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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. durps

    A University of Georgia study found that the percentage of Americans who believed that Obama is a Muslim remained constant at approximately 20% in September, October, and November 2008, despite frequent attempts by the media to correct this misperception. However, the study also showed that some people who had initially believed Obama to be a Christian later believed the rumor that he is a Muslim. The survey found that respondents who had shifted to the misperception were generally younger, less politically involved, less educated, more conservative, and more likely to believe in Biblical literalism. Keywords: less educated and more conservative. Who freakin' cares! I wish he was agnostic. I wish all of government was agnostic and none of you bone heads were allowed to know what any politicians faith was. Religion and government should have nothing to do with each other. None of you should know Obama or Romney's beliefs and solely vote on issues that matter instead of creating this Evangelical BS storm of idiocy.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  2. Reality Check

    He won't even mention the church he spent DECADES going to before running for president. He threw the man he called his "spiritual mentor" under the bus and now claims he has no idea what the man was saying. He gave virtually nothing to charity before taking office, now claims it's a moral imperative to help others?

    Seriously? Is there anybody in this country that doesn't realize Obama's entire "religious" act is a political ploy?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • visitor

      He talked about it alot until he and his wife got trashed. So he doesn't talk about it.

      As badly as fellow "kristians" treated the Obamas I would be surprised if they ever walked into any Church again, especially any Evangelical Church, filled with liars that make up all sorts of stuff about Obama being a "secret" Muslim and swearing on the Koran and Muslim "rings" and all that trash.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • cedar rapids

      make your mind up, did he spend decades going to a christian church or is he not really religious?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      Obama's are far more religious than most. And just because he's a black man makes you question his faith? WOW, so that's why you want to vote a cult leader into the White House. Why not vote for Charles Manson?!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  3. Captain Kirk

    I can tell that racism is coming back strong. It's the only reason Christians and Jewish are coming behind this CULT Leader. Mormonism is a CULT folks..... The same as those drinking bad tea hopping on Halie Bob comet !!!!!!!

    Beam me up Scottie, there is no intelligent life down here !

    October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Reality Check

      Without racism Obama doesn't become president. Who do you think it actually helped in the last election? Most racists support Obama, not oppose him.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      I am white and I voted for him. you are forgetting many white people that are not racist voted for Obama and stood in D.C. the largest group ever to watch the inauguration. Shame on you trying to mirror your racism and racist views on others.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  4. ThyWord isTruth

    You can't be Christian if you are Black or Democrat.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  5. boomer48

    I don't know why CNN does not hire journalists anymore.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  6. JohnE

    As the Scripture teaches...just not, lest ye be judged.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • dwightl44

      John, you are correct that it says this. However, if you read a few verses down in the same Chapter it says "Beware of False Prophets". Doesn't that require an individual to judge whether someone is on target or not?

      Further down in the same chapter it says "A good tree bringeth forth good fruit after its own kind and a bad fruit bringeth forth bad fruit after its own kind. Therefore, by their fruits you shall know them." Once again, one has to make a judgement about what is good fruit and what is bad fruit.

      In short, taken in context, the verse about "Judge not" does not mean that we are not to judge a situation or whether a certain policy position is good or bad. I have proven that with the verses quoted above. It just means to not judge whether or not someone is saved or will be saved.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  7. Amyloo

    Shame on you, CNN.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  8. J R Brown

    Anyone who champions secular human rights/civil rights is not a true follower of Jesus Christ....Jesus taught the Kingdom of God, not kingdoms of men. There are no human rights/civil rights to those who are true followers of Christ...only God's laws, the Church and the Kingdom of God.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • DC1973

      Oh.

      Is that how you justify letting your fellow man suffer and die by your hand?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      Anyone that follows a false GOD is not a follower of Jesus Christ or a Christian ! How do you explain you supporting a CULT LEADER ????

      October 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • visitor

      Luke 14:25-26

      Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

      No where does Jesus say anything about Civil Rights, but he does say to hate one's one family.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  9. Mike Richards

    What drivel, and how pathetic for CNN! I look forward to your story on whether Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs are part of a "cult" as many conservative Christians believe, or whether Mormonism is even Christianity. If you are going to run this sort of divisive, fear mongering tripe about Obama, then let's see a similar story about Romney.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • reality

      Many have considered mormonism to be a cult. I think I will start a religion.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • sue

      Yes, one wonders about the "timing" of this piece. Is CNN or Mr. Blake responsible? Conservatives will love it and write back in capitol letters. Fox news will milk it with a panel of yelling people. Does it play to fear or is it simply a very myopic definition of "Christian"...a "get out the vote" for those conservative "Christians" who are racist (let's be honest). If conservative Christians believe in a "literal" translation of the Bible, have they not dismissed many passages? Let us look together at the Sermon on the Mount....especially blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. What can any one of us do to create peace? A whole lot....it begins inside each one of us with an acceptance of all people.

      In all fairness to really curious people, I would like to see a similar article about Mormonism. I am interested in the religions of the world and know little about Mormons. I've seen their large temples and know that "outsiders" are not allowed in. I know that they have to do a time of missionary work and go door to door. I know that they must give 10% of their income to the church. Somewhere I read that Jesus Christ was in Missouri and I honestly don't know about that. I know that some polygamist fringes have confused who Mormons are and what they believe.

      Can someone in a media position present some timely Mormon information?

      October 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  10. Chuck

    Why do they doubt his faith, why does the Republican Party go against everything he wants. It's very deep rooted because he is the first black American President. The Religious Right is make up of bigots, who question the freedom of Latino's, blacks, and Indians!

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Rob

      Current repubs are trying to reclaim the 1950, leave it to beaver, white dominance. It is an attempt to fulfill nostalgic urges. Only problem is the world has changed, and romanticizing any age covers up the sins of that age ie racism that thrived in 1950's by supposed Christians.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  11. John

    Belonging to a Christian denomination doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    John 3: 3 – Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again"

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      Yes this is true! Meaning born again into the Kingdom of GOD in Heaven not on earth. duuu!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  12. Name*argusp

    Who ever said that you have to be christian to be american? I'm not anmd am a better american than most

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Rieko

      Hilary should marry Barack. that would be so fab also Obama is half white, so he would not be the first black pres rellay, more like first biracial pres. Denise Richards dadd should take care of this. Denise Richards DADD knows it all. ddadd. MCCAIN O8!!!!

      November 10, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  13. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Jesus would be rolling in his grave (no pun intended) if he saw these so called "true Christians" running to his defense. If you all really think that Jesus would be Republican, read the Bible (yes, that book you keep raving about but have never read). Jesus was a socialist plain and simple. He loved and cared for the poor and marginalized, something the Republicans have never stood for in recent history. When your poster child Mitt Romney says he does not care about 47% of America (among other things), he is rejecting the central teaching of Jesus which is to love your neighbor as you would yourself. If you don't believe me, read the Bible. And don't respond unless you have something intelligent to say.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • J R Brown

      Jesus was not a socialist. Jesus was a deity. Socialism is a human ideology. Your post is an epic fail.

      Jesus commanded to help the poor, the children, the elderly, etc...but He commanded INDIVIDUALS to do so, not governments and not societies.

      You should really post something intelligent in the first place before you require intelligent responses only.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Joe

      I don't recall Jesus murdering any unborn babies, for all you clowns who refer to him as a liberal.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Reality Check

      You do realize that the people in this country most likely to donate their time and money to help others.. are Republican. Right? They're also the most likely to donate blood and be organ donors.

      For some reason people like you have gotten this idea that standing around demanding "that guy over there pay to help people" actually counts as compassion.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Centrist

      Patrick, Jesus wasn't a Socialist. He had no political aspirations. He was Centrist. He died between left and right. He wore the purple robe and he walked between two sides of people to his death. He also was centered in that people either loved him or hated him. You are hated most by when you don't join the group that loves you. You are also hated most by when you don't join the group that hates you.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Centrist

      Patrick, Jesus was a "balanced" man. He knew one side and the other. He knew logic, common sense, and emotion must work together in a balanced way. To pick a side is to eliminate the other equally. As he said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Balance is the key to happiness to all things...not just some things. You limit the mind by not being balanced. You pick a side and then you lack understanding (intelligence) because you discard the other side of things. As a Centrist (Politicallly and non-politically) you are on a fence with knowledge looking in both "backyards". Centrist Ideology is growing in the world, but the time is not yet.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • jknows

      @JR Brown I guess love they neighbor as thy self, and Mathew 25:35-40 means Jesus didn't care about his fellow man? @Joe if Jesus was a murder of innocent lives then he'd be a conservative, remember that unnecessary war in Iraq? Correct Jesus wasn't political but he did want us to help others. Let me ask why if Jesus was a conservative capitalist would he say it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven(Mark 10:25)?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  14. mspsparks05

    There is no perfect christian

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • JohnE

      You right...you right...

      October 22, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  15. IamAmazed

    I am not a supporter of Barack Obama and will be voting this year for Mitt Romney, however, for anyone to call another Christian the wrong kind of Christian is not practicing what Christianity teaches. I would no more call into question Barack Obama's Christianity than Mitt Romney's Christianity as a Mormon. It is wrong to attack someone faith.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • KEKC

      Obama converted to Christianity when his political career started. Coincidence? Doubt it.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • J R Brown

      Jesus taught to remove yourself from people who claim to be His followers yet did not act accordingly...so, yes...Christians are to judge whether others who call themselves "Christians" are actually following the teachings of Christ to either associate with them or repudiate them.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      So J B how do you explain backing a CULT LEADER????????

      October 22, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  16. Peach

    Because he's a Muslim.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      Stop spreading lies. Obama is a christian. As if it really matters anyway – muslims are peaceful and honorable people as well.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  17. schnu44

    As a Roman Catholic, the idea of "right" vs. "wrong" types of Christians is highly offensive.

    Wolff Blitzer pulled this same stunt when talking to Paul Begala and the late Bob Novak when Pope John Paul II died, saying "...both good Catholics–I don't know if good Catholics–but both Catholics. I am sure Bob is a good Catholic. I am not sure about Paul Begala.”

    October 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • DC1973

      Oh, bull, Catholics are "offended" by the right religion/wrong religion crap.

      How many times did you hear that the Jews were going to Hell for killing Jesus? Or that Lutherans were traitors to Christ? Or that Mormons were cultists and Joseph Smith was Satan?

      Come on.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  18. ForGoodOfAll

    Obama is the most decent, fair and caring President we've had in years. He is also extremely well liked and respected by foreign leaders world wide. It's the bible-beating christians that are the bigots who divide our country b/c compromise and tolerance are impossible ideas for them to consider.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • KEKC

      You got it all wrong. Obama is a fraud.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      @Keik – how is Obama a fraud?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • LIberalsSux

      Maybe you need to look at yourself and the comment you just made.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      @Liberals Sux – Your screen-name says it all, LOL!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • WordofReason

      You have it exactly right. They harbor an irrational hatred of Obama and do everything they can to discredit him.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  19. Ms Repub

    How can any Christan who knows the truth of God's Word, tear down another one who claimes to he a Brother In Christ? Be Careful you who point fingers and judge with your own ways. It's absurd to watch brothers and sisters of the faith tearing down another. Have we got to the point that we put ourselves into the position of God, making judgements? Whether it's a prodigal son or a brother/sister serving the Master, we all have our own paths. God Bless President Obama and his family, whether they win or lose I hope they are blessed by God the rest of their lives for the service to this country.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      God speed. Finally an intelligent person of faith.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      I like your point of view and open-mindedness. Wish there was more of that in our country today!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • J R Brown

      Jesus taught that "by their fruits, ye shall know them"...His teachings CLEARLY advocated that his followers analyse whether others who claim to be His followers actually acted in accordance with His teachings and accept or repudiate them accordingly.

      This "we don't know what's in their hearts so we can't judge" nonsense is progressive mumbo-jumbo that is NOT in accordance with Jesus' own teachings.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Ms Repub

      You are so right we are to KNOW them by their fruit, but we are Not to be Fruit pickers or pruners that job is God's, as He works in each of our lives. Since we want to use scripture to try to justify our hate of another, how about this one "If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that." 1John 5:16. We have a probelm here in the country because Noone humbles himself and prays. As the scripture says "I will heal their land". This does not include a political platform or party. God Bless America!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  20. JBE

    Obama is not a christian he is an admitted muslim. His name is Barry Soetoro. He is a citizen of Indonesia. Just a little research and you will find it.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • DC1973

      Admitted... when? What?

      Dude, stop listening to Orly Taitz.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Steve

      ...and just a little more research and you'll find out that none of that is true

      October 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      Whoever made the internet simple enough for idiots to use the internet I swear to God (no pun intended)...

      October 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • jnpa

      So you searched the net and found an article on Barry Soetoro and decided it was true, even though many other articles say it is a conspiracy theory and there is not truth to it. You are very easily suckered in aren't you. Most people are when they don't like someone or something...

      October 22, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Marcia Pezzano

      JBE please come out of the Twightlight Zone!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • JBE

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/11/obama-my-muslim-faith/?page=all

      October 22, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Captain Kirk

      And Joe I hate to tell you that you actually crawled out from under a rock on the evolution scale.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • BLH

      Research done on biased websites or publications, does not count as valid research.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:48 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.