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In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style
President Obama speaking from the pulpit of a Washington church in 2010.
October 27th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style

Editor's note: This is the last in a series about the faith lives of the presidential candidates, which includes a profile of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – President Obama’s prayers for a strong first debate may not have been answered, but that doesn’t mean the prayers weren’t happening.

Before he stepped onto a Colorado stage earlier this month to face off with Mitt Romney for the first time, Obama joined a conference call with a small circle of Christian ministers.

“The focus of that prayer was, ‘Oh, Lord, you know precisely what the president needs to say,'” says Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist megachurch pastor from Texas who helped lead the call. “'You know what this country needs during the next four years.’”

“'And so I would pray that your primary will and words that you want the president to say will fall from his lips,'” Caldwell goes on, recalling his prayer.

Obama, for his part, was mostly silent.

“There’s a profound and genuine humility in the presence of Christ himself,” Caldwell says, describing the president on such calls. “I think he recognizes it as a holy moment.”

It was the second time Caldwell and Obama had prayed by phone in as many months. The two had connected in August on a prayer call Obama has hosted on his birthday every year since coming to the White House.

Welcome to the intense, out-of-the-box and widely misunderstood religious life of President Barack Obama.

Though he famously left his controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the year he was elected to the presidency, a handful of spiritual advisers close to Obama say that his time in office has significantly deepened his faith.

The making of a candidate: Mitt Romney’s faith journey

Stephen Mansfield, a former Christian pastor who wrote the book “The Faith of Barack Obama,” goes so far to say that Obama has experienced a spiritual transformation.

“I think we do have at heart a new man, so to speak,” says Mansfield, who worked closely with the White House and with some Obama religious advisers on his book. “He has undergone a pretty significant personal religious change in his first term.”

Methodist minister Kibyjon Caldwell, right, has grown close to President Obama after serving as a spiritual counselor to President George W. Bush. Here, Caldwell and Bush share a stage in 2003.

Obama’s faith advisers say Mansfield goes a step too far, though they acknowledge that when it comes to his faith, Obama has changed.

“There is a deepening development in his relationship with God,” says Joel Hunter, a Florida-based pastor who has been in touch with Obama nearly every week since he took office. “He chooses to stay faithful in daily habits of study and prayer and consistent times of interchange with spiritual leaders.”

“I am not sure he did that before he came to the presidency.”

Whether or not Obama has been spiritually “reborn” in the evangelical sense, his spiritual counselors say the president’s faith has helped shape his first term in ways that haven’t been appreciated by voters or the news media.

And they say the presidency is bringing Obama to a new place in his faith - building on a system of belief and practice that helped bring him to the White House in the first place.

Talking like Billy Graham

These days, when the president talks about his faith, he sounds like a born-again Christian.

Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington this year, Obama recalled meeting the nation’s most iconic evangelical Christian, Billy Graham, and described his struggle to find the right words as he prayed aloud with the aging evangelist.

“Like that verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit interceded when I didn’t know quite what to say,” Obama told the gathering, invoking the New Testament.

It was hardly the only part of the speech where Obama was speaking “Christianese” – employing a lexicon familiar to evangelical Christians, who put a premium on quoting Scripture and communing directly with the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Barack Obama’s gospel

At the same breakfast, Obama spoke of spending time every morning in “Scripture and devotion” and dropped the names of “friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes,” both well-known pastors of evangelical megachurches.

“He was talking like Billy Graham” at the breakfast, says Mansfield, who also wrote an admiring spiritual biography of former President George W. Bush.

Even in the more secular setting of the Democratic National Convention, Obama hinted at an intense White House prayer life, along with his need for God’s grace.

Some say President Obama sounds like an evangelical when he speaks about his religion, echoing the famous evangelist Billy Graham. The two men met at Graham's mountaintop home in North Carolina home in 2010.

“While I'm proud of what we've achieved together, I'm far more mindful of my own failings,” Obama said in his acceptance speech, “knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’"

Such pious talk marks a departure from how the president discussed his faith life before his White House years.

Back then, Obama cited his religion more as a basis for social action than for spiritual sustenance. He would temper declarations of belief with affirmations of doubt.

Asked in a 2004 interview whether he prayed often, Obama, then a candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois, responded: “Uh, yeah, I guess I do.”

In a 2007 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama voiced skepticism about Scripture.

“There are aspects of the Christian tradition that I’m comfortable with and aspects that I’m not,” he said. “There are passages of the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go ‘Ya know, I’m not sure about that.’”

These days, Obama forgoes such equivocations in favor of a full-throated Christianity.

To Mansfield, the evolution of Obama’s comments on religion bespeak a born-again experience, prompted largely by the president’s break with Wright and his arrival into a circle of spiritual counselors that includes many evangelicals.

The White House declined requests to speak to Obama.

But Hunter, the president’s closest spiritual counselor, says Obama has technically been a born-again Christian for more than 25 years, since accepting Jesus at Wright’s Chicago church in the 1980s.

But it's in the last four years that the president has become more evangelical in his habits.

He now begins each morning reading Christian devotionals on his Blackberry.

And then there’s the circle of pastors Obama has begun praying with before big events like the first presidential debate.

A circle of evangelicals

After landing in Washington following his 2008 election, Obama shopped around for a new church. But he wound up making his spiritual home instead among a circle of far-flung pastors that includes Hunter, Jakes and Caldwell, the minister from Texas.

Conference calls with the group started while Obama was still a presidential candidate, including on the night of his 2008 victory. The president-elect spoke by phone with Hunter and other Christian ministers, rejoicing in victory but also grieving the death of his grandmother, who helped raise him, just a few days earlier.

The migration from Wright – who almost brought down Obama’s campaign with videos that showed him sermonizing about “God damn America” and “the U.S. of KKK A” – to this new group, says Mansfield, has been underappreciated.

“[Obama] went into the Oval Office … questioning the only pastor he’d ever had,” Mansfield says. “Wright left him humiliated.”

“And there were deeper questions about the theology that [Obama] had received,” Mansfield continues. “Some part of Wright’s religious orientation had failed.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Where Wright is a liberal mainline Protestant, emphasizing liberation and social action, Obama’s new circle of pastors includes theologically conservative evangelicals like Hunter and Jakes, who stress God’s grace and personal transformation.

Mansfield notes that the chaplain who has presided for the last few years at Camp David, where Obama spends many Sundays, is also an evangelical.

Some of Obama’s spiritual counselors credit Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, with leading Obama to a more evangelical-flavored Christianity. Caldwell calls him the president’s personal pastor.

A former associate pastor at a Pentecostal church in Boston, DuBois is the one responsible for sending Obama Scriptures and scriptural meditations five days a week; Hunter does it on the other two days.

The evangelical pastor Joel Hunter, center, and White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Executive Director Joshua DuBois, right, are the President’s closest religious counselors. Here they are in February.

DuBois convenes a daily 8:15 a.m. conference call with pastors to pray for the country and the president, who is not on the call. (Lately, those calls have also included prayers for Mitt Romney.)

And it’s DuBois who organized the president’s circle of spiritual advisers. After graduate school at Princeton, DuBois talked his way onto Obama’s staff at the U.S. Senate, repeatedly driving to Washington to make his case after job applications were rejected.

When Obama launched his presidential campaign a few years later, DuBois was plucked as its faith outreach director.

The 30-year-old White House aide plays down his influence on his boss.

“He has always been on a Christian journey,” DuBois says of Obama, “and the challenges of the office, of being leader of the free world, provides a deepening and strengthening of faith, and that’s what you see with the president.”

“I remember working with him around the Scripture he would use at the memorial service for the miners in West Virginia,” DuBois says, referring to the 2010 tragedy that left 29 dead. “These are obviously moments when one's faith is strengthened.”

The unparalleled trials of the Oval Office have been known to deepen the religiosity of presidents ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan.

Hunter says the same thing has happened to this president: “His faith has been growing as the challenges of the presidency have become more naturally the main part of his own everyday life.”

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One of Hunter’s first Oval Office encounters with Obama came shortly after the president took office, at a time when the economy was shedding 750,000 jobs a month.

“He acknowledged at that meeting what many may know but few remember: that by the time issues get to the president, there are no simple or clear answers or they would have been solved by others,” Hunter says. “So we prayed.”

A few months later, Hunter was in the Oval Office again, noticing that “the unremitting heaviness of the office was setting in.”

“I saw something that has been consistent ever since: He cannot just pray for himself and his family,” Hunter says by e-mail. “At least I have never seen it. His faith, his heart, always includes those who are being left out through no fault of their own.”

Despite the changes they’ve seen in Obama, both Hunter and DuBois are uncomfortable with the word “transformation” when it comes to Obama’s White House faith life.

“The president doesn’t deal in labels,” says DuBois. “He knows God’s grace is sufficient for him and beyond that doesn’t get into labels, evangelical or mainline. He’s a proud Christian.”

Loving God by loving your neighbor

When the Rev. Sharon Watkins and a group of fellow Protestant ministers sat down with Obama at the White House a couple years into the president’s term, she knew the pastors would get wonky about religion.

“You get a bunch of ministers in the room and we’re all church geeks – it’s theological,” says Watkins, who along with the other pastors had come to talk about poverty. “But the president got every biblical allusion and reference. … He’s just a person who is biblically and theologically literate.”

If Obama’s personal theology has grown more conservative, he is inclined to apply it toward liberal political ends.

“I’d be remiss if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends,” Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. “So instead, I must try - imperfectly, but I must try - to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation.”

In signing laws that have increased Wall Street regulations and stopped health insurance companies from rejecting patients with preexisting conditions, Obama said at the breakfast, he wanted to “make the economy stronger for everybody.”

“But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years,” he continued. “And I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’”

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha leave church after attending a Sunday prayer service.

Obama went on to frame decisions as disparate as ending tax breaks for the wealthy and defending foreign aid as examples of biblical principles in action, quoting Jesus’ teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required” and invoking the “biblical call to care for the least of these.”

That last biblical reference also loomed large in another 2011 White House meeting between Obama and a group of religious leaders. They’d come to urge the president to protect programs for the poor amid his fight with Congress over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, a progressive activist, recalls the meeting:

In pressing Obama to take cuts to those programs off the table, one Roman Catholic bishop told the president that “the text that we are obliged to obey does not say ‘as you have done to the middle class you have done to me.’”

“It says as you’ve done to the least of these, you have done to me,” the bishop said.
“I know that text,” Obama responded. The passage is from the Matthew 25 in the New Testament.

“So there was this very rigorous conversation,” Wallis says, “and we pressed him on applying Matthew 25 to this decision about protecting those who were the least of these.”

Ultimately, the programs that the religious leaders were lobbying for were protected in the debt ceiling deal, though it’s unclear how big a role the religious leaders played.

For liberal Christians, such victories embody the justice of the social gospel, the idea that believers should do God’s work – even aid the Second Coming - by improving society.

“I do notice that sometimes, like on health care, when [Obama] says it’s the right thing to do, it’s him saying you love God by loving your neighbor,” says Watkins, who leads a mainline denomination called Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “He’s doing the best he can to be guided by God so he can be a faithful follower of Christ.”

Skeptics might write off Obama’s Bible talk as sanctimonious window dressing, aimed at no higher purpose than connecting with churchgoers in the purple and red states. But translating the Good Book into progressive politics has always been a mainstay of Obama’s political biography.

‘An awesome God in the blue states’

When Obama landed on Chicago’s South Side in 1985 as an idealistic 23-year-old, eager to start work as a community organizer, he was already a political liberal.

He was also a man without a religion, the son of a spiritual-but-not-religious mother whom he would later describe as “a lonely witness for secular humanism” and an estranged African father who was born a Muslim but died an atheist.

Obama’s work in Chicago, built around causes like tenants’ rights and job training for laid-off workers, was steeped in religion.

His salary was paid by a coalition of churches. And the job took him into many black churches, among the most influential institutions in the neighborhood he was organizing, including Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ.

After a lifelong struggle to fit in, set in motion by his mixed-race parents, Trinity felt like home.

“I came to realize that without a vessel for beliefs, without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith,” he wrote later, “I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart.”

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who brought Obama to Christianity, ignited controversy that almost brought down Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

The changes that Wright’s church wrought weren’t just personal. Baptism and active membership there equipped Obama with an ability to connect with churchgoers he was trying to organize – and, years later, with religious voters he was trying to win over – in a deeper way.

Wright, who did not respond to interview requests for this story, gave Obama a moral framework for his liberal politics. The pastor espoused a black liberation theology that equates Jesus’ life and death with the plight of those who Wright saw as disenfranchised, from African-Americans to Palestinians.

“Wright is the religious version of almost everything Obama already believed without religion,” says Mansfield, who spent time at Trinity for his book. “It’s a support of oppressed people anywhere in the world.”

When Obama emerged on the national stage, his comfortable religiosity and sensitivity to the concerns of churchgoing Americans helped distinguish him as a Democrat.

“We worship an awesome God in the blue states,” he declared to huge applause in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, catching the attention of young Christians like Joshua DuBois.

But at that same convention, Obama’s party nominated John Kerry, a candidate who eschewed God talk and who lost his own Catholic demographic on Election Day.

Four years later, Obama hired religious outreach staffers like DuBois for his presidential campaign and made a point of meeting with Christian Right leaders who’d never before heard from a Democratic presidential nominee.

Obama went on to win in places like Indiana and North Carolina, evangelical-heavy states that a Democratic presidential nominee hadn’t taken in decades.

If the Rev. Wright had almost brought down his presidential campaign, the controversial minister had also long ago laid the groundwork for Obama to connect with the churchgoing voters who had turned their backs on Kerry.

The politics of confusion

As president, the line between Obama’s personal convictions and his political prowess on religious matters can sometimes be hard to discern.

Obama invited the conservative evangelical megapastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his 2009 inauguration, ruffling liberal feathers. He introduced an annual Easter prayer breakfast as a new White House tradition. He gives shout-outs to young evangelical leaders in major speeches.

Obama asked evangelical pastor Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration, riling some of the president's liberal supporters.

All can be seen as genuine reflections of Obama’s faith and his appreciation for the role of religious leaders in public life. And in a nation where more people believe in angels than in evolution - a fact that the president himself has publicly noted - all promise political benefits.

The same could be said for Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, and for presidents as diverse as Jimmy Carter and Reagan: All had deep spiritual streaks that enabled the political art of courting religious Americans, especially evangelicals.

The irony, in Obama’s case, is that despite his orthodox utterances - there’s “something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective,” he said at this year's Easter breakfast - polls continue to show widespread confusion about his faith.

Only half the country can correctly identify Obama as Christian, according to one recent Pew poll, while 17% falsely believe he is a Muslim.

“He’s a Christian and he professes his Christian faith - I don’t know what else this man has to do to get that into folks’ ears,” says Caldwell, who was also close to George W. Bush.

President Obama at the 2011 White House Easter prayer breakfast, an annual tradition that he started.

But Obama’s public piety has helped him bond with young evangelical leaders, who are less tied to the GOP than their parents’ generation.

“I was struck by the specificity of what he described in terms of theology and what it means to him,” says Gabe Lyons, one such leader, describing a White House Easter breakfast he attended. “His message is very specific and very orthodox.”

Where exactly that new orthodoxy comes from – the pressures of the White House, a new circle of religious advisers or, to a certain degree, from political calculation – may become clearer after Obama's presidency, if he opens up about such matters.

Until then, the president is likely to keep speaking "Christianese" - and resisting Christian labels.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (4,988 Responses)
  1. Army Wife

    O will do anything to get elected. If you believe he is a Christian, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Are_you_kidding?

      Yeah,like G.W.B.actually believed that nonsense?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Aww, poor army wife is mad at the Prez for not risking her husband's life needlessly. Boo hoo

      October 28, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • just me

      True.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  2. Adam

    obama is a muzleem plain and simple.
    Christians do not consider him to be a Christian.
    Go obama....go right back to Chicago after you lose the election.
    Ain't enough knee grows to keep you in office.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Sorry, your going to have too pledge allegiance to Obama for another four years lol. And after that Michelle will win for 2 terms. Isn't life grand?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • just me

      Muslim. And yes, he might be one..

      October 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  3. Obama from KFC

    .....I'z love all these nice articles that CNN keeps writing about me. Plz keep it up and you'z will agai be rewarded with lots of White House access for softball interviews with me'z and Michele.

    Jusr pleaze don;t be asking any of dem hard questions on the economy and jobs.....cuz you know if i'm re-elected that all going to be bad, bad news.

    Keep up to good works CNN!

    Love,

    Obo

    October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Is that how Obama speaks? You must know, I'm sure you also have a law degree from Havard. No? You never got your GED? Oh....oh my

      October 28, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  4. fred smith

    The prayers of the President were not answered? He did not pray the others did. And you saw the answers. You saw the first debate change the election. Thank you God for answering our prayers.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  5. Melissa

    Where's Obama's Muslim ring he's been sporting. And trust me, God heard the prayer. He heard, Yyou know what this country needs", and he knows that this county doesn't need Obama! And some of God's greatest gifts are His unanswered prayers.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  6. Truth

    I love when n1ggers do me from behind.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Are_you_kidding?

      Assume the position...

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      I know your dad put some bad ideas in your head as a kid, but he's gone now so it's time to grow up and think for yourself.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  7. Frank

    'SPECIAL REPORT' INVESTIGATES BENGHAZI — NEW REVELATIONS. Watch Sunday @ 3 and 10pm ET on FOX news, the number one news network in the USA. Sorry CNN, even you cannot stop the truth from coming out.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  8. David Coatney

    If you believe this, then I can probably also get you to believe that Obama cared about what happened in Benghazi. CNN is a joke, not leading with the Benghazi cover-up story. This should spark outrage.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Seyedibar

      That story was covered a week ago. It's in the past now. Try to keep up.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  9. Frank

    Shameful how this is regarded as page one news by the groupies. CNN is merely a bullhorn for this administrations campaign. No matter how much CNN and the other liberal news outlets cover up and obfuscate Benghazi, the American people can see what happened. Looks like President Romney will have to sort out another one of Obama's messes.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • glorydays

      So why are you here?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • just me

      Ditto. I voted for Obama last election – not doing it again
      I will wait for Hillary to run next time.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  10. glorydays

    When Timmy Tebow sells his religion, will it be gone?

    October 28, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  11. Leslie English

    Obama has no religion except himself. It is all about him not God, not America and certainly not his fellow American's. He has come to steal, kill and destroy a once great country.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • slim

      you are such an idiot. you sound like the devil himself. this article is not talking politics but showing how the president faith has increased being a president.fool wise up

      October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Zomfg! he's going to steal the whole thing?!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says the illiterate nut-job who doesn't know that "American's" is a possessive. If you are talking about multiple people, it's "Americans", you moron. Grow up and get an education. Your ignorance is showing.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • socal

      you don't attend a church like rev.wright's for 20 years and try and say he did not sway your thinking. I agree with you. He is NOT American.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • sqeptiq

      <>
      New American Standard Bible
      11For who among men knows the thoughts
      of a man except the spirit of the man which
      is in him?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  12. anonymous

    I wonder if Obama's heart is softening on the abortion issue. He's been such a supporter of hard core abortion rights. If Jesus is working on his heart, I would expect some conviction and turning away from the kind of support he has offered on that issue in the past. Also, I would expect to see him backtracking on things like his belief that there's more than one way to The Father and his endorsement of Islam as being just as valid as Christianity. It's one thing to love and respect your neighbor. It's another to stand up as president of the United States and give full throated endorsements to things that are just not Biblical. My prayers continue that God would show us all the truth and help us be of one accord in His church. There are nonessential (adiaphora) issues that are neither required nor prohibited by scripture. As Christians we need to respect and lovingly accomodate a variety of opinions. How best to take care of the least of these from an economic and political point of view I think is one of those areas. There is more than one valid and good way to accomplish that end. But in the past Obama's opinions and personal beliefs have flown in the face of the core of the gospel and what it means to be a follower of Christ. My prayer is that Jesus work on his heart and show him where he might be in error. As president of the United States he wields alot of influence esp. with the younger generation.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Truth

      N1ggers don't have "heart".

      October 28, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  13. Lisa

    Give me a break! The Bible I read doesn't support what Barack Obama seems to support. Sorry...I'm not buying it!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Your right, your Bible holds women as nothing more that chattel. Surely he treats his Wife and Daughters better than that.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • gaytheology

      My Bible does...

      October 28, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Truth

      What does the bible say precisely about animals, namely simian primates like Obama, chimpanzees?
      What about the first chimp?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • snowboarder

      there are literally as many interpretations of scripture as there are readers.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  14. rand

    Obama is a full blown COMMUNIST..................the more you read about him the more you know it's true............

    October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional idiocy.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Truth

      The only communists I know are humans.
      On1gger is well, a n1gger. Never heard of a n1gger having such distinct political ideologies.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt you've ever heard of dental care for that one tooth of yours, either, Cletus.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • just me

      too bad most people who vote for him whether live in tree-hugger, hippie chic world or are full blown wellfare lovers – people like these don't check facts my dear...

      October 28, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • cybercmdr

      @Truth: Thank you for clearly representing the basic concern and motivation of a large portion of the Obama haters. It's not patriotism, not tax policies, and it is definitely not based on a clear headed evaluation of the direction he wants to take the country in. It is just plain, old fashioned, ugly prejudice. That is the root core, right there, of the animosity shown by Tea partiers against Obama. Most try to pretty it up a little with exhortations about conservative values and concerns about the debt, but you have ably shown their ugly underside. Bravo for speaking so well for them. You represent them well.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  15. romaestlux

    Why is it surprising that Obama is a Christian? Recent studies indicate that religious people are better educated on average than secularists.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Sane Person

      Except that you have that backwards. Nice try tho. Here, learn something : http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201103/misinformation-and-facts-about-secularism-and-religion

      October 28, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • aginghippy

      Please provide links to said studies.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Really, so all the scientific progress we've made in the last hundred years can be attributed to Christians. Then why did it take 500 hundred years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Truth

      The top 10% bell curve of human beings on this planet today are non-religious.
      Take that and stick it up Jesus' @$$.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  16. Penny Wright

    Mormonism is the most bigoted religion against women, black people, and gays.

    So naturally Romney would be a Republican.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • rand

      proof penney??

      October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Google it rand. It's not hidden.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      See this link on mormons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6brMrFw0E need we say any more

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Truth

      Most against women, black, gays....AND?
      It sounds like you actually have some kind of issue with that...let me guess, you're a woman, a n1gger or a f@ggot?
      Mormonism: it gets sh!t done that wh0res, n1ggers, and f@ggots just can't do.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Adam

      Mormonism is a lot like the catholic church then Penny

      October 28, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Melissa

      All I know is if Romney was Catholic, Catholism would be the most bigoted religion. If he were Baptist,Baptists would be, and so forth. His wife sure doesn't look abused, and his family looks very happy and successful. And you can google that.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  17. aurelius

    That very change is very understandable. After a while in office, President Obama, got to realize how dramatic the role of religion, more like bigotry, still plays in American society and politics. He's just a smart man who recognizes he has to bend with the wind to satisfy the whimsical demands of the American people.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • rand

      OH SPARE US ALL....................THIS MAN IS A COMMUNIST..

      October 28, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Sane Person

      I thought he was a socialist? Or was that a marxist? Do you people have any idea what you are talking about? Why don't you go google communism and come back and report on it to the rest of the class. Then we can do a nice compare and contrast paper on Obama and Communism.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Truth

      A smart...n1gger?
      Does not compute.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  18. bob e

    you believe in virgin birth, get real with yourselves.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  19. Granger

    Yep, CNN helping the president out once again. Obama is NOT a Christian and anyone who says he is; is ignorant. Christians don't kill babies (abortion) and he oversees all of it and sponsors it. Christians don't support gay marriage. This is perversion. How about running a story on Bengazi you Communist News Network (CNN) and do actual reporting. Obama is responsible for those murders as well and CNN is an accomplice. It will all come out and even if Obama is re-elected, he'll get impeached. Just like Bill Clinton. Ironic that Bill and Hillary are once again tied up with corruption.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Then bush must be a satanist. Have you seen the Iraqi civilian casualty count?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • gaytheology

      Don't speak for me, please! I'm a Christian and I fully support gay marriage!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Repub

      Amazing CNN continues to promote one candidate repeatedly and gets away with it. They call themselves a news outlet when obviously they work for the Obama camp. This story is total bullcrap! CNN gives this front page billing with a tiny insert on Romney. The only religion Obama has found is the "I love myself" religion and CNN is right there helping him promote it.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  20. mellster

    How about we get some LARGER FONT LARGER GRAPHICS front-paged stories on Romney being a Bishop in the Mormon church who had some pretty abhorrent policies before 1980, while Romney was a member, including the exclusion of black men from the priesthood up until Mormons were pressured to remove that provision in 1978.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Adam

      Any religion that excluded knee grows is one I want to belong to.
      It's like Minneapolis....clean and white.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:10 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.