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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. INFIDEL

    BHO will say whatever it takes to get re-elected, do whatever it takes to get re-elected and act however it please those who he is trying to get the vote from, so he can get re-elected. He is a fraud and a charlatan. Romney is a stead fast Mormon and always has been. You all can flame Mitt, but at least he is consistent in HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, unlike Mr. Flavor of the Moment and his policies.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't care about the religious beliefs of either of them. I do care which of them represents MY beliefs and convictions best, and that isn't Romney, who thinks women are second-class citizens and that gays are a step further back than that.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Vic

      Are you people still here? Go home.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Tu Tu is a Scarab.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor thing. Did mommy refuse to let you breast-feed once you turned 5? Did she make you use the potty like a big boy?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  2. martin

    Prayer is doing nothing thinking you're helping.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Jesse Christo

      Nice. May I use that in my works?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Recon

      There is no water in the lake of fire.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is no lake of fire except in your deluded little cranium.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  3. keithd561

    Does that evolving Christian faith include removing God from the DNC platform? How about supporting gay marriage? Partial birth abortions, are they part of Obama's evolving Christian faith? Anybody? Anybody?

    October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Dan

      Maybe that evolving faith includes the recognition that Americans shouldn't be subject to Christian beliefs which they may not hold

      October 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      End justifies the means, way of hindu Magi's, criminal trickster Christians to rob humanity.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      keith's a little behind...in other words, he's a bit of an azz.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Zuddy

      The Christian faith, and all faiths in general have no place in politics. What don't you people understand about separation of church and state.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Jesse Christo

      You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor is the ninth of the Ten Commandments. It is understood to be an ethical imperative, the violation of which is punishable by eternal (permanent forever) damnation.
      Obama "On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that." Going to he!!? Repent vile sinner. Repent!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Simple Truth

      There is not a single political party in America that the God of the bible would support. To those of you who are trying to push your Christian theocracy on America I hope you will be standing close enough to me yelling and gnashing your teeth on November 6th when Obama win's the election so that I will be able to spit in your open screaming mouths.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Recon

      SSSSHHHHHHHHHHHH...dont say thaaat!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  4. paulm5545

    Obama's "evolving" Christian faith? Oh please...he is a politician. His faith is not evolving...it's flip flopping to best fit his needs. He would still be with Jeremiah Wright if it hadn't been for those pesky video's exposing that nut case.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Psst's understudy

      And if there were any justice, you'd still be trying to pass Freshman English.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Skychief

      Why does he attend the Muslim National Day of Prayer, but not the Christian equivalent? How come his family doesn't celebrate Xmas? Why are there ornaments of Chairman Mao and other Communists on the White House Christmas tree? I think we all know the answers.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "we"? You and your pet coc kroach? Where do you get such dreck? What kind of idiot would claim that the family doesn't "celebrate Christmas," you dim-friggin'-azz?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  5. Recon

    Fill in the blank:
    My president, B. Hussein Obama recanted his "muslim" faith on __________, 19_____
    knowing that apostasy is punishable according to the sharia.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Fact

      Fill in the blanks: Im a Christian c _ _ _ sucker who likes to lie about other people faith that I know nothing about because I am a shallow and insecure _ _ _ _ hole.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Sadie

    This is sad. Obama having a religious experience now. Just before election. Unreal. What matters is he washed in te blood of te Lamb. Anyone can Claim to be a Christian. We have our fill od religious people. What matters is how an a true follower of Christ say gay marriage is ok. Killing unborn babies is ok. And not telling the truth on tv is ok. Shall I continue ? I hope with all my heart he has given his heart o Christ but te bible says we shall know them by their fruits and I just don't see it.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hindu filthy blood thirsty hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism called Christianity.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  7. blake

    Obama grew in his faith in WHAT during his presidency? himself ... socialism ... the media ... the gullibility of many Americans ... labor unions ... big government ... massive deficits ... a new world order. Those are all distinct possibilities, but certainly he did not grow in his faith in the God of the Bible. A God he has never believed in or known. But One he professes to know for political advantage with the naive.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Why any one need to believe in a scripted hindu, manufactured God Jesus and hindu racist Mithra ism, savior ism, called christianity, way of hindu dark ages.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  8. latino3

    "what a hypocrite"cnn color news network.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      You already have one, believer of hindu Atheism, filthy self center ism, he just hides it under hinduism, fabrication called hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism,

      October 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  9. Zuddy

    Pandering to religion won't end until we can openly elect an atheist president. At the rate America is going that looks like it could be a while. A large percentage of the population is still grasping on to ignorance.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  10. christo

    It doesn't matter what you think about President Obama. If you are a Christian, you and Barack Obama are one in Christ Jesus. You are part of the same Body, the Body of Christ. Watch how you attack a fellow believer in Christ.
    I don't understand... you may agree or disagree with Obama's political beliefs, but please do not attack the man's personal faith. We can never truly know the heart of a person, only God knows that. I believe he carries with him a sincere Christian faith, just as George W. Bush did before him. Please do not attack Obama's faith.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hindu fabricated Mithra, savior Jesus died long time ago, by script of drama called bible, whose body are you talking about hindu Christian, ignorant.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Recon

      Why not tell him to speak up about the slaughter of christians?
      He seems to bolster islam alot.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Obama wolf in sheeps clothing

      what faith moron he's lieing on stage on the altar he's a muslim look up the muslim faith you can lie as long as it justifies the means wake up!

      October 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • The Dowager

      Can you even read the ballot and understand the directions? Drive to your polling place without breaking 3 traffic laws?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  11. Godschild

    CNN please find out why Family Planning is spending 12 million dollars to help Obama win? Are they using funds which is suppose to be use for people in Family planning ? They must not need any more money from the Government. Wow I didn't know that they have that much money to waste for an election. Did the people of the Government allow them to do that with their money? I am pretty sure that the money if they didn't need it could of been used for Medicaid.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Simple Truth

      Apparently God forgot the brain for this one. Please hop back in the stork bag and throw a "return to sender for repairs" on there. No tax dollars were used. In fact only 32% of planned parent hoods funding comes from the federal government and 0% of that is spent on abortions, you witless moron. Maybe if you idiots would stop lying about the issues we could actually get to a real consensus in America.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  12. SUZYQ

    Obama is not a Christian. He is for the very things Gods is against.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      Hallelujah.

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

      Gods? Which Gods?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Judy

      Uh.. I'm pretty sure he's for education. You know, including basic reading and writing. I'm sure you would benefit from having more of those skills yourself.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Ting

      I completely agree. He is nothing like God. God is evil.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Ting

      Another difference is that Obama actually exists.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  13. Steve G

    Go to this web site to see what a black Minister thinks of Obama religeon.http://www.youtube.com/embed/7_FrySY8oYM

    October 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Dan

      I could care less about what a black minister thinks about anything

      October 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't give a rat's azz what some minister thinks of Obama. Or Romney. Doesn't matter. I do care which candidate seems best qualified to keep a steady hand on foreign policy, continue to stabilize the economy with reasonable and thoughtful measures and refuse to pander to the idiot religious fvcktards.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Dippy

      Did you really mean you "could" care less? Maybe you meant "couldn't" care less? Which is it? I think you're confused.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Dan

      Look, I don't write the idioms I just use them. I know it doesn't make sense but that's what people say

      October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not all people. It's "I couldn't care less."

      October 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Dan

      Both are in common usage, at least in the US

      October 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Dippy

      Just because that's what people say, you don't have to follow suit. Break out of the pack, Dan. Be your own man. Blaze a new trail. Don't follow the sheep.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Dan

      Good idea. From now on I'm making up my own language and using it to the exclusion of English.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Dippy

      You don't have to go that far. Just learn to use English. It works just fine if you learn to speak it.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Dan

      I speak American English, in which "I could care less" is an accepted idiom, logical incoherency notwithstanding.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't accept it. It's not acceptable or logical.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Tu Tu, your mama don't care if you be slingin" burgers at mickeys. Gwow up.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Dan

      Well that's certainly your prerogative. I suppose I could care less

      October 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Dippy

      Dan: It's not acceptable. It is flat-ass incorrect. English has rules, learn to use them if you want to be understood. Just because other morons don't know it is no reason to blindly copy them. Unless, of course, you want to join them in ignorance.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, gosh, it's Anybody, the REAL authority on the English language. The moron who can't figure out that Sandusky's victims were not "college-age men."

      So well informed. Such a scholar.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Tu Tu, maybe you should check out the rating from S&P. You like victims doin' the payin'.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Dan

      No language has immutable rules, it changes every time that people speak it.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • The Dowager

      Go ahead and be wrong.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Ting

      If you could care less, then you do care a little. Right?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Dan

      Right, but the expression carries a sarcastic connotation which alters that literal meaning. It's like the phrase "tell me about it."

      October 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      You lose............'Rev 19:13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.'

      October 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  14. Zuddy

    Obama suddenly finding religion is nothing but an act. Before he was elected president he didn't even attend church. Its just an act because to be elected president you have to be a "christian". As an atheist even I know this, and Obama knows we know it, otherwise he would be going against half his base. He just wants to suck in some Christian suckers to the poll since Romney is from planet Kolob.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Like anyone cares.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Obama wolf in sheeps clothing

      Obama has come out saying hes muslim. In the quran lying is justified if the end justifys the means. So obama can ie according to muslims if it helps his agenda.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Psst's understudy

      Learn English.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      That Obama has conservative religious values seems to bother this Zuddy athiest. I'm glad to have God in my life AND will vote for Obama.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  15. Tyler

    Obama is as "Christian" as Al Queda is "Christian". The only reason he puts up this "I'm a Christian" front is because he knows the only chance he has at winning (in '08 as well) is by pretending he's a Christian.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *yawn* Sure, because EVERYONE is just as stupid as you are.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Dorothy

      What a sad commentary on the country if that is true. I would vote for a person of integrity and intelligence regardless of his religious beliefs......so long as he had the qualifications to run our country honestly and well.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Agree with you Tom concerning Tyler. I'm suprised he didn't get the ...not American Born ???....bs into his post.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Athy

      All candidates need to pander to the morons in order to stand a chance at election. Then you (hopefully) do what's right until about a year before the next election. Time to go to single six-year terms like some other countries.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  16. Rev Wright is a jack ace

    If any candidate other than Obama sat in a racist pastor's church for 20 years, they would not have a PRAYER of winning the presidency, much less the nomination. Media hypocrisy #0000001 in Obama's favor, started in 2008.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Guess it has you worried, doesn't it?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Perhaps if you went to a few of their services you would learn something. You seen determined to judge others.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Simple Truth

      I guess holding the position of Bishop in a church at the same time a black man was not allowed is far less racist. Just admit it you fvcktards, you hate blacks and you think they are dumb apes and you really don't think there's anything wrong with trying to keep the white race pure and you feel a little sick inside every time you see a black man kissing his white wife. Just fvcking admit it already!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  17. Charles

    I fear the evangelicals. They want to make this one nation under Jesus, and I don't believe for a second that I, as a non-Christian, will be granted equal rights under their rule.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Dan

      Of course you wont be. American Christians couldn't care less about their fellow men, all they care about is their personal ticket to heaven

      October 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • snowboarder

      religion ensconced in government is the opposite of liberty.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hindu filthy Christians are hindu's traitors to American consti tution, deserving place of hindu's, traitors, 6 feet under ground.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Charles

      Eliminate: Sounds like your creed's a real peach, too. So loving and tolerant.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Don't fear charlie. You have kweers on your side.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Charles, the chances of "religion" becoming more a part of politics in an Obama 2nd term...4-5%.

      The chances of "religion" influencing a Romney/Ryan/ Bibi Nyahoo Presidency....98%

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Recon

      Good. Leave.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  18. Wastrel

    Thanks for the fine article about religion, which manages to mention African-Americans, evangelicals, and all sorts of other things. Here's a clue: If you think President Obama is anything but a pragmatic secular humanist who attends church because it is part of his family life, you are dreaming.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Dan

      And thank God for that

      October 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Athy

      Hopefully that's true. He's got my vote.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Da King

      Three rational comments in a row. That's pretty good for tonight.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  19. Anybody know how to read?

    Da mob rules!!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Da moron posts idiocy. Big deal.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  20. toops

    wow a week away from the election and suddenly Bo is a REAL Christian...I HOPE THAT IT IS TRUE!!! BUT Why would a real new Christian violate God's about marriage?
    Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
    Or want to kill full term babies?
    You will know them by their fruits. BO has fruit alright!!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hindu filthy Christianity is hinduism, illegality, based on hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism of hindu, dark ages, hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD, foundation of America, kick out hindu racist, hindu filthy savior ism, A gross violation of American Consti tution.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Dorothy

      wow....the conservatives said the same thing about people who supported women's rights, desegregation, abolition of slavery.......its amazing how christianity can be used to justify all types of bigotry until people realize it is bigotry and then they all of a sudden backtrack and say it was all a big misunderstanding.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Your nuts!!

      October 28, 2012 at 10:32 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.