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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. Obama

    What ever happened to man having a personal relationship with their Chirst? Its usually the godless, those who profess to know God, that question others faith...

    October 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Faith NEEDS to be questioned. It's the world's absolute WORST way of arriving at decisions.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  2. Tacitus Talks

    Research the beliefs of Jim Jones. Jim Jones was NOT a fundamentalist. He was a proponent of the so-called social gospel and he was a liberal progressive. He was the darling of liberals. Remember, his church was in San Francisco, hardly a bastion of fundamentalist orthodoxy. But CNN and the liberal press wants you not to think when they fill your mind with garbage.

    In Jim Jones words "I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism. The thought was, infiltrate the church. So I consciously made a decision to look into that prospect." This is what the Social Gospel is – the infiltration of the Christian Church with Marxist philosophy. The Catholic Church has the same problem – call liberation theology. It has been around since the 2nd Century, and was called the "spirit of antichrist". I am not calling anyone that just pointing out what the Bible rerfers this phenonmenon.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yeah, and Jesus and his followers shared loaves and fishes. Communists, right? Who ya gonna believe?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • KK Denver

      Who wants Marxism? How gullible are you?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • oy

      The bible talks about Jim Jones? Which gospel is that in?

      Seriously, you people need to stop posting such garbage. In what way, shape, or form is HELPING THE POOR an anti-Christ philosophy?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  3. anniem

    One thing I've noticed about religion is that they tend to change their rules to match the current popular ideals. Romney fits right in...

    October 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Jim R

      That because religion is made made. That's why

      October 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  4. Lois N. Krassner

    How to explain the presence, over many ,many years, of Michelle and Barack Obama in a church where hate for America was preached. I cannot forget the quote of Rev. Wright-"God damn America". Not Christian and certainly not American, but the Obamas kept attending that church until Mr. Obama decided to run for President.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      You know who I heard most recently SAY "God damn America"? It was Lois N. Krassner. Does that make ME an awful person? Does that make HER an awful person? Are all of us awful people for having come to this message board to read appalling ideas?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • KK Denver

      Do you really think the U.S. has never done anything to be damned for? Do you begrudge a 65 year old black man for rallying against the oppression he himself encountered?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • db

      It was not "politically convenient" to continue the attack on American beliefs and values so Michele forced Berry to change churches and appear to denounce his radical ways. Any saine person can see right through this facade of falsehood. Even his first 4 years as POTUS have shown that he completely disregards the normal and accepted ways our government is suppose to run by placing people who advise him in positions that cannot ever be challenged, by introducing legislation within hours of it having to be signed by congress so that no one can read it in detail, never providing a balanced budget, lying to the general public and the list goes on and on. I am not saying that other political leaders are any better but we as American Citizens need to start demanding better from all our elected representatives or we will be subjects of the Brainbridge Group, Triad, and New World Order where NOBODY has anything to say or do. We well on our way into as George Orval suggested in his 1984 book, a life that is programmed from Test tube to death tube.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • oy

      Who is 'George Orval"?

      And original poster: so you're saying it's not "Christian" or "American" to speak out against your gov't when you see it's doing wrong? Pretty sure that is covered in one of the Amendments...

      October 21, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Primewonk

      Lois – why don't you go copypasta Wright's whole sermon on this, and post it here. Perhaps you can explain why all you ignorant fundiot talibangelical tea baggers take these 3 words out of context?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Stick to issues

    Maybe Oblamer and chief should read the bible: Start with "Thou shall not lie or cheat the American people". That about sums up his presidency. He must be losing Christians that is why the lame street media came up with this one. It is pathetic and desperate. Wish the media would do their jobs and report on real issues like the four dead Americans in Libya and the fact that our Commander and chief flew to Vegas immediately after for his fundraiser like it was nothing....report on that not this garbage.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      the bible has the word "American" in it?!? Holy Sh!t that's awesome

      October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • db

      This only strengthens the argument that he could care less about anyone but himself, his family and friends and anyone else does not even rate the respect of his attention before their dead bodies cool off.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • oy

      Hm, looks like you're the one who needs to read the bible. America wasn't even AROUND THEN.

      Your credibility is nil, at this point.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  6. Lewis

    The headline is awful! It plays into the hands of the anyone who want to divide us using religion. CNN you should be ashamed.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • db

      Do you really think it was written by CNN or prewritten by the Obama Spin Team and given to CNN who was told to print it in an attempt to draw the Christian votes which he is losing and desperately wants to get back. This man, this reelection team will do anything and everything including selling their soul to the devil to draw enough votes to stay in office for anther 4 damaging years to us. Also, think of this, with nothing to lose he will be on a rampage to force through anything he wants with no reprocussions. He has left his costly stain on America already, do we want to be covered by his corrosive tailings for a hundred years?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  7. Obama is not a pioneer

    he's a "radical" who's using a mixture of tricks that have been tried before and failed. keyword is tricks. Obama is working for satan, not God, who has been forthcoming with us from the start. Obama sits back and reaps while humanity stumbles and falls. that is not the image of God and it has nothing to do with America.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Obama is not a pioneer" denerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "Theseeker" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Obama is not a pioneer

      == o ==, maybe that's the case in your little mind.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • snowboarder

      "working for satan" lol

      October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Fine work, == o ==!

      Strong stomach, too.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • oy

      Does satan have a good 401k plan? What about benefits?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  8. skyking

    Much ado about absolutely nothing.

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

    One thing decides if you are a Christian or not: Do you believe / accept / proclaim that Jesus Christ died for your sins? If the answer is 'yes', then you are a Christian.

    Remember all; "judge, lest ye be judged"

    October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. Truth

    Trust those who seek the truth.
    Be skeptical of those who claim they have found it.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • KK Denver

      Brilliant!!! who said that?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  11. Alejandaa

    i think we better off with a mormon, that a christian who is not a true christian.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • oy

      I'm sorry, but who died and made you god that you can judge who is a "real" Christian and who is not? I'm sorry, but President Obama embodies what it means to actually follow the teachings of Jesus. You people have been nothing but hateful to him this entire 4 years...is that what Jesus would do? His social AND fiscal politics speak to the fact that we are here to serve others and NOT ourselves.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  12. Dyna Hog

    Obama is a Muslim, and a phoney Christian. He alleges he converted to Christianity, but that was when he entered the Political Arena.

    All the Obama's (his relatives) in Kenya are Muslim, and want Muslim Sharia Law to be the law of the land. They also have that rebelious background and are linked to the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Ravens

      Wow – considering he has little to no contact with distant relatives in Kenya your ideas are willfully ignorant. I thought all you needed to do to be a Christian was to say you accepted Jesus Christ. Oh – and if you are one you forgot the whole tolerance thing.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • oy

      First of all, shame on your for being judgemental about another person's spiritual path. I am *so* glad I jumped off the Fundy ship.
      Second of all, educate yourself: Muslims do not drink beer, nor do they eat pork, NOR do they attend a Christian church for 20 years! Get a grip and face it: the only reason you think he's a Muslim is because he's black.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  13. cgs

    I can't call anyone a Christian who is okay with killing a baby as it is being born or letting it die without medical intervention if it survived an abortion.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • KK Denver

      ??????????

      October 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • oy

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      October 21, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • oy

      I can't call anyone a Christian who goes on a website and bears false witness against his neighbor.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  14. Neverson

    I think being present means that you are taking care of every social isseu and you got to have everyone cover on your policies . Regardless of their religous beliefs. So in my opinion present Obama is trying to make everyone comfortable under his adminstration. Like in church where everyone is welcome.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  15. wj

    You shall love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. This sums up all the law and the commandments, Jesus said, and we will be judged before God as to how we fulfilled both of these. No one is perfect, but Jesus came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus sat and ate with so-called sinners, and loved them into the Kingdom. All of us are in the same boat, needing God's forgiveness. If Obama is trying to fulfill what he believes is Jesus' commandment to him, we should support him, and pray for him, and follow God's command ourselves, for we will all stand before God to answer how we did obey those 2 commandments. Yes, let's still preach repentance from sins such as taking the life of the unborn and all other sins, while at the same time showing love to all people, instead of self-righteous judgment. Maybe Obama is showing love and respect for all people, just like Jesus would, and leaving their judgment up to God.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  16. treblemaker

    Religious dogmatism is spiritual slavery. Religious dogmatism is the breeding ground of the devil and his minions. What better way to lead the faithful astray then to hide the truth of the Holy Book with "Tower of Babel" teachings? God gave human beings the greatest gift of all-free will choice to love Him and allow Him to lead us the right Way (step 3). It works!

    October 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  17. lily

    KILL LISTS weren't really promoted by CHRIST-

    October 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • KK Denver

      I have a deck of cards with the money changers etc. on it. Romney is the ace of spades

      October 21, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • texcal68

      The holy Jewish man named Jesus made it clear that anybody they didn't obey all the laws established in the five first books (The Torah) in the Hebrew Bible, Christian's Old Testament, would suffer eternal damnation. In those five books murdering others was considered acceptable by God. My point is; like most religious people you don't know enough about your religion to make any judgement about this president or anybody else.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  18. hcc2011

    Obama is not a christian at all. Check out the writing on that ring he's been wearing on his finger since the mid-80s, LONG before he married Michelle. Check out his enrollment form for the Puna school in Hawaii, where his religion is shown as muslim. Check out his own words in which he reminisces fondly about the beauty of the "call to prayer." I'm sorry folks. I'm no slobbering rightwing nut case, but facts are facts.  Anyone who thinks Obama is a christian has been duped. History will bear this out.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • texcal68

      How are you qualified to say who is or who isn't a Christian? You're a prime example of what's wrong with organized religion.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Glenn

      Didn't read the story eh? It says he became Christian in Chicago. I'm no Christian but I do believe that people are allowed to convert to Christianity? Am I right?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • midwest rail

      You delusional fundiots are so cute, especially when you foam at the mouth.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • oy

      The whole ring business is a load of crap. You have no idea what you're talking about.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • oy

      You say you're not a "nut case", but your words contradict that.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why do you ignorant tea baggers post the same lies over and over?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  19. Rick

    the KKK claims to be Christians too, so whats the difference?

    October 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • oy

      You're comparing a Black man to the KKK?
      I don't get it...

      October 21, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  20. Glenn

    Most Christians only pay attention to a small fraction of the bible anyway. What difference does it make if Obama's small fraction is slightly different from theirs? Oh I know; he's black.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • anniem

      Glenn, I think you may have nailed it – in spite of the loud protests...

      October 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |
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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.