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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. michael

    And, what kind of a Christian do people think a Mormon is going to be. At least Obama IS a Christian. Mormon beliefs are anti-Christian. Google "Mormon Beliefs"

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

      Not really. They have some compatible beliefs, and some incompatible. However, they do not denounce Christ or his teachings. thus, they are not anti-christian.

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

      noefqa – Islam does not denounce Christ or his teachings. Thus, they are not anti-christian.

      Then, why are you guys so bothered by voting for a person you have labeled as a Muslim? Oh, because he is black!!! So sorry, I almost forgot!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • noefqa

      jim
      I agree Islam does not denounce Christianity. I just disagree with the premise that Mormanism is Anti-Christian. thats all.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • noefqa

      jim

      BTW, i did vote for him in 2008. I disagree with with economic policies and foreign policy. Color has nothing to do with success or character.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • DanC

      Michael, no one except Obama knows for sure if he IS a Christian although his prior comments about biblical references lead one to believe he doesn't fully understand how to read it. I personally find it hard to understand how any Christian can justify abortion as a choice (based on the woman's health no less). It is currently the law of the land but this President has not only greatly increased access to it, he is also forcing all Americans to pay for it in conflict with many citizens 1st Amendment rights. I doubt this is pleasing to God...

      October 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  2. Bob Gospel

    the caption reads: "President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a racial 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." ...umm, only one comment. ROFLMAO. love it! way to go CNN, romney just went ahead in the polls another .5% b/c of this garbage you call positive propaganda. well, one more comment.... FAIL !!!

    October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  3. ArthurP

    What is the difference between a Zombie and a Christian?

    Nothing, when they die they both rise from the dead.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • noefqa

      you are a hateful bigot. nothing more.

      you want attention because you are angry for not finding God. its obvious and painfully stupid

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

      Hi...lthat's pretty funny...I'm a Christian, but I do have a good sense of humor...and so does God. But, the difference between a zombie and a Christian is that the zombie is a product of Hollywood and the Christian is the product of a very powerful, awesome, loving God who sent His son to die for our sins and who, in the dimensions of time and space, ie. history, actually did rise from the dead to validate all of His claims and guarantee the salvation of anyone who trusts Him for it. Many blessings

      October 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • ArthurP

      noefqa: Why would I want to find a mass murdering terrorist?

      Mike: 'loving God'?? Tell that to the first born of Egypt.

      "And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." (Exodus 12:29-30)

      (terrorism – killing those with no political power to force political change by those with political power)

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

      ArthurP

      you are avoiding the question by skirting back to your flawed argument. If religion did not exist, there would still be crime and evil. Plain and simple. Peoples selfishness and greed are the root of all evil and abuse vehicles and organizations to acheive their means. Name one organization in this world without corruption, selfish acts, or without abuse of power..... name one!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  4. Enough

    People need to stop putting religon with politic. Just believe in God and he is the higher power. God has the last say. When judgement day come let him be the one who judge. Enough about the president and his religon. Enough...Enough...Enough. I never seen a President get his backed kicked in and down so much. I am glad " Our President" is strong.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • DanC

      Enough, agree that religion should not be "used" to bolster a politicians position. Each candidate should be judged on their experience, policies, and character (which may be in part shaped by their faith). In particular, it makes no sense to extol Obama's supposed Christian-based plans for social and economic justice while demonizing the other sides' Christian beliefs in free will, individual creativity, and individual charity which Obama's policies threaten on a daily basis.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  5. jcrews

    I long for the day when an election is decided because of the issues and not about the masses delusions of a imaginary superhero.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • noefqa

      I agree, i dont believe in Batman, but I do believe in Christ who is real.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Clayton

    ABC = ALL BARACK CHANNEL
    CBS = CALLING BARACK SUPPORTERS
    NBC = NEW BARACK CHANNEL
    CNN = ?

    October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Linda

      YAWn....wasn't too long ago you guys called CNN the Clinton News Network...this is getting very old....

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

      So many B’s and you didn’t even use Black once! That must have been hard for you.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  7. rolen

    From the same policy one proclaims it to be Christian and one proclaims it to be not. This is insane. Whatever faith one professes, the concern should be on the policy. Remember, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but, religion is the last refuge of a hypocrite.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  8. DanC

    Progressive liberal Christianity is well-intentioned but misses some fundamental points. Creating and supporting policies to take money from "other people" and give to those in need is not charity and is a violation of free will which is a biblical foundation. True Christians should of course make the most of their God-given talents and gifts to help their families, communities, and society at large (with a focus on those in true need). However, if the government restricts individuals ability to find and meet their true potential for these purposes, this is in violation. Economic justice is not biblical but is part of coveting and not being thankful for what each of us has. There is a reason that marxists, socialists, communists, etc. are on the same side as liberal Christians and that should be a bit of a clue to them that they are on the wrong side. Why is God being driven out of all government/public square but at the same time is being used as justification for social policies??

    October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • shawbrooke

      I'd say that the Bible is strongly in favor of economic justice. But I agree that "there is a reason that marxists, socialists, communists, etc. are on the same side as liberal Christians and that should be a bit of a clue to them that they are on the wrong side. Why is God being driven out of all government/public square but at the same time is being used as justification for social policies??"

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

      Nice that your Ok with the taking from the poor to give to the rich though. That has been going on for ages, plantation owners who used slaves in the distant past and now rich corporatists who can pay lobbyists to create tax schemes to lower or recharacterize their own income while sticking it to the poor and middle class. Mitt's great new idea is to eliminate cap gains. helps the .01% of taxpayers who reep 50% of this benefit. That is the real transfer of wealth that has gone on for decades.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • DanC

      Jordans, there is a huge error in this line of thinking in that the "rich" are not "taking" anything from the lower classes. This is all a matter of how much the Government takes from each individuals earnings (which they earned). The government already takes much more from the upper classes to pay for the services of the government of which 1/3 goes to fund services for the poor which they receive no benefit for other then it being part of their "charity". Saying that taxing the upper class at a lower tax rate for capital gains after they have already been taxed on the initial earnings is really quite ridiculous. Our tax system is quite progressive enough and yet we still have more poverty and government support than ever. What the poor need are jobs and better jobs and government cannot create these. The government can only "take" from the upper classes and there is not enough to solve all of society's problems with this approach.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Al

    We'll take the Mormon this time. We already have endured the evil of Obama for too many years. He is the worst of the worst. We aren't picking a pastor. We are picking a President. We know what a president stands for and Obama is NOT of Presidential calibre !!!!!!!!! Not even close.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • rolen

      So how did you feel about Bush the Lesser?

      October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • visitor

      Yeah you would have taken the Mormon last time also.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  10. Rob

    There is no such thing as a good christian. Religion is the root of all evil.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • ArthurP

      The only good Christian is a deceased Christian. The problem is they just will not stay dead......

      October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • mlblogssargeanton

      There is such a thing as a good Christian. YOU sound like the root of all evil.

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

      So Religion causes crime and murder? Would all evil disappear if religion did not exist. No! It is human selfishness and greed that are at the root of all human evil. Religion is a vehicle and unfortunately, like all vehicles, it has suffered under human greed and selfishness.

      you are a fool and lack careful reasoning.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      There is not one good Christian, not even Christ, but there is one that is good and that one Spirit is God.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • noefqa

      So ArthurP is admitting that the ressurection is real and thus Christianity is real? Wow! thanks for the support ArthurP.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Mike

      Arethur P: I don't agree that the only good Christian is a deceased one...although, unless the Lord returns beforehand, the great common denominator for all people is the grave. But you got it right when you observed that they don't stay dead. Praise God for that!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • noefqa

      John P. Tarver
      If there are no good people, then why would a good spirit create only evil people? Thus if there is a good spirit named GOD, then there are good people whom it created.

      Your argument is flawed and illogical.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • dave

      Nice try Rob. Not a good Christian. I'm a Christian and I don't beleive that Religion should be in Politics – it should be separate. Nice stereotyping though...

      October 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  11. prezhussein

    blah blah blah "Progressives" defining Christianity? Puleeze

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  12. Frank

    A self-important laughing hyena, a pro MB hag who has no idea how to hold onto a husband, much less run foreign policy and a POTUS with the worst record in office since Jimmy Carter. Name three things you get when you vote for the incombent.... Sorry trolls, even the coolaide ran out. The emporer is naked without the teleprompter and the majority see him for the two bit hustling poseur he is. Fear not though. Most of you will have jobs again when President Romney fixes the mess of these past four years. It couldn't come any sooner for Romney; the next president of the USA. If wishful thinking could translate into votes then maybe some of you groupies might have a chance but the conclusion is forgone. He's on his way out. Bye bye Barry. Hello Mitt. Welcome Mitt. Welcome the new president of the free world. G-d bless you President Romney! G-d bless the USA! You'll have plenty of opportunity to become good losers. Get used to the idea from now and it won't be so painful on election day. Try laughing at nothing like Biden and then at least you'll feel happier, LOL.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Myrta

      You poor unhappy soul. How did you get so warped after arriving on this planet?

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

      Funny, there was no teleprompter at the second debate, yet Obama still whooped Romney's lying, flip-floppin' ass!!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  13. jj

    It does not matter at all what kind of Christian Obama is or whether he is a Christian at all. This country was built on the separation of church and state, and American are free to have any kind of religion they want, or none at all.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  14. JD

    Face it, all of the haters out there including the Christian haters, will never like anything about our president. He's too this – not enough of that – he's too black or not black enough – in their eyes he will never do anything correctly.

    Mr. President, just be yourself and ignore them. It's fine. You're doing a good job considering what was handed to you and I think you're on the correct path.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • mlblogssargeanton

      I'm a Christian and I do not hate Obama. I feel sorry for the man who was thrust into a job he was never qualified for ...and being a muslim socialist didn't help him. Obama, a Christian? Don't make me laugh.

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

      Well, I'm not a Christian, in fact I think religions are non-sense, but what I hate most is people pretending to believe in something just to get appeal. I don't see how Obama can consider himself to be a Christian when most of his beliefs are that of an Atheist. Look, I don't care if you’re an Atheist, just tell us and get it over with. Stop pretending!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  15. qwer

    A tree should be judged by its fruits according to Jesus. Name one fruit that has been produced by the conservative christian evangelical fundamentalist tree.

    As shown by these posts only hateful, divisive thorns have been produced.

    Perhaps we should rip it out by its roots and burn it like Jesus tells us to do.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Acording to the New Testament, a Peson should be judged by their fruits and Christ demonstrated the proper response with the fig tree. As is written, "A mustard plant grown up like a tree in my father's courtyard".

      October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  16. Christian

    As devoted Christian, I can forgive Obama for his failed policies, lack of a Christianity, and guiding this country down the wrong path. But part of forgiveness is to move on and that is what I will do on election day as I vote for a better leader.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Christianity does forgive, in response to repentance. What you are describing is Ba'al worship.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • jim

      John – thank you for pointing out what every Christian should know. Unfortunatly, most evangelicals do not.

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

      forgive yourself first for refusing to accept his proclaimed christianity, which appears to be more viable then yours. Faith is just tha,t faith. Your refusual to accept his is your own flaw.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  17. Jules

    I find it interesting that this article mentions the names of the two men most responsible for my leaving the Baptist faith. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. Both men distort what the Bible says for their own self-interests. Their brand of Christianity teaches intolerance, misunderstanding and hate. I left the Baptist faith because I could no longer make excuses for, or justify, what the "leaders" of my faith preached.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Graham is not a Baptist, but thank you for posting such an inspired fantasy.

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

      Whatever makes you feel good.....

      October 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Myrta

      Good for you, Jules. The Bible thumpin' God Talkin' fanatics like evangelicals and the ones you've mentioned have so maligned Jesus and perverted His Word as to make the term "christian" an abomination before the God of all. As one who believes in Jesus I once saw the perfect bumper sticker: "Jesus, save me from Your followers!"

      October 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  18. jpmichigan

    ANYONE CAN BOAST THEY ARE CHRISTAIN, ONE NEEDS TO LOOK AT THE LIVES THEY LEAD AND HOW THEY DEMONSTRATE THEIR BELIEFS!

    October 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • qwer

      Thank you for clarifying that fact that Obama is a Christian and not an evangelical fundamentalist!

      October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Myrta

      AMEN! Clint Eastwood's dress rehearsal took place at a location generally lamented to have more and more empty seats...a CHURCH.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  19. Sparkly

    Mr. Cass have you met Matthew 7? Reading it again without your blinders on might be a good idea. Because you, Mr. Cass, and your ilk, are why so many good Christians are leaving organized religion. You condemn those of us who aren't right-wing Republicans, make us feel unwelcome and unwanted in churches and push us out the door. Good luck explaining to Jesus why you shoved people away from Him instead of towards.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  20. Gerri

    If you vote for Willard the Rat Romney, you will allow the White House to be turned into the set of Sister Wives. DON'T DO IT Amerikkka! Don't let the followers of the Angel Moroni step foot in the Capital. This is a cult that needs to be stopped! Vote for Obama and stop it!

    October 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      More Liberal hate speech and online bullying.

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

      Gerri, while you may have a point to make please be careful not to carry it so far that you, too, fail to be "Christ-like" in your estimation and pronouncements about others. One major thing that people are overlooking and which apparently didn't sink in during American History classes in school is that what we are seeing in Romney and super wealthy Republicans is a resurgence of the Robber Barons of 100 years ago. With the $$ dripping from their fingers at the expense of the middle and lower classes in sweat shops the Rockefellers, Carnegies, JP Morgan, etc. ruled this country for their own profit (the poor be damned) at the turn of the last century. They are trying it again...Paul Ryan's public espousal of Ayn Rand's philosophy of self-centeredness makes it so obvious. Take care to aim your arrows well when going after evil. Remember the best way to put our a fire is to douse the source at the bottom.

      October 22, 2012 at 12:52 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.