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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“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. pemullen

    Obama is the worst kind of Christian, a phony Christian by convenience, for votes only. He only believes in himself, worships himself and thinks of himself as the ultimate messiah. Good riddance come November.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • dorothy

      Actually, that seems like a better description of the right wing christian nut jobs than Obama.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • iminim

      It is entirely possible for two people to have vastly different political views and both to still be Christian. Christianity is not a political platform. It is a faith. I do not agree with many of the social & political beliefs expounded by fundamentalist Christian organizations, but it was Christ who defined Christianity, not the fundamentalists & not the social justice Christians. As long as someone has accepted, and is seeking to follow, Christ's words here on earth, I believe they are Christian. I may not agree with any of their politics, but I can't debate the contents of their soul. Only Christ can judge that.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  2. Jesusiscominglookbusy

    The Only Good Christian is a lapsed one. If only the people that called themselves Christians would act like Jesus and not preach his name , when spewing out hate and bigotry.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • WWJD? He'd tell us all we're idiots

      Amen, Hallelujia, and F***n' A, my brother

      October 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  3. mama k

    "Wrong kind of Christian" is a phrase that was most likely used a lot when the country was founded. Differing Christian sects were feuding and persecuting each other around the time of the formation of the U.S. government. Because the feuding between Christian sects annoyed our founders so greatly, we should not be surprised to find that the key founders had an immediate need for the separation of church and state (and to make it Amendment #1). This is also reflected in what some of the key founders had to say on the matter:

    James Madison (our 4th President, was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

    and then ten years later:

    Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?

    (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)

    Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President, was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)

    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

    (Letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808))

    and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:

    President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

    (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

    Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • drep


      October 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  4. WWJD? He'd tell us all we're idiots

    We NEED to have a leader who doesn't blindly follow a specific Christian Denomination that a PART of America and society believe to be the one and only truth. It disturbs me to think that it's been over 2000 years since he died for us, and nobody gets the message STILL. His message apparently died on the cross with him. I see no brotherly love, I see no action toward your neighbor as you would wish done unto you. The has been no expansion of our existence toward one where respect, love, and most of all compassion for others, especially when they are at their worst.

    "My Jesus is better than your Jesus"... Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if He looks down upon us and realizes there is no point in returning. We didn't get his message, so just leave us to tear ourselves apart. Everybody is so blind....and I don't get it...how is EVERYBODY SO BLIND? We kill unborn babies, we kill wolves from helicopters, we kill each other, we kill truths, we kill respect. If He came to any town anywhere in the states w/o people knowing who He was, and offered up fish and loaves to people, He would feel empty inside when he sees the squabbling over who was in line first, who got more, how long it's taking.

    I was raised Roman Catholic and that is my foundation. "Foundation" is the important part of that statement. In my Faith, Jesus is the core and I have added elements from Buddhism, Hinduism, Astrology, Darwinism, and just absorbing the world around me and conversations with others. "Darwinism?" Yes, of course, evolution is fact, you can see it in any museum or just looking at your pet dog, formerly known as wolf several millenia ago. I mean, for the love of all things good, it's right there in Genesis. What do you think the fruit of knowledge of good and evil was? It was us stepping into a boundary in which no other animal can say they have evolved to. Good and evil.... through Genesis we have the knowledge to perform both, and to recognize both. Well, which one are we doing more of? If you're not sure and you think yourself a Christian then think again; you don't believe in the bible, because Genesis says it...we have it...and how will we use it?

    I give, and have always given, so much respect to those around me and it is getting harder and harder to do so. I don't care what your belief system is, I don't care if you want to get ahead of me at the grocery, I don't care if I have to wait a few seconds to let you into my lane. Existence isn't about futile yammering about your precious few minutes on lines, it's not about what others believe, it is about YOU and how YOU actually understand that you understand NOTHING. Only in the end will we find out. But if you aren't using the gifts we have been given by the "Universal I", then you aren't getting it. Him, He, It, The, I, We....whatever you want to call the collection of good energy that exists in the universe. That is life and the bringer of life. The darkness that we are driving ourselves into is so far from any faith for any religion...

    We have become nothing but vendors in the Church..... and one day, our tables will be turned over....

    October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • drep

      tl-dr. same crap.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  5. 9hydra

    What kind of Christian is Mitt Romney?

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24

    October 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Richard Alexander

      Obama isn't exactly poverty-stricken, so you could just as easily include him in your condemnation, based on your own criteria of wealth. Or, am I supposed to believe that a millionaire is not a slave to money, but a billionaire is?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Julianna

      Clever. Why don't you research how much of his PERSONAL money he donates to charities every year, and how much he has used his personal time, money and energy to help those in need. He doesn't serve money. He lets it serve him and God.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  6. Mitt Romnesia's opinion of the day

    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others

    October 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  7. El Flaco

    At least Obama is a Christian. Romney is not.

    Christians believe in the Trinity. Mormons do not.
    Christians can recite the Nicene Creed with sincerity. Mormons cannot.
    Christians believe that God is God. Mormons believe that God was once a man.

    It is merely a coincidence that several of the Mormon gods have the same names a Christian gods: Jesus, God, the Lord, Satan, the Holy Spirit/Ghost, the Archangel Michael, etc.

    Some of the Mormon gods are not mentioned in Christian scriptures, like the Angel Moroni.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  8. "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

    Obama's actual father is communist Frank Marshall Davis, the photographer that took the nudes of Obama's mother, Stanley Anne Durham. Yes, his mom's first name was Stanley. Her namesake father, Stanley, was a CIA operative who was assigned to watch communist Frank Marshall Davis.

    It fits, people. The big mystery surrounding Obama has a logical explanation. Watch it on Netflix and decide for yourselves.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Observer

      More nonsense from the right.

      ZERO facts. Grow up.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Wow. It's on Netflix? Has to be true.

      By the way, don't go near Crystal Lake. I hear a guy who lives around there is a little machete-happy.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Michael

      Actually, we should encourage this kind of behavior from them. Their conspiracy theories become more and more bizarre with each telling... soon they'll be wearing tin foil hats and people will see them for what they are.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Inglourious

      if you truly believe what you typed, then you are crazy. LIterally.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      Great pictures of his mom. All in focus and everything.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • k

      You forgot to mention that Obama's mother was on the grassy knoll. She was, in fact, the 2nd gunman. You're a d o p e.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Jack

      You have gotta be kidding me and you believe this crap? And you consider yourself intelligent?

      I am a conservative and I be that foolish!

      October 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • El Flaco

      You are as crazy as an outhouse rodent, dreamer.

      Ladies and Gentlemen,
      I rest my case.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, I heard his dad was the alien corpse in the hangar in Roswell! And his cousin is Sasquatch!

      What a friggin' idiot you are, "Dreams."

      You make Obama a shoo-in. Who'd vote for a candidate that a nut like you endorses?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • midwest rail

      @ "Dreams" blah blah blah....you owe me a coffee. I spit mine out laughing at your delusional idiocy. It is truly hilarious watching you fundiots foam at the mouth.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      The events make perfect sense, are sequential and cannot be coincidental. Watch the movie then get back to us with your denials.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • El Flaco

      I have hijacked the word "Corporatism" to mean government by an alliance of global corporations, wealthy indi-viduals, and their hirelings.

      In a democratic society, Corporatists are compelled to find a way to persuade the electorate to vote for lower wages for themselves, fewer benefits for themselves, a lower quality of life for themselves, and an even lower quality of life for their children.

      The solution is Conservatism. Conservatism is a snake-oil salesman. Conservatism is a hyena in a $5,000 suit. Conservatism is the anti-Christ.
      Conservatism is not a philosophy. It is a marketing campaign supported by the wealthy and by global corporations. It is a technique for persuading middle class Americans to vote against their own self-interest.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhhahhaha! "Get back to us?" Who's "us", wackaloon? You and your pet wolverine?

      You're either a Poe or a complete moron. Or both.

      Grow a fvckin' brain, azzhole.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      The events make perfect sense. The relationships cannot be denied. Tell us (the blog) why it isn't true?.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      To anyone undecided about their vote = W A T C H T H I S M O V I E. Over three million copies have been send to voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. More are on the way.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      I know I'm a lost cause. That's why I spend my nights here. And by "here" I mean the public library and my cardboard box shelter in the alley where the drunks pizz on me.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      To anyone who doubt our word, my chipmunk lover and I say "FIE! Fie on thee! And out, out, dam SPOT, you crummy cur. Stop sh!tting on my blanket, you flea-bitten pig!" That's what I say and the hell with Obama if he doesn't do something about my problem with my penis!

      October 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • "Dreams From My Real Father" is now available on Netflix to watch instantly. Watch it, then make your mind up for yourself.

      The events in my childhood home movies make perfect sense when viewed through the lenses of my myopic buttonhole. I love turtles.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • LThomas

      I agree with Dreams. My homeless shelter volunteers showed me the movie and it was frightening. Most of the volunteers planned not to support Obama after seeing it. By the way, there's been lots of business here at the homeless shelter for the past several years. I've never been a socialist and never will be. Our shelter is supported with charitable contributions from a local corporate coalition managed through the area Chamber of Commerce, and we say God Bless Them!

      October 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, your "homeless shelter." Which allows you to use a computer to post on some blog.

      Nice try, Dreams. You're not terribly original. In fact, you're a fvcking bore.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  9. Becky


    October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  10. 9hydra

    It's difficult to believe in Jesus the healer of the leper and cripples also believe in the God who rained fire on Sodom, and demanded adulterers to be stoned and disobedient children to be put to death. As a fundamentalist Christian, you have to reconcile thousands of years of scripture that teach that a just and loving God happily condemns innocents to death and judgment for all eternity.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  11. Windwalker

    What kind of Christian is he, I am confused. He grew up Muslim, but now is Christian and I don't think he even knows what type of christian he wants to be in order to look good for the people.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes you are confused. There is no proof that he has attended any religious Muslim services in 30 years or more. He has never said he was a Muslim. Now you know.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Howard

      If Obama is a Christian .. he's the 'god damn America' Jeremiah Wright kind ... after all he and Michelle spent TWENTY YEARS in Wright's anti-American, racist church. In truth ... Obama will say he is any religion that will get him votes.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Inglourious

      @howard. Jerry Falwell said 9/11 was God's punishment on America. How is that different than saying God damned America?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Republicans Are The American Taliban


      If Obama is a Christian .. he's the 'god damn America' Jeremiah Wright kind ... after all he and Michelle spent TWENTY YEARS in Wright's anti-American, racist church. In truth ... Obama will say he is any religion that will get him votes.

      If Romney is a Christian...is he the "god damn America" Mormon kind...after all he and Ann have spent their entire lives in the Mormon,racist church. In truth....Romney will say anything that will get him votes.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Clyde

      A nominal Christian, like everyone else. Christianity is based on humility and renouncing yourself, so it isn't very appealing to selfish people like us...

      October 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Windwalker

      Observer, I am guessing you did not read my first post clearly. I said he grew up Muslim, I did not say he continued to be Muslim. I guess you are more confused than I am.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  12. Phil8

    Barack Obama supports gay rights and abortion and we're to believe he's a born-again Christian? Yeah, right.....

    October 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • iminim

      There are no recorded instances of Christ giving any opinion about abortion & gay rights.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  13. PaulC

    I can only say that is a dumb question and shows you have nothing to write about but must fill a column.
    Are you going to ask if Romney is the right kind of Morman?

    October 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  14. Peter

    Remember, President Obama said at a prayer breakfast that he believes in Jesus and is a Christian, Mitt Romney does NOT believe in Jesus as the son of God as said in the New Testament. BUT you will find a lot of Christians saying that they want to go against abortion and will vote for Romney against the Christian – JESUS TRUMPS ABORTION, THESE PEOPLE HAVE MONEY AS THEIR GOD!

    October 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Peter: for the first 3 centuries of Christianity, Christians could not have imagined being able to "vote" for the Emperor, much less that his beliefs would even remotely reflect biblical ethics.

      Just a reminder when choosing between a henotheist who has minimal concern for the "least of these" and a Protestant liberal who claims to follow Jesus but takes anti-biblical stances on abortion & marriage.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Julianna

      Peter....please check your facts. Assuming Romney believes as he professes he does, he DOES claim Christ as the Son of God and his Lord and Savior. More importantly, what does that have to do with Obama's standing as a Christian? In both cases, he either DOES or DOESN'T follow the teachings of Christ. If you set your personal bias aside for two seconds and research the personal histories of both, it's pretty easy to see whether they are truly following Christ, who even as He performed his miracles, still made the recipients do some work for it that, for some, though the requests were simple, required too much of them. Nothing worth having comes free.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Juliana:
      Mormonism = henotheism; Jesus is just one god among many, and you yourself might become a god someday.
      We're not talking about the biblical Jesus.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  15. Terry Lursen

    Obama is not a Christian. He is not born again of the One True God. He neither knows God, nor His Truth. Obama is a confused obsessive egomaniac. Jesus said if any man desired to come after Him, let Him deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow Him. Obama has no clue, nor spiritual understanding of this or any other scripture according to Jesus Christ. Obama is an African socialist . His entire upbringing has lived in this social structure and rev. Wright simply put a Christian name on the ideas. I am a white minister having spent the last 8 years in an African-American mega church. I know what Obama is...an anti-Christ type meant to lead his own version of himself as he is influenced by a very dark spirit.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Calling Obama the "anti-Christ" is always good for a laugh. Thanks.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • NoWingNutsAllowed

      Ah and you have have all the answers, just ask yourself.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Terry, you "know" nothing of the sort. You may believe what you wish, but saying that you "know" it is the height of delusional hubris.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Michael Compton

      Terry Lursen proves his hatred for Jesus Christ. Shame Shame Shame.

      What the many 'Obama is a Muslim' liars are so desperate to avoid, is any focus whatsoever on Mitt Romney's membership in an anti-Christian 'religion'.



      Mormons – Mitt Romney included – believe that Jesus Christ was "just another prophet" among many.

      They REJECT the fact that he is the Son of God.

      They REJECT Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind.

      They REJECT the entire concept of Christianity.

      Unlike the silly, anti-Christian liars that are perfectly happy to debase themselves with lies, what I've written is the actual TRUTH.

      Mormons are NOT Christians, by definition.

      You won't hear them talking about that.

      These so-called Christians have no problem lying.

      These so-called Christians have no problem voting for a man who openly admits believing in a religion that REJECTS CHRIST.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • PaulC

      It must be truly fulfilling to be so knowledgeable and willingly give the rest of us the benefit of your wisdom.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • PaulC

      To complete your rambling dissertation could you please give us the benefit of your insight on the religion of Romney?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • visitor

      well let's see Terry Lursen, are you one of those missionaries that encourage "witch hunters" that torture women they don't like? are you one of those "missionaries" that encourages Central Africans to murder gays?

      Because anyone who writes anything as ignorant as what you just wrote, actually sounds like one of those hate group kind of people.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • 9hydra

      Which ancient Mesoptoamian god do you worship again? Is it Baal Hadad the Canaanite storm god or El Yahweh, the Edomite storm god? It's ridiculous that modern Americans, thousands and thousands of years later still worship a god that people on the other side of the world made up because they didn't know what caused thunder or who to thank when rain fell on their crops.

      "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

      -Thomas Jefferson

      October 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • rinsac

      I'll pray for you. You are so angry and un-loving. Too bad you drank the cool-aid. Hope the rapture gets you soon so the rest of us can live in peace.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Goodgriefness

      Who in the world are you to question ANYBODY'S Christianity? You want to justify your supposed knowlwdge of what PRESIDENT Obama is or isn't based on a visit to a black church...you need to worry about your own salvation or lack of. I hope and pray fervently that YOU aren't allowed near anyone's pulpit to spew your ego-centered hatred. Ministers should lift up..not tear down.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • George

      I guess he knows who all is going to heaven and who goes to hell. This is the type of vulgar silly minister that subverts the message of the gospel. For God's sake he can't even write a coherent message. All he does is hurl darts at the president. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Clyde

      Wow, look at all the hostility... Apparently saying you actually have to believe in Christianity to be a Christian is an unspeakable sin.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • ron

      Hey Terry. So you are a minister, eh? That's real nice.
      Ever hear the one about "He among you who is without sin, cast the first stone"?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • ron

      Oh, and Terry, that nice WHITE Jesus that you probably have adorning your stained glass windows, well, I'm not sure if you noticed, but Jesus came from the middle east, and the peoples of the middle east 2000 years ago, were definitely not whit europeans!

      October 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Concerned

      Obama is an Agnostic at best.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  16. Michael Compton

    What the many 'Obama is a Muslim' liars are so desperate to avoid, is any focus whatsoever on Mitt Romney's membership in an anti-Christian 'religion'.



    Mormons – Mitt Romney included – believe that Jesus Christ was "just another prophet" among many.

    They REJECT the fact that he is the Son of God.

    They REJECT Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind.

    They REJECT the entire concept of Christianity.

    Unlike the silly, anti-Christian liars that are perfectly happy to debase themselves with lies, what I've written is the actual TRUTH.

    Mormons are NOT Christians, by definition.

    You won't hear them talking about that.

    These so-called Christians have no problem lying.

    These so-called Christians have no problem voting for a man who openly admits believing in a religion that REJECTS CHRIST.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Uripitez

      Compton is trolling. Make one citation of Mormon doctrine that claims that Jesus is not the savior.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Who taught you about Mormonism? Fred Phelps?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Ericka

      @ Compton- your statements on Mormons' beliefs concerning Jesus Christ could not be more false. Mormons do believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He is their one and only Redeemer. Maybe you should read up on their doctrine before spouting out what you believe. Here's a good place to start: http://www.lds.org

      October 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • visitor

      Show the doctrine that Jesus is the One True God, with eternal dominion over all?

      October 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  17. cindy

    mitt romneys religion is money...
    his own personal wealth that is.....
    money is what he worships

    October 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  18. Proud Independent !

    LOL @ Republicans for bringing up religion when Mormonism is considered by many to be a Cult ! Republican hypocrisy is astonishing !

    October 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  19. Marilyn

    Yes he is the right kind of Christian he wants to help the poor and our earth, he is not about taking from the middle class and caring just for you and your own, you don't have to go to church every Sunday, because these churches are now telling you what side to take which is wrong. It is what you do in your every day life, not going to church and doing something eles just because you feel you can because you went to church.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • lou50

      get help. he sat in church for 18 years and never heard a word. He is not helping the underachievers by enabling them to live, fornicate without working. hopefully you can get back on your anti delusional medication.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Observer


      "he sat in church for 18 years and never heard a word."

      Factless. Well done.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • visitor

      lou you are one amazing racist. wow.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Bob

      I think he heard everything Rev. Wright said about how to destroy this country.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  20. cindy



    October 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177
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.