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.

Full story

Related video: Obama: 'Faith plays every role'

Related video : Obama goes after the 'God gap'

Click here to CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Faith • South Carolina
soundoff (976 Responses)
  1. Mia, Stafford, VA

    For all those taking such a strong moral stance on Abortion, how many of the unwanted children that have been born have YOU TAKEN INTO YOUR HOME?


    Hopefully some of you have, but I would really like to know. What should happen to all the children born that no one wants, because their parents didn't have the ABORTION?

    While abortion, and how we feel about that issue is important, I personally don't think that one should base there vote ONLY on that. We have a LOT OF ISSUES AND UPCOMING ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH.

    Here's what I know for sure each person has to give an account for their actions on Judgement Day!

    So PLEASE stop trying to hijack politicians who understand that, to fit in your small view of what is important & LASTLY, STOP BEING SO DARN MEAN!


    October 8, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. KD, Dallas, TX

    Posted By Kenneth the sinner, Colorado Springs, Colorado : October 8, 2007 5:29 pm

    Kenneth, we should all live by your words. I can tell we have differing views, but your writing is what we should all live by. Thank you for making sense out of this post. You have brightened my day. 🙂

    October 8, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Scott, WPB FLorida

    For those of you who say politicians should keep religion out of gov't, our Constitution says our government is not allowed to establish a religion, it DOES NOT say they are not allowed to discuss or proclaim their faith. For those who now think Mr Obama is a man of Christian value and worthy of your vote, I say nobody can be pro abortion (choice) and be a follower of Jesus as He said let the children come unto me. At this point, Christians do not have a LEGITIMATE candidate who will stand for our values so we must do what is best for our country and pray God would give us wisdom and bring His wisdom and the salvation of Jesus Christ our Lord into their lives and that He would give boldness to His children to stand up for what we believe. We are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and that can never be denied by anyone who studies our history and the foundation of our nation. The Pilgrims were Christians who came to avoid religious persecution and set up a nation where it could not happen again. How funny that Christians right now are under attack in this country more than any other 'religion'. God have mercy on our nation and help us to turn from our ways that do not please you.

    October 8, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. H. Karel, Grand Rapids, MI

    Are we electing a president or a pastor? If both parties keep pushing the Christian message without backing it up with their actions and policies, it is going to lose its power. They might be risking the religious right becoming apathetic towards being involved in the political process again.

    October 8, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  5. Rev. Robert Behnke, Chicago, IL

    I find it incredible that anyone who even tolerates infanticide can use words like "values" and "faith."

    October 9, 2007 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  6. Stephanie, Indianapolis, IN

    Jon in Jacksonville said: Both parties should avoid these agendas because they violate the first amendment clause "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." We need someone for president who can respect freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, such as presidential candidate Ron Paul."

    You're misunderstanding the Constitution here, friend. Neither the GOP or the Dems are ESTABLISHING any religion. They're merely talking about the faith of America, which is already established and has been for centuries. America is a country that was founded by men of faith. Yes, we believe in religious freedom, but that's not freedom FROM religion.

    October 9, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. speakingoutworld

    I'm getting real tired of hearing religion in politics. All it seems the Christians want to do in this country is force their beliefs and lifestyles. I personally believe (and I'm not homosexual) that homosexuals should have the right to marry and the government has no place to tell them they can't. I don't have a bible anymore, but if you search it you'll find a verse that says "Don't stand in the path of the sinner." What was meant by that is tell them what the bible says and leave them alone. Let them do what they want. If they are wrong God will judge them. So if the Christians would follow their own bible they would stop trying to force their values on everyone else. History is trying to repeat itself. Don't believe are way and will punish you for God. We are doing his work. In my prayers a say "Please God save me from your followers."

    October 9, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  8. Angie, West Des Moines IA

    I am a Christ-follower who has, for most of my life, considered myself a Republican. I just thought that as a Christian, I was "supposed" to vote Republican. I've slowly come to see that, truly, the GOP does not have the corner on the market. What a relief when I realized that, yes, there are legitimate reasons why a Christian would choose to vote for either side. And I absolutely believe in separation of church and state. I LOVE separation of church and state. The church is better off without ties to the government, and we need to always keep a watch on this. Barack is walking a fine line here, but I'm glad to know more about his faith... maybe we can finally begin breaking those ties between religion and the Republican party.

    I think Christianity is so much more than a couple of hot-button issues, and that while God is concerned about the lives of unborn babies, He is also so very concerned about the millions of children who go to bed hungry every night, about the 30,000 children who die each day from hunger-related causes... I think that we do begin to see God's Kingdom here on earth when we reach out to the poor and the marginalized. That is what Jesus is all about, and that's the kingdom that He created, yes, beginning right here on earth. Why is it wrong to talk about it as such?

    October 9, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. jason smith, upstate ny

    GOP is intolerant right-wingers who hate everyone who is different!!!

    Having faith and so-called "christian" ideals" such as loving others, turning the other cheek, treating others as you wish to be treated, etc...and claiming to be a Christian conservative have two totally different connotations that anyone who has any intelligence can easily discern...King George's faith based initiative basically alienates everyone else, would put up walls to around the whole country , would spy on everyone and persecute anyone who thinks differently....what a great country this is....now you can't even get OUT of the country without getting persecuted, depending on what you look like and what language you speak....DON'T write some inane comment about if you don't like it get out, and at the same time say we are protecting freedoms, that is bull...don't give me some garbage about illegals have to earn their freedom by fighting for US while deporting their families while they are overseas.....

    October 9, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Craig H, Mpls, MN

    1 John 4:8
    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    Is falsly accusing Barack Obama (who is Christian) to be a Muslim extremist love? Is falsly accusing all Muslims to be terrorists love? Since a lump of cells is a baby as much as a lump of clay is a Ming vase, is falsly accusing someone to be a baby killer love?

    If God is love, then a kingdom of God is a kingdom of love (not a kingdom ruled by only Christians because Christians arn't the only people who are capable of love). Why would anyone who is truly a loving human being feel slighted because a person of a different political party advocates a kingdom of love here on earth?

    October 9, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. charles, cha, NC

    We all Know Obama didn't start to go to church yesterday coz of presidential nomination. I just see gunuiness in him. Can not wait this guy to get to the white house

    October 9, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. libavenger

    This country has become the Lying States of America. None of the politicians ever tell the truth,either on the left or right. They are just like the Lawyers in the judicial system. Truth has nothing to do with the outcome of a trial, it's only which lawyer can B.S. the jury the best. And the more money you have the better B.S.er you get. Bush has B.S.'d this country into believing he is a christian, but christians aren't supposed to lie in order to start a war. Christians aren't supposed to kill. And christians are supposed to give to the poor not millionaires. Wake up and smell the coffee folks, the god of America is money, not Jesus. The military industrial complex loves this war, they are making hundreds of billions of dollars. And that is why it will go on for the next fifty years. And that is why Hillary refuses to have the troops out by the end of 2013. She said they might not be out by the end of her second term.

    October 9, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Bubba, Gem City

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

    He sound like a Jehovah's Witness to me.

    Ed, Dobson's ministry isn't going anywhere.

    October 9, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. RuthieM

    I told my friends and family when Obama started running for the presidency, that now you will see all the bigots come out of the woodwork!
    And so, the Bible says, if the Word be hidden it is hidden to those who are lost. All you on this blog against Obama and unknowing of Christianity, you are lost and I pray for you.

    October 9, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Kenneth the sinner, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    To KD, your welcome, God bless and keep you.

    October 9, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. SyF, Chicago Illinois

    Religion and Politics is full of win. That's because you can never change somebodies views on religion, but you can tweak a person's view on politics. But Obama is working for himself in the subtext of his anti-republican view surrounding religion. This might be a good move on his part, but I doubt it will help in the long run.

    I just want to see how many people still think thier votes count.

    October 9, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Doug, Springfield Illinois

    /facepalm @ america

    Seriously? The 969 people above me are allowed to vote?

    October 9, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Debra Springtown, Tx.

    No Bob...myself as a christian, and a woman do not believe in stoning women...and the story in the bible about the men who were about to stone the woman for committing adultry, well Jesus came upon them, looked at them and said ye without sin cast the first stone...and they went away, in the old testament we were under the law, in the new testament Jesus came to take our sins upon Himself on the cross, now we live under grace, not law, so we no longer have the stoning, and other things that still go on under the teaching of muslims and there koran.

    October 9, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. jocko, colorado springs, co

    What bothers me about this guy is he is an alleged former muslim who now attends a radical racist church. According to the Koran, any muslim that leaves the religion is supposed to be beheaded. Which means he is either lying about being a former muslim or he will be a perpetual target of all muslims.
    Also, the Koran tells the faithful that it is alright for a muslim to lie to the unfaithful when he is in a position of weakness until he is in again in a position of strength.
    So which is true, is he a target or is he lying until he can get into a position of strength.
    Also, if he wants to be everymans president, why would he attend such a radically racist church? If any white candidate were to belong to a church like that, CNN and the others would be all over him. If you do not believe it is a radically racist black church, look them up on the web. Scary.

    October 9, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Not a Dem or Repub...but an American, Greenville, SC

    Jesus never said to go out and over throw Ceasar and mandate morality. I'm voting for whomever is going to help bring about the rapture baby!! "Behold He comes...riding on the clouds...."

    October 9, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    To all of you nasty commentators:

    I am outraged and shocked by your profane & racist comments. It is a shame and an embarassment to this country, to your religion, and to your children.

    It is times like this that I feel disgusted with the human race. How can any of you be so hateful, ignorant, backwards, and hypocritical?!?

    Intelligent Americans vote for their candidates based on character, integrity, judgement and RESEARCH, TRUTH, and FACTS.

    If you disagree with something, use intellect not blind belligerence.

    Frankly, I'm also apalled by CNN for not doing their job in monitoring this board. I have even seen the N-word, amongst other disgraceful use of language.

    Enough is enough.

    October 10, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. Dee, Cape Town (South Africa)

    “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

    I am South African, and it shocks me to the core to read thru the vile bitterness and self-hate that has been expressed by many people in this CNN blog.

    I am a Christian. My life has been transformed thru serious encounters with the Lord Jesus Christ. From my reading, Senator Obama walked that agonizing public walk to the church altar, which has been experienced by many Christians, to surrender his life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Labelling a fellow human being as the anti-christ, and all kinds of foul names, is not the Christian way. Christ’s way is Love. And the foul language that’s been used by many writers here is totally devoid of Love. It is full of judgement and serious prejudice.

    My reading of American politics is that it’s traditionally divided, and politicians’ statements get pre-judged based on whether they are democrats or republicans. Their stand on abortion seems to be the only barometer that’s used to either prejudge or listen to them. If these divisions persist, America would continue to hopelessly lose its global moral leadership.

    Nelson Mandela taught the people of South Africa not to prejudge each other. Otherwise, we would have still been stuck in decades-old compartments of division.

    As a result of that simple lesson, our children and grandchildren will never experience what we went thru. Some of the changes that Mandela’s administration brought about were fundamentally in opposition to the Word of God. As Christians, we will always stand for the truth. However, we have learned some lessons that would benefit our future generations, namely that these differences should never be used to create prejudice and divisions.

    The New Testament refers to the Kingdom in about 150 instances. This refers to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, or simply the Kingdom that is in and among us. For Christians, the Kingdom is in us. Like all the talents that we have been given, we have a responsibility to build and grow all that God has entrusted us with, including His Kingdom. That does not sound like Islam to me. Read your Bibles so that you may not prejudge or engage in this destructive self-hate.

    Mandela came straight from prison to the Presidency. Yet it was his approach to things that set him apart.

    Senator Obama may not be eloquent in his “Christianese” talk. But his fresh approach can mend the decades-old divisions (starting all the way from the bay of pigs), and allow the US to be respected worldwide again.

    October 10, 2007 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  23. jmpw, brooklyn, ny

    Goodness this is silly. If Africans had not been brought to the United States as slaves, they too would enjoy the knowledge of their ancestry as white Europeans do. History, being different, would allow for churches with names like, the Nigerian Christian Congregation or the Ethiopian . . . and so on as European Christians have with the Greek Orthodox Church, etc. There are many Christian churches that have an emphasis on their European foundations. The Catholic mass was in Latin. The suggestion that a church claiming to be supportive of white values would be called racist is not an apt comparison. Obama’s church mentions Africa and race in the absence of a more complete history of it’s members. Asking Barack to deny that he is black is ridiculous. This is about preserving a cutural heritage, not about separatism.

    December 18, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  24. mark santos

    Wer is a Diference beetwen Obama und Hillary? Obama ist Mr. AIPACK and
    Hillary is Mrs. AIPACK. She is AIPACK-Marionette, He is AIPACK-Marionette
    to. No AIPACK, no Politic in U.S.A. First, You must well be for the Israelspoli-
    tic, or go Home!
    Demokratic or Republicans? No Diference!!! Or AIPACK, or Go Home! Mr.
    Martin Luther King was Torah-Marionette. Exakt, Israelsmarionette. Black
    or White, no AIPACK no Politic in U.S.A. John Kerry was Torah-Marionette to.
    G. W. Bush is AIPACK-Marionette, He is in Iraq. The next War is in Iran! It is
    absolutly same, Why is President in U.S.A. AIPACK giv Commando!!!

    Thank You!

    January 15, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  25. Pat

    Is this guy for real?

    If people thought Hillary had delusions of grandeur, what can be the conclusion of obama?

    Obviously, his short term in the Senate wasn't grand enough for him, and he's devined that in pursuit of god's kingdom on earth prompted him to run for President. Didn't they lock people away for ideas like that in earlier centuries?

    Coming of age in an era of the film, "Titanic," perhaps like Joseph Smith, what he heard and fantasized too much upon was that he was "King of the world." Great for fairy tale films, but not right for rational reality.

    That's a bit more than audacious. He must live in a fantasy world, and America needs no King with imaginary clothes.

    January 18, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40