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.

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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. WPM

    Here we go again CNN...campaigning for Obama! He doesn't stand for Christianity. Trying to get the Christian vote CNN? Not working on me. You cannot stand by what Obama does and claim to have a deep relationship with the Lord. It's not hate, it keeping with Biblical principles. 50 years ago everyone understood that being a Christian was about love. The liberals are constantly trying to turn it into hate. Sadly, they are winning. God knows and Christians know the real truth. We pray for Obama, this country and all in it. We have a love in our hearts that runs deep. We also have principles by which we are called to God's standard. He gives us mercy, grace and more than we deserve. We love others passionately because there is a God-given love placed inside those who accept Christ.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • FloydZepp

      Here we go again, fake conservative TeaRINOs crying like girls because America will never, ever do what they want.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • FloydZepp

      And I'm really quite an idiot, in case you haven't noticed.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  2. Linda

    One only has to look at the recent actions of Obama to see right through this article. If indeed he is a Christian, than I would suggest he take a step back on call on God for forgiveness and direction. Using his own phasing, "you see" – a Christian would serve Christ better by not condoning a campaign ad about losing your virginity; and would not call his opponent a Bullsh##er, nor would they lie and coverup a mistake as large as Benghazi by blaming the deaths on an anti-Muslim movie created by a Christian. No, this article is a lie. As for his recent habit of quoting scripture...even Satan quoted scripture. I do pray that Christ would work in Obama's heart and mind, but at the present time, I can't buy this story.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Eric

      Judge not, that you be not judged. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged -for those who have trouble with the King James. Seems to be many of you this morning. Pay attention in church this morning.

      October 28, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      Eric, you have no understanding whatsoever of what "judge not lest ye be judged" actually means. People who pull that line out dont realize that by making such a stupid statement they prove their lack of biblical knowledge. The Bible is more than a collection of random sentences. Read the context that statement is used in the bible and you will see it doesnt mean what you think it does.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  3. Truth

    N1ggers gonna n1g, that's why I'm voting 100% human.
    Romney 2012-2020. Say goodbye to your free n1gger handouts, food stamps, welfare. HAHAHA.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  4. Eric

    "Obama's Gospel" and last supper. Brought to you by CNN and friends.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Obama's faith has never changed. He simply does whatever is necessary to make people THINK it has changed.

    He obviously is succeeding in his deception.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  6. Vijay

    The Bible says even the demons believe in God and tremble (James 2:19). And the devil often appears as an angel of light. Jesus told us to judge false prophets by their fruit. A man who increased his faith over the last 4 years would not be denying Christians the right to abide by their conscience, publicly contradict Jesus by evolving on gay marriage, support the killing of babies in the womb, cause division and hatred among people and turn people against each other.

    I therefore doubt that BObama prays to the Christian God. He either prays to a god of his own making or to himself. It's easy to get pastors to surround you and pray for you to show you are religious. But somewhere a pastor draws a line. Billy Graham saw he was just using them and now publicly is making people aware of what a fake Christian Obama is.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • jfoster13

      And exactly what is your definition of a non-fake Christian, Romney? Judge not, least ye be judged.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  7. .


    Obama: Four and OUT.

    24 million people can't find work. 1 percent economic growth. And a European style quasi socialist health care plan that NOBODY ASKED FOR AND NOBODY WANTS.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • FloydZepp

      You picked the liberal RomneyCare. You've elected Obama twice now.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • .

      Maybe in your astral plane, but this is the real world, Zepp.

      What're you going to do with the 24 million people who have give up on the hopey changey?

      Seems you like to ignore that little convenient truth.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • FloydZepp

      You're right. But I'm too stupid to figure it out for myself. That's why I do whatever Stephanie Cutter tells me to do. Even though she's just as dumb as I am.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  8. NoWingNutsAllowed

    Looks like the party of hate is alive and well. Once again they,re trying to out Christian someone else.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • .

      Good point. Why do you suppose the Democrats do it?

      You think maybe they know they really don't represent the middle class?

      October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  9. saywho

    This writer is thoroughly nuts. Another radical right wing wag trying to demonize.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  10. FloydZepp

    Why don't you TeaRINOs go to MegaChurch and pray Prosperity Gospel for Mammon. I'm sure Jesus approves. LOL

    October 28, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • .

      Don't call them Tea Rinos. Call them "Daddy".

      Because that's exactly what they're gonna be the morning of November 7th.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  11. FloydZepp

    You TeaRINOs picked the liberal RomneyCrat that the Establishment GOP told you to pick – again. You've elected Obama TWICE now.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • .

      Yes. And the 24 million people who have given up looking for a job are very happy with Obama. They can't wait for the next four years.

      Put the hooka pipe down, Zeppo. You've had waaaaay too much.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  12. Jeffery Sikes

    If Mr Obama is the devout Christian you flame in this article, the how come he stands against Christian law? How come he insists that we dishonor th law and doctrine of The Lord God of Israel "Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbors" in order to accept the law and doctrine of Marx & Engles "Dialectic of materialism" which requires redistribution of wealth via coveting what others have?
    Further, if as you claim in this article Mr Obama has actually accepted Christian doctrine, the how come he continually turns against that doctrine through by bearing false witness against his neighbor, which is against Christian law?
    Christ stated in John 8 all of the attributes we observe in Mr Obama when he identified those of the prodigy of Cain.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Siam

      "prodigy of Cain"? Isn't that the term Mormons use to refer to people with black skin?

      October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • FloydZepp

      The problem you face is that Jesus didn't put you in charge of Judging Obama's Faith.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Linda

      I'm not morman, and I can't judge Obama's heart...but I can judge his actions. If he's a Christian, he might consider taking a break and reaffirming his relationship with Christ, because he's definitely on the wrong track. Ads about losing one's virginity, profanity regarding his opponent, and lying about an anti-Muslim movie causing the incident in Benghazi are actions that are far from what Christ wants.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • jfoster13

      I'm going to be happy Nov 7 when Obama is reelected and you bigots can just shut the hell up.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 28, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Jim in Florida

      Actually, in Obama's case, prayer changes nothing, the need for re-election does though. Nice piece CNN, more from Obama Re=Election HQ at CNN. I undertand the campaign manager at CNN is Soledad O'Brien

      October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  14. FloydZepp

    Notice how the fake christian evangelicals in the TeaRINO Party hate Obama...a very "christian" feeling. LOL

    October 28, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • steviebh

      The man is a chameleon who is turning a lighter shade of green because he needs some more votes.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • .

      What are you going to do when Romney wins, Zepp?

      Burn your neighborhood?

      October 28, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Linda

      It's very easy to hate actions and still care about a person. I think we all do that almost daily. Obama's actions are not following the example Christ set out for us, so yes...I can say Obama needs to take a step back and re-evaluate his relationship with Christ and that this article is not true.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  15. clarinet

    Oh please. BO doesn't believe in anything but himself.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  16. Joseph Fazio

    CNN is nothing more than a propaganda bs outlet for obama the usurper of the presidency. chris matthews with the thrill up his leg is the leader.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • FloydZepp

      Go to Fox, you'll feel better.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Lee-Anne

      Joe, While I am no fan of Mr. Obama, he did not usurp the job. We may not like, but he won fair and square. If that is some senseless shot at how me might not be American born...please save it. The Supreme Court accepted his credentials and that should be all we need. Instead of whining about silliness, let's talk about the horrible job he has done in my opinion. I think this article is complete fluff as I think he is like every politician and will say what he expects others want to hear. Even on religion. And I don't think Mr. Romney is any better. They have both changed positions so many times it is laughable. The only thing going for Mr. Romney is I do think he understands business better. I also don't buy the stuff that he doesn't care for the average worker. Everything is about jobs right now. Nobody believes Mr. Obama's faith has changed (or, as he says, "evolved") over time. Just a politician. But please stop with the silly innuendo about him no being a legit President. That just makes me ill.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  17. FloydZepp

    Evangelicals praying for money to Jesus through Prosperity Gospel. What a hoot!

    October 28, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • .

      What else is there to do? They certainly can't rely on Obama and the Demotards to create an economy.

      Four and OUT, Zepp.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  18. PT

    LOL! Really, CNN? Christian churches are suing the president over his mandates, but you think that by writing a story that mentions Obama and Christianity in the same paragraph, we're going to believe in his sudden "evolution?" Waaaay too funny. Nice try at damage control and spin, but if you think people are that gullible, that's actually insulting.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • FloydZepp

      Nobody cares what you believe. You don't matter anymore.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Dave

      Obama represents the audacity of hypocrisy:

      He said he would close GITMO, but he didn't.
      He said he would pass comprehensive immigration reform, but didn't.
      He said he opposed executive privilege but used it on fast and furious.
      He said he would be transparent, but the health care bill was debated in private.
      He said he would not pursue the single payer option, but did.
      He said the health care bill would reduce costs, but they increased.
      He said it doesn’t make sense to increase taxes when the economy is bad, but he is doing it anyway.
      He said he would cut the deficit in half, but didn't.
      He blasted Bush for debt, but then increased it by $6 trillion.
      He said he would unite the country, but divides it along income and race.
      He said the stimulus would save the economy, but it didn't.
      He blasts Romney for outsourcing, but the stimulus outsourced jobs.
      He said green energy would work, but his investments have failed.
      He said his plan would reduce unemployment to 4%, but it is still nearly at 8%.
      He opposes torture such as waterboarding, but he is willing to drone strike terrorists.
      He bashed Bush for his foreign policy, but Obama can't get his story straight on Libya.
      Obama says Romney lies, but Obama lied about FEMA not giving aid to New Orleans and much more.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Jesse Locke

      @ Floydzepp
      You will see how much WE matter, in just a few more days. REMEMBER this when you hear the election results. A complete and total denouncement of OBama is going to be undeniable, by the American majority, even for people like you.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  19. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh on religion to include Obama's Christianity--

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 28, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • ....


      October 28, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (References used are available upon request.)

      October 28, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  20. Mark Taylor

    I have never seen so many un-Christlike comments from so many who claim to follow his word. It's simply stunning. There is scripture about folks like this: "I will spew you out of my mouth" and "I never knew you" among others.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Truth

      I am sure there is some scripture against taking sides with a n1gger animal over fellow human beings, yes?

      October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Reality

      Revelation 3:16 i.e. " I will spew you out of my mouth":

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      Matt 7: 23, i.e."I never knew you" -

      Said passage has been thoroughly analyzed by many contemporary NT scholars. Many have concluded that this passage is historically nil and an invention of Matthew copied later by Luke.

      e.g. From Professor Gerd Luedemann in his book Jesus After 2000 Years, p.153 and pp. 694-695:

      "...... these passages (Matt. 7: 19-23) are inauthentic and have been formulated by the community or by Matthew himself."

      See also: http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb165.html

      October 28, 2012 at 8:22 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.