September 10th, 2008
01:23 PM ET
14 years ago

Cohen: Jesus was a community organizer

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Cohen defended Obama's community organizing on the House floor."](CNN) –Barack Obama was again compared to Jesus Wednesday, but this time not by Republicans claiming the Illinois senator has an inflated view of himself.

Speaking on the House floor, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen sought to defend recent attacks over Obama's stint as a community organizer by picking up a recent blogger refrain, that "Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus."

The comments come days after that part of Obama's resume was belittled at the Republican convention by both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and VP candidate Sarah Palin.

"He worked as a community organizer," Giuliani said last week as the convention crowd erupted in laughter. "Ok, maybe this is the first problem on the resume."

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities," Palin then said the night after Giuliani spoke.

Since the Republican convention, other Democrats have made similar comments about Jesus and community organizing. But over the course of the election, it has mostly been the McCain campaign that has mocked Obama, calling him "The One."

But what does Rep. Cohen feel about having gubernatorial experience on the resume, as Sarah Palin does?

"Pontius Pilate was a governor," Cohen said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. hewpie

    He's not the messiah! And I ought to know, since I've followed a few!

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Becky

    And Sarah Palin as Mayor of Wasilla, population roughly only 8000, she left the town with over $22 Million Debt. Didn't think we'd find that out, Sarah?

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Republicrat

    It seems ignorant to me for a Democrat to say. Granted most have never heard of this guy, but to say Jesus was a community organizer is nuts. Jesus came claiming he was the creator of this world. Republicans could have a ball with this quote. This dude needs to shut up.

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Enlightened Voter

    Diana – another typical repuglican, don't listen to the facts and just attack. Obama didn't call him self Jesus, in fact no one did not even the man who they are speaking about in this article. They are saying Jesus was a community organizer, it is a noble profession. What part of that do you have a problem with?

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. ray

    Comparing Obama to Jesus would be like comparing someone who gave a quarter to a homeless person to Mother Theresa!!

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. Lacy Lady

    I am so happy that someone has defended the community organizers.
    When Miss Barbie starts to tell what she really did in Alaska–I mean the TRUTH -not HALF TRUTHS-we can all see where she is coming from. NOT GOOD!! Watch the video of her speaking at the Wasilla church and have a good look. This speech was written by HER-Not Bush's speech writer. It gives a better perspective of who this woman REALLY is!! SCARY!! I think her viewpoint is OLD AS MOSES!!!--It takes a woman to know a woman, and THIS WOMAN will vote OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Right on, Rep. Cohen! Republicans couldn't care less about helping anyone or having "community spirit" and seeing us all as one large "community." They are all about special interests and their own agendas. Palin comes off way too smug for someone who probably has moose head and antlers hanging on her office wall in the Governor's house of Alaska. Real responsibility, indeed, Ms. Mayor cum Governor...try having power or influence that you don't abuse.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Mary

    Careful. Conservatives get really upset if you point out that Jesus is perhaps not a member of the GOP or any political party.

    Or that maybe, just maybe, Jesus would not have laughed along with the 80%+ white audience as they mocked community organizing for a poor neighborhood where most people were of color.

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Mair

    This is not a road the Dems want to go down – many already believe Mr. Obama has an inflated ego and this goes to far – and furthermore, it is a TERRIBLE analogy.

    Yes, Jesus was a community organizer, but of the heavenly kingdom – anybody who knows anything about what Jesus preached knows that Jesus always said that his kingdom was not of this world. To say Jesus was a community organizer really misses the whole point of Jesus' ministry – in fact the fact that he WAS NOT AN EARTHLY community organizer is why Jesus was not popular with those who were looking for a Messiah to change things on this earth – when questioned about the unfairness of taxes, Jesus said – "Give to Cesear what is Cesaer's" – Many theologians have argued that it was Judas' disappointment that Jesus was not trying to get the Romans out of Jerusalem that led him to his betrayl.

    Please to Dems, you have never invoked the name of Jesus in your campaigns before, don't start now

    September 10, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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