September 7th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - Barack Obama’s Thursday convention speech contained insights into the president’s faith life and subtle messages to religious voters - if you knew what to listen for.
Here are the five faithy moments I caught. What did I miss?
1. Obama spoke to the evolution of his faith life during his first term, in lines that echoed his speech last year at the National Prayer Breakfast:
Obama’s message to religious voters: I pray more than ever and am acutely aware of my limits as a mere mortal.
2. Obama quoted the Bible’s Book of Jeremiah, saying that the ordinary, hard-working Americans he has met while in office “remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a ‘future filled with hope.' And if you share that faith with me," he continued, "If you share that hope with me, I ask you tonight for your vote.”
The message to religious voters: I share your religious faith and believe the future is hopeful partly because God says so.
3. Obama tipped his hat to American exceptionalism, the belief that God has given the United States a unique role in history:
The message to religious voters: Don’t let the Republicans fool you into thinking I don’t believe America is blessed and exceptional.
4. Obama framed the election as a moral choice between sets of values, terminology that has mostly been associated with the Republican Party and its religious “family values” wing:
The message to religious voters: We Democrats have values, too, and they’re superior to the GOP variety.
5. Obama acknowledged the rights of religious believers but left out nonbelievers:
Unlike in his 2009 inauguration speech, the president left out any reference to the nonreligious, sparking one apparent nonbeliever on Twitter to write: “Looking forward to the soon day when standard list spoken by politicians reads #Christian #Muslim #Jew #Atheist #inclusive."
The message to religious voters: Atheists? What atheists?
- CNN’s Eric Marrapodi and Dan Merica contributed to this report.
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.