Obama to CBN News: We're no Longer Just a Christian Nation

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 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tells CBN news that  "America is no longer just a Christian nation" and laid out ways both religious conservatives and liberals can begin to find common ground."

Senator Obama made that statement by email in response to questions by CBN News' Senior National Correspondent David Brody. He told Brody that liberals need to understand that Government can't fix certain problems. Instead they need to recognize the moral component.

Click play to hear David Brody's thoughts on Barack Obama's comments on faith.

"For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems. As I've said many times before, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed aren't simply technical problems in search of a ten-point plan. They're rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness - in the imperfections of man. When a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we've got a moral problem. There's a hole in that young man's heart - a hole that the government alone cannot fix."

Obama believes that religious conservatives need to accept the fact that America has evolved and government policies need to encompass all faiths because the country is no longer just a Christian nation.

"I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community."

In a speech last month to a church convention, Senator Obama told the audience, "Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us." Obama explained to CBN's Brody what he meant by that comment.

"My intention was to contrast the heated partisan rhetoric of a distinct minority of Christian leaders with the vast majority of Evangelical Christians - conservatives included - who believe that hate has no place in our politics. When you have pastors and television pundits who appear to explicitly coordinate with one political party; when you're implying that your fellow Americans are traitors, terrorist sympathizers or akin to the devil himself; then I think you're attempting to hijack the faith of those who follow you for your own personal or political ends."

In his books and on the campaign trail; Obama has not shied away from talking about his faith. He's told his personal story of salvation several times. A recent Time Magazine poll shows that Obama is considered one of the the most religious candidates among the 2008 presidential field.

"I don't think it's helpful as candidates or as a country to get into discussions about who's more religious. That sounds a little like storing up treasures on earth to me. I've just always been clear that my Christian faith has motivated me for twenty years and I'm not ashamed to talk about it, or the role that faith should play in our American life."  

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Sr. National Correspondent

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.