November 14th, 2011
09:41 PM ET

Bob Jones III latest Christian leader to doubt Obama's Christianity

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Bob Jones III, chancellor of the fundamentalist South Carolina university that bears his family’s name, has become the latest conservative Christian leader to publicly cast doubt on President Barack Obama’s stated Christian commitment.

"I've no reason to think he's a Christian,” Jones told National Journal in an interview published Saturday. “Anyone can say he's a Christian.

“Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be,” Jones said. “I say, 'Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?' "

Jones is an influential conservative leader in South Carolina, home to one of the nation’s key Republican primaries next year. Bob Jones University, where Jones served as president from 1971 to 2005, is a popular stop for GOP candidates courting Christian votes.

This year, evangelical leader Franklin Graham questioned Obama’s Christian commitment, telling ABC News that for Obama, “going to church means he’s a Christian,” while for Graham, “the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ.”

Last year, Graham insisted that Obama was born a Muslim, though the president hasn’t said that.

“I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim; his father was a Muslim,” Graham told CNN’s John King in August 2010. “The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother.

"Now, it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ,” Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, continued. “That is what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said."

Polls show that a minority of Americans can correctly identify Obama’s Christian faith. Obama writes about accepting Jesus in his book “Dreams from My Father,” and he regularly prays with a handful of Christian pastors.

In the interview with National Journal, Jones said that he hasn’t endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as he did in the 2008 cycle, partly because he believes that a Mormon candidate won’t face as many obstacles among Christian voters in next year’s primaries.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity

soundoff (953 Responses)
  1. horsesmouth

    you know what, I thought this guy was crazy but he's right. There's absolutely no evidence that Obama is a Christian. And while we're on the subject, how about that Jesus guy? I haven't seen a shred of evidence he's a Christian either. AND, there's no evidence he even pronounced his name as Jesus, for all we know he went around referring to himself in the third person as (phonetically: HeyZues). I think an investigation is due. Let's get to the bottom of Obama, and then we'll figure out what was really going on with that "HeyZeus" fella.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • AZpatriot

      @horsesmouth: ha ha!

      November 15, 2011 at 3:48 am |
  2. Pickles

    I think Bob Jones Univ, is a Cult !! But ... who cares what I think ? And that's the point. What Bob Jones thinks about the religion of our President is irrelevant ... UNLESS ... (drum roll please) .... UNLESS he is playing politics... and trying to use his (so called) Christian influence to sway votes towards one of the 8 bubba's in the debates.

    So what does he think about Mormons ???

    Tell Bob .. we dont want America to become a Theocracy !!! We like it free ....

    November 15, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  3. RapidOne

    Bob Jones is NOT a Christian. He is a satanist. That's what everyone I know has heard and seen. Just because he says he's Christian means nothing. BOB JONES IS A SATANIST.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Marc

      Most "intense" Christians are.

      November 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  4. Qwackers

    You Obama haters make me laugh! He's NOT a Muslim...get used to it! What he IS is a Black Liberation theologist and that may well be worse

    November 15, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  5. Lynn

    If he is a Christian, then he would NOT be so pro-abortion! I mean he is FOR the killing of innocent human beings..His religion is in name only and nothing more. I see no evidence whatsoever that he is following the God of the Christian faith. Jesus warned us about those who were wolves in sheep's clothing and to pay attend that people's actions speak what they believe. His do not nor does he seem to possess caring, compassion and Godly wisdom! I sincerely doubt he is a true Christian. His actions speak louder than his shallow words.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • jasie

      I agree 100%.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Atheist

      In the bible, god ordered the Israelites to kill Canaanite babies, so I don't think your argument is valid.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Smite Me

      Lynn & jasie,

      Ah, but I'll bet that you two consider YOURSELVES to be TRUE Christians, right?

      So does Boob Jones.

      And all of you are self-righteous prigs.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well, you appear to be an expert on shallow words, Lynn.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • AZpatriot

      @Lynn: you madam, are an imbecile.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Lynn: I love reading how all you christards seem to think you know what god said. There is no evidence that he even existed. You are a delusional individual in need of help.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:44 am |
    • The Veteran

      Please go back to the Gospels and read and pray. Being a Christian is about two things: Faith and Love.

      Not judgment, condemnation, greed, hypocrisy. That is what we get from conservatives. They don't look like Christ.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:55 am |
    • mike

      you are so full of it you dont sound christian to me just another right wing bozo!

      November 15, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • geekgirl42

      Being against government control over a women's uterus is NOT the same thing as being FOR killing babies. I emphasize the government part of that, because it's not the government's job to regulate reproductive or any other healthcare choices of women. Conservatives should want to reduce government interference in our lives, not promote it.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @The Veteran: you said:
      "Please go back to the Gospels and read and pray. Being a Christian is about two things: Faith and Love.
      Not judgment, condemnation, greed, hypocrisy. That is what we get from conservatives. They don't look like Christ."

      The gospels are about nothing relevant....they can not be proven to be true. Faith is believing without evidence.
      Judgment, condemnation, greed and hypocrisy about sum up the entire christard people. You judge people for not believing the same way you do; you condemn people to a ficti.tious place called hEll for disbelieving or making mistakes; your churches takes all sorts of money from their sheep but fail to pay taxes; and you preach about right and wrong in this world according to a book that you probably have never fully read (hypocrisy). This is what you get from republicans.
      How would you even begin to know what looks like christ?

      November 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  6. dawkins


    November 15, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  7. Marcus

    I doubt Bob Jones is a Christian.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      I doubt 99% of the christards are christian.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:45 am |
  8. Mark

    Who cares what some televangelist thinks? And who the h@ll is he to say someone is or isn't Christian? is there a urine test we're supposed to take to prove it?

    November 15, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  9. tony

    For crying out loud, enough with this whole religion, birth of place and all of the other none sense and lets get back to teh real issues we are facing, which are jobs, enough with giving propaganda and news time to these nonesense

    November 15, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Dan M.

      I've no reason to think that Bob Jones is a Christian.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  10. Atheist

    I hope that, in my lifetime, a presidential candidate will be able to say, "No, I do not believe in God, Santa or the Easter Bunny" and still be elected.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Mark

      Not happening, unless you live to be at least 200.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  11. Joel

    Who CARES! WHy should we care about another persons religion! its not our place to judge what religion he is!

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  12. Mirosal

    Being a "pastor" has always been a cop-out and fall-back plan for those who can't get a REAL job. They see how easily the public can be duped, and decide to fleece the sheeple for all they can. Remember when Oral Roberts said that if he didn't get $8 million then "god" was going to take him away? He got over $10 million from that plea. All I could think of was "Just take him already!!!!"

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  13. columbine

    It wasn't Billy Graham who said this about Obama...he wouldn't. It was his son who can't hold a candle to his old man. As for as Bob Jones and his Mega church in Tulsa, why does anyone listen to this GOP suck up? I can remember when I lived in Tulsa there was always a plea for money By his actions Obama has proven his Christian beliefs.

    November 15, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  14. karl p

    so, quick question...WHO CARES? Govern well. Do good. Simple.

    November 15, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  15. tallulah13

    How very ironic that this Bob Jones person says that "anyone can say they're a christian". That's exactly what Bob Jones is doing. As long as were making accusations based on opinion, I think this Bob Jones person is an opportunist who will say anything for money.

    Sigh. Is it just me, or are the fundies getting more desperate and loathsome every day?

    November 15, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Well you see Tally, it should be obvious that he is a Christian (lol) on the take, but to most it is not. It is such an uphill battle.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  16. James


    November 15, 2011 at 1:13 am |
  17. Jackson

    This Has More to do with freedom from religion and respect for other religions. just Because you have the most member does not mean you can Step on the miniority

    November 15, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      You keep my member out of this Jackson. Don't envy my member. That is a sin.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • GwenDell

      Religion deserves no respect because religion is not a person. Religion is a bad collection of bad ideas, and should be exposed as such.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  18. Reality


    Romney believes that the horn-blowing angel Moroni appeared to the con artist Joe Smith. Not good for someone who wants to be president of any group !!!

    Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO's support of choice/abortion however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting block in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39. 39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    November 15, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Jackson

      We call it womens right to choice or the decision that should be made between a women and her doctor.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • James

      I'm Atheist! You really believe in that bible crap don't You. But what about Romney's faith What about Scientology what about Islam. they all have their specific stories should we adhere to your BOOK just because you think your Religion IS SUPERIOR OR ONE UP'S THE OTHERS.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Passive Agressive

      Jackson did you find your other ball??

      November 15, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Stinky Socks

      Actually James and Jackson. Did you two just climb out from under a rock or sometihng? DO YOU ACCEPT SATAN AS YOUR SAVIOR?? YES OR NO?? SPEAK NOW OR FEAR YOUR TRUE DOOM!! THIS BLOG IS ONLY FOR THE UNHOLY!!

      November 15, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Jackson, I am going to help you out on this one because I am starting to feel sorry for you.

      You said: We call it womens right to choice or the decision that should be made between a women and her doctor.

      You meant: We call it a woman's right to choose. The decision should be made by the woman and her family.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Jackson

      This DEIST disgusted me. But Only Because I have a weak stomach. as far as medical procedures go.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • bitsinmotion

      Nowhere in the bible does it say a single word about abortion, half-wit. You imbeciles are making it up as you go along.

      November 15, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • Steve Ray

      Dear REALITY, well dude, I guess we (the Immoral Majority) win! Whoop Whoop. Now that we have won, we are coming for you! So, get while the getting is good retard.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Reality

      What BO can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority leader label?

      He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

      And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

      Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

      November 15, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      November 15, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  19. Jackson

    mRE You Gay YoU GAY you gay YOU RUPAUL SON

    November 15, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • mre

      is that supposed to be an insult how sad

      November 15, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • James

      Just kidding I've been Watching Comedies all night.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Jackson, why can't you talk?

      November 15, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  20. Jackson

    You don't know what you messing with. I Am God!

    November 15, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • mre

      yer a dipshlt

      November 15, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      I think me no what me messing with I be satan but me did not pass english in my skool

      November 15, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Ted

      So you're the one that told Bachmann and Perry to run. Figures.

      November 15, 2011 at 2:37 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.