June 28th, 2012
04:36 PM ET
First lady implores black churchgoers to get political
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned pitch for black churchgoers to embrace political action on Thursday in a speech to the country’s oldest black religious denomination.
“To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better,” Obama said at a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Because ultimately, these are not just political issues,” she said. “They are moral issues.”
With Election Day a little more than four months away, the first lady decried what she suggested was voter apathy in the black community.
“How many of us have asked someone whether they’re going to vote, and (they) tell us, ‘No, I voted last time,’ or ‘Is there really an election going on?’ ”
“After so many folks sacrificed so much so that we could make our voices heard, so many of us just can’t be bothered,” she said.
Obama said that while some voters were “tuning out” and “staying home,” powerful interests are busy raising money to influence Washington.
Barack Obama took 96% of the black vote in 2008, and strong turnout among African-Americans and other minorities will be crucial if he hopes to win a second term, analysts say.
Surveys show that African-Americans attend church in higher numbers than white Americans do, and Democratic politicians have long made a habit of speaking from black pulpits in the leadup to Election Day. The AME Church has a general convention every four years.
The first lady also spoke of her husband on Thursday, telling the story of a photo hanging in the Oval Office that shows the president meeting a 5-year-old African-American boy at the White House three years ago.
White House photographers change the photos hanging in the West Wing ever couple of weeks, Michelle Obama said, except for that one.
“If you ever wonder whether change is possible in this country, I want you to think about that little black boy in the Oval Office of the White House touching the head of the first black president.”
She said blacks had to actively make good on their centuries-old legacy of political activism, mentioning names like Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks.
“Today, the connection between our laws and our lives isn’t always as clear as it was 50 years or 150 years ago,” she said. “And as a result, it’s sometimes easy to assume that the battles in our courts and legislatures have all been won.”
In her speech, Obama promoted causes like investing in roads and schools, creating jobs and taking care of veterans.
“Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal,” she said. “It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well.”
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.
Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
Prayer dulls your senses.
Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
Prayer makes you hoard cats.
Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
Prayer wastes time.
The Obama administration on Friday threatened to veto a defense appropriations bill in part because it does not include higher health care fees for members of the military.
The Obama administration is pure evil, more and more proof is out there with the passage of time.
"The Administration asks the House to reconsider the TRICARE fee proposals, which are essential for DOD to successfully address rising personnel costs. The $1.8 billion in savings are part of a carefully balanced FY 2013 Budget request,"
Yep, trying to balance the budget in a way that doesn't screw over the poor. How very evil.
Actually, Dixie Punious, your use of run-on sentences and abuse of commas is a sign that you are pure evil. You are a dastardly devil, despite your small member.
On the contrary chubby, he is screwing over the poor. When was the last time you saw a "rich" military member?
And Taught Police,,,,,you are just irrelevant.
@Dixie - While they are not rich, they are certainly not poor. Also, this seems to be necessitated by the Budget Control Act.
@Chubby, the poor also do not sign on the dotted line that they will give their life for their country if necessary. Though they could, then as you say, they would not be poor. Though in this area my opinion might be slightly biased since I spent 20 years in the military, including 20 months in Iraq. His plan will increase their costs by 3 times with no increase in pay?? Something is wrong with this picture.
Prayer changes things .
`Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~
I will laugh from heaven looking down at you pathetic atheists. Stupid and foolish.
For all you stupid people, I am jesus as well. Fooled you!!!!!!!! lol
Jesus is balls deep in me. I am filled with the lord!
"Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
For all you stupid people, I am jesus as well. Fooled you!!!!!!!! lol"
All atheist types quickly degenerate into filth. Since they are given over to their own lies they cannot help themselves , it is the atheist nature to lie steal and kill,unaware of their error. God bless
Reblogged this on cadesertvoice and commented:
She's absolutely right. Blacks fought for the right to vote with blood, sweat and tears. Today, we have racist governors and other politicians suppressing the vote. It is a gross disservice to oneself, your family and the country to sit home and not vote!
AND YET AGAIN!!!!!!
WHAT? Is it not the liberals who give the RCC so much grief when they "get political" during their sermons????
And what about the tax-exemption said chruches get for being non-political?
"In her speech, Obama promoted causes like investing in roads and schools, creating jobs and taking care of veterans."
As an atheist, I don't care if this is taking place in a church or addressed to religious people. I do care if religion is being wrote into law, which doesn't seem to be the case here.
From M. Obama's speech extended for the sake of enabling her generalities:
"And to anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better - no place better. (Applause.) Because ultimately, these are not just political issues - they are moral (LIKE THE MORAL ISSUE OF ABORTION/CHOICE SUPPORTED BY BO AND HIS WIFE, LIKE DEGRADING ATHEISTS, LIKE DEGRADING HO-MOS-EXUALS, LIKE DEGRADING THE JEWS, LIKE DEGRADING MORMONS, ) issues. They're issues that have to do with human dignity (LIKE BEING FORCED TO BUY CONDOMS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO SELF CONTROL) and human potential, and the future we want for our kids and our grandkids. And the work of inspiring and empowering folks, the work of lifting up families and communities - that has always been the work of the AME Church. (Applause.) That's what you all do best. "
WHAT SHE SHOULD HAVE SAID: (of course she was making a political speech to get her husband votes and was not able to be moral by telling the truth)
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
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.
(references used are available upon request)
GO MICHELLE! WE LOVE JESUS! BLACK CHURCHES WILL RALLY BEHIND PRESIDENT OBAMA! NO WORRIES!
Ms.Obama's comments once and for all put an end to the rouse that the Democrats care about separation of church & state. When a sitting First Lady gives political marching orders to church goers – DIRECTLY FROM A PULPIT – it's time to stop pretending that the Dems are in anyway different from the "religious right." As a Conservative Christian, I have NEVER had a politician come to my church and tell me how to vote, from the pulpit no less – yet it goes on routinely in the black Democrat churches here in Los Angeles. It's time for the DOJ and the IRS to look into revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that engage in such brazen political activity.
Ann where's CNN's outrage over this?
Like the teabagging repubtards are any different re separation of c&s.
Nice try Jimh32. Go fuck a pig and leave those kids alone.
"... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State." -Jefferson
Where exactly in the article is this being violated? No laws based on religion are being passed. No rights are infringed upon. Just because you are mired in your own hypocrisy doesn't mean everyone else is.
I admire and respect the First Lady. However, I think that she "misstepped" on talking in church about politics. There should be a separation of church and state. She can easily talk in non-religious venues about politics.
There is no law against this. Churches were common sites for Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Palin, Bachmann rallies and fundraisers.
If any church gets in politics, they should loose the tax exception. Why in the world we every started giving tax exception is crazy. And these mega church's are so-called non-profit in your dreams.
That is the only time she turns to a church or God is for votes.
Worth noting: Is there any doubt that, had this message had come from a conservative first lady, the ACLU would have already recruited a team of lawyers to put together a statement about the separation of church and state? #doublestandardsmuch?
Good video. His wife should watch it.
I say the same thing to the African American churches (of which I am a member) as I've said all along to the Religious Right and their serrogates in the Tea Party: Keep church and state seperate! By blending the two, you weaken both and you imperil the very freedoms that you profess to upholld!
96% of the black vote in 2008?! I\'m sure it was based solely on political platform and not on color. Uh huh.
Just so you know, I haven\'t voted for a Democrat, despite that before 2008 they were all white. That\'s because its their platform, not their color, that drove my vote. So much for the advancement of being color-blind.
If you took the time to do your research you would find that African American voters have frequently voted in the 90% range for democrats even though the candidates were not Black; indicating that it is in fact issue and not color driven voting. You will also find that when there have been black candidates prior to 2008, they did not receive nearly as much of the vote; indicating that support for black candidates does not simply stem from the simple fact they he or she is a black (or bi-racial, as is our current president) candidate.
Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.
Copy and paste..how "logical" of a non-believer...not.
You missed the most obvious sign. The one where a christian can read what you just posted and rejoice in the fact that when we get to heaven you will not be there. Bless your heart little one.
Stop listening to your family members. Go to church, get to know Jesus and see for yourself.
And not one of you can REFUTE WITH FACTS one thing I posted...little ones. Grow up and stop living with a bronze age fairy tale. Religious regurgitation makes everyone else sick
A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.
The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:
(c) Economics; or
You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:
(c) NASA astronomer; or
I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am
(a) A gifted psychologist
(b) A well respected geneticist
(c) A highly educated sociologist
(d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.
I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am
(a) a delusional schizophrenic;
(b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly
(c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or
(d) your average Christian
Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:
(a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;
(b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;
(c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or
(d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.
I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am
(a) A victim of child molestation
(b) A r.ape victim trying to recover
(c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions
(d) A Christian
The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:
(c) Archeology; or
What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:
(a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they are morally obliged to believe on pain of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;
(b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is a composite god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;
(c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or
(d) All of the above.
If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:
(a) a deep psychiatric issue;
(b) an irrational fear or phobia;
(c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or
(d) my religious belief.
Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am
(a) A sleazy Wall Street banker
(b) A mafia boss
(c) A drug pusher; or
(d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.
What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:
(a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;
(b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;
(c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or
(d) All of the above.
The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:
(a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;
(b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;
(c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions to distribute condoms; or
(d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.
You said, "You missed the most obvious sign. The one where a christian can read what you just posted and rejoice in the fact that when we get to heaven you will not be there. Bless your heart little one."
That is a thinly veiled form of the flawed Pascal's Wager.
In effect, Pascal's wager states that while we can't know with absolute certainty whether the christian god exists, a rational evaluation should lead to a belief. If having to choose between believing (in the christian god), or not believing, the reward for being correct, and the price for being wrong, tips the balance in favor of believing.
It says, if you believe and are correct, you will gain heaven, while the price for being wrong is nothing. On the other hand, if you don't believe, it says you will gain nothing for being right, yet lose everything if you are wrong. So, belief results in a win/neutral, and non-belief in a neutral/lose position, tipping the balance clearly in favor of the "belief" position.
Why Pascal's Wager is a fallacy:
a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options.
b) Pascal's Wager assumes the christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions.
c) Pascal's Wager discounts the price paid for belief before death.
d) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the odds for the reward and the risk of punishment.
Positing only two options is ridiculous. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. Based on the evidence available for these gods, it is not reasonable to assume one is more likely than any of the others. To increase the odds of a positive outcome of this wager, the believer would have to believe in, and worship, every possible god. Including the ones that haven't been invented yet. Aside from the drain on the available time, it presents the problem that quite a few of these gods are pretty selfish. They frown upon believers believing in other gods. In some religions that is enough to not be eligible for the reward (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).
Also, just going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).
The price paid for the belief position isn't nothing. It involves going through the rituals, day after day, week after week. It may have severe side effects on physical and mental health. Sex life suffers, too.
In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation of risk versus reward is in order.
Risk is (simplistically) the chance that a negative event occurs, multiplied by the cost of that event. As an example, being hit by a meteorite carries a very high cost (probably death), but since the odds are extremely low, the risk associated with it is low. Similarly, the chance of getting rained on is pretty high, but the cost is very low, representing also a low risk. On the other hand the cost and chances of, and therefore the risk associated with, a traffic accident are high.
The choice whether to mitigate a risk depends on, among other things, the severity of the risk, the cost of the mitigation and the tolerance of that risk. In the above examples, the cost to mitigate each risk are; exorbitant, low and high, respectively. Methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of meteorite impacts are cost prohibitive and far exceed the risk. An umbrella and a check of the weather forecast effectively mitigate the risk of getting rained on, and is easily worth the cost. Car crashes, and their after-effects are mitigated to various degrees by expensive technology (from street surface technology to driver training, airbags and traction control). People bear those costs to their financial ability and tolerance for the risk.
A similar reasoning applies to reward. The choice whether to pursue a reward is guided by the perception value of the reward, the perception of the odds of gaining the reward and the cost to pursue it.
In the belief versus non-belief question, believers tend to irrationally overestimate both the reward for belief, and the risk associated with non-belief.
Personally I like the Norse Gods and the Greek Gods.
If ur claim to knowing Christianity are those listed above then definetly you know "more" about Christianity 😉
@A dose of reality
keep trying. One day a Christian will actually read what you post, think about it (yeah right) and realize their delusion.
Your efforts are not in vain. 🙂
Especially in black churches, they are exempt from IRS rules, laws, etc...you can politic all you want in them.
Democrats are allowed to mix politics and religion, republicans are NOT.
So HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you republicans, lump it.
Praise the Lord, pass me a Democratic ballot.
Inherent hypocrisy on both sides.
No. I don't like it when the religious right-wing starts using politics in the church, and I don't want left wing politics in the church. Any church that engages in such activities should lose their tax-exempt status.
What ever happen to keeping the church and politics seperate. This looks like Ms. Obama wants it her way, not the way the law is. Why only Black Churches if you're mixing religon with politics.
It is immoral to impose your religion on others.
Most churches were against abortion, and would never pay to have abortions done, but they are going to be forced into this...And the black churches, just because our president is a black man, now they will back him on abortion, or what ever else he wants, and that is insane....soon the church will be so liberal that they will be the ones demanding the deaths of innocent people....
Who's being forced into having abortions?
What? the church has been calling for the death of innocent people since it's inception.
There are more than one reason to support or not to support someone, the Black Church may feel it would be better to have him as Pres. than the other guy. (I tend to think they are right, it's in their own best interest.
I think James is claiming people are being forced to pay for abortions, not have them.
He's just as white as he is black....
"He's just as white as he is black...."
I disagree. I don't think he is half way between the maximum and minimum melanin possibilities. He seems a bit on the less than half side, IMO