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. Dale, Prescott, AZ

    I must of miss sometime in Sunday School? I didn't realize that Jesus was a fiscal conservative. I didn't know that he wanted us to turn the poor away from health care, especially children. I didn't realize that we wanted to place everyone over 65 on universal health care then tell the rest of the world that we don't believe in universal health care. Since when did become more important to worship Jesus's example rather than follow his example?

    October 8, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Matt D., Kansas City, MO

    Wrong Obama. We do own God. You can keep your Allah or whatever. When you lean the way you lean, you are in direct conflict with God. And please, no one add "He isn't Muslim." We all see through that lie.

    October 8, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. David, Gilbert Arizona

    All I can say from reading all these posts is holy wow!

    God commanded that thou shall not kill. It doesn't say thou shall not kill the unborn. It says thou shall not kill.

    The republicans are shaking their fists screaming the democrats tout abortion so they can't invoke religion and yet at the same time the republican platform includes the death penalty, war in Iraq, and guns for everyone.

    Jesus said divorce was wrong. "What God as joined together let man not seperate." Well surprise! Divorce is not just a democrat thing. Republicans get divorced just as often as democrats. Take a good look at your republican candidates.

    The Constitution of the United States says there will be no religious test for a candidate running for public office. The reason the Constitution says this is because EVERYONE would fail the test. There is not one single candidate out there that would pass a religious test.

    I'm a republican and I could care less what religion a candidate practices. Religion is a private personal matter. No party owns religion, which is obvious by both party platforms.

    October 8, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Brian Garland, Boise ID

    "Explain your assertions that Obama is violating the first amendment… or are you guys just blowing hot air?"

    Save your breathe. PC imposing, intolerant, Leftist liberal nutroots have no clue what the 1st ammendment is all about.

    October 8, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. John, Ware, Massachusetts

    Who gets to be "god" in the new kingdom on Earth... the government?

    October 8, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. EMC, Buffalo, NY

    Again, in many of the above posts... we see the right telling us that they know what "America needs," or that they may judge which religion is "naive" and which is not... another man links Obama's religion to Carter's "free pass" given to the Iranians (and these are related how?)... yet another fellow thinks he's qualified to say that Obama is making a false presentation of religion, and that it's purely political, as if he knows Obama's heart enough to say that his religion is false...

    I see no evidence of insincerity here, and I see no evidence that Obama is doing anything but attempting to convey to America who he really is. Will even the common righties in their houses wage a smear-campaign on blogs such as these?

    A lot of fuzzy logic here, and a lot of arrogance.

    October 8, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Nancy, Marshall Minnesota

    I believe that no matter WHICH political party is involved, whoever is running should not be pulling the GOD card out to base their candidacy on. Come on people, talk about leading the sheep.

    There is so much corruption in politics and religion it's getting harder and harder to believe in either. Did you ignorant christians believe he is really behind you? Hell every one of these politicians will say WHATEVER the public wants to hear to get their votes. Especially in the bible belt. Get with the program. Look what the last religion toting president did to us. We're how far into debt? How many different contries hate us? How many people are living in absolute poverty? (NOT the pharmacutical or medical insurance companies.)

    I have nothing personal against Mr. Obama, heck he could be a great upstanding guy, but I don't approve of the GOD senario, for ANY of the candidates. JMO

    October 8, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Brian, Charlotte, NC

    "Create a Kingdom right here on Earth?" What happened to "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I (Jesus) have overcome the world." For Christians, it isn't about Earth. It's about eternity in Heaven. Obama's religious beliefs make me wary.

    October 8, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Jim Galveston TX

    Obama what a sicko dumocrat will do for a vote ......... are we trying to right of hillaryhaven?

    October 8, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Charles Hamlin, Northborough MA

    Obama's comments at Redemption World Outreach Center are critical especially for Christian voters. It is especially important at this current and redemptively changing nexus of faith and politics that we return to the core of Christian faith and ask the childlike question, "What would Jesus do?" instead of relying on, "What do I currently believe?"

    October 8, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. CAREY, U.S. ARMY

    Yes, thank GOD that Hussein Obama-rama keeps showing what a moron he is. All he needs to do is open his inexperienced mouth.

    If he gets the DNC nod for President, he'd better try ignoring the absentee ballots coming from Soldiers, like algore did.

    Oh yeah – a real brave man, like Billary and the Breck Girl – – too scared to go on FOX News' Presidential debates.

    October 8, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Kris K Atlanta, Georgia

    Obama spent 3 of his formulative, developmental years in a Muslim madrassa. He was a child at the time. I'm sure he learned a few useful "convert or be killed" skills during those 3 years.

    Obama has attended a black only, segregated church for close to 15 years. I don't need a divisive, phony Christian mooslem pretending to run my country.

    I also do nor support socialism, like those on the Left do. We are a captitalist society, NOT a communist or socialist State (comrade).

    I'm praying that ANY republican wins the '08 election- the dems scare the crap outta me, especially Komrade Klinton. God help us all!

    October 8, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. EMC, Buffalo, NY

    I challenge any of the Islamophobic bigots here to take a college course on the history of Islamic civilization and religion.

    Stop buying the line given to you by conservative rhetoricists and by bigoted evangelical leaders... Most of you are judging an ancient, complex, dynamic world civilization out of your fear of terrorism. This is wrong, and it's a shame. What's worse yet is that you attach this milieu to Obama!! Give me a break.

    Islamophobia, and the lumping of anything remotely Islamic in with Islamism is the mark of a weak mind – or the mark of a dishonest political mind.

    October 8, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Bonnie, Dayton OH

    After seeing all of the ugly prejudiced comments on this thread from people who call themselves Christians, I am firmly convinced that we need a new approach to politics in this country.

    Go Obama!

    October 8, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Darrell Northam, Woodland, CA

    I agree with Senator Obama that the Republicans do not own God, but then again neither do the Democrats. Actually no one does. God owns everything–He is the Creator of the Universe, the Heavens and the Earth.

    As an Indpendent, I see things more clearly then I did when I was a member of both major parties.

    The one thing that is clear is that the Democrats party platform supports abortion and embraces same-sex marriage; two things God does not condone. Also, a member of the Democratic party who is on the U.S. Supreme Court decides to re-write the Constitution from the bench in regards to emminent domain.

    So Senator Obama better also make clear that the Democrats do not corner the market on faith, family values and abiding by the U.S. Constitution.

    October 8, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. M.D. IND

    If he is Christian then walk the walk and talk the talk... he must be against ABORTION, SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS, AND ALL RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION, such as taking the ten commandments out of the public just because someone else wants to push their pagan beliefs on others. where does he stand on moral issues. you cant compramise on morals and be a believer. Also our bible does'nt say you will get 70 virgins for killing people, i hope he has that out of his system also. so step up to the plate with your own beliefs and lets hear them Hussein. every one wants to head hunt Dr. Dobbson for speaking the truth and you can always tell when he hits a nerve because the Demacrats that are always such strong Christian supporters just fly off the handle every time he points out weak spots in the way we live our lives ...of course its always some course of sin that was already talked about by jesus in the bible ( of course no demacrate has ever studied the bible to know what the truth is) every time he tells the truth they just lose it. so maybe Hussein will let us know how he feels on the issues that he is slamming the Republicans for this time.COME ON HUSSEIN LETS SEE WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF ! ! !

    October 8, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Publius, Richmond, VA

    This is reminiscent of the "Modern Age" view that Christ's kingdom would be accomplished here on Earth. It is also the sort of madness that feeds pseudo-religious babble.

    If Obama is a Christian, why do we never hear him talk about death and resurrection? About salvation from his sinful nature? Why does he always speak in vague generalities about "faith" and "values"? For that matter, he never mentions Jesus except, if ever, to cite some vague historical notions of a really good guy.

    Say what you will about President Bush, at least he has a properly robust faith. He isn't really a proper conservative, as we all know from his spending and Wilsonian crusades, but he is certainly an actual Christian whose faith influences his life, not just his politics.

    Barack and Hillary are the same – as are some on the right (Fred Thompson's vague faith and Guliani's 'cultural Catholicism' come to mind).

    If you all want people of faith in office, and I know some of you do NOT, look at Mike Huckabee, who is an ordained Baptist minister, Sam Brownback, who is a devout Catholic, or Mitt Romney, whose deep Mormon roots give him values much more traditional than many of these so-called Christian candidates.

    October 8, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. EMC, Buffalo, NY

    Bravo to David from Arizona – I applaud a Republican with a brain and with common sense... Many of you others could learn a lesson from him!

    October 8, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. LJ, Massachusetts

    Those who know the bible are all too familiar with the warnings about relying on any one or anything that presents itself, or in this case himself, as an alternative to the true Savior of mankind. Obama better be careful about talk of setting up a "kingdom" and leave that to God.

    October 8, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Kevin, Chicago, IL

    Sen. Obama,

    It's good to see that you are on board with such values of faith as a baby's right to life and against such anti-God concepts as same sex marriage. You are doing very well to improve the way many Christians view Muslims today. Keep up the good work!

    October 8, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Ralph Highpoint,NC

    It doesn't really matter what Obama says or does. The media keeps trying to prop up him and Edwards to try and make this a race. This is Hillary Clinton's race to lose, she's the nominee and likely the next president. She's so far ahead in the polls, and she also has the best ground game. The former President Clinton is still extremely popular with Democrats, these guys don't stand a chance. Even if Hillary loses Iowa, she's the nominee, no question about it.

    October 8, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. AJ; Montpelier; VT

    This snake oil salesman makes me sick. Another Bible banging bigot in politics. The more he opens his mouht the moire lies drop out. Obama cares nothing about America. It ia a power and an ego trip with him. Wake up America see this creature for what it really is....

    October 8, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Brent, Durham, NC

    Obama: "I think its important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party,"
    Me: Haha, very funny. I think ya'll did that a long time ago when your party got jacked by the libs and atheists on the far left. The Democratic party stands for gay marriage and abortion "rights" and you do not deviate from the party line. So you have de-facto ceded the conscience voters to the red side no matter how inept they may be at times. And I wonder who in the world decided to let Obama speak at their evangelical church? Where I come from any Bible-believing evangelical church would condemn his views and call for his repentance, not give him a podium. I think this is the time in history where we're going to start to see more clearly the wolves in sheep's clothing within the church...

    October 8, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |

    Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: "I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."


    October 8, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. DS, Ft. Knox, KY

    Morals and religion are NOT interchangeable words! Morals and Christianity are NOT interchangeable words. Many people got to thier respective houses of worship every (week, day, whatever) and still come out lying, backstabbing cheats. IF America ever starts voting with thier brains instead of by dogma, perhaps we might get a somewhat effective government. I'm not holding my breath.

    October 8, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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