Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – The political arm of Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Barack Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”
The fold-out brochure, which landed in Iowa mailboxes last week and was provided to CNN by a Des Moines-area voter, draws a series of contrasts between Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues of abortion, same-sex marriage and insurance coverage for contraception.
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The mailer - paid for by CitizenLink, a political affiliate of Focus on the Family - also includes a striking admission from the president.
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation,” Obama is quoted as saying.
The mailer does not explicitly endorse Romney, but the quote is clearly aimed at arousing the suspicions of Iowa’s vibrant Christian conservative community, a key voting bloc in the state and one that the Republican nominee will need behind him next Tuesday.
The quote, though, is cherry-picked from a speech Obama delivered in 2006, more than two years before he became president, at the Call to Renewal conference in Washington.
In 2008, during Obama’s first national campaign, the same out-of-context remark was circulated online as sinister evidence that the Democrat intended to curtail religious freedom in America. At the time, the spurious Internet chatter was debunked by FactCheck.org.
Here’s the full quote:
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation - at least not just,” Obama said. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers.”
In the same speech, Obama said, “Americans are a religious people,” noting that “90 percent of us believe in God” and cited a statistic that said 38% of Americans call themselves “committed Christians.”
“I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the role of faith in people’s lives, in the lives of the American people,” Obama said. “I think it’s time we joined a debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern pluralistic society.”
UPDATE: A previous version of this story inaccurately quoted Obama as saying a large majority of Americans describe themselves as "committed Christians." The correct figure has been added.