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My Take: Billy Graham and Ralph Reed are putting politics before God
November 1st, 2012
01:43 PM ET

My Take: Billy Graham and Ralph Reed are putting politics before God

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.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • Uncategorized • United States

soundoff (2,430 Responses)
  1. Vivian

    Great article....truthful and acurate. I am an evenagelical Christian (by most people's definition). I will vote for Obama. Scripture clearly want believers to care about "the least of these". Billy Graham has corrupted his calling to bring people to God for an earthly kingdom that will not bring one soul to God, nor care for "the least". It's a trade in from "a message of love and forgiveness" to a "message of hate, judgement, self-rightousness". Christian's are moving people to a creed or set of rules and not to the life changing experience of what is God's work in us through the Holy Spirit.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Cal

      You know, Vivian, for millions of evangelical Christians out there just saying that you're going to vote for Obama, or any Democrat for that matter, is enough to disqualify you as one of them. That's how tightly linked to politics your brand of faith has become.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  2. mormonsarechristian

    If there had been no Nicene Creed or Emperor Constantine, Catholic and Protestant theology would be quite similar to Mitt Romney’s In fact, there would likely be no need for the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) to restore Jesus Christ’s church. Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not Fourth Century Creeds. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Pre-Existence, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus Christ are closer to Early Christianity than any other denomination. And Mormon teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com/

    According to a 2012 Pew Forum poll of members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) 98 percent said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion. They volunteer 7 times as many hours as does the general population, according to a 2012 University of Pennsylvania study. Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:

    http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

    11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians, as is Mitt Romney, who is as faithful as the most devout Founder.

    Contrast Mitt Romney’s faith to that of Barack Obama: Rev. Jeremiah Wright says “it is hard to tell” if Barack Obama converted from Islam to Christianity”. Wright says “church is not Barack’s thing” .

    November 2, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • truth be told

      Mormons are many things but Mormons are NOT Christian. A Mormon vote is an anti-Christ vote.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • BU2B

      "Truth" be told – We should be voting on the candidate, not his superst-ition

      November 2, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Cal

      mormonsarechristian
      So, you're saying that the heretics were actually the true Christians then?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A lot of Christians have problems with Mormonism becuase the religion has a third book of the Bible written under shady circ/umstances by a shady man.
      Personally, I find the LDS pre-occupation with ti/thing to be a big red flag.
      Mormons must go for an annual meeting with their Bishop to prove they're paying up or else they lose their temple privileges. Without those, they cannot learn the secret, masonic handshakes, sealings and passwords or be assigned the new name the religion says is necessary to pass into the Celestial Kingdom.
      That amounts to spiritual blackmail.
      Mormons are told "if a dest.itute family is faced with the decision of paying their ti.thing or eating, they should pay their t.ithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).
      Anybody who charges a fee for salvation is a con-artist.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • captain america

      I won't be going on cbc and attempting to tell you all how to live why don't you all just F off and tend to your own country and politics. Nothing you have to say about US is worth used dog sh it to real Americans. There's your sign

      November 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Nope Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert Rangerfield
      You do realize that there are Mormons in Canada, right?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • MCR

      English (unlike a few national languages) is not government regulated or defined. There is no standard definition of Christian – it just depends on how you define it. This whole conversation is silly.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • captain america

      Then deal with them in canada we don't need or want your bull sh it here.PS accusing someone in America of something requires proof. We are not canadians. There's your sign

      November 2, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to;
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Cal

      captain america
      Mormons are the same everywhere, so it's all the same BS, right?

      And what's with all your "sign" stuff, are you just really into astrology, or something?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Huebert

      @Cal

      The "here's your sigh" thing is a reference to the Bill Engvall from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. It was somewhat relevant about ten years ago.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Huebert

      *sign

      November 2, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Cal

      Huebert
      It's from that. Too bad, that act was actually kinda funny.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  3. midwest rail

    Politics matters more to them NOW. Religion was a way for them to enrich themselves. Politics is their path to keeping those riches and power.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  4. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Again "Professor" Stevie P misses the real evangelical/Christian right issue but that is not unusual as his only concern is that we love all the gods.

    Now to the issue at hand and why Obama (and Axelrod) are running pro-choice/pro-abortion/pro-Roe vs Wade ads non- stop this week:

    Why the Christian Right/evangelicals no longer matter in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, 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 the irony:

    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.

    i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.

    From the Guttmacher Insti-tute- August 2011

    "In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]"

    i.e. making the number of Immoral Majority members more like 100 million in 2012.

    More from Guttmacher:

    "• Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.["

    And if half of these aborting "mothers and fathers" have had two abortions, the Immoral Majority would still be a huge voting bloc i.e. ~75 million, enough votes to give any presidential candidate the differential votes needed considering many voters vote straight Democratic or Republican tickets no matter what the issues are.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT

      November 2, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      November 2, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things .

    November 2, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • BU2B

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" – False. It is believing in fairy tales and lying to yourself and others that you love that is unhealthy.
      "Prayer changes things" – Technically True. It changes things in your own mind.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • TrollAlert

      2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse | Reply

      TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      @false 'Jesus' ~~~~ You need to change your name 'cause the Jesus Christ of Nazerath truly believes in prayers. Here's one
      Our Father, which art in heaven,
      Hallowed be thy Name.
      Thy Kingdom come.
      Thy will be done in earth,
      As it is in heaven.
      Give us this day our daily bread.
      And forgive us our trespasses,
      As we forgive them that trespass against us.
      And lead us not into temptation,
      But deliver us from evil.
      For thine is the kingdom,
      The power, and the glory,
      For ever and ever.
      Amen.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      *Nazareth :-)

      November 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  6. AllahKaBLAM!!

    Which do you think fits best, Wrongney or Moromney?

    November 2, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • Larry

      It's only a temporary name, but I think "Next Week's Has-Been" catches Mitt best.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  7. Jim

    Ridin that train...high on cocaine!! Casey Jones you betta watch yo speed!! I love to toot it up and then get buttt slammed by a super sized hog!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  8. manbearpig

    No Daddy please no more fingers in my A-ss

    November 2, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Observer

      Shhhhhhh son youll thank me when you get older, Now stick this black do n g in your mouth.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Smiteyou

      Ohhh yeah give me some of that action.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  9. Susie

    Yeah boyeee! All u nigggs in da house!! All you jiggs in da house! I want your monster sized meat stik!! Put that sausage right up my keister!!! Then I really be feelin Jesus!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  10. Jim

    Unnnnhhhhh...I can feel jesus inside me. He is so far inside me. Jesus is filling me up with his holy spirit. Oh god – jesus is coming!!!!!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Susie

      I know how it feels Jim! Jesus loves it when I get down on my knees to worship him. After a while (but not too long, cause I am an experienced worshipper) jesus fills me up with his holy spirit too! Sometimes his holy spirit shoots on my hair, and once it even got in my eye. Oh jesus!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  11. Jim

    Susie and I are da king of da bible thumpers! We be quoting Jesus and all of hiz disciples cuz we know the word of god! You heathens better repent. We iz both gaays and we know god iz down with fruits and dyk-os!!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Smite You

      Jim is doing a fine job making himself look like an idiot. No help is necessary from the peanut gallery.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Smite You

      on second thought - make that "penis gallery". You sure are obsessed with them, aren't you?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:32 am |
  12. Susie

    Just cuz I am a butch lezzy, doesn't mean that I can't pump up God!! I love to pound da poooper of all dem lipstiks, but I also luv my jesus!! Chiks on chiks...say no to diks!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  13. Susie

    I suppose those who stood up to slavery, women's voting rights and child labor were also putting politics before religion. This person is silly. God will not be mocked nor does he want us to stand silent while millions of His innocent children are dying through abortion and churches are being forced to pay for abortions.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • manbearpig

      Susie-
      You know how many pregancies end in miscarriages? Let me tell you – god LOVES abortion!!! He aborts far more babies than all the people in the world could ever abort on their own.
      Oh, and what about all that stuff that guy Jesus supposedly said about caring for the poor and loving your neighbor (among other things)? Convenient how you don't care about all that stuff.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Jim

      How dare you tell the truth

      November 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Observer

      Susie,

      God NEVER mentioned abortion. Read his words sometime.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Susie

      Do you know how many people get run over by cars? Does that stop us from making laws against murder?. Your foolish irrational statement is pointless.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Susie

      Since I have raised 25 foster children and, supported five children in third world countries throughorganizations like World Vision , I guess you really have no idea what you are talking about.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Observer

      Susie,

      Speaking of foolish and irrational, the Bible is full of commands from God to kill women and NEVER ONCE does God give a rip if the woman he wants killed is pregnant or not.

      Ooops.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • manbearpig

      Oh my god! Susie is Michelle Bachmann!

      Well, that explains the craziness.

      Abortion is the removal of a bunch of cells – essentially a slurry of j1zz mixed with an egg. You don't like it, then don't get one. In the meantime, please STFU. Roe v. Wade isn't going anywhere. Bush was a crazy evangelical with control of congress and nothing happened then, did it? Abortion is a medical procedure, and it will always be legal. Get over it.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Susie

      He mentioned that is wrong to kill people. And He mentioned the baby in the womb as a person.

      And h
      Luke 1:39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

      Psalm 139: For You formed my inward parts;
      You covered me in my mother’s womb.
      14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
      Marvelous are Your works,
      And that my soul knows very well.
      15 My frame was not hidden from You,
      When I was made in secret,
      And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
      16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
      And in Your book they all were written,
      The days fashioned for me,
      When as yet there were none of them.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Susie

      I hate to tell you this but Man bear pig...you are a bunch of cells.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Observer

      Susie,

      God NEVER gave a rip if a woman was pregnant when he wanted her killed. So much for fetuses.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Susie

      Observer...I guess you dont get the "God is the Creator" and "God is the Judge" part of the Bible.We, on the other hand, dont have the right to kill people that inconvenience us. Oops!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Susie

      Manbearpig, on the other hand, has done nothing to help anyone, preferring to spend his days in his room typing madly on the computer, trying to justify killing innocent human beings.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • OTOH

      Susie,

      You want to thank Christians and the Bible for Women's Suffrage and the abolition of slavery? Bible thumpers used that book prodigiously when contesting these issues... and were successful for quite a while in hindering the acceptance of these basic human rights.

      (a lot of misogynistic, misanthropic Paul of Tarsus was quoted by them as 'proof', btw)

      November 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • manbearpig

      Susie-
      This is awkward...
      You mean you haven't yet realized the futility of spewing Bible verses? They aren't very convincing for those people who realize that the Bible was an ancient text written by power-hungry men. Take a closer look at that bible, Susie. If you support all the things god supposedly does in that nasty little storybook you should be locked up for life.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Observer

      Susie,

      So we shouldn't follow God's example?

      LOL.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • BurningMan

      Susie,

      you claim to have fostered children...how many children, especially other-than-white kids, are "dying" to be adopted in this country...where are the Pro-life folks, those who claim to be the elect, and why have they failed to abolish the need for foster care in the US?

      Those kids are still there and will be because Christians like you ignore those verses in the bible that hold you personally responsible for the welfare and lives of those who desperately need to be a part of a family. Matthew 25 is for Christians, not sinners.

      But the truth is Christians care only for a fetus and care nothing for the living...

      You are nothing more than a white-washed tomb, Susie.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  14. TheBob

    Screw god. If there were one, that is.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Kathleen

      Which god are you referring to?
      Every half-wit primitive tribe from the Stone Age has their own god or collection of gods.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Jim

      I beleive he is refering to the" I AM " The one and only true God. And by saying what he has said he has blasphemed the Holy Spirit and has now sealed his fate in everlasting seperation from the one true God. Which I guess would be OK with him.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • manbearpig

      Jim-
      Boy, are you gonna feel stupid when you realize that you've wasted your life in fear of the lies cooked up 2000 years ago by a bunch of primitive Jews in the Middle East. Wait – you probably won't ever grasp that. You should still feel stupid though.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Jim

      If Im wrong I still lived a better life than you ever hope to accomplish and I have nothing to worry about then. But if you are wrong boy are you going to be in some ever lasting pain. But God doesnt exist so dont sweat it.Or does he? hum?

      November 2, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Kathleen

      Ah, but Jim - how do you know you've put your chips on the right god?
      There are so many to choose from - would be quite a shame if you spent your life bowing and scraping to the wrong sky fairy.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • manbearpig

      Ah, Pascal's Wager. It doesn't take omniscience to see through that one. And what's this? Coupled with a proxy threat? Two for one special!

      You are a retard, Jim. You've bought a bunch of lies (ancient ones – and not even convincing ones) because you're too stupid to think critically about what you were brought up to believe. Congratulations!

      November 2, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Timmy

      I see manbearpig is a little child and hasnt quite reached the mental capacity to have a conversation without calling names. Im sure your parents are very proud of you. Whats your two daddies names.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • manbearpig

      Timmy-
      Nothing like calling someone else a child then attempting to insult them by insinuating that their parents are ho.mose.xuals. I take it you're a bit too dense to grasp the concept of irony, yes?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Jim

      Hey, just cuz I am a flamer and I love to pound da pooop chute of my good pals....doesn't mean I can't be a bible thumper! I can schlob da knob with the best of them!! You non believers better find jesus soon. After I am done polishing up a tool, I be prayin!!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • manbearpig

      And for your information there names are Steve and Jim and they like to s u ck me off to bed every night. I like it when they stick there fingers in my tight little a s s.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • TheBob

      @Kathleen, I'm an equal opportunity blasphemer. Screw them all, from Ju-Ju of the Mountain to Zeus to Thor to Yahweh to Allah to Shiva to Xenu. Except maybe the FSM. I enjoy his noodly appendages and the meatballs from time to time. At least he's of some use.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  15. Max T.

    I'm curious as to why I don't hear about American Christians supporting or monetarily helping Christians in the middle east. I think, though I'm not certain, that there are significant Christian populations in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan, and probably other countries in that area. It strikes me as a natural thing for Christians all over the world to do, but I never hear about it. Does anyone know of any concerted effort to support persecuted Christians in the middle east or other parts of the world by American Christian churches or western Christian churches?

    November 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Jim

      If you went to church you would hear about it. By your comment I gather you have never stepped foot in a church.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • manbearpig

      If Max has never been in a church, I would assume it's because he has better things to do with his life than indulge in adult fairy tales. Proxy threat coming in 3...2...1...

      November 2, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Jim

      Then I can only assume he is a worthless Troll.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Cal

      No, we hear about churches supporting Israel all the time in the news, but where are the stories of them doing as Max asked?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  16. Heat Monger

    > Billy Graham Evangelistic Association erase a reference to Mormonism as a “cult."

    Mormonism is a cult. It is provably false, and it involves rituals with plastic bulls and magical underwear. But it is no more a cult than Christianity. The problem is that cults eventually become accepted as mainstream as they age. Eventually Mormonism won't be a cult anymore. People will have forgotten that Joseph Smith was a charlatan that used magic seeing stones.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Jim

      Pretty bad when people would rather vote for a cult than this broke A s s Administration. Obama is a war criminal.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • manbearpig

      Jim-
      Might want to take a closer look at where that debt came from. I'm sure you're smart enough to do a little research.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Jim

      Oh thats right Bush did it!!!! Last I looked Bush hasnt been Prez for some time now and Obammer hasnt done crap but increase the spending and blame it on previous Admins. Obammer is a worthless hack and in a few short weeks will be out on the unemplyoment line like millions of Americans. Only exception is he is a millionare and doesnt have to find a job imagine that.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • manbearpig

      Again, Jim, I know you've probably been taking Fox News as the word of god, but you might just want to take a peek at those numbers. As a mature human being, you should probably reach your own conclusions based on data rather than being a stooge for someone else's agenda.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Observer

      Less than 4 years ago the Republicans controlled the White House. We had a $1,000,000,000,000 war for FALSE REASONS that they started. We were losing well over a half millioin jobs each month. Osama bin Laden was alive. General Motors was tanking and the stock market was PLUMMETING.

      NO ONE said it was going to be easy, quick or cheap to fix the messes that Bush left behind less than 4 years ago.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Jim

      And Obammer hasnt fixed it or even come close to fixing it. Because of bammer my health insurance now costs me triple what it did under Bush, Gas prices are 3 x's what they were under Bush and I make half of what I did under Bush at my job. Obbammer is a joke and must be replaced.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • manbearpig

      I'm sorry to hear about your employment situation, Jim. But it isn't Obama's fault that McDonalds cut your hours. At least you can comfort yourself with those fairy tales you go hear about every Sunday...

      November 2, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Observer

      "Gas prices are 3 x's what they were under Bush". Gas is about $3.00 per gallon in some places now. So it was around $1 per gallon under Bush? Lol. Get serious

      Highest gas price in U.S. history: under George W. Bush

      November 2, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Susie

      The debt came from democrats spending money we dont have. The deficit was going down after 9-11 until the democrats took over congress and started spending like there is no tomorrow. Not only did they spend like crazy, they also blocked all legislation that would have reined in the house bubble. Now they have convinced the masses that GWB was to blame.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Observer

      Susie,

      Bush and the Republicans started a $1,000,000,000,000 war for FALSE REASONS and cut taxes rather than pay for it. The costs were dumped on Obama.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • manbearpig

      Susie-
      Seriously, just do a google search. It takes like 5 minutes to find some real data on the national debt. In the age of information it takes a special sort of talent to be as ignorant as you are.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Jim

      Pigman is a troll and will not get any more responses from me. Observer is not very observant, with a quick search you can see that prices of gas here half what they are now.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Observer

      Jim,

      "Observer is not very observant, with a quick search you can see that prices of gas here half what they are now"

      Speaking of not being observant, your failure to admit the truth has now changed from prices being TRIPLE to being DOUBLE. Guess again.

      Gas prices hit more than $4 under Bush.

      Ooops.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • manbearpig

      Just keep calling him on it and the numbers will keep dropping. That tends to happen when you challenge the ridiculous lies that people (and I use the term loosely) like Jim dream up.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Cal

      It's too big to be a cult, it's more like a heretic sect now. It's kinda Gnostic in it's reliance upon extra-biblical scripture. The old Church would have known how to treat them, hell the Christians of Smith's own time knew too. He was killed by an angry mob after all.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  17. mariner v

    Prothhero is a religious scholar and it took him this long to figure out that religious groups are in it for the politics? I'm shocked. I knew this when I was 10years old and that was a long time ago. The religous right is as close to an American Taliban as you can get. Why reinvent the wheel, if we want a theocracy in this country all you have to do is go down to the local mosque and join up. Keep religion out of our lives, it is one of the single most destructive forces in our lives. Civilization will only be able to move forward when it is thoroughly removed from our lives.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Jim

      Why do you keep saying "our"? Why do you think you are better than religious people. If we could see your inner most thoughts I bet they would be the things nightmares are made of.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  18. bullet1

    The holy rollers are responsible for the problems this country faces more than any other group including our political leaders. Ralph Reed is a whining hypocrite and Billy Graham is the grand daddy of all charlatans. Go down the list and look at all the back sliding, so-called, ministers. Billy Graham, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Franklin Graham, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Father Divine, etc, etc,. Most of them rose to power in the illiterate south where the tongue talkers and snake handlers reign supreme. Revoke the tax exempt status of all churches and you will see most of them dissapear.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Jim

      Bigot

      November 2, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Smite You

      Jim,

      Those who call others "Bigot", without explanation or refutation, are often bigots themselves.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Jim

      Everyone is a Bigot in one way or another and if you need an explination as to why he is a bigot then you sir are a mindless troll terd.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Dippy

      Jim, you have to work on your spelling. You're at the third-grade level now, try to do better. But don't feel too bad, you're about average for a religious nitwit.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  19. numberthedays

    I am a staunch evangelical Christian who intends to vote for Mitt Romney on Tuesday, and I find it rather offensive that Mr. Prothero accuses me in the third sentence of his article of putting my politics before religion. I don't know enough about what Billy Graham and Ralph Reed have said this year to comment on their positions, but for myself, I don't equate Mormonism with Christianity, yet I still plan to vote for Mitt Romney. I think simply that he will be a better leader than President Obama is, and as a result, I support him instead of Mr. Obama. My Christianity comes before my politics, but as a Christian, I do believe that I should love my neighbor and my country enough to vote for the person that I think will be the best leader for us all. I know others will disagree with my candidate of choice, but I must vote according to my conscience, and I hope others vote according to their consciences too-whomever they may vote for.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • bullet1

      If you love your neighbor you must live in a neighborhood of millionaires to be voting for a person of Romney's character.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • manbearpig

      Romney is a serial liar and flip-flopper. He is willing to say anything he thinks is politically expedient. What makes you think he's the best man for the job? Don't get me wrong, Obama isn't either, but if you really meant to vote for the best man for the job why not a third party candidate like Rocky Anderson or something? You are voting for someone who values none of the things your religion values – virtues like charity and honesty are unknown to Romney. You, sir, are a liar.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • SJMom

      well let's be honest, as an evangelical Christian, you'll vote for ANYONE that is anti-abortion and anti-gay rights

      November 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • atheist joe

      Crap id vote for hitler if it would get this joker obama out of office.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      I commend numberthedays for his/her honesty. It's not often that an evangelical will openly admit that lying and profiteering are part of their "christian" values.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • manbearpig

      "atheist" joe-
      That says a lot about your character.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Cal

      numberthedays
      So, as a Christian, you support giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%? Where did Jesus teach that blessed are the wealthy, for they shall pay taxes at a lower rate than the poor?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  20. David

    Message from White Evangelical Christian supporting Obama

    If evangelical Christians wonder why America is in such bad shape, they can look in the mirror, for they are the ones who caused it by placing their votes for the GOP in a lock-step fashion over the past 30 years.
    Since 1980 most of our debt and deficit problems have been caused by the GOP's drastic under-taxation of the nation's super-rich. Total tax cuts to the wealthy almost exactly match the national debt.
    Instead of being stewards of the environment, the GOP squelched Jimmy Carter's attempt to start dealing with global warming and instead exacerbated it and pretended it was not real. As a result we have the weather disasters of today – the Republican global warming catastrophe that is gradually enveloping the world. The evangelicals who voted for the right wing were the unwitting accomplices.
    Most anti-Christian of all is the GOP / Tea refusal to ask the nation's elite to pay their fair share in taxes. The Gospels quote Jesus on several occasions stating that the rich cannot be saved, like a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle, unless they give up their wealth to help the poor. The GOP / Tea refuse to oblige the rich to pay up, and have done all they can to replicate a Charles Dickens society sharply divided into the 1% Scrooges and 99% Cratchit families. The right wing are hardlyChristiansthey are pagan materialists.

    America will continue to suffer until the evangelical Christians snap out of their dream state belief that they are voting for "values" and that there is some mystical connection between the Bible and the GOP / Tea. The GOP / Tea are the focus of evil in American politics.

    I pray that the evangelical Christians will wake up and stop voting for the anti-Christian policies of the right wing before America is plunged into chaos and doom. One can only pray. With God, all things are possible.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • larch boggett

      "Republican Global Warming Catastrophe"? Funny. Some of your further opinions are interesting, but blaming global warming on Republicans renders all of your subsequent points unheard. Do the Republicans run China? India? If the United States were to cease using fossil fuels, completely, today, would that affect global warming? You don't even know. Taxing the rich is a good idea, it's too bad you discredited yourself before getting there.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • davonskevort

      first things first... the democrats have aligned themselfs with everything against what christians believe. if your a "christian" and you dont believe what Jesus said... your just a christian in name only. Abortion, gay marrage, anti death pen... regardless if the dems were right on economic issues the coolaid of immorality is not acceptable. So you have the republicans right on moral issues but not on economic... you got to think of this little game as what Lord Sidious was playing... nobody is realy the good guy and nobody is on the team they think they are. The artical points this out... The net result is the real christians if they believe what they must will stop voting for both partys and just live their lives the way Jesus said to. He didnt say shape your government to be like Jesus... but to shape your mind and help others to gain the same perspective. If we had more of that you would have a better civilization and thus government. Our government is as good as evil people can make it.... sick and twisted. Give them a bit of money and let them move along to bug someone else for more money... thats all government is... i pesky little bug you feed.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • LittleHero

      I love it when the nut-jobs call the death penalty a "christian" value. Ever read the 10 commandments?

      November 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Dippy

      Davonskevort; It's "you're", not "your". Written like a typical half-wit religious nut.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Jones

      Ask yourselves, had McCain won over Obama 4 years ago, would we honestly be better off now?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:25 am |
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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.