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. Carole Dallas, TX

    Obama has a "third-world dictator mentality" that is dangerous for our country. Talk of "creating a Kingdom here on earth" is heresy. It is direct opposition to what the Bible says that only God will create a Kingdom on earth. Obama is not God.

    October 8, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Bil, Oklahoma CIty, OK

    Is there any doubt that this man panders to his audience? Typical Democrat, trying to be all things to all people for no other reason than to get their votes. Trouble is, so many people fall for it.

    October 8, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    Personal to Bronte:

    Bush has wrapped the religious zealots tightly around his waist and catered to their every wish!

    Where have you been?!

    October 8, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. R. Stevens Fredericksburg, Virginia

    Will anyone ask this "man of faith" about the murder of over a million innocent, unborn babies each year in this country and why his party does nothing to stop it and in fact promotes the slaughter in the name of "choice"?

    What kind of "kingdom" would a man who has said he has no objection to the reading of "King and King" (the story of two gay "princes" who meet and fall in love) to second graders create? The kingdom of Sodom?

    Do not be deceived by this snake.

    October 8, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Larry

    You are all naive. This guy is a know nothing phoney .

    October 8, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Steve, Doylestown, PA

    It sure is amazing that with the way today's media is set up that a person can claim that the GOP has hijacked the values discussion. You can't hijack an issue, the D's just refuse to talk about values because if they do, they have to present all of their values and most are not pleseant or winning values. The bottom line is that Barack is the first Liberal to state his position on faith and I do admire that. However, he doesn't state his firm view on the other issues that drive elections. He has now said that he won't pull troops out of Iraq when he said he wants to end the war and he also conveniently doesn't say that he believes in a Socialist form of Government and raising everyone's taxes for the "greater good". Which means forcing private citizens to take care of their neighbor regardless of the choices that the other person has made. It sure would be nice if the "bleeding hearts" would actually practice what they preach. Clinton and Obama should not be saying taxes need to be raised when they take tax breaks themselves while making millions of dollars. If you want to pay more taxes, then don't take tax breaks. Don't ask/force others to conform to your stance when you don't even practice it.

    October 8, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Rusty in NY:

    The Christian right tried to do a number on Kennedy by claiming the Pope would move the Vatican to Washington if Kennedy got elected.

    The fact that Kennedy was a Catholic was a central issue in the election – and most of the garbage came out of Nixon's camp. Character assassination at its best!

    Hmmm, a precursor of things to come – just ask the Muskie family about that humorous little ditty called the "Canuck Letter" which was also courtesy of the Nixon camp.

    October 8, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Joseph, Indianapolis, IN

    1st. Obama is a MUSLIM! Not a christian!

    2nd. Do you want to be ruled by someone who wants to be a king??? He's not just saying this for political expediency, he means it. And he wants you to be his subjects and pay homage (and your taxes) to him.

    You all are blinded by race and hatred! Get a clue and really look into what this guy wants to do!

    October 8, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Jen

    Politics don't belong in church, especially at the pulpit.

    October 8, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Florence B Marlboro NJ

    Am I missing something?
    Isn't Obama a muslim? Whats he doing at a church of another faith preaching about God? Some people will do anything to win an election

    October 8, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. eopedaw, Little Rock, AR

    "I don't talk about it all the time, but when I'm in church I talk about it." In other words, I say what I need to say to fit the audience I am in front of.

    October 8, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Michael R. Hicks, Wilson, NC

    WE in the "evangelical community" have been in the trenches dealing with AIDS and poverty for years! Obama and most democrats have only been interested in TALKING about it. They refused to get in the trenches with us because we hold dear radical beliefs like our opposition to having babies chopped up in their mother's womb and flushed down a drain!!!

    "Obama noted that he was pleased leaders in the evangelical community like T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren were beginning to discuss social justice issues like AIDS and poverty in ways evangelicals were not doing before."

    October 8, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Eddie, Brooklyn, NY

    Amen, Barack!

    Keep being pro partial birth abortion you hypocrite!

    Thou Shalt not kill

    October 8, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Lioness, Washington DC

    This thread is the closest I have ever come to experiencing pornography: watching all of you furious, politically bitter right wingers come out with your Jesus and God weaponry to rant and libel Obama gives me a perverse pleasure.

    In tennis, when you lose you are supposed to shake your opponent's hand. No such etiquette here, I see.

    If I believed in God I would be forced to pray Hail Marys for two months straight or appear on a Christian talk show to confess to a sinning soul.

    This is too much pleasure for a Protestant to experience and for a Catholic to admit to.

    I have my morals too, though. It's wrong to gloat over others' tantrums.

    So I will take my leave. See you on Election Day. Can't wait to get the Constitution back.

    An revoir, mes amis.

    (Oops, that's FRENCH – how Un -American!)

    Good-bye my fellow Americans.

    Take a warm bath, have a drink and relax. Or go to church and pray for yourselves.

    October 8, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. Cathy, Bryan, TX

    "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth???"

    That's SCARY!!!

    October 8, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Ron Paul for President

    A 'KINGDOM' huh?

    I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican or whatever. When there is a 'kingdom' there is a 'king' and a whole bunch of 'serfs'.

    This country was founded as a 'republic' with a 'constitution'.

    A 'Kingdom'? NO THANK YOU.

    October 8, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. Nathan, New York, New York

    Another left-wing fascist.

    October 8, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Ron, Hagerstown, MD

    Barack still can't overcome the scorn and ridicule that the radical left democrats have for those of faith. It seems those radicals have disregard for anything seen as traditional and moral. I'm an independent and these leftists and their agenda are pushing me away from the democrat party.

    October 8, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Andrea Taylor, Pensacola FL

    He was just making an expression. He was not flat out saying he is going to create a Kingdom on Earth. People, you are trippin'.

    Some of you are acting really crazy on here. If anyone is scary, it is all the people on here making such crazy remarks.

    Number one - Obama is not Muslim. So what, and if he was? Get real. There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. Stop putting people down for their religion. That's stupid, grow up.

    Number two – Obama is running in an election. Politicians campaign many places, including churches - so get over it.

    Number three – For all of you complaining about Obama, can you do better? Can you raise as much money as he has? Can you graduate from Columbia and Harvard? Can you organize very successful political campaigns? Can you create a movement of change?
    Do you want to change the world and make it better?

    Stop throwing stones and go out their and try to make this world a better place. Just like Obama! I suggest you register to vote and vote for Obama as well! TOGETHER we can change this world - not attacking each other all the time.

    October 8, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Eliot , NY,NY

    What hypocrisy. He is for Gay rights, abortion, etc.... people are so much like sheep.....Wake up people!

    October 8, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Josette, OKC

    It is good to see Sen. Obama making this point. Democrats have varied religious backgrounds and are as faithful and devout as anyone else. Republicans have presented themselves as the only choice for people of faith; almost implying that any other choice is against God. That is ridiculous. Jesus didn't own an oil company, or drive a Hummer.

    This GOP exploitation of religion is narrow,divisive and arrogant. If you don't agree with my views than you have not beliefs worthy of my respect, you are un-American. It is good to see Democrats confronting the naked emperor with truth and reason.

    October 8, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. LeeAnn, Orlando, FL

    I have an idea. Instead of praying for Obama, how about praying for the unborn children that his party allows to be murdered. Yeah, that's real Christian-like. Gay marriage...I'm sure the bible says that's okat too, right? I am so sick of the hypocracy!

    October 8, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Jim Noble, Atlanta GA

    He is the same ole politician just wrapped in pretty paper. He does not have ANY experience in foreign affairs, domestic issues, and such. Plus going on the Tyra Banks show and telling us what is on his Ipod isn't going to get my vote.

    October 8, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Garrett Smythe Brown, II

    When Republicans invoke G_d, the CNN and the drive by media get all upset about them exploiting religion for political gain. When the Dems do it, it is somehow a sign of good values. How does that work?

    I will pray, though. I will pray that Hillary and Obama do not become pres and vp for the US because that would be a tragedy of biblical proportions

    October 8, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. George, Alexandria, VA

    "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."

    Sounds like the anti-Christ to me.

    October 8, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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