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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).

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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. J R Brown

    Obama is not challenging what it means to "be" a Christian....he's challenging what it is to CALL one's self a "Christian".

    Fred Phelps calls himself a "Christian" too.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • saggyroy

      If you say you are a christian then you are a christian. I am a neo-ultra-modern-bunny rabbit.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  2. *eyeroll*

    What this article 'proved' is that there are very few actual christians in public office and in the public eye.

    Something very nasty happened in the 1960s, and now there are only selfish ugly bigots left.

    Gross.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  3. doc77

    Come on people, calm down. There is another Kingdom inviting us all to become part of it. It's both here and coming. Calm down.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Mark Taylor

      That is exactly right and the Book of James is very clear on what we must do to server the Kingdom in this plane of existence. Not many are paying attention to James.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  4. Jorge Sedano

    Obamba is not a christian... in 4 years he has not shown that he believes in God....

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  5. Mike Cook

    His birth certificate states his correct religion. Same as his father

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Mark Taylor

      Shows your lack of understanding of Christianity. You can't be physically born into Christianity.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  6. Caligula

    Dear Religous believers wake up! Your faiths are about as accurate as astrology! One day all your faiths will only be followed by a handful of wierdoes in a small room and the human races minds will be free from enslavment!

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • good point

      "your faith is accurate as astrology" great point did you know that science has yet to make a clock as accurate as the movement of the stars? The nuclear clock is compaired to the stars to see how accurate it tells time. So if the movement of the stars are accurate then as you say my faith is accurate.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • vancouverron

      "So if the movement of the stars are accurate then as you say my faith is accurate."

      This wins the "bizzaro logic of the day" award. Congrats.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • funny

      lets see you must never heard of a if then statement in logic, simple programing does show your lack of computers

      October 21, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  7. josh

    That's pretty ballsy of CNN to threw a really one sided view of a subject , a biased view of the President on the front page. Also, it's a ridiculous topic, that at the same time is going to outrage a lot of people. This really makes CNN look low, really stupid.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  8. Clarke

    Where do people come up with these articles. The wrong kind of Christian, wow. Nice way to pit Christians against Christians CNN. So What is the right kind of Christian? As far I am concerned, it is not up to me to judge others, how about you?

    October 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • hmm

      I think you forget the verse about looking at the fruit that is produced,

      October 21, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Bob

      hmmm, that "fruit verse" is terribly misused and worn out.

      Too many passages about not judging that overwhelm the fruit deal. You need to read the entire Bible, not just regurgitate a line someone told you, if you do you'll see the main messages and not the one-liners taken out of context.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  9. jimmy

    This was a bunch of bolonge. Obama is putting on a screen to get reelected just as joseph stallon and adoulph hitler did.Dont be fooled with the main stream media grabbing straws and obama sweet talking. just one question i must ask. if obama was a true christian why does he want to ruien our religiuos foundation and out to distroy our country. how you ask one economics 101 higher the taxes less the revinue lower the taxes higher the revinue. for one two forcing this health care on us and all religious organizations. you know if so great why do congress obama the unions and all of navys friends not have to hhave.
    you know i remember when our america was eager to work hard for that american dream. know its just want a hand out. whats happen tp us we all should be ashamed and want to go back to work even if that means taking an idea and start your own business. our president wants your freedom whats chritian about that. oh to the women a muslum sympathiser dont mean more freedom or pay in the long run.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • waheid

      Another ill-informed judgement by someone who obviously can't spell, can't type and knows nothing about history.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Roberto

      Right, Joseph STALIN and ADOLF Hitler held elections

      October 21, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • vancouverron

      "joseph stallon"? Is that Sylvester's brother?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  10. John Wilson

    When asked if I am a Christian I use a Mennonite's answer..I don't know..you need to ask my friends and my enemies. I admit I am a church going heretic..I think the OT is for our Jewish brethern. The Sermon on the Mount..(read Emmit Fox) is the essence of doing Christianity. Turning it all into some great intellectual swamp was a grave error in the early church. I think I qualify as a gnostic as I see my faith as spiritual and about my character. The "Nones" have my vote today. Google the "Flat Earth Socity"..I call it "Truth by Agreement" and that explains the Right Wing Vigor and the disenchantment of the "Nones"..Religion has made a botch, in my opinion, by intellectualizing what to me is life style that does not earn masters and docturates. I will be services at 9AM this morning as I have for 75 years loved my Episcopal church..and at no time have I ever been asked what I believe..I think the question, actually, is silly. Agreement to believe to belong to a group?? Then join the Flat Earthers..it's the behavior that drives many fine people to hold organized religion in contempt.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  11. fryuujin

    and the so called christians will be voting for Mitt the member of a cult because they hate BO. so much for being christian. good news is there are less and less of them every year and soon, some day rational thought will be in the majority voting rather than insane bible tooting fools.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  12. McShannon

    Who wants to help the poor, the sick, the homeless it isn't Mitt Romney? Calling yourself a Christian is one thing but the definition is purified by the walk and intention and do not impose the trivial aspects that riles those of other beliefs.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  13. meridianalliance

    What a ridiculous article written to sway disgruntled democrats who have had enough of Obama...Portraying Barry as the next coming, even being more spiritual or influential than Dr. King is outrageous...His mother being "the most spiritually awakened than anyone he knows" yet acknowledging her as an atheist?....It again confuses doctrinal issues relating to the wealthy serving the poor with government tax policy. Christ never contended that it is government's responsibility, but more accurately, the personal responsibility of each of us.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  14. Chip

    Obama is a heathen and will burn in Hell for Eternity

    October 21, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Mark Taylor

      Well thank you YAHWEH. I did not realize you are a contributor here on CNN.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • waheid

      ... spoken by another hate-filled moron masquerading as a Christian.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • George

      "Heathen"? Is that code for "Black"?

      October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • saggyroy

      @waheid Who is masquerading. If you say you are a xtian, then you are an xtian.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  15. saggyroy

    "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.”

    That's it...I'm voting Obama !

    October 21, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • JoeJoe

      Alaaalahaaaa is great. I curse U sheeple and put one them FATWAHS on U all. Thats what the good books says to do and plus U get to carry one them AK47 religous artifacts around. Yup....me and my familia all converted to one true belief....SHOOT UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY SHOOT U.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  16. clarinet

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" – The first words of the Bill of Rights – obviously too complicated for Obama.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • saggyroy

      Seems like it is too complicated for America. They wouldn't vote for an atheist.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • McShannon

      Too complicated for the people of NC who passed Amendment one under the pretense of religion

      October 21, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • MoneyGrubbingJackholes

      So how exactly is he hindering the free exercise of religion, or restricting the establisment of a religion? Please tell me. I want to know oh so badly...

      October 21, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  17. rahtid

    Obama is no more a Christain than any of the best or worst evangelicals. As a matter of fact I more question the Christian beliefs of the Evangelicals for many of their stands and idiocy.
    Be that as it may we do all serve the same God don't we? and like the Pharisee who thanked God for not being like that "looser guy" praying beside him in the temple we ignore the fact that their but for God's grace we would all be that "looser guy" Personally I remain that looser, "Have mercy on me oh God a poor sinner"

    October 21, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  18. Earthling

    The sooner religion is relegated to the background, the better off we'll be. Religion belongs in church, not in politics.

    How people can buy into such obvious nonsense is beyond me.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • saggyroy

      Religion belongs in the fiction section. Its followers in the psych ward.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  19. F. Crutchfield

    CNN should be ashamed to allow this article to be the main article on their homepage during an election season. The subject automatically puts the thought in the readers mind that Obama is the wrong type of Christian. This is a very sneaky way to undermine some voters trust in Obama.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  20. MoneyGrubbingJackholes

    The Christian Faith debunked in 3 easy to follow steps:
    1) Adam and Eve sinned. Not until long after Jesus' death is it even hinted that sin only passed from Father to child. In Genesis God made the sin pass from PARENT to child, which includes the mother.
    2) Jesus was born to a HUMAN mother, and was "part man, part god," thus has some form of humanity (presumably from his mothers side) in Him. Thus the Original Sin passed from mother to son.
    3) As Jesus inherited the Original Sin from his mother, he was NOT sinless from birth and was therefore not a worthy sacrific for all the worlds sin.

    I know there are going to be a bunch of people out there that scream that God can do anything and could create a sinless Child, but you cannot ignore the HUMAN nature of Jesus, so unless God created something other than human, and then placed it in Mary's womb, he inherited his human nature from his mother and thus inherited the Original Sin. Not even God can countermand is own decrees (or so says the Bible since God is Faultless) and his First decree after the Original Sin is that ALL descendents of Adam and Eve would bear the shame of Sin.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • close

      not bad you understand some of the tenets of Christianity just two little mistakes:
      1) the Bible says the desire to sin is passed down not sin itself which leads me to the biggest problem of your post
      2) what is sin? SIn is a personnel choice it is defined as falling short of the target, Jesus was tempted just like us the only thing is he never missed the target like us.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • J R Brown

      The only thing you've proven is your own ignorance of Christian dogma.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • MoneyGrubbingJackholes

      Close, JR-

      Actually you just proved a very valid and APPROPRIATE point in this little escapade of mine.

      Original Sin – Catholocism

      Original Sin is not included as a basis of faith in many Protestant based religions.

      Your points lead me to believe you are Protestant based Christians.

      So who is right? Catholics, Protestants, Jewish, Gentiles? There are over 250 recognized Sects of Protestant Christianity alone, and each is convinced they are the only ones who are right, and all the others, while their hearts are in the right place, are wrong. So in that frame of mind:

      What exactly is the "right" kind or Christian?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Mark

      First you would have to be correct in your statement which you are not. The price of sin in the beginning was being outcast from the Garden of Eden and no longer having a perfect existence and death. There is no where in the Bible that says we are born of sin. We are born into sin which means death and sin in our lives daily. Christ was sent to this earth to take that sin from us by dying (see the death thingy there). God is perfect and cannot deal or have sin before him. We are human and sinners and no works can overcome or paybeack the sin we have lived. So a Savior (sacrifice) was needed to take our place and take the sin away so we may be able to enter Heaven. A bridge between God and man and sin. Jesus was that sacrifice and bridge to God and Heaven. So God makes it easy for you. Believe in the Savior and SOn of God and you shall have eternal life. Non-belivers like to make fun and try to disprove religion because it makes it easier in their own minds to justify their lifestyles and shortcommings. There is but one Person though that is willing to forgive and allow you to enter teh Kingdom of God no matter your shortcomings. All you have to do is say I believe. Jesus made it that easy. Now it's up to you.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • again close

      see here is where you miss the point evangelicals believe in original sin else why would we say that you are born a sinner

      October 21, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Mark

      Just so you know I grew up Catholic and now Christian. The Catholic belief of original sin is symbolism of being born into a sinful world with Baptism as the way to wipe away the sin. Baptism of course is acceptance of Jesus.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Munira

      keep the church as full as polsibse especially with a lot of adults and children does not matter how old are u as long as u go to church and plz go on the website for more infomation like prays etc. REMABER JESUS IS WITH US

      November 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
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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.