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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. outdoor tv case

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    April 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
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    April 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  3. lilly

    Why is Ralph Reed on CNN anyway. Don't they do background checks? This man is SOOOOO corrupt.

    February 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  4. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-eOazoZt1g&w=640&h=360]

    January 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  5. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV7BdpaulFg&w=640&h=360]

    January 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  6. Iqbal Khan

    Santorum: Iranians' 'Principle Virtue' To Die For God
    'Is An Encouragement For Them To Use' Nukes

    By Eli Clifton

    Santorum's Iran policy appears to be framed, in no small part, by his extremist views on Islam and a belief that the Islamic Republic's leadership is inherently irrational and suicidal.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30191.htm

    January 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Iqbal Khan

    The New York Times is Misleading the Public on Iran

    By Robert Naiman

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30187.htm

    January 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  8. Max Blaska

    I don't know if you read the comments Mr. Reed but you are a false prophet and a false teacher and you are not an evangelical, you are an apostate who by your dealings with Tom Delay proved that you are a servant of Mammon and not God, you should be the last person talking about Religious Issues. Please watch My Video where I explain it more in detail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yMVeWUfso0 Look at these comments, look at them like a dog is forced to look at his own mess, you have caused them, you and the Moral Majority, Christian Cooaltion have done more damage to the Kingdom of God than a thousand atheists.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Max Blaska

      I am also sorry if this comes off as abusive but I am really sick and tired of religious hypocrites painting my faith in a terrible light.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  9. Disgusted Republican

    Evangelicals won't be happy until they foist their religeous? beliefs on everyone else. They seem to think that the United States is a theocracy instead of a republic. This mostly lunic fringe is a danger to the survival of the United States.

    January 5, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Nancy

      Rick Santorum has done more harm to the gay community than Bill Clinton, Bobb Barr, Bill Frist, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich or George W. Bush. It is no wonder that the religious freaks would reward him with the executive office.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Essie

      Looks like they just voted for the two top persons who breed with reckless abandon. Large families are associated with love of God. It helped that Santorum lost a child and has shared it with anyone who will listen. His history of anti-gay legislation must have been a sweetener like no other. Don't tell me that Iowans are worried about the economy and so selected Rick Santorum. He has no economic credentials. These Iowans who voted were hard core white religious conservatives and their top two selections reveal just that.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Justin

      What a great attempt by Reed to dig his people out of the stereotypical hole that they have dug for themselves. They don't give one hoot about the economy. Their life-long passion is the protection of the Holy Trinity at all cost. Don't believe otherwise.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • OhPlz

      "Rick Santorum has done more harm to the gay community than Bill Clinton, Bobb Barr, Bill Frist, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich or George W. Bush. It is no wonder that the religious freaks would reward him with the executive office."

      Oh and don't forget that in 2006, Rick Santorum took this honor as one of the most corrupt politicians in Senate. That shows how nuts the religious freaks and gullible.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tatum

      The vote was split among a field of evangelicals in every race that he mentioned. Talk to me about what evangelicals do in a general election and I might be more apt to believe your story that evangelicals aren't as robotic, rigid, cold, humorless and myopically focused on baby Jesus as the world would think.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Ted

      The moral of this story is that evangelicals in Iowa saw all of the white horses running and voted for one. There were no other colors or flavors to vote for which means that this story is about as senseless as having Iowa as the first in the nation to choose candidates. Reed is grasping for straws and any inkling of light at the end of a very dark and boring evangelical tunnel.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Salty Bob

      will never bend s knee to any king any man or any god, in the name of sanity those who will be saved are those who follow the rule of science as religion dies not fast enough.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hmm.... but according to a link that a Atheist posted a few months back... The religions and Faith are still growing. Even the Catholics are still growing.

      Maybe, the sanity will be when more folks such as yourself turn to the path of tolerance.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Juan in El Paso

    The only people who think there is a religious vote is the meida and left wing liberal nuts who attempt to portray all conservitives as rolling in the pews religious nuts. It would see as this story is discounting that as a myth. ALL bias liberal media must find, attack and destroy the writer and slap them back into line.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Kara

      This story is fantasy land thinking. ALL of the candidates have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. ALL of these candidates were religious. Any candidate who wasn't religious would not have received one vote. You are seeing Mother Mary's in the tortillas again. There is no information to glean when ALL of the candidates were religious.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  11. Reality

    Only for the "newbies":

    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.)

    See added details on p. 18.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Daniel B.

      Well, that was boring. My wife is quite Pro-Life, and she voted for Obama. Your generalizationss are only matched by your policital science ignorance. Find a local college or university, and take a few classes. But take the GED first....

      January 5, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Rick

      As usual, you folks don't need any real facts to cloud your ideology. Just make em up, and when confronted with the truth, cling even closer to your misinformation.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Reality

      As noted previously on p. 18:

      "Facts on Contraceptive Use

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
      January 2008

      "WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a con-traceptive method.[2]

      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use cont-raceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

      WHO USES CON-TRACEPTIVES?

      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had int-ercourse have used at least one con-traceptive method.[2](and men?)

      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inte-rcourse; or are not se-xually active.[2]

      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using con-traceptives.[2] (and men?)

      • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing con-traception.[2] (and men?)

      WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice con-traception use reversible methods, such as oral con-traceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

      FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

      Method
      Typical

      Pill (combined) 8.7
      Tubal sterilization 0.7
      Male condom 17.4
      Vasectomy 0.2

      Periodic abstinence 25.3
      Calendar 9.0
      Ovulation Method 3.0
      Sympto-thermal 2.0
      Post-ovulation 1.0

      No method 85.0"

      (Abstinence) 0

      (Masturbation) 0

      More facts about contraceptives from

      guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

      Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002

      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
      Pill 11,661 30.6
      Male condom 6,841 18.0 "

      i.e.
      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

      i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

      1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
      during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

      January 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  12. FreeThinker

    Organized religion is "blind faith" based on FEAR!

    January 5, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Daniel B.

      Not all of us. Quit generalizing.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • GodPot

      Yes all of you. Every single last one of you has to at some point leave the firm footing of fact and float free into the void that is blind faith. You have no choice if you wish to continue believing in invisible sky fairy's.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I agree, there are those that do attend churches that preach "Hand of an angry God" view of Faith, but maybe you need to visit a church or two because I know ours and it is of the Joy and Love of Jesus message.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Mayfly

      And fear is perpetuated by a lack of faith.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  13. brian

    There never was a real separation between church and state, it was a political lie used by the founding fathers to con the people into submission, remember Washington would have been King but he said the people would not stand for it, go read your history people

    January 5, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • GodPot

      I could not care less about what the "founding fathers" intended since it is a debate that can go on forever and no one can prove it one way or the other. They are dead, I am alive. And I need more than just a thin barrier between Church and State, we need a demilitarized zone between them.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  14. Dejan

    I live in Des Moines and know a guy they took a quote from, Josh Foreman. I had no idea he was that mentally insane. Probably explains why he works for Wells Fargo. I can't be believe he actually thinks we shouldn't have seperation of church and state! Christian Taliban!

    January 5, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • thes33k3r

      No kidding. He clearly doesn't understand the implications of what he is saying. He (Foreman) also says that we shouldn't have freedom from religion. What does he mean? Is he saying that I should not be allowed to be an atheist? It is because of people like him that I am vocally and actively opposed to religion.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  15. conoclast

    Maybe the "evangelicals" have finally done line the bumpersticker says: instead of being born again, this time they've indeed
    grown up. Welcome to the world!

    January 5, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  16. JimAR

    It's time for all real Christians to stand up for separating Church and State. Otherwise, a small group of religious crackpots is going to give us all a bad name.

    January 5, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • JimAR

      Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar and to God the things that are God.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Ichiban

      Where's the Islamic vote?

      January 5, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Daniel B.

      Too late. The Far Right has already given Christians a bad name. Too much hate, and not enough grace.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Reality

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

      January 5, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Salty Bob

      It's time for all real Christians to just go away and admit they been taken by the biggiest lie of all time, their is no god never was never will be.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Please explain the lie to us Bob, help us understand

      January 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Reality

      Assisting Salty Bob:

      Starting with the Infamous Angelic Cons:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      January 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  17. Phil

    Religion is a safety blanket for people who don't understand science.

    January 5, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Daniel

      You have my vote!!

      January 5, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Ron

      II understand Science and I have Faith.
      Do not assume all faithful people are uneducated in the science of how God created this universe.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Daniel B.

      Not all of us of faith are anti-science. But those religious extremeists who ARE anti-scienc give the rest of us a bad name....

      January 5, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Fred Evil

      "Do not assume all faithful people are uneducated in the science of how God created this universe."
      We HAVE TO. NOBODY is 'educated in the science of how god created this universe,' faithful or otherwise!!
      That's an unknown. If you KNOW, please share, and cite some sources!
      Otherwise, you are simply demonstrating your faithful ignorance of science.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Larry L

      I think religious people aren't necessarily less intelligent or less educated than atheists – although a disproportionate number of highly educated people tend to reject religion. I do believe people who are unable to accept their own mortality or rationally explain the concept of eternity are more likely to find religious solutions. It's almost like some folks have a "religious gene" or some inherited difference in this vlunerability. Personally, I don't care what people choose to worship, but I do resent their attempts to force their religion on our government and infuse their dogma into our laws. I pay my taxes and feel I have the right of freedom FROM religion – including the right to raise my children in a society where they are safe from the brain-washing of the Evangelicals. They can learn bigotry and hatred on their own...

      January 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Religion is a safety blanket for people who don't understand science."

      Hmmm.... but still Faith based Parochial school students often test higher in math and science than those in public schools.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • TR6

      Mark from Middle River:”but still Faith based Parochial school students often test higher in math and science than those in public schools.”

      it as a former inmate of a Lutheran prison camp… I mean parochial school I can tell you they pay a dear price for it

      January 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mayfly

      As Einstein said, Science is the discovery of how God thinks. Science and religion/faith work very well together. Science has yet to explain how the first atom or molecule or the first particle of the universe came into being...Our minds are limited to beginnings and ends. We can't grasp eternity. Because we can't grasp it, does not mean it doesn't exist.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  18. S Park

    Evangelicals (and most other "groups" of people) are usually misrepresented by the popular, mainstream press. Evangelical protestantants always have been a widely diverse group, even within the confines of specific churches. And many thoughtful evangelicals, while religiously and morally conservative, often are more pragmatic when it comes to politics, a nuanced view which doesn't play well with a press more interested in heroes and villians.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • MIkey

      Evangelicals are a widely diverse group when you do what this author does: NARROW the group being looked at. When you look at the GOP or the more conservative Tea Party section of the American, of course evangelicals are going to hold a widely diverse group of opinions.

      This entire article bases the "diversity" of a group that is not based on the whole of American Society which is much more moderate having both liberal and conservative tendencies. The fact that they split the vote between conservative, utlra conservative, crazy conservative, and wacko conservative says nothing about being diverse. Do I need to point out the 1% the moderate conservative Huntsman got (who is the closest to centrist the GOP has in the race)?

      A group that barely tolerates gays, Muslims, and other minority issues (much less the rest of mainstream America) can not be considered to have a diverse group of opinions. To truly be diverse there would have to be liberal and moderate evangelicals. While there are a few moderate ones, certainly the liberal ones have been kicked out of the group long ago.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Daniel B.

      Granted. However, the media does get it right when we see these people voting overwhlemingly for the Republican Party. They are rather predictable in that regard.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  19. beingbeowulf

    Christopher Hitchens debating Ralph Reed about Jerry Falwell:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWyoXsx_W5s

    January 5, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  20. bird

    Religion has no place in politics. Any candidate who quotes scripture or brings up the topic should be barred from running.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • cdgfla

      Amen to that. lol

      January 5, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • chuckly

      I am a christian and I agree 100 percent

      January 5, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Daniel

      Whats funny to me is that our founding fathers were Freemasons. Not the water down type of today in which is just a social group. They were extremely scientific and deeply indebted to the society. I love how people can be contorted so easily....those are the ones who are UnAmerican

      January 5, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Daniel B.

      What about the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's? A good portion of the leadership was religiously based....

      January 5, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • NJBob

      Absolutely!! I'm so sick of these sanctimonious idiots spouting off about their religion. I'm waiting for a candidate to finally tell a reporter to shut the f*** up when asked about religious beliefs. It would bring tears of joy to my eyes.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:21 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.