August 26th, 2007
01:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama invokes Bible in NOLA

Obama attends church service in New Orleans.

(CNN) - Speaking to Sunday church congregants in New Orleans, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama invoked Jesus' Sermon on the Mount days before the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

"Getting ready to talk to you today, I recall what Jesus said at the end of the Sermon on the Mount," Obama said at New Orleans' First Emmanuel Baptist Church. "He said, whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock."

"The rains descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on the rock," he continued.

That rock, he said, was a principal of brotherhood exemplified by the church during Hurricane Katrina - but not the federal government.

"Something was wrong in America. Our foundation wasn't built on the rock," he said.

Obama blasted local, state and federal response to the storm, and touched upon ingredients necessary for the city's rebuilding, namely more employment opportunities for residents to rebuild, community-based law enforcement to tackle the city's crime epidemic, and improved health care.

President George Bush and several presidential candidates plan to visit New Orleans this week to commemorate the hurricane's anniversary.

Obama spent Saturday in Miami, where he brushed aside criticisms of running his campaign on the intangible platform of hope, calling himself a "hope monger," and proposed easing travel restriction with Cuba.

– CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. kevin, ny

    isnt he a Muslim?

    August 27, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. kking, brooklyn, NY

    OBAMA THIS, OBAMA THAT...WHAT EVER HAPPEN TO THE CONTRIBUTION OF OBAMA'S WHITE MOTHER AND HIS INDONESIAN STEPFATHER WHO HELP HIM IN HIS EARLY DAYS, WHEN HIS BLACK FATHER LEFT HIM...WHAT AN INSINCERE HUMAN BEING...OBAMA IS...SELLING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS AN ALL 100% BLACK AND ALSO REMEMBER AMERICA IS NOT AN ALL CHRISTIAN COUNTRY EITHER....LIKE ALL MEN IN HISTORY OBAMA IS STILL HUMAN...DOING ANYTHING TO GAIN POWER...BY THE WAY HIS SPEECH AT THE DNC STINKS AND BEING A SMOOTH TALKER IS NOT WHAT MAKES A TRUE LEADER AND A PRESIDENT EITHER...THE OBAMA BLUES WILL SOON LOOSE ITS LIGHT AND THE TRUE LIKE OF OBAMA WILL BE A BIG...BIG...DISAPPOINTMENT....AMERICANS OF ALL RACE AND COLOR...IS THIS THE MAN YOU WANT AS PRESIDENT WHO DON'T EVEN REMEMBER THIS WHITE MOTHER AND HIS INDONESIAN STEPFATHER'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO HIS SUCCESS, WHEN HIS BLACK FATHER IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND...WAKE UP OBAMA...STOP SELLING BS TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC...IF YOU READ THIS MR. OBAMA, PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG FOR I WILL APOLOGIZE AND WOULDN'T DARE TO SAY ANYTHING STUPID TO A GOOD AND SINCERE MAN, IF THERE IS ANY TRUTH IN WHAT I JUST SAID...PLEASE COME FORTH AND BE TRUTHFUL. THESE ON THESE...BY THE WAY BLACKS AREN'T THE ONLY VICTIMS OF KATRINA...WHAT EVER HAPPEN TO THE OTHER RACES, DIDN'T THEY SUFFER FROM KATRINA TOO? KATRINA HAS BECOME A POLITICAL WEAPON AND MAJOR EXECUSE FOR SOME. ENJOY!!!

    August 27, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Jason Cunningham, Irwindale, CA

    Yet another politician showing his ignorance of the Bible ... the "rock" that the wise man builds upon is not "the principle of brotherhood"; it's Jesus.

    August 27, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Corey , Lexington , SC

    Funny how he speaks in a church,reading God's Word , being a Muslim from birth.He is very deceitful.America is smart enough not to vote for him.Alot will come to the surface if and when he wins the democratic nomination...Go Duncan Hunter....

    August 27, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Richard J., Jeffersonville, IN

    Many of the people commenting on this blog have conveniently forgotten that Christians from all over this country were among the first to respond to the tragedy in New Orleans.

    Motivated by Jesus Christ's love, and without any thought of personal gain, thousands of Christians not only gave their money, but personally went to New Orleans to give of themselves to relieve the suffering of the people there.

    While your city, county, and state governments whined and cried and did nothing, and while the federal government didn't even pick up the ball they dropped, these Christian folks were working...hard...to help.

    While government stood by, paralysed and helpless, Christians went into the battle zone and got to work!

    That's the difference between real Christians and many of the do-nothing atheists and God-haters posting on this blog.

    Anything any atheist or atheist organization might have done in service to the poor, is vastly overshadowed by the thousands of organizations in this country founded by Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians to relieve the suffering of the poor, the helpless, and the powerless.

    Real Christians don't wait for the government to do something...they get their hands dirty, and they do it at their own expense!

    You ought to get down on your knees the thank the God you hate or do not believe in, that in spite of the efforts of the ACLU and others who would like to drive Christians out of the public arena and confine us to our own spiritual ghetto, that real Christians are still out in the world, serving Christ by sacrifically serving others.

    And speaking of loving your neighbor...you'd better hope if disaster ever strikes your neighborhood, that you'll have a real Christian living next door, who'll be there for you in your hour of need, instead of a selfish, whining, frightened little atheist or God hater who won't do a damned thing for you.

    Signed, Ex-Atheist

    August 27, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. JFrankM, Arnold MO

    I, for one, am so happy to see there are plenty out there willing to call BS on this idiot, when it needs to be done.

    Don't drink the kool-aid.

    August 27, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Joe, Minneapolis, MN

    Separation of church & state anyone? I guess it's only an issue if your a conservative.

    August 27, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Jimmy Sella, Farmington New Mexico

    Ok, maybe someone has already commented on this but not from what I have seen so here goes...Are you kidding me??? Invoking a passage from the bible?? These are the same people who compare Christians to terrorists, support the clinical murder of unborn children and support the arrest of a God fearing Pastor to be arrested if he will not marry two or more people of the same gender because of his belifs...thats all

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Rod M., Belleville, MI

    "Whoever hears these sayings of mine AND DOES THEM, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock."

    Jesus was not referring to himself. To hear the words of Jesus is to build a house. Doing what Jesus says is building on a strong foundation. So lets look at modern-day America in this light. Taking the lives of innocent babies is not following Jesus' sayings. Neither is focusing on riches and ignoring the poor among us. This country is divided and will fall because neither political party will follow the words of Jesus as found in the Bible. Instead, the liberals ban it from the walls of our schools, and the conservatives hypocritically follow it in word only, but not in deed.

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Rod M., Belleville, MI

    "Whoever hears these sayings of mine AND DOES THEM, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock."

    Jesus was not referring to himself in this verse. To hear the words of Jesus AND TO DO THEM will help people withstand the storms of life, and death. So lets look at modern-day America in this light. Taking the lives of innocent babies is not following Jesus' sayings. Neither is focusing on riches and ignoring the poor among us.

    This country is divided and will fall because neither political party will follow the words of Jesus as found in the Bible. Instead, the liberals have banned it from the walls of our schools, the conservatives hypocritically follow it in word only, but not in deed, and the rest could care less.

    August 27, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Eric, Scottsboro Al.

    C'mon folks, the problem isn't with Obama "sermonizing" America from The Big Easy.... THE PROBLEM is ANY CHURCH ALLOWING ANY POLITICAL FIGURE TO USE THEIR PULPIT TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS WITH AN AUDIENCE GULLIBLE ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT THE CANDIDATE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN GETTING ELECTED!!!! And saying whatever needs to be said at the pivitol moment i.e. Sunday church service to get their carcases in office!!

    Again I say.......... C'mon folks?!?

    August 27, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. John Gio, New York, NY

    How about separation of church and state? When the right invokes God, the left howles. Don't be hypocrites here. Obama is an empty suit.

    August 27, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. C, Middletown, CT

    Where in the US Constitution does is say "Separation of Church and State"? I just read the Constitution and I couldn't find it anywhere.

    August 27, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. RH

    Wow. Talk of religion really brings out the stupids. Coincidence?

    August 27, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Todd M. Stewart Sidney, NE

    Mr.. Obama lacks even the most basic understanding of our Constitution. Nowhere in our nation's founding document is the Federal government tasked with providing even emergency relief to disaster victims. The 10th amendment to the Constitution gives all power not explicitly granted to the Federal government to the States and the People and there for prohibits them from spending Federal money on such aid. Obama is dead wrong. It's the job of those very churches Obama was speaking of and other non-governmental organizations to provide disaster relief. If the Federal government didn't take, by force, such a large percentage of private citizens' money those organizations would be more than adequately funded to do so.

    August 27, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Todd Stewart Sidney, NE

    Mr.. Obama lacks even the most basic understanding of our Constitution. Nowhere in our nation's founding document is the Federal government tasked with providing even emergency relief to disaster victims. The 10th amendment to the Constitution gives all power not explicitly granted to the Federal government to the States and the People and there for prohibits them from spending Federal money on such aid. Obama is dead wrong. It's the job of those very churches Obama was speaking of and other non-governmental organizations to provide disaster relief. If the Federal government didn't take, by force, such a large percentage of private citizens' money those organizations would be more than adequately funded to do so.

    August 27, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. John, Ramstein AB Germany

    Obama must believe in Jesus since he can quote him so well...but what would Jesus say about his stance, and the democratic position on abortion???? Must not be something convenient for him to bring up to Jesus at this point in his campaign....although every republican debate it has been brought up and in none of the democratic debates...I'm surprised to see a democratic in church...I just didn’t realize they went

    August 27, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Sam the Sham, Arlington, VA

    Can we please let the myth of Obama's "paper thin record" disappear? He's been in the State Senate for 7 years. I think that counts a little bit more than 8 years as the President's wife. They cooked it up in haste as something to pin on Obama's squeaky clean rep. 'No wonder there's no dirt on him..he's got no experience!' It doesn't fly.

    August 27, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Sherrill, San Diego, CA

    Wait a minute! What about separation of church and state!!! I guess it is okay for the Democrats to go to churches and campaign but whoa if Republicans do it!

    August 27, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. jessie, milwaukee

    Where in the US Constitution does is say "Separation of Church and State"? I just read the Constitution and I couldn't find it anywhere.

    Posted By C, Middletown, CT : August 27, 2007 3:02 pm

    Liberals don't read...don't you know that? Someone fabricated the church/state myth and the libs hopped aboard...

    August 27, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. gerry purcell, alpharetta, georgia

    Context is always important. A good scripture can usually stir a crowd, especially a church crowd. But, I think the "Rock"in this case is not the government, but dependence on God and God alone....

    August 27, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Dr. Bigmotti

    why anyone takes him seriously or anything the Lunacratic party says seriously is beyond me. "We are killing Al Qaeda in Iraq and the surge is working but we need to get out of Iraq and go fight Al Qaeda elsewhere"....Brilliant stuff.

    Hussein Osama BananaRama is a fraud and a true amateur and anyone who can't see this is a) a fool b) gullible c) a scuker d) on drugs e) an ignoramous=A LIBERAL!!!

    August 27, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. tolp, gulfport, mississppi

    Where's Barry Lynn and his "separation of church and state" lawyers? He should be beating down the door of this church for "endorsing" a presidential candidate.

    I've never been to a church where somebody got up and "preached" about how the government has let us down. My churches always talked to us about loving our fellow man and helping them ourselves...not relying on Big Brother to do it.

    Get up off your lazy butts, New Orleans!

    August 27, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. David Plotts, Washington, DC

    Rick Moore is right on!!! or, kinda“ ,,,the foolish man builds his house 16′ below sea level in an area surrounded by lakes and rivers, and is then greatly astonished when a hurricane floods the city.” But that’s the easy answer.

    Sure, New Orleans was, and may still be a disaster waiting to happen (again) and yeah, it’s difficult to keep reading every rant about how the government (at all levels) let these poor people down. And, sure, a strong case in that direction, can and has been made.

    But the victims of this incredibly predictable natural catastrophe do and must have some self responsibility in all of this too, beyond the manic finger pointing that stared, seemingly, only hours after the storm was over.

    What's more worrisome about the Obama's, the Clintons, the Edwards and all the rest is the persistent message about victim hood, and how "we" (the Democrats) will help "you" (the underclass), in this case the victims of a terrible natural disaster. It’s such an old ploy. We’ll help you, we care, we want to make your lives better. Let government take care of you.

    Common folks! From the so-called War on Poverty under the Johnson administration to the present day, has it ever worked, or better, worked as promised? But there’s Obama in a New Orleans church making the same tired pitch, sadly to some very weary, and likely still very desperate people. Still, it’s sad.

    August 27, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. James, Fairmont WV

    Once again the Dems show how flip flop they can be. They scream "Separation of Church and State" and then go to a church to speak.
    Come on Dems, which way do you want it.

    August 27, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12