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.”

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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. was blind, but now I see

    @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (AKA; resident spelling and grammar queen) : "I don't need or want your silly prayers or any of your advice. Shut up and stay out of my life and my government. Mind your own dam [sic] business."

    dam/dam/Abbreviation: Decameter(s).

    Noun: 1.A barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level, the resulting reservoir being used in the generation of electricity or as...
    2.The female parent of an animal, esp. a domestic mammal.

    Verb: Build a dam across (a river or lake).

    Synonyms: noun. dike – weir – barrage – embankment – levee – jetty
    verb. bank – stem – block


    November 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You moron, do you really think I don't know that. I write "dam" because I assume the filter will kick out the post otherwise.

      My word, but you're a fvcktard.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Jen

      Reminds me of the idiot that told me I couldn't spell s-x because I put a hyphen in it.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I know, Jen. Dumb as a box of hair.

      How are you?

      November 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Jen

      I'm good, how are you? Just brought my baby boy home from the hospital. I am totally in love 🙂

      November 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son; "You moron, do you really think I don't know that. I write "dam" because I assume the filter will kick out the post otherwise."

      OK. We believe you! Just because EVERY other time you use a dash or hyphen, doesn't automatically mean you would do the same this time LOL!

      November 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son; "You moron, do you really think I don't know that. I write "dam" because I assume the filter will kick out the post otherwise."

      Damn, that was clever of you. Or was it??????

      November 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Joaquim Soares

    In one of Mr. Obama books, one can read the following:

    "In our household the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology. On Easter or Christmas Day my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites."

    He is a true inspiring. U.S.A. President Follows Principles Taught by Universal Wisdom: bit.ly/SCdQmD

    November 13, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  3. Nietodarwin

    I'm an atheist that was completely disgusted to have to vote in a church, but I sure voted (again) for The President. His POLICY reflects the "christian" faith, unlike the hypocrites and racists and haters in the Tea Party, the GOP, and their liar weirdo downright thief of a candidate. Obama's xstianity is BELOW his patriotisim. Romney had no patriotism. Romney doesn't even have compassion for a dog, let alone any human that isn't part of his mormon cult. Thank (a "god" in which I don't believe) that Romney is now just a note in the history books. CONGRATULATIONS USA, WE PICKED A TRUE PATRIOT AND HE WON.

    November 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  4. Karen

    Well, unless some of you have been sneaking in on President Obama's private prayer sessions with the Lord, you really don't know his heart. I always thought a Christian was saved by grace and by accepting Jesus Christ as the Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior. If he had been a Republican, we wouldn't even be having this "conversation". This is why I cannot stomach the Republican party anymore, the party I proudly registered under as an 18 year old. However, I am thankful in my faith in the Lord and know that by His Grace, I am saved, and as long as President Obama is professing his faith and the Lord knows it's sincere, then he is saved, too. There's the quote in the Bible that says "Not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord' to me will enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Some of you might say that might be about Obama. How do you know it might not be about you? Or me, for that matter? Obama has the right to profess his faith as much as Romney did. Why are you not questioning Romney's sincerity? Or Paul Ryan's? Surely, if you match them sin for sin against Obama, you would be hard pressed not to find equalities. (Rich men and camels and needles and all that).

    November 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  5. sortakinda

    Changed his faith? You mean he's not still a Muslim?

    November 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Person55

    Beware of crazy conspiracy theories too.

    November 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  7. james P.

    Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing

    November 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  8. Person55

    Come on. The illuminati? Obama claiming himself as a messiah? This is supposed to be CNN, a real news station, not a fake one like infowars. So let's stop with the conspiracy theories and try to have a real discussion here.

    November 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  9. vincastar

    If Obama is so familiar with Matthew 25 "The least of these" and is a Christian then why doesn't he protect the least of these? No one can call themselves a fallower of Christ and not fight for the right of life for a baby in the womb. Jesus is pro-life and no reasonable person one would argue different. Freedom which America is suppose to be founded on means pro-life. Life is the most fundamental freedom that God has given us. It is the most fundamental right that our nation is suppose to be protected by freedom. We are free as long as our freedom does not hinder the freedom of another. I pray that President Obama finds the wisdom of Jesus and the meaning of freedom.

    November 11, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Charise

      Imo it's because if someone does or doesn't believe in abortion, then either don't have one if you don't believe in it or have one if you believe in the right to choose, but we don't have the right to impose our religious beliefs on others. The President obviously believes in a woman's right to choose, even if he is against it personally. Religious beliefs should not infrnge upon civil rights.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Why make abortion Obama's problem when as far as we know (maybe Donald Trump knows better?) he has never had an abortion while each year over 700,000 believers in the USA do? Why don't the religious charlatans go after each woman who has an abortion, perhaps punishing them according to The Babble's instructions? Why don't the religious cults clean up their own backyard before sticking their noses in sane people's business?

      November 13, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • McShannon

      I am Pro –life and voted for President Obama. Some say there are 5 million abortions in the USA annually let’s say that figure is correct. Hypothetically let’s do away with all abortions. In ten years there would be 50 million more unwanted, (USA population 310 million) unloved children on earth in the USA. Republicans say give these immoral people nothing, absolutely no programs to improve their lot. You must see the problem with that thinking. Free contraceptives if they prevent even five unwanted pregnancies are an invaluable tool to prevent abortions. The problem may be that our churches don’t see the log in our eyes and would rather remove the splinter from the eye of a citizen of another country. To prevent abortions you must bring immoral people to a higher spiritual understanding and that really is the only answer.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  10. james

    Baloney comes in all sizes–

    November 11, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  11. Daryl Owen

    He has an Indonesian-American dual citizenship. A passport from Pakistan. A birth certificate the FBI says is a counterfeit. His own mother says she was there when he was born in Kenya. He said he was from the planet Krypta sent here to save the planet earth...do you believe that? You shall know them by their fruits. Do you really think Y'shua of the Holy Bible who said 'pray for your enemies' and 'from whence come wars and fightings from among you but from the lust which wars in your members' would wage ten wars around the world and regear the terrorist threat from muslims who are brought up to hate Christians and Jews and esteem Mohammhed who had them both beheaded to Christian Libertarians and returning Veterans and gun owners. Wake up. Stop watching the snooze news. Do you think the people who rejected Jesus, few in number, who were told, I'm taking the kingdom from you and giving it to a people who will bear its fruit, should be giving us all of our wonderful propaganda and brain-washing? Wake up or Wako!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Huebert

      d'fvck did I just read.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Just like with King Saul, this is not what God wanted for His people, but He gave them what they asked for; Saul (a king like onto the other nations). We now have our own Saul. It will not be until we are about ready to crumble into complete ruin that our King David be revealed. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. Your faithful remnant awaits you. Amen.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • End Religion

      The nuts are out, hot and heavy. I need a Star Trek translation device or something. Between our friend Daryl, the Hindu Hater and God's Oldest Dreamer I sometimes wonder if I do know English afterall.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  12. Jane Doe

    We are not to judge others; that is the job of God himself.
    What we ARE to do is pray that Obama seeks the Lord for the strength to lead our nation.
    We cannot just assume Obama, or anyone else for that matter, is saved, or not saved.
    Only Jesus knows his heart.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Daryl Owen

      Pray that we are delivered from decievers and antichrists like Obama. Judge for yourselves what is right, Y'shua said! I hope he is delived up to be nailed to a tree just like the lord whom he obvously hates. What is this mass Stockholm Syndrome Americans are going through. If you are a Christian you would be set apart. If you weren't complicit with their greed and whoring around in the world then you would be able to see clearly what sort of fruit the puppet-in-chief bears. We are told to 'owe no man anything' And so he took the bread from the mouths of the poor (23.7. Trillion) and gave a blank check to the Banksters and financiers who orchestrated and engineers the debacle to begin with. Russian intelligence knew more than a decade ago that they were gonna put Obama in as president. What will it take for people to realize communist red and communist blue...its all the same.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • End Religion

      If the U.S. i so horribly communist, and Russia somehow pulls the strings of who we elect, shouldn't you pretty much declare all is lost and maybe move to another country? Daryl, you're suffering under the delusion of just about every conspiracy on the planet. Seek help.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  13. John

    I believe that God will be much different than the way religion portrays God to be. I pray that God is good and loving. I believe because our father has called me to serve as he has called billions around the world to serve. Yes, we are sheep, and the Master has spoken. To believe is to have hope and faith in the universe that there is much, much more than meets the eye. I see that magic every day, and everywhere. The fact that I breathe this breath is a miracle so powerful I have no option but to search for answers. I sit her and ponder my relevance as our planet circles our sun at 66,000 mph along the fabric of space. I not only see intelligent design, but unfathomable miraculously amazing incredible design that forces me to ask how and why? And as I pray and those prayers are answered I now know that my existence is a gift that cannot be wasted. Thank you my Father for this blessing of life. I guess to an Atheist these are the babblings of a mad man, but I can only presume that Atheist to ponder the very same questions of existence that we all do, and I know not all Atheist blindly follow the reasoning’s of theoretical science. Atheist, agnostics, and the spiritual have much, much more in common than we’ll ever admit.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  14. Jerry Lemieux

    The biggest change to Obama is that he now truly believes that he is the Messiah. And it would appear that many in this nation have joined his cult.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Daryl Owen

      You're talking as though your comment is to people who follow alternative news media. Youre audience is gonna be mostly people who watch Communist News Network. I like the idea of truthers going to mainstream blogs and telling it like it is and not just preaching to the choir. I think though you would have to elaborate so that the average joe would know what you're talking about. Most people don't know what the knights of malta is. They don't realize Obama has denied Christ repeatedly. A little Ishtar festival in the Catholic cult tradition is not gonna change that. People don't realize he says things in code so that played backwards it says things like 'serve satan' and they definitely don't get that Jesus Christh was not a war-monger as they have been told 'pray for our allies' and 'pray for our troops' where Y'shua taught us to 'love your enemies' So they wouldn't know an illuminati preacher if he slapped them upside the head.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • End Religion

      @jerry: Can you point to the place where Obama proclaimed himself a messiah?

      @daryl: "I like the idea of truthers going to mainstream blogs and telling it like it is and not just preaching to the choir."

      if it were the truth one wouldn't have to scour obscure web sites for it.

      "Most people don't know what the knights of malta is."

      For good reason. It's irrelevant to anything but your conspiracy theories.

      "They don't realize Obama has denied Christ repeatedly."

      1) let's see the supporting documentation
      2) who cares? One doesn't need to worship imaginary beings to run a country.

      "People don't realize he says things in code so that played backwards it says things like 'serve satan'"

      Didn't we get our fill of this in the 60's by spinning Led Zeppelin records backward on a turntable? Dude you are light on your meds...

      "So they wouldn't know an illuminati preacher if he slapped them upside the head."

      You know the Illuminati is just something used in movies to scare little kids, right?

      November 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  15. veggiedude

    Obama is not perfect. He believes in God and yet is for the death penalty. How's that for a conundrum? Both are wrong by the way, but to believe in both at the same time is completely whack.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Bill Miller

      Abortion and the death penalty are two complete issues. One is the murdering of innocent nonborn babies, while the other is justice. When one purposely murders, for any reason, should receive the same justice, that they gave to the one that was murdered. I personally do not bbelieve in the death penalty, instead, put them under lock and key for 23 hours each day, and leave them medicine that will end their lives if they so desire it, let them take their own lives.

      November 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      @bill: read your bible. There is no commandment that says "thou shalt not kill unless we feel it is justified"

      November 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  16. Sina Ajiboye

    As christians we are enjoined to love our neighbours, pray for unbelivers and sinners to repent. What is all this noise about Obama's faith. Lets say Obama is not a christian, are we not suppose to pray for his salvation? We are called to also pray for our country and those in position of leadership. Obama is a child of destiny and no matter what we say or do, he is fullfilling destiny

    November 8, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Jane Doe


      November 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  17. Geez Louise!

    It's the religious/people who are in love with themselves and are self righteous that give real Christians such a bad name. If President Obama prays and believes in God..WHO CARES!! The only thing I can do is pray for him when I lay my head down at night. He has big challenges ahead of him. Instead of all the "Christians" crying Muslim or whatever your crying why don't you do the Christian thing and pray for him. That's what's wrong with this country! Everyone has a need to feel that THEY are right. Get over it people. If you believe what you are saying, that someday everyone will be judged according to their lives, maybe you should start focusing on yourself and get right. I know that when I have to give an account for my life...nobody but me will be doing it.

    November 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  18. Nita Brannon

    A real Christian does not believe in collective salvation. It is an individual thing, and Obama has professed his belief in collectivism.. Can't save just one person, must save everyone. That is not biblical. Also, he was raised muslim and has had their beliefs engrained in his brain. I cannot judge Obama's faith, but "by their works ye shall know them."

    November 7, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • mabel

      Yes-"by their works, you shall know them..." and you are in no position to judge-that's for God to do.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Richad Carrier

      Mabel – when Jesus says, "you'll know them by their fruits" – he's talking to believers. He's telling believers how they can know who the other believers are. He is every bit telling them to judge people who say they're Christians by the works they do. Otherwise, why say it?

      Furthermore, Christians are commanded by the Lord to "discern, "test every spirit", "judge righteously", etc. So the whole Judge not thing needs to be in its proper context with these other statements.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • christopher hitchens

      @richad carrier
      There are a lot of fruits that vote democrat.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Richad Carrier

      that was funny!

      November 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jean

      Obama was not raised Muslim. His father was a Muslim. He was not raised by his father. His father later became an atheist.. I read where President Obama stated he was not raised in a religious home.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  19. George

    No one has produced any evidence of a mosque that Obama ever attended, but we know some of his old pastors, yet some still foolishly think he's a muslim, just because they don't like him anyway.

    November 7, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  20. Baptist Minister

    Praise The Lord!! Satan Has Been Defeated!!

    November 7, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Nita Brannon

      Not just yet.....he has only been re-elected.

      November 7, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • AJ

      Wow. If a Baptist Minister actually said that, then he is neither.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Fake post

      Possibly yet another fake post.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:40 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.