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November 19th, 2011
10:31 PM ET

The gospel according to Herman Cain

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

(CNN) – On a bright spring day in 2007, a black-robed Herman Cain officiated the wedding of a young couple at a mansion outside of Atlanta. The sun sparkled on the pair’s wedding rings as Cain, an associate minister at a nearby church, held them aloft.

All seemed perfect.

When it came time for the bride and groom to exchange vows, however, Cain was dissatisfied with the volume of the groom’s “I do.”

"Say it louder," Cain told Matt Carrothers.

“When he tells you to say, ‘I do,’” the groom recalled, “it almost sounds like the voice of God telling you that and you take it very seriously.”

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Herman Cain is not seen as a candidate who wears his faith on his sleeve. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Rick Santorum’s Catholicism and Michele Bachmann’s evangelical Christianity have all garnered much more attention than Cain’s Baptist-flavored beliefs.

On the campaign trail, Cain is more apt to talk about his business acumen and leadership skills than his faith. His unlikely rise as a straight-talking White House contender was pegged largely to the popularity among fiscal conservatives of his “9-9-9” tax plan.

But those who know Cain describe him as a devout Christian who leans on his faith in times of hardship. That would appear to include the present moment, when a flurry of sexual harassment allegations and a viral video of a Libya interview gaffe are renewing doubts about Cain’s legitimacy as a candidate.

Indeed, Cain’s religiosity runs deep enough that he regularly delivers sermons at his childhood church, has recorded a gospel music album and has a traveling minister as part of his campaign apparatus.

Carrothers - who worked as Cain’s political director during his failed 2004 bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia - says one of Cain’s favorite sayings is, “There’s our plan, and then there’s God’s plan.”

Rev Herman Cain presides over the wedding of Matt Carrothers and Debra Ann Delong.

“You may think that things are going wrong in your life,” Carrothers says, paraphrasing the candidate, “but just step back it will always get better.”

Faith and work, hand in hand

Cain’s faith journey began at a young age. Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, he and his parents joined Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta when he was 10.

The 134-year-old, historically black church was founded by freed slaves. For the Cain family, faith in God and hard work went hand in hand.

Cain has written that his family grew up so poor they were “po.” His mother was a maid and his father at times worked three jobs at once: as a barber, a janitor at Pillsbury and a chauffeur for Coca-Cola executives.

His father, Cain writes in his 2011 book, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House,” worked and saved enough to buy a modest home and quit two of his jobs, rising in the ranks at Coca-Cola to become the CEO's private chauffeur.

Herman Cain, meanwhile, would climb the corporate ladder, rising to become the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, based in Omaha, Nebraska, and then head of the National Restaurant Association, where the sexual harassment charges originated.

Cain has always considered Antioch his spiritual home. The candidate declined to comment for this article, but Fred Robinson, a former Antioch minister who left to form his own church, says Cain’s late parents were pillars of the church.

Cain greets potential caucus voters prior to speaking at an Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event earlier this year.

After he returned to Antioch amid “great fanfare” in 2000, Robinson says, Cain became a fixture in the deacon’s corner, a row of seats near the pulpit.

On any Sunday, Cain could be seen sitting with the other deacons in his favorite light-blue dress shirt shouting, “Preach Rev!” or “Say it.”

Cain became a licensed associate minister at Antioch in 2002.

The liberal church of Herman Cain

“Like most ministers, I felt called to preach the word of God and minister to the least, the last, and the lost, and minister to His people,” he told Christianity Today.

Antioch officials and Senior Pastor Cameron Alexander declined interview requests, saying the church doesn’t divulge information about members or staff.

But congregants paint a picture of Cain as deeply involved, part of a group of associate ministers known as the Sons of Antioch. Members say that if a man feels called by God to preach, he can approach the senior pastor about it. A trial sermon is then arranged.

If the congregation and pastor approve, the man undergoes training in scripture and preaching and can be licensed by the church to preach.

The Sons of Antioch are given the honorific of “reverend.” The positions are unpaid.

Antioch is part of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. but like many Baptist churches, it operates largely autonomously. The process of appointing ministers is particular to the church.

As an associate minister, Cain sometimes preaches at Antioch and regularly helps distribute the elements of communion, a role he has kept up while campaigning for president.

Valencia Seay, a Georgia state senator and longtime member of the church, falls on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Cain. But she said they put politics aside on Sunday mornings.

From the pulpit, Cain is “charismatic, he is knowledgeable, he is on point, and he knows the Word.”

“He can lift a hymn,” she said. “It’s always enjoyable to hear a minister who can not only deliver a powerful message but also finish it with a song that speaks to that message.”

While in Omaha at Godfather’s Pizza, Cain put his singing to work, directing a men’s chorus at Pilgrim Baptist Church and cutting a CD of gospel tunes. The proceeds went to charity.

On the campaign, Cain sometimes sings for supporters and once serenaded reporters with a hymn at the National Press Club.

God-centered self-determinism

For all his church involvement, Cain’s message of self-determinism is seemingly at odds with Antioch’s focus on social justice.

The Rev. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, told CNN that Cain’s call for blacks to forget about racism and pull themselves up by their bootstraps doesn’t mesh with the philosophy of Antioch’s pastor.

“He’s not going to talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” Durley says of Antioch’s pastor, Cameron Alexander. “It’s about providing bootstraps.”

Since becoming an associate minister at Antioch, Cain has preached in pulpits around the country, often eschewing the big paydays of motivational speaking gigs for modest preaching honorariums.

In many of those sermons, Cain has promoted a message of self-reliance.

In 2003, while Cain was running for Senate, he preached at the Crystal Cathedral, a high-profile church in Southern California headed at the time by the Rev. Robert Schuller.

“I told Bob that I was so excited that it inspired me to prepare a two-hour message for you this morning,” Cain told the congregation.

“Bob said, ‘That’s great, as long as you can do it in 20 minutes,’” Cain joked.

Cain’s sermon, which was beamed around the globe as part of Crystal Cathedral’s “Hour of Power” TV broadcast, focused on the biblical verse Mark 8:36.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Cain quoted.

As he continued, Cain's message seemed to harmonize with his libertarian politics.

“Finding your purpose in life is a continuous process that God reveals to each of us when we are ready and when God is ready,” he said. “Living our purpose in life is a decision.”

In the gospel according to Herman Cain, God may lay out plans, but it is up to each believer to push forward - regardless of obstacles - to reach that goal.

For Cain, that’s meant repeatedly running for political office despite his failure to win.

Cain addresses the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Consumer Electronic Association earlier this month in McLean, Virginia.

From the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral, Cain traced his political career to an epiphany that accompanied the birth of his granddaughter in 1999.

“The first thought, so help me God, that went through my mind when I looked at that little face was, ‘What do I do to use my talents to make this a better world?’” Cain said. “God had revealed my next purpose in life at an unexpected moment.”

In his 2005 book, “They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It,” Cain said that epiphany led to worrying about
leaving Social Security and Medicare a “mess” for her.

“For three and a half years I would not be able to answer the question of what do I do to make this a better world,” Cain writes. “But I would often reflect on the words of the prophet Isaiah (40:31): ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.’”

In 1999, Cain formed Citizens for Cain Exploratory Committee to test the waters for a presidential bid in 2000, the National Journal reported at the time. He made campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to press reports, which focused on his business acumen and the fact that he was a black GOP candidate, not his religious proclivities. He eventually backed Republican candidate Steve Forbes and joined Forbes' campaign as a national co-chairman.

Three and a half years later, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate, saying the decision had been divinely inspired.

“Being on a God-inspired fast track of success and surviving the many things that could have gone wrong was no accident,” he writes.

He woke early one morning to study the Bible as he wrestled with whether to run for Senate.

The Bible fell on the floor, Cain writes, and opened to Matthew 18, where Jesus asks, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” - the same words he would quote from a different gospel at the Crystal Cathedral.

Later that week, Cain writes, he heard a sermon titled “The Calling” by Alexander at Antioch. After the service, Cain consulted with the pastor.

Cain said he felt God was calling him to run for Senate. According to Cain, the pastor responded: "How much louder does God have to tell you something?"

Not long after, Cain threw his hat in the ring.

Looking for God’s road signs

He would lose in the Republican primary to now-U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, but Cain took a respectable 26% of the vote. Being a millionaire black conservative made him somewhat of a novelty, and he attracted lots of national and local press.

The experience helped Cain land a conservative radio talk show in Atlanta, a book deal and appearances on national television.

Indeed, Cain sees God’s hand in his 2004 loss. Referring to his radio show, Cain writes, “I believe that having that program was God’s way of forcing me to understand the critical issues confronting our nation.”

While his radio career was humming along, Cain faced a major challenge in February 2006, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

The diagnosis tested the faith of Cain and his wife, Gloria. But he saw the hand of God at various points in his treatment.

After the initial diagnosis, Cain’s Atlanta doctor wanted him to get a second opinion from a specialist in Savannah, Georgia, some five hours away by car. Cain didn’t want go, but then he learned the specialist’s name: Dr. Lord. That was the first sign.

Later, Cain went to MD Anderson Cancer Center, a Houston hospital specializing in cancer treatment, after his business pal Boone Pickens called to get him in.

The nurse who gave Cain and his wife their orientation tour at the hospital was named Grace. Yet another sign, Cain writes.

And when it was time for surgery, the doctors explained they would be making a J-shaped incision. “Like J-E-S-U-S?” Cain asked the doctor. The candidate would go on to call the incision a “Jesus cut.”

“You see, the Lord gives you these road signs - that is, if you know how to recognize them,” Cain writes.

By January 2007, Cain was cancer-free. The road signs began to change. He returned to the radio airwaves and began sowing the seeds of a run for president.

‘You got the wrong man, Lord!’

Herman Cain did not want to run for president. He did not want to be president. But God told him to.

In a campaign speech in early November, he told the Georgia Young Republicans he never considered running for president until he saw President Barack Obama’s “arrogant disregard for the people,” which he said weakened the county's economy, military and standing in the world.

“That’s when I prayed and prayed and prayed. … More praying than I’ve ever had to do in my life.

“When I finally realized that this was God saying what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You got the wrong man, Lord! Are you sure?’ Now, you're not supposed to doubt God. But I'm going, ‘I think maybe you're looking at somebody else.’”

Cain announced his candidacy for president in January.

Cain speaks during a campaign visit to Versailles, a Cuban restaurant, in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami on Wednesday.

To be sure, Cain is hardly the only candidate who has said that God wants him or her to run for president. Rick Perry and Bachmann have expressed similar sentiments.

“Maybe God just wants a good race,” says Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Sabato points to the large numbers of religious Republican voters in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary. Many voters in those states “respond to language like that,” Sabato says.

Benny Tate, senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia, has accompanied Cain on the campaign trail, joining the candidate on recent trips to Ohio and New Hampshire. Tate said whenever they stop to eat on the road, “Herman will literally bow his head and thank God for that food. It may be something small, like a sandwich, but I’ve never seen Herman have a meal where he didn’t thank God for the meal.”

Despite that piety, Cain has had his fair share of trouble with the Christian Right.

In an October interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Cain seemed to mix two disparate positions on abortion. He said he believes life begins at conception and that he opposes abortion in all cases.

But he also said government ought to stay out of a family’s decision - a line that seemed to speak to Cain’s limited government, tea party-flavored conservativism.

The comment enraged many anti-abortion groups and is featured in a new web ad for Bachmann that’s aimed at positioning the Minnesota congresswoman as the true anti-abortion candidate.

While most of the other Republican candidates have reached out to Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical organization and long a stopover for GOP figures, the group has not heard from Cain.

But those who know him say Cain’s focus on economic issues is an outgrowth of his faith and his view of an individual’s ability to chart his or her own course.

“Herman sees the pressing issues of our day are economic,” Tate said. “Because of his faith he sees that that can turn around. One way he sees that is through personal responsibility.

“Herman believes that, ‘By the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread,’” Tate said, referring to Genesis 3:19, in which Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden.

Cain has used this idea to criticize the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks,” he recently told The Wall Street Journal. “If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!”

That idea is not original to Cain. It is one long found in black churches.

“The fiscal conservative thread … not being dependent on anybody else, especially not ‘the white man,’ is a theme that is decades old in the black community,” said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, a black megachurch in Maryland.

Jackson, who was invited to give an opening prayer when Cain kicked off his presidential campaign, says Cain is representative of many conservative black evangelicals - though he might not be getting many votes from the folks at Antioch.

The question remains whether Cain’s blend of self-determination and striving to complete what he sees as God’s plan will land him the Republican presidential nomination - whether he wants it or not.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Georgia • Herman Cain • Politics • Race • United States

soundoff (1,421 Responses)
  1. Michael

    What a wack job! Honestly!!?? It's actually quite sad – God also told Sarah Palin to run for VP she said and look how that turned out! God also told Bush to invade Iraq and look at that mess of a never ending war!
    When will these wackos realize that that voice in their head isn't God. It's their own ego!!!

    November 20, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • evensteven

      Bingo

      November 20, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • wileysee

      and God told Obama to keep the war in Iraq going, and God told Obama not to close Gitmo, and God told Obama to push the healthcare bill forward even though 60$ of the people in the U.S. don't want it, and God told Obama to...oh well, you know what I mean.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:58 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      Actually, moron, when the health care bill passed, more than half the country was for it, and of the people against it, a significant number were against it because they thought it didn't go far enough (it wasn't liberal enough).

      Only since the bill actually passed has popular opinion gone in the other direction. That's because the Republicans kept campaigning against it, even after it passed, and the Democrats just figured it was a done deal, and left it alone.

      But, don't give me any garbage about the people not wanting it in the first place. They did. Obama campaigned for President, saying he was going to enact health care reform, people voted for him, and he did it.

      What part of the democratic process don't you get?

      November 20, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • mb2010a

      wileysee: I don't recall anytime when Obama told him to do any of the things you listed. Please provide quotes or don't comment with your Republican talking points. Obama 2012...

      November 20, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Mark anderson

      You are obviously racist

      November 20, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • gager

      Hey nate, the democratic process is for choosing our leaders. If you think that just because the majority wants something it should be done is wrong. The government is there to protect us from mob rule.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Rick

      @ wileysee No, we do not know what you mean, Obama has effectively ended the war in Iraq, besides God only seem to speak to Republicans.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  2. omegarising

    Come on people wake the hell up, you know as well as I do that Herman is nothing more than a global banking elite puppet! Same as they all are save Ron Paul.

    You want the same crap we have been dealt for the last few decades, vote for Herman, you want to have real freedom and liberties again, vote for Paul. It's as simple as that.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • wileysee

      Go get him libs. You know he doesn't believe what you think a black man should believe so he's fair game.Hoorah for the liberals; for they are anything but!

      November 20, 2011 at 3:52 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      Ron Paul is a moron, and so are you if you vote for him. Ron Paul thinks no war is justified, that Medicare and Social Security should be abolished, that UNICEF is a waste, that heroine should be legal, that the EPA should just let private businesses decide whether they want to pollute our air and water or not, that corporations need to pay even less tax than they pay now, and that businesses should get to decide whether or not they discriminate against black people, or make accommodations for the handicapped. He also thinks our currency should be based in gold, which makes about as much sense as wanting to get rid of cars in favor of donkeys.

      Sorry, but that's a ridiculous set of policy positions, and anyone with half a brain can see that Ron Paul is just another inbred wingnut from Texas.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:02 am |
    • Mark anderson

      The CNN censors are deleting any post negative to CNN or posative to Cain.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  3. Barry O'Bama

    Wait a second, what is Obama's religious background again? Oh yeah he sat in the church of America hating Reverand Wright for 20 years, with wife and children. Then after 20 years denounced everything Wright said. That guy is built on a solid core...

    November 20, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Who's on 1st

      I dont care what his religion is. I could care less whether he woships buddha, jesus, or the flying purple people eater. he doesnt do his job so we need him gone. End of story

      November 20, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • evensteven

      Christianity used to be about tolerance and loving your neighbor. Now it's about hating Obama . . .

      November 20, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • Jin Ong

      Religion has no play in politics. Please separate any power of church from man rule.
      What separates christianity with others is belief of "Christ", not "Good Deed" or "Humbleness".

      You can find good deed and humbleness in all religion.
      Please don't relate religion with politics.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      Obama didn't sit and listen to Reverend Wright's lectures for 20 years, dufus. He was like many Americans, in that he paid lip service to being a Christian, but really didn't show up to church most Sundays. When he ran for President, he was faced with two options:
      1) Pretend he went to church, but then disavow Wright's statements retroactively
      2) Admit that he never really went to church that much in the first place, and therefore wasn't too offended by the stuff Wright said when he wasn't there.

      Since you Americans are a bunch of ignoramus Christian bigots who would never dream of electing someone without sufficient Jesus-cred, he decided to pretend to be a good Christian. The rest is history.

      He's just giving you idiots what you want.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:07 am |
    • klarg

      Excellent example of conservatoid deflection 101

      November 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Che-3

      You sound like the evil blood of Lucifer the Devil runs through the veins of each of family members. Does your parents have horns? RACIST Toothless Trailer Park Lucifer.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  4. Jin Ong

    Distinguishing yourself a "Man of the Lord"
    has a high contrast with
    Distinguishing yourself as a "Will of the Lord".

    Now the debate is the issue in level of "Maniac" or "Full of Himself".
    Putting himself close to god is a sign of social hierchiacism.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • Che-3

      Save your breath. He's not remotely close. Not only that; have you heard of the term; "Sunday Christians".

      November 21, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  5. oscar r

    "the most incompetent, corrupt idiot ever to win the US presidency" you mean bush.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  6. T.Smith

    These candidates think you don't need no type of smarts to be President

    November 20, 2011 at 3:35 am |
    • Mirosal

      Given the grammar in YOUR statement, I think you might have a shot at it as well.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  7. Sitnalta

    If you say God tells you to do something, you are either:

    A) Lying
    B) Crazy

    Given Cain's record, I'm thinking it's mostly A, with a few slivers of B.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      Right. To believe in an invisible creator who never allows any evidence of his existence to exist, who created two people in a garden, with a snake that talked to them, men who lived for hundreds of years, another guy who got a herd of all the animals to peacefully sequester themselves on an ark, yet another who lived for three days in the belly of a giant fish ... and who simultaneously loves everyone, but gives people horrible diseases, and is apparently so petty that he gets upset when you worship any of the other hundreds and thousands of gods that people have invented over the course of human history ... that's ok.

      It's only when you listen to him tell you to do stuff that you're crazy?

      You people are so unbelievably dense, it makes me want to cry.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Che-3

      @Sitnalta; it is call delusions of a misfit. It’s defect at birth. He also claims he dreamed of his 2012 swearing-in as President of delusional idiotic America. Sit tight we shall see.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:12 am |
  8. GodofLunaticsCreation

    Gotta love a country where announcing that you have a mental disorder can help you win a presidency.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Mark anderson

      it worked for obami

      November 20, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • wayh

      No, Mark anderson, he never admitted that. That was Bush.....now run along to church like a good thumper....lemming.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Che-3

      @Mark anderson; you might be looking yourself in the mirror in your trailer park pig farm. Don't blame Pres. Obama if your IQ is that of the shoe size of trailer park midget pig. Do George Bush and Dan Quail ring a bell in your trailer park pig farm ears? The World at large knows brain deficiencies are what GOP’s and their supporters are made of. The World will be a better place without Lucifers like you.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:23 am |
  9. Name*Chedar

    Cain is delusional when he start communicating with God. He said the current state of the economy was cause by Obama. I would hesitate to even listen to this delusional ape when he does not even know the republican had 8 yrs of Bush that destroyed this country forever. Even if Cain gets elected, he won't be able to ger this economy back to it's health.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:29 am |
  10. GodofLunaticsCreation

    I wonder what he'll do when his invisible buddy asks him to push the button?

    November 20, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • Che-3

      Oh please don't even think about as scarily as it seems. You don't want any misfit behind anything; remotely minute or otherwise.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:28 am |
  11. cynthia hicks

    If "god" talks to Herman Cain,,, then Herman Cain needs to adjust his medication,,, same with James Richard "Rick" Perry...

    "Do the voices in my head bother you?!"

    November 20, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  12. JinNasium

    God told him to run? Lord, why hast though forsaken us?

    November 20, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • JinNasium

      oops, meant to write thou not though

      November 20, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • mb2010a

      Well, I guess my G_d and Herman Cain's G_d are not the same. My G_d says that Cain is NOT speaking for him. I think G_d probably told Cain NOT to run and he just ignored Him...

      November 20, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  13. MashaSobaka

    A friend of mine recently stripped naked and ran down a street because God told her to. She was put under a three-day psychiatric hold. Why not give these GOP folks the same treatment?

    November 20, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  14. Who's on 1st

    Man, why is God talking to like 23 gop candidates at once, telling them all they're gonna be president? LoL

    November 20, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actually, you're only half right .... this "god" told them to run... "god" didn't say anything about them WINNING!! lol

      November 20, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • Angel

      LOL...Yeah...no comment...but that was pretty funny though (smile).

      November 20, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  15. Name*libertarian3

    Wow you can tell this is a cnn website, liberals and christ haters everywhere. Well for your sake i hope your right and there is no afterlife, cause if there is you hateful people will be going to hell.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Captcorajus

      There is no afterlife. When you are dead, you are dead. You don't come back, you don't reincarnate, you are gone. Hard to accept I know, but what it means is, you should be doing good works in this life, as its the only one that matters.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • oscar r

      really? i thought you could tell cuz there's CNN right at the top of the page.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • Che-3

      @Name*libertarian3; have great difficulty in English writing and grammar. A clear evidence of American Education at its best!
      Listen to Pres. Obama's call to “Head Back to School”, pleassssssssssssse!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:42 am |
  16. Reality

    The gospel in the 21st century in less than 500 words:

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    November 19, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  17. Fritters

    Wow, I guess there's some people who don't like this guy. Don't freak out too bad. Save some of that energy to shovel the driveway and put out the trash.j

    November 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • New Name

      Fritters? Is that you? I have been looking for you for so long. You know I dig your bod baby. Come on, don't pretend you don't like it...

      November 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Fritters

      Check!

      November 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  18. Garry

    It is very telling that even his own church community does not support him for President.

    November 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • New Name

      Sadly he is the best candidate the GOP has. Losers all.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Che-3

      It's clear evidence that he's phony. His own wife couldn't answer the basic question if she thinks her husband is fit to be president? That question did hit Ms. Cain like a brick or a deer caught in a ford mustang headlight. Couldn’t answer!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:37 am |
  19. Bill M.

    Yet another article with a troll headline. Cain doesn't have his own gospel, he just fakes his way through life.
    I can see right through this guy. He knows there is no god and is only pretending to believe as he scams his way along.
    His take on prosperity gospel is maddening. Why shouldn't victims blame the perps? Because Cain, a perp, says the victims are just lazy by accusing the criminals who have done them wrong.
    When anyone does this, I see red. I want to rip their guts out when they blame the victims and sneer about it.
    Don't vote for this piece of ****.

    November 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Randoman

      No wonder he's a Republican. They do that all the time. They commit some vicious wrong and then say that's what the other side is doing. When they get caught, they call it "the blame game" to divert attention away and to pooh-pooh any true accusations. They take anyone who dares to protest and say degrading things about them, say they are the ones doing it, or toss someone under the bus to take the news cycle away from what they did.
      I'll never vote for a Republican anymore. They are worse than snakes in the grass.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • New Name

      I have NEVER voted Republican ever. Ever.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Sitnalta

      I think Cain is just your typical megalomaniac. His mind is a froth of lies, half-truths and self-deception. Not leaving any room for any genuine knowledge or empathy.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • wayh

      Hey Randoman:
      You forgot the part about questioning their patriotism!!!

      November 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  20. Sophie D.

    I am sorry to say I actually read this article all the way through. What a disgusting candidate. What a sleazeball.
    At least he is sure to lose. Then we won't have to hear about this pandering con-man anymore. Looking forward to that.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • New Name

      They are ALL pandering con-people (don't forget the lady As-s Holes). Anyone with a brain could never get elected. Why? This country is prejudice against atheists and agnostics. The most intelligent people in this country or anywhere else are atheist or agnostic. So IF you want to run for office you have to lie about your faith. Talk about a catch 22. We are doomed to Dubyas!!

      November 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Pitbullll

      Good to know you can actually read, Soph, but you may want to work on your comprehension a bit. Disgusting? Sleazeball? Pandering con-man? You're obviously describing the current Marxist man-child occupant of the White House.

      And I'm SO looking forward to CNN's "thorough" examination of BHO's "faith".... The gospel according to,,,, the most incompetent, corrupt idiot ever to win the US presidency. That should be a real knee-slapper.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • wayh

      Well pitbulll, you're name says it all. You sure are a pit full of bulll(st*t)!!!

      November 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Gerald

      "This country is prejudice against atheists and agnostics" . . are you serious?! I couldn't go more than three comments on the article before someone on here attacked my faith and me personally by calling me dense or ignorant for believing in an all-powerful God. . . and no, the "most intelligent people in this country or anywhere" are not all atheistic or agnostic, take your baseless, grand overarching fallacy back to your dark corner of the web.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • i wonder

      Gerald : "I couldn't go more than three comments on the article before someone on here attacked my faith and me personally.."

      In case you haven't noticed, this comments section is not the real world, where atheists/agnostics are still pressured to be silent.

      November 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • J.W

      So why doesn't some of the atheists/agnostics lie just to get into office and take over and change everything?

      November 21, 2011 at 1:25 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.