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.
Now ask, "Is Romney going to invoke a law that violates your right for your Church's freedoms to practice you Religion?"
Obama already has Obamacare mandates the provision for your church to provide these things.
Is he a thorn bush?
43 million on welfare or food stamps.
23 plus million unemployed more than anytime in United States History
Force Churches to provide Abortion
Dead Ambassador first time in 30 years.
479 million dollars taken from tax payers and given Pat Strykker Money Bundler for the Elect Obama Campaign
500 Million Dollars given to Solyndra, bankrupt and another money bundler for Elect Obama Campaign
Are you culpable?
@free: "Now ask, "Is Romney going to invoke a law that violates your right for your Church's freedoms to practice you Religion?""
No one knows the future.
"Obama already has Obamacare mandates the provision for your church to provide these things."
Not according to this court case:
"Is he a thorn bush?"
No, he is a human.
"23 plus million unemployed more than anytime in United States History"
This like the movie industry continually claiming the most recent movie was "the highest grossing movie in history". Of course it was. Movie prices keep rising. We will continue to have "highest grossing movies, like, ever!" This is why, if you're not a filthy dirty lying scum bag who knows people are easily fooled, you'd use a percentage or ratio so we can actually know facts instead of propaganda.
When we look at the percentage of unemployed I think you'll find the 20-30's Depression easily dwarfs today's percentage.
"Dead Ambassador first time in 30 years."
What does this have to do with anything?
"500 Million Dollars given to Solyndra, bankrupt and another money bundler for Elect Obama Campaign"
It's a funny thing about investments. There's risk involved. You've heard of the concept, yes? Like a good propagandist you haven't bothered to look at anything successful, just failures. How's GM looking?
Overall the loans may have lost money, but Obama did what he needed to do to keep the economy from going into a tailspin, and form that perspective it worked. You would be tickled pink if he hadn't loaned all that money, cuz the country would be in real trouble and it would then be very easy to point and say "Obama, why didn't you do anything?"
Compare "No, No, not God Bless America, God D*#& America!" Jeremiah Wright
"You must pray for your enemies and bless those who curse you." Jesus Christ
"You will know them by the fruits they bear, for a thorn bush does not bear good fruit nor does a good bush bear thorns."
Forcing the Catholic Church to Violate the basic RELIGIOUS tenets of the Church and the Declaration of Independence first noted "Right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Forcing them to perform abortions, and or provide the means to do so is in violation of their basic Religious Rights.
If you are Christian of any group Lutheran, Methodist, Presby's, you have to ask by voting this man in are you yourself accountable for the violation of God endowed Un alienable right to LIFE?
Don't let the people on the blog try to change the argument as to whether God does or does not exist, it is just an attempt to distract from the truth. FORCING CHURCHES TO PERFORM ABORTION IS A DIRECT ATTACK ON THOSE CHURCHES< YOUR CHURCHES.
Delusional idiocy. There is no war on religion.
What is "Black Liberation Theology/"
Is it Christianity?
who founded it
Liberation Theology was born out of Communist Cuba By Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to undermine the Catholic Church in Cuba.
It was combined with "Black Power" By Dr. Hal Cones – who wrote "If god is not involved in the holy endeavor for the destruction of the Black Man's enemy and the beautiful endeavor of black power, then that god must be destroyed."
From his book – What is Black Liberation Theology
His protege' ? Jeremiah Wright.
All gods are made in the image of man, some are just more obvious than others.
@Huebert "All gods are made in the image of man, some are just more obvious than others."
All gods (lower case) – true
The One True God – hardly.
For all the skeptics... You say you have never heard Obama proclaim out loud that he is a born again christian. Have you ever heard Romney proclaim out loud that he is a born again christian and that he believes in Jesus? You say that Obama does lead or make decisions based on the teachings of the bible. Yet, you have no problem accepting Romneys faith and beliefs. You do realize that Romney does not follow the bible in the true way as a christians do? Joseph Smith is who Romney follows not christ. I am a christian and I find it hypocrtical that you judge Obama but not Romney... I truly believe the Republican party is a party of hate, bigotry, a party that will rob the poor and say that the lord told them to. Shame on you for questioning the presidents christian faith, when you create your own false faith and call it Christianity.
How is it that you can judge people for judging people????????
The reverend and civil rights advocate who gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration suggested at a recent Obama re-election rally that he thinks white people are going to hell - though he later said it was just a joke.
The Rev. Joseph Lowery spoke at a rally Saturday in Georgia. According to an account in the Monroe County Reporter, "Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were.
"Now, he said, he is back to where he was," according to the newspaper.
"I don’t know what kind of a n-– wouldn’t vote with a black man running," he also told the audience in the St. James Baptist Church in Forsyth, Ga., according to the paper.
The 91-year-old Lowery, though, told an Atlanta-area TV station and the Daily Caller that the monologue was a joke and from the perspective of a young militant.
Lowery also said he made clear at the time that the comments - at the event reportedly attended by hundreds of African Americans - were intended as a joke.
Still, Forsyth Mayor John Howard said he was “pretty shocked” by the comments, according to the newspaper.
Lowery told the Daily Caller he doesn’t remember making the n-word comment.
“I never said that, I don’t remember saying that.”
Lowery was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama. His benediction in 2009 for Obama's inauguration included one racially charged, though somewhat whimsical, line.
He closed with the following passage: "Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man - and when white will embrace what is right."
So the sons of your grandfather's slaves hate you. Interesting.
@Nii "So the sons of your grandfather's slaves hate you. Interesting."
I thought you said that you were a minister of God?
All I see coming from you is anger and hatred.
This has got to be a painful article for atheistic trolls that patrol the belief blog....while I don't think this is going to change the way or how much of their hate they spew, it has to be a "reality" check to realize the person that you are likely going to vote for (if you vote) is actually coming to deeper understanding of God and increasing the maturity of his faith.
Any U.S. citizen over the age of 12 understands politicians do lie about any and every thing to get and stay elected. Obama, like all of us, is an atheist.
its time for an atheist president...actually I would not doubt that some of them were, you just can't admit that in this country
The way they acted, I would say most of them were.
"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:
"was blind, but now I see" 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:
This troll is not a christian.
correct me if I am wrong but doesnt this law that is quite flawless state judge not less thou be judged by that very same standard? I mean if God did well enough to see fit to install this perfect plan called salvation before the foundation of man, that who so ever believes that Jesus took not only one for the team or mankind but all of the sins of mankind upon Himself, that in this gift provides freedom liberty and justification? I mean this is where one can truly find hope and or confidence. in knowing that one know longer has to justify ones self or fear the judgement of anyone else that if God is for you who can be against you, So we are safe to say that since we have all fallen short of the glory of God meaning nobodys perfect Jesus made it possible for us to be seen as perfect in His sight. How cool is that! its only when we reject His gift of forgiveness that we condemn ourself, again falling prey to the first part again if you pass judgement on Gods call and say yeah right.... well you get it, So instead lets all just agree to disagree to ere is human to forgive is divine. In a perfect world I guess we could vote for a guy that has Gods best intrest in mind and believer or not thats impossible, in this world people are popular not the truth,hence popular demand or popular vote. remember world peace... is a oxy moron so dont sweat it, theres no harm in doing the best you can in life, but lets be honest with ourself we could use a little help...ok alot of help and Jesus is our helper ask Him in your heart today and for Him to show you the way the truth and the life and for hope to bring healing to you and your family and friends
It's called pride. The same thing that brought Lucifer down.
I can't and won't judge Obama's heart, but I have serious questions about the type of "Christian" faith that he chooses to demonstrate. For example, I don't know why he chose to sit in Rev. Wright's congregation for over 20+ years and by accounts, appeared to ardently follow the hate filled diatribes that spewed from the pulpit. Also, I cannot understand why or how, he can support abortion (in all cases) and gay marriage. He apparently must be picking and choosing which parts of the Christian faith to follow and which parts to simply ignore. Lastly, I have never heard him profess that Jesus Christ is his personal savior. Sure, he talks about "God" in very general terms, but never about Jesus Christ. All these things lead me to believe that Obama's faith, at a minimum, isn't in alignment with what Christian doctrine teaches.
I take issues with you on several counts. Your President came to Christ and was not born a Christian. He constantly says he is inspired by Christ's examples to care for the least fortunate. With abortion and gay marriage he takes St. Paul's position that non-Christians should be left to their own devices. If lots of Christians were not condoning and conniving to cause abortions we could leave the non-Christian abortionists alone. We as Christians should teach ourselves the virtues of charitable love and practice it so the world will follow. Hypocrisy is a sad thing. Why should a Christian publicly announce he is one. According to Christ that is fake.
Legislating something is hardly leaving people to their own devices!
"Coming to Christ" as a thought process is far from being Born Again. Bone of His bone. Flesh of His flesh. Infused with His very Spirit.
I see nothing in his speech or action that indicates he's a Christian. I have seen, however, may actions (and lack of action) that indicate he is not.
Obama's faith......................hmmmm which one are we talking about?
The Christian God he prays to before the debate so he can blame God afterwards when he has a bad one?
The Muslim faith which he has sworn to defend and actually told a reporter he BELONGS to
Rev Jeremiah's version with its hate filled rants against America
The Catholic faith for which he wears a special bracelet?
If Obama can't make his mind up about himself – how can he run a country?
Amen. I had the same thoughts as I read this article. I am a Christian and I do not see a president who lives and makes decisions from a biblical perspective. Again I am not here to judge that is For Jesus Christ but for Obamas i do hope he has personally accepted Jesus Christ as is personal lord and savior. For it is thru jesus and what he did on the cross for us sinners that allows us to have an etternal life. Amen
"I cannot understand why or how, he can support abortion (in all cases) and gay marriage"
Gay marriage is about equal rights under the law
"the virtues of charitable love and practice it so the world will follow. Hypocrisy is a sad thing"
then stop exhibiting it. you say you love your neighbors as youself, but you sure seem to have no problem denying a portion of them their civil rights.
look in the mirrot, nii
Which portion is that? The unborn baby?
This troll is not a christian. .
"I don't know why he chose to sit in Rev. Wright's congregation for over 20+ years and by accounts, appeared to ardently follow the hate filled diatribes that spewed from the pulpit."
And I don't know why the ignorant fundiot tea baggers constantly take 3 words from one sermon out of context. You obviously have not read that sermon, or other sermons from this Pastor.
" Also, I cannot understand why or how, he can support abortion (in all cases) and gay marriage."
Like most fundiot nutters, you fail to understand that Obama is PRESIDENT of the United States. He is not Pastor of the United States. Being a constîtutional scholar, he understands that he is President of all Americans, not just the religious nutters.
" I have never heard him profess that Jesus Christ is his personal savior. "
From the National Prayer Breakfast, February 2011, “And it was through that experience, working with pastors and laypeople, trying to heal the wounds of hurting neighborhoods, that I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace him as my Lord and Savior.”
So, basically, your entire post is wrong. No, that isn't right – your entire post is a lie. Lies told and retold by ignorant fundiot tea bagger nutters. Seriously, do you cretins have no shame?
I have told you several times that I have no issues with any gay person. I am a Christian and as such I don't believe there is something like same-se.x marriage. However my religion also forbids me from holding its statutes over the heads of non-adherents. Comprendez.
WAS BLIND, NOW BLIND AND FOREVER BLIND
Believe you me you are a sad specimen of a Christian compared to Obama. And as for the rest of you Fundamentalist Evangelicals who think the Roman Catholic Church and Islam are not in America and vote for Ryan and ROmney and God knows who else look deep within your hearts and see its emptiness. i know you think its the Holy Spirit but it is definitely something else. Check yourself against the fruit of the spirit. If you can lie that Obama is Muslim because of his name then what about the countless number of Christians who bear Arab names? Are you Christian by ethnicity or by God's grace. I don't know why you think only Americans from the South and West can be Christian. I am African and a Christian. My name is African. That does not make me pagan, does it?
"However my religion also forbids me from holding its statutes over the heads of non-adherents. Comprendez."
By codifying it, that is exactly what is being done.
Do have an issue with equality under the law?
If not, why do you think that Obama should not support equality in marriage rights?
I do not think you understand me at all. I am what someone will call a spiritual but non-religious Christian. I do not have issues with your country's legislation. We may be equal under the law under certain conditions the law provides. I however do not live my life by human legislation. I prefer to live by loving God with all my life and loving my neighbor as myself. The rest is just not as important to me. The Law as found in the Bible is to define the line between spirituality and carnality rather than for punishment
Obama and I are different. He knows what he has seen. I have not. So why should I want him to love or hate gay marriage?
@Nii "WAS BLIND, NOW BLIND AND FOREVER BLIND
Believe you me you are a sad specimen of a Christian compared to Obama.
Huh. Okay. I believe you.
@Nii "I am a Christian..."
Are you born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit?
I didn't think so.
@Nii "WAS BLIND, NOW BLIND AND FOREVER BLIND
Believe you me you are a sad specimen of a Christian compared to Obama. And as for the rest of you Fundamentalist Evangelicals who think the Roman Catholic Church and Islam are not in America and vote for Ryan and ROmney and God knows who else look deep within your hearts and see its emptiness. i know you think its the Holy Spirit but it is definitely something else. Check yourself against the fruit of the spirit. If you can lie that Obama is Muslim because of his name then what about the countless number of Christians who bear Arab names? Are you Christian by ethnicity or by God's grace. I don't know why you think only Americans from the South and West can be Christian. I am African and a Christian. My name is African. That does not make me pagan, does it?"
What are you even talking about? I just read through your little diatribe, and nothing of which you preach have I ever stated. Maybe you are mistaking me for somebody else????????
My Pastor works with President Obama. President Obama, is unashamefully and unapologetically Christian. Remember the Bible says that man looks at the outer but God looks at the heart. Look at the things he fights for.... And no I don't approve of Gay marriage but we all know he's only doing it because he thinks not doing it is unfair. When it comes to Gay marriage, God is not interested in being fair, but standing on his principles. Other than that, President Obama is still learning and growing in God. Meanwhile, Athesis are very nervous about what God says and what God does, otherwise they wouldn't be here making immature comments!
@ceg10 "Athesis are very nervous about what God says and what God does, otherwise they wouldn't be here making immature comments!"
You got that right!
@Primewonk "I have never heard him profess that Jesus Christ is his personal savior. "
That's right. He speaks of Christ precisely the same way any Muslim (or Jew for that matter) speaks about Christ.
"He was a good man....a good teacher....a good example.....maybe even "a" profit....."
Sorry, comments like that do not a (true) Christian make.
Sadly you did not comprehend any of my post since proud people are mostly foolish. Am I born again? What? Am I Holy Ghost filled? I am a Minister of God. I hate it when Fundamentalists like you think you are the only Christians on Earth. You don't read the Bible much anyway and even less practise it. How many fruit of the Spirit do you bear cos from here I can't see any.
@Nii "Am I born again? What? Am I Holy Ghost filled? I am a Minister of God. I hate it..."
I did not ask you if you were a minister of God. I asked you if you were born again and baptised in His Sipirt (with the evidence of speaking in other tongues)????
You say that you don't see any fruit of the spirit. All I see from you is hate and judgmentalism.
How could Romney sit under and practice the teachings of a religion that until the late 1970's decree and believe that African-Americans were decendents of Cain and therefore cursed, that they were not allowed to become priests and take part in the churchs' sacraments? This doesn't sound like someone who had a belief system instilled in him through his religion that all men were created equal and that the death of Jesus Christ wasn't sufficient enough to erase this supposed curse upon African-Americans.
Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion to include Obama's Christianity in less than ten seconds:
Only for the new members of this blog:
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
Added details available upon written request.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
It is rather unclear what you are basing your Kiboshi on. After decades of serious study and searching, My conclusions are quite different from yours derived from your 10 seconds.
Reality – You cut and paste well but have little actual substance. I read your post with mild curiousity and decided that:-
 You are sure not a Theologian;
 You confuse B.S with theological fact;
 You need to recap lost opportuinties in the education you so obviously missed;
 Your need to pontificate indicates self-esteem issues.
I truly believe with my whole heart that those who lean, and especially vote republican, will have a lot to answer for when they die and meet God.
I mean, we all will – but those republicans??? they're really screwed.
How so? Please provide specific example. Thanks.
Oh dearie me! After a lifetime teaching – I recognize the effects of inadequate potty training in children that leads to strange thinking in adult life.
I'm sorry for your troubles!........Muppet!
Is it your tiny little weener that has you so upset?
I believe in the freedom of speech, but there is real stupidity that should be filtered from everyone. For real what does your post have to do with the issue at hand?? You dont even know the person's gender. Wow. Maybe everyone should think before they speak or write something. Have we really become that ignorant in America??
All indications are "yes"
Note to everyone: Tom Tom is an evil human being. Please ignore of all his/her filth.
Baseless conjecture... the foundation of any decent religious subscriber.
I hate dirty niqqers like Obama.
What is your deal?
Not a very nice thing to say.
This Tom Tom doesn't seem to be too popular around here and I see why. Your racist hatred of our pres is unfounded and idiotic.
I hope you burn in hell.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the real Tom Tom and it's just someone too ashamed to use their own handle to post comments. Tom Tom's comments are harsh, but they are intelligent. Clearly the person posing as him here has a long way to go in the "brains" department before he/she will be an effective imitation.
"I'm pretty sure this isn't the real Tom Tom and it's just someone too ashamed to use their own handle to post comments. Tom Tom's comments are harsh, but they are intelligent. Clearly the person posing as him here has a long way to go in the "brains" department before he/she will be an effective imitation."
Did you "effective" or "affective"???
The root word of the term ‘affective’ is the word ‘affect’. This word is commonly used as a verb, which means ‘to influence or to act in a certain way’. As such, to affect something means to influence or alter the mental state of a certain individual, in order for them to feel or act in a certain way. To be considered as an affective individual, means that you are able to influence another person, or a group of people, in order for them to feel, think or act in the manner that you would want them to act. Being affective is, therefore, one of the most important characteristics that sales people and marketers should possess.
On the other hand, the term ‘effective’ comes from the root word ‘effect’. In contrast to the word affect, the word effect is used both as a noun and verb. As a noun, the word effect generally means ‘the result of something’. For something to be an effect, something else should have happened first.
The word ‘effective’ derives its meaning from the word effect when it is used as a verb. As a verb, the word effect means ‘the ability to produce a desired result’. This meaning is where much of the confusion comes from, when using the words affective and effective. Even here there is a difference. Being an affective person means that you have the ability to influence another person’s feelings, and way of thinking, for them to act and feel a certain way. On the other hand, an effective person entails being able to produce results, without first influencing another person’s emotions, in order to produce the desired result. Therefore, you can be an affective speaker and an effective computer programmer.
@was blind, but now I see,
Thank you for the vocabulary lesson. I did mean "effective" though. Sorry for the confusion.
1 successful in producing a desired or intended result: effective solutions to environmental problems.
Not cool whoever posed as Tom Tom.
I know Tom Tom. Tom Tom is a d*ck of an athiest, but he's no racist. At least I didn't think he was.
@GodFreeNow "Thank you for the vocabulary lesson."
Just returning the favor :)
BTW, I think you need to read the definitions again.
@was blind: Change your moniker. You're not only still blind, but deaf and completely stupid, as well.
Nice. Feel better about your pathetic existence now?
Just ignore the hogwash from this one... Nothing but amateur filth.
I am fully aware of why TTPS hates me. It's actually a complement. She needs help.
Do you mean,
1 a thing that completes or brings to perfection: the libretto proved a perfect complement to the music.
a polite expression of praise or admiration: she paid me an enormous compliment.
Actually both, now that you mentioned it !
Thanks, God Free. You were your moniker well!
You wear it well.
Sorry. I need to be more careful. The accuser is watching LOL!
It's fine... I usually avoid pointing out grammar or spelling errors as a live in a non-english speaking country, but I was unsure of the meaning of your comment so I thought it was best to clarify it.
I might not say anything about this if I didn't think that both Mitt and Paul were not going to bring their religion into their public service for the U.S.'s highest office. That's a pretty frightening prospect, especially considering how unfounded and bizarre Mormonism is. Paul Ryan has even stated that he doesn't think he can separate his religion from his public service.
In 1996, the Smithsonian Institute issued a statement addressing claims made in the Book of Mormon, stating that the text is primarily a religious text and that archeologists affiliated with the institute found "no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book". The statement further describes that there is genetic evidence that the Native American Indians are closely related to peoples of Asia, and that archeological evidence indicates that the Native Americans migrated from Asia over a land bridge over the Bering Strait in prehistoric times. The statement said that there was no credible evidence of contact between Ancient Egyptian or Hebrew peoples and the New World, as indicated by the text of the Book of Mormon. The statement was issued in response to reports that the name of the Smithsonian Institute was being improperly used to lend credibility to the claims of those looking to support the events of the Book of Mormon.
The National Geographic Society, in a 1988 letter to the Institute for Religious Research, stated "Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere's past and the society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon."
Of course there are other basic beliefs of Mormonism that have only faith as their foundation.
Well, when has religion ever let something like facts and science get in the way of their fantasies?
All religion is a fraud. If you suffer from a brand of the delusion that holds any of it as "reality", it is no less crazy than any other.
Obama is a good talker and a terrible leader and president, this nation is sinking fast and most people cannot afford to buy food and own a home. He has sold us down the drain to the Chinese who are a communist, dictatorship and we have lost a lot of our friendly nations because of his wife and his behavior. our health system is already getting ready to raise cost to the working class and to people due to his horrible health care plans and even doctors are going cash only, just to avoid taking government insurance. and who care what he believes in if he is a Christian he would not condone gay and lesbian marriage or abortions or half of what he stands for. this article is filled with wrong information. and a slanted writer is doing a good job at trying to make the president look good.
gay and lesbian marriage is about equal rights under the law.
"He has sold us down the drain to the Chinese who are a communist, dictatorship"
Really, jf? How many jobs has Romney sent to China, or elsewhere overseas?
You've been brainwashed by your cult jf you should go seek professional help so you don't come off so ignorant.
jf: if you don't think that people should have equal rights under the law, you are a bigot.
if you use a holy book to justify it, you are a pious bigot.
why do you feel that gays and lesbians should not have equal rights?
"Obama is a good talker and a terrible leader and president, this nation is sinking fast and most people cannot afford to buy food and own a home."
"Terrible Leader" = Empty rhetoric.
" this nation is sinking fast" = blatant lie. We have seen 36 straight months of financial growth and a reducing unemployment rate.
"most people cannot afford to buy food" = another blatant lie. "most" would mean over 50% of America going hungry each night. Currently the number is 14.9% of homes in america that are considered "food insecure".
I know that republicans and Romney supporters enjoy lying but please, try to lie about things that are not so easily refuted. I know Mormons are allowed to lie for Christ as long as they feel it is is furthering the Mormon faith, so I could expect this of them to get their Bishop elected president, but it just makes you look foolish when you throw out such whoppers.
@sam stone "gay and lesbian marriage is about equal rights under the law."
I want to marry my neighbor's two daughters. Where's my equal rights???
@sam stone "if you use a holy book to justify it, you are a pious bigot."
Yea. Just go with your gut, man. If it's good for you, it's nobody else's business.
@The un-Truth "We have seen 36 straight months of financial growth and a reducing unemployment rate."
The financial growth BS that you spin is predominantly from part time, government jobs.
The reduced unemployment BS that you spin is only because most of the unemployed have stopped looking for work.
Wrong, stupid. Too bad you have to lie to try to make your argument. As usual.
@Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "Wrong, stupid. Too bad you have to lie to try to make your argument. As usual."
Why do you continue to harbor so much anger against your father, and why do you direct it towards me?
(I know why, but do you?)
"I want to marry my neighbor's two daughters. Where's my equal rights???"
if they are of legal age, still blind, i got no problem with it
Why do they have to be of legal age? I like them young. It's might right to marry whomever I want. Or, what about somebody who is already married? I like that too. It's my right to marry anybody that I want. Anything less is a direct assalt on my civil rights!
Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."
For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.
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.