In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style
President Obama speaking from the pulpit of a Washington church in 2010.
October 27th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style

Editor's note: This is the last in a series about the faith lives of the presidential candidates, which includes a profile of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – President Obama’s prayers for a strong first debate may not have been answered, but that doesn’t mean the prayers weren’t happening.

Before he stepped onto a Colorado stage earlier this month to face off with Mitt Romney for the first time, Obama joined a conference call with a small circle of Christian ministers.

“The focus of that prayer was, ‘Oh, Lord, you know precisely what the president needs to say,'” says Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist megachurch pastor from Texas who helped lead the call. “'You know what this country needs during the next four years.’”

“'And so I would pray that your primary will and words that you want the president to say will fall from his lips,'” Caldwell goes on, recalling his prayer.

Obama, for his part, was mostly silent.

“There’s a profound and genuine humility in the presence of Christ himself,” Caldwell says, describing the president on such calls. “I think he recognizes it as a holy moment.”

It was the second time Caldwell and Obama had prayed by phone in as many months. The two had connected in August on a prayer call Obama has hosted on his birthday every year since coming to the White House.

Welcome to the intense, out-of-the-box and widely misunderstood religious life of President Barack Obama.

Though he famously left his controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the year he was elected to the presidency, a handful of spiritual advisers close to Obama say that his time in office has significantly deepened his faith.

The making of a candidate: Mitt Romney’s faith journey

Stephen Mansfield, a former Christian pastor who wrote the book “The Faith of Barack Obama,” goes so far to say that Obama has experienced a spiritual transformation.

“I think we do have at heart a new man, so to speak,” says Mansfield, who worked closely with the White House and with some Obama religious advisers on his book. “He has undergone a pretty significant personal religious change in his first term.”

Methodist minister Kibyjon Caldwell, right, has grown close to President Obama after serving as a spiritual counselor to President George W. Bush. Here, Caldwell and Bush share a stage in 2003.

Obama’s faith advisers say Mansfield goes a step too far, though they acknowledge that when it comes to his faith, Obama has changed.

“There is a deepening development in his relationship with God,” says Joel Hunter, a Florida-based pastor who has been in touch with Obama nearly every week since he took office. “He chooses to stay faithful in daily habits of study and prayer and consistent times of interchange with spiritual leaders.”

“I am not sure he did that before he came to the presidency.”

Whether or not Obama has been spiritually “reborn” in the evangelical sense, his spiritual counselors say the president’s faith has helped shape his first term in ways that haven’t been appreciated by voters or the news media.

And they say the presidency is bringing Obama to a new place in his faith - building on a system of belief and practice that helped bring him to the White House in the first place.

Talking like Billy Graham

These days, when the president talks about his faith, he sounds like a born-again Christian.

Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington this year, Obama recalled meeting the nation’s most iconic evangelical Christian, Billy Graham, and described his struggle to find the right words as he prayed aloud with the aging evangelist.

“Like that verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit interceded when I didn’t know quite what to say,” Obama told the gathering, invoking the New Testament.

It was hardly the only part of the speech where Obama was speaking “Christianese” – employing a lexicon familiar to evangelical Christians, who put a premium on quoting Scripture and communing directly with the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Barack Obama’s gospel

At the same breakfast, Obama spoke of spending time every morning in “Scripture and devotion” and dropped the names of “friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes,” both well-known pastors of evangelical megachurches.

“He was talking like Billy Graham” at the breakfast, says Mansfield, who also wrote an admiring spiritual biography of former President George W. Bush.

Even in the more secular setting of the Democratic National Convention, Obama hinted at an intense White House prayer life, along with his need for God’s grace.

Some say President Obama sounds like an evangelical when he speaks about his religion, echoing the famous evangelist Billy Graham. The two men met at Graham's mountaintop home in North Carolina home in 2010.

“While I'm proud of what we've achieved together, I'm far more mindful of my own failings,” Obama said in his acceptance speech, “knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’"

Such pious talk marks a departure from how the president discussed his faith life before his White House years.

Back then, Obama cited his religion more as a basis for social action than for spiritual sustenance. He would temper declarations of belief with affirmations of doubt.

Asked in a 2004 interview whether he prayed often, Obama, then a candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois, responded: “Uh, yeah, I guess I do.”

In a 2007 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama voiced skepticism about Scripture.

“There are aspects of the Christian tradition that I’m comfortable with and aspects that I’m not,” he said. “There are passages of the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go ‘Ya know, I’m not sure about that.’”

These days, Obama forgoes such equivocations in favor of a full-throated Christianity.

To Mansfield, the evolution of Obama’s comments on religion bespeak a born-again experience, prompted largely by the president’s break with Wright and his arrival into a circle of spiritual counselors that includes many evangelicals.

The White House declined requests to speak to Obama.

But Hunter, the president’s closest spiritual counselor, says Obama has technically been a born-again Christian for more than 25 years, since accepting Jesus at Wright’s Chicago church in the 1980s.

But it's in the last four years that the president has become more evangelical in his habits.

He now begins each morning reading Christian devotionals on his Blackberry.

And then there’s the circle of pastors Obama has begun praying with before big events like the first presidential debate.

A circle of evangelicals

After landing in Washington following his 2008 election, Obama shopped around for a new church. But he wound up making his spiritual home instead among a circle of far-flung pastors that includes Hunter, Jakes and Caldwell, the minister from Texas.

Conference calls with the group started while Obama was still a presidential candidate, including on the night of his 2008 victory. The president-elect spoke by phone with Hunter and other Christian ministers, rejoicing in victory but also grieving the death of his grandmother, who helped raise him, just a few days earlier.

The migration from Wright – who almost brought down Obama’s campaign with videos that showed him sermonizing about “God damn America” and “the U.S. of KKK A” – to this new group, says Mansfield, has been underappreciated.

“[Obama] went into the Oval Office … questioning the only pastor he’d ever had,” Mansfield says. “Wright left him humiliated.”

“And there were deeper questions about the theology that [Obama] had received,” Mansfield continues. “Some part of Wright’s religious orientation had failed.”

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

Where Wright is a liberal mainline Protestant, emphasizing liberation and social action, Obama’s new circle of pastors includes theologically conservative evangelicals like Hunter and Jakes, who stress God’s grace and personal transformation.

Mansfield notes that the chaplain who has presided for the last few years at Camp David, where Obama spends many Sundays, is also an evangelical.

Some of Obama’s spiritual counselors credit Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, with leading Obama to a more evangelical-flavored Christianity. Caldwell calls him the president’s personal pastor.

A former associate pastor at a Pentecostal church in Boston, DuBois is the one responsible for sending Obama Scriptures and scriptural meditations five days a week; Hunter does it on the other two days.

The evangelical pastor Joel Hunter, center, and White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Executive Director Joshua DuBois, right, are the President’s closest religious counselors. Here they are in February.

DuBois convenes a daily 8:15 a.m. conference call with pastors to pray for the country and the president, who is not on the call. (Lately, those calls have also included prayers for Mitt Romney.)

And it’s DuBois who organized the president’s circle of spiritual advisers. After graduate school at Princeton, DuBois talked his way onto Obama’s staff at the U.S. Senate, repeatedly driving to Washington to make his case after job applications were rejected.

When Obama launched his presidential campaign a few years later, DuBois was plucked as its faith outreach director.

The 30-year-old White House aide plays down his influence on his boss.

“He has always been on a Christian journey,” DuBois says of Obama, “and the challenges of the office, of being leader of the free world, provides a deepening and strengthening of faith, and that’s what you see with the president.”

“I remember working with him around the Scripture he would use at the memorial service for the miners in West Virginia,” DuBois says, referring to the 2010 tragedy that left 29 dead. “These are obviously moments when one's faith is strengthened.”

The unparalleled trials of the Oval Office have been known to deepen the religiosity of presidents ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan.

Hunter says the same thing has happened to this president: “His faith has been growing as the challenges of the presidency have become more naturally the main part of his own everyday life.”

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One of Hunter’s first Oval Office encounters with Obama came shortly after the president took office, at a time when the economy was shedding 750,000 jobs a month.

“He acknowledged at that meeting what many may know but few remember: that by the time issues get to the president, there are no simple or clear answers or they would have been solved by others,” Hunter says. “So we prayed.”

A few months later, Hunter was in the Oval Office again, noticing that “the unremitting heaviness of the office was setting in.”

“I saw something that has been consistent ever since: He cannot just pray for himself and his family,” Hunter says by e-mail. “At least I have never seen it. His faith, his heart, always includes those who are being left out through no fault of their own.”

Despite the changes they’ve seen in Obama, both Hunter and DuBois are uncomfortable with the word “transformation” when it comes to Obama’s White House faith life.

“The president doesn’t deal in labels,” says DuBois. “He knows God’s grace is sufficient for him and beyond that doesn’t get into labels, evangelical or mainline. He’s a proud Christian.”

Loving God by loving your neighbor

When the Rev. Sharon Watkins and a group of fellow Protestant ministers sat down with Obama at the White House a couple years into the president’s term, she knew the pastors would get wonky about religion.

“You get a bunch of ministers in the room and we’re all church geeks – it’s theological,” says Watkins, who along with the other pastors had come to talk about poverty. “But the president got every biblical allusion and reference. … He’s just a person who is biblically and theologically literate.”

If Obama’s personal theology has grown more conservative, he is inclined to apply it toward liberal political ends.

“I’d be remiss if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends,” Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. “So instead, I must try - imperfectly, but I must try - to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation.”

In signing laws that have increased Wall Street regulations and stopped health insurance companies from rejecting patients with preexisting conditions, Obama said at the breakfast, he wanted to “make the economy stronger for everybody.”

“But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years,” he continued. “And I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’”

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

Obama went on to frame decisions as disparate as ending tax breaks for the wealthy and defending foreign aid as examples of biblical principles in action, quoting Jesus’ teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required” and invoking the “biblical call to care for the least of these.”

That last biblical reference also loomed large in another 2011 White House meeting between Obama and a group of religious leaders. They’d come to urge the president to protect programs for the poor amid his fight with Congress over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, a progressive activist, recalls the meeting:

In pressing Obama to take cuts to those programs off the table, one Roman Catholic bishop told the president that “the text that we are obliged to obey does not say ‘as you have done to the middle class you have done to me.’”

“It says as you’ve done to the least of these, you have done to me,” the bishop said.
“I know that text,” Obama responded. The passage is from the Matthew 25 in the New Testament.

“So there was this very rigorous conversation,” Wallis says, “and we pressed him on applying Matthew 25 to this decision about protecting those who were the least of these.”

Ultimately, the programs that the religious leaders were lobbying for were protected in the debt ceiling deal, though it’s unclear how big a role the religious leaders played.

For liberal Christians, such victories embody the justice of the social gospel, the idea that believers should do God’s work – even aid the Second Coming - by improving society.

“I do notice that sometimes, like on health care, when [Obama] says it’s the right thing to do, it’s him saying you love God by loving your neighbor,” says Watkins, who leads a mainline denomination called Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “He’s doing the best he can to be guided by God so he can be a faithful follower of Christ.”

Skeptics might write off Obama’s Bible talk as sanctimonious window dressing, aimed at no higher purpose than connecting with churchgoers in the purple and red states. But translating the Good Book into progressive politics has always been a mainstay of Obama’s political biography.

‘An awesome God in the blue states’

When Obama landed on Chicago’s South Side in 1985 as an idealistic 23-year-old, eager to start work as a community organizer, he was already a political liberal.

He was also a man without a religion, the son of a spiritual-but-not-religious mother whom he would later describe as “a lonely witness for secular humanism” and an estranged African father who was born a Muslim but died an atheist.

Obama’s work in Chicago, built around causes like tenants’ rights and job training for laid-off workers, was steeped in religion.

His salary was paid by a coalition of churches. And the job took him into many black churches, among the most influential institutions in the neighborhood he was organizing, including Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ.

After a lifelong struggle to fit in, set in motion by his mixed-race parents, Trinity felt like home.

“I came to realize that without a vessel for beliefs, without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith,” he wrote later, “I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart.”

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who brought Obama to Christianity, ignited controversy that almost brought down Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

The changes that Wright’s church wrought weren’t just personal. Baptism and active membership there equipped Obama with an ability to connect with churchgoers he was trying to organize – and, years later, with religious voters he was trying to win over – in a deeper way.

Wright, who did not respond to interview requests for this story, gave Obama a moral framework for his liberal politics. The pastor espoused a black liberation theology that equates Jesus’ life and death with the plight of those who Wright saw as disenfranchised, from African-Americans to Palestinians.

“Wright is the religious version of almost everything Obama already believed without religion,” says Mansfield, who spent time at Trinity for his book. “It’s a support of oppressed people anywhere in the world.”

When Obama emerged on the national stage, his comfortable religiosity and sensitivity to the concerns of churchgoing Americans helped distinguish him as a Democrat.

“We worship an awesome God in the blue states,” he declared to huge applause in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, catching the attention of young Christians like Joshua DuBois.

But at that same convention, Obama’s party nominated John Kerry, a candidate who eschewed God talk and who lost his own Catholic demographic on Election Day.

Four years later, Obama hired religious outreach staffers like DuBois for his presidential campaign and made a point of meeting with Christian Right leaders who’d never before heard from a Democratic presidential nominee.

Obama went on to win in places like Indiana and North Carolina, evangelical-heavy states that a Democratic presidential nominee hadn’t taken in decades.

If the Rev. Wright had almost brought down his presidential campaign, the controversial minister had also long ago laid the groundwork for Obama to connect with the churchgoing voters who had turned their backs on Kerry.

The politics of confusion

As president, the line between Obama’s personal convictions and his political prowess on religious matters can sometimes be hard to discern.

Obama invited the conservative evangelical megapastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his 2009 inauguration, ruffling liberal feathers. He introduced an annual Easter prayer breakfast as a new White House tradition. He gives shout-outs to young evangelical leaders in major speeches.

Obama asked evangelical pastor Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration, riling some of the president's liberal supporters.

All can be seen as genuine reflections of Obama’s faith and his appreciation for the role of religious leaders in public life. And in a nation where more people believe in angels than in evolution - a fact that the president himself has publicly noted - all promise political benefits.

The same could be said for Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, and for presidents as diverse as Jimmy Carter and Reagan: All had deep spiritual streaks that enabled the political art of courting religious Americans, especially evangelicals.

The irony, in Obama’s case, is that despite his orthodox utterances - there’s “something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective,” he said at this year's Easter breakfast - polls continue to show widespread confusion about his faith.

Only half the country can correctly identify Obama as Christian, according to one recent Pew poll, while 17% falsely believe he is a Muslim.

“He’s a Christian and he professes his Christian faith - I don’t know what else this man has to do to get that into folks’ ears,” says Caldwell, who was also close to George W. Bush.

President Obama at the 2011 White House Easter prayer breakfast, an annual tradition that he started.

But Obama’s public piety has helped him bond with young evangelical leaders, who are less tied to the GOP than their parents’ generation.

“I was struck by the specificity of what he described in terms of theology and what it means to him,” says Gabe Lyons, one such leader, describing a White House Easter breakfast he attended. “His message is very specific and very orthodox.”

Where exactly that new orthodoxy comes from – the pressures of the White House, a new circle of religious advisers or, to a certain degree, from political calculation – may become clearer after Obama's presidency, if he opens up about such matters.

Until then, the president is likely to keep speaking "Christianese" - and resisting Christian labels.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (4,988 Responses)
  1. JohnBorg

    I'm one of the few who likes Obama's religious background. Liberation theology is powerful. It stands for the poor and oppressed. Don't listen to Glenn Beck's rant about it being Marxist. Beck will do anything to make anyone questioning structures that hurt the poor look bad. Anyhow, I don't buy that Obama is becoming more of a "born-again" type of Christian. I think he knows what religion connects with certain parts of the country and he's using their language. Its not that he disagrees with them, but an African-American liberation-esque Church uses different lingo. The number one reason I don't relate to evangelicals, as a Christian, is their rhetoric and lingo. I think Obama is the same.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Luv U

      Liberals do away with personal responsibility in charitable giving. If you're forced to give to the government, which is inefficient as a charitable organization, then there is no personal responsibility. Giving should be through Faith-based organizations and individual contributions. Obama and Biden give next to nothing to charity compared with their Republican counterparts.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Chris Koffend

      Smoke and mirrors – Hope and Change. Neither works in the real world.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  2. JP

    Go see the movie 2016: Obama's America. That will explain alot about him.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      We are in Obama's America-he's been President for 4 yrs.

      The stock market has DOUBLED and he stopped the Great Recession.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Chooch0253

      You have to be kidding? Hey don't look know. There was a movie called 2012 and the world fell apart so to speak........better start packing to go to a new Continent that is going to appear. What a total ridiculous posting. Not to mention promoting a movie based in total nonsense that was made to not just make money, but to get the already ignorant ranters to rant even more.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  3. fortruth47

    Another story about Christianity without one single word of the central issue of the bible and the life of Christ. Jesus died on a cross to save man from his SIN. No one is a Christian until they repent of there sin and leave a life of sin. No one who promotes a life of sin can be saved or is a true Christian. Good works saves no one. Mt 7:22 Many will say to me [Jesus] on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

    October 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  4. Tom

    Ho only sounds born again when mentioning the quran which he always says holy quran, he never mentions God or Jesus...

    October 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Chris Koffend

      Obama's heart and beliefs are with the Reverend Wright. However, his campaign wants to make him look like a Christian. Whatever it takes to get votes he'll do or say. Remember his promise to Puttin, when he thought the mic was turned off – that's the real Obama. Say and do anything for votes, because once the elections over and if he's elected, watch out for a radical on the class war path.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  5. Greg

    CNN the all new fox news. What about Romeny Faith...he belongs to a cult!!!!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  6. the first shall be last

    we have mormon president get over it

    October 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • roadkilled

      After death, Romney BECOMES God. So, be nice and vote (R).

      October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Luv U

      Did you mean moron?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Chooch0253

      The posting you just made is exactly why I have a lot of problem believing many people are as religious or as "Christian" as they claim or would have others believe. I think people use religion to justify ignorance in most cases.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Luv U

      Perhaps, Chooch, you wouldn't get sarcasm if it hit you on the head?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Chooch0253

      The posting I made was not made in response to your posting. I was addressing the original poster you also responded to.. Perhaps you should pay attention instead of thinking you are superior to others.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  7. Bob

    Although I don't agree with many of Obama's policies, I at least had respect for him as an intelligent person until I read this. I find it frightening that someone in a position with so much power could believe in such utter nonsense.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  8. Skeptical

    It is my belief that president Obama like may presidents is a Myth created by their party to win an election . He has forwarded the agenda of the progressive left very effectively. People from the progressive left love him and worship him. The people from the conservative right don't .

    October 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Luv U

      The cult personality was started by Chris Matthews and his tingly leg and promoted by The View.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  9. pete and maureen

    CNN doing a front page Obama/ Reverend Wright article on the eve of the election?
    Dog whistle much?

    To be fair and balanced, CNN should do a story on curious Mormon beliefs...
    "Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves."
    If you front page dabble in one man's religion you should muck around in his opponent's faith at the same time.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Bob

      "Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it". Wow, what a wacky belief (sarcasm). Although I don't believe in gods or fairies or any other such nonsense, the idea that if there was one he might have created more than one world with life is much more sensible than the Christian belief that their god created the entire universe just for one tiny little planet.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Chooch0253

      If you pay attention and look at the lead-in to this story on the Home page, you might actually be able to see a little inset photo of Romney with the line right next to it....."A look @ Romney's faith journey".... but who knows. You missed it the first time.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  10. Buck

    Its funny how the so called christians on here are quick to judge Obama as if they're jesus christ. Some people just amaze me. I guess its easier to pick and choose which parts of the bible you want to follow than to follow all the teachings.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Truth

      This n1gger deserves nothing more than to be drawn and quartered. Who in the fucc are you to speak.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Oh oh "truth" that sounded like you just threatened the sitting President of the US. I think the secret service may need to be directed to your post.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Chooch0253

      @ Truth.. I guess you call yourself Christian don't you bigot?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Chooch0253

      It is not funny to me. It seems pretty standard actually. A lot of people claim to be Christians. A lot of people claim to be educated as well. Neither are necessarily true. Look at the comments. It is plainly evident neither is the case for most of the posters.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Luv U

      Of course all the liberals assume "Truth" is a Christian when he's a liberal troll trying to make Christians look bad. Iberians are such dupes.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Luv U

      LOL No offense to Iberians!! Blasted automatic spelling checker!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  11. Allan Hoffman

    I found this article amazing! As for me I am a Jesus Christ follower first I know the difference of Christianlikese and Christianity! I know what transformations are and thru transformation and application of the teachings and gifts of Jesus and His father as well as the Holy Spirit (3 in 1) I am able to discern pray and walk by Grace not "reaching or I guess" but allowing A God that loves me and our nation to Love me first!

    October 28, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  12. Phil

    Billy Graham says " Hey Barry, what do those squigly lines mean on your wedding ring right there?" To which Barack Hussein Obama replies "There in no God but Allah, why do you ask?"

    October 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • midwest rail

      Another "loving" contemporary Christian chimes in with a lie – I'm shocked, I tell you, just shocked.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • BYRON

      AMEN! – A Wolf in Sheeps clothing! – DO NOT BE FOOLED PEOPLE!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • brad

      The only proof that ring says what you say it says has only been offered on severely racists websites.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Luv U

      Midwest, you don't seem particularly loving, and I doubt you believe the Bible, so why are you being such a hypocrite?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Chooch0253

      @ Luv U.. see how it works if I am making a posting directed at you? "Pot meet Kettle".

      October 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  13. Name*penguin

    Knowing Obama consults a group of "Christian" leaders makes me less likely to vote for him. This country may need more faith in God but it most definetly needs much less religion. Religion has done nothing but cause conflict. I'll let God judge my moral conduct. The last thing I need is for a group of religious zealots enforcing what they deem is God's law.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Chooch0253


      October 28, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  14. Priorities

    Both of them need to get off the campaign trail post haste, and their asses back to their respective positions to oversee and protect the people "they so believe in" weather this storm. Morals and ethics will go a long way in my book regardless of which party they are running for... My vote would have gone for the first Man back to his post.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  15. RichardSRussell

    So what we're faced with is a choice between Mr. Flat Earth and Mr. Sun Goes Around It.
    A thousand years from now, historians will look back at our era of insanity and wonder how we managed to tie our own shoes.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  16. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    "Evolving" Christian faith ???

    Claiming to have faith; and having faith are NOT the same thing.

    It's OK to lie to infidels... You know Non-Liberals
    The end of getting elected; justifies the means.


    FORWARD -> -> ->
    To total depravity !!!

    October 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  17. Alex

    So you're saying the White House is a sect? They don't let anybody in who's non-Christian... That's a thought by the way... Have you seen any non-Christian president of the United States??? That's discrimination!

    October 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  18. AC

    I am so glad to see by the post that people see this article just like I do. It is amazing what the media will try and do at the last minute to get votes. You shouldn't have been so obvious in your attempt to paint Obama to be something he is not. This type of journalism especially in the "Faith" section makes me want to delete CNN from all of my media. Your so transparent in your efforts.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Chooch0253

      Did you by any chance happen to note on the lead-in to this article, the little photo inset of Romney with "A look at Romney's faith journey"? Not that I am in support of Romulus from Kolob, but come on, there are not conspiracies by everyone and everything that occurs or is written.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  19. Walt Peters

    Rev. Wright embarassed Obama with his black theology religion. Obama had to distance himself. Now he leans towards the muslims and tends to support them. Nov. 6th can't come soon enough for me. He needs to go back to Chicago and stay out of our lives.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • BYRON

      I'll buy the TICKET!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  20. Lowell Bethel

    He's a MUSLIM

    October 28, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Joe

      Lowell Bethel your an idiot!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Truth

      If we truly intend to move humanity forward in the future, we MUST eliminate all n1ggers and sand n1ggers off the face of our planet.
      There is simply no other option for peace, equality, and evolution.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Eric

      Who cares if he is German? If he wins, Let's just hope he gets a clue..

      October 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Blackdude

      hey hey hey, get back in the bed and take this n1gger PLOW!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      He's not and even if he was...so what?

      You think your version of god is any better??? Last I checked God told Isaac to kill his son as a test. That's some weird book of morals you got there. Almost sounds like fairy tales with the magic garden and magic apples doesn't it?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • brad

      Such thoughtful insight. Pray tell, how did you happen to come across the proof of this?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • JP

      I couldn't agree more!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      I see the SS is alive and well here in America.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • BYRON

      Yes, Yes he is!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Chooch0253

      @ Joe You're not your.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      In reason I trust, last I checked you were attempting to appear knowledgeable about the Bible. Did God really tell Isaac to kill his son? Can you tell us who Isaac's son was? Do you possibly mean Jacob was told by God to kill Isaac? Is it possible that if you cant seem to get the name of one of the leading characters in the Bible right in one of the leading stories in the Bible that possibly you also missed the point of the story? If you get better at pretending you know the Bible it will make your comments espousing your biblical genius easier to believe. You are an idiot.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:37 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.