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.”
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"With Election Day a little more than four months away, the first lady decried what she suggested was voter apathy in the black community"
Yes, Michelle. 96% (!) of African-Americans voting for your husband proves that they're apathetic.
That 96 was last elections...
96% of blacks who voted, voted for obama. 35% of blacks did not vote.
It also proves they are_morons
"35% of blacks did not vote."
And 43% of whites did not vote in 2008. How do these numbers point to apathy in the African-American voting population?
According to the census website, here is African-American voter turnout over the past four presidential elections:
1996 – 53%
2000 – 56.8%
2004 – 60%
2008 – 64.7%
These numbers do not point toward any sort of apathy. They point toward a group that is very much engaged in the national discourse, and becoming more so over time.
So let me get this straight. We are all sinners due to the stringency of the laws. The punishment is burning in hell for all eternity. Yet going to church once a week and saying you're sorry is enough to prevent that.
"All religions can't be true, but they can be false." My question was, why are my odds any better with the Christian religion (being generous here and not splitting it into denominations) that any of the other religions.
Yep, the omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God doesn't give kids cancer - he just watches them die slowly and painfully. If this world is evil and impure, then God is either ignorant, evil and impure, or impotent and unable to change this world.
YOU should work for GOD only in your CHURCH ?????????????????
I think she crossed a line using the church pulpit for political gains.....I for one am done with politics.
Good call, except that you will not find a politics-free world to live in. in other words, you are done with politics but politics is not done with you
Then I either do the immoral thing of letting someone else take my punishment or I burn forever
So I do the immoral thing and allow it, which is a sin, so I then have too allow it again, which is a sin, so I have to allow it again..etc, etc, etc.
Liberals, please explain to me how it's moral to use the federal government to kick in someone's front door, with weapons aimed at the owner's head, throwing him, his wife, and his children on the ground with guns to their heads, arresting him, trying him in court, then throwing him in jail for the rest of his life with murderers and rapists for not wanting to pay for someone else's healthcare that refuses to work or care for himself. Please explain to me how that's "the right thing to do" b/c I'm just not understanding it.
Michelle and every other DIMocrat can preach it from the pulpit at every "black church", but none of it is taught in the bible. By the way, I find it funny that when Republicans go to churches and talk politics, the church is investigated and sometimes loses it's non-profit status. You liberals are hypocrites.
I guess the first lady doesn't understand separation of church and state or just wants to use the church for re-election
You are mad,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,full of illusions,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,in your head,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,asking for explanation for your imagination,,,,,,,,,
That's a very fascinating little paranoid delusion you've worked up, there.
"kick in someone's front door, with weapons aimed at the owner's head, throwing him, his wife, and his children on the ground with guns to their heads, "
Sounds to me like there was, or would be, more than just not paying for someone's healthcare going on here. Police don't usually show up with guns drawn to collect unpaid taxes. Although, admittedly, that is the ultimate threat, this seems overly dramatic.
Well maybe YOU can explain where in the Bible it claims that Jesus hated taxes ("Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"), where the Bible *specifically* prohibits abortion, where men get off telling women whether they can use birth control or not, how a so-called Christian can ignore Jesus's CLEAR and REPEATED instructions to help the poor, or why said so-called Christians think it's okay to blow off people who need healthcare when Jesus went around healing people for free. Many of these mealy-mouthed so-called "Christian" churches strike me as being about as Christian as a potted plant. What Would Jesus Do? Oh yeah, sure, he'd declare war on Iraq when it had nothing to do with 9/11, that's what Jesus would do!!!
I see the fear tactics are alive and well on the far right. The same that was said about "death panels", etc. Guess what the government already kicks down doors if you talk to the wrong person or visit the wrong website. By the way, why should I be paying higher taxes so that you can have dozens upon dozens of tax breaks in your life?
Well, let's see...when Democrats go to church, they preached about unity and love and how to better our society and the world. In contrast, when Republicans go to church, they tote their guns and talk about exterminating gays and women and minorities and Muslims! That is why their churches are always being investigated.
Who has been telling you all that garbage? Man, you are way off track on this one !
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the IRS require that churches NOT become involved in the political process by endorsing candidates in order to retain their 501(c)3 status?
Let me rephrase that, not that churches can't vote or become politically involved, but that they can't endorse a candidate. Who do you think she's trying to get them to endorse?
II was thinking the exact same thing. They can discuss political issues, but cannot endorse any candidate. They can't even iindirectly endorse a candidate. I find it doubtful that the IRS will be knocking on this church's door. What is acceptable for the First Lady, is not acceptable for the rest of us. If, however, the only thing Obama said that people should vote, then there shouldn't be a problem.
So infinite punishment for a finite crime is just?
Hasn't she ever heard of seperation of church & state. Although that is not what it really says, it is how we now look at it.
Are you kidding me, seperation of church and state? Didn't the seven republican presidential candidates shove religion down our throats every time they took to the podium and then turned around and said God told them to run for president? Hypocrisy!
Yeah the past 3 years Obama has helped the Blacks in this country immensely. (sarcasm)
Pandering for a vote is not the same as deserving it and doing more of the former does not mean the latter.
The first family doesn't attend church regularly themselves, but they be gettin' themselves out there for votes..........
In other words, you didn't read the article, have no idea what it says, and just wandered in to be a malcontent.
God bless America,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
God bless President Obama,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
How about: "America –> bless GOD." .... ??
Yes, let's get all of these churches going political and losing their tax protection and then the Administration can use those taxes to help pay for Obamacare and get rid of those pesky centers of morality all in one swipe.
I am Sarah Palin. I am spawned of my mother's anus
We know you're lying about your name but not about where you came from.
She may be an idiot, but those of you on the "left" or wherever you're at, are full of pure hate, simply because you're regressive agenda isn't going the way you want.
I am not a Palin fan but Sarah Palin was a potential V.P. in 2008 election, it's 2012, Let it go....she doesn't even have a poltical office.
We all need someone to hate.
Native Pride... she's on the 'news' if you want to call it that. She is a public figure, so therefore she is fair game.
Careful, use of reason will not go unpunished.
Palin is an anus and so is Bachmann!!!
Do you know what separation means??????????
If you are a pop ,,,,,,,,you should not run for president ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
But you should vote if you are a citizen,,,,,,,,,,, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you know what separation means??????????
If you are a pope ,,,,,,,,you should not run for president ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
But you should vote if you are a citizen,,,,,,,,,,, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was good. Obama looked a lot younger there, was that a pre-presidential speech? Obama sounds like an atheist here (makes sense).
Yes that is pre-presidential.
Did she clarify why obama said "those in the south only cling to gods and guns"
You are just a vote to them
'Take no thought for tomorrow'....
I thought one of the First Lady's husband's executive departments, the IRS, was supposed to strip churches that engage in political activity of their tax exempt status. Did anyone in the administration review this speech?
I'm all for churches to just become community halls. Strip the religion from them, it's nothing but fraud.
Only if you are a conservative church, The IRS has chosen to mark those and use every means possible to disuade them from any type of political action. Lean Froward into a divisive system.
Free abortion for everyone! Once or twice and even the lowest IQ woman gets it. And get her boyfriend in there, too. It's not a pleasant experience. Have you ever hear the scrubbing noise?
Why the attacks on Christianity? I love how some of you post generalizations and group all Christians as one in the same, sharing all the same thoughts and views about morality. Pretty disgusting actually. In my experience, I find that the non-believers and atheists are far more hateful than those who identify themselves as Christains. That's interesting. Also, Michelle Obama's speech at this black church IS hypocrisy.
Atheists are actually not hateful, just frustrated. It's like trying to explain to someone that the Earth is not flat!
I love how some of you post generalizations and group all Christians as one in the same, sharing all the same thoughts and views about morality. Pretty disgusting actually. In my experience, I find that the non-believers and atheists are far more hateful than those who identify themselves as Christains
And did you not just do the exact same thing.
Disgusting? Addressing a self-defined group as one belief system, i.e. Christians, seems reasonable to me.
Uh yeah there are indeed hateful Atheists.
And likewise, unrelated, not all Christians are hateful, just frustrated when we explain our morals.
No I mean why do you think is is morally acceptable? Seems to me your entire religion is based on fundamental immorality.
If I do something wrong I would not ALLOW someone else to take my punishment