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. CH

    Obama would say he was a Justin Bieber fan if it would gain him votes.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  2. Kevin Lenihan

    You're kidding, CNN, right? Look, Bill Maher actually got it right(I promise to never say that again). Obama is not Muslim. He's not Christian. He's an atheist. Does anyone seriously doubt that?

    I'm not knocking him for that. I am an atheist. It doesn't bother me that Obama is too. And actually it doesn't bother me that he pretends to be Christian. Atheists don't win elections.

    What bothers me is that once again CNN seems to be actively strategizing with and for the Obama campaign. Obama didn't start going to church as President until conservatives criticized him for not going to church. Then he found God again, and his family had to tag along.

    CNN knows this too. This is just another attempt at gathering votes for him. Absolutely shameless, and transparent. Come on, CNN, please stick to the news.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Keith J

      I would sooner vote for him again if he stood up and said " I am an atheist". I am not comfortable with a Morman, but at least he is honest about it. In my close circle of friends are Christians, Muslims and Atheists. We all are friends because we are honest about it and have good conversions about it but respect others rights to believe or not believe as we wish. The key word here is honest.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  3. anonymous

    I wonder if Obama's heart is softening on the abortion issue. He's been such a supporter of hard core abortion rights. If Jesus is working on his heart, I would expect some conviction and turning away from the kind of support he has offered on that issue in the past. Also, I would expect to see him backtracking on things like his belief that there's more than one way to The Father and his endorsement of Islam as being just as valid as Christianity. It's one thing to love and respect your neighbor. It's another to stand up as president of the United States and give full throated endorsements to things that are just not Biblical. My prayers continue that God would show us all the truth and help us be of one accord in His church. There are nonessential (adiaphora) issues that are neither required nor prohibited by scripture. As Christians we need to respect and lovingly accomodate a variety of opinions. How best to take care of the least of these from an economic and political point of view I think is one of those areas. There is more than one valid and good way to accomplish that end. But in the past Obama's opinions and personal beliefs have flown in the face of the core of the gospel and what it means to be a follower of Christ. My prayer is that Jesus work on his heart and show him where he might be in error. As president of the United States he wields alot of influence esp. with the younger generation.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Keith J

      Amen. That is what our country really needs. If I believed that were true, I would vote for him and campaign 24 /7 until the election. His recent new support of gay marriage leads me to believe otherwise. Far too many people are "Christians" we they need to be

      October 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • cryslas

      Obama simply supports a woman's right to choose based on a 40 year old law, Roe v Wade. Romney also had the exact same position (see actual footage on youtube as Governor of MA). He has ONLY changed his stance recently to gain the votes of evangelical Christians. My Born-again Christian neice had the heart-wrenching decision to abort when she found out she had breast cancer during pregnancy. She chose to have 3 more years with her beautiful children and possibly more. Had she not had an abortion, she would have died during the pregnancy along with the child. EVERY decision to abort is deeply personal and should NOT be done by the government. The difficult decision should be made by mother, father, family and church if necessary.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • anonymous

      crylas – I'm so sorry to hear about your nieces cancer..... might I be so presumptuous as to ask how she is doing? I would like to offer prayers......

      October 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Keith J

      I have no issue with necessary abortions. Life and death decisions are not issues of a woman's right to "choose". That is a issue of life and health and no" true " Christian would doubt that. My issue with our president is his new stance on Gay Marriage. There is really no logical way to rationalize that with anything in the Bible. If he supports that it is really not an issue with me until CNN claims he is an evangelical Christian to help get him re-elected. Gay Marriage and Evangelical Christian can not be reconciled.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • anonymous

      Keith J – your reply on the abortion issue is well said and I couldn't agree more. The gay marriage issue is a difficult one for me. Jesus says to love our neighbor as ourself but He also says to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul. I just can't reconcile how to love the Lord my God and embrace, condone and vote for just anything that anyone wants to do. I will be called a hater for what I just said and I just don't understand that. I don't hate anyone.....

      October 28, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  4. Zuddy

    I hope that some day we can elect an atheist president. I worry about the mentality of someone running our country with their heads full of fairy tales.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  5. maxnadir

    People can debate about what Obama believes forever (and they will), here is what actually know Romney believes it boggles the mind:

    The American Indians are descended from Jews who sailed to America in 600BC
    -God is a flesh and blood man and had physical relations with Mary to create Jesus
    -Jesus and Satan are brothers
    -Mormon men can become gods and live on their own planet
    -Joseph Smith met God and Jesus in person, and God told him all other Christian faiths were an "abomination"
    -Joseph Smith used magic glasses and his magic treasure seeking hat to create the Book of Mormon

    Chew on that for a while before you vote for him. I know its hard to believe, but those are all actual Mormon belief and doctrine. And there's much more.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Sam

      Not true

      October 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • cryslas

      Actually true. I have many Mormon relatives in Utah. They are very good people, but their religion is very, very far from mainstream Christianity. And the very scary thing is their belief in MORMON Theocracy, that is Mormon's will rule the U.S. and the world for 1000 years with Jesus himself after Armageddon. All other religions will be destroyed on earth and Mormonism will reign. And this is absolutely true. Romney is very high up in the church. He believes in Armageddon and he will be Commander-in-Chief with his right to have a say on the nuclear button. And he is already talking about bombing Iran.
      This is what CNN and all other news stations should be reporting on.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • John Thomas

      I don't know whether this statement is accuracte or not about the philosophies of mormons, however, if it is accurate then, no wonder their called moron's...er...I mean...what's it called again? Pitiful!

      Also, if what Pres. Obama is said to have gone thru is true/accurate then, I say that it's good for him and for us to have a Pres. of the U.S. that has bowed his knee's to a power higher than himself...the maker of life itself. Not bowed to other men and to our whims but to the One who made something from nothing.

      From that I will add that yes we are all related because He ( God ) is the One and Christ is the Beginning of the creation of God ( the first thing that He made ) in that from Him, we all are derived.

      As for Lucifer, he fell before sin and temptation existed. He had the same instructions that God gave the other ArcAngel's, obey me, follow me, lean not to your own understanding and never forget who made you.

      From that I will say,"kudo's" to Pres.Obama for keeping his mouth shut during the first debate. He ( Obama ) let the Spirit move in/through him and sometimes silence is the best medecine. Romney knows everything and he knows it. Or he thinks that he does anyway.

      The U.S. ( We the People ) don't need a big mouth braggart calling the shorts on world and international matters.


      October 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. Sun

    The video they don't want you to see.


    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  7. Butch Bakers

    "Today I am pledging to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office," – Barack Obama – Feb. 23, 2009

    Obama is the first President to have 2 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.
    Obama is the first President to have 3 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.
    Obama is the first President to have 4 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.

    According to FactCheck dot org: In a new TV ad and in his speeches, President Obama makes an INFLATED claim to have added 5.2 million new jobs. The total added during his time in office is ACTUALLY ABOUT 325,000.

    Obama states how Romney will fail the middle class, but Obama has already failed it. Median household income declined $777, to $50,054 before taxes under Obama.

    Obama appeared on the David Letterman show 7 days after the Benghazi attack and stated: "We had a VIDEO that was released by somebody who lives here- sort of a shadowy character... This caused great offense in much of the Muslim world, but what also happened was extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the one- the consulate- in Libya." But perhaps the most significant development from the hearings on Benghazi was testimony that there was NEVER ANY REASON to attribute the attack to a protest of an internet VIDEO.

    Obama stated in the Third Debate: "First of all, Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I've made that clear throughout my presidency." But according to an article from OneJerusalem, "In his State Department speech to the Arab world, President Obama threw Israel overboard as he demanded that Israel must make major concessions to achieve peace in the region. When you cut through his rhetoric, Obama believes that Israel must make major concessions that include Jerusalem and the right of return so there can be peace."

    Obama just lies too much for him to be a true Christian.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Keith J

      Regrettably many Christians lie for they are sinners just like everyone else. But Real Christians don't take a stance against the bible and it's commandments

      October 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  8. BobRayTalbot

    I want to know why CNN is not reporting that the CIA asked THREE (3) times for help during the Benghazi attack!!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  9. Barack

    What a suckup. Everybody knows I am a black musim.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Truth

      worthless kenyan muslim n1gger^

      October 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  10. Sun

    When will we ask about Romney's beliefs?


    October 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • James Harley

      I gotta know. Are there really people as stupid as you that actually click on that hogwash?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Keith J

      Really you needed to post this 3 times? You trying to convince yourself? Romney is not making an issue of religion. Obama or at least CNN is! I voted for Obama! Before he made his real beliefs apparent. I have serious doubts now and so should every Christian. I am not comfortable with Mormonism, but at least they are sincere believers.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  11. HGB

    I'd put an atheist in the oval office if he could fix Obama's mess...

    October 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  12. Sun

    Christians need to see this video and decide.


    October 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  13. James Harley

    Typical CNN story. Can't let him lose. Need a story that shows he is a Christian and not some other faith. Gotta bring those flyover people back into the fold. Time is running out.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  14. Keith J

    Nice words, but Jesus tells us we can determine true faith by the actions of a person. Would a true evangelical support Gay Marriage?

    October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  15. Sun

    Have you seen this video?


    October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • CaesarXIII

      Nothing more entertaining than Liberal Bigots... What a joke your party is. The face of the real democratic party.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  16. Good reporting

    Its nice that CNN reports something that has no evidence of being true and ignores Benghazi.
    Thanks comrades!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  17. Ligas

    obama is not a muslim

    October 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Truth

      He is without a doubt a n1gger though. That's about the same thing, on a scale of human worth. (0)

      October 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Ben Ghazi

      Statement without proof, mere wishful thinking.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  18. Frank

    I guess Benghazi is not an important enough issue for CNN to cover, LOL. Perhaps they should do a page one story on Michelle Obama's fashion designer or Obama's hair gel company. What a farce this organization has become... Too bad the American people are smart enough to see right through this and get their news from actual news outlets rather than these groupies.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  19. Johnnyu1

    You have got to be kiding:

    Ever wonder why a US drone failed in Iran?
    Ever wonder why Obama watched the brutal murder of the Ambassador and 3 others in real time and did nothing to help?
    Ever wonder why Obama tells Putin’s crony “I’ll have more leverage on missiles after the election?
    Ever you wonder why there has been so much terrorism going on around the world?
    Wonder why there has been an increase to Muslim up rising’s lately?
    Ever wonder why the play the race card so much?
    Wonder why someone would think “voting is like doing it the first time”?
    Wonder why Obama uses and belittles children?
    Wonder why he has a ring inscribed “allah is a disciple of GOD” but he says he’s a Christian?
    Some say foreign policy is not as important as the economy/jobs, maybe?
    Ever go to a place of worship and from the pulpit you hear the “GD” words, would you go back to the place of worship?
    This is what Obama thinks of you if you’re an American – Watch this: http://youtu.be/ySM63ES8t4U

    October 28, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • midwest rail

      Do you ever wonder why you've bought into stories that have been debunked repeatedly ?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • El Flaco

      Johnny, you are as crazy as an outhouse rodent.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Truth

      He's right, you race-traitor n1gger lovers just can't admit defeat though.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • James

      wonder why if you were in another country and said this about a leader you would be beheaded

      October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Truth

      They could try...I'd just shoot every last one of them though.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Truth, I misjudged you. You couldn't be older than 11.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  20. El Flaco

    That cunning fox Richard Nixon invented the "Southern Strategy" for the GOP that deliberately courted racist voters, inviting them into the Republican Party. Those racist voters were disenchanted Southern Democrats who were angry at Lyndon Johnson's Civil Rights bills and the Medicare bill (which desegregated southern hospitals).
    “States’ Rights” was the code-word for segregation back then (and it still is).
    Ronald Reagan enhanced and embellished that strategy, and the GOP deliberately developed a rhetoric filled with code words like "States' Rights" and "local control" which were designed to encourage racist voters to vote GOP.
    Everyone in America also knows that the GOP is tapping this underground racist sentiment and prepping them with bogus arguments.
    Racists can't say "I hate having a Black President." because that would not be accepted by most Americans.
    They CAN say, "I hate Obama because he is for death panels, he rammed a health care bill down our throats, he is incompetent, he is socialist, he was not born here, he was born in Kenya, he is for welfare bums (Black ones in particular) and against hard-working Americans (White ones in particular)" etc.
    So for every 100 comments about Obama, I'd say that 25 of them are a cover for racist motivation. This is a deliberate strategy on the part of the GOP and it has been for fifty years.
    Racists provide the margin of victory for the GOP in many elections.
    Don’t give us the big innocent act.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • NoWingNuutsAllowed

      You are 100% correct. The party of hate are nothing more than closet racist. All their speak is in racist code.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
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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.