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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. Anybody know how to read?

    My sign in has been hi-jacked. Typical for progressive liars.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Yeah right

      October 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      Anybody know how to read (original one)....go fvck yourself

      October 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  2. Mercydivine

    Obama is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He advances the 'cuture of death' and pertends to be Godly....Don't be fooled....

    October 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      You would recognize godly, would you?

      October 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Vic

      Nonsense is right.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom

      And we thought the mulsims were the religious extremists

      October 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Blessed

      Your name does not reflect your true nature.....

      October 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a crock, Mercy. Grow up.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  3. cnickthomas

    The solution to Christians who do not like either of these two men is to write-in on your ballot, "Jesus Christ". I to have a problem with the Mormon religion. It teaches that there is more that one God and that men can become gods. This is not biblical. It may be in the Book of Mormon, but its not in the Holy Bible. I was taught one could not add-to or subtract-from the "Word of God". The Book of Mormon, the words of Joseph Smith, tries to do just that. Mormons would still be practicing polygamy if there wasn't a law against it. One thing I know for certain is that the prophesy of the bible, the Holy Bible, will be fulfilled. Many of you are being duped into believing you have only these two men from which to choose. Write-in on your ballot, "Jesus Christ".

    October 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Scott

      cnickthomas,
      I too have grave issues with the mormon cult. However, Romney, even though he is mormon, is the lesser of the two evils in this race. Our nation cannot tolerate another four years of the Kenyan Prince in the White House.

      Scott

      October 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      Oooh, the Kenyan Prince....

      October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Scott. You're an idiot.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Jester

      An empty seat for Jesus is an excuse for men in power to commit crimes against their own people. What you want is a tyrannical theocracy. God doesn't rule Man. It's the other way around.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  4. lexi98248

    Evolving.....or "flip flopping"?????

    October 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • sally

      One should know better than to bring up the subject of flip-flopping. Rummy pirate has set a new world record in that department.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Scott

      Ah, you too have notice the hypocrisy, errr I mean liberalism of the Communist News Network. When CNN's beloved Dear Leader changes, it's "evolving". When Mitt Romney changes it's "flip-flopping". This is yet another example of how the lame stream media is nothing more than part of the BoBo Re-Election Committee.

      Scott

      October 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Scott. He's still a christian. Whereas Romney has changed his position on pretty much every issue – twice on many, back and forth. We still haven't seen Romney's tax returns for the pre-UBS amnesty,
      Also check out

      http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-implicated-perjury-and-stock-fraud-made-millions-process

      October 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Scottie! There you are! Are you going to tell me what extensive knowledge and experience you possess concerning economics? You seem to think you have the answers. What are they? What do you have to back up your opinions?

      October 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Vic

      @Scott. Try to read a newspaper, look up Mitts past. He has changed his mind several times on all of the issues just to get votes. Racist.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  5. nestor

    Mr Obama is like chameleon his change depend who is his guest, with the rainbow party he is the first to understand the situation of the gay and lesbian, with the n.a.a,c.p. he is the brother who know how is become a black, with the mexican legal or illegal he know too because his father was illegal too, and the last the white people because his mother was a white , the question are how he can be with so many people who broke the law of the LORD and the law of united states of america.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Vic

      That would be MItt. He can be a different man for many different people. Just ask.

      October 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  6. John

    Obama faith it tied to his campaign. Whatever helps him in the polls. Man is the biggest fraud in Washington.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • sally

      Well I don't trust many politicians, but I would say the word fraud belongs to someone who flip-flops the most – and I think we both know who that is – the Rummy pirate. I think Mittens has set a new world record for flip-flopping – so much that he often has people in his own party confused. And, of course, he is a member of the party with the motto: "In Greed We Trust.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • goff

      Wrong candidate. Romney was a different person all together at the RNC in Tampa. Now he actually kind of sounds like Obama.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Vic

      @Sally. I couldn't agree more.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Dan

    Try going to church Athiest hunter, might do you some good...

    October 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Romnesia

      How exactly? Reinforce the impression of superstitious sheep?

      October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Wanda

    You guys spend a lot of time worrying about his faith and not the other person's, it doesn't make a difference because faith is between that person and God but CNN can be very biased at times. Guess you're taking tips from Fox.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Savoy

      you obviously havent taken time to study the beliefs of Mormons cult faith. I challenge you to google the words "black skin and mormans" and read some of the doctrines of this twisted view of human beings that happen to be black! Then put yourself, whatever race your are, in the shoes of those same people and imagine he was talking about your race and ask yourself how can you trust a man that grew up on such devisive beliefs and would he really be better to run our country and be a great leader to the world...

      October 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  9. dusty

    Religion and politics are not a good mix! Should we listen to your god or mine? This is all bad for America!

    October 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      No god has ever spoke, written a book, or done anything else. There are no gods. Grow up.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Javi Romero Garcia Lopez

    Thank you Mister Obama, my family of 18 and myself have been made US citizens by you. Thank you

    October 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Javi Romero Garcia Lopez" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Juan Arzuaga

    Even the devil speaks the Bible and believes. Satan uses everyone he can to take our souls. Be sure you are BLOOD bought by GOD's Grace before you start useing His words. You MUST be Saved by HIS Blood.before you take up HIS name and words. You may win in this world (Satan's world); but you will lose your very soul. Do you want to take a chance, do you want your children live in a satonic world?,or you parents, loved ones? Think again before you say "he is a Christian." Many people have been photographed with famous Ministers. That don't make them Christian. You consider his actions, his works, his way of living, his considerations for others. Oboma is not very considerate of AMERICANS, but he sure likes his Muslim brothers, here and in the East.(And their MONEY). Think about that. In my heart I love each and everyone of you on this blog. JESUS put His love in my heart for all people and he can do it for you. 'Consider the lillies of the field...' maybe your future seed in this world. What do you want to leave them? Surely not another Trillion dollars owed to foreign countries. Certainly not slavery to other countries. Don't think it can't happen here! It can in the blink of an eye.
    Foreiners lose money; they call in their debts. How will we pay all this money promised? Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on.... TRILLIANS of $$$$$ takes a long time to pay. Wonder how many promises for money have we made... The blue collar person will never know.. Think about it for a long time!

    October 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Juan Arzuaga" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      @Juan Arzuaga

      Even the devil speaks the Bible and believes. – Thats a lie.

      Satan uses everyone he can to take our souls. – There is no Satan and no one has a "soul".

      Be sure you are BLOOD bought by GOD's Grace before you start useing His words. – He has no words, and to believe that through some mock blood ritual you will somehow live forever is insane.

      You MUST be Saved by HIS Blood.before you take up HIS name and words. – Insane.

      You may win in this world (Satan's world); but you will lose your very soul. – There is no Satan and no one has a soul to save. You're effin' crazy.

      Do you want to take a chance, do you want your children live in a satonic world? – Hey idiot... you already said that this is Satans world, I guess if you have kids they have no choice.

      Think again before you say "he is a Christian." – Actually, you don't have to think at all... which is what religions want.

      Many people have been photographed with famous Ministers. That don't make them Christian. – It makes them idiots, just like you.

      You consider his actions, his works, his way of living, his considerations for others. Oboma is not very considerate of AMERICANS, but he sure likes his Muslim brothers, here and in the East.(And their MONEY). – Your non-existant soul will burn in non-existant hell for that, you scared little sheep.

      Think about that. In my heart I love each and everyone of you on this blog. – Thats funny, since I'm LUCIFER, you know, the evil one.

      JESUS put His love in my heart for all people and he can do it for you.- "Jesus" never existed, no god exists, and you're out of your mind to think otherwise.

      'Consider the lillies of the field...' maybe your future seed in this world. – Just plain nuts.

      What do you want to leave them? Surely not another Trillion dollars owed to foreign countries. Certainly not slavery to other countries. Don't think it can't happen here! It can in the blink of an eye. – Oh, I see, you're a useful idiot republican. It all makes sense now.

      Foreiners lose money; they call in their debts. – Nice spelling there genius. Maybe you should use your "magical jesus machine" to look up words and spell them correctly, you hapless moron.

      How will we pay all this money promised? Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on.... TRILLIANS of $$$$$ takes a long time to pay. Wonder how many promises for money have we made... The blue collar person will never know.. Think about it for a long time! -Just like you thought of the validity of an invisible sky god that likes to watch wars and chioldren die. Grow up and grow a pair you weak-willed dolt. There is no god. I'm the evil, and I approve this message.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Vic

      @just callmelucifer. Stop with the sermon. No one cares about this crap.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  12. OBAMA

    If you want the latest Apple iPhone VOTE FOR ME ;)

    October 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Vic

      Go back to your preschool and use your own name.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Church of Suicidal

    Thanks, foxnews.com. By not allowing your mentally-defective fanboys the opportunity to comment on your site, the rest of us have to put up with them stroking each other off on CNN.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Vic

      Why doesn't Fox let them have their say. They do all sound like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Nutty to the max.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  14. cnn loud

    I remember the day when Evangelicals lived in shear fear of the prospect of their daughters returning home, saying they had fallen in love with a Mormon. Seems like yesterday. Oh yeah, it was yesterday, that's why.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • sarah

      True.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Vic

      Funny.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  15. fred

    Tallulah13
    “Frankly, the christian message at it's bare bones is simple: Swear fealty to the "one god" and you will be rewarded”
    =>not quite, it is faith in the grace and mercy of God to bring us through to the Promise

    “ not a difficult concept, and one that the cultures of the Americans were sufficiently sophisticated to understand.”
    =>evidence points to manmade gods of this culture. However, most had a strong foundation and sense of the Spirit which is the fundamental to Christianity.

    “Your god was indifferent, or incapable of crossing an ocean without human help”
    =>God decided to put the knowledge of God in the care of the Hebrew (chosen ones). God since the beginning allowed each individual with free will to decide for themselves what they will choose. They have before them the option of life (seek God) or death (reject God). This is the plan according to God. I accept God and see the wonders revealed through faith and share that experience with anyone that will hear it. This is the way God presents the truth. If the Americans were to receive the revelation it would be brought to them in Gods time and according to a plan that has never changed.
    Somehow I get the sense that you think if there were a God that God should just snap fingers or something to implant one correct Borg like construct. When you consider the brightest Angelic beings and the first humans had God with them, walking among them, communicating directly yet, in short order they turned to some other desire than God. Like a child growing board with a new toy sees another shiny object. If that close one on one did not work then Gods plan as revealed is the only one I can think of that works. Take note you reject God so clearly you have chosen the life and death away from God and you will have it. I have chosen life and do not desire all that is available to non-believers. I could not keep you from the eternity you have chosen and no one can keep me from the eternity I have chosen. We could both be very wrong or very right but, we will be one or the other.
    That is one simple plan and one simple way. Even sheep and Sheepherders understand this choice.

    “Christianity offers the same rewards to the rich and the poor alike, and all you have to do is sell your soul to god.”
    =>no, you do not sell your soul. You realize that if there is place where perfect love rests eternally most of us cannot qualify based on our own efforts. Christ gave all to redeem our soul from Evil. If we choose to accept that Gift we are one in Christ and no longer our own.
    Yes, rich or poor is irrelevant to salvation. It is written that is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom which is true. This was not written to appease the poor but warn the rich that wealth and opportunity to possess the things of this world are a trap.

    “It's the ultimate con game if public power is your goal, and as profitable as any religion (as the pope and megapastors have shown), once you get people hooked.”
    =>even atheist Stalin fell into the power game so this is a fault common to man not a fault with God.

    “And by the way, all gods are made of stuff is beyond human reckoning.”
    =>no, check out their creation stories their gods are made from known matter and energy. The God of the Bible is the only one that was made from that which was known or could be seen.
    Zeus known for his erotic escapades was not a Greek statue but was very much a man with Mo JO. This compared with God that is of a form that is unknown to man and best described as Spirit due to lack of reference. Jesus was the full representation of God in man. In the same way Moses had the radiance of God but was not God. Gandhi was a man who in many ways reflected a pure spirit compared with Jesus who was filled with or completely 100% the internal image of God. Jesus was not a god like Zeus rather Jesus was a man pure and simple. The example from Jesus was how the Spirit of God can be in a man to the point where that man is “filled with the Sprit”. Perhaps Buddha can reach states of spiritual likeness but Buddha is not the full likeness of God.
    Spiritual side of life was recognized by many early people long before Christ. I am not sure what atheists see or if somehow they reclassify the spiritual into some feel good area of the brain or whatnot. Regardless of what the atheist sees there is the notion of spirit that is representative of another part of our being just as sight and smell is a part.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Jesus

      who writes that much on some lame forum

      answer: A NUT

      October 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • sarah

      fred: "check out their creation stories"

      Exactly: myths is what they are.

      As someone else recently said: "the God of Abraham has not gone anywhere that man didn't take him"

      October 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Troll Alert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.!

      October 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • fred

      Sarah
      You were created in the image of God so that you could relate with God. That is why the knowledge of God is passed on from person to person. We are speaking of a personal God when speak about the God of the Hebrews.
      Again, if God was bringing about souls that belong eternally with God I cannot think of a better plan than the one we witness every day. There are certain souls that belong with God and nothing can stop that eternal destiny. The best part is that choice was made with complete free will.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • fred

      troll alert
      Why do you advertise that you are not a christian? Is it not self evident?

      October 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • sarah

      fred: "You were created in the image of God so that you could relate with God. That is why the knowledge of God is passed on from person to person. We are speaking of a personal God when speak about the God of the Hebrews.

      More self-validating bullshiit from Gullible's Travels.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • fred

      Sarah
      Exactly how is your belief not self validating?

      October 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    God exists in the minds of men and nowhere else, kinda like borders its ok for leaders to pretend to believe in a god how else can you control the mindless.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  17. novacane

    i could give a rats ass about religion...obama has proven to be anti american as well as the largest national security threat to our great country and the brave american men and women who serve in the military providing all of us freedom. second term? he should be prosecuted for treason and impeached! wake up people and wipe that stupid koolaid stain off your woolly mouth!

    October 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • novacane

      i just had to post that rant i only get 15 minutes of pc time in jail.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Yeah... Obama started the Iraq war, so thousands of Americans could die for no reason.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  18. smellarat

    Obama is definitely moving away from any Christian principles he may have once had or not had. This story is pretty bogus. Don't confuse his pompous and pious speech patterns and mournful looks as some sort of religious epiphany. Those are nothing more than the usual body language from the typical condescending liberal.

    October 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • novacane

      it doesn't matter its all a fairy tale anyway this shouldnt be even discussed about a president

      October 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Whats that smell? Why its your "eternal soul" burning for all eternity. Save the world... kill a zealot.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  19. Benghazi anyone?

    Still avoiding the real news CNN? Pretending it's not news is not journalism. The fact that you have three day old polls of Ohio is also laughable. Romney is up in Ohio, LOL. Anything to push your POTUS, I guess. At least try to pretend you're not Obama groupies for crying out loud. Aren't you embarrased? No wonder Fox news is number one in the nation and no wonder your ratings are falling. I'm embarrased for you guys. Oh well, next up Obama's shuck and jive. Just a fad? And Biden the gaffmaster. How does he emulate the hyena so well? All next up on CNN. Stay tuned.

    October 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • mama k

      Let's see, you were saying this yesterday, and there really isn't any more news yet, is there?

      I get a strange feeling, though, about this incident. I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of the Watergate wiretapping. Republicans have been known to pull off some crazy things close to an election to make their opponent look bad.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  20. bhussainobama

    Hey, Christian Faith. Jesus didn't build that.!!

    October 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Surprisingly you actually are correct.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:05 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.