September 30th, 2007
12:37 PM ET
12 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. Robert, Cleveland, OH

    "So when Obama speaks politics to 25K in NY on a Thursday evening"... And?
    It is Sunday now and I guess I saw a couple dozens postings from Obama's supporters about that one meeting. And Rolling Stones get 100,000 people on the stadium shows; maybe we should elect Keith or Mike?
    As fo his TWO church visits: I'm not christian and don't like evangelicals/born again etc, but his church visits tell me only that religion for Obama is only a way to campaign, not to cear the soul. Did we see Hilary praying before cameras? Remind me.

    September 30, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Obama is naive in his faith too. Twice church attendance is not a campaign issue. He is trying to cover his Muslim
    background and pretend as a Christian. I don't trust Obama.

    September 30, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Fran Valrico FL

    These are sad time for the United States, when will everyone wake up and realize we need a leader that is for the United States of America,all the citizens as one, not black votes, latin votes, christian votes.Why can't we just have a person who thinks of the country as one. United we stand, divided we fall.I am so tired of hearing (black vote),(Latin vote),(christian vote), etc!!!The changes we need for this country affects us all

    September 30, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. cari

    just because hes black and reaches out,doesnt mean they all support him...or going to vote for him,ya have hillary,biden, and on richardson there is lotts among the black voters voting for him..

    September 30, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    So, Heather, NY, in your assumption then 99% of American population is illogical and unintelligent. Did you ever think why America is the reachest and the most prosperous country in the world? If 99% of us were illogical and unintelligent, like you say, I doubt this country would have been where it is now prosperity wise. You should be thankful to those that pray to the Almighty for this country.

    My second point, I am from the former USSR where atheism was taught in every school and government's objective was to proclaim the nation religion-free empire. You are intelligent and should know the history and the GREAT COLLAPSE of this empire. Can you ask yourself why?

    September 30, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Dan, Tx

    Posted By Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky : September 30, 2007 7:15 pm

    Thank you for pointing out to everyone why CNN covered this as a story. It is the ignorant people, or dishonest political operatives, who want to spread the disinformation that Obama is a muslim sympathizer to Bin Laden that this post counteracts.

    Yes, it is ridiculous, but FOX news already tried to spread this lie and repeat it enough so that some brainwashed idiots would believe it.

    So YES CNN, this is a service to counteract the disinformation campaign. Whether you believe in religion or not, spirituality is important to all people. Brotherhood and sisterhood is important. We have been led to believe it is a zero sum game and only survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest is true as a scientific concept in terms of evolution. But it is not a great model for our society.

    Obama is guided by his Christian faith, in part, to lead us to a more empathetic and rationale course in our government.

    September 30, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    99% of americans aren't anything,let alone all suffering from the religion defect.The best estimates are that 85-90% of americans have a defective neural pathway between the amydala and the temporal lobes of the brain. That is the problem,it has been common knowledge for nine years. This in my opinion disqualifies them from being effective in a world that requires logic and reason. Unfortunately with the vast numbers being affected by a condition beyond their control,it will take generations of medical research to remedy this problem. Forgive them for their disability and rest assured that most areas of our lives are controlled by the few of us who do not have this issue. We are smarter,healthier, and stronger humanoids that have great advantages over our brethren. We are to them superhuman,our ideals are seen as impossible dreams. Try to pity them for falling victim to their deficiencies. It's not their fault. At least we live in a country where we are not stoned to death or crucified.

    September 30, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Brianna, McEwen, TN

    That certainly looks nice but I know for a fact you refused to help not only a brother in Christ but also a brother in arms when he was abused in your state, at boot camp? Christian, I think not. Thankfully Hillary has her beliefs in the right place, believing that every person regardless of color deserves the same chance at life and freedom.

    September 30, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    To Jimmy J:
    >Did I say hypocrite?

    >Posted By Jimmy J : September 30, >2007 4:07 pm

    Looks like we have something in common.

    This country already has too many hypocrites. We need no more of that.

    September 30, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. Christian, Tampa FL

    Barack Obama's "birth religion" isn't Islam just because he lived in Indonesia and went to a predominantly Muslim school. I lived in Turkey as a child and went to preschool with Muslim kids, but I'm not a Muslim. Not that there would be anything wrong with it if he was Muslim at some point.

    September 30, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Obama went to a predominantly muslim school when he was SIX YEARS OLD...sheesh! He went there for two years, then went to CATHOLIC SCHOOL for 4 years, so why do some ignorant clowns keep insisting he's muslim???
    Why not claim he's catholic?

    Unreal....

    September 30, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  12. Gina

    Did he go to church twice in one day to pray and worship or to be seen? This is truly how hypocrite this man is. To use the house of God to masquerade his political agenda is not only deceitful but a sign of what a low life he is.

    October 1, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. Still thinking in WPB, fl

    to Davydov, Agawam, Ma

    Be very careful not to equate prosperity of this country with freedom of religion.
    Capitalism/democracy and free enterprise is more likely the cause of this disparity of prosperity when comparing the two countries. And further, the USSR's collapse was due to a number of very complex conditions.,, and only one of which could have been religious suppression. Open your eyes and take in all and I mean all the information you can, now that you are here. And welcome to America.
    And just because Obama goes to church doesn't make him a good candidate, or twice as good because he goes twice.

    October 1, 2007 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  14. stanle behrman tel aviv israel

    what did he eat for breakfat

    October 1, 2007 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  15. Eli Cen. Colo.

    Gina, its uninformed, ignorant people like you that will keep this country on the wrong path. This man does not have to go to church to be seen, the 24k speaks to that(which went mostly unreported for stories such as this which is not news).Maybe he got invited or maybe just maybe its part of the 40 nights of faith initiative he just launched. Dont speculate and ass-u-me. Get the hatred out of your heart and read,listen and learn. This is a great,great man and if he doesnt get in we all lose.Please read and learn http://www.barackobama.com OBAMA 08!!!

    October 1, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  16. Dan College Park Maryland

    Obama went to church on Sunday and i walked around in my underwear watching TV. Neither is news

    October 1, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    This man is supposed to be this big visionary? He's already pandering to the Bible-bangers. What's visionary about that? Sounds like politics as usual to me. Men of faith have no need to advertise it.

    October 1, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  18. Ryan Indianapolis

    I could truly care less if he went to church ten times on Sunday....I would never vote for this White flag waving raging lunatic...People look what he wants to do with the whole tax system,,, if you like a socialist society where everyone makes the same amount of money and there is no chance to be successful then this is your guy....

    October 1, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. willimina

    now thats funny a muslim in a baptist church you think he might be trying to down play his regilion and make people forget he's not christian, we havent forgotten

    October 1, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    I hate it when people say they won't vote for him because he is actually campaigning... HOW IS HE SUPPOSED TO GET ELECTED if he doesnt compaign to everybody.

    The difference btw Obama and everybody else is
    1) He knows NOT to make political decisions for the whole country based on HIS own faith or GUT feelings

    2) when he did go to these churches he slipped in the side entrance of both. He did not make an anouncement of what services he was to attend, sit in the front row or get on the pulpit so everyone can see his face.

    Faith is a detriment ONLY when it controls ALL aspects of your life and as a politician you attempt to use your faith to controll everyone elses life. If you think that Obama will cater to the religious right YOU ARE NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION.

    CAN YOU NAME ONE CANDIDATE THAT IS EITHER MORE SECULAR OR WILL NOT PANDER TO THE UBER RELIGIOUS?

    If you won't vote for him because he went to church then you may as well not vote and dont act suprised when Hillary sell us out to the Family Research Council... (and I actually like Hillary.

    October 1, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. Ed

    Heather,

    If you are using George W. Bush as your example I can see why you are so hostile towards Christianity. However, to completely write off ANYONE of faith as irrational or unintelligent seems to be quite the stereotype. Trust me, there are millions of Christians who are put off by W's "Christian Presidency". Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and you may be put off by Obama because of this, but this is not news. His book, "The Audacity of Hope" has an entire chapter devoted to faith and he has been a speaker at several left leaning Christian groups such as Sojourners for years. You may not be happy with Sen. Obama for his church attendance, but he did not suddenly "go to the dark side", he has been a churchgoer for quite some time.

    I have a hard time believing an Obama presidency would even somewhat resemble anything close to George Bush's last seven years of troubles. To base your thoughts of faith on the horrendous Bush presidency and his politicizing Christianity may be easy but is not representative of what the real message is. Not every Christian is one of these crazy fundamentalists you see in the media, those are just the ones that get all the attention.

    October 1, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Still thinking in WPB, fl :

    Obama is NOT my choice for president and I wasn't making a point that because he goes to church he is now qualified to be one.

    My point is: freedom of religion is a significant part of America's prosperity. You haven't lived under the suppression of communism so you wouldn't know. Back in the USSR because I believe in God I couldn't go to college, thus, cutting off even the thoughts of being prosperous. It is different in America – isn't it?

    October 1, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Val-here in America an athiest cannot be elected. Isn't that the same oppression in reverse? Are 10-15% percent of the population with genius IQ's somehow unfit for office? Use perspective. I'd rather a genius ran for president and it's disappointing to us that in this country of freedom that this isn't possible.

    October 1, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Still thinking in wpb, fl

    to Davydov,

    I respect your perspective and your views...they reflect a deep thinking person.
    My point : freedom of religion should not be associated with material gain.
    Other factors play a bigger role like the ones cited in the previous post.
    Again , welcome.. we need more people like you here.

    October 1, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Ed,Ellenville,New York :

    How do you know that in America an athiest cannot be elected? Name one athiest that even TRIED to run for a president. So it's NOT the same oppression in reverse because no one has ever tried. As the saying goes, "No pain no gain". Right?

    October 1, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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