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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. Ben

    Is CNN pushing an irrelevant strawman that no one else is talking about? (Yes.)

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

      Apparently there is an appreciable amount of the redneck population who need religion in their politics and the POTUS to be not only the "right" religion but pass a christian litmus test to boot. There's enough of an issue here for it not to be a strawman.

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

      CNN is dead last in the race against FOX and MSNBC. Fox gets what... triple, quadruple CNN's viewership? They're DESPERATE for that FOX audience and their coverage of the election proves it. They're essentially FoxLite with 1/4 the ratings.

      I don't bother watching their channel anymore.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  2. NoWingNutsAllowed

    The following are 2 requirements needed to be a politician: 1, Pick a Christian Church to belong to & 2, Pick a Sports Team. Forget either one and your going no where. Last time I checked we've never had a President who didn't proclaim his Christianity.
    Does anyone really know what's in ones heart.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  3. jomama

    He is NOT a Christian. He is an agnostic, pretending to be one to get elected. God, you people are stupid. And how EXACTLY have his policies helped the poor and downtrodden? Gas prices are up, unemployment is up, more are poor and on food stamps, food prices are up. This also is killing the middle class. Anyone that wants his policies to continue, wants America to fail.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • == o ==

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

      "jomama" denerates to:
      "Douglas" 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 11:31 am |
  4. Descarado

    And to many, many others, he is simply the wrong kind of man... an unqualified man.

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

      There are only 3 requirements to be POTUS.

      Apparently you've made up your own

      October 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  5. Matthew

    When will Obama ever own up to his true religion. People, he is a muslim and has been lying about being a Christian. I do not have anything against Islam but a President lying about his true religion - now that says something, what else is he lying about. Obama claims to be a Christian yet he celebrates all the Muslim holidays in the white house and disparage Christian values especially Catholics. You can only fool people once in a while but fool everybody all the time, that is not possible.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • == o ==

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

      "Matthew" denerates to:
      "Douglas" 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.
      old ben
      This is bull sh it. Also this Jonathan Pollard is a highly unstable traitor. Keep him where he is.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • sybaris

      Matthew, stop regurgitating anonymous urban legend emails. They make you look stupid

      October 21, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. MC

    Most Christians are not part of the "Christian" right. Most Christians do not believe in unfettered capitalism at the risk of losing our God-given humanity, do not believe we can abuse our environment all we want, or that war and bombing are the best approach to international relations. Most American Christians do not believe in the oppression of women. And most do not oppose civil rights for all of us.
    There are many good Christians in the US. And there are many educated Christians who can reconcile a belief in science – which has helped us achieve so much – with their faith.
    The snake-oil salesmen who try to equate Christianity with nationalism, with hatred or oppression, with an opposition to science, or with turning our back on a society that balances economics with the needs of all of us for education and basic livelihood, are the ones who are "different."

    October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  7. Alauddin Chowdhury

    Seriously ! What's wrong with CNN? Why are you even posting this just before the election. I have been stopped watching CNN because of all kind bias news CNN playing. So please try publish some real news and stop copying fox.

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

      Interesting how CNN is accused of being biased towards the left, and towards the right..... What does that tell you?

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

      Wes – They aren't biased towards either side, but they try to attract the FOX audience. CNN is biased towards whatever will give them the ratings boost they are desperate for.

      Watch BBC for real news. Wast CSPAN for election coverage.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  8. Rina

    The Bible teaches to not judge others because that is not our job, but GOD's alone. CNN allows you to post this story only to try and sway the public's opinion of who this man is and what he is trying to do as President of our country. You do not have the right to judge him, though many of you will anyway. Should others look at you differently because you judge as if you are GOD or should they forgive you for things you may not understand? Watch out because we will all be judged by the same measure that we judge others. Do any of you judging this man know where that statement came from? Wow. What is the world coming to? GOD bless you all.

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

      Obama has made himself the ultimate JUDGE–telling Matt Lauer– he was going to tell us what our core values are-NAME CALLING–BLAMING-his religion is POLITICS PERIOD!

      October 21, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  9. sybaris

    Requirements to becoming POTUS:

    1. Native-born U.S. citizen (or those born abroad, but only to parents who were both citizens of the U.S.)

    2. At least 35 years of age

    3. Live in the United States for at least 14 years, in addition to being a natural-born citizen.

    (still looking for the religious requirement)

    **Birthers need not respond**

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

      Four of our early Presidents were not Christian but Unitarian, Deist or of similar beliefs.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  10. lily

    Let's see–He believes in COVETING your neighbors goods, he believes in having a KILL LIST, he believes in STEALING(taking from those willing to work to give to those who won't)-yes –I DON'T BELIEVE HE HAS A CLUE ABOUT CHRISTIANITY!

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

      and you lily are an example of why religion and the worship of god(s) is a filthy perverted disease of the mind

      October 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Say wha?

      So you're against all taxes? Seeing as they're wealth redistribution and I keep reading here how taking money from the rich to help others is such a bad thing.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  11. JG

    Actually, he's the RIGHT kind of Christian. Progressive actions toward outdated policies and bigotry, are just what we need. Otherwise, religion will continue to fade in younger generations.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  12. Alyssa

    Obama is the type of Christian leader I like. They type who doesn't try to rule me by his religious views.

    Keep religion out of the government!

    October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Say wha?

      +1. We're not supposed to have one religion to rule them all... but we're told that we HAVE to have Christian values, well the right-wing's view of Christian values, codified into our laws so any other religion's views that contradict them are illegal.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  13. JenniferHarris

    I don't believer that obama is a Christian at all....wrong or otherwise.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  14. Dakota

    Yes , Obama is a "black" Christian. That inno way is the same to the "WHITE" Chriatians .

    That is all

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

      Sorry. Segregation was thrown out a long time ago. You can't try to pull that with religion.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  15. Galileo Galileo

    With Romney as president, pure greed will have carte blanche, no matter how devious and slimy the scheme is, like Wal Mart taking out life insurance on their employees without their knowledge with of course Wal Mart as the beneficiary. Talk about Death Panels well that is it! Employees DIE DIE DIE so we can collect. Never mind religion this is business and politics Romney is a Mormon and Obama is a Christian, that said, end of discussion.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  16. Susan

    So now you have to be a certain kind of Christian for conservatives to embrace you? What hypocrisy. He is a good man, father, husband, son and president, and it doesn't matter what type of Christian he is. In the eyes of God, it matters what kind of person he is. This is what I hate about conservatives.

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

    Would you consider the person that said this a religion person, Quote: So, “let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved”. This is a quote from John F. Kennedy or this person

    Would you consider the person that said this a religion person, Quote “Warm-heartedness and concern for others are a part of human nature and are at the core of positive human values”. This is a quote from the Dalai Lama or this person

    Would you consider the person that said this a religion person, Quote: "Here in the United States our Muslim citizens are making many contributions in business, science and law, medicine and education, and in other fields. Muslim members of our Armed Forces and of my administration are serving their fellow Americans with distinction, upholding our nation's ideals of liberty and justice in a world at peace." This is a quote from President George Bush

    October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  18. Obama misusing America

    Obama is misusing America. his understanding of freedom in America is to exploit it, and turn it into a race to reap what God has sown for Himself. this should not be a race to be God, this should be an opportunity to please Him. we have failed in doing so. Simple as that.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • == o ==

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

      "Obama misusing America" denerates to:
      "Douglas" 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 11:24 am |
  19. cleo

    I'm amazed at America's definition of Christian. I consider myself a Christian, people like Mitt Romney genuinely scare me (by the way I'm educated and don't receive any help from the government) , i see the hate in his eyes, he believes in economic divide and thinks it's ok...I don't think the rich should pay more, i don't think minorities should be treated specially, HOWEVER, i do believe we should be treated equally, if i pay 30% in taxes, then you should pay 30% in taxes....Barack Obama doesn't tell you what you want to hear, he tells you the facts, I can't understand why we would be ok, with someone who refuses to show their income taxes at the request of the public (a sign that he doesn't feel he has to listen to us),his wife whines about how hard it is to be campaigning, she doesn't answer anything she doesn't want to answer (a sign that she's a snob) he's sent numerous jobs to other countries, he's part of the republican house that has stalled everything for the past two years and now he's talking about bi-partisan, there is a reason why MA is leaning democrat...he is a part of the problem....It took eight years to get us into this mess, and we expect to get out in 4....Wake up America...be REALISTIC AND STOP BEING SO WISHY WASHY....YOU CAN'T LET SOMEONE JUST SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET BECAUSE YOU'RE STRESSED. ....we are a society that don't want to hear the facts, we want to hear something that will make us feel better even if it's not the facts.....George bush was re-elected AFTER a terrorist attack which claimed over 4K lives, why is a terrorist attack which took 4 lives (and don't get me wrong, 1 persons life is a problem, there is no ok number) all of a Sudden the president's fault....get off of it....then the guy who ran away from war, calls a press conference to say "Terrorist attack!!!" instead of waiting for the facts.! this is disturbing. That guy will turn America into that bully mentally again....News flash American....the world doesn't love and respect us the way we walk around here thinking we are loved....this i learned from living in 3 continents....i am objective i registered democrat becasue i had to pick one, i was willing to vote republican this election as my husband has been unemployed for 3 years, but Mitt Romney is a liar and Tag i dont' have secret service detail, if you don't like me calling your daddy a liar and a racist, too bad.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  20. Brenda

    Would have LOVED to see the look on Brownback's face when Obama said it was God's house. I know you have to fast before communion. If you eat your own foot, does that mean you broke your fast?

    October 21, 2012 at 11:19 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.