October 14th, 2007
01:27 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: Religion should play role in climate change

Obama spoke at an interfaith forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said Sunday that the separation of church and state should not force the people of the United States to "leave [their] religion at the door before entering the public square" and that, indirectly, faith informs politics.

"Our faith informs our values, and I think we'd all agree that our values inform our politics more than they have over the last six years," the Illinois senator said at an interfaith forum in downtown Des Moines.

Obama said that too often religious leaders use faith to "exploit what divides us" by saying that the only issues that matter are abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and intelligent design.

"Everyone in this room knows that's not true," Obama said.

He said there are other challenges that can unite people of faith, one of them being the issue of climate change.

"The bible tells us that when God created the earth, he entrusted us with the responsibility to take care of that earth," he said. "It is a responsibility to ensure that this planet remains clean and safe and livable for our children, and for all of God's children."

"Science has made it undeniably clear that our generation is not living up to this responsibility."

Obama also took a moment to praise former vice president and recent Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore for his work on global warming.

"I think all of us give great thanks to him for his extraordinary dedication, his extraordinary service, [and] his grace after a bitter defeat to rise up and actually transcend and do even more than one could have ever imagined to help highlight this issue."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Al Gore • Candidate Barack Obama • Global Warming • Iowa • Race to '08 • South Carolina
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. KMK, Chicago, Illinois

    I don't have any worries about Obama using "a totaly different deadly book," or participating in any other such nonsense, but I do have concern about people like Jim Bremer who either (1) is completely unreasonable in his line of thinking, or (2) he is trying to use people's fear of a terrorist attack to stop people from voting for Obama, even though he himself doesn't believe what he's saying. Either way, he's the dangerous one.

    Also I don't understand what all the fuss is about with respect to Obama talking about faith/religion, especially when he's talking at an interfaith forum. Most politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about it – it seems to be a pretty standard part of the campaigning process. The President of the United States is supposed to represent all of the people in this country - not just you individually. People who think religion is important have a right to hear about the candidates' religious views and how they shape their political views.

    October 14, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Barack Obama will become the next president of this great nation...

    The clinton political machine is undeniable can stop destiny he is a man of destiny.. Read the story of DAID VERSUS GOLIATH...

    OBAMA IS A MAN OF DESTINY... HE IS A UNITER AND FRESH OF BREATH AIR FROM THE SKY..NEW BEGINNING FOR THE WORLD OF DIVERSITY AND PROSPERITY..GO PRESIDENT OBAMA..DISREGARD THE TALKING HEADS

    October 15, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  3. mike, atlanta GA

    Barack Obama will become the next president of this great nation...

    The clinton political machine's undeniable power can't stop destiny.He is a man of destiny.. Read the story of DAID VERSUS GOLIATH...

    OBAMA IS A MAN OF DESTINY... HE IS A UNITER AND FRESH OF BREATH AIR FROM THE SKY..NEW BEGINNING FOR THE WORLD OF DIVERSITY AND PROSPERITY..GO PRESIDENT OBAMA..DISREGARD THE TALKING HEADS..

    October 15, 2007 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  4. MIKE , ATLANTA , GA

    Barack Obama will become the next president of this great nation...

    The clinton political machine's undeniable power can't stop destiny.He is a man of destiny.. Read the story of DAID VERSUS GOLIATH...

    OBAMA IS A MAN OF DESTINY... HE IS A UNITER AND FRESH OF BREATH AIR FROM THE SKY..NEW BEGINNING FOR THE WORLD OF DIVERSITY AND PROSPERITY..GO PRESIDENT OBAMA..DISREGARD THE TALKING HEADS..

    October 15, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. ronnie - knoxville

    Jeff Morgan in Tx – I thought you Texans were sensible .. maybe you 're too close to austin for your own good.

    the only global warming goin' on in this great nation of ours is the increasingly hot air comin out Al Gore's increasingly big mouth

    October 15, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  6. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    Even as an agnostic I can get behind Obama's spiritual message of stewardship.

    October 15, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. ronnie - knoxville

    sorry all, Obama might be the feel-good , spiritual medicine man, new-agey male version of Oprah but he's even more left-wing than Hillary Rotten, who at least would give our military a little raise and kick a** over in Iran . Obama as commander of our military is the most unlikely image one could conjure up.

    This isn't LaLa Land .. we need Patton, we need Churchill , we need a man who isn't afraid of what some socialist European country "thinks" of us! We need to take off the gloves and go whole hog in Iraq before we have to change our nameplate to "United States of Muslim"

    October 15, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  8. Observer

    He was speaking at a religious event you morons, that's why religion is on the agenda.

    Jeez no wonder Americans are the ridicule of the world – they can't even put simple things into perspective.

    October 15, 2007 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  9. deroy. w. palm, FL

    science?

    what does obama know about science?

    October 15, 2007 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  10. deroy, w. palm, FL

    what is "an interfaith" forum.

    sounds like people who believe in nothing.

    obama is the male version of oprah.
    oprah is a cult leader. so that makes obama?

    clinton is the DEM niminee. that is a given.

    non-debatable. keep sending those $10's&$20's to obama.

    hillary is getting millions from lobbyists.

    it's done and over.

    October 15, 2007 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  11. Robert Rochester, MN

    I don't want faith, which is inherently irrational, "informing" my candidate's politics. I want a candidate whose politics are based in fact, not superstition.

    October 15, 2007 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  12. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, SA, Australia

    A 'liberal' socialistic agenda is making a religion out of climate change by asserting that global warming is caused by humans and condemning all doubters as heretics. 'Alleged' human caused global warming will not convince me to set aside concrete moral crisis such as the wholesale slaughter of innocent human beings through abortion.

    Sorry Obama. I'm not buying it.

    ThirstyJon
    freedomthirst.com

    October 15, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  13. Mike, TX

    CNN covers Barack on the environment when he mentions religion in the same sentence, trying to bring people together. CNN HARDLY covers Barack a week ago when he actually released his REAL energy -plan-. Curious indeed...

    October 15, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  14. Shawn Aramin

    If my fellow Hillary support think that our party should hate religious people and treat them like they aren't part of this great nation. I'm just gonna have ta say (sorry Hill). I can't support you anymore if you attact people who like our great nation turning a blind eye to a large set of this nations population. It's sad to see y'all like this. Atheist should still want to unite this country across partisan lines and belief.

    Sorry Hillary, but I will not be voting for you this year.

    Shawn Aramin

    October 15, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. laurinda,ny

    Obama would make a terrible president. He is a front for one of the middle eastern nations. Something is wrong with him. I think he has mania. Up, down. Now he is up and thinks he's Martin Luther King. I will vote for who I want. Hillary is the best candidate for the job. After Bush, no one will ever want a Republican.

    October 15, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  16. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Why dont we just skip the middle man and put God on the Ballot, perhaps with Jesus as his running mate? Isnt anyone sick of this religous mumbo-jumbo yet? Obama is just another religous kook who belongs in the Republican party.

    October 15, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. Dave Wimberly, Pittsfield, MA

    It is sad that we have to rely on fairy tales to realize we are destroying the planet. Makes sense coming from someone who thinks faith informs our values. This atheist wants nothing to do with the type of values faith forces on us, and I certainly will not vote for a leader that is so naive about science as to continue to claim that god waived his magic wand and created all this.

    What we need is a leader that is not so arrogant as to accept religion's view of our significance in the world. Statements like "God gave us dominion over animals" and "God created woman for man to have a servant" remind us of the arrogance that has created religion. How about a leader that simply accepts we exist, does not need a reason for it and therefore works to improve the here and now?

    October 15, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Ayyub, Richmond

    Obama would make a terrible president. He is a front for one of the middle eastern nations. Something is wrong with him. I think he has mania. Up, down. Now he is up and thinks he's Martin Luther King. I will vote for who I want. Hillary is the best candidate for the job. After Bush, no one will ever want a Republican.

    Let me remind Hillary Supports that Hillary has a religion as well and so do the other candidates. If Obama talks about religion that means that, unlike Hillary, he will say what he truly believes. Hillary on the other hand will say anything to get a vote. She's a robot.

    October 15, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Harry D, FL

    This doesn't have anything to do with Obama, so please give him credit where it is due.

    With that said,
    God will judge and destroy you all. You cowards live your lives serving money and immorality. I've been guilty of it too. Very soon we'll feel the pain of our ways and it will be too late to turn back. Repent to God, come home to your brothers and sisters.

    October 15, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  20. therealist

    No way your going to win the dem nomination talking about religion. Sorry Obama, sounds like your on the wrong team..

    October 15, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Chris, Dallas

    This doesn't have anything to do with Obama, so please give him credit where it is due.

    With that said,
    God will judge and destroy you all. You cowards live your lives serving money and immorality. I've been guilty of it too. Very soon we'll feel the pain of our ways and it will be too late to turn back. Repent to God, come home to your brothers and sisters.

    Posted By Harry D, FL : October 15, 2007 9:38 am

    I resect religion, but please don't go to far to telling atheist to repent. You'll seem crazy. This is about the enviroment and whether faith should play a role in. I think it should, all people, black, white, asian, arab, indian, religious, atheist, non-religious, democrate and republican, liberal and conservative, all people should play a role in protect our planet.

    Obama, Bravo, Bravo. Thank you for help bring up the issue of Global Warming in this race. I hope more candidates bring it up soon. And thank to Al Gore for making this an issue in this election!

    October 15, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Alona, Idaho

    CAN I GET AN OH?!#$^@&*#$^@#*()!

    October 15, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Ryan Indianapolis

    Dude you are nuts...Flat out if Bush would say something like this he would be critized for years,,,oh yea I forgot he is not matter what he says by you left wing nut jobs.

    October 15, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Jim Bremer

    Barak Hussein Obama is scary. No, not in terms of winning the race. Scary in terms of his behavior and the loopy things he says.

    The only way Dems can lose this race now is to make Barak Hussein the Dem candidate.

    You really think the Republican attack machine will leave Barak Hussein alone ? They'll bring out an attack on his middle name that'll make the "Swift Boat Veterans" look like a picnic. Who knows what skelteons are in Barak's cupboard from his time at a madrassa in Indonesia. Jehadi ties maybe ?

    Think ! Don't be fooled by the Politics of False Hope !

    October 15, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Angela, of Florida

    The point is we are intelligent enough to alter the atmosphere and shift land masses.

    The climate will always change, and in truth our pollution, while toxic and contributing to molecular conversion carbon, does not contribute in mass to the greenhouse effect so much as the loss of land locked fresh bodies of water do; this is seen in the Caspian and Aral Seas, and the growing Sahara.

    We as a sapient species, must convert salt water to fresh and work to replace the lost fresh water sources and inland seas. With a great increase in global humidity: glaciers will reform and the ice-caps will gain precipitation. With that water evaporate, heavy atmosphere hurricanes will have a harder time forming in the rising oceans. Yes, oceans are rising and will continue too as the ice melts and as we drain ground water sources into them; water is not easily release from such a deep cold and churning mass body. Shallow inland seas feed the weather cycle, but without the environmental contribution of water to the atmosphere heat retention is reduced so it gets colder faster...

    October 15, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7