August 26th, 2007
01:45 PM ET
10 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. Mike Bratton, Birmingham, AL

    There is no one document in the Dead Sea Scrolls from which the Sermon on the Mount can be said to be copied. Consequently, Mr. Babb published a lie, and should apologize for it.

    Similarly, Mr. Obama lied when he pulled Jesus' own words from the Bible, roots dangling, and said the rock to which Jesus referred was "brotherhood," rather than the foundational truths of the Gospel.

    Mr. Obama, it is patently disingenuous of you to use Biblical references when it suits you, and then ignore the Bible's clear message on issues such as abortion-on-demand.

    The leadership of First Emmanuel Baptist Church should either apologize for having your tortured remarks defile their church, or else rename their church to First Political Democrat Church.

    August 27, 2007 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  2. Don't Believe Osama-Bama

    Guys Guys, wake up. Borat Hussein Osama went to school at Madrassas when he was a boy. His father took him over seas when he was a young boy where he attended a radical moslem school. Likewise his Indonesian step father sent him to a madrassa in Indonesia. He is a moslem, and was raised to believe that America is the great satan. Now his is pretending to be a christian.

    August 27, 2007 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  3. Orion Pax, Richmond Virginia

    If Obama really respected the Bible, he'd stop supporting the murder of innocent babies.

    August 27, 2007 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  4. robert Phx AZ

    I have a dream, to see a candidate that doesn’t care about gods, bibles, religions but only care of people

    August 27, 2007 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  5. Shredderofmass, Marlborough, Massachusetts

    Borat Hussein Osama. Says it all. I wonder how many times he said the words "America is the great Satan" when he attended radical Islamic Schools in Indonesia and Africa.

    August 27, 2007 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  6. Melvin, Washington, DC

    Notice in the picture they're all giving him the Hitler salute. What kind of sick, twisted campaign is he running?

    August 27, 2007 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  7. chris, bernardsvile, nj

    Obama's record may not be paper thin, but most agree his experience or lack thereof is a concern. That's not to say experienced political leaders don't make terrible mistakes or act incompetently, but if you have a choice, it's better to weed out the Jr. wannabe leaders early.

    What Obama has going for him are looks and style. In debates with his peers, he comes off naive, and inexperienced for what is still the most powerful job in the world.

    August 27, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  8. Rev. michael Taylor Falls Church VA

    I heard parts of the speech and was greatly dissappointed. Mr. Obama used God's word to encourage the black community to depend on the government for help. This is the same old Democratic mantra, 'you can't do anything only the government can.' 'Your black and hopeless, ask the government they're the only one's who can help.' Is he building another welfare state? If he were a christian he would be telling them to put their trust in Jesus He can do it. But then again he is not a christian so therefore the state is his only answer.

    August 27, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  9. Glenda, McEwen, TN

    The Audacity of Fluff, The Audacity of Spin. I've learned that's all this man is. He refused to help a sailor who had been verbally and mentally abused in his great state. Jesus said, "To Love One Another", this sailor was a brother, Senator. He's a member of the Church of Christ, but you refused. So, I don't see how you think you can be a president to fifty states, when you couldn't take the time to look into a problem in your own state. Hillary helped us, and now our son is home. I will never forget how you turned your back on a brother in Christ. I'll vote Republican if you win the primary.

    August 27, 2007 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  10. Leif Jensen, Prescott, AZ

    What an uplifting message from B Hussein Obama...blame America for a hurricane. Shameful, disgusting, sad, and negative. Stop using EVERYTHING to bash this country and the Bush administration. Stop! Tell us why you love America! Tell us why we are great...and how we can be even greater...or just shut up!

    August 27, 2007 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  11. Lumberton, NC

    It is utterly amazing to me just how many people in THIS country who are willing to admit they believe there is no GOD... even more so, that they think Katrina is proof of it. Just goes to show how little they have read their Bible and how little they know of the true Spirit of God.

    How disgusted do you suppose God was and is with that city? It is full of wickedness and idol worship. God said, Enough... and washed it clean. As for the "good people" that were hurt... unfortunately, bad things happen to good people in an effort to turn the hearts and minds of the masses back to the God who made them.

    This country has become arrogant, lazy and eager to put the blame anywhere except where it lies. Some houses may have been 'built on a rock' but there is a multitude of sins waiting to crawl out from beneath it!

    August 27, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  12. Aaron, West New York, NJ

    The dead sea scroll comment in the 2nd post is not true.

    Dead Sea Scrolls

    August 27, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  13. Hillary C. Washington, DC

    Slogans I am thinking about using...any feedback?

    Hillary C. 2008

    Vote Democrat. It's easier than working.

    Vote Democrat – It's for the common good

    Share Your Wealth – Vote Democrat

    August 27, 2007 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  14. Mack Hewitt, Denton, TX

    Anyone can quote the Bible. Referring to the Bible or being a member of a church does not necessarily mean you are a Christian. Going to a grocery store hardly makes you a grocer.

    Obama was simply pandering to his audience. Nothing he said has any real meaning; it is simply fluff.

    If he had any integrity, he would be telling the people to whom he was speaking to stop standing around with their hands out and start doing something for themselves. Do you see the people in the Midwest screaming about how FEMA has failed them?

    Obama, like all liberal politicians, is simply playing to the lowest common denominator. The most ignorant among us love to hear how the government is going to give us this or that. Everyone else knows the government can only give one person what it takes away from another.

    August 27, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  15. Mike, Warrenton, VA

    Unfortunately, He did not mention the fact that the city is built below sea level. Who in their right might would build a city below sea level. It's just a matter of time before it happens again and local, state and federal dollars are wasted on more rebuilding. Does anyone remember the floods of 1993 in the central U.S? At least one town said enough is enough and moved to higher ground.


    August 27, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  16. John Harris, New York, NY

    This campaign is getter worse the further along it get using God in the manner Obama has. Hypocrisy to get votes is the lowest any candidate can get and Obama is there! However, he is right quoting and yet he does not demonstrate the love of Christ accompanying those words: "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," However, is Obama mindful of the totality of the teachings of Jesus as Paul reminds all of and found in 2 Timothy 3 when he openly supports homosexuality wherein Jesus does love the sinner but in no uncertain terms hates the sin that Obama and the church he attends has openly supported? Obama needs to with prayer and fasting truly study the Sermon on the Mount before attempting to use God ever again for his only agenda; only a hypocrite would do such a thing.

    August 27, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  17. MtMav

    Despite Bush having served up the Nov. 2008 Presidential election on a silver platter to the Democrats, the Democrats will find a way to lose. For the Dems and liberals out there .... sorry but .... Hillary, Edwards, Obama, et al are *NOT* your next POTUS.

    August 27, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  18. Bill

    Hey Bradford all that means to me is that you are rich or WAY in debt. Having alphabet soup after your name does not mean you are smart or that your opinions mean any more than anyone else's. Humility check buddy...

    August 27, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. Peter M, Toronto, Ontario

    Senator Obama is a very gifted candidate. He is smarter than all his challengers rolled together. America would be lucky to have a president with his intellectual abilities. The Senator from Illinois is so personable, thoughtful and yet so humble, he could pass for a nobody. After what we have seen the last six years, the American presidency would benefit from Senator Obama.

    August 27, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. anchorage alaska

    JESUS is the ROCK, and its all about Jesus. if this teacher is teaching otherwise, he is a false teacher.

    August 27, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. Wayne Albrecht, Tate, Georgia

    That 'Rock' was Jesus Christ. Another example of a wanna be Christian invoking Scripture (Wrongly)to please a specific audience.

    August 27, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. Howard McCarthy, Titusville, Florida

    I don't understand the headline. To attend church and invoke the bible is a headline event? Ridiculous?

    August 27, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. kareem wheat

    Where is the IRS? This "church" being used in political campaigning needs to be audited. If this were a white republican candidate – the libs and media would have their panties in a wad.

    August 27, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  24. John, Jackson, MS

    If we can't pray in school, why then can we politic in church?

    August 27, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  25. Craig

    Oh no! Is this church endorsing/promoting politics?
    Take away those nonprofit benefits.

    Yeah, he who builds his house below sea level will one day be flooded.

    What a joke.

    August 27, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
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