Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
(CNN)–Why are evangelicals like Billy Graham and Ralph Reed stumping for Mitt Romney? And why are roughly three-quarters of white evangelicals inclined to vote for him?
Because politics matters more to them than religion.
Last year, in a talk at a conference on Mormonism and Islam at Utah Valley University, I asked my Mormon listeners why they had not rushed to the defense of Muslims in controversies such as the one that raged over the Park51 project near ground zero. After all, they have been the victims of religious prejudice. Their founder, Joseph Smith, was killed by a mob of vigilantes.
By Poppy Harlow and Ronni Berke, CNN
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - From church pews to cheeseburger joints, Iowa's faithful are a major prize in the political ground war raging between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Of the roughly 3 million Iowans, about 30% call themselves evangelical or Catholic. Fifty-seven percent of Iowans who voted in the caucuses this year were evangelical Christians.
Evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Rick Santorum over Romney in the Iowa caucuses, helping Santorum squeeze out a slight victory in the final count.
In Des Moines, evangelical Christians flock to Grace Church, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, to talk faith, family and the presidential election. The evangelical voters we met strongly supported Romney, but they also expressed a general unease about his moderate history on social issues such as abortion.
By Arielle Hawkins, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’
Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”
CNN: Sistine Chapel ceiling turns 500 years old
Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, one of the world's most iconic pieces of art, will celebrate its 500th anniversary on Wednesday in Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI is set to mark the occasion with the celebration of Vespers in the chapel on Wednesday evening.
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.