September 17th, 2007
06:45 PM ET
16 years ago

McCain: 'The most important thing is that I'm a Christian'

Watch CNN's Tom Foreman report on the question of Sen. John McCain's religious denomination.

LEXINGTON, South Carolina (CNN) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain told reporters at an American Legion Hall here Monday that he is a Christian, and that questions about his specific religious denomination are beside the point.

"There's been some talk about my religious persuasion," said the Arizona Senator, referring to a weekend report by the Associated Press that McCain said he was a Baptist although he has long identified himself as an Episcopalian.

"I was raised in the Episcopal Church and attended high school, it was a high school called Episcopal High School. I have attended North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years, and the most important thing is that I'm a Christian, and I don't have anything else to say about the issue," McCain said.

— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Wendy, Austin, Texas

    I respect him for trying to resolve the issue by saying it doesn't matter what denomination he is. However, a candidate's religious views shouldn't affect public opinion. A non religious candidate can still make a good president.

    September 17, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Juan mccain is finished. We won't for him in AZ.

    September 18, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  3. Steve

    "The most important thing is that I'm a Christian."

    Your most important thing has nothing to do with what people want to see in a presidential candidate.

    You've turned into puffery and irrelevance. Retire somewhere.

    September 18, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  4. sean, seattle, washington

    He has been asked what his persuasion of religion was and he answered. Anyone bashing him is a nazi. And a whiner.

    September 18, 2007 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  5. Rocco, Wellington, Fl

    A true Christian would find a peaceful way to stop the Iraq War not support the continued blood shed of the Bush family.

    September 18, 2007 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    I think a lot of the posters here are missing the point of McCain's statement.

    September 18, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  7. Chip Celina OH

    A lot of knee-jerk reactions based on the headline with a failure to either look at the rest of the text or a lack of the ability to comprehend the context in which the statement was made. I hope you research more before going to the ballot box.

    Have a great Tuesday!

    September 18, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  8. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Oh for Christ's sake. When will a presidential candidate have the guts to stand up and tell America that his religious persuasion is really no one's business. Theoretically, we do not live in a theocracy.

    September 18, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Oscar de Magenta, NYC, NY

    Here we go. We don't learn that religion and politics do not go along well and enough to say that there have been zillions of wars based on religion conflicts. Having said that, why would we always highlight "Christians" and then "Moslems" (not in this case but in general) as if we forget that there are buddhists, Hindus, Shintos and other belief systems with millions of followers. Have we been so ignorant about others and full of ourselselves even in something noble called 'religion'?

    September 18, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. alan St Louis Mo


    SO now i under stand why he opposes troop cuts. Even dont like the General and Bush recomendation to cut the surge. If it was up to him he start the draft to keep the war going.

    to him this is the CHRISTIAN CRUSADE. keep the course the CHRISTIANS will reclaim the holy city of the middle east down with Islam.

    Bush Clone on steriods.

    September 18, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. Jim Topeka, KS

    I don't think it has been taken out of context. I agree with McCain that what religious faith he chooses is not important. I disgree with the banner line "The most important thing is that I'm a Christian".

    I rather liked Lincoln's response when he was asked what church he belonged to, it was that he belonged to no church and would not join one until he found one that practised what it preached.

    What religion am I, I am an American, that is all that you need know.

    September 18, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. j.crobuzon

    Sorry, but Hitler was a Christian and Nazi Germany was a Christian nation. They were as sure that they were inspired by God as either Bush or Osama.

    I agree that his 'Christianity' was empty, and when the truth about the concentration camps came out postwar Germans flocked to churches and rededicated themselves. Jails are full of Christians – look at BTK, a deacon. Christians murder and rape every day, and they steal and embezzle and lie. But they are forgiven! 🙂

    September 18, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Dave, Rindge, NH

    So when McCain was up to his neck in the Savings & Loan scandal, was that the Episcopalian John McCain, the Baptist John McCain, or some other John McCain.

    Oh wait. I know the answer. It was the greedy politician John McCain, which is why he doesn't deserve support in his run for President.

    September 18, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    OK; Senator John McCain Republican presidential candidate that proclaims he is a Christian and was raised in the Episcopal Church. Who believes that religion is important and now attends North Phoenix Baptist Church should feel equally as most Americans may feel today. Concerning issues of employment; unemployment for established legal Americans and illegal immigration dominating our job markets today. Religion is one of those distraction issues to me that are dictated by our laws and State should not be in the same room!

    Essentially every politician in America, at the local level, the state level, and the national level, promises to work to create new jobs in his or her jurisdiction. This seems to be regarded as the highest service a politician can render to constituents.

    Although almost every politician can be likened to celebrity Kristy Alley of Cheers and her lasting battle with the heavy weights indorsing Jenny Craig as solutions too effecting issues. As America can see from her present state has not prevailed. Our law makers are following by example and are not helping any issues by allowing these amnesty bills pass in the Senate for illegal aliens.

    A recent Heritage Foundation study concluded that each illegal alien household headed by an illegal alien without a high school degree (most illegal aliens); costs U.S. taxpayers $18,000 a year. You can't possibly believe that the United States needs this illegal labor, can you?

    Twenty-three million lower-skilled Americans cannot currently find a job. There is no need to keep illegal workers in this country.

    September 18, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Rodney Dallas TX

    Hey McCain.....there is supposed to be such a thing as seperation of church and state. Did you forget about that little rule? What a dumba**!

    September 18, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    RA, if you can compare McCain to Kirstie Alley then he must be a Scientologist.

    September 18, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Pat, Huntington, NY

    Thank you McCain for another reason why I will NOT vote for you...we've had it already with self-righeous religious zealots beating their bible all the way to the white house.

    September 18, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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