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My Take: An almost chosen nation
In 2009, President Barack Obama was sworn in using the same bible used by former President Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln bible will make an appearance in this inauguration as well.
January 19th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: An almost chosen nation

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

When Barack Obama is publicly sworn in for the second time as president on Monday, he will use two Bibles. One belonged to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the other to Abraham Lincoln —two of the most religious figures in American political history. Both men saw clearly the moral contradictions that tore at the fabric of American democratic life. Yet both also believed deeply in the exceptional character of the United States and the spiritual significance of its democratic mission.

In a speech to the New Jersey legislature on his inaugural journey to Washington, February 21, 1861, Lincoln reflected on Trenton’s heroic role in America’s fight for independence:

“I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come.”

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

Lincoln never doubted the universal appeal of the nation’s experiment in self-government, a “promise to all people of the world” that would endure across the centuries. Unlike modern liberals, Lincoln was no cultural relativist: He believed firmly in natural and inalienable rights that belonged to all people, from every corner of the globe, by virtue of their common humanity. Despite the cancer of slavery and racism that had infected the body politic, no nation was more devoted to securing those rights than the United States. Indeed, Lincoln insisted that America had a God-given role in advancing this cause in the world:

“I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle.”

Lincoln’s description of America as an “almost chosen people” captured brilliantly the qualified and uncertain character of the nation’s democracy: deeply and grievously flawed, but nonetheless caught up in the righteous purposes of God. Unlike many of his religious contemporaries, Lincoln stopped short of identifying America as the new Israel; no spiritual covenant between God and the United States could be presumed. Lincoln well knew the capacity of religious zeal to poison our politics. Nevertheless, he insisted that America’s commitment to liberty and equality was consistent with the character and intentions of the Almighty.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, shared Lincoln’s political theology. In a way that many liberal and secular-minded Americans would now find offensive, King wielded passages and principles from the Bible like an ax to assault the racist assumptions that degraded the lives of millions of African-Americans. Like Lincoln, he appealed to America’s spiritual legacy in order to renew its democratic mission.

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In “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” King complained that African-Americans had been denied “our constitutional and God-given rights.” He declared that “the goal of America is freedom,” a mandate from heaven itself. Indeed, King saw the hand of God in the political fight to call America back to its founding ideals: “If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail,” he wrote. “We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.”

Modern liberalism scorns the very idea of “the sacred heritage of our nation.” It rejects the view of America as “an almost chosen people,” an exceptional nation devoted to political and religious ideals anchored in a transcendent cause. In this sense, Mr. Obama’s party, the party of liberalism, would not know what to do with a Lincoln or a King.

It is heartening, and symbolically important, that Mr. Obama will be using the Bibles of these two great leaders as he takes the oath of office. It would be more significant, though, if the president found room for their moral vision of the United States in his administration and in his party.

- kramsaycnn

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Politics

soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. SciGuy

    Lincoln on freeing the slaves 
    On March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln's inauguration, both houses of congress had passed a proposed amendment that declared slavery to be untouchable by any future acts of congress. In his inauguration speech, Lincoln pledged his support of the amendment, asserting, "holding such a provision (the legality of slavery) to be implied Consti.tutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable." 

    January 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Why are the Libs still fighting slavery? Hasn't anyone told them?

      January 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  2. rr

    I find it funny that men and women like Obama call themselves christian and place their hands on the Bible and yet they don't know the ten commandments or the moral beliefs of God let alone anything else about the word of God. They don't even believe there is a hell and are only swearing an oath using the Bible so that it looks like he cares. I am an independent and I don't believe a single word he says. If we survive another four years we'll be as corrupt, ungodly, and broke as Europe.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      While I don't agree that Obama has ill intentions and that our country is doomed, I do agree that he is most likely going through the motions; if he didn't, the masses (to include liberals) would be outraged.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • snowboarder

      there are literally as many interpretations of scripture as there are readers. if reading and understanding the meaning of the bible were somehow universal there would not be thousands of christian denominations all professing an unerring understanding.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • JM

      They don't know the 10 Commandments? That man is more moral than most "Christians" I know, many of whom are self-righteous, self-centered, racist, hate Democrats/minorities and clueless about Jesus' teachings. The only people he criticized were the self-righteous religious hypocrites who looked down on everyone else and who he said were in danger of the fires of hell. He came to save 'sinners' (of which Paul said he was the worst sinner) not sanctimonious Pharisees. That's why it's good news.

      Obama's the real deal.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Lemaitre

      You better read your NT again JM. Jesus had a lot to say about a lot of things and people.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • JM

      Sure doesn't sound like any Republicans I know:

      21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.'

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.'

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?'

      January 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • snowboarder

      actually, lamaitre, considering that not a single word uttered the the fabled jesus was written down within decades of his purported life, any quote attributed to him is likely a work of complete fiction.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • StafCoyote

      Thank you for reinforcing the European perception that America is a xenophobic, isolationist outlier. Posts like yours give Anti-Americanism a good name

      January 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      You know nothing of Europe rr

      January 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  3. mama k

    The article's author has some good observations regarding Lincoln and King, but I feel his key assumption only reflects part of our heritage. He gets to his point in the next to last paragraph.

    I would disagree that "Modern liberalism scorns the very idea of 'the sacred heritage of our nation.'" There always has been a struggle between those who claim their inalienable rights from a particular God and "transcendent cause", and others who had an often very different God in mind (or none). With each type of God (or none), each has its own idea of purpose. Since this struggle goes back to the founding of the government, I would say that struggle better defines our heritage than this one-sided view.

    James Madison, 4th POTUS, was of course, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights. He and Jefferson, of course, were fierce advocates for the separation of church and state, and he was the key framer of the 1st Amendment.

    Madison wrote an article for the National Gazette – December 20, 1792. (So this was about a year after an initial ten of the twelve Amendments to the Constitution [that were primarily drawn from the Bill of Rights] were ratified.)

    In it, he attempts to play both "Republican" and "Anti-republican". I think the "Republican" side hints at the influence of Deism that was popular then. I think as an Episcopal who grew up and witnessed religious persecution in his home state between Christian sects, Madison was easily able to see the necessity for the separation of church and state, and I think he understood well both sides of the argument for and against:

    =======================

    Who are the Best Keepers of the People's Liberties?

    Republican-[answer to the title] The people themselves. The sacred trust can be no where so safe as in the hands most interested in preserving it.

    Anti-republican–The people are stupid, suspicious, licentious. They cannot safely trust themselves. When they have established government they should think of nothing but obedience, leaving the care of their liberties to their wiser rulers.

    Republican–Although all men are born free, and all nations might be so, yet too true it is, that slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant–they have been cheated; asleep–they have been surprised; divided–the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? That because the people may betray themselves, they ought to give themselves up, blindfold, to those who have an interest in betraying them? Rather conclude that the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it, as well as obey it.

    Anti-republican–You look at the surface only, where errors float, instead of fathoming the depths where truth lies hid. It is not the government that is disposed to fly off from the people; but the people that are ever ready to fly off from the government. Rather say then, enlighten the government, warn it to be vigilant, enrich it with influence, arm it with force, and to the people never pronounce but two words–Submission and Confidence.

    Republican–The centrifugal tendency then is in the people, not in the government, and the secret art lies in restraining the tendency, by augmenting the attractive principle of the government with all the weight that can be added to it. What a perversion of the natural order of things! To make power the primary and central object of the social system, and Liberty but its satellite.

    Anti-republican-The science of the stars can never instruct you in the mysteries of government. Wonderful as it may seem, the more you increase the attractive force of power, the more you enlarge the sphere of liberty; the more you make government independent and hostile towards the people, the better security you provide for their rights and interests. Hence the wisdom of the theory, which, after limiting the share of the people to a third of the government ... establishes two grand hereditary orders ... inveterately hostile to the rights and interests of the people, yet by a mysterious operation all combining to fortify the people in both.

    Republican–Mysterious indeed! But mysteries belong to religion, not to government; to the ways of the Almighty, not to the works of man. And in religion itself there is nothing mysterious to its author; the mystery lies in the dimness of the human sight. So in the institutions of man let there be no mystery, unless for those inferior beings endowed with a ray perhaps of the twilight vouchsafed to the first order of terrestrial creation.

    Anti-republican–You are destitute, I perceive, of every quality of a good citizen, or rather of a good subject. You have neither the light of faith nor the spirit of obedience. I denounce you to the government as an accomplice of atheism and anarchy.

    Republican–And I forbear to denounce you to the people, though a blasphemer of their rights and an idolater of tyranny. Liberty disdains to persecute.

    =======================

    January 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  4. .

    20 million people who have given up hope of finding work. Every taxpayer owes $146,000 on the national debt. Unemployment at 8 percent is the new norm. The price of gas is over 3 dollars. Public employee union thugs are setting economic policy that goes against private sector working people. Your company can choose to pay a fine in lieu of providing healthcare insurance - and throw you under the unionized government healthcare bus - at your expense. Do you miss the hundred bucks taken out of your paycheck this year?

    We've re-elected Jimmy Carter.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      And yet i-pad sales are through the roof. Things are not ideal in this country. However, it seems like you're choosing to only look at the doom and gloom.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • DVDon3

      Yes, NONE of that was happening while the Bush's were in office and the deficit never exploded under Reagan. All of that happened instantly the minute Obama stepped into office!

      January 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • JM

      I'm so glad Bush is gone and we're heading back in the right direction. Who could have imagined the nightmare he'd unleash on the world?

      January 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Truth be told....

      The poster under the dot is 100 percent correct. Decreased expectations are always the new norm under a liberal president.
      And Obama is very Jimmy Carter.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • dinardo

      I agree. Obama is the second coming of J.C. – Jimmy Carter.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Elvis

      Obama only thinks public sector union members are working class people. Government of, by and for the public employees. Everyone else starves.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense. Carter was unable to grasp the big picture of government. He was a micromanager. Obama is not.

      Try to find some other reason to hate him, you boneheads.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Lemaitre

      BHO is the second coming of his afro-marxist father

      January 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • udolphous

      I agree. The real president is Richard Trumka, not Barack Obama. Trumka says, "Jump!" And Obama asks, "How high?"

      January 20, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And, in case you haven't noticed, I'm a complete idiot. Why else would I post under the fool name Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son?

      January 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • tallulah13

      Your Republican candidate lost, kids. Time to get over it.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Ziggy

      You is what you is, Tommy Boy.....

      January 20, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awww. Poor thing; your butt must be so sore.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      All the whining you dopes do about those sour gra-pes is pretty amusing.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  5. Daniel

    This article is so silly. People really need to get over themselves and allow change and progress to keep happening. America is a different place now there are way too many different religious and ethnic groups for one to rule what everyone else does. Obama stands for equality acceptance and tolerance. Above all the religious issues of who and what is right and wrong, equality, acceptance, and tolerance are the key things to this nation moving forward. If Martin Luther King Jr and Lincoln were alive today they would proud of the freedom that is still being fought for in this country. The religious freedom that the pilgrims were looking for when they came to this land the freedom that women and african americans have been fighting for since day one.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • .

      Put the hooka pipe down, Danny Boy.... You've had waaaay too much.

      What did you think of last week's pay stub?

      Of course, that's assuming you have a job.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  6. HBsteve

    I think Barack Obama lives up to the ideals of these two great men, values the sacred heritage of our nation and its status as a leader among the nations of the world. You can see this in his desire to ensure that every American has access to health care. That immigrants have a path to citizenship. That America does not impose its will on other countries that are no threat to us. That gay Americans can aspire to marriage just as straight Americans. That women can make decisions about their own lives and not have the government dictate to them. Lincoln and MLK would be proud of Barack Obama and his desire to see that every American can choose his or her own destiny. The author misses the mark completely.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • JM

      Amen

      January 20, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  7. Mike

    Mr. Loconte, as one of the millions of people who, if your precious book were really followed how you wished it to be, would be put to death, I say it's a good thing that the President doesn't follow the Bible's vision.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  8. It's so great that Jesus hated self-righteous Pharisees

    13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

    15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  9. Zedd

    There are too many questions. What if the Lincoln bible was replaced by the Jefferson bible (the one he cut, pasted and edited to remove all supernatural elements)... would it still count? What if a bible was replaced by a stack of Marvel comics? Or what if he swore with his LEFT hand instead of his RIGHT? Hmm... so many things to consider.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Lemaitre

      What if he swore an oath on his dead Afro-Marxist father's grave? Would you believe him then?

      January 20, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Zedd

      @Lemaitre – It's amazing how you can throw your southern drawl over the web like that. Impressive.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Lemaitre

      @Zedd – I'm not southern and I don't speak with a drawl. But Bill Clinton fits that description

      January 20, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      What's an Afro-Marxist?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  10. SciGuy

    Lincoln was a Hypocrite with the capital H. You cannot legitimately claim to believe in govt of, by, and for the people while you are crushing millions of people because they are establishing that for themselves.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Lemaitre

      The South will rise again!

      January 20, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • JM

      You cannot claim to be a Christian and own slaves/be a racist, hate others...but so many people in this country did/do.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Lemaitre

      @JM.

      Where did you get those standards of Christianity from? Plenty of Christians have owned slaves.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • tahm see

      of, by, and for each 3/5 of a person!

      January 20, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      No the "south" will not rise again... they have no slaves to exploit.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Colossians 3:22

      January 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • JM

      Claiming to be a Christian does not make one a Christian (according to the Bible). Going to church doesn't magically make one a Christian. Obeying Christ makes one a Christian.

      Owning slaves? That's evil.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • SciGuy

      tahm, it was the North who demanded that the slaves be counted as less than a full person. The South wanted them to be full.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Lemaitre

      JM agree with much of what you said – except the owning of slaves part. Plenty of Christians have owned slaves. If you are asserting that there were no true Christians until the abolition of slavery (in our country? in every country?), well then I'm glad you don't get to decide who is in the Church and who is not.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • SciGuy

      JM, God does not condemn owning slaves. He condemns mistreating them. Read Paul's exhortations to masters and slaves.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • JM

      What's your point? He's talking to the slaves, not condoning slave ownership.

      Which is a good point. The faith of the slaves (in the face of the evil of their 'owners') was beautiful.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • SciGuy

      JM, he talks to both. And he tells masters how to treat their slaves. He doesn't condemn them for owning them, nor does he command them to set them free.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Lemaitre

      My point is that you have no competency to declare that all people who had slaves in previous generations were not really Christian.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • tahm see

      How benevolent of them to want to increase their political influence. They still owned slaves.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • JM

      Abraham Lincoln – "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

      January 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • tahm see

      their *own* political influence...by virtue of a higher population

      January 20, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Lemaitre

      JM – good quote, but irrelevant to what the Bible actually teaches about slavery, or your ability to decide who is a real Christian and who is not. Just saying.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • SciGuy

      Lincoln on freeing the slaves 
      On March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln's inauguration, both houses of congress had passed a proposed amendment that declared slavery to be untouchable by any future acts of congress. In his inauguration speech, Lincoln pledged his support of the amendment, asserting, "holding such a provision (the legality of slavery) to be implied Const_tutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable." 

      January 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • tahm see

      SciGuy, you are quite right that the Bible doesn't condemn slavery. If that's also your view, that the ownership of humans isn't necessarily a bad thing, then I suppose I'm done commenting.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • SciGuy

      Lincoln on freeing the slaves.

      Lincoln defended the right of slaveowners to own their property, saying that "when they remind us of their Consti_tutional right (to own slaves), I acknowledge them, not grudgingly, but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives."

      This was in 1858 during his debates with Douglas. He was promising to continue support of the Fugitive Slave Act which obligated the federal govt to use its resources to return runaway slaves to their owners.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Careful SciGuy – your knowledge of history will soon have you branded a racist and evil.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • SciGuy

      tahm, are you opposed to imprisoning people? There is hardly a more blatant exercise of ownership of a person than imprisonment. You must condemn that as well?

      January 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Lemaitre, yes I know. But I can no longer sit by while the mythical Lincoln that lives in most minds continues to be. The truth of Lincoln is out there for any who will o some reading. And be ready to discover that the Lincoln that they so adore did not exist!

      January 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  11. purplechum

    Our dear president is just following in the steps of former presidents. While swearing on the bible, bombing people into oblivion, raping the resources of the planet and bowing to the idol of the military and financial establishment. Nothing new, just old wine in new wine skins. We are beginning to reap the rewards of hypocrisy from environmental, political and economic consequences as a result of bankrupt spiritual reality.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Lemaitre

      Glad you see BHO as the phony that he is!

      January 20, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  12. MontanaTrace

    Good article. Amazing how most of the commenters have completely missed the very obvious point made by the author. I hope you will all read it again or as many times as it takes, to understand what was written. The biggest obstacle to be overcome by most of you is that you are blinded by your own predisposed thinking. See a couple of buzz words and it's off to your own sound bites.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      It seems as if the author is missing many points, making sweeping, baseless assertions about liberals and the Obama administration.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • David

      There is a vast difference between "being off to your own sound bites" and applying some critical thinking to what was written and pointing out where the writing has problems. In this case, it's in the idea that there is somehow a single thing called "modern liberalism". The writer asserts that it exists as though we should all accept it and then moves on to make a point about it. But that's the flaw in his point. There is, in fact, no such thing. So his attempt to assign attributes to something that doesn't exist causing his entire article to collapse. He has no point to make.

      January 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  13. David

    There is a lot to be commended in this article. But the idea put forward of "modern liberalism" misses the mark badly. There are many liberals, I count myself among them, that embrace our religious heritage. We also respect the heritage of others and don't presume to be the exclusive holders of what God's will is. This broad brush takes what could be nuanced view of how God moves in the politcal realm, and turns it into something deeply flawed. Had the writer taken a balanced view and shown how extreme positions on both the left and the right (he could have pointed to the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh and others that the mainstream right has embraced over the last few years) devalue what Lincoln and King brought us, it would have been well done. Instead, the overall integrity of the piece was lost.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Well said.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  14. Banjo Ferret

    Tim the Destroyer of Worlds does not favor nations or groups of people. We are all at the mercy of His flaming paws of doom. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    January 20, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  15. JM

    The great thing about President Obama is that he, wisely, has seen–and understand–American history, not as he (or anyone else) wants to see it but as it is: the good, the bad and the ugly. Unlike many people who simply accept the 'place' that others want to shove them into, he has a sense of himself, his abilities. He has actually internalizes the lessons of the individuals he respects (his mother, his grandparents, Lincoln, Gandhi, Jesus, etc.) and incorporates them into his life. He cares enough to think not only of himself but of those he has chosen 'to serve'. That's beautiful. That's gospel.

    -
    "Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

    January 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  16. BOSux

    Doesn't the picture of this grinning fool look exactly like a con man that knows their going to screw us all?

    January 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Lemaitre

      LOL! Well said.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Vic

      No. That would be Boehner and his posse full of haters. Like you.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  17. Unintelligent Designer

    "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:21-22)

    Once again, Dr. Loconte demonstrates the art of cherry-picking.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  18. John Moore

    America is one nation under God. Always has been, always will be, no matter how hard the atheist cry babies try to change history.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Sounds like you have hate in your heart. You know revilers are specifically mentioned as being barred from heaven right?
      Pack light for the afterlife.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Cry babies? Is that how you refer to patriots who are defending your freedom of religion?

      January 20, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • oddulation

      That's why "under God" wasn't added until the 1950's and the Founding Fathers repeatedly and explicitly established that the USA was not a Christian nation? The real revisionists are people like you that want to turn this country into a theocracy.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  19. NMStan

    Liberal, conservative? Who came up with these labels as I've seemed to note these past few years? Being a conservative used to be good So did being a liberal. Now they're used to derisively put down anybody that doesn't think like you.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Saraswati

      I think anyone who uses the worlds "liberal" or "conservative" without at least one or two more qualifiers has a very simplied view of reality. Sure, we have to make categories of the world, but to lump the entire US population into two or three buckets is just an excuse for not thinking.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  20. Lemaitre

    Come on, people. You don't really think Obama believes in all this swearing an oath on the Bible, or even the Consti_tution, do you. The Libs are all in on the ruse. Wink, wink.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Mary

      Excuse me, but the people that you refer to as "liberals" while you curl up your lip in disgust are the true patriots in the United States today. Not the Neo-KKK that you listen to on Fux News

      January 20, 2013 at 11:29 am |
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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.