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November 7th, 2012
08:21 AM ET

Election results raise questions about Christian right's influence

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.”

Your Take: Should churches be polling places?

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.

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

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (4,433 Responses)
  1. demo Joseph

    But is is ok for you guys to sleep with children, stir hate, and devide people in the name of God?

    November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Roger in Florida

      Mental midgetry at work here

      November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  2. Ned Flanders

    How come Jesus didn't use his hesus-magic to push Ohio and Florida his way? Did he use up all his jesus-magic helping wide receivers catch footballs with both feet in bounds?

    November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Joe

      Haha! No kidding. The circular logic with the religious stupids is overwhelming.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Unfortunately it's just as bad with the irreligious stupids.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • miss demeanor

      I personally experienced a miracle yesterday. I prayed to jeebus to find me a parking spot in front of Waldo-mart an' he dee-yud. NOTE: A fundamentalist ACTUALLY told me this years ago.... that is the mentality we don't need deciding to replace science in text books with their version of 'the truth'... Jeeebus also told dubya to blow trillions of dollars and trash the US economy for a decade because it was Patriotic Christian Uhmerkika's Destiny.... sheeesh.... Thanks REAL god for keeping Patriotic Christianity out of the white house this time!

      November 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Joe

      Hardly, @JFCanton. No circular logic here. Just a simple, eloquent resolution to all religious conflicts, political and/or otherwise:

      Keep your magical nonsense to yourself. Don't push it on anyone. Keep it personal, like it says you're supposed to in that silly Bible you all fawn over and we'll all get along just fine. Until that happens, expect to have your magical fairyland beliefs disassembled before a global audience on a regular basis.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Unfortunately there are a whole bunch of damaged and deluded people out there for whom the "magical nonsense" is WAY more useful than whatever their less-than-optimal minds are able to create. So believers have a certain amount of obligation to stick their nose a certain distance into those people's business.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Nelson Muntz

      HAHA

      November 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joe

      @JFCanton:

      If a person believes in all that "magical nonsense", then they are certainly damaged, deluded, and equipped with a less-than-optimal mind. And if a believer implies that they have an OBLIGATION to stick their nose in other people's business... well it's just mind-numbingly idiotic. Tell me why, if you can, one would be so obligated? Don't give me the charity bit. Heard it. My response every time is "One does not need Jesus to be charitable."

      November 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  3. God's Oldest Dreamer

    A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and cannot. Your loving this Life is for the world to have and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and living begin?

    What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • biff

      Huh?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created.

      These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence.

      Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wow that profound. Like the Lyrics of a bad Styx song back in the day.

      Do you spew that silliness at the 4-H fair?

      If ya do, I bet you can pick up tons of Fundie chicks!

      I know they ain't much to look at, but remember, if you bag three "3's" thats almost like bagging a nine.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • main pain

      Huh? I hope you don't take total offense but what a load of baloney! IMO.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      You are doing random ramblings; please seek help before you go on a rampage.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Yeah, creative writing classes can be fun!

      November 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Erich

    Oh dear Me, your spelling is atrocious, are you quite certain that you are not an idiot?

    November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  5. Joe

    It's a simple formula: the more educated a society becomes, the less prevalent religion is within that society. For you religious types, I'll dumb this down for you...

    The more religious you are, the dumber you are.

    So, what does all this mean? It means this country is continuing to get smarter and one day religious wackos like yourselves will be a very insignificant minority.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • settino

      Amen!!! Europeans and Canadians are aleady past the religious cr@p and have moved on many years ago.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Ben

      Let's not marginalize them to much, as it will only exacerbate their collective tendency towards martyrdom

      November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • drinker75

      So true!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      I do agree there are way too many smart alecs around the bells ever ringing their fancy pants off!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @G.O.D.

      You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father. Where is your God now?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Joe

      @Gold's Oldest Dingus:

      I read your previous magical, fairyland post. If you really believe all that hogwash you spout, I've got a 4 headed unicorn I won from Jesus in a game of Scrabble yesterday. It's yours for $50.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • main pain

      Have to disagree with you there. In ancient times the Jews were reasonably well educated due to their schools and having a written language. This helped them throughout the ages while the pagans were illiterate, the Jews were literate and prospered. This also worked against them as people saw their prosperity as a threat. Also, education has been a prime mover of Christianity for centuries. Churches brought schools and education along with the Bible to many illiterate societies. They also provided them a written language for the first time and helped them elevate their conditions through education. That said, you can tag cultural religionists and "moral majority' types with a modern stupidity along with many academic humanists that have created their own religion, absent a true God. Just because you believe it doesn't make it true.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Main pain, But that was before we had science and explanations for what we see, not some imaginative story to explain what was then unknown and maybe unknowable. Knowledge has progressed. Religion has adapted in some places but the USA just seems to regress.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Joe

      @main pain:

      A person with a triple doctorate that believes in a magical fairy monster that will whisk them away to a magical land of gold after they die is simply an idiot with a triple doctorate. Just like the person with a triple doctorate that blows up an IRS building for seizing their home. Or how about the guy with the triple doctorate that cuts off the head of his daughter because she stayed out with her boyfriend past curfew.

      And educated, religious-type is still simply an educated person that is stupid enough to believe in Santa Claus.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Dr. D. Johnson

    The majority of “prophets” contributing to the gnostic scriptures was quite illiterate and most likely drew pictures to explain their wisdom.

    Needless to say, transcribing pictographs to verse was a tough task for the monks in those early centuries.

    Moreover, Jesus was the worst of the lot. This poor man could not even draw stick figures in the sand and apparently could not be trusted with anything sharp enough to draw with. As the story goes, Jesus would have to play a primitive form of "charades" while his scribes tried to guess his meaning.

    Most scholars agree that this is why these books were omitted from the Holy Bible.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • main pain

      Have to disagree with you there. In ancient times the Jews were reasonably well educated due to their schools and having a written language. This helped them throughout the ages while the pagans were illiterate, the Jews were literate and prospered. This also worked against them as people saw their prosperity as a threat. Also, education has been a prime mover of Christianity for centuries. Churches brought schools and education along with the Bible to many illiterate societies. They also provided them a written language for the first time and helped them elevate their conditions through education. That said, you can tag cultural religionists and "moral majority' types with a modern stupidity along with many academic humanists that have created their own religion, absent a true God. Just because you believe it doesn't make it true.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dr. D. Johnson

      The evidence would suggest that Judas, Mary, Jesus and others spent a great deal of their down time reflecting on the spiritual dichotomy of the soul vs. the physical and how that relates to the teachings of God.

      Why did they do this? Jesus was attracted to Buddhism and often rested his decisions on the non-bias imaginings of one who would make sacrifice in this life only to be reborn in the next.

      In short, Jesus was a Jew by birth, but not by practice. He taught his own flavor of Buddhism and his closest disciples, Judas and Mary for example, were quite sure he was a snake in a previous life.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  7. KaninZ

    This was no loss for Christians or any other people of faith. This election was a win for the American principles of religious and legal equality. The Christian and social extremists of the far right were seeking to dictate their dogma to all American citizens. The response was a resounding "NO!"

    November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • nope

      @ka...
      nope

      November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • swing state voter

      Kaninz, I agree completely.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • snopes confirms

      nope is false

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      Well said, but we need more people to think for themselves, actually we just need people to think

      November 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  8. Julie

    Wow! I see the religious FANATICS never rest!
    Power to the People!!!

    November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  9. miss demeanor

    Fundamentalists like to read gawwwwwds influence in everything when it fits in with their dogmatic 'beliefs'... so how can they argue their gawwwwd wanted Mittster to win? gawwwwd obviously rigged the voting booths to keep Obama in power AND he sent a hurricane for insurance... making it easy for Obama to pick up votes by looking concerned about a disaster... politicians love such opportunities... it's plain that gawwwwwd doesn't have a Patriotic Christian agenda for America. Yay! Thank you jeeebus.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      There was no godly choice offered . Mitt was a cultist and an anti – Christ. Barry a baby murderer and pansy supporter.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • miss demeanor

      RE: truth be told

      "There was no godly choice offered . Mitt was a cultist and an anti – Christ. Barry a baby murderer and pansy supporter."
      Wow. Does God communicate with you by text messages, phone calls or in person?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:

      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      tbt: whose baby did obama murder?

      if you have evidence of murder, call the police

      otherwise, stfu

      November 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  10. Matt Wilson

    There is no doubt the moral ground in politics is moving to the left. Why should that surprise anybody? The morality of our culture is moving to the left. There was a time in this country when most people were civil, reserved, and would express shock at what people say and do so openly now. The concept of people living by a "moral standard" is weakening, and morality is "relative". As a result voters/politicians dont have any reservations about enacting laws that fall short of the moral standard.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • drinker75

      So you think the rest of the Western world is immoral?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      Extremely poor leadership is Gods curse on a nation.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ah, so the Church is your moral beacon?

      Then you are morally blind.

      Think for yourself while you still can.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Maybe according to your moral standard. And you have every right to hold yourself to a higher standard. Thankfully, that's completely irrelevant to everyone else. Exactly what is it you're complaining about? You talk about actions out in the open. Actions like what?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Huebert

      TBT

      If God wanted America to have poor leadership Sara Palin would have won.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • settino

      The world is sick of people like you imposing thier moral standards on evryone else. Go to the toilet, and flush. That should help you.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Righteo

      That would be the good old days of slaves? Of 80 hour work weeks and starvation pay? Of killing Chinese and Native Americans for the fun of it?

      Yes, those good old days of morality.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • KaninZ

      Religion does not make one moral any more than being on a basketball team makes one tall.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • swing state voter

      Huebert is right.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      "There was a time in this country when most people were civil, reserved, and would express shock at what people say and do so openly now."

      Was that when we could own other people?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      There was also a time when women were nothing more than property with no rights and we moved left from that. Evolution for the better.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  11. Dave Harris

    The only one I miss is that hurricaine guy. Wherever a hurricaine showed up, it was a near certainty that somebody had been sinning there, so it must have been God's will. It's like the Republican rapist god. You might not have had any choice in the matter, but you have to deal with the consequences because it's Him!

    November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bet

      But the republican rapist god occasionally gives you a gift for your troubles...a baby to remind you every second of every day just how much the rapist god loves you. He loves to watch you make lemonade out of lemons.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. settino

    Good thing!!! The lunatics lost influence, and the owrld will be better place to live.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • just wondering

      Where is owrld ?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Part of the nuiverse

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • settino

      just world, look behind you...it's right there up your @ss

      November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  13. Follow Jesus!

    That would be my Jesus, not anyone else's version. Only mine is correct. Everyone else's version is a deception by Satan. I am the only true Scots . . . Christian. Follow me.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Judas is my homeboy

      Follow Satan, he is ra

      November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Dave Harris

      I hear and obey . . .

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • settino

      i am certain that you are un-employed, with no money, no woman that likes you, and live in a bizarre and dilussional world. Good for you!!!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Julie

      I know you are just kidding! if not...God make him go away! I mean my God, the one and only and blah, blah blah (I am only kidding!)

      November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Oh! Ya!

      My bejesus is tougher than yours, I bet Ya!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Tim

    I sure hope the christian influence is over. Churches should be out of politics any how.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayerbot

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      Thanks for praying for Obama. ;)

      November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • settino

      Get on your knees now...and.....my....

      November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for politicians anymore

      Prayer FLOPPED yesterday!!!

      Prayer faceplanted!

      Prayer couldn't have been less effective!

      You got served yesterday, moron!! Prayer failed miserably!! The Goddy candidates are filing for unemployment today.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ld

      What do prayers change? I prayed for a 15 years old girl to beat cancer and live. She died at 17.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • biff

      Maybe it makes you feel better but it doesn't change anything.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  16. sean

    There are many lessons in the Bible that help some people guide their behavior. The most important being, be nice to each other. Other messages would be, work hard and you will succeed, help yourself and others whenever possible, do not judge those who disagree with you, life is worth living you just have to choose to live it.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Chad

      Actually, the single most important lesson in the bible is that humans are incapable of behaving in a way that will reconcile ourselves to God, and are therefor deserving of permanent separation.

      that's where Jesus comes in and saves the day.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Huebert

      That is a good message. Though it predates Christianity by hundreds of years.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      sean, in my home those things fall under the "common sense" category.

      I fail to see the need for the Bible.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Ben

      It predates Christianity by thousands of years.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • nope

      @hu...
      nope

      November 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Huebert

      I meant sean's version, not Chad's. Chad's version devalues human life.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bet

      Or, you could just use your brain and common sense. None of those "lessons" are unique to the bible and were around long before it existed.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Thank you for admitting that the bible teaches people how to hate themselves. Although you may be perfectly accepting of that, not everyone is that blind.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • sean

      apple – If you choose to use a different tool to raise your family, very well, but why then would you condemn a book that is there to help those who were not taught these lessons by their families. It is not common sense to everyone.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @sean

      1) The book is not necessary to teach those things to children.
      2) The same book can be used to teach hate, bigotry, murder, genocide, rape, marginalization of women, and all manner of nasty things, as long as you say "god told me to".
      3) The above has been done.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Bet

      @sean

      Perhaps because that same book also teaches hatred, violence, bigotry, and murder against anyone who doesn't believe it in its entirety.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • sean

      bet – if it were possible for mankind to exercise common sense from the first day we climbed out of the ocean there would have been no violence or ignorance. Unfortunately that didnt happen so education is needed to teach lessons and lessons need to be written down.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @sean

      Because the book is a lie. In my home, my children are taught to be honest. Also common sense.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Thank you for admitting that the bible teaches people how to hate themselves. Although you may be perfectly accepting of that, not everyone is that blind."

      => "hating themselves"?? "devaluing"??

      If I am traveling down a highway and see someone across the median traveling the wrong direction, should I tell them or not? Do I need to worry about their self esteem?

      Is living with the delusion that our behaviors are acceptable to God a good thing?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • sean

      Seriously which book are you people reading. thanks so much for proving that your fundamentalist views are as bigoted as all the other extremists.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Wow, talk about complete idiocy.
      1) Yes, devaluing and self-hatred is what yo were talking about.
      2) False analogy because you are still asserting god exists when you have not demonstrated that.

      Why this is so hard for you to grasp is completely beyond me Chad. I could really give less of a shit how certain you are there is a god. Until you can demonstrate it as true, it remains a blind assertion, and has absolutely no basis for our laws, or for the actions of those who don't accept your idiocy.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Yes, telling people that they are inherently bad, and unworthy of love is devaluing human life.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @sean

      Probably talking about the same book you are. That supposed "good book". The "Holy" Bible. Just because you gloss over the very large amounts of nasty crap in that pile of garbage doesn't make it magically (miracle? Can never tell the difference between those) disappear.
      Your comment of "fundamentalism" really shows exactly what kind of mindset you're coming into this conversation with.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such." – Homer Simpson

      November 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Thank you for admitting that the bible teaches people how to hate themselves. Although you may be perfectly accepting of that, not everyone is that blind."

      without self-imposed guilt, Christianity would be dead in the water

      November 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert " telling people that they are inherently bad, and unworthy of love is devaluing human life."
      @Chad "no on both counts,
      1. not "inherently bad", rather we have all sinned and fallen short
      2. not "unworthy of love", rather God so love us that He sent His only Son that whosoever should believe in Him should have eternal life.

      that is really the problem with the vast majority of atheists such as yourself. You are just completely unfamiliar with the bible, and therefor are objecting to something that isnt there.

      Right? as demonstrated, your impression is just simply incorrect and unfounded. Right?

      November 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You really have nothing new to say. Your crap has been refuted over and over. How do you delude yourself into thinking you're saying anything relevant?

      November 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • OTOH

      sean,

      Yes, there are some interesting morality tales in The Bible. Basic human nature has not changed since those stories were dreamed up. There are valid morality tales by Aesop and many others also and much can be learned from them; but we do not teach our kids to believe that foxes and frogs and crows, etc. really talk and really do those things.

      There is not a shred of verified evidence that the fantasies and superst'itions told about in The Bible are true.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      You said "humans are incapable of behaving in a way that will reconcile ourselves to God." That means, according to god we are inherently flawed, and unworthy of him. And God doesn't love humanity. He is at best a petulant child that demands obedience on pain of eternal torture.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "You said "humans are incapable of behaving in a way that will reconcile ourselves to God." That means, according to god we are inherently flawed, and unworthy of him"
      @Chad "That is not what the bible says, that is your (ill)logic.
      -The bible says that we have engaged in behavior that has separated us from Him. It is our actions, undertaken by our own free will, that have placed us in our current situation of estrangement.
      - you can complain about God holding us responsible, but you cant claim that the bible says that we are "inherently" flawed (that a new born baby is flawed in Gods view for example).

      ======
      @Huebert "And God doesn't love humanity."
      @Chad "how do you figure? He provided His Son for us? What can you possibly provide as evidence supporting that claim?
      the bible clearly says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him John 3

      ======
      @Huebert "He is at best a petulant child that demands obedience on pain of eternal torture."
      @Chad "again, that is your illogical conclusion based on a total lack of understanding of what the bible says..

      November 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Joe

      @Chad:

      Hi there. Atheist here. Saw you quoting Romans 3:23 and John 3:16. So, apparently all you need to do is believe in God and you get to go to heaven (soooooo Catholic, btw) which is clearly not what you, and many of your fellow boy-raping priests are preaching. If you honestly believe that the Bible is God's written word and you're into all that magical mumbo jumbo, good for you. Do what you like, says I. But do yourself and the rest of society a favor and don't try to enforce your Unicorn policies and Leprechaun beliefs on the rest of us. We enjoy make ration and educated choices with ourselves and our government. Because the ol' "Cause Jesus dun it!" argument is getting old and the rest of us Americans are a little sick of it. Don't believe me? Go look at the election results.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      If a person does not believe that Jesus is God's son what happens to their soul after they die?

      November 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "If a person does not believe that Jesus is God's son what happens to their soul after they die?"

      =>If you reject Jesus, you are permanently estranged from God.
      That is an answer for a slightly different question than the one you posed, done so because your question doesnt differentiate between those who reject Jesus, and those who die without every knowing that Jesus existed (some person in the Congo for example, that has never heard).

      Jesus preached to the dead (so if you die with out ever even knowing about this person Jesus, you would have a chance to accept Him).

      Please dont reject Jesus.

      November 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      So you are saying that the options are accept Jesus and go to heaven or reject Jesus and go to hell, correct?

      November 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "So you are saying that the options are accept Jesus and go to heaven or reject Jesus and go to hell, correct?"

      =>correct

      November 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      So, according to you, God's position towards humans is do what I command, accept Jesus, or go to hell. How is this not the thought process of a petulant child?

      November 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Our current position with respect to God is estrangement.
      - If you want to remain like that, you may.
      - If you want to be reconciled, you may; by accepting the atoning sacrifice that He has provided for you,

      How is that, in any way shape or form, petulant (Childishly sulky or bad-tempered)?

      You are being presented with a choice, remain as you are (estrangement), or be reconciled.

      November 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      More useless assertions from one of the most dishonest tools on this site. Chad.

      November 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      So is hell just like the earth, or is it a place of torment?

      November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      I dont know exactly, but imagine an eternity living with the knowledge of the beauty and love that could have been, and knowing you can never change the situation.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      That is not an answer. Is estrangement from God (hell) like a continuation of life as it was on earth, or is it a place of of fire and pain, as described in Matthew 13:42?

      I'm going to sign off for the night, but I'll be back in the morning if you would like to continue. Have a good night.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chad

      I honestly dont know. Best case it is earth with 100% of the good removed and a complete knowledge of what could have been.

      If you dont consider that pain and torment, you have never been to the Sudan.

      November 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      I'm back, I hope you had a pleasant evening.

      So, as.suming that a person had herd the gospel during life, after a person dies they will be sent to either heaven (eternal reward) or hell (eternal punishment/torment/what-ever-you-want-to-call-it), depending on weather or not they followed one very specific instruction from god. The instruction being believe in my son/self.

      This is a petulant deity. There is no way around the fact that God's position towards humanity is ultimately "love me or burn". There is nothing kind or good or loving about such a creature.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Chad

      Be reconciled or stay estranged.

      Petulant? A bizarre assertion, just makes no sense.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Huebert

      CHad

      Be reconciled or stay estranged = love me or burn. Petulance, in its purest form.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  17. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:-–>>>>

    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.

    And to appeal to the Immoral/Stupid Majority, Obama and Axelrod filled the airways with pro- Roe vs. Wade, pro-choice/abortion ads during the last two weeks of the campaign. Said ad expenditures should have been used to promulgate the Brutal Effects of Stupidity as noted previously.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    November 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. Sandra

    Sandra

    No matter who is President, and which policies are introduced, conscience and the ability to discern right from wrong, cannot be legislated.
    And after reading some of these posts, obviously neither can intelligence.
    BTW, do not confuse comments made by SANDRA (me) and other poster SANDY.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  19. Linda

    If you are a good person please support this website. Only bad people go against this.
    http://www.firstamericanfreedom.com/

    November 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Linda

      Are you really this stupid?

      November 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Brought to you by Catholic Bishops, whose Jockey shorts are stained with the rectal blood of the Altar Boys

      Brings new definition to the old "body of Christ" puke they spew.

      They are degenerates, and YOU support child molesters.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      If Linda is to be believed, then yes she is that stupid.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Sandra

      Who do you consider a "good person"? Are you in a position to judge? Can you see into people's hearts? I'm glad it's not up to you to decide.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • OOO

      Linda does not use the reply button because she can not keep any of her conversations going.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  20. me

    Now knock it off all of you! You think blaming each other is going to make what...peace? I am a Christian, so yeah,I believe in a higher power,but that doesn't make me stupid or delusional,especially scene the Bible is so accurate that they have found more of the places and prof of the people of the Bible then they have found prof of evolution.( I was quit surprised at the amount of scientist that think it's all non sense.)Like any of you can prove that God doesn't exist. So stop trying to tell people he doesn't because you can't and never can prove it. What you all should be talking about is how will we make sure things start getting done in this country and done right for everyone!GAYS,CHRISTIANS AND EVERYONE ALIKE! We need to start getting our schools the funding they so desperately need,we need to make sure everyone can say what they think without oppression and hate, we need to make sure that we can live together in some sort of peace without stepping on each other's rights and beliefs. We need to get the ball rolling FOR EVERYONE! We are all in this together whether you all like it or not. Christians,gays,atheist,Jews,and all the people who make up this melting pot we call America. `
    So,as some of you attack Christians what are you proving? That kind of a hate for a very large group of people is the way to go? Sorry guys,Hitler tried that with the Jews and all it did was kill innocent people. So is that what you want to teach your kids? How to hate a people just because you disagree with what they believe? To hate just like Hitler?
    Why are you all angry? Because a lot of Christians are against gay marriage? ONE: not all of them are. TWO:those who are aren't trying to shove God on people as much as they are just trying to voice a concern for the country that they live in. THREE: Some are like me,I see that spiritual side of this,that God said no! But I also see the biological side that says, that isn't how the body is suppose to work,that it can't create life or promote my race...the human race that is. Our anatomy is meant to work a curtain way, and that is fact. But do I believe it's right when a gay person can't see their partner if they're in the hospital in bad shape because they're not married...NO! Do I think it's right when the government gives them hex when their partner dies and the surviver has to fight the government for the dead's half of everything..NO! Do I think it right when people call them names and mistreat them to the point of death...NO! I don't think it's right when anyone,no matter who you are,gets that kind of treatment.FOUR: Those who do shove God on people are wrong, we as Christian are not suppose to do such. God said,"Let them come to me with a willing heart>" Not forced. So I do agree that others must stop doing that. But those who are spreading hate for Christians and spreading lies,and creating stereotypes about them aren't right either. Saying we're to blame isn't right,when so many are to blame for the state of this country.
    Now I've said my peace,I've put the gallows under my feet and put the noose around my neck...how many of you are willing to do the same?

    November 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Romnesia

      You're the one claiming a god – the burden of proof is with you.
      The vast majority of scientists do accept evolution.
      Very little of the bible has been proven true; obviously some geography and some people, but basically wrong on creation, miracles, etc.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • That was amazingly angry, me!

      The proper phrase is "To hate like Christians", not "like Hitler."

      November 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bet

      Take a breath, dear.

      So "god said no", did he? They'll be interested to hear that in Maine and Maryland. Apparently god didn't say no there, or he just isn't as powerful as you've been led to believe.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • JFCanton

      It's important to understand how those votes went. I didn't look at Maine. I am from Maryland and 18/19 of 24 jurisdictions voted against. That one, at least, is not broadly conclusive.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Marjorie

      You said: "Now I've said my peace,I've put the gallows under my feet and put the noose around my neck...how many of you are willing to do the same?" I wished you ended with the question ... how many of you will pull open the shoot? It would have been interesting to see how many on this site would happily end your life for your particular beliefs as opposed to how many athiests would want to save it.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:03 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.