By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – For many conservative Christian leaders, it was a nightmare scenario: Barack Obama decisively re-elected. Same-sex marriage adopted by voters in some states. Rigorously anti-abortion candidates defeated in conservative red states.
On multiple levels, Tuesday’s election results raised questions about the Christian right’s agenda on American politics, eight years after the movement helped sweep President George W. Bush into a second term and opened the era of state bans on same-sex marriage.
“For the first time tonight, same-sex marriage has been passed by popular vote in Maine and Maryland,” said Robert P. Jones, a Washington-based pollster who specializes in questions about politics and religion.
“The historic nature of these results are hard to overstate,” Jones said. “Given the strong support of younger Americans for same-sex marriage, it is unlikely this issue will reappear as a major national wedge issue.”
Your Take: Should churches be polling places?
Some conservative evangelical leaders echoed that line. Albert Mohler, who heads the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on Twitter that votes for same-sex marriage suggested that “we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”
A Tuesday ballot measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state is still pending. In Minnesota, voters rejected a Tuesday measure that would have banned same-sex marriage there.
Thirty-eight states have banned same-sex marriage, mostly via constitutional amendments.
Obama’s victory also raised questions about the Christian right's influence in the electorate.
Though evangelical leaders as diverse as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and Christian icon Billy Graham voiced support for Mitt Romney (Graham stopped short of an official endorsement), Obama performed better among white evangelicals than he did in 2008 in some states.
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In swing state Ohio, exit polls showed that Obama got 30% support among white evangelicals. While that’s hardly a victory, it’s better than the 27% support Obama got among those voters four years ago.
Before the election, many evangelical leaders predicted that opposition to Obama over his support for abortion rights, his personal endorsement of same-sex marriage and his vision of government as a force for good would trump reservations evangelicals had about Romney’s past social liberalism and his Mormon faith.
“There is no evidence in voting patterns that President Obama's 'evolution' on same-sex marriage cost him anything,” Mohler said in another tweet Tuesday night.
Obama also narrowly won Catholics, even after the U.S. Catholic bishops waged a rigorous campaign against the Obama administration around the issue of religious liberty. The bishops alleged Obama was forcing Catholics to violate their own teachings by making health insurance companies provide free contraception coverage for virtually all employees.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
John Green, a religion and politics expert at the University of Akron, said Obama’s win among Catholics was partly a testament to the growing Latino demographic.
“Maybe Hispanic Catholics were not as moved by religious liberty-type arguments as by immigration and economics,” he said.
Unlike in 2004, when John Kerry – a former altar boy – lost Catholic voters, the Obama campaign had a robust religious outreach program aimed largely at Catholic and evangelical voters. The effort included videos from Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, talking about their Christian faith.
Obama's success among some religious demographics also illustrated how economic issues, as opposed to culture war concerns, dominated the election cycle.
The defeat Tuesday of two Republican Senate candidates who made national headlines with anti-abortion remarks also raised questions about the Christian right’s power.
In Missouri, U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who in August walked back his remark that "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," lost his bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.
Akin’s campaign became a national cause for conservative Christian activists after the Republican Party abandoned the candidate and encouraged him to drop out over his abortion remark.
In Indiana, Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock lost his race against Democrat Joe Donnelly after saying last month that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen.”
Conservative Christians did claim some victories Tuesday night, including helping the GOP retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and helping elect tea party favorite Ted Cruz as a U.S. senator from Texas.
Ralph Reed, the leader of conservative group the Faith & Freedom Coalition, planned a Wednesday morning press conference to release his data about what he called the enduring influence of “values voters.”
“Preliminary evidence is they turned out and they voted heavily for Romney,” Reed said in an e-mail message Tuesday night.
We have the BRAINWASHED PUBLIC SCHOOL GENERATION COME TO ROOST.
Media's onslaught on Christianity is working.
The Liberal effort to kill the sense of RIGHT & WRONG IS WORKING.
The age go consumerism is working.
What is illegal elsewhere in the world is LEGAL.- when people are brainwashed by the media it happens.
All those people thought wrong is right.
Each Liberal after liberal broke the fence which protected the society from the moral cliff.
Now US is vulnerable. It may attract any ideology including NAZISM.
If nothing else takes place we are speeding to the cliff like USSR...from which we may never recover.
ANY GENERATION THAT DISCARDS GOD WILL NEVER PREVAIL.
The UK looks to be doing fine. So we will as well.
I can't tell you how satisfying it is to listen to you whine. Please keep posting. It's like Christmas. How does it feel to have everything you belive in proven to be a farce? Thank you Jesus. You still love America.
Right Michael, because we can't possibly have morals unless we have your list of ten rules to follow.
Seek Jesus and be saved.
The extremist evangelicals or Jesus freaks didn't believe president Obama's birth certificate was real yet they’re stupid enough to believe that every word from a two thousand-year-old Bible of Middle-Eastern origin is fact. These people are delusional on the highest order.
Perhaps when you are sitting in hell you will wish you were one of those "dilusional" Christians.
"They’re stupid enough to believe that every word from a two thousand-year-old Bible of Middle-Eastern origin is fact." .... Jude 17-19
There have been "mockers" since the very beginning (Pro 13:1) because the belief in actual gods has always struck the wise as foolish. Paul tries to reassure his followers in 1 Corinthians, but he was playing the "end times" card then as well. It's been about 2000 years of "any moment now and the doubters will know the truth". Do you really think that people will keep on falling for this forever?
That kind of hell, where those who cross the gods are brutally tortured, is a Greek invention. You know, like the guy forced to roll the same rock up hill over and over, or the guy standing in water, but unable to drink any? It wasn't any Jewish idea. Isn't it more likely that this idea of hell came from the gentile converts and not Jesus? Seriously, think about it!
2 Peter 3:8-9
First of all maybe if they had nominated a CHRISTIAN, it would have pulled in a few more votes... if that's what they were looking for, because like it or not, religion matters in America.
I know plenty of Mormons, born into the religion, that know much of it, if not all of its early history is fabricated. And they accept that. It's one of the few demonstrably false religions out there. The fact that Romney refused to acknowledge the blatant lies and racism of the church like other rational Mormons told me he had his head so far up his a** that he couldn't tell reality from fantasy or right from wrong.
Got news for ya, Mark: Christianity is just as "demostrably false" as Mormonism.
They had Christians to choose from, but none of them even approached the kind of credentials and experience that Romney has. If you want better qualified and educated Christians entering into future races might I suggest ending the culture war against science and put your children in actual schools instead of being educated by their moms?
Although, Al Gore and John Kerry lost their respective bids for the white house, they actually won. They set the ground work for President Obama's first and second win. Congrats to them and Bill Clinton for all of their hard work! J
Prayer changes things .
Religion is slowly losing it's grip on reality. Come you misguided children, I will show you SCIENCE!
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"Salvatore" degenerates to:
"Douglas" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"Thinker23" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
"Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
"Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
"Kindness" degenerates to:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
"pervert alert" is the degenerate.
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.`
The Republican party is like the taliban in the US. Trying to legislate religion.
At the end of the day, to misquote Mark Twain, "what this country needs is a good atheist president".
I'm a Christian, and I'd be glad to see the religious right's influence wane. I don't believe the Bible says life begins at conception, I believe the government shouldn't dicriminate if it's going to recognise marriage, and I want my tax dollars that pay for education to be used for education, not prayer that may or may not fit my religious beliefs. As long as the government defends my right to worship as I choose, and the freedom of speech to advocate my beliefs, then they are as involved as they need to be.
seems pretty reasonable to me, scott
Scott its refreshing to see someone take such a practical view. I must point out though that I am against abortion, but believe that we should have moral beliefs that support this not law. I struggle to reconcile christian ideals with those of the Republican party (abortion aside) and wonder how the world has somehow lost all of its compassion.
Christianity should be about helping those less fortunate than ourselves and loving everyone (even those of different faiths, ethnicity and socio economic backgrounds)
The Christian right do not reflect these ideals at all.
so you're a Christian who does not believe in the bible, that's a new one.
Ifthat is how you read a one paragraph blog post then how do you read the Bible? Its a shame Christians like you make non-issues doctrines. Why is abortion allowed when the mother is in danger? Some questions are for an individual to decide.
The Good Book says to "love thy fellow man as you love yourself." That is, to be kind and respectful of one another - NOT abuse him like you would "self abuse" yourself! This election is an obamanation!
Would love to know how you justified Bush killing over 150,000 people... for nothing.
God hates ignorance. Draw that to its logical conclusion. Love thy neighbor, dont gay bash or control with the biggest bibles and the smallest IQs.
How sad to say God hates Christians. You should not speak for God. Does Christianity scare people so badly that people have to spread hate? Remember Jesus Christ was born before Mohammad. Maybe God allowed this outcome to happen for a reason. God has a plan and in His time the reasons will come forth.
"You should not speak for God. "
Why not? Evangelicals claim that's exactly what they do; it's the basis of their assault on personal freedom.
Christianity scares me. I'm afraid they will teach my child that everything they need to know about life can be found in the bible. I'm afraid they will willingly fight a war if they think it is God's will in any way. I'm afraid that one religious group will nuke another religious group because their supernatural leader commands it. I'm afraid they will cast out me and my family if I do not believe like them. I'm afraid they will teach my kids that God will punish them in eternal hell if they break any of God's rules. I'm afraid they will teach people that science is baloney and that evolution is not science. I'm afraid they will insist the earth is only 5000 years old and convince impressionable children all that other evidence is wrong. I'm afraid that community leaders and parents will rely on prayer to solve real problems instead of focusing on real solutions. I'm afraid that any mother or father will trust God to heal their sick child instead of doctors or wait for God to give them a sign before making life and death decisions. I'm really angry that my mother thinks God is punishing her for her sins by taking my father's life with cancer. My mother is also distraught thinking that I will burn in hell forever because I don't believe in God. I'm afraid of the priests that filled her head with this crap.
How pompous. Are you god? or are you speaking for god?
Christophobia is a disease, get treated please!
Nii: Christbelieveia is the actual disease, and you all should be locked up until you are no longer a threat to yourself or others.
Humanist: My mother in law also believes that god is punishing her by giving her parkinsons. She's been so brainwashed all her life, there is no changing her mind. She is so afraid of death since she's certain she's going to hell. This IS scary.
good riddance. hopefully we never have to hear from them again.
Good luck. They will be back but, just as Al Gore and his environmentalist buddies are always waiting in the shadows to come back, all extremes of the Left and the Right will always be with us.
They're on the ropes, but not yet beaten. You need to continue getting the message out that the evangelical message of an intolerant, bigoted theocracy is still out there. They remain a foundational danger to American freedom.
psst climate change is proven, weather we caused it or not is what us subjective,. god on the other hand, ZERO evidence.
Mark, you call environmentalism an extreme position? I'm betting you don't live in New Orleans or New York. The vast majority of scientists believe that climate change is both real and man-aided.
God hates Christians!!! That's why Mitt Romney lost. They should all now do the honorable thing and organize a big Kool Aid drink-off!
God hated Christian enough to make a Christian win an election against a Mormon? Glory to God! His ways are indeed not our ways and they make worldly wise people like Tony say stupid things.
Nii: your fictional sky brat is in no way responsible for the election, nor anything else.
It was surely God's will.
Bullshit. It was the will of the voters. God simply does not exist.
Ding ding ding ding... the crazy bat shyt crowd is spinning again.... spin baby spin.. God did this, it was his working.. NOPE, god EFFED this up, or at least Christians did, and the great common sense of the American People did this.. period.
see now I thought unicorn harpies were responsible for willing electoral issues? hmmm winged babies with harps again? whoda thunkit
@the responders to my original post –
I've been on this blog since the beginning... apparently you all haven't been here long, as you would know my post is pure *sarcasm*
LOL ! :D Wow !
Why the Christian Right continues to dwindle in influence and number:
The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used are available upon request)
Unlikely he lays in an umarked grave anywhere. Jews, especially religious leaders, had pretty defined burial traditions. A movement leader's body is unlikely to have gotten "lost". And when, in ealry Rome, the religion based on His resurrection began causing grief, the hunt for the body to openly dieplay to crush the troublesome movement would have been on. There may be an explanation for the story we've been handed down, but this is unlikely to be it.
Only for the new members:
Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/
From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.
From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:
"Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.
Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.
Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.
The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.
Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.
The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "
"In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.
With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:
An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
"Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
p.168. by Ted Peters:
Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "
So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.
So that's your creed. Right in line with all the other unbelievers and exactly what Satan wants you to promote. Only those who humble themselves and realize their "wisdom" is foolishness in God's eyes can begin to understand the truth. The scripture proves true again: "The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing".
@scott: you forget that "jesus" was prosecuted by the jews, and killed by the jews. he was a dishonored person in their culture, thus he wouldn't have been given the same burial rights as those that died with honor.
his body would have been discarded as yesterdays trash, not held in high regards as anyone of importance.
the bible even said he was hung up along with two other criminals.
From Professors JD Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.
"That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.
“ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.
“While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "
“My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.
I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed.
All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."
Bottom line: Jesus was crucified but the rest of the story elements are unknown.
When you see that 1 post out of 10 that is whining how tough the world is because the Mormon messiah lost, don't respond, just savor it. Swim in the sweetness. Revel in their hate. Thank you Jesus. You still love
this place if for believers you can shut the fvck up or GET THE HELL OUT of the country!!!!!
Phil, you write like a 12-year old. And the word is "fuck", not "fvck". Your lack of writing skills is typical for a religious nitwit.
Sorry, Phil. Above post meant for Atheists get out.
@Atheists Get Out: This is my country and I've fought to keep it and you safe. I've fought to give you the right to tell me to fvck off over the internet. I've fought to give you the right to believe in sky wizards without being put into a mental hospital against your will. This country is the best place in the world to be a responsible person and succeed. The founding fathers made sure that religious people and people who don't believe in a god can coexist. We are lucky indeed to be Americans. You have no idea what morality is if you rely on an old book to tell you. People have been moral long before christianity and continue to be in spite of christianity. Your religion does not have a monopoly on morality. If you and the religious right had run of the country we would quickly be as ineffective and deplorable as any Muslim theocracy. Think Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
"Mormon messiah"? I don't recall Romney ever promoting his religion during his campaign. No one in Massachusetts, or in Michigan where his dad was longtime governor, seems to think they were compelled toward Mormonism in any way. So your statement is not fact based.
It strikes me as just as intolerant and bigoted as the views held by so many evangelicals, in fact.
atheists get out: come and get me
AGO: The founding fathers thought your religion a corrupt group of power mad lunatics, and many of them were atheist, They founded this country on freedom from persecution of religious beliefs (or lack thereof) Your ignorance is almost as astounding as your fairy tale. Pull your head out of the 2000 year old goat herder's behind, that you shoved it in. If your story had any truth to it, you would not need to rely on child indoctrination to perpetuate it.
Apparently, God doesn't like the religious right's intrusion into politics. Otherwise, He would have given them a victory. What more proof is needed?
The religious right is losing on all fronts, thankfully! They have dictated the republican social and foreign policy platform since the Reagan years and the American people are finally seeing the big picture. Discrimination against gays, being extreme anti-abortion and unwaivering support for Israel is all because of the religious right and their beliefs. They hurt our country and keep us from moving forward socially. If the religious component was missing from the republican platform their social values would be more moderate and acceptable to the people. I would appreciate that change because I do identify with republican views on the economy. Let's hope they disassociate with the religious right and become a party that identifies with the American people.
I generally agree. The evangelicals are in the ascendancy largely because of the passing of important, influential conservative voices who kept them in check, notably Bill Buckley and the father of the Conservative movement, Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a major supporter of gay rights in his later years, and Buckley saw clearly the foundational threat to freedom the evangelicals were promoting and did everything in his power to keep them away from the core of the movement. Even Reagan held them at arm's length, particularly during his second term when the Justice Department prosecuted several prominent television evangelists.
They may be on the ropes, but they're not out yet. We need strong voices to shove them farther away from the Conservative movement they've usurped and perverted.
Obama = Christian
Romney = Not
Every Right wing Christian who voted for and/or supported Romney sold out their Lord and Savior for the sake of keeping their money rather than giving it to poor and sick people. You all better start repenting before it's too late.
I don't need to repent, I haven't even pented for the first time.
Is everybody that thinks differently than you automatically wrong? The ability to see the world through new lenses and modify opinions through education and logic is the most important skill a man (or woman) can have in his bag of tricks. That includes views on religion (for and against).
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.