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.
There is always a lot of talk about "right wingers Christians" forcing their views into laws. Why is it any fairer, when talking separation of church and state, for "Obama Christian views" to be forced into U.S. laws?
When John Kennedy funded 2/3 of Catholic charities with Social Security funds Democrats called it seperation of church and state.
Spell much John P. Tarver? I don't like to be picky, but after viewing several of your posts, I have to wonder what other kind of education you are lacking.
He certainly is NOT the right kind of christian. He is more of an Apostate than anything else. His support of abortion and of the abnormal/against nature marriage, against all Biblical teachings and God's Commandments is Irrefutable proof.
However I must also say that Gov. Sam Brownback, Jim Wallis and Gary Cass are NOT in my opinion the right kind of christians either. Their arguments are too much of holier-than-thou claims.
Jesus was a social progressive but a theological conservative.
William Wilburforce & MLK followed that mold to change their respective nations through their faith – by appealing to those of faith from WITHIN their beliefs.
Obama is not just a social progressive, but also a theological liberal – which is why (unlike MLK) he cannot just appeal to conservatives from within their beliefs. Instead, it's an attempt to change their beliefs from WITHOUT. And that's why he's regarded as a fake Christian. It's substi.tuting a different Jesus than the One who is found in the Bible – i.e., asking people to change their faith.
Well said. I agree. In this world of "I'm OK you're OK" and anything goes, secular society is asking churches to change their beliefs to fit people's favorite sins.
Jesus and god are imaginary. Grow up and get real.
@ brad4nyc: you're demonstrating my point. Obama's only angle is to ask conservatives to change their religion – instead of appealing to it from within.
If Obama is a Christian then I could run for Pope.
How exactly do you know what President Obama believes. Can you read minds?
We've already got one Nazi in Rome. Why not another?
Why don't you share why you think this way? Yeah – I didn't think so... Think much before you say something, Short Stuff?
Attacks against conservative Christians always claim that conservative Christians focus only on the message of salvation. Attacks always claim that conservative Christians forget about the social gospel as regards to taking care of those in need. Criticism of conservative Christians always includes a mantra of how tignorant they are to believe what the Bible says. Hmmmm.....Right before He was taken up into heaven, Jesus commanded us to spread the good news about himself and make disciples throughout the world. And the Bible tells us that it is our Heavenly Father's wish that not even one shall perish. So why wouldn't a Christian want to talk about salvation? And critics seem to be blind to the social gospel practiced by conservative Christians in the countless dollars and time and resources given by conservative Christians to help those in need around the world. As far as believing what the Bible says, if you don't believe what the Bible says, then how do you decide what to believe? Are you making it up?
But, did Jesus also say "judge not least ye be judged" or "if they turn a deaf ear let not dust remain on you sandal". For every Bible verse we can find a counter verse, it is all in the interpretation, but there is only one way to interpret the sermons on the Mount by Jesus. I suggest all Christians, true Christians practice their faith, by following the direct instructions of Jesus.
so we should ignore all the other things Jesus said? and all the other things Jesus referred to?
Religion cause all the problems in the world.
It all started with a guy named Moses.
Both candidates are men of faith, there is no disputing that. What is important is what these men stand for, what they will do for the poor and American's in general. As a Catholic Christian, I don't want anyone "baptising" me into their faith after I die, as Mormons are wont to do.
So, what you're saying is you'd rather "God DAMN America". Got it...
Would a Christian attend a church that preaches that our government invented the AIDS virus as a means of genocide against people of color. Or liston to a pastor (for 18 years) that teaches we deserved 9/11..."America's chickens are coming home to roost." or taught ... "The government gives them drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike law and wants them to sing 'God bless America.' No,no,no, God Damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God Damn America for treating our citizens as less then human." This was Obama's paster and someone he claimed brought him to Christ.
A lot of these so called evangelical christians in America are going to bust hell wide open because they are just like the Pharisees and Sadducees in the bible..Jesus warned his disciples about these kind of people who are full of yeast (lies)and walk around puffed up with their chest sticking out thinking they are better than other people and know God better than anyone else...I am retired and live on a modest income, but if I was asked to pay a few dollars more in taxes so that other people who are less fortunate than myself could have healthcare, I wouid gladly do it...Proverbs 21v15 sates"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered"...President Obama is a Christian who cares about people and some of these racist evangelicals (including Billy and Franklin Graham) are willing to vote for a Morman (whose religion is a direct conflict with the teachings of Christanity)rather than vote for a black man whose a Christian...But, I'm so glad that God has the last word, because these old evil rich white men can try to buy this election and try to suppress the minority votes all they want, but it won't work...No weapon formed against President Obama shall prosper if it's God's will for him to get reelected...Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart....
I think conservative Christians want to take care of the needy just as liberals do. They just have different ideas as to how best to go aobut it. I personally can no longer turn a blind eye to a platform which includes support of abortion in the unrestricted ways that have been pushed by liberals since the 70's. And I can not vote for gay marriage as is dictated by liberals. I believe in marriage as defined by the Bible. For my refusal to support this one issue, I'm called a bigot and a hater.....and I'm the one that will be accused of not loving my neighbor as myself and being judgemental. On this issue we can no longer agree to disagree out of love and respect. I want to love my neighbor as Jesus commanded but Jesus also commanded us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul. I haven't figured out a way yet to love God and be tolerant of just anything anyone wants to do.
I have to disagree with Diana Butler Bass' statement that "no other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays". The first example that springs to mind is Jimmy Carter. Carter lives a life of helping the least among us – and clearly his beliefs are born from his Christian faith. I think the real lissue is that evangelical rightwing Christians have grown in number, power and influence in our political sphere and the more mainstream Christianity is dwindling and is powerless as a political force. And the two versions of Christianity are so very different from one another to the point where they should not share the same name.
Oddly Carter is an Evangelical. Something the Right seems to ignore. Maybe because he is a traditional Evangelical and not a modern wealth worshiper.
It's not so much the Evangelicals that do this, though. My son's pastor is an Evangelical, and he's one of the most community-minded people I've ever met.
It's the Fundies who've taken over and made everything so nasty. "Do it our way or you're going to Hell. Why? Because we SAID so!"
Who care what religion Obama and Romney are? It is un-American to have a religious litmus test for any public office.
Besides, religion of all favors are hazardous to humankind and God is Imaginary.
It is the economy stupid.
John, no need for name calling, but you are right. It is about the economy. Romney will make the rich richer and the middle class poorer.
I can assure you I am not stupid.
Is CNN the wrong kind of journalism? What a shameful headline.
People like Rev. Gary Cass are directly responsible for Sunday being the most segregated day of the week. They refuse to accept anyone who doesn't look like them or anything that doesn't line up with their narrow definition of what Christianity is.
"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. 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.
Right wing Christians do not worship God, they worship Mammon. Republicans are the anti-Christians.
CNN has been center-right for years, but in this presidential campaign, they've become FOX light, it seems to me. Of course, that may be why their viewership is miserable; right-wingers have FOX, and progressives have MSNBC, so trying to appeal to Romney supporters who are glued to FOX is an exercise in futility. (Of course, MSNBC has its outliers, e.g., Scarsborough, Gregory, all Politico guests, and Halperin, a regular on Morning Joe.)
I can't help but notice that it is the conservative evangelical based loons that are pushing this subject. It is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. Xtian terrorists and any other religion has NO place in US government. And neither does the Evangelical's minor mountain storm deity that they worship. Given the poorly translated King James Bible, the psychopathic pronouncements of these loons are laughable at best.
So hostile to Christians that you would use an 'x' to replace Christ. Your non-belief doesn't make Christ any less real.
Wishing santa would bring me a new barbie wont make him real either. Grow up.
Vote Obama and the murdering of the unborn will continue on. Vote for Romney and more jobs will be lost to overseas franchisements to say the least. The major evils one chooses are upon those we elect.
If Catholic extremist tenets regarding right-to-life had been applied in the U.S. to the letter since our founding, we would now have a population similar to China and our city slums would make Latin American slums look like Pleasantville. Come down to reality "Dreamer".
Let's look at this as Americans: Abortion is legal in this country. The decision to have an abortion is left in the hands of those most directly affected by an unwanted, unaffordable or unhealthy pregnancy, which is good and right, since they are the ones best qualified to make that choice.
Exporting jobs takes choice out of the hands of American citizens. While also legal, it is a short-sighted, self-serving, unpatriotic act of greed. The loss of jobs destroys the ability to buy goods and services, which in turn creates a situation where more jobs are lost. The loss of jobs leads to loss of public financial support for schools and community services, such as police and fire departments.
I think I'll vote for the guy who wants to preserve our rights, rather than the guy who wants to profit from the destruction of our country.
Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the
things that are God's. [Matthew 22:21]
I'm sorry, but no one who votes to support killing babies in the form of abortion or leaving them to die in a room after a botched abortion can call himself any kind of Christian, no matter what other social justice issues he supports. That is why Catholics are torn. They strongly believe in social justice and serving the poor and the least among us, and they just as strongly believe in the dignity of human life, from CONCEPTION to natural death. Science has proven that a fetus is a human life. Abortion is taking that life.
@jack, of course fetuses are human life (as is cancer), but are they people? There is no good reason to think so.
Science has "proven" no such thing and scripture clearly says that the spirit enters the body at the moment of birth not any sooner.
The Bible also says: "Happy the man who shall seize and smash your little ones against the rock!" (Psalms 137:9) – does this sound like a "loving" father to you?
what is the source of this information? Science has "proven" no such thing and scripture clearly says that the spirit enters the body at the moment of birth not any sooner.
Whoa, whoa, cancer is NOT human life, it is irregular tissue growth. Cancer will never become anything but cancer.
You can't seriously think to compare aborting a human fetus with removing cancer cells. That's just sick.
Your bible verse, like so many others, is out of context. The author was nothing more than a man in captivity who was upset at his captors' delight in killing his people in barbarous ways (including children), so he's pretty much saying that they will get their come-upins when the prophesied fall of Babylon comes. In no way does he imply that this is a message from God.
The bible is NOT just a cut-and-dry book of instructions from God. A good portion of it (especially the old testament) is an account of historical events that took place by the people who witnessed them. You have to be careful about what verses you claim to be a commandment.
Can a Mormon really be the right kind of Christian? Maybe only just before a election?
If elected, on Day 1, Romney will enter the Oval Office, look at the agenda and immediately take a Xanax. He might even throw up after finding out what a president really faces. He hasn't got a clue. The religious zealots and tea party will prop him up and he'll get working on their agenda to destroy our democracy. He won't be able to outsource this job! Heck, he may no even want it. And that's only Day 1.
Robme only wants the job of POTUS...He not really interested in doing it...
Spoiler Alert...Given the blowback from the white evangelical and christian crowd to Pres. Obama being the first non-white to be POTUS I don't think they can muster up the balzz to elect the first Mormon...
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.