black church.

“This is the first time we’re hearing the Social Gospel from the perspective of the black church from the Oval Office. It makes it warmer, more emotive, more communal," Bass says. "There is less fear of linking the Social Gospel with the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Exodus and Jesus’ healings.”

The emphasis on community uplift - not individual attainment - may strike some Americans as socialist. But the emphasis on community is part of King’s “Beloved Community,” Bass says.

King once wrote that all people are caught up in an “inescapable network of mutuality… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.”

“When I listen to Obama, I don’t hear communism, I hear the Beloved Community,” Bass says. “But a lot of white Americans don’t hear that because they never sat in those churches and heard it over and over again. It’s the whole theology that motivated MLK and the civil rights movement.”

Obama is not a Christian, some think

For some, Obama’s actions in the Oval Office seem to contradict Christianity.

Jesus was nonviolent. Obama has ramped up drone attacks in Afghanistan that have not only removed terrorists, but killed civilians.

The Bible talks about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Obama invoked Jesus when he came out in support of same-sex marriage. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule," Obama told ABC News during his announcement.

Jesus talked about helping the poor. But he never said anything about creating a massive health care law that taxed the rich to help the poor, some Christians argue.

But Wallis of Sojourners says Obama’s push for health care was a supreme example of Christian faith.

A situation where 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance is “a fundamental Christian problem,” Wallis says.

“Health is such a Gospel issue. Jesus was involved in healing all the time, and to have some people excluded from health care because they lack wealth is a fundamental Christian contradiction.”

Wallis has been one of the most persistent defenders of Obama’s faith. But no matter how much Scripture he and others cite, doubts about Obama’s faith have followed him throughout his political career.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson once said that Obama distorted the traditional understanding of the Bible “to fit his own world, his own confused theology.” The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, publicly questioned Obama’s faith, then later apologized.

Conservative Christian books and websites are filled with stories of Obama allegedly trying to suppress the nation’s Christian heritage.

The Rev. Steven Andrew, author of “Making a Strong Nation,” says Obama is trying to change the national motto from “In God we Trust” to “Out of Many, One,” and he’s ordered the Pentagon to remove biblical verses from its daily report.

“That’s the most serious thing someone can do to a nation, trying to separate a nation from God,” he says. “He seems to be trying to change the Christian laws our Founding Fathers made.”

Andrew says Obama is actually an enemy of Christianity. In his book, Andrew argues that the Founding Fathers were Christians who created a “covenant Christian nation” and calls for a “national repentance.”

“I think he’s an anti-Christ,” Andrew says.  Cass, of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, says Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor through social justice isn’t Christianity.

Christians who talk about “social justice” are often practicing “warmed-over Marxism,” Cass says.

“Do I believe in caring for the poor and oppressed? Yes. But you don’t do it along the lines of communistic redistributing.”

Obama’s support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights also disqualifies him from being a Christian, Cass says.

“It’s the most pro-abortion administration in the history of America.  On every social issue – the sanctity of life and of marriage between men and women – Obama is on the wrong side of every moral issue,” he says.

He says a progressive Christian is a contradiction.

“No Christian says I believe in Jesus Christ and I reject the Bible,” Cass says. “These progressives who say they’re Christians are liars. They’re using Christianity as a guise to advance their own agenda.”

Cass says he doesn’t know what Obama believes.

“He’s conflicted,” Cass says. “He has Muslim sympathies from his upbringing."

How progressive Christianity lost the public square

There was a time when Obama’s brand of Christianity would have been understood by millions of Americans, historians say.

Obama along with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha leave church after attending a Sunday prayer service.

The Social Gospel and progressive Protestantism dominated the American religious square from the end of the 19th century up to the 1960s. At times, the traditions blended together so seamlessly that it was hard to tell the difference.

The Social Gospel rose out of the excesses of the Gilded Age in the 1880s, when urban poverty spread across America as immigrants crammed into filthy slums to work long hours in unsafe conditions.

Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor in a New York slum, urged the church to take “social sins” as seriously as they took individual vices. Churches began feeding the poor and fighting against other social ills.

“The notion that religious people should be about feeding the poor and helping the homeless is a carryover of the Social Gospel,” says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at Wooster College in Ohio. The Social Gospel was adopted by many Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th century, says Bass, the church historian. Some of the Social Gospel churches grew popular because they provided the poor with everything from English classes to sewing instructions and basketball leagues.

“The first American megachurches were liberal, Social Gospel urban churches,” Bass says.

The Social Gospel, though, sparked a backlash from a group of pastors during World War I. They were called fundamentalists. They published a pamphlet listing the “fundamentals of the faith:” Biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth, Adam and Eve.

But the fundamentalists lost the battle for public opinion during the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925. John Scopes, a high school science teacher, was tried for violating a Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of evolution.

Though Scopes lost, fundamentalist Christians were mocked in the press as “anti-intellectual rubes,” and a number of states suspended pending legislation that would have made teaching evolution illegal, says David Felten, author of “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.”

The trial drove fundamentalists underground where they created a subculture, their own media networks, seminaries and megachurches, he says.

That subculture thrives today, Felten says, and has infiltrated the political arena. It has created an “alternative intellectual universe” that denies science, rational thought – and any beliefs that violate their definition of being a Christian, Felten says.

“They have millions of adherents who believe in a literal six day creation and a literal Adam and Eve – so it’s not a stretch to believe that President Obama is a Kenyan-born secret Muslim bent on destroying the country,” Felten says.

Progressive Christians eventually lost the messaging wars to this fundamentalist subculture, Bass says. Their nuanced view of faith couldn’t compete with the “spiritual triumphalism” of conservatives.

“If you get up and say we’re right and we have the truth, then you have a powerful public message,” she says. “They have a theological advantage in the public discourse. It’s comforting to have things clear, to have things black and white.”

The result today is that the Protestant tradition that shapes much of Obama’s Christianity is fading from public view.

The share of Protestant Christians in the United States has dropped below 50% of the population, according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

White mainline Protestants make up only 15% of the nation’s population, the survey revealed. The study also found that the fastest growing "religious group" in the country is people who are not affiliated with any religion.

Another generation of Christians, though, may bring a new version of progressive Christianity back.

The lines between younger conservative Christians and progressives are blurring, says Marcia Pally, author of “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.”

Pally spent six years traveling across America to interview evangelicals. She says her research revealed that more than 60% of young evangelicals support more governmental programs to aid the needy, as well as more emphasis on economic justice and environmental protection issues.

“What’s interesting is that these values, associated with Obama and the black Protestant tradition are now also the values of a growing number of white evangelicals,” she says.

Her perspective suggests that Obama’s faith may be treated by history in two ways:

He could be seen as the last embodiment of a progressive version of Christianity that went obsolete.

Or he could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evangelical • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

soundoff (8,626 Responses)
  1. John

    If hes such a Christian, how come he quotes the quaran all the time and not the bible. as he always says, as its written in the quaran and I quote, and I quote and I quote..go to youtube. theres plenty of videos that you can tell are not altered with Obama quoting the muslim quaran. how come he doesnt quote the bible if hes a Christian? anyone have any answers? other than this cnn article is completely false and misleading? hey, maybe Im wrong? please correct me if I am, i want to be wrong. please

    October 22, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Observer

      "he quotes the quran all the time".

      Yep, you are wrong.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Ronda in Houston, TX

      My experience is that some Christians are haters. Your comment for one is pure hate. For you, if Jesus came down and asked you for help, I bet that you would turn him away. Are you sure that you're not Taliban?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  2. Rachel

    What a RIDICULOUS heading on this article. The author should be fired!!!

    This is why I hate the media. Using Obama for their STUPID opinions!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Rachel

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      Sometimes I repeat myself.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Rachel (the real one)

      To you, silly impersonator, grow the h*ll up. You look about as stupid as this article.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Andy

      I agree with you. The question itself suggests a possibly inaccurate and but definitely indefinable answer. Try this on for size. IS CNN A FRONT FOR POINTLESS JOURNALISM? Or, IS CNN THE WRONG KIND OF NEWS NETWORK?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Ronda in Houston, TX

      Thank you for your comment. I totally agreed with you.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  3. Chris33

    George W. Bush inherited a strong economy, a budget surplus, and a nation at peace.

    Eight years later, he left Obama with a shattered economy, a trillion dollar deficit, and two useless wars.

    Obama saved the country from another Great Depression, rebuilt GM, reformed healthcare, reformed Wall Street, doubled the stock market, created 12 straight quarters of GDP growth, created 32 straight months of private sector job growth, got Bin Laden, got Gaddafi, and got us out of Iraq.

    And now with the automatic spending cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2012, Obama has solved the deficit problem as well.

    Obama has done a very good job. .....

    October 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • klsd;jghrtoqprhtaswngfa;sdlkngfa:IWE[QURqpirf

      Uh, that's a little too silly even for a leftist.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Mike

      Yes he has, most definitely.

      Obama will have my vote this next election. It just cannot be anyone else, and especially this Romney character.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Tyler

      @Mike
      Are you talking about the real Romney or Obama's strawman Romney? There's a big difference between the two.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  4. Tyler

    The thing that Obama doesn't understand is that when it comes to Muslim extremists...in their mind, you are either with them, or against them. There is no middle ground (which is where Obama thinks he is). They love that Obama is bowing down and thinking that they are "on the run" because it gives them more opportunities to strike. Al Qeada is NOT on the run. They are alive and well and Obama needs to stop kidding himself. Although, I don't think he's kidding himself. I think he knows exactly what he's doing, nobody is that dumb and blind.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Chris33

      Obama has killed 28 of 29 of the top leaders of Al Qaeda.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Observer

      Bush's policy on bin Laden was that he wasn't concerned about him. Instead he started a $1,000,000,000,000 war for false reasons and then dumped in onto Obama and us to pay for.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Roger Tallywhacher

      Tyler, there is someone much more dumb and blind – YOU dude!!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Tyler

      @chris33, that must be why he kids himself into thinking that Al Qeada doesn't exist anymore. Al Qeada is WAY MORE than 29 people. Don't kid yourself!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Observer

      Tyler,

      Do you have a reading problem? He said LEADERS not members.

      Bush didn't care about the leader of al-qaeda. BIG difference.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Tyler

      @observer
      No reading problem here...."leaders" "members" doesn't matter. There are a lot of both out there still and Obama is a fool to think otherwise. We need somebody who will protect us. And that doesn't necessarily mean go starting wars. It simply means acknowledging the fact that Al Qeada still exists and is still a threat. Obama refuses this acknowledgment and it puts Americans in danger. Don't kid yourself man!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Tyler

      @chris33
      Typical response from an Obamatard that OBAMA has killed 28/29. Our county's elite have made those kills! Obama deserves minimal credit for simply saying "yay" or "nay". Any idiot would have said "yes" to make the hit on Bin Laden and Obama acts like he was the one storming the compound. Funny how he takes all the credit for successes, yet with failures like Libya he can only point fingers, lie to Americans, and make up stories in an effort to save political face. What a chump!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  5. Rachel

    What a RIDICULOUS heading on this article!

    This is why I hate the media. Using Obama for their STUPID opinions!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Rachel

      I hate the media, so I hang out on their website.

      It makes sense to me.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • NoTheism

      if I had to take a guess, I would say that you didn't read the article

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Hi Chad

      October 22, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  6. Beloved4ever

    I’m not saying who you should or shouldn’t vote for, be it Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. What I do want to say is that you shouldn’t vote for either candidate just because you have been cleared to do so (or been encouraged to do so) by a preacher, pastor or evangelist. You should vote for one or the other because you are convinced in your own mind that person is the best for the job and truly has a 'Heart For America'. God gave you a brain for a reason; use it.

    Nor should you require Romney to be a Christian before you vote for him, just as you shouldn’t spread the lie that Obama is a closeted Muslim in order not to vote for him. There is no religious test for office in the United States. BUT....and I say BUT...If you are a Chriatian and you have decided to Vote for the Christian Candidate.....atleast make sure that he is indeed a CHRISTIAN, in that, he BELIEVES Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of mankind and not just some 'Good guy'.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  7. Watch Tyler vanish

    Tyler? Still waiting . . .

    Tyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyler! Here boy!

    He done run off.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Tyler

      HE DONE STILL HERE....
      Cons? How about a president who has his massive borrowing cut off and can't support the millions of people he has made dependent on government? Can't pay for anything from the cell phones to the healthcare he's promised millions? A country in financial ruin from all that borrowing and spending? A country that's had it's military reduced to the laughing stock of the world? A country that Al Qeada strikes repeatedly just because they can? I could go on and on all night withe the cons man....

      October 22, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Tyler

      @watch Tyler vanish, He's a Kenyan-born Muslim who hates America, yet, doops chumps like you to vote for him. That's pretty specific.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  8. Ms. Jay Sheckley

    If you're going to make an issue out of it, don't turn it all inside out. FACT: Our Christian president is running for president, against a Mormon. (Some say Mormons are Christians, but there are good reasons for the opposite view.) I can't believe CNN is sounding like so many crackpots questioning the presidents religion. This is the craziest campaign Ive ever seen.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • NoTheism

      it isn't.. it's an analysis of what other people say (such as the Christian Taliban)

      October 22, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  9. choo1234

    Is he the Sunni type or the Shi'a type?

    October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  10. Gregg

    Look at the historical accuracy of the Bible. Governments which reject God fall and the people suffer......

    October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible also says that animals talk, unicorns exist, and the ratio pi is equal to 3.0.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • NoTheism

      yeah, right... or they become the most prosperous

      October 22, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • choo1234

      How can you look at the historical accuracy of something when no other source supports it?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Revenge of the CrossSuckers

      Of course, governments that embrace god fall too. It's almost like it has more to do with the fact that all governments will eventually fall.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Mailin Wong

      Could you please site some examples? I am a bit lost there...

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  11. Gregg

    Fundamentalists believe in what God says....the discourse you refer to, more often then not, leads to people rebelling against God and making the same mistake that Satan did – that man is the ultimate moral authority. Not all religions can be accurate because there are diverse teachings.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • .

      Cue spooky music and scary lighting

      October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • JSwany

      Honestly, this is too simple a response. Progressives who believe in God also follow Gods word. The trouble, in either Faith, is clearly one of human perception and attention to selective or preferred writings. I know this offends Fundamentalists. There is no other response for them. If there were, we'd have far less tragedy all around!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  12. Getreal

    He's a muslim not Christian.. do a search on his wedding ring.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Observer

      Getreal,

      Do some research next time. Snopes investigated and said it's likely not true. A close up of the ring shows it's apparently a design and not a Muslim phrase.

      Guess again.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  13. tj

    This article is stupid. What concerns religion with government?

    October 22, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  14. fsmgroupie

    vote mitt - his magical mormon underwear will save us all

    October 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  15. Tyler

    It's crazy how many eyes Obama has wool pulled over. 4 years from now (if Obama actually wins) the biggest regret anybody will ever have is having supported the great con man Obama.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Watch Tyler vanish

      Okay Tyler, time to support your statement. Name the cons. Be specific.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Tyler

      @watch Tyler vanish
      Cons? How about a president who has his massive borrowing cut off and can't support the millions of people he has made dependent on government? Can't pay for anything from the cell phones to the healthcare he's promised millions? A country in financial ruin from all that borrowing and spending? A country that's had it's military reduced to the laughing stock of the world? A country that Al Qeada strikes repeatedly just because they can? I could go on and on all night withe the cons man....

      October 22, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Tyler

      @watch Tyler vanish, He's a Kenyan-born Muslim who hates America, yet, doops chumps like you to vote for him. That's pretty specific.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Watch Tyler foam at the mouth

      Gotcha! I knew I could bait you into spewing more of your conspiracy-theory psychosis.

      The best recruiter for atheism is a religious zealot.

      October 22, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  16. Roger Tallywhacher

    AMERICA – The rise of the subcultured sub-humans!! Sounds like a scary movie but it's worse; it's reality. People, please drive them back underground. They will only destroy America and take the rest of the world down to hell (pardon the pun) with them.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Rickey

      What I find odd, is all the supposed "Christians" sprewing so much hate, anger, against someone else in an attempt to say they are a better Christian or know how to be, therefore they can judge another and their faith. Because they don't "act" like Christian. Let me see I could swear the Bible says something along the lines; "...what man needs to worry about is not the food he eats, but the things (words) that come out of his mouth..." And before you judge someone; "...take the limb out of your own eye before you judge another..." I am paraphrasing not quoting. But I believe both are in the Bible. So before you judge the President's or anyone else's religious belief's check your own words, your own life first.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Joe

      Sub-human? Are you suggesting some sort racial superiority on your part?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Roger Tallywhacher

      Rickey, religion is the greatest farce perpetrated against the human race. It was invented to make people fear the unknown in order to control the masses. Just simply look at the religious leaders around America today; all preaching to their congregation – demanding which candidate the faithful MUST vote for. If that is not exhibiting control – dictatorship, then Adolf Hitler was just a Viennese choir boy.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Roger Tallywhacher

      @Joe – not racial, intellectual! Get it right, simpleton!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  17. Gregg

    Obama and Biden claim to be Christians but don't act like it. They are no different than the person walking into a garage and then claims to be a car. Also make no mistake; if we as a country continue to rebel against God we will be punished. Period.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • St. Tootie of Flatulencia

      And they're not true Scotsmen either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Tyler

      I hear ya. The extent to which God is removed from this country is the extent to which it will fall.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • LOL

      And Romney is a mormon.... What is your point Gregg?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Tyler

      @LOL
      Go to lds.org and tell me Mormons are not Christians. Thanks!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  18. JSwany

    It's very interesting to me in these times where religious conflict is resounding in every corner of the globe that, no matter the religion, fundamentalists are battling progressive thinking people in their faith for supremacy or ownership of thought. It's even more interesting that when fundamentalists in say Muslim faith behave in an objectionably, Christian fundamentalists see this as proof of the evil ways inherent in the religion. Tragically, such circular thinking does not allow for the necessary discourse to surface the cognitive errors built into fundamentalist thinking doing harm to every culture. Progressive religious thinkers are offended by Fundamentalist behavior in any religion, but have the capacity and empathy required to see that there are progressives in every faith tradition. I hope Fundamentalist Muslim believers lose the battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims. I hope the same for those in Christian and Jewish traditions. The lives we will all know depend on it, whether you are living here in the US or trying to get an education in Pakistan!

    October 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  19. Gregg

    There is only one type of Christian – those committed (even if they fail) to following the teachings of God and Jesus All others are charlitans....

    October 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • The teaching of Jesus

      Sold your goods and given the proceeds to the poor yet?

      Abandoned your family to follow Jesus yet?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Roger Tallywhacher

      You mean a charlitan like Mitt Romney???!!! Or does your hate for the black man in the White House dilute your perspective on the Mormon faith?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  20. mdell27

    Strange how many Christian churches are conservative, considering Jesus was one of the most liberal people in history.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.