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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.

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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.”

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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. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    So who is standing up for christian values, family, abortion, traditional marriage, and religious equality. There is a video of Obama making fun of the sermon on the mount on YouTube. If this all is Christianity I guess the bible is just a previous version of christianity

    October 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • bozobub

      Oh, FFS...

      You're for "traditional marriage", are you? Then you're for polygamy. Care to argue? Re-read your Bible.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Beth G.

      well said...even though I believe Romney is not a christian at least he is for traditional marriage and is prolife, and Obama has had his chance to fix the economy but has only made it worse

      October 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  2. John P. Tarver

    AMormon might be a Christian, but Obama is not.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • bozobub

      Fine. Define how he's not Christian. Simple, flat claims are worthless.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • John Geheran

      bozobub.......point taken. But what cannot be denied is that the prez sat silently in front of his "spiritual advisor" for 20 years and listened as he spewed forth his black liberation theology, anti-American diatribes, hatred of Jews, et al. Doesn't sound very Christianlike to me.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  3. Bryan

    Hard to beleive CNN when they are so obviously in the tank for Obama.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  4. John P. Tarver

    CNN once again attempts to sell Obama as a Christian. No sale.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Zuddy

      You picked the liberal Romney Mormon cult member. You have no credibility.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • bozobub

      The news you don't want to hear: No one cares if you are buying. YOU do not define Christianity, fella.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      This bigot here says Mormons are a cult, I guess the church of Jesus Christ of lds is not based on Jesus. You belong in the dark ages with witches and voodoo.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  5. treblemaker

    For those of you who can't stand CNN's supposed "liberal leanings" in reporting, why are you here reading CNN's news and blogging on it? Go to the FOX website and stop the hypocrisy! As far as I'm concerned, our current President, despite his faults, is the best man for the job. The challenger is a fine man himself, but does not have the empathy for the common man that is necessary for the job. The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is how to raise the money, and then decide where it should be spent. Regarding our President's beliefs, they are his own, no matter what any of you think. Take the log out of your eye before you ever criticize the speck in his eye! Work on your own "journey" before you criticize the President's "journey". The way I see it, those of us who follow the teachings of the Messiah were nothing more than lost sheep who finally realized through divine intervention that God's way for us to live is the only way.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • bozobub

      They CAN'T post on Faux's site. So many far-right wackos and nutjobs were posting, even Faux realized it was making them look bad, and axed their comment system. It was right about when the Birthers were refusing to let go of their fond delusion ^^' ...

      October 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  6. Jason

    This article is just propaganda.

    President Obama is currently being sued by several religous organizations for violating their religious freedoms. Now, just a few days before the elections, he's pretending to be tolerant of religious freedom.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  7. Zuddy

    As a true Christian, I support Obama with all of my heart and with my vote.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Zuddy

      Good job using my name. Real mature.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  8. Glenn

    Headline should read: "How the media continues to attempt to manipulate and persuade the American People."

    October 28, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • LakeRat1

      Yes, the media, very much including CNN, loves to "stir the pot" to maximise readership. It doesn't have to be accurate or relavant, it just has to get clicked on.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  9. FloydZepp

    How the evangelicals became fake Christians – they worship Mammon in MegaChurch and they follow a Cult leader like Romney.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Zuddy

      All Christians are fake Christians because its all fairy tales.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. TomPaine

    o all you people who will not vote for Mr Obama because you believe he is not a Christian despite his claims and other evidence:

    Did you know there is no question that Mr Romney is a Mormon? Did you know that most Christians claim that Mormons are not Christians? If you are going to vote for Mr Romney, stop using religion as an excuse to not vote for Mr Obama–you are revealing yourself for the hypocrite you are.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      So who is standing up for christian values, family, abortion, traditional marriage, and religious equality. There is a video of Obama making fun of the sermon on the mount on YouTube. If this all is Christianity I guess the bible is just a previous version of christianity

      October 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • TomPaine

      If a candidate is not pursuing policies you would like then fine, vote for the other guy. But in this election, those basing their vote solely on who is the most Christian candidate are for some reason choosing Mr Romney, a member of a religion most Christians would say is not Christian.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  11. NorCalMojo

    The religion he pretended to follow in Chicago is too kooky for a mainstream election, so now he's pretending to follow a milder faith that will give him a broader appeal.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • bozobub

      *ALL* religion is "too kooky" for a major election. It simply should not ever be brought up.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  12. LakeRat1

    You don't have to be nearly as cynical as me to come to the conclusion that politics has a lot to do with Obama's religious "progression". I can't imagine why, but the issue of religion has gotten a tremendous amount of polical traction, but political realities are what they are. Although, I don't especially like any president with a belief system based on fairy tales, what make a lot of difference, is that the GOP wants to use religion to increase their own power, and control people. When they talk about "freedom", it is beyond ironic; it's ridiculous.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  13. Bob

    Pretending to be a religious nut is one of several reasons why he didn't get my vote this time around.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • LakeRat1

      So, you'd rather have the religious nuts in the GOP, that wan't to legislate away your freedoms.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  14. Zuddy

    Religion is the bane of society, I can't believe a democratic president is embarrassing himself like this catering to ignorance. Obama has officially lost my vote.

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

      So you're voting for Romney now? Ha ha ha!

      October 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • LakeRat1

      Keep in mind that there's a big difference in what the two parties want to DO with their religion. Barack just wants to get elected, and, although its hard to believe, and downright creepy, this may be what he has to do. Then think about what the GOP wants to do.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  15. Ron

    President Obama has proven himself considerably more Christian than Romney who has been tripping over his own lies. President Obama is an incredible family man who relates to Americans. And the person who said President Obama forced coverage on churches is wrong...President Obama is preventing the ability to deny a person in need medical care.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      You mean like the video saying we're not a christian nation, first president to openly advocate for gay marriage, or perhaps him making fun of the sermon on the mount. Look up on YouTube Obama vs religion

      October 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  16. cgs

    Hahahaha! More evolving from Obama.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  17. Chreti 2012

    Yesterday, my nine's nephew said to me that Mr Obama said men can married with men. Then I didn't say anything. But I know now that Mr Obama rise up like leader against God.Him who not angage his army, he insert all these generations against God. Oh, the nuclear weapons are not the only arms who kill men, that is so one this choice! You can batter Mr Romney or anybody in the earth, never my God, if you don't want him. You don't kill the soldiers but the generations. Why? Because you are the us president. That is a worl mode, if you were in the pass centuries, you accepted slavery too.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • bozobub

      Mind saying that in English?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  18. Ted

    The fugazy president.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • bozobub

      The fact that you can't even spell "Fugazi", leads me to believe you don't understand your own metaphor.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  19. InnerCityGuy

    What? CNN mentioning Rev. Jeremiah Wright online? You guys sound like Fox News. But I do love the spin to try and gain the votes of the religious. HA. You could have at least tried a more subtle approach

    Next you'll be talking about Frank Marshall Davis in terms of he helped reform political discourse in the country. Really CNN

    October 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  20. dcfromct

    Only God knows the true heart of the president. Based on Obama's words and actions I would very much question that he even understands much at all about Jesus, the Bible and Christianity. From the very beginning it appears his 'christianity' seems to be more popular (at least in the media) around election time, yet not existent in between. When he does randomly reference the bible it is quite obvious that he really didn't understand it but rather using it as a political catch phrase to serve whatever political agenda of the day. He will name drop well known evangelicals (Billy Graham, TD Jakes, Rick Warren) in during election time as if association with them will somehow make him more appealing to conservative christian voters, yet his words & actions over the past 3-5 years don't match his latest 'campaign faith' rhetoric.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • TomPaine

      Name me one politician that doesn't apply to.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.