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. Nodack, Phoenix AZ

    You are all scary people.

    I'm agnostic.

    If there is a god he is either laughing or crying right now after reading these comments.

    I don't subscribe to any religion because from my point of view they are all dangerous cults.

    Why is almost everybody in the mid east a Muslim?

    Because their mothers and fathers were Muslim and raised them to be Muslims.

    Why are most people in the US Christians.

    Because their mothers and fathers were.

    How many different religions are there?

    A lot.

    Which is the true one?

    Forget I asked.
    Enough with the abortion speeches. I get it. You guys won't vote for anybody that would allow abortion because it's killing. Gotcha. I guess the other issues in the world don't matter to you. You don't mind if your leader kills half the people on the planet because god told him to as long as they vote against abortion.

    I don't care about religion. The ten commandments were a nice set of guidelines to live by. I don't think God burned then into a rock and handed them to moses. I'll believe some smart man wanted better for his people and came up with the ten commandments as a guide to follow and then to give it muscle told everybody that god did it.

    I just want you people to get along with another and stop killing or hating each other in the name of whatever god you happen to believe in.

    Muslims and Christians... it's all the same to me. If there is a god, then he can see into your heart and mind to know how you have lived your life regardless of the religion you have chosen to follow.

    If Obama wants to create a Kingdom on Earth then I'll take it. A Kingdom in heaven would be a place without wars and everybody treated everybody the same and got along.

    By the way, I'm sick of the Republican / Democrat bashing crap. You guys have all come up with a million fancy unflattering names for each other, but it makes you look silly in the process.

    What ever happened to just being American?

    Democrats VS.Republicans and vice versus.

    Muslims against Christians

    Palestinians against the Jews

    Shiites against Sunni

    Never mind your parents made up your minds for you long ago and you will make up your children's minds for them too and this will all keep going on like always and people like me will hope that you guys don't destroy the world in the name of God while I'm still around.

    October 8, 2007 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  2. retiredcopper, Lexington KY

    It's funny how Democrats will find religion right around election time.

    October 8, 2007 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  3. pete, London

    This is very disappointing. God is great Obama vs God is great Osama?
    The world doesn't need another American President spouting Christian evangelism as the basis for US policy around the world.

    October 8, 2007 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  4. I understand, Miami FL

    I won't vote for anyone thast has a Muslim grandmother, father and stepfather. Forget it! I'm not interested in the Muslim worldview and how we can come to understand it. I saw the Twin Towers fall. I understand it all too well.

    October 8, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. Simon R. Rabinowitz

    Let us all pray that as Americans we unite together beyond party boundaries to insure that NO MUSLIM shall ever take ANY office within our government. We have identified our enemy of the 21st century – it is MUSLIM.

    October 8, 2007 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  6. deroy

    what religion is he selling.

    this guy is a con man.

    he could be an opening act.

    October 8, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  7. deroy

    when does our religious invasion of pakistan begin?

    October 8, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  8. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    I think Obama's job is done now,unless he wants to work for Dobson.Judging by the blatant bigotry on this blog,I don't think they like the color of his skin. Lots of nastiness.

    October 8, 2007 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  9. Rusty; NY. NY

    Two things immediately come to mind:

    1. Why would anyone consider voting for a practicing Muslim when we are fighting against Islam for our very existence? Bin Laden and his gang are probably jumping in anticipation at that one. And for those who claim that Obama being Islamic is the same things people said about Kennedy being Catholic– not the same thing–we weren't at war against the Vatican in 1960.

    2. His comments and behavior are exactly the ones I'd expect to hear from the coming anti Christ–a man talking of a "kingdom on earth" and claiming to be of peace.

    I have some bad gut feeling about this guy.....feelings that don't go away.

    October 8, 2007 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  10. Ricardo Maxwell, Orange Park FL

    Clever ruse by Obama in an attempt to steal votes of some disenchanted Christian Republicans and black Conservatives. Unfortunately, his far left philosophy and past affiliation with socialists and Communists will turn off ANY and all conservative voters and this pandering to Christians will turn off the left wing kooks. Great to see him trying to please everyone. It is the earmark of a potential failure. Ask Hillary.

    October 8, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. James B., Eden Priarie, MN

    Where's the liberals crying out and fearful of Obama's "Kingdom" will become a "theocracy"? I dare the media to rip his religious beliefs as equally and forcefully as they ripped President Bush.

    October 8, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  12. Ricardo Maxwell, Orange Park FL

    "We now have a generation rising up that's only known more conservative philosophies for most of their adult lives. " Kevin Jones, Omaha, NE
    Kevin, While I agree with your premise that liberalism (and/or Socialism)is a failed and bankrupt philosophy, I cannot agree with your statement above.
    The last time our country experience any true conservatism was Ronald Reagan era. Newt Gingrich also presented an effective and successful conservative legislative agenda (that Clinton signed into law) but he was fought tooth and mail by Dems in Congress. We seem to lack true conservative leaders and policy today. Part of this is perception, however, due to the extreme left wing bias of the MSM. Our country slips more and more to the left as time marches on. A sure path to destruction.

    October 8, 2007 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  13. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Chris-Eugene,don't try to speak intelligently,it doesn't suit you well.Ignorant that your party is riddled with people that an MRI would deem unsuitable for positions of responsibility? Ignorant that the fable of delusion can not prove that your martyr is white? Or black? Or olive skinned? Please don't vote,you're obsolete. Dobson will put his support behind anyone he thinks can make him money and posters here are living testaments to their hatred of blacks. Haven't you red them? I'm going to continue to degrade your intellectual standing by destroying your faith until faith no longer threatens our secular democracy. If you don't like it or it is too offensive for you,I'm glad to be of help. Perhaps it's time to have your head examined. Put your support behind moderates like Rudy or Hillary or get lost,this nation is through with you.

    October 8, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  14. dee moon nc

    a true christian talks about anytime the call comes....not just 'in church'....

    October 8, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. Don Longmont, CO

    I couldn't agree more with the comment, "what is best for America".

    This is why there is suppose to be selparation between church and state. People are so rapped up in their religious viewpoint they don't even consider what is good for the country.

    What about immigration, healthcare, and the economy. These are the current issues impacting most of middle America. The lack of health care is killing far more people than abortion and that is the only issue that is talked about.

    October 8, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  16. bws

    He's Muslim. If he gets in the White House, you can watch America's support for Israel fall to the way side. If you claim to be a Christian then Obama in the White House should raise a red flag. In the last days "all" nations will turn their back against Israel. This includes America. The pieces are falling into place people.

    October 8, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. Numine, Maple Grove MN

    This man is the furthest thing from 'an instrument of God'. Any man that wants to lift the "don't ask, don't tell" policy from the military clearly cares little for morality. And don't start with the whole "morality is a matter of opinion" crap, because the moment you start talking about God, you assume some fixed moral law. When you support killing unborn children, start condoning unnatural and sinful unions between 2 men or 2 women, and lying to the public more often than telling the truth, you don't care about God or any set of moral standards is the moment you cease to be elligible to call yourself an 'instrument of God'.

    October 8, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  18. David, Encinitas, CA

    Nodack from AZ:


    I don't particularly care much about a candidate's religious views. It's only an issue when they're obviously exclusive or divisive about them, or wish to govern based upon them. Then it becomes worrisome. A good president will make decisions based on what's in the best interest of all Americans. A great one will make decisions based on what's in the best interest of those American's grandkids. (and I'm not referring to the abortion debate for those who think that way!). I think several of the candidates have it in themselves to be at least good presidents, Obama being one of them.

    October 8, 2007 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  19. Bill Carroll, Columbia, SC

    "Kingdom on Earth"? Hmmm...sounds like the anti-christ. No Christian in their right mind would claim to create a kingdom on Earth. Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this earth. Christians are of Christ and his kingdom and therefore would never want to create a kingdom on earth.

    October 8, 2007 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  20. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Those of you are concerned about his "Kingdom here on earth comment" should read his book "The Audacity of Hope." If you read his book, you will realize that he has acquaintenances who are members of various faiths. He has learned a respect for all of them, while believing firmly in God and Christ.

    This is the guy we need as president.

    October 8, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. Bill, Wenham MA

    Why is it OK for Democrats to rally their base from a Church pulpit? I thought that was illegal?

    He should read his Bible, only Christ Jesus can create a "Heaven on Earth". Man is sinful and will always be sinful...

    October 8, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Scott Thomas, Tampa, FL.

    When Republicans and conservatives use the pulpit, they're attacked for injecting religion into the political debate.

    Democrats and liberals use the pulpit (Obama, Clinton, Gore) and...no problem. Not a sound.

    Revs. Falwell and Robertson were/are attacked for being involved in politics - Revs. Jackson and Sharpton can run for office and become full-blown political figures and the media is silent.

    The Democrats/Liberals/Media attack Evangelicals and Christians (never southern Black Baptists churches, which are equally conservative; never Muslims) as racist, intolerant, backward, hate-mongers eager to create a theocracy.

    Now, come election, the Dems want to "take back" religion and morality after spending about three out of every four years marginalizing and spitting upon it.

    Hypocrisy is the nicest word that can be used to describe the Democrats/Liberals/Media.

    October 8, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. "Joe"

    I think its so rich on Mr. Obama talk about faith. On who side does the aclu side with..democrats.
    The man has voted for on the side of abortion everytime..would Christ vote to keep abortion legal..NO!!
    The want both ways..to keep abortion legal,give equal status to gay couples like regular marriage and claiming to build a kingdom here on earth. Obama read your Bible, it cleary states that the kindgom of God is WITHIN YOU!!, not in this world.
    You are known by your fruits and his are ROTTEN.

    October 8, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  24. Tamoa, FL

    Dems showing their virulent hypocrisy once again....Bush speaks on faith you foam at the mouth, Obama does it...and you'd think he was the second coming...LOL

    Frankly as a pagan conservative I think you're all nutcases...

    October 8, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  25. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Obama's right, and I fail to see any moral superiority within the GOP ranks. However, the Democrats, in their effort to be "politically correct" and not hurt feelings by appearing exclusive, ceded the moral high ground to the GOP years ago when they failed to explain how their platform was consistent with the Christian faith (and whether you like it or not, most of the people in this country call themselves Christians).

    Some of us remember how Jimmy Carter was nearly laughed out of town for declaring that he was a born-again Christian in 1976.

    If the Democrats want to claim the moral high ground again, they have years to make up for their ignoring this issue.

    October 8, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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