September 30th, 2007
12:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama goes to church in South Carolina ... twice

Obama is working hard to win over black voters in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who has been emphasizing his faith as a way to reach out to black voters in South Carolina, attended two Baptist churches here on Sunday morning, one predominantly black and one predominantly white. Obama attended both services, but did not speak.

At 8 a.m., Obama was in West Columbia attending services at Brookland, which has one of the largest African-American congregations in the state. His wife Michelle Obama has previously spoken at the church. At 10:30 a.m., Obama took a more unexpected turn and headed downtown accompanied by his Secret Service entourage to visit First Baptist Church in Columbia, which is mostly white and conservative.

His campaign said the church visits were "an opportunity for the Senator to have a morning of fellowship with South Carolinians."

Obama's staff in South Carolina is in the midst of a grassroots effort called "40 Days of Faith and Family," which is promoting the candidate's faith through Bible study groups, house meetings and Gospel concerts across the state.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. colony14 author

    Who cares? Why is this news?

    September 30, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Lee, Estherville, IA

    All the other candidates probably attended church as well...big deal, since it has absolutely NOTHING to do with one's ability to occupy the W.H.

    September 30, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I'm with Christopher Hitchens, author of "God is Not Great, How Religion Infects Everything". Whether it's Obama's "birth faith" of Islam or his adopted faith of Christianity, both are "opiates of the masses" and I can't trust any candidate who actually believes such historical drivel.

    September 30, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Adam, Plano, TX

    i'm an Obama supporter and all, but seriously, this is news?

    September 30, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. BP, Cola SC

    See the McCain thread for a discussion of religion and its role in government.

    I don't doubt that Obama or McCain or anyone else is truly a devout Christian. That's their prerogative.

    The problem is when these politicians want people to vote for them because they're Christians. How else can the Obama camp explain their need to "promote" Obama's faith? Clearly they've come to understand the reality in America that it's not enough just to promote your candidate's intelligence, reason, rationality, policies, and decision-making skills. Sad.

    September 30, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Good for him.

    September 30, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Billy Rubin, Baltimore MD

    Thanks CNN. I didn't know black people went to church.

    September 30, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    writing this down....O-B-A-M-A....C-H-U-R-C-H....T-W-I-C-E

    September 30, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. BURNS

    THANKS FOR THE COMMENT THAT BLACKS AND WHITES ATTEND CHURCH EACH SUNDAY-OK-
    WHAT IS YIUR POINT. HOW YOU LIVE THE
    WORD OF GOD IS MORE TO THE POINT! I
    LIVED IN THE SOUTH(BIBLE BELT), AND I
    FAIL TO SEE ANY DIFFERENCE. EACH USE THE WORD OF GOD FOR THEIR OWN ENDS.
    WHAT IS LACKING IS TOLERANCE OF ALL,
    SAME WITH ALL RELIGIONS. ONLY THE
    SILENT MAJORITY GET IT–TIME FOR THE
    SILENT MAJORITY TO SPEAK UP–SOMEONE
    OUT THERE,EVEN IF IT'S ONE–DO IT NOW!

    September 30, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. BURNS -NEWTON,NH.

    THANKS FOR THE COMMENT THAT BLACKS AND WHITES ATTEND CHURCH EACH SUNDAY-OK-
    WHAT IS YIUR POINT. HOW YOU LIVE THE
    WORD OF GOD IS MORE TO THE POINT! I
    LIVED IN THE SOUTH(BIBLE BELT), AND I
    FAIL TO SEE ANY DIFFERENCE. EACH USE THE WORD OF GOD FOR THEIR OWN ENDS.
    WHAT IS LACKING IS TOLERANCE OF ALL,
    SAME WITH ALL RELIGIONS. ONLY THE
    SILENT MAJORITY GET IT–TIME FOR THE
    SILENT MAJORITY TO SPEAK UP–SOMEONE
    OUT THERE,EVEN IF IT'S ONE–DO IT NOW!

    September 30, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Feb Moria, Atlanta, GA

    So when Obama speaks politics to 25K in NY on a Thursday evening, or speaks about Jena in Howard University it is not news but when he quietly attends church its worthy your page?
    What happened to CNN the news leader?

    September 30, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Al, Boston

    This another needless news by CNN Clintons News Network.

    September 30, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Canadian, British Columbia

    Is it just me, or does every story on Obama come with a negative headline to it? Seems like very questionable bias and objectivity by a socalled news source.

    I can't vote for him butas a citizen of the world, I sure wish I could as unfortunately the US president has a great impact on the world, not always positive.

    September 30, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. st. paul, MN

    I have been watching CNN since the the this presedential campaing started very closely. I was very much dissapointed with the way you are handling this whole campaing senario. I have also noticed when you report poletical news in favour of Hillary over Barack, which you should be ashamed of. The American people deserve to know what every candidates will bring to the table. your job as a jornalist is to REPORT the truth not to creat your own truth and spoon feed the public. where is Nationalism bigns? do you really care about America and the it's people? do you really restore the image of America in the world? if your answere is yes to all the above very critical questions, please report the truth, and be fair. at the end of the day what is good for America is What Barack Obama wants to this country, you should too!

    Thanks

    hope to see more truth reported to us!

    September 30, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Chima, York, PA

    Ok...so Obama draws 24,000 people in Hillary's backyard in NYC on Thursday, and CNN's political ticker does not even mention it, but he goes to church, and it's a headline?????????

    By the way, why does this article talk about Obama wooing black voters, when he went to a predominantly white church as well? Doesn't that mean he was wooing ALL south carolinians, not just the black ones?

    CNN...so pathetic.

    September 30, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Heather, New York

    “An opportunity for the Senator to have a morning of fellowship with South Carolinians."????? What does that even mean? Other than he’s trying to kiss the behinds of the loony tunes in the Bible belt… Give me a break, I was an Obama fan. WAS being the key word! I found his honesty, integrity, and charisma to be refreshing… not your typical candidate. Unfortunately it appears as if he too has been sucked into the phony nonsense politics to win votes.

    I am personally an atheist, and while I realize that in my time I will probably never see a candidate have enough guts to state in front of the voting public that they think religion is a dangerous mental illness that is the root of ALL of the world’s problems… As sad as that is, I will most definitely stay away from candidates who deem it necessary to join the crazy’s in their place of “worship” just to win THEIR votes! What candidate right now is standing up for MY beliefs! Oh that’s right… No one… Why? Because the minority that I’m in won’t help win an election! The majority of this country wants a president that prays, yeah… PRAYS, well America, look at what the last 7 years of praying at the White House has done for us. Just look at everything from Terrorism, to War, to National Debt, to FEMA, and someone THEN explain to me why I’M in the minority! It’s about time we start thinking about electing presidents who are logical, intelligent human beings, and people who believe in praying to an almighty creator cannot be logical OR intelligent! So thank you Barack for eliminating yourself from my candidate pool!

    September 30, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Jimmy J

    Did I say hypocrite?

    September 30, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Heather, I guess you won't be voting since all the canidates claim to be deeply religious. I'm more of a spirtualist than believing one religion over another. I think it's ok for Obama to attend any church service he wants. Like the old saying, when in Rome do what the Romans do. This is especially appropriate for the South. I don't think this is news, especially since it's not being reported about Obama's 24,000 rally in NY or the new Newsweek poll that has Obama in the lead are not even in the political ticker.

    September 30, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Scott, Miami, Florida

    Heather, yes I believe all of these candidates exploit their religion in one way or another for votes. But honestly, the basis of Christianity is a simple message of love. To blame the faults and failures of people and our country on our proclaimed leaders who "pray" is irrational. Christianity doesn't expect people to be perfect, in fact it highlights that they're not.

    Oh and by the way, the director of the Human Genome Project is a man of faith. He must not be very logical or intelligent either.

    September 30, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    Well, that is what we call "hypocrites". Using whatever it takes to gain politically.

    September 30, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. John, Los Angeles

    Why didn't CNN report when Obama drew a record breaking 24,000+ people in NYC last Thursday?

    He goes to church...twice and we have to know?!?? What is new? Are you jealous to the point that you loose your minds?

    September 30, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Heather, NY

    To answer your question Sonya in Atlanta... right now, none of the Democratic candidates are thrilling me to the point that I feel any of them deserve my vote, however I WILL vote, as it is the one right I believe should not be taken for granted no matter what... All I am saying is I will be taking their religious practices into consideration when I DO vote... as well as a number of other things... this story just rubbed me the wrong way, and my point was Obama transitioned to the dark side of politics, something he said in the beginning of his campaign he would NOT do... so that would be why I have eliminated him as a viable candidate!

    And Scott from Florida... I AM blaming certain failures on the current president's religious beliefs. To me people of faith are out of touch with reality to a certain degree... Bush has specifically stated that he PRAYED while pondering the decision to invade Iraq... That's pretty SCARY to me... maybe while he was busy praying, he should've been, Gee I don't know learning the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim... He PRAYED over the decision to send OUR troops into war with a country that did NOT attack us! Yeah that has the Christian message of love written ALL over it... Just like he must have prayed when he decided to eliminate funding for stem cell research… research that could potentially cure devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s… There’s that Christian message of love AGAIN…and please don't be ridiculous, I don't care that the director of the Human Genome Project is a man of faith, congratulations, you can know a whole lot and be really smart, but still be illogical and unintelligent

    September 30, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Enoch, Nashville, Tennessee

    CNN! I'm really getting disappointed, this is one of the reasons I stopped watching Fox News, stop slanting the news, just report the facts, good or bad regardless of who's affected and let the reading or watch public decide. this is a social responsiblity, it's not position to anoint any candidate.
    Obama had a huge event in NY, it was not worth mentioning, he went to a Church today like most people in America that was news for you guys and it's even slanted to appear negative. CNN!!!!!

    September 30, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Brian Larsen, Syracuse NY

    IN OTHER NEWS
    Barack Obama spoke at Washington Park in New York yesterday, attracting 24,000 visitors.

    Compare that to Hillary Clinton, who spoke in Philadelphia and attracted 800.

    Barack Obama received 500,000 donations to his campaign from 350,000 people in his final drive toward the end of this financial quarter.

    Ron Paul and Bill Richardson BOTH broke the eleventh hour $1,000,000 goals they set.

    Your welcome for me doing your job and reporting the news, CNN.

    September 30, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. Kristian Idol, Burbank, CA

    Honestly, CNN, this is what you come up with? A few days after the man draws over 20,000 people to a rally in his opponent's adopted state?

    All politicians go to church, go hunting for a photo op, shake hands and kiss babies. Absolutely inconsequential.

    But Obama just passed 350,000 contributors to his campaign, a stunning number over a year before the election. And the reason has got nothing to do with going to church. ("Twice!")

    Everything written or published has a bias, my friends, whether it be the writer's experiences , his editor's vision, or the company owner's reason for owning the company. What is the purpose of such fluff?

    My bias? Well, I think Barack Obama is the best presidential candidate I have seen in my entire life.

    Chris from Middleton, you're a genius.

    September 30, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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