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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. hahaha...you must be kidding....CNN, this is just too much...

    now he's a super christian?????....lol....I just love these wonderful stories CNN keeps dreaming up.

    If ANYTHING, obama is now USING the idea that he is religious to try and court evangelicals to vote for him?

    wow, I thought he was a panderer, but this take the cake! the man will say anything to anyone for a vote.

    October 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  2. mama k

    Christians are experts in telling each other they are "not the right kind of Christian". This has always been the case. In the U.S., before and during the founding of the government, different Christian sects were even feuding and persecuting each other around the time of the founding of the U.S. in several states (or soon-to-be states). Anglicans were persecuting Baptists in Virginia; Quakers were being hung in Massachusetts, and more. Because this feuding between these sects annoyed the key founders so greatly, they made it a top priority to establish guidelines for the separation of church and state (and to make it Amendment #1 to our Constitution). This is also reflected in what they had to say on the matter:

    James Madison (our 4th President, was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution and he was a fervent supporter of separation of church and state):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

    and then ten years later:

    Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?

    (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)

    Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President, was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)

    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

    (Letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808))

    and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:

    President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

    (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

    Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

    October 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • mama k

      My third sentence should simply be:

      In the U.S., before and during the founding of the government, different Christian sects were feuding and persecuting each other in several states (or soon-to-be states).

      October 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  3. Beth G.

    makes you wonder what bible Obama is reading from and the pastors who are giving him spiritual advise. I am disappointed in TD Jakes if he agrees with Obama on gay marriage and the right to abort your child, but in the last days many will fall away from the truth of Gods word

    October 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Obama

      Get yo mama to push the car!

      October 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • NoTheism

      What does your version of the word of your god say about such things? Can you illuminate us ignorant ones, please?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      If you're planning your last days according to the bible, then you'll be seeing lions and dragons and insects that wear human clothes. And if you're intelligent, you won't believe any of that hogwash.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  4. Lovely

    You know people went out of their way to speak against Pastor Wright but is anyone going to speak of the fact that in the Mormon belief they believe that black people come from the devil....that they were cursed. THIS IS A DENOMINATION THAT BASICALLY THINK BLACK PEOPLE ARE LESS THAN THEM. Yes their are black Mormon's which may be due to some trying to be more accepting of black people but are they really? "From 1849 to 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy against ordaining black men to the priesthood, and forbidding black men and women from taking part in ceremonies in LDS temples. Associated with this policy were various statements by church leaders tying the policy to their view of scripture, and opining that black men and women had inherited the curse of Ham. In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball, the leader of the LDS church, declared in a statement known as "Official Declaration—2" that the ban had been lifted." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_in_Mormon_doctrine

    October 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  5. LibertysFriend

    What Obama is praying about is that CNN. MSNBC,ABC.CBS etc keep mum on Benghazi til after the election. What a JOKE the press is making out of journalism... To cover up the cover up is NOT your job CNN.. You have now lost credibility and relevance

    October 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Joe Biden

      Benghazi was a big fuc*******king deal, too!

      October 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Obama

      Who said you could go on line, Joe?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Joe Biden

      Sorry, Mr. President. Don't whip me. I'll be a good boy.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Gunn

      With all do respect LibertysFriend, that didn't just happen today...CNN losing credibility and relevance. It's been an ongoing process.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      CNN covered that in two seperate articles. Why are you bothered? because the comment sections are closed now?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Hugo Chavez

    Amereeekans are mucho stuipido. Why you elect el presidente socialista?

    You all funny!

    October 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Joe Biden

      Aw shut up, Hugo... this is a big fu****ing deal.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  7. okie

    Frigging wolf has donned a sheepskin trying for more votes!!!! His scrawny butt will be GONE and REAL soon, more and more people are seeing through his crud now.

    October 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      possibly, but doubtful.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  8. steven stevens

    How in hell can another talk about anothers religious con victions....just because a person bows ones head while another prays is just common curtisy ...i have no god but still i will bow my head during a prayer. to listen patiently while a paastor speaks agin is just being polite'

    October 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Bow to truth absolute GOD, none others, way of hindu's, pagan, an insult to human dignity.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      there's no reason to show politeness to people who aren't there.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  9. LWoltman

    CNN ... You're a joke! I randomly googled today's headlines and that this story even exists on your site is ridiculous! Reeeeally??? Is this the best you could come up with? In light of all the real news you could report on... This is today's crap du jour? How can you call yourselves journalist? This tabloid needs new leadership as well as,the USA needs new leadership

    October 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Russ

      LWoltman, that's pathetic. CNN can post whatever it decides is news. If you don't like it, then just vote with your feet. Maybe Faux News is more your speed.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • I Come in Peace

      Desperation....this article is pathetic. I'd much rather see the TRUTH not the COVER UP of the murders in Benghzi. As for Obama's religious beliefs, everyone should see the movie 2016. The O's are about "I" and "Me"....the Mrs. said "I' or "me" in a 20 minute late night talk show...as does her arranged "husband". Pathetic CNN...get to the ROOT of the O's and report on that. America and the world can not afford another 4 years of the O's.....it was a huge mistake to have given them the first 4 years. What a disgrace....

      October 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  10. 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. Foundation of American consti tution.
    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.

    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 1:02 pm |
    • NoTheism

      Yeah, whatever, but it's not like anything that you're saying proves the existence of your deity. You're just saying why it would–according to you–be better (socially beneficial?) to believe in your deity.
      Even if believing in a deity made a person never sick, for example, it wouldn't prove that such a belief is true. Therefore, you're just a utilitarian.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Congratulations! You have raised incoherence to an art form.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Reality

    Tis called the Sunday Morning/Afternoon CNN Religion Con – i.e. feature a religion story on CNN's home page to get increased internet traffic on their Belief blog and blog advertising to increase profits. And it works!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  12. Ta Eso'

    its a conundrum to get dumb people to appreciate a smart people.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Ta Eso'

      especailly when they both think themselves smart and the others dumb... sound familer?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • .

      Ta Eso' says, "its a conundrum to get dumb people to appreciate a smart people."

      It must be quite a conundrum for you to get your butt out of bed in the morning there, Ta Ta boy.....

      October 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  13. Hugo Chavez

    El Presidente Oboso es un bufon.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  14. Nonami

    Obama a born again Christian? I can't stop laughing ....biggest joke of the day!

    October 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Have you ever noticed your god thinks real Christians are defined the exact same way you define them?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  15. Jean

    All done for press coverage. He is no true Christian

    October 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      He does not have to be, hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, Christianity is not part of American consti tution of America.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • mama k

      Christians are experts at calling each other non-Christians. They can't help it. It is built into the religion by way of their conflicted tenets. A good Christian can take any side on any argument, and make a political case, supporting it from their book, regardless of how it make reflect the simple teachings of the plain man named Jesus.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • mama k

      That is true, "Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity."

      October 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Jean:
      " He is no true Christian"

      Ah, the judgment of the true prophetess, Jean!

      October 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Joe Biden

      And how many illegitimate chiren to you have, Mama K?

      I'm guessing three, from different baby daddies?

      Vote for us and we'll drive da bus!

      October 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Christ was about love. Too many christians are about hate; they claim to worship the Christ but actually venerate Satan.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • mama k

      I have three healthy children, JB. All grown and professionals. And all from one baby daddy, thank you. I am guess from you question that you have a problem with a woman's right to choose.

      Anti-abortionists would be more likely to meet some of their objectives if they were not so extreme. Of course we have too many abortions occurring each year. But implementing anti-abortion law would be improper on a federal level for many reasons. One such reason is simply that it is attempting to impose religious convictions upon the American people which goes against church and state. And I don't think you can answer some of the key questions without bringing religious conviction into the picture. People who want to reduced the incidence of abortions should probably begin by examining their own stupid, unrealistic tenets regarding contraception.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Of course he's not a christian. That's why I voted for him last time, and will again.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  16. FloydZepp

    It's not Obama's faith that has changed. Rather, it is America's faith that has changed.

    Specifically, America has lost its faith in Obama's leadership.

    24 million people have given up hope of finding meaningful work.

    Liberalism does not create wealth. Liberalism creates economic malaise.

    And if you don't believe that, take a look at Detroit.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Government employees pay no net tax and can not pay for the services required by the poor and infirm. Obama's plan to expand Governmnet to boost the economy was a continueation of Bush policy.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • .

      You are embarrassingly incorrect, Tarver...... The public employee unions are the shadow bosses of the Democrat Party. And Obama is their tool.

      And you know it, too.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  17. mlblogsyankeeblogspot

    Heres is the big deal, if you want to ask what is so important is it truth. If you have a leader saying he is one thing then doing another then you have falshood. Now if we elect a leader based on principles that guide him then we would be electing a man we believe has values. Christian values are centered in God, Traditional family, and the right of infants to life. Tell me where this president has stood on these issues. You ask why its important, and that is because Christians today do not go around crashing plains into buildings, and do not kill people over youtube videos. It is a radical ideology that threatens our peace today. This is why its important, as well as a leader that will stand for religious liberty.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Religious liberty also means the freedom to choose none. And in my none that means if my wife or daughters life is at stake the embryo goes.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Da King

    I believe the President is afraid of being reborn. He may be close to fully accepting the true love of Jesus but he still has doubt. If he does fully believe someday and receives the Spirit, those who have been blessed with the Spirit will know he as been born again. Sadly I do not think that will happen. I believe the President is struggling with principalities and this world. It would take God's intervention and a willing heart to change that. We'll see what God's plan is and Obama's heart is capable of.

    October 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      or most likely, we won't, considering half of the things in your comment aren't real.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      no need, borne again never like to grow up to see truth absolute of God, foundation of America.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • NoTheism

      @Da King
      see... but the question is, does the "Spirit" actually exist?
      Can you demonstrate that Zeus doesn't exist? What about unicorns? Should we believe everything that doesn't have empirical evidence, as existing in the natural world? Of course not.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • NoTheism

      @Eliminate whatever
      'God' ,"foundation of America." Nonsense

      October 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Can you point out just when it was that god appointed you to validate the beliefs of others?

      October 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Da King

      Yes SQEPTIG, May 12, 2006 10:45 a.m. Most people who have been born of the Spirit of God know when their lives were transformed. It is not a big mystery. The day that you honestly understand and Accept how much God loves you, by His offering His Son to die on the Cross for Your sins, He promises to send His Holy Spirit to live in you. Jesus said, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, Spirit gives birth to Spirit." This happens when you let God be in control, and you decide to LOVE him back. That will be the best day of your life. I realize that most of you like to deny God's Love because satin has control of you. Or, if you acknowledge God, you fear judgement. Sorry about that. That may be caused by religion. God is not a Fan of religion. It is of Man. Remember what you have just read. Hang with some born again's. You will see a peace you will eventually want. A peace which transcends human understanding. You can glorify satin and yourselves all you want. That only makes us sad for you. You can have fun making fun but you will never know peace or grace. It's free if you can love yourself enough to accept the love of God through Jesus "Christ", "THE Anointed One" This is The Truth and the way and the Life. Your rebuttal will be fear based. Choose the love of God. It's much better. God will fill in the blanks got you.

      October 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  19. Hipster Slayer

    Not only does this fool believe in God, he followed Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. Can we get a guy in there that doesn't believe in an invisible man floating in the clouds?

    October 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Obama is an atheist who only masquerades as religious when it's time for votes, which i have no problem with. If you're fool enough to believe in gods and demons and talking snakes, then you're fool enough to be led by your vote.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Name a single successful atheist Politician in this country. One must wave the Flag, pick a church, and pick a sports team. Your dealing with the 20 percentiles here.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      One has to be a hindu, ignorant to deny truth absolute of GOD, proven by Quantum physics and foundation of America. hindu, ignorant.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Da King

      Nope, the people want a born again believer. I dare you to find out what that is.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  20. Doc

    CNN PRINT THE TRUTH!! OBAMA IS A RADICAL SOCIALIST WHO HAS LIED OVER AND OVER AGAIN! 20 YEARS IN REV. WRIGHTS CONGREGATION? GET REAL! OBAMA HATES RELIGION AND AMERICA! PRINT THE TRUTH CNN AND QUIT PROTECTING BARRY SOETORO!! MAKE HIM TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT LIBYA WHILE YOU GROW A SPINE!!

    October 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      AREA 51 HIDES AN ALIEN CRAFT!!

      October 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Hey CAPs only DOC, have any visitations from Joe McCarthy.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Doc, tinfoil doesn't stop alien interference in brains; you need to ingest lots of lead for real protection.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:34 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.