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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. rick

    this is a joke right? I'm still confused about when exactly Obama stopped being a Muslim...his Muslim brothers have been wondering the same thing

    October 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      '1Cr 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.'

      October 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The antichrist spirits demand a king. OT approved.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  2. Marshamarsha

    Isn't it commendable for one to experience religious and spiritual growth in one's lifetime? Why this is such a hot topic in a Presidential campaign is beyond me. A person's relationship with God is a sacred thing and one not to be "measured" in terms of one's intelligence or capabilities.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      Hmm yea I know a lot of people who came to God through accepting gay marriage, and an abortion stance. I know a lot of people who came to God through deviding our nation and forcing religious organizations to do your will. Sounds like Christianity to me.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  3. Beth G.

    Both Romney and Obama are not christians because of their twisted theology but at least Romney is for marriage between a man and a women as God ordained it to be so. and he is also prolife taking a stand to protect the unborn, and Obama has had his chance to fix the economy but has only made it worse

    October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  4. Jon

    Isn't this the same guy that stops celebrating National Prayer Day at the White House?

    October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  5. Hank E. Panky

    Obama would suck the snot out of your face if it would mean you would vote for him . That makes him a Snotzi !

    October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • mike

      why am I not surprised to read that someone hateful, like you, is hanging around the religion section?

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  6. ShingoEX

    My faith has changed as well. I'm glad Obama respects our freedom of religion, and won't try to inject a theocratic agenda into his policies, unlike a certain other person and his "can't separate my faith from job" VP candidate.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  7. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    So I am wondering what being a Christian is all about. I understand only God can judge and I believe that with refrence to gay marriage, that a man that is good to people his whole life whos gay will be in line ahead of a man that professes to be right and is bad to people. Now I also believe however that a christian believes in the bible, and the bible says gay marriage is immoral and wrong. I also believe that values of respecting religious liberty. I believe a fundamental Christian value is respecting life, and preserving life. We cannot be mass killing of innocents and be innocent. Children deserve the right to life, and this is an important value. With respect to Christianity what matches the bibles value test the most. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about family and God being our spiritual father, and if Christianity is about raising children in Gods ways then shouldnt Christians remember that the traditional family is the engine through which God endorses.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • sound smart

      Yack. Just stop voting for religiously delusional people and vote for reasonable candidates: atheists.

      In the long run it makes no difference anyway: Mussolini was an atheist, so was Stalin. Hitler was a catholic with peculiarities, Franco was a devoted catholic.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  8. larryaugust

    Faith?, why dont one of you reporters ask him what his ring says and why he wears it, it says praise Allah, enough said, this is the man you want as pres. your all either stupid or blind, you wont here this on main stream media, because your blind and dont want the real facts, i voted early and for Romney

    October 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • midwest rail

      His ring has no inscription on it in any language. But they hide information like that from fundiots so we can watch them foam at the mouth in public.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  9. Barack

    If I was a Mormon, at least I would be a Christian and not a false God.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      You have absolutely no idea of the irony of your post.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  10. Jim

    So what, his policies still stink. Is it Christian to pit one vs the other, 47% vs everyone else, rich vs middle class, 1% vs 99% this jerk has to go and will get defeated. And when he is, ts see how Christian he is about loosing. He will do a scorched US policy. Make treaties with the UN that will hurt US companies and people. You will see.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Barack

      Jim:
      I agree he will try to scortch the earth.....but the U.N. has absolutely no authority, so any deal Obama tries to cut with the U.N. is worthless as the paper it is written on. We are a sovereign nation, not a cog in the "new world order".

      October 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      And how is Romney's history of purposely running US jobs into the ground and outsourcing jobs to China any better for the economy? IT ISN'T. He did it for profit FOR HIMSELF.

      At least Obama is trying. I'm sorry that the Congress and GOP is blocking him every step of the way. Who is at fault now?

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  11. Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

    Expect nothing better but mayhem among humanity by following of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, Allah, and following of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism, neither commanded, nor allowed in Islam as a religion, but Theen Allah, consti tution of truth absolute.
    Shiaism
    hindu Mithra ism, savior ism invented little over 100 years after Sydana Mohammad pbh by tribes of Kujar of north Africa and imposition as Fatmid Khalaphit by force by denial of Hidth and Quran, justified by hindu Judaism, pagan secularism to impose hinduism, racism by hindu, fabricated relationship with Family of Syadana Mohammad pbh to justify existence of hindu criminal Kings, a violation of fundamental commandment, human equality under the LA. truth absolute Allah. Cause of conflict among Muslim's and cause of down fall of Muslim's and Islam in Spain.

    Sunisim, invented by Turk's by corruption of Quran and hidth to justify existence of hindu King's as Khalipha, after death of Ruler Mohammad, but later renamed, Mehmmat, wisdom of spirit of truth by siblings from his Armenian wife, follower of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism in 13th century.

    Whabiism, hindu Mithraism, pagan savior ism expelled but Pharaoh s divide of authority adopted as part of hindu, denial of truth absolute Whabi ism.

    Christianity, invented by hinduism,. corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisees, pagan self centered, follower of hindu filthy pig ism by corrupted Torah, known as Greek Torah, translated and commented by Ben Asheer in 250 AD in Yiddish, secularist, self centered language, also known as Old Testament, part of book of Mithra ism labeled as Bible. A way to justify hindu criminal Kings and self proclaimed Prophets, fortune tellers as god's to rule over humanity.

    JUDAISM, Self center ism, pig ism, or Atheism, invented by hindu's pagan's of Egypt by corruption of truth absolute in Torah to Justify hindu pagan Pharaoh's and their hindu pagan Santans, goons as god's to rule over humanity with impunity.

    HAVE hINDUISM, CORRUPTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, RELIGIONS AND LIVE WITH MAYHEM, AS HAS BEEN THE CASE FROM hIND, DARK AGES TILL TODAY. FOLLOW THEEN ALLAH, CONSTI TUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, ALLAH , GOD AND THE LORD, FOUNDATION OF CONSTI TUTION OF AMERICA TO HAVE PEACE AMONG HUMANITY. To learn more please visit truthisthelimit.com

    October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • mlblogsyankeeblogspot

      Dont be fooled people this post is propiganda from the machine as is this article.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      You work on repealing our freedom of religion first. Good luck with that, btw.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRainerBraendleinism©

      Only by Christianity absurdity of a Christian, hindu and pagan. Filthy Christian Captain Crunch dog. Filthy pagan hindu pig dog. Filthy Randy Jackson dog. Filthy hebrew national beef dog. Filthy Ron Jeremy foot-long dog. NO DOGS!! Who let them be out? Quran means nothing else but path of triple abdullah absolute quantified. please visit ahmadinebinpaid.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. But turn virus protection off before.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  12. Bunkie Moon

    Islam and Muslims hate Jews and Christians , who are mostly Euro-American anyway , and the Liberals love Islam and hate Christians . The President is half American of European descent and Kenyan , not Afro American. Why doesnt the Left scream and complain about the hatred of Christians and Jews by Arabs and Muslims ? Seems a little dis-ingenious , unless Obama IS a Muslim , after all

    October 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • FloydZepp

      Christian hate Jesus and worship Mormons and Mammon.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bostontola

      You seem to hate Muslims pretty well, probably hate atheists also.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Nothing is wrong, not to complain against hinduism, denial of truth absolute, GOD, foundation of America, one has to fight to impose truth absolute to eliminate hinduism, illegality of hindu pagan Christianity and hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism, secularism.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      And Christian Nations didn't cause the Holocaust. They only tolerate Israel because it fits into their End of Times fairy tale.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  13. Belseth

    What's with all the articles about Obama's faith and none on Romney? Most of the articles seem to either question his conviction or hint that he may be changing in some way. It just feels like yet again CNN is trying to make people question Obama. There seems to be two kinds of political stories on CNN for the last few months, pro Romney and anti Obama. I'm still annoyed CNN all but declared Romney the winner after the first debate. Just feels like you're more concerned with tax breaks than the future of the country.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • FloydZepp

      CNN became FoxLite for the money.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Why is it that we require leaders to where their religions on their sleeves or we expect them to go out and shout it from the street corners. Is it not said in the bible that "when you pray, go into your closet and pray – do not go out in the streets and pray in public?". Romney may be considered to be a christian religion, but he is by no means a Christian in the biblical sense. Most faith based Christians believe him to be part of a cult. So, I'm not sure how the republicans and Billy Graham can claim Romney is the christian and Obama isn't. I'm thinking there is some other "factor" that they are basing their "facts" upon.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • ShingoEX

      No man who hoards wealth, steps on the poor to attain, and gloats over it, it is Christian.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  15. CommonSense

    Unfortunately he has to pretend to be religious and a Christian for votes. Too many Americans are simple, insular, unsophisticated, and immature people. Why does the president have to act foolishly religious? The people need the false feeling of security that the president is just like they are.

    Any elected official who has a a spiritual counselor should be disqualified from holding public office.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Paul from Canada

      An election for an office as important as POTUS should not be about religion; it needs to be about issues and solving the huge problems facing the US. The mythical gods, who as any rational person knows do not exist, have nothing to do with this election. Science, reason and rational thought need to be the way of the future. Unfortunately only about 20% of the population understand that. Bill Maher for president.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • J0e Truth

      No worries. Even Christians knows it's fake and this an carefully orchestrated and timed article to help President Obama finish collapsing the economy to equalize (in his mind) for colonialism against the muslim world. Even the Bible has a description for this: "a wolf in sheep's clothing"

      October 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Why should people be disqualified from public office because they disagree with you?

      October 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  16. FloydZepp

    How did the poor teaRINOs end up picking the liberal RomneyCare the Establishment GOP wanted and ditch their Christian Values supporting a Cult all at the same time?

    October 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Russ

      Funny, hey Floyd. Classic politicians taking whatever stance is pop, the whole lot of them.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  17. Bostontola

    Romney is "flexible" in his policy positions to win primary, then the general election. Obama is "flexible" in his religious position to win the general election. Just politicians being politicians . Why do we act surprised when a scorpion stings?

    October 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  18. Anybody know how to read?

    NO evolution needed or desired, so put it where the the sun don't shine. 'Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.'..............ONCE delivered.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bostontola

      You are right, evolution is not needed. Neither is god needed to explain the universe. Evolution is a fact, god is not.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      You believe in it every time you go to the Doctors for medical treatment. You think Doctors study the bible for their degree or science?

      October 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Evolution was created for the leapsters.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Evolution is not fact, but simply one interpretation of the evidence. Nothing that any doctor does requires or implies that all forms of life came from a common ancestor.

      October 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  19. NorthVanCan

    Hard to believe the leaders of the world believe in such nonsense . This could be why we have so many wars.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Only here and the Middle East. The rest of the world doe not believe in Fairy Tales.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  20. Mainer23

    I think many of us go through periods of spiritual questioning. Does that make us bad or any more unworthy of Christ's love. Certainly not. I think about the parable of the prodigal son and if President Obama is finding his own personal spiritual connection to God not bound by specific religious doctrines (i.e. Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, etc), good for him. He has shown that he is a thoughtful and good man who wants the best for ALL people and I applaud that. He isn't perfect as none of us are, but he has got this country back on the road in the right direction and it would be nice if people would give him credit for that . Folks it was a pretty deep hole we were in no president, given the state of the union, could have made it happen any faster. That is just my humble opinion.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.