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. UncleBenny

    "Jesus Christ our Lord is coming SOON for his bride!"

    I'm not holding my breath. We've been promised that for almost 2,000 years. No Jesus.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • theweeone

      in terms of eternity, 2000 years is nothing.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • rick

      2,000 years is nothing....

      but, when there is no return in another 100 or 200 years, folks will still be saying it......"jesus is coming, annyyyyyy time now"

      October 28, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • SCOTTA.

      you will die some day as all of us will are you ready to die? are you 100% sure you will go to heaven?you can be 100% sure just tell GOD your sorry for your sins and you invite JESUS into your heart and tell HIM you are willing to turn from sin. then you will be saved and on your way to heaven.

      October 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  2. NOBAMA 2012

    Another BS story from the Obama campaign, aka CNN.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  3. Naota

    "If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him".
    "Jews are gutter people with a gutter religion".
    "These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered." . . .
    This is from Black Liberation Theology, The Nation Of Islam and the Black Value System –
    The Obama's were twenty year members of the organization (Trinity) that teaches these racist philosophies, donated money to the Nation Of Islam, and raised their kids in this hateful environment. . . . .
    Obama is a racist and an embarrassment to the United States

    October 28, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  4. Naota

    Obama said it was a "spontaneous protest caused by a youtube video"
    He said it on The View
    He said it on Letterman
    He said it on Univision
    He said it at the UN
    Obama is a liar and a coward.

    I'm voting for Romney

    October 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Jesse Christo

      Let's see the transcripts. Don't have them because he did not say that. Liar?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • MontanaTrace

      Why did he let his people keep saying it for so long? Some still do. Simple: it's better to lie than have the truth lose votes. Votes are always trumping the truth.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you think you know what occurred? How is it, MT, that the White House isn't calling you and asking for your assistance, oh great diplomat? How is it you're sitting in your broken-down chair in your house on wheels and yet you alone know all that happened? Why isn't CNN beating a path to your door to interview you?

      Oh, that's right. Because you're nobody.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  5. JMarno

    Way too many assumptions here. All based on your assumption to who President Obama was and who he is today. YOU DIDN'T KNOW HIM before now... so why assume anything at all. You try to write about things that are between a man/woman and their God. Anyone w/spiritual conviction grows when we choose too...WHO ARE YOU TO ASSUME HE NEVER DID THESE THINGS? Yuck on you CNN. Yuck on your assuming headlines that would rather feed the hate of Fox. Not just this one, but the last week or so... Yuck on you.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 28, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • JP0

      For one thing it rots your brain.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  7. Truth

    It is still a kenyan muslim nagger, don't let mainstream media fool you.
    It is not a human being.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • JMarno

      You are a foolish troll filled w/never ending hate. There's always a few. No one listens or respects you except lonely you and your hate friends. So sorry, your mother must be disappointed.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • JP0

      Why is this racist rot allowed in this discussion?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  8. woody

    "reverend" Wright is a RACIST and a BIGOT and Obama spent 20 years in that "church", and exposed his daughters to his filth as well. Had the Media that protects Obama not shamed him into disavowing and quitting that cult, he'd still be "worshipping" there, who is CNN trying to zoom?

    October 28, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Truth

      That nagger Wright called for the extermination of all Whites, even though we produced every single thing that these worthless naggers have ever used or enjoyed.
      How ironic, to have this nagger as our pResident now.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  9. liberal disease

    I believe is a radical Muslim and always will be...

    October 28, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • JP0

      Please explain how you know this. Fox News?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • tpzgrl

      I believe Mr. Romney is part of the Mormon cult...oh, wait it's a proven undisputed fact that he is!

      October 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  10. Colin

    Obama is too sharp to REALLY believe in God. Most intelligent people have long outgrown their sky-fairy. God is now something for the simple, less educated people, the very old and children too young to know any better.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • nope


      October 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Truth

      This particular nagger believes in that f@&&ot mohammed. You know, the one raping little boys and terrorizing everyone else.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • JP0

      @Truth: What a maroon.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • IO

      You'll find that many of the greatest minds throughout history have had faith in God, and those who study the universe often reach the conclusion that it has been created rather than formed randomly.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • JP0

      @IO: For many of those years your life depending on whether or not people thought you were a believer. We're not much more tolerant now as shown by the racist and religious fanatic posts here.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • RedHorizon

      I know a bunch of well-educated people who believe in God. And why are you SO sure it's a sky fairy?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • UncleBenny

      "You'll find that many of the greatest minds throughout history have had faith in God, and those who study the universe often reach the conclusion that it has been created rather than formed randomly."

      Actually, mostly NOT, on both counts. Many of the "greatest minds throughout history " have used the WORD God from time to time, but they usually mean something far different from the personal God of Christianity. Einstein, Hawking, Jefferson, all good examples.

      And no serious scientist, including the MAJORITY who do not believe in a god, believes anything at all was created randomly – that is a complete misconception. Study a little science before you make pronouncements on it.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • SCOTTA.

      GOD is no sky fairy.HE is real better watch out what you say HE will remember every word you said and every thought you had. you going to tell HIM HE doesnt exist when youre standing right in front of HIM at the judgment!? good luck with that! obamas too sharp to believe in GOD. thats funny because the way the economy is and all the other disasters he has created he doesnt look too sharp at all!! hahaha!!! AND NO ITS NOT BUSHES FAULT. VOTE ROMNEY/RYAN!!! DONT GO AWAY MAD OBLAMER JUST GO AWAY!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • cleareye1

      One day we will have a leader strong enough to follow their own instincts of justice and not need the invisible crutch of a self-created fantasy character designed to frighten them into following orders from the lazy class dressed in preposterous costumes with warped human instincts.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • cleareye1

      This SCOTTA person has been sold a bill of goods for sure. It really should be a criminal offense to lead these easy fooled people into believing the preposterous claims made by most religions. They are defenseless as children, when they are brainwashed so thoroughly, and we should look out for them.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  11. Rick


    October 28, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Italy2007

      It is credible. The more educated a society becomes the more church attendance declines and charitable donations decline. Just the messenger here.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Jesse Christo

      Why say "baloney" when you obviously didn't lift a finger to back up your statement? Have you any appreciation of the irony in your response?

      October 28, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  12. glennwharris

    Hairy ham. Your mother is on her back in kenya. F off. Gdubglenn

    October 28, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  13. clarke

    CNN why are you running this article again, only a different headline. Why is this even important, IMHO.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  14. g2-4defad001ff5faec21d31d0bd81192f6

    And putting Jeremiah Wright's name on the front page next to Obama serves what function exactly, CNN? Just another example of how a once-great news network's election coverage has been PURE CRAP this cycle.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  15. MontanaTrace

    obama is a product of his environment. Racism, hate for America and whatever else.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • clarke

      I disagree with your statement.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • JP0

      If you make inflammatory statements you should do us the courtesy of explaining how you know this.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Truth

      Obama 2016.
      Watch it, and then kindly shut the fuccup. Fuggin race-traitors.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • tpzgrl

      I believe Obama is the product of a mutli-cultural background and has been exposed to more social, and national groups than many people, and particularly presidents before him. Why would this be considered un-American? We are supposed to be the melting pot of the world, right? Just because he doesn't come from the say background as you does not make him un-American. If anything, he embodies what it means for many folks to be American!

      October 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • MontanaTrace

      His environment was spending decades being brainwashed by the GD Rev, Wright. No debate here. Obama admits his attendance. Tapes show Wright's racism and hate for America. Obama is simply acting out. Later, we'll go have a beer. Not good enough for me.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So go ahead and vote for the other guy, Montana. You simply continue the trend on this site: the more I see of those who deni grate Obama, the more convinced I am that he's the best man for the job. The bunch of you who use multiple names, yap about racism, maunder on about Rev. Wright, blabber about your Christian zealotry, burble your piety and misspell every other word are too dumb to heed. I get my information from neutral news sites and I don't bother to pay any mind to people who are so stupid they think the world is 6000 years old and that blacks should know their places. That would be people like you.

      October 29, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  16. no-obama

    And CNN can't figure out why only about a dozen viewers watch their News??? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Independence Day COMES NOV. 6th!!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Arthur J

      You are so stupid!!!!

      October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  17. Frank

    CNN, do a story on how the Mormon church banned black people from being priests up until 1978. Romney was 30 years old when they didn't let black people be priests, yet he stayed in the church. Says a lot about his character and the Mormon church.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Truth

      Well rightfully so, to be religious, you must first possess a soul.
      Naggers are not human, not in any sense of the word. so they could not accept them, even as whipping boys.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • UncleBenny

      No, to be religious, you must first be ignorant and gullible.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  18. JP0

    What a bunch of racists here, trying to disguise their contempt for Obama's skin color as religious intolerance. The President of the US can have whatever religion he wants so long as he doesn't try to legislate his religious beliefs and so long as he doesn't claim that he is doing what his god told him to do.

    October 28, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Truth

      So, you enjoy having a chimp nagger as the potus?
      Tell me more of how you've been "oppressed" or "discriminated against".

      October 28, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  19. glennwharris

    Most of u r racist. F off. . . All of u. Gdubglenn

    October 28, 2012 at 7:17 am |
  20. allenwoll

    People who warn about an eventual judgment seem almost always to fail to consider that THEY may be included in such a judgment ! . Mirror, mirror . . . .

    October 28, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • inthespirit

      We will ALL be judged. But when standing before our Creator, perfect in all ways, I imagine we, ourselves will be the harshest critics of our wrongs. Know The Truth now.

      October 28, 2012 at 7:23 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.