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.
Freedom of expression in this country means we all have a right to practice our beliefs. People shouldn't bash Christians in here! But this country was founded on the principles of the separation of Church and State. In the past few decades, it began to intertwine and become a part of the Republican party – especially the conservative agenda. This alienated me and I will not vote Republican ever again until they learn how to shut these idiots up.
And Christians shouldn't bash non-believers or Muslims or Hindus or anyone else either.
It's about time. Their annoying and destructive socially backward, anti-science is a blight on American society
There is no "war on religion." Nobody – not one Christian anywhere in the United States – has lost his/her freedom to worship as s/he pleases. On the other hand, so-called "Christians" have certainly gone out of their way to try to prevent believers of other religious traditions from practicing their faith – by trying to impose their particular brands of "Christianity" onto all others under the law. We have separation of Church and State for a very good reason. So glad to hear the news that our United States Congress will now include representatives who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, and now Buddhist and Hindu as well. Now that's "American exceptionalism"!
human in hindu atheism, filthy self center ism are not less than hindu crazy dogs, unless and until they follow truth absolute in life, expect nothing but human acting like hindu, crazy dogs.
The GOP's nominee was a Mormon; not a Christian!!
I'm glad someone else out there knows that! I felt like the lone voice in the wilderness.
I am a born-again christian and I know that christian values are waning, but it comes as no surprise- Jesus told us
Himself that this would happen, as did St Paul. God's judgement is giving people over to their destructive wants and desires.
My prayer is that God may bless you all and grant repentance and faith.
May God have mercy on us all.
Jesus told us "this" himself? When was Jesus here in person to tell you or anyone? I mean, ok, if you're mentally ill, then yes, I can imagine Jesus telling you something...anything, but that doesn't mean Jesus is real to the rest of us. Have you thought that maybe, after 2000 years, you might look for a new savior or god? When do you stop making excuses for why Jesus hasn't returned yet?
Conservative Christians are losing influence because their leadership is corrupt, cowardly, and prejudiced and the rest of America grows tired of it. All the "Jesus told us" narratives in the world will never make your stand noble.
Religion is myth magic for ignorant adults...it is dying in American, thank god. Evangelicals are like a political AIDS on the GOP.
martin – Wow, I was going to comment, but you took the words out of my mouth. Good job.
the political ticker ran a short story earlier today:
It just goes to show you how strong a factor incumbency really is. Even bat-shit crazy Bachmann can get reelected.
It was close. She only won by ~4,200 votes.
Michele Bachmann ........ 179,189 ... 51%
Jim Graves .................... 174,891 ... 49%
Oops – posted in the wrong spot.
Reposted back on p29?
No doubt those 4,200 votes were the one's they she and Marcus "Prayed the Gay Away" for. :D
*that* she and Marcus...
I be guessing the number of people for whom they 'prayed away the gay' is significantly less than 4,298.
I'm thinking zero.
Batchit crazy fun fact from this article:
The young Bachmann babysat for 50 cents an hour to help make ends meet. (One of the girls she babysat, Gretchen Carlson, went on to become Miss America in 1989 and later the co-host of "Fox and Friends.")
I hope their influence is over! They have terrorized too many people for too long.
Yes hindu Atheist, filthy goon's.
@Eliminate hinduism, Atheism, Secular ism. way of animals, not human, you can't back up anything that you say. Atheism is only a default position that every person finds themselves in before they're indoctrinated to believe in religious nonsense.
Religion is losing all influence. There is no place for absurd, magical religious nonsense in this day and age.
specially in hindered gutter of hinduism, illegality called india.
If only we could get to the muslims. Imagine a world where you weren't sentenced to death for converting away from islam. Or a world where girls are allowed to go to school and become educated. Or a world where a girl can look at a boy without being tortured or killed by her own family.
The Christian Rightwing needs to crawl back under the rock from whence they came.
God is reserving rocks for YOU to crawl under, while you look for a hole to hide yourself from the furry of His Presence...
I'm not defending the Christian "right", the ones who sold themselves out to Repuablican-ism, but if you're gonna talk about the people who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior, then you should know that He gave those who hate Him and His people this promise. Read it for yourself in Revelation 6:12-17. He will make His Word come to pass. You are in dire need, friend!
THE FURRY OF HIS PRESENCE???? REALLY?
Oh, my stars and whiskers! This is too funny for words.
@PRISM 1234, and why should anyone consider such writings to be true? It's nonsense... there is a difference between an historical Jesus (whose existence I'm not prepared to argue) and a magical Jesus... The magical Jesus did not exist.
Pipe down Francis. We arent interested in your book of fables.
You wanna bet?!
You come to the end of your life, I will to mine..... we'll see!
Time will tell !
Prism, you're full of shiit. There's just no other explanation for the crap you post.
...hide yourself from the furry of His Presence...
So god is a lolcat?!
Hopefully its over
Seperation of church & state......Good reasons why our founding fathers kept religion out of our politics.
Get religion the hell out of my Republican party!!! Haven't you ruined it enough!!
God, I hope so. There isn't much in this world that goes against Jesus's teachings more than the conservative religious right in this country.
religious right, when speaikng about Jesus, is anathema..the religious left, i can see AS PLAUSABLE.... SHARING, CARING, FAIRNESS, EMPATHY, COMPASSION, LOVE, HOPE, DON'T BOMB INNOCENT PEOPLE, DIALOGUE, REACHING OUT TO ALL PEOPLES, Christ reached out to the lepers, blind , poor ,downtrodden,LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF..BLESSED ARE THE POOR..
How about no religion at all?
With all the different worldy groups in this country which ARE NOT Christians , it makes it harder for Christians to still put God's Comandments into our laws. More and more of the younger generation are hoosing not to believe in god but to do the complete oppisite and worship satan, some knowingly. The more that this country tries to kick god out of it the more that bad things will come to this country. Hopefully we as a nation will find our way again.
– Lantz from http://www.raw10productions.com
If one does not believe in a god, they certainly do not believe satan exists either... What are you talking about?
Religions are based on ignorance and most demand you stay that way. Free yourself from tesemanmade gods and realize tha moral value of ME were instilled in your religion. You only need to look to yor cmmunity, not yourimaginary gods.
WHich God are you talking about there? Slippery slope....
ME should have been MEN.
Someone spilled beer on my keyboad
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can speak for itself." – Thomas Jefferson
You gotta problem with my followers? A pox upon you.
Lol @ Not believing in God but believing in satan
its things like this....that make religion so goofy
Dry up and blow away, you old dinosaur.
God, I hope it's waning.
I see what you did there
Fellas, fellas. Look, I don't claim, to have, all the answers. But. I do think we should stop, and....reflect, on what has been, you know, accomplished in this election. Romney, a, you know, bad man, was defeated by Obama, a good man. When a good man, wins, you should, I don't know, be happy about it.
yeah... I don't know if what you're saying is true and I don't even like Romney
Government controlled and leveraged 'phobiaticisms' tends to lay waste to any individual's freedoms to choose one's own habits. Big brother is always mothering its' folds never giving them a chance to choose their own habitual tendencies be it drugs or paying for s3x or deciding what to gamble on and how much to pay for them. Just think Big Bro peeps as to just how much money can be made via taxation and what have you upon these three habitual tendencies of one's left to their own vices freedoms to choose.
What does " its' " mean?
Dippy, you had a shot at 'phobiaticisms' and you're picking on "its"?
Hell, I thought that was a word! Silly me.
I still can't figure out what
"Big brother is always mothering its' folds"
is supposed to mean, no matter how you spell its.
Big brother (Federalies) is always mothering(state governance) its' folds(citizens) never giving them a chance to choose their own habitual tendencies be it drugs or paying for s3x or deciding what to gamble on and how much to pay for them.
Phobiatic and ism combine to form phobiaticism even though it should be written as "phobiatic ism "
and its' could well be its but I place an emphasism toward the following word
Yeah, that whole post is kind of a head scratcher.
Sounds like bullshitism to me.
You do realize that to be an effective communicator, you really can't make up your own words, right?
"Federalies" is an non-word. Perhaps you mean Federales (the Mexican paramilitary police) but I can't tell.
Similarly "phobiatic" is an non-word, let alone phobiaticism. Perhaps you mean phobiac or or perhaps phobic. Again, I can't tell.
Even if you could tell, it still wouldn't make any sense.
G.O.D. is full of "creative language." to put it nicely.
50% Obama 48% Romney. If you wanna call that a landslide, mandate, end of conservatism in America .... keep kidding yourselves.
I wonder, sweetie, did you say the same crap in 2004?
Tom Tom the Piper's son. No, I'm not dumb enough to have thought that. Are you?
Fear is one of the motivations for conservatism
Information is almost ubiquitous today. It is getting harder to create fear in order to control people.
For example the Bush created the fear of Iraq and we all know now it was a hoax.
Conservatism will fade
Uh Huh .... I have seen the pendulum swing back and forth many times. Wishful thinking on your part. When the party in control screws things up enough (and they will), they'll get voted out.
The WASPs aren't getting any younger or more numerous...
I think you're clueless. When GWB was elected by the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Gore, did you think THAT was a "mandate"?
Idiot. Of course it isn't a "mandate." Who said it was? The Dems KNOW it's not a mandate and they acknowledged that quite clearly. How stupid are you?
Also...adding on to Tom, Tom's point... in 2004 George "W" won the popular 50% to 48% to John Kerry... "W"won the popular vote by 3 million, much like President Obama.
However, in the Electoral College Total... George "W" had 286 vs. John Kerry 251, which is much closer of a margin than yesterdays election.
Romney got severely 'thrashed' in the electoral college... and even more so, if he ends up winning Florida which is most probable.
TTTPS :: Obv. Reading comprehension isn't your thing, Is it?
Obviously clear written expression isn't yours, azzwipe.
Hey! We have another!! Ronald!!
What is it you think I don't "comprehend," Boofus?
Edit to my original post; I should have said election 2000, not 2004.
I'm seeing a lot of bada$$ behind the keyboard syndrome here, Ronnie
Are you? Then why aren't you standing up for your own posts?
He is nowhere to be found, I think his unbiased comments about a Romney America helped secure an Obama victory, at least that's what he got paid for. Cheers
Oh, sure, Ronnie. You were just a plant.
Wait...that's plausible, actually. You're so dumb you need to be watered twice a week.
Tom Tom: So you don't have to scroll up ... You asked (every so politely) did I believe that the 04 election was a mandate. I responded that I wasn't dumb enough to think that. The asked you if you are dumb enough to believe that this election was. 'Sorry that you can't handle that. BTW ... the article that links into this forum calls it a "decisive victory". Also note that the "Real Peace" is reveling in the EC numbers (above)
I'm here Ronnie
And what exactly does "Standing up for your own posts" mean Tommie?
Oh My! ... I think the two of you have been blocked. (try a little self-control when y'all come back)
Talk about a fvcking moron! Boofus, you take the cake.
Duhh! Nice! What else do you have? Your sentences are getting shorter and shorter. This must be wearing you out, Maroon.
Why waste words on a moron like you?
Boofus, if you're so stupid you actually think that people get "blocked," then you deserve to be ridiculed. Figure it out, dumbazz. There's a filter. Unless you're smart enough to have learned how to get around it, your posts will be thrown out.
Even YOU should be able to muddle through that.
Okay ... In that case ... I think your problem is that you're a little weasel that hides behind the keyboard and talks a lot of ... uhm .... feces. I'm in Colorado. Are you anywhere near me? I'd LOVE to have this conversation with you face to face.
More specifically – Colorado Springs, CO ... now WHERE are you?
Thought so ....
Fine by me. Buy yourself a ticket. I live in Maryland. Let me know when you're due.
In the mean time, dork, get a clue: this isn't your personal coc ktail party and no one owes you any respect.
How do I look you up? Possibly transferring to Ft. Myer March '13.
Forget the stupid war on women – which was a lie – and half the country bought it. This is war on religion – the real battle at hand.
Nah. There's no war on religion. You're free to worship as you please. And everyone else is free to live in a country in which your beliefs don't matter to anyone but you.
It is strange that you think that the struggle to keep religion out of government is a war...
You are free to worship as always. What you are not free to do is dictate your religious rules over other people. See the difference?
Oooo, oooo war on religion, I love this game! Can I play?
Let's see we have:
Bibles in every motel room
God on our money
Prayer before public events
Christian cable networks 24/7
Discounts on insurance for being christian
Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
God in the Pledge of Allegiance
Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Bible School and “repent or go to He.ll”
Federally recognized Christian holiday
Religious organizations are tax exempt
75% of the population claims to be Christian
National day of prayer
God in the National Anthem
Weekday Christian Education for elementary students.
Yeah right, war on religion my a$$
I always love it when you post this little gem ! :D
May I borrow ?
Stupid war on women? Religion? What is it that you do not understand or is it that you just parrot your way through life?
sybaris :: Your statement only says that you have an entrenched opponent, not that the "War on Religion" is a myth. I'm thinking that you went on for so long, you probably lost your train of thought.
It IS a myth. No one is waging some "war" on religion. What many of us DO wage a war against is the insistence of the believers that their beliefs supersede law.
I get a kick out of people like you "freedom". Your name doesn't even come close to its meaning. You're like WND "A Free Press For Free People". I tried getting into a debate and I have since been blocked from commenting on anything there. Freedom my as*s, you're all bunch of clueless mean-spirited ignorant jerks.
You? ..... Blocked?? SHOCKING!!
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.