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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. Jennifer

    Its amazing that these people claim to vote based on Christian value, yet they've never looks at the candidates voting record..

    January 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • JT

      It's because they vote the way their pastor tells them to, not based on their own investigation. The same way they acquire their beliefs as well.

      January 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  2. jim

    Ralph Reed? You gotta be kidding! That little turd doesn't know his a$$ from a shotgun about anything!

    January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      He's got a face only his closet gay lover would j¡zz on.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  3. Mike Rotchitches

    The author of this piece, Ralph Reed, is one news cycle away from ɧomøseҗuaI misconduct alligations.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  4. edge

    All of these people are promoting the US as a theocracy. Look at every other theocracy on this planet. See a pattern? The suppression of common human dignity to those who don't agree with the state sponsored religion. Every person in this country should have Freedom of Religion AND Freedom from Religion, should they so choose.

    I would hate to think religion is the most important issue in any election. It's the WORST reason to vote for someone, because it's the most easily lied about aspect of a candidate and the easiest way to manipulate the most gullible of voters.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • DumbGOPT

      These people are the American Taliban, Dominion Theology is what they follow, which is to rule us by the Bible. Little difference between them and the mullahs of Iran. They are hyper-political and the GOPT has sold their souls to them for votes. I think they should lose their tax free status and forced to register as lobbyists.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  5. tony

    Catholicism welcomed Newt Gingrich and Tony Blair, to name just two re-born really bad people.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  6. tony

    Ever figure out what you could talk to a miscarried or aborted fetus about in Heaven?

    January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • fetus

      Weather, sports, politics, etc.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • jim

      Who would want to?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  7. There. Are. No. Gods!

    I get that these people in the profile think they are doing the right thing by voting with their faith, but their faith is what is slowing down our country from succeeding. Their belief in gods that are not there only perpetuates the problems we live with today. These people vote with their deity in mind and over look obvious solutions to difficult questions because their faith has blinded them to do so. I think that this article should be taken as an example as to why our American lifestyle is failing. Belief in made up gods does not save your country from going down the toilet, actions and solutions do. There absolutely should be freedom from religion and that should be the cornerstone with which our values are based on. There are no gods, and you know it.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Your frighten me... but in a good way.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • jim

      Sadly, you are wrong. They DON'T know their gods are myths. They are little people, frightened to take responsibility for their own lives.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      "On what we base our rules"? If I have my rules and you have yours – how do we determine whose rules we follow. Governmnet is supposed to be "of, by and for the people". If the majority wants Christianity to count, will you go along with it? I think not. Therein lies the problem. If you are Liberal – your rules are OK – but if you are Conservative they are not. Without a "basis" for your rules – how do you follow anything. Things change at the shift of the wind or the shim of a politician..

      January 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      Ajim "frightened to take responsibility for their own lives".
      Sounds like all the left leaning libs in this country. They need to put their money where their mouth is and start giving their money to the poor. Instead, they choose to get elected and take it from the others to make them rich, giving little to the people that really need it. Corporate Greed is the correct term and the Government is the BIGGEST CORPORATION OF ALL.

      January 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      Listen yall,
      If we put a god fearing christian in the white house,
      and put all them gays in a concentration camp,
      then we can round up all those libtards, and do away with them.
      we could take back our country.
      Build up our military, and whack them islamists,
      We can rule the world.

      How am i doing here ?
      Did i get them repubs and rednecks going, or what ?
      Sorry, i forgot you "christian" war lovers.
      I will be more careful in the future.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  8. vel

    I do loev to see evangelical Christians show just how much Christians can't agree on anything, including what their god "really" wants. They all want their very own version of their religion to be the "right" one but can't show that their god even exists much less that they are its favored children. All of the kumbiyas on public and in the voting booth, they're all sure that "other guy" is damned and going to hell. bunch of hypocrites as usual.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  9. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    This "Belief" site needs an overhaul. Only those who spew mindless reliigious pablum are able to get through the censors here. You censors need to get a life and quit trying to control free speech. You might learn something. At least you won't be in the way of others.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      This is what CNN controls... ƒµçĸ¡n d¡çĸ. The bigger problem with CNN is that they have an entire section called the "Belief Blog." Pandering to the religious fanatics in order to complete with Faux News is no way to survive the ratings game.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      Hey Roadrunner,

      1 – CNN is a private company, free speach doesnt apply.
      2 – There are no real people monitoring your comments,
      certain key words are automatic response for deletion.
      3 – If available, report abuse button will remove your post.

      Guess you did not read the terms of use agreement.
      Maybe you, and others should read that.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  10. tony

    Heaven has got to be a Totalitarian Communist Society – think about it.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Actually, I hear they have some heavenly †¡††¡e bars.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      Utopia is a great idea.
      The problem is....
      everybody has a different idea about what utopia is.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  11. Jimbo

    I was born just fine the first time.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      @mike – as much as I want to. The truth hurts huh!

      January 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      I'm assuming it doesn't hurt as much as having a nativity set shoved up your bum... but let's take the guess work out of it. Why don't you tell us from your experience which hurts more 🙂

      January 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • devin

      Actually, you were not. And this is precisely the problem.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  12. Dennis Pence

    Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of
    the American Revolution,is still remembered for
    his words, '"Give me liberty or give me death."'
    But in current textbooks the context of these words
    is deleted. Here is what he actually said: '"An
    appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is
    left us.
    But we shall not fight our battle alone. There
    is a just God that presides over the destinies of
    nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong
    alone.
    Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be
    purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
    Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course
    others may take, but as for me, give me
    liberty, or give me death."'

    January 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, '"The
      highest glory of the American Revolution was
      this: it connected in one indissoluble bond
      the principles of civil government with the
      principles of Christianity."'

      Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the
      United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote,
      '"The foundations of our society and our government
      rest so much on the teachings of the Bible
      that it would be difficult to support them if faith in
      these teachings would cease to be practically
      universal in our country."'

      January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Don't get out much, eh?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • tony

      Death, by your belief, would have him go to the great communist state of Heaven.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mike D

      @Pence: None of that undermines the Establishment Clause. All it proves is that politicians and pundits gave Jesus lip service then, as they do now.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Patrick Henry"

      That's funny since his widow said at his death. "I wish the grate Jefferson & all the heroes of the Deistical party could have seen my husband pay his last debt to nature."

      January 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • kldgbb

      Just because Patrick Henry invoked God doesn't mean there is one. Plus I think the oft-quoted statement still stands on its own, in context or not and "God" notwithstanding.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      @kldgbb – Yeah there is... I read it once... on a Chinese fortune cookie.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      Now we start using words from other dead men, instead of quoting
      bible scripture to make our point.
      Republicans love bringing up our founding fathers, who escaped from religious
      hatred, only to introduce thier own version of religious hatred.
      nice job.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  13. Phil

    As a evangelical protestant myself, I do look to issues of faith in a candidate as one of many factors in deciding who to vote for. Last time afer weighing all the factors, I voted for Obama. He seemed to offer more hope than McCain.

    After 4 years of Obama...I'm not impressed. I especially dislike his push for bigger and bigger governement. I was hoping he'd be like Clinton with a little willpower. Instead, he's more like FDR with hops.

    That being said, my sophistication as a voter hits a big wall when it comes to voting for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. Individual Mormons are often wonderful people, but my faith leads me to believe they are heretics who espouse a flawed version of Christianity on their followers and converts. It would not bother me to vote for a Catholic, a Moslem, a Jewish person...but there's just something about "Mormon" that I could never vote for.

    I hate bigots...yet in this way I find I am one. Maybe I'm the only Christian in the country that feels this way, but there is nothing Romney could say or promise that would get my vote. I will vote, and if Romney is the Republican nominee, my vote will go to Obama.

    January 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Have you been drinking the cult's special KoolAid?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      You sir – are choosing Islam over Mormonism? Both are bad, but the last time I checked – Mormons weren't declaring Jihad on anyone. Hope he isn't the choice – but it is evident Obama is not! Obama does not claim openly to be a Muslim – but our Bible tells us "you will know them by their fruits" and he is either a Muslim or something besides a Christian.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Prof. G

      I would refer you to John F. Kennedy's speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in the summer of 1960, in which he separated his roles as President and Catholic believer. To my knowledge - and I am neither a Mormon or a Republican - Romney has never taken an action in government that was in any way related to the Church of LDS or its doctrines. He certainly has been an unethical businessman, but what Republican CEO hasn't.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      When ever someone starts off a statement by respectfully calling some one "sir", you can be sure that major disrespect of one's opinion is no far behind.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Gary

      You're not the only one that feels that way Phil.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • vel

      Hmmm, pushes for bigger government, like Santorum did for the Schiavo case, having gov't in your personal matters no matter what? As always conservatives and so many "libertarians" always want smaller gov't for themselves and gov't controlling everything for anyone who disagrees with them. Such hypocrisy. I do enjoy it.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Brian

      Wow, didn't think it was possible to be a rational evangelical, thank you for proving me wrong!

      January 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Converted

      Wow that kind of sounds like what the Jewish leaders said about Jesus... right before they crucified him.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      *** I especially dislike his push for bigger and bigger governement

      You just unzipped your fly.
      Under the Republican administration, government got bigger.

      Reagan, bush 1, and bush 2, government got bigger.

      I dont mind that you dont like democrats,
      what i mind is the freaking lies about your own party.

      Good example.
      You republicans SCREAM about how much the deficit went up under Obama.
      Bush launched two wars on a credit card.
      Never in a budget, never funded !!!
      When Obama, put those two wars back on the budget,
      He was crucified for raising our debt.
      I never heard a peep out of any republican about this before.
      You republicans had eight freaking years to stop this financial disaster
      but you now blame it on the guy who came after.

      So freaking brainwashed that you will destroy your country
      because your politicians tell you so.

      The sickness has taken control.

      January 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  14. Mike Rotchitches

    CNN stop publishing articles about Evangelicals... you're only encouraging their bad behavior.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." (Sinclair Lewis)

    January 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Calvin

      Do you always whine like that?

      January 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Nah, mostly it's when I'm shooting my Ioad in your man-g¡na.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. Vince

    If your main concerns when selecting a candidate are their opinions on when life begins and what defines marriage....you don't belong in this country...you belong in a theocratic society, such as Iran. These issues pale in comparison to our economic security, the ability of our citizens to life productive free lives, and our national security. What people do behind closed doors and the decisions they make for their own lives should be of no concern to anyone else.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Calvin

      Not true. My faith will inform how I vote on many levels.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Mit C

      Clueless. That's the only way to describe your comment.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • sosofresh

      Vince, if these folks can't see that the influence of the religious right and their takeover of the Republican party has almost completely crippled our democracy, they simply don't get it. Or at least they don't want to get it.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      So – I can do what I want to do "behind closed doors"? Guess we can take the laws and toss them out the window – unless we aren't behind closed doors.

      January 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  16. sosofresh

    I have to post this quote here. When you read who said it, you will have a good idea of how far the Republican party has gone off the rails. "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.

    The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.... I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?... I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."

    – Barry Goldwater, (1909–1998), five-term US Senator, Republican Party nominee for President in 1964*, Maj. Gen., US Air Force Reserves, author of The Conscience of a Conservative.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • longtooth

      Thank you, soso, but you are a voice crying in the wilderness. Truth has no place in politics.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • kldgbb

      Great quote and so very true. @Longtooth – sad, but true.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      Moral convictions? Do liberals have any? If so, what are they based on? Just curious.

      January 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Polis

    I love how none of the people interviewed in that scrolling graphic at the top ever mentioned how they want a candidate to espouse the ideals of charity, caring for the less fortunate and justice. It's all about abortion, marriage, merging the gov't and religion (against the Bible btw) and smaller government.

    In my experience, evangelicals are all talk and no walk. Ironically, most of them believe in literal translations of the Bible, but I don't see any of them stoning their children for disrespecting their parents or selling their belongings.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Calvin

      Abortion is murder. Murder has been and should be against the law. Sorry that bothers you so much.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Calvin

      Are you pro capital punishment..... if so, then your entire argument is faulty.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Fetuses are not people. I'm sorry that bothers you so much.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • ac5501

      No, Abortion IS NOT MURDER. Maybe a sin, but that's an issue left for God to judge. NOT YOU CALVIN

      January 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • sosofresh

      Calvin... do your religious beliefs encourage you to vote for politicians whose policies are generous to the poor and whose social platform encourages loving and acceptance? Or do you just focus on abortion and gay marriage?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  18. cecilia

    it really does not matter what you believe or hope for, we are now a Nation built on Corporate greed, a government of the Corporation, by the Corporation and for the Corporation – the Evangelicals just feel better about selling their souls

    January 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  19. tony

    Atheism should have the same income tax exemption break as churches. Why should conservatives get "Liberal" gov't handouts for talking about politics? Even easier, just treat all religions as the business's they really are.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Polis

      To be fair, if atheists had an organization where they gathered and conducted not for profit activities, they would also get a tax break.

      January 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Kirsten

      Nice try, but there's a reason why church's are tax exempt. Churches are tax exempt so that they can not discuss politics from the pulpit. If you were to revoke that status churches would become a type of corporation and would be able to support any candidate of their choosing, therefore possibly influencing their church members. You can disagree with the sentiment but there's a reason for the tax exemption. If you want the same status for atheist groups than I'd like to see a complete silencing of any political talk coming from any of those groups.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  20. Chuckles

    I thnk this is actually exactly how the evangelicals have planned it.

    Hear me out.

    We all know that evangelicals pray for the apocolypse and the end of the world. There's also been talk of the world ending this year because the Myans tapped into the power of the universe and divined a date, they thought it was their gods but really it was just the big guy (as all evangelicals know).

    Now here is the interesting part. What do movies like Deep Impact and 2012 have in common? That's right... a black president! So here we are, in 2012, election year that all ends in November. The Obamantor is poised to win the general election and stay in the white house just in time for December, all the evangelicals have to do is sit back and wait...... It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    January 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I can find no fault in your logic.

      And that frightens me.

      January 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Polis

      He's only half-black I thought?

      January 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • FreeToThink

      "We all know...". Well, you don't know. Evangelicals do not all pray for the end of the world.
      "...it was just the big guy (as all evangelicals know)." Nope, you're wrong again.

      You should become an evangelical so that you are better able to speak from experience instead of speaking out of a false belief. If you haven't been a cop (for instance), you can't speak from a cops perspective.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Polis

      Ok, fair point, so does that mean the world will be severely damaged and not completely destroyed? Only America is going to descend into chaos instead of the entire world?

      January 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @FreeToThink

      Question.... do you think that other cultures when praying to their gods and were rewarded were actually praying to god and didn't know it or that they just got lucky?

      Second, Evangelicals do not hope for the great tribulation and the apocolypse to come where they will be raptured, flown to heaven and become soldiers of god?

      If those things are not the case.... well then I think you have rogue evangelicals within the orgnization trying to hijack your message....

      January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mit C

      As an evangelical Christian-defined as someone who believes Jesus is the Son of God come to save us from our sins, meaning "evangelical" has nothing to do with politics-I have NO IDEA what you're talking about!! Praying for the end of the world??? Are you nuts? You need a little Bible End Times 101. There are LOTS of things–including a 1,000 year reign of Jesus on earth–before the old earth will be destroyed and the new earth replaces it. The world will not end in 2012, so you've go plenty of time to look it up and understand things before you comment again.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mit

      What you actually defined was christian, not evangelical, so I'm going to disregard the remainder of your post as part of the other group of people who still believe in craziness just less craziness.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • DrewNYC

      @Freetothink- I used to be an evangelical, now I'm an Athiest, so I can speak from an evangelical perspective. Of course not all evangelicals pray for the end, but the majority that I came in contact with did. How can you vote for someone who's foreign policy is influenced by the notion that there should not be peace in the middle east? We need the separation of church and state, give me an example of where being solely a religious country turned out to be positive. Yeah me neither.

      @Mit – Chuckles is right, you defined a Christian, not an evangelical. If you want to talk about bible end times 101, you should probably read more than just the "Left Behind" series and the Bible. There are several different speculations among Christians about how the world will end, and yes, one of them being an 1,000 year reign. There are also other speculations on what order all of the "events" are supposed to take place. What is funny, is that you won't find any mention of the "rapture" in the bible at all. The entire idea of the rapture did not even exist until the 1830's. Biblical? Please. Do your research on what you believe, maybe you'll realize that you don't need to believe in such a violent religion to be a good person.

      January 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Dennis Pence

      @chuckles – What it means is – we don't know the hour or the day. Sad that you think you evolved from primordial slime and your life has no meaning – once you die, that is it. I personally would rather believe in the resurrection and then not see one – as to not believe and find out there is one! To me, there is substantial proof in the universe for God and even as parents discipline their kids, countries discipline their citizens and so many other things that we see in the world – people still want to deny that God exists. I guess the end will show if He does or not. We have the personal freedom to choose or not choose to follow Christ – He gave us Free Will and although I don't agree with you – I respect your right to choice. I will still pray for those who do not believe.

      January 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • DrewNYC

      @Dennis – You may think that saying "I will pray for those who do not believe" is meant to be thoughtful, but it is extremely offensive. You are basically saying that you are supreme to anyone who doesn't believe the same thing as you. This is a big reason why it's hard for Atheists to not respond in a way that is less than nice.

      Also, you did not share any substantial proof with us.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • TR6

      @FreeToThink:”You should become an evangelical so that you are better able to speak from experience instead of speaking out of a false belief”.

      You should become a UFO freak so that you are better able to speak from experience about UFOs

      January 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      I am very spiritual.
      But i dont believe in a god.
      I do think it will be great that after 12/21/12 when nothing happens
      lots of people will have some "splainin" to do.
      My fear is this.
      Somebody may want this to happen, because its supposed to,
      I fear somebody is going to go religious stupid, and try to make this happen.
      We dont know when or where, or who.
      Forget phrophecy, but remember those who believe.
      Very dangerous.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
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About this blog

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.