Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’
October 31st, 2012
06:31 AM ET
10 years ago

Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – The political arm of Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Barack Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”

The fold-out brochure, which landed in Iowa mailboxes last week and was provided to CNN by a Des Moines-area voter, draws a series of contrasts between Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues of abortion, same-sex marriage and insurance coverage for contraception.

See the mailer here and here.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

The mailer - paid for by CitizenLink, a political affiliate of Focus on the Family - also includes a striking admission from the president.

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation,” Obama is quoted as saying.

The mailer does not explicitly endorse Romney, but the quote is clearly aimed at arousing the suspicions of Iowa’s vibrant Christian conservative community, a key voting bloc in the state and one that the Republican nominee will need behind him next Tuesday.

The quote, though, is cherry-picked from a speech Obama delivered in 2006, more than two years before he became president, at the Call to Renewal conference in Washington.

In 2008, during Obama’s first national campaign, the same out-of-context remark was circulated online as sinister evidence that the Democrat intended to curtail religious freedom in America. At the time, the spurious Internet chatter was debunked by

Here’s the full quote:

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation - at least not just,” Obama said. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers.”

In the same speech, Obama said, “Americans are a religious people,” noting that “90 percent of us believe in God” and cited a statistic that said 38% of Americans call themselves “committed Christians.”

“I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the role of faith in people’s lives, in the lives of the American people,” Obama said. “I think it’s time we joined a debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern pluralistic society.”

UPDATE: A previous version of this story inaccurately quoted Obama as saying a large majority of Americans describe themselves as "committed Christians." The correct figure has been added.

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)

    The Bible thumpers are lying again. They are desperate.

    October 31, 2012 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  2. Josaphat Daniels.

    One of the ten commandments says" thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour". It is unbelieveable that an evangelical pastor who must have said this many times from the pulpit is spreading false rumors just to get to the President.

    October 31, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  3. Joe

    Only the religious right could send out a mailer like this to get people to vote for a Mormon candidate, a religion they branded a non-Christian cult until a Mormon became their party's candidate. Vote on issues, not on hate.

    October 31, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  4. artraveler

    It is groups like Focus on the Family, American Family Council, and other right-wing Taliban-type "christians" who have turned people off with their tactics to try to force their views on everyone who have done more to reduce the number of people who are willing to call themselves "Christians". Note that those who believe in God increased or stayed the same but they just aren't buying in on the organized (un-organized) religion is the largest growing group and the Dobson's , the Reids, and even the Graham's with their sudden switch to Romney after 50 years of calling the Mormons a "cult', have shown that these groups are just in place to keep the money flowing in and their leaders in power.Get thee back to your closet to pray as te Bible instructs.

    October 31, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    Keep taking his comments out of context, and keep appealing to your uneducated, redneck followers. So a mormon cult leader is more Christian? And aren't we a nation of Christians, jews, etc? United States is still considered the melting pot right??

    Six more days.....

    October 31, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  6. Marry

    No chapter on “birthers”? Breathtaking how they misrepresent the facts! So what are they teaching their children? Let’s show those kids that lies and hate is not the path to success for life, us, or the country!
    Oh yes, we will make out voices heard: President Obama and a strait “D” ticket! Please, make a real effort to go out to vote! Elections are not a spectator sport!

    October 31, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  7. TomInRochNY

    Spin, baby, spin! Political inferno!

    October 31, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  8. Willie Floyd

    As a Christian for over 50 yrs, I find this repulsive. We have a constitution giving us many rights, including religion. There is no room for religion in politics and vice versa. I have already voted and it wasn't for one of the biggest liars in our country.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    October 31, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  9. Dave

    The fact that people buy this garbage from Focus on the Family is just another example of the wholesale dumbing down of this country.

    October 31, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  10. gango

    That the U.S. was not a Christian nation was exactly what the second President of the U.S. (John Adams) said when he negotiated the Treaty of Tripoli in the late 1700's.

    Maybe if evengelical ministers preached more of Jesus and less of GOP politics, more people would go to church. Revival is the answer to this country's ills, not a Republican in the White House.

    October 31, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  11. John Stefanyszyn

    Mr. Dobson is standing up for the freedom of rights of the "christian religion" just as President Obama is confessing the freedom of rights of all religions, of which christianity is one of these "religions".
    BOTH belief first and foremost in the freedom of self-religion.
    Both believe in the desire to serve and magnify one's self interest (XES).
    BUT there is only One Creation and One Creator whose specific identity is seen through His Son Jesus Christ.
    AND Christ will rule as the One King with the One True Way...which means that there will not be any "freedom of religions/gods" since there is Only One.

    October 31, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  12. thomase

    So, better a white mormon than an african american christian? The reason that Mitt's religion hasn't been brought up is that religion should play no part in the election and it should play no part in laws of the country. When did caring for others become a position to oppose by the "church"?

    October 31, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  13. dedrick marshall

    This is why the gospel has been reduce because preachers have sold their very own souls.

    October 31, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  14. Jerry

    Obviously there is at least one Christian who is a lost soul. Who has forgotten Christian values and is bearing false witness against the president. Mr Dobson ...confessionals are available today

    October 31, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  15. Name

    America is a Racist country filled phony. Evil hateful people ..this country has a DNA of bigotry murder racism thievery check the history ...the horrific treatment of Africans brought here to be enslaved ..the stealing killing of native Indians..need I say more...these are the wicked values of this so call great nation...America is a hypocrite
    if God look at the actions words from the heart of many..he doesn't see his love

    October 31, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. Thinking12

    We never where to begin with. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    October 31, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. plain&simple

    How Christian is it to deceive? I believe in God and go to church. I also believe we are a nation of all the people and all are free to believe in a higher power or not. How we treat one another is the message. Not where or how or if we worship! The one thing I do know is to deliberately deceive is not the values I have instilled in my family and would be very leary of anyone or organization using that tactic.

    October 31, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  18. Bull Loney

    This is bogus as Rommey has supported Gay marriage and abortion.

    October 31, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  19. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    We are no longer a Christian nation...

    Oh come on guys...

    We only murder 3,600 babies every day.

    Our President has "evolved" to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.

    Nancy Pelosi has said: "Get over your conscience."

    Bill Clinton has said: "There is NO such thing as truth."

    FORWARD -> ->
    To total depravity !!!

    October 31, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  20. MIKEO

    Bigotry disguised as politics. How is this different from the rabid fundamentalists we all love to condemn?

    October 31, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  21. Anonymous

    It is a very offensive when so called religious people mislead the believers and non believers. James Dobson should practice what he preaches... Hope he takes time to read the FULL QUOTE of President's speech. WWJD???? shame on you Mr. Dobson...

    October 31, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  22. reginaldb6

    Is there anything i that speech is not TRUE, America is a diverse Nation,with all kinds of people form every part of the world bringing with them their own beliefs systems. That whats make our First Amendment so right the freedom to worship what ever is your choice. So what is the point? If you are saying the President is not christian You ARE WRONG, You can make the Argument that ROMNEY IS A CULT LEADER BECAUSE MORMON IS NOT A CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

    October 31, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  23. wwf

    Ahhh. The old Puritan stock is at it again. Forcing their beliefs on the masses without allowing choice. Just like colonial days. If you can't find what you consider truth, twist it to make it fit or better yet, just plain lie. There are plenty out their who are stupid enough to follow like sheep to the slaughter.

    October 31, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  24. Tabeth

    America is a pluralistic and democratic society, and the president has to service everyone regardless...We could be strictly a christian nation and abide by the bible should the constitution allow that. We have then to close all casino, night clubs...Then we should also respect countries willing to apply strict shariya law. I am against homosexuality and more but that their choice...what can I do? Just pray that one day they will change.

    October 31, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  25. Roger

    Disgusting People!

    October 31, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
1 2