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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby

    Trig Palin -> pro abortion poster child

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Merry Prankster

      You should probably STHU.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Vic

      This is uncalled for.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  2. Diane

    I think President Obama's religion is a social gospel necessary for political outreach. His reference to the Holy Spirit praying for him is taken out of context. I'm not saying he is a bad or evil person. He is a politician and politicians try to blend in with everything.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • en

      His actions paint him as inherently evil.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  3. Beavis

    Obama's faith never changed, he just lied to appease to specific voting blocs in order to get elected. It's like gay marriage for example, he flopped to be against it to win the general election, then flopped back. It's what politicians do – they're liars. Funny enough Romney gets hammered for doing the same thing Obama did just four years ago. L O L.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  4. whoever

    Who cares if Obma is christian or muslim? It's all the same story just different opinions on it.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • en

      Your a littlbe bit stupid if you believe that bs. Have you ever been in the middle east or a muslim country. Try it and you will understand.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  5. gius

    Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism believed in government by a religious monarchy with himself as king.When you bow to king Romney don't bend over too far.There's more in his closet than those tax returns he wont show us.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Another Reality

      I'd rather bow down than give my salary to a Communist government...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  6. Another Reality

    OBAMA's OWN WORDS! "“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”" CAN YOU SAY HYPOCRITE?!?

    October 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Can you figure out that we aren't a Christian nation, but a nation of many faiths and ethnicities?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Another Reality

      We have started to become a nation of many religions and ethnicities, and things have only gone downhill. Religious freedom if a right, but if we actually set up government to cater to all religions we wouldn't have government at all...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What an idiotic and completely incorrect statement. Go back to history class and stay awake this time, moron.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      What does Article VI, Section 3 of the constîtution say? What does Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli say?

      Why do you ignorant fundiot nutters lie?

      October 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  7. mario

    Truth don't worry but HISPANICS will take AMERICAN back by 2020. White always tried keeping African Americans down but they took over sports and hispanic are taking over the construction and food industry

    October 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Another Reality

      A taller fence and guards that aren't afraid to shoot will take care of that problem...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Truth

      But Whites possess the great majority of the guns, make up most of the entire U. S. Armed Forces, plus are all Einsteins compared to n1ggers or sp1cs...so please tell me pedro, how in the h3ll do you think that will ever happen?
      Don't you ever f%^king forget, Whites are the most efficient killers BY FAR. You get in our way, we will kill anyone on the face of this planet that even so much as looks like you.
      Whites, we've played this game of Cowboys and Indians before, several times. You don't see many Native American Indians around anymore, now do you?
      So shut your worthless f%^king mouth, for you know not what you speak of.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • whoever

      Well there is a big difference between taking over agriculture and construction and taking care of my pool and back yard for 2$ an hour.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  8. philip

    Our nation needs to get back to God! ...and not mere lip service...When marriage and the family are being redefined, then we have abandoned God. When unborn babies are crying "Obama, Obama Lama Sabachthani?" ... that is...why have you forsaken me?, then we have failed to safeguard our nation against the tides of judgement....

    October 29, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Primewonk

      We are not a theocracy. Not sure why you fiundiot nutters can't understand this.

      October 29, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  9. Vic

    Truth...one of the 47% aren't you? Not good enough to be the dirt under Romney's fingernails.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Truth

      Actually, if you must know, I am comfortably in the 1%.
      Only 30 years old, haven't had to work a day in my life, wealthy as fcuk.
      I often take time out of my completely non-busy day to troll and insult you peasants, you and your precious pet n1ggers.
      Insulting me will have no effect; I have a nicer car, hotter woman, and more money than probably all of you combined.
      White privilege, isn't it great! 🙂

      October 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure you do. I'm sure everyone finds you credible, dude.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Vic

      So more than the 15.5 million that Ann and Mitt made on the auto bailout.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Truth, then show us your tax returns. I doubt that someone who is independently wealthy by their 30s would be spending their day trolling: you would be watching the stock market rise and thanking the President for the expansion in your portfolio since he took office. Another epic fail on the part of a wanna-be. Now run along to your job at Wal-Mart, before mom finds out you're on her comp again.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Another Reality

      So Romney actually knows how to make money. Obama rather just let the middle class work harder to pay for the poor people who don't have a job and don't care to do anything significant with their life. So at least Romney will let the middle class get rich if they want to... Obama is just being socialist by spreading the wealth, soon everyone will have the same amount of money, and then no one will care to work and everyone will get continually poorer and poorer

      October 29, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Truth is Racist

      Truth if you had all of that you will not be on the internet writing nonsense.
      What you are is senseless and racist. I agree with Tom Paine – go to your Walmart job – WILL YOU? thanks

      October 29, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anybody who claims that Obama or his administration is "socialist" has not a single bit of understanding of "socialism."

      Would you just go to school and stop blathering your ignorance here?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Truth

      Never said specifically "independently wealthy", now did I......
      No, it was all inherited. Never had to lift a finger to make it. No sense lying about it.
      That is what makes it so much more fulfilling, when speaking down to peasants like you.
      You try and try and try, and yet can never seem to break the vicious cycle of mediocrity.
      I did it in my sleep.
      Enjoy working 40+ hours a week, while having 25% of your taxes taken from you, just to feed and support your very own pet n1ggers!! 😉

      October 29, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • me

      truth you are lying. You know that you didn't inherit anything. You know very well about working 40+ hrs and paying taxes, bcos that's your life. Go to work!!!!

      October 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Vic

      @Another reality Well he knows how to make money on the backs of the middle class. Sensata closed and sent to China. Mitts donars made $4 billion dollars on the auto bailout. GOP problem: "Their voters are white, aging and dying off."

      October 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  10. Kim A.

    It is a shame people are still shocked to believe President Obama is a Christian. "Judge not" is so true...he walks the talk, works for all Americans...does not run a dirty campaign. He is a world class leader. I look at those people who are anti-abortionist but will commit adultery in a minute and then pay for the mistress to have an abortion. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Praises to Jesus who has appointed President Obama...Romans 13:1 (read it)

    October 29, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • en

      Kim his actions speak differently. Baby killer i name him. Baby killer i name him. Baby killer i name obama.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • sam stone

      en: whose baby has he killed?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Another Reality

      Obama a leader? Obama is a coward! He had 5 HOURS to send reinforcements to save those killed in Benghazi! He was TOO SCARED he might start a conflict. He is showing the world America is nothing to be scared of! God is the only one who can throw the first stone. And Obama is blatantly disobeying God, maybe we are doing him a favor by trying to influence his unGodly decisions.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Huff

      Rev. Wright considers himself a Christian.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Another Reality

      the term "false prophet" isn't mentioned in the Bible over a hundred times for no particular reason...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • en

      abortion in africa, you can thank him. abortion in the U. S. increased tremendously. The sweetest sound he ever heard was the mus lim call to prayer. Give me a child till he is seven and i will give you the man. They had him in Indonesia going to school faith listed as a muslim same as his adopted fathers. Also, wright was converted from a Mus lim. Wink wink.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  11. Vic

    Truth. Lies

    October 29, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  12. Truth

    So, America.....how has this entire african n1gger situation done for you so far?
    Is it really worth all the violence, filth, dumbing down of our school systems, affirmative action placing worthless chimps into important positions, and other various monkeyshines?
    I bet that the great, great majority of you secretly wish we sent the feral animals back when we could have.
    You're all cowards though, to scared to admit it in fear of being labeled a "racist". But you all know I'm right, deep down. You all know that our country would be much better off without a bunch of violent, feral chimps running the streets, out of their chains and cages.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:27 am |

      Please don't feed the troll.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Nii

      Oh God truth. When you think about it what animal should a white man be called? Chimps are the most intelligent after man so which can you take? Maybe just maybe a squirrel perhaps or a bear, or a mule or dog or cow. Your answers needed. Africa is listening or watching.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • gf

      This country would be better off without the type of mindset and beliefs you've expressed. You encourage divisiveness, and prejudicial hate. I'm caucasion, and I'm proud of the mixture of races this country is made up of. There's no other country so diverse. And we'd even be more united without your supremacist beliefs.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Truth

      Go tell that to the n1ggers that are victimizing YOUR OWN PEOPLE on a daily basis, you f%^king idiot.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • en

      Dude. Its not anyones fault that the Demonrats have been setting up projects and manifesting them as a way of life. Americans of color fought to found the U.S. Statesmen and soldiers.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  13. SAS6907

    A nation not under God, is a nation that's gone under.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Huebert

      How can one be under that which does not exist?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Tell that to the Ja/panese.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • sam stone

      How clever, SAS.

      It means nothing, but it is clever

      October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    We are Tom, Tom, the Internet meme.. We are legion. We are trolls and trolls are us. We are Truth.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be really frightened of something. What is it? That you'll be revealed to be a troll who knows nothing about economics, government, history, or biology?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  15. Chris

    Can't wait for Obama to win his second term so all these hateful biggots can cry themselves to sleep.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Truth

      I can't wait for all the worthless, welfare-dependent n1gger chimps to riot when Romney wins in a landslide, so I can shoot a bunch of them.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Reality

      The most racially biased votes ever cast in a presidential election have been FOR Obama

      October 29, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • graysong

      Oh yeah

      October 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • me

      Obama will win a second term

      October 29, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  16. Beechnut


    Both of you are demonic spirits of the worst kind. You are both are racist. The President is concern about ALL people not just "White" people. Both you should be ashamed of yourselves. Anytime you would vote for a candidate that 1). wants us to get up in another war. 2) wants us to pay more taxes that he pays, 3) wants us to let insurance companies dictate our lives 4) want women to not have equal pay, then you are not only ignorant but a fool. The bible speaks of demonic spirits like both of you. You are living your heaven on earth. The Lord will handle you in your next life. The more hate you put out the more blessed the President will be. The President does not have to fight this battle. The Lord said the battle is his not President Obama. The President is trying to make things fair for all people. Even racist like you will benefit.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We are Truth. We are not racist.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Truth

      Realists, not racists.
      And we are right. And the thing is, deep down, you know we are. You're just too afraid, too scared, and must always be "politically correct".

      October 29, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Huff

      This is the same propaganda rhetoric Carter used when running against Reagan. All fear based without substance of any kind. GOP does NOT want another war, Investment income should be taxed lower to give incentive to invest and grow, I would rather have CHOICE in insurance rather than have it dictated to me by big Govt., Nothing from the GOP suggests that women shouldn't be paid equally for the same work. You're buying into left wing propaganda to make your choice. Listen equally to both sides to form an unbiased choice rather than listen to what one side tells you about the other.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Vic

      @Huff. Something is dribbling out of your mouth.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  17. Penny Wright

    If a Republican president saved GM, got Bin Laden in a special opts, gave the biggest working class tax cut in American history, signed a bill authorizing the reduction of spending by 15%, all the while reversing the most devastating economic collapse in 80 years....the Republicans would hail him as the Second Coming of Christ!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Truth

      What about blatantly condoning n1gger-on-human violence, you forgot that part.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Huff

      GM wasn't saved at all. They still owe millions to taxpayers and used the money to build plants overseas such that 70% of GM's autos will now be built outside the USA. Our military got OBL, not Obama. Furthermore, the trail to get OBL began under Bush using intelligence gathering Obama fought hard against. Obama did not give any such tax cut, instead he gave the middle class one of the largest tax hikes in history with Obamacare. He did not sign any bill to cut spending 15%. The bill was a reduction in the amount of increase but liberals love to spin it to make it sound all good.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • @ Huff

      GM is not producing 70% of its cars overseas. They are actually bringing work back. I am a supplier to GM here in Michigan and have been for over 30 years. We just landed a big contract that takes us out to 2015.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • gf

      Actually, the U.S. government still owns a large share of GM ... so no, it hasn't been "paid back" yet. It's looking good, like it will, but it hasn't yet.

      Interestingly enough, GM is out there spending a lot more money these days with it's new-found investor. And, it's also making a lot of money.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Huff

      Sorry but GM now builds 70% of its autos outside the USA. They sell almost as many cars in China as they do in the USA. By far most of their sales is NOT in the USA. My company is also a supplier to GM but we sell to divisions all over the world. Yes we have contracts in Detroit but it doesn't change the fact that most of GM's cars are now built outside the USA. Google it.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  18. deb0155

    This article is disgusting. Obama is about as religious as a snake! Obama will do anything to win re-election and he is garbage!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • midwest rail

      The "loving" Christian perspective from deb...

      October 29, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • NYRepub

      As an Evangelical I was taught that Mormanism is a cult and that empowering a cult leader like Romney a Bishop in the Morman church, you are offering your soul up to the cult. I would rather not vote then to offer my soul up empowering a cult leader.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      deb: and you don't think mittens would do the same?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Huff

      NYRepub, any religion not of ones own faith is almost always deemed a cult or evil or otherwise unacceptable. So many religions become intolerant of others and destroy the very social structure they claim to promote. Obama's 20+ years with Wright is who Obama is. He didn't change until it became a campaign issue for him.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Truth

      Somebody get these motherf^&%ing n1ggers out of my motherf%^king White House!!!!!!

      October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Madtown

      He is a politician. Most politicians will do anything to get re-elected, including those whom you support.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • gf

      Are you just looking for a "religious" person? I mean, many extreme Muslims are religious. Would that work for you? How about a devout Jew? Or a very spiritual Buddhist? What about a Mormon who believes they can and hopes one day they will become an all-powerful God? Would that work for you?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Tim

      Deb0155, What proof do you have about Obama being a snake or whatever you call him? About people saying things to get elected, we can all agree if we are not bias, that Romney has done the same – flipflopped on every issue namely: abortion, gay marriage, troops coming back home etc etc etc just to get elected. Check his track records.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  19. Penny Wright

    The Republican Party started two unnecessary wars, drove us over an economic cliff, and let bin Laden get away.

    Obama has done the opposite.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Huff

      After 3000 Americans died on US soil are you suggesting the USA should have done nothing except perhaps apologize to the attackers for making them upset rather than go into Afghanistan where they trained 1000's to attack us?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • sam stone

      huff: the majority of those doing the plane hijacking were saudis. so, we attack iraq in retaliation?

      October 29, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      There were no good targets except in Iraq and you oughtta see the targets we can see in Iran from here ! Romney / Ryan 2012

      October 29, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Huff

      Nationality of attackers makes no difference. The core of training and planning took place in camps in Afghanistan. I'm asking specifically about Afghanistan and whether we should have gone there following 9/11 or just did nothing.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  20. cnn loud

    Mormonism is a dangerous, perversion of religion that does not need to be "mainstreamed"!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Cody

      So is claiming to be a Christian and not living out a Biblical worldview... both are equally dangerous.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • kelly51

      Muslim religion is the the dangerous religion, as far as I see it. Mormons do believe that when their souls go to heaven that men get a planet of their own and then can rule over that planet. I think it's a bit far fetched. But, this election is over our contries debt and the deficiet that needs to be taken under control much more than it is currently also,our dire need for jobs so Americans can get back to work. As for abortion? I believe it is something between the women the man and God. The people who commit these autrocities are the ones that will be judged by God, not you, Ior the government. Murder is a sin. I don't believe humans need to play God in determining who shall live and who shall die. We are not Spartans. Being pregnant and being the vessel that harbors a human life, is not a war that needs to be fought.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • kelly51

      We cannot change the commandments that God gave us. All we can do is obey them the best we can. We all will be held accountable for our actions, in the end.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      kelly, if you want to use a word, learn to spell it first.

      October 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • kelly51

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son – "To err is human, to forgive is divine".

      October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
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.