The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
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.

The 1925 “Monkey” trial of John Scopes, a high school biology teacher who taught evolution, drove fundamentalists underground, some say.

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).

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

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.

Obama has reached out to evangelical leaders like Rick Warren, seen here praying at Obama’s inauguration, but many still doubt his faith.

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.

Obama along with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha leave church after attending a Sunday prayer service.

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.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

soundoff (8,626 Responses)
  1. What does word Christianity means, hinduism, fabrication of hindu Jew's, criminal secular, A word without any traslation.

    Christian's, christian, Christian, Do you have any cle what are they talking about, hindu Christian gentile's, ignorant christian slaves.
    Does any one know the meaning of word Christian, No, but always claiming to be, having no clue, what are they trying to be. way of hindu gentile's, brain less ignorant slave Christians, repeating words like a bird.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  2. Curt

    Bottom line.

    We all should pray that the problems Obama caused are fixed and the only one that can FIX them is Romney.

    I dont want 4 more years of
    $4 Gas
    8% unemployment
    16 Trillion Debt!

    October 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • What does word Christianity means, hinduism, fabrication of hindu Jew's, criminal secular, A word without any traslation.

      Both of them are hindu gentile, ignorant slave's, having no brain of their own.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Curt

      Move to China , Cuba or Iran if you dont want Religious freepom. They will tell you what you believe.

      I'd rather try anbd keep American as it was founded.

      Vote Republican to fix the problems Obama caused.

      8%$ Unemployment
      16 Trillion Debt
      $4 Gal Gas

      October 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • cleaclea

      this shows a lack of reading and fundamental understanding.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'I'd rather try anbd keep American as it was founded.'

      with blacks as slaves and women being unable to vote.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  3. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Ask a political christian what they know about Biblical Truths and one might find they are but recipricating bed-wetters. Truth be said, we cannot live on bread alone. We need substantial varieties in order to camouflage our redundant natures in passivities. We grunt and hardly anyone understands. We moan and just a few listen. We yell and many scatter apart and away from the noisiness. Who among us is able to pull ourselves up from the mires of transcendentalism? Where is God in the loops of historicity? Obama or Romney? Makes no difference for they wear the same suit.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  4. Daniel

    Jesus was the greatest salesman this world has ever known. Case closed. That's it. Judaism and its lingering "faiths" are fairy tales. If you cant see that they are all based on the aggregation of individuals for the greater profit of the church you are a sheep. This is the 21st century. These fairy tales have cause war, after war after war. It is ridiculous to propose Jesus was the only way to your "heaven" and that Jews or Muslims are a "chosen people". It is point blank in your face. Jesus keeps you on the cycle of Samsara...and money in the pockets of churches...and you the believer as ignorant as the day is long....

    October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Eat less would Benjamin Franklin say but I tell you that you first should believe in Jesus, and then reduce your food intake.

    Don't let us focus too much on Obama, the Diabolos, but on the things which really matter because if we clarify the basic misconceptions concerning the Christian faith, we will proceed, and understand everything of the current course of time.

    Recently I have occupied myself a little with Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia and Benjamin Frankin which were both leaders of Englightenment and hence belong to the Fathers of the modern Western World. They spoke out very much in favour of virtue (which even actually means manhood in Greek or Latin language). They said everybody should aspire for a life of virtue.

    I extremly appreciate Frederic and Benjamin for their promotion of righteousness and virtue, it is only that they neglected a little (at least I got the impression) to explain completely the way to virtue. One reading scriptures of Frederic or Benjamin could conclude that he could become virtuous just by some special training.

    Of course, training as described in Franklin's Autobiography is very important but the absolute foundation for an improving life is the faith in Jesus and the sacramental baptism.

    The great issue is that our "grandfather" Adam once forsake God, the Life, the Light, the Peace and the Community. Everything which awakens in us the associaton of joy is in God, God himself is the Joy. Hence, when Adam forsake God, he forsook all which could make him happy. Adam was once made in the image of God but regretably Adam voluntarily and without any reason left that marvelous and glorious state, subordinated himself to the powers of death and degenerated biologically. Hence, we are the descendants of the degenerated Adam.

    God gave the commanments or the law of the Torah. With that he expresses that he is not pleased with our behaviour. Now, if we would be perfect by birth, we had never broken any divine law. Yet, the reality is that we break the divine laws nearly every moment because or core essence is corrupted. Of course, we still resemble God in some respect because he at first made us in his image but we also have an evil germ in us which wants to prevail more and more, and can destroy our life, if we don't start to suppress it.

    The basic requirement to dampen this evil germ in us is the faith in Jesus' death and resurrection which convinces us again of God's love towards us. Through faith we return into the confident community of the eternal God, the Life. Yet, Jesus Christ died for us not only in order to gain forgiveness for us but also redemption. It seems according to the Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul that everybody easily undestands the we can have forgiveness through Christ's sacrifice when we regard it as an atonement for our sins but only a few people or actually nobody understands that it is also a work of redemption.

    This problem is solved by the Holy Sacramental Baptism of the Christian Church, insti-tuted by Christ himself. There we get metaphysically connected with Christ's death and resurrection. Through baptism we die for the sin and "enter" Christ because we have resurrected with him through the marvelous baptism. After baptism we are in Christ who is then our righteousness. It is only that the biological body remains sinful in itself, and we have to fight against it/him our whole life. Our life improves when it becomes a habit for us to overcome our body daily by the power of Jesus' death and resurrection.

    Having that divine knowledge of releasing baptism we can also apply the special method of Benjamin Franklin which begins with a reduction of food intake which was also recommended by Jesus and the Apostel, and also Martin Luther.


    October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  6. Nigel

    If all those years in Rev. Wrights church don't clue people into how good and tolerant a Christian the President must be, then I'm baffled at how many people in here are attacking mainstream Christianity where most of us attend churches where the leaders praise America and are positive, unlike the one church your president chose to align himself with. It's so painfully obvious, I feel bad for those who are still blind. Look at the President's history from his church of choice, his "unknown" portion of his past, his policies, his record, the level of unity he has achieved as a leader, the promises he's failed to remotely deliver, etcetera.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Believer


      October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • JEM

      The white church has been one of the most hate-filled, racist places one can find. What are you talking about?

      October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "where most of us attend churches where the leaders praise America and are positive"

      positive? you never heard fire and brimstone preachers then my friend, they are anything but.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Proud Independent !

    Separation between church and state ! Because of social conservatives, there is far too much church in state these days ! If I want to go to church , I go to church ! If I want to go to a political rally , I go to a political rally ! We should never combine the two because when you do that , you end up with a theocracy much like Iran and all that leads to is a bunch of nonsense ! In the lead up to the Iraq war , Bush called the war in Iraq a crusade ! BTW Iraq was a total disaster that got thousands of our soldiers killed and cost us trillions of dollars ! The thing that bothers social conservatives is that Obama is not pushing his religion or his religious beliefs on anyone ! That is the true definition of separation between church and state ! I don't wan't some religious wacko getting us bogged down in wars because he thinks he's on a crusade ! That is why I prefer Obama's style when it comes to these matters ! He has my vote !

    October 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  8. IslandAtheist

    He's a closet atheist.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • JJ

      He probably is an atheist for he's way too decent to be a Christian.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ting

      Most presidents are.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  9. LEK

    I am convinced that President Obama is another wrong "C" word and that is unfortunate. He is no doubt by a lot of Americans interpretation the wrong "Color"; and with that being said some–if not most people think that he cannot/does not represent them when it comes to their best interests . No one can honestly argue that the President has not done a good job in face of no help from the republicans. Either people are ignoring the rumor of the meeting that was held on the day the President took office or they haven't heard of this meeting. This meeting by the republicans ushered in the “just say no to the president” era. How can people hold this guy accountable when he is fighting a fight that affect the whole of the country and he is getting no help from those who were partly the blame for the mess we are in? As Christians, it is so funny that we think that we can judge who is more Christian than others...For those Christians that are out there, I recommend that you pray to God and ask for guidance on this matter...and then share your experience with others.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Curt

    Obama was born a Muslim and has said in the past he is a Muslim.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Believer

      how small are you really?

      October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • you should back that up with some sources... ah - cat got your tongue?
      October 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Curt

      Facts a Fact if you cant handle the truth move to Iran. They will tell you what to believe!

      October 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sara

      So you had rather vote for someone that belongs to a cult like Mormonism that also teaches Jesus was more prophet than Savior. That Jesus was brothers with Satan, and the only reason he came to earth was god chose him instead of his brother Satan. How is that different than a Muslim? Hypocrites in how you choose what is a false religion aren't you?

      October 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "Facts a Fact if you cant handle the truth move to Iran"

      you claiming it to be a fact doesnt make it so. if you want to make your own facts up and put them forward as the truth then iran or north korea would welcome you too.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Believer

    Obama is an atheist who makes a false show of being Christian just to secure votes ... this point was proven in DNC where they had to re-insert God into their platform based on a dubious voice vote. Classic example of using God conveniently when you need votes and dumping Him when it comes to making policies ....

    Obama got God re-inserted into DNC platform because he was presented with polls showing God is still important .. not time yet to dump God. Was this a principled stand? NO ... it was based on polls .... Obama is NOT a leader ... he is poll-follower .. who flip-flopped his position on gay marriage solely based on POLLS ... we need a LEADER in WH ... not a POLLSTER ...

    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Believer

      I love fat kok

      October 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • JEM

      You have just described Romney to a tee.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • NoTheism

      Everyone is an atheist and I can prove it:
      do you believe in Zeus, Ra, Krishna, and so on? No? Then you're an atheist

      October 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Believer


      Romney does not make a false show of being a Christian - he is openly proud of being one.

      Romney is not the one who flip-flopped on gay marriage based on POLLS .. Obama did.

      It was not RNC that had to do a voice vote to re-insert God. It was DNC

      Get a reality check!

      October 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Believer


      Yes, I believe in all of Them .. They are all different aspects of One God .. in one sense, even we are. There is nothing separate from God ... but in our conditioned material state, we see things in separation. That is what we need to cure by spiritual practice.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Marine57

      Thanks for your post, Believer, I don't think I could have said it any better.
      If Obama isn't a Christian (I don't think he is) and he is not a Muslim (I think he is) then he is of no religion but himself.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jon

      Please...Romney has done nothing but change his mind in regards to the polls. It took him seventeen days and a drubbing in public opinion before he walked back on comments he made regarding the 47% and changed his tune about taxation of the middle and lower classes. That surely demonstrates care for the "least of these," but only when he needs their vote.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Lameness Spotter

      @Believer name hijacker,

      Stop it. You sound like you are a 15 year-old punk. The original @Believer can do an adequate job of making him/herself sound silly. No help from the peanut gallery necessary.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Daniel

      Rather be an atheist than a sheep. You will wake up one day.

      October 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  12. Aidan Bates

    "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.”

    Our Country was not founded on Christianity. Our Founding Fathers would be pretty ticked off seeing all this Relgious debates when it comes to our Presidents.


    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Aidan Bates

      these religious*

      October 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  13. JEM

    15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

    16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

    18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

    19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

    20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

    21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

    22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

    23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

    October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Believer

      true. If you're married you don't come as much. go away with this sh1t

      October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Curt

    Vote Republican if you want America Back.

    Romneys plan will fix Obamas rookie probems.

    $4 Gasd
    8% Unemployment
    16 Debt!

    October 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Believer

      Curt, will you bang me?

      October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • NoTheism

      Back to what, another collapsing economy?

      October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  15. barry mckenzie

    Romney also believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers. I wonder what would motivate a true Christian to vote for Romney it definitely is not his "religion" could it be race? If so just say it, no need to lie and pretend,there are questions about his brand of christianity,at least you would garner more respect at a minimum for honesty.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  16. Believer

    Enter me from behind

    October 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  17. john

    He's a Muslim!

    October 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • nope
      October 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • buddy in pa

      And you are a bigot, Since I said it it must be true. Therefore you are a bigot ...John your logic is seriously flawed. But it is really your hatred that is so blinding you.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  18. Carol

    I've tried twice to give my comment, and both times been told I have already said that. I haven't, just sat down, what is going on?

    October 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Believer

      no one cares about your opinion

      October 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  19. Ando

    Well, Obama's party did boo the name of God at their convention last month. His stance on abortion and gay marriage also puts him at odds with most active Christians as well. If Obama wanted to win the Christian vote from Romney, all he would need to do is become a pro-lifer. That would be a wonderful day in my opinion.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • cleaclea

      WHO CARES WHAT HE IS!! please base your votes on educated understanding of the administration (reading, fact check, etc) and not on if he fits the definition of a 'Christian'. We need to broaden our thinking.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jon

      Do you know where in the DNC platform the word God appeared? It appeared in a section on labor, not in the lengthy section on faith that appears in the platform. There was no discussion about getting rid of the section on faith and its important role in our society and the call for faith organizations to come to the aid and benefit of those in need in our country. No controversy there. The word God appeared in a segment where the word's presence carried little real meaning. They were not "booing the name of God," they were booing the procedure.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Mumtaznepal

    CNN are you kidding with this trash? Is Obama the right kind of Christian? Are you going to also publish, Is Obama the right kind of melanin? Is Obama the right kind of American? This is just one of the most superficial and shallow things CNN has published. Two weeks before the election? Shame on you CNN.

    October 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • ckatmoondaddy

      Neither Obama nor Romney are true Christians. Romney does not believe Christ is the Saviour and Obama thinks HE is the saviour.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
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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.