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My Take: No pressure, Mr. President
Author Eric Metaxas speaks alongside President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February.
December 10th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

My Take: No pressure, Mr. President

Editor's Note: Eric Metaxas is the author of "No Pressure, Mr. President! The Power Of True Belief In A Time Of Crisis: The National Prayer Breakfast Speech."

By Eric Metaxas, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Imagine that the president of the United States had to sit and listen to you for 30 minutes in a public setting. Imagine that he couldn't escape and had to endure whatever you said. If you disagreed with him politically, would you try to embarrass him? What would you say?

Well, this actually happened to me. A year ago I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, an event attended by the president, first lady, vice president, and 3,500 other dignitaries. No one was more shocked at the invitation than I. Previous speakers include Mother Teresa, Tony Blair and Bono. No pressure.

By the way, I disagree with the president in some important ways. But as a Christian, God commands me to love those with whom I disagree, to treat them with civility and respect, as creatures made in God's image. That's a command, not a request or a suggestion. Again, no pressure.

In my speech I spoke about my heroes, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Wilberforce's faith led him to fight for the Africans being enslaved by the British; Bonhoeffer's faith led him to fight for the Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. I used them as examples of people who passionately lived out their faith by standing up for their fellow human beings when most around them merely gave it lip service.

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I also joked around a lot, because as any of my friends will tell you, one of the ways I show love is by joking and teasing people.  Who said prayer breakfasts had to be boring?  At one point I said that George W. Bush had read my Bonhoeffer book, and then I glanced at President Obama and said "No pressure."  I'm glad he laughed!

Later in my speech, I talked specifically about the idea of loving our enemies. I said this was the test of real faith. Speaking to my fellow pro-lifers, I said that those of us who believe the unborn to be human beings must love those on the other side of that issue. I also said that those of us with a traditionally biblical view of sexuality are sometimes demonized as bigots, but we must love even those who call us bigots. I cited Wilberforce and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as two men who took seriously God's command to love their enemies in the midst of the most serious political battles of their day.  They honored God in how they fought, and he honored them.

At the end of the breakfast the president told me he would read my book on Bonhoeffer, and Vice President Biden took my picture with the president. No kidding. It was an extraordinary day and I'm not telling the half of it.

President Barack Obama holds up a book given to him by author Eric Metaxas

But the reason I'm writing now is that during the past election I was disappointed to see the president's campaign utterly abandoning these ideals of treating your opponents as you yourself would wish to be treated. Good people with principled and profound convictions about when life begins were cynically demonized as "enemies of women."  Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain.

These scorched-earth tactics were not presidential, much less Christian, and because the president openly professes a Christian faith, I feel I must speak about this.

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Of course many will dismiss campaign hardball rhetoric as "what works." This is to miss the point. What we say matters deeply, and how we say it matters deeply.  All of it has serious long-term consequences.  For all of us.

For one thing, our children are watching and listening. We tell them it's less important who wins or loses than how we play the game. Is there no truth to this at all? Do we not see that this behavior erodes faith in the very political process and in democracy itself? Do we not see that by doing this we encourage our opponents to do the same - and worse - the next time around?  Shouldn't we care about that?

Any victory won in an ugly way is somehow a tainted victory. In this case, the president has "won" a deeply divided nation, one that he - alas - has had a hand in dividing. Now what?

If he is to succeed in the tremendous challenges that lay ahead, he must repent of these tactics and must make amends with his opponents, if it's not too late.  Or else he will face gridlock and more gridlock.  He also must show the door to those who cynically encouraged this "winning is the only thing" behavior.

His legacy and America's future depend upon it. Many will be praying for him.

No pressure.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eric Metaxas.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,208 Responses)
  1. Shameless Self Promotion

    This guy is just a third class right wing wind bag.

    That's why he's on CNN trying to sell his book instead of peddling it over at Faux News.

    December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      I support President Obama, voted for him twice, and do not want him to repent at all. I hate to bother him with a letter, but I am going to write the White House and BEG him not to attend another (pheucking) "National Prayer Breakfast", and to take steps to ensure that these illegal events no longer happen in the years to come. Let's write the man about this simple idea. The author of this article is an idiot, but to even have this event every year is idiotic too, (and illegal, 1st amendment don't ya know.)

      December 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Yeah

      I agree that these breakfasts are idiotic agenda-pushing sessions, but it is not illegal for a president to attend. It is optional, it is not a function of government, and presidents can choose to go to these or church.

      But they are stupid.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  2. 54StaryNights

    I love the picture CNN used on its Home page link to this article. If it was intentional, the photographer showed a wry sense of humor by taking a picture of the president in which the presidential seal appears to form a halo around his head in a way similar to artistic renditions of angels and saints with halos. LOL and well done.

    December 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Lush Bimbaugh

      Yeah, and the picture up ther of Obama looking drunk as he holds up the book of a nincompoop. That is sly manipulation by the liberal press too!

      December 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Shameless Self Promotion

    This wing nut is just looking to sell books to the Palin lemmings.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Keep it Real

    This guy is an idiot. Just sayin.....

    December 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Just KEEP ON SAYING IT. This article makes me sick, but I'm HAPPY about how many people disagree with it, SO HAPPY the President won and the religious liar hypocrite did not, and SO HAPPY to see religion beginning to lose influence in our government, (and then soon our society, and then finally disappear.) We "nones" are growing stronger. FFRF is now filing a SUIT AGAINST THE I.R.S. for failing to enforce the tax laws that prevent churches from preaching politics from the pulpit. (I wrote my governor to tell him how disgusting it was to have to go vote in a church, it made my skin crawl.) We can eliminate this religious mental illness from our society, but we have to organize and use the courts, (like FFRF is doing.) They are also helping the many many ministers and pastors who are finally admitting there is no god and who feel bad about living a life based on lies and delusion.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • imABeliever

      "then soon our society, and then finally disappear"
      Nieto, I hate to burst your bubble but you "nones" are still in the extreme minority (I recall something on the order of 15% or something). Worldwide, conservative, vibrant evangelical Christianity is on the rise, expecially in Asia, Africa and S. America, for which I praise God.

      December 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • leadercraft

      you are so correct. nice fact.

      December 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  5. The Tooth Fairy

    I've got your teeth and I am not going to repent!

    December 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Santa

      I give great presents to rich kids, lousy presents to poor kids, and no presents to the children of junkies.

      I won't repent!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Concerned in Cleveland

      So this is what it has come to in Obama's America.
      Mythical fantasy figures loved the world over by innocent children driven to conflict and rage.
      What have you done to us Barry! SEE HOW YOU HAVE DIVIDED THIS NATION!
      Just the other day I saw a drunken leprechaun in an unemplyment line, too broke to buy whiskey.
      And not even to mention what happened to Santa. He can't come to the US this year because Michelle Obama hates fat people and has plans to interr them in Fatanamo Bay where they will have the option of gastric surgery, or death.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  6. The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

    Obama is a much stronger president than I imagined. I mean, if he could sit through a half hour of this guy's diarrhetoric without projectile vomiting, he must be very tough indeed!

    December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      I Strongly Agree! This guy is obviously a blind Republican fanatic who clearly thinks that the self-righteous Right Wingers poop doesn't stink! Rather fascist and self-serving!...

      December 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • leadercraft

      can't you intolerants write anything a bit original? Bloviate much?

      December 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  7. edwardst35

    Satan will not repent.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • sam

      Likely because he doesn't exist.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Easter Bunny

      I'm not going to repent either!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • SpongeBob SquarePants

      I'd repent if I pented in the first place.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Santa Claus

      And I ain't gonna repent neither!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tooth Fairy (c)

      Nope, don't feel like repenting any time soon.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • The Easter Bunny

      I'll take all my eggs and go home before I repent!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Brad Pent

      Angel-ina and me will do no repenting. One of the kids may.... he or she shall remain nameless, until they choose to reveal... We believe in choices.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Fair and Balanced Fox News Reporter

      I will not repent either.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Great Flying Spagetti Monster

      Sorry I dribbled tomato sauce all over your bible – there I re-pented – but only after penting in the first place!

      December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • 54StaryNights

      This looks like the "I shall not repent" pledge site. Was it inspired by that little devil Grover Norquist and his tax pledge?

      December 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • leadercraft

      The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You have need of repentance.

      December 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  8. Bjorn Talvi

    Let the pressure build on Mr. Prez (that's an old DC comics reference, look it up). Obummer's already pretty much destroyed his "cult of personality"-based image... the mask is off, and he did the deed himself. Kobiyashi Maru Prez, and the New World Orderers you serve too... maybe some folks should've let a crisis go to waste... no?

    December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • David R

      Your actions does what? Point something you still just wish to believe but have no proof... Again, if you have an issue with NWO? Fine but stating what you state don't show anything.. If you a believer of Christ, shouldn't you be happy that it is only getting closer to His 2nd coming? I pray for His second coming as a Christian but making speculation only dilute and diminish the Bible and the Truth... Those are irrelevant.. If you are so worried, go to another land and create your own country who is not influenced by NWO...

      December 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • maximusvad

      And yet he got re-elected....hmmm go figure.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      What nonsense are you babbling about???? Are you another self-righteous and self-appointed judge of all that you perceive to be "wrong" with your delusional make-believe world? Please spew your worthless tripe elsewhere please...

      December 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  9. 54StaryNights

    The author makes some excellent points in his article and I agree with many of them. His comments regarding negative campaigning might carry more weight, though, if he directed his criticism at all those who practiced it rather than singling out one group and leader over another.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • puzzled

      Yes,let's all imagine the fury if Karl Rove was a democrat.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • bradfordpatton

      agreed.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  10. David R

    Eric Metataxas,

    Being a fatihful Christian, I would say that the principle of loving your enemies as yourself and turning the other cheek as a fundamental. But what I find the article to be very lacking is those who professes to be Christians to doing more or worse than Obama. I believe Christianity to be true and looking at those who call themselves are either "need of heavy rebuking" or wolves in sheep clothing. I find it very odd that some of very people who profess to be Christians call Obama a Muslim and still think he needs to adhere the principles of Christianity.. If you are make that call, either you have to give up the notion that he is a Muslim... Or you can't use that standards to argue since he isn't a Christian... Though Obama professes to be a Christian, why is this concept so hard to believe and accept.. Added, where is this principle in the GOP who calls themselves Christians? I ask one thing.. Maybe he is not uncompromising because he is following his principles? Why is his judgment and action into question (even more) than those of the GOP? Every past president had other party try to work and accept those in charge to try their plan.. We had filibustering, name-calling, and flat out accusation and disrespecting.

    To just say that we are all looking at him is true but to evaluate this measuring stick is ideal and correct. But we have to add context and we need to start with those on the other side of the aisle... As I tell many Christians, do not give him a reason to question your integrity and character.. So to live like a Christian, we have to live like a Christian... If we can't do that from those who are saved, then how are we cast the same judgment on others who you might view as not being saved (Muslim)? Again, this disheartens me but we should pray for the President for wisdom and sound judgment.. I do not like the mudslinging but we only look at the President and do not compare or do any litmus test to those who oppose him... That in itself is hypocrisy... And that is why politicians who profess to be Christians in the GOP brings a bad name for Christ and Christians as a whole.. I only ask that they repent and correct and grow in righteousness..

    Lastly, when does a fiscal cliff or government policy that does not contradict the Word of God became a uncompromising position? Did not Jesus state to give onto Caesar to Caesar and give onto God... God? I understand the morality of contraceptives and abortion... But this is about the fiscal cliff? When does paying more in taxes have anything to do with going against the Bible? Name calling yes! But in many ways, Obama has done less compare to the GOP... Again, you don't have to like the man but at least give him props for what he has done, respect that should rightful given to any man, and correct issues within before going out...

    December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Tone2

      Thank you,

      December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • David R

      grammar error = not uncompromising = not compromising

      December 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Naldo

      Well said, the utter disrespect President Obama has endured over the past 4 years has been totally over the top. The GOP has insulted the President from top to bottom, his wife on ocassion, and possibly the dog as well. Any man not of some sort of strong faith would have resorted to some act of violence. His is a man of conviction, and conciseness

      December 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Neueman

    Jesus said nothing at all about a bortion.

    He mostly spoke about caring for the poor and the sick, something Obama has advocated and Republicans have fought bitterly against.

    Who should repent?

    December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • David R

      Though you does not say it directly, it was very much implicit in the Word of God... For one, a fetus is a living being with self-consciousness that is the most vulnerable in the mother's womb... As in the past cases: if a someone attacks a pregnant woman and the baby dies, the attacker was charged with murder on the baby. If you talk about poor, elderly, and helpless, wouldn't a baby be a perfect example of that (except elderly)? The Jewish tradition enforce the very premise on babies are being a living being.. The irony is that we have more animal rights than baby rights...

      December 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • sam

      Anything is implicit in the 'word of god' depending on whose interests it serves the most. Got an agenda? The bible's got a quote for it!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • David R

      Sam,

      Then you don't argue everything has an agenda... So your point? Being explicit and implicit is normal in many languages including English... Agenda could be a point, statement, other attributes, etc... Again, that does not make the agenda bad, false, or anything else.. It is no different from science where it states water is the essence of life.. Water does not make life but is found in all living things that we know... It has a function and purpose and we are making a point that it is essential.... Again, implicit attribute or point I am making

      December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • BioHzrd

      Self-consciousness implies some sense of self-awareness, that you are present and living in this world. When this self-consciousness occurs is anyones guess, but I can assure you it is not while we a clump of cells without a central nervous system.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Madtown

      it was very much implicit in the Word of God... For one, a fetus is a living being with self-consciousness
      --------–
      Curious then........the church only relatively recently changed their long-held notion that life began at birth.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • sam

      David, do you set out to deliberately make things hard, or does it come to you naturally?

      Let me rephrase.

      It's very convenient that, if you try hard enough, you can justify anything via the bible.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • imABeliever

      "Who should repent?"
      Answer: All men everywhere.

      And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
      Acts 17 30

      December 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • brian

      My understanding is if you follow that word of god, you should follow all the laws, and that are many many laws in the bible.

      Just remember that the new testament threw out the old laws, and certain commandments were held more important, to love god and love your neighbor, and not to judge others, care for the needy, and the sick, and the powerless. Just counting how often these are cited and how clearly they are emphasized, makes me confused why so much focus is aimed at portions of the bible which only mentioned a few times, and when i read them I need help from others explaining exactly how they connect to issues being discussed.

      And further, if we attacked the root issues which cause women to need abortions – lack of love, shame, fear of rejection, poverty, illness, options given to support unwanted children – we could make them cease to exist far more efficiently than making them illegal.

      The issue seems less about making this something that never happens, than punishing those who "choose" and distracting people from the real underlying issues we should be working on.

      December 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  12. Ed M.

    "Good people with principled and profound convictions about when life begins were cynically demonized as 'enemies of women'."

    It used to be a religious article of faith that the child did not gain a "soul" until it took its first breath, so it was not fully human and with a divine spirit until it was outside of the womb and breathed. (The soul was originally conceived of as the "breath of God"entering into its creature.)

    What if that was your belief?

    Then abortion would be religiously approved as long as the baby was not breathing air yet.

    Third trimester abortions would be fine.

    But the Supreme Court has already over-ruled such a religious article of faith.

    Secular Law trumps all claims of any theocracy in America. And we're all safer under such a system.

    Sharia Law being the main case in point to be tested in the near future.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      “So then, you believe in wanton s e x u a l pleasures without the foreseeable consequences? Someone's standing upon r a p e & I n c e s t principles or a mother's potential healthiness due a child possibly being conceived is noteworthy. Should the governing bodies allow all s e x u a l activities no matter what? Is the shame for having s e x outside wedlock for pleasure's sake something to be overlooked and judgmentally weighed out-of-bounds due that everyone needs a little 'action'?

      December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • 54StaryNights

      I'd "Like" this comment if this comments section allowed one to do so..

      December 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • sam

      Ed, good point.

      lionlylamb...it's time for your meds.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • imABeliever

      It's not a religious belief that life begins at conception. It is scientifically proven fact.

      December 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • brian

      “So then, you believe in wanton s e x u a l pleasures without the foreseeable consequences? Someone's standing upon r a p e & I n c e s t principles or a mother's potential healthiness due a child possibly being conceived is noteworthy. Should the governing bodies allow all s e x u a l activities no matter what? Is the shame for having s e x outside wedlock for pleasure's sake something to be overlooked and judgmentally weighed out-of-bounds due that everyone needs a little 'action'?

      So you want punishment? This forces people to be "moral" by having their life fall apart if they do things contrary to what you consider right. By this logic thank God there is a hell, and thank god we have to follow everything in the bible in order not to go there, one mistake and oops.

      I think if Jesus were arguing with you, he would rebuke you just like he rebuked his disciples in Luke 9:56

      Fear, Shame, Suffering – do you really think this is what Jesus wants left behind in his wake. I think he wants bravery, honesty and happiness for mankind. Even the happiness found in the Song of Solomon.

      December 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  13. Ken

    Maybe he should have walked into a mall and trashed the place, would that be more Christian?

    December 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  14. Anni

    The President should repent when the Tea Party repents for how they said he was not an American citizen, did not think like regular Americans, called him a Nazi, and on and on. Until then, this article is from another whiny conservative that can dish it out but not take it.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • sayer

      Did you happen to count how many lies were told about the POTUS from the Romney campaign? I thought President Obama ran a pretty honest campaign. And abortion? Even God gives man free will.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • ericbrett73

      The author of this piece just wrote a very onesided argument. Valid points, in some respect, although he negates to apply the principles of his faith to all political affliates. That in itself is an immediate foul. In short, Mr. author, you lost points from the start.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Byron Zeigler

    Personally I am amazed at all of the hatred that is being typed out by parties hiding behind usernames. One of founding principals, regardless of your faith, is the freedom to speak one's own mind without fear. Yet, I see all of this hatred trying to belittle this individual for expressing his opinion that he wished the campaign was not as negative as it was. If you did not live in a battleground state you did not see the hate ads put out on the TV. That is what the author was lamenting. He has the right to say that and his opinion should be respected without the hatred spewed from those hiding behind a user name who do not have the courage of their convictions to stand behind their own words. At least the author of this article put his name on it and that takes courage.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • ;p;

      Screw you, dude!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      he wished the campaign was not as negative as it was
      ----–
      Wrong Bryon. His statement was that President Obama should apologize for his negativity. He conveniently left out the fact that Romney and the republicans were equally negative.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Tone2

      When he calls on the Bishop to repent we can take him seriously. Do you imaagine that using the fresh death of four people as a political cudgel was less heinous than calling pople fatcats.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Screw you indeed. This hiding behind user names is what allows us "non-believers" us "haters who have no faith" to express logic, reason and science without fear of being MURDERED IN THE NAME OF GOD"S LOVE, which has gone on for centuries. It's not reason, love, or logic that keeps your sick systems going, it's brainwashing of children and murder of those big enough to stand up for logic. Thank the stars for this internet that is decreasing the power of religion on a daily basis.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      You are quite full of smelly manure my friend! You are CONVENIENTLY ignoring the GLARING fact that his editorial opinion states that Obama (and ONLY OBAMA!) should "repent" for running such a "negative" campaign, which he did not! It was primarily the ROMNEY side that ran the extremely negative and blatantly FALSE, MISLEADING campaign! I think his pants must surely be flaming right now! This self-righteous idiot has the same freedom of speech as anyone to say whatever nonsense he wants, but don't expect everyone to applaud and jump for joy over such self-serving hypicritcal nonsense!...

      December 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • imABeliever

      Nietodarwin, surely you can't seriously believe that unbelievers are being killed. Has this happened recently?

      December 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • leadercraft

      he's singling out Obama to repent because Obama claims to be a Christian.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  16. Neueman

    The single achievement of the religious right in this country has been to convince millions of weak minded individuals that selfishness, greed, and hate for those less fortunate and those who are different...are good, "Christian" values.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      I agree, but please, next time use the phrase the religious "wrong" :)

      December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • leadercraft

      you are so wrong pal.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  17. Outsider

    "How we play the game?" Before you start throwing stones my fellow Christian let's play a game of word association and tell us what party supported these lies; swiftboat, birthers, WMD's, socialism...

    December 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Neueman

      The GOP!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  18. Olla

    I really enjoyed the article but at the same time, i could read some elements of bias within the lines. I wonder if this writer knew that both sides played very dirty politics. At some point it was better not to switch on the radio or the TV becuase of the negatives ads on TV. Have you forgotten the "70% remarks made by Romney? Or the way Romney jumped on the TV to addrees the nation during the 9/11 attack in Benghazi?. Agreed that the Obam and his campaign team played a dirty game, but it would have been more credible if you address the entire politics that played in the last presidential election

    December 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • ari

      he doesn't actually care about dirty politics, he's just mad that he can't call gay people and women subhumans with impunity anymore.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      YUP This part is really disgusting
      "Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain."
      This ignoramus counts the money Romney gave to his cult moron church "charity", fails to acknowledge that EVERYBODY knows he doesn't "pay his fair share" and also fails to acknowledge how many businesses Romney DESTROYED. Religious ignorance that is just nauseating.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Where do you derive the conclusion that he wants to call gays and women subhumans? I don't know what this guy has said, but since he has at least an occasional job doing public speaking, he has to take credit for what he says; it's quite likely that this statement about *him* is -much- worse than any statement that he has made about them.

      If you think the positions of the mainstream Christian right on this issues amount to persecution, you don't understand the meaning of the word. Especially as concerns women (some Christians evidently can't accept gays who live out their orientation, and to be exclusive about that is an ethical problem). But social liberals have to understand that there is more than one way to open an egg. The root of those positions is that they are speaking out against the kind of s-xual behavior that has negative consequences (looseness of a certain level of excessiveness that it becomes someone else's problem). They might not be putting the line in the best place, but there's *a* line, and the personal responsibility that they preach is universally valuable.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  19. E=MC2

    Mr. Metaxas has every right to speak his mind and share his thoughts. The reader has every right to disagree and share theirs. What is so disturbing is the desire to put him down in the meanest of ways, to mock him and call him a phoney. Then there are the typical people who feel it is their duty to state that God is a pipe dream or a fantasy. It's amazing that 95% of mankind believes in a "god" whether their government allows it or not. The greatest population of Christians today outside the U.S. and Mexico are probably in China. Yet, people like those who post hear, understand the truth in this vast universe over the beliefs of billions of their fellow man. But, I'm sure they also understand how the universe began...no not a Big Bang "starting point", but where everyhting came from. Common sense, the same thing used by these individual to proclaim "god" an illusion, believe in basic truths. Everything has a beginning and an end. How did all matter comeinto existence or for that matter, how did all energy come into existence? We know the universe exists, but we dont know how it came to be. Was it energy that became mass as Einstein proved happens in his theory E=MC2? Or was it mass that released energy. again, where did this ellusive energy come from? Super String theory has shown that there are 11 dimensions, yet we are aware of only 3 dimensions plus time. Where are those other dimensions? One of the great experiments planned for physics is to smash sub atomic particles at such a speed that they hope to see garvirtons appear than suddenly disappear. The hope to show that indeed they jump into another dimension. Yet, the everage "joe" on the street will think your crazy talking about parallel universes and multi-dimensions. Yet this is precisely what theoretical physics is showing. So, this invisible God that Christian believe is "spirit". not flessh is energy? could this be true? Why not? God may also be on a dimension that we cannot see, feel detect etc etc. Science is actually causing a growing number of scientists to believe that a "god" or designer does make sense. Not a mjoirty, but has been growing as scince has opened this field. Mock all you want, yet before you do, show how energy came to be, then we can discuss how God is also possible. The shortsightedness of so many "intellects" on this page would stiffle any gains in science if we all thought within the box like they do. But hey, we are all only human.
    PS>, yes I am a scientist by profession.
    PSS. Yes, I do type faster than I can think and make spelling errors unintentionally for all of you who love to side track a discussion based on this.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      "Not the majority???" Not even a decent percentage of the minority, (in the majority and the minority of parallel universes)

      December 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • ari

      "95% of mankind believes in a "god""

      [citation needed]

      most europeans and chinese people are atheists.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Turtleguy

      I, too, am a scientist by both education and profession. I have never seen any reason to postulate the existence of a divine being or power. Why should I believe in something for which there is no evidence, and no compelling reason to suppose it exists? Occam's razor. Don't go inventing unnecessary explanations where none are needed.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • B

      Yea.. What he said!

      December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Tone2

      The writer cast doubt on his own message. Is he asking for the president's repentance to save his soul? and if so how would he have gotten a better result? Is the author wishing to publilcy chastise the president? does this article do that?
      If the author is calling on the president to follow Christian tenets, what tenets is the author neglecting using this approach. Hint read the story of the woman who was caught in adultery and contrast Jesus approach with this Preacher.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • ;p;

      Big block of text

      String theory is crap

      December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Best line so far!

      "I do type faster than I can think" – that just explains so much, doesn't it?

      December 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • CommonVoice

      You wrote........."Everything has a beginning and an end."

      True that every "individual" thing has a beginning and an end but the "sum total" of all those "individual" things has no beginning and no end. The sum total existed for ever.

      You don't have to go into the deep philosophies for it. This is taught to high school boys and girls as the "conservation of energy".................."Energy can be changed from one form to the other but can neither be created or destroyed". Since you claim to be a physicist, I am sure you know that.

      And if you want to further ask "where did that energy come from?" and offer a "creator God" as a solution, then you would most certainly have to answer the question "where did the creator God come from?" There is no escape for you from that question coming up.

      Being a physicist, you cannot say "God could always be there" whereas "Energy could not always be there". That's flimsy logic, based on semantics.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Let me summerize,

      Argument from popularity followed by special pleading and arguments from ignorance and ending with an argument from authority.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • E=MC2

      I cannot get enough of you guys. What fun you are to "listen to". I know you feel sorry for my lack of reasoning, yet I feel sorry for your lack of a moral and spiritual compass. Even the most humbled person in history, who is known to have lived unlike Zeus, is mocked for what he did. Some peoples hearts will always remain hardened. It is amazing thought how they change as mortality faces them in the face. Even Antony Flew eventually saw the truth.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • ;p;

      "I feel sorry for your lack of a moral and spiritual compass"

      Sounds like more damaged reasoning

      Doosh

      December 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      I don't know WHERE you get this claim from, "It's amazing that 95% of mankind believes in a "god" whether their government allows it or not." , but there is no truth in it! I think this is a typical example of "wishful thinking" parading as a "fact"!...

      December 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I want to know why you have the gall to say I don't have a moral compass? You are an arrogant pri.ck. I just don't base my morals on a 2000 year old collection of writings that contain approval for immorality that is no longer allowed.

      Your Anthony Flew comment is another logical fallacy that does nothing to answer the question, I can name someone who defected the other way, Jerry Dewitt....big deal.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  20. JFCanton

    I found both sides equally offensive-just on different topics. But what else do we expect out of an election? And of course most of it is done by proxies. So I think it remains to be demonstrated what Obama's actual position on abortion is, for example.

    I don't expect I will like his position, which I imagine will be founded on our modern tendency to invent "rights" whenever the solutions to problems are difficult to generalize; I just think that this kind of commentary is overreaching as far as the facts as concerned.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
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About this blog

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