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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 • 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. Alex

    There is a very good verse in Matthew 7:15-16. This is true for anyone claiming to be a Christian today. The general plublic claiming to be a Christian today is as common as buying a lottery ticket. A true Christian will following the teachings of Christ in every aspect according to the gospels. A common Christian will mold and fit Christ according to their beliefs, agenda and desires. Which brings us back to Matthew 7: 15-16. It cuts like a two edge sword.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • RJW

      Another "holier-than-thou Christian." You are what is wrong with religion today. People proclaiming that a Christian must be just like them or else. You are evil.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Primewonk

      When discussing any religion, I find this verse (from the Primewonk Bible) to be much more appropriate –

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  2. John

    Many (to be fair, not all) members of the religious right think they "own" God. They think their interpretation of the Bible (often an excessively literal interpretation) is the ONLY interpretation. Hopefully these type of people are becoming the minority and not growing. God is way bigger than any one faith or church can interpret. As is the wisdom in the Bible. These religions all try to be THE end-all authority and they just fail. Just like no religion OWNS marriage. Each has their own way that they "sanctify" a marriage but ultimately it is a civil contract and no church need be involved to make it legal. Certainly no church has the right to deny consenting adults the right to enter into a civil contract of their choosing.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  3. Linda K.

    There is nothing Christian about Barack Obama. He's a Muslim inside and out. Google the video about his "wedding" ring. It has inscriptions praising allah and he's worn it for 30 years. Michelle just put it back on his finger in their wedding. He bows before Saudi kings but tries to dictate away the religious freedom of Americans. Nov 6 can't come soon enough!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Observer

      Linda K.

      There's no proof he has attended any religious Muslim service in over 30 years and the ring story is disputed and UNPROVED too.

      Do some research NEXT TIME.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Andy

      "Allah" is just the Arabic word for God. Don't you praise God? Does this supposed inscription say anything about Muhammad?

      Didn't think so!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Larry42

      "The most beautify sound I have ever heard is the Muslim call to prayers."

      "I will stand with the Muslims".

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • RJW

      You are a gullible moron.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • John

      Linda, shouldn't you be in school now? It's very important for you to finish the Sixth Grade so you can move up to the Seventh Grade next year. There is so much for you to learn about the world! And the wonderful thing about education is that once you learn something, you can no longer be ignorant about it! Now get going!!

      October 22, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Meowcat

      Another nut job speaks up. Our poor country.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  4. John P. Tarver

    Obama hates God, except on election day.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Evidence?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  5. Juanito

    Personally, I don't know where Obama's faith is, or the God that he prays to. Without Christ, one cannot be Christian. And to accept Him, one needs to embrace His way, and Scripture clearly indicates that's it's an 'all in or nothing' proposition. It is indeed incredibly radical. Jesus spoke that He is the only way to the Father. He clearly drew the line in the sand, for Him or against Him.
    Many self-proclaimed Christians like Obama who accept the cafeteria brand of faith, where they can accept some things but not other things in Scripture, have been misled by the Enemy and will tragically hear the horrific words: 'I never knew you. Begone from Me' (Matt 7:23).

    October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • RJW

      Under your definition none of us are going to heaven. ALL of us fall short. To suggest Obama is any different than any other human being is ridiculous. I suggest you look at your own life instead of criticizing the lives of others. It's none of your business what somebody's relationship with Christ is. It's personal. Tend to your own house.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Seby

      I am a Christian goes to church every sunday. But i don't ask much people what is your religion. Then only thing I care whethere he / she believes in God. I think and my firm believe, Obama believes in God and mankind. LOVE ONE ANOTHER

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • visitor

      Let's see, you admit you don't know where Obama's faith is, then posit he isn't the right kind of Christian for Jesus' (or more specifically, your) taste.

      You could have stopped at the first sentence before speaking out of both sides of your partisan mouth.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • gregory oreskovich

      Men – with political their own agendas of their respective eras – wrote the bible. Following the way of Christ, these emperors converted into following the way of the Roman Catholic Church, an extension of Rome itself, the original evil empire. Jesus gave his life for all men. And women. No strings attached. He did not die on the cross for the handful chosen by religions politicians that confiscated his words a hundred years after his resurrection.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Juanito

      RJW: you're absolutely correct. We ALL fall short from His kingdom by our own efforts. There is nothing I can do(whether I save a hundred children's lives, help out the hungry poor, you name it) that the Holiest of Holies will allow me to sneak in His House as an exception.

      The Scriture clearly states that our works are equivelent to 'dirty rags'. So yes, without accepting Christ as Saviour, even someone doing the works like Mother Teresa will not inherit His Kingdom.

      That's the beauty of His offer. You don't have to do ANYTHING! Just repent from what seperates you from Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior. I find that anything 'good' that I do since then is because of His Love for me, not for obligatory reasons.

      SEBY:
      I'm not calling you out, but please know that even satan and his demons believe in God. Believing is entirely different from following. I always believed in God but didn't want to stop doing the 'things' that seperated me from Him. If I was not cleansed through the blood of His sacrifice by accepting Christ and repenting, I can not be near Him or have the ability to stand in His Presence. God is Holy and no one(John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, George Washington, Obama, you name them) can come before the Father without accepting His sacrifice.

      Anyone, including myself, who professes to be a partisan of Christ(Christian, as the ancient greeks coined us), and strays from His teachings, won't be called 'guilty' of following Christ.

      Personally, I'm guilty of being His follower. And I accept the sentence...

      In His Love,
      Juanito

      October 22, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • lifeproducer

      Kind of like Romney saying abortion is OK some of the time? Like it or not, they both pick and choose. Some just have their blinders on when it comes to looking at their own party.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • JD

      JUANITO:
      You are deluded and pyschologically and morally crippled if you think you require redemption by default status. I hope one day you can see the world clearly and enjoy your life as a free person.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Juanito

      JD, actually I was a delusional intellectual agnostic who thought somewhat the very same way of convicted believers before I became one.

      Science couldn't deliver the Truth (with a large 'T') for the lack of a fundemental basis of all knowledge. Math by it's imperfection can't be counted on, and as our language is tied to the limit of our knowledge.

      It stands to reason that what created us is and will always be beyond the scope of our intellectual capabilities, and no matter how we try to wrap our secular minds around it, we can't figure Him out.

      It was at this moment when I finally understood that fact, He revealed Himself to me, and after 6 years of surpressing that revelation, I finally gave in and surrendered to my Lord and Savior.

      I used to drink the Kool Aid of this world, and found that our pride is the one thing, more than any other, that keeps us chasing the winds of a lie, that leads us even further from the Truth.

      After all, how can we possibly understand a love so intense that it excedes even that of the people who love us most(parents), and level of grace that violates our own sense of justice, and an unimaginable prospect of mercy for those who murdered His Son?

      JD, I won't ever judge you, insult you, or give you a flash moment of a condenscending rebuke. Your shoes, I've worn them through and through.

      I pray and hope that your walk will lead you where it has taken me...

      In the name of Jesus,
      Juanito

      October 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  6. ArthurP

    Conservative Christian – that would be a Jesuit.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  7. Daniel

    Who freakin cares? Jesus was the greatest salesman in the history of mankind. He's still out selling the Sham-Wow guy....christians are sheep....

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Juanito

      Daniel, Christians are indeed sheep, lambs to our Shepperd. He leads us. As for salesman: He doesn't sell anything. What He offers you cannot buy for any price. As a matter in fact, He paid the price, so keep your money.

      Salvation from our sins, genuine joy, and genuine peace. I have yet to see anything Madison Avenue offers that give those kinds of benefits.

      Have you?

      In His love, my brother.
      Juanito

      October 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Juan, Odd that you call yourself Juanito. If Jesus existed he was not the son of god because the bible is not true and that god does not exist.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  8. John

    Gotta love how the guy who is the head of the "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission" is defaming someone's Christian beliefs.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  9. Susan

    I don't care about his religious beliefs or lack thereof, as the case may be. I just know he's been a terrible president and it's time to get someone in office who can handle the job.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      He has not been a terrible president. What would be examples of that? He didn't start any wars; he didn't oversee the worst economic crisis in living memory; he did improve healthcare; he did save the auto industry; he did save Wall Street. I think he should have made the Wall Street bailout more conditional but apart from that he's done OK given the GOP filibuster.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Meowcat

      Yeah, no. President Obama has been a great president. It's just that the republicans are lying about it, starting the first week of his presidency, and have convinced the weak minded to see it differently. I bet you, like all of them can not actually support why he is weak; mainly becuase most of the critisizm is fabricated. Like the other poster said, he did not get thousands of our young people killed with horrible and useless wars, turned the economy around after the repbulbicans trashed it, got the big bad guys, enacted numerous helpful policies for health care, education, etc. It's just funny how many of the same people who voted for the destructive and incompetent Bush now think their judgement is sound. Funny.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  10. clarke

    Come on CNN, changing the headlines doesn't work, you already did your damage, which I believe was done on purpose. I used to respect you, can't say that anymore. I am not sure who the head person is, but they are not doing a very good job, not the way it used to be.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  11. IamAmazed

    How many times has Mitt Romney been criticized for belonging to the Mormon faith and CNN never wrote an article in Romney's defense.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • LDB

      CNN propaganda. When has CNN ever written anything positive about conservatives?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Dick Smegma

      Absolutely never.
      They worship the Dear Leader.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Rogue351

      That is because Romney is a lier and a cheat. He only cares about money and himself. It is hard to defend those values. This whole evengelical / Mormon interaction recently declaring Mormons are no longer a cult is BULL. It shows just how shallow evangelicals are and just how manipulative Mormons are. It is also not a seperation of church and state like we should have. Remember this is American, and we are NOT just a Christian country.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  12. LDB

    Did Soledad O'brien write this article? If this article is correct, then the ACLU needs to sue the government over obamacare due to separation of church and state. Funny timing about this article CNN.....right before the last debate. Trying to tell everyone how religious Obama is and how he defines 'true" Christianity. Hmmmm Gay Marriage supporter, pro abortion, more government control over our lives, anti-Israel. Obviously he ignores the scriptures and Jesus's own teachings when it comes to the democratic party agenda. You can't pick and choose how you want to be a Christian, either you follow the scriptures, or you don't. There is no gray area Obama.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • RJW

      I'm gay AND a Christian. God doesn't love me any less. He does hate those like you though who judge others.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  13. Becky

    LOL to this question about BHO.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. ReturnOurNationToGod

    Obama = Devil, he shares the name of another Devil – Saddam Hussein...

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Meowcat

      That is some ignorant crap and a large part of the reason our country falls behind the rest of the world.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • junaid

      I share the name hussein as well... i didn't realize that made me a devil too.

      I guess all the times i donated to the poor, prayed for them, helped a friend in need, shared a smile were all a guise for evil in me just because my name has hussein in it. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  15. jeremympiehler

    There is a reason, Obama's version of Christianity (Liberal Protestantism) Is dying. The post caught it very clearly when it mentioned that Obama's Christianity "used" to be influential. Now its just a bunch of rich old white people. In 20 years it will be all but dead.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Andy

      Yet, it's the religion that evangelicals actually point to when they refer to the good old days of "traditional Christian values" that made this country great. Besides, the younger generation seems to be swinging back to those values. Hard Right evangelicals will be tomorrow's "dead church".

      October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  16. roosterboy

    I just voted straight Dem, with green and Libertarian for the lesser elections in my state. That felt good. Yeah boy!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  17. Meowcat

    This article is junk. Why is this an issue at all and why is it being given attention by the press? President Obama is clearly a Christian. It's a non-issue. Conservatives have manufactured yet another pretend problem in order to detract from Obama's legitimacy. Besides, the job has requirements that stand far outside religious affiliation. Such a goofy "issue."

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • JD

      Its relevant because even though he is a Christian by his own admission, the Christian majority in this country don't accept him and he is their enemy #1 right now. it is astounding how much anti-Obama rhetoric is fuled by Christian groups.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Dan

      CNN must be bored again.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Jim in Florida

      The reason that this junk article was written is more than obvious – check out cable TV – the Histroy channel is running the "Obama got Bin Laden show, again.... – lots of pro Obamna stuff now being run – CNN is joining the effort of the "Manistream" media – listen, their boy is behind and falling further behind everytime he mumbles a non answer in a debate – the media has to do their part for thier boy Obama.

      This piece of junk hournalism is clearly just part of the Obama campaign .

      Funny, I thought we lost 4 Americans in a terrorist attack in Libya on 9-11. Wait, Candy Crowley, help all of us morons out here....sucks, she is too busy trying to help Obama,

      Obama has lost his shine CNN, you are backing thew wrong horse but I understand, what is the leftist media to do?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  18. The King

    Conservative Christian is an oxymoron. The beliefs of those on the right directly contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ. Their acts, and rhetoric more closely resemble a cult that worships mammon. Whatever they are, they are not Christians.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Larry42

      Not true at all!
      Charity is VOLUNTARY giving.
      "Worshipping mammon" is giving the government the power to create a nanny-state. This soothes your conscience over not giving charity by being charitable with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  19. kpeace

    Obama has never been baptized.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Larry42

      He has been "baptized" by the dark Lord.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • RJW

      @Larry:

      You are the one working for the Devil. Otherwise you wouldn't be so hateful and judgmental.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  20. Larry42

    Even Satan himself "believes" in Jesus.
    But supports abortion and gay marriage.

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

      Larry42,

      The Bible never mentions abortion, but it's fun to wish it did, isn't it?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Larry42

      "Thou shalt not kill"

      October 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible says if a person causes a woman to miscarry, the punishment is a FINE, but if you hurt a PERSON, it's an "eye for an eye".

      October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Larry42

      Thanks, Observer.
      You admit that, in any case, abortion is not permitted, and is punished.
      Also note that a "miscarriage" is an unintentional injury, whereas an abortion is willful and deliberate.....more akin to murder than a "miscarriage".

      October 22, 2012 at 11:31 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.