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.
More evidence that the country is slowly emerging from the Dark Ages supersti.tions stapled to the back of Bronze Age mythology that we call "Christianity."
Good riddance to Christianity and its intelect-retarding influence on the young. Time for all atheists to redouble our efforts and put the boot to the throat of this withering nonsense.
Remember Colin HE died for our sins. How can you be so ungrateful so as not to acknowledge it? There is a special place in hell for you and your ilk. But there is still time, repent for your sins and accept him as our Lord and you will be saved and doors of heaven will open for you. Come embrace Christianity.
@GO_GOP, Please provide evidence for any of your claims. The invisible, silent, evidenceless nature of your god suggests one of two things:
1. It is a myth.
2. It is a real god that seems to be doing a perfect imitation of a mythical god – silent, invisible, in fact evidenceless in every way. But why would a real god want to hide like that?
Conclusion 1 seems much more likely than 2. If your god wants people to vote for the dark side, Republican, it has two years to show itself and say so. Plenty of time for a god. It could appear as a giant head over any city in America and give its orders. Until that happens, intelligent people will logically assume your god is just another myth.
Until your god stops being mythical, good people will vote against the Republican Party and its fundamentalist christian nutters.
GO_GOP: Then why would you support a party that is so against charity? That bows down to corporate interests instead of the citizen? And do you seriously believe in a hell? Why would you pray to a "great and good God" that is so cruel to punish his subjects to an eternity of pain and suffering? What an arrogant, revengeful and paranoid god!
Face is GO_GOP, most of the major biblical disasters described in the old testament have been proven to be simply explained by natural, non-deity driven events: Fire and brimstone and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah a relatively small asteroid exploding over the Alps. Great flood: the filly of a large basin by raising oceans during the warming period after the last ice age.
Keep your religious fairy tales out of my government. It's delusional, archaic and immature.
Colin… What you see happening is nothing more than the fulfilling of scripture. Even Jesus himself stated the end cannot come until he has been rejected of this generation. And it has long been prophesied that the world would wax worse and worse. So the much more people like you deny the existence of God and turn from God, the faster the end shall come….
Andrew… And why don't you try providing a little evidence for your claims as well. Show me your evidence and I'll show you mine. Ether put up or shut up…
It is a very weak mind that lacks the ability to believe. It is an even weaker mind that in incapable of separating fantasy from reality. For example, most teenagers fully understand that the Easter Bunny is fantasy while heaven and hell are real. But some adults never grasp that concept…
Two points, two of the ten commandments: (1) Most politicians sound like they're lying when they pander to religious audiences. (2) Most clergymen sound like they're taking the Name in vain when they start telling people how to vote.
Prayer changes things .
i am very proud of the true christians of USA citizins and to thos who pray every day in order to bless this country,but on the other hand the devil is going to fight to destroy christian faize by using atists and liberals aydology.
There is no devil. Reason will destroy religion.
BTW your spelling and grammar give your home school education away.
I would honestly get some spelling lessons, or at the very least turn on spell-check before posting anything else. You are making Christians look really bad.
This is an obvious troll. No body is that stupid.
Maybe we as Christians should stick to what our Lord Jesus wanted us to do ! Speading the GOOD NEWS
about HIM and not pointing an accusing finger at people´s shortcommings . We have somebody that does that
he´s called satan .
But in the New Testament it says that you should keep your preaching to yourself. Which is it?
You can spread all you want, but if a person doesn't believe in Jesus, it means nothing. I have my own GOOD NEWS, thanks.
For most of those people it is about using god as a club to control the people. The analysis that the reps need to reach out while accurate will not be followed. They will double down on the "values voter" in the coming years until the party is totally irrelevant. They will maintain strong bases in TX, KS, KY, TN, KY, AL, MS and SC for a while
We became the greatest nation on earth by being a Christian nation based on the teachings of our savor Jesus Christ. In order to prosper we need compulsory Bible reading and classes in schools. Every child in USA should be required to demonstrate a clear understanding of the Holy Bible. If not he should not be allowed to progress to college. Let us return to our Christian roots to become great again. Tea Party 2016 and 2020
For a long time slavery and oppressing women by having no say in the affairs of the country, was the norm. I'd have to agree that these are good Christian values that you nation was founded on. Good one dimwit.
The Taliban force people to read the Koran. You are no different.
Koran is the word of the devil. The Bible is the word of our Lord in Heaven. Need I explain more?
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
There was a time when Christianity ruled the Western World. We call it the dark ages.
@GO_GOP "Koran is the word of the devil. The Bible is the word of our Lord in Heaven. Need I explain more?" Yes please explain how this is true.
You´re an Idiot ! God wants us to come to him freely . Not because we´re forced to do it . As for the tea party they are just a bunch of bigots Whose God is not the God of Abraham Issacs and Jacob
W.G. There is more than one god?
"Koran is the word of the devil. The Bible is the word of our Lord in Heaven. Need I explain more?":
No Sorry, the Bible is the word of the humans that wrote and edited it.
This forum is only read by atheists, so we know the go GOP persona is just phony – the only intention is to make Christians look bad. The forum itself is political and I don't know why this is called belief blog.
There are plenty of bona fide Christians here.
Are you aware that in the Koran it says Jesus should be honored? Are you saying that satan wrote that! You should consider educating yourself with something aside from American taliban sound bites. Satan is the force behind religious extremism be it Muslim Christian or whatever. Guess we know what that makes you.
GO_GOP: "Koran is the word of the devil. The Bible is the word of our Lord in Heaven. Need I explain more?"
Yes, you need to explain a lot more:
1. The Koran includes the Old Testament and references Jesus as a prophet. So does that mean the bible is also the work of the devil?
2. Just as the bible does not have "Author: God" on the cover, the Koran seems to be missing "Author: Devil" on its cover. Both were written by man. Man is the creator of the thousands of gods they have dreamed up, and likewise the thousands of devils.
3. Where is your proof that the Koran is written by the devil?
4. Where is your proof that God is behind the bible?
You have explained nothing, only shown your believe in something with no rational, scientific plausibility.
The famed Evangelist Oliver Green once stated "keep government out of our Churches AND Churches out of our government" else we at some point be back re-fighting the Reformation."
My favorite is Diderot regarding strangling the last king with the entrails of the last priest.
When Religion & politics mix – the freedom of all are endangered.
Interesting that we did just fine for so many years......and then the 'religious card' was played when Kennedy was running for office. "He will force us to answer to the Pope" was the cry...........and we didn't. But once in play, it has remained with us. Hopefully, we will see this disappear from the political landscape. Forcing the beliefs of some on the remaining electorate makes us no better than what some call theocratic societies.
this was definitly a victory for people of real faith. faith that everyone in america should have fair shot. isn't that what jesus wants, what we have are phonys. phonys who want things to go back to extreme in your face spanish inquisition stlye religion. yeah that was great time for extreme nuts
There was a time when Christianity ruled the Western World. We call it the dark ages
"...this was definitly a victory for people of real faith" and if the other guy wins you can say the same thing?
All the anti-religion nerds check this out. Things may not be as you want them to be... Obama praying as a Christian. Hahaha
Somebody else can explain it to you. I'm getting up in the morning to be a productive, contributing member of society.
Ignorance your funny. Looking at your comments brings out the irony in your name.
Big deal, at least he's not trying to force his religion down the throats of the US citizens. That's a healthy separation of church and state and why you don't see Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, the Jews, secularists, Hindus, etc upset.
I like how Christianity is archaic and intolerable one moment, but when confronted with the fact that your champion, Barack Obama, prays it's no big deal. It shows your true colors. As long as you get what you want, you don't care how it happens. Convenience over conviction. If you ever gave God a true chance to work in your life you'd see the proof. And probably over 95% of you don't know the Bible and Christian beliefs as well as you think you do. You can't take one thing you heard and say you understand it all, using that quote to try to make a misguided point.
The voters certainly rejected the bigots, but they elected the Christian.
I'm wondering how Mitt Romney and Billy Graham feel about their deal to scrub "Mormonism is a cult" from the Graham site.
Are you kidding? Graham is so damn senile that he thought he was buying peanut butter from a door-to-door mannikin.
I'm sure it's back by now.
You lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas
Oh well,you guys can keep him now.Ted Cruz would not be taken serious in Canada if he even mentioned religion!!!Politics and religion had better not get mixed together ever.NOT EVER!!!!!
The filth of the world is RISING which is what the Bible said would happen in the end times. WE know we win so STUFF IT.
You want to borrow my hanky as you cry your eyes out? Careful the dried boogers can be sharp!
1 Timothy 2:12 – "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."
I learned something just now from you about the Bible which qualifies as you teaching me something. I can't believe your new age liberal desire to speak on a message board read by men is worth even one of the hurricanes that probably just now formed because of it.
and if by filth you mean priests fvckin 10 year old boys, then you are on the right path.
Well said Joane!
You're absolutely correct. The filth that's rising is the work of the antichrist using the teachings of Jesus to cause people to sin. Sins like greed (they call it profit or being a successful businessman so it's ok) hatred and intolerance (right now it's against gays and muslims, used to be blacks and the nazis used the Jews) killing (starting wars for oil profits, they call it protecting American interests). Please, really consider just who it is you're blindly following and where they're leading you. Extreme religious groups be they Christian, Muslim or what ARE the antichrist.
Dog1… Being intolerant of that which is good is of the devil. Being intolerant of that which is evil is godly. Gays are of the devil. And there is nothing wrong with being intolerant of people who commit such acts. Remember God destroyed the whole city of Sodom and Gomorrah because he hated such filth...
Not to change the subject but how did a christian fundamentalist like Ted Cruz,who is from Canada my home country,ever get elected in the great country of USA???????
What do think the average intelligence of those in The Babble Belt is?
We will ultimately win. Our Lord in heaven will help us get there. This is a temporary victory done by Satan with the hurricane Sandy by his side. All news organizations now agree that because of Sandy, Romney lost momentum. We will win. Make to mistake you atheists.
Either your god doesn't exist.....or he doesn't agree with you....or he is impotent.
Shhhhhhh.......it's the first one.
SInce Romney didn't win what exactly does your statement say about Obama ? If god was sending us a savior via this election Obama is it. If you do not follow you are going against gods wishes.
We will eventually win. Don't let all those Russian tanks outside the bunker deceive you. It's just a trick to lure them into our trap!
First, God could care less about politics. Secondly, Lucifer has already lost. He had lost from the beginning. Jesus once stated, all power in heaven and earth is in his hands. That means, even the power Lucifer has comes from God. Lucifer has no power of his own. All God has to do is to think a single thought and Lucifer would fall down dead. So in the battle between Lucifer and God, it was no contest from the beginning. The only reason God has not already destroyed Lucifer is because he is using Lucifer for a purpose, he is using him to flush out and to separate the goats from the sheep. Those who are of the devil will be drawn to Lucifer. Those who are the sheep will be drawn to God. Thus, Lucifer is fulfilling God's purpose and helping him to achieve what he wants. And when it is over, Lucifer will be destroyed and cast into the lake – along with all those who has sided with him…
Your god is an evil prick!
God, the real one not the one used as a tool by extremists, sent sandy to SAVE this country from satan (here again insert the word extremists) and the WHITE HORSE PROPHESY!
Consider this, the antichrist uses the teachings of Jesus to make people sin, like hatred, intolerance, greed (Romney calls it profit) killing (war for oil). At least consider for a moment who YOU might really be following. I hope you choose well.
Fred… It is obvious your parents didn't raise you right. You don't even know God. Only a fool would speak evil of things you understand not…
2 Peter 2:12 – But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
Proverbs 10:18 – He that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Matthew 12:26 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
You too can be saved from everlasting torment in the flames of hell. Learn about Jesus and the One True Way.
I will quote Jesus,
If Jesus loves all of us then how could he send anyone to hell ? Who sends people they love to burn forever and ever until the end of time ? That does not sound like a god who loves me. Which is it ? God /Jesus loves us. Or he does not ? It cant be both . Does god also teach you to hate gay people ? If we are made in his image then was god gay on odd days and straight on even. You see it is at this point you are just not making sense. Also why cant religion be a personal thing, why dod evangelicals always have to come across as so superior and knowing. If you let people choose, kept your religion to yourself and helped people instead of judging them I think things would go a lot better for you and the GOP.
Rogue351… Jesus doesn't send anyone to hell. People choose to go to hell. You were destined for hell from the moment you were born because you were born in sin. Jesus came that you might have life. If you reject that life, then you will continue on to hell…
Rogue351… God loves the "soul" of man, but he does not love sin. God loves the "soul" of people who are gay, but he does not love the evil acts and the sin they commit. The sin they commit stinks in God's nostrils. God gives everyone a chance to turn from their sin, a chance to repent and to turn back to God. But if they do not and if they choose to remain in sin, then they will ultimately be destroyed and cast into the lake…
Evang, Rogue and OV,
Any verified evidence that your ideas are fact?
My parents were fundamentalist evangelical Christians. And so I grew up in the flames of hell; but, somehow I managed to escape into the real world. Your impotent threats would be funny if they didn't do so much damage
God has nostrils??
I learned all about Jesus, and you know what, it didn't make sense.
The Gods in the Bible (and yes I'm using the plural) all have extremely different personalities. Its almost as if over the years that the various books were written, they were copying off of other religions rather than describing the same God.
Its almost as if over the years that the various books were written, they were copying off of other religions rather than
describing the same God.
Since all of Eva's praying didn't work, he's now resorting to the last line of defense – threats of hell.
This world would look a lot differently if religion were not taught to children until after the age of reason...
T-Roy… And if there were no unbelievers in the world we'd have "world peace"…
If the Christian right want to have so much political power then it is tome to remove the tax free status these churches have.
I'm inclined to agree with you. Remove the shackles and let us be free to serve as grass-roots political units.
It would be fascinating to watch the media dig into each cult's beliefs as they would if the shackles were removed. Such scrutiny would only hasten religion being correctly positioned beside astrology.
Did someone say he wanted more grass in churches? Head to Colorado!
Thank you Billy Graham for getting more sane people to the polls.
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.