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November 3rd, 2012
09:00 PM ET

My Take: On Election Day, proclaiming my loyalty to Jesus

Editor's Note: Mark Schloneger is pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.

By Mark Schloneger, Special to CNN

It seems frivolous, even foolish.

On Tuesday, as the world turns its attention to who will occupy the most powerful office of the world’s most powerful nation, hundreds of churches will gather across the United States to worship a servant.

As votes are counted to elect a president, thousands of Christians will take the bread and the cup to remember their crucified Lord.

As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.

It seems ridiculous, even silly.

After all, America is at a crossroads, and we are in the midst of one of the most critical presidential elections of our lifetimes. We know this because people have recited this same tired mantra before every presidential election.

How the White House changed Barack Obama’s faith

Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our votes. And how do politicians and their supporters acquire this precious currency? They invest billions of dollars to foment fear, inspire hope, create worry and exploit our struggles.

It’s a power play. Some of us are pawns, and some of us are participants. But some of us are choosing a different part.

I initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ. Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of congregations nationwide: the church being the church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its loyalty to Jesus.

The making of a candidate: Mitt Romney’s faith journey

Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.

Far too often, the church has abandoned its first love for the siren song of political parties promising protection, prosperity and peace. Far too many times, the church has ceded the practice of its faith to the spiritual and the private while leaving others to address matters of justice. And far too frequently, the church has attempted to speak truth to power while seeking and relying on that same power for protection.

The bread and the cup are God’s antidotes to our fickle memories. As we eat and drink together, we remember that all things fall under the lordship of Christ. We remember our sin and need to repent.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

We remember that God has lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, and chosen to reveal God’s strength through our weakness.

We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.

As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

We will gather for Election Day Communion not because we think that the issues at stake in this election are unimportant or that our votes don’t really matter. No, we will gather for Communion because we think that the issues at stake in all elections are far too important to be relegated to our votes alone.

The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus. To me, practicing the politics of Jesus means working to protect the sanctity of all human life, whether it is found in the womb, in prison, or in countries at war against us.

It means choosing the way of forgiveness and reconciliation rather than vengeance and violence. It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid.

It means offering care and compassion to suffering people regardless of their immigration status, economic class or religious practice.

It means being good stewards of God’s good creation. And, most of all, it means allowing God’s kingdom to break into the entirety of our lives, from the privacy of our homes to the politics we practice in public.

The bread and the cup keep calling me back to the table inscribed with memory. There, I remember God’s choice for the transfer of power. There, I remember where to go with my fears, my hopes, my worries and my struggles. At the table, with my sisters and brothers, I am in the presence of the Holy.

Though I’m interested in the outcome of the presidential election, I won’t be watching the projected results as they are announced. I’ve made a prior commitment. I intend to honor it.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Schloneger.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (3,435 Responses)
  1. Religious Brain Trust

    I feel like I need to find another way to show atheists why it is important that you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      Good luck.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      Maybe you can find a way to help Mormons accept the real Jesus.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Religious Brain Trust

      You said, "I feel like I need to find another way to show atheists why it is important that you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior."
      Start with some evidence the dude actually existed.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Christ Jesus died for ALL of Life's sinning ways, past, present and future. We have been made free. Even though one continues to sin without knowing so, no harm is done BUT continuing to knowingly sin without repentance will leave one high and dry without a drop of water to ease one's thirst. BTW, I am voting for Obama. I've seen his works and like his style. As for Romney, I just can't get past his planet 'kolab' or 'kolob' or whatever,,,,

      November 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why don't you worry about your own soul, RBT, and stop attempting to troll here. You know perfectly well that you couldn't care less about atheists or their souls. You're just a bored little kid with no friends who likes to see your own words on the screen and who practically drools in anticipation of the reactions they'll elicit.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • jywalker1324@ca.rr.com

      Why? what's it got to do with you?

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ben

      I believe that Jesus existed and even that he had some good ideas. But I think he was "just" a human. The way I see it, even though I don't believe in God or Jesus as something more than a man, I try to be a good person and if there is a loving God out there, he/she/it won't hold it against me for not having faith.

      If God is really going to damn me to hell for not believing that Jesus was something more than human, then that is not very loving...

      November 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  2. Connie

    I am liberal AND Christian.

    I believe the new convenant shows that Jesus would love everyone, heal anyone, fight for the poor and oppressed, feed the hungry, judge kindly, offer comfort to strangers and turn the other cheek.

    Recently, the Franciscan Action Network (statement/press release) and the Nuns on the Bus (dem convention) have made headlines on the Christian/Catholic principles with regard to world governance.

    I only depart with my political choice in the abortion stance and I feel it is certainly not my business to judge anothers life choice (that is God's job – not mine) – my only job in life is to love God's creation ... the world and its people. To walk the earth knowing that GOD is beside me and that I hope many see God's love through my eyes, through my actions and through my message.

    For me, I choose to remember that the message: Love One Another is the standard and to also remember the message is separate from the messenger.

    I think Jesus would be a liberal too – given what I know about his life.

    So, have a wonderful, loving day full of happiness and kindness for yourself and your fellow man.

    If you can't for some reason, then my prayers today are for YOU specifically, for surely, you are hurting – if the only thing to come FROM you is hurtful.

    I am imperfect too ... we are all so very human.... so very very human ... every one ...

    Perhaps there IS something to the "Dec 21 2012" thing ... who knows ... maybe a new world full of loving for one another will result from the birth pains the world feels today. (?) I dunno.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • KEKC

      I am an Independent, voting against Obama this time (technically this means for Romney), and an atheist.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Doing it by law and not the Spirit is folly. No blessings are received by anyone. Unless of course, you are a bureaucrat, then you get to skim and live the gud life.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  3. Lest we all forget

    This election is NOT about religion, nor the lack of it. Religious freedom was a founding aspect of our nation. Our forefathers ran from religious persecution. This country was founded on a LACK of religion in our government, and we were PROUD of it. How did that change so much in so short a time? The separation of church and state in our government is deliberate, purposeful, and to be carefully guarded. The President is NOT running for Pastor, Minister, Father, nor any other religious leader. NOR SHOULD HE BE. No religious aspect should be considered when choosing a President of the USA.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  4. Bruce

    Religion has no place in politics. Religion is bunk and spirituality is personal.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • KEKC

      Religion has no place in the 21st Century.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Harrison

      But since Religion is a factor in our Politics it is very important to Defeat the most extreme, intolerant Fundamentalists in the voting Booth. Keeping them away from the Civil Rights and Privacy of Tax Paying Americans is most necessary.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Burning Bibles is closer than ever. After the Christians, of course. It has happened before and now that the gubmint is all powerful concerning everything, look out.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  5. albert

    Christian = Christlike. Perhaps this author would like to share scripture where Jesus was political, or where he asked his followers to be. Jesus didn't vote neither did his followers. The fact is that Jesus believed and advocated only one kingdom. His fathers Kingdom. That is where a Christians loyalty should be. Read Daniel 2:44 to see what the Bible says about all other governments.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      Jesus and his followers didn't vote because they lived in an absolute monarchy, the Roman Empire, where nobody had the vote or civil rights, for that matter. It wasn't as if they had the vote and decided not to use it. Thus, your argument is quite fallacious. It doesn't excuse us from trying to apply his core values - love of neighbor, love of enemy and treating others the same way we want to be treated - to our community life together as fellow citizens relating to each other and the world around us, which is what politics essentially is. No candidate or party platform will live up to that 100%, but some do a better job of it than others.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Brian

      You are you to apply your values to anyone? You make me sick

      November 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      We all live by values, Brian. How we treat each other matters. It makes the difference between civilization and barbarity, life and death. Loving neighbor, loving enemy and treating each other the same way we want to be treated are good for all of us. It sure beats hating neighbor, hating enemy and treating others meanly, cruelly, greedily and exploitatively. It's rather sad that treating others as well as you would treat yourself makes you sick. Maybe you should see a doctor about that.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The big gubmint types own the mess. Kennedy to his priest, 'I sponsored more laws than Moses. Doesn't that count for sumpin?'

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  6. DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

    word hindu is based on Latin word, hindered, negative, Hun, Great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity.

    To learn hinduism, crookedness of hindu's, criminals to hind, fool humanity, please visit limitiisthetruth.com

    November 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      Wrong. The word "Hindu" actually comes not from Latin, but from Persian: "Hindu," meaning someone from "Hind" (India). The English word "hinder" doesn't come from Latin either: its roots are the Old English word "hindrian," meaning "to hold back" or "to hold behind." (It's related to the German word "hinter," which means "behind.") Back to school for you...

      November 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Dump something Hindru flavor vote fun god

      Word Puke is based on Latin absurd word Puki, Pe or Pa, Te, or Ta, meaning from stomach ism 180 and throat base word for Sick in English, Upchuck, blowing chunks or spewing ism, meaning, worshiping at the porcelain throne or a sweaty, infection of puke absolute ism, such as flu, or Food poisoning, in disregard diarrhea or Montezuma’s revenge ism , One who takes a s.h.i.t to be in violation of his body without his consent, considering himself to be dying, the truth you drank too much tequila ism 180, same as in barfing, denier it doesn’t work, word projectile abused vomiting is based on Latin word vomi, icky, smelly, horrible, icky, to be in a pool of sick and HeavenSent, to be dumber than the fluids leaking from your absurd ravished body ism to both of them, watery eyes, a noun in missing work, puke in your nose, way of making absurd filthy you even sicker, as in word “ralph”, a self-violating or a ja.panese p.o.r.n.o, otherwise known as a freak, a sadist. Puking is not an accident but a way to clear the crud ism 180 from your mutilated digestive system, defiance to the Lysol and filthy towels you will use ism absurd 180 filthy ism.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Nice try, hindu's were called hindu's, for their denial of truth absolute GOD by Muslim's, not as you hind, lie in your post. Persian and German it self are an off shoot of Latin langue, unlike Sanskrit is hinduism, corruption of Latin language.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  7. Religious Brain Trust

    I am embarrassed to be a human being with the hatred atheists disply on this blog. My goodness. It is so obvious that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. It is all right there in the Bible. DUH!

    November 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't you have some leaves to rake? No allowance for you otherwise. Get busy.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Athy

      I'm embarrassed that you are a human being too, Brain Trust.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are so witty and smug Tom Tom. Maybe you should do some leaf raking yourslef lol

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I pay kids like you to do that for me.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Nuttin' Honey

      RBT,
      "It is all right there in the Bible."

      The Bible is nothing.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      @Nuttin' Honey

      What I can't believe is how you people don't care about your souls.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • reality

      Using the Bible to try and prove the existence of Jesus is like using Marvel Comics to prove the existence of Superman

      November 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Religious Brain Trust

      You said, "What I can't believe is how you people don't care about your souls."
      Thinly veiled Pascal's wager.

      Pascal's Wager:
      In effect, Pascal's wager states that while we can't know with absolute certainty whether the christian god exists, a rational evaluation should lead to a belief. If having to choose between believing (in the christian god), or not believing, the reward for being correct, and the price for being wrong, tips the balance in favor of believing.

      It says, if you believe and are correct, you will gain heaven, while the price for being wrong is nothing. On the other hand, if you don't believe, it says you will gain nothing for being right, yet lose everything if you are wrong. So, belief results in a win/neutral, and non-belief in a neutral/lose position, tipping the balance clearly in favor of the "belief" position.

      Why Pascal's Wager is a fallacy:
      a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options.
      b) Pascal's Wager assumes the christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions.
      c) Pascal's Wager discounts the price paid for belief before death.
      d) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the odds for the reward and the risk of punishment.

      Positing only two options is ridiculous. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. Based on the evidence available for these gods, it is not reasonable to assume one is more likely than any of the others. To increase the odds of a positive outcome of this wager, the believer would have to believe in, and worship, every possible god. Including the ones that haven't been invented yet. Aside from the drain on the available time, it presents the problem that quite a few of these gods are pretty selfish. They frown upon believers believing in other gods. In some religions that is enough to not be eligible for the reward (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      Also, just going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief (making the belief position a lose/neutral one).

      The price paid for the belief position isn't nothing. It involves going through the rituals, day after day, week after week. It may have severe side effects on physical and mental health. Sex life suffers, too.

      In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation of risk versus reward is in order.

      Risk is (simplistically) the chance that a negative event occurs, multiplied by the cost of that event. As an example, being hit by a meteorite carries a very high cost (probably death), but since the odds are extremely low, the risk associated with it is low. Similarly, the chance of getting rained on is pretty high, but the cost is very low, representing also a low risk. On the other hand the cost and chances of, and therefore the risk associated with, a traffic accident are high.

      The choice whether to mitigate a risk depends on, among other things, the severity of the risk, the cost of the mitigation and the tolerance of that risk. In the above examples, the cost to mitigate each risk are; exorbitant, low and high, respectively. Methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of meteorite impacts are cost prohibitive and far exceed the risk. An umbrella and a check of the weather forecast effectively mitigate the risk of getting rained on, and is easily worth the cost. Car crashes, and their after-effects are mitigated to various degrees by expensive technology (from street surface technology to driver training, airbags and traction control). People bear those costs to their financial ability and tolerance for the risk.

      A similar reasoning applies to reward. The choice whether to pursue a reward is guided by the perception value of the reward, the perception of the odds of gaining the reward and the cost to pursue it.

      In the belief versus non-belief question, believers tend to irrationally overestimate both the reward for belief, and the risk associated with non-belief.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      Perhaps, Religious Brain Trust, people would be so hostile or apathetic to Jesus if those who keep saying he is their Lord actually obeyed him as a lord and did what he said: love your neighbor, love your enemy and treat others the same way you want to be treated.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  8. PRISM 1234

    One can not proclaim his loyalty to Jesus and vote for neither of candidates we've got!

    November 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't you not proceed to tell me what not to not vote for.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      Who would Jesus vote for?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • albert

      Perhaps you would like to share scriptures from the Bible that prove your point?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who cares?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Big John

      Hey Republicans, go out and block the roads of potential democratic voters!!!!!!!!!!!! Fake that your cars are broken down so we can win the WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • albert

      Jesus wouldn't vote. Never has, never will. Plus, his Father made him King, so why would he vote for a corrupt human government?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      One has to decide, on the realistic fact that we live in a fallen, broken world that often chases after priorities other than Jesus', which candidate's policies best address Jesus' mandate to love neighbor, love enemy and treat others the same way we want to be treated. No candidate or party platform will measure up 100%, but some hit the mark much closer or higher than others.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      He wouldn't vote for a lying Mormon.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      I get it. What a strategy! Two negatives combined equal a positive. So we're supposed to vote for both, which equals a spoiled ballot. That doesn't sound too green to me. Better to just stay home. It's too much like a hubby and wife voting opposite. It hurts the family finances for nothing.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Name*rubes

      Thats why there is separation of church and state. To cesar what is to cesar and to god what is to god. Thats why my vote has nothing to with religeous principals. Thou shall not lie. Both parties do that. It has to do with the most credible. I still want to know if my taxes are lowered what are going to be my allowed deductions. I fear they may be silly things like wicker baskets in lieu of my home intrest.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  9. Hindu Mithra Ism etc.

    Pickle juice is just another name for cuc.u.mber pickle-ism, dill weed ism, sour tart of back yard garden, old cuc.u.mbers with another pickled lid mason jar, feed humanity based on how many jars-ism of pri.ckly beef steak ism 180 tomatoes, okra, tomatoes too absolute american dill pickles in support of American bar food ism.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Anybody know how to read?

    In the heart of american politics, Illinois, the elect get indicted after winning the election. God is different. He indicts you before you get elected.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  11. postedbygeo

    another example of perverted mid-eastern theology.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  12. Tom

    I have got to get my bumper sticker printed..........VOTE FOR AND ELECT,,,,,,JESUS CHRIST FOR PRESIDENT as he is KING OF KINGS and your LORD AND SAVIOUR.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Ya know... if you pray enough and successfully complete the flesh eating and blood drinking rituals, bumper stickers will
      be delivere unto you by the lord Jesus dressed in a Fed-x uniform. I'm the devil, and I approve this message.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      hinduism, absurdity of a follower of hindu Mithra racist savior ism.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  13. chase

    this is the dumbest article i have ever read

    November 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • steve

      Its because you're smarter than these other jesus loving fools.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Tom

    Given the nature of things today,,,,with our society,,,,our political system ,,,,,our financial system in greed,,,,,and religious wars abound......The four legs of the table on which our world sits must surely be crumbling,,,,, maybe the miyans saw a vision of the future and called it quits,,,,,,after all something scared the living crap out of them enough to start a count down

    November 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Dippy

      You really like commas, don't you, Tom?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • SensibleJoe

      There's no such thing as "miyans," Tom. There is such a thing as "Mayans." Please do take the time to read and learn before posting.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  15. Floyd from Illinois

    Too bad for the premise of this article that Jesus is not on the ballot – anywhere.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Well, the "Vote for Jesus/Paul of Tarsus" campaign buttons keep falling off of their ghostly apparitions' lapels.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  16. clevelandsteamer

    Please, please get your religion out of our secular government. Sorry, it is a secular goverment, regardless of whatever revisionist history you may have been hearing lately. Our country has enough complicated issues to handle without complicating things with Dark Ages social beliefs and fairytales.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      Just because it is a secular government does NOT mean Jesus can't be front and center.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course it does. Your belief may be front and center in YOUR life. You don't get to make it front and center in mine or anyone else's.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are just angry because you hate Jesus but Jesus loves you.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not angry at all. I simply don't agree with you. I don't believe in your brand of mumbo-jumbo. I don't buy your views on government. I don't believe that hom0s3xuality is "wrong" or a "sin." I don't think your religious beliefs should be the basis of law, and in fact, I'm grateful that they are not and never have been.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't hate ho.mose.xuals. I just don't think they should have the same rights as normal people. Your anger is really coming out.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would I be angry at a dog that pees on the floor because it's not trained and isn't very bright?

      You're in the same category, Brophy.

      You can throw out the bait all you like. It won't work. I don't believe hom0s3xuality is abnormal. I don't believe abortion is immoral or always wrong. I don't believe gays should be treated any differently than straight people. I don't believe the world was created in 6 days 6000 years ago. I don't believe there was an Adam or an Eve or that Jesus is divine, if he existed at all.

      It's that simple.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      It is a secular government. But people's religious beliefs affect what principles they believe work best in the world. To ask them to leave that behind when they vote is to ask them to vote ignoring what works best. You evidently believe that Christianity is Dark Ages fairy tales. Would you ignore that when you vote? I would guess not. Why, then, would you expect others to ignore what they believe?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Athy

      Why shouldn't they have the same rights as everyone else? Did I miss something in the const<b/b>itutio?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • and as always

      Tom Tom is wrong, ho.mo.se.xuality is a sin, an abomination and a filth that should be criminally prosecuted and punished until it is eradicated from the face of the earth.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • anon

      Just like eating shellfish, wearing clothing of 2 fabrics, and playing football right?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shove it up your pipe, captain axxhole.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son: I have as much right to promote laws based on my beliefs as you do to promote laws based on yours.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can vote as you please, Bobby. But you will not be able to turn this into a theocracy by denying rights to others based on your religious beliefs. We have this little thing called the Const itution and another called the Bill of Rights, and those are the basis of our laws. Not the bible. Not your beliefs.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Try to figure it out, Bob. What "secular" means is that our government is based on a system of laws, not on the bible's teachings or your interpretation of them. Of course, what you believe will affect your political decisions. So? I never said you didn't have the right to vote as you choose. Go right ahead. Unless your beliefs allow others to enjoy the rights they have under the law, you will have to abide by the Consti tution, whether you approve of what others do or not.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • J Sefcik

      God is love . God would not stand up to any party that kills it's young in the womb or it's elderly. Look at all the signs God is pulling his grace away from us. We have been warned. we have not turned back to God and if we don't the Lord is going to place a judgement against us just as he has from the Jews scattering them to the four corners of the world. I feel sorry for all of you in your unbelief. It is our moral duty to vote for the canidate that stands the closest to our values.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  17. Religious Brain Trust

    The atheists on this web site like to point out that there is no evidence to support our Christian beliefs.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's why they're "beliefs" and not "facts." What part of that is unclear to you?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      Christian beliefs are facts Tom Tom. What part of that do YOU not understand?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Justin

      A book written by a human 2 thousand years ago with fairy tails is not a compilation of facts.Sorry.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a fact Christians have beliefs. Their beliefs aren't factual. That's why they're called "beliefs." There is no evidence that what Christians believe is true. None. If you can produce any, go right ahead.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Religious Brain Trust

      You, see this the whole problem with atheists. We tell you about Jesus and the Bible because it is the truth, but then you decide to believe something else. If you don't believe, how can you have faith based on the facts?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Be sure to translate that into something other than gibberish, Brophy.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you figure that out, Brophy, try to use commas correctly. Grammar is your friend. Punctuation saves lives.

      "Let's eat Grandma!"
      "Let's eat, Grandma!"

      November 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Hindu Mithra Ism etc.

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't know why you are chewing me up all the time what did I do to you

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Kate

      There are no 'facts' in religion........it's all just a theory.
      Nobody knows who actually wrote the bible stories. And nobody knows how many have been corrupted or ignored.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Religious Brain Trust

      You said, "We tell you about Jesus and the Bible because it is the truth, but then you decide to believe something else."
      Unless you can support your assertions with some evidence, all you have are baseless assertions. Your beliefs don't magically become the "truth", just because you believe them to be. If you wish to convert or convince any rational thinking person, you should support your story with verifiable facts.

      You said, "If you don't believe, how can you have faith based on the facts?"
      Facts don't require faith. Faith doesn't equal fact. Evidence creates facts.

      There isn't a single fact that supports the core belief that every religion relies on. There isn't a single piece of evidence that supports the existence of any god. Every religious belief is based on unquestioning faith, often in spite of evidence to the contrary.

      Without evidence there is no reason to believe any assertion. Religious beliefs are unreasonable because there are no reasons to believe them.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Kate

      You said, "There are no 'facts' in religion........it's all just a theory."
      Calling religion a "theory" is giving it far more credit than it deserves. It also does a huge disservice to science. At best, religion can be called an unsupported hypothesis.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Super Mario

      Not just unsupported. Wildly unsupported.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Which christian beliefs are those exactly? There are approximately 41,000 different denominations of christians, each with their own little twist on what the buy-bull says. You'd think if it were the "word of god" there would be no ambiguity.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Tom: I hope it is equally clear to you that when you state that Christian beliefs are not factual, you are simply stating your beliefs and not facts.

      November 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  18. .

    A guy dies and goes to hell. The devil greets him and says, "You weren't such a bad guy so I am going to let you choose your punishment."

    The devil takes the guy to three rooms, the first of which had people burning in a furnace. The guy said, "That's not too good. Let's see what's in the second room.

    In the second room people were nailed to trees and snakes were eating their stomachs.

    "That's no good, either. Let's see the third room."

    So the devil took him to the third room, where people were standing in waist-deep excrement drinking coffee.

    So the guy said, "That's not so bad. At least I get to drink coffee. I'll choose this room."

    So the devil handed him his cup of coffee and the guy jumped into the pool of poo.

    He wasn't in the room two minutes when the devil opened the door, blew a whistle and yelled, "Coffee break's over! Back on your heads!"

    November 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayer-bot..

      November 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • headdown1

      If prayer changes things, then why has every experiment to prove that point utterly failed? Talk to your invisible friend all you want, just keep that nonsense out of government.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      headdown1: I hope you'll be consistent and keep your beliefs out of government to the same degree you ask others to do so,

      November 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  20. pir-faqir

    What is translated in the bible as 'god almighty' was nothing more than 'god of the mountain' in the original text. The Jewish super god YHWH was nothing more than 'god of thunder' until the Hebrews (Khapiru or 'apiru) came into contact with the followers of Zarathustra. The Jewish calendar was created in 360CE by a group of nine rabbis who based it on the idea that every man lived to be 100 when the actual life span 2,000 years ago was just 34-37. (Even one of my immigrant Hispanic students said it was '35'.) What I have posted here is based on my three readings, cover to cover, of these two books: "In Search of Zarathustra" by Paul Kriwaczek and "Spirituality in the Land of the Noble" by Richard C. Foltz. The word 'Aryan' has nothing do do with 'white'. It and Eire ((Ireland) and Iran all mean 'NOBLE' and I see nothing noble in the works of the Aryan Nation.

    November 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.