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. Reasonable Man

    This borders on blasphemy. To invoke religion in this race is amazing, especially for so-called mega-church pastors. The president who favors abortion, who even failed to draw the line at infanticide while a state senator, and who is willing to sacrifice the religious rights of Catholics on the alter of securlarism... It's just amazing. Shame on you all. God is not going to make Obama president, or prevent him pandering to "his base" to win re-election. It's up to people, not God, to choose their future. But they will be accountable.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Dan

      Do you think Jesus would vote for Mitt Romney?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  2. Penny Wright

    Romney's Medicare Fraud....

    In 1989, Romney led Bain Capital's purchase of Damon Corp., a medical testing company, and took a seat on the Board of Directors to better manage it. During Romney's four years, Bain tripled its investment, and Romney personally made $473,000 - while Damon plumped its profits with Medicare fraud (running thousands of medical tests doctors didn't want, and billing Medicare for them). The company pled guilty to crimes committed during his tenure and paid a record fine of $119 million. Company President Joseph Isola pleaded no contest to fraud, and a vice president was also convicted.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  3. Penny Wright

    Romney's Son of Boss fraud

    In his key role as chairman of the Marriott board's audit committee, Romney approved the firm's reporting of fictional tax losses exceeding $70 million generated by its Son of Boss transaction.

    Romney's AMPAD fraud

    American Pad and Paper. Romney and Bain Capital bought it from Mead Company, when it had total debts of $11 million. By the time they sold it, the company had $400 million in debt - and Bain had earned $100 million off the deals, between fees it charged the company for managing it and for buying other companies, and profits from selling the company's stock after they took it public (for yet another fee). Bain was later sued by stockholders for fraud in overstating the value of the company.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  4. mat

    CNN you are so cunning!!!
    You know Obama may lose and conservatives and evangelicals are voting for Romney eventhough he is a Mormon
    And that was not expected by liberals and CNN. So now coming with another story! !!

    Shame on you CNN!

    October 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • NIck

      Agreed. I believe the liberal media is using this as a tool to gain the conservative vote. BS.

      Shame on you CNN

      October 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  5. tony

    In Romney's religion, filing TAX returns are a secret mysteries to be performed with your back to the congregation.

    And he swears by the bribe-all

    October 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  6. Aviator_Guy

    When you listen to the President speak, he uses the word “I” and “Me” more than any President in American History... It’s clear who he Really Worships... LoL...

    October 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • tony

      Not you then? Shame, and you were so hoping. . .

      October 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Dan

      Really? Can you show me a number proving that, or are you just full of ****?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Aviator_Guy



      October 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Dan

      This doesn't prove your point, as it fails to compare Obama's speech with that of any other U.S. president.


      Eat **** you whack job

      October 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Ting

      At least he knows when to use I and when to use me, unlike our previous president.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Aviator_Guy

      The one thing that is absolutely clear when you read comments is how Hateful the comments fielded from President Obama supporters. This, “my way or the highway thinking” has put this country on the wrong track. The President and some of his supporters come off as, “How Dare” anyone have an opposing View?? This is why more and more independent voters are turning away from the left... We need someone who understands the word “We” and understands how effective Leadership actually works, not four more years of gridlock...

      October 29, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  7. tony

    My collection plate id the "true" collection plate.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  8. Kim Carnagey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg-e71IDAUw&feature=player_embedded WORD!

    October 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      October 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  9. Ed in S.C.

    Obama worships only himself.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Dan

      No, that would be Ryan the Randian

      October 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Athy

      That's better than worshipping some imaginary, nonexistent god.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Kim Carnagey

      That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true!

      October 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Aviator_Guy

      So True… LoL

      October 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • yogi

      Heaven is within ourselves not in the churches or temple. Each of us born from god posses elements of god. The goal is turn inward and realize it.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  10. jvburrows

    Obama's faith hasnt changed. After twenty years of listening to racial hate from Rev Wright, nothing has changed, his policies have shown it. Obama does NOT care about working white people, his policies show it. Sadly, our country says we shouldnt say it, but if black people can say someone doesnt care about them, i have every right to say he doesnt care about working white people.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Athy

      What policies show it? Please be specific.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Athy

      Still waiting.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So am I.

      Come on, jv. Put up or shut up. Oh, wait. You DID shut up.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • cricket


      October 29, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • marie asport

      I am actually answering Athy, I am a member on Mensa, and read a lot specially what newspapers from overseas say about us and our politics, their newspapers don't get censored so they can tell all the truth or almost all the truth. people may say but " we have freedom of speech in the US", think twice, for instance of all the crime committed in our cities only small percentage make to the public, the police get to the media whatever they want the public to know and it is a very small amount. They will say we do not want to alarm the public, and it is a very legitimate reason.....just to show you how foreign newspapers write more about our affairs then our own media do. I am over the issue, I just would not vote for Obama this time around. I do not trust him but neither do I trust the other one "Romney" or his sect

      October 29, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Athy

      Marie, you're a member "on" Mensa and you really believe the nonsense you posted earlier about "Osama Van Liden" as you called him? I'm a member of Mensa, but I doubt that you are.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  11. Travis

    It is evident that Obama has been putting on a facade revealed by his actions while in the white house.
    I think he realized how much hjis 2004 and 2007 damaged his image and since has decided to hide his true beliefs.
    It is no coincidence that as a Reelection looms suddenly his Christian Rederick ramps up. And though he has spent 4 years distancing himself from Israel is now saying he is their Biggest Supporter. (Read any Israeli news website and you will see they believe the opposite) And his giving has increased depending on the Office he holds. .5% before Congress.1.5 % when he was in Congress. His first 2 years in the White house 5%. Year before the election 14% and now the year of his Reelection his Charitable Contrabutions jump to 21%. 16% jump in two years? Says I only care about getting Elected.
    P.S. Biden over the last 10 years has not given more then between .5% and 1%. At least he is honest that he doesn't really care.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is "Rederick"?

      Honestly, how could anyone be that ignorant and still make enough money to buy a computer and a chair?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • tony

      Socialist Library

      October 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Athy

      Travis: You really need some serious help with your writing skills. Go find some fifth grader to give some pointers on capitalization, spelling and punctuation. When you've master these fundamentals in a couple of years, you can start work on content.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  12. mike

    He changed his religious beliefs just in time for the election so does that mean when he wins a second term and takes the oath will he be using a bible or a koran ?

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

      Did you think that was a clever comment? It wasn't.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Zuddy

      He could swear on a copy of harry potter, its all the same.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Athy

      Why not swear on the constitution? No religious bullshit at all.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • tony

      I see you've already given up on a Romney win then.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Kenny

      If Romney wins will he take the oath using a Bible, or the Book of Mormon? We actually know that he's a Mormon, and that he reveres the Book of Mormon as scripture, whereas all your talk about Obama and the Koran is just that, talk.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • marie asport

      Obama is a manipulator, he has manipulated all the systems in front of him to get what he wants, i think he also used his wife to get a job at a law firm so he could climbed. Now he is trying to manipulate Christians by surrounding himself with those protestant leaders, who give him scripture readings to fit the situation, lets not forget that he is for abortion and Christians' do not kill inside or outside the womb. he is against religion, if he gets elected, as soon as he can he will remove the non-profit status of churches so he can fix his broken down economy.
      He is also a big liar,why did he not show pictures of Osama after he killed him,? because his body was already either embalmed or decomposed, so they could not make him look like he was just killed. Something very obscure is behind all that hiding, and him keeping with the Muslim's tradition of burying Obama at sea, if he wasn't a Muslim why did he care about the traditions? all of it is a lie, he did not kill Osama Van Liden. Osama was dead when he found him, his body must have been preserved or embalmed, so he will get people to repeat that "Osama died when Obama was in power" I voted for him before I would not vote for him again. He wants to be another Chavez from Venezuela.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Athy

      Geez, Marie, you really need help. And who is Osama Van Laden? Do you have a measurable IQ?

      October 29, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • marie asport

      Probably the Koran, because now I believe he is a Muslim, that is why he respected the tradition to bury Osama at
      Sea, He is manipulating Christian people, same as he is manipulating the Mexican's by showing himself holding Cesar Chavez's mother's hand....does he really think Americans are stupid...or are we really stupid to believe his lies and manipulations and vote for him one more time... I hope we Americans do the opposite of what he wants and defend our rights to exercise our rights of freedom of religion and not be pushed into killing our babys who are the future of our country,

      October 29, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  13. Recon

    Easy on the bath salts, libs.
    Good luck with the mahdi.
    Youll need it.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Zuddy

      I think alot of us don't want him after this show of ignorance.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  14. Jim

    He is against the Bible, He is not a Christian.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Zuddy

      Regardless pandering to religious whackos is unforgivable.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Everyone is against the Bible. Even the believers just pick and choose what they like and what to ignore.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for pity's sake, what complete nonsense.

      I doubt you can even read the bible or any other book without moving your lips.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Simple Truth

      Could you point out again where in the constltution it say's the president must be a Christian? I keep looking through it and I still can't find that amendment...

      Oh wait, it's not there you un-American theocratic Benedict Arnold!! You who seek to overthrow our government shall be dealt with harshly for treason is a capital offense!

      October 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Kenny

      Question is, how can you revere the Book of Mormon and still believe in the Bible? The Book of Mormon is exactly as much in contradiction with the Bible as the Koran is, and we ACTUALLY do know that Romney is Mormon.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  15. Zuddy

    All I have to say to Obama is: Yaba dabba doo!

    Shame on you.

    October 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  16. airwad999

    I think he was "mostly silent" because he knows if he opens his mouth- some lies will fall out... guess he doesn't wanna get hit by lightning or something... smart guy...

    October 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      At least he's smarter than you are.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Zuddy

      I find it sad that in the 21st century people are still falling for stone age fairy tales.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  17. chris

    I hope this article is not trying to say that Obama is becoming more evangelical......I would hope he would be smarter then to fall for that crap

    October 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • airwad999

      sooo.... your an atheist?.....

      October 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      soooo, you're a dumbazz?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      No fear, chris. Obama is a practical man. Once he puts Romney away and gets beyond election politics we'll see an actual statesman at work.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Da King

      God would disagree with you Chris. I see that you are named after Christ.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • tony

      Christ was named after Mary dropped him the first time.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Ben

      Most real Christians can see through all that Calvinist and Rapture nonsense.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  18. Godschild

    Obama, Do you really know God? Why do you despise Romney so much, it seems as you covet what he has? Why do you bear false witness against your neighbor?In Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God." Obama why do you promote turmoil between the rich and the poor, and turmoil between Republicans and Democrats? Why can't you bring our NATION together instead of tearing it apart? Are you American or Muslim? Everything you do is the Muslim way. You have made Americans targets Oversea, The Terrorist are targeting us to kidnap us so they can free their blind terrorist in our Prison. Do you think so little of us Americans? I really dont think you believe in God. I believe you know of God but don't obey God's commandments or have a relationship with him.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Watch out for those black helicopters, dude.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Observer

      False witness? LIke when Mitt "I Was Completely Wrong" Romney trashed 47% of Americans?

      October 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • airwad999

      uhhhh... Observer dude- don't try to tell us Democrat OR Republican politicians don't lie. Its part of the job app. Get used to it. Don't keep "trying" to defend anyone... it wont work...

      October 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Athy

      God'schild: you write like a typical vangie. Incorrect capitalization, misspelled words, bizarre sentence construction, and totally senseless content.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Observer


      My response was to the statement picking on Obama for lying. You might want to read before you comment.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Ben

      Isn't it Romney who's coviting what Obama has, namely the Presidency?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Another Fact

      Athy: how much does correct grammar matter in the scheme of things? Yeah...not much.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Athy

      Grammar skills are a good measure (and the only measure on these anonymous blogs) of a writer's general intelligence level. Poor writing almost invariably comes from low-IQ people. So when I call someone stupid I like to give them a reason for that label. Most of the atheists on this blog write much better than the religious dimwits. This is no accident.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  19. Zuddy

    This whole election is just terrible. On one side we have Romney, the mormon from planet Kolob, and on the other side we have a born against evangelical Obama. As an atheist I honestly don't want to vote for either since they both have their heads so stuffed with fairy tales I find it sicking.

    I want an atheist candidate.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Da King

      Maybe you should pray for what you want.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Athy

      Praying just doesn't work. Haven't you realized that yet?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Obama wolf in sheeps clothing

      athesist are morons they have their head so far up their carbon rear ends.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Comedy gold there, buddy. I'll bet you don't even know why your post is funny.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  20. Kmac

    This guy found religion......

    "How Convenient"

    Church Lady

    aka Dana Garvey

    October 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Observer

      NO ONE is born religious. Everyone that is religious FINDS it.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Athy

      Or has it beaten into their minds when they're too young to know better.

      October 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Sayitisntso

      Obama, Faith?

      October 28, 2012 at 11:47 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.