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The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET

The Gospel according to Obama

By John Blake, CNN

President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”

The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:

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

Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for “the least of these,’’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.

“Barack Obama has referred to his faith more times than most presidents ever have, but for many it’s the wrong kind of faith,” says Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, an evangelical activist group based in Washington that focuses on poverty and social justice issues.

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“It is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”

Some see a 'different' kind of Christian

Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.

No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.”

“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”

Some Christians, however, still see Obama as the “other.” He doesn’t act or talk like other Christians, says the Rev. Gary Cass, a conservative Christian president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

“I just don’t see or hear in his accounts the kind of things that I’ve heard as a minister for over 25 years coming from the mouths of people who have genuinely converted to Christianity,” says Cass, pastor of Christ Church in San Diego.

Cass says he’s never heard Obama say he’s “born-again.” There’s no emotional conversion story to hang onto.

Obama talks about his faith and attends church, but Cass says that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian.

“Joining a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. “You can put me in the garage, but that doesn’t turn me into a car.”

The origins of Obama’s faith

The suspicion about Obama’s faith may seem odd at first because he’s written and spoken so much about his spiritual evolution in his two autobiographies, “Dreams of my Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Other books, like “The Faith of Obama” by Stephen Mansfield, also explore Obama’s beliefs.

The 1925 “Monkey” trial of John Scopes, a high school biology teacher who taught evolution, drove fundamentalists underground, some say.

Mansfield says Obama is the first president who wasn’t raised in a Christian home. Obama’s mother was an atheist and his grandparents were religious skeptics (Obama’s family has challenged the description of his mother as an atheist. Obama called her “the most spiritually awakened” person he’d ever known, and his sister called their mother an agnostic).

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Mansfield called Obama’s boyhood a “religious swirl.  He was exposed to Catholicism, Islam, and strains of Hinduism and Buddhism while growing up in Indonesia during the 1960s.

“In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology,” Obama said in Mansfield’s book. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

Obama became a Christian while he was a community organizer in Chicago. He joined a predominantly black United Church of Christ. The UCC became the first mainline Protestant denomination to officially support same-sex marriage in 2005.

Obama’s faith showed many of the elements of a liberal Protestant church: an emphasis on the separation of church and state, religious tolerance and the refusal to embrace a literal reading of the Bible.

In a 2006 speech before a Sojourners meeting, Obama talked about his approach to the Bible:

“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”

When many people think of Obama’s religious experience in Chicago, though, they cite his exposure to the angry sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and “black liberation theology,” a movement that emerged in the late 1960s and blended the Social Gospel with the black power movement.

Bass, the church historian, says another black pastor shaped Obama’s theology more: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

He attended liberal Protestant seminaries where he learned about the Social Gospel’s concern for the entire person, soul and body.

Obama has reached out to evangelical leaders like Rick Warren, seen here praying at Obama’s inauguration, but many still doubt his faith.

King once wrote that “any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them …is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”

But King and the black church also fused the Social Gospel with an emotional fervor missing from white Protestant churches, Bass says. Other presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were influenced by the Social Gospel, but they weren’t shaped by the black church.

“This is the first time we’re hearing the Social Gospel from the perspective of the black church from the Oval Office. It makes it warmer, more emotive, more communal," Bass says. "There is less fear of linking the Social Gospel with the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Exodus and Jesus’ healings.”

The emphasis on community uplift - not individual attainment - may strike some Americans as socialist. But the emphasis on community is part of King’s “Beloved Community,” Bass says.

King once wrote that all people are caught up in an “inescapable network of mutuality… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.”

“When I listen to Obama, I don’t hear communism, I hear the Beloved Community,” Bass says. “But a lot of white Americans don’t hear that because they never sat in those churches and heard it over and over again. It’s the whole theology that motivated MLK and the civil rights movement.”

Obama is not a Christian, some think

For some, Obama’s actions in the Oval Office seem to contradict Christianity.

Jesus was nonviolent. Obama has ramped up drone attacks in Afghanistan that have not only removed terrorists, but killed civilians.

The Bible talks about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Obama invoked Jesus when he came out in support of same-sex marriage. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule," Obama told ABC News during his announcement.

Jesus talked about helping the poor. But he never said anything about creating a massive health care law that taxed the rich to help the poor, some Christians argue.

But Wallis of Sojourners says Obama’s push for health care was a supreme example of Christian faith.

A situation where 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance is “a fundamental Christian problem,” Wallis says.

“Health is such a Gospel issue. Jesus was involved in healing all the time, and to have some people excluded from health care because they lack wealth is a fundamental Christian contradiction.”

Wallis has been one of the most persistent defenders of Obama’s faith. But no matter how much Scripture he and others cite, doubts about Obama’s faith have followed him throughout his political career.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson once said that Obama distorted the traditional understanding of the Bible “to fit his own world, his own confused theology.” The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, publicly questioned Obama’s faith, then later apologized.

Conservative Christian books and websites are filled with stories of Obama allegedly trying to suppress the nation’s Christian heritage.

The Rev. Steven Andrew, author of “Making a Strong Nation,” says Obama is trying to change the national motto from “In God we Trust” to “Out of Many, One,” and he’s ordered the Pentagon to remove biblical verses from its daily report.

“That’s the most serious thing someone can do to a nation, trying to separate a nation from God,” he says. “He seems to be trying to change the Christian laws our Founding Fathers made.”

Andrew says Obama is actually an enemy of Christianity. In his book, Andrew argues that the Founding Fathers were Christians who created a “covenant Christian nation” and calls for a “national repentance.”

“I think he’s an anti-Christ,” Andrew says.  Cass, of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, says Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor through social justice isn’t Christianity.

Christians who talk about “social justice” are often practicing “warmed-over Marxism,” Cass says.

“Do I believe in caring for the poor and oppressed? Yes. But you don’t do it along the lines of communistic redistributing.”

Obama’s support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights also disqualifies him from being a Christian, Cass says.

“It’s the most pro-abortion administration in the history of America.  On every social issue – the sanctity of life and of marriage between men and women – Obama is on the wrong side of every moral issue,” he says.

He says a progressive Christian is a contradiction.

“No Christian says I believe in Jesus Christ and I reject the Bible,” Cass says. “These progressives who say they’re Christians are liars. They’re using Christianity as a guise to advance their own agenda.”

Cass says he doesn’t know what Obama believes.

“He’s conflicted,” Cass says. “He has Muslim sympathies from his upbringing."

How progressive Christianity lost the public square

There was a time when Obama’s brand of Christianity would have been understood by millions of Americans, historians say.

Obama along with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha leave church after attending a Sunday prayer service.

The Social Gospel and progressive Protestantism dominated the American religious square from the end of the 19th century up to the 1960s. At times, the traditions blended together so seamlessly that it was hard to tell the difference.

The Social Gospel rose out of the excesses of the Gilded Age in the 1880s, when urban poverty spread across America as immigrants crammed into filthy slums to work long hours in unsafe conditions.

Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor in a New York slum, urged the church to take “social sins” as seriously as they took individual vices. Churches began feeding the poor and fighting against other social ills.

“The notion that religious people should be about feeding the poor and helping the homeless is a carryover of the Social Gospel,” says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at Wooster College in Ohio. The Social Gospel was adopted by many Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th century, says Bass, the church historian. Some of the Social Gospel churches grew popular because they provided the poor with everything from English classes to sewing instructions and basketball leagues.

“The first American megachurches were liberal, Social Gospel urban churches,” Bass says.

The Social Gospel, though, sparked a backlash from a group of pastors during World War I. They were called fundamentalists. They published a pamphlet listing the “fundamentals of the faith:” Biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth, Adam and Eve.

But the fundamentalists lost the battle for public opinion during the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925. John Scopes, a high school science teacher, was tried for violating a Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of evolution.

Though Scopes lost, fundamentalist Christians were mocked in the press as “anti-intellectual rubes,” and a number of states suspended pending legislation that would have made teaching evolution illegal, says David Felten, author of “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.”

The trial drove fundamentalists underground where they created a subculture, their own media networks, seminaries and megachurches, he says.

That subculture thrives today, Felten says, and has infiltrated the political arena. It has created an “alternative intellectual universe” that denies science, rational thought – and any beliefs that violate their definition of being a Christian, Felten says.

“They have millions of adherents who believe in a literal six day creation and a literal Adam and Eve – so it’s not a stretch to believe that President Obama is a Kenyan-born secret Muslim bent on destroying the country,” Felten says.

Progressive Christians eventually lost the messaging wars to this fundamentalist subculture, Bass says. Their nuanced view of faith couldn’t compete with the “spiritual triumphalism” of conservatives.

“If you get up and say we’re right and we have the truth, then you have a powerful public message,” she says. “They have a theological advantage in the public discourse. It’s comforting to have things clear, to have things black and white.”

The result today is that the Protestant tradition that shapes much of Obama’s Christianity is fading from public view.

The share of Protestant Christians in the United States has dropped below 50% of the population, according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

White mainline Protestants make up only 15% of the nation’s population, the survey revealed. The study also found that the fastest growing "religious group" in the country is people who are not affiliated with any religion.

Another generation of Christians, though, may bring a new version of progressive Christianity back.

The lines between younger conservative Christians and progressives are blurring, says Marcia Pally, author of “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.”

Pally spent six years traveling across America to interview evangelicals. She says her research revealed that more than 60% of young evangelicals support more governmental programs to aid the needy, as well as more emphasis on economic justice and environmental protection issues.

“What’s interesting is that these values, associated with Obama and the black Protestant tradition are now also the values of a growing number of white evangelicals,” she says.

Her perspective suggests that Obama’s faith may be treated by history in two ways:

He could be seen as the last embodiment of a progressive version of Christianity that went obsolete.

Or he could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evangelical • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

soundoff (8,626 Responses)
  1. Gr8Xpectations

    Christians, For 2000 years, theologians have worked to define who is or is not a Christian. Their efforts have emphasized the apostles creed, the fruits of the spirit, baptism and other sacraments, and a few other things.

    Our generation has tossed all this aside in favor of a litmus test involving the issues of abortion, gay marriage, an anti-government and pro-captialsm agenda, and elimination of the separation of church and state.

    Essentially, you have sold a sacred and Biblical message of compassion, forgiveness, and salvation in exchange for Republican political power. Is it any wonder that the new generation is predominently secular? Our nation's young people are increasingly turning their hearts away from God, and while you may be tempted to blame it on technology or the influence of "the world", you'd be wiser to look at the hyperpartisan and hypocritical message they're getting from Christians themselves.

    One last reminder, it is for GOD to decide what is in Obama's heart.... not for you to make a judgement based on your own faulty, human biases.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  2. chris reid

    There must be times when the president says to himself This day is going to be a tough day.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • jp

      Today is one of those days

      October 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  3. confused

    You republicans will say or print anything won't you...now you are questioning his religion?

    You should be ashamed and I hope one day you are held accountable.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sharol B

      During the last election President Obama stated “We are five days away from fundamentally changing America.” He meant that. He has spent the last four years emphasizing that government is central to our existence, and that the individual must be subordinated for the greater good. He does not accept that the real greater good comes from the efforts of individuals exercising their freedom and that government exists principally to enable them to pursue their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  4. logic7

    Anyone know who the most descriminated group of people are in America today? Christians. Comments?

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Gr8Xpectations

      I'm a Christian, and I find what you're saying to be untrue. I can worship how I want, believe what I want, read what I want, pray wherever and whenever I want, and follow my conscience more freely than any generation of Christians before me.

      I know it's popular to whine about how terribly victimized we all are, but I don't think that impingement of our "right" to cram faith down other peoples throats is the equivalent of true persecution.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      did you mean discriminated upon or discriminating?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      You poor, poor, person....hated because you believe in Jesus.....my heart aches your you. It does.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Gr8Xpectations

      I'm sure there are times when a teacher wrongly forbids a child to pray privately because she doesn't understand the law, or times when an employee is scolded for greeting a customer with "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays".

      But for Christians who think this consitutes "persecution", I might suggest you read more about the lives and deaths of the saints of old, or the plight of Christians in China and many countries even today. Perhaps it will cure you of the need to feel victimized, and provide a little perspective on the real meaning of persecution.

      I, myself, am a Christian... in a very secular social environment, and have really had very few problems.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • terre haute

      @GR8Xpectations.

      Thank you. Very well put. American Christians think they're 'persecuted'. Wow. And they say the 47% are the victims...

      October 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  5. Jeffrey F

    Of course he is a christian because he says he's a christian. There is no litmus test for christianity or any other religion. It's about a spiritual connection you have with YOUR god, not with your neighboors god. Dear Christian fundamentalists, i employ you to please stop citing the bible as absolute truth, you look silly to the rest of the world. I come from a christian family, no one in my family has ever or would ever stone another person to death, drug their father to "lay" with him to have children, or sell a loved one into slavery. Please follow the message not the words. Use your leaders to help guide you to that message, but walk the path yourself. Obama may not be your "ideal" christian, but he is trying to be his "ideal" christian. If you wont let him celebrate his faith, atleast let him run the country, whether you like it or not, he has the job for a few more months. Sincerely, an Athiest

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Brandon

      Well Stated!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Ben

      Atheism is also an "absolute" position. You just defeated your own argument.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Jeffrey F

      Ben, thank you for telling me what I believe.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Zach

      By simple definition it is impossible to be a Christian and not believe in the Bible as an "absolute". Whether you like it or not, that is the way it is. I know that there are other religions. i respect peoples' rights to worship watever they choose to. I also reserve the right to believe that they are wrong. If asked, i will tell them that they are wrong. i will use the words of the Biblke to try to convince them of this. It is what i have been commanded to to by MY GOD. The ONE and ONLY God. If this offends you, then you have the right to say what you want, but i will say that you choosing to believe in something other than what i believe in is no offensive to me and my beliefe should not be offensive to you....unless of course you are afraid that i am right.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • terre haute

      @Ben.

      Respectfully, that's a strawman argument. What the original post actually said was, "absolute truth", not "absolute position". Both atheism and "strict construction" fundamentalism are absolute positions, but "absolute truth" is a very different thing. That's a great debate to have, and I personally believe that if you lay out Christian theology point by point and let each side objectively prove their "truth", the atheist ends up with the larger stack of chips, but that's not germane to the argument.

      Christians disagree widely about how literally the bible should be intrepreted, i.e. what is the "absolute truth". Trans-substantiation is one example; there are many more. I think the poster's advice on interpretation makes the case of belief much stronger, honestly, not weaker.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Jeffrey F

      Zach, thanks for sharing your opinions and faith.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  6. sandy otanez

    According to the scriptures....."He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone...." "Love one another...."

    October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • JJ

      Psalm 137:9 – Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sandy: keep reading. Jesus' most scathing remarks were reserved for the religious right (Pharisees), though he didn't hold back with the far left (Sadducees) either.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  7. ANN

    Where is the Morman magic underpants story about Mitt? Gotta write about both sides religion or it's one sided.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Symbolic of putting on the full armor of God.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  8. Brandon

    This article is the VERY reason why we should have separation of church and state. I'm a christian but I feel as if there are so MANY denominations and translations of the Bible AND other religious text that running a country based on religion would bring that nation to its knees. Therefore, the reason why many of the Founding Fathers believed in the separation of church and state. Obama and Romney are religious. Enough said.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  9. nb123

    Obama will say or do anything to get elected again and continue to destroy this country, lies, lies, lies, and if you vote for him you too will be held accountable when it all comes crashing down. And for the Mormon haters, bet you call yourselves Christians, you are Hippocrates and the worst of the worst! Typical of today's Christians, you make me sick.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Terminator Jesus: I'm be back . . . to kill everyone

      You haven't been paying attention, have you? Romney is the one who is constatntly changing his positions to get votes.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • nb123

      No, you haven't been listening for 4 years, stupid is as stupid does.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Absurd

      You're getting Romney and Obama confused. Romney has proven over time that he will toady up to anyone that will give him votes and twists himself into a logic pretzel to film flam everyone.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • jp

      Terminator Jesus: I'm be back . . . to kill everyone

      really...

      I am AGAINST the gays
      I am FOR the GAYS

      I am AGAINST the gays
      I am FOR the GAYS

      I am AGAINST the gays
      I am FOR the GAYS

      B.H. Obama

      October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Kraig

      Well it is your Robmey who has been lying and can not seem to hold a position on anything. Get a grip. Elihu!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      nb123: f you and f your empty proxy threats.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • TAK

      Hippocrates? I was always partial to Socrates myself.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • suzanne young

      this is all so ridiculous and only shows your lack of consiousness and ignorance! Trying to proove that some 2000 yr old history book, (i.e. your bible) dictates every individuals life's journey! I thought this country was based on religious freedom? inotherwards why can't our president be a agnostic or a buddist or even a good muslim or a hindi or admit he's not comfortable with organized religion???? Who really give a sh@@t??? let's concentrate on the important issues, like the inability of this countries middle class to make ends meet!!! the lies about the war machine and the dirty spending on what is really issues over oil and trying to exert out dominence....the amount of money spent on war is hideous and could do much to help the usa get back on it;s feet....obesity, (this country is embarrasing and michelle Obama has tried to help) doesn;t your bible state that the body is the temple? well all those big fatties out there have polluted their bodies which in turn pollutes their minds and souls and i've noticed effects the ability to make sound and clear decisions....stupid fat wallmart crowd that wouldn[t know a good decent politician if it stood in front of them...trailor park mentality, brainwashed by fox news and other diatribes... unfortunately even some of the educated seem to display such ignorance, including many of the rt wing extremists! really scary!...so please stop saying that Barrock is the cause of your woes and that he is bringing this country to it's downfall...more like people like you who talk and talk but have no real solutions other than to hate our president....he had nothing to do with the so called collapse! and your ignorance is embarressing whoever you are....grow up and do your homework. you don;t seem very what you call Christian to me! A typical loud mouth blamer hiding under the christian guise! you need to learn to see the human side of our president...he has presented many great initiatives to congress and has been filibustered each time...the good ole boys don;t want him to succeed cause they want to go back to gloritying Reagon who was definately not he sharpest tool in the shed contrary to media brainwash! Stupid stupid people in America getting stupider all the time!

      October 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Zach

      Suzzane, the President has the right to be whatever he wants to be. We have the right to voite for him, or not vote for hime because of this though. It is no sectert however, that he would have never been elected if he had claimed to be anything but a Christian from the start.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  10. jimmy Bivins

    What is the RITE of the church?

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • jobseeker

      It's a travesity that EVERYONE tries to use Jesus Christ like a propaganda piece to promote some social / political agenda. it's disgusting! And for utterly clueless idiots like the noodle spined idiot John Blake to comment on Christanity in some highminded sanctimonius fashion in Christ's name is absurd! Here ya go as far as reference politically: "My kingdom is not of this world." Jesus is not part of our political system! How about an issue; "Suffer the children to come unto me and forbid them not." The poor you have with you always and when you can, do good to them. But me you have not always."

      October 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Kitty Litter

    He's about as Christian as my cat.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • PG50

      Kitty, Please do not insult your cat... ;)

      October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  12. Absurd

    Having religion as some sort of litmus test for a president is asinine.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Don Lupo

      Agreed. Religion has no place in government.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Zach

      Wheteher you like it or not, that is the way it is. The President would have never been elected if he had not said he was Christian.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  13. Ray USA

    Obama is a much misunderstood person. Probably because he is Black. Probably because he does not vigorously defend the falsehoods and misconceptions perpetuated against him by the conservatives and the extreme right. Obama knows that history will be the greatest judge. And history will judge him as a great man far ahead of his time. A man who persevered and did his best despite all the hostility, non-cooperationand roadblocks put by the Repiblicans and the conservatives in his path during his first term. It will be great loss to our country if he does not win a second term.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Absurd

      I agree 100%. He's the right man for our time, whether or not the troglodytes ever get it or not.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Kitty Litter

      First, he's half-black. Second he's misunderstood because he's a politician. Race has nothing to do with it.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • JJ

      Do the other patients in your asylum get to post on CNN, too?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Zach

      History will most likely judeg him as the most inept and unsucessful President EVER. Give hime four more years and that will be a certainty.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  14. ROMNEY2012

    The LORD does not approve of Obama.
    Who are YOU to go against the will of GOD?
    Vote Romney, it's what GOD would do

    October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Brian

      If God existed, I seriously doubt he'd vote for a liar and a tax cheat.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Biodoc19

      And SHE told YOU this???

      October 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dan

      Can you get God to come down here and tell me this personally? Or at least go before a TV camera and say it? Because until I hear it straight from God, I am going to take it as what it is. The word of a GOP troll trying to put words in God's mouth.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Sha

      Did the Lord tell you that himself? Who gave you the authority to speak for the Lord? Get off your misguided pedestal.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Kraig

      Neither does God approve the Liar and Thief Robmey

      October 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chickenhawk

      You might want to read the Book of Revelation. GOD does not want or need you to speak for him.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Zach

      I am very conservative and a devout Christian and this seriously offends me. I do not offend very easily either.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Denese Vlosky

    Obama didn't "rewrite" the Christian faith. He practices it. I'm 55 and was raised a Christian by a family who as far as I can tell believes in the kind of Christianity that our President believes in. What currently passes for Christianity is unrecognizable to me. So if he's bringing us back to the Christianity of my youth, I will follow him in making a concerted effort to do the same.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Kitty Litter

      You mean you were raised by people who believed in the Quran?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Michael

    obama and christian. Two words a person would not place together.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Kraig

      Yeah it is like saying Michael who evr you are and Christian.... you are totally lost and misguided. Who are you to judge anyway??

      October 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Gerald

    Obama is a different type of Christian alright. One that believes killing babies where they should be the safest, in their mothers womb, is ok.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jen L

      You mean that as a Christian, he thinks that you should butt out of other people's business.

      A fetus is not a baby, no matter how much you insist otherwise. It is medically untrue and when dealing with medical matters, we use medical definitions, not the definitions of some and only some sects of a certain religion.

      Obama is a far better Christian than you are. You just judged him and thus according to the Bible, you have pretended to be God.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • CaffeineMachine

      On the contrary, a child in the womb of a mother intent on killing it, is in the most unsafe place possible.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Zach

      medical definition? there is not an agreed upon " medical" definition of life before birth. However, the definition of life after birth involes a beating heart.....i think you need to do some research on when a fetuses heart is debveloped and beating....you may just be surprised.

      as far as the government "butting" out of people's lives; i am a small government conservative and i TOTALLY agree that the government should stay out of peoples' lives as much as possible. However, I believe that taking a life is taking a life. If we have laws against murder, then abortion should fall under that....lastly, in most cases, the mother's body is not "trying to kill" the fetus. there are rare cases where this happens, but in most cases the body will provoide nourishment to the baby before it fullfills it's own needs.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  18. Samsdad

    Obama's religious views were formed over 20 years of indoctrination by a hate monger named Jeremiah Wright. His religion...like his race...is whatever he needs it to be at any given moment to win votes and elections. It is more important to Obama that he be worshipped, than to worship...and CNN is a mere extension of Obama's campaign apparatus.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  19. Skip Stealey

    Becoming a Christian means you accept Christ into your heart. SImple as that. It is a conscience act made by a person. You are not born into Christianity, you must become a Christian. You try to live as Christ did.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Zach

      The trying to "live as Christ did' is just as important as accepting christ into your heart. This is because, if you trufully accept Christ, you WILL change the way you think, act and treat others. You cannot have one without the other.

      October 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  20. citizen9

    I refuse to be or support an “anti-intellectual rube”.

    Obama 2012

    October 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jerry Lemieux

      And I refuse to support a racist ex-crackhead Marxist idiot like the one currently in the position.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Obama, like much of Academia, is divergent from reality and therefore the rube like businessman is the best choice for an economy that will better serve the poor and children of a lesser god. It is interesting how a man so obviously Aware of what is going on around him comes off as a rube. That must have been very useful in business negotiations.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • terre haute

      Then I suggest you not vote for people who believe that the world is 6000 years old.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:48 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.