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.
Given this history, I expected that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as Mormons, would feel the sting of anti-Muslim prejudice and speak out against it. But neither Mitt Romney of the GOP nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the Democratic Party did anything of the sort. In fact, Romney issued a statement opposing the construction of the Islamic center.
Why? Because they were thinking and acting as Republicans or Democrats first and Mormons second.
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I see a parallel story playing out this election season with the religious right.
Until quite recently, many evangelicals saw Mormonism as a dangerous cult spreading false theology and dooming its followers to hell. In fact, only after Romney showed up for a meet and greet with Billy Graham in North Carolina earlier this month did the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association erase a reference to Mormonism as a “cult."
Did Mormons all of a sudden change their theology? Did Graham change his definition of a “cult”? Of course not. It just became politically expedient for Graham to declassify Mormonism, given the fact that Romney, a Mormon, was the presidential nominee of his beloved GOP.
Ralph Reed, too, is forsaking his theology for his politics, mobilizing his Atlanta-based Faith and Freedom Coalition to place voter guides in Ohio churches in the run-up to election day.
I am old enough to remember when the main purpose of Reed’s Christian Coalition and other groups on the religious right was to put born-again Christians in the Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. And for decades those who were running those groups saw Mormons as non-Christians.
And don't get me started on Mike Huckabee, who in a recent ad says that a vote for Obama is a vote for your own damnation.
Have LDS Church members repudiated the Book of Mormon as “another testament of Jesus Christ” or their view that the Bible is the word of God only “as far as it is correctly translated”? Have they accepted the Trinity? Rejected their teaching that there are many gods?
As Ben Witherington, Albert Mohler, and many other evangelical thinkers continue to insist: no, no, and no.
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I used to believe that the purpose of the religious right was to infuse American politics with Christian politicians and Christian politics. I no longer believe that. The purpose of the religious right is to use the Christian God for political purposes. Why any Christian, conservative or liberal, can say "Amen" to that is beyond me.
I am perfectly happy to see Reed stump for Romney in Ohio and Graham plump for Romney in an ad in The Wall Street Journal. Just don’t tell me they are doing so as Christians. They are doing so as shills for the GOP.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.
Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !
Where do morals come from?
By Kelly Murray, CNN
Gravity is not up for debate !
BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !
Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.
Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before
Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.
The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?
The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species
Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.
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Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young
And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !
From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life
the wrong path is Adam and Eve !
Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought
Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.
No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US
Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.
No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !
Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History
Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.
Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute
Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...
Good stuff !
The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !
Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle
Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.
For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !
Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.
Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’
Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
bears his name as the “God particle.”
Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \
Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...
April 7th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth
Make sure to read comments
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NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.
NASA: Mars could have supported life
Star Dust we are
Holy Hallucinations 35
The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !
Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.
BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus
BACKFILL on E =mc2.....
Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.
“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
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Cheech & Chong's History of 420
Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong
All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................
The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.
Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.
Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.
Education works for children
Earth From Space
Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS
"Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.
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Among many of us their are those who are addicted to God-crack. They are intolerant, boring and forever gossiping about their true realm of spiritual spheres. Jesus...give me hell and I will be born free of political duplicity in the church for eternity.
Jon Stewart asked MIke Huckabee about the ad to vote anti-gay and anti-abortion on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on 11/12/12.
It's not one of Jon's best interviews but he makes an effort to highlight Huckabee's 'vote GOP or burn in hell' commercial.
Part 2 of the interview has the discussion of the ad.
Mike Huckabee tries to turn this issue, but there's no way around this statement:
"Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? This is Mike Huckabee asking you to join me November 6th and vote based on values that will stand the test of fire."
This is 'vote GOP or burn'.
Gosh, you don't say...Ralph Reed, a shameless and amoral opportunist who uses Christianity as a blatant power-and-money grab. Clutch the pearls.
Magnificent points altogether, you just received a new reader. What may you suggest about your post that you made some days in the past? Any positive?
I have a great idea..Have Billy Graham bring Jesus with him on his next crusade..Or have him shut up forever..!
Jesus said to the Moneychangers that they are making the house of prayer a den of thieves.
As Romans 13 instructs, the powers that be are ordained of God, rulers are ministers of God, and those who resist those rulers resist the ordinance of God. Accordingly, we need to stand behind Barack Obama and pray for him as our President. God spoke tonight and he remains in charge.
Obama is not authority.
The first commandment is: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Other "gods" can include possessions, power or prominence.)
Go to Google and search "20 Truths about Mormonism" Not only will I not vote for Romney, I want Utah kicked out of the Union
And we all know if it is on the internet then it has to be true. Boy are you gullible. Think I will head down to the Chevy dealer to learn about Ford trucks.
Anyone who supports Barack Obama is putting politics before God.
Like Billy Boy Graham and his son, ventriloquist Franklin taking Mormonism off a list of cults?
Also, we are voting for president, not "god".
Eric, you obviously know nothing about Mormonism and its satanic roots. You are also more concerned about politics than losing souls to hell. Don't you realize Romney is a Mormon high priest? An atheist in the White House is better than an anti Christ.
On judgment day, I don't want to try to rationalize why I voted for a cult member who caused souls to be damned, by feebly explaining that I was more concerned about repealing Obamacare, preventing a redistribution of wealth, preventing abortion (those lives are in heaven), preventing gay marriage, and restoring individual liberties. With Obama, we know where he stands, and while you might disagree with his politics, he is the better choice where souls and eternal salvation are concerned.
Scott, Obama is a Marxist with deep sympathies for Islamic/Sharia Law. Observe his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and obvious dislike of Israel. Romney wants the US to be a friend of Israel. Obama has no use for it - none - it's obvious by his treatment of Israel vs. his treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood, etc.
Furthermore, Obama has been running up our debt by $1Trillion per year. He will bankrupt us soon if we re-elect him.
Sonya, I'd like to thank you for providing a real life example of what Mormons call " Lying for the Lord" Google it. You won't believe it.
Donner, I do not lie. And I am not a Mormon. What in the world are you?!?! Are you a supporter of Barack Hussein Obama? Are you unwilling to do any research into his background to understand what he is? Do you have your head in the sand refusing to see his actions as POTUS?
Are you denying that Obama has been running up our debt by $1Trillion per year?
It seems that you are the liar, sir.
You seek a new world order of peace for all the nations; that is good and noble. The differences between the LDS and what Billy Graham used to preach had eternal consequences. The LDS were considered heretical for their additional texts; their view on God the Father, Son, and Spirit; Christ's visit to the ancient Americans after his resurrection as translated by their prophet Joseph Smith; and so on. With heaven at stake and traditional doctrine in mind, the distinctions are significant.
Progressing in thought to "all paths lead to heaven" is counter to what Jesus presented in Holy Scripture. You seem to be pointing to the development of new Christian doctrine, which we may be witnessing.
Sort of Hinduization of Christianity – possibly a good thing.
Hey all you people out there saying that christians are hypocritical for voting Romney – you are so out of it. I am voting for Romney and I am Christian. Neither men are practicing Christians so religion has no bearing on my vote. I do agree that Romney is the closest thing to it so there you have it. No putting politics above religion. That is a feeble argument positioned by the author of this article to try and shame those that are voting for Romney. Nice try but you are off base.
justice for all, I agree with that completely! So transparent!
Wake up Christians! Souls are at stake here. We cannot allow the POTUS to be used as a platform to spread the satanic cult of Mormonism. Do not disobey the Lord by placing politics over God and His teachings. A vote for Romney is a vote for satan.
Scott, I've researched Mormonism going on 13 years, and while I can't quantify nor qualify "Satan", they are no Christian organization. Christians are called to accommodate. Mormons are called to manipulate. To think Mormons think a high-end shopping Mall is charity is tip of the iceberg in point. Thanks very much to Stephen Prothero for sticking his neck out for truth. You sir, are a hero in my eyes.
The truth is, if we don't vote for Romney the devil will have 4 more years running America. Romney may not be a Saint (most people aren't) but Obama fights against everything we believe in. Don't be foolish!
You are correct, Eric. If we re-elect Obama we will cease to be a Free Republic. Heck, we'll go off the financial cliff and likely rise again under an oppressive, Marxist-inspired dictatorship. It will be hell... and we won't be enjoying religious freedom.
uhhhh...Put the crack pipe down people
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.