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.
One can only hope their influence becomes ever more reduced. These people want us to turn time back to the 1500s, a fine example being the Republican senate candidate that was recorded saying that science is Satan's lies and that the world is only 9,000 years old. They are America's version of the Taliban.
Remember the fall of Rome! Educated?
You must be insane to think that the majority of people who voted for this administration is actually educated! I see it where I live everyday.
Rome fell shortly after Christianity became the official religion.
L...you're not really doing too good, here.
Dear Yahweh: hahahahahahaha.....hahahahahaha.......wait....you're writing a comedy skit, correct?
Whatever is done will not keep Christians out of life decisions which you call politics.
I am reminded of one of my favorite sayings (wish I know who said it first). The religious right is usually neither.
The way I usually heard it was:
The moral majority is neither. :-)
This being a free country, the Christian right is welcome to its own practices and opinions. But all other Americans are welcome to theirs as well. The Christian right needs to get out of our government and our bedrooms.
For all you obama lovers out there. If you think you will get free health care you are nuts. Get the thing and read it. Health care will be rationed, if you are 76 years old and get cancer you can be denied treatment. That is for all you aarp people that put him back in office. You should have read it before you put him back in office. If you are 76 and the Doctor says we
are not treating your cancer, and the health law says you can't be treated even if you have the money to pay for treatment
yourself. obama, comgress, and senate are exempt from healthcare, why?............get the picture.I hope that you never get sick for your sake!
Health care is always rationed...its just a matter of how.
Really , what page or sub section does it say that,I'm sure if your read it you can tell us?
Luke, you're an idiot.
Actually Luke did say something factual – the Congress and President are exempt. I would love to know why they are exempt from what they expect us to do. It isn't free – that's for sure – unless of course you are poor.
And you think vouchers are going to work?! Really?
I'll be way better off with Obamacare than the system proposed by Paul Ryan.
Luke, Congress and POTUS already have the best healthcare. If you are angry that's what you should address. When Congress has to deal with the same issues as we do – they'll fix it.
Obama's victory is a victory for all true Christians. God in His mercy extended His blessings on our nation, and did not deliver our nation over to a heretical leader. True Christianity is alive and well in the USA.
As for the "evangelicals" who hitched their wagon to the blasphemous Romney thinking that Jesus would have voted for someone who openly denies His Diety and sovereignty, and who hijacked the discussion of faith in this country to hide their actual agendas of hate, racism, division, and greed, the election result is another lesson to them to not drag Holy God down into the vile realm of man's political systems. When "evangelicals" get into politics, their hypocrisy and false doctrine is inevitably exposed, and they bear no fruit in spreading the true Gospel. Will they ever learn?
What planet are you on?
I agree, while they can say its GODS wrath that something happens because of gay marriage or abortions, they can never say that maybe its GOD telling them THEY are wrong.
Same one you're on twatface!
Tim, you and all the others that want to pick on Christians – you ought to read the bible before making accusations – well I suppose that would require you to be able to understand it.
L, try reading the Gospels instead of the Old Testament for a change.
L, it's reading the bible that helped convince a lot of people to run like hell from christianity. And don't pull that 'you just didn't understand it' crap.
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." –former president Thomas Jefferson, 1814
God made government.
In my thinking, whatever "God," "Goddess", "Creator", "Spirit", "Great Spirit", "Source," or whatever one chooses to call it actually is, it appears more to be energy and movement than some personified Supreme Being puppet master or writer of sacred texts. It appears that all live and existence is some part of it, and that creativity and change are evidence of its activity. But Christianity is a belief system, mostly attributed to Paul and some early writers, who we *could* say is "guided" by this Creator, this energy, this endlessly unfolding and manifesting essence. Anyway, that's how I see it.
Relativities may well be commonalities of clairvoyancies spiritually linking the real with wants of one's needs. One being an ever aloneness cannot stand up in the crowds' waywardness. Alone is everyone's being. The wanting to share is an allegory of perceivements justifiably recognized en mass for prudence sakes. I'm alive due the twinkling in the eyes' moments of the pair who begat me and also my brother. No longer constrained my brother and I live an abundant style of living together even though we both have eyesores. We together are never without each other's wants. We are as one.
Let Us Love,
Can someone translate for me?
A translater is not your needs but schooling is that which one like you needs and stay there until the words do flow like sugar from its' containment and honey flowing from the spout.
Too much – looks like God's Oldest Dreamer was part of voting to legalize marijuana last night in Colorado.
Dreamer's gone Hindu on us. Or is this a deep shout out for Babel
Prayer changes things .
Thanks for praying for Obama.
Prayer was not involved, it is judgment on a sinful nation to give it poor leadership.
Oh wait, I thought Romney won. What I mean is, God obviously chose Obama to lead this great nation. I prayed for it, and it worked.
If we deserve poor leadership, why didn't Sara Palin win?
"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. . .
You obviously have no idea how insane you fundamentalists sound to those living in the real world. No idea.
No kidding. If it wasn't for the religious horse pucky, I'd be solidly Republican. Instead I hold my nose and vote Democrat, because Democrat is better than Theocrat.
Time to ask Pat Sajak if you can buy a clue, Republicans.
Enjoy! !! All anti Christian forces are enjoying now! !!
We pray God will forgive this nation for endorsing sin!!!
And a liberal media like CNN is celebrating now!!!
CNN should change the name to ONN
Obama news network!!!
Tough cookies, Matt.
hey MAT, if your god is all knowing, all powerful.............maybe just maybe he wants obama as president; ever think of that?
Christian, please, feel free to worship as you like. But keep your ideas to YOURSELF. You do not and should not have any input into me or how I choose to live. Its simply common sense and the election shows that. Gay, straight, pregnant or not, we all have the right to do what we see fit. YOU do not
There's already an ONN. It's the Onion News Network. You should check it out. It's more honest and accurate than Fox.
So just go to Fox
It is God that put Obama in charge of this great nation...no one that God does not endorse would be allowed to lead.
Hatred is not a Christian virtue.The Office of The Presidency deserves respect.
Door mat for Jesus?
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
The Christian "right" aren't Christian. Listening to them speak, I sometimes wonder if they've ever read the bible or actually paid attention to what was written instead of just using talking points, propaganda and rhetoric in their sermons.
And you are listening to the extremists. There are extremists on all sides of all beliefs.
@L I grew up attending a fundamentalist baptist school. Extremist to the max. I know whereof they speak, and it is never without devious purpose. I know what they believe, and I know how they brainwash. I speak from a lot of years of experience when I say these folks aren't Christian.
All baggers, birthers, evangelicals and Palin lovers should be buried alive.
Nah, we need to keep 'em around for entertainment.
And for those of us not Christian, do we have a chance in your petty worldview?
Petty? Because they want to live a life they believe? There is always room for those who want to go to whatever church they decide to go to. Christians do not violently hurt anyone (with exception of the extremists). They put God and family first.
Ok L. That's fine. It never stays that way, though. It becomes a group that thinks it knows what sin is, and tries to make it illegal.
If my right-wing Patriotic Christian America's gawwwds candidate wins, it's gawwwds will. If my candidate loses it's gawwwwds retribution.... does that sum it up? Do you fundamentalists realize how off-the-charts cuckoo you sound? Admit it... if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing god.... he wouldn't let the wrong guy control destiny... unless you've got it all wrong because you can only take things literally because you are stooooopid...
Answer to the Questions. Yes, The influence is DONE...Not because the world is full of demons but because the the influence were coming directly from the demons themselves.... The Christian Right has lost its way and GOD himself thought the sheep needed to learn from their misguided, lying cheating and B-S-ing way... and well GOD can only lead you to water... Our Leaders are protect from the EVILS of man and in this election the EVIL doers all have green thumbs from the greedy money monsters..... Funny how GOD works in mysterious ways... or not depending on who you ask...
The christian right is single-handedly responsible for the Republicans not having control of the senate right now. You can't be a big tent party AND force your beliefs down other people's throats.
Separation of church and state. I don't care what religion you believe, but stop trying to shove it down everyone else's throat.
It goes both ways.
L, I hope you don't go both ways. God frowns on that, and you will burn for eternity.
What way is that?
Hey L, how exactly are others forcing their beliefs on you? The religious are constantly trying to influence and change our country to limit other peoples choices and what they can do. No one, and I mean NO ONE, tries to tell you what to believe or not to believe or what you can or can't do in the privacy of your own home. It is the religious that try to affect what others can and cannot do. It does not go both ways, it only comes from the religious. Case in point, the religious tries to halt stem cell research, which could mean that a cure for a disease that one of my kids develops might not be found. So the religious are directly threatening other peoples lives. How is your life being threatened by the non-religious exactly? If it goes both ways show me how the money in your pocket spouts something that you do not believe. Was the national anthem altered to support my views, or yours? You people just HAVE to try and control what other people can and cannot do. Leave us alone and trust me we will leave you totally alone.
I read some of these comments, and oh my God. Satan hisself speaking as we say in the Christian Nation of West Texas. What can we say, we have another four years of Anti-Crist ian val;ues policied shoved the throat of the American people. Does this mean the end. Ha that has to be the dumbest line ever. Dis God lost control of anything? On the contrary darling, we have some times of spiritual awakening coming to the States. And, I do not mean the Earth Religion, tree hugging, butterfly feelings, abortionists defending animal rights, kick the Bible out of society morans finding peace in Bhuddism or any other false doctrine. I have plenty of peace, The Lord is with me I shall not want, My pitty is for those that have turned their back on The Creator. When Jesus started his ministry, He missed a small portion as He Read Issaih. The line left out being "...the day of vengance of the LOrd." You ought to research it on the "Library" THe Holy bible of sixty-six books written over 4,000 years ago, with engravings some 5,000 years deep and intertwingled perfectly in prophecies tight up back and forth in the past, present and future to brilliant perfection. He is alive, the bones pf all the other religion leaders are here. He is alive because he resurected. Check it out. WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG? WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU AND I THINK, IT IS WHAT HE THINKS. WE ARE MERE DUST AND BONES.
Funniest post of the day!
Try posting again, Rudy. But use English this time.
Well, I just spoke to him this morning....and uh, he says you're wrong.
You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
' The age of evil has come to the world . Everyone steals and hoards great wealth, and sensual sin rules the day. The end of the world is at hand – yet men are hard and cruel, and listen not to the doom that is coming . No one heeds the cries of his neighbour, or lifts a hand to save. '
The End is indeed nigh, as prophesied thousands of years ago.
Because the world has abandoned the King of Gods, we shall know His divine wrath.
Pray to Odin that He will have mercy upon you when Ragnarok comes.
Great post, Rudy. Your comment does more to demonstrate the utter stupidity of religion far better than anything I could come with. Keep up the good work for us atheists.
If the god you believe in punishes people for lack of belief (a crime of thought) he is an immoral asshat.
And lookup Pascal's Wager and why it is a terrible reason to accept religious "belief".
You do know that the bible wasn't written over 4000 years ago, right? It's a collection of stories put together by a bunch of guys in long robes in Nicea to 'reinvent' a religion they were all a part of. They decided what books they wanted and what books they didn't want. It's no different than if a bunch of southerners got together and 'reinvented' Gone With The Wind and took out the parts they didn't like like when Sherman burned Atlanta or when Rhett left.
"intertwingled" is my new favorite word1
What part of god's will do you not understand? That's about all they teach in West Texas.
It's a perfectly cromulent word.
Texas is a giant crap hole that should go ahead and leave the union like it keeps threatening to do.
A yes, the 'Christian Nation of West Texas', where every fetus is sacred, unless it's one of those Mexican 'anchor babies'.
I am laughing so hard at this right now. I think it's time to take your happy meds, Rudy.
@rudy: " WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? "
pascal's wager, boring, next. yawn.
You gave us Jerry Jones and his accursed COWBOYS. You will burn for that and that alone
Rudy, you have the right to your version of Christianity however, that does not give you the right to pass judgement on others, the President is also a Christian and it is UNChristian of you to say that he is not.
You lost me at morans . Don't forget to take your meds before your nap.
What a joke. Enlightened people today look at Christianity the same way Catholics of the middle-ages look at Ra, Isis and Zeus. Christianity is every bit as ridiculous as the ancient Egyptian god Ra pulling the sun across the sky in his golden chariot, and perhaps finally enough people are waking up to that simple truth.
OTOH and Apple and others,
You think you breath the air in your lungs on your own – you don't know the One is who allows you to take your next breath, yet you continue to mock Him. You have no control over when the sun comes rises and goes down and you have no control over death – for God Almighty is the Creator of all things past, present & future – repent now for the Kingdom of God is near and bow your knee to your Creator God – His name is Jesus Christ. You are feeling arrogant now, but believe me the day is coming when you will be on your knees begging for mercy, whether here or in the afterlife, but then it will be too late. Repent and fear the Living God. Amen.
Jesus Christ didn't have an original thought in his head, but a book said he did some neat parlor tricks and you think that makes him god....
You mock reality.
Your feeling of control regarding death is a fantasy.
This guy calls himself Yahweh? His god might take exception to that if he ever does show up to murder as all, as 'Yahweh' is begging him to do. Somehow, I don't think he'll measure up to the name.
Sorry to disappoint you, but the afterlife is exactly the same as Oz, Tattooine or Winnie the Pooh's forrest; fictional.
There is but oneYahweh; and you aint Him. May wanna shut your arrogant piehole before He comes back and sees you trying to speak for Him.
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.