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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. Josh

    So...black christians are better than white christians. Thats where we're at now?

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  2. david

    Obama was muslim raised and muslim named. Any questions?

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Jamfinest

      You are stupid.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Mr Doofus

      Here's a question: what gives you the right to decide that Obama is not a Christian? Let me guess.... a "real Patriotic Christian" just knows... ahh kin jest tell a Christian when ahh seez wun...
      You're a doofus.... any questions?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    "..., 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-se-x marriage, ... " Mr. Blake said.

    Simply the fact that Obama supports same-se-x marriage, and blasphemously appeals to Jesus in this context, is a clear indicator or evidence that he is no Christian at all.

    A gay man is simply a maniac concerning his s-exuality. He has completely forsaken the trust in the Lord that he may give him a wife in due course, and know he fuc-ks with men. Such a disbelief should not be supported by the society or the state.

    We should not support gay marriage but help single men and women to find appropriate partners of the opposite gender.

    We have too little people in our society which bring about healthy community, this is our problem. Community is nothing which is there for no reasen but must always be promoted and supported by highly spiritual people.

    Such an unselfish love which wants to bring about community is typical for real Christians. As we become more and more lonely this is a clear sign that the true Christian faith is about to disappear from the earth.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • just_a_moderate

      Shouldn't you be at church or stoning someone?

      Jesus, if God takes the 7th day off, maybe you can take one day off of forcing your backwards views on everyone else.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • brad4nyc

      How evil a monster your mythical "God" is. Thank god God is imaginary, for the story of God is a story of a cruel mass murderer. If god is all powerful and all knowing and perfectly good, he would not bring people into the world knowing that they would go to hell and be tortured forever- a perfectly good being would never do such a thing.

      If god is all powerful and all knowing and perfectly EVIL, then god would create people knowing in advance they were going to burn in hell forever. Therefore God is pure EVIL, so fortunatley he imaginary too. For proof God Is Imaginary go to http://godisimaginary.com

      October 21, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  4. Otasawian

    Christian Fundamentalism is a convenient way to hide bigotry under a religious veil. The need to change, isolate, and harass those who believe differently than you is how bullies and bigots operate. The ability to accept others for who they are, the ability to respect others despite them being different than you, and being loving and kind to others no matter who they is the sign of a true Christian. If you believe that your particular "brand" of Christianity is superior to others and that people need to be converted to your particular religious views then it is time to take a long hard look at you are part of. Those who see Obama as the "wrong" kind of Christian because his religious views do not match with the Fundamentalist view, are exposing their own insecurities, bigotry, and intolerance under the disguise of so called "religious" beliefs. It's time that the true Christians (especially in the Republican party) stand up to the Fundamentalist bigots who have taken over their party, and start to embrace the diversity that is now the reality of the modern United States.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Goodfellow

      Hating for Jesus, exactly. Obama's biggest shortcoming is he's just the wrong color for many people and if the Romney's were any whiter they'd be clear.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • JJ

      I think that all you True Christians®, whether Talibangelicals or not, should stop mixing mythology with politics and other areas of reality.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Patriotic Christian

      Amen. Patriotic Christianity and Westboro Baptist are one and the same. Hate is not love... simples

      October 21, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  5. Goodfellow

    The only anti-Christs are the people who claim to worship Jesus yet ignore virtually everything he said.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • JJ

      Isn't that at least 95% of all Christians?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  6. SARGESGIFTSHOP.com

    What part of "He's a Muslim" doesn't CNN understand ??

    October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Cryslas

      Why do you continue to believe that ridiculous lie? A true Muslim would not be attending a Christian Church for 20 years, get baptized, marry his wife there and get his two daughters baptized in a CHRISTIAN church. Why aren't you asking why many Christians, including Billy Graham believe Romney's Mormon Church to be a cult? Do you know that Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints refers to the righteous Mormon's ruling the world for 1000 years with Jesus Christ? Yes, they are excited about the coming Mormon theocracy, prophesied by the founder of their church, Joseph Smith. Read FORMER MORMON BELIEVES ROMNEY SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT

      October 21, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  7. Ele

    The final trial day is at america steps,November 6th,remember america you elect a republican,will be in your on hell ,the rest of the world already don't care for america very much,they definately hate the republicans.Remember you are not alone in this planet,just a frendely remainder!!!!!

    October 21, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  8. Terri Baker

    Honestly, I don't trust christians that belong to mega churches. They often preach hatred from the pulpit. I applaud Obama for not letting himself get brainwashed. He's not a tyrannical kind of person. He doesn't hate anyone, believes in American freedom, and believes that everyone has the right to make their own personal decisions in life whether the religious right likes it or not. He believes in the separation of church and state, but also believes in religious freedom. I think he's very well rounded. It's not easy for him to be President. He catches alot of flack (all presidents do... Especially when things aren't going well), but he isn't responsible for all the problems in the world. I don't like his health care bill, though. It's too big. Most Americans want smaller government and less intrusion, but other than that I think he's doing a good job.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  9. MoneyGrubbingJackholes

    So where in the Bible EXACTLY does it say that Gay Marriage shouldn't be allowed?

    And abortion... He does not "fully support abortion" or anything of the sort. His policies have been to better define the difference between Abortion and Murder, and to provide safer and better places for women with MEDICAL needs to have an EARLY term termination performed. He has NEVER supported a late term abortion bill (sorry you fools who think so, but RECOrDED FACT decries your lie), and never will.

    Mitt talks about "Defunding Planned Parenthood" because they provide abotion services. What Mitt doesn't tell you is that PP doesn't use Government funding for abortions, it uses them to provide basic healthcare for women who couldn't otherwise afford it. Guess what, all he'll be doing is "defunding" the Cancer screenings and basic womens health check up MOST women go to PP for. The Abortions he would be "stopping" are all PRIVATELY funded through DONATIONS. Congratulations Mitt, you're barking up the wrong tree.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • pistoff2

      Where in the Bible? Why don't you read it and find out? If you don't read about it, don't spout it.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  10. Angela

    And Billy Grahm can say MORMONISM is a CULT then have tea with Romney and then scratch that off their website. Talking about selling out!

    October 21, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Goodfellow

      Billy is senile, puppet to his radical son.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  11. rplat

    What would lead anyone to believe that Obama is any kind of a Christian?

    October 21, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • You are brilliant

      Unless Jesus personally contacted you telling you to decide that Obama is not a Christian, you are obviously guided by hate instead. Or maybe you're just have super powers of wisdom. Nah. You're a tool who has been brainwashed for someone elses political benefit.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  12. Dennis

    If President Obama states that he is a Christian, thus he states that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior, I will take him at his word. Even if I don't agree with his theology, it is not my place to judge whether or not he is a Christian. He or anybody else for that matter may fool me, but God won't be fooled or played.

    For those who call themselves, "conservative Christians" or those who doubt that he is a Christian, then your main job should be to pray for the President. Don't pray for his demise, for evil to befall him, or any other bad thing, but pray for God's guidance and wisdom to be bestowed on President Obama.

    In other words, attacking the President in Christ's name does no good. For those who complain that the President is stymieing or thwarting your ability to reach your highest achievement or fighting against your ambition, I would suggest you read Philipians 2:1-5.

    Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

    God Bless President Obama should be our prayer because how he does affects how our country goes and it is a sad thing that Christians have been the attack dogs. Curb your dogma!!!

    To those who are not Christian, may God bless you also.

    God Bless

    October 21, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • upside down

      Never once have I heard him profess the name of Jesus. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I do know he's for the killing of the most innocent and has said he does not go to church because he doesn't want to be a distraction.

      He does have a Messiah complex.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • rplat

      Hogwash, it is your place to judge, that's why you possess the ability to think and reason.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • brad4nyc

      Who cares if Obama is a Christian? God is imaginary as is Jesus. The bible is a book of myths and lies and better suited to be used as toilet paper rather than a source of ignorant beliefs.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • RoboNiner

      @Upside Down...Here is an article about the President talking about his faith and mentions Jesus. It really wasn't hard to find. Besides that, the whole Messiah complex is something that conservatives have held on to since the 2008 election. It is incorrect and is used as something to deride him. Funny, the normal person when they mention that they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc, people accept them at their word. However, when it comes to the President, people choose to ignore the profession of his faith to make him some sort of "other." Sad state of affairs huh?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Dennis

      There is a difference between judging a person and judging a behavior or point of view. God will take care of the person. President Obama is not the Christian in Chief, he is not the pastor for the country, he is not an evangelist or missionary. He is the President. Also I do use my mind and I do utilize my God given ability to reason which results in me making judgment calls, but they are usually having to do with my own behavior and my own choices. By the way, I have heard him say that Jesus is his Lord and Savior. You also need to remember that he is a human being, capable of making mistakes, huge mistakes. That is why I said that we need to pray for wisdom and guidance for the President.

      In this country we have the right to make our own decisions and choices. Sometimes it is a choice to believe and sometimes it is a choice not to believe. Either way, I pray that God blesses you.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • RoboNiner

      Sorry, I forgot to post the post. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/obama-talks-about-his-faith-2/

      October 21, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  13. Thunder Brad

    Organized religion cracks me up. Worshipping to an invisible man in the sky. I disagree, but respect your right to do so. I must go...I am late for MY church. I worship the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  14. saggyroy

    Is the "right kind of christian" George Bush Jr? Who started a meaningless war with Iraq because god told him to? Scary.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • william

      Bush and his neocons are certainly the type to keep from power. I tought at times that Bush and his clowns thought they were simply playing their parts in the coming "Armageddon", as supposedly fortold in the Bible... a huge amount of Christian/Muslim animosity there. Our religions are so different that it seems the only way to keep the peace is to admit the other folks may also be right and back away from our efforts to change their religions or governments. As Americans, we should embrace the ideals of freedom or religion and the seperation of church and state.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Howie76

      William I agree with you. The problem is christianity is a recruiting religion much like amway they have to keep signing people up. SO it will never stop.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  15. brad4nyc

    Of course both are imaginary beings, but the true story is Satan is GOOD and God is EVIL. Satan tapped God on the shoulder and asked God please don't flood the earth and kill all those innocent children. God answered and said "Bra ha ha ha! I am allmighty god and can do what I want. It would please me to see those babies drown in agony! Bra ha ha ha!". Satan said "that's wack, dude! You are one cruel, sick, evil monster". So Satan left heaven and promised to help mankind against the evil imaginary God. Then one day all the people grew up and realized God and Satan are both imaginary and they went away hand in hand as boyfriends forever. That is after God asked Satan's forgiveness for all of the mean spiteful things he did. The End.

    For proof God is Imaginary visit http://www.godisimaginary.com

    October 21, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  16. The0racle

    but he's the right kind of president

    October 21, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  17. Mark

    "see here is where you miss the point evangelicals believe in original sin else why would we say that you are born a sinner"

    You are born as human into an imperfect world brought about by original sin. as a human it is unlikely you will go through life without sin. Christ is perfect and born into a sinful world. God said the price of death was sin thus Jesus did not even escape death. It is the Resurrection that is key. Death would no longer prevail as we would all now be able to enter the Kingdom of God for eternity.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Cryslas

      And did you know that Mormon's do not believe in original sin? Check it out

      October 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  18. Tiger

    Who's says that he is even a Christian?? We questioned his birthplace his whole term, why not his religion?

    October 21, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Christine

      We??? First, don't throw all of us in your warped mind. Which 'brand' of Christian would you prefer he be? Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist? Like it or not, he's the president–legally too. And if Mitt takes over you can then question his Christianity. That's what "Christian's" love doing–only 'their' religion is the right one; every one else isn't a 'true' Christian. F$%k that! Religion shouldn't even be brought up in politics...SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE-remember that one?

      October 21, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  19. Planned Parenthood Does Not Do Mammograms, Only provides Referrals

    This is what CNN does every Sunday, the typical Christian Holy day to go to church. Here you find all the anti-Christ's, the hate mogers and pro abortionist, liberal lost man/womakind. But just know the current occupant of the WH lied in the 2nd debate. Planned Parent hood does not provide free on ths spot Mammograms for women (breast Cancer Screenings) rather they will refer you to aclinic which you will have to pay 100% of the fee to get the test done. This is Obama, this is just one of his lies to 70 million viewers and all you have to do is call your local PP office to find out the truth in 52 states of this union. PP has no onsite equipment to do the tes, therefore they ca not do the test. Obama Lied.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Angela

      Lie. Mine was free.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • MoneyGrubbingJackholes

      I suppoe you walked into a PP clinic and asked for a mamogram? Did you even research whether is was an actual practicing clinic, or just a referral service? Because guess what, for some peoples insurance, you need a REFERRAL from a medical professional to get the procedure covered.

      You are an idiot and a swine for attempting to decry a company that does more for women health than almost every other FREE company combined. Next time do a little research before posting something this idiotic.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • OhReally

      Was there not a major controversy a few months ago because the Komen Foundation was going to stop funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings? Surely you recall this; not only were the headlines filled with articles about the surge in donations to Planned Parenthood by those who practice their religious beliefs to help those less fortunate, but senior officers within Komen stepped down, as the foundation did not want to have its mission overshadowed by hate filled politics as one faction seeks to legislate its beliefs over an entire country. The President also mentioned cervical cancer screenings, which you are not accusing him of lying about, so I guess that means he was correct about that one.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  20. brad4nyc

    Praise Lucifer, the bringer of truth, light and reason! Hail Satan, the imaginary adversary to an imaginary god, who has the balls to fight against god's evil ways! Glory be to the mythical beings of Lucifer and Satan who shall slay the evil mythical God of Abraham!!!! Remember what I said about free speech? Are you American enough to accept this concept?

    October 21, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • rplat

      You're confused . . . there is no requirement to accept your concept, only to allow you to say it.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Ilia Grechko

      You are correct about free speech: we should be American enough to accept the concept that you have the right to say what you did in your post. For you to be "American enough," as you put it, you must accept the fact that most of us will exercise our free speech and say that I do not believe a word that you posted has any truth to it.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • brad4nyc

      It is you who are confused. The concept is free speech and is American as apple pie.

      October 21, 2012 at 8:23 am |
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About this blog

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