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. steve

    How can a church host a presidental candiate as a speaker – who speaks about the election and not be in violation of campaign laws? Is is because he is black or a democrat?

    The lamestream media would go crazy if a republican did this.

    October 8, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  2. Dr Atomic

    Rusty, good heavens man, get a grip. Obama has publicly renounced Islam. You know what they do to heretics and renegades. No muslim would vote for him now.
    There are dozens of reasons to object to Obama's campaign, but saying he's muslim is just plain uninformed.

    October 8, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Bruce, Lebanon CT

    That is just too phony for words......what kingdom does he think he is going to create????....social kingdoms are fataly flawed from the start. Faith is not about what you have, it's about what has you.....and if he can choose when to "let it out" as when he is in church, it doesn't have him, but is merely a prop he uses for personal gain......

    October 8, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Geoff Walsh, Boulder, CO

    This guy reminds me of Bush being an "instrument of god"! What happened to seperation of church and state. I want freedom from religion in a president, not a fanatic under delusions of religion.

    October 8, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Janet Estep, Abingdon, VA

    "Would the Lord Jesus Christ want us to be pitted against each other like we are now? NO! Christ encouraged harmony, and Obama encourages harmony."
    Christ wants us to have peace, but he brought us truth, which often causes disruption. This is what Christ said in Matthew 10:34-35..."Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Christ was more about bringing truth and salvation, and the peace he brings is a personal, inward peace.

    October 8, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. Dr. Van A. Harmon

    Barak HUSSEIN Obama is NOT a Christian! His supposed Christian church membership is a "front", a "shill." Would a Christian, when sworn in to the U.S. Senate swear his oath on a Koran,instead of a Bible, as Obama did? It was in all of the newspapers. Can't some of you people read?

    His Arab father was a Muslim, Later his Stepfather was a Muslim, of the same sect that has caused 911, and all of the terrorist murders since. Obama attended this sects religious teachings of violence ever since he was a child in Hawaii.

    October 8, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. pl. at the UN for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote.

    Mr Obama, I fear the backlash that will come your way because of your infantilistic stance you took yesterday.
    The epithome of confusing Faith and politics is Iran. Did you not think before you opened your mouth?

    October 8, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Stephen, Moore, OK

    Don't be fooled by his religious language. A Christian with an understanding of the bible knows that the Church plays no part in establishing a Kingdom. The Kingdom is a spiritual one and has already been established by Jesus, the risen King.

    October 8, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  9. Patrick McKillip, Puyallup, WA

    Let a Republican sound off like this guy and there would be hell to pay from the athiestic liberal majority. So if you're a "D" you get a pass? The double-standard/hypocrisy never ceases to amaze.

    October 8, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  10. Ken, Peachtree City, GA

    Who is this guy kidding? How often has this guy been to Sunday services in the last 3 years when it wasn't: a) Wedding b) Funeral c) To give a speech or to campaign. He and John Edwards seem to be in a race to be declared the biggest phony.

    Furthermore, the history is riddled with wreckage of people who thought they could create a 'kingdom on earth'. Do he even understand human nature? This guy should go back to passing dog barking ordinances in Illinois.

    October 8, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  11. JT, Jay, Florida

    Of course this "Kingdom on Earth' is the global antichrist system that republicans and democrats here in America are striving for. Open up your eyes, people.

    October 8, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. JC Topeka, KS

    Funny how born agains find religion after they do something that would land them in you know where.

    However in keeping with my stance that religopn belongs in church and real world politics don't, I hope that this little speak was not connected with the regular services in any manner.

    October 8, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Wes, Frankfort, Kentucky

    Obama is a big fake. Nothing has changed. He fits right in with the left. They are and have always been big fakes regarding "religion".

    October 8, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. Brian, Knoxville TN

    These postings are really scary. I'm a Christian myself but I see, from both parties, that they both want the Christian vote and they will do anything to get their votes. Let's please not let any major party hijack your faith. If we've learned anything since Newt, it's that politics and religion do not mix. Think for yourself and vote for someone who you think can govern this country the best and not someone who would praise Jesus at every photo opportunity but couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. THINK FOR YOURSELF!!!!

    October 8, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. DH, Lumberton, NC

    Campaigning in a church? Isn't that a violation of the "separation of church and state?" I expect Barry Lynn and Americans United will have a problem with this. See http://www.commondreams.org/news2000/1030-07.htm

    October 8, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. Hano,boston,ma

    I see cherish the fact he appeals to evangelists and wants kingdom on earth, yet ignore his stance on foreign policy...which he will surely not differ from any other candidate guaranteed

    October 8, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Justin, Falls Church, Virginia

    Two thoughts. One, if Bush said anything like this "wanting to create a kingdom" routine, the left would be scream "he wants a theocracy."

    Second, the democrats are not going to win the faith issue until and unless they show some evidence that faith guides their policies, rather than them just trying to wrap up the usual mini-marxist routine in terms that the jesus types would love.

    The truth here is that there is a long, ugly tradition of dems saving all their "God talk" for black churches–in short, demonstrating that the dems apparently think that it is only appropriate to mix faith and politics when black people are involved. That says alot about how the dems view race and religion, doesn't it?

    Of course, Obama was not in a black church, but he is a black man, so he gets the exemption all the time. Let me know when and if Hillary talks about God to a predominately white crowd (and uses a silly fake accent to boot), or any of the other dems. In the meantime, I and most Christians are going to believe this is all a come on.

    October 8, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Bob, Burlington, ON.

    Religious belief just has to be the most awesomely delayed, or impeded aspect of human development. It really ought to be patently obvious - even to believers - that the stuff you believe in depends almost entirely on where you live, the stuff you've had put in front of you, your family background, etc. This alone ought to be more than enough to raise patently obvious questions about religion, how it works, and just who is working it, but alas, it is not.

    October 8, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Philip, Baldwin City, KS

    "Sounds a lot like the muslin extremist that are killing our brave men & women in terrorist attacks. They also believe that they are "destined to create their style of Kingdom on Earth". You people are soo stupid…obama seeks to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialism, or worse, islam.

    Posted By Billh : October 7, 2007 9:03 pm"


    October 8, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. slinkymalinky

    Oh..., theres whats left of the Democratic partys soul. And who says Obama isn't black enough??

    October 8, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Paul, Chicago, IL

    Obama's comment about "creating a Kingdom on earth" is not only unbiblical (which should alert those that he was trying to pander to), but it is a something that if a Republican candidate had said, he would be blasted all over the mainstream media for.

    Almost as bad as Edward's comment about all young black men in America being dead or in jail.

    Amazing how much Democrat candidates/politicians get away with. Simply amazing.

    October 8, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. Suzan, Russellville, AR

    He just needs to join ranks with the party and support Hillary.

    October 8, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. Rodney Dallas TX

    Ding Ding Ding......I knew if I read enough comments, I'd find one where Hillary was mentioned. It's sad that a story about Obama and the Evangelical Church still manages to bring Hillary's name into the equation. Repubs must be worried or they wouldn't be mentioning her name so often.

    October 8, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. Josh in Fort Worth

    How can you say your a Christian and at the same time support abortion.

    This is against Scripture and therefore against God.

    Obama is not a Christian

    October 8, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  25. Joe Rogowski , Tema, Ghana, W. Africa

    Why doesn't that church have it's tax-exemption removed for supporting candidate Obama as the ACLU always threatens churches who sponsor Republican candidates. Remember so-called "separation of church and state?" It must not apply to Democrat churches.

    October 8, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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