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.
What is with your headline? It doesn't seem to fit the article. It rather seems to fit the right's viewpoint that he is not a Christian or in the words of your headline not the right kind of Christian. Come on CNN your pandering to the right had is becoming so nauseating it becoming increasing difficult take you seriously.
let me just state I am a christian. i hear alot i am a christian but i dont follow the bible or i dont believe in Jesus you cant be a christian if you dont beleive in Jesus death and resurection. and then i saw a comment that said i am a christian but i hate evangelical christians how does that work? there is only 1 road to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ i hope and pray you beleive in him. another thing is obamas church was NOT christian in chicago there a churches that claim they are there not obama believes in his own self and is NOT a follower of christ why would he go against it or say we are no longer a christian nation and he was pround of it if he is a christian why would he be for gays? or abortion? or be offended of jesus name April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered when he is making his speech. thats my Q to u
Not all Christians believe as you do, that does not make them "not Christian". You have no right to judge what is in anyone's heart but your own.
I can't believe CNN printed this malarkey. The Scriptures say to judge a tree by its fruit. People can leave it at that. Care for the poor or the 1%? Seek peace or war? Healthcare or sickness and death?
What I can't stand about Christians today is they are so unconcerned about the unborn, but don't give a crap about the living.
Christians, think about this for a while. Personhood does not begin at conception. It begins at the taking of the first breath. And you are dead and left the body when you take the last breath. Does not Scripture say that God breathed the breath of life into Adam's flesh?
"Personhood"? does not begin at conception? Duh? Life begets life. Without the begetting the begotten would be forgotten.
Dreams are what made this world what it is today.
true test of faith
reading an article
early on a sunday morning
about the President of the United States
from the once reliable CNN
this article was so awful......
anyone that would try to compare President OBAMA the ANITCHRIST...without sourcing...and running it as the feature story..what a total smear job..
and written with a spirit of mean....the only intent of this article could be to do political damage to our President
just before his reelection.
"Wrong kind of Christian" is probably a phrase that was being used a lot when the country was founded. Differing Christian sects were feuding and persecuting each other around the time of the formation of the U.S. government. Also Deism was popular and had strongly influenced the great thinkers of the day including many of the key founders.
Because the feuding between Christian sects annoyed our founders so greatly, it should be no surprise that the key founders had an immediate need for the separation of church and state (and to make it Amendment #1). This is also reflected in what some of the key founders had to say on the matter:
James Madison (our 4th President, was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution):
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
(A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)
and then ten years later:
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?
(A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)
Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President, was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
(Letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808))
and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:
President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;
(from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)
Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.
True Christians do not meddle in politics. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to earth to reform the existing political system of the day. His message was about the good news of the kingdom of God. Christendom has violated every Christian law and principle set out in the Scriptures. It is like a harlot, claiming to love God, but its unfaithful to God in every sense of the word.
Christ came and destroyed a Theocracy. Later his followers would change the value of human life in western society. In what way was Christianity not political?
Would you marry a guy ho was taught to beat you?
will you elect him for president of the country he was taught to hate?
"Taught to hate"
Its not for others to judge weather he is a Christian this or that. But Jesus was inclusive not one to reject anyone. Many times in the bible it refers to this. Obama has just as much conviction with his faith as any right wing nut case tea partier!
Obama is not the "wrong" kind of Christian. He's not a Christian – period! He's a Muslim. He lied about being a Christian to get votes. He wears a Muslim ring on his left hand, he wants no dealings with Israel, and he talks about the Muslim call to prayer being the "most beautiful call on earth", among other things. He was even identified as being a Muslim when he was in college. What other evidence do you need from him that points to the fact that he is a Muslim? Do the research, people!
So, is all that true? Or did you hear it on Fox News?
He wears a Muslim ring on his left hand,
he wants no dealings with Israel
Neither do a lot of Christians, especially those of us that remember the USS Liberty
and he talks about the Muslim call to prayer being the "most beautiful call on earth"
Have you heard it? You don't have to believe as others do to enjoy the beauty of their ways.
among other things. He was even identified as being a Muslim when he was in college.
What other evidence do you need from him that points to the fact that he is a Muslim?
Well, some facts would be nice.
Do the research, people!
Pot, I'd like you to meet my friend, Kettle.
Go back to watching Fox and leave the thinking to the sentient.
Obama only distracts us from the things which really matter.
Don't let us focus too much on Obama, the man of confusion, but on the things which really matter because if we clarify the basic misconceptions concerning the Christian faith, we will proceed, and understand everything of the current course of time.
Recently I have occupied myself a little with Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia, and Benjamin Franklin which were both leaders of positive Englightenment and hence belong to the Fathers of the modern Western World. They spoke out very much in favour of virtue (which even actually means manhood in Greek or Latin language). They said everybody should aspire for a life of virtue.
I extremly appreciate Frederic and Benjamin for their promotion of righteousness and virtue, it is only that they neglected a little (at least I got the impression) to explain completely the way to virtue. One reading scriptures of Frederic or Benjamin could conclude that he could become virtuous just by some special training.
Of course, training as described in Franklin's Autobiography is very important but the absolute foundation for an improving life is the faith in Jesus and the sacramental baptism.
The great issue is that our "grandfather" Adam once forsake God, the Life, the Light, the Peace and the Community. Everything which awakens in us the associaton of joy is in God, God himself is the Joy. Hence, when Adam forsook God, he forsook all which could make him happy. Adam was once made in the image of God but regretably Adam voluntarily and without any reason left that marvellous and glorious state, subordinated himself to the powers of death and degenerated. Hence, we have biologically inherited the degenerated nature of Adam.
God gave the commanments or the law of the Torah. With that he expresses that he is not pleased with much of our behaviour. Now, if we would be perfect by birth, we had never broken any divine law. Yet, the reality is that we break the divine laws nearly every moment because or core essence is corrupted. Of course, we still resemble God in some respect because he at first made us in his image but we also have an evil germ in us which wants to prevail more and more, and can destroy our life, if we don't start to suppress it.
The basic requirement to dampen this evil germ in us is the faith in Jesus' death and resurrection which convinces us again of God's love towards us. Through faith in the gospel we return into the confident community of the eternal God, the Life. Yet, Jesus Christ died for us not only in order to gain forgiveness for us but also redemption. It seems according to the Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul that everybody easily undestands the we can have forgiveness through Christ's sacrifice when we regard it as an atonement for our sins but only a few people or actually nobody understands that it is also a work of redemption.
This problem is solved by the Holy Sacramental Baptism of the Christian Church, insti-tuted by Christ himself. There we get metaphysically connected with Christ's death and resurrection. Through baptism we die for the sin and "enter" Christ because we have resurrected with him through the marvelous baptism. After baptism we are in Christ who is then our righteousness. It is only that the biological body remains sinful in itself, and we have to fight against it/him our whole life. Our life improves when it becomes a habit for us to overcome our body daily by the power of Jesus' death and resurrection.
Having that divine knowledge of releasing baptism we can also apply the special method of Benjamin Franklin which begins with a reduction of food intake which was also recommended by Jesus and the Apostel, and also Martin Luther.
Recently I have occupied myself a little with Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia, and Benjamin Franklin which were both leaders of positive Englightenment and hence belong to the Fathers of the modern Western World. They spoke out very much in favour of virtue (which even actually means manhood in Greek or Latin language). They said everybody should aspire for a life of virtu
Truth cannot be told too often. Thanks for your service black Rainer.
Does anyone have the Cliff Notes on this?
People who are controlled by fear turn to Biblical literalism and reject the difficult notion of rational thought. It comes as no surprise that these people would cling to the idea that there could exist a group of people who are equally as faithful as they are, yet reject some of their archaic ideas. This is nothing new.
Obama only distracts us from the things which really matter. First try to get Jesus, then investigate the complicated Obama.
The great issue is that our "grandfather" Adam once forsook God, the Life, the Light, the Peace and the Community. Everything which awakens in us the associaton of joy is in God, God himself is the Joy. Hence, when Adam forsook God, he forsook all which could make him happy. Adam was once made in the image of God but regretably Adam voluntarily and without any reason left that marvellous and glorious state, subordinated himself to the powers of death and degenerated. Hence, we have biologically inherited the degenerated nature of Adam.
What exactly is the wrong kind of Christian? Christ said, "Let he without sin cast the first stone." Jesus was the only man without sin and yet he never cast that first stone did he? Christ and his father God can be quoted throughout the bible many many times commanding us not to judge others, for that is God's job and his right. Yet here we are. Somewhere along the line we "Christians" decided it was our job to start judging everyone including our fellow Christians and it's time that we realize that it's not our job, not our right, not our position to judge anyone. In fact it's our job to pray for them, that is our job. Because if we don't it is we who are the hypocritical fools.
Careful celietz, you make too much sense for most evangelicals to comprehend.
Ahahaha! Really dude? No ones reading that.
How much for the Cliff Notes on this post, Rainy?
My response to Reverend Andrew, particularly in regard to Obama's supposed efforts to change the motto of this nation from "In God we trust" to "E pluribus, unum" would be to request that if he intends to present a work of any sort of scholarly integrity with basis in the truth of history then he needs to acknowledge that "In God we Trust" became the official motto of the United States in 1956, in part as a Cold War response to the forced atheism of Communist USSR. The motto "In God We Trust" does have have a longer history, originating from the fourth verse of "The Star Spangled Banner," which states "And this be our motto: In God is our Trust" (yes, the star spangled banner has several verses). It also appeared on our coin money beginning around the 1860s. So, if "In God We Trust" hasn't always been our official motto, how about "E pluribus unum"? It seems that "E pluribus unum" was adopted as an unofficial motto of the United States when the phrase appeared on the Great Seal of our nation, which was adopted in 1782, and approved of by our founding fathers. No, it was not the founders of our nation who said "In God we Trust" should be our motto. Now, I have no major issue with either motto. For the record, despite the adoption of "IN God we Trust" in 1956, it did not nullify or void "E pluribus unum," but was meant as an alternative to the motto adopted by our founding fathers in the development of our Great Seal. If one is trying to make a point, one should do it with some historical and scholarly integrity or else look like a fool in the process.
A comment such as you can't be a progressive and a Christian at the same time is unequivocally in error. Cass is, in this case, completely off the mark. There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of the Christian gospel, and comments such as these are an excellent example of such misunderstanding. A progressive understanding of Christianity may not be as pronounced in our culture today, but it hasn't been entirely drowned out by the loud misunderstandings of the fundamentalist camp who have tended to mix up an understanding of personal salvation with the idea of "Rugged American Individualism". These are two different ideas, and the mix of them has been most unfortunate.
I will be voting for Romney in November, but the fact this article even questions Obama's christianity because of his liberalness is insulting. I'm also UCC, although white, the UCC is nothing like the media has painted it with Jeremiah Wright etc, and it has always been a very progressive church, Obama invoking Jesus in the gay marriage debate is a pretty normal thing for the UCC. I don't understand why people assume Christianity cannot be progressive, but must always be backwards.
cnn pimping for romney and using a sunday morning article to bash President Obama....using words like ANIT CHRIST.....not even crediting the source that made that statement...and promoting the article via the belief blog... isn't really christianlike is it??? Certainly lacks journalistic integrity....breathtaking
Sojourner is a good group. Dobson, Franklin Graham: Fox News flunkies. Wicked in my book: their complete hypocrisy and lack of love.
Why Obama ?
If this is to be taken seriously please get away from cheap political gimmickery!
Is Romney the right type of christian ? how do we define the RIGHT type of christian ? Are the two bloggers here the right type to question who is the the right type of christian?
I find it telling that the Religious Right has problems with Obama "not being Christian enough," but they conveniently gloss right over Romney's Mormonism. While not arguing myself regarding worth or validity, Mormon theology and christology are radically different from both Mainline and Fundamentalist Christianity. They balk at the concept of a pro-choice Christian (although there are many), but are willing to overlook Mormon, and therefore we assume, Romney's beliefs that God was once a man indistinguishable from one of us, we can become gods just like Jehovah, and Jesus and Satan are brothers.
Let's face it. The problem the Religious Right has with Obama is purely political but dressed as a matter of religious faith in order to fool their congregants.
Obama is an American "Christian" that so many people have Become. This is seen in the Book, Radical, by David Platt. Americans have brought culture and unblblical, selfish views and manuiplated Christianity to fit our views. But in the Bibe Christ commands us to Leave ourselves completley and gain Him. Christ commands us to "Pick up our Cross (life) and follow him daily) in Real Christianity Jesus is Lord, and we surrender everything to him, but gain so much more in him
Christ also says to give away all your possessions and follow him. Do you own the computer that your are typing from? A car? Have a savings account? If so, you have no right to judge whether anyone else is following Christ.
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.