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. altapres

    A christian who supports abortion? CNN is trying to let this guy to get more votes. I pray that he doesn't win & pray also that CNN will avoid being an obvious liberal bias.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Please keep praying. It's the only thing that works. Better than voting. Really. Don't let up. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • glorydays

      and I pray that stupid haters don't take over the country.....

      October 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • In Reason I Trust


      We should tell believers their votes can now be cast by prayer.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  2. glorydays

    Religion is PERSONAL. Keep it to yourself and OUT of the government.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Luv U

      Only Democrat atheists say that. If you really believe in your religion, it is impossible to separate it, because it is the underlying and driving principle of your life. If you don't really believe, like Liberals, then it's pretty easy to separate, because liberals have no driving principles other than keeping God out of politics and promoting the immorality of home dual lifestyle and abortion.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • pattydiva

      I would say the media is the culprit here. They keep throwing it in our faces.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • glorydays

      Only one of dem dar slow home schooled folk would equate (make equal to) comprehend (understand) "keep it to yourself" as being liberal or atheistic.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  3. cyclonewarningcenter

    Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said tonight that his sources tell him that Obama was one of the people in the room watching the Benghazi attack go down and both he and Col. David Hunt agree it would have taken an order by the president to intervene. Further, Col. Hunt said that we were only 20 min away by jet and a couple of hours away by AC-130 gunships and special forces, and the decision not to intervene had to be political.


    October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • glorydays

      FOX....surprise! Gullible fools.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Luv U

      Dood, the definition of gullibility is buying into the lying president's rhetoric. They sat and watched all day without doing a blamed thing. This is no commander in chief.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      I'm sorry I forget...was Romeny or Obama that killed Bin Laden? Oh that's right it was Obama. Thank you Mr President.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • glorydays

      You even have FOX spelling!!!!!!!!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Tara

      I am sure we will see this on CNN...right?

      October 29, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  4. Kingaire

    Me thinks he and the media are bit worried LOL

    October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  5. Freedom

    What a crock! Hurricane Sandy is headed to the WH and D.C. , maybe God is trying to tell Obama something.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • pattydiva

      That's a good thought. Hadn't had it myself until you mentioned it. But you are right, God works in mysterious ways. And the way Obama has mocked Christianity, he probably has a little something for Mr. Obama.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  6. fred smith

    What a crock. He has no faith. He only cares about himself. Ask the Libya ambasador and the doc that ratted bin laden. This is such a shill from CNN they obviously have no faith either. Remember the demos voting God out of their platform?

    October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  7. Joe

    The one thing Americans, who care, need to realize is that America is being radicalized by right wing faiths and groups. The people in the middle are gone or at least I have not seen them in the lat three elections. You know who I'm talking about right when I say the people in the middle? Well let me explain. At one time it was not radical right or radical left who decided elections it was the rational people in the middle. These people were normally moderate republicans and conservative democrats. I submit to you that moderate republicans don't exist anymore! They have become slaves to the tea party, Christian right, and other far right groups. In short the republican party has been hijacked. I used to be a moderate republican but Sarah Pailin, the tea party, and Christian right wing fundamentalist made me realize how lost the party is. All the Christian right cares about is butting their nose in my personal business. Abortion is a personal issue, gay rights is a personal issue, the way I worship is a personal issue. But the hell out Christians! The Tea Party has never made any sense and the far right are just a bunch of loons just like the far left is a bunch of loons. For you right wing Christians let me just say this: Separation of Church and State. I don't want my political leaders to tell me who, how or weather to worship. I don't mind my leaders citing God in a general fashion but I could care less what religion they are. What I care about is preserving this nation, it's social safety nets, it's liberties, and protecting it's citizens from all forms of aggression both foreign and domestic.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • fred smith

      Read the comments from the Obama supporters. Like abortion and gay marriage is the biggist problem in the country today. You are so full of it. You dont care about anyone but yourself. Obama does not care about you and will throw you under the bus in a second. Obama only cares about himself as is the case with most conflicted demos. The tea party and Christians are the least of your problems. Stop blaming others. Your government is your biggest threat. Bla cks make up over half the fed gov and 80 percent of the courts. Get your own house in order.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • BYRON

      However; we DO NEED someone to STOP the KILLING of the innocent children. If you ever get a chance to SEE a PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION (which Obama is 100% FOR), you will want someone with a heart of LOVE in office, not a murderer. If he can put THAT into law, how can he possibly care about ANYONE??

      October 28, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  8. OldMo

    All Christians mock the Bible and fellow Christians. Also, Christians wear rings on their wedding fingers that say, "There is no God but Allah." In one of his books he states, "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Also what true Christian wouldn't want to force to commit national suicide by returning to their pre '67 borders? Yes, Prez BOzo is a great Christian man. If you don't believe me, believe him because the truth is very important to him.

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

      Love it!!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • midwest rail

      His ring says no such thing – that story has been debunked repeatedly, but you "loving" contemporary Christians have no problem perpetuating a hateful lie.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  9. GM1953

    CNN sure is trying to convince us Obama is a christian, aren't they? Obama is whatever he thinks will win him an election. He only claims he's christian because he thinks i's what is required to hold office

    October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Wow...now that's some bull. Romney makes up his persona day by day and now you say it's Obama???

      Please join the rest of us in reality, we miss you.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • BYRON

      CLEAR AS GLASS! Amen!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • pattydiva

      Agreed, 100%

      October 28, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  10. aceryder

    Seriously, where is one to go fornimpartial, objective news. Certainlying not fox or msnbc, but now even CNN paints Obama in nothing but the best light. This article is proof. Every fact check is partially true for O and not for R. It's sad.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • pattydiva

      I agree. And why wouldn't anyone believe that he's doing this only for the eyes of the American people, not because he really feels this way. He shouldn't have been put in office if he had no Christian beliefs before. The Morman religion is Christian enough for Billy Graham, he's Christian enough for me. I still think he's a liar just showing the public what they want to see.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  11. Kingaire

    Say what your want but I know a lot of Mormons and each one would would give up most of what they have for a friend or a church member. I know they are honest to a fault. You all can preach its a cult which just shows your ignorance. They said that about my Catholic religion too until Kennedy was elected. I just want an honest person who loves America and has a few brain cells.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • GM1953

      You're right. I'm an atheist in a very Mormon neighborhood. Most Mormons I've met are simply very decent, family oriented people. I'd rather have a Mormon in office any day that a fraud PRETENDING to believe

      October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • BYRON

      GM1953: Thank you for your honesty!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  12. BostonSteve

    CNN reports on this but reports nothing on the Benghazi terrorists attacks. I heard an interview from the father of one of the former Navy Seals killed in the terrorist attach in Benghazi. He said that President Barack Obama wouldn't even look him in the eye and that Vice President Joe Biden was disrespectful during the ceremony when his son's body returned to America. He also said that the White House's story on the attack doesn't pass the smell test. Why is this not reported on?

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

      Because real news organizations employ people who practice journalism, not propaganda. I'll bet a nickel that it's being "reported" plenty over on Faux News and AM talk radio. Where did YOU hear about it?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • rage-rian

      Not one reported story! CNN is a joke. Well said!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Anna

      posted by: RichardSRussell

      "Because real news organizations employ people who practice journalism, not propaganda. I'll bet a nickel that it's being "reported" plenty over on Faux News and AM talk radio. Where did YOU hear about it?"

      Well, I for one, read it over on ABC News just like plenty of other people. You should see the comments under that story at ABC – the public is thanking ABC for reporting the scandal. It appears that you're in dire need of finding news sources that practice truthful journalism, not one-sided propaganda.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  13. Shonella

    2 weekend in row article on Obamas religion? The only way to judge somebody's love of God, is by there actions.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • BYRON

      You must be talking about how is is for sucking out the brains of the innocent children during a partial birth abortion; "CHRISTIAN"? "OBAMA"? FAIL!- His "Bible" must be "Mien Caufe"

      October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • David


      October 28, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • midwest rail

      What the he!l is "Mien Caufe" ?

      October 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • BYRON

      midwest rail: Sorry about the TYPO; should have been MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler...

      October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  14. Mike

    Obama finds his faith. Just in time for an election. How ironic.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  15. hahaha...you must be kidding....CNN, this is just too much...

    so now he's a super christian....lol....I just love these wonderful stories CNN keeps dreaming up.

    If ANYTHING, obama is now USING the idea that he is religious to try and court evangelicals to vote for him?

    wow, I thought he was a panderer, but this take the cake! the man will say anything to anyone for a vote.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  16. Truth

    N1ggers don't have "faith", they have voodoo and witchcraft. Fuggin africans.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Better hope there isn't a hell with all that hate in your heart.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Someone (Truth) feels a little "small" around people of color.

      I wonder why that is? Is there something small on your mind Truth? Something that makes you feel inferior to a black man with a havard law degree that IS your President weather you like it or not? Lol

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

      I had to report that ... Those name are just not right for ANYONE!

      October 28, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Truth

      I guess that's why both him and he sheboon n1gger wife are both DISBARRED for life any cannot practice law anymore, right? Fuggin n1gger lover....

      October 28, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Truth

      P.S. I don't give a sh!t where he went to school at, as a FOREIGN STUDENT, at least I'm a human being, and not a completely worthless n1gger such as yourself. o.-

      October 28, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  17. Impeach

    Conveniently finds religion one week before election.

    Sounds like someone coming to the realization that the end is near.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Truth

      What will all these worthless n1ggers do, once Romney cuts their food stamps and n1gger welfare out for good?
      Let us all hope so! I myself am highly looking forward to getting the chance to shoot a bunch of filthy n1ggers from the comfort of my own roof.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  18. Ace Niqqah

    He's a buttsniffing muzzy.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  19. aceryder

    I'm not religious so this makes zero difference to me, but this newfound "faith" is pandering for the religious vote and again shows how CNN is desperate to give people any reason to vote for Obama.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Ok lets be clear on this. If you want to be a politician in this country you must pander to the lowest common denominator. Wave the Flag, pick a Church, and pick a sports team. Wouldn't it nice to not have stoop to this level, what a waste and you never truly
      know their true positions.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  20. J. Parker

    You've got to be kidding? The media and this article is a joke! Mr. Obama has spoken his faith by his "works" which prove he certainly is not "Christ-like" and does not make decisions for our nation with Biblical principals.
    2 Corinthians 11:13-15
    New International Version (NIV)
    13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

    October 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      Why are you not in your Temple now.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • BYRON


      October 28, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Bibletruth

      A Christian can do all kinds of things and be acceptable to God, except one thing and that is to sin. Sin is the breaking of God's law, also known as the 10 commandments. The 10 commandments are the foundation of God's government in terms of humanity. The 10 commandments are the very transcript of God's character, otherwise called divine love. It is precisely this divine love (Jesus Christ in you, the hope of glory) that is imparted to the believer via the Holy Spirit which makes that person a christian. Anything else or anything less is not christianity, but just a lets pretend nothingness in terms of eternal realities. To be a christian is to be at peace.

      October 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race. 1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      Christ was 'crucified' for the sins of 'all mankind' and not just a chosen lot. Past, present and future sins of all sinners' sakes Christ Jesus was crossed.

      1John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world."

      Lettuce Love,

      October 28, 2012 at 1:52 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.