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October 14th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Poll: Nearly half of evangelical leaders have met their lawmakers

CNN's Richard Allen Greene filed this report:

Nearly half of the nation's top evangelical Protestant leaders have met with their current senator or representative personally, according to a poll released Thursday by the National Association of Evangelicals.

Some 48 percent of the group's board of directors have done so, while others have met congressional staffers or phoned or written to their elected officials, the survey found.

Some said they met over specific legislation, while others said it was useful to talk to officials without an agenda.

Leith Anderson, president of the association, said its board members were motivated "primarily (by) good Christian citizenship."

The association polls its board of directors - more than 90 evangelical leaders - on different subjects every month. It does not release the raw data from the surveys.

This month's question was, "Have you personally met with your current congressional representative or senators?"

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Faith Now • Leaders • Politics

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Iqbal khan

    October 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Peace2All

    And the fact that christians are meeting with 'law makers'.... should that c-o-m-e as 'any' surprise to the crowd that wants to blend 'their' religion and government.

    This *is* scary, on so many levels...!!!

    October 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  3. Scott Gore

    I really don't enjoy the simple people who make up religious believers. They go through high school, learning to understand symbolism in our greatest books but fail to see it in their own books. It's a joke.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Scott Gore

    I think it's interesting to see these preachers of the word spending their time talking to our lawmakers. My take is religion doesn't belong anywhere near our government. I don't need our leaders listening to people who believe in a magic bullet and the tooth fairy. By the way, could you Christians send me one of those? Since you believe all the world's physical and biological laws don't apply to you, you obviously have to believe a magic bullet is a real thing.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  5. roderick m. farb petty

    i am jacob who is israel. The Lord of Hosts has commanded me that i am exalted.

    roderick m. farb (pett)

    October 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  6. Kate

    For some reason when this showed up in my newsreader, I read the title as "Poll: Nearly half of evangelical leaders have met their lawnmowers"

    I'm not sure if my brain read it that way in the hopes such a meeting was up close and personal (and fatal), or just that they'd finally discovered how many illegal immigrants they had working for them.

    But that aside – With these numbers in mind, how can anyone justify churches still having religious tax-exemptions when they so blatantly are involved in politics? They want to control and influence the country and its laws, but they won't help pay for it?

    Just sayin'

    October 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • ktrails

      Same question to you – do you vote for politicians who are Christian?

      October 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ktrails

      At least at this point, there doesn't seem to be any options...i.e.. atheists to vote for in an Election. They 'all'..... at this point, claim to be christian.

      What I look for is the 'issues' that they claim to champion. For instance... Carl Paladino= no go..! For me, as he is an extreme right-wing christian, who has apologized already for his comments on gays, is absolutely against *any* and *all* a-botions, no matter what the age or ci-r-c-u-mstanses of the person.

      So, he is a big NOOOOO!!!! for me. So, it is about the issues.... Understand...?

      October 15, 2010 at 5:13 am |
    • Kate

      @ktrails

      I don't vote, as far as I'm concerned anyone who runs for public office should automatically be disqualified from holding it. They should really institute a draft, selecting people to run for office for one term.

      It's the only way of removing self-serving pocket-lining ideologues from the equation.

      Just sayin'

      October 15, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  7. Raison

    "good Christian citizenship" means the old "render unto Ceasar" bit – Pressing for religious values to be enshrined in secular law is a no-no.
    Keep those religious scatterbrained ideas out of the legislative process. Meet those senators and reps as citizens only. If you want to be known as a Christian – quit being hypocrites. Jesus hated hypocrites – maybe more than you might think....

    October 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • ktrails

      So tell me, do you vote for politicians who are Christian?

      October 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @ktrails

      You asked "So tell me, do you vote for politicians who are Christian?"

      I vote for the "least" Christian person. In this country it is very hard to get elected, if you are an atheist.

      I certainly would never vote for anyone claiming they are born again, like George W. Look what a mess he and Jesus got us in.

      October 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • Raison

      I voted for Obama and I'd do it again, even though he's drifting away from real reform. He says he's a Christian. Does that satisfy you?
      If I had thought that he was going to push some crazy Christian beliefs on this country, I never would have voted for him.

      And, yes, I can see some "Christian" influence on some of his, mm, lack of proper actions as President, but I knew it was going to be a compromise of some sort anyway. I try to be realistic about politics, and I am horribly cynical and pessimistic where people are concerned, even more so where politics are concerned.
      What makes you think asking about my personal and private choices when I vote is the right thing to do here?
      Some people I have heard of would stomp you into the ground for asking who they voted for...these votes are supposed to be private and confidential and somewhat anonymous....
      ..I wonder at your motives, sir or madam. If you are just trying to say I'm a hypocrite for voting for one of two "Christians" when the "two-party" system rules with an iron fist, then go ahead.
      I never claimed to be perfect or consistent in all that I do and I never will. Chew on that if you will.

      October 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • ktrails

      Not voting somebody 'cuz they profess to be Christian sounds like you're mixing religion with your politics to me :) And frankly, I don't see how it can be any other way. For me, if a person says he's a Christian, but that his religion doesn't interfere with his politics, I look for someone else to vote for. Just having fun, waiting on the finishing touches of dinner...

      grace and piece (of chicken)

      October 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Raison – peace, brother – I'm not perfect or consistent either! Not calling you a hypocrite either. Just saying it is hard for all of us to separate our world view from our politics or any other portion of our lives. Take care, and thanks for the answer!

      October 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ktrails:
      I have to say that if someone is running on a platform where they don't play the religion card, I would be more likely to vote for them too. To me that means they have kept religion where it is supposed to be, in their personal life. And that leaves me free to judge them on their voting record or policy decisions. But when someone declares themselves "Christian", I'm inclined to disregard them, because they are either misusing their christianity just to get votes. Or they are going to make their decisions based, not on how it affects their entire community, but on their personal religious bias.
      But in terms of this article, I think there is a distinction that we're missing. These evangelicals are not voting, they are lobbying. And that's clearly overstepping their bounds.

      October 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Raison: I thought the "render unto Caesar" bit was Jesus way of saying pay your taxes? And the bigger implication was being a good citizen in public life, but being a good christian in the church... ie keep church and state separate....

      October 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    The article said, "Some said they met over specific legislation, while others said it was useful to talk to officials without an agenda.
    Leith Anderson, president of the association, said its board members were motivated "primarily (by) good Christian citizenship."

    Why can't religion stay out of government? I would adore religion if it just wouldn't want to decide my life for me.
    This is a fine example of why I challenge fundies in their beliefs. The Christian Right does not have the right to rule!

    October 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David Johnson: We need an association of atheists and agnostics to lobby for us...

      October 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Marvelous...!!!! :-)

      October 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  9. Brett

    Good for democracy. But I hope these evangelicals realize this is not a theocracy and that their desires alone will be enacted.

    October 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • honestanon

      Of course our government will never be a Theocracy. It's a Corporate Oligarchy disguised as a Spectator Democracy pretending to be a Representative Republic. DC has to at least give the religious lobby the impression that they matter in order to win their consiti-tuents votes. And really, how much money can they contribute? So ultimately the effect on national policy from radical Republicans is marginal, and always has been. Go download 'Bulworth' for some non-partisan fun. Government right now is just a self-indulgent shell game constantly pushing the envelope of public tolerance.

      October 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.