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

    Be ewer of hindus, corrupter of truth absolute.
    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 7:28 pm |
    • snowboarder

      nutcase alert

      October 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Allah the moon dog

      who is Allah? a dog god or moon dog or moon god, pick one sucker.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hinduism, stupidity of a hindu, stupid.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  2. sb

    mb2010a...... suck it you freaking idiot.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Fact

    If you do not think you are better off now than four years ago then you do not know how to do simple math.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  4. Fact

    The funniest thing is that there is not a single Christian here who can say they have ever been denied any aspect of their Church or faith during the last four years, actual real time with Obama in office, but you all seem to run and scream like an 1830's caricature a white woman running from a drug addled ne.gro when someone asks if like President Obama. And you because you have to admit you are better off than four years ago all you can complain about is "It's not growing fast enough!! Kick the dar.ky out!!" It's disgusting and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  5. Don

    Obama is the most unChristian man ever to be in the Whitehouse. His actions speak volumes. This writer is delusional.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  6. FoFo

    God gave President Obama the ability to lead his people, like He gave Moses and Kind Salomon to lead the people of Israel, He game the President the same thing. President Obama loves God, He believes in the Lord Jesus Christ that's all that matter. The President his leading this country and world by God guidance and his believe in the Lord Jesus the greatest. I love Jesus Christ and I love President Obama.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • whosaidthat

      you are an idiot

      October 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Scott

      WOW! What an incredibly well reasoned response whosaidthat ... NOT

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  7. mama k

    DID YOU KNOW?

    That during his presidency, James Madison vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state? You can also easily google and find documents** available at the Library of Congress web site indicating that James Madison came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. Starting from his anger over feuding Christian sects in his home state, until the end of his life, he was a fervent promoter of separation of church and state.

    ** James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.

    Who is James Madison? He was the 4th President of the United States and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • snowboarder

      religion was specifically called out in the federalist papers as divisive.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Da King

      You know your political history but you don't know Christ. He is opposed to religion too. Religion is of man. He gave us his Word, that's all man needs. Men do try to make/use religion for their own gain but a Bible based church will not allow that or that church will not survive in the long term. Religion is when your church tries to make you eat fish on Friday because the churches fleets are not doing so well, for example. I you want the grace of God in your life, read and believe the Word of God. A nondenominational bible based church can help. Knowing history is also good.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Christ is not important in a secular government, DaKing of Doofuses.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Da King

      TOM TOM, His believers, would vote your kind out and Bible believers in. That counts.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it doesn't, ignoramus. The Const itution kind of gets in the way of that. Too bad you failed civics.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  8. Mailin Wong

    Why are these Americans so brainwashed with their faith? What has that got to do with politics? I will probably never get it. They remind a lot of these people living in the middle east, constantly bragging about their religion... Sad!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • tony

      Indoctrination as children.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Fact

      stubbornness as adults.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Da King

      God sent the Holly Spirit to live in them when the accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The "HOLLY SPIRIT"?

      October 28, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Fact

      It's from the Holly tree Tom, duh... it's like Christmas spirit but just a little more pri.ckly...

      October 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ;)

      October 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  9. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    OBAMA"S "Faith" >>>

    And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, [k]haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32

    FORWARD -> -> ->
    Some day their will be this small group of people who DO NOT kill babies and old people !!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • tony

      I think the people that are educated enough to be able to spell (and think for themselves) will inherit the earth instead.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race. 1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      :-)

      October 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • tony

      Innerspace is why we all have individual imagined gods in our minds, instead of there being one real one. Your individual god is a result of evolution creating a self-compass of your most positive self-image.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  10. Concerned in Cleveland

    If Obama loses, I will feel incredible relief, followed immediately by the onsetting terror that a Mormon is in charge of the country. I just want a mid stream normal American. No more outliers. No one raised by foreignors and an ex patriot mother. No one from a heretic space alien religion. Just a normal American, raised in America, by Americans, without a religion that all the other religions are ashamed of. Did we run out of those?

    October 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Scott

      Unfortunately we (American) ran out of the "Just a normal American, raised in America, by Americans, ..." that are willing to put up with the bovine scat that it takes to run for office.

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Fact

      "If Obama loses, I will feel incredible relief," Why? Have you been holding in a fa.rt for four years? No one I have talked to can point to one thing in their lives that Obama did or could have done that effected them other than "Economy isn't growing fast enough!" "Gas is too expensive!" "I hear he's a Muslim!" Well the answers to your questions are : You don't know what you are talking about. Obama doesn't control the gas market, speculators do. No he is not a Muslim you moronic piece of trash and you would know that if you took your head out of your a.s.s. aka Fox News headquarters aka B.S. Mountain where the sun never set's on their Skittish Empire and there's an apparent draft to defend Christmas...

      October 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhhahha, Fact. Yeah, these idiots are pretty much nothing but skin-bags filled with gas. Scott is particularly smelly. Greasy, too.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  11. GozieBoy

    Someone recently said that even children will know when a politician is a "B*S'er" And Barack, you learned well from the vile "Rev." Wright over the past 20+ years, and you are indeed a B*S'er!!

    CNG Mantra: O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A!! O-BAM-A!!! MMMmmmMMM!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Vic

      Yes, children can see Romney's and Ryan's nose growing daily.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  12. Aces Full Mike

    Didn't see Black Liberation Theology mentioned, hmmm...

    October 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Scott

      Because the truth would put CNN's beloved Dear Leader in a bad light of which the Obama Re-Election Campaign, errrr I mean CNN, is loath to do ;)

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Fact

      Well I wouldn't mind seeing the truth splattered across every TV station in America every day. The truth about each and every persons family history and where they came from and whose ancestors owned whom and where all the wealth and capital that was accu.mulated during the nearly hundred years of slavery went for i'm sure it was quickly given to the freed slaves right? What? No? Those lands and property remained largely in white hands for nearly another century? Really? And I as a white boy born in Ohio should have known this but it was not mentioned while I was growing up, strange that such an obvious truth should be so rarely mentioned in certain company... If you say "Black Liberation Theology" like its a bad word you don't know what it is and have no clue how ignorant and racist you sound.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  13. tony

    Collection Plates are the Rock-solid proof that gods don't exist, and but fools do.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Da King

      You're right Tony. There's only One.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  14. Rachel

    He may have pulled the wool over the eyes of many, but he is not a Christian. He is a muslim.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, he isn't. But you're a lame-azz middle school troll.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Scott

      Incorrect Rachel. It is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, Taoist, Atheist, or WHATEVER it needs to be to get the votes. In other words, its the typical lying lawyer.

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's YOUR profession, Scott? Are you a graduate of Harvard? Yale? Penn? Any accredited university? What degrees have you earned? What are your most important and significant and meaningful achievements to date? What are your aspirations and how do you plan to reach your goals?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Scott

      You are off topic TTtPS. Please return to the topic of politicians and their religion or lack there of.

      Thank you,
      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Scott-the-Moron, you're the one who brought up Obama's profession, you stupid git. Now, answer the question: what do YOU do, besides ask people if they want fries with that, you foaming-at-the-mouth azz?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Fact

      Sadly, Obama claims to be a Christian, and can you ever do anything more than claim fealty to one ideology or another if you are to get elected? I wish he could just admit that there is no evidence for God or God's and that religion is the security blanket of old women and children and it's time we as humans grew up and kicked the childish habit of sucking our thumbs and filling our diapers with religious rhetoric that just ends up getting fundamentalist feces in everyone elses faces. If you go into that booth and vote based upon Obama or Romneys faith you are voting to prolong the inevitable and sentence our country to another dark age where faith and miracles are considered as valid as repeatable verified science, which is why we are ranked 25th in math and 17th in science out of the top 36 industrialized nations. Those are not the numbers I would expect from a nation that wants to compete on the global market in the next century, and I don't have the same belief that some have where the faithful all get whisked away in some rapture before we become the laughing stock of the world for approving of and championing such ignorant religious policies and faith based initiatives.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  15. ballharbour

    What ? is Obama crazy like G W Bush ?? Please, Barack, leave that religious BS, the country need you to use your brain and try to solve problems. If you can't do that, just let someone else do it. I still can't believe how childish men are (so I won't be surprise if this guy start crazy wars tomorrow b/c god asked him to !!!)

    October 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  16. Ladybug

    And MObama has never been prouder to be an American!!!! As long as these 2 hypocrites get their way, they'll do and say anything. But when things go sour, so do they. Article is total bs. Just another liberal attempt to lure more voters.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  17. snowboarder

    i am uninterested in a candidates religious beliefs as long as they have the good sense to realize that their office is not a platform for them to foist their beliefs on the population.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Scott

      Actually their religious beliefs will tell a lot about the person. Take a look at Maobama. It sat in a pew for twenty years listening to the anti-white racist tirades of Wright and then claimed it wasn't there on those Sundays, This shows two things about the komrade lib's Dear Leader: 1, it is anti-white, 2, it is a liar.

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • snowboarder

      scott – your comments are meaningless, just a brief glance at your choice of words marks you as a senseless political shill.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What tells me the most about a candidate is the intelligence of those who oppose him or her. You have convinced me that Obama is the best person for the job. Thanks!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  18. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    Have fun folks, tear down the sitting President when you have NO real proof of what you claim. There is NO evidence of his ever supporting a Jihadist, EVER. I've got better things to do, like make a pie and some barbque, while I wait on Sandy to visit me here in Maine. Peace.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  19. mikeytost

    AHHHHH but the prayer was answered.

    October 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Scott

      My prayer is that Michell will have to start packing the ol' U-Haul in early Jaunary 2013 :)

      Scott

      October 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why are you so frightened of Obama? And why are you so dumb you can't spell "Michelle"? It's not that difficult, Sco oter.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  20. ballharbour

    What ? is Obama crazy ??

    October 28, 2012 at 6:57 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.