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Report tracks explosion of religious lobbying in Washington
A new report finds that religious groups engaged in lobbying or advocacy around Washington employ at least 1,000 people.
November 22nd, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Report tracks explosion of religious lobbying in Washington

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Lobbying and advocacy by religious groups in Washington have exploded in recent decades, increasing fivefold since 1970 to become a nearly $400 million industry, a new Pew report finds.

More than 200 groups are doing faith-related lobbying and advocacy in the nation’s capital, compared to fewer than 40 in 1970, according to the report. Put together, the groups employ at least 1,000 people.

The report, released Monday by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that religious groups spend $390 million a year to influence U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

“About one-in-five religious advocacy organizations in Washington have a Roman Catholic perspective (19%) and a similar proportion is evangelical Protestant in outlook (18%), while 12% are Jewish and 8% are mainline Protestant,” according to the report, called "Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C."

“But many smaller U.S. religious groups, including Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, also have established advocacy organizations in the Washington area,” the report said.

The number of Muslim groups engaged in lobbying and advocacy in Washington (17) is about the same as the number of mainline Protestant groups engaged in such work (16).

The report said that the most common domestic issues for religious groups are:

The relationship between church and state;

Civil rights and liberties for religious and other minorities;

Bioethics and life issues, including abortion, capital punishment and end-of-life issues;

Family/marriage issues, including definition of marriage, domestic violence and fatherhood initiatives.

The top international issues for religious groups are religious freedom, human rights, debt relief and other economic issues, and the promotion of peace and democracy, the report found.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Foreign policy • Politics

soundoff (744 Responses)
  1. Washington dc tours

    You know thus considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren't involved unless it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs excellent. Always care for it up!

    April 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  2. MaryM

    From a previous post: Tax any organization that employs lobbyists. Their God(s) shouldn't get a free ride on my back, in my womb, my genitals or any other of their favored modes of transportation.

    November 25, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  3. ChrisM

    That's all the U.S. needs, a religious right wing nut job country. Because it has work out SO WELL for the religious countrys over in the middle east.

    November 25, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Emine

      shawtyheartsmakeup1 on November 7, 2011 to be hoenst i have never been asked this question but for you i'll answer, well my favourite food has got to be chineese noodles and the soup just the best

      March 4, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  4. Kebos

    And this is why the US is failing. Way too much emphasis on the big boogie man in the sky and not enough attention to reality.

    November 25, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  5. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wnzTU4LviI&w=640&h=390]

    November 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  6. AGuest9

    Not surprised at all about Washington and the religious lobby. Read the report "Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study"

    November 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • fred

      Figures. Yet another attack on Christians.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor herbie. You must have really had your azz handed to you, to be so bitter.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  7. GodofLunaticsCreation

    Just read my comments on page 10 and 11. Still uncontested. Debate is over.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  8. Brad

    AvdBerg

    I am a Christian and I'm familiar with almost all of your references. I'm unclear on what you believe about them. Without referring to your book or website, can you provide a clear and concise statement of your doctrine?

    November 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • .........

      Dude.... get this "The viewpoints made by the author in this book are not based on any interpretation. For this reason, anyone (including scholars and theologians), would have a difficult time arguing any of the viewpoints in this book. " Yet their entire website is based on their interpretations of the bible including their book. It's hysterical! Let's face it people if you weren't offering your interpretation there would be no need for book or a website because you would ONLY use the bible without and of YOUR opinions thrown in. LOL!

      Ha...Ha...Ha...Ha....Ha...WhaaaaaHAAAAAA!

      "The viewpoints made by the author in this book are not based on any interpretation"

      Now Read this...

      "Can’t the law makers of the nations even understand and recognize that the anatomy of the male and female body was created for the sole purpose of procreation? For this reason God created them male and female (Genesis 2:25; Matthew 19:5). Through his own free will mankind concocted the idea of homosexuality for his own pleasures as God has given them up to such vile affections (Romans 1:24-32; Jude 10). Consider the problem of pedophilia and the sexual perversion of priests and ministers, in which children are preferred as sexual objects. There are many other forms of sexual perv ersi on that we will not even mention. It is all an abomination in God’s eyes as this whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). One thing is clear that even the animal kingdom knows the difference and their behavior towards their own gender and the younger ones can be considered more respectful than that of mankind.”"

      “Can’t the law makers of the nations even understand and recognize that the anatomy of the male and female body was created for the sole purpose of procreation?” ~ OPINION

      “One thing is clear that even the animal kingdom knows the difference and their behavior towards their own gender and the younger ones can be considered more respectful than that of mankind.” ~OPINION especially since science has proven otherwise.

      Ha...Ha...Ha...Ha....Ha...WhaaaaaHAAAAAA!

      November 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Brad

      Disappointing

      November 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Brad

      AvdBerg

      I think you are saying that true doctrine comes entirely from as uninterpreted a reading of scripture as possible and by seeking to do the will of God? You refer to John 7:16-19: "Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

      How does one gain certain and accurate knowledge of God's will?

      November 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Brad, my first response as to "how" would be "insanity". And Av certainly doesn't disappoint.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Curious

      Is AvdBerg talking today or is he fully automated?

      November 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do YOU know whether someone is a Christian, you pretentious twit? You aren't fit to judge others. Bugger yourself.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Brad

      AvdBerg

      If I am not Christian then how do I become Christian? Is my understanding of it too simple? Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

      November 24, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Kebos

      If I was starting a religion I too would make it such that not believing in me would eternally damn you. Christians are the most gullible of the human species. Of that, there is no doubt.

      November 25, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • ......

      "Through transformation and conversion by God, not by man (religion – 2 Cor. 11:13-15). This is why we call mankind everywhere to repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit you are of) unto God (Acts 26:18). We have provided the article 'Repent' on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca for your perusal.
      Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7). You can know of god's perfect will as well, if you so desire. It is a personal choice."

      Don't you just love how this person does such a great job twisting the scriptures to sell their book and website. WahhhAAAAAA HAHAHAHA....yet at the same time accuse CNN of doing the same thing. HAAAAHAAAAWaHHHAAAAA! You've got to love self righteous hypocrites!

      November 28, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  9. Snow

    Just realized something about Christians in general while reading this nutcase AvdB's comments..

    Christians in general when they "spread the word of god" are like the butcher who holds a turkey down to cut its neck and kill it, and then hypocritically say, "Thank you turkey for letting me kill you".

    Like the turkey walks up to the butcher and stretches its neck nice and long and chants "Kill me .. Kill me"..

    November 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Kebos

      Totally agree. The words of the new testament were written by man for man. And over the years are twisted and enhanced to make their belief even more improbable. Even more totally ridiculous.

      November 25, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Leroy

      Hey Snow. Come gobble this nig ga turkey down ya throat you stupid piece of whitebread.

      November 28, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  10. Get This

    like i sad this is BS i like men and that against the bible

    November 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Get This

      Ahahahaha... a troll for me - how special!

      I must've said something to rattle the bars on your padded cell...

      November 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • .....

      AvdBerg is a TROLL – click the report abuse link when ever you see them post. IT's a cult so don't bother visiting their site, all they do is LIE!

      November 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • .....

      "And you wonder who is pulling your country into the gutter. "

      That's why you think your Canada is in the gutter! You are a LIAR and NOT a christian.

      November 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • gary

      God is pretend, just a myth. Bible is twisted ancient folklore/

      November 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Av, what are your qualifications? Where did you get your education?

      November 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • fred

      Go ahead and list your qualifications tom. Tell us all how awesome you think you are.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the matter, herbie? Can get your "date" inflated?

      November 24, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  11. Greg

    THIS is why I want a smaller and less powerful government with rights that the government has to respect.

    1. The amount of power people have given our elected officials is unreal. People love to vote more power when THEIR guy is in charge, but don't want that same power for someone who has different views. Can't have it both ways.

    2. If we have rights (which we technically do, but that's a whole other issue) then no amount of lobbying can take those rights away.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • WolfAk

      Keep in mind, then, that these same religious groups will then work their magical money and power on smaller amounts of individuals, most likely at the state level. Then, if "states rights" trumped federal, then you would have wildly different laws and regulations traveling from state to state.. which inevitably would make some southern states just plain scary to visit or drive through, becoming more and more isolated.

      November 24, 2011 at 3:40 am |
  12. Moore

    These new Republicans are nothing but parrots without a thought in their heads or honesty in their hearts. Seriously.

    November 23, 2011 at 3:46 am |
  13. Bobs friend

    HellBent:
    In the Book of Mark, Jesus explains that some of The Law was crafted in light of mans fallen condition "Because your hearts were hard" In other words, some Law does not enshrine a Gods Perfect Moral Standard, rather, people were so far away from righteousness, that Moses wrote some law in the context of existing sin.
    Mark 10:2-12

    2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
    3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
    4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
    5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    If you really want to get into it,
    There is quite an elaborate discourse on the topic here: http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html

    November 23, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • HellBent

      As suspected, you completely dodged the question.

      That website is asburd – a bunch of babble that attempts to hide its absurdities.: "much of what passed as slavery in the ANE is no longer considered such in socio-economic understandings of the period and area."
      So, slavery is not slavery. I've heard the whole 'it wasn't slavery, that's how people paid off debt arguments' before. It's a ridiculous argument. It's putting lipstick on a pig. People could be bought and sold. People could be beaten to death with no recourse, so long as that death occurred the following day. Or, basically, it was acceptable at the time. Thus, your god is a moral relativist. Your article proves my point.

      November 23, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Bobs friend

      That Website was just interesting reading, not intended to be a defense of the Bible. I thought you would find it interesting.
      You said below that you do not reject the Christian values, but how as an atheist how do you propose to produce, for example, kindness.
      From what I've see on this board, the atheists are the most unkind of the lot.

      Jesus spoke a lot about thought life..... For you as an atheist, is there such a thing as an immoral thought?

      Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

      Essentially, you can see what is in a mans spirit by what comes out of his mouth.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Bobs friend

      @Hellbent
      Here the Apostle Paul describes the Law as weakened by sinful nature, similar to what Jesus was saying.

      Romans 8:3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Bobs friend

      The fact that moral value existed well before Christianity supports a basic Christian concept:

      That One of the proofs that God exists is that man has a universal moral sense.

      The problem isn't that man does not know right & wrong, it is that he refuses to follow it.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • Namegame

      There is no such thing as sin. I am not a sinner. There was no "original sin". Your whole idea of sin is based on a falsehood.
      The story of Adam and Eve is ridiculous and impossible. There can be no sin based on an impossible fairy tale allegory what-have-you bunch of nonsense.
      And Jesus, if he even existed, didn't have a clue. He had no more knowledge of the world than any other primitive of those times. That isn't the son of a god, that's a religious extremist. His own religion had him arrested for making stuff up.
      No sin means no reason for atonement. No reason for Jesus to act like a con-artist trying to stay one step ahead of the Roman cops. Nope.
      Your basis for sin begins in Genesis, a book no one can take seriously without becoming schizophrenic about it.
      Genesis is a joke. So outlandish and messed up that people will tie themselves in knots trying to explain it.
      Jesus was just a brain-damaged young man who started a cult when it was illegal to do so and got caught.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • HellBent

      "That One of the proofs that God exists is that man has a universal moral sense."

      Except that we don't. (and even if we did, that wouldn't be a proof) We used to find slavery acceptable, now we don't. We used to flay people alive for stealing, now we don't. We used to burn people for being heretics, now we don't. That there is no true universal moral sense, but that we all have morals that have common underpinnings is evidence that our sense or morals is derived through evolution.

      November 23, 2011 at 3:33 am |
    • HellBent

      "how as an atheist how do you propose to produce, for example, kindness.
      From what I've see on this board, the atheists are the most unkind of the lot.

      Jesus spoke a lot about thought life..... For you as an atheist, is there such a thing as an immoral thought"

      I think your biased eye in reading posts on the boards – the lack of kindness from some definitely comes from both directions.

      It is wholly possible to have morals without a deity – evolutionary theories explain this nicely with evidence and experimentation to back up claims. In fact, there have been a few recent studies that argue the evolutionary importance of religion (religion fulfills the need for a system of law and justice in small and primitive societies). So yes, there is certainly such thing as an immoral thought.

      November 23, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Identured servitude to pay off debts was a deal offerred strictly to fellow Hebrews.
      Goyem were nothing more than Chattel.
      Leviticus 25:44-46 "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour."

      November 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • claybigsby

      sorry, bob. quoting words written by Men thousands of years ago is no proof of your god. Try again.

      November 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Anneke

      Saurabh Rajadhyax Posted on There are no easy ansrews / solutions to the issues raised by the incident As always tendency will be to argue whether this is an law & order issue or a societal issue etc etc. The obvious answer to this is that is it is a combination of multiple issues1) Law & Order Something is an deterrent if folks know that if you do the crime you do the time. In our justice system, unfortunately it takes a lot of time to decide whether someone has to do the time. More often than not guilty are acquitted while innocent languish in jail. Specific to this incident I am assuming on all available evidence, this will be an open and shut case. Hopefully the witness friend will stay strong (public awareness of the case will help here). Police also will do its job unless there is political intervention. Constant monitoring of such cases is the only way I see to maintain pressure and ensure that everyone concerned does what is right.2) Societal issues This is where the main issues come up. Someone will say, folks belonging to certain states, communities, class, literacy levels etc etc are prone to indulge in this kind of behavior. I am not sure if statistically or even anthropologically we can prove any of this. But let us not forget that many of us including the industry the author works in have in myriad of ways contributed to the situation.For example if we look logically, Vivek Oberoi did the right thing by calling that press conference and talking about Salman's physical abuse of Aishwariya. May be he did it for publicity, may be he thought that was a way to build relationship with Ms. Rai but heck he did what many of us we will do i.e. Raise voice against abuse/violence against women. Just look at the reactions within and outside the film industry to figure out how Vivek and Salman were perceived after that press conference.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  14. tallulah13

    Lobbyists are destroying this nation. It's time to get rid of the mechanism that makes bribery legal, and penalize those politicians who sell their offices to the highest bidder.

    Also, any religion that lobbies for government favors should lose their tax-exempt status and should be investigated and fined by the IRS.

    November 23, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  15. Reality

    The largest of the lobbyists:(note the large sums of money being spent by health "profiteers" on lobbying )

    Lobbying Client Total 1998-2009

    US Chamber of Commerce $606,758,180
    American Medical Assn $220,832,500
    General Electric $196,410,000
    AARP $175,702,064
    American Hospital Assn $174,890,431
    Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $173,403,920
    AT&T Inc $150,471,757
    Northrop Grumman $143,005,253
    Exxon Mobil $138,886,942
    National Assn of Realtors $138,417,380
    Blue Cross/Blue Shield $136,317,077
    Business Roundtable $134,030,000
    Edison Electric Inst-itute $133,995,999
    Verizon Communications $132,534,841
    Lockheed Martin $122,340,423
    Boeing Co $121,528,310
    General Motors $106,914,483
    Southern Co $104,620,694
    Freddie Mac $96,194,048
    Altria Group $93,650,000

    Would the move to end tax exemptions for any group generate the added taxes/contributions needed to pay for universal health care??

    November 22, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Bobs friend

      Would you look at that, not one Church in the bunch!!

      Take a breath folks!!

      November 23, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Ang

      It's a systemic problem. If you want to freeze the tax code when it is so dysfunctional and then base your pseudo-budget on those revenue numbers, your numbers are going to be out-of-whack before you've taken a single step.
      A quickie list:
      Step 1: Massive crackdown on corruption at every level. Money is not speech. Bribes are not speech.
      Step 2: Get the tax code into order. That means a fair and reasonable tax on everyone above the poverty line.
      Step 3: Massive stimulus directly into the economy by paying all these unemployed people to work on infrastructure to start.
      Step 4: Start shaping a budget with the new numbers. Remember that a country is not a business. A country's budget should never be approached as if it were a checkbook needing to be balanced at all times.
      Step 5: Since so many will fight to preserve the corruption, step 1 will have never happened, so why did you read the whole list?
      Step 6: Find a nice cardboard box and insulate it as best you can. Lots of different ways to insulate a box.
      Step 7: Don't forget you need something to go to the bathroom in, like a pail or leak-proof box. Line it with a plastic bag for easy clean-up.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Real Stuff

      I'd just like to point out that those numbers are only what they were willing to report and do not accurately portray the real numbers nor how and where they are spent.
      So that list is off by quite a bit I'd say, thanks to corruption that remains undoc.umented.

      As to your question, that list has nothing to do with tax-breaks, so it is useless in determining the effects of any taxation.
      I think that, if we were to tax churches and other "non-profits"(a false name if I ever saw one), the addition of revenue could be quite large indeed. Perhaps even large enough to cover our rear ends against the stuff coming down the pike.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Reality

      From the non-profit's mouthpiece:

      "•Nonprofits represent over 8% of the national GDP, with assets of $2.3 trillion.

      •67% of American households give over $200 billion per year to nonprofits. "

      Now if said "non-profits" were required to pay real estate taxes on their land and building assets, say 5% a year, that would add about $50 billion dollars (assuming half of the assets are in real estate) to the local communities.

      And better yet, if we donated our money to pay off the national debt instead, we would finally put an end to "non-profits" (and religion) and significanty put a dent in the debt. (i.e. a trillion dollars in five years).

      November 23, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Reality

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:

      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror :

      One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:

      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!i.e. No Easter, no Christianity.

      The Mormon ti-thing eempire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and non-profits since there is there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses probably never existed.

      Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • gary

      We have the worst gov't money can buy.

      November 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Reality

      gary et al:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      - Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      - Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      - Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      - North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      - Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      - The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      - – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      - Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      - Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      - Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      - Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      - The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      - the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      - Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      - Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      November 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Dharam

      LoveIsMakeup1 on November 7, 2011 My favorite food Hmmm lol I love all food but pablroby a nice crisp salad lol(:And btw your gorgeous.-3

      March 2, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I have yet to see a single thumper give a good reason for not taxing churches that lobby and promote political candidates.

    Chris? Chard?

    Oh, never mind. Idiocy isn't wanted.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • fred

      Can't communicate without insults.
      Unable to handle the fact others have different views.
      Negative as humanly possible ALL the time.
      Temper tantrums in nearly every post.

      There's a word to describe Tom.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Chad

      Churches can not promote political candidates and their lobbying is heavily restricted:

      "Colloquially, a 501(c) organization or simply "a 501(c)" is an American tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation or association. Section 501(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), provides that 28 types of nonprofit organizations are exempt from some federal income taxes. Sections 503 through 505 set out the requirements for attaining such exemptions. Many states refer to Section 501(c) for definitions of organizations exempt from state taxation as well." – wikipedia

      Organizations that file under 501c3 status include:
      Nonprofit old-age homes,
      Parent-teacher associations,
      Charitable hospitals or other charitable organizations,
      Alumni associations,
      Schools,
      Chapters of the Red Cross,
      Boys' or Girls' Clubs, and
      Churches.
      http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/nonprofit-overview.php

      In order to remain tax-exempt under 501(c)(3), churches must abide by strict guidelines that prohibit election activity. The Code states in relevant part that 501(c)(3) organizations cannot “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” I.R.C. Sec. 501(c)(3). Thus, as a 501(c)(3) organization, churches are strictly forbidden from supporting or opposing a candidate for public office. To do so jeopardizes their tax-exempt status. Churches cannot engage in any of the following activities under the federal tax law:

      Cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office
      Cannot make any communication—either from the pulpit, in a newsletter, or church bulletin—which expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office
      Cannot make expenditures on behalf of a candidate for public office or allow any of their resources to be used indirectly for political purposes (e.g., use their phones for a phone bank)
      Cannot ask a candidate for public office to sign a pledge or other promise to support a particular issue
      Cannot distribute partisan campaign literature
      Cannot display political campaign signs on church property

      A 501(c)(3) organization, including a church, is allowed to engage only in “insubstantial” lobbying
      http://ffrf.org/faq/state-church/churches-and-political-lobbying-activities1/

      November 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • fred

      Chad, don't bother wasting your time trying to explain anything to Tom. It'll never agree with ANYTHING you have to say. Tell it the sky is blue, and it'll argue that it's not. That is it's nature. Just ignore all of it's posts. Better yet, report them. All it does is kick and scream like a small child when it does not get it's way. It is not worth speaking to, addressing, or even acknowledging further.

      November 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Felder

      Way to show that Christian love and forgiveness, fred.

      You are such a failure as a Christian. Maybe you should become an atheist. We don't usually act like such hypocrites as you.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Bobs friend

      @ Felder:
      Christians readily admit that we fail at attaining perfection in thought, word and deed, nevertheless, we still hold those values of Love and Forgiveness as goals and ideals.

      We do not use the fact that we fail as an excuse to reject good moral standards, giving up and rationalizing whatever behavior we see fit in the moment. That is Moral Relativism and we reject it as simply a tool for people to rationalize.

      Col 3:12 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • HellBent

      @Bobs friend – but the god of abraham is a moral relativist, right? Otherwise how do you defend the laws of Leviticus? Unless you actually think that it's ok to beat slaves so long as you don't kill them, and cotton blends is an abomination.

      And there's really no other way to explain the whole shellfish thing which was a law and then was later rescinded.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Bobs friend

      @Hellbent:

      There were hundreds of Laws in the old Testament, and despite generations of devout Jews attempting to obey them, it was impossible. Because man is incapable of obeying even the most simple and beneficial Laws. People can't even keep their OWN Law.. New Years Resolutions!
      Gods purpose in all that Law was to demonstrate emphatically that mankind cannot and will never produce his own perfect righteousness, that man had to be morally redeemed–saved– from his hopeless moral state.

      JN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, the whosoever believes in Him will not die, but have everlasting life.
      I WILL pray for you my man!! AMEN!

      November 23, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • HellBent

      "Gods purpose in all that Law was to demonstrate emphatically that mankind cannot and will never produce his own perfect righteousness, that man had to be morally redeemed–saved– from his hopeless moral state."

      That doesn't even touch upon the whole beat your slaves law. Please explain how that is righteous. You comment barely related to mine at all. I'm guessing you can't stay on topic because there is absolutely no way that beating one's slaves could ever be considered moral in today's age.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Bobs friend

      Verse please, brother.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • HellBent

      I've been primarily referring to Exodus 21: 20-21 which says that an owner won't be punished so long as the slave he beats lives for a day or two.

      Exodus 21: 7-11 deals with se.x slaves

      Leviticus 25: 44-46 talks about how slaves of foreigners are treated as property and can be inherited.

      So please explain how these are righteous laws that we immoral people can't possibly live up to.

      November 23, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Bobs friend

      @Hellbent
      I posted at the top.
      I do have a question for you. Do you reject the Christian values of forgiveness, Charity, patience kindness, gentleness, etc?

      November 23, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • HellBent

      "Do you reject the Christian values of forgiveness, Charity, patience kindness, gentleness, etc?"

      Those are human values, taught well before christianity developed and in places that christianity didn't reach for many centuries. Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals. So, no, I don't reject those human values

      November 23, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • What IF

      Bobs friend, "I WILL pray for you my man!! AMEN!"

      What if some Muslim person announces that they will pray to Allah that you will accept him?

      What if some Hindu person announces that they will pray that you will accept Vishnu?

      What if some Rastafarian announces that they will pray that you accept Haile Selassie as your savior?

      Your prayers will do no more than theirs. Your prayers will do no more than make you feel that you have power and control.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Bobs friend

      I've seen prayers answered instantly.. unlikely things.. I've have many experiences with God. You can experience the same if you will humble yourself, repent of your known sins, and ask God to show you the truth.

      I'll take your post as a personal prayer request.
      Prayer is not about feelings, power or control. Prayer is about seeking and discerning Gods will.
      I know for sure that it is NOT Gods will that you should go on in your life without knowing Him. So that is my prayer for you...

      May God Bless you by revealing Himself to you in your moment of need.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Namegame

      Nothing like the arrogance and overweening pride of a believer. I guess the Holy Spirit is made of bullshlt and vanity.
      Disgusting. Thanks for showing us your true colors, bobsfriend.

      November 23, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • What IF

      Bobs friend, "I've seen prayers answered instantly.."

      I've seen wishes upon stars granted too... and fingers crossed for luck which brought success...

      I imagine that you mean well, and as a former believer, I know the self-induced awe and ecstasy that you feel; but there is no-one there, Bobs friend, you are talking to yourself.

      November 23, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • claybigsby

      "I've seen prayers answered instantly.. unlikely things.. I've have many experiences with God."

      Please give some examples of your prayers being answered instantly. I would love to hear this.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • gary

      Tax all churches. The reap the benefits of taxes; roads, sewer, police, fire dept, etc.

      November 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not my post. As if you couldn't tell, unless you're a complete moron.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, ferdie, there's a word. It's "educated". I actually understand the difference between "its" and "it's", and between faith and facts.

      You, of course, don't.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, by the way, herbie the t urd burglar, yer disguise ain't workin'.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • fred

      Yet you still can't figure out what the word "propagate" means. And the original post was in fact yours. It's in the usual bitter hag dialect.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, herbie, it's your post. Not mine. And "propagate"? That word doesn't mean what you think it means, herbie. I suggest you re-read the definition. Move your lips and go slowly. Rinse and repeat, as needed. If that doesn't work, try using a thesaurus.

      One does not "propagate" the past.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I suspect herbie meant "perpetuate the past" or something to that effect, but English is difficult for him.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:43 am |
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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.