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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. Fatima

    bunch of millionaires. ALL OF THEM! yes, Obama too.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Reality

    For those who missed this on p. 17 and p. 44 of the commentaries:

    Putting the kibosh on this discussion in less than 10 seconds:

    Only for the new members of this blog–

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  3. Rufus T. Firefly

    Toward the end this article has a good, brief review of the rise of fundamentalism in the 20th century US. Those crackpots who want to "bring back traditional Christian values" either don't realize or are willing to lie about the fact that those values are not traditional to the US at all, and are a recent development. Like the Taliban, they attempt to rewrite history in textbooks and in the public consciousness in order to make it seem traditional.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      those that claim they want the US to go back to when it was a more 'christian' country seem to forget that past included slavery, trail of tears, jim crow and so on.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  4. Concerned Citizen

    Can't we all just agree on this.....

    Democrats: Let's feed the poor and help the disenfranchised – give me your money

    Republicans: Fu/ck the poor!

    October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Reality

      And the independent thinkers/voters respond:

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

      - One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      - Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      - Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      - The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      - the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

      - Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      - Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      - All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

      October 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  5. JOESIXPACKJR

    Obama said that he was against gay marriage in 2008 so that he could get elected. Lie. Obama says that he is a christian because he knows that there is no way he could get elected otherwise. Christians don't deprecate other believers by saying to a liberal group in San Francisco that christians 'cling to their guns and religion". On the bright side a lot of journalists (including CNN) have found religion; they now worship Obama.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Belvarie Varnado

      Obama still clings to his Koran and Islam. He only professes to be Christian to be more electable.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "Christians don't deprecate other believers by saying to a liberal group in San Francisco that christians 'cling to their guns and religion"."

      do what now? he didnt say 'christians' cling to guns and religion.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  6. Thepacific

    Please. If this is a xian nation, we are working our best to make sure it ain't. It's a multiculture nation. We have people worship talking snakes, flying horses, and best of all the Koch brothers. Religion is just another necessary "face" to win a seat. The reality is god nowhere to be found and votes are easily bought with money along with lies. Americans should be independent from all religions and political parties _ those things are toxic and likely lead to fanaticism. My advice? Do your own research, study, and thinking, vote for those you know best among the lesser evils even if he is an atheistf ok? Don't let people, money, religion, love blind you. Be a smart compassion voter!

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      "Lessor evils"? So then, there be much evil? Where then is no evil to be found?

      October 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  7. Charley Liberal Dog

    A good time to change my home page. Farewell CNN.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  8. e

    Who the hell cares? There is not "right" kind of religion. None. It is all opinion!
    This country was founded on separation of church and state, so I could care less which brand of mythology the President likes the best. Keep your stories and your invisible sky ghosts out of our laws.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  9. LindaE

    Stop mixing religion and politics. We are voting for who will be president not what religion the country should follow.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • e

      Well said!

      October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Barbara P

      There are right wing fundamentalists who are dominionists And seem to voting for which religion this country will follow. Don't be fooled into voting for a theocracy.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  10. Honest Citizen

    He's not ANY kind of Christian. He's a Muslim

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Fatima

      you kniow he's not, right Stoopid?

      October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      yeah he was just fooling everyone by going to a christian church for 20 years

      October 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  11. Fatima

    Religion is a joke. look in the sky, it's an old white man with a beard, dressed in a sheet and sitting in the clouds.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  12. Robert

    CNN is up to its old tricks again; this time insinuating that a person can hold the wide range of views that we see in America today and still be within the bounds of Christian faith. If you're going to talk about biblical things you must use biblical language. The Bible doesn't use those terms, the "wright kind" and "wrong kind" of Christian. There are true and false Christians, depending on the faith that is in your heart, and that faith will come out, sooner or later, by what you do and say. And if you say the things that Obama is saying and do the things that Obama is doing, the Bible doesn't use the word "Christian" to describe you at all. Rather, it ues words such as "false breathern" and "wolves in sheeps clothing." Obama came to us claiming to be a Christian but by his actions he is siding with the godless in the destruction of marriage and in the destruction of tens of millions of lives in the abortion chambers. Make no mistake. Obama is NOT a Christian. Rather, he is a wolf in sheeps clothing and a false breathern. And if you have any doubts, just read your Bible. Even Satan appears as an angle of light, but Jesus said he was a murderer from the beginning.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      let me guess....you are a 'true' or 'real' christian right?
      you know the absolute and perfect truth and it is by your word that defines what makes a 'real' christian.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  13. barry mckenzie

    To the so called conservative christians their main concern is that Obama is a black. It is not kosher now a days to use the n word so they use other words to convey their disdain for his blackness. Here is a man, Obama, who goes to Christian church frequently,more frequently that many other presidents, who speaks about his faith more frequently than many other president since possible Jimmy Carter. Who stresses that Jesus central message , that is to take care of the poor ,the children,and those less fortunate than us, is his guiding principle. The so called conservative christian response is to shout, he is not a Christian. The proof that their objection to Obama christianity or lack there of is not the factor motivating their hate towards him is in who they choose to support, Mitt Romney.
    There is no question that Romney is not a christian by any stretch of the imagination. Romney believes that God was once a man of earth, then became a god and moved to a planet some where in the universe. If this is so then God did not create the heaven and the earth in six days,because remember he was just a regular man on earth,before becoming a God,who then created the heaven and the earth.Romney believes that when he dies he will also become a god, and be given a planet where he will rule over other intelligent beings. He believes all mormons men in good standing will be given their own planets, women will rule over these planet along side their husbands, But he will have to call her from the grave before she will have the privilege,what a powerful tool of control to have over your wife. Romney wears a magic under garment that is suppose to protect him from evil. When Romney was married his mother and father in law could not attend the ceremony in the mormon "church"because his mother in law was not a Mormon at the time, his wife father never became one. The fact that Romney and all mormons believe they will becomes gods when they die means that they believes in many gods,where by Christians only believe in one God,any things else heathenism.
    How can these white so called conservative preachers convince to vote for the true non Christian in the race, the white Mitt Romney, they have to tell lies about the black Obama, so that you may vote for the cultists Romney.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  14. Debra Fairbanks

    President Obama is the RIGHT kind of Christian. He cares about all citizens of the US and the world. The ACA (Obamacare – p.s. he didn't give it that name, the Republicans did) is meant to help get our citizens preventative health care, which will lower the cost of health care in this country. The Veterans Jobs act was voted down by Republicans. There's a bill to help homeowners refinance at a lower rate. Who's blocking it? Republicans. Our President is trying so hard to make things better for us and the Republicans in Congress keeps blocking him. They say "look at his record." We should be looking at THEIR record. What kind of Christians are THEY?

    October 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Blogger1776

      Obamacare has increased, and will continue to increase, the expense of health insurance premiums. It mandates that legal citizens of this once free country buy a product or pay a penalty, it places a Washington bureaucrat between you and your doctor, places restraints and regulations on the doctors themselves, and increases the taxes and regulations on businesses large and small. Another note on the mandate: Legal citizens of this country will no longer have power over their own household expenditures without the permission of the IRS; it is the IRS that will determine whether you can afford health insurance or not, YOU no longer have that power.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  15. LouAZ

    Herr Josef Goebbels would be very proud of Author Jeff Blake and CNN. What a bunch of crap.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  16. Joshua

    The wrong kind of Christian is the kind who tells you what you can and cannot do in your own personal life, THAT is the wrong kind of Christian.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Belvarie Varnado

      Then Obama IS the wrong kind of Christian, if that is so.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Kanmun

      Sadly those are Americans too, and should have a pndsieert they also respect, would you rather have a pndsieert that can work with EVERYONE or someone who will only work with people with their same beliefs?? Its about ACCEPTANCE! You dont have to agree with someone to have a conversation with them!!

      November 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  17. Brandy

    You should be ashamed promoting this propaganda . First you called Romney's religion a cult and now President Obama's religion is demonized. You are promoting Romney now as a right Christian because you want him to win. Shame on you, God is not pleased, judge not least you be judged!

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Ando

      I didn't even bother to read most of this article, I just jumped to these messages, but I though that this was a hit at the religious right from what I read. Obama would make a great preacher, as would Romney for that matter. I wish they would focus on Jesus Christ more and getting elected less. Now, I know I'm gonna get criticism for this, but I don't think that the Mormon church or the United Church of Christ preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not voting for the right theology, we are voting for the right leader. However, living faith in a living God is so much more wonderful than any human nation or authority. Glory be to God above all else.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  18. Moo

    The only people who think Obama is the "wrong" kind of christian are what we like to call bigots. These are the same people who question his birth certificate, claimed he was a muslim, or a communist, or the anti-christ or any number of other things. No other President in history has been treated this way, no matter what their political stance. No other President has had the opposing political party claim their goal was to get rid of him at any cost.

    So what's changed? He's a Christian, so nothing new there. He's a Democrat, nothing new there. He's black.... oh, there you go.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Maria Carvalho

      I agree. How do you fight prejudice when even CNN takes part in such empty, pointless kind of journalism?

      October 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Belvarie Varnado

      Your argument isn't valid because Obama was as black in 2008 as he is now. The thing that has changed is everyone knows what his policies are and don't like them.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Mopery

    Wanted real news as my homepage so I changed it from this tripe to BBC news. The employees at C N N should be ashamed of themselves for having absolutely no journalistic integrity, you're not reporters, you're puppets.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  20. Maria Carvalho

    What's the point of this article? What kind of nonsense is this about right or wrong Chiristians? President Obama is a good man that believes in justice for all and is doing a great job trying to achieve our highest goals. How about elevating the discourse and leaving this kind of absurd journalism for the Inquirer? How about reporting how the President's policies stabilized a country on a free fall? How to find educational alternatives for young people? Want to fight poverty? Call Md Yunnus and start a project intead of publishing empty political intrigue. Grow up, CNN.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • NoTheism

      You do understand that many religious folks are extremely concerned about the President's religious beliefs, I am sure. Obama could be the best human being on the planet, but, if he doesn't fit within the "right" Christian framework, he's not quite as good (some would say even downright evil).
      I mean, ffs, there are still people who think he wasn't born in the US, or that he's a Muslim... Of course, these kinds of views prevent people from seeing the good and the effort that the President puts forth. I am not even voting for him...

      October 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Patricia

      If Obama is against gay marirage, then there's no foul, no hypocrisy, no nothing. That established, how is it a slap in the face when it has been known all along that he doesn't agree with your position.As someone else said it better than I, the far left wants to find outrage and play politics with everything. I don't like what I've seen from Warren, and I support gay rights. Like many in the middle, I get tired of the Rush clones shouting the world is ending every time they don't get their way. But I'm equally tired of those on the far left complaining about EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING that comes along. And this is a very little thing, whether the far left sees it that way or not.Cry wolf enough, and one day the wolf will eat you.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.