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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. popseal

    When Christ spoke, He used parables but was never mincing His words. He spoke as one having authority because His speaking was always obviously the truth. There was never obfuscation or a need for redefinitions of his words. Faux messiah on the other hand is an expert at the metaphor. Obama makes gives glorious sermonettes and the listener can plug in any meaning that makes him feel good about Obama.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Murray

      You were actually there when Christ spoke? That's quite remarkable. You wouldn't by any chance have some audio tape of his sermons would you? That way we could do a real comparison rather than take your word for it.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  2. Jim

    One thing all religons have in common is thier way is the only way and anyone that does not believe the way they do is bound for hellfire and damnation.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • snowboarder

      fear is an effective tool.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  3. scribebaby

    The people who claim that Obama is a Muslim are wrong. I also doubt that he's actually Christian. It is virtually impossible to get elected to office in the US if you proclaim atheism or agnosticism so every Presidential candidate has to represent themselves as believers. In choosing a religious denomination (whether he actually believes in it or not), I think Obama chose one that best represents his political beliefs. For the record I think Presidential candidates on both side of the aisle do this.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  4. Rick1948

    The religious right's impact on the government needs to be challenged. It is no longer the Puritan days of ignorance to things scientific and mathematic. Gone are the days when men owned women and all they were good for is to have as many babies as possible and plow as many fields as possible – or, if they talked back, took a trip to the whipping post. The entire dynamic of what is acceptable has changed, and religion needs to be changed with it. Along with, the religious beliefs of an elected official have no place in the governmental decisions made by that person.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  5. Phil

    Yeah, he is the kind of Christian who wears a ring inscribed "There is not God but Allah".Google it- he has been wearing it on his wedding ring finger since the 80's, even before he was married. Weird.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • LivinginVA

      Or go to Snopes.com and see that it's probably not true.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • midwest rail

      False. The ring says no such thing. You fundiots are so predictable.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Posts like this challenge me to live up to my screen name. My initial snarky & emotional response was:

      I'm having a ring inscribed as we speak with: "There is no idiot but Phil."

      However, I suppose I will just sigh in resigned sadness and hope Phil will start to engage both sides of his brain sometime.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Murray

      Well Phil, it appears you and an abundance of the evangelical zealots in the USA have found an article that brings out the real spirit of Christianity. The fact that Christ himself could never have voted Republican, I suppose, would make even he a target of "real" Christians. And if Christ could be so despised by the likes of yourself, then Obama is in good company.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Clark1355

      I doubt this many people actually think the president is a muslim. It's just another example of what the conservatives/republicans have turned into; a bunch of whining crybabies.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  6. Polar Bear

    Wrong kind of President, to be sure. I don't care about his religion.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      What's the right kind? The kind that invades the wrong country killing thousands of our and their people and driving us into a Great Recession?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  7. Pamela

    GOD is LOVE. What I have seen coming for years from the so-called "moral majority" aka the "Christian" right is so far from LOVE for their fellow man that Jesus must be weeping in Heaven. Pres. Obama & his family, thru their ACTIONS, not merely WORDS, have proven that they know the heart of what it is to try to be Christ-like.... compassion, tolerance, patience, empathy, charity & turning the other cheek. RMoney & Lyin' Ryan are the EXACT OPPOSITE.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  8. Steven Tackett

    All Christians are wrong.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Polar Bear

      All non-Christians are wrong.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • bannister

      Yes, Obama is wrong.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • simple

      Obama is a Muslin and you are a going to be proved wrong when you get to the other side even Darwin stated in his dying days there must be a God that made all of these things,,,the gate for you and your kind is wide please enjoy the ride

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • simple

      Wow, Must be a bad acid trip, man it’s like 1979... Jimmy cater 2.0 is back in the white house,

      October 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @simple

      You think the president is a piece of cloth?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Murray

      To "simple". You are truly a person of your own words. Simple.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  9. Army Wife

    Obama has stated he believes there are many ways to heaven. Not so. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life.
    No man comes to the father but by me." There is only one way and it is not Obama's way.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • snowboarder

      the courage to question religious dogma is a virtue.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Murray

      To Army wife. Expand your mind and give God a little more credit. After all, he didn't write the Bible. But I'm sure he finds it rather humorous.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Veritas

      Please show us the transcript where President Obama says there are many ways to Heaven. Also, I am a Christian and believe that while Jesus' sacrifice was the atoning sacrifice for ALL human-kind, I believe that just because a person doesn't believe as I do means that person is damned to Hell. In fact, I believe that if hell exists it is a hell that each individual creates for him/herself then chooses to go to. I also believe that even if a person do go to the hell that he/she creates that person can still choose to accept the sacrice of Christ and be saved even while in hell. I also believe that heaven and hell are states of being that a person enters into while alive and then continues in after death. Even those who go to hell can still be saved.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  10. Dan Slaby

    The morality of Jesus based on love and forgiveness does not give the right for revenge, even to the Old Testament God.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  11. madvaca

    They called Kennedy the anti-christ too. To continue to give credence to the insane rantings of such people only displays your ignorance for everyone else.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Ken

      I'm 70 years old today and I remember the Kennedy days well. No one that I recall ever called Kennedy the Anti-Christ.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Steve

      If Obama is the Anti-Christ, then he's not doing a very good job. Surely the Anti-Christ would have had this election in the bad a long time ago.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  12. Ameri2010

    I have to admit that I just scanned this extremely long article after the first few paragraphs of crapola. You can tell that CNN is desperate when they avoid economics and instead focus on trying to explain away Obama's Black Theology "God damn America" cult. The author ends his diatribe by stating that Obama "could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation."

    More appropriately, Obama can be seen as a non-leader who destroyed our economy and helped resurrect a dying brand of racism for a new generation. That will teach him to mock God.

    CNN, once again, you take the cake for ridiculous viewpoints on religion. I'm sure all the leftists here enjoy reading about Obama's "Christianity." I'm going to send this information, via email chain, so Obama gets even less votes than he already has.

    Thanks for the free ammunition, CNN!!

    October 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Steve

      Redneck.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Steve

      Sheep. And you used the word crapola.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      "I have to admit that I just scanned this extremely long article"

      You should have stopped there.

      Your retort has nothing to do with what was written in the article. It was a 3 minute read. Try again.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Veritas

      Hey, genius, this is the religious section so it is appropriate for it discuss religion, including President Obama's religion. Also, the economic problems were created by W and the Repugs. President Obama is in the process of cleaning up their mess, but he isn't finished yet. Thing are much better now than when he took office, but he still has much to do because you are your party really did a number on this nation.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Murray

      People like you are actually walking endorsements to re-elect President Obama. Thanks for the "ammunition".

      October 21, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Veritas

      You are going to send this via email so President Obama "gets even less votes.." First of all email? Wow. You really are cutting edge in getting the word out, aren't you? Also it's "fewer" votes, not "less" but you've already proven that you are border-line illiterate by not being able to read the article. You said you just "skimmed" it. Next time find someone in your trailer park that knows how to read and get that person to actually read it to you.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Veritas

      Also, I doubt anyone that would be on your email list would have actually voted for President Obama anyway, so go ahead and email this to all 4 of your friends. I love the idea you are going to use an "email chain." I suppose Facebook, Twitter , etc. are beyond your limited abilities.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  13. SadforAmerica

    So sad to see the continued confusion of collective (read Communist/Socialist) thought and what Jesus taught. In no way did Jesus teach that the government should assume the role of providing compassion. Each individual, urged by the Holy Spirit, is to treat all others with compassion. The gain from this is a deeper relationship with God and a stronger urge toward love and compassion for others. Governments cannot and never were put in that role by Jesus. Governments are collectives, often ruled by a small group with the power. It would be nice to have a government run by persons who were truly compassionate and not just out for more power and operating to keep that power, but that has never been the case. Sadly, government power has nearly always been used to delude the populace that "they" care and want to help, when indeed what they want is more control over the individuals so they can keep themselves in power. Recognizing this can help to keep individuals from becoming dependent on the government and becoming unable to throw off the tyranny that begins to enslave them.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Dan Slaby

      We are a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not a theocracy of the elite.

      Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15 writes that the goal for Christians is equality (not equal opportunity):
      "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: 'The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little'."

      October 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  14. riabm60

    As long as a religion is not a cult where people are brainwashed.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  15. SixDegrees

    An entire article devoted to flame bait.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  16. Hmmmm

    The problem is most people talk Jesus, but don't live Jesus. Christianity is action driven, and it is decision driven. It's individual introspection. It doesn't force it's will on people, (only denominations do that). What is funny, is CNN is doing everything possible to get votes, and running an article like this is a joke. It serve no purpose, only judgement

    October 21, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      "Live Jesus"? Lol

      Grown adults believing in the ancient version of Superman, lol. So sad.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Ancient version of Superman?

      You mean the one who can't fly but just jumps really high?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      People passing out, crying, Obama saying the oceans were going to change, presented himself as the savior to all past problems in our country. saying America would fundamentally change because of him, waging class warefare and limiting free enterprise in our nation. This so called Christian is the first to openly accept gay marriage as a political stance, which if you want to not believe what the bible says about it then fine, but this wasn't his stance when running in Chicago against a conservative black candidate. Anyone who says the affordable care act is Christian isn't familiar with the bible. Did God come down to the earth take the wealth of Rome, or the Jews devide it up, and make equal outcomes. No he said to the rich man give your wealth to the poor, and come follow me. Jesus left the man with choice, and that friends is the distinction. Does anyone argue that God is the highest authority? If God is all powerfull then why hasnt he changed society to even the playing field? the answer is found in the beginning of the bible, man shal bring forth bread by the sweat of his brow, and it shal be for his good. Does God seem like a man that changes with the times ? The answer is obvious, times change by him. He is Alpha, and Omega, the beginning and the end. Hope and change is individualistic in nature, it's self betterment, and comes from God not man. Hope is for God, and the bible says cursed is he that puts his faith in the arm of flesh. Gods spirit tells us when man has done something right, and glory to God alone be given when he does. Pontus Pilot said to Jesus "don't you know I have the power to crucify you", and Jesus said "you would have no power over me were it not given you from above". God gives man liberty, should man take it away ?

      October 21, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  17. Chedar

    Obama is a liberal Christian. Sam Brownbacj is an American Taliban.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Steve

      Well played.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • bannister

      Really? Sam Brownback has never blown anything up or killed anyone.

      Obama has. His drone strikes murder women and children every day. Sounds more "terrorists" than "liberal Christian" to me.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  18. anonymous

    social justice.....Why do progressives always ignore the charities and money provided by conservative Christian churches to help those in need?

    October 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Dan Slaby

      The money is candy given to the needy to entice membership in the church. It is never given just to be kind to another human being.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Dom Hélder Câmara

      When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  19. david

    This muslim raised and muslim named president obviously still goes by the Qu'ran. He bows to the Saudi king, wears no jewelry during ramadan, andwon't allow his dog in his car. He has fooled us infidels big time.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Trust me David, your silly beliefs in magic virgin babies and magic gardens with magic apples are no better than those silly beliefs in the Koran.

      Grow up, all religions are equally false.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • milla

      Yes and you are racist as you fear others different than you. In your mind christiams above all others.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Here's some truth...

      Mitt Romney believes that God lives in space orbiting a planet called Kolob.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • milla

      Romney is a flipflopper and belongs to a religion who believed in polygamy!!!!!

      October 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Steve

      What amazes me about people like our friend David here is that they are oblivious to how much of an idiot they appear to be.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Mosesthejew

      Watch out you God fearing, so deeply religious people that you not judge someone least ye be judged!
      HOWEVER, LIKE MENTIONED BEFORE, COULD ALL JUST BE MISUNDERSTANDING BECAUSE THE MAN IS BLACK!
      When the day comes when Mr. Obama stands before his maker in final judgement I doubt his true Christian Faith will carry
      him home!

      October 21, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  20. JerryD

    I hope Romneys religion is next!!! Trace it to the origins of Joseph Smith the cult leader. They believe Jesus and Satan are brothers and do not believe in the Blessed Trinity!!! Just to mention a few.....check it out!!!! What a stupid article with Mormonism out there ....give me a break!!!

    October 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Shadows

      Don't hold your breath on that one. CNN is playing the race card once again and prove themselves to be heading towards Foxnews La la land.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Absolutely

      You left out the best parts... like how for nearly a century it was part of official LDS church doctrine to swear an Oath of Vengeance against the United States. (That sounds like a fine pool from which to elect a President!) Or that God lives in space near a planet called Kolob. Amazing that the black man who IS a Christian get gets more scrutiny about his faith than the white man who IS NOT a Christian.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Anotherpete

      Exactly . . . only the headline will be read by most viewers and if you are going to use a provocative headline to get attention, you should do the same for the other side. There is much more controversy to Romney's religion than there is to Obama's.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 am |
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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.