October 8th, 2007
08:45 AM ET
11 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. Craigo

    How about this from Mark 7:
    He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men......

    October 8, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Kenneth the sinner, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Hello CNN, I've scrolled up and down for my original post this morning,{Oct.8th} but I can find it nowhere. It saddens me that you'll print a lot of vile hate and not my original post today. It was a good message,not a proud or self serving one. Perhaps I have simply missed it in my visual scanning,so I'll ask the question I first posed to all the "leftist" christians blogging this article about Obama today: If you were walking down a road, and saw George W. Bush bloody and laying in the ditch,robbed,wounded,and dying, would your heart be moved to help save him? Or would you just walk by and laugh in glee? How you answer this question,in your heart of hearts will tell you what kind of a christian you truly are. {I Corinthians,chap. 13}... read it.

    October 8, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Miami, Florida

    "Is America really this gullible?
    Socialism = totalitarianism.
    Totalitarianism = depotism, dictatorship, absolutism, tyranny.
    Is this the America that you are truly striving for?

    Posted By Tammy, Scottsdale, AZ : October 8, 2007 1:49 pm"

    Sadly, it sounds remarkably similar to the America we've ALREADY GOT, Tammy.

    Only, our distinctly American brand of socialism is supporting corporations, not people.

    And, in answer to your first question, YES.

    October 8, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. aj, san jose, ca

    Forget Obama – Join the Ron Paul R3Voltion!!!

    October 8, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Matt, Irvine, CA

    Take God and the Christian religion, strip them of any meaning, and you have the Democrats' "religion". Funny, it still looks a lot like socialism. Their morals are to do whatever it takes to make everyone equally miserable – except for the ruling elites.

    October 8, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. CM, Dahlonega, GA

    Let's leave the Almighty out of this debate. At least until he tells us via a burning bush or writing on the walls which side He's on (neither I suspect). Here's a new idea, let's just debate the relevant issues and leave religion where it belongs, between the individual and his/her maker.

    October 8, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Still thinking,wpb, fl

    A good portion of the posts here are ranting about abortion and racism and religiosity. How can any of you complain about Obama's choice of words when your own are even more inflammatory and divisive.
    Is this the pot calling the kettle black?(just a phrase, no reference to race)
    And what is the difference between abortion, capital punishment and killing innocent civilians and troops in the name of war and oil and politics?? How do you justify killing somedays and condemn it other days?

    While I honestly think Obamas' words were poorly chosen and will probably hand the Nomination to Hillary, I don't think he is the Antichrist or a Muslim.

    The knee jerk reactionary comments of most of you have exposed your vulnerability to having your buttons pushed. There are big rings in your noses that can be easily grabbed by anyone.
    Pay attention to a persons actions and their consistency and not pounce on a few words and then think the world is coming to an end. That's the Media's job.
    Faith without works is dead
    (for the religious)

    Practice what you preach.
    (for everyone-else)


    October 8, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Cheng, Hamilton , Ma.

    If a Republican said these things the press would hang them. Maybe Obama can borrow Bill Clinton's giant bible. The one he carried around on Sunday mornings during the impeachment proceedings.

    October 8, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    For those he keep on calling him Muslim. You people haven't heard anything about this guy all year have you. Because by now you would know that he's Christian. Plus, Obama is an African Name, Hussein is a common name in Africa including the Middle East (so are you people calling all Africans with the name Hussein Radical Muslims or Muslims at that, get a life). Barack is a common African name which means blessed. So please people stop the hatred, you sound prejudice towards people of African and Middle Eastern descent and towards Muslim or Christian even from the Middle East or Africa.

    October 8, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Ian, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Whatever Obama's views are on retaining faith and don't matter at all.

    The Left will turn on him for something which is the direct opposite of their entire ideology – the total annihilation of religion from the public sphere and the persecution of those who practice it in the private sphere.

    He won't win liberal Democrats this way. He won't win conservative Republicans because of everything else. He can't win religious groups like Baptists and Catholics because he is pro-abortion. He's only left with a small portion of the middle. And those who say the middle wins elections take for granted that you've got your party with you.

    The Left will never support a candidate who even says he's going try to retain something they've spent 40 years trying to eradicate. Sorry, Hussein.

    October 8, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. S. Haase

    Do not be deceived, he is not talking about the Lord God who created Heaven and Earth

    October 8, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. God, is, DEAD

    Just because a canidate beleives in giving a woman the freedom to make person decisions about her body with her family, doesn't make the canidate a baby killer. Get a freakin' clue you ignorant hicks. I suppose G.W.B. is your savior because he only kills Iraqi babies that have already been born? Nice logic, wackos!

    October 8, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Cayla, Austin, TX

    See the problem is that Obama has been a Muslim when he's speaking to Muslims, a Christian when he's speaking to Christians and a secularist when he's speaking in LA or New York. Hence our confusion. Maybe he should let us know when he finally makes up his mind. Ok?

    October 8, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. randy, bangor, me

    Beware of politicians or religious leaders who claim they will usher in a "kingdom on earth". There is only one King who can do that.

    October 8, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Elizabeth, Long Island NY

    OBAMA 2008! There's no doubt in my mind, that he is the best candidate for our next President.

    October 8, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Stacy, Chicago, Il

    I LIVE in Ill and he is NOT a great leader. He has done nothing in Washington to help his constituents. He is only interested in running for Pres. He is HORRIBLE and I find it quite the coincidence that both him and Hillary are playing the religious card.

    October 8, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Lioness, Washington DC

    Cayla from Austin,

    I answered your post about half an hour ago – interesting that CNN has not published it.

    It was a detailed answer but in two words:

    I have nothing against people of faith – including many of my loved ones, by the way, and Obama himself, whom I support and who is a very religious Christian, contrary to the lies being espoused here about his being Muslim or non religious.

    Religion plays a positive role in millions of lives – it gives people a sense of community, shared values and a moral compass. By the same token, one can have that without being religious. So no generalizations can be made.

    What can be said is how outrageous some of the people here are being.

    What I denigrate is those who used scripture to spew libel, venom, hate and prejudice.

    Many of those are republican. Why? Because these are behaviours that have been handed down to them by republican political leaders, and they believe what these leaders say without question.

    But not all – especially not the republicans who happen to be Obama supporters – would engage in this kind of sorry diatribe.

    There are many prejudiced democrats out there – that is undeniable – and one should let them have it (eg: MoveOn's Petraeus ad was unfathomable, ill-advised and bordering on libelous).

    The mistake is to assume that people criticize others only if they belong to a different party. Many do. Not me.

    I criticize character – a certain person by the name of Hillary Clinton comes to mind here. She and Tom DeLay are some of the most unsavory public figures to invade the political scene in recent years. Some of the things I read here suggest that so are their authors.

    Now I REALLY say Good-bye.

    October 8, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Greg, NY, NY

    "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

    Posted By Florence B Marlboro NJ : October 8, 2007 9:56 am"

    Yes, you are missing something. Obama is NOT A MUSLIM!!! I can't believe how many people on this blog still believe he is.

    And to all the others that think he is the antichrist. The Left Behind series was a great series of books. I myself am an atheist, but I do enjoy good fiction.

    The only fictional story I could never enjoy was the bible.

    October 8, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Anonymous


    Neither Hillary nor Obama will become President. Bill Clinton knows it in fact secretly I think he prays his wife won’t, Hence the comment from him about slitting his own throat. If Bill wanted his wife to win he would be coaching her to run as he did, A centrist right of center, instead he lets her go out and make an ass out of her self by constantly contradicting her own positions. You have two Liberal Progressive/ Marxist running on killing the economy with purposed Tax Increases of over 2-300 Billion it will take a decade of recession for the economy to recover. The fed will increase the reserve amount that banks will have to keep, taking a large chunk of investment capitol out of the pool killing investment, then they will raise the interest rates to attract new investment capitol mostly foreign, home ownership will plummet, foreclosures will go threw the roof Inflation will skyrocket as businesses try to stay solvent, then your liberal utopia will crumble killing off what is left of manufacturing. The Funny thing is people like Hillary know this as well as George Soros they stand to profit in some way. For Hillary it will be the ultimate position of Power the Presidency. For Soros a billionaire stock trader most likely he will invest in China markets. I do not think the average baby boomer Democrat is that stupid, cutting off their nose to spite their faces, quite a few voted for Reagan and Bush 1st- 2nd. Pretty scary stuff for the baby boomers that are heavily invested in capitol markets planning on retiring. : )

    Pray Hillary, Obama and Polosi to what ever god you people worship. The god of Castro, Hugo Chavez, Putin or Ahmedinejad certainly not the same God that helped our founding Fathers’ create a more perfect Union!

    October 8, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Dan Smith, Charlotte, NC

    Does anyone else hear reverberations of the muslim delaring that a muslim flag will one day fly over the White House? Everyone is having a card trick played on them. All of you dimmiecrats can start practicing "Allah Akbar!".

    October 8, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Still thinking, wpb, fl

    if any of you readers are Muslims' I did not , did not ,did not mean to equate Muslims with the Anti-Christ in my last post.
    Please accept my apology, that was not my meaning. What I meant to point out was that the other posters have accused Obama of being a Muslim under the guise of being a liberal Christian of some kind. I was just sharing my opinion that I believe he is what he says he is and I came to that conclusion by his actions, not his words. Bottom line – he is a politician with a plan that won't please everyone.

    October 8, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Bryan, Dallas TX

    Obama doesn't seem to understand that the sharp divisions he mentions were not due to the perception "that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith" but that many of the foundational issues (eg. abortion – murder of babies, extra rights for homosexuals – who already have the same rights as every male and female – there is no third sex, unproven stem cell research that destroys life, etc.) of the Democratic Party are not in sync with the majority of religious voters. The Democratic Party will not obtain the votes of the majority of the religious until many of these foundational issues are rethought from a religious point of view (eg. not just evangelical Christian, as many religions hold views that are opposed to those of the Democratic Party).

    October 8, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Cayla, Austin, TX.
    Come on! Give me the proof of him flip-floping as you say he has. I have no proof of that. And plus, what is so bad about talking to other people of different faiths with you share an idea with them? You should never close anyone one out on the bases of race or religion or anything like that.
    Plus, I've never heard of Obama going to a Mosque for his campaign, I doubt they would let him do such a thing in a Mosque. Frankly, no religious building should let any candidate including the beloved Hillary enter it's doors to campaign. It makes the temple look bad.

    October 8, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Jim, Wasilla, Alaska

    Sen. Obama is like most polititons and will say anything if it might help gain votes. We also must remember that he was raised by a muslum parent, attended a muslum school and recently started attending a Christian Church to help in his election.

    October 8, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. John Matthews, St. Paul MN

    "I think its important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party"
    When your party's platform includes the murder of unborn children as one of it's most sacredly held beliefs, you've already ceded values and faith Osama.

    October 8, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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