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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. Jake- NYC

    I see right CNN's attempt to forward an "Obama as a visionary" narrative. It's funny that this article claims he is different and challenging the right's stranglehold on religious ideals. I guess they had to say he was different in someway? I mean, after he extended and added to the Patriot Act, increased drone bombings, violence, and troop levels in the middle east, cut corporations tax rates and grew big banks, I guess you gotta try and say he is still not Bush 2.0 and ignore it. I wouldn't call any of these politicians "Christians" anyway, unless you consider being a puppet of Wall Street and promoting an violent agenda truly Christians.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  2. OFC Old Fashion Christian

    No one can know for sure who is and who isn't a Christian. The only one who can know for sure is you and God. Unfortunately, there are those evangelicals like Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen and Steven Andrews who have the audacity to think that they have the right to sit at the right hand of God and judge people. I find it interesting that those who judge the President are the same ones who have said nothing about the Republicans who told everyone that God told them to run for the Presidency. Where are those candidates now? Maybe God just wanted to show us who NOT to vote for or maybe he just wanted to show us how he makes losers out of people when they use God to promote themselves.Why haven't the evangelicals commented on this? Because their political partisanship trumps their Christianity every day of the week. So they look at the sky and whistle on every lie that leaves the lips of their political candidates.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Marci

      Well said.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  3. RunfortheHills

    The Cathollic church has been overrun by progressives. Progressives believe what's right is whatever you want it to be, as long as you believe in it with all your heart. There is no black or white, right or wrong. Everyone can have their own version of right and wrong.

    Of course, people who think know this is farcical. Ethical relativism has been disgraced throughout the ages as the excuse-makers paradise.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  4. pc

    Jeremiah Wright is Obama's spiritual mentor. Quote, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (2003)

    October 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      yep, sounds like an old fashioned fire and brimstone preacher. you have an issue with what he was saying?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  5. Ben

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

    You can picture the smugness.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      what, at slapping the guy down for being an a ss? i would be smug too.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  6. Zuq

    Why isn't anyone talking about the WHITE HORSE PROPHECY? Don't know what it is? Google it.. pretty freaky.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  7. Tim

    Take it for what it's worth – a very clever piece of election year PR. But then we should expect his kind of thing from the Obama campaign.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  8. Clayton

    As a manager and business owner, I know it can be very difficult to "let someone go".

    Especially when you hired them, put your faith in them and trusted them to do the job.

    Mr. President, sorry, I just gotta let you go.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  9. Lover of GOD

    OBAMA is a real Christian:

    *Cares for the poor
    *Cares for the sick
    *Prays in private
    *Is anti WAR
    *Believes WE arer all our brother's keeper.

    The FAKE Chrstians are the "conservatives"he
    *Wear their religion on their sleeve
    *Want to impose Christian beliefs on the rest of us
    *They LOVE WAR for profit.
    *Believe all other religiosn are a path to hell.

    NEED I GO ON?

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • just me

      John 14:6
      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
      Christian – follower of Jesus. There are other beliefs and other ways to be spiritual. You choose this day.
      As for me and my house we follow Jesus.
      There is only one kind of Christian. Flawed, forgiven, but seeking to be more like Jesus.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  10. Mohamiss Shafik-Kaddir

    Obama is a Muslim .Obama pretends to be a Christian to get silly White pople to vote for him . Obama believes that White Christians are responsible for Structural Racism and that they are keeping blacks poor . Barack Hussain Obama has a Muslim name because he is Muslim , he used to be called Barry Soetoro , after he committed to Islam in his early 20's , adn trveled to pakistan to study Islam , he joined the Muslim Brotherhood to bring Islam into the White House . Which he did . Islam is proud of our favorite son , and he lies to America to humiliate and break thier will so Islam will reign supreme in the World . An America subjugated to Sharia is a big prize , and he has done well for the Ummah . Inshallah Islam will cinquer America soon , thanks to Barrack Hussain Obama . Our Jihad is cultural , and Islam is peace .

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      thanks for the nonsense mr agent provocateur.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • needNewGov

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
      You are the funniest thing yet. Did you just sprout from a seed? You forgot to mention that Obama was really born on Pluto and wants to start a new society on Earth. HAHAHAHA!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  11. 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 12:02 pm |
    • steve

      you can believe what ever fairytale u wish to. the man is a complete moron

      October 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Yeah RIGHT! And Utopia starts tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. I'd gladly go back to the Bush years; unemployment averaging 4.7% for the entire 8 years, DOW hitting 14,000 and record revenues coming into the treasury because of strong economy, then Nancy and Harry polluted the Congress.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • tjintucson

      what planet do you live on? Have you seen the 6 trillion Obama added to the national debt in 4 year? good bye America and thanks Obama and the moronic left!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • needNewGov

      Very well put!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  12. guest

    Nice piece to run right now CNN. How about Mormanism and cults? HOw about where the hell are Romney's tax returns??????

    October 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • tjintucson

      Romney has shown his tax returns you m0ron. How about CNN (communist news network) report on the huge Libyan coverup with 4 dead Americans. This is like watergate but no one died in that coverup. Only the lefty m0rons get away with it because the media is just like them. a bunch of lemmings

      October 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  13. Bob Gospel

    lame. obama is a relativist, jesus was guided by an absolute moral standard called truth. with obama, truth is relative. anything goes, any god rules. he is no more a christian than nero.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • steve

      thats such a great comparison. nero is to rome what obama is to the usa. obama, our nero

      October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  14. The Chief

    The pioneer, who changed people's perspective on who could be president, was McCain. The old man picked her, and by comparison Obama's lack of presidential qualities paled in comparison to her annoying us and her lack of credentials. Governor of Alaska is like being the HOA president. There is no one even up there, and I can't image a bunch of moose hunters and eskimos really care a whole lot about local politics. If you need anymore proof look at her rapid decline, quiting governor, reality shows. seriously, REALITY SHOWS?

    October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  15. rj

    yes he is trying to separate.. that is why he paid to have this article run

    October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  16. Larry42

    I have never believed in the Bible, but its prophesies about an obamanation, leading to the barackalypse at obamageddon are starting to sound a lot more credible.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  17. bellablue

    This is the most DEPLORABLE AND DISRESPECTFUL article I've seen about President Obama, in this entire election cycle! It has come to the point where I simply do not turn CNN, MSNBC, FOX, PBS, or ANY of the media channels on day OR nighttime!! All of this BS, is doing nothing but ratcheting up the "craizies" in this country!! And I'll guarantee you, there are plenty of them out there!! Shame on you CNN!! You should be censored from broadcasting for forever!!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  18. fts1966

    these are my warped views. i think i have every religion one can think of in my family. and have experienced them all more than i cared to for the most part. an uncle that is the best baptist just ask him, he is a grand in the KKK. god love him. he is a good christian.... another uncle, a good morman that molested 2 of his children, and he was a major in the army and it was covered up. he also molested my mother and an aunt. my grandmother a good souther Pentecost. to her he is suck a good boy and good man if it weren't for him being a mormon. to another uncle who was a devout catholic, cover up the unwed pregnancy. then made here marry a man the beat her to an inch of here life. but he was also a good catholic. then my cousins that i enjoyed playing with when i was young. we had to go behind our families back to do so, because my grand mother was and evil pentecost, and they were evil bad Jehovahs witness. i thank my lucky stars the my parents, not that they were perfect by any means. taught my sister and myself to love and treat with respect all of our other family members. we were also taught o think for our selves and listen, pay attention to what was going on around and to make our own decisions in life. we as well have taught our children to do the same. they have moved on to be loving caring young people. what do they believe in? that is up to them. they do know that not one person or group can tell them what or how to think. our parents said to look around ask questions. think, and it will all come around. now do i hate my good Christian KKK uncle? no. i dislike what he teaches. do i hate my cousins husband that still beats her but is a great man in the catholic church? no. dod i hare my good morman uncle that molested my mother and aunt and my cousin. this is a very hard one for me. no i do not hate him. i do not like to be around him, he is a good soldier and will let every one know that he is in control. i miss my cousins that i used to play with when i was younger, the Jehovahs witness. they don't have any thing to do with me or talk to my family. we are not in there fold. i really do miss them.... my grandmother the Pentecost. talks about how every one other than herself i going to hell including myself. here god is the only god and he is to be feared. put on a pedestal. give all she has to here church, the church is enormous and the pastor has a cadilac new every year. most of the people in here church over the last 40 years have had nothing or next to it.

    i am not bashing the soldiers that are fighting for our freedom. thank you
    i am not bashing the good baptist. or the KKK
    i am not bashing the good mormans.
    i am not bashing my uncle the molester.
    i am not bashing the pentecost.
    i am not bashing the Jehovah's
    i am not bashing the catholics.

    this is my experience this some of the finer people in my life. as a human being. as well as a thinker. i just choose not to belong to them or it or what ever it might be.

    yes there maybe some god ones out there. but that is not my path..

    i would like for it to not be such an issue for so many people. the hatred is so unwelcome. but that is what allot of them do that call them selves the religious ones. the ones who want us to believe in only what they believe in.

    THANKS MOM AND DAD FOR TEACHING ME HOW TO THINK FOR MYSELF AND TO PAY ATTENTION TO MY SURROUNDINGS.

    i hope other can find peace and acceptance some day......

    October 22, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  19. honestuck

    CNN and FOX should merge. They are both reporting the same views. Did CNN get acquired by FOX? Did I miss it? Or was it done under the table? Can someone tell me if there is a news network that remains unbiased, that is not working for the Romney PAC (you know who you are). I hope that the people of this country can see through the CNN facade. Of course as long as we are convinced that the polls reported by the media are correct they can report the results of the elections as a victory for Romney, the preferred candidate. Will our votes really count, or even be counted to declare the winner? I am starting to have doubts.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • bellablue

      Personally, I think you should throw MSNBC and NBC into the same boiling pot of "ugliness"!! NONE of them are worth wasting my time, for sure!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  20. Concerned American

    Mitt Romney is a real Christian – see Mormon.org for what he believes in & not what these paid ones are putting on to get you swayed from the truth. Reid is one you support?? He's one too... But no matter what religion, Mitt is for us – Our USA we pledge allegiance to! Wake up people! Just attacks on Mitt a good man vs Obama who is destroying our country we love! & I have no trust in him! My son-in-law serves & been in all these places & trust Mitt! He will work for YOU! Whatever you believe! Give Mitt a chance! We are all struggling & if that's you too, I'd vote for Romney/Ryan! Obama never even put a plan a Democrat would vote for! Doesn't go to those since Jan! Misses intellegance meetings & even the day after the attack! Didn't protect them! Come on people as that could be your sons.. He covered it up & lied in the last debate with the monitor & you heard truth after it went off tv... My President would act like a real one we need! He'll protect us & bring Jobs!! Mitt will fight for YOU & US!
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jhx_2TqffE&w=640&h=390]
    Watch to the end. Romney/Ryan Now <3

    October 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • visitor

      The Mormon church is VERY BUSY scrubbing its own beliefs. But while I have you on the "line", can you confirm these:

      1. Mankind can evolve to a high status, so high, that eventually Men can populate a new planet. True/False?
      2. Marriages are "sealed" for eternity, and the Husband needs to call the Wife into Celestial Heaven. True/False?
      3. Non-Mormons (including Christians) cannot enter Celestial (the most exalted form of) Heaven. True/False?
      4. That which is known as God was once a man, in human form. True/False?
      5. God is married. True/False?
      6. Zion will be somewhere in Missouri. True/False?
      7. Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers. True/False?
      8. Non Mormons can serve Mormons in Heaven. True/False?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • visitor

      By the way, are you following Obama around the White House and know his schedule? If you have that kind of security clearance, shouldn't you NOT post presidential schedules on a CNN blog?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • needNewGov

      How about you try and read a paper or try to inform yourself instead of feeding on FOX pablum. The President is the only one in this government who really cares about what is happening to the middle class and poor.

      I feel sorry for you and for our country if Mitt and the GOP run things again.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Josh

      That video would be funny if people like you didn't actually believe it. The only evidence presented is multiple levels of hearsay from totally non-credible sources. Some guy says his wife talked to a guy who claims to have met with Barack Obama in the Middle East before he was president where he claimed to be a Saudi spy infiltrating the US government? Really? Well, I have a friend who talked to a guy that lives in Siberia, and he said that he heard Santa Clause is in fact real and lives near the North Pole in an ice cave. Therefore, we can conclusively say that Santa Clause is real.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • MOJarry

      Mitt and Mutt will involve us in another war. Are you really ready to surrender your daughters and sons to the Military/Industrial complex he represents? Like him, his kids will not serve a day in defense, but gladly sacrifice your kids to achieve their agenda. If he would make a solemn promise to not engage in another war, he would have my vote. If Pres. Obama would make that promise, he would get my vote. War is big business. Eisenhour warned us 50 years ago.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • keep it real

      Really?? Mitt is a really Christian. Have you seen what mormons think of black people? Their religion started in an attic. They say God is man with flesh and bones who was a man that has exalted to godhood. God became god though learning the truth and aggressively pursuing godhood, and being obedient to the laws of the gospel...?? REALLY?? Mitt is a Christian. Huh! Whatever! Billy Graham ministries recently endores mormonism as a form of christianity which is completely crazy!! The Graham's have sold out to the Republican party which is very sad for true Christians... I read my bible. How about you do the same and let the president be the President of the United States of America

      October 22, 2012 at 12:51 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.