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 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. Sterling, VA

    Judging from the emotionally-based comments posted here, I doubt very much that Barack Obama is going to "unite" this country, or bring any sort of kingdom.

    Those who want a "kingdom on earth" are merely "have nots" looking for a handout from those they perceive to "have". When politicians promise us earthly goods, the greedy among us reveal themselves very quickly.

    October 8, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Tom Quinn, Portland, Maine

    I find it really interesting that all of these right wing fundamentalists are excoriating Obama for using the phrase "a Kingdom here on earth." These are the same people who have spent the last twenty years (and they're not done yet) trying to foist their own "Kingdom" on the rest of us: one in which their religion, and their religion alone, decides what we can see, hear, say, and believe. One in which Christianity will be enforced in the schools, and all other religions or belief systems scorned and silenced. One in which the individual conscience about matters as profound as abortion are smashed by their belief that they, and they alone, know the truth, and will impose it on others. If they weren't so ignorant of the rest of the world, rather than denouncing Obama as a "Mooslim" (What's that? Here in Maine we might think it's a slim moose) they might understand that he is saying exactly what JFK said in his inaugural address, when he invoked God, but said that "here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."

    October 8, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Jeff Johnson, Minnesota

    This is old fashioned rhetoric. To enlist a "God term" is essential to become elected, and that is precisely what he is doing here.

    If Obama had a true religious sense, he would realize that he should stand against sin; here I am thinking of the greatest sin on earth: abortion.

    What kind of leader abdicates his responsibility to protect the human rights of our most innocent, unborn citizens? My answer is one that sucks, and who also has judgments coming his way...

    October 8, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. John Johnson

    What a fool.

    All historical attempts at creating heaven on earth have failed. We are not intended to have this, and this is why utopias are always always violent.

    October 8, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Big Dan, Rocklin,Ca

    The Democratic party is morally bankrupt! They are the party that promotes the murder of the unborn and that homosexuality is alright.
    This Obama can't fool the people
    with real morals.

    October 8, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Walter Buffalo, New York

    So let me get this straight, Barack Obama was raised Muslim, attended a Wahabist (extremist Muslim school-which teaches/preaches taking over the world for Islam), preaches in so-called Christian churches about establishing a Kingdom on Earth (a false Kingdom of God or a Muslim Kingdom?) is anti–life (pro-abortion), and pro-homosexual. He appears to be, either one very conflicted individual, or an anti-Christ!

    October 8, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Chicago Il

    If I where the Antichrist that's exactly what I'd do.

    If the devil really looked and acted like a "devil" no one would fall for it.

    October 8, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    To all of these very ill informed so called Christians hung up on the kingdom quote by Obama – listen up once and for all, Jesus said – "the kingdom lies within" that means we have to grow in the incredible potential to love that we as humans possess. Also in the "Our Father" – "thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven" Jesus did not advise to give up on the spiritual ideal but to strive in the way of Love. Obama speaks of such things and it comes across for he has a heart for the people, which is the mark of gifted

    Vote for the man who speaks of peace
    instead of those who constantly prepare for war and its horror!

    Baarock the vote !!!

    October 8, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. JP, Corona, CA

    It's like Osama bin Laden saying he supports Hindu faith....a man of hatred saying that he is a man of peace...

    October 8, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Franklin Roosevelt, Hyde Park, NY

    LOL. Gee, can't any of these right-wing nutcases at least SPELL correctly? Go back to changing my oil, and when the Dems win in 2008 you'll be amazed to find that your lives actually get better, in spite of your idiocy. Your drunk the GOP Kool-Aid for years now, and what has it gotten you? You've been played like a cheap guitar and you still can't figure that out. How's that job of yours in China?

    October 8, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Tom Quinn, Portland, Maine

    To Rich in Orlando: well said!

    October 8, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. JW,Mesa Ariz

    I think he is a Wahabist in sheep's clothing. We don't need a Terrorist as our next President

    October 8, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Brad, Birmingham, AL

    The simple title of this piece is quite ridiculous. There is no political party in the twenty first century that even should claim a "grip on religion in political discourse". They both seek to destroy religious expression in the public square. Obama belongs to the party that considers government its god.
    Obama and any other candidate (especially dems) would be better served leaving their religious snake oil in the wagon.

    October 8, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Robert, Austin TX

    As an evangelical christian, this statement absolutely terrifies me. Since the dawn of civilization, well-intending but misguided socialists (and, in some cases, devout christians) have warped God's message and Christ's example to the world and set out to create heaven on earth. The result is invariably a turning away from God, a belief in our own ability to perfect humanity, and the imposition of tyranny and misery.

    Obama: "I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."

    Jesus: "My kingdom is not of this world." (Jn. 18:36)

    Who do you think we should listen to?

    October 8, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Len, MIlford NH

    Barack's kingdom on earth will consist of abortion on demand, socialized medicine, unlimited government hand outs at the expense of those are willing to work and last but not least, a military that receives its marching orders from the corrupt and arrogant United Nations. Oh joy... what a kingdom. No thanks.

    October 8, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Bill, Irvine, CA

    Are all Republicans moral, NO. Are some Democrats moral, YES. But it is difficult to reconcile faith and morality with a political party that is so invested in the free-for-all taking of innocent life as in the unborn. Reconcile that most basic of moral premises and then you move to the question of religion.

    October 8, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Walter Buffalo, New York

    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.

    Posted By David, Saint Augustine, Florida : October 8, 2007 5:16 pm

    You are absolutely right, David. The Democrats are basically Marxists who worship nothing more than big government, to which they look for all the answers and solutions to this life's problems!

    October 8, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Dwain, Aiken, SC

    This was a typical smelly performance by a neophyte politician invited to speak to a church with which I'm very familiar. The latest push by the mega-churches is to sucker blacks into helping push up their numbers and profits. Obama took the opportunity to speak of course. I don't blame him. I do, however, point a finger of shame at the Redemption World Outreach Center which is a fairly recent member of a growing group of so-called evangelical mega-churches. Put all of them in a bag, shake it up a little, pull one out and then another and you will see that they are all the same. Their sport is to capitalize on the black race and their influence. It's the beginning of the end of the church as we know it. If you do not have a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will fall for anything. Obama will lead you down the path of destruction and these goofballs are helping. Good luck

    October 8, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. Lamb Cannon, Renfrew PA

    Can i vomit?

    October 8, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Star Chaser

    People of faith do not support homosexual marriage or the murder of the unborn. The Democrats do. This man is nothing more than a lying hypocrite which makes him a perfect democrat. It will be fun to see how many are stupid enough to believe him.

    October 8, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Jim, Houston TX

    It's sad that Obama has jumped wholeheartedly into the "holier than thou" race. Religion in politics – it degrades both and the founding fathers knew that. Is anyone else seeing McCarthyism rearing it's ugly head as religion continues on this path?

    October 8, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    Joseph in Philadelphia:

    Why is it always a man who has such a self righteous attitude towards a womans right to choose? It's men who bomb the clinics, men who kill the doctors, men who commit acts of violence all in the name of "the unborn baby"

    The government has no right to interfere with a healthcare decision. The woman, her doctor and her clergy person, should she choose, should make the decisions without your judgement.

    I think you will be surprised when the gates of heaven don't swing wide open when you get there.

    October 8, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. Ali, Kansas City, MO

    As a Christian, I have no problem with Obama's comments. Love that the former assumptions about all Christians voting republican are being lifted. I still have yet to decide how to vote this election, and value the dialogue taking place (on all political sides) about faith and politics this year.

    October 8, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Mary Hopkins of KY – His white mama died of cancer. What is your point?

    October 8, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Mia, Stafford, VA

    kruger, Olney, IL- get your facts right, it was an aethist and it is aethist that is trying to remove God from everything.

    Judges, republican and democrat are just following the constitution when these matters come to them in court.

    October 8, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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