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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. glennwharris

    2 each his own....but u religeous fanatics r all a**holes. More people have been persecuted and or have died in holy and religeous wars then

    October 28, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      The Lord JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY way. We were bought at a high price.. by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. That's how much God loves us. He came into the world he created by manifesting his eternal spirit in a mortal human body, and laid his life down for his friends/his creation as a sacrifice for our sins.

      Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings <3 Jesus loves us so much he took our punishment for all our sins by taking the pain of hell through his body and it exploding in his mind while on the cross to take our place for eternal punishment in hell.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • rand

      actually more people have been rescued by christian beliefs..............

      October 28, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • whoever

      @ rand

      just no hard facs to prove that! There however countles facts of people being killed over religions!

      October 29, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • gf

      That sounds like an unfinished sentence ... than ... what?

      That said, more people have died from political wars in general not fought for religious reasons. More people have died from infectious diseases. And a lot of people have died from cancer, heart disease and car accidents. Let's face it, we live in a $hi++y world where lots of people die all the time, and usually at the hands of men it's for some selfish reason. Anyone can march under some banner, claiming it as their own, and go killing another. That's humans for you.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  2. Danielle78

    I don't care what religion Obama is, he is the only candidate that will keep his religious beliefs to himself. He could be a member of a cult, the point is, he won't make us all wear purple Nikes. Romney has proven time and time again that he cannot keep from imposing his beliefs on others.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Cindy

      Obama does not keep his so called beliefs to himself.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • huky

      Danielle,

      You are an ignorant liberal. Mr Romney is a very kind man that has an extensive history of helping others. People are very jealous of his self made wealth but any man that donates millions to charities every year cannot be a bad person. In fact Mr Romney was Governor of Mass for four years and never took a salary! He has a personal commitment to help his fellow man. BY the way I am a registered Independent blue collar worker from NH and will vote for Mr Romney.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Adrian

      @husky, how does inheriting money from mommy and daddy make Mitt Romney self made?

      November 6, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • gf

      Actually it's just the opposite. Obama talks about his religious beliefs, holds prayer meetings, meets at churches, goes to religious rallies & breakfasts ... so if you want to vote for someone who keeps their religious views to themselves, I hope you voted for Romney. He does not talk about religion. You see, for political reasons, it helps Obama to talk of his, it does NOT help Romney to talk about his. So be proud of political speech if you want, that's what you're getting.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  3. Concerned

    When someone is born again, they make decisions according to the Bible. Obama does not do that. President Obama needs to be born again.

    John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    October 28, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      AMEN! This! ^

      October 28, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • AvdBerg

      Concerned

      For a better understanding what it means to be 'Born Again' we invite you to read the articles 'Born of God' and 'Judging – Born Again' listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      October 28, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • PA86

      "Judge not, that ye be not judged" – Matt. 7.1 I also seem to remember Jesus saying that he came not to judge the world but to save the world. You can personally be against some things in your Christian life, and also be for not holding the rest of the world to your personal standards by rule of law. Grow up.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Guest

      @Concerned! Amen to that!

      October 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Meli

      Completely agree with you!!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      AvdBerg is a TROLL on this site don't bother reading this crap, they are proven liars and they are only here to sell their book and website to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this LYING TROLL!

      October 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Cindy

      Amen, you hit the nail on the head.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  4. inthespirit

    Currently, CNN is the example of how news reporting should not be. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." As many have pointed out, Mr. Obama's point of view is reelection, not Christian principle. Oswald Chambers, a man of God said, "Beware of bartering the Word of God for a more suitable conception of your own." That is a warning to us all.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Eddie Hurley

      aman you said the true

      October 28, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Todd

      Hahaha beware of bartering the word of cnn. Your property moght get stolen, and someone murdered. Literally. Nothing ok a about hit n runs folks.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Tom

      Eddie, What is "aman"? What are you trying to say?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Church of Suicidal

      I think he misunderstood and thought the preacher said, "Can I get a man?" Then again, if it was the "Bishop" Eddie Long, it would be an understandable mistake...

      October 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • nurseteacher

      I cannot understand all of the judges of Obama. He has never said he was anything but a Christian. He keeps his beliefs on abortion to himself, but believes women should be trusted with their own bodies. Romney flip-flops over the same issues. Romney worships Joseph Smith who took young girls as brides (he had many), his own grandfather had many wives as well. Romney is a draft dodger with sons who do not serve who believes the poor should be in the military to protect his money hidden overseas. He refuses to answer questions, yet you believe his cult is christian. He believes what the wind blows up in order to get votes. Obama sticks to his beliefs and treats the poor with respect. He is not the AntiChrist but perhaps Romney is.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  5. Shuszhu

    Obama can be what ever he wants after they kick his butt out of the White House and send him back to Chicago as far as I am concerned.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      ...you mean back to KENYA.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Thomas M

      Eddie,
      Has President Obama ever visited Kenya?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Equalizer357

      Born in KENYA.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You guys must be just terrified.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Equalizer357

      They eat human flesh in Kenya....vodoooo.........

      October 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • nurseteacher

      Equalizer, perhaps Romney was born in Mexico, I haven't seen his bc. Hawaii is a state. Obama's mother is an American, Only 19 when he was born, pretty smart to have known he was going to be president some day and send announcements to the Hawaiian papers about his birth saying he was born in Hawaii. All of that within days of his birth. Some people can be so silly, asking for his Harvard records, (we haven't seen Romneys who got into Harvard because he had a rich governor for a father). Why don't you discuss important things like putting the dog on top of the car or cutting a terrified student's hair off having fun, or being a draft dodger while expecting others to serve in Vietnam. None of his sons have served yet he wants us to fight Russia. Then he wants us to fight Iran and even perhaps Syria. Perhaps you don't mind your sons serving but I want mine to serve only when the rich serve as well.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  6. JessSayin

    Couldn't help but notice Dan that you never once indicated what the Scriptures say about what it means to publicly be a follower of Christ. Jesus is not Lord of Obama's life. He has said as much himself.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • holly

      that is very primative thinking, i know alot of people who are not christians and who are caring wonderful people who do alot of good. you so called christians are the anti christ!! you do everything against what christ has taught! YOU judge people, wish people of diffirent faiths ill will. YOU are the anti christ!! where is the compassion?? i have not seen any! all you do is wish damnation on everyone who thinks diffirent than you so called christians! jesus spoke of love for your enemy be there for the poor , he never spoke of hate! which this country is full of! this is NOT A CHRISTIAN country!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  7. Jt_flyer

    I'm only interested in how his presidency changed the economy. And I'd have to say: NOT MUCH.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  8. ferdinand lopez

    cnn, it's funny how you would do anything to help this guy. how about give your audience more reports on bengazie scandals.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  9. AvdBerg

    The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).

    There is a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44).

    The above article by Dan Gilgoff is misleading as he himself is spiritually blind and his article is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media as the main culprit. For a better understanding we invite you to read the article ‘The Natural Body vs the Spiritual Body’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    His reference and use of the word ‘Christianity’ is also very misleading as so-called Christians are followers of an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8). Please read the article ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’ listed on our website.

    Why is there so much division amongst the religions of this world? Please read on.

    It is articles like the one above and that are so readily displayed by CNN that is the cause of so much hatred and division. Just take a minute and reflect on some of the entries on this Blog and the hatred and immorality that are being conveyed.
    The local media, including CNN, Fox and your local TV stations and newspapers are a very important element of social and political behavior, as society is shaped by what it sees, hears and reads and it is conditioned by the events that influence the mind of every person. You reap what you sow.

    To allow anyone to be directed by public opinion is dangerous because most public opinion is the view of the media. If the media does not like something, their bias taints information getting to the public, and this forms public opinion. Public opinion is never based on research and facts. The public uses the media for its sole source of information and for this reason social behavior will continue to deteriorate and wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

    For a better understanding of the role of the media we invite you to read the articles ‘Influence of the Media’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The media does not provide accurate information on ‘Religion’ as it continues to ignore the truth and the history of deceptions (John 14:17). They only report how they want you to hear things. They have created the big chasm that now exists without offering any solutions.

    Consider the truth about Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Evangelicals and Christianity and all other religions and ask yourself the following question.

    Are so-called Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Israelites and Evangelicals and all those that call themselves ‘Christians’ followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, or do they follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8)?

    For a better understanding of the history of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Christianity, and Judaism and its spread throughout the world, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’ and ‘Clash of Civilizations’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The media also makes references to religion as it relates to political issues without any understanding. For example: Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’ and ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’, listed on our website.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    October 28, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      The Antichrist is soon to rise up under a One World Government when this Muslim betrays our nation. Jesus Christ our Lord is coming SOON for his bride! <3

      October 28, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Shuszhu

      What a waste of typing that was AvdBerg. After all of that, all you did was to prove how much of a hypocrite you yourself are. You start off about saying how Christians worship a "false God and false Christ" and then you spend the rest of your whole friggin dissertation quoting bible verses to prove it. Hello? Is anybody home McFly??

      October 28, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • UWSGirl

      Judge not lest ye be judged..... but you did already, didn't you.

      Hypocrites ... all of you!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • PA86

      wow, don't know who you are, but all of my cult warning signs seem to be flashing here . . .

      October 28, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Equalizer357

      Ignorants misuse the word "Judge not" in the Bible...

      October 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • holly

      you really shallow.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  10. Rev. HENRY WESTER

    my christian ed. stared when i was 5 yrs old. it was believe the only people of the Church of God church would get into have. so this really put fear in my heart about my other family member "Go to hell " my family has been A.M.E for over 70 yr. So i think only is going to judge me when that days. Man will get a relationship with only when they are ready.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • I'll ramble on too

      Just like she allways saids, when the train rumbles buy, he come to replaced the light bubs but he never tell me who done it or why for they din't emptee your trash.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      Apparently, your "Christian Ed." is all you spent your time studying. It was hard to even read what you wrote and when I can't understand someone's ramblings, I usually don't care what they have to say.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  11. NC Independent

    Unbelievable the way the media will stop at nothing to push Obama to reelection, helping him pander for votes. Instead of focusing on the Libyan situation and what happened there and the real state of the economy. Why this story now? In the last four years, we saw NONE of this display of faith. None. We won't be fooled again!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Todd

      You're right. These humans play by a different set of codes. Love, faith, and mercy has no place here. Only $ and scare tactics makes their life worth living.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • joesalters

      I think hes' lost his religion . His administration wants to take god out of everything and he has kneeled down to the gays and hollywood for votes and money.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • PA86

      CNN runs this religion related news thread every Sunday, wake up. Maybe you would be happier reading the link to the Romney story on this subject today.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Equalizer357

      Democrats, Spin doctors, vodoo witches, charlatans, devils...Im amazed how they turn a devil into a saint.. booohooohooo!

      October 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  12. Hairy Ham

    Obama is a MUSLIM. "Ye shall know them by their fruits."

    Stop with the lies CNN!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Gaunt

      Half wit birther troll

      October 28, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      The truth annoys people... because when truth is spoken, it rattles the lies they hold dear to their heart. However, the truth shall set you free :))

      October 28, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • AA

      If he is Muslim then his fruit is the best, if not then that is his lost.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • mb2010a

      And Romney is a draft-dodging Mormon...I'll go with the Christian Obama long before I'll vote for a cultist Romney.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • unowhoitsme

      You must be one of those Capital C christians that go around judging others and slamming them, because they don't think and believe your way. Where does you "love for one another" come into play? Christians are such hypocrites! The President is as Muslim as my dog is Muslim. You need to go to Afganistan to study the Muslims. You probably won't come back alive.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      @unowhoitsme: Let's have some End Days bible prophecy studying shall we?

      Also, being a fruit inspector and being a judge are not the same. Don't play the victim role.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Equalizer357

      "Christian Obama"?????!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahaha..are you sick????!!!!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  13. Dave

    Very interesting article. I knew he was a Christian, but I didn't realize how serious he was about it. I appreciate that he doesn't make a big deal about it publicly, even though so many people are convinced he's a Muslim Communist, etc. It seems to me he takes the good parts of religion and avoids the distasteful hypocrisy that I see coming from the right wing evangelicals.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Allie

      Whar part of religion thinks abortion is ok?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Linda

      Whoa, here's where we need to start praying for discernment for the masses! If Obama is a Christian, then he needs to desparately step back and get with God, because he has lost his way! Spoken in Love...nothing but Love.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • vroice

      Obama never said abortion was okay or that he believes in the morals of it. His opinion on abortion is that you shouldn't be forced to partake in it against your wishes. In what world is it okay for us to tell someone what to do with their body. Religious or not ,that choice should not be in the hands of the church.

      October 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • PA86

      No he hasn't lost his way. Is it possible do you think that he just might believe that it is not his role to legislate Christianity upon the entire population of the United States? Where in the Bible does it tell you to make Christianity the rule of law in the country you live in?

      October 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Cindy

      Obama is not serious about Christianity. He supports things that God clearly labels as sin.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • cwcw

      Great Post! Allie there are no direct references to abortion in the bible,relevant scriptures can be quoted on either side. Jesus was very clear about how we were to treat the poor!! How any Christian can read the new testament and conclude that we are to side with the rich Against the poor (republican ideology) is beyond me!

      October 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  14. Blake

    We must vote for the man with at least some morals (Mitt Romney). Barrack Obama stands against what the Bible teaches. Whtether you like it or not, belive in God or not, ALL will be judged one day by the decisions we make and the agendas we defend.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • mb2010a

      What in God's name makes you think Romney has ANY morals???

      October 28, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • JWT

      There is noone to be judged by.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  15. thomas

    If this story doesn't make you want to puke nothing will. It is defamation to all Christians that Obama has the nerve to call himself a Christian. He doesn't even know what it means let alone how to spell it.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • BD70

      Didn't realize being a christian is now an elite club.

      October 28, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • MontanaTrace

      Every religion is a club. What else don't you get? Obama's Wright club has a lot of hate. Mostly hate for the white man and America. Pass the plate in the name of hate.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  16. BD70

    I don't care what a person believes as long as it is not legislated into law and inflicted on me.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • BD70

      In regards to religion.

      October 28, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Eddie Hurley

      you are probably one of those people that imposes your thoughts on others you probably are saying how thing should be

      October 28, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • holly

      thank the stars there is someone with intelligence on here!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  17. petemg

    It is so pathetic the way Obama changes his views on many things just to gain votes. He stated one time that he became a Christian because it benefited him and his life. If he stays in office another four years, will his faith again change. Granted only God our Creator can judge but we do have the right to question things going on in the name of God our Creator. I only know He is still in control. Like it or not, Obama is not anybody's messiah.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • mb2010a

      We don't claim that Obama is the Messiah and neither does he. At least he is a Christian...Romney is not. He's a draft-dodging Mormon who puts his cult before Christ.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:24 am |
  18. god_allah_joseph_smith

    god_allah_joseph_smith are as relevant as the pharaohs that forced others to worship the sun god. They are all dead!

    October 28, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  19. god_allah_joseph_smith

    god_allah_joseph_smith are as irrelevant as the pharaohs that forced their people to worship the sun god. They are all dead!

    October 28, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Todd

      Spose we could all just lose faith in everything and see how our moral fabrication does then. Though, I don't enjoy the idea of that.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • Think4Yourself

      @Todd – faith has nothing to do with morality. Morality existed long before the stories of the Bible were written.

      November 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  20. FubarObama

    Yes,,he certainly has changed, He went from the AntiChrist to a complete Athiest. The Great Divider in Chief !

    October 28, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Hairy Ham

      I still wouldn't rule out: "Antichrist". Read the book of Revelation and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to you. Obama is no Christian! It's all for the votes!

      October 28, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • mb2010a

      Romney is the Anti-Christ and everyone knows it. The Bible says that the Anti-Christ will come from the world of business...that would be Romney. The Bible also says to beware of false prophets...Romney again.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Cindy

      Neither Romney or Obama is the anti-Christ. Those of you who say that don't know what you are talking about.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:28 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.