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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. Shay

    Who the heck is Dan Gilgoff to say that Obama's faith is more of an evangelical style or that his faith has changed??? How the hell does he know???? Some folks are so eager to define President Obama, even down to what he thinks and his religion!!!! Rev. Wright DID NOT almost bring the President down. It was the WHITE CONSERVATIVE MEDIA misconstruing what the Reverend said. American has a lot of growing up to do! I have never seen so much hate since the President came into office. Just out and out hate and racism.!!!!!!! Unfortunately it was there all of the time. The white hoods and sheets came off!!!!! The election of an African American man brought it all to the forefront! America should NEVER try to tell anybody about anything!!! America is so messed up, we need to work on ourselves!!!! If Romney becomes president, it's all over and everyone will suffer, and anyone who voted for him shouldn't complain later when they realize Romney/Ryan was LYING all of the time.!!!!!!! Republicans do not deserve to be elected to anything. They are hate mongers, war mongers, fear mongers, divisive, LIARS and suppressers!!! Some of these republicans call themselves EVANGELICALS????!!! They are about FAMILY VALUES???!!!! They act as if they are the only ones who know GOD!!! What I have seen of them is questionable. I would never want to identify as a republican, not after what I have seen of Romney/Ryan and other republican government officials!!!

    God Help America!!!!

    November 6, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  2. Mark

    Obama's moral compass does not exist. This article sounds like it was written by one of his campaign advisers who wanted "a church article of some type" out there for election day. This guy's God is the Socialist message. It's easy to see that in him.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only if you're delusional.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Scott

      Mark observes: This guy's [BoBo's] God is the Socialist message.

      I refer to "them" as the Unholy Trinity, Marx/Lenin/Mao. That is BoBo's "god".

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  3. IT IS ALL GOOD AND GOD IS AT THE END

    We can call ourselves whatever we want, but we will be judged by our actions.

    What a glorious day we enjoy in our democracy...who would have thought for president we can choose between a black man or a Mormon for president. Is this a great country or what?

    November 6, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  4. flatpicker

    What a crock. A muslim pretending to be a christian in order to advance islam.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Huebert

      Do you realize that calling the president a Muslim makes you seem like a fvcking moron?

      November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      And when hubie says fvcking moron he knows what it is talking about, it sees one in the mirror every day.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  5. Doug

    Is anybody going to call him a flip flopper on his faith, gay marriage, closing gitmo, etc.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Scott

      Won't happen Doug lest the person that calls out BoBo on this be called a ... gasp ... racist.

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Scott is so stupid he thinks he needs to sign his name at the end of his post so we know it's really HIS.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Scott

      :) :) :)
      Well "Butch" I sign my name because not all comment boards allow me to use "Scott" as the screen name. Later on I realized that for some obscure reason my act of signing my comments really irritates you komrade libs. So I keep it up :)

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  6. Mighty1

    Obamassiah admitted he was raised as a Muslim. He went to Rev Wright to learn about Christianity.

    To me it seems as though he used the church and Rev Wright to gain power and influence and when they were no longer useful to him he threw them under the bus.

    I truly believe that Obamassiah cares more about Muslims than he does about Christians. Now I really don't have a problem with that but he should at least admit where he really stands. The truth is something that he seems to be afraid of.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Vix

      True President should be a True Christian.... at least make an attempt at being one. I hope Obama changes his stand on Pro-Life movement and truly support root Chistian tenets.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Huebert

      Vix

      Who determines who is a True Christian? Is a True Christian like a True Scotsman?

      November 6, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • flatpicker

      No true Christian will support Obama. He is so against what a christian believes in. Like he says, we are not a christian nation. Our motto is not "In God We Trust". He supports the murdering of an unborn helpless baby. A true christian will not vote for Obama.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • nope

      @hue...
      nope

      November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Shay

      Mighty1, you are a da*n LIAR. How do you know what President Obama thinks or what he believes???? You Don't!!!

      November 6, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  7. Scott

    No big deal here about BoBo's "faith" (notice the quotes). Like any other рrоѕtіtutе (lawyer) its "faith" will change to whatever suits its purpose at the time. Therefore, when people ask or state that BoBo is Muslim or Christian the answer is, "Yes". BoBo will morph itself into whatever religion will help it garner more approval/votes.

    Scott

    November 6, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional idiocy.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Scott, what is wrong with you?

      November 6, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Scott

      So you two boys, Tom & midwest, can't come to grips with the fact that your Dear Leader is a pathological liar, eh? ;)

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      First off, dumbazz, I'm female. Second, he's no more a liar than Romney is. Third, he's done a better job than Bush ever did.

      Get a clue, you stupid git.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Shay

      Scott I thought you were talking about that flip flopper Mitt Romney. Mormonism is not Christian. That religion is a cult!

      November 6, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  8. andrew.peter

    this article is total trash!
    Obama may be an evangelical in the true sense of the word. He has "good news" that he wants everyone to know about. And he is quite good at hypnotizing his hearers.
    Don't be deceived. Obama is not our Savior.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Ryan42

      Let's not get B.S. X 2! Vote for the Reverend-Romney. We are 1 Nation under GOD! The things that happened under this administration is just a sign of what's to come if we don't change the leadership in this Country- Hurricane "Sandy" OWS! When did we ever have people begging in the streets for money except under this administration-

      November 6, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ronnie, honey, your alias is showing again. Pull up your pants.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  9. Charlotte

    whenever Romney changes, its a flip flop; but when Obama changes, even on his faith, its simply "evolution". hahah gotta love the media.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • greg

      I couldn't agree with you more. Our liberal biased media has got to change!!

      November 6, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Scott

      Correct, the lame stream media, including CNN, are nothing more that the propaganda department of the Obama Re-Election Campaign.

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  10. Randy

    Allahu Akbar!

    November 6, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  11. Fred Smith

    Dont listen to liberal propaganda folks.

    From his own book Obama said if I had to choose I choose Muslim.

    Sen. Barack Obama's pastor says blacks should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America."

    The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor for the last 20 years

    abcnews.go . com/Blotter/DemocraticDebate/story?id=4443788&page=1

    November 6, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • enoughznough

      I wish blacks would sing their a$$ out of this country..

      November 6, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Ryan42

      Vote for the Reverend-Romney. We are 1 Nation under GOD! The things that happened under this administration is just a sign of what's to come if we don't change the leadership in this Country- Hurricane "Sandy" OWS! When did we ever have people begging in the streets for money except under this administration-

      November 6, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhhhahhha! So why did Katrina happen under Bush's watch? How about 9/11?

      What a pea-brain.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Ryan42

      Want to see what Obama's values are really about Watch Obama 2016- Hopefully before you vote! "SCARY"

      November 6, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shove it, Ronnie Regonzoid. I don't base my vote on movies. Get a job, you parasite.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  12. Mohamiss Shafik-Kaddir

    Obama is still a Muslim , I dont see how this article is relevant . Inshallah Allah will have his revenge and Obama will be re-elected and unleash Islamist Hell upon all you filthy Infidels .

    November 6, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Patrick

      The sad thing is, a lot of people believe this.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  13. Reality

    I guess I'll have to vote for the lesser of two christians.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • truth be told

      Mormons are not Christians, a vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti- Christ

      November 6, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • TheVocalTheist

      @Truth be Told: I believe Abortion and Gay Marriage is from the spirit of the anti-Christ. Obama supports them both. So what does that make him, as he professes to be a follower of Jesus. As our Lord said, "by their fruits you will know them".

      November 6, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • greg

      @truthbetold.....just another example of ignorance. Mormons ARE Christians. Muslims ARE not! tHE END!

      November 6, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • flatpicker

      Mormons don't cut your head off if you don't convert! Muslims do! It's an easy vote for me.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  14. funny

    lets see

    How many national days of prayer has he participated in ZERO
    How many ramadans ALL
    How many hindu holidays ALL

    Christian he is not

    November 6, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Frank

      Exactly. Like Obama himself told the ISLAMISTS. The MANCHURIAN PRESIDENT!

      "Watch what I do, NOT what I say."

      November 6, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  15. FDM

    Wow, wouldn't have guessed he was a Christian being he is for abortion, contraception, and euthanasia. Those are about as anti Christian traits as you can get. Very much a hypocrite and have to pray for him.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • truth be told

      A Christian isn't perfect, just forgiven. A vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti – Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • no way

      The BIble says to judge by the fruits, nobama has no Christian fruit.

      For those who think romney is the anit-Christ you need to read the BIble more

      November 6, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • truth be told

      I did not say "the" anti – Christ but an anti – Christ as in the Bible where it says that many anti – Christs have gone out. If you do read the Bible you will know that Mormons are indeed anti – Christ. So it stands, no grey areas at all a vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti – Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • flatpicker

      truth be told – You are so clueless. Do you really think that Obama is christian ? He has been influenced by radical muslims all his life. He is told in the Koran to lie to us if he can further the cause of Islam. Romney (Mormons) will not cut your head off if you do not convert. You cannot even compare Romney and Obama in this area. Neither one is a christian. One of them (Romney) supports some christian values.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  16. bill anyone

    Another Jive talking Monkey

    November 6, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • enoughznough

      Aren't they all?!

      November 6, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  17. bill davis

    The man would do anything say anything to get elected, he worked the Seals, and then turned his back on them in their hour of need...

    That's Politician Obama saying what need to be said to get elected, in the old days for 20 years he used the Black Rev Wright, and Bill Ayers, today he uses the Unions, and Islam..

    November 6, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • truth be told

      Unions and Islam do not have the numbers to carry an American election. Know this bill a vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti – Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Scott

      Bill,
      What you described is called a "parasite" ;)

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  18. Eric

    I think that Obama, being a rational and intelligent person, does not believe in any god – he just cannot say it because he knows it can cost him the election

    November 6, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • nope

      @er...
      nope

      November 6, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Z

      what do you mean rational & intelligent? Abraham Lincoln was a true believer? So, he is not rational & intelligent? So, you're saying Obama does not tell the truth, and you trust him?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Eric

      Lincoln was certainly intelligent and rational but he lived in a very different time so the comparison is completely invalid. Take a look at our world history: back in the day everyone thought the earth was flat so even the most clever people back then accepted this. What is surprising is that nowadays, in the 21st century(!!), with all the information, science, and knowledge we have, people still believe in magical things. And yes, I trust Obama. If Romney can lie about pretty much 90% of the stuff he says I am pretty comfortable letting Obama off the hook with this one – after all, he is a politician and this is what they do; otherwise he would be saving baby seals in the Artic

      November 6, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Amy

      So, you quoted that "rational and intelligent" people do not believe in God? Really! , why would you assume that. All people should get to know God for themselves.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Eric

      Wow, what a great, deep and coherent argument – makes total sense. You have just convinced me that I should know god

      November 6, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • BU2B

      Think for one sec, Amy. The god that you "know" is all in your head. Wake up.
      As to the original poster, there are intelligent believers in this world. That is the power of the religion virus. It allows critical thinking, unless it is applied to the religion. In this case, the critical thinking is disabled due to the hold that the religion virus has on the person.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Amy
      The greatest problem with religion is that once you have accepted a proposition by faith, you cannot thereafter judge that proposition with reason.
      Many atheists do know God – perhaps better than a lot of self-proclaimed Christians.
      A lot of Christians say that "God is love" – and yet the very first word used to describe God in the bible is "jealous", not "loving".
      God constantly punishes those who seek knowledge and understanding, from Adam and Eve to Babel to Lot's wife.
      He is even willing to torture an innocent man just to win a bet with Satan.
      There are not the characteristics of a loving deity.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • joe

      I never made it to Mind Reading 2 because I flunked Mind Reading 1. This guy sounds like he should be teaching us all how to read minds.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • flatpicker

      Eric – Are you really saying that back when Abe Lincoln was president, everyone thought the world was flat ? Are you kidding me ? You liberals crack me up.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  19. Z

    his faith is btw him and our Lord and Savior. His actions, in following or not following the Bible, will show his stance, and can affect us all.

    November 6, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  20. Mike

    Yes, as a southern Christian I hava a problem with Romney's religion. But I also have a problem with Obama's public statement that the US is not a Christian nation. I also have a problem with Obama's support for abortion; and his support for gay rights. In the end. Romney's cult is far more compatible to my religious beliefs than Obama's hypocrisy. In my opinion Obama is an anti-Christian quasi-Muslim.

    November 6, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • truth be told

      Vote as you see fit but know that when you vote for a Mormon you vote for an anti – Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Frank

      You hit the nail on the head Mike.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • truth be told

      When you vote anti – Christ you deny Christ, you will be personally responsible for doing so. There is no deception you have been told.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • BU2B

      Mike, sounds like what you really have a problem with is freedom itself. Freedom of religion, choice, s-exual orientation, and probably other things that go against your beliefs as well.
      This country was not founded as a Christian nation. The number one idea that this country was founded on is FREEDOM. A nation with an official religion cannot be free.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Bracus

      You do realise that Muslims have almost exactly the same beliefs as Christians as far as gay rights and abortion, right? In Saudi Arabia and Iran, people conducting such acts would be hung or stoned in the streets. Besides, I think it's been covered that Obama is not a Muslim of any kind anyway. Are you even paying attention?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Ted

      Obama is no quasi-Muslim. He IS a Muslim ... totally and completely. Vote him in again, an you will see Sharia Law in America.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ted, you have an empty head.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Scott

      EXACTLY Mike!

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • flatpicker

      BU2B – This nation held christian church in it's capitol building for over a hundred years which the founding fathers attended. DOn't tell me we were not a christian nation. You jello heads have added a term "Seperation from Church and State" and given it your own meaning. If the 10 commands can't be displayed why would our FOUNDING FATHERS have attended church in capitol building. You are the ones that have perverted america.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:08 am |
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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.