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. dennis atlanta, ga

    he will fade away and not even radiate
    havent you realized yet that politicians are just the same ...the parties dont matter they all do the same thing no matter who they are the color of their skin the state they are from or what religion they are or sex they are...they work for big business and anyone else with the money. the PEOPLE dont matter the speeches pump you up and then let you down and everyone keeps on taking it.
    pretty soon we will be scanned and tagged like cattle and money will all be electronic that way they dont have to worry about collecting taxes they will get from you automatically...you will have no freedom any more and it will be too late
    once your right to protect yourself is gone (guns man guns) it is all over...government will rule...not the people government can do what they like and we cant do a dang thing about it.

    October 8, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. David, Saint Augustine, Florida

    Obama is expressing a belief that the Democrats have long held. To Democrats government is god. Instead of looking to God, they look to government to provide their needs, wants and desires. Nothing new he just was naive enough to say it.

    October 8, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Brian, Austin TX

    i'm falling out of my chair in astonishment just reading these jesus freaks comments. You think a progessive period is bad? HAHA!! What would you prefer? a REGRESSIVE period? That is what we are pretty much in. Just reading the BS that you right wingers are posting just indicates that your party you defend has made you all stupid! Your uneducated misinterpretation of what religion is really about just sickens me.

    October 8, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Rich Orlando, FL

    By reading some of these posts, it is no wonder why we have such problems in America. I’m sorry to see many of you are too easily influenced by propaganda. Please do some basic (and I mean basic) research, and you will learn Barack Obama is a Christian, attending the United Church of Christ. It is unbelievable how many of you are willing to bear false witness against your fellow neighbor, such as Obama, by calling him something he is not. Equally disheartening are the ones who are willing to play God’s role by making His judgments for Him. There are direct commandments against both of those actions in the Bible. Just as you want your freedom to practice your own religion, please adopt a little empathy and extend that same courtesy to other Americans to practice, or not, any religion they choose.

    And since we are on the topic of choice, I see many here are still stuck in the single-issue mindsets regarding the legal precedence (over three decades now) of a woman’s right to choose. The simple fact remains that politicians can be pro-life personally and still uphold the laws in this country. If you are unable to make that simple distinction, you should not be a hypocrite by voting for Giuliani, Romney, McCain or Thompson. Every one of them has supported a woman’s right to choose during their political careers, and many of them still do.

    To the person who had the audacity to use the n-word, how can you sleep at night?? A person has no control over their ethnicity, yet you would stoop to such an uneducated, low level to disgrace yourself in a public forum. Martin Luther King’s dream is a reality for most of us, so I would implore you to please catch up with the 21st Century already. In fact, if you are representing a gross constituency on the right, it is no wonder why the leading candidates in the Republican Party skipped the debates for the black and Hispanic communities. How sad.

    Obama is correct–faith is not owned by any political party. Everyone has the freedom to practice any religion they choose in this country, regardless of affiliation. I think Obama has great ideas for America, and I will proudly support him in the next election.

    Godspeed Obama in ’08

    October 8, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Kenneth the sinner, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    I am not a religous nut. I am not a right wing christian nazi fanatical fundementalist. I am just a small, lumpin', human being; a tiny speck in a unimaginably large universe. I am not that important in the grand scheme of things, but I have been endowed by the Creator of the universe with free will and the capacity to care for others more than my own self. More than my own animalistic need to survive in this world. I choose not to hate today. I choose to be kind and thoughtful today. I CHOOSE NOT TO CARE ABOUT ALL THE SILLY,PETTY, UNIMPORTANT ARGUMENTS ALL OF YOU HUMANS ENGAGE IN CONSTANTLY WITHOUT END OR THOUGHT OF WHAT YOUR SAYING AND DOING TO EACH OTHER!!!!! I choose,today,to not hate Barack Obama or liberals, or those who don't believe as I do. Today, I choose to love others, to be kind and considerate. Is it so hard to live this way, or must I go and murder my neighbor because he is different from me??! It is easy to hate, it takes very little effort, but it is hard to love those whom ridicule, hate, or abuse you and the ones you love. Someday, when I stand before God, he will not ask me about what others said or did to me, he will ask only WHAT I SAID AND DID IN THIS LIFE;I WILL ANSWER ONLY FOR MYSELF,IN THE END... Barack Obama is just a man, like me. He loves his wife and children, He sees the sun rise and set just as do, he cries and laughs, just like me, and sometimes he weeps for the world,and for all humanity and the dark place this world is heading. Like him, I to bleed red when stabbed, "Prick me,do I not bleed? Tickle me, do I not laugh? Harm me, will I not avenge?" The nazis, and many others thruought history forgot this saying. Will we forget this saying also America?

    October 8, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Eman Laerton

    Comical. Regardless of any sound reason, let's call it "faith," leaders have to appease followers of an antiquated superstition. How far we have not come...

    October 8, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Kevin, Dallas, Texas

    Obama is confident he can create a "Kingdom on earth."


    The government can't run anything right.

    Hey LIBERAL Obama...... Why don't you concentrate on the madrasa you were raised in.

    What a FRAUD!

    Hillary is worse....

    Any Republican on 08'!!!

    October 8, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Steve Simm, Hillsborough, New Hampshire

    Someone other than a "white man" is due, (we are better than that narrow view, and past due to engage the diversity), also a woman. Sorry Hillary, Obama trumps your card where it counts, in character. May he bring us to be more deserving to be the great country we are.

    October 8, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Mark Kirkland, WA

    As a true advocate of abortion Obama is hardly a Christian value.

    October 8, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. paul bonne terre mo

    ever notice the HYPOCRISY of the agenda driven,liberal media outlets??? why is it "ok" for sen obama to advocate a political/religous point of view in a Church??? blacks and liberals democrats running for president have done this for decades,but,if a republican talks about his or her faith,in a Church,the agenda driven media,liberal democrats get so exorcised,call for seperation of Church and State,call for the prohibition of camapigning in Churches,or even revocation of tax exempt status,because of those rightwing republicans campaigning in a CHURCH,etc! how about some FAIRNESS in your reporting,CNN,other agenda driven media outlets,all you liberal democrats!

    October 8, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Bernie Kasper

    Wow... If that would have been a Republican , the media would be going nuts, but whats new.

    October 8, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Tom Hoots, Kingsport TN

    Liberal is mentioned 7 times in the Bible. Each time as giving freely of ones' substance. I would suppose Nable, who railed on David's men who was asking for something to eat, must have been conservative. Sound Familiar? Like con others to serve ones self.

    October 8, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. john, phoenix, az

    barack hussein obama. attends a racist church that espouses racist views, hasn't visited any troops, doesn't know the first thing about the military or its members, stop wearing the flag AFTER 9/11, attended a mosque in his younger years, is a devout socialist and is all about hand-outs and keeping people down. Yep, great guy! i question his allegience and motivation in the most basic ways.

    October 8, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. JRR Columbus, OH

    Notice how the non-partisan CNN editors put the first 8 or so responses to this "pander piece" as pro-Obama. You have to scroll down to get to the first person who is remotely negative about this stupid regurgitated story. Enough already!! CNN and the rest of the mass media have alreay chosen sides. Just admit it.


    October 8, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. Mike Orlando Florida

    How come Democratic candidates can get away with campaigning in churches ??
    Is the IRS going to investigate and revoke this churched tax exempt status as they legally should do ??
    Democrats always talk about seperating State & church, but not their State & church.

    October 8, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Josh-Lincolnton, NC

    Maybe you folks singing Obama's praises should investigate his affiliation with Jeremiah Wright Jr. and the church in Chicago where the self proclaimed "Senator Messiah" is a member. Maybe then you will see what his true feelings are about faith and how it applys to politics.

    October 8, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. steve johnson city Tn.

    is communisim a faith? is venezula a kingdom on earth? is karl marx a god? is cuba heaven? will someone give us a decent choice for the next president please!! The republicans have a yankee geek and a guy that wears secret underwear and the democrats have this and another clinton.

    October 8, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Ron Salina Kansas

    Don't conservative churches usually lose their tax exempt status for this kind of political speech? Is it only candidates left of center who can campaign in churches?

    October 8, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The ignorance presented here is unbelievable. So much superstition. What parts of the bible do all you weak-minded people choose to follow? Do you even read the book you defend so much? Do you see the numerous contradictions? Do you agree with stoning women and killing infidels (I bet you do!)?
    Awaiting a new Age of Enlightenment.....

    October 8, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Pmyoung Huntsville, AL

    Obama goes to church and makes a speech. Now he is all religious and has values. SHUT-UPPPPP that does not make him or the demon-cratic partly holy and wonderful.

    October 8, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Jon Frey, Mission Viejo CA

    Jim Wallis wrote a book, "God's Politics: Why the left get it wrong and the right don't get it." I think Obama is the only candidate who comes close to "getting it."

    October 8, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. AIM, Chicago

    Thank you, Barack Obama, for having the vision, the patriotism and the decency to try to bring us together again as the great country we are.

    There is a lot of hate out there, Senator. Hate that has been stirred up by both sides in a disgusting politicization of morals over the last decade or so.

    You can see a lot of that hate in the comments above.

    But most of us are better than that.

    And we're listening.

    October 8, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |

    Hillary, Obama, and Edwards have no Moral Values. They recognize no sin that will hurt their election chances

    They promote and support Genocides such as Abortion and Death by HIV/AIDS!

    October 8, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    All of you Republicans and Hillary supporters (republicans just don't know it yet) seem very scared of Obama for doing what you want your candidate to do, it's sad. Plus no one canbe half Muslim (it's a religion not race) and his father became an athiest. Plus you nuts should know that Obama is Christian and his names not Osama and I haven't seen someone do that since May (it's old get over it). That's all Ayyub Khalifati has to say, I see all of you have been doing the Hillary on me.

    October 8, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. Anthony Roberts, Nashville, TN

    Did he make this speech with his on-demand, Southern Fried accent this time, too?

    October 8, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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