October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET
The Gospel according to Obama
By John Blake, CNN
President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.
When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”
The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:
“There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”
Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.
When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for “the least of these,’’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.
“Barack Obama has referred to his faith more times than most presidents ever have, but for many it’s the wrong kind of faith,” says Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners, an evangelical activist group based in Washington that focuses on poverty and social justice issues.
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“It is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”
Some see a 'different' kind of Christian
Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.
No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.”
“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”
Some Christians, however, still see Obama as the “other.” He doesn’t act or talk like other Christians, says the Rev. Gary Cass, a conservative Christian president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.
“I just don’t see or hear in his accounts the kind of things that I’ve heard as a minister for over 25 years coming from the mouths of people who have genuinely converted to Christianity,” says Cass, pastor of Christ Church in San Diego.
Cass says he’s never heard Obama say he’s “born-again.” There’s no emotional conversion story to hang onto.
Obama talks about his faith and attends church, but Cass says that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian.
“Joining a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. “You can put me in the garage, but that doesn’t turn me into a car.”
The origins of Obama’s faith
The suspicion about Obama’s faith may seem odd at first because he’s written and spoken so much about his spiritual evolution in his two autobiographies, “Dreams of my Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Other books, like “The Faith of Obama” by Stephen Mansfield, also explore Obama’s beliefs.
Mansfield says Obama is the first president who wasn’t raised in a Christian home. Obama’s mother was an atheist and his grandparents were religious skeptics (Obama’s family has challenged the description of his mother as an atheist. Obama called her “the most spiritually awakened” person he’d ever known, and his sister called their mother an agnostic).
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Mansfield called Obama’s boyhood a “religious swirl. He was exposed to Catholicism, Islam, and strains of Hinduism and Buddhism while growing up in Indonesia during the 1960s.
“In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology,” Obama said in Mansfield’s book. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”
Obama became a Christian while he was a community organizer in Chicago. He joined a predominantly black United Church of Christ. The UCC became the first mainline Protestant denomination to officially support same-sex marriage in 2005.
Obama’s faith showed many of the elements of a liberal Protestant church: an emphasis on the separation of church and state, religious tolerance and the refusal to embrace a literal reading of the Bible.
In a 2006 speech before a Sojourners meeting, Obama talked about his approach to the Bible:
“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”
When many people think of Obama’s religious experience in Chicago, though, they cite his exposure to the angry sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and “black liberation theology,” a movement that emerged in the late 1960s and blended the Social Gospel with the black power movement.
Bass, the church historian, says another black pastor shaped Obama’s theology more: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
He attended liberal Protestant seminaries where he learned about the Social Gospel’s concern for the entire person, soul and body.
King once wrote that “any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them …is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”
But King and the black church also fused the Social Gospel with an emotional fervor missing from white Protestant churches, Bass says. Other presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were influenced by the Social Gospel, but they weren’t shaped by the black church.
“This is the first time we’re hearing the Social Gospel from the perspective of the black church from the Oval Office. It makes it warmer, more emotive, more communal," Bass says. "There is less fear of linking the Social Gospel with the stories of the Bible, especially the stories of Exodus and Jesus’ healings.”
The emphasis on community uplift - not individual attainment - may strike some Americans as socialist. But the emphasis on community is part of King’s “Beloved Community,” Bass says.
King once wrote that all people are caught up in an “inescapable network of mutuality… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.”
“When I listen to Obama, I don’t hear communism, I hear the Beloved Community,” Bass says. “But a lot of white Americans don’t hear that because they never sat in those churches and heard it over and over again. It’s the whole theology that motivated MLK and the civil rights movement.”
Obama is not a Christian, some think
For some, Obama’s actions in the Oval Office seem to contradict Christianity.
Jesus was nonviolent. Obama has ramped up drone attacks in Afghanistan that have not only removed terrorists, but killed civilians.
The Bible talks about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Obama invoked Jesus when he came out in support of same-sex marriage. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule," Obama told ABC News during his announcement.
Jesus talked about helping the poor. But he never said anything about creating a massive health care law that taxed the rich to help the poor, some Christians argue.
But Wallis of Sojourners says Obama’s push for health care was a supreme example of Christian faith.
A situation where 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance is “a fundamental Christian problem,” Wallis says.
“Health is such a Gospel issue. Jesus was involved in healing all the time, and to have some people excluded from health care because they lack wealth is a fundamental Christian contradiction.”
Wallis has been one of the most persistent defenders of Obama’s faith. But no matter how much Scripture he and others cite, doubts about Obama’s faith have followed him throughout his political career.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson once said that Obama distorted the traditional understanding of the Bible “to fit his own world, his own confused theology.” The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, publicly questioned Obama’s faith, then later apologized.
Conservative Christian books and websites are filled with stories of Obama allegedly trying to suppress the nation’s Christian heritage.
The Rev. Steven Andrew, author of “Making a Strong Nation,” says Obama is trying to change the national motto from “In God we Trust” to “Out of Many, One,” and he’s ordered the Pentagon to remove biblical verses from its daily report.
“That’s the most serious thing someone can do to a nation, trying to separate a nation from God,” he says. “He seems to be trying to change the Christian laws our Founding Fathers made.”
Andrew says Obama is actually an enemy of Christianity. In his book, Andrew argues that the Founding Fathers were Christians who created a “covenant Christian nation” and calls for a “national repentance.”
“I think he’s an anti-Christ,” Andrew says. Cass, of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, says Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor through social justice isn’t Christianity.
Christians who talk about “social justice” are often practicing “warmed-over Marxism,” Cass says.
“Do I believe in caring for the poor and oppressed? Yes. But you don’t do it along the lines of communistic redistributing.”
Obama’s support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights also disqualifies him from being a Christian, Cass says.
“It’s the most pro-abortion administration in the history of America. On every social issue – the sanctity of life and of marriage between men and women – Obama is on the wrong side of every moral issue,” he says.
He says a progressive Christian is a contradiction.
“No Christian says I believe in Jesus Christ and I reject the Bible,” Cass says. “These progressives who say they’re Christians are liars. They’re using Christianity as a guise to advance their own agenda.”
Cass says he doesn’t know what Obama believes.
“He’s conflicted,” Cass says. “He has Muslim sympathies from his upbringing."
How progressive Christianity lost the public square
There was a time when Obama’s brand of Christianity would have been understood by millions of Americans, historians say.
The Social Gospel and progressive Protestantism dominated the American religious square from the end of the 19th century up to the 1960s. At times, the traditions blended together so seamlessly that it was hard to tell the difference.
The Social Gospel rose out of the excesses of the Gilded Age in the 1880s, when urban poverty spread across America as immigrants crammed into filthy slums to work long hours in unsafe conditions.
Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor in a New York slum, urged the church to take “social sins” as seriously as they took individual vices. Churches began feeding the poor and fighting against other social ills.
“The notion that religious people should be about feeding the poor and helping the homeless is a carryover of the Social Gospel,” says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at Wooster College in Ohio. The Social Gospel was adopted by many Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th century, says Bass, the church historian. Some of the Social Gospel churches grew popular because they provided the poor with everything from English classes to sewing instructions and basketball leagues.
“The first American megachurches were liberal, Social Gospel urban churches,” Bass says.
The Social Gospel, though, sparked a backlash from a group of pastors during World War I. They were called fundamentalists. They published a pamphlet listing the “fundamentals of the faith:” Biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth, Adam and Eve.
But the fundamentalists lost the battle for public opinion during the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925. John Scopes, a high school science teacher, was tried for violating a Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of evolution.
Though Scopes lost, fundamentalist Christians were mocked in the press as “anti-intellectual rubes,” and a number of states suspended pending legislation that would have made teaching evolution illegal, says David Felten, author of “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.”
The trial drove fundamentalists underground where they created a subculture, their own media networks, seminaries and megachurches, he says.
That subculture thrives today, Felten says, and has infiltrated the political arena. It has created an “alternative intellectual universe” that denies science, rational thought – and any beliefs that violate their definition of being a Christian, Felten says.
“They have millions of adherents who believe in a literal six day creation and a literal Adam and Eve – so it’s not a stretch to believe that President Obama is a Kenyan-born secret Muslim bent on destroying the country,” Felten says.
Progressive Christians eventually lost the messaging wars to this fundamentalist subculture, Bass says. Their nuanced view of faith couldn’t compete with the “spiritual triumphalism” of conservatives.
“If you get up and say we’re right and we have the truth, then you have a powerful public message,” she says. “They have a theological advantage in the public discourse. It’s comforting to have things clear, to have things black and white.”
The result today is that the Protestant tradition that shapes much of Obama’s Christianity is fading from public view.
The share of Protestant Christians in the United States has dropped below 50% of the population, according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
White mainline Protestants make up only 15% of the nation’s population, the survey revealed. The study also found that the fastest growing "religious group" in the country is people who are not affiliated with any religion.
Another generation of Christians, though, may bring a new version of progressive Christianity back.
The lines between younger conservative Christians and progressives are blurring, says Marcia Pally, author of “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.”
Pally spent six years traveling across America to interview evangelicals. She says her research revealed that more than 60% of young evangelicals support more governmental programs to aid the needy, as well as more emphasis on economic justice and environmental protection issues.
“What’s interesting is that these values, associated with Obama and the black Protestant tradition are now also the values of a growing number of white evangelicals,” she says.
Her perspective suggests that Obama’s faith may be treated by history in two ways:
He could be seen as the last embodiment of a progressive version of Christianity that went obsolete.
Or he could be seen as a leader who helped resurrect a dying brand of Christianity for a new generation.
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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.
Matthew 7:1 makes it clear...look it up.
In Romney's bible or Obama's? Not sure of Romney's bible has that one.
look post what matters 7. says.....
Also the whole chapter of Matthew 25. Jesus won't be kind to those that ignore and neglect the poor.
Please!!! CNN going out of their way to convince the American people that Obama is a Christian? You hate Christians!!!
Abraham, most of the radica farl right Christian-republican zealots insist Obama is a Muslim, facts be damned. So yes it is valid to once again make it clear that he claims Christianity as his religion, even if it apparently is way to complicated for certain Christians to grasp. Some seem to think if your not a total freek in your zealotry you aren't a "real" Christian. For me more God and less religion is the answer. Those who speak for God and proclaim his politics are a joke.
It's absolutely PATHETIC to see the right wing RELIGIOUS BIGOTS talk about CHRISTIANITY.......EVERYTHING THE republican/tea party DOES IS SO unchristian ...STARING WITH slavery
To call themselves PROGRESSIVE AND GET newstime ( only with FOX NEWS and FOX NEWS LITE ...AKA CNN)
NEWSFLASH...FOR THESE NARROW MINDED BIGOTS.....America is also populated by people with different religions
My Dear Dilip: The party of slavery is the Democrat party. Republicans banned slavery. Republicans are also responsible for the civil rights laws. Abraham Lincoln was a republican. So don't tell me Republicans are responsible for slavery. I realize you were educated by the teacher's union, but plleeease. Also, the democrat party is the one currently aborting the african left and right as well as giving them welfare to keep them down.
My Dear Claude: Please consult your American history textbook. The Republican party of Lincoln became the Republican party of Romney when the Democrat LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, which pushed all of the old Southern white racists into the Republican party. Those displaced socially liberal Republicans then became Democrats, and that's how our modern political parties emerged.
I know ALOT of republican's who would love to have slavery again......Democrats NO, not so much!!!!
Obama may claim he is a Christian however what he is doing, his actions and what he says proves that he does not follow the Christian faith. I may not be a perfect Christian as none of us are as we all sin however when you mock God and the teachings of the Bible I can not vote for someone like that.
So caring for the poor, helping heal the sick, supporting the downtrodden and protecting those who cannot protect themselves is "not following the Christian Faith?"
I think you have "faith" and "religion" mixed up sister.
Obama mocked God? When was this? Surely you have proof or you would not make a statement like that would you? I believe that being untruthful is a sin is not? Is it Christian to lie? Is it Christian to fabricate nonsense based on an ignorant opinion of another person. You are no Christian. You are however a member of "Bigot" religion.
When has he ever mocked christianity?
To answer the question, "When did Obama ever mock God?"
When he stood up in an official campaign speech against Hillary in 2008, ridiculing those of us especially in the midwest, saying "They cling to their guns or religion...".
"They cling to their guns or religion...".
I don't consider that mocking god but of course being an atheist I couldn't care less of he would. BTW, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and that statement isn't too far off the mark.
@John Q Public.. bull. That is not mocking God. He was talking about about how some Americans cling to their ideals no matter what. I bet you call yourself a Christian even though your lies prove otherwise.
You do realize you're talking about a man who passed on a lucrative law career to become a community organizer and help the poor, right? "Mock" is an inflamatory word choice; to openly question those who feel the need to loudly proclaim their religious beliefs at the expense of their fellow citizens' beliefs seems to me to be a thoughtful response to the situation we find our country in. There are people who use religion as a crutch, just as there are those who use religion to accomplish wonderful things and make life better for the less fortunate as Jesus taught consistently throughout the Bible. Personally, I would put more in the man who SHOWS me he is a principled person of faith, versus the man who TELLS me what a strong Christian he is.
@mike, first of all Obama does not mock god. Second, you are correct, you are very UnPerfect as christian and as human. So is your logic.
I personally hope for a day when it does not matter what religion or any at all a president subscribes too.
Your very own statements are tainted by your religious views. Not a pretty picture. Sorry.
Michael, I completely agree with you. Money & Chooch, did you read the article??? This very article gives examples of how Pres Obama, claiming he is a christian, is mocking the faith – as it is obvious that he is not. Pres Obama may truly believe he is, but being a christian mean that you believe and live according to the bible – taken literally! For example, If I woke up one morning and decided I was vegan because I loved animals, gave money to pita and worked at a local animal shelter, but regularly ate steak...well i am well meaning, but not vegan. No one said Pres Obama has to be a christian, but to call yourself one and then live contrary and going beyond that by teaching others falsehoods – IS actually mocking Christianity. As if I tried to teach others to live like my example was vegan while eating steak. I dont think actual vegans would be happy with me. Why has America departed from TRUTH, some things are pretty straight forward, they are not relative at all. If you disagree with Christianity – fine, and yes obviously America is a melting pot of culture and religion. We have the freedom to believe and live as we choose. But this article asks the reader to consider if Pres Obama is an actual Christian, and Pres obama actually answered that question for us, when he said he does not take the bible literally. So that would be a no....right – thats pretty clear.
very true,doing the opposite of what he believes in, thats not a christian.
So you're planning on voting for a Mormon?
Well, you're right in that you're not a perfect Christian. Nobody – not one person in this country lives entirely by the bible these days. Today's modern Christian picks and chooses which parts of the bible they'll obey today, and tosses the rest of it out like garbage. If Jesus (the biggest liberal the world has ever seen) were to come back today, the tea partiers would have him lynched.
As a lifelong Christian, I was taught by the finest example of Christianity I have ever known, in Sunday school, that the Bible cannot be taken literally, because it has been translated so many times, and there are books missing from the Bible, taken out during the early days of the Catholic Church. I was always taught that the Bible is the truth, but not literally word for word. It is not a cookbook. Otherwise, we would be living the teachings in Leviticus, whereby slavery is condoned, and eating shellfish is abomination. In other places, the Bible informs masters how to treat their slaves. Should we take that literally, too? It is in the Bible...
However, over and over, Jesus teaches us to care for the poor and sick, to pay our taxes, but to keep the money lenders and the gamblers out of the temple. Obama seems to live the teachings of Christ, and I admire him wholeheartedly for that. He is a Christian I am proud to call a member of my own faith in Christ.
Sandra, you are being deceived. The bible is the word of God. Let no man tell you that there are missing books from the bible for they are the deceivers and don't believe in Jesus Christ's truth.
If you cannot vote for someone that mocks God and the teachings of the Bible, then you cannot vote for the high priest of a church that is as anti-Christian as it gets!! You cannot vote for the high priest of the church that rejects all previous Christian doctrine and replaces it with blasphemy and lies. And you cannot vote for the high priest of a church that teaches Satan is the "Son of God"!!! Nor, can you vote for the Mormon high priest whose opinion on abortion changes direction like the wind!!!!! Don't be deceived by this wicked and greedy man's lies. Rmoney says he's "Pro-Life" but HIS ACTIONS say otherwise!! This liar and cheat is actually PROFITTING from abortions!!!!
Fox News said he did... Therefore, it is true.
So you can't vote for someone who YOU believe is the wrong kind of Christian. But you can vote for a devout Mormon – a faith so far from Christianity that it cannot be recognized as part of the Christian tradition in the least. Seems odd. I think those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and His teaching need to pledge our allegiance first to Christ and His kingdom and not to a political party – maybe more clarity will come if we all prayerfully seek the will of the Lord and allow that to influence our political leanings – rather than the other way around. Let us not be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who Jesus spoke BOLDY against. Let us make our appeal for Christ by doing what He commanded: love God and love others.
He did not mock God. Religion and God are certainly NOT synonymous!
@Sara-How can you be proud of a man, who approves in late term abortions? God would not approve of that, because it's murder! Obama reversed this, and now allows this. There is NOTHING Christian about that, NOR is it anything to be proud of. This is an evil man!
In Scripture,in christ own words, is it not written that a man can only hace one master...
Now, Google Barack H. Obama is a 33rd. Degree Prince Hall Freemason... Yep He's sold his soul to satan...
John Q Public – How is Obama calling out Rednecks for clinging to their guns and bibles equivalent to mocking God?
By the way EQUIVALENT means similar to 😉
OK vote for Donald Trump, because at least you know he stands. Romney will throw poor people in the street. And don't get sick. He will follow the money not the poor.
Then vote for Donald Trump, because at least you know he stands. Romney will throw poor people in the street. And don't get sick. He will follow the money not the poor.
Right Michael, the Money grubbing corporate raider is the real christian. Sitting at his dinner table praying with his family right after smiling in the face of those who's jobs he has cut. He has made a living destroying good company's like kabee Toys so he could give himself millions in fees for the privilege of saddeling them with the debt ( he borrowed on their behalf) that bancrupted them.. Mitt Romney took half of the millions that were borrowed by KB and charged that as fees for himself and his top aides. The were crushed under the weight of the debt and so it went for them. Do some research, Mitt Romney is the most unchristian man imaginable. Anyone who researches his financial path of destruction and thinks of him as a good Christian is off base.
And what is Romney's Mormon version of Christianity? What say his faith of God?
The Liberal Media that is Obama's Protector were the ones who shamed him into disavowing and quitting "reverend" Wright's "church" of Hate and Bigotry last election. They must have had some real dirt to be able to get him to do that.
Anything factual to post? Anything at all?
Spoken like a true American pseudo-Christian.
Who's going to get Rmoney to disavow his "church" of HATE?? No one! Because he's a damned PRIEST!!
Mormonism is ANTI-AMERICAN to the core!!!! It is a church of Satan that worships Satan!!! Mormons started out hating all of America! They wanted their own little country where they could be free to have as many children for wives as they could!!
This article is treasonous in it's assertions!!! If barack Obama isn't a Christian the W T F is Romney??!!!
This is stupid. Obama is Christian, the best kind of Christian. There's no law that says the President has to be a certain kind of Christian, and actions speak so much louder than words. As far as I'm concerned, Obama takes the best of the Bible to apply it to his thinking on public policy and leaves the worst of it for you "born again" people to sort through with your various attempts to control everyone and keep all the poor people poor.
Brilliant, and spot on!
There's no such thing as "best of the Bible'
I am very tired of this election with respect to religion. I really don't see how it matters one way or the other. Someday a non-Christian or an atheist will run for president and I wonder how everyone will handle the "Christian values" aspect of presidential campaigns. Let's stick to the issue and religion should not be an issue!
I think that I would respect and maybe even work for a candidate who either said he was a freethinker OR simply refused to talk about his religion on the basis of it being something very personal.
@thecollegeadmissinguru....I agree. I also don't think a president needs to have photo ops every Sunday of him and his family driving out of the White House going to church. It matters not where he prays or even if he does.
It matters to me A LOT because I know what Mormonism is all about!! And it isn't Christianity!!!
Mitt Rmoney is a high-ranking priest in the craziest and most anti-American cult ever!! Mormonism is a cult that blasphemously elevates Satan to the status of being a "Son of God"!!! It is a cult that, to this day, spawns pedophiles and perverts who want to marry little girls!!! And not just one!! But as many as they can!!!
This election is about Good and Evil. President Obama has shown time and again that he cares for the poor and the sick and those who are less fortunate! Romney has proven only that he cares about the wealthiest and greediest!! Romney consistently scapegoats the poor and the sick and those less fortunate. He blames them for this nations problems, instead of those who are really responsible!! He lies and deceives and cheats. He is Evil.
I guess a real Christian cannot vote for either. Many black Christians are so enraged at Obama's arrogant rejection of biblical values...I wish there was a vote NO choice. Vote No for Obama and a vote would be subtracted from his total......Anybody but Obama...a moral dilemma....staying home is a choice.....or write someone else's name in like...?Mike Huckabee?
Whats wrong with CNN? Nothing like putting a rhetorical headline on your webpage. Quoting polls from FOX, and turning to one side it seems. I'm dissapointed. Not that I think it will matter in the long run. He'll be re-elected anyway. I'm just saying there seems to be an unfortunate trend for CNN.
CNN will do anything to get Obama re-elected. What a disgrace!
If that is true, that CNN will do anything to get Obama re-elected, then the people from CNN have a lot more on the ball than you. At least that would mean that have facts and not a bunch of ignorant rhetoric.
So what are you trying to do? Plant ideas in people's heads? Why don't you also post a headline about Mormonism not being Christian at all. It's a cult.
Sorry Carol, although I do not support Romney in any manner the Mormon faith is not a cult. It is a form of Christianity. If Mormonism is a cult, then so are Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, etc. Have you ever heard of Google? You might want to use it.
: formal religious veneration : worship
: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b : the object of such devotion
c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
Almost any one of those definitions could be applied to those religious sects you mention, and many more. There are over 30,000 "brands" of Christianity, nearly 250 of those are Roman Catholic alone.
Forget Google, try Merriam-Webster. Oh, by the way (off-topic)....using Google as a search engine can be hazardous to your privacy.
NOT ONLY IS MORMONISM A CULT, IT'S A FASCIST KLAN.
@cooch – it's pretty simple really. Christianity is the bible (taken literally), anything that deviates is not christian. It is fine to disagree with the bible, but then you do not believe in the christian faith if you are disagreeing with or trying to change the meaning in the bible. It's not just that way in religion, its that way with everything in life. I can not just change the term vegetarian to include – eats meat – to suit my fancy because I want to be vegeterain or vegan. I need to already believe in the precepts of it – or find or create something else to subscribe to. So yes, of Pres Obama's religion and Mormonism – neither are christianity according to the bible. So again, if you disagree with Christianity – that is one thing – but the question this article asks is if Pres Obama is actually christian – and again he answered that himself – Not literally!
@cooch – it's pretty simple really. Christianity is the bible (taken literally), anything that deviates is not christian. It is fine to disagree with the bible, but then you do not believe in the christian faith if you are disagreeing with or trying to change the meaning in the bible. It's not just that way in religion, its that way with everything in life. I can not just change the term vegetarian to include – eats meat – to suit my fancy because I want to be vegeterain or vegan. I need to already believe in the precepts of it – or find or create something else to subscribe to. So yes, of Pres Obama's religion and Mormonism – neither are christianity according to the bible. So again, if you disagree with Christianity – that is one thing – but the question this article asks is if Pres Obama is actually christian – and again he answered that himself.
@Chooch0253, Mormonism is without question a cult!! Anyone who knows anything about the Mormons know this!! No true Christian believes what they do!!! None!!
They believe Satan is the "Son of God"!!! Nuff said????????????
"Sorry Carol, although I do not support Romney in any manner the Mormon faith is not a cult. It is a form of Christianity. If Mormonism is a cult, then so are Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, etc. Have you ever heard of Google? You might want to use it."
Sorry, but your are wrong! Mormonism IS a cult, NOT a form of Christianity. Christianity is NOT a cult in any way! Christians believe in the trinity, Mormons DENY the trinity. Mormons deny what Christ taught us. They make up their own rules. You speak of google? You may want to practice what you preach, because you have no idea what the difference is between a cult and a religion. The Mormons are NOT Christians! You can't call yourself a Christian and deny the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one God, NOT three. It doesn't work that way. Go check it out, you need an education!
Wow you are really very ignorant. So you believe only a literal reading of the bible makes you Christian? Then I can only assume you don't have intercourse with a woman on her period, since that would lead to your excommunication (Leviticus 20:18). You also must not eat pork, since Leviticus 11:7-8 clearly states they are unclean for you to consume or touch. You also must not work on the Sabbath, since Exodus 35:2 commands you to put anyone to death who works on the day God rested. Since you're such a good, literal Christian you also must eat only 100% lean meats, since Leviticus 3:17 clearly commands that the eating of fat is forever forbidden. And I'm sure when you go to church, you stand guard at the door to prevent entrance by the blind, handicapped or anyone without both testicles as commanded by Leviticus 21:17-18 and Deuteronomy 23:1. So tell me, jbug, how literally do you read these and many other laws of the Bible? Are you a real Christian according to your own ridiculous standards? I hope so, because if not I'm commanded by Deuteronomy 13:5 to stone you to death
@jeebus I just love all these people who quote the Old Testament out of context (including Obama) and think that they are so smart and know the Bible. Those laws were specifically for the Israelite people at that time. You need to understand the Bible as a whole, before you are going to know what you are talking about.
So yes, a true Christian does believe the Bible is the uncorrupted, whole word of God, and if you don't, then you are just following yourself, and not Jesus Christ.
Obama: "My Muslim faith".
He never said that. If you insist, please provide the source.
So what if he were a Muslim, again there is NOTHING wrong with that...
You typify what is wrong with the Republican Party. "Facts do not matter".
He sure did in an interview with george stepanopalous.........geroge corrected him saying, "You mean your Christian Faith" Obama is the flavor of the week. Upon his fluke of an elction, he called 7 historians to a dinner at the whitehouse on how they would write books and portray him. This is a man this is full of himself, you dont let the historians know how to write hisotry, rather you make history that the historians write.
Planned Parenthood, first of all, even if the man were Muslim, so what? Is that illegal? Did our Founding Fathers not establish the fact our country respects all religions? Secondly, because your posts regarding Planned Parenthood have already been shown by multiple posters to be factually incorrect, when did this interview take place because I would like to see the footage. What you are describing sounds like a simple word flip by someone being inundated with questions about what religion he practices and if he is, or ever was a Muslim, NOT the President saying he is a Muslim as you and SugarKube are insinuating. Perhaps you need to spend some time reading the Bible, especailly the part about "Love One Another".
Sugarkube and PP, look it up on Snopes, you morons. If you can't figure out what occurred in that interview and are so stupid that you fall for such ridiculous pap, then you have no business voting. Jefferson would have laughed at your lack of education and barred you from a say in government.
jnpa – Since you are a typical lazy liberal wanting someone else to do the work for you and provide for you, here is an October 2008 interview with Obama by George Stephanopolous where he slips and says those exact words "MY MUSLIM FAITH" at the 1:17 min mark and George quickly tries to cover for him but Obama rewords the comment again.
Need more proof? There are many including Michelle Obama saying that Kenya "IS BARACK'S HOMELAND."
Look at you spreading the love of God everywhere you go! Typical judging, American pseudo-Christian.
@SugarKube, I dunno what was on that sugar cube you took but it must've been a hallucinigen!!!
Muslims do NOT consume alcohol. And guess what?? Not only does Obama like beer, he brews his own!!!!
@jnpa-Actually, he most certainly DID say that. I remember it too! He says, "my muslim faith" and when the interviewer says, "your Christian faith", Obama corrects himself. Why would he slip and say "my muslim faith" IF he's a Christian? I'm a Christian and I wouldn't do something like that. If this man truly is a Christian, he would not be condoning abortion/late term or otherwise and he would NOT be trying to re-define the marriage between one man/one woman as God created Himself, and that's EXACLTY what he's trying to do. There is NOTHING Christian about this man! He keeps saying how his faith has influenced his decisions. God doesn't want us killing our unborn, nor does He want SSC's to marry. This is OBAMA's doing and states that his faith teaches that it's okay. Nowhere in Christianity does God condone either of these!
He was talking about how McCain never talked about him being of the muslim faith, because most of these hicks use that to scare Christians into voting for someone who ADMITS he's part of a cult. Even Billy Grahm is now saying that Mormonism isn't a cult anymore!!!! The devil is in this election. He's in this world. Chrisitans today are so mis-lead and I just pray I can keep my children away from them. It's why I don't believe in religion in schools. The only one I want to teach my children about Christ is ME.
You should have written this for Mitt. Check out the crazy Mormom stuff. If Americans knew the crazy Mormon stuff, Mitt would be out. Report that CNN.
That's a good idea. Now that CNN has done this article on Obama they should now do one on Romney and the entire Mormon church.
They probably did write it for Rmoney!!! The s c u m b a g has the backing of BILLIONAIRES and the support of his BILLIONAIRE "church" afterall...... and as we all know, "[most] everyone has their price"!!!
@jencoolVA-Obama is NOT a true Christian, because a true Christian follows God's law, doesn't go against them, and Obama has done just that. Condoning late term abortions, trying to re-define marriage. Nope, I don't think so. IF Obama is a true Chrisitian he wouldn't be trying to change something that God Himself created!!!
His actions speak for themselves.....in his mind he alone is the higher power.
Leftie wackos think he is " sort of a God".
You read minds? What am I thinking about you now? Never mind...it would be unprintable anyway!
You people are terrifying.
Obama IS a true Christian... judge not lest ye be judged...
@balanced: It must be nice to live in a world where things are so black and white, beholden to the conventional wisdom of the times (and see Kenneth Galbraith's understanding of what conventional "wisdom" represented before you think I'm complimenting you. I only point this out because, given you post, you seem to have difficulty in thinking across platforms).
They need to look at Romeny and his cult. Once he makes President he also gets his own planet. Will Federal money be used for archaeologists to find those magic sunglasses????? What about those magic underwear??
Howie76, Your ignorance has ran it's course. The Mormon Religion is not a cult, but I do believe there is a wayward cult waiting for your lack luster enlightened participation.
Now you would know about that magic underwear....rummer has it you have a pair for every day. They sell them in the toddler section of wal mart. Now run along and play nice.
Grow up. Magic Underwear? Present a solid argument or go back in the corner and just shut up.
Mormonsim is most definitely a Cult!! If you don't think so you're either terribly ignorant, stupid, or, you're a Mor[m]on!!!
Mormonism IS a cult-Look it up!
" the Founding Fathers were Christians who created a “covenant Christian nation” and calls for a “national repentance.”
Today's evangelicals tend to try to re-write history to impress the innocent. Although many of the founders were Christian, they ALL knew one fundamental and important concept: that religion has NO place in government and should be practiced freely in one's own life as they see fit. This gave rise to the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
The notion of a "covenant Christian nation" is just....not....true.
Religion has no place in politics? Then you want this country governed by the immoral and Godless who are accountable not to God, but 1st to themselves, and then to the minimal extent that assures re-election, the people – you and I. The problem is, we all (including politicians) have a sinful, human nature, . Someone once said "power corrupts, and absolute power absolutely corrupts". HIstory gives us many horrific examples of political power wielded by these immoral, Godless leaders. A person who acknowledges their sin, asks God to forgive them in the name of Jesus who died on the cross to forgive our sins, and asks for God's mercy and grace to do His will on this earth, (in all matters, even political) is best going to serve our country and our fellow citizens. Given their enormous political power over the rest of us, we need politicians who have the God-fearing character and integrity to do the right thing every time a decision must be made, regardless of the consequences, regardless of the sacrifices he (and we) will have to make.This is God's world, not ours. He is as real as you are. Don't take my word for it, find the truth yourself (not "religion). After 58 years wondering about all of this, I found an intriguing book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist" by Norman LGeisler and Frank Turek. You are welcome to your own conclusions.
A Christian who behaves only because they fear god is not moral, they are fearful. Someone who does good because they know it is simply the right thing to do is truly moral.
I am not fearful, I am so truly blessed.
@FoundTheTruth, Rmoney's "god" is NOT the god that most of America believes in. It is NOT the Christian God. Their god lives on a planet named "Kolob"!! Their god say it's okay to be a pedophile and a bigamist!! Their god says that Satan is his son!! Their god is just one of countless gods!!
Mormons are anti-Christian and Mormonism is anti-American. No Mormon should EVER hold the power that comes with the Oval Office!!! It's INSANITY!! Especially given the fact that Rmoney is a HIGH RANKING PRIEST who knows the true nature of the Mormon "church" and will not give up his position in his "church" if elected!!!! He will rule as a Mormon High Priest!!
The very issue of the religion of the president or any candidate for president should be MOOT. There is NO religious test for the presidency of the United States of America.
Tell teh christian right that and Bush family
Agreed, but CNN put it out there.
Actually, it does have a point in politics. In Pres Obama's case it has to do with credibility, integrity, and character. Is he what he says he is? Does he mean what he says? Just as his political rhetoric did not amount to much, as we still have a bad economy, war, and a bunch of other broken promises or empty words to consider. Christianity to me is one of them. I think people are tired of hearing Pres Obama say he is about one thing, then see contrary from him.
It should be "MOOT", but, in this case, it is NOT!! Mormonism isn't a "religion", it is an historically anti-Christian and anti-American cult. Mormonism is diametrically opposed to all that most Americans hold dear! It teaches a LOT of bizzare and anti-social things!! Hell! It started out as a band of roaming pedophiles looking for a place to start their own damned country!!! And there are still sects of this cult that secretly practice this pedo lifestyle!!!!!! And, most distressing of all, given that we're talking about someone who could become the most powerful man in the world, the Mormon church teaches that Mormons can lie if it suits their needs to impose their "religion" on others! They call it, "Lying for the Lord"!!!!
No Mormon can be trusted to be President. Not now, not ever.
There's NO test for whether they drool in public either but we still like to check that. Religious belief is a very important aspect of the presidency.
Ask black supremacy "God-damn-America" Jeremiah Wright. Barmy attended his church for 20 years before it was time to run for president. Now he doesn't attended any church.
He is not required to attend a church.. NO RELIGIOUS TEST for the office of the President... period. I believe that Obama may well be an atheist, and if he is, good for him.
Why do you think the POTUS should attend a church? Why to you think he should even have a religion? You are exactly why there should be no mention of religion in politics!
Agree. I think your repliers missed the point. As well as the point of the CNN article. As was already stated, CNN put it out there. Stay focus repliers.
Bamy? you greymeat dirtbag
Your bigotry and ignorance is very apparent. The only person that does not recognize it is you. You clearly are lacking in any moral compass.
SugarKube, just a helpful hint here: when you call the President of United States snarky names in your post, nobody but your fellow hatemongers take anything you have to say seriously. President Obama has shown himself to be a principled man of faith consistently throughout his term, and no matter how loudly you proclaim otherwise it doesn't change the facts. Why don't you try acting like a Christian and then you won't have to tell us you are one?
Bahahahahaha!!! Hell! I'd rather have Jeremiah Wright for a pastor than a Satan-worshipping Christ-bashing Anti-American High Priest of the church of latter day demons!!!! Wright's church never condoned pedophiles! He might be angry at all the horrible horrible things that white America has done to blacks, but he never tried to start his own country and wage a war against the United States!!!!
Supports long term abortion.....that's a Christian?
cause an unjust war in Iraq which kills 100s of thousands. Is that Christian? Do not support funding for children in poverty. is that christian? Christian Right should look at the inconsistencies in their view of the world.
You mentally deficient love to create your own truths. Obama is Pro-Choice. Always has been. I will say I find it rather absurd that people claiming to be "Pro-life" prove they are not by there own actions and stated objections to the Affordable Health Care Act. A law that will save thousands of lives. The "Pro-life" terminology was created by a Public Relations firm to give the "anti-abortion" movement a more positive image because anything "Pro" sounds better than anything "Anti". Why not own what you are? You are Anti-Abortion, not pro-life. And the truth of the matter, most slugs making noise about abortion are only concerned with tax money being used, which in of itself clearly shows they do not know anything about the law, and the use of tax funds for abortion, because it is already illegal.
They are not "pro-life" by any stretch....they are "pro-birth."
Seenitall, you are apparently not familiar with the "Breath of Life" teaching that is common in many Christian beliefs. I was taught in my Christian church that the soul enters the body upon that initial breath, and leaves with the last breath. The body exists before and after those events, but the soul is not there until that "Breath of Life" takes place. Man possesses the technology to start and keep the heart beating, the soul is a different matter entirely. There are many religions that see life that way. Elected officials like the President represent ALL the people and their respective beliefs, and our laws cannot force beliefs upon citizens who are guaranteed freedom of religion. You are free to believe life begins at conception, but you don't have the right to impose that belief upon your fellow citizen.
Yes, that's Christian. There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits abortion, although plenty of people twist the meaning of various passages to try to prohibit it.
Asserting that Rmoney has a firm position on anything, including abortion, is like saying the wind will always blow from one direction!!!!!!!
I knew you before I formed you in the womb
Thou shall not kill
Looks like God has already made a statement about abortion.
I don't see the point to this story, other than it was published on a Sunday...btw what kind of Christian is Romney? Oh wait he's a Morman. Repubs will stop at nothing...
I like that this article points out that Pres Obama is not who he says he is according to some people opinions. No one said he had to claim he was christian, but he does – so his claim is not lining up with actual truth. If he does not take the bible literally, he does not believe according to the christian principals – period. Whereas I agree mormon is not christian, Romney does not pretend to be christian, he says he is mormon. The point = say and be who you really are!!! People want truth. I want to vote for a man with enough integrity to be himself, the real him – not an reated image based upon what what polls say we want. And actually al politicians are guilty of this – but Pres Obama also falls into this category – like him or not.
* created ......supposed to be not a created image
I am a Christian, was raised Evangelical Lutheran, and taught that the Bible should not be taken literally because it has been translated so often, into so many different languages. Besides, the Bible is not the direct word of God. It is the inspired writings of men who believed in God, some of whom knew and walked with Jesus.
There are a number of books that were taken out of the Bible in early years, so the Bible is not even complete. But, it is a decent beginning spot for anyone seeking a spiritual life, and a community in which to seek one's answer to our connection with God.
Obama is a Christian. He has been exposed to several other faiths, which I believe gives him a well-rounded perspective on the inner life of men and women. I commend him for having done the reading, and had the discussions he appears to have had throughout his lifetime. It makes him a wiser, and more compassionate man, with balanced approach to living a Christian life in the job we will elect him, once again, to do for us.
Actually, none of the Bible's authors new and walked with Jesus. The Torah/Old testament was written BCE and the New Testament was written decades after his death.
And the most influential books of the New Testament, on which Christianity is actually based, are the writings of Paul, who never met Jesus face to face, never heard him speak, but thanks to a mystical experience on the road to Damascus, suddenly became the world's greatest expert on Christ.
@Sandya with all due respect, what you were taught was wrong. I suggest if you call yourself a Christian to search the scriptures for yourself and not rely on what others have taught you.
He's no Christian!
You don't determine what a Christian is!
His actions would agree with your opinion.
Right Obama is not Christian because you say so. And you are what? Besides ignorant I mean.
Nice headline. Is Romney the wrong kind of Christian? Does it matter for either one?
No, it shouldn't matter. But, with Rmoney, it most certainly does!!
Why? Because he is NOT a Christian, but, he MUST convince most of America 9through outright lies and deceit) that he is. And that is the point of this attack piece aimed at President Obama. It's trying to assert that Obama isn't worthy of being President and that Romney is!
This obvious obfuscation and deception is trying to deceive the American public into believing that Rmoney is something he is NOT, and it is hiding what he actually IS. Rmoney is a high-ranking "priest" in a "church" that has historically been diametrically opposed to ALL things American!!
This article is an attempt to slander the President and swindle America!! (Which really shouldn't come as a surprise, given that it's offered in support of Rmoney!) CNN should be ashamed for putting this insidious Mormon propaganda up!!