Obama campaign expands faith effort
The Obama campaing is adding to its effort to woo faith voters
September 17th, 2012
03:31 PM ET

Obama campaign expands faith effort

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–President Barack Obama's campaign is continuing its push for people of faith to cast a November ballot in their favor.  On Monday they unveiled a "People of Faith for Obama" a new initiative to mobilize voters that included Web video of the president and a faith platform.

In the video candidate Obama makes the case that his faith plays a major role in his decision-making process.  He says when hearing stories of faith from Americans he is touched, “They reinforce the power of my Christian faith which has guided me through my presidency and in my life, as a husband, as a father, and as a president.”

The president also made specific reference to the issue of religious liberty.  “In a changing world, my commitment to religious liberty, is and always will be unwavering,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Religious liberty has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign cycle after the administration was criticized by religious leaders over a mandate on insurance companies covering the cost of contraceptives in certain situations, which some felt were a violation of their beliefs.

In the video the president also framed the auto bailout and the passage of health care legislation, two signature issues of his presidency, as playing into his faith narrative.  "We're greater together than we are on our own.  These shared moral obligations have guided me as president," he said.

“On issues like education, poverty, and immigration, I’m standing on the side of human dignity and the belief in the inherent worth of all human beings,”  he added.

The campaign is also releasing what it's calling a "faith platform."

"This document really puts together a full picture of the president's case to people of faith," a campaign staffer close to the effort said speaking on background because the information was not yet public.

On campaign trail, Romney ratchets ups God rhetoric

The platform is broken down into three categories the staffer said: economic security for families, being our brothers and sisters' keeper, and faith in public life.

The platform will be hosted on the campaign website and sent out to campaign field offices.

This effort was long-planned, a campaign spokesmen speaking on background said and not in response to any particular hot-button issue like religious liberty.  "We've been launching programs over the last year or so and they are on a rolling basis."  The staffer noted they launched an effort targeting support among African-American voters in February among others.

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The campaign staffer close to the initiative said they thought the program would have specific resonance with key groups the campaign has been targeting for support, Catholics and young evangelicals.

Catholics, their thinking goes, would be attracted to the appeal for working for the good of everyone.

"A constituency the president has spent a lot of time thinking about and a lot of time engaging with has been young evangelicals, the sort of 18-39 subset," the staffer added.  "These are folks who care about international aid.  These are folks who care about things like adoption."

The campaign initiative is being headed by Michael Wear, the Obama campaign's National Faith Vote Coordinator, Derrick Harkins, Director of Faith Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, the Rev. Regena Thomas, pastor of Allen A.M.E. Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Katherine Archuleta, a political director for the campaign, and Broderick Johnson, a campaign adviser who focuses on Catholic outreach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Belief • Politics

soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Please vote for the least delusional candidate. For president, that's Obama.

    And while on the subject of delusional politicians, here's hoping Bachmann doesn't get re-elected.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • fred

      Lets see Romney is honest about his belief and Obama just says whatever it takes to get votes. I go with honesty.
      Both are equally delusional as according to the atheist playbook.
      Obama is more delusional as he believes the government and Santa Clause are the same.
      As to Mitt just because you cant see his underware does not mean he isn't wareing any.

      September 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • BowNow

      Fred, are you drunk again?

      September 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • fred

      I would be except the Bible warns about putting new wine into old skins................since there are many interpretations of old skin in the Hebrew I thought it safest to simply not drink wine anymore.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does 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! `

      September 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 19, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  3. Jetjohn

    We need someone to save America! Obama can't and won't do it!!

    September 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Papasan

      You are repeating yourself. Put down the bottle and step away from the keyboard. The only thing that would begin to save america is if everyone got real, and became atheist. Religion will kill us all eventually.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • PAUL

      President Obama is man of the Lord. Just Ask Jesus!!


      September 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Jetjohn


    September 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • was an idiot.
      September 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Jetjohn

    We need SOMEONE to save America!!! OBAMA CAN'T AND WON'T DO IT!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Huebert

      What would need to be done in order to save America?

      September 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • old ben

      You asked too difficult a question, Huebert. Start with something simple like "Is Donald Trump one of your idols?" or "Is dressing yourself a problem?"

      September 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  6. dan

    I wonder which faith he is talking about, since he only became a christian right as he was first running for his first political office and did not think he could get elected if he could not deny that he was Muslim.

    September 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • yessica

      The christian faith doesn't tell us that we should kill any living human being (abortion included), so I don't know what type of faith he is talking about. Also, the Christian faith doesn't say a marriage is between men/men or women/women. His faith is death to society. Maybe he should relearn Christian teachings.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  7. Peach

    PULLLEASE--this is a disparate effort on his part. Clearly, anyone of faith wouldn't be voting for this guy......

    September 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Vocabulary

      Peach pit,

      PULLLEASE look up the definition of "disparate".

      September 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • sonny chapman

      I consider myself a Person of Faith & I WILL be voting for President Obama. I find his message in words & deeds follow closer the Teachings of Jesus Christ, as found in the Four Gospels, than do the words & deeds of Republicans.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  8. Fran Stribling

    He's a muslim; we don't have to expand his faith

    September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • TheTraveler

      You're an idiot. Please try to expand your intelligence.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Hear This

      I hope that you are not a Christian, Fran Stribling. It's a no-no, tsk, tsk, 'sin' to LIE.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  9. R. A Baysinger

    First, the term Separation of Church and state is not mentioned in our laws. Some people attribute this term to Roger Williams and some
    to Thomas Jefferson. No matter who originated this term its original meaning and the intent of the founders of the law of this
    great nation was to keep the government out of the church not the church out of the government. Secondly, for a Christian
    obedience to Gods Laws are not an option. We are commanded to be obedient to God's Laws. We do this out of love for
    God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The New Testament tells us we can not judge, only God can do that. We can however be
    a fruit inspector. Jesus said, we will know a true believer by his fruits. One of those fruits is obedience to God's Laws.
    If our President wants to convince people of genuine faith that he is a follower of Christ, he needs to show some good fruit.
    For those who choose to turn their backs on God( which by the way God does allow) all I have to say is this. Wise up
    people you can't spend more than you make and neither can the government!!!!! Our staggering deficit alone should be enough
    to make people run in another direction. Lastly , I am an Independent folks, I vote for the person not the party.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Papasan

      Baaah, baaah, baah. You're a sheep following acient text written by multiple MEN over many years. Religion has always been used to control people, looks like they've done a good job on you

      September 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • BowNow

      You are fruity

      September 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  10. peggy

    I try to do right and like everybody fail from time to time. I enjoy attending church. I believe in "God" but I have no religion. I do not believe in religion and reading the blog of the religious, I will never have religion. Coming to think of it, some bloggers have religion but no God.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. John Briffaux

    Secretly recorded video of the candidate Mitt Romney speaking at a private fund-raiser in May shows the real side of Mitt. Bravo that video is going to cost him dearly. Good smack to the Americans that are handicapped and need to depend on government. BIG BIG mistake! Obama has my vote for certain. He should care about those 47% of Americans.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • M I Snow

      WOW! you had me going on the piety bit until the last two lines where somehow you morphed God into a balanced budget is a commandment... Just WOW!

      September 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • M I Snow

      Wrong post...

      September 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      47% of Americans are handicapped?! Who knew?

      September 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    The only difference between a Muslim and a Christian is that western secularist (like the Founding Fathers) have spent the last several hundred years training you to be civil. Disagree? Look back to before this time and you get the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch hunts. ect, ect...

    September 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • mama kindless


      September 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • WASP

      @tom tom: they didn't mean to ki11 all those people, they were searching for lucky's charms and thought we were hiding them. ROFLMFAO

      September 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Clarification for You

      Not true – there are MANY other differences!!!

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  13. Reality

    Obama's real faith:–>>>>

    Only for the new members of this blog–

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


    And the irony:

    All because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)


    September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • NAM VET


      September 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • peggy

      This blog includes me and I resent my intelligence, morality and humanity being compromised like this.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      (Only for the new members of this blog)

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  14. ug

    Sure...look at what he has done to the Catholics and other religious faiths in this country...vote Romney.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Anon

      If it weren't for separation of church and state you fundamentalists would've turn America into a theocracy.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Theists…always claiming to be victims while denying others the same rights and and sometimes thier lives.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • sally

      You're such an idiot, ug. (truth be told/captain america/Ronald Regonzo/just sayin/etc. etc.) Obama hasn't done anything to Catholics. Catholics, on the other hand, have shoved their own feet into their own mouths in more ways than one in recent years – from the very top down. You idiot.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • christopher hitchens

      Not unlike an atheist denying a child the right to be born. Abortion is murder.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  15. Anon


    September 18, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  16. Derrick

    He's Christian, but openly supports gay marriage and killing innocent citizens; He even mocked and took the Bible completely out of context in an 2008 interview

    September 18, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Huebert

      Killing innocent citizens?...Oh you mean abortion don't you? Sorry my fundie translator needs to be recalibrated.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  17. Rational Libertarian

    I agree with Cartman.


    September 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  18. rj

    OMG.. what will he think of next.. OMG

    September 18, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  19. Fairy-tells

    Dear Obama believers,

    You know the campaign speeches are meant to cast a shadow over his policies.

    Obama believes in:

    – pro abortion, this is not a Christian belief

    – pro same-s-e-x marriages, this is not a Christian belief

    – government control of your lives, not a Christian belief

    – denies God given talent and God given rights

    You still believe he is your saviour and Messiah.

    Obama, wrong Messiah, wrong President for America.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Anon

      Ram a bible up your ass.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • WASP

      @ fairy:
      dear romney believer don't worry i'm not christian so that doesn't bother me freak.

      proabortion = right to choose for females
      progovernment = i served 8 years in the army, dam right i'm proamerican government
      prosame gender marriage = they have same "god given rights" i do. 🙂

      how's this for romney; only believes in money.................and putting rich on top of poor people.
      romney stooge the same as the 8 years bush had to inflat the housing bubble and everything else before he left office so it would pop under the next guy. take your I D 10 T form and move down the line.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Fairy, policy should not be determined by Christian beliefs.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  20. El Flaco

    I think Romney's motivation for seeking the Presidency is to fulfill the Mormon 'White Horse Prophecy’ of Joseph Smith. Romney sees himself (I speculate) as the figure in Smith's prophecy who rides the White Horse to Washington and saves America.

    That explains why Romney has no stable political beliefs. He believes he is destined to be President because God wants it – not because he wants to implement Conservative economic and social policies. He will be doing the will of God (Mormon version), and whatever he does God will bless. So politics means nothing to Romney. Issues mean nothing to Romney. Romney believes he is guided by Destiny or God or Something to greatness.

    This explains why a man who is acknowledged as brilliant stammers like a high school student who didn't read last night's homework assignment, no matter how simple the question. Romney's mind is occupied with his place in Mormon history and theology.

    And – he believes – America will then turn to Mormonism as Joseph Smith's prophecy predicted. I think Romney sees himself as the Mormon Messiah. That is why political positions mean nothing to Romney.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • ug

      Typical liberal moronic belief...vote Romney.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:44 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.