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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 • 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. Oscar Pitchfork

    President Obama can't be a public Christian anymore than he can decide to run the country based on Christian principles. What he is personally as a man HAS to be kept separate from his Oval Office activities. Yeah, there are those who would have him lead the country in a Christ-based manner, or in no religious manner at all, and still someone will be upset that he has taken that turn.

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

    More devise tactics from a president without a moral compass –Divide and Conquer is his religious doctrine–saying or doing anything including "kill lists" to score political points is his belief system–As Obama's good friend Oprah said "If someone shows you who they are–believe them.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Derrick

      Really? Like the debate. Is America becoming more and more stupid. Politics and religion needs to stay separate.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  3. Eagle Eye

    This reporter is asking everyone the question if the Presidnet is a Christian and to give their opionion. This is what I think the reporter should is ask him or her self if the President is a Christan. This reporter seem to know more than the American people know. This reporter is part of the liberal media who feel that they know what is right. They know that the President is a Christan. I wonder if this reporter has asked the Presidnet which religion he follows the reporter probably didn't ask the President This reporter is speculating that the President is a Christian and is tied to Christianity and follows the Christian faith. There is a lot of speculation that the President is not. So in my speculating opinoin which means I haven't asked the President that he's not.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      The irony isn't lost! Liberals preach to everyone about how mean Christians are, and about how they don't allow thought outside of their religion. Meanwhile, liberals write articles about how if you believe the conservative thought, you are wrong. The left claims the right is self-righteous while being self-righteous themselves.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  4. Pam Cast

    Okay CNN, now do a story on Romney's religion. See how biblical that is.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  5. ed

    Let me settle this issue once and for all.

    OBAMA IS NO CHRISTIAN! NEVER WAS – NEVER WILL BE!

    He admitted THREE times on NATIONAL TV that he was a MUSLIM. DOES NO ONE LISTEN ! ! !

    October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Lisa

      References please???? You are too funny.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Ridiculous. He admits in his autobiography that he's an agnostic. He wrote for an atheist newsletter in college. There's not a muslim or christian bone in the man's body until he needs votes from the slow people.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • midwest rail

      Tell the truth, ed – someone helped you spell your screen name so you could sign in, right ?

      October 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @ed

      I'm sure you have some kind of reputable evidence for these wild claims ?

      Peace...

      October 21, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • == o ==

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

      "ed" 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 11:49 am |
  6. KimS

    Dear Lord,

    Please save us from your followers ~

    October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  7. Obama

    The sad thing about the article and most Christians is they know NOTHING about Chirst......

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

      'Chirst' never existed, either.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • GauisCaesar

      Yes, it makes more sense to listen to people that are not Christians, because they would obviously know more about Jesus (the Christ). Much more than those that spend their Sundays in church learning about Jesus or praying.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Most Christians haven't even figured out that the god in Genesis is a completely different god than the one in Moses' book.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Obama

      The church your talking about is just a building for humans to fellowship, the church that Christ built is in your heart..

      October 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  8. Tolerant

    Nice article, but the headline shows that CNN is becoming Fox-lite.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  9. Athena Flibertigibet

    This is definitely the WRONG question to be headlining, CNN.
    Why don't you go ask Romney about the planet Kolob, eh?

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

      You know nothing of modern day Mormons.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @ed

      It's o.k. the other day I was on the blogs and a "Mormon" wanted to educate me on "Mormonism." I asked him about about the planet Kolob, and he was more than happy to share all kinds of links about Kolob. I guess you're a "mormon" apologist.

      Peace...

      October 21, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  10. Matthew Smith

    He's a black christian.

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

    THE NATIONAL DINKINS

    October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  12. OrangeCrushPlease

    What a disgusting idiotic pandering piece. Way to suck up to the wacko righties, cnn, as if they aren't fu ck ing nuts enough.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  13. Alejandaa

    agreee tooo

    October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  14. Concerned in Cleveland

    Islam is the enemy of human freedom. Obama was brainwashed by Muslims in Indonesia as a child. Obama is the enemy of human freedom.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • == o ==

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

      "Concerned in Cleveland" 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 11:38 am |
    • Shayna

      You are the perfect definition of an anti-science, anti- rational thought idiot.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Concerned in Cleveland

      anit science? really? I love science and I have a masters degree. It's humanity that I have Zero faith in, and Obama and his lies, and his brainless worshipers foremost among them.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • ed

      BINGO!
      Thank you very much. I was beginning to think I was the only sane person alive.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Charlie Ammen

      No more comments need be posted. Concerned in Cleveland has spoken, and it is the indisputable word of God. You can all go home, now.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • re1010

      Concerned in Cleveland,
      Please educate yourself. And 'Charlie Ammen' did God tell you that?

      October 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  15. Michael

    The Christianity of conservatives:

    Jesus says:
    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    Conseratives say:
    "Fry the ****er, even if there's a good chance he might be innocent! We must set an example."

    Jesus says:
    "You can not serve both God and money."

    Conservatives say:
    "Then I will serve money while giving lip service to God."

    Jesus says:
    "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    Conservatives say:
    "Sounds like a technicality. I'll just have a giant needle constructed and have the eye placed over the camel route. Now it's easy for rich people to get into heaven, right?"

    Jesus says:
    "And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

    Cionservatives:
    "Get thee behind me, socialist!"

    Jesus:
    "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

    Conservatives say:
    "This guy is such a bleeding heart libtard. I'm going the 'hate your enemy' route because it's the one that actually make sense!"

    Jesus says:
    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

    Conservatives say:
    "Not only will I shout my prayers from the rooftops to be seen and heard by EVERYBODY, but I will demand that forced prayer be reinstated in the schools, and that any child, regardless of their religion, who doesn't say Christian prayers will be severely punished! Private prayer is for those who are ASHAMED! To hell with humility!"

    Jesus:
    "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

    Conservatives:
    "I will give to Caesar if he is a republican and the taxes go to republican causes... otherwise, forget it. And the more you talk about what God wants, the more I think I won't be giving him ANYTHING. He sounds like liberalism personified!"

    Jesus:
    "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."

    Conservatives:
    "So you sit around and wash the feet of other men. Why am I not surprised? Disgusting! And yes, I AM better than the hired help, that's why they're the help and I'm the one paying them pocket change. I've heard enough from you, looney, I'm outta here."

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

      You are absolutely awesome! 100% agree. I don't think anyone could have put it better.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  16. SurferChick

    I very much appreciate what Rev. John Shelby Spong said about being 'born again', "religion keeps people childlike; even the term “born again” means never growing up", he said, "and most churchgoers are encouraged not to think."

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

      Agreed, I call it their Sunday box. The rest of the week they live in the real Box (Where they too believe in science).

      October 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  17. resawven

    In GOD we trust,

    not GOP.

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

      So you don't trust democrats either since the REMOVED GOD from their platform.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  18. Obama

    Agreed....

    October 21, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  19. nanna

    Why don't you all just mind what you believe in and let the Obama's believe in what they want. Live and let live. Churches are all about doing what you are told to do and the rules of the church. Money and greed and Christians always telling people how to live and acting holy. I will use the brain God gave me to think and live how I want.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  20. sue

    CNN should be ashamed of itself for this lede.

    Shame, shame, shame.

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

      This was a fair and balanced article...good job CNN

      October 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      CNN ALWAYS has a new piece up on its Belief Blog every Sunday. And it's 3 weeks away from the election. What did you expect, a little essay on how to grow pansies in your window box? These guys are in the business of selling eyeballs. Thanks for contributing.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.