By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – For many conservative Christian leaders, it was a nightmare scenario: Barack Obama decisively re-elected. Same-sex marriage adopted by voters in some states. Rigorously anti-abortion candidates defeated in conservative red states.
On multiple levels, Tuesday’s election results raised questions about the Christian right’s agenda on American politics, eight years after the movement helped sweep President George W. Bush into a second term and opened the era of state bans on same-sex marriage.
“For the first time tonight, same-sex marriage has been passed by popular vote in Maine and Maryland,” said Robert P. Jones, a Washington-based pollster who specializes in questions about politics and religion.
“The historic nature of these results are hard to overstate,” Jones said. “Given the strong support of younger Americans for same-sex marriage, it is unlikely this issue will reappear as a major national wedge issue.”
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Some conservative evangelical leaders echoed that line. Albert Mohler, who heads the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on Twitter that votes for same-sex marriage suggested that “we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”
A Tuesday ballot measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state is still pending. In Minnesota, voters rejected a Tuesday measure that would have banned same-sex marriage there.
Thirty-eight states have banned same-sex marriage, mostly via constitutional amendments.
Obama’s victory also raised questions about the Christian right's influence in the electorate.
Though evangelical leaders as diverse as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and Christian icon Billy Graham voiced support for Mitt Romney (Graham stopped short of an official endorsement), Obama performed better among white evangelicals than he did in 2008 in some states.
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In swing state Ohio, exit polls showed that Obama got 30% support among white evangelicals. While that’s hardly a victory, it’s better than the 27% support Obama got among those voters four years ago.
Before the election, many evangelical leaders predicted that opposition to Obama over his support for abortion rights, his personal endorsement of same-sex marriage and his vision of government as a force for good would trump reservations evangelicals had about Romney’s past social liberalism and his Mormon faith.
“There is no evidence in voting patterns that President Obama's 'evolution' on same-sex marriage cost him anything,” Mohler said in another tweet Tuesday night.
Obama also narrowly won Catholics, even after the U.S. Catholic bishops waged a rigorous campaign against the Obama administration around the issue of religious liberty. The bishops alleged Obama was forcing Catholics to violate their own teachings by making health insurance companies provide free contraception coverage for virtually all employees.
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John Green, a religion and politics expert at the University of Akron, said Obama’s win among Catholics was partly a testament to the growing Latino demographic.
“Maybe Hispanic Catholics were not as moved by religious liberty-type arguments as by immigration and economics,” he said.
Unlike in 2004, when John Kerry – a former altar boy – lost Catholic voters, the Obama campaign had a robust religious outreach program aimed largely at Catholic and evangelical voters. The effort included videos from Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, talking about their Christian faith.
Obama's success among some religious demographics also illustrated how economic issues, as opposed to culture war concerns, dominated the election cycle.
The defeat Tuesday of two Republican Senate candidates who made national headlines with anti-abortion remarks also raised questions about the Christian right’s power.
In Missouri, U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who in August walked back his remark that "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," lost his bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.
Akin’s campaign became a national cause for conservative Christian activists after the Republican Party abandoned the candidate and encouraged him to drop out over his abortion remark.
In Indiana, Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock lost his race against Democrat Joe Donnelly after saying last month that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen.”
Conservative Christians did claim some victories Tuesday night, including helping the GOP retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and helping elect tea party favorite Ted Cruz as a U.S. senator from Texas.
Ralph Reed, the leader of conservative group the Faith & Freedom Coalition, planned a Wednesday morning press conference to release his data about what he called the enduring influence of “values voters.”
“Preliminary evidence is they turned out and they voted heavily for Romney,” Reed said in an e-mail message Tuesday night.
“Preliminary evidence is they turned out and they voted heavily for Romney,” Reed said in an e-mail message Tuesday night.
And guess what?
It obviously didn't help – so take that and drop it off somewheres else.
A free-thinking, white Independent voter.
If there is a god. I hope he has an excuse for being such an @$$ hole
As a conservative, unaffiliated, moderate, I've found my self voting Democrat more and more often. I don't agree with many of the traditionally Democratic platform agendas, but I've come to agree even less with many of the Republican's agendas. One of the most troubling is the Republican drive to obstruct President Obama's initiatives, even to the detriment of our Country's general welfare. The selfishness, condescension, accusations, noncooperation, and obstruction have got to stop. Republicans have got to become solution-seeking team players, not obstruction-seeking dynasty creators.
How can you be both a conservative and a moderate?
I'm a moderate who leans conservative.
It probably depends on the issue. I know some are conservative on fiscal issues, but moderate on social issues. And I'm sure others are just the opposite.
As a former Republican myself – the biggest mistake that the GOP has ever made is this – not sticking with the old Barry Goldwater/Rockefeller standards. Goldwater was not a perfect candidate, or person, but there is no way that he would approved of all this religious moralizing, and hard-right government spending, esp. when it comes to wars in third countries.
Ron Paul was the best that the GOP had to offer, so let them read 'em and weep.
Bubba, some of us are fiscally conservative, but socially moderate. I voted republican back in the Reagan era before conservatives went all crazy with social issues.
me too Emma...
Hate (what the HELL is Patriotic Christianity????) has taken control and fiscal responsiblily (which used to be the ADULT reason to support republicans) no longer exists in the Republican party... they have NOTHING positive going for them now... and the only people supporting them are small business owners who have 'gotten their' and want to keep it or financially struggling bigots who imagine that 'welfare queens' are taking all of their money in taxes.
A thoughtful and intelligent comment. Bravo.
I respect a moderate Republican...however, the GOP doesn't seem to. The extremist faction of the GOP/Tea Party has been rooting out the rational moderates by disparaging them with RINO labels and condemning those who don't toe the party line through conservative litmus tests. The very soul of the Republican party hinges on this election. Hopefully, the strong refudiation (thanks, SP) of these right-wing extremists that embrace divisive wedge-issues will be a wake-up call for for the GOP to stop catering to the fringe, lunatic base. Unfortunately, the party made its bed with the Religious Right and now woke up broke, pregnant and alone (no birth control, abstinence-only teaching, no social programs and no abortion).
The Christian right should think again before supporting a non-Christian for president.
Problem is, anybody they consider "Christian" enough to lead them ends up being like Akin, a total jerk with zero compassion for anyone but white, straight men.
Actually, if they started thinking, that would be an improvement.
Our president is Christian. He's just not a far right evangelical nut case determined to imposed values shared only by other far right evangelical nut cases.
Or... I don't know... The Christian Right should respect that not everyone in the USA is Christian, and they wouldn't much appreciate my pagan laws hanging over their heads, so why should theirs hang over mine?
The problem with the Far Religious Right is that they feel their religious rights trump everyone's rights, period. They have no care for what other faiths may feel or think, because those faiths are wrong at best, and evil at worst.
I have news for them. We're onto them, and they're losing ground. The tighter they grip, the more sand slips through.
This is very good news! A sign of a much more enlightened electorate and progress towards a more perfect union!
Who are these so-called religious leaders anyway?
Who are they to tell me how to vote and how to live, when these same people don't bother to practice what they preach themselves.
Their churches don't pay taxes, but I certainly do, as an individual and a business leader.
And I am certainly not walking around this country poking at the specks in other people's eyes, while refusing to deal with my own shortcoming.
Keep your religion at home, or at church where it belongs. Independent voters and Libertarians rule!
You are right , Religion has no place in government. Government just needs to make sure people have the right to worship if and how they choose. A persons beliefs should be between themselves and thier god. Not laws for everyone.
Also we should be collecting taxes from organized religions. that buy buildings and have employees .. they are a buisness.
I am religious and I think for myself.
As long as it fits with the Bible, and how any Christians I know interpret the Bible, you mean? Ooh, you're such a rebel!
Uhhh thinking one's self to be religious may well be the faults of de-socialism propoganda. Mixed with pubescency such things might harbor out to be a grudging diaspora toward pre-sensualisms.
I have been getting postings from a family acquaintance who is definitely off the rails. The image of the President in crosshairs, as a vampire, "he must die," and other ugly and virulent images is scary. He's just passing on stuff that is out there – including something from some "WorldBaptist" something site. These people are not all ok, mentally, and maybe they're just venting. But the hate and the nastiness are beyond "freedom of speach." I hope someone is monitoring this.
Just send a polite email response saying you would prefer they not send that stuff. Or, hit delete.
Would it be too much to hope that they showed Obama as a Twilight, hunky, sparkly-skinned vampire?
They are just reinforcing the fact that they don't practice what they preach, but we already know that.
And I agree with the other commentor – just "delete" these e-mails.
I'm waiting for the hunky sparkly vampire supporters to get into a fight with the ugly nosferatu sect.
Hate to spoil it for you, but the sissies never get to have that rumble, at least in the book version anyway. Bell's power tips the balance too much. Total gyp! I'm a girl, and even I really wanted to read about that fight.
Hey, my pets worship me, so don't give them any ideas! :-)
It would be nice to live long enough to see an openly atheist President elected...
The christian right is waning, and it has been for a long time now. Their churches are emptying because the parishioners are dying and their children aren't coming in to fill the empty seats. Hope you all enjoy the long glide into irrelevancy. Your influence will not be missed.
Old folks who couldn't wait six, or seven hours in line to vote. They were too use to being picked up by their church buses and driven right up to the doors to vote, and returned home before their soaps came on.
Yeah, it looks like christianity's icy-cold, death like grip has been loosened from this free nation. FINALLY!!! Bye bye little christian freak, conservatives (oh, and miserable mormons that fasted and prayed to no avail...LOL!) your day is over. Look how science and technology have shaped and affected us in just the last four years. Why we even found out that Jesus had a wife this year. In four years, your affect on America will be nothing but a dusty memory.
Have you seen Todd Akin's concession speech? He basically says that Obama's reelection was also God's plan. So, good or bad, pro-"Christian", or anti-"Christian", everything is part of God's plan to him. Guess none of us had any free will when we voted then.
Ben: Wow. That's old-school Calvinist predestination he's showing faith in right there. The old "you get to choose, sure, but God already knows what you're going to choose, so it doesn't matter."
Over the past months, with increasing ferver, hundreds of thousands of religious right (oxymoron) fundiot nutter wingnuts guaranteed that their god wanted Romney to win, and that he would crush Obama.
We all know how that turned out. Plus several states OK'd gay marriage.
So, either your god was wrong, or your god lied.
Or, or....god doesn't exist.
Option 4: or they don't actually know what their god wants
Your party lost, did you not pray hard enough, you moron?
I would definitely favor tax breaks and financial incentives (such as tuition support) for people who could prove use of a long term birth control such as Implanon.
you do realize the TAX EXEMPT "go forth and multiply" crowd would NEVER go for that.... they get their flock from the ignorant and their leaders from the "edjakated" that fleece them.
A lot of Christians could not vote for President this election. Look at the options a cultist from an anti – Christ faith or a advocate for infanticide and abomination.
Then I guess a lot of christians are ignorant cretins who fail to understand that we are not a christian nation.
and of course if truth be told got a closer look at some of the Christians he's talking about, he would wind up telling many of them 'you're not a Christian'. Of course many of them would be doing the same thing. lol.
Millions of Christians couldn't vote because they are in prison.
Prayer changes things
And yet, Obama is STILL President. Ignorant fundiot nutters like Walsh, Akin, and Moudock lost. And gay marriage will be legal in more states.
You lost. Get over it. Your god was wrong (again). Deal with it.
Except for Mormon prayers, apparantly.
"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:
This troll is not a christian.
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.
Maybe prayer changes some things. Elections don't seem to be one of those things, though.
Get used to it Christian wingnuts! By the time the next election cycle rolls around, your influence will have slipped even further towards complete insignificance where it belongs.
Keep dreaming nope-bot.
As in Europe, more and more people are not relating to the christian myth and are escaping the clutches of the church. In my opinion it is the result of the spread of social media where young minds can be exposed to other ideas besides those forced upon them by their parents, priests/pastors or religious schooling. It is comforting to see that radical pro-life supporters were defeated by an educated electorate. Light at the end of the tunnel for a truly secular state.
It generally has more to do with citizens being able to rely on the state or other secular organizations for support rather than on churches. That's why you see religiosity drop when a strong public school and healthcare program are available, and people don't have to wait for the church or mosque to rescue them.
I agree that support of the individual is also a factor and would point out that the so called Arab Spring has been greatly influenced by social media. Knowledge is the greatest enemy of the religions and they know it and it is why they try to suppress the spread of knowledge as best thet can. The faster they fail the better.
Social media also provides a ready outlet for vile, dogmatic cults like Westboro Babtist to show themselves in the open... and normal people can easily recognize their hatred when they see it in the clult-mambers faces.
By 2050 Europe will be Muslim.
I live in New England, and while half the Republicans have abandoned the Christian Right rhetoric, the other half still pay lip service. The thing here is that we all know most of the Republicans are lying just to con the few uneducated fundamentalists (yes, here in New England only the really very uneducated are right wing religious extremists). Its all an accepted game in the Republican party. One problem, though, is that many Republicans here assume that because our Repub candidates are really just faking it on social issues, that must be the case in the rest of the county. Certainly sometimes it is true elsewhere, as in California, but having lived all around the US I try to explain that elsewhere people, even people with college educations, really do believe this stuff. This time around I did see a number of Republicans I know bowing out on Republican candidates because the implications of the bigger religious connections were seen as too "scary", so maybe its starting to sink in.
What Obama can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority leader label?
He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.
And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.
Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!
The issue is not his to dictate from the top down on a national level. It is his responsibility to uphold the current law as a representative of the people. If you want to help reduce the number of abortions, it will have to come from the ground up, to include more education. If the education is proper, then that will make it all the way to the presidency.
I'm assuming you think that right after conception this 2 or 4 cell organism with no neurons has a soul? So lets say, for theoretical purposes, that an abortion was conducted right at that point (this is a theoretical moral argument only). What horrible thing is it you think is happening to the soul of this 4 cell organism?
I am totally opposed to destroying a fetus in a woman's womb. I am more opposed to unwanted children being mistreated and abused and shuffled between Foster homes or living on the streets not knowing parental love. So all you prolifers, solve the second issue and the abortion problem will go away!
Leaving the gods and souls out of the discussion:
The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...
The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:
: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.
Added information before making your next move:
from the CDC-2006
"Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
Consumer Reports, January, 2012
"Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-
Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.
"Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)
Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.
The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
– (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
– (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)
Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).
As noted many times before the election:
Why the Christian Right no longer matters 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.
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.
Condoms do break, you know. So do diaphragms.
Also, the pill can fail even if you take it every day. Some medications interfere with its effectiveness (that's why I have a granddaughter). Do YOU always, always read all the fine print in the literature you get with a new prescription? A lot of people don't. Yes, they probably should, but they don't.
It's not always the case that someone did something stupid or wrong to get pregnant. The world just isn't that predictable.
@Ann, the main reason for the 15% failure rate with the male condom is that people don't use it consistently. Rates are reported based what you rely on as your primary source of contraception. With proper use the rate is only 2%...a fraction. In the case of condoms (and to a large extent BCPs, we're looking at people just not using the thing.
I don't personally have an issue with abortion, but I do with unwanted and accidental pregnancy. That's why I think we really need to step up the incentives to use more reliable methods that don't count on humans to be too reliable ... we just aren't as a species.
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."
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 (I.E. THEY ARE STUPID AND/OR HAVE SE-X WHILE HIGH ON ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS), 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.
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.