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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. Man Previously Known as Barry

    Anyone who thinks Obama is a Christian should look up the word "taqiyya". By their fruits you will know them – gay rights supporter, abortion supporter, trying to force the church to do things against their beliefs. Yup he is a Christian all right... Not..

    November 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  2. Marty

    I wonder they show a picture of Obama with Billy Graham, without even mentioning that Billy Graham has come out in full support or Mitt Romney....

    Hardly objective journalism.

    November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Man Previously Known as Barry

      Yup, not sure if CNN should change it's name to the Obama News Network or the Muslim News Network. They have left journalism behind and are now just a far left mouth piece, and their ratings show the effect of it!

      November 6, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  3. chuckt

    Sorry, you can't call yourself evangelical and support "Gay Marriage", "Abortion" and call your religion personal. All of these are against the bible and not of God. Stop trying to get the Christian vote on lie's. How can a party remove "God" from their platform? How can a so called Christian let this happen? How can someone who does not contribute to the poor even ask others to pay for the poor. no one ever talks about what O'bama makes or who he gives his personal money to.

    November 6, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • charles

      You are correct

      November 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • LinCA

      @chuckt

      If you think your imaginary friend doesn't approve of same sex marriage, you really have only two options. You can either not get married to someone of your sex, or you can get a better imaginary friend.

      Trying to force your delusion on the sane part of society isn't really an option. You are free to be as bigoted as you want when it comes to your life, but you get to fuck off when it comes to the lives of others.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Mittology

      Do you always respond to your own posts?

      November 6, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  4. Abdul Al-Sharrif

    Obama is still a Muslim , ask any Muslim , Obama loves Islam .

    November 6, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • charles

      He loves God

      November 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Man Previously Known as Barry

      Sorry but Allah and God are two different beings. Completely different character traits.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • El Chupacabra

      You, sir, are correct. Wow... Look – he even has a Muslim name. A duck, by any other name, is still a DUCK.

      But the intellectually dishonest, white-guilt-ridden masses will continue to deceive themselves, and others, with regards to this "man". Also, bear in mind that, if the morally-devoid masses can vote for someone that reminds them of themselves, it helps to assuage the deep-seeded, subconcious guilt that they bear for being morally-devoid themselves. Of course – and make NO mistake – they WILL deny this, as dishonesty is precisely the foundation upon which their entire existences are built upon.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  5. martin

    One day we will have a President who has fully entered the Age of Reason and left silly theism behind where it deserves to be.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • John Q Public

      And I pray I never live to see that day.

      The truth is that which confounds reason.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • charles

      That will never happen in this nation. Keep faithless intellectualism and scientific management of the human soul among the faithless in the rotting halls of atheism, and leave the protection of LIFE,LIBERTY and PURSUIT of HAPPINESS under God to the rest of us. I'll fight your faithless philosophy with my life and conviction and pass that teaching to my children and my children's children against faithless and amoral tyrants like you. Understand what I mean???

      November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Mittology

      Ooh Charles what a scary dude you are!

      November 6, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Romnesia

      Charles, Any tyranny comes from the religious "You must live how I think you should" crowd.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • El Chupacabra

      Keep bleating, O great mindless one.
      You have obvioously consumed your handlers' propaganda at every meal. And, indeed, you have become quite fat on it.

      Does anyone find it strange, that as "America" distances itself further and further from religion – particularly Christianity – the more vile and corrupt it becomes?

      The inabilitly for man to accept that there is a higher intelligence and power than himself is the ultimate in arrogance, ignorance, and denial. It helps to convince him that there will be no consequences for for his actions. Thus, no longer is ANY kind of behavior "off-limits".And if man can be convinced,by his "leaders" that this is truly the case, man becomes very easily led indeed. Suddenly the "leaders" become somehow deified in his subconcious mind, and he becomes like modeling clay in their hands. You can clearly see this in the masses that "worship" at this fool's pulpit.

      Make no mistake... It is suicidal behavior - on a civilizational scale.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  6. cgs

    CNN, you should have covered more about his muslim roots and ancestors and the history of polygamy in his family.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • mthomas

      The people who raised him were Christians and as far as polygamy goes, Mitt Romney's roots come from the FLDS and either his grandmother or great grand mother was wife #5

      November 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • mthomas

      I am not suggesting that Mitt is FLDS because he isn't, just like Obama is not Muslim.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  7. Truth will Prevail

    Christian Obama and Biden...really???..How ...how can you say you believe in Christ ...then destroy his CREATION!!!!...No President since the beginning of our nation has done more for ABORTION than this president...please tell me how this is different than the concentration camps Hitler had....please....this president and his administration is ANTI-CHRISTIAN....and make NO MISTAKE about it...watch the consequences of this

    November 6, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense. The GOP gas done nothing substantive to overturn Roe v wade, nor will they. For them, abortion is just a useful tool to trot out each election season to whip the base into a frenzy. Works every time.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • John Q Public

      I maintain abortion as the US practices it is far worse than ancient Israel sacrifing their firstborn. Here, we're at the point of allowing sacrifing our first, second, third, fourth.... born.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • LittleHero

      If you believe that life begins at conception, and that we are all born with original sin, then your god aborts over a million babies each and every day, and sends them straight to he11. At least the Catholics made up Limbo to handle this situation.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • charles

      Although Pres. Obama has faith in Jesus, he fell for the faithless intellectual deception by supporting voluntary abortion rights. He will be responsible for his stance to a higher power. At least he can repent, faithless secularists don't know the meaning of humility and pride, are ignorant of Godly attributes and deceive many with Godless filth and suppress the happiness of the soul with their Nihilistic philosophies like dead men's bones.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  8. harrisonjbell

    Reblogged this on Soiled Milk and commented:
    This is one of the best articles that I have read concerning Obama's faith. If he played this card more often, he would have won the White House hands down. It is encouraging that the President, even though he might not be the strongest Christian out there, is wrestling with his faith in profound ways.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • El Chupacabra

      "It is encouraging that the President, even though he might not be the strongest Christian out there, is wrestling with his faith in profound ways."

      Wrestling with his faith? You must be joking. And blind.

      No, he's using an assortment of faiths as tools to get votes from members of those respective faiths.

      This man has no faith. And he is an enemy of the state, and of the people.
      Just like the rest of them up on the 'Hill....

      November 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  9. was blind, but now I see

    @Nii "BLIND; When did Pope Benedict cease being the anti-Christ that Obama has taken over? lol"

    Nii:

    I thought you were a minister of God? You don't seem to know that much about His Word, and you sure are angry and vindictive! What's up with that anyway???

    "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

    – 1 John 4:3

    November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • John Q Public

      He didn't quit. They are both antichrists. There is no one antichrist, that is the Beast and Dragon and False Prophet, but never called the "Antichrist" anywhere in the Bible. All who oppose Christ and his teachings are antichrists.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Exactly. We are literally surrounded by it.

      November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  10. blackberry55

    I Have only one question. what bible will mitt believe? the mormon or the judeo-christian?

    November 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  11. onliberty

    The evidence of a changed heart is changed behavior. As long as Obama completely disregards the will of God and thumbs his nose at Christians and the teaching of the Bible, there is no evidence he's been changed.

    The Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of Christians. If Obama's actions are completely contrary to the will of the Holy Spirit, he does not have saving faith.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • truth be told

      No matter what you say you must come to grips with the fact that a vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti – Christ. You can talk yourself into anything but remember when you vote Mormon you deny Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • onliberty

      Truth Be Told: God uses non-Christian agents to accomplish his will all the time. What's important is that we vote according to the will of God. It's clearly God's will that the unborn be protected, that life be valued, and that we actually DO good to help the poor, not simply enact legislation that makes us FEEL good about helping the poor, but in fact does just the opposite. Obamacare is a death knell for the poor because it's them that will feel the brunt of it the most. Higher taxes are a death knell for the poor because it's them that will be forced to bear its incidence. Obama's polices HURT the poor and so far from the will of God it's scary!

      November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Jesusfollower

      exactly..and well put!

      November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • truth be told

      You can talk yourself into anything, Satan appears as an angel of light. A vote for a Mormon is a Vote that denies Christ, there is no grey area there. Mormon is not Christian principle, Mormon is anti – Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • onliberty

      You'll get no argument from me that Mormonism is far from Christianity. In that respect I completely agree with you. But if a non-Christian will set our country back on its original trajectory for Christian values, of life, liberty, personal responsiblity and compassion for our poor, then I'm ALL IN!

      November 6, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  12. onliberty

    Just a lame attempt to try to fool conservative Christians into thinking they'd be just fine voting for Obama. After all, he's a Christian too. Please. TD Jakes? Any true Christian sees right through his "Prosperity Gospel" mumbo-jumbo. If you support abortion, you are NOT tuned in to the will of God. The Bible instructs us to care for our neighbor. NOT to force somebody ELSE, at the point of a gun, to help their neighbor. That is NOT compassion, it is NOT responsible, it is NOT effective!

    November 6, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  13. John

    Obama faith depends on the votes he can get. The man does not go to church unless it can benifet him in getting votes. The man is a fake.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Scott

      DING DING DING DING DING! Dead on John. I made a similar comment on the previous page. Standby for the BoBo sympathizers to start calling you ignorant, dumb, delusional, etc..

      Scott

      November 6, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Tammy

      Amen! Obama is whatever faith is going to get him the most votes. He's a disgrace to our country!

      November 6, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  14. lonestarst8

    Matthew 6:6 "but you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your father who is in the secret place; and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

    November 6, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  15. Mike7

    Obama's policies support the murder of unborn babies. Thsi is tanamount to supporting MURDER. How can he call himself a Christian?

    I think Obama is a Muslim and not born in America. He is not qualified to be president.
    People that vote for him are not stupid, they just don't know any better.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • truth be told

      People that vote Mormon are voting anti – Christ, you cannot vote for a Mormon without denying Christ.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • huky

      Mike7<
      Could not agree with you any more. I too am convinced he is a Muslim, went to a Muslim school in Indonesia. We really don't know where he was born and we actually know very little about him!

      November 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  16. melanie

    He tries to show he is a Christian but in truth we all know he is not. If he were he would be more in tune with the religious leaders of ALL faiths not just a select few. He has gone after the Catholic stance on abortion, sterilization, day after pill. He wanted to statues at Notre Dame covered when he spoke there....is this a true Christian? I think not.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  17. cheryl

    Obama no longer attends a christian church. He now attends services at an undisclosed location. Why the secrecy?...If you don't believe me look it up. Obama is not a true christian...he misawell come out with the truth...what good is a religion is you can't profess it to the world? If Obama was a true christian and invited the holy spirit into his heart then he would have to live based on the bible. He would have to profess his faith and love and that Jesus Christ is his savior. He is lying. I feel sorry for him on judgement day. That is one thing i would never want to stand infront of God and explain! By the way..I am an evangelistic Christian.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Patsylou

      "Judge not less ye be judged....."

      November 6, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Patsylou

      "Judge not lest ye be judged....."

      November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  18. mark

    cnn u stink.. Obama had a racist minister fro 20 years that he supported and shaped him. but the second it wasn't "good politics" he dumped wright like a rock...Obama has no core and no faith!!! and what he does have is not good. period

    November 6, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • wayne

      He is a muslim, not Christian

      November 6, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  19. nu2okc

    skipped the article.... don't trust him at all..his looking out for the "middle-class" is making them more dependent on the gov't to survive...he will sell us out down the road...

    November 6, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  20. neauneau

    Some people on here still consider obama a muslim wether you think he is or not you can only get to heaven base on what you did in life one religion is not more right than the other the problem is people follow religion not god and thats what going to take them to hell
    JESUS PRAYED TO THE FATHER ON tHE CROSS HE CALLED OUT TO THE FATER WHICH IS GOD AND WE PRAY TO JESUS INSTEAD OF THE FATHER , THE MESSAGE THAT JESUS WAS TRYING TO GET ACROSS IS PRAY TO THE FATHER THE SAME MESSAGE THE PROPHAT MUHUMMED PREACHED, BUT MOST PEOPLE DON"T GO READ FOR THEM SELVES THE CHOOSE TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE ELSES INTERPERTATION

    November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • akka1234

      Sorry – you're mistaken. You can only get to heaven through the Son – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please read John 3:16 – for God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life...

      November 6, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • C

      I'm sorry that you are mistaken as well. The only way to go to heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Yes, what we do in life matters, but it does not buy us a ticket to heaven or anywhere else for that matter. I would also advise you to read John 3:16 as well, because life after death will be scary unless you know God.

      But the real issue here is judgement. Why are we judging what someone believes in regarding his or her spiritual life? By judging and stating that he can't be a Christian because he did this, that is just as bad as what the person did. Instead of breaking each other down, we should be praying for each other. Yes, we ALL make bad decisions in life because of our sinful nature, but it does not mean that we cannot learn from those choices and live right. Ulitmately, at the end of the day this presidential race is in the hands of God and whomever is to be president, will be.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:21 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.