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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. ES

    Religiosity of politicians is nothing but a trick to get more votes. It is distributing, all these public prayers and snuggling to the religious leaders. Religion should be private, especially those of public figures.

    October 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  2. setnommarih

    I am sure Obama prays a lot, 5 times a day facing the east.

    October 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  3. Archer

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    and they wonder why they have a storm of epic proportion hitting directly in the center of the east coast? mmm America.. ur a Gentile Nation... its time to wake up!

    October 29, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • MalcomR

      You f***ing moron.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • gius

      You need to wake up and take another dose of mushrooms or whatever you are taking.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Archer

      no mushrooms here at all... no extensive drinking or smokin weed.. just the Spirit of Truth... I see some have a hard time handling the Truth... I forgive you for your harsh and slanderous words... that kind of post just tells me I'm on the Right Track.... now Repent... and Turn....

      October 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. MalcomR

    One could be forgiven, being born into a culture where religion is so pervasive, for assuming there was something serious about religion. Your parents, friends, all of the churches, the government... But once you read the bible, or any other "holy" book, all thoughts of anything other than "silly ancient ramblings" should evaporate. But they don't, do they? God is "mysterious" is the ultimate answer to any serious questioning of the "book". Physics textbooks have actual answers. Biological science has actual answers. Engineers and Scientists make actual things happen. Why do so many people – the vast majority in the world – still worship the Big Thunder Bringer in the Sky?

    October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Russ

      Because physics is not metaphysics by definition.
      You are asking science to answer questions it cannot (because it *presupposes* them).

      As Nietzsche said: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science."
      In short, you are doing metaphysics and calling it science.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • MalcomR

      Ah yes. The "philosophers disease". You have it. I feel bad for you. *gives pat on head*

      No, you cannot scientifically answer any questions regarding anything that does not have any effect on nature or is, by all definitions, undetectable. That is why science is "methodological naturalism". And if your "metaphysical" ruminations ever did produce a measurable prediction, then it would be addressable by science. You can go back to abstract philosophy-world now. Have fun.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Russ

      @ MalcomR: "methodological naturalism" is philosophy. it's the pot calling the kettle black.
      you are doing philosophy while complaining that I'm criticizing your philosophy.

      Science is not "methodological naturalism." That is something you have added to it. And I can prove that to you from WITHIN your own beliefs: look around at other scientists & see their varied faiths. Read your OWN entry above. Why *do* they believe that stuff?

      Because they are being more honest than you are. They know the difference between science (a discipline of human observation) & scientism (a metaphysical faith).

      October 29, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • MalcomR

      1) I understand the definition of the word "Philosophy"
      2) The philosophical underpinning of science is indeed "methodological naturalism"
      3) You will NEVER be able to adequately answer an OBJECTIVE question that cannot be posed scientifically.
      4) SUBJECTIVE questions have as many answers as there are people and are therefore not scientific questions.
      5) Metaphysics is not a suitable area of inquiry for any sentient being, except as mental gymnastics.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Russ

      @ MalcomR:
      2) no, science does not require assuming methodological naturalism. Again, look at other scientists.
      3) your philosophical underwear is showing. you have precluded the possibility that the Objective might reveal itself. No wonder you mock your more honest scientific cohorts. You (by your own naturalistic presuppositions) have excluded certain *scientific* possibilities.
      4) philosophically speaking, science *is* a subjective discipline – unless you are claiming a philosophically objective existence. But again, that would be a *presupposition* of naturalism – and NOT a scientifically verifiable claim.
      5) again, the pot calling the kettle black. you yourself are DOING metaphysics. your argument is self-refuting.

      The problem here is your inability to draw the actual boundary between physics & metaphysics.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ would rather have metaphysical bullish!t sessions than do any work around the house.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: good to see you, too, 3TPS.
      any actual substance today or just more angry insults?

      October 29, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't want substance, you doofus. You want philosophy. You want to argue about how many angels can dance on your pin-head.

      How many names are you going to post under today?

      October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Russ

      @ 3TPS: despite any conspiracy theories you might have, I've never posted under any other handle here.

      And unlike you, I don't find discussing the foundation of the building to be esoteric. Everything else depends on it.
      What is unfortunate is when so many want to argue over the color of the window dressing when the real issue is the foundation.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Discuss whatever blarney you want, whether you do it as Bill D. or someone else. I have no interest in your absurd beliefs.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  5. p1965wi

    CNN stop trying to convince people that President Obama is a born again Christian. This is the third article that you have put up because the other two FAILED MISERABLY! Get off of the subject, you can spin it any way you want but the truth is the truth.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • gf

      Obama for his part claims it. Romney doesn't even claim to be. The only similarity between what Romney believes and what evangelicals believe is that there's a guy called Jesus. Other than that? Quite different. Unless evangelicals believe that God (who's expressed as being holy or perfect) was once a mere mortal man. Or unless evangelicals believe that they can one day become an all-powerful and perfect God and creator of their own world. And unless evangelicals today answer to the authority of men who are the "mouthpieces" of God.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  6. SurelyUjest

    What a truely sad sign of the times where a man's faith should be subject to judgment and investigation to hold a public office for a nation of many faiths. The Christian right is defining our government as their home and their place to control along with corporations. What ever god you pray to pray that this stops immediately and we go back to a clear separtion of church and state.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • MalcomR

      Agreed. Except for the praying part. Vote for the party that clearly encourages separation of church and state.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ES

      > Agreed. Except for the praying part. Vote for the party that clearly encourages separation of church and state.

      Neither party does that because both nmeed the religious vote. Obama wears his religion ont he sleeve just like every other poltician.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • setnommarih

      You ought to talk to the muslim in the WH. that is the religion that believes government and religion are the same, not the christians. Don't forget Sebelius will start saying as part of spiritual health you will need to pray 5 times a day facing the east.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • MalcomR

      @ES: I disagree. Obama is the only president I know of to have made a speech (prior to being president, I think) to have acknowledged the full rights of believers AND non believers. He is clearly pandering now, which I hate.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  7. cnn loud

    I don't want my children converted to Mormonism. It's a dangerous religion. Don't mainstream Mormonism. You'll be sorry.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Truth

      So you'd rather them be muslim?!?

      October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • MalcomR

      @Truth:

      Truth has a small pee-pee. Ha Ha Ha!

      October 29, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Truth

      I'm actually quite well-endowed, at least compared to the noted average for White Males in their prime.
      Thank you very much :)

      October 29, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet. I'll bet you stand around comparing yourself with other boys in your high school locker room whenever you get an opportunity.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Vic

      @Truth. Seems to be a child home from school today.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  8. Shante's mom

    I can't believe some of the hateful comments people have made. I don;t think your Christian Faith would approve.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  9. gf

    Speaking of religion, this is a huge voting reason for many in the U.S. Or so it seemed during Obama's first run, the constant accusations from conservatives that he's a Muslim, or not really a Christian.

    But then the double standard arrives with Romney.

    I don't hear the same complaints about Romney ... who is not really accepted as a "Christian" by conservative and evangelical Christians. Mainly in that LDS believe that they can one day become an all-powerful God (I mean, wow!), and they are under the authority of prophets who supposedly speak the direct will of God for men (and so the risk of their God telling the prophets to tell the president something he must do – how could he refuse?).

    It seems to be consistent, conservative evangelicals should be complaining about Mitt's religion too if it had really been that big of a thing with Obama. In the end, I think they just looked for something to complain about, and that worked for them.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  10. Archer

    Obama 'IS NOT BORN AGAIN'... from above.. his fruit will tell you that.. any other 'make over' to make him look like a 'christian' is just THAT.. A MAKEOVER.. to pander to voters... this kind of activity in turn will bring on the Wrath of God...

    the revelation of the Righteous Judgement of God... for those who 'hold out the Truth' in unrighteousness.. they preach and hold out another 'gospel'... as if it were Truth.. but its nothing but a 'lie'.. and they do the deeds of their father, he has been a liar and a murderer from the very beginning.. and Im not talking about Santa Claus here...

    October 29, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Madtown

      to pander to voters... this kind of activity in turn will bring on the Wrath of God
      ------
      All politicians pander to voters, it's in the first paragraph of the job description. As far as what this activity will bring him from God, you have no idea. You don't speak for God.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • anoel2005

      " (Obama) failed as president because he is incompetent, dishonest and not interested in the actual work of governing. His statist policies helped consign millions of Americans to a lower standard of living and his odious class warfare further divided the nation. He had no intention of uniting the country — it was his Big Lie."

      Michael Goodwin ( journalist/Democrat ) , Oct.29,2012

      October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • SurelyUjest

      @Archer, How do you presume to know God's judgment? The God I know is a forgiving God and open to personal change throughout a lifetime. It seems you are condemning the President for his past instead of blessing and supporting his "change" that many ministers are testifying to today. The hate and outright indignation you spout separates men from other men but more importantly ALL men from God.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Amen, Brother. Rest assured, The Lord will not be mocked. His patience is great while He waits for His children to wake up and come home, and as we wait for the iniquity of the Amorites to reach it's fullness. Rest assured, time is running very short . The whole world is groaning anticipating the coming manifestation of the Sons of God. Jesus is no longer sitting on His throne. I can "see" Him preparing to stand up as we speak. The enemy is fully aware of what is coming his way. You can feel the tension in the air........

      October 29, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Archer

      Yes God is Not Mocked.... I have the Witness and Testimony of Jesus the Christ.. God Manifest in the flesh.. He Saved Me n 1994.... as far as me speaking 4 Him? ull have to take that question up with Him.. His Spirit Fills me and Guides me... He is very Patient and Merciful.. BUT He is a Righteous Judge... and He is not mocked.... America .. you have mocked Him... and as far as Mr Obama... He is a Leader put in Place... a Leader ....when you stand up and 'lie' all the time.. that Leadership will be taken away and put into another's hands.... God Himself.. EVEN rules over the Gentile nations.. and He chastises the Gentile Nations... when they go amiss.... America.. its time to wake up... if u dont.. u will be given a wake up call... believe me u will! Once AGain.... God is not Mocked...

      October 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Angel

      Archer, In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about criticizing others and not to judge. Only God knows the heart of each man. As far as the fruit one bears, Jesus was speaking of false prophets and those teaching God's word. Hypothetically speaking, if we were to put this into the context of all human beings, including President Obama, there would be many who could be put into the category in which you feel President Obama belongs. Take for instance the individuals who are in leadership positions because of greed. Is this pleasing to God. A gift to discern spirits would help in making a better analysis of God's children.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • was blind, but now I see

      That's exactly right. Those who's eyes have not been opened cannot perceive that which we speak. Surely Christ is the head and we are the feet. We are also His voice. Not our voice, but His voice manifested to this physical world through our voices. Surely The Lord does nothing unless it is first revealed to His prophets. No yee not that you will judge angels? Again, we must be careful that the judging that is done through us is his (not our own), but surely it will come to pass.

      16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

      17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

      18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

      19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

      20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

      Matthew 10:16-20

      October 29, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Archer

      @ Angel..... Jesus the Christ Warned of false prophets.. everbody loves them.. they appease the masses... His True Prophets... will not be liked at all... they will be Persecuted.. because of the Spirit of Truth...which abide in them... the world doesnt know Him, neither can they see Him or discern Him.. but He abides in His True Children... which are not of the majority but of the minority.. His Elect.. who are scattered thruout.... the Spirit of Truth abides in those who confess that Jesus the Christ is God manifest in the flesh.. according to His Word... any other spirit is just that .. a false spirit or the spirit of antichrist.. which is already present on this planet.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Archer

      @ Madtown... Ill let the Eternal One.. .He, that said... 'before Abraham was I am'..... Judge as to whether or not I speak 4 Him.... I have His Eternal Spirit abiding in me.. for the Testimony of Jesus the Christ .. is the spirit of prophecy....... Jesus the Christ.. God manifest in the flesh... this 'matter' you'll have to take up with Him ---> Archer

      October 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  11. Equalizer357

    If Obama is a born again christian, then Satan must be an evangelical.....booohooohooooo...!!!!!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  12. bs

    he changes to suit whatever is the "inthing" at the time.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  13. sam stone

    "I think it's a bit far fetched."

    Yet a talking snake, or a boat that could hold 1 of each animal in the world, or a spirit that knocks up a virgin to give birth to himself is not?

    October 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  14. Mennoknight

    Obama's faith is more of an Opera like faith than a historic Christian faith.

    That makes is a "nice guy" but it hardly seems as though his faith is based on the bible.

    But then how is that really any different than most of the others in Washington?
    Or how about Mitt who only believes in what he thinks will get him elected?

    No difference between the two on that one.
    I will vote for the one with better policies.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What, pray tell, is an "Opera like faith?"

      Does he sing tenor or bass?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Mennoknight

      Oprah, (stupid auto correct) :)

      October 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Truth

      And what a fat pig of a n1gger that filthy wench is....

      October 29, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • ME II

      @Truth,
      please take your lies elsewhere

      October 29, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Vic

      Please take your wealth and go elsewhere.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Mennoknight

      Truth,
      You are an IDIOT.
      Race has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING!
      While I don't agree with everything that Obama has done, he is a living embodiment of the American dream. He was born in obscurity to interracial parents, raised by a single mom, orphaned, and then raised by a grandmother of grace and integrity. He didn't have two nickles to rub together. He paid for his own education through hard work and scholarships.
      He has wealth now, but is was all self made. He became president all through hard work.

      You HAVE to respect the man for that!!!

      October 29, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Truth

      He paid for his education by filing as a "foreign student".
      Save me the rhetoric about how this n1gger chimp is some God-sent "messiah".
      He is not mixed, he is a n1gger, full blown.
      There is NO such thing as "half n1gger, half human".
      He's a n1gger.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • US

      truth go sit down with your small pee pee

      October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Again and Again

      Truth where is the evidence for your statement? Foreign student where? Racism has held your brain hostage, that's why you can learn no more.
      Please start your sentences with "my racist mind thinks"

      October 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  15. devonbailey

    Reblogged this on devonbailey and commented:
    follow up to last Obama article.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Well, look at that. Scottie and his sock puppet Raisin Bran seem to have run off. Of course, he'll post under about 30 other names now, so...

    I guess the way to shut them up is ask them for some facts on economics, history, government, and biology, and their backgrounds in these fields that would make their opinions valuable and pertinent.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  17. palintwit

    Countless studies have shown that there is a higher incidence of incest and child molestation among southern, white evangelical families than in any other group that participated in the study. Experts agree that this type of deviant behavior is generally a result of living in close quarters, such as trailer parks. Anyone requiring further proof only has to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line where you will encounter toothless inbreds wherever you travel. In fact, historians have long theorized that the reason the south lost the Civil War is because of the high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the army, a direct result of generations of inbreeding.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • anoel2005

      I am told that "toothless inbreds" ( your words) always vote for the Democrat politician who promises to give them everything for FREE.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Ah, the Truth seems to think that he is John the Baptist here: well, tell me, what is it that I am supposed to be scared of? Political correctness does not make you a loser, because I know I can compete in the real world: deep down, you know you're not good enough, and you can't admit it. Too bad you can't be honest about it, but that's what frightened loser trash do. I love seeing every time one of these worthless militia cells gets busted by the Feds. Are you on a watch list yet? We can fix you up.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Truth

      Not good enough?
      Is $862,000, give or take a grand, good enough for a 30 year old to get started?
      I mean, this is more than you will make in your entire life combined all into one, is that not good enough?
      If not, what does that say about you? I have your retirement pension in my local bank accounts, along with everything else you'll ever own, borrow, or rent.
      I win.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chump change, honey.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Huebert

      Truth

      If you have 800K sitting in a bank account you obviously have no idea what to do with money.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Truth

      That's just what I have sitting around in my local bank accounts....of course I've invested most of it into a vast portfolio, years ago :) I guess my point was, my chump change surpasses even this chump's most wildest dreams.
      Keep voting for Obama though! Once you lose your job and cannot find another one, and you are forced to live on welfare and food stamps like a n1gger, you'll catch up to me in no time flat!
      He isn't the food stamp president for nothing!

      October 29, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Vast"? Only if by "vast" you mean the big piggybank under your race-car bed.

      Some boob who thinks that 800 grand is a fortune has to be a kid-no 30-year-old with an education would be that stupid.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • You are a Liar and not - truth

      You are a Liar and not – truth

      October 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  19. Ed

    Can I get a witness. Can I hear a "God damn America"

    October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  20. MalcomR

    Obama pandering to the xians or Romney walking around in his protective undergarments. Welcome to the 21st century...

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
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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.