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October 10th, 2011
04:32 PM ET

Straddling the line between church and politics in 2012 GOP race

By Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union"

Washington (CNN) - Thomas Jefferson famously wrote about the wall of separation between church and state. He didn't mention separating church and politics, but everybody knows it's a sticky wicket.

On Friday, Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister, introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at at a gathering of social conservatives, calling Perry a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, as opposed to another candidate Jeffress could and did mention in a later interview.

"I think Mitt Romney is a good, moral man, but I think those of us who are born-again followers of Christ should always prefer a competent Christian to a competent non-Christian like Mitt Romney," Jeffress told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Romney is a Mormon and he has passed this way before: Four years ago, the first time he ran for president, he made a speech to address concerns, rumors, and political analysis of his religion in a speech.

"I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right, so be it."

Read the full story here.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Content Partner • TV-State of the Union

soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. lentes

    Thank you for another informative website. The place else may I get that type of info written in such a perfect manner? I have a venture that I'm just now running on, and I've been at the glance out for such info.

    June 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  2. Veronica

    - T,What a good question. I know why I blog. I blog bauscee God told me I had to learn to stop being so selfish, and in addition, he told me I needed to write about it (I just finished a post on this very thing!). I argued with God bauscee I didn't want to write anything even remotely related to this topic.In fact, I have multiple projects started that aren't Christian and aren't nonfiction and are what I see as more me .I, Amy, had big plans for writing big things and His little idea did not fit my plans. However, God has been following me around, and refusing to let me cave on His plans for me.You? (Here's my two cents). I saw your niche when we worked together on your guest post at my place. Even though I only know a bit here and there, you are to write your story. Not necessarily a memoir, but I see you taking one of your biggest challenges, and writing about that. You strike me as a fighter, a survivor, and I see that playing into your writing too.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  3. R Macklin

    To The Dragon 117, That was well spoken I enjoyed your rational view. You really hit the key problem being intolerance. Oh and I am not sure you are an atheist just from reading you post. I believe your probably agnostic. I think many of us even believers find times that we are not sure of are selves. Anyway God has blessed you with understanding and a good mind. : ) Good post.

    October 20, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  4. The Brain Fumigator

    This post is for Samsword, since he keeps stating the same inane misconception in multiple threads.

    Science is simply not a belief system. Here is why: in science, ideas are put forward and can be accepted or rejected based on studies of evidence, and on reasoning. At any given time, a previously accepted theory can be thrown out or modified if new understanding makes that appropriate. Now contrast that situation with religion. In a typical religion, there is a core set of doctrine attributed to a perfect "god", for which perfection is typically claimed. That doctrine is entirely dogmatic and unchangeable, else the god's perfection need be thrown out and the whole religion should collapse (if the believers are being honest).

    It's pretty important that you get to an understanding of this fundamental difference. Your many posts lately show that you don't get it at all. Science is emphatically not a belief system, because it has this self-analyzing and self-correcting behavior, and a pretty robust peer review process that supports it. Science can be corrected when it is wrong. Religious dogma cannot.

    October 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      Science then I take is based upon theories that can be refuted at a moments notice. Hiding behind the word, 'theoretics' does help the causes of scientific quandries such as, "how do we get creation from nothingness?" or "Was there a beginning moment before matter became a significant yet very voided part of the nothingness?" or "How does science prove or disprove the 'Big Bang'?" "Could there be such a thing as creating matter from nothingness?"

      October 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Benjamin Scorcese

      Richard, do try to stay on topic...

      ...and creation is an assumption that you are making, albeit a bad one.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • TheDragon117

      Science is a solution for understanding how, its not a replacement of someone religion. Science doesn't dismiss religion, it explains the world to us. Just because we can figure out how it works doesn't mean there wasn't a god or supreme being that designed it to work that way. I'm personally an atheist, but I know plenty of Christians that can draw this distinction. God and Science are not exclusive. Just because you appreciate proof of science doesn't mean you can't have faith in god, and vice versa. Its when we refuse to see the good in each others beliefs that we turn to intolerance of those beliefs, neither one is "wrong." Christ said to use your talents, and then put people here that could understand and decode this science so obviously if he is there he wanted us to learn from it.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Paul

      Some good points you have made. However you make Science like a 'sacred cow', the answer to all our problems! Really!! How many scientists got us into the mess we are in? Close on 80% of all scientists are devoted to finding ways to destroy the planet, animals and human life.
      It took scientists hundreds of years to figure out the world was a globe hanging in space which is in fact the truth, the Bible wrote about this over 3000 years ago. So who got it right first? I don't think science has ever proved God not perfect. You are right, if God is not perfect faith in him is lost. I challenge you to prove it.
      The same chellenge I put to scientists, prove beyond a doubt that evolution is not a theory? You need more faith to believe we came from the slim of the earth than an intelligent designer.
      Can scientists do better than the perfect universe and our perfect planet that we are determined to ruin by the men you hold up as gods beause you believe and have faith in.
      Scientists learn to clone from the orignal perfect thing and you say how great they are, but what about the original did that not also need a clever mind to make and from what did he make it? The dust of the earth, which by the way scientists have proved. But give them dust and a bit of water and see how the scientists get on. Hang on a minute!!........ God made the dust and water. So tell your scientests to make their own dust and water and give it a go.
      Science relies on absolute truths, such as gravity, rotation of the planets, they have so much faith in it that they propel men into space and meet an object in space traveling at amazing speeds, I aks you........Why do they rely on the rotation of the planet and risk there life doing it. Because it IS PERFECT! A marvel of design by a designer. You guessed it GOD. If my dad made such clever things I think I would worship him too, so why not God.

      October 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  5. J.W

    Atheists want political unity, if by political you mean ethnic and by unity you mean cleansing.

    October 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Did you really just bring ethnicity and religion together in this country. wow

      October 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      THOSE DAMN DIRTY ATHEISTS WANT TO EAT CHRISTIAN BABIES AND INSTALL MARXIST SOCIALISM INTO OUR REPUBLIC OH LAWDY HELP US PLEASE

      Typical christard.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • J.W

      I did not say anything was wrong with socialism. Socialism is fine with me. But you were probably right about atheists trying to eat christian babies. Statistics say that 75% of atheists are cannibals.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • MarkinFL

      76%. If you're going to make up statistics, at least be accurate!

      October 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • J.W

      Well I was just rounding there. I knew I was pretty close.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • MarkinFL

      In these situations I always ask WWJD?
      Would he round the number or be precise? Rounding can lead to inaccuracy, yet the number becomes more accessible to the lay public. On the other hand it may lead to confusion in the future and then I remember that the road to he!! is paved with good intentions. Then I being to wonder what kind of civil engineer planned that road in the first place. Good intentions do not seem a very stable surface from which to construct a road. However, considering the destination, just how good do you want the road to be?
      Of course it turns out that 68% of all statistics are made up in the first place. If you do not believe me ask a statistician. 94% agree with that statement.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Rick

      Wow, JW....that is a dumb comment. Perhaps spending all that time on your knees took blood away from your brain

      October 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • TheDragon117

      I really hope this is an example of troll and not someones true beliefs. If you really believe that then the gene pool has dropped to the please refill line. 76% so more then have of us on this post are running around eating people and haven't gone to jail yet. Here I always thought it was beef, but who knows maybe my atheist butcher is slipping it to me.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • "E"Gary

      Ethnic cleansing is almost uniquely a religious exercise. Catholics vs protestants in Western Europe, Islam vs Christian in the Middle East and Africa, Everyone vs Jews in many of the same places.

      Atheists don't want ethnic cleansing because they don't believe any person is intrinsically superior to any other no matter their religion or creed, and because to an atheist killing someone is a truly horrible act because you are not sending them to heaven, hell or judgement, you are ending their existence.

      Compare and contrast with the murderous punishments ordered in the Bible, Torah and Qu'ran for various transgressions.

      October 17, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  6. hippypoet

    here, tell ya what...if god wants to play "run for office" then let that dude take up a chair in a debate...untill then, lets get to a real issue here, for all religious morons have to say is religious bs or stuff that will in time because of the one speaking relate to religious bs. so – fuk em, don't let them run for any office if they tell people there faith as a plot to get more votes. i don't care if you believe some load of crap, or something founded in reality...not my biz, but what is is some dude telling people that not being a good whatever has blackened my soul and i am doomed to hell. I WANT A PERSON WITH THE BALLS TO STAND FOR WHATS RIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE WAS A WHOLE, and nearly half are not believers of that f@g christ. So by electing any religious person to an office you are infact electing a religion to office, by which i mean the person will make choices based upon religious beliefs and not always whats right as there soul is involved and will be punished for all time if they make the wrong one. totally bs – and it is against the constat!tion by the decree of separation of church and state and therefore should be looked at with more scrutiny!

    October 11, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  7. Peace2All

    From the Article:

    " On Friday, Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister, introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at at a gathering of social conservatives, calling Perry a *genuine* follower of Jesus Christ, as opposed to another candidate Jeffress could and did mention in a later interview.

    "I think Mitt Romney is a good, moral man, but I think those of us who are born-again followers of Christ should always prefer a *competent Christian* to a competent *non-Christian* like Mitt Romney," Jeffress told CNN's Jim Acosta. "

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Ahhh.... You Christians and your battles about who is 'really' a 'right' and 'true' christian with 'the right' beliefs, just continue to make me chuckle.

    Your continued bickering about who has THE TRUTH is kind of silly, actually (IMHO).

    Peace...

    October 11, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Samsword

      What do you mean. Of course Atheism is a religion. It's a religion that accepts the scientific method, as the one and only true path to "enlightenment." Anything that does not conform to this scientific approach is dogmatically banned as "illusion." Sounds like a religion to me ;)

      October 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Samsword

      Sorry Peace, that was directed at WeSH's thread below! =)

      October 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Samsword

      LOL !! No problem. You made an interesting argument anyway !

      Peace...

      October 12, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  8. WesH

    As an atheist, I believe atheism is as much a religion as Christianity. However, Atheism is a less dogmatic,less bigoted and less hypocritical one.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Samsword

      Thank you! This is what I was trying to say, is that I think Atheism is also a belief system, and not even necessarily a "bad one." If you can be a kind genuine person, who spreads goodwill, I really don't think it matters what you do or don't believe! I don't know who you are but I totally just gained a lot of respect for you and your belief! (non-belief? ;) )
      And I totally agree, there are way too many Christian zealots out there. Interestingly enough, in the Bible, Christ never really pushed himself on anyone... he merely invited them, and then let any who were interested come learn more. (Same with Buddha) Ironically, the only people he really condemned were the hypocrites and religious priggs of his day... I'm sad that so many Christians don't seem to get the message. I apologize for any one who has "bashed" you in the name of religion.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Johann

      As one atheist to another, I totally know what you mean. After all, I grew up as a child of devout members of the Unchurch, received uncommunion, went through unconfirmation, know atheist scripture front and back and recite select passages from it every day and try to live up to its ideals and share its message with everyone I meet...

      ...oh wait.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      It has been said before: Atheism is a religion just a not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Nice plant. I'd say you weren't a real atheist but then I'd be perpetrating the No True Scotsman fallacy that the xians here are guilty of.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Wesh is no more an atheist than I am a Christian. as noted below, its just a plant. If he has some odd religious belief of his own, more power to him, but simply not believing in someone else's god is hardly a religion.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  9. Mirosal

    If you rely on someone's religious affiliation to cast your vote, please do us all a favor and don't vote at all

    October 11, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  10. Anglican

    God is neither Repub or Dem. This is pitiful.

    October 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      Also pitiful is that people still fall for religions.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      He is also nonexistent.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Nonimus

      True. I heard He was with the Labour Party.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  11. Lol...

    i think cnn or somebody said we should have a dead cat as president.... i'd vote for it.... Dead Cat/Dog 2012!!!!! would be better especially than any of the republicna candidates this go round..... seriously this 2012 lineup looks to be one of the worst in history. i would think onyl outstanding ppl would be chosen to lead the free world or whatever ameri-centric term you pick......LOL....

    October 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Trystan

      What a lovely rant. Now, can you try typing it out again? This time in English please.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Matt

      Heh, Lewis Black joked we are experiencing reverse evolution in politics. In a few decades, we'll be voting for plants. I don't think it will take that long.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      Vote for plants? Just because plants have never had a war, and that they can't be bribed? Just because they don't let their friends pork out at the government trough? Just because they don't believe in things like Communism or the Tea Party or Racism or God?

      Okay, the plants are starting to sound like the better option.

      Like politicians, plants can be in the pockets of rich people and corporations, but all the rich get out of it is dirty pockets.

      For president, I'm voting for The Flatulent Elm of West Ruislip! For Senator, The Maidenhead Weeping Water Plant! For Congressman, the naughty Leicestershire Flashing Oak!

      And with my best buddy by my side, we'd sing! Sing! Sing!

      October 11, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Huntsman is the only one I'd even consider against Obama, and since he ain't got a shot in hell of winnin' the primary...

      October 11, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  12. Woody

    I don't give a damn if a Presidential candidate worships the fire plug at the end of the street, or worships nothing. If the person running for President, can help move us on the way to solve the many problems that we have in this country, that's the most important factor. The bible beating Christian twits just don't seem to understand this. In their small minded world, as long as the candidate is a "god fearing Christian", that belongs to a sect that meets their approval, that's all that matters. What's good for the country seems to be somewhere down the list of importance to them. As Albert Einstein once said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”

    October 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      the only problem we run into with religious leaders

      is the possibility of decision making being based on religious beliefs

      which more than likely would be unhealthy for any kind of growth

      October 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  13. kimsland

    "Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right, so be it."
    They're right. And by the way 'they' are us.
    Church and politics should never be together. Could you imagine religion running the country? It would be worse than the Middle East.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Unless you are rich and/or willing to be on the take AND Christian or pretending to be, you can't get anywhere in Washington. That is bad because it omits the huge surplus of knowledgeable, intelligent and morally sound people we have in our great country from wanting to or being able to run for office.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  14. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and what spirit it serves we invite you to read the article Mormon Church ~ Cult and Spiritual Harlot listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Also, to give people a better understanding of the issues that divide this world we have recently added the article ‘CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’ to our listing of articles.

    It is unfortunate but nevertheless the truth that man(kind) in his natural state is unable to understand the Word of God, in fact he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned: meaning to be able to discern between darkness and light (1 Cor. 2:14,15, Acts 26:18). On our website we explain what mankind must do to be reunited with God. The Bible is true and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    There is a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). The only element that separates the Natural body from the Spiritual body is the Baptism of Repentance (Mark 1:4). To repent means: to change spirits and to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan, whose spirit mankind is of (Luke 9:55), unto God (Acts 26:18). This is not an interpretation.

    We depict the natural body and the spiritual body on top of every page on our website. The spiritual side represents the Tree of Life. A Tree signifies a person and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil refers to a person that is able to discern (judge) between darkness and light (1 Cor. 2:15; Acts 26:18).

    Many people search the Bible for in them they think they have eternal life, but when we bring them the Scriptures they don’t believe us (John 5:38,39). Confused? There is no need to be confused any longer. For a better understanding of the mystery of God and what mankind must do to be reunited with God we invite you to read all the pages and articles of our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9. The Bible is true in all things and is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

    So, before mankind will be able to understand the Word of God, mankind requires to be converted and transformed by God and only then mankind is able to understand the Bible, as it is God (John 1:1). Any kind of religion is a form of self-transformation and is like putting new wine into old bottles or like putting a new piece of old cloth into an old garment (Matthew 9:16,17; 2 Cor. 11:13-15).

    October 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Johnny Normal

      Religion is bullshit (Real World 1:1-3).

      Religious people are deluded rubes (Truth 1:14-359)

      Dealing with reality as it is, without the confusion of superstitions is always the best course of action. (Obvious 23:4)

      October 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @avdberg
      For a better understanding of the Mormon Church, sift through your cat's litter box.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Johnny Cat

      What a horrible thing to say, Scrutinizer! That's an insult to cat poop everywhere!

      October 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      avd

      there are plenty of scriptures that negate the entire bible

      please post those instead

      October 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Cathe

      I live in Utah and am not a mormon, separation of church and state does not exist in Utah. You leave out all the other rules you live by that aren't mentioned till people believe your false lies and are entered into your doctrine. Most of you will refuse to socialize with non-mormons and at times are very rude to them. It's graduate from school and get married. You can't even go to other mormon churches called wards because there are too many singles to meet and you wont marry fast enough. Then have as many babies as you can before it kills you and Utah is known for the highest use of depression pills. Any wonder? Man is God, woman follows behind her husband, father, etc. always. Oh, and if you weren't a mormon before? You will be sure to sign over your whole family to become mormon at their death! A mormon as president will always do what what the mormon religion states, not what the people need.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  15. Samsword

    I don't get why Atheists claim to be "free and open-minded" and yet reject the possibility of a God or spirituality at all. Logic and Science at best can only lead to Agnosticism. To assume there is or isn't a God is equally presumptuous. Logic alone can only say "we don't know." My reasons for believing, however, run deeper than the clouded answers that modern Science provides.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      State your reasons for believing, and we'll see how "deep" they really are.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Samsword

      Personal experience. Dreams that have come true. A friend healed from a fatal ailment. A personal experience where another man and I communicated perfectly, and then I later learned that the man spoke no English. There have been many. I've heard all the "scientific explanations," but to me they simply seem to fall flat. If someone can give me a true, solid, proven reason to give up my faith, I might change my mind. I'll listen to what anyone has to say, but I DO have my reasons for believing in Spiritual Matters.

      I realize my experiences are only first-hand, and probably not the "objective" proof you were looking for. They may be hard to believe, and I don't have anything but my word to prove them. But you DID ask, so I thought I'd at least mention it... To be honest though, I'll admit my beliefs stem from personal feelings more than anything else.

      I was simply suggesting that a truly "open" mind would be open to the possibility of God, nothing else.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Samsword

      sorry, by ..."nothing else." I meant "that's all I was trying to say." Not to "believe in God and nothing else." that's silly.... Sorry for the confusing sentence! :)

      October 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Samsword
      I don't get why Atheists claim to be "free and open-minded" and yet reject the possibility of a God or spirituality at all. Logic and Science at best can only lead to Agnosticism. To assume there is or isn't a God is equally presumptuous. Logic alone can only say "we don't know."

      Atheists believe the universe can be explained by science and math. They see no need for the supernatural. Most atheists believe that the best tools for understanding the universe are logic and evidence.

      I, having examined the evidence for and against a god and have concluded god is very unlikely to exist. I also believe fairies and Santa do not exist, with the same conviction. If evidence for a god is found, then I will accept the existence of that god.

      You said: " My reasons for believing, however, run deeper than the clouded answers that modern Science provides."

      It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
      Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      October 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      So after your arrogant claim that your reasons for believing are deeper than science, they really aren't deep at all. In fact, they sound pretty flimsy, shallow, and specious.

      "Personal feelings" that you can't or won't describe, and some hazy references to your dreams. Yeah, that's deeper than science. No, it isn't. It's just plain deluded. And you aren't doing justice at all to modern science.

      Thanks for coming out. I suppose. Probably time you took a nap.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Matt

      Samsword, I'm not the spokesperson for all atheists, but I consider myself "open-minded" in that I will accept any idea or belief that is presented with enough evidence and a strong enough argument, even if it conflicts with my previous perception of reality. SOME religious individuals, in particular fundamental Christians, are "close-minded" in that their worldview is substantiated through circular logic: "God exists because the Bible is true" and "The Bible is true because God wrote it." Such a worldview is unassailable and not open to conflicting viewpoints.

      As for your own personal experiences, we are "pattern seekers" and look for the cause and effect of our experiences. Such a quality has served us well as a species but is limited in that we underestimate the power of "time" and "chance". If you live long enough, you are more likely to experience a dream you had come true (or this is part of the "deja vu" phenomenon in which case current experiences are linked to and influence or perceptions of past experiences). Similarly, if you have enough friends, eventually one of them might get sick, diagnosed with a deadly disease, and beat the odds. The vast majority of diseases and conditions are not 100% lethal. I would be willing to accept God with the presence of evidence but I wouldn't consider your experiences evidence.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @David
      You sir are an agnostic of the flavor "Temporal"

      October 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Absinthe in My Labyrinth

      Most atheists I know openly acknowledge the possibility of there being a god. They just conclude that the overwhelming balance of evidence is against it.

      Now here's a test of open-mindedness: How many Evangelical Christians admit the possibility – not the likelihood, just the possibility – that there is one and only one god, but that god is utterly unlike the Christian god. From all the variations on Pascal's wager one sees posted here and elsewhere, it would seem that many of them think it's no god or their god.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Samsword

      Well I TOLD you all that they weren't objective. Whether you believe my experiences or not, doesn't really concern me. (Although, these are experiences that hold a lot of personal emotion to me, so I don't think it's fair to call them "shallow.")

      I simply don't believe in coincidence. You accept the notion of "chance" in some degree, and then attribute my experience AS chance; as "beating the odds." That's circular reasoning. I don't believe that "chance" (at least in the degree we're talking) exists. So I'm presuming there is an intelligence, and then my experience "confirms" it. I realize that my argument is circular too. That's what I mean, when I say that logic can only bring you to a standstill.

      As far as study goes. I've done that. Lots of it! I love reading scientific studies and research. I've heard the arguments from biology, psychology, and physics. And they simply can't answer (in my opinion) the most fundamental question of all: Why? Why are we here at all? I believe there is good cause, in my life, to believe in spirits and at the very least the possibility that there is a God. I believe that truth should be found not by logic alone, but by our intuitions. And it is very clear to me that mankind has an intuition to believe in the Divine. I don't think that should be ignored. We should use our mind AND heart to discern what we really hold true. Not base our views on some lab experiment, some media reporter, or even pastor.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      the most notable difference between science and religion is this

      believers believe that there is only one answer and that is god and they believe with zero evidence

      scientists believe there are many answers and are absolutely open to theories being incorrect and searching for new ones

      so

      who is more closed science or religion

      thank you

      October 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      without chance

      there can be no free will

      as for the question of why we are here

      why do we need a reason to exist

      cant we just exist without the question of why and just enjoy life instead

      October 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Snake Eyes

      "I simply don't believe in coincidence. You accept the notion of "chance" in some degree, and then attribute my experience AS chance; as "beating the odds." That's circular reasoning. I don't believe that "chance" (at least in the degree we're talking) exists."

      Yeah, that's exactly the problem. A whole lot of primitive belief systems are based on the refusal to believe in something as well established as chance and probability and the simple fact that over many, many, many trials, a certain number of individually improbably events are actually likely to occur. We just don't know which ones till they actually happen.

      Oh, and believing in chance and then interpreting things as matters of chance is not circular reasoning. It's simple consistency.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Matt

      Samsword, "chance" as I was using it is not subject to belief: it is a reflection of reality. Perhaps statistics would have been a better word. Various E. bola strains killed 75-90% of the people it infects. That is a fact, given the limitations of statistical analysis. You are interpreting "chance" as occurring without a reason, randomly - this is a reflection of "why". Perhaps the people who survived possessed an unknown genetic mutation that reduced the virus's effect. Perhaps God loved them more for reasons beyond my comprehension. I don't know, I don't care. It seems like too much effort to resolve the "why" (a virologist would disagree of course). That is the "chance" in which you say I believe.

      Also, the "intuition" you referred to could very well be the "pattern-seeking" nature I mentioned before. And, using your heart sounds like you are dismissing others' arguments without a reason. Honestly, you don't have to believe what I believe. I don't want you to. It is better for everyone to have diverse beliefs to deal with the diverse problems that we face. I would just prefer those beliefs to have some basis in fact, as my experience tells me that well-reasoned plans tend to work out better than poorly-reasoned plans.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Samsword

      Thanks once again guys for another good discussion! Good to hear from all of you. I do understand your points of view, and I'm sorry that I have no other answer to give than spirituality just "clicks" with me. That's really the best I can do. I don't blame any of you for having issues with the zealots (I do too.) I just hope you realize they aren't the only side to the "religious" coin. Peace!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      There very well could be a being greater than our universe... But it is not "God" by any means and since you don't have a soul (that science has ruled out when we discovered how the brain essentially works) it is a moot point at the moment.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Central Scrutinizer

      Technically, yes. But few people would understand if I said I am a weak agnostic. Declaring myself an atheist – I have concluded that there are no gods, based on current evidence – conveys my feelings adequately.

      Cheers!

      October 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  16. freddie

    What myths someone follows shouldn't matter when running for political office shouldn't matter, It's called separation of church and state.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • What???

      It's weird and beyond strange how atheist who bash Jesus Christ while constantly admitting they don't believe in him being God spend a lot of time writing about a person they deny. He got all of you in the palm of his hand and you're too blind to understand this truth.

      God does work in mysterious ways.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Hairy Palm Sunday

      No one would write much about Jesus if he didn't have swarms of nominal followers hell bent on ruling the world according to their whims and prejudices.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      the reason why atheists are like this

      is because a lot of us used to be believers

      then we finally figured out that something was wrong with religion

      and began doing research

      its like going to buy a new car

      you cant decide which one

      so you do a lot of research and try to find reason why you should buy a certain model

      and at the same time you list reasons why you shouldnt

      being a believer youre used to being in a certain model of car

      once in a while you hear a knocking sound or the engine doesnt work when its supposed to

      so what do you do

      most believers ignore it and say when the car wont work its gods will

      a few start to read the reviews and start looking up technical service bulletins

      and begin to find out that there are a bunch of problems

      then you begin to weigh the pros and cons and in order to do that you dig deep into research

      and you find that this car youve been in all these years is riddled with flaws and bad wiring

      you find that its got parts from other cars under the hood and some of these parts arent supposed to even be there

      some believers realize this but stick with the religion knowing all of its flaws simply due to emotional investment

      its the same reason why some people will stay in a marriage for 20 years even though the marriage is horrible

      theyve spent decades investing themselves into something they know doesnt want to work

      but they stay anyway and its all due to emotional investment

      not because god exists

      but all because of human psychology

      October 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Okay, I nominate "Hairy Palm Sunday" for best screen name in the past 24 hours.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Hairy Palm Sunday

      @Tom Tom I am SO honored!!!!!!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  17. Colin

    Dear Christians

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 6 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous. Grow a brain.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mo.ngolians, and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who withheld evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifth, I would not care who you do or how you “do it”. I really wouldn’t. This would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

    Sixth, I would have smited all creationists and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Finally, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 6 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 600,000,000 prayers. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    God

    PS: That kid wasn’t mine, I didn’t touch Mary.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • J.W

      God, I am not sure about that when you say that kid was not yours. We should bring you on the Maury Povich show and find out there.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Naughtius Maximus

      The kid might have been mine, but I heard he got named Brian.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • What???

      Colin, you aren't pure enough to conceive Jesus Christ. Admit that you are a looser and we can all call it a day.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Immaculate Misconception

      Colin isn't pure enough to conceive Jesus Christ? Ha! I guess not!

      October 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      a looser

      is that one whose job it is to loosen knots

      October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      A looser is the opposite of a weener.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Colin

      @What?? – Yes, another penetrating and articulate response from the Christians.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Portland tony

      Mankind created the one God religion to save some cash. Remember the Greeks and Romans who built hundreds of statues and temples to myriads of the deities of their age. Since their civilizations got low on cash, it only made sense to dismantle all the various temples and only pay homage (financial offering) to one. Seriously man needs religion for no other reason than to help him cope with phenomena he just couldn't comprehend.There used to be wise men in ancient times who unlike the general population could read and write. They were the ones who helped explain unknowable phenomena to the masses. They, sadly, evolved into the hypocritical pastors of today.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Colin

      You said: "PS: That kid wasn’t mine, I didn’t touch Mary."

      Dude! You continuously crack me up. I do enjoy your comments.

      Cheers!

      October 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  18. Tea Party Daily News

    A spokesperson today said candidate Michele Bachmann, having recently left her church behind, is converting to Islam.

    Bachmann is also leaving her latent-gay, flaccid husband Marcuthhh so that she can be free to pursue musician Yousef Islam (Cat Stevens). Bachmann is guoted as saying "I've always liked his music. You know what they say about musical men and their trombones..." and "As a Muslim and POuTUS, I could solve our terrorism problems once and for all. There's no way Al Kaida and his countrymen will attack a country with a Muslim leader. This will help me get elected in other ways too. In fact, it might be the only way I can get more than the teabagger vote and pull in anything from Obama's liberal base."

    Yousef Islam (Stevens) was heard to say "No way, dude, no friggin way. That leathery old haggis wouldn't have made it as my groupie even when she was 20, no matter how good her oratory skills are."

    October 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  19. Central Scrutinizer

    My fellow Americans! Take up the cause. Out with the mormons and christians and Islam, etc. Let truth guide you! We are running out of time. The country and the world is falling apart!! It is up to US!!

    Until such time as an Atheist, an Agnostic, an openly ho-mose-xual person, or any other minority can be seriously considered for political office, particularly the presidency, then I hang my head in shame as an American. Sure, Obama is half black and that is a step in the right direction. But where are the Asians, Africans, Mexicans, Gays, Atheists, Agnostics. women and all other minorities? Scr-ew the Christians! Let some intelligent folks move the country forward for a change. The Christian Right are liars, cheats, thieves and charlatans. The Dems just lie to fit in. Americans, let’s take back our country! The time is now! Call out the politicians on their lies. Call out the banks on their thievery. Take Wall Street money away from the politicians. Smart people in Congress, that should be our mantra, Carry on with common sense or we are doo-med. It is up to us to remove them!

    Right now, only morons and liars can run for office. How does this help America??

    October 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • William Demuth

      We get the government we deserve.

      Hopefully the "occupy" crowd will stir up some riots and throw a monkey wrench into the process

      Otherwise we are already dead.

      Ironicaly, the Tea Party seems to be the gun party, so I guess we lose.

      Oh thats right. We know chemistry.

      Now where is todays Anarchists Cookbook?

      October 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      We deserve better. Much better. In order to run for office you have to be a Christian or lie and say you are a Christian. No one with a moral center could ever stomach politics, so sadly we just get what is left over. Rich, Bent, greedy liars. If we could have an atmosphere of tolerance then maybe, just maybe GOOD candidates would actually present themselves. I can dream, can't I?

      October 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      My point is this and this ONLY: Unless you are rich and/or willing to be on the take AND Christian or pretending to be, you can't get anywhere in Washington. That is bad because it omits the huge surplus of knowledgeable, intelligent and morally sound people we have in our great country from wanting to run for office.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  20. DamianKnight

    First!

    October 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bob White, Professional Flatulist

      Worst!

      October 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      You can rhyme!

      October 10, 2011 at 6:59 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.