December 16th, 2007
06:14 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain is asked: Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?

McCain said his faith "is something between me and God."

GREER, South Carolina (CNN) - John McCain rarely speaks about his faith on the campaign trail.

So when an audience member here asked the Arizona senator on Saturday if he had "accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior," most of the voters gathered at Pete's Drive-In straightened up in their booths to pay attention.

"I am a man of faith," McCain quickly responded. "I have deep religious beliefs and values. I had experiences in my life where I had to rely on God not to get me through another day or another hour, but another minute."

McCain said he was proud to be "motivated by Judeo-Christian values" in his private and public life.

The same man asked McCain to clarify if that meant he had indeed welcomed Christ into his life.

"Sir, I attend North Phoenix Baptist Church which is my church of choice, and I also believe that talking too much about one's faith and religion in my view is something between me and God," said McCain, to audience applause.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Tim. Omaha, NE

    Why is this asked of Republicans, but not Democrats?

    December 16, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Allen, hopkinsville, kentucky

    It is so good to see a politician who won't be browbeaten into saying some phrase that must be said to satisfy a manipulative evangelical. Not everybody is going to express their faith in those terms and shouldn't be pushed into corners and coerced to make religiously correct confessions. Satan could say "Jesus is is my Savior" and the likes of hitler claimed to base his beliefs on Christianity. Just like many supposed christians who support the killing of innocents in iraq and many other places where a supposed christian george bush wages agressive premptive war against third world countries who dont have any ability to threaten our national security. only with the likes of cnn cbs nbc etc.and their types promoting prowar propaganda and ignoring people like ron paul who is raising millions of dollars today, can these people rule over us. Who would Jesus bomb? Thou shalt not kill. Prince of Peace=Jesus. how did it get so twisted? Neo-conservatism. I don't like McCain but i respect him for resisting being pigeon holed. And to think, i'm a conservative born again ,christian. But I dont like manipulative christianity its not like the true Jesus at all.

    December 16, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Lee

    Jesus said "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine..." (Matthew 7:6). Maybe Senator McCain and Gov. Romney don't give "direct" answers about religous beliefs because they think some of you are "swine and dogs". Based on some of the responces from you "Christians", I wouldn't share my most precious pearls for that very reason.

    December 16, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Josh, Pittsburgh PA

    I think McCain answered the question rightly. I am a Christian and I don't like when politicians brag about how religious they are. This is one of the reasons why I don't like Huckabee. He thinks he is someone special ordained by God (like Bush). People will be dissuaded to become Christian when they look at Huckabee in my opinion. Politicians should stick to just that, politics. If they really want to shine Christ's light in their life, they should support every citizens freedoms (from the bill of rights) and oppose all corruption from the establishment. And they should serve the American people with sincerity, humility, respect for the middle class, and also have a good moral conduct. Low taxes are a plus too.

    December 16, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. Travis Medford,Oregon

    He should of been brave and said I am a atheist and I am just as moral as the rest of you, if not more.

    December 16, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Marshall Sims, Johns Creek, GA

    I believe that by demonstrating a true understanding of biblical principles, John McCain is showing his strength as a Believer and as "Man of Faith"

    December 16, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. Goody - Eugene, OR

    As a long-time democrat, I would not have a problem voting for John McCain. The man has done more for this country than any of the other candidates. He certainly has the experience to be Commander-in-Chief. Wake up America.

    December 16, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. Angelo Pittsburgh, PA

    McCain left his balls in Vietnam. He talks real tough and dances around questions real slick. He denies and implies Jesus Christ in the same breath and is therefore unfit to lead. He's just another fearful, pandering politician.

    Here's Ron Paul Statement of Faith:

    The Covenant News ~ July 21, 2007

    We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for our values and our traditions lest they be washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. As you likely know, I am running for President of the United States, and I am asking for your support.

    I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator.

    December 16, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Scott, Augusta GA

    The last 2 presidents to wear their religion on their sleeve were G.W.Bush and Jimmy Carter. Please, vote carefully.

    December 16, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    I get a chill when I read the comments by the bible thumpers. History, and the newspaper, is full of atrocities committed by these folks who kill you to save your soul.
    The constitution was written to protect me from these zealots but they are nothing if not determined.
    God save me from organized religion.

    December 16, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Deven, Austin TX

    McCain is a Christian. He simply does not want to use his relationship with God as a tool or a punchline to accelerate his political ambitions. That is the RIGHT thing to do.

    December 16, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    This is why I get so put out with the religious zealots. It's nobody's business whether McCain (or anyone) has "publicly accepted Christ". Do we have to proclaim it in public to make it so? I would really hate to think that God would ignore my prayers of appreciation simply because I didn't make a public spectacle "accepting" Him. I think He pretty well knows whether or not I have accepted Him into my life. And I think it's between Him and me.

    December 16, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. Jose Card

    Senator McCain has given the best answer on his faith in the presidential history of the United States. He took faith seriously as well as personally. He does not bank on his faith like many other politicians do.

    Now you should see how presidential, sincere and intelligent he is in every aspect. He will make us proud.

    You may also see why NH Union-Leader endorsed Senator McCain in early December.

    "What is most compelling about McCain, however, is that his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination," the newspaper said. "Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water."

    December 16, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. michael hall

    good answer john mc cain. your the only republican i would vote for. and by the way when did it become part of the GOP program you had to belive in Jesus to be a member of the GOP party, did in miss somthing in the last 14 years or did newt put that in.

    December 17, 2007 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  15. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Jesus said "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…" (Matthew 7:6). Maybe Senator McCain and Gov. Romney don't give "direct" answers about religous beliefs because they think some of you are "swine and dogs". Based on some of the responces from you "Christians", I wouldn't share my most precious pearls for that very reason.

    Posted By Lee : December 16, 2007 7:35 pm

    Excellent post Lee! Of ALL the posts I have EVER read, that was MOST INSPIRATIONAL. Right on!!!!!!!!!

    December 17, 2007 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  16. mark wilkes barre pa

    Shirley pittsboro NC ,,,,,,,, MY comment to you to re-read the title to this story was McCain was asked by someo one ,, he does not wear it on his sleave like you have stated. I am not particularly religeous in any fasion , so I understand your "SIGN" I just dont think it applies here,,, DO you ?

    December 17, 2007 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  17. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    ""Some may be shocked to find this out, but "Separation of Church and State" is not found in the Constitution. Look it up. I wholly disagree with the opinion expressed by a founder for total separation of Church and State.
    Posted By anon : December 16, 2007 2:41 pm""

    Check the writings of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Tyler...sounds like a lot of high-ranking officials, and some of our notable founders, have all approved of seperation of church and state.

    And if you don't seperate the two, look what happens. The Roman Catholic Empire, which brought about the inquisition and the crusades. The slavery of Egypt. The near-extinction of Japan's Ainu population. All of those were due to religious leaders acting in 'the word of God.' So I see a good reason to seperate the two.

    ""Separation of church and state? Check out the Constitution top to bottom, front to back, inside & out. It ain't there, bud. It's only "implied" but folks go screaming about it. Why do people always bark up that tree? All you have to do is READ it and you'll see that's it's not there. Geez……
    Posted By Jimmy Rexrode, Peachtree City, Ga. : December 16, 2007 3:05 pm""

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    No, the express words 'Seperation of Church and State' do not appear. However, When Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists, that is the exact phrase he used. Our forefathers knew what a theocracy could do to our country. Why should we be the generation that destroys their legacy by voting with our books instead of our minds?

    I plead to every sentient being posting on CNN. DO NOT VOTE FOR RELIGION! Weigh the consequence to the action, and allow rational thought to prevail over clouded, narrow zealotry.

    And no, this is not an attack on religion, though I have my own views of such. This is a reasonable request for the future of our nation. Use fact, not faith. IF only for the good of our country.

    December 17, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  18. Dick, Kortrijk, Belgium

    Mr. McCain certainly could be more knowledgable of the Gospels than I am. I could not dispute that. It might not be the in same train of thought here by Mr. McCain's comment in that one should “Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s and render onto God the things that are God’s", but I certainly don't recall that one's Christian faith is something to just be a "private" matter between the believer and his/her God rather than a public/universal statement of commitment.

    December 17, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. Anonymous, USA

    Matthew 10:33 "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

    December 17, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. demwit

    I wonder what Hillary said..

    December 17, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Brian, Yarmouth, MA

    Typical evangelical hairsplitting. The issue here is evidently not whether John McCain is a Christian, but does he use the same code words as the Evangelicals want him to. That's incredibly stupid, and shows the very paranoia and magical thinking that Evangelicals claim is anathema to them, but that pervades that entire strain of Christianity.

    December 17, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Phillipe, Herndon Va

    Here's a though leave JESUS out of this. This is Politics not church!

    December 17, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Geoff Johnson, Chapel Hill, NC

    i dont care much what he thinks but its pretty clear to me that he attends chuch and has 'judeo-christian' values...whatever that means...but does not believe in Christ as a god.

    December 17, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Bob G. San Francisco, CA

    My "prayers" will have been answered when we someday have a new president who takes the oath of office with his/her left hand on the Constitution and not on a Bible/Koran or other such superstitious tract.

    December 17, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Jason, St Louis, Missouri

    "Jesus said "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…" (Matthew 7:6). Maybe Senator McCain and Gov. Romney don't give "direct" answers about religous beliefs because they think some of you are "swine and dogs". Based on some of the responces from you "Christians", I wouldn't share my most precious pearls for that very reason."

    Quoted for truth.

    I can't believe that people would want to abandon the most qualified presidential candidate ONLY because he may not be their particular flavor of Christianity. Isn't there something in the Constitution about a religious test?

    December 17, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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