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January 4th, 2012
12:10 AM ET

My Take: Iowa caucus results puncture myth of 'evangelical vote'

Editor's Note: Ralph Reed is founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

By Ralph Reed, Special to CNN

(CNN)–One of the most important sub-plots in the Iowa caucuses was which candidate would win the support of Iowa’s evangelical voters, who comprised 60 percent of the vote in 2008, and according to the CNN entrance poll, comprised 58% of the vote Tuesday night.

In the media’s instant analysis, a “splintering” of Iowa's evangelical vote among numerous candidates made it difficult for them to influence the selection of the Republican presidential nominee.

But this narrative is based on a caricature of evangelicals and other voters of faith. Consider this: 61% of self-identified evangelicals who attended a caucus Tuesday night in Iowa voted for a candidate who is either Roman Catholic (Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum) or Mormon (Mitt Romney, who won the caucuses, besting Santorum by eight votes ).

Here's how the evangelical vote broke down: 32% for Santorum, 18% for Ron Paul, 13% each for Romney, Gingrich and Rick Perry, 6% for Michele Bachmann and 1% for Jon Huntsman.

This suggests a more nuanced and complex portrait of voters of faith. They are often crudely portrayed as voting based solely on identity politics, born suckers for quotes from Scripture or “code words” laced in the speeches of candidates appealing to their spiritual beliefs.

Evangelical voters, it turns out, are a more sophisticated bunch, judging candidates on a broad continuum of considerations from their personal faith and character to leadership attributes and electability.

There is a story out of Iowa - a story about a faith community that has matured beyond voting for the “most evangelical” candidate as a “statement” and takes seriously the responsibility of electing someone to occupy the Oval Office at a time of great national testing.

The same is true of Tea Party voters, women voters, or other subgroups within the electorate. None is breaking overwhelmingly for a single candidate, primarily because so many candidates have made credible appeals for their support, and because there is no single consensus front-runner.

The truth is that evangelical vote has never been monolithic. Pat Robertson won strong support from his coreligionists in Iowa in 1988, catapulting his candidacy to national prominence, but still lost the caucuses to Bob Dole, and lost the evangelical vote to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in South Carolina.

George W. Bush won a third of the evangelical vote in Iowa in 2000, splitting that vote with Steve Forbes and more explicitly social conservative candidates like Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes. These voters march to their own drummer. They don’t bleat like sheep or move in herds, and they rarely respond en masse to endorsements.

This point is underscored by the entrance poll, which found that 42% of caucus-attenders list the economy as the number one issue in determining their vote, and 34% cite the budget deficit; only 14% listed abortion.

This is not to suggest that social issues are unimportant. No candidate can be competitive in Iowa (or beyond) without conservative credentials on the cultural agenda. Indeed, Santorum’s surge was in part a response to his deftly weaving the economic and social agendas together, arguing that it is impossible to have a vibrant economy without strong families.

It does suggest, as Kimberly Strassel recently observed in The Wall Street Journal, that evangelicals are embedded in the social and economic mainstream of American life and, as such, are motivated by a broad range of concerns, including jobs, taxes, the debt, and national security.

So when commentators prognosticate about the “evangelical vote,” we might want to ask them, “which one?” For there are there are many evangelical votes, many candidates who win their support, and a multitude of motivations for their engagement in the rough-and-tumble of American politics.

This is all to the good. It demonstrates that their civic involvement is a cause for celebration, not alarm, a sign of the health of our political system, not that it suffers from an anti-democratic or sectarian impulse.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ralph Reed.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Iowa • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (987 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    the reason their votes got spread around isn't because they're diverse... it's cause all their candidates suk so badly. they're just part of the republican merry-go-round. they just don't know who to vote for. if republicans had a decent candidate that was a super-christian, they'd get behind him. they were all behind perry at one time, but then he imploded. so stop giving evangelicals credit where it's not deserved.

    January 5, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  2. Kanye West

    CNN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ATHEIST PEOPLE!

    January 5, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • ashrakay

      Haha! Funniest comment ever!

      January 5, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  3. beingbeowulf

    Actually, Ralph, "when commentators prognosticate about the “evangelical vote” we might ask how this country has drifted so far from the intent of the Founding Fathers by granting Christianity such a prominent place in the political tent. Read what the Founding Fathers have to say about religion, in particular, Christianity. In the words of Thomas Jefferson: "And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." ..........To John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823. This is just one example from scores of anti-Christian and anti-dogma letters and writing from the Founding Fathers. How about this from the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams: "The government of the U.S. is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." Six of the seven Founding Fathers were Deists, not Christians. The one Christian was John Jay. Fortunately, it seems that more and more people are waking up in the 21st century and seeing through the hypocrisy of spiritual entrepreneurs like Ralph Reed, good friend of Jack Abramoff.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  4. ashrakay

    @Inconvenient Lack of Truth, Science, is not something that you "give". I cannot give my daughter science. If it were that simple, I'm sure someone would have given you science many years ago. Science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. To dumb it down for you, it is the method we use to observe and understand the world around us and it is based on observation, hypothesis and most importantly, EXPERIMENTATION THAT CAN LEAD TO VERIFIABLE AND REPEATABLE RESULTS. I assure you that you will find no such thing in the bible, because that would be equivalent to god signing his own death warrant.

    January 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      I am sure if you ask nice that god will speak again through a burning bush. totally repeatable.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  5. EatYouAlive

    What a joke this belief blog is. cnn should be embarrassed.

    January 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Mike in Dallas

    As a (non-evangelical) Christian, Ralph Reed's staggering hypricrisy is but a mirror to this warped, twisted subgroup of the extreme right. Sure, some of them vote for Bachmann, some for Palin, others for Santorum or Rick Perry, but all of these charlatans offer the same snake oil, backward, 18th Century solutions to 21st century problems. To me it is a sickening abomination of God's will that the most advanced nation on the face of the earth has to be held hostage to these willfully ignorant, dark-age dwelling crackpots, who turn concepts such as Capitalism into false religious idols which they expect people to worship mindlessly. Capitalism is a fine economic system and I'm all for it, but twisting it into a religion to be worshipped as if it was Christ Almighty is sickening....

    January 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  7. Reality

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

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

    January 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  8. gera

    Anybody is going to vote base on his/her own beliefs regarding what they are, as a Christian I vote base on my own beliefs, since more than half of Americans are not Christians they are voting base their on their own beliefs whatever they are "intelligence" and I don't care!!!. Please stop hating Christianity

    January 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Jim

    @Observer – A majority of congresspersons DID NOT vote against the Iraq War – the majority of them voted FOR it, which is why it passed. Among Democrats, 29 Senators, 82 House members voted FOR it. IT WOULD NOT HAVE PASSED if those Democrats did not vote for it, especially since the Senate was controlled by Democrats at the time. Nothing passes without Senate approval. And let's be clear: a MAJORITY of Democratic senators voted FOR it (29 to 21).

    IF Obama was president, IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED.

    And how does that have anything to do with anything? So what? He wasn't president at the time. He was barely a politician at the time.

    January 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Observer

      If left to Democrats, the MAJORITY of voters in the House would have voted against it.

      97% of Republicans voted FOR the war. So I guess you are right and the war was only 97% Republican.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      The moment Hillary Clinton stood on the floor of the congress and said that she had reviewed the reports that Bush was given and she supported the war in Iraq and other Dems voted with her it stopped being a republican war.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Also Curious

      Marks-

      From the republican point of view it's always good to have more than one set of prints on a weapon.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Marks from Middle River,

      LOL. The MAJORITY of Democrats in Congress didn't support her. Get back to reality.

      97% of REPUBLICANS voted for the war. The MAJORITY of Democrats didn't. FACTS.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Jim

      @Observer – You still don't seem to get that simply because 61% of the House Dems didn't vote for the war, means that Dems didn't support it, and thus, it was a Republican war. All of your conclusions are false. 82 Dems in the House did support it, and in the Senate, a MAJORITY of Dems supported it. Since the passage of the vote DEPENDED upon Democrats, and 111 Democrats voted for the war, it is thus a BIPARTISAN WAR.

      Besides that, in every other major war, Democrats in Congress have voted IN FAVOR OF war – in Vietnam, AND in the Gulf, not to mention all the tiny "police actions" we've had since then. Democrats vote for war all of the time. They also vote for greater expenditures all of the time – Debt spending has gone up each time Democrats control congress – usually on social programs. I know it's hard for you to accept that, but even the most perfunctory examination of the Congressional record will show you that.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Jim,

      97.4% of Republicans in Congress favored the war.
      Majority of Democrats voted against it. It never would have passed the House if left to Democrats.

      Bipartisan?

      LOL. Do you understand statistics AT ALL?

      January 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Observer. It is a interesting argument that you use the term most congressmen and women. Pretty much all of us are educated in basic civics. The House of Rep has more members than the Senate but that still leaves you with a Democratic controlled Senate that at 58% of the Democrats voted for the war in Iraq.

      January 5, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Observer

      Mark from Middle River,

      Yes the majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for the war.

      My statements are factual:

      The MAJORITY of Democrats in Congress voted against the war. You'd can't twist that into anything else.

      If "bipartisan" means that SOME of one party voted with the other party, then "bipartisan" would apply to nearly every bill in history and would be meaningless. If "bipartisan" means that the majority of both parties agreed on something, you lose. Dictionaries aren't clear about that, but I think it's fair to think that most people believe that "bipartisan" means both parties were in agreement in the majorities of each.

      If you want to play semantics, go ahead. If you want to face reality, the MAJORITY of Congressional Democrats OPPOSED it.

      Since you mentioned both houses, you must know that if the percentage of Democrats opposing the war kept the same percentage for all House members, the war NEVER would have happened; just like I have stated.

      January 5, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Larry L

      Many of the Congress on both sides would have voted against the war had Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld not "cooked the books" to indicate weapons of mass destruction. Remember their outing of Valerie Plame when her husband blew the whistle on that lie? It's a Republican War because Republicans falsified intelligence estimates to start the war.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  10. jack

    That crook Ralph Reed should be in prison. What happened – did CNN get bought out by Fox.

    January 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  11. Harry N

    Evangelicals are a cancer in our society.

    January 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Jim

      I'll see your hyperbole, and raise it with a "And atheism is a smallpox infection on society."

      January 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  12. frogprince

    Watch out for this hateful mind talk! Please, do not judge. It will come back on you. Look inside. We are One. This vast Universe is One. God is One. Vote your heart. Vote for the One you find to be strong and yet pure of heart. Hard! Hard! I know.

    January 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Brian

      You should leave your house and send your children back to public school, it'll do you good.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  13. bawana

    oh blinding light,,,
    oh light that blinds,,
    well i can't see,,
    so look out for me
    as sung to amazing grace

    January 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  14. frogprince

    I'm for Platonic meritroacy! Anyone who wants to be the President of the USA could be a be a crazy egotist. Let us DRAFT a few genius people from our best and brightest. Of course, they will not want to serve! We will have to shame them into the idea that it is their civic responsibility!

    January 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Harry N

      That actually sounds pretty good.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  15. bawana

    the evansuckuballs are a bunch of racist hypocrits,,,,,pandering from one to the other idiot repuke nominee after the other in hope of beating the anti-christ muslim that wasn't born here president ,,,hoping to make obama a 1 termer,,because the mighty white can not stand a black man in charge,,especially one that is smarter than them,,,,,,,,,,,and all the while losing there evansuckuballs ideology and principles they say the adhere to,,,,i think it is hilarious,,,all for their little god,,,,that by the way follows a similar script found in egyptian religion 2-3 thousand years before jesus and a persian one before the egyptian,,,religion is for the sheep and most repukes and teabags are just that,,,,,,, sheep,,,,ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    January 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  16. Michael

    When I dang ol' vote I vote for Jebus. The fact that you base your vote on faith, tells me you know little to nothing about politics, you are the reason that people make fun of conservatives. Not all of us are like these nut cases, on behalf of the right I would like to apologize for the religious crazies which make up 80% of our base.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Norman

      I wish the right was sufficiently coherent for a single spokesman to apologize for it.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Brian

      You and me both. I'm sick of the Republican party abandoning moderate east coast Republicans to pander to these wackjobs who don't represent these interests.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Don't worry Brian, this is the same on the other side as well. The problem is that moderate east Republicans are normally in states that often swing towards the democrat where as the others form a solid base for republicans. Just like there have been conflicts on the democrats side with gay rights groups, environmentalist and even with the African American community because after four years Obama had left them with no noticeable change. Even the overturn of Don't Ask Don't Tell, was done by Gay and Lesbian Republicans not the Obama white house.

      This is politics and the support gets the votes.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Observer

      "No noticeable change"? Only for the blind. Our troops are out of Bush's war in Iraq. Bin Laden is dead after Bush wasn't concerned about him. The stock market is WAY UP. The huge monthly loss of jobs is over.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • GodPot

      Shhhh! Observer!! Don't ruin the false narrative they have about Obama s' failure as a president!! Reality has little to do with how they want to perceive the "black Muslim Kenyan" that somehow got elected over their white Anglo-Saxon Christian offering. They mask their racism behind a thin veil of policy discontent, and when we make progress fixing the policy they just move on to something else to disguise their bigotry.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”"No noticeable change"? Only for the blind. Our troops are out of Bush's war in Iraq. Bin Laden is dead after Bush wasn't concerned about him. The stock market is WAY UP. The huge monthly loss of jobs is over.”

      Ok.... Let's take these one by one.

      Our troops are out ….. He has been in office for almost four years and now....according to his own admission.... pulled the troops out on the schedule set up by the Previous administration. That would be G.W.Bush. We won't even go into the 1600 that will staying stationed in the largest embassy on the planet or how we wanted to say but the Iraqi government told us to go. I will just say that Obama did what was the schedule setup by G.W.

      Bin Laden is dead..... Obama … according to his own admission... stated that it was his conference with …. G.W.Bush ….concerning the troop surge, Obama admitted and thanked the previous administration.

      Stock Market.... Yep the rich just keep getting richer and richer.....seems that all that bail out money that Obama gave his rich friends is paying off for the rich in American society. Hmm......then again from CNN....

      “The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 22 points, or 0.2%, according to early tallies.”

      The huge monthly loss of jobs is over.... Yeah, maybe there was this thing called the Christmas Holiday season and seasonal jobs. Hmm..... think what is going to happen when all of those troops from Iraq ….come home and back to this job market.

      January 5, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Observer

      Mark from Middle River,

      Now let's deal with some real facts:

      (1) Barack Obama has been in office just under THREE years, not four.
      (2) John McCain, the man the Republicans wanted as president right now, stated he didn't care how long it took, so he never claimed he would follow Bush's "plan" for troop withdrawal.
      (3) bin Laden is dead because Obama switched the emphaisis from Iraq, where Bush sent well over 10 times MORE troops than after bin Laden. It was Bush who wasn't concerned about bin Laden by his own admission.
      (4) Since Obama became president, the stock market is WAY UP – – well over 20% since Bush left it PLUMMETING. From the first to last day of Bush, the stock market FELL over 20%.

      Easy question: would you prefer the stock market today or the stock market on the day Bush left and it was plummeting? Now you are back in the real world.

      January 5, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  17. MERLA

    Mr. Intelligent man, your argument is suprisingly stupid. Let me remid you that morality is of humanity not divinity. When you have concrete evidence of otherwise then you can argue like an intelligent person. Non-religious people vote on both social and economic issues. No self respecting perosn would bypass the character of a person when considering them for president. I would encourage you to research and become more informed before you start to spit out un-intellegent arguments. Also, when you proclaim yourself to be intellegent, expect people to call you out on all of your stupidity.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  18. Richwood7

    In my recent post add Mao and Kim ll Sung as devoted members of the Republicans.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  19. Surprisingly intelligent religious man

    Just listen to the non-Christians on this page. Talk about hateful. You all do the same thing. You look at their qualities. You are all the same people who were sounding off about Herman Cain and said he needs to get out of the race because of the things he supposedly did. Why? Even if he did really do all that... what difference would it make? You don't believe in those standards anyway. You'll vote for Hitler if he knew how to get the economy straightened out. Right? What he did at that time was within his own legal standard... oh well. you might watch who you elect...

    January 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Snow

      Wow.. such intelligent remarks..

      on the side note, did you know that pope lives in Vatican which is smack in the Italy (that was the biggest chum of Nazis)? and did you know how much the great christian pope did to persuade the Nazis to stop? I will leave the answer to you to look up

      January 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Engineer in Raleigh

      Hey "surprisingly intelligent religious man"... You would do well to Google "Ralph Reed" (the author of this article). In one of the Abramoff scandals, he used the political clout of his "flock" to put a casino out of business: WHILE taking money from another casino to do so. Maybe people wouldn't look on the religious with such contempt if you all were not so deserving of it.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I agree that you should look at all of the qualities of a person when choosing to vote. I just have a hard time with a man who says he's going to bring "In god we trust" back to america, I think that it is that kind of thinking that fractures this nation even more. Work on fixing the economy before imposing your thistic views on others.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Surprisingly intelligent religious man,

      Speaking of Hitler, did you know that Hitler was raised as a Catholic and believed in God? Ooops.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Hmm. .... Martin Luther King and the majority of the abolitionist and later civil rights fighters held that there is a God. You can offer up Hitler but the Faithful can just offer up more that were great to counter.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Chrism

      You're right. Not surprisingly one thing revealed by these message boards is that consistently the insults come from the anti-Christians. Hitler gave a full copy of Nietzsche to Mussolini. Hitler in numerous places called Christianity a lie and weak and planned to eradicate it. It doesn't take much to see that nazi ideology was not Christian. The Christian indeed votes for the candidate they believe best, just like everybody else. Not my fault if I happen to find it a self-evident truth that the sanity of marriage comes from it being a sacrament from God. Santorum would do a better job on the economy than Obama. But how amazing that immoralists would actually vote against a better economy for fear that the government would protect a simple obvious truth that's been true since the founding of the country.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Observer

      ‘Lord, make us free!’ is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: ‘Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!’”
      - Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

      “Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise.”
      - Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

      January 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Chrism

      To take the public propaganda of Hitler which we all know he used effectively and often, and ignor the actual statements he made privately is nothing short of dishonest. Even so, even given an internal struggle within thhe man given his early upbringing and environment, to ignore the obvious fact that anyone can see that nazi ideology was not Christian is likewise dishonest.

      All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

      Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

      National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

      10th October, 1941, midday:

      Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

      14th October, 1941, midday:

      The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

      19th October, 1941, night:

      The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • GodPot

      " to ignore the obvious fact that anyone can see that nazi ideology was not Christian is likewise dishonest."

      How convenient for you to be able to disavow any Christian zealots who use the bible to call the masses to them and then misuse that power by claiming them non-Christian after the fact. You will notice that Hitler did not publicly proclaim any atheistic ideas but pushed Christianity and used it for its controlling power as many many before him had. It was not a call to atheism that was used to get the troops riled up and ready to throw the supposed Christ murdering Jews in the ovens. And it was not atheism that was used to massage the guilty consciences of those taking part in the brutality, it was your Gods name they were chanting, it was your God's name they used as their battle cry. Ignoring any of that history is whats really dishonest.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Observer

      Chrism,

      Good point. Politicians often lie about their true religious feelings to appease the religious ones. That's why there are so many Christians who think that key forefathers were Christians when they weren't.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Chrism

      @GodPot, I don't ignore the Christian emblems the nazi army wore, nor the Christian propaganda. But if you can't look deeper than surface propaganda you're obviously not going to see the truth. Hitler found the church xpedient. His quotes speak for themselves, he found it weak and planned to replace it with the "church of the third reich.". It is a known fact he read and ad irked the atheist Nietzsche and again gave a copy of his writings to atheist Mussolini. Really, ask yourself what is your point? It's not any matter of convenience, it is well and proper for any Christian to question if someone else does something and claims it to be a Christian action when it is obviously not. Nazi ideology was blatantly not Christian. Jesus said love your enemies. Even if hitler thought the Jews were his enemies he should have prayed for them. Nowhere do the nazi atrocities spring Dom Christianity and if you can't admit that I'd say you are being dishonest.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • GodPot

      @Chrism – "It's not any matter of convenience, it is well and proper for any Christian to question if someone else does something and claims it to be a Christian action when it is obviously not." How many of the Nazi's that were caught up in the religious fervor atheists? How many were devout Christians acting on what they perceived as a true threat to Christianity? It's likely we will never know the actual numbers but if you can seriously claim there were more of the former than the latter then you are either insane or delusional. The fact remains that Christianity's general blind faith has enabled many nefarious characters throughout history to hijack your book, which is almost as sad as the fact that even those whom many still revere as saints and leaders of the church left countless numbers of those they proclaimed as heretics dead in their wake. Wake up and stop being a tool...

      January 5, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Larry L

      Conservatives love to quote from the Bible with "The Lord helps those who help themselves". This is in reality credited to Adolph Hitler who used this comment quite often in speeches and writings. Interesting you would go there...

      January 5, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  20. frogprince

    For the evangelicals! Your beliefs are far greater ememies of truth than a lie!!

    January 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Curious

      What is truth?

      January 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Dik Schunary

      truth
      noun
      1. the true or actual state of a matter.
      2. conformity with fact or reality; verity.
      3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.
      4. the state or character of being true.
      5. actuality or actual existence.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Also Curious

      Let's go with 2. Are the beliefs of evangelicals something that a lie is not?

      January 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Commojoe

      Oh, I see, because someone truly believes in an evangelical (outreach) way and wants to encourage others also to believe, THAT ALONE is dangerous? Well, then we'll just have to do away with ALL religion, ALL politics, and ANYTHING that requires strong conviction, now, won't we?

      January 4, 2012 at 10:38 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.