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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. brian

    When Gandhi was questioned by the missionary E. Stanley Jones why he rejected becoming a follower of Christ he stated,
    “Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.“

    I happen to agree with Gandhi, and perhaps we need a new term for those who actually follow christ but don't adhere to the dogma of the popular church. It's a bit ironic because the best of christianity is often seen in rebels like Martin Luther, Menno Simons who were leaders in the reformation. At his root Jesus is a rebel who fought against any who claimed power, over turned tables, and there are too many mega churches which openly tell followers that following mammon is compatible with christianity. Capitalism is a idea which promotes greed as a good, but Jesus described as Mammon.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Diana

      Brian, you and Gandi are both right on target! My sentiments exactly!

      October 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  2. Jannae

    jp...not funny and you are ignorant and a racist!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Zach

      jp' joke was classless, but in no way was it racist. When people through the term "racist" around without even really understanding what it means, it deminishes the actual impact of a truely racist act. Diassagreeing is not racism.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Eva Carter

    Before you say that Obama is so different, you need to study about Mormonism. I think most people of the US would feel a lot different about Romney, when they know more about his religion. I personally believe some of the things that Mormon's believe, but not all. They believe in a second book that goes along with the bible and that Joeseph Smith wrote it. Please read more about Romney's faith before you vote for him.
    I personally think if Congress would help Obama, we would be doing much better as a country!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • John Geheran

      Eva, try this on for size.........."I will stand with Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction " (page 261, The Audacity of Hope). As Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, once observed "This is Islam, an absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, a rotting corpse that poisons our lives". That about somes it up.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Jannae

    The hijacked Republican Party we knew in prior years is gone, folks! Obama will win this election!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  5. jp

    A Keynan, a Marxist and a Muslim walk into a bar.....

    the bartender asks....what can i get you Mr. President

    October 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • IfyouthinkObamaisamuslim, we have bigger issues

      I still can't believe to this day, people are calling Obama a muslim. Honestly, the president is breath of fresh air when it comes to politicians constantly talking about god. God is something that should be a part of your private life, but it has no place in public policy anymore. As a race, humans are slowly growing out of the antique notion of god and are moving forward to a better understanding of spirituality that is frankly not going to be under any organized religion we know of.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  6. why2

    It is very interesting to read what is posted here. So many are reporting what they "heard" in an expanded whisper-down-the-lane game. The President goes to church but because the First Amendment says that the state cannot favor one religion above the others, chooses not to speak about his faith while in office. It is only a big deal because so many think that because his father, who did not raise him, was Muslim he is supposed to be Muslim. Nothing he has done shows that he advances any religion above another, which is how it should be. The President is the President to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus,... and should not subject himself to proving himself a certain kind of Christian. Many of the people quoted here would have said JFK was not a Christian because he was Catholic. Who cares.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • sammiegbaker

      Your reply left many gaping holes in your promotion of Obama. Number one, he was educated in a Muslim School in Indonesia where he was a citizen of that country. Was he ever granted citizenship in the USA? He is a Muslim and cannot come right out and say that he is not for fear of his Tolerant comrades killing him and his family. Facts speak volumnes much more than rhetoric. I have seen the mideast conflict from both sides. Islam is not a tolerant belief, period.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • why2

      I am not promoting the President over Romney, I am saying that it doesn't matter whether or not he is a Christian according to those who are listed. He does not need to be granded US citizenship because he was born in the US and spent most of his life in the US. I too understand the Middle East from many angles. Just like there are crazy Christians, there are crazy muslims and crazy Jews. Do not confuse the few with the many.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • John Geheran

      Why2........ Try this on for size: "I will stand with Islam should the political winds shift in an ugly direction" (page 261, "The Audacity of Hope). As Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, once observed "This is Islam, an absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, a rotting corpse that poisons our lives". That about sums it up.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • John Geheran

      Why2......try to find the crazy Jew or Christian anywhere near this pattern:

       RFK assassination; Munich Olympics massacre; Teheran US embassy takeover; Pan Am Flight 103; US Marine barracks in Beirut blown up; Pope John Paul II shot; cruise ship Achille Lauro hijacked – disabled man murdered; TWA 847 hijacked – US Navy  diver murdered; WTC bombed; US embassies Kenya Tanzania bombed; USS Cole bombed 17 crew killed; 4 airliners hijacked to destroy WH, Twin Towers, Pentagon; Daniel Pearl kidnapped/beheaded; 13 US Ft Hood Soldiers murdered; Theo Van Gogh murdered for producing film "Submission"; US Ambassador to Libya assassinated; US Embassy in Cairo ransacked; Toulouse, France, 4 Jewish children murdered
       

      Nope, no pattern here!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  7. mike electrician

    I want MITT to explain why minorities were not allowed to be a part of the Mormon faith until recently?? I guess they ran out of those while guys who come to ring our doorbells.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • jp

      Because of the DEMOCRATS....minorities were not allowed to be Americans...as Obama to explain that

      October 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • lando

      I think someone received the wrong "bashing the mormon's memo." When were minorities ever banished from the LDS church? hmm... looks like even wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mormons) disagrees with you.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Zach

      That is the most ignorant statement of the day. Momonism has never kept out minorities. Get off the blogs and do some research of ypour own. Youi might actually learn some real facts.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  8. serana

    Fundamentalist christians preach from the scofield bible, financed by and written to push zionist policies.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Anchorite

      Oh you're just saying that because it's true.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  9. DAMN

    Really, We are mixing politics with religion!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • lando

      I find zero offense in the evaluation of a politician's moral and ethical foundation. For, it is that foundation which will guide his/her decision-making paradigm.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  10. Chickenhawk

    It always amazes me that the self-proclaimed "true" Christians among us are the least Christian in their behavior and beliefs. Read your New Testament Mr. Cass and meet the real Jesus Christ. You might learn something about love, tolerance and understanding.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • jp

      and GOVERNMENT arbitrated SOCIAL JUSTICE??

      October 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  11. Reasonably

    Mormansim: adjusting it's scriptures to gain followers no matter how hypocritical it looks since 1978

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  12. Jannae

    The Christian-right should be called the Christian-wrong...

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  13. jbmar1312

    To parphrase the Scripture "Who can know the heart but God". So we do not know, except what we presume about folks by what they say and do, many times if the are Christian or not. We are told to judge the "fruit" of a person. How they act, what they say, etc. One can only be a Christian if you accept the biblical steps to faith, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believe in him might not perish but have everlasting life". To become a civilized society took sever laws. To transform peoples who lived 3 to 4 thousand years ago penalties had to be stiff. Life was much more difficult then than now. God knew that. By the time Jesus was born civility, education, love of family and nation beginning to take hold. A new covenant not based on the old laws and animal sacrifice was established. "Love one another as I have loved you" and Greater love has no man than that he would lay down his life for his brother"! And Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father accept by me" ! I choose to believe in and TRY to follow the way of Jesus. Not very good at it but I am trying. We need social welfare, but we need it with accountability. Not generation after generation dependent on government. That is salvery, not freedom! We must help those on assistance learn to be self-sufficient so that they can help provide for themselves. But those that are helpless and needy need our compassion, not our judgement. How many of you that post these sites have worked a soup kitchen, used the money you would by your loved ones Christmas gifts with to buy gifts for the needy family sccross town? How many of you have sought to serve and build a relationship with a disabled veteran, a mentally handicapped soul or simply not cursed an elderly couple driving to slow for you? How many of you are still afraid to reach accross the aisle and grab a white person or black person's hand in friendship and truly love them instead of being afraid or angry at them for no reason at all?

    May God forgive us for sinful and prideful nature.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  14. Zach

    Observer

    The Bible never mentions abortion.

    Of course the Bible does not mention abortion. That act was not even concieved of when the Bible was written. At that time simply the idea of a child being concieved was a gift. the actual licve birth of a child was look at as nothing short of a miracle. What the Bible does mention though is that God knew us before we were even concieved. We were named and counted as his children. This leads to the point that life begines at conception and theorfore abaortion is taking a life. that is all that "Radical Pro-lifers" are trying to say. they do not always go about it the right way however. Every single life is importantant and ONLY God has the right to decide who has the ability to live and who should not. (This is why, the more i study God's word; the more I oppose the death penalty). It should never be the government's responsiblity to make this decision.

    As far as the Bible commanding us to take care of each other. This is absolutely true. It does. It does not however command us to take up a government to take care of the poor for us. In fact, that takes the entire idea out of the hands of the indivdual and therefore makes it meaningless to God. It is our INDIVUAL responsility to love each other and care for each other.

    This article is quite possible the most biased "news" article i have ever seen on any news website. It was also quite fundementally factually inaccurate. I could not retend to know everything about God or the Bible. i do hpowever work to improve my relationship with God every single day and i am being to understand he teachings and instructipons to us. In no way does it ever say, "pick and choose what you want to believe to suite your personal or political aspirations ". this is something that both sides do quite frequently.

    I will end be saying this. The Bible teaches us that Christians are identified by not what they say, but by how they act towards others. With this fact, i can safely say that President Obama is in know way a true Christian as I have come to know it.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Anchorite

      Yes it does, God specifically commands his people to kill pregnant women via what what might be termed...death by abortion:
      "The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open." (Hosea 13:16)

      October 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • why2

      "he is know way a Christian..." after mentioning God throughout your post, you are now presuming to speak for God and say that Obama does not fit your understanding so he can't be. Interesting. And, the individual responsibility to care for one another has worked really well over the last couple of thousand years when people were left to starve and die in the streets. Did it occur to you that by paying taxes to support government programs that you are individually helping plus making sure that others are do the right thing? If we left the "christians" to do the right thing by helping those less fortunate, we would wait a long time for real help. The local shelter in my city makes the homeless sit through a church service before they can get food and/or shelter which sounds like they do not want to help but convert. Then if you need more help, you must attend a certain number of services to qualify for help with housing or a job. If you are not Christian, too bad. The other shelters are smaller and fill more quickly, partly because there are not "christian" strings attached to the help. If there is a need, there should be help, not judgment.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Jannae

    Tonight I'm picturing Romney with devil horns and a tail!!

    October 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  16. Reasonably

    The GOP: striving for Christian Sharia law since 1978

    October 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  17. serana

    One can only be a christian if one rejects the Bible – 4 books chosen by a majority of bishops at the conference of Nicene where they invented trinity, something Jesus rejected. The bible's teachings have very little if anything to do with what Jesus preached, universality of religion based on worship of God Alone without deification of powerless humans.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  18. Jannae

    Any middle-class or below citizen of the U.S. would be crazy to vote for Romney, regardless of religion. If he wins this election due to religion it will be catastrophic to our Country. You Christian-right folks will get what you deserve. Try to think of this rationally, please. Who will lead our Country in the right direction? Don't lie to yourselves with this by being so stubborn.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • John Geheran

      The Gospel according to Obama "I will stand with Islam should the political winds shift in an ugly direction" (page 261, The Audacity of Hope). That about sums it up.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Howard

      Obama has been using, and exploiting the middle class and below, since day one. In reality, his failed policies have raised the prices of everything they need to survive. Thanks to Obama, he children and grandchildren of the middle class and below, will suffer with enormous Obama spending and debt. Immigrants, who risked everything to come here, are also being exploited by Obama, for their votes ... for Obama is systematically eliminating opportunities for individuals to build a business, and provide a better life for their children. Obama is turning America into the same kind of third world country, these people escaped from. And, regarding religion ... Obama uses religion, when it benefits him. He attended the anti-American, racist church for TWENTY YEARS, to establish a political base with the black community ... only to throw them under the bus, when they became a political liability.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  19. Reasonably

    Religion: putting the fun in fundamental since 10000bc.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  20. Steve D

    The way conservatives read the Bible, they'd all think Tom Sawyer is a book about a fence.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:59 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.