October 8th, 2007
08:45 AM ET
9 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. unclesmrgol, Culver City, California

    Our founding fathers didn't want a kingdom - for better or worse, they wanted a democracy. Europe is where the divine rights of kings reside, not America.

    I think, when Obama took off his flag pin, a bit of brain went with it - the part that understands what America is really about.

    When you start overtly mixing religion with patriotism, people will now think you are either (a) an extreme right winger or (b) a Barack Obama supporter.

    Barack needs to put the pin back on, count a few stars and stripes, and think a little bit about our history and our Constitution.

    October 8, 2007 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. F. Melgin

    Liberals are lying like there's no tomorrow. Hillary promising $5K to every kid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she prays for Bush as a Catholic, yet she excuses the disgusting Gays parading around naked and "doing it" in front of children at the Fulton Fairgrounds in San Francisco falsely claiming none of it will hurt Christianity. Many of the sinners there were wearing crosses to mock religion!
    Would they do the same with Islam?

    Now Obama thinks he's a prophet all of sudden. Obviously this is all pandering to be excused for bashing the war so much, since we've basically won it now.

    How many troops did they get killed with their incessant whining that only emboldened the enemy?

    Demonrats are total disgrace to humanity!

    October 8, 2007 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  3. Desmond, Visalia, California

    His statement is all fine and well. But the question begs, have we not been hearing the same promises of "Restoring integrity to the White House" in one form or another, from candidates from both Democrat and Republican Parties for seemingly years on end? Our elected officials seem to only care for self-enrichment, and short-term smoke and mirror campaigns based on jingoisms and catch phrases, utterly lacking the type of resolute concern and fortitude of leadership that is needed to ensure that the United States will remain economically and militarily self-sustaining, in order to safeguard our rightful place as leaders of the free world.We need someone willing to take the long view, and provide vision for the preservation and continued viability of this great nation.Who out there is willing to address real issues that we as Americans face? It would nice to hear realistic and viable ideas for a change.

    October 8, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  4. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    Lets see...Obama is for gay marriage and abortion...plain and simple he isn't a Christian. Oh, you may be able to overlook that, because he's half black?! Sounds to me like we got ourselves a situation where someone's color is bit more important than what Christ taught.

    October 8, 2007 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  5. Bronte

    Barak Hussein Obama IS NOT A CHRISTIAN, in word or deed. He is using religion to get votes because he is a HYPOCRITE!!!

    His followers are RACISTS. If a white man would utter the exact same words, he would be condemned.
    Black racists let OJ get away with murder.
    Black racists let BO get away with lying hypocrisy.
    Black racists are desperate, and have no standards.

    October 8, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  6. BB, Raleigh, NC

    Here is the real question. How does Obama reconcile to his liberal base that he spoke in a church that, by it's own statement of faith, professes that Christ is the only way to salvation, believes speaking in tongues is a direct consequence of baptisimal of the Holy Spirit and calls the husband/wife senior pastors Apostles? This church is all the things liberals have been saying is intolerant and compared to Islamic facists. Will Obama be allowed to have his cake and eat it too when Republican candidates who express similar Christian views as this church are called funamentalist whackos?

    October 8, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  7. Patty, Pikeville, Ky

    Can you imagine the media coverage that would result from a Republican saying that we can make a "kingdom [of God] on earth"...

    October 8, 2007 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  8. mike, yorba linda, ca

    Now... if it was a Republican speaking in a church... they'd call him a hypocrite or religious zelot!

    October 8, 2007 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  9. Jim, Bremerton, Wa.

    "The blind leading the blind" He is scary. If you call yourself a Christian, and condone and vote for abortion, you are a hypocrite. End of Story.

    October 8, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  10. Michael, Greenville, SC

    I attended this morning's service, and for everyone who didn't attend (I believe that includes everyone who has posted), I think a little context is necessary.

    First, I am a religion major at a liberal arts university, and I am neither a registered Republican nor Democrat (though I am registered to vote). I attended the service out of curiosity – I am interested in learning more about both Senator Obama's campaign and Redemption World Outreach Center.

    RWOC is probably the most socio-economically and racially diverse congregation in Greenville County (maybe in South Carolina). The church is charismatic, which is not nearly as easily labeled Republican as "evangelical." The church's stated vision begins, "As a multi-cultural church, we are a magnificent tapestry of people uniting together..." Through various facets of the church, assistance is provided to many of "the least of these" in Greenville that Jesus kept talking about.

    Jesus also talked a lot about the kingdom of God, or "Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ." In fact, many Biblical scholars and theologians agree that the kingdom of God was Jesus' central message. In announcing the kingdom of God, he drew from the prophet Isaiah calling the people to be "a city on a hill" (John Winthrop, anyone?), which is quite an inclusive vision. Obama drew from this prophetic tradition for his comments (invoking the memory of MLK). This is not a vision of a strict theocracy – it is instead working for the vision Jesus announced at the beginning of his public ministry. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19).

    Obama spoke of binding the nation's wounds, and of bringing Democrats and Republicans together for common goals. His only political statement (if it can be called political) was when he asked the congregation to pray for him and his family.

    The Pastor in no way endorsed Obama – he just made it clear that the Senator was the congregation's guest, and that he should be made welcome (as would any politician who asked to attend services). I doubt any other candidate will take him up on the implicit offer.

    If anyone would like further clarification about the service, I'll try and help, though I doubt I'll be reading this blog as incessantly as some. 🙂

    October 8, 2007 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  11. Houghton Coleman

    Lioness, You are an IDIOT!
    He gets your vote on ONE issue and that's intelligent?
    Wy not because of his eye color or because he is thin? Makes as much sense.
    This is a Politician telling you what YOU want to hear >>> ON ONE SUBJECT and you are 100% for him now.
    Such immature foolishness!

    October 8, 2007 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  12. BHZ Antioch California

    Obama seems to have put himself in a box by campaigning in a Christian church. If he tries to pander to other faiths (read that Judaism,Islam etc.) he will be distanced by the Orthodox followers of other faiths. He is still relying on the liberal fringe and would need to do so in a Temple or a Mosque. Swinging to the eastern religions with their idols would cause further division in his following.

    October 8, 2007 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  13. Zulu, Jamaica, New York


    October 8, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  14. Sam

    If a Republican had said what Obama did in a Church, the liberal media would have total fits, reporting it 24/7 for weeks on end, demanding an apology. The attack would be relentless.

    The left is full of hypocrites and snakes and vipers. Power and money are their true religions!

    October 8, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  15. Don, Yuma, AZ

    Based on the fact that in his book he said the family member he admired most was his Muslim grandfather, I fear for America under his EXTREME leftist policies and his exotic brand of Christianity!! To paraphrase moveon.org on Petraeus/BetrayUs, I am afraid that under a Barack presidency, this country could become a total ObamaNation!!

    October 8, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  16. Mick in Los Feliz California

    So what morals is Mr. Obama espousing?
    Abortion, maybe before the second trimester only?
    Gay marraige? hmmm ??
    Me thinks the world is turned upside down.

    October 8, 2007 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  17. Bronte


    If Republicans even VISIT a church-owned university they are castigated for mixing "church and state."

    Yet, DEMOCRATS are free to visit ACTUAL CHURCHES and nothing is said.

    If it weren’t for DOUBLE STANDARDS, Leftists wouldn’t have any.

    October 8, 2007 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  18. Chris,Eugene,OR

    In reference to the post by Ed of Ellenville NY, "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." I have two questions.
    1. It is simply ignorant of you sir to make such an uneducated comment about this man's Lord and Saviour nor to even remotely think its funny to reference this man as the "right's" saviour. Jesus or Yeshua was a Jew. A Hebrew. He was not white nor was he black. He was most likely of an olive complection. What does your comment have to do with the nature of this article? To me it seems that you simply want to perpetuate racism and cultural hatred.
    2. If you are referring to Dr. James Dobson of Focus on The Family, don't you think that Obama would possibly and probably does, support him? Its comments like this that frustrate the situation and cause an unhealthy and uneducated form of dissent. You waste everyones time by irrationally typing the first thing that comes to mind, and expect the readers of this article to somehow agree with you.

    I am NOT voting for Obama, but I'm sure as heck not going to sit here while someone ignorantly makes comments in reference to this mans faith as well as try and make some halfbaked dig at MY PARTY.

    Go repugs!

    October 8, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  19. Superpower - Houston, Texas

    When in Rome...

    October 8, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  20. Bronte


    "Sometimes you can become fearful, sometimes you can become vain, sometimes you can seek power just for power's sake instead of because you want to do service to God. I just want all of you to pray that I can be an instrument of God in the same way that ... all of you are instruments of God."


    "We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."


    Leftists are never honest and never fair.
    That is why they are hypocrites.

    October 8, 2007 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  21. God, Everywhere,Universe


    Faith without works is dead......

    Night, kids.

    October 8, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  22. ThirstyJon, Freedomville, IL

    It does not matter what "faith" a person claims to be a part of. It matters what policies one advances. It matters what character a candidate lives.

    On Social and Moral policies regarding abortion, marriage, and education, the Republican Party has often attracted better candidates.

    I will continue to vote for candidates who oppose the slaughter of innocent children through abortion. I will continue to support candidates who stand against the agenda to force Americans to acknowledge "gay" marriage via the law.

    I will also continue to stand against candidates who advance a socialistic like agenda that threatens the right to private property and basic freedom. High taxes, oppressive big government, and lots of regulation are all evils that we need to stand against.

    When God made a country (ancient Israel) there was no king until His people insisted on having one. I think God is into freedom from oppressive government. Socialism doesn't fit.

    The Democratic party is often socialistic in its views. I don't by it.

    There is nothing "Holy" about the Republican party. But for as long as a third party is unable to rise up to real prominence, and for as long as the Democratic party is in the hands of dangerous socialist and socially immoral thinkers, I will be voting most of the time as a Republican. Of course, there will be exceptions only when the Democrat who is running opposes abortion being legal, opposes the "gay" marriage agenda, and opposes oppressive big-tax and high regulation government.


    October 8, 2007 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  23. Bronte


    Leftist cartoonists almost always portray President George W. Bush with "jug ears” even though his ears are perfectly normal.


    You want more???

    How about the fact that President George W. Bush is OFTEN portrayed as a “monkey.”


    October 8, 2007 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  24. Anonymous

    LOL – with 95% of blacks mindlessly voting democrat, support at a black church is a victory?

    You libtards are fools.

    October 8, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  25. pacifica1, Los Angeles, CA

    Mainstream media will do anything to denigrate Obama, as they have consistently done, just as they have coronated Hillary prez.

    After all, don't forget that the consolidation of media occurred during Bill Clinton's presidency, and now we have 7 mega-corporations owning everything we see, hear and read. That is why we must access independent media to find out what is really happening, and I recommend buzzflashDOTcom, as it is a progressive news site with links to all world and US newspapers, government links and also White House propaganda sites like Faux News and Drudge, for example.

    I tune in to CNN when I want to see what they are under-reporting, not reporting or misreporting. Period. It used to be GREAT when Ted Turner owned it and Bernard Shaw was the senior journalist...now it mired in superficial coverage and plainly biased towards Hillary, a clear violation of the tenets of our democracy.

    October 8, 2007 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
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