October 8th, 2007
08:45 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama: GOP doesn't own faith and values

Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - After speaking to an evangelical church on Sunday in this traditionally conservative South Carolina city, Sen. Barack Obama said that Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse.

"I think its important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party," Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services.

"I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the nineties, when at least in politics the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that often times seemed intolerant or pushed people away," he said.

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Related video: Obama: 'Faith plays every role'

Related video : Obama goes after the 'God gap'

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– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Faith • South Carolina
soundoff (976 Responses)
  1. Lioness, Washington DC

    Billh,

    You said:

    "Sounds a lot like the muslin extremist that are killing our brave men & women in terrorist attacks. They also believe that they are "destined to create their style of Kingdom on Earth". You people are soo stupid…obama seeks to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialism, or worse, islam."

    I will be charitable and call you a provocateur.

    Actually, muslims are supposed to find the Kingdom in heaven – what with the 72 virgins they are promised. You could say that 9/11 was partly about sex for Atta and co. Crash a plane and you get to rape a few dozen women.

    What you say about capitalism and socialism. LOL!!

    Do you really believe this, or are you trying to spew ignorant venom on behalf of another campaign?

    I hope you are just practicing ugly politics, because if the former is true, your MRIs probably turn up empty. Lucky you – no chance of brain cancer when you don't have the organ to begin with.

    October 7, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  2. John B. Escondido, CA

    Just one question.. if he's claiming to be an "evangelical Christian" (although it isn't clear to me) how can he support abortion? But, it doesn't really matter. Clinton will get the nomination - she has a lot of power. The Clinton-Bush reign will continue on.

    October 7, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Chris, Olive Branch, MS

    Where is the IRS? Why is it okay for black politicians to talk politics in church services? Did this church also invite someone from the Republican side to speak? The IRS needs to start enforcing its own rules!

    October 7, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  4. Rich, Somerset, NJ

    A Christian would know that people can never "create a Kingdom right here on Earth" and that only God can and will do that when He's ready to apply his judgement on all the sins of this world. On the other hand, Obama wants to create a humanistic kingdom and call it God's while embracing the sins of this word. I'm not sure what Faith Obama sucscribes to – but it ain't from the Bible

    October 7, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. Charles, Orlando, Florida

    nah, the only people walking into "oblivion" are left wingers, who excuse murder anr rape and blame society rather than the perp. Left wingers are free to follow Obama into oblivion. Obama is no Christian–he grew up Muslim and refused to vote against partial birth abortion. He ignored that whole "you shall not murder" ethos for poltical correctness and left wing stupidity and evilness. Obama is a false messiah for those godless leftists. What a joke. Any society that tolerates child murder is a kingdom of evil, not a kingdom of God.

    October 7, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Mendi, Los Angeles, CA

    Obama is nothing more than a pandering socialist.

    October 7, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. Rob, Dallas, TExas

    100% pure pandering. Liberals are so stupid in every endeavor. No one is buying it, Osama.

    October 7, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  8. JIM BEAUX,,CLEARWATER FL.

    TO QUOTE L.A.TIMES..WHO NAMED HIM THE MAGIC NEGRO..FREE AT LAST FREE AT LAST GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY,,IM GONNA GET MY FREE GOVERMENT CHEESE AND MY 40 ACRES AND A MULE..KEEP WORKING MILLIONS ON WELFARE DEPEND ON YOU..

    October 7, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. Jon

    For all his profession of Christian faith, Obama needs to get back to his Bible. The Kingdom of God is not a political kingdom.

    "Now when He [Jesus Christ] was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.

    October 7, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. Lioness, Washington DC

    Chris from Ft. Wayne,

    The difference between Obama's Kingdom on Earth and that of some neocons is that Obama does not advocate bombing clinics or blaming 9/11 on those who died, as the most right and eminent Jerry Falwell did.

    In other words, it is a question of unity vs. hate. I am an atheist, but even I can understand the underlying premise of Obama's statements.

    This is what happens when people take religion literally – they miss the big picture, and the consequences can be deadly.

    October 7, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. Peter, Amityville, NY

    Barack Obama is such a phony. Maybe his lack of support among religious voters has something to do with his support for abortion on-demand?

    What kind of "instrument of God" believes in abortion on-demand?

    October 7, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. Tim, Russellville Ohio

    I will believe Obama is a Christian when I see two thinks:

    1-His tax return showing serious giving to a real church (remember Al Gore's $200 annaul charitable controbutions on a 200K plus income? these guys want to be generous with your Money)

    2-His ablsolute repudiation of abortion, for which he is currently a absolute defender to the point of voting against life saving care to aborted babies born alive while in the ill legislature.

    Those who think his 'religious' word are either real or importand are fools.

    October 7, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Richard L. Fortin, Manchester, NH

    Osama Bin Barak has found God I wonder what Fidel Castro, Osama Bin Laden, and Ahmadinejad will think of his new found faith after all they all have endorsed Barak Osama. This phony claims he has found faith but refuses to wear the American Flag. I am trying to visualize President Obama refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance.

    October 7, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. William Miller, Wooster, OH

    Someone help me here. Should this church lose it's tax exempt status for campaigning for a political candidate?

    Is what this church doing endorsing a political candidate by hosting a service with Obama as a speaker?

    Personally, I have problem with this, but if it were a GOP candidate rally at a conservative church, the IRS would be knocking at the door the next day.

    October 7, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. J. Olson Hilo Hawaii

    Rick Warren and T.D Jakes, anemic Christians and who's kingdom is Barrack refering to? The Lord God Almighty creater of which the Bible speaks our the god and creater of Barracks humanistic secular world relegion view? Which is the truth?

    October 7, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Edward

    There will not be a democrat in the white house next election you only have two candidates one a wife of a former president who most believe is a total bi/tch even most in your own party. And an unknown Mr. Obama/ male version of Oprah……….. lol

    The only one that would have made a decent candidate is the Governor of New Mexico
    Bill Richardson but you people are, Thank God, to stupid to support him.

    You liberals need to find Jesus your party could really use the help.

    God Bless President Bush and our troops!

    October 7, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Steve Parks, St. Joseph, MO

    The problem with pandering is that it intentionally demeans the people being pandered to . . . there should be no requirement that a candidate be religious in order to be a viable candidate – on either the right or the left. John McCain recently made equally as much of a fool of himself by claiming a Baptist conversion, so he'd fit right in in the Carolinas. Too many politicians expect too little of us; too many of us meet their expectations.

    October 7, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. Paul USA

    Being a Dem automatically disqualifies a person from gathering conservative Christian votes. They just don't get it and in fact they make us want to vomit when they try and pull these stunts. What Bible is he reading from? Certainly not the same one I use. Don't worry liberals, you will get your "kingdom" but Belial will be your king for eternity unless you repent.

    October 7, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. Lioness, Washington DC

    John, you said:

    "I find it telling that an atheist like Lioness is comfortable with Obama's statements because she knows it is only political rhetoric.
    I recall how it scared the living hell out of liberals during Bush's first campaign when he spoke about his faith in God. I thought it funny then that the fear came from the fact that he actually meant what he was saying.
    I find it tragic now that so many will find comfort in the fact that Obama is only campaigning and doesn't actually believe what he is feeding these crowds.
    God help us."

    You raise a valid point. Let me clarify: I don't think it's rhetoric. I think it's sincere – I just don't happen to interpret it in the way that believers do.

    Why do I accept from Obama what I don't accept from Bush?

    Because Obama is trustworthy. I know that he would not use religion to spit hate or division, or to polarize the country. He has expressed respect for non-believers like me, and very strongly said that we have morals and values too. He has shown himself to be inclusive.

    His premise, his message and how he interprets the same God is diametrically opposed to how Bush interprets it. I do not trust Bush, and he has used religion to divide and criticize.

    If I ever see that coming from Obama, I will call him on it in the strongest terms, but I see nothing like that so far. Just the opposite.

    October 7, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. Brad, Chicago IL

    every election time the democrats go to black churches and claim they have faith–then attack the right and demand a separation of church and state. if you democrats really valued true faith youd be a republican. your democratic party has been blasting christians for years. cant you see the hypocrisy? you think hillary has faith? bill clinton? that religion for ya? its a total bummer that by the time you figure out your values and faith it will be too late.

    October 7, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  21. Dave, Tampa,FL

    Jesus Christ said in John 18:36 "My kingdom is not of this world". So if Christ's kingdom is not of this world, what kingdom is Sen.Obama trying to set up here? It's not biblical I'll tell u that much. Whether he means what he says or not, that's scary either way.

    October 7, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  22. Bob Smith LA CA

    Obama is an apostate. Some wacky muslime is gonna go after him. Plus, he's a unitarian, which is not Christian and barely believes in God.

    October 7, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. Laurie, Pittsfield, MA

    Obama sounds to me like our founding fathers and mothers – the men and women who founded this great country and who weren't afaid to speak about their faith.

    I remember JFK was also unafraid to talk about his Catholic faith.

    Obama is clearly a person of courage, conviction and faith.

    I find him exactly the kind of leader we need to face today's complex and serious problems

    October 7, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. Lioness

    "HEY OBAMA…
    This is GOD — You are a muslim phoney!!!

    Posted By GOD in HEAVEN"

    LOL!! This is what I mean by right-wing intolerance.

    October 7, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Makes a good read....http://www.time.com/time/poy2001/poyprofile.html

    October 7, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
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