August 26th, 2007
01:45 PM ET
11 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. Bryan Canton, Ohio

    What does someone speaking at a church have to do with "Congress making a law respecting an establishment of religion"?

    We should not however "prohibit the free exercise thereof".

    August 27, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. R

    As a group, the dems have fought over and over to disallow religion in any form to be associated with politics. Now we have this empty suit from Chicago invoking the Bible as part of his latest stump speach to convince you that he's the man for the job. No doubt if he gets elected (God help us) we'll see his true attitude and anyone embracing religion will be duly banished from this land.


    August 27, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Waldo, Privacy, CA

    From what I've seen and heard in media - mostly via "live" television interviews/broadcasts - Obama is a member of a self-defined, "BLACK CHURCH."

    The other titling comes afterward, but first and foremost, as per their very minister (who has said as much on various televised interviews), he is minister of "A BLACK CHURCH" of which Obama (and family) are members. When questioned about why they use that definition of their church, the minister grew immediately rude, impatient, angry and was obviously condescending to and about the very question, suggesting that the "White" man who asked that question was just "too dumb" to understand.

    How would any of you Liberals here respond if a Republican, Christian male (or female, for that matter) went before the world and proclaimed that they were members of "A WHITE CHURCH."

    I can barely stand to consider just to what extent the outcry would ensue, if ever so...

    About the "Separation of Church and State," another thing about Liberals that can always be relied upon to happen without balance, is, that WHEN you hear A LIBERAL who you "like" mention Christ and/or refer to the Bible (New Testament or Old), you support the statement/s. WHEN, however, you hear a Conservative refer to Christ, Christianity, the Bible (Old and/or New), you revile them.

    It comes down to the fact that you dismiss and denigrate Conservatives when and if there is mention of Christ and Christianity, while you promote those Liberals who do even when they obfuscate their references (and in this case, I refer to Obama, his "black church" and the use of this Biblical context to politicize his intents).

    I never grow weary of hearing or reading anyone quoting Christ, or for that matter, any part of the New Testament (while the Old Testament is sometimes used to dismiss the New Testament and to denigrate Christ, and that's a problem for those locked into the Old Testament only - the two Old and New are to be taken and regarded together).

    But I am weary of hearing mostly Liberals refer to the Bible without context, often, of Christ, for political reasons, while doing their utmost to stamp out mention of Christ nationwide along with harassing anyone who believes in the morality proclaimed by Christ (and in the New Testament).

    Obama is a politician. I like his wife. I'd never vote for either of them, however, but that does not mean I don't find them both charming (I do). I think they are confused and misled as to Christianity and especially as to what democracy means and is, and how it is to be maintained. Obama is essentially a Marxist, as is Hillary Clinton, as are most Democrats and Liberals today. They are also essentially intolerant of Christ, the New Testament and Christianity except when they assume the use of any/all will gain them footholds as to sympathy and support. Christ warns us about people like that, especially their actions.

    August 27, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Joe Wayupahollerin, West Va

    Oh well.........Just add another idiot to the mix of candidates. This chump has no concept of Biblical teachings.

    August 27, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. Johnny Guitar, Charlotte, NC

    How ironic...Obama quotes from a Bible passage when it appears convenient within the Bible belt; the devil quoted directly from Psalm 91 when he attempted to fool Jesus...

    August 27, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Scott, Tulsa, OK

    The question of whether Christ's teachings resulted from His divine nature is not much different from the question of whether His claim to be the only Son of God is true. To answer that, one must look at the totality of the evidence. As an attorney, I am impressed by the unmatched historical and scientific evidence of the reliability and authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts; which begs the question: on what basis would one doubt Christ's divine claim?

    August 27, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  7. Jimmy Sella, Farmington, New Mexico

    Forget the 'Rock', Here is a Liberal, One who thinks the clinical murder of unborn children should be not only a legal but should be paid for by tax dollars...Here is a liberal, one who believes that if a pastor does not want to marry 2 people of the same sex that pastor should be put in jail even if it is against his religion...Here is a liberal who says an obese society is starving to death and that taxes are not high enough already...he wants to throw more money (funneled through his own pockets) at do nothing for themselves obese starving people...Here is a socialist, communist, elitist minded LIBERAL who wants nothing more than a brain dead society who believs without government, the people are nothing...Here is a Liberal...

    August 27, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  8. C. Bauman, Bismarck, ND

    The people listening to Obama in that church must be woefully lacking in Bible knowledge; anybody who knows Scripture would have booed him off the platform for such cynical twisting of that passage (in Matthew 7), which has nothing at all to do with goverment and everything to do with repenting and placing your faith in Christ. Obama should be ashamed - if he's still capable of feeling shame.

    August 27, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  9. Dan, TX

    When I read this article, I see something very different from most of the posts.

    I think Obama did a fine job of simply saying that Jesus is the embodiment of a principle of brotherhood.

    I thought Jesus was all about brotherhood. Obama said that the church represented a principle of brotherhood, and represented the ideals that Jesus evokes, The church did this following Hurricane Katrina by helping the victims. The government failed in this by failing to respond compentently to the disaster.

    He did not say the government should be the rock, the government should simply be competent.

    I don't think Obama was trying to be a theologian, or to push any religious viewpoint at all. He was simply using the principles of Christianity as a medium of common understanding with the people of N.O. who have had to rely on faith (and not so much government) during the past two years. IF it is true that much has been spent and little has been accomplished is not the people of N.O. who should be blamed, it is the incompetence of the government.

    This speech had very little to do with religion, and everything to do with caring about human beings. This appears to be a concern that most of the people complaining about this or that in their posts seem to ignore.

    August 28, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  10. Bobby Allen

    In response to Douglas Babb, YOU'RE FLAT WRONG. Do some more research.

    August 29, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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