October 8th, 2007
08:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama: GOP doesn't own faith and values

Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - After speaking to an evangelical church on Sunday in this traditionally conservative South Carolina city, Sen. Barack Obama said that Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse.

"I think its important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party," Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services.

"I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the nineties, when at least in politics the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that often times seemed intolerant or pushed people away," he said.

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Related video: Obama: 'Faith plays every role'

Related video : Obama goes after the 'God gap'

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- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Faith • South Carolina
soundoff (976 Responses)
  1. james, knoxville, tn

    this is amazing. thank god for barack obama.

    October 7, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    If Obama steals their faith,who's going to pay Dobson's bills? Maybe the right has found their savior.This time it's going to be hard to deny he's black.

    October 7, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Lioness, Washington DC

    Bravo Obama – don't let those right wing fascists claim that they are the only ones who own the "moral" truth.

    I'm an atheist, but I get your message: it is one of unity, and you have my vote!

    First Dem to really call on the GOP to stop hijacking the "values" discussion. That's a MAN for you! No wimp is he.

    October 7, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. Cal, SC

    Obama is a very special man...I pray that you will be able to stay true to who you are also

    October 7, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    I think Obama will be a successful evangelical leader than political leader because he likes to talk. He used racial support, youngster's support and now he is using Christians for his campaign. This guy has no confidence with his political view.

    October 7, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. Rev. Chuck Currie, Portland, Oregon

    Senator Obama is a great leader with the kind of progressive agenda that will help move this nation forward on issues such as poverty and the war.

    Rev. Chuck Currie

    October 7, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Kim, Peabody MA

    "Sen. Barack Obama said that Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse."

    Democratics and Republicans have compromised on GOD's standard of morality and is responsible for the moral decay of this nation. Furthermore, many churches throughout this nation have compromised on the written Word of God to embrace secular teachings as they lead many astray.

    I would strongly encourage ALL those who profess their faith in Jesus to consider carefully the following article. We serve a loving God, but also a God of righteous judgment. And, neither person nor politician alive is exempt from being held accountable to that day of judgment when they stand before their maker.


    It is TIME to elect a true person of FAITH to the office of presidency. That is why I’m voting for Pete Grasso.


    October 7, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. Ron Nebraska

    A politician who is trying to figure out how to make America stronger and doesn't mention killing all of our enemies to do it, how does he ever expect to get the southern vote?

    October 7, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Jon, Jacksonville, FL

    Neither Obama nor the GOP is correct in pushing faith-based agendas in government. Both parties should avoid these agendas because they violate the first amendment clause "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." We need someone for president who can respect freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, such as presidential candidate Ron Paul.

    October 7, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Christian, Tampa FL

    It is rare to see a politician who is more than just an "in-name-only" Christian. Obama seems to really understand what following Christ is all about. Having a man who seeks to implement the genuine ways of Christ, which are found in most other religions as well, would do much for our country.

    Kudos to Obama for standing for God and country with more sincerity than is usually found in politicians.

    October 7, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. Matt, Albany, GA

    Everybody's right, everybody's wrong. Is there any difference? I'd rather have one person stand for what they believe than a country where nobody's wrong.

    October 7, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. Scott, Boulder, CO

    Heck, to hear a democrat invoking divine faith just like their archenemy the right-wing Christian, I was about ready to watch God strike a lightning bolt from the heavens and take him just to bask in the uniqueness and irony.

    October 7, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Michelle , Dallas Texas

    Many churches across this country have been sending missions, food, clothing, etc. to countires and discussing/educating and helping AIDs victims across the world. To imply that finally someone like TD Jakes is talking about these social issues is complete ignorance.

    Obama just isn't in touch with the rest of the world and only wants to see what fits the picture he is selling.

    For 10 plus years our church has worked, discussed and donated time and money to Africa and the AIDS crisis. Wake up Obama.

    October 7, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  14. Brotherdave, Las Vegas, NV

    BARF! Every had a vacuum cleaner salesman try to sell you his product by selling you his faith too?

    Its the Dem's national plan for all their godless candidates to seduce you with "faith" and then rape you later.

    Get real Dems! We evangelicals will be nice to ya, but we ain't buyin' your old over priced Hoover!

    October 7, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. scott-Monroe, LA

    "During the nearly two hour service that featured a rock band and hip-hop dancers,"
    You call that chruch????

    That was a hip-hop concert.

    October 7, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Ben, Knoxville, TN

    I hope he mentioned his stance on gay marriage in his talk – at least be consistent!

    October 7, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Jake, LA OK

    Obama freely speaks of God and religion on the campaign trail BUT he would not allow the free speech of God and religion by you or I in the public buildings.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Then again does anyone take this Muslim's view of Christianity seriously?

    Again you can't have it both ways.

    The democrats and religion – what a comedy act. They won't allow bibles in schools, but they allow them in prisons.

    Seems Obama and the democrats have their priorities wrong.

    October 7, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. Roscoe P. Coaltrain, Durham, NC

    Any evangelical who's not asleep can tell the Obama doesn't know what he's talking about when he speaks of creating a Kingdom right here on earth. Nice religious language, but it doesn't mean anything remotely like what the Bible teaches.

    October 7, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. BellaMia, Cherry Hill, NJ

    Democrats can talk religion out of one side of their mouths and abortion and "free" sex out of the other.

    And they are so afraid of the "M-word" marriage. More hypocrisy from the leftists socialists.

    More smoke, mirrors and lies from Obama.

    October 7, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Jenkins, San Diego, California

    An intelligent political move by Obama. But I think any intelligent person can see it as just that, a political move. I highly doubt that any candidate from any party is as religious as they say they are.

    October 7, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Frank, San Diego CA

    Pandering, pandering, pandering. All of a sudden liberals find God? Are they going to define specifically what they mean (yeah, right – these are politicians). Are you talking about biblical God/Jesus (unlikely), God as a euphemism for Allah (possible), or some relativistic version of God (most likely). Yeah, Michael Vick found Jesus AFTER getting busted on dog-fighting charges. Liberals similarly find God when they're lacking in polls and their backs are up against the wall. Political B.S., nothing more, nothing less.

    October 7, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Vincent, New York, NY

    Amen Obama! This is exactly what America needs right now, faith and reason. It would be a mistake for anyone else to be nominated for democratic candidate.

    October 7, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. John Maksim BelAir Maryland

    Another desperate Democrat infected with a God complex. Bring the Kingdom, Mr. Obama? Jesus will bring the kingdom. Not you.

    October 7, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  24. BobW

    When all else fails, try to act like a fundementalist. Who knows, it might work for him – they are gullible.

    October 7, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. Jim


    Or it is a political view that unifies all of these groups and appeals to them.

    I still have not decided who to support, but I like Obama more and more every day.

    October 7, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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