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.
Ralph Reed is having a press confernce. The idiot should be ashamed of himself. He and his buddies like Jerry Falwell (RIP) and Tony Perkins have ruined the Republican Party. If anyone wants to blame for Romney's loss you should start right HERE!
I'm interested to see where the "honorable" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are on this...
Personally, I against any politician who believes his religious beliefs trump mine. I believe in separation of church and state and like to think that young people, even those who firmly follow a religion, also believe in the separation of church and state.
The majority of us do.
Any Christian parent would be proud to let jerky foulwells inspect their daughter's private parts in the name of jaysus
Since the laws of the country are based on religious principals, you will find it difficult to separate them.
Still peddling that old lie? Along with "god let it happen"? So if Romney would have won, it's because god wanted it so. But he didn't win, because god wanted it so. Very slick of god, playing both sides like that.
Welcome to the Ice Age, dinosaur.
Republicans worship Mammon, not Christ. They used that con to get Ronnie in office so they could deregulate and bust unions. They used the abortion issue to discredit the power of God and advance their own personal gain. Abortion is a horrible thing, but so is killing young soldiers in the name of oil profits.
People should be able to worship what ever form of God they want to in America I don't want the Bible OR the Quran involved in our governement. Both are written words from men and are to teach a moral lesson. Nothing that men write should be considered true word for word. No one knows for sure and they never will.
Certainly what you have written should not be considered true word for word.
you got the part about killing young soldiers in the name of oil profits right. Now go work on your bigotry.
Oops, wrong post. I meant to post in the one below.
For the first time in my entire life, I am ashamed to be an American. We have lost the vestiges of our collective soul and are truly damned... Our backs have been turned on God and his wrath will be severe. Abortion is wrong. Gay marriage is wrong. Fighting wars for oil is wrong. The country's faith is dead...ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE....ABANDON ALL HOPE.
Now now, don't get yourself in a tizzy. Take a deep breath and count to 10....
Well, well, say goodbye then, someone may allow your sorry butt into their country, Cuba, maybe.
You silly silly boy! Now why don't you make up, play nice and give the mythical Satan a kiss? You know you want to!
Uzi, take your meds
Christians seem to forget that it is a BELIEF system. It is not FACT. It is not the ONLY belief system out there. It is not better or more true than any other. Live your damm (spelled wrong on purpose) life the way you want to live and let the rest of us live ours.
Someone needs a hug.
Wasn't Collective Soul a 90's band?
Are you sure your "shame" is just another way of saying you're a "bigot" Crooked christian conservatives need to realize "others" that don't believe get to vote also.
The country is changing. For the worse. Hollywood and the liberal education system are poisoning the youth. We can only pray for a revival in the years ahead.
Well, if all you can do is pray, don't get your hopes up....
Just like in the kingdom of Israel, after the people saw the effects of idolatry and immorality, they eventually turned back to God.
God is a god of hope. What YOU believe in is gawwwwwwwwwd.... Amerikuhs Patriotic Christian Gawwwwd. They aren't the same thing. Yours teaches hatred and revenge. God wants us to treat others the way we'd like to be treated. Big difference. Fundamentalists are like Westboro Baptist zealots. Look at them on tv sometime. If you don't see hatred in their eyes, you're already far, far gone....
You know that is all a fairy tail, right?
If your god is so powerful why does it create gay people? If your god opposes the gays (that you claim it creates) why does it allow equality for gays?
There is no god. All people should have equal rights.
Well, you got the part about killing young soldiers in the name of oil profits right. Now go work on your bigotry.
Theocratic evangelical christians are scary and anti-American and would take away our rights to free speech and freedom of religion (or lack there of). Believe what ever you want, but do not force your beliefs upon me. As Patrick Henry said "I may not believe in what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I stand by this great American TRUTH. That said, I hope you give me the same basic American rights...
The bible is a book of myths and lies. God is imaginary and so is hell. If God were real he would be an evil monster. Who gives a rat's behind what the bible say's because it's pure fiction. How can you worship a god that has killed innocent children? If you worship the god of the bible you worship an evil murderer. Thank god that god is imaginary. Only a monster would make people knowing that they would eventually wind up in hell- especially when he had the choice to not make them at all, thus saving them from eternal torture.
Satan good. God bad. But only from a mythological point of view, because they are both imaginary. Check out http://www.godisimaginary.com
Praise Lucifer, the bringer of truth, light and reason! Hail Satan, the imaginary adversary to an imaginary god, who has the balls to fight against god's evil ways! Glory be to the mythical beings of Lucifer and Satan who shall slay the evil mythical God of Abraham!!!! Remember what I said about free speech? Are you American enough to accept this concept?
Troll Face anyone?
God, let's hope so!
My thoughts exactly!!
Those like Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed are wolves in sheep clothing twisting the minds and using vile propoganda of the tea party right on the gullible Christian Right luring them into becoming these sanctimonious dead heads.
That they are. I wish Ralphie boy would keep his piehole SHUT for once, but I'm not holding my breath.
Thank goodness and good ridance to the likes of Akin, Mourdock and other Republican wingnuts that did not have a rational place in politics in the first place.
Separation of church and state. In the US we have freedom of religion as well as freedom FROM religion. It was one of the founding principles of this great country.
If you live in one of the more devout bible belt states you would find many of the state laws are greatly influenced by the religious beliefs that are prevelant. Thank goodness that the supreme court has not been influenced to the same extent or we would be living in a country that would make you toe a religious line rather than a secular one, scary.
Jesus Christ's influence is not over. One day, He'll show you in person and all will know.
It's always fun to see the desperate assertions of "one day one day". Especially since it's been parroted since the dark ages. "One day soon", lol always hilarious.
Just like Santa Claus or the Easter bunny...
Holding your breath for over two thousand years to get what you want seems a little childish, doesn't it????
Christianity is little more than 2000 years of "any day now."
People like David have been sitting on the edge of their seats for 2000 years. No wonder they're so uptight!
"Some day, you will seek me and find me…" (from a popular song of decades ago)
I hope the Christian right loses its cachet, but I have no doubt that it will remain noisy and distracting. That's just the way of the irrational god-followers.
Yea David, because it's your right to shove Jesus Christ down the throats of a jewish, muslim, buddist, or whatever type of religion someone else worship. Freedom of speech and religion David, that's what makes us a great country, not politicians telling us what we can or can't do based on the bible. If the republican party doesn't figure out how to blend with more of mainstream society, the party will go up in smoke and I would suggest you go find your utopia elsewhere.
When is that "one day" coming. Crooked christian conservatives have been saying that crap forever.
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:9-10)
As much as most of us hate to admit in our own self-centeredness, God is still in control. To God be the glory!
What is your proof for this god that you claim controls us?
Self-centeredness is presuming that your religion and morality ought to rule over everyone.
RE: "What is your proof for this god that you claim controls us?"
Several schizophrenics heard voices two thousand years ago and someone wrote down their story. It was retold for a few thousand years. The FACT that the US is destined to support their 'prophecy' stems from self-educated, self-appointed fundamentalist religious authorities who interpreted the sections of a book that seem to be easily misinterpreted by their largely uneducated followers. The fact that it has been a cash cow for televangelists has NOTHING to do with the TRUTH. How can you doubt what they claim knowing what I have revealed???
In control of WHAT? No right-wing Christians, obviously; and no one else, either.
The kooks have been saying since Good Friday that Jesus was about to come back. It's just as true now as it was then. Jesus was just a man, and he can NEVER come back.
I am a Christian. I believe that God gave us free will and the ability to choose what is right for ourselves. It is not my place to tell others how they MUST live their lives it is for me to live the kind of life that is an example to others such they will want to live a better life. To me that is what being a Christian is all about. Love God, love your neighbors and go make desciples.
I bet you don't have kids to raise.
Who could go for some flap jacks right about now?
Too early for Flapjacks?
Well hell then, I will have another beer. I have to remember to vote though.
I guess you've seen Groundhog Day one too any times.
Good religion has no place in politics and in reality no place in life. Time to wake up and stop this silly belief in imaginary old world ideas and embrace science and reason. There is no such thing as god!
Christian belliefs built this fine country that your butt is standing in today. Don't forget that! Just because this country is turning away from that, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So when you're standing before your judgment being judged for the things you deny, how about taking all of those science books and "reason" with you. That way, you can say "hmmm, we missed something".
Science = God
RE: "when you're standing before your judgment being judged for the things you deny, how about taking all of those science books and "reason" with you"
So, you're so SURE gawwwwwwd didn't give us science that you forego all medical treatment, and you live like the Amish.... is that right? Cuz for a minute there, I thought you were being a sanctimonious hypocrite.
Sorry your Santa has no bearing on The People.
truth be told wrote:
The poor leadership barry brings is Gods curse on America. In four more years years proper Washington will look like the hood.
Our country will be better off when old, white, narrow minded bigots like this guy finally die off. FYI – I'm a white guy and people like this are all an embarrassment to me. I also suspect that this truth be told posting is the same person who posts under truth hurts. I just cant imagine that there are two people out there who are stupid enough to make posts like this.
Interesting with all the God-haters hovering around the Belief section....very interesting....
I don't hate your god any more than I hate bigfoot or garden elves. They don't exist. What are you, 12?
What do you find so interesting... that we "god haters" have beliefs too?
Actually....I am. stalking god. But...I have not seen him. You know, ever.
exactly how can you hate something that has never existed! We are annoyed at what religion turns people into and how much death and suffering and ignorance it causes.
Hating "God" is like hating the word "bigotry", it's not the idea that you hate, just the idiots who follow the idea.
Walkens post read in walkens voice...for the win.
Where's a better place to hear christians make themselves sound stupid?
Some of us know that "know your enemy" is a valid aphorism. What better place to learn to know the irrational god-believers than on the Beliefs page?
It's because in their heart of hearts, they do know that the biblical God exists. They spend their time fighting Him and self-deceiving themselves into thinking He doesn't exist. They like to ask questions like, "How do you know God exists" yet, logical proofs make no sense in their atheistic worldview. Atheism leads to the inability to have genuine knowledge.
Considering people consider OBAMA a muslim, maybe Islam and Christianity are one of the same.
Matt, everyone here is a little dumber now because you posted.
Well Dan, I suspect you are correct in your observation, of the declining influence of Orthodox Christianity on the U.S. But, I would not gloat about that if I were you. Anyone can turn the pages of the Bible, to Christ's very words and see that He predicted this very phenomena. What any reasonable person should be concerned about is what Christ said would happen immediately after this pivotal event in world history.
Of course, most of you won't bother to read those passages. So, I let it be a remarkable surprise to you when it happens.
If the USA was the only country on Earth, you would have a post that was relevant to anything.
Oh good grief, just about every generation had those who believed this would happen in their lifetime.
The Ancient Holy Prophecies shall be fulfilled.
"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."
Repent and accept the King of Gods into your heart.
Only Odin's grace can save you from Ragnarok.
" this pivotal event in world history", meaning when Christian Right Wing nut jobs end up being disappointed, has happened too many times throughout history to actually count and nothing like what you're hinting at has ever happened afterwards. So spare us the empty threats, OK?
Bronze age fairy tales are irrelevant in the 21st century. Try to keep up.
Oh, yeah. I am sure that he is watching in dismay. The losers always fall back to Jesus and say well it doesn;t matter if we won or lost we will keep praying. Keep praying if it helps you sleep at night, but your prayers are just going to you or to the group of people you are praying with. There is no magical god that hears prayers and then acts on them. You could pray for change for 100 years and then when some random event happens that creates the change you seek it will be that god finally answered my prayers. God works on his time right? Balderdash! You sheep believe anything that you are told so long as it is consistent with your eternal life belief. So worried about living forever are you Christians. If people didn't die religion would have never been born. We die so we need a way to deal with that and pretending that we can live forever by being the grand master's puppet is the route that people have bought off on. It's garbage, Jesus is not coming back, just like all dead people.
I have actually read the whole bible and I do not recall a book of jesus. He didn't write one. So what you do have is collection of stories written by men of the middle ages. Men who could not explain things they saw in nature and attributed them to a god. Stories that have their roots in much older pagan traditions. Adopted by the church so they could more easily pull the pagans in to their folds and control them.
Bible lore like any other lore has hints of truths and flourishes to make it more engaging and thereby more likely to influence. But so do the stories of ancient peoples who believed in many gods as do many of todays religions such as muslims. If people could just follow the teachings for themselves and leave others alone to live as they believe, then the world would truely be a better place where millions were never slaughtered in the name of some one elses god.
The sad truth is you have given up your will to think for yourself to the men who use religion as a means of control.
There is not one world religion. There are many, so a nation that claims to be a "Free County" needs to keep that in mind when it comes in terms of religion as well. It shouldn't matter if the president is a Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Satanist, Heaven's Gate, Mormon, etc. As long as the government doesn't force the rest of the country to follow in only their religion.
People need to wake up and stop this whole 'My god is better than your god" crap. This is America, and it is not a religious state like many middle eastern countries are. If these people are crying over the fact their religious views aren't made into laws, maybe they need to re-consider living in a free country such as the US.
Maybe these people here that want their god(s) to be part of everyone's lives need to re-locate where there is only one religion and a government that is intolerant to Freedom. Sounds to me like these so called Americans that want this are talking the same way the Taliban talks. Last I heard this was the United States of America, not the United States of Afghanistan. Leave your god(s) out of my nation. Thank you...
Way to contradict yourself at the end. "This is a free country, we should be inclusive and not intolerant of other beliefs, but keep your gods out of my country."
So many Evangelicals today have adjusted their christian beliefs to fit their political beliefs. I have heard these christians say that rich people take care of us and that everyone should take care of them. Can you guess how? Why, by giving them more money. We OFC's believe that God has and still does take care of us and to give credit to anyone else is to take credit from God. The problem with today's evangelical leaders is that they have turned from being preachers of the word to becoming dictators of the word. Modern day pharisee's in other words. God gives humanity one very important ability. That ability is the right to chose and make our own decisions. You can't force anyone to be a Christian or have Christian values. They must chose to do so. If you chose to become a Christian, you are supposed to "Spread the Gospel" as they say. It can be done by words, actions or just the way you live your life. In other words, you promote God. Today's evangelicals have changed from promoting God to using God to promote themselves or worse like politicians. Just exactly where are all of the Republican candidates who stated that God told them to run for the Presidency? In this years election, the evangelicals tried to make it referendum on just gay marriage and abortion while ignoring the poor and needy and the rest of the problems that this country is facing. Every lie that Romney and Ryan told was met with absolute silence from the Evangelicals even though they know who the father of lies is. Today's Evangelicals leaders need to get back to being preachers of the word like they were called upon to do and leave the judging to the ONLY ONE who has the authority to sit at the right hand of God.
Your analysis is right on! The trouble is they cannot see themselves and they cannot imagine that they could be wrong either.
Spewing hatred is where the big money is... for televangelists and prosperity preachers, it's ALL about the money.
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.