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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 • 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. Reese

    The question we should be asking isn't if he's the wrong type of Christian, but why he's a Christian to begin with. Religion is destructive and irrational.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Scott

      I'll be sure and tell Dr. Ben Carson that he is a destrctive neurosurgeon.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  2. lowgenius

    Salacious headline fail.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No kidding. CNN waves a banana and all the fundie monkeys start swinging from the rafters and screaming.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  3. george

    Mr. John Blake, I challenge you to write your next article as "Is Romney the 'wrong' kind of Christian"?

    October 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  4. Jeff Hoyle

    Are you kidding? Are you trying to appeal to the right wingers? Became a poor man's Fox "News". You guys use to be the respected one. The one I could turn to to get the real, unfiltered story. Now you pander to the right. Disgusting.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  5. karllinen

    Regarding the statement no Christian believes in Jesus Christ and rejects the Bible. Wrong. A famous historian, Will Durant wrote extensively about Jesus Christ, the man, who lived way back when.
    Unless I sat down with President Obama to learn what he believes, I could make no judgement. Accepting media reports is foolish and unethical in making sound judgements.
    All religion is theoretical, as are the hypothesis regarding the Universe. Too many people wave the Bible as if it is God. Using their own Commandments: Though shall not worship false idols (the Bible). Wait for God to talk to you. If he does, you have proof.
    Evolution, referring to mutations of characteristics that were once possessed, but no longer exist, has some proof to support the theory.
    My Parents had wisdom teeth. My siblings and I do not, and a nurse said she could not find tonsils in me when she inquired if I had them removed. I never had a tonsilectomy, because there was nothing there.
    Always exercise extreme care when separating fact from theory. The Big Bang and that particle they're looking for are theories, and it does not matter the probabilities that the theories are true. A FACT IS ABSOLUTE WITH NO CHANCE OF ERROR. IT IS NOT A FACT THE SUN WILL RISE TOMORROW.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  6. SC22

    Obama displays none of the fruits of the Spirit. He had the cross covered over at a speech he gave. He approves of infanticide and abortion. He received a peace prize while ramping up the wars Bush started. He, like Bush, is not a Christian. He is Anti-Christian.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • ThinkAgain: Mittens' 47% = Veterans, Grandma and the Disabled (you know, Jesus' folks)

      President Obama does NOT support infanticide; pull your head out, turn off Fox, and start thinking for yourself!

      October 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • exCONservtv

      ok

      October 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  7. mama k

    "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 this feuding and persecution 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.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Eliane

      Len, about your one worry, no one can be assured that sohenmitg they say or do will not be misrepresented. It is especially true now that everyone with a computer and an Internet connection can be a publisher. Many influencers (and wannabes) rush to mischaracterize the motives and acts of anyone or thing they perceive to be a threat to the influencers' interests. Zen, with it constant focus on the positive is not an easy target. It is not a political movement or xenphobia. Web 2.0 and blogs are perhaps the first media to enable non-expert users to remotely participate in a many-to-many dialogue using the full range of tools such as video, sound, text and still photography. Any effort to mischaractize a force for the positive is at substantial risk. Governments and politicians have not all learned the risks but the current political campaigns in the United States are putting on a powerful demonstration of the point.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  8. nonyabidnes2

    What is the correct Christian? And who decides that?

    October 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • KLDGBB

      Excellent questions!!

      October 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  9. Scott

    This is a carefully calculated appeal to the Christian Left, those that are left that is. Jim Wallis is a longtime Soros stooge. Obama's politics shape his religeon, not the other way around.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  10. Petra

    President Obama is a Christian-a follow of Christ and he believes in the Bible.
    Romney is a Morman which is a cult. He is a liar and he tell fools what they want to hear!
    Don't take my word for it research Romney and the Morman and you will see it is a cult.
    So the answer to that question is; President Obama is the right kind of Christian and the only Christian candidate running for the Presidency.
    Remember, don't let your prejudice nature get in your way! Obama is 1/2 white and 1/2 black Christian!!

    October 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Ellen Thompson

      Wow Petra, it looks like you are a typical prejudice liberal. Oops, I almost forgot, a hypocrite also.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tell me this is not a cult, Ellen T.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&w=640&h=390]

      October 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dennis

      Bah, Christianity is just a cult too.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  11. R Low

    I find it intolerable for any so called christian to tell anyone else what kind of christian they have to be to be in God's house.
    I loved the President's reply. He is such a dignified and compassionate man and I applaud him for including all Americans in the American dream and not just the white, rich and hypocritical. I was baptized Catholic, but I have never felt that that gave me any right to tell anyone else where and in whom they should place their beliefs. I find that most of today's right wing christians are full of hate and intolerance. As far as Reverend Wright – I have heard many white reverends give sermons that preach hate towards gays, minorities etc. and if the black church uses hate speech then so be it as those are words; the white christian church has a long history of using violence, torture and wars as their hate speech.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Scott

      What a cop out. Let me ask you something; lets say you call yourself a Christian, but insist on worshiping at a Mosque. Do you think that's going to fly?

      Christians follow the Bible, and President Obama hasn't really bothered to follow much of it, other than the parts that fit his political agenda.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is Obama "worshipping at a mosque"? Since when?

      Really, how stupid are you?

      October 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Sounds like a "christian" to me. Pick and choose which rules you like, ignore the ones that make you look bad. Thats the problem with fantasy characters and fables. You might as well judge him against Tooth Fairy. (I'm not sure anyone has told you, but, the Tooth Fairy doesnt exist either.. shh)

      October 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Scott

      Funny thing about assumptions, Tom Tom...you assumed I was referencing the frequent accusation that Obama is a muslim; for your enlightment I wasn't. It was a general reference. Here's a version you may understand. If I label myself an atheist but go to church every Sunday and pray to God, wouldn't other atheists be correct in pointing out that I am in fact not an atheist?

      October 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  12. ben

    lol – who cares what jesus said? 2000 years and the putz is still a no show. just like the putz jews of his time who believed in judaism, the fairytale forerunner to fairytale christianity. keep drinkin' the koolaid brothas, its better than dealing with life at face value isnt it?

    October 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Ellen Thompson

      ben is angry.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  13. Thomas Chia

    Many Chrisrains, especially the politicians, are hypocrites. They are more concerned with worldly wealth and power,
    hiding under the dress of Christainity. Under the influence conservative Christainity, those who believe in and struggle
    for social justuce and fairness are often considered as "unchristian". The values of love, benevolence, justice and
    fairness also exist in other beliefs.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Bleh

    My only thought is this: The point this article is making is that it follows the ideals of Christianity to provide for the poor, sick, and needy. Which is true. Because Obama has tried to create policies and laws that do this, he must be a good and worthy Christian president. But to me that's beside the point. What makes that the government's responsibility anywaysd? Leave it to the faith groups. The government could financially facilitate them, give tax breaks, etc., but it is not the government's job or "divine vocation." Let the churches, mosques, and other religious groups keep doing what they are doing and go back to being a government. Make laws, enforce them, interact with other governments, organize. Let the churches feed, provide medicine, clothe, and comfort people. They already do it and do it much more efficiently.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Scott

      You hit the nail on the head. No where did Jesus say "...now go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them and appointing them to positions of authority where they may smite the sucessful people with fairness, for, lo, they must have stolen everything they own from the poor."

      I believe he said something to the effect that the poor will always be with us.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Gwenie

      Bleh...Come on now, use your head...There is no possible way that churches and charities can pay for healthcare in this country..Have you stayed in the hospital lately?...Open heart surgery can easily cost you 500,000 dollars and that's just for one person...Tell me how any faith base facility will be able to provide those type of funds for all of the people who are ill in this country....

      October 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Scott

      Gwenie, then the focus needs to be on lowering costs, not granting the government more control over your life.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • visitor

      Scott, if you want the costs lowered by the government, do you then support a government take over of health care?

      October 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Scott

      The answer is in your strawman question...why should the government have any influence over the cost of medicine?

      October 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  15. SenceofReason

    Although we seem to have a Presdient who has slapped the face of Christanity, we have a Country that has been going in the wrong direction for decades now. If you were to go back to the founding fathers of this country, unless they were able to hide their clandestin activities, there doesn't seem to be all these "affairs" that many of our 20th Century Presidents have had. President Jackson almost went to war over his relationship with his wife that so many people at the time critized him over. But you get down to FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton...all of them had affairs on the side. Even thought all of these men displaied a religious side to them. But now, we have a President who is going against everything that Christanity stands for. The gay rights issue, the failure of showing the nation that he is a President who goes to Church weekly and lets the Nation see it...the thought that the a misinspired very young girl can "throw away" an unborn child just because she doesn't want to be bothered with having to raise a baby at 16 years of age. She needs to learn the word NO and learn to keep a ping pong ball between her knees. If this President believes this, then isn't it a shame that his own Mother didn't believe in abortion ?? Maybe then we would not be having this conversation. And the black community, who do go to Church weekly and preach a good sermon aboiut Jesus and the Love of God, would turn away from those very same values to support and vote for a President who fails to follow those values, must show just how "religious" they are. They may as well stay home on Sunday like their beloved President because they sure aren't listening to what is being taught from the Bible. Good luck all...God is watching and you will have to answer for this

    October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Not all Christians agree you on gay marriage, abortion or the need to attend church weekly.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • ASK god...

      LETS ENFORCE THE VIEWS OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE ON ALL PEOPLE.... SOUNDS LIKE FREEDOM.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • visitor

      You forgot Bush Sr who kept a mistress in an apartment in DC.

      How utterly Christian of you. Pregnant women and Blacks who formed their own churches, often because the WHITES DIDN'T LET THEM IN, not good enough for you.

      I'll bet War is just AOK. Male Violence, is just well, boys being boys.

      Hypocrite. Everything wrong with religion was just dripping in your post. No wonder people are turning away.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • visitor

      By the way silence if I had a dollar for every Evangelical girl I KNEW had an abortion, and ahem, MOTHERS of evangelicals, I could pay my next water bill.

      October 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  16. KLDGBB

    Who cares what "kind" of Christian he is? Religion has no place in politics.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  17. oj-simpson

    I just can believe this crap.. Obama is good just take a look in the supermarket whe you go to pay for your groceries.. " excuse me can i pay for your food with my EBT and you give me just $50.00" .. " If Rodney wins, we are screwed up and we gonna have to get a job and all these free stuff we got from Obama will be gone!" .. 90% of them illegals .. how or what they do to get the bennefit

    October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  18. ivan bial

    Some of the Christian leaders are extremely hypercritical.
    President Obama is "Not the right type of Christian", how stupid.
    Billy Graham listed Mormonism as a cult for decades, suddenly two day ago he saw the light and a dollar sign and endorsed Romney.
    Thank G_D I am not a Christian.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  19. !

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7/

    October 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • NoTheism

      troll

      October 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "!", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Fleur

      Aetheists are satanic??? LOL :-) How did you figure that one out???

      October 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • KLDGBB

      Wow. What a crazy post full of generalizations, assumptions, and non-fac ts. Atheists are angry? Atheists only pretend not to believe in God to argue with religious people? Believing in evolution means Atheists don't believe in morality? Where is the connection there. Still, I think my favorite is that Atheists are uneducated – that's a good one – better check your facts on that one for sure Mr. or Ms. !. And by the way, only one U.S. federal holiday is based on religion – Christmas. The other nine are completely secular (New Year's Day, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving).

      October 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  20. tcxer

    What the hell does this have to do with anything?

    October 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.