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. P. Tenney Newberry, Florida

    Barack Hussein Obama was taught in a radical islamic school when young, and is now attending a black "Christian" white-hating church, and he is going to create a "kingdom on earth?" Yep, an islamic one. Give us a break!!

    October 8, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Tom B., St. Paul, MN

    If a Republican were to suggest the same thing, cries of separation of Church and state would be shouted from the rooftops.

    If a Democrat says it, even the atheists support him. Go figure.

    My theory is that this is because deep down, people don't believe a word of it. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards...they all profess to be part of Christ's kingdom, but when push comes to shove it's an empty faith. Their faith ultimately lies in government, the bigger the better, so they can get away with shouting their nonsense from every available pulpit.

    You get the government you deserve, and in '08 we'll officially see America sold down the river in a ship of platitudes. Thanks, Democrats.

    October 8, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Scott,Seattle Washington

    It is like the old saying goes,"everything old is new again".Obama talking "faith",Hillary spouting off about "faith/morality",& Gore's new religion of "global warming"-These liberals/Democrats are the NEW snake-oil salesmen;phony preachers in a traveling "revival"setting, selling you false"faith"in order for you to buy their product-their product being the omnipotent need to be in power & force their socialist agenda on the American people.All the while stealing your money in the form of higher taxes to fund these agendas, while they smile at you & tell you that "this is in the best interest of everybody,Amen & praise God"

    October 8, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Columbus Ohio

    we have a lot of racist that post on CNN. and CNN seems very bias towards Barack

    October 8, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Red, houston, tx

    This is all a big joke, let me bait the hook and toss it out and see who bits... get a grip people you would think that this man was the next incarnation or something. They say what you want to hear, and you believe what you want. God truly takes care of the Dumb, the blind and the Drunks..

    October 8, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Observer

    To Darell S : (above)

    Your comments are without a doubt the most asinine and ridiculous attempt at character assasination of Barrack Obama.

    Not only have you got your facts seriously wrong (I'd go as far as saying you have deliberately created lies to further your (or the candidate you support) own agenda, but you also show to the world what a narrow minded fool you are!

    I feel compelled to write this response to defend Obama, and I'm not even a supporter.

    October 8, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Greg Lamb Bakersfield, Ca

    Why do Dems get a pass on speaking from the pulpit? If a Republican candidate or conservative pastor talks politics from the pulpit people scream 'seperation' and call for revoking tax exempt status.

    October 8, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Kelly, San diego, ca

    Yet, at the same time Air America is setting up to broadcast an Athiest Program...all in the name if inclusiveness don't ya know.

    October 8, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Kim Zuber

    The only religion that seeks to create a kingdom on earth is Islam. In Christianity, Christ's kingdom has already come. This is very close to the introduction of Islam to the unbeliever.

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

    "al in NY, NY": This is where you left wingers make your mistake – which has cost you two elections now. Not all people of faith are "bible thumpers" – just like all people from NYC aren't rude and thoughtless. Don't sterotype.

    October 8, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Mike Denver, Colorado

    If he really wants the faith vote, how is his stand relate to the Democratic ideal of unfettered abortions?
    Side comment, I thought the political process was to occur outside of churches (not outside of faith). Why is it Democratics can campaign constantly inside of churches and if Republicans did the same thing a chorus would arise singing how Church and state are to be separate?

    October 8, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Judging by the number of bloggers, Mr Obama's forey into religion is confusing everyone.
    He is not expanding his base, rather he is just carving a niche for himself. And a narrow one at that.

    The Republican right is very little about God-speeches. It is about long-term policies about the Bible–not the Koran–right to life, and so on.

    I must admit, Mr Obama, that every time you pull a stunt such as this one you leave me scratching my head.

    October 8, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Matt, Annandale, NJ

    Religion doesn't "belong" to anyone. God's word is not for sale and it never changes despite what politicians would like you to think. If you want to know God, read the Bible!!!

    October 8, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Ted Smith, Louisville, KY

    B. Hussein Obama–a good Muslim President.

    October 8, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. monica, rochester new york

    Thanks KD, Dallas Tx. I was beginning to think no one had a civil or intelligent word to say. It's too bad so many have no respect for Obama's efforts to weave in his faith in a respectful and honest way. As a constitutional law expert, he values and supports separation of church and state. But he shows by example how you can have respect for both in your life. No one can show any evidence to the contrary based on his 8 years in the state legislature and his years as a US senator.
    Some of the posters here purport to be "christians" but spew just as much intolerance, negativty and judgment than anyone else. Sure doesn't do much to prove the power of their faith to create loving, understanding people. Some of you even think you have the right to deny Obama the right to his faith, by saying he's muslim, when he's clearly and proudly proclaimed his christian faith. Is there some kind of christian litmus test he's suppose to take before fellow christians accept him into the club? He's your bretheren, yet you verbally stone him any chance you get. You're "I'm a real christian but he's a fake christian" statements are outrageous and extremely unchristian. It's no wonder people are turning away from organized religion, too many of it's members exhibit behaviors that prove there's no power or goodness there.

    October 8, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Ratbor McCain

    Like all good Christians, I believe we should kill all the Iraqis. May George W Bush drink the blood of every man woman and child in Iraq! And Iran. And the gays. And the libs.

    October 8, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Dennis Breen, Raymond NH

    Very Interesting Mr Obama. Creatures creating a kingdom on Earth sounds like the sin of Pride, Satan's sin and man's Original sin.

    Studying his party's platform, his many well-spoken positions, Mr Obama's kingdom seems to be the Moloch Kingdom: unrestricted sodomy, perversion, promiscuity; the glorified slaughter of the Innocents (an element of voodoo there); the Robin Hood theft of one citizen's private property to be doled to illegal aliens, et cetera, et alia.

    Speaking of evils, it would be interesting to see this never-tested man thwart the true rape of the US Treasury by the likes of Jack Murtha, Robert Byrd, and all their insidious colleagues. Sure he may charm Nancy Versace Pilates, but the real power behind the glowers in the US Congress will laugh themselves to tears.

    It would be easy to dismiss this inexperience phenomenon as as-empty a suit as Hillary is truly an empty skirt, unfortunately Biblical admonitions of 'Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites ..' and "woe to you Lawyers .." are politically incorrect.

    The man speaks sweet sounding words but has gall in his soul.

    October 8, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Enraged, SLC, UT

    Wow, so much delsion in this thread, and so little time to dissect it. All this talk of what a magical sky fairy and his imaginary Jewish carpenter son demand of humanity makes me want to vomit. Are people in this country really this ignorant?

    Here's a thought: why not grow up and focus on the real issues? I'm sick of hearing Republicans whine about the "sanctity of life" when they support the slaughter of innocent lives in the Middle East because they're not Christians. I'm also sick of Democrats trying to pander to religious dolts who believe that the ultimate creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with them (if it exists in the first place, which is beyond doubtful).

    October 8, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Foo Bar, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    You guys have got to remember that Mr. Obama is not talking about a 'christian' heaven on earth, he's Muslim.

    October 8, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Rob Velasquez, San Diego CA

    one quick question to add....why does it really matter what his religious beliefs are? we are electing a president, not a preacher. ones religious moralities have no place in politics, they are hired to represent everyone not jsut one religious sect.

    October 8, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Chris, Indianapolis, IN

    Anyone else tired of candidates itching your ears and only telling you what you want to hear?

    "the Caesars too would have believed on Christ, if either the Caesars had not been necessary for the world, or if Christians could have been Caesars ..." –Tertullian

    Religion and Politics will never truly coincide, they weren't supposed to. This is just a game for them. Tell it to the judge on judgement day.

    October 8, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Shen, Texas

    Obama IS a Muslim. He was raised a Muslim, and the Quran commands that any Muslim, who leaves the faith ... especially one, who leaves to become a Christian or a Jew ... MUST be killed. It also commands that Muslims lie, cheat, trick, steal, etc., from Christians and Jews and other "infidels" in order to convert or conquer them. The fact that there has not been an outcry from the Muslim community, nor a fatwa issued for his death means that other Muslims are "in" on the deception and want him elected President of the US in order to turn this into a Muslim country. Just after 9/11, the head Imam in New York said that within 10 years, the US would be a Muslim country. How best to do that than by having a Muslim for President?

    October 8, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. JP, Atlanta, GA

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    October 8, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. jenny

    He supports GAY MARRIAGE and ABORTION.
    His father was a MILITANT MUSLIM. ALLAH!

    October 8, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. EMC, Buffalo, NY

    Knaves! I find it abhorrent that just because Obama's father is a Muslim, and because he was given Arabic names, many people here are attaching all the worst things about Islam to Obama. That's cheap, and it has no bearing on reality. Not to mention – haven't you sheep heard that the madrassa story was a fake? Nice job, righties – keep pushing your intolerant, arrogant snake-oil.

    Also – Barack has a clear history of being a person of faith. He's not trying to "sell" you anything – he's trying to talk candidly about who he is. What he's talking about is the very attitude I see on this board – that the right thinks it owns religion, and can dictate what is an appropriate Christian attitude and what is not.

    On this comment thread and elsewhere – I see more of the same from the right. Intolerance and arrogance. Oy!

    October 8, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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