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November 7th, 2012
08:21 AM ET

Election results raise questions about Christian right's influence

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (4,433 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    The religious right served a useful purpose. It concentrated the hypocrisy and deceit of the exploiters – religious and political – that infect our society into a sort of pus pocket that we could lance and drain. We are freed from the illusion that the Christian stalwarts are actually upright people. We watch them ooze away onto sterile cotton. We toss them into a biohazard bag and are done with them.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh! And Bleeah, yuck! at the same time!

      November 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  2. KRHODES

    What does this election mean? It means more people voted for Obama than Romney. It has no bearing on The church, or the religious right. Somehow trying to frame this election as the destruction of conservatives or the church is foolish nonsense only a liberal would believe.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only a blind fool would believe otherwise. You're the proof.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • KRHODES

      T T T T T T Tom

      Do you ever say anything of value? What makes you believe that is the case?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • mama k

      After what Mourdock said? After what Aiken said? After the Grahams sold themselves like whores? After insinuating they couldn't separate their faith from their public service? Are you NUTS??

      November 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sweetie, if you don't find any value in my posts, you're free to scroll or scram. Either way, we'll be even. I don't see even a grain of value in your scribblings.

      The fact is that the election was indeed a referendum. If you don't get it, that's your problem.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mama k gets it. Right-wing-nuts are dead in the water.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Observer

      KRHODES,

      No bearing on the religious right?

      Did you see the results in the states with gay marriage on the ballot? What happened in our country which Christians insist is THEIR country?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • mama k

      I've been thinking, Tom that there is a need for people to mobilize around this issue of churches not being taxed when their pulpits are being used for championing political candidates. I'm ok with most forms of communication but not twitter yet. It seems that there should be some common key words that we could start using when we see that kind of mis-use of tax money, and then spread the word asap, noting the offender, date & time, and what appeared to be the offense. I know some churches post their sermons online so something can be gleaned from that. Anyway, just a thought – I'm really sick to death of some of these self-righteous position some of these sob's take.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TTtOO, quite so–Maryland voted FOR the right of gays to marry legally. And its only one of many jurisdictions to reject the conservative, right-wing platform. That KHRody can't see that is only more evidence of the blindness of the Repubs to the sea change of this nation. The conservatives can either ride the wave or be drowned by it.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "mama k gets it. Right-wing-nuts are dead in the water."

      Right...that is why the election was closer than in 2008...because more people are moving away from the GOP? Awesome logic on your part, because wouldn't one have expected the margin to be wider if what you believe is the case? Tell me again...how many open atheist lawmakers do we have...one? How many Christian lawmakers do we have?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many MORE openly gay lawmakers do we have now than we did before, you moron? How many MORE states have approved of gay marriage than before, moron?

      Do you not get the drift, idiot?

      If not, it's going to drown you.
      And that's all to the good.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      KHRODY, you go right ahead and keep believing in your invincibility, honey. And you'll be defeated even more soundly the next time around. Your day is over and done. Voters spoke quite clearly on that. The fact that you're deaf doesn't mean the tree didn't fall, dumbfvck.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Tom Tom...most of the states that have gay marriage have had it forced on them by the courts...not the will of the people.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And that's precisely the point, you moron: MD and Maine VOTED FOR GAY MARRIAGE.

      The tide is turning, dear. And it's going to drown you and everyone like you.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • mama k

      And how many more women in public service now. The tide is turning Roady – time to face the music.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Observer

      KRHODES,

      Did you miss my question?

      So the fact that 3 states have VOTED to allow gay marriage has "no bearing" on the church or religious right?

      Get serious. Explain how this happened in a CHRISTIAN nation.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • KRHODES

      tommy boy...what you are saying just does not match the facts. Fact is that Republican took the congress back in 2010 by a huge margin. Obama did not perform as well as in 2008 as far as numbers of votes. Tell you what...in 4 years when the debt is 22 trillion and unemployment is still high as more than likely gas prices will be...we will see who wins.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, dear, KRODY, did you think you could somehow derail the conversation? Sorry, dude. You failed, big time. The fact is that this election wasn't just an endorsement of Obama, dearie. It was a confirmation of gay marriage as a real issue in two states.

      Are you trying to say that MD and Maine had gay marriage "forced" on them? Do provide evidence that that is the case, Kruddy.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Observer: KRUDDY seems to be confused as to what issue is being addressed here. I guess the KRUD will cling to whichever issue seems most forgiving for its candidate/views.

      Oh, and now the dolt is yammering about the NEXT election. Guess this argument's been won. And KRUDDY lost it.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really, Krhuddy, you are a sorry case. Your candidate was defeated soundly and social issues were certainly a contributing cause. Get a clue. Wake up.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • mama k

      No doubt the problems ahead are very tough. But one thing is clear – people are more and more waking up to the reality that the religious right are the least of any genuinely interested in helping people realize their American rights; with respect to just about any issue.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bravo, mama k. I agree. The KHRODES of this country no longer represent the majority of the population. They're sort of like the ghosts in lousy horror movies. They don't realize they're dead and simply in a sort of limbo. They think they still matter. They are wrong.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  3. John

    I believe that God will be much different than the way religion portrays God to be. I pray that God is good and loving. I believe because our father has called me to serve as he has called billions around the world to serve. Yes, we are sheep, and the Master has spoken. To believe is to have hope and faith in the universe that there is much, much more than meets the eye. I see that magic every day, and everywhere. The fact that I breathe this breath is a miracle so powerful I have no option but to search for answers. I sit her and ponder my relevance as our planet circles our sun at 66,000 mph along the fabric of space. I not only see intelligent design, but unfathomable miraculously amazing incredible design that forces me to ask how and why? And as I pray and those prayers are answered I now know that my existence is a gift that cannot be wasted. Thank you my Father for this blessing of life. I guess to an Atheist these are the babblings of a mad man, but I can only presume that Atheist to ponder the very same questions of existence that we all do, and I know not all Atheist blindly follow the reasoning’s of theoretical science. Atheist, agnostics, and the spiritual have much, much more in common than we’ll ever admit.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow, John. Great post! That's the most convincing demonstration of the utter stupidity of religion that i've read in a long time. We atheists thank you. Keep up the good work.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @John

      You said, "I believe that God will be much different than the way religion portrays God to be."
      Religion is merely the outward manifestation of a belief in some god. These beliefs are in no way based on any factual knowledge. These gods are mere fantasies. They are mere figments, but they are figments that are exactly as portrayed by the religion in question.

      You said, "I pray that God is good and loving."
      Then make it so. It's your god. You get to determine what it's like.

      You said, "I guess to an Atheist these are the babblings of a mad man, "
      Not necessarily mad. Misguided, yes.

      You said, "but I can only presume that Atheist to ponder the very same questions of existence that we all do"
      Pondering, yes. Making up some shit to have a nicely packaged "answer", not so much.

      You said, "and I know not all Atheist blindly follow the reasoning’s of theoretical science."
      Questioning what is presented is what moves science forward. And without support in evidence, it would be foolish to simply accept any hypothesis.

      You said, "Atheist, agnostics, and the spiritual have much, much more in common than we’ll ever admit."
      It's what allows us to live together. I don't need to convince anyone of my view point. I'll share and discuss it, if asked. I'll respect everyone's right to believe as they see fit, though not necessarily the beliefs themselves. I'll strongly oppose anyone who tries to force their beliefs on me, or society.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Bob

      John, you've tried that same copy and paste elsewhere. So, again, present your evidence, please, that even one of your prayers has been answered by god, with proof that it wasn't just a random occurence having no divine influence.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and should not. Your loving this Life is for the world to have and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and truth-living begin?

      November 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many "pottages" have you been smoking, Good Old Dolt?

      November 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Tom,

      Apparently not enough. :-)

      November 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More than is wise.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tod

      John
      And I have a hope that no such despot exists.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  4. Rodger K. Arriola

    For the religious right. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unsuited from the world." The Christian church has more power to shape peoples lives than the Presdent, the Congress, the Judiciary, the Supreme Court. It's called the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. There are those as far back as Mr. Falwell who led you down the broad way of political expediency instead of the narrow way you know is the way that will work. The world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of the father abideth forever. If we believe, we ignore the wrd to our own peril!

    November 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world"

      Case Closed!

      November 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tod

      God's Oldest Dreamer
      KEEP his kingdom out of this world then!

      November 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  5. WOT

    May God Bless the USA!

    November 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Huebert

      Praise Odin.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Sue

      May all the gods smile down on us, the good ones as well as the evil, and may our collective karma be good as well. Also, I hope we're lucky enough not to be hit by too many natural and man-made disasters, and that we avoid the zombie apocalypse for a while longer. And aliens too, unless they're friendly and/or cute.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  6. TeaPatriot

    why do we have a kenyan muslum president called Hussein ?!!!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Why are you unable to say anything of worth?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I'm sorry. Does the scary, scary black man with the funny, funny name upset you?

      Fortunately, grown-ups in this country are in the majority, which is why Obama won the election.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • niknak

      Can you give us any evidence that our President is either a Kenyan citizen or a muslim?
      And btw, you have made that same spelling error with the word muslim enough that it must not be a typo.
      It is muslim with an I, and a U.
      It really gets old to hear from you when you don't give us any proof of your assertions and you can't even spell the charges that you are trying to make.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      Because he was elected, T(oilet)P(aper) Patriot

      November 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • John

      TP
      Why did the USA elect a guy with the name Delano when we were at war with the Eyetalians?

      November 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @EnjaySea "Fortunately, grown-ups in this country are in the majority, which is why Obama won the election."

      Now THAT was funny!

      I would say, unfortunately, ignorance runs rampant across this country. That is why he was re-elected. Talk about sheeple!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't think Obama was elected by idiots. They all voted for Romney.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Actually my jab was in refernce to TeaPatriot's extraordinarily childish fear of Obama's name, origin, and religion, and particularly his numbskullian adherence to the manta of the fear-mongers that all of those attributes were "foreign and scary", even if the fear-mongers were lying about all three of them. (Okay they were correct that he has a funny name).

      Those who can think critically were able to see past all that nonsense, and those are the "grown-ups" I was referring to.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  7. hoovaloo

    We're blue on the edges and red in the middle. It's not remotely surprising that this is also how our nation is divided ideologically. The majority (not everyone, so spare us the "not me stories") of blue-state liberals are spiritual, agnostic, or atheist. The majority of red-state conservatives are Christians. We have naturally divided by where and how we live. We're becoming separate cultures because for many religion is the key differentiator between us and them. Many cultures older than ours have gone through this to become separate nations entirely. Do you think this is where we're going, too?

    November 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • hoovaloo

      I have misspoken. Instead of "ideologically", it should read "theologically."

      November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ben

      I'm not sure that you can say that the majority of people in the Blue States are unbelievers. There are also non-Christians and many, if not most, who are Christian moderates who happen to believe in a more inclusive God than the Red State majority do. What about protecting their religious freedom too?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • niknak

      That is really not true that we are blue on the coasts and red in the middle.
      What we are are urban vs rural.
      In states that have large cities that have more people then in the rural areas, those states go Dem.
      Take NY.
      Have you ever been to upstate NY?
      It is red as red can get. But the city of NY has more people then there are upstate, so it goes blue.
      Same with Illinois with Chicago or California with LA and San Fran.
      In the middle, you get states with small or no large cities, like WY. Most of it's inhabitants live rural and vote Repub.
      Obama got 30% in WY, so there are Dems there too, and Romney got 35% of the vote in CA, so there are Repubs there.
      This is why states like OH are considered "battlegrounds," as you have a pretty equally divided urban/rural situation as OH has some larger cities but nothing like Chicago/NY in size.

      This is the Repub dilema, because the rural areas are thinning out, as the kids of people living there leave for the cities, and the HIspanics keep moving to cities and stay there.
      If the Repubs don't change from being a party of angry white male xtians, they will never win another national election.
      Which is fine by me.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • hoovaloo

      Fair points on both... I live in Pennsylvania, which is Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and "Alabama in between." So I get the rural/urban postulate. More than party line, my comment was mostly with regard to a national division which has grown dramatically over my lifetime. It no longer surprises me to hear southern judges make quips about "succession", and I suspect this election will only increase the divide. Some seem ok with it (let the conservatives die off, etc.). Just wondering if we're still functionally "One Nation" or "two."

      November 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • niknak

      That is a really good question Hoov.
      If the last 4 years are any indication, we are not functioning.
      Nothing gets done anymore, except last minute short term legislation to avert a crisis. Which only kicks crisis down the road a few months and makes it worse.
      I am a Dem, but not blind. The Dems do stuff I am not in agreement with. And there are some Repub ideas that I do support.
      What I can't support, is a party that does not use facts to back up their positions, but ideology. And then will not compromise.
      Obama gave up 3 dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue, and that Repubs still said no.
      And I am sure they will say no again to whatever Obama and the Dems try to come up with to solve the "fiscal cliff."
      I fear that the Repubs do this mainly because they can't stand the fact that they are not in power, and that the white house is occupied by someone who is not all white.
      This is how great empire crumble. Not from the outside, but from the inside.
      We have to start being Americans first, and make the hard choices to solve these problems using facts, not ideology. And that means compromise.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • john doe

      I think it is funny that exposure brings about tolerance and typically coalstal cities tend to be more diverse than land locked ones. This goes back ancient times when the need for a trade route was vitally important to the survival of a nation.

      But anyway, i think it is rather interesting that cities closer to the water routes are more liberal that the cities that are land locked.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • LittleHero

      Take the red/blue map to the county level and overlay that with a night-time satellite image and you have an almost perfect match – even across the south. Where the lights are on – they vote Democratic (a little ironic, huh). This is about education, economic resources, and exposure to diverse cultures. A mono-culture is dangerous for agriculture and societal progress.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  8. SoldierOfConscience

    get ready for the United Socialst States of America

    November 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @soldier (an insult to soldiers everywhere)

      And how so? Will you have anything other than moronic talking points, soundbites, and blind stupid assertions? Will you even actually respond to people instead of running like a little bitch after you post?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Hawaii

      Nope.

      stood my ground in the last article I posted on. countered the points raised too. Heard *crickets*

      November 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @soldier

      Then answer my first question. In regards to your moronic original post, how so?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      trying to . CNN is not allowing me to post.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • niknak

      Is that really all you have?
      Can you show us any instance of this country being "socialist."
      Can you even define the word for us?
      I am guessing you can't.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      The federal govt is using the general welfare clause and commerce clause to intervene in way too many areas, unconst- itutionally.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      We need to get back to a limited government like our founding fathers had. For example, they would cringe at a "department of education". that should always remain local matter.

      Think Barry Goldwater had it right. SO did the "consti-tution in exile" crowd. look up the phrase.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      A govern-ment small enough to drown in a bathtub. there.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @soldier

      Saying something, and actually giving evidence and specifics, as well as how that equates to complete socialism are two different things. So far, you have only said something.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      heard of enumerated powers? federal govt has only far and few powers.. most of the powers with state. thats the way it should be.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @soldier

      You're still not giving anything. Merely throwing out terms that are fairly irrelevant to the actual question. Congrats, you have nothing so far.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • niknak

      I am assuming your are a tea party leaning republican.
      If you believe in smaller government, then why did your party not run on that and chose to run instead on social issues, which would require them to increase the size of the government?
      And also, why did you support Presidant Bush, who increased the size of the government like not president since Roosevelt when he created the Dept of HOme land Insucurity AND passed the Patriot Act, which lets the government spy on us legally?
      We are still waiting for some proof of "socialism" and for you to define the word for us.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      hawaii, soak the rich won. as romney and bohmer says, that is no way to grow the economy

      November 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • niknak

      Oh yeah, I forgot how well trickle down worked in growing the economy under Bush.
      Maybe if you keep your hand out long enough, the Kock brothers will give you some crumbs from their table.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @solder

      What a lovely non-sensical and irrelevant statement.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Jenny

      SoldierOfConscience
      On the political spectrum that's like standing in Ohio, taking a step west, and saying "Welcome to California!" I'm from Canada and your Dems are way more conservative than our Conservative Party. You may see it as a slippery slope, but if it is it's a very, very long and gradual slope to the kind of Socialism you're alluding to. Why the big drama?

      November 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Huebert

      Jenny

      We have never had a national dialogue about socialism here in america, as a result, many people here have no idea what socialism actually is.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Jenny

      Huebert
      You guys are the land of the super capitalists, but not everyone can be super rich within any economy, right? Sadly, you can't have multi-billionairs without somebody getting the shaft. Isn't it possible that big corporations will eventually edge out small business altogether and you'd end up with a handful of mega-rich and the rest of you, their workers, being pinched for every dime possible, until you end up like some third-world nations? Things can slide down both ends of the hill, why do the Republicans not see that?

      November 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You 'stand your ground' by ignoring the facts and arguments others post, SOC. You're good at that.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      SOC doesn't have a clue what socialism is.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTPS,

      funny! While I was scrolling through this thread, that's exactly what I was thinking and how I had planned to respond.

      @SOC has no idea what real socialim is like. He'd be terrified.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      He's probably one of those people who think the Nazis were socialists because the party name was the National Socialist party.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Huebert

      We have never had a national dialogue about socialism here in america

      Well, not in living memory for most people. US communists were a strong voice in the first half of the 20th century.

      Any of the "Labor" Parties in other English speaking countries have a far more socialistic outlook than the Democrats.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ Not a GOPer: I know! Morons like SOC (who, just in case anyone didn't know, is opposed to ANY and ALL forms of birth control and of course is opposed to abortion for ANY reason whatsoever) think that 'socialized medicine' equals 'socialism.' Of course, SOC is just SO smart that he couldn't even figure out how to spell "soldier" in his own screen name! He thought it was "solder" until someone smacked him with a verbal 2×4 and informed him that he was a boob.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  9. niknak

    It means that the racist backward christian right has to look at a half black man in the WHITE house for another 4 years.
    Then, they will have to look at a woman in their for another 4 after that.
    Hurry up and die off christian right.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      A white hetero male who was proud to vote for Obama, but DISGUSTED that I had to vote in a church. Die off xstian right is CORRECT!!! Talibangelicals must be eliminated from government, let them chant their jibberish indoors and out of our government. Brianwashed IDIOTS

      November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  10. AaaaCccc

    To Andrew, you label way too many incompetent. And if they are trully incompetent, they are as likely to vote for 1 candidate as another.

    Voter fraud and voter suppression make our system a travesty. We in Oregon have 100 % vote by mail. No lines. Time to read ballot measures. Countable ballots with confirmable signatures ( they held up my vote one year to question the signature), a system that requires time to verify who you are and instead of one shot to produce ID that may have been lost in a flood, you have time. No shortage of ballots. No Diebald machines that are hackable. If you sign up to vote, you have the personal responsibility to prevent your name from being used fraudulently. Up to you to notice if you did not get your ballot, etc.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  11. Sue

    There is only Christian wrong.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Very cute and funny Sue, I will remember that. Too bad there are still Talibangelicals in The House, but most of those of the "christian wrong" got beat. Too bad crazy Michelle Bachman will still be there.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  12. James Madison

    Chad
    As you can see by the responses to your post, that I have said many things that can be quoted. Presidents when making a proclamation would want it to be all inclusive and receive a favorable reaction from the majority of the people. Much of these kind of declarations are written by speech writers and approved for distribution by the party and the president. If you really want to know my thoughts that are not influenced by political expedience, my private writings are much clearer.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • John the Guy

      You mean like....
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal........
      and yet some of the men that signed this docu*ment were sla*ve owners. Political positons and individual beliefs are often in conflict. Quoting someone selectively and not being able to have them make their position clear is very convenient for someone like you, that likes to spin things to your point of view.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  13. Johnny 5

    Obama doesn't believe in bronze age fables and neither do I. This is how civilizations move forward.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  14. Damocles

    @Linda

    I think it's more about something missing in their life so they look for a way to feel special. They take belief, mold it into a deity that looks astonishingly like themselves and hope they can believe themselves into an afterlife.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  15. CatLover

    Sweet Jesus, we can only hope the Christian Right's influence is over! The Republicans' inability to separate religion from politics is why, of all the candidates they initially offered, the only one I could have voted for was Romney. For all his faults, at least he did not come across as an evangelical whackjob. But ... the Republicans clearly still don't get it, and so ... that was my last Republican vote. I may not vote for a Democrat, but I will not vote for a Republican. http://lajuntablog.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-last-republican-vote.html

    November 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • niknak

      Yeah, but he had to go so far right to appeas the xtian right, that the stench of them never wore off by the time of the election.
      That will be the most pressing issue for the repubs. The angry white male vote is not enough, and the more they go down the religious route, the more they will alienate the middle of the electorate.
      I just don't think they can overcome their hate of minorities and their obsession with trying to return this country to some mythical Leave it to Beaver 50s period.

      Face it repubs, the country is moving on. The Soviet empire is done, the Chineese don't want to play the bad guy, and people are leaving organized religion and the country is browning.
      Evolve or go extinct.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  16. Chad

    To bad James Madison isnt our president today...

    THANKSGIVING DAY 1814
    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION


    The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace, I have deemed it proper by this proclamation to recommend that Thursday, the 12th of January next, be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious as semblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. They will be invited by the same solemn occasion to call to mind the distinguished favors conferred on the American people in the general health which has been enjoyed, in the abundant fruits of the season, in the progress of the arts instrumental to their comfort, their prosperity, and their security, and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, a devout thankfulness for all which ought to be mingled with their supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him; to support and animate them in the discharge of their respective duties; to continue to them the precious advantages flowing from political inst itutions so ausp icious to their safety against dangers from abroad, to their tranquillity at home, and to their liberties, civil and religious; and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and const ituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace its blessings may be speedily and happily restores.

    Given at the city of Washington, the 16th day of November, 1814, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-eighth.

    JAMES MADISON fourth President of the United States and one of the chief architects of the Consti tution of the United States

    November 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't get your point Chad, all he's doing is precisely echoing the spirit of our constitution:

      "...voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious assemblies..."

      He's not imposing his religion on us via the government, he's just making a suggestion. If Christians were legislating their beliefs, and requiring by law that we follow them, that's where I would have a problem. Suggesting that the faithful be faithful, in my opinion, has a neutral effect on me.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      I wonder, will you ever get rid of this useless strategy to attempt and prove a point that is wrong through irrelevant quotes? Are you attempting to prove your right by stating the same irrelevant bullshit ad nauseum? Then again, since I'm not actually addressing the content of your irrelevant quote, you'll probably ignore my post and continue with your pathetic, transparent idiocy.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • auggiedoggy

      I like these quotes.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." -Benjamin Franklin

      "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man." -Thomas Jefferson

      "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession." -Abraham Lincoln

      November 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together;
      James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt

      November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Ben

      It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom.... We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov.
      James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt

      November 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Fast forward 200 years or so.

      Chad
      Religious hierarchical leaders, such as the Catholic Bishop Conference, Ralph Reed and the the Billy Graham franchise found their ability to impose their religion on other Americans has diminished and will not return.
      This can also be seen with the rejection of the views of the like of Akin, Walsh and Mourdock. The conveniant christians that only show up for weddings, funerals and high hoildays and do not follow the rules of their faith are probably in the majority, looks good on the resume, you know.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.
      James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774

      November 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.
      Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General As.sembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785

      November 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superst.ition, bigotry and persecution.
      James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785

      November 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Ben

      ...Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.
      James Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Const.itution, June 1778

      November 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • BoboDaMonkeyBoy

      "Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together " James Madison

      November 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ben

      The Civil Government, tho' bereft of everything like an as.sociated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE.
      James Madison, as quoted in Robert L. Maddox: Separation of Church and State; Guarantor of Religious Freedom

      November 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ben

      Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man:To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered.
      James Madison, according to Leonard W. Levy, Treason Against God: A History of the Offense of Blasphemy, New York: Schocken Books, 1981, p. xii.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ben

      Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?
      James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious As,sessments [1785]

      November 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect. [James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1,1774, as quoted by Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco:Harper & Row, 1987, p. 37]

      I think you should be getting the point by now. Madison would not be approving of the Religious Right's seeking to oppress the rights of religious moderates.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad

      Prayer has always been a part of the American story, and today countless Americans rely on prayer for comfort, direction, and strength, praying not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country, and the world.

      On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience. Let us pray for all the citizens of our great Nation, particularly those who are sick, mourning, or without hope, and ask God for the sustenance to meet the challenges we face as a Nation. May we embrace the responsibility we have to each other, and rely on the better angels of our nature in service to one another. Let us be humble in our convictions, and courageous in our virtue. Let us pray for those who are suffering around the world, and let us be open to opportunities to ease that suffering.

      Let us also pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who have answered our country’s call to serve with honor in the pursuit of peace. Our grateful Nation is humbled by the sacrifices made to protect and defend our security and freedom. Let us pray for the continued strength and safety of our service members and their families. While we pause to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending liberty, let us remember and lend our voices to the principles for which they fought - unity, human dignity, and the pursuit of justice.

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2012, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation as we address the challenges of our time.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

      Is this politics as usual or evidence of deep belief?

      Now use the same filter to ask the same question of James Madison.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @EnjaySea "I don't get your point Chad, all he's doing is precisely echoing the spirit of our consti tution:
      @Chad "I completely agree, unfortunately most atheists seem to disagree"

      ========
      @EnjaySea "He's not imposing his religion on us via the government, he's just making a suggestion. If Christians were legislating their beliefs, and requiring by law that we follow them, that's where I would have a problem. Suggesting that the faithful be faithful, in my opinion, has a neutral ef fect on me."
      @Chat "well said!!"

      ========
      @hawaiiguest "I wonder, will you ever get rid of this useless strategy to attempt and prove a point that is wrong through irrelevant quotes"
      @Chad "quoting Madison in complete (as opposed to cherry picking to create a false impression) is to make an incorrect point with an irrelevant quote????

      pretty bizarre statement you are making dont you think?

      ======
      @Ben "I think you should be getting the point by now. Madison would not be approving of the Religious Right's seeking to oppress the rights of religious moderates.

      @Chad "??
      how exactly is the "Religious Right seeking to oppress the rights of religious moderates."?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      And in typical dishonest fashion, you merely state that what you say is relevant without giving the justification. You are so incredibly transparent it's ridiculous.
      Tell me Chad, why does what Madison write to someone have anything to do with anything?
      For that matter, to all the people who continue to toss out quotes for both sides, what relevance does this have to anything?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • John the Guy

      Chad
      Perhaps Ben overstated by using oppress instead of influence the rights of religious moderates. After all that is what the article is about, did you read it?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Religious moderates do not believe that things such as abortion, gay marriage, or evolution are either wrong, immoral or, if they believe in one, against God's wishes. If they believe in a God they believe in one who is different than Religious Right's God. Their theology allows things that the Religious Right would like to outlaw. Therefore, isn't trying to establish the rule of a God that these people obviously do not believe in against the Establishment Clause?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer, I figured someone would be around to try the old "he really didnt mean it" ploy..

      as an exercise, see if you can see the difference between these two statements, especially with respect to the ident ity of “God”:

      Obama: we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience. Let us pray for all the citizens of our great Nation, particularly those who are sick, mourning, or without hope, and ask God….

      Madison a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace….be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious as semblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. ….supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him….and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and const ituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms

      November 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • AaaaCccc

      Lovely words by Madison. Isn't he the president that fled Washington as it was being invaded by the British? We almost lost our independence under him?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Ben, if you are trying to say that any Christian that supports legislation in line with their beliefs is somehow in violation of the first amendment.. you need to do some reading.. and some personal reflection on your obvious prejudices..

      In the US, anyone can lobby the government for anything they feel is important. That's the rule of law.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      it's interesting that he slipped a very deist sounding "Sovereign of the Universe" in there for good measure.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      The White House also hosts Diwali and other religious' celebrations. You can't say that, just because the President hosts a National Day of Prayer, he establishes that the nation is just under the Abrahamic religions.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "it's interesting that he slipped a very deist sounding "Sovereign of the Universe" in there for good measure"

      =>LOL

      you sure have a unique pair of glasses on
      of confessing their sins and transgressions, ...repentance and amendment. …. pardon all their offenses against Him

      please do explain how that is deist? :-)

      Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm Nehemiah 9

      November 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "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.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Ben "The White House also hosts Diwali and other religious' celebrations. You can't say that, just because the President hosts a National Day of Prayer, he establishes that the nation is just under the Abrahamic religions."

      =>yes, my point exactly.

      GOPer was trying to say that there was a similarity between Madison's and Obama's proclamation that demonstrated it was just politics.. I agree, GOPer's attempt failed..

      November 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Ignoring me again Chad? I wonder why that is?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii "why does what Madison write to someone have anything to do with anything?"
      =>It serves to show what his thinking was on the intended purpose of the first amendment.

      right?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      No, it doesn't. It shows his opinion, just like the quotes from Jefferson, Franklin, and Lincoln posted earlier show their opinion. The only question that matters in this is what is the proper application of the first amendment, which, to any reasonable person, is neutrality when it comes to religion. No laws favoring a particular religion, and no laws discriminating against any particular religion.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Humor the Troll

      @All posters
      Chad like Atheism is comes on this blog to get his/her daily dose of attention and play mental games probably to fill his day. His paste and post logic starts with a quote that has nothing to do with the topic of the 2012 election and the christian rights losing their influence, not 200 years ago but now. Should he not be ignored till he gets on topic, it is just a game for him, rambling just for the sake of it.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chad

      Seeking to understand the original framers intent when they crafted the consti tution is irrelevant..

      Many people share the belief that it is perfectly fine to avoid amendments and just change the const itution by interpreting it in a manner that is no where near what the framers intended. , I am not one of them.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Intention, and proper application that is fair for everyone are two completely different things. Now tell me, if the original intention of something was to accept only Islamic professions of faith, then would you still be arguing for original intent?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Agreed

      @Humor the Troll they are on here pretty much 24/7 which means they have no life and are total losers. It's become an addiction to them which further proves they're losers.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      They can lobby all they want, but you're missing the point. The Const.itution should disallow any religious belief that infringes on another citizen's as it would contaminate the Law. The Religious Right can ask and pressure for what they want all they like, as is protected under free speech, but the government shouldn't humour them by passing any legislation that infringes on other people's religious beliefs.

      The moderates believe that God does not forbid things that the Religious Right thinks he does, gay marriage, for example. By disallowing gay marriage the government is basically stating that it prefers the God of the Right over the God of the moderates, is it not? The only sensible thing to do is for the government to reaffirm it's civil dominion over marriage law, allow gay marriage, and then leave the churches to decide if they want to marry them or not. There are too many options available for me to support forcing ministers to marry people they have a problem with. Sound fair to you?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Intention, and proper application that is fair for everyone are two completely different things."
      @Chad "again, Many people share the belief that it is perfectly fine to avoid amendments and just change the const itution by interpreting it in a manner that is no where near what the framers intended. , I am not one of them.

      ===========
      @Hawaii " Now tell me, if the original intention of something was to accept only Islamic professions of faith, then would you still be arguing for original intent?"
      @Chad "yes, except that I wouldnt live there, so I wouldnt be saying anything.

      It is disingenuous to try and convince people that the original framers had something different in mind, just because you dont like what they DID have in mind

      November 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Ben, so who decides when a belief is "a religious belief that infringes"?

      do we just call you and get your ruling?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      "It is disingenuous to try and convince people that the original framers had something different in mind, just because you dont like what they DID have in mind"

      What a lovely Straw Man. I have stated over and over that writings and intention is completely irrelevant, and that the only relevant point is proper application that is fair. You really can't argue anything honestly can you? Now, begin ignoring my posts now since I have shown how you are being dishonest, easily confirmable within this very thread. Then continue with your irrelevant quotes that has absolutely nothing to do with the first amendment.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      While the Religious Right has no trouble, or lack of funds necessary, to communicate when it feels that it's religious beliefs are being infringed upon, the moderates are much less militant about expressing their concerns. That's what makes them "moderates", after all, right? So, as odd as it seems, we atheists do very often assume the role of presenting the moderate's concerns. We're not "ruling" on anything here, just expressing our general knowledge of religion and sense of what's right and wrong.

      The bigger question is why such good American citizens as those in the Religious Right usually claim to be aren't sensitive to the beliefs of other citizens, especially in light of the Golden Rule which might be rendered as "Respect other people's religions as you would want yours respected." As good citizens should they be thinking "I know that not everyone's a Christian like I am, but I think that the government which rules over us all should only represent my beliefs"? Even if you have a majority, minorities have rights too.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Ben "The bigger question is why such good American citizens as those in the Religious Right usually claim to be aren't sensitive to the beliefs of other citizens'
      @Chad "by "sensitive" you mean, not lobbying for what they feel is right, instead lobbying for what you feel is right?
      lol

      ======
      @Ben "especially in light of the Golden Rule which might be rendered as "Respect other people's religions as you would want yours respected.""
      @Chad "I dont think you quite understand that everyone has rights..
      Are you trampling on my rights by lobbying to change the existing law and endorse gay marriage?
      That is not what I want.
      Why is it when I dont want something and you do, I'm trampling on your rights.
      but
      When you want something and I dont, I'm not being respectful?

      LOL, you sure like that double headed penny :-)

      Democracy A form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives

      November 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad, do you ever listen to yourself? If gay marriages are legal, do you think you'll forced to have one, you moron? You don't want gay marriage? Great, don't marry a gay man. Jesus on a fvcking Triscuit, you're stupid. All the "lols" and smirky emoticons just reinforce the impression that you're a real dick. And a stupid one at that.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How, pray tell, does gay marriage "affect" your life, Chard?

      November 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest, actually you are completely correct. I honestly didnt think you were going to come right out and say that you couldnt care less what the framers thought.

      As such, you arent being disingenuous at all, just acting in a way that violates the oath that every judge takes when assuming the bench, and every elected official when taking office. Namely to uphold the Const itution.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Watch as Chard avoids responding. He'll say it's because he doesn't like my manners or my language, but in reality it's because he's a lying sack who never gives an honest answer to anything.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You really don't care how dishonest you are do you? You really don't care how stupid you sound, as long as you can delude yourself. Tell me you tard, how is it that I care more about the proper application of an amendment (which I have said), and you can somehow spin that in your bigoted, moronic, fucked up little mind to mean I don't care about an oath to uphold the constitution?
      How is it, tard, that you could possibly even get to a point where you could be so wrong, yet be so mentally incompetent to think that you're actually right in what I think, when I've made it so incredibly clear?

      November 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Let me break it down for you. Flip the factor:

      Let's say you have blue eyes, but other people have green eyes. You want only people with blue eyes to drive cars and want to pass laws that only people with blue eyes can drive cars. Most of the people with green eyes think you're trampling on their right to drive cars, and the people with green eyes don't care if blue-eyed people drive cars themselves, but they just want to be able to drive cars.

      The green eyed people aren't trampling on your right to drive because they don't care if you drive. But the green eyed people want to drive cars like you do. The green eyed people aren't taking anything away from you blue-eyed people, but YOU, just a fraction of the blue-eyed people want to take away the right of green eyed people to drive cars.

      You are wanting to take rights away from a group that is not wanting to take any rights away from you. If you don't get how fvcked up and bigoted that is, then you're stupid as well as bigoted.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why, Chard, would you imagine that the founders didn't envision a Const itution that could change over time to accommodate changing populations, science, and social customs? Do you really the founders were so short-sighted that they didn't foresee that further amendments to the doc ument would be warranted? I guess you think they were as dumb as you are. Thank goodness they didn't have emoticons.

      Can you imagine what the Const itution would look like if Chard had written it? Here a "LOL", there a ;)

      November 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • mama k

      OK – I see Chad has two arguments going on simultaneously regarding Mr. Madison's intent. One here and one still on page 17. Chad keeps centering on that fact that the founders decreed some special days, spoke God's name at graduations, etc., but he ignores the insight that we get when we look more closely at Madison's wondering about how to best achieve the goals of the Establishment Clause. For instance several times I mentioned the following to Chad and he hasn't addressed it, other than to dance around it and find more text from JM where he speaks again about the ceremonial involvements with religion:

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      (this is from a letter from James Madison to Edward Livingston 10 July 1822)

      November 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ Moby: Thank you. You made the point I wanted to articulate much better than I could have.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • mama k

      (and to be clear, in that last post of mine here, the quote, I believe, supports my opinion that for the real work of government – legislation – Madison had very clear ideals about the separation of church and state. I don't believe that Madison's discussion of ceremonial religious references is nearly as important to us today.) You may want to browse page 17 to see how Chad continues again and again to not address this.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, mama, I would look at p. 17 to see how Chard weasels his way out of addressing a question, but I'd rather clean the turds out of the litter box. The turds are more interesting than Chard, and not nearly as smelly.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      In late 1814 Madison was unpopular – particularly with Federalists in New England. He led the country into a disasterous and wholly unjustified land grab war in Canada. Ultimately none of the campaigns into Canada were successful and after the abdication of Napoleon in early 1814, the tide had turned strongly in favor of the British.

      The city of Washington was burned in August (when Dolly famously saved the china and "Mr. Washington's picture" from the destruction of the President's House). The impact to trade of British blockade of the Atlantic led New England to consider secession from the Union. Despite ship-to-ship victories by the USN super frigates in 1812, the US Navy was now effectively bottled up in Boston and the country was going broke.

      In September, Madison asked Congress for a conscription bill. The Federalists in New England had refused to turn out the state militias to support Madison's warmongering and secessionist momentum there was increasing. They would meet in Hartford in December.

      Also in September, two key military events took place:

      1. The British assult on Baltimore was halted – mostly because shipping deliberately wrecked in the approaches to Baltimore forced the British to try to reduce Fort McHenry by sea, which famously failed after an all night bombardment.

      2. The British launched a major invasion from Canada. Because of a shift in the wind on Lake Champlain the US had a decisive victory over British ships at Plattsburg and the larger advancing column retired, not wanting their lakeside flank exposed.

      So Madison (a politician responsible for an unpopular war that he was then losing) announces a day of Thanksgiving to celebrate recent British reversals and build enthusiasm for his cause. Understand that "Days of Thanksgiving" were a particularly New England tradition.

      The parts of the quote you did *not* chose to highlight are the most telling ...

      ... and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, ...

      ... to their safety against dangers from abroad, ... and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation ... giving ... success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace ...

      If you still believe this wasn't politically motivated and it is real evidence either of Madison's beliefs or that he did not believe in the doctrine of separation, go right ahead but that seems awfully naïve to me.

      This is clearly the act of a politician who is reaping the whirlwind trying to muster up public support with a bit of shameless PR. Politics as usual – just like Obama's 'National Day of Prayer'. There's simply no other intelligent way to interpret it.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Tom, Tom..

      Can't you just see Chad as an Inquisitor?

      "How dare you trample on my rights to put you on the rack and dig out your intestines one foot at time for the next few weeks?!? I have my rights to not witness anyone else worshiping god in some different way than I do! How dare they pray to god by just getting on one knee?!? My right to only see people praying on both knees is being violated!!"

      November 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii, "upholding the consti tution" means exactly what it sounds like. Upholding, not changing it to suit your desires or view of its "proper application".
      You showed your hand when you said that you thought the original framers intent was irrelevant. You want to make the consti tution what you want it to be. And, fortunately, that is precisely what our elected officials and members of the judiciary take an oath NOT to do.

      =========
      Moby and everyone else who views it is bigoted for society to deny legal recognition of gay marriage: I assume that you all support the right to marry a child, the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want?
      If not... why?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Moby: You crack me up. "NO ONE expects the Chardish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is complete idiocy!"

      November 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • mama k

      Thanks, Tom, Tom – I just reposted my question to him about this quote there as well. I think I've posted it at least three times there with no feedback from him, other than to revert to some early argument that he had manufactured. I told him very early on that no one is arguing about Madison's personal belief or his ceremonial duties. What is important is his views on how separation is best implemented.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, goody. Now the Chard is using the "slippery slope" argument. How much Astroglide did it take to go from "consenting adults" to pedophilia, you lying sack?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Right, nothing ever changes, the constitution is the exact same as it ever was, and the application of amendments to improve the way the constitution applies to everyone has never changed.
      Are you fucking high? Are you in one of those states that legalized marijuana, and you're just so completely stoned out of your mind you think you're making sense?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad to hawaii: "You showed your hand when you said that you thought the original framers intent was irrelevant. "

      See you're doing the same old dog and pony show here with hawaii, Chad.. you're arguing on some ceremonial bull, and not address what the framers thoughts on overall government operation and legislation. I don't want to speak for hawaii, but it seems there was more of a problem with that crap that you've quoted that doesn't mean diddly squat today. I would say your repeated arguments about the ceremonial traditions of the government are irrelevant as well.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mama K "And what about the following in JM's letter, Chad? "

      @Chad "ah yes, your quote mining project.. I'm surprised you keep coming back to get slammed on this...

      Your cherry picked quote "Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      the complete quote showing below, with your cherry picked portion in bold.
      Note that his concern was to prevent establishment of a religion, as it made abundantly clear in the portion of the text that you cut out .

      Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).

      November 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • mama k

      Well a few good things came out of my arguing with Chad. Some new material. One of them goes like this:

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      (James Madison letter to Edward Livingston 10 July 1822)

      November 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Inquisition, let's begin,
      The Inquisition, look out sin,
      We have a mission, to convert the Jews, (Jew-Ju-Ju-Ju-Ju-Ju-Jew)

      Thanks Mel!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a hoot! Chard's decrying mama k for a "cherry-picked quote."

      I love it. Chard, could you BE more of a hypocrite?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, Chad – the whole letter doesn't color that quote any different color. And for the last sentence, he speaks about the aid the government can give to religion – the tax break we see today might be a good example of that. But that doesn't in any way speak to having religion being involved in government affairs. The part I highlighted does obviously address his views on that. Sometimes "cherry-picking" as you call it is the best way to get to the heart of the matter, Chad.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaii, if you want to change the const itution, there is a way, it's called an amendment.

      What you are talking about (considering the intent of the founders irrelevant instead "properly applying" it what ever way you want), would be against the law for a member of the judiciary to do.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since when are YOU qualified, Chard, to determine what is within the realm of the judiciary to do?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You really are just plain stupid. When did I ever say that it would be based on anything that I think? I said "proper application that is fair for everyone". You constantly ignore this, and build a Straw Man (big surprise there) to avoid what I'm saying because you can't argue against it. You also ignored the part in my post where I sarcastically said that the application of the constitution never changed. Then again, as long as you can continue to spin anything so you can hold onto your little delusions right?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      how'd the Florida "Religious Freedom", Amendment 8 (2012), permitting goverment money to fund religious inst!tutions work out on Tuesday?

      Failed eh?

      Yet another victory for the doctrine of separation and for almost exactly the same kind of bill as Madison's 'remonstrance' was designed to kill too!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, all quiet on the Chard front. Bet the fvcktard is fingering his Rolodex of topics to see which one he can manage to address so he doesn't have to deal with his defeat here.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • mama k

      "Ben" way above wrote: "The Religious Right can ask and pressure for what they want all they like, as is protected under free speech, but the government shouldn't humour them by passing any legislation that infringes on other people's religious beliefs." Well, it would have been better to end that sentence with simply that infringes on other people's rights.

      An example of that is of course gay rights. That is, those that have, in their states, legislated to make unequal the rights of gay couples will most certainly face legal challenge very soon. Of course some improvements have been made in individual states, but I have a feeling that there is enough confidence now to challenge some of these states' hokey laws on a more national level. And the main reason I also say this is because the issue, I believe can't be fought as an issue of separation of church and state as much as of civil liberties. You just can't have a state saying marriage is defined one way to protect a certain set of religious tenets, and yet have the state also giving advantages on a civil basis to only those that fall under that same definition. I think I will still see in my lifetime where the U.S. catches up to some of the other places in the world that are ahead of us on this issue. We might just see continued advancement for a time state by state. But I think if someone pushed gay marriage to the SC arguing from the 1st Amendment, I think it would be hard to beat.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mama k, you seem very astute concerning matters of law. Are you an attorney or a professional in some other area of law? I admire your arguments and the citations you've posted to back them.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • mama k

      No, and thank you, Tom. – lol – I wish I had studied it though. I do read some of it now and then. This whole gay marriage issue just seems terribly skewed in the U.S. considering the rest of the world. As Catholic as Latin America is, even they are starting to get a clue, and will surpass us because of these idiot fundamentalists. We should have had a clue years ago if people would just stop and think about other people's rights.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Most welcome, mama. I wish I'd pursued law as well.

      I agree. It's tragic that the US lags behind other nations in recognizing gay rights.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard's Rolodex of topics must be far bigger than Chard's...uh... other attributes.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • mama k

      I just don't think Chad understands how much Deism affected the key founders. Of course they were mostly Christians. And they did acknowledge the Christian God. And historians to this day argue over how truly devout they were – many of them only attended services on a regular basis – especially starting with their professional careers onward. But what is the most interesting is when they pondered what it would take to make the government they were forming really work. It is in these types of writings (not ceremonial junk, Chad) that we see the real intent for separation of church and state. It's pretty obvious that Jefferson and Madison were highly affected by it. Just do your own research and you'll come to the same conclusion. Read all of it, by all means.

      And regarding Deism, "I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV" illustrated with Madison's wording: "Sovereign of the Universe" in the quote up earlier in this thread.

      But somehow I am even sensing it from John Adams, one that some claim might have been the least Deist among the key founders:

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Add being really pissed off at religious sects feuding in your own state with these Deistic influences and it should be no surprise that the founders knew they have to keep religion out of the primary duties of government.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • mama k

      The last sentence of my last post should read: "had to keep . . ."

      November 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fascinating to see how closely the founders resemble us!

      November 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Er, how much WE resemble THEM.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • mama k

      It looks like above I was unclear in one place that really changes the meaning of what I wrote. In my reply at November 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm, regarding gay marriage rights, one word is very wrong. The corrected version is this:

      I believe [it - gay marriage right] can be fought as an issue of separation of church and state as much as of civil liberties.

      (But I think the rest of my post should have made my position clear.)

      November 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Are you serious? I'm for marriage between CONSENTING.....and.... wait for it...... ADULTS.

      You moron, it's pretty simple how a person can be in favor of equal rights for gay marriage and not for child ra pe.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Moby: Yeah, it's obvious. To anyone who's not as completely brain-dead as Chard.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, Tom, Tom – I think about that everytime I read about these men – we seem to have some of the same struggles and are, like them, a witness to struggles amongst others that don't make sense to us; and we want to progress and have our children progress and not be unfairly judged.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, Moby – I saw that – and it was such a ridiculous comment, I was still wondering how to address it. Sometimes you have to think a bit before answering something so childish.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Moby et al: what do you bet the Chard doesn't respond to any of these posts, but resurfaces with the same tactics in response to an entirely different topic?

      What a slippery little eel.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And by "eel" I mean "slimy coward."

      November 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • mama k

      Well I haven't been visiting these blogs for very long now and I have noticed these arguments with Chad enough to know to start keeping track of them. Of course he was last discussing church and state with me and more recently ME II on page 17 of this article. And I was interested to see how this:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/29/my-take-god-not-in-whirlwinds-of-sandy-presidential-race/comment-page-21/#comment-1905772

      might resolve differently than any of the other conversations with him on creation, existence, etc., but it seemed to stop at the same place.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      How am I trampling on your "rights" by lobbying to change the existing law against gay marriage? What "right" do you have to deny something to someone else that you get to enjoy as an adult, and how is this issue any different than the other bigots who disallowed biracial marriages?

      The government is already involved in marriage law. It regulates it and governs the legality of entering and exiting marriage contracts. Churches may forbid two people from getting married within their faith, but nothing disqualifies them from being legally married by another faith, or civilly. Not all faiths are against gay marriage. Many moderate Christian sects already perform them. By opposing them for everyone you are therefore infringing upon the religious freedoms of these Christians, correct?

      What's wrong, don't you believe in freedom of religion?

      November 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Ben

      mama k
      It's people's rights including their religious rights, correct? The Religious Right likes to argue that they are just protecting their religious rights, but I argue that they're trampling on other people's religious rights to do it. Plenty of moderates, including Christians, have no problem with gay marriage. It's just as much a part of their religious belief that God is OK with it as the it's part of the Right's religious belief that he isn't. The government has no business picking one position over the other, and it doesn't have any non-religious grounds to prevent two consenting adults from marrying based upon their gender. The only fair thing for the government to do is to grant gay marriage, but not force churches to have to preform them when there are Civil and accepting church options that will.

      It follows the same pattern as the abortion issue, where it's made available to all, but nobody can force churches that are against it to endorse them. They have a right to their religious beliefs, as long as they do not cross the line into inciting hate, but they do not have the right to impose their beliefs upon us all, even if they are a majority. Any faith that can do that breaks the Establishment Clause and basically becomes the State Religion, something that the Const.itution disallows.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii “I said "proper application that is fair for everyone".”
      @Chad “so, does ‘everyone’ include me also? lol, something tells me no :-)

      =============
      @/Ben: I assume that you all support the right to marry a consenting child, the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want? After all "right" do you have to deny something to someone else that you get to enjoy?”
      @Moby: “I assume that you all support the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want? And, who are you to tell a person what they can do? What right do you have to tell a child they cant get married?”

      The reason you folks detest that question, is you are unwilling to acknowledge that morality exists even for you.

      ==========
      @Mama K, my advice to you is stop surfing the web looking for cherry picked quotes that line up with what you want history to be.

      @GOPer, as was demonstrated above refuting your Obama/Madison nonsense, the politically correct landscape now has radically changed what the founding fathers intended.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • mama k

      So on page 17, Chad posted this reply which is relevant here:

      (I had written) "I still would like you to address this quote from the Livingston letter, Chad:"

      [portion of Madison letter, where Chad clipped a bigger piece]

      Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion.

      (more from me) This clearly shows Madison's view on how the Establishment Clause would be best enforced.

      -- Chad ----------------------
      @Chad "I completely agree, it clearly shows the purpose of the clause was to prevent the establishment of a state religion, and the way to accomplish that was not to avoid an alliance or coalition between Government and Religion.

      apologies for providing more of the text of his letter and by so doing demonstrate exactly what Madison meant. I know how you dearly love to distort by cherry picking...

      And my last reply there is this:
      -- mama k -----------–
      So Chad – as I said I am fine with the entire letter. Now what part of what you clipped there last does not culminate into his statement:

      "and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together."

      ???

      How does that not represent the crux of the matter for future generations?
      -------------

      So maybe someone else can help make Chad's case to me, because he has sounded like a broken record for a while now.
      Maybe someone can support Chad's interpretation of the portion of the letter he included and explain why they wind up at the same place he is. How does this not represent Madison's thinking that the best way to implement the Establishment Clause that he crafted was to keep religion away as much as possible from the primary duties of the government?

      Any other takers?

      November 10, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • mama k

      and furthermore, how does that quote (the entire part that Chad clipped) equate to Chad's:

      "and the way to accomplish that was not to avoid an alliance or coalition between Government and Religion."

      ??

      November 10, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Damocles

      @mama

      Yeah I'm always puzzled by the things chad posts.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Wow. Completely worthless. Tell me Chad, do you purposefully post the most dishonest shit you can think of, or do actually believe the utter bile you spew?

      November 10, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • The Truth

      @chad – "I assume that you all support the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want? And, who are you to tell a person what they can do? What right do you have to tell a child they cant get married?”

      Well Chad, these people called "Doctors" and "Scientists" have repeatable tests that show that close relatives that mate have extremely high risks of severe birth defects. And marrying a child meaning a human that is not fully formed either mentally or emotionally prematurely is a form of r a p e because the child is unable to give a fully informed consent. The same goes for animals that are unable to give any sort of consent. As to how humanity evolved these almost innate morals, such as most people do not find their relatives attractive in that way, it's very likely that this trait of preferring mates out of ones own family created a stronger more viable species. And that trait has been passed on to you, I hope, though from some of your comments I wonder some times Chad...

      November 10, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • The Truth

      "The same goes for animals that are unable to give any sort of consent." That doesn't sound quite right, I really meant "The same goes for all animals since they are unable to give any sort of consent"... The first way I said it I guess you could get away with a "Polly Wanna Flock!!" or a gorilla imitating a dirty hand gesture, which is not what I meant... lol

      November 10, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Chad

      @mama k "and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.?
      How does that not represent the crux of the matter for future generations?"

      @Chad "A. What is the "matter" that Madison was referring to?
      B. What was his remedy

      You are failing to understand both questions, seeking instead to levy your own "matter" and your own remedy. That is the entire problem, and that is why you like to cherry pick, because in so doing, it is easier for you to get away from Madison's answer for both questions. Like @HawaiiGuest you seem remarkably unconcerned with understanding the original intent.

      The "matter" that Madison was referring to: It is clear from the entire letter, that Madison's concern was with the creation of an official state religion through an alliance or coalition between Government and Religion. The intermingling of ecclesiastic authorities in the workings of the Government. For example, having the Archbishop as an unelected member of the house/senate.

      The reason your cherry picking stops where it does, is because of the statement that immediately follows it, namely "It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion

      His one and only concern being expressed is that a state religion not be established.

      His remedy: is for government to stay out of religion (in this particular case, not levying a tax to support religious instruction).

      His remedy is NOT: to enforce a rule that government officials in their official capacity must exclude acknowledgement of and requests for guidance from the God of Israel.
      His remedy does NOT mean that it would be forbidden to establish voluntary days of prayer and fasting to the God of Israel according to your Christian denomination.
      His remedy does NOT mean that the God of Israel can not be mentioned in legislation nor acknowledged as sovereign.
      His remedy does NOT mean that he embraced your view that "@mama k: The only way you can enforce the absence of a state religion is to keep the all of them out of the damn government and government-sponsored activities.

      end of story.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Chad

      @chad – "I assume that you all support the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want? And, who are you to tell a person what they can do? What right do you have to tell a child they cant get married?”

      @The Truth "Doctors" and "Scientists" have repeatable tests that show that close relatives that mate have extremely high risks of severe birth defects."

      @Chad "so your objection has to do with the likelihood that parents combined genetic makeup will result in birth defects.
      Ok, so you are against mentally retarded parents marrying, and you support requiring genetic screening of anyone seeking to marry.. got it..
      I definitely disagree with that.

      ========
      @The Truth "And marrying a child meaning a human that is not fully formed either mentally or emotionally prematurely is a form of r a p e because the child is unable to give a fully informed consent"
      @Chad "what??? what kind of judgement are you levying here?? you place yourself in the position of judging who can and who cant make their own decisions????
      What gives you the right to tell someone else what they can and cant do??

      and, you forgot to say whether or not you support multiple wives/husbands.. I'm sure that was just an oversight and you werent purposefully avoiding the question :-)

      November 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Ah, there's Chad. Upholding an interpretation of Constitutional law that enables the opinions of people 200 years dead to have preeminence over those of us now living. And he disagrees with a societal interest in genetic counseling and laws regarding who might be discouraged from having children even if the risk for their children might be extreme. I'd like to meet Chad. I've wondered if dinosaurs have feathers or scales.

      Did you know that Chad once confused creation as act by an artificer with creation as in a natural cause? And he's a defender of a sort of Creationism.

      No fear Chad, we'll get you straightened out one of these days. I know things look bleak in your current state, but I have every confidence that you can be turned around.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • mama k

      And now we see from page 17 that Chad is admitting to a typo to ME II:

      @Chad,
      "...the way to accomplish that was not to avoid an 'alliance or coalition between Government and Religion.'"

      [ME II:] "Just to clarify, the "not" above was a typo, correct? Because Madison seems to be referring to such an "alliance" as "the old error" and avoiding them was exactly what he was proposing."

      (mama k now): So now from his last post, he is moving to yet another place in the same letter (where I said I had no problem with the whole letter and it's intent) from a place that didn't support his notion and where he now admits that, by a typo, he has completely negated his previous response. More on this later, because I want to address both issues being discussed. I just wanted to point out this little detail for now.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • mama k

      And I should have included Chad's admission to that typo on page 17:

      (Chad)
      @ME II, yes.. typo
      November 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

      November 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Narleen

      I am shocked at how much time you people are wasting on the chad troll today.
      He has been discredited over and over thousands of times already.
      Why waste a single second even reading his posts or responding to them?

      November 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Chad

      Yes, I do not support (as you do):
      - viewing the framers intent irrelevant and making the const itution what ever we want it to be (an action which would be illegal if it was pursued by government officials who take an oath to uphold the consti tution.)
      - genetic screening

      ======
      @TTTOO "Did you know that Chad once confused creation as act by an artificer with creation as in a natural cause? "
      @Chad "lol, liar liar pants on fire

      Now, it's easy for you to provide a pointer to where I said that, but you wont, because I never did :-)

      I've interacted enough with you to know that you have absolute no problem saying whatever you want, regardless of truth and accuracy.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      "I assume that you all support the right to marry a consenting child, the right to marry a family member and the right to have as many wives or husbands as you want? After all "right" do you have to deny something to someone else that you get to enjoy?”

      I had hoped that you would not stoop to the ridiculous, but here you did. All advocates for gay marriage ask is that they be treated equally. Marriage is a legal contract between two consenting adults. Children cannot enter legal contracts. Polygamy violates the "two parties" aspect and marrying family members is regarded as ill advised because it causes strife. You're just playing on old bigotries that unfairly link gayness with hedonism and pedophilia. Once again, I thought you above such things.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad, "...the way to accomplish that was not to avoid an 'alliance or coalition between Government and Religion.'"

      [ME II:] "Just to clarify, the "not" above was a typo, correct? Because Madison seems to be referring to such an "alliance" as "the old error" and avoiding them was exactly what he was proposing."

      yes,, that was a typo. I meant to say "the way to accomplish that was to avoid an 'alliance or coalition between Government and Religion.'"

      a point I have made repeatedly, and consistently.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Chad

      so ben, you want to extend that "equal treatment" to gays, but not to adults who want to marry consenting children, relatives that want to marry, and men who want multiple wives, women who want multiple husbands?

      why?

      why does your "equal treatment" only go so far?

      The answer is simple, atheists have morals, they just dont like to admit it because it leaves them wide open for the same criticism that they levy on others, namely "what right do you have to impose your morality on someone else"

      November 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ben

      Narleen
      Sadly, I think you're right. I had hopes of having an intelligent discussion about this issue, but then he pulled out the pedophilia thing. Anyone who thinks that's an actual argument against gay marriage is beyond reason.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Ben, Chad may be hard-wired for the slippery slope fallacy. So it's not surprising that discussion is ... difficult. But if we want to move society forward in the direction we want to go we can't help but engage with such as Chad. We have to bring him along like the rest of our infirm.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "atheists have morals"

      If by morals you mean ethics, then of course they do. They just don't believe in 'absolute morality' handed down by a supernatural being. Note however, that their ethics are not due to atheism in any way, but are the individual's philosophical choice.

      Additionally, marrying children is illegal, in most cases, because our society has decided that they are not old enough for legal consent. Marrying close relatives is banned because of possible genetic issues as well as undue influence one family member can have over another, e.g. father and daughter.

      As for multiple marriages, polygyny/polyandry/etc, I don't see any reason they should be banned, other than the legal mess they would entail, which would not be insignificant.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • mama k

      I will address more on this later, but noticed Chad posted:

      "The answer is simple, atheists have morals, they just dont like to admit it because it leaves them wide open for the same criticism that they levy on others, namely "what right do you have to impose your morality on someone else"

      One thing Chad likes to do is make an argument on his own or ask a question and then answer himself. (This if often the reason some people don't learn much in discussion.) One of Chad's assumptions here is that atheists don't like to admit they have morals. That's way too much of a generalization for you to make Chad to base anything on.

      What is important in the gay marriage issue aside from your little games, Chad, is our civil law. That's ultimately what we all agree to live by in the U.S. Sure opinion and free speech are our rights, even if they come from unfounded beliefs – that too. And you can certainly say that you live by things other than civil law, and that's fine too as long as you are not infringing on the civil rights of other citizens as defined by the current law. But the argument regarding same-se x marriage is being resolved by civil law, Chad, and whether you like it or not, it will continue to spread across the states. And I would not be surprised if, to hurry things up, a challenge is soon made in one of the states that still has a traditional marriage law – and that it be argued to the SC as a church and state issue. It could be very similar to the 1963 Bible reading in schools ruling in nature. Notice in that 1963 ruling – they weren't specifying Baptists or Catholics, etc. – it was broad in that the manditory readings in public schools of the Bible was deemed uncont itutional. So the infringement was not all that specific to be deemed an infringement. Same thing here, I believe. You can't have a state saying it reserves marriage to be defined, based on religious tradition, one way, and at the same time, involved in administration of (giving advantages to) people, on a civil basis, based on the exact same definition. Of course states have passed laws to the effect. But it should be easy to deduce that they would be found unconst itutional if pushed to the SC. I'll have more on this later.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chad

      Society can and should establish laws by which it will be governed, these laws can and should reflect it's morality.

      that's why same sex marriage is, and should remain, illegal.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Chad

      and, none of you had the courage to say "we feel same sex marriage is moral, but marrying children, one of your relatives, or more than one person is immoral"

      atheists hate to acknowledge they have morals, because it would force them to give up the "dont enforce your morality on me" high horse.. lol

      Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong). The philosophy of morality is ethics.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Czech

      Yo mama-what next? advocating civil unions between men and animals? great moral arguments you have going on there. Not!

      November 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, if you are unable to understand the concept of "consenting adults", you should probably stay away from children and farm animals.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And actually, I have no problem with polygamy, as long as all parties are (again) consenting adults. I think it actually makes sense in some ways.

      As for siblings marrying, there are plenty of reasons why siblings should not have children together, but if they are consenting adults who agree to remain childless, it really isn't my business. Of course there actually isn't a large segment of siblings within our society who asking for the legal right to marry, so I'll chalk that one up to you playing on the same irrelevant slippery slope that all fundies and neocons love to play on when they scream about the sky falling.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oooh. I didn't notice that Czech was in the playground with Chad. You should stay away from animals and children as well, Czech.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Being gay is a natural condition, and therefore is not a moral concern. Laws established to accommodate gays are in the same spirit as laws established to give equality to persons based on race, gender, ability and so on. Saying that it is a morality issue is a religious opinion not shared by everyone, religious, or otherwise. The government has no business preferring your religious opinion that gayness is a moral issue.

      The scientific consensus is that it's natural, and gay people themselves agree. There simply is no legal grounds to continue denying these people their equal rights. Every day, more and more Christians, including members of the Right, are coming to realize this. So, in time, this "Biblical" objection that you keep stressing will disappear the way the biblical defence of slavery, subservience of women, and the beating of children have.

      Marrying children, one of your close relatives, or more than one person is immoral for reasons I did list in my last post. Unless you're advocating for these things in all marriages I don't see where they fit within this discussion, and it seems to fit in with people's sense that you are just a troll. If you want to be taken seriously you may want to drop such obviously ridiculous lines of argument.

      There are even some universal ethics in the Bible, like objections to murder, theft, and dishonesty that all cultures share. What we object to is the use of the Bible as a complete moral code nowadays when it's 2000 or more years out of date, was written for a specific culture that no longer exists, and was written in ignorance of knowledge we now have, like the naturalness of being gay.

      Legal codes need the capacity to be amended to match the times. That's why our own Const itution has been modified, for the better, and legal codes continue to be modified every year. Christians say that the Bible cannot be modified, or updated, but who amongst them still sell their daughters into slavery, or stone prost.itutes?

      November 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Ben

      Chad
      It's interesting that interracial marriage only became fully legal in the USA in 1967, with the last hold outs being, as predicted, Bible Belt states. They also had plenty of Bible verses to support their opposition, but the Supreme Court still ruled it unconst itutional. This pattern is repeating itself with same-se x marriage. Mind you, we're still just talking about consenting adults here.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree with tally-I don't find polygamy to be objectionable in the slightest as long as all those joined in matrimony are adults and freely consent to such a marriage. Why should I? It doesn't affect me, it doesn't infringe on the rights of others, it harms no one.

      So come on, Chard, what else have you got? Or is that all you have in your ar-se nal?

      November 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Chad

      Ben, you have no right to push your morality on other people, right?
      Isnt that what atheists say non stop?
      :-)

      November 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • redzoa

      "Original Intent" can be a helpful guide, but anyone familiar with the SCOTUS decision in McCulloch v. Maryland and the circ-umstances surrounding the case will understand that the Framers (here, Jefferson/Madison v. Hamilton), had diametrically opposed views of the scope and effect of various clauses within the Const-itution (in McCulloch, it was the Commerce and the Necessary and Proper Clauses at issue; Art. I, section 8). This divide almost immediately resulted in the bifurcation of the Framers into the Hamilton camp Federalist Party and the Jefferson/Madison camp Democratic-Republican Party. In other words, there is no readily discernible single and objective "original intent." Furthermore, which body do we look to? The Framers? The State legislatures who ratified? The "people" of "We the People" who elected their State legislatures who then appointed their Con-Con delegates?

      Suffice it to say, original intent, original meaning and strict textual construction can be helpful, but cannot be invariably controlling. There is no humanly possible way to draft law which can anticipate every future set of facts and circ-umstances. Courts must decide the cases and controversies before them and can't wait for new statutes and Const-itutional amendments to precisely address the gray areas invariably inherent in the written law. We can hope the justices will apply some consistent analysis, but even staunch Originalists like Scalia bend their views to reach preferred conclusions (See his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas and compare his argument against the majority holding in Lawrence while dismissing the application of this same analysis which would have rejected the majority holding in Loving v. Virginia).

      "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." – Thomas Jefferson

      November 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad wrote: "Society can and should establish laws by which it will be governed, these laws can and should reflect it's morality. that's why same se x marriage is, and should remain, illegal."

      mama k (now): This part "Society can and should establish laws by which it will be governed" is correct, Chad, but not because you say so, but because that's what we agree to as American citizens.

      This part, Chad, "these laws can and should reflect it's morality.", is not necessary. If the majority is well represented as law is established and implemented, both to some degree, then the law is what it is – a reflection of the will of the majority to some degree.

      And then Chad drops this: "that's why same s ex marriage is, and should remain, illegal." That's obviously your view and conclusion, Chad, but just realize you are starting to become the minority. As I said just a bit before this, I am confident that more and more states will soon join the ranks of Maryland, Washington and the others. They won't have a choice, as more and more are finally seeing that their rights have been stolen via right-wing legislation that has dared travel the road of both catering to religious tenets, while simultaneously affording rights unequally as a civic function.

      November 11, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • mama k

      Here, Madison actually mentions a separation of church and state:

      It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Govt could not stand without the prop of a Religious establishment, & that the Xn religion itself, would perish if not supported by a legal provision for its Clergy. The experience of Virginia conspicuously corroborates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

      (from Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819)

      Of course Chad will accuse me of "cherry-picking". The letter is long and I urge that any that have the time read the entire letter. There is much in it unrelated to religion. So if Chad wants to post the letter, I'll let him prepare for the word filter.

      November 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Damocles

      Didn't we discuss morality earlier?

      November 11, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Ben

      Chad
      Same-se x marriage, as I have demonstrated, is not a moral issue any more than interracial marriage was. When it is also made fully legal you will be free to morally object to it for yourself, but not for anyone else. It will soon become the law of the land, and you may still morally object to it, but that objection will not make it any less legal.

      That's not forcing a different morality upon you, but expecting you to follow the rule of law like all good citizens. You can raise your kids to see it as morally wrong, but you will be powerless to prevent them from marrying a person of the same se x once they are legally old enough to marry without your consent. The brave new world is coming soon. I suggest you ready yourself for it.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  17. palintwit

    A teabagger's dream vacation is a trip to the Barbed Wire Museum in Kansas.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • CatLover

      Hey ... I'm no teabagger, but I've been to the Barbed Wire Museum. Pretty interesting place, if you're interested in the history of the American West. You might want to put the Sand Creek Massacre National Historical Site on your 'dream vacation' spots-to-visit list, too.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Dale

    The Christian Right's influence is over, because people no longer have faith in God in this country.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • CatLover

      Yes, we do. We just don't believe in the nonsense the Christian Right presents as 'biblical.'

      November 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • DogLover

      CatLover, you can't honestly speak for all of us so please retract your "we" statement. Not all Americans believe in god or in any specific god, and the fraction that do is diminishing. My dog is greater than your god, anyway. (Hey, though, I have to add that my dog actually likes cats.)

      November 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Dogs are far more useful than god, and may be the greatest invention of mankind (including religion). I get far more spiritual value from my dog than from any church I have been to. My dog truly gives me unconditional love – and I know he exists!

      November 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  19. Reality

    I sure hope the Christians' (and any other religion's) influence is over. It has no place in government.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Tim

      Reality...hmmm...do you believe in evolution? We should be thankful for the Christian influence as it has given us much of the freedom we now enjoy. While man is able to use anything for personal gain and control, loving ones neighbor, not simply stoning people, helping others is a powerful idea practiced by many Democrats, Republicans and unafiliated,. Those ideas even permeate those who do not believe. The reality is we are not free from our past and our behavior and thought process is an evolutionary process and what yuo erroneously view as a porr influence has penty of history to the contrary and you enjoy much of that benefit. One thing i do know, you are intelligent enough to delve into the history and be honest enogh to see BOTH abuse and benefits. To tell you the truth, it is fascinating study and the knowledge you will gain will grant you a wonderful and marvelous ability to command a deeper intellectual respect by others. Have fun with it.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Yea, I'm sure that is true. And I'm equally sure that when this country goes to heck in a hand basket (and thanks in large part to people like you it's about to happen), you'll still find ways to blame it all on the consevatives and religion nuts.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Linda

      I agree with you. It's been a long time since the government hasn't been clouded by religion. I think a person should vote the way they want to and should definitely not try to convince me to vote the same way they do.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • CatLover

      Amen, brother! Or sister, as the case may be.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tim

      @Linda It would be nice if we were as free of outsdie influences as we believe we are but popular research has shown we are not. We are all influenced by religious thought and non-religious thought whether we like it or not. There is a reason why marketers are able to influence what we buy and why we buy it...because we do not often know why we respond. While you may think you have selcted the color of your lipstick and nail polish, others have had a great affect on that decision. So, while it may seem like religion and politics can be separated, there is no way. Repelling religion and voting against anything remotely associated by religion is as much a response to religion as not. Any politician who claims they are free of their religious or educational experiences is simply practicing rationalization. So, I hate to say it but even your vote is affected by religion.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • R Low

      I so agree with you. I don't care what religious beliefs one might have, just don't bring your beliefs into my home and try to force them down my throat. I have my own religious beliefs and they are mine. I don't expect that because they are mine they
      have to belong to everyone else, as well.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tim

      @Damocles: Hahaha...Hmmm...what I would call the scietist who created a new life form. If it was a fellow scientist I guess I might call him John, or whatever his name is. If I was his child I would call him dad. If I was his mother or father I would call him son. If I was the life form developed to the ability where I could give him a name...hmmmmm...what would I call him to others especially if I was the size of a virus..or smaller. Probably not God becasue what are the chances we would use the same symbolism. But yes, to everyone else out there, Tim and Damocles are one and the same. Hope you all had fun...I did. :) Gosh, that complicates reality and what one might believe...doesnt it. Good call. Got to go...really.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Not from the original Reality.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  20. Mike

    When the last person on the planet comes to realize that there is not god and that it is all about humanism is when the last shackle will be broken.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Damocles

      @mike

      Without religion there might be one less problem, but it is certainly not the only problem facing humans.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mike,
      You will never be more disappointed than when you put your faith in humans.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Damocles

      @rob

      I've put my trust in humans quite a few times over the years and I must say I have been justified in that trust more often than not.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tim

      First of all, this is but one persons opinion and really is meaningless.As far as humanism, simply a symbolic structure used for communication purposes which we do not generally do very well using those symbols. As for the last person on earth- there will be that time, it will come, it will happen and the world will be rid of humanism...it will be a nonsensical egotistical grawback to another time long gone. Whether there is a God or not really is not of concern – for both those who believe and those who do not the knowledge of God and his existence comes despite what we wish to believe about it. Sort of like spending all day long diwscussing if there is a night or not- it will either happen or not so why spend all day discussing it? How about thinking more how you might improve the world and then putting some effort into that?

      November 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      I agree completely with your statement and have experienced the same. Here is the difference, I have put my faith in God and have never been disappointed.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Damocles

      @rob

      Well of course you haven't been disappointed in a deity that just happens to feel the same way you do about issues.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @Mike "When the last person on the planet comes to realize that there is not god and that it is all about humanism is when the last shackle will be broken."

      That's right. Then He will return to recover that which was stolen and EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father. And thanks in large part to people like you, that time is not all that far away.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • OTOH

      was blind,
      "EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father"

      That sounds a lot more like something that your "Satan" character would groove on.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Damocles

      I'm still a bit fuzzy on the idea of a loving deity wanting, needing, craving the submission of the human race. Seems more like what a dictator would want. Anyone want to clear this issue up for me a bit?

      November 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Ben

      Robert Brown
      So, God has answered each and every one of your prayers, or have you just ruled out God's influence every time you've been disappointed? It's easy to look on your life and count God responsible for everything good that happens, but it doesn't prove that he's responsible, or even that he exists. Your lucky socks, or zodiac could be just as much responsible.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Linda

      I think your scenario is a good one but it seems people are so wrapped up in heaven and hell as a reward or punishment that we'll never be free of the belief in god. People delight in passing the belief on to their children.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Ben

      Not saying that Rob thinks this way, but I do see that from believers all the time.... if something good happens it's due to my deity and if something bad happens it's my own fault.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Tim

      @Damocles : I tend to see humanism as a temporary condition. God is everlasting. The difficulty is defining God and coming to agreement as to what God is and how God functions. Of course, the humor comes in how we each attempt to convince each other that our version is correct and the other persons correct. Now, if God has a personality such as a human I bet he would be ROFL at us...if there was a floor of course. Have a good day everyone.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Ben

      OTOH
      I suppose that those without tongues, or knees will be provided with them just for this purpose, like the old "Gnashing of teeth" joke? :-)

      November 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Commonsense

      @ Was (is) blind
      If we're nearing the return of Jesus and the end of the world, shouldn't you be happy? Seriously, if Heave is such an awesome place, why not engage in reckless behavior that will bring you closer and closer to getting to Heaven without commiting the sin of suicide? Your anger tells me that you'd much rather live here on Earth for a longer time. I guess your faith in your Death Cult really isn't as strong as you would have people believe.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Tim

      @Damocles : I tend to see humanism as a temporary condition. God is everlasting.
      .
      You are incorrect....gods only last as long as the empires that support them. Just go to the library and look up mythology. When the USA falls..so will the evangelicals.. Europe is already headed for a change in balance. Not in our lifetime but history and our past shows us.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Tim

      Yeah, if you were trying to clear up the issue of a dictator deity, I gotta say you fell short.

      There should not be any difficulty in defining a deity. If it is as powerful as believers like to say, it should be common knowledge.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Scream the end is near, beleive in Santa....now say this every day for 2000 years....talk about crying wolf

      November 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ben,
      Sure God answers prayer, sometimes he says yes, sometimes he says no, sometimes he says wait. I do praise God for good things, and if he reveals the reason to me, I even praise him for things that were very painful at the time they happened.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      He loved you first. He just wants you to love him back.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tim

      @amocles As is perfectly well known, the observer selects what he or she will observe. If you wish NOT to obeserve a deity you will not. If you wish to than you may if it does indeed exist. Do some reasrch in quantum mechanics and the experiemntation that must be conducted by which the observer must create methods by which the observer is not directly observing the outcome because the outcome will be tainted by the observer. There is much we do not know and we haven't the ability to prove all there is to prove. Apprently you believe a deity is as simple as an amoeba. I will agree with you, however, I, and no one, can ever prove to you there is becasue you do not wish to see or acknowledge it. One must have an open mind and observe without prejudice- I am afraid you cannot do that. No big deal though- we live and die and that will not change and I do not need you to believe just as I am sure you do not need me not to believe. We still share the world and I could be wrong too. I am not afraid of that. Enjoy your day.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Commonsense,
      The flesh wants to live. The spirit says come lord Jesus.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Robert Brown

      Ben,
      Sure God answers prayer, sometimes he says yes, sometimes he says no, sometimes he says wait. I do praise God for good things, and if he reveals the reason to me, I even praise him for things that were very painful at the time they happened.
      .
      Interesting you claim to hear God talking. Get help

      November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      What happened to Christianity when Rome fell?

      November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Damocles

      @rob

      And in his pursuit of my love and affection he is willing to do terrible things? I have to say, if someone was stalking me like that in the real world, I'd be a bit concerned.

      What are some of the things you prayed for and got a yes/no/wait answer?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tim

      @ Damocles Hey...thanks for the back and fourth. I appreciate the way you challeneged my belief and I hope I did not respond in an offensive way. I can tend to get passionate but challenging me to think is a good thing so I do not get complacent. There is much in life that causes me to question such things. Again, thanks and I hope you have a good day.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, present one instance of your god actually responding to a prayer, with valid, incontrovertible proof. If you succeed, you will be the first person ever to do so, so good luck.

      Seriously, I do hope that you will some day get past your god delusions. They are pathetic.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      I haven’t been blessed to hear God speak in an audible voice. I am indwelled with God’s Holy Spirit, as is every believer. Here let me save you the next step, Robert you are delusional, psychotic, schizophrenic, fundit nutter, etc and so on.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, now ask yourself why people think of you and your beliefs that way. And how's that proof coming along? Still waiting...

      November 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      When Rome fell???? Rome peaked and their Gods died. Christianity was moving up. Do you have a point? I think we can see how Christianity has peaked. Is Islam on the rise? islam doesnt have to beat us with a military...we will fall like Rome from our own doing

      I think a good question when we fall or crumble....will it impact Christianity/Evangelicals? What the Pope and Catholics are in position to remain to an influence????????? When we fall do you think Russia and china will move in on Europe? Oh wait let me guess it will be the end times then..rolling eyes. Christianity like every other mythical belief will join the other books in the library. New empires will rise over fallen ones.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tim

      Again you haven't really answered the question I posed.

      It is funny that people who tend to believe in a deity accuse others of not having an open mind. I can imagine all sorts of things as the cause for the universe to come into existence, but it doesn't make a damn one of them true. I can believe that a ti-tanic walking eyeball wearing a monocle was responsible for the creation of the universe, can I now accuse everyone who doesn't agree with me of not having an open mind? Maybe my claim would make more sense if I came up with some honest to goodness proof of my claim.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Tim

      @ Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I have to laugh that one can find truth about a deity in the library. I woud agree we can find what humans believe as far as deities and that we can find the traditions and ways they may have paid homage but that is humanism speaking. :) When humans said the world is flat it was only going beyond human understanding that proved it not to be true. You assume I believe in the stories passed down to us by those before us who had a lesser understanding of the physical world than we. What I believe is we are the same as those who created Santa. We are limited in our understanding but, since we understand more than anyone before us, we know it all. Sorry, it is my belief that someday it will be found that some of the tenets we believe to be so true are incorrect. What of some day it is found time is not linear- hmmm...sub atomic particles can be destroyed before they are created...how can this be? We are limited in our nowledge and tools to expand our knowledge. So, with that in mind, finding proff of deities in the library based on knowledge of that time is humorous to me. Thanks for the laugh.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      Here is one that I have to pray very often, “Please forgive me for (insert sin).” The answer is always, yes you are forgiven.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bob,
      If I succeed in proving to you that God responds to prayer will you believe in God?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tim

      What do you mean 'someday'? Things we thought we knew are proven wrong or more or less than what we thought all the time. I do believe that in certain cases, like the inside of a star, some particles are damn near destroyed before they are created, so again, not a big leap of intelligence there.

      Yes, we are limited in what we know, but not as much as we were yesterday. To insert a deity as the 'maker and doer of all things' is to shut down the thought process.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Damocles

      @rob

      Oh, geez, really? The deity that somehow has the same beliefs/hopes/dreams/hatreds as you do forgives you for your supposed sins? Color me shocked.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tim

      @Damocles: I apologize for using recorded scientific findings for my argument as i do try and understand the physical world based on our curent understanding of it. But since you pose the question...prove my existence. I know I cannot prove yours. Your name is not even Damocles I would suspect so based on that information what in fact are you or how do you exist? If I tell someone else of my conversation of Damocles and i believe in a Damocles will I not be as ignorant as a person believing in a deity yet here we are...communicating. Now, does this prove there is no deity or no Damocles or that I can be fooled in believing there is one. Then again, are you speaking with Tim and can you prove I do not exist? If you speak to another of our back and forth and refer to me as Tim does Tim really exist. How we name things and what we believe of themnow use would never exist becasue we could not prove fifty years it did. So prove to me that something . You assume more knowledge than we posses and I am not about to but let me ask you, if man creates a new life form in a laboratory was life created by an intelligent being? What does that prove on the grander scale? My view of the world is not as finite as your seems to be and there are too mnay possibilites for me to prove them or you to disprove them but you may disagree with that.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      Christianity killed Romes gods.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tim

      @Damocles: Sorry, part of a sentence got scratched. Essentially it was asking if 50 years ago we did not have ability to use todays technology, such as what we are now using, does it mean it will never exist.
      Beyond that...it is funny after reading your last rsponse I realize we probably have very different understanding of the word 'deity'. I am not one to thnk in terms of a God in human form or Zeus like. You know, we both know, this is an endless discussion because we haven't the capacity to prove that which we speak. Science is largely conjecture and extrapolations and almost daily bringing wide eyed understandings of the world. Science also, as we know, at times works diligently to make things once thought to be true and now not quite right fit with new information. No, ask me to prove what is beyond me to what is beyond you is not a possibility that is why we call it belief and not fact. Now, you may call that a cop out but that is how it is and until you can prove we are at the end of being able to bring anything new to the table of understanding, you have not the information to make a conclusive finding either. That may sound like a way of hidng but I would believe most scientists would at this time call it fact.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tim

      You make me laugh, I'll give you that much. Here I am telling you that I can imagine just about anything as a start for the universe and you still persist in calling me narrow minded. Next you tried to impress us with your 'particles that die before they are born' comment and I told you that I think it has been proven that something like that very nearly happens.

      So as to your 'prove that I exist' thing, I can use the words on the screen as a start of proof that one of us exists. I say it only proves one of us because there is the off chance that this back and forth conversation is between one person, which would make one of us insane, but oh well. I can use an actual face to face meeting as another point of proof, but this poses the problem that since we don't know each other, could either of us be sure that we were who we said we were when we met?

      Yes, if man creates life, then THAT life was created by intelligence, this does not mean that all life was started by intelligence. Now let's look at that another way... since you would be provided with actual proof that a scientist can create life, but would still have no actual proof that a deity can, would you start to worship the scientist?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tim

      Oh, I'm sure your deity is whatever you need it to be, like any other believer's deity.

      Science is largely the act of coming up with new theories and then testing that theory to see if it works. A scientist who says 'I have faith that such and such is going to happen' is asked to prove that faith by designing an experiment. What experiment do you propose to prove a deity?

      November 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, stop dodging my question. Present your "proof", coward. As usual, I suspect that you have none.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bob,
      Calm down Bob. No need for all the yelling. I can’t prove God has answered my prayers. Since you like to prove things, here is an experiment for you to prove God is real for yourself. Hopefully, when you are done you won’t see the need for bold letters.
      Go to the nearest fundamental Baptist church on Sunday morning for the 11:00 am worship service. Come back Monday and let us know if you detected the spirit of God. Have a great weekend.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      That is probably one of the most idiotic and vague "tests" that has ever been given as a "proof" of god. It's almost up there with Ray Comfort crap.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Really?

      "Go to the nearest fundamental Baptist church on Sunday morning for the 11:00 am worship service. Come back Monday and let us know if you detected the spirit of God. Have a great weekend."

      Robert its really just people supporting people, that's all it is, it's NOT a god, you can get that feeling when ever you find people supporting the people in your community. You don't need a church for that.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Ben

      Robert Brown
      "Sure God answers prayer, sometimes he says yes, sometimes he says no, sometimes he says wait."
      So, God answers prayer in either of three ways that is indistinguishable from random chance? I can play the lottery and either win, not win, or eventually win. I'll never know if I won't eventually win until I die, so I'll never really believe that "No" was ever the answer. How is that any different than just believing in Lady Luck?

      "I even praise him for things that were very painful at the time they happened."
      I've been thankful for not getting things that I wanted, which then ended up being poor choices in retrospect, but never missed opportunities. How does missing a genuine opportunity const.itute something to be grateful for?

      November 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, thank you for finally admitting that you had no proof that prayer has ever caused anything, despite your frequent claims.

      I've already been to church, and all I've ever seen there amongst the believer herds were sheep too gullible or too timid to question the rubbish that they were chanting about. It was all hogwash. Nice try at your latest attempt at selling me on your delusion; you've been well trained, but no, I won't take your bait.

      Now that we are past that, what proof do you have for the existence of your god? Seriously, present it here and now, or admit that you have no proof of that too. I'm not going to waste my valuable weekend time on your cult in its den.

      Perhaps one step at a time, you will be cleared of your delusions.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ben

      Robert Brown
      The next time you want to pray about something what would happen if you didn't? Things would go the way you wanted, not go the way you wanted, or eventually go the way you wanted, right? Maybe you get some kind of emotional aid from thinking about your problems during prayer, when you can shift the pressure off of "yourself" for a moment, but can you honestly say that it's not just random chance, or you're talking yourself into doing something that you'd normally be unable to do?

      November 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Robert Brown

      Bob,
      Calm down Bob. No need for all the yelling. I can’t prove God has answered my prayers. Since you like to prove things, here is an experiment for you to prove God is real for yourself. Hopefully, when you are done you won’t see the need for bold letters.
      Go to the nearest fundamental Baptist church on Sunday morning for the 11:00 am worship service. Come back Monday and let us know if you detected the spirit of God. Have a great weekend.
      ----–
      I for one can answer this no problem. Last time in a Baptist church I detected delsuional morons. I left there in fear that these people voted. ZERO detection of God.

      November 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Great White Horse Prophecy FAIL = Mormons no longer blogging

      So Robert Brown believes in a God based on a feeling he gets around a crowd of people. lol

      November 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Robert Brown

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      .....I am indwelled with God’s Holy Spirit, as is every believer..
      .
      Okay so you live in this floating spirit roaming the earth. You cannot see but "feel" the spirit. Do you also "feel" the Devil when he is near or his demons? Can you tell if they are to the right of you, left of you, in front of you etc? If you can do you look directly at the Devil or Demon and say "Leave in the name of Jesus Christ"? Which brings up another question...the spirit you feel apaprently isnt strong enough and you have invoke Jesus's name like calling a spirit or spell. I am assuming that at that moment Jesus stops what he is doing and rushes across the world to your side. If Jesus can be at multiple (1000's or millions) spots on the earth please provide the basis for this.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.