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. Cayla, Austin, TX

    I've got an even better question. How come Muslim children can pray in school but Christian children cannot? To me, that sounds like the government has established a preferred religion.

    October 8, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Coach Haughton NH






    October 8, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Jeff Burnette, Palmer, Alaska

    Wonder when the country will repudiate every principle of our constitution and begin enforcing religious laws to bring order to society?

    God says His kingdom is not of this world. To bad Obama hasn't accepted that yet.

    October 8, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Elisha, Akron and Ohio

    Mr. Senator Obama, i respect you but you are wrong to the GOP does not have a firm grim on faith. The GOP stands on conservative values, while the DEMS stand on liberial values. Our forefathers built this country through conservative values, but the liberial democrats are kicking those values to the curb. Fred Thompson, in my opinion stands on conservative and is the right man for America.

    October 8, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Tammy, Scottsdale, AZ

    Is America really this gullible?

    Socialism = totalitarianism.

    Totalitarianism = depotism, dictatorship, absolutism, tyranny.

    Is this the America that you are truly striving for?

    October 8, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. RightyTighty

    The "Great Deceiver"…

    WAKE UP! Obama is Muslim. Satan's kingdom is here on earth. Don't be fooled!
    - Chuck Sakach, Farmington, MI

    Give me a break Chuck..

    October 8, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Reva, Cincinnati, OH

    Are you people on the right so hard hearted that you cannot appreciate Obama's promise of sharing the fruits of this great land with all down trodden people. He will assure that everyone has a home, running water and electricity, food, medicine, clothing and all necessities of life. He will require all corporations to share their bountiful return with the poor. We finally have an opportunity for peace and prosperity throughout the land. Can't you people understand this and want it for everyone. Or are you too greedy!

    October 8, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Mati, Seattle, WA

    I am totally against Republicans, among other reasons for mixing up Church and politics. Faith is a private aspect of one's life and to show it in public and even more score political points for this, its a disgrace. GOP wins votes by using God's name ... how can this resonate with truly believers?

    So now, although I support the Democrats, I think Obama got this so wrong. Why did he need this?

    October 8, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Christian, Phila, PA

    Barack Hussein Obama is not Pro-Life. Neither is his party. Until the Democrat party is on the same side of the Life debate as God, the religious rhetoric from the left is worthless.

    October 8, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Melinda S.

    You are right H. Ayliffe, Corpus Christi, TX : October 7, 2007 9:00 pm

    Obama is a muslim.

    October 8, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Terry Centerville, Ohio

    Bush says that his favorite hero is Jesus and the left becomes apopleptic...'OMIGOD, the President's a religious freak in the white house!'

    Obama extols a 'Kindom on Earth' and it is lauded as good for the country, and should garner him som votes.

    Does anyone see the hypocisy?

    October 8, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Tom, Fayetteville Arkansas

    Fear is a stinky cologne... and you people reek. Obama wants to amend the bi-partisanism that has divided us. Don't be afraid of change, because a hard rain is gonna come.

    October 8, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Kenneth the sinner, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Hello CNN, Are you afraid to post my comment on the meaning of true love, true Christianity. I read so much hate on this blog from all sides, I think a message of love{I.E.: I Corinthians, chapter 13}, is a message sorely lacking in today's discourse. "All ya need is love," John Lennon, A good man, shot in the back, very sad...

    October 8, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Rob, Springdale, Arkansas

    Barack is not going to get the evangelical church vote. In the last election – 24 of the 25 states where people gave the highest percentage of their income to others, voted for a Republican president. Conservatives believe that if someone is in need, it is our duty to help them and Liberals believe that it is someone else's duty to help them (i.e. the government). This isn't just an opinion – it's clearly supported by the fact the the states with conservative voting records give higher percentages of their income to charity. It's just a different way of thinking.

    October 8, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Phil, Shawnee OK

    The harmful and hurtful words that are tossed around really amuse me. Christians that are so hell-bent on decrying a man that is very apparently Christian and has been since the 80's. Shame on all of you, just because he has a different and a different color! Is this really 2007? He speaks of unity and coming together, instead people seemingly only want to separate themselves.

    The great majority of you are so misinformed, it's scarey! Obama comes from a broken background, he's stood on his own while his muslim father went back to where-ever he came from, leaving his mother and him to fend for themselves. He rose up as his own man and intelligent person, he became a God fearing man in 89 if I recall correctly. This isn't new to him!

    I've typically always voted Republican, but after listening to Obama and doing some research over the candidates I truly believe he is the man for the job. He's approximately the same amount of job experience as Bush and Hillary. I REALLY don't want to see Hillary in office or the leech Rudy Guillani (who is looking like the Republican front runner now). Here's to you, Obama!

    October 8, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Tim, Ohio

    How about a candidate who simply follows the constitution with no special claims to being right or wrong on religion?

    RON PAUL 2008

    October 8, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Fred, Russell, KS

    Why is it that the evangelical wing of the Republican party only considers abortion and gay rights when choosing their candidate? Why pick a candidate only on those issues?

    This country needs a strong leader who will address the real issues facing this great nation of ours. Please look at their stand on health care, immigration, and the economy and many other issues before making an informed decision.

    We can't afford to let this section of the electorate hijack another election.

    October 8, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Robert, Washington, DC

    Interesting that he calls himself a Christian, when Christ Himself said that "His Kingdom is not of this world."

    To what kingdom is Obama referring?

    October 8, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Ruben Sanchez, San Antonio TX

    Well, with him not wearing the US flag lapel pin, and him sort of saying "God", without actually saying "God", I'd like to hear him say, "So help me God" in front of a national audience. After all, should he win, he'll have to take the oath and say those words.

    October 8, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. RJDog

    Now he thinks he is God

    October 8, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Bruce, Powell Ohio

    Obama is a Muslim, people! Also, how can you support a man who refuses to wear the US Flag on a lapel pin? Are you all that stupid down south?

    October 8, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Brian Thousand Oaks, CA

    Interesting isn't it that they all talk about 'Faith' yot there is no mention of what their faith is in.

    Faith in their own abilities? Faith in leading the people down the rosy path?

    Most people have faith in faith and do not know what a real faith is as there is no object of their faith.

    If their 'Faith' as they, the candidates, proclaim is in God and that God is the one true God then their evidence of that faith will be in the way they live their lives and the message they bring to the people.

    Let them whom proclaim 'Faith' tell us exactly what their faith is in. Faith is only the conduit to God. Faith is not God.

    October 8, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Marcos, Redland, Texas

    Any politician or political party who supports or tolerates abortion has no faith in God. Obama is a political and intellectual light weight. The people who support him are thinking with their hormones and emotions and not with any sort of logic or intelligence.

    October 8, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Ame, Stockton, CA

    Perhaps someone ought to note that Obama is currying favor with Christians, while hold the Islamic faith.

    Can we have a politician who holds fast to his beliefs, no matter what they happen to be? I'm getting quite tired of listening to the contradictions.

    October 8, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Jeff, Detroit michigan

    Typical liberal pandering by Obama. Talk "like your one of them" so they'll vote for you and once elected do nothing while the community rots from the inside. Four years later repeat.

    October 8, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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