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.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
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.
Dear so called christians,
You're party died on the eve of November, 6 2012! It was a slow and agonizing death!!!
I agree, the Christian movement really died with this election and it was their last chance. Buy, buy religious nuts. I'm still baffled that Bachmann won. I mean, could she be more of a nut-job?
Watch and see! You'll regret the day you put evil in control of your and your children!
Of course I meant "bye, bye" I just got too excited that the evil Romney movement is over!
My children are the evil that shall be in power.
I have prepared them well.
AH the evil has been your religion, it has a proven history of intolerance and discrimination, our children will be better people because they won't be brainwashed like you.
Athiest Hunter (nice name, by the way – typical, a religious person who is threatening someone), finish that G.E.D and take a few basic courses in science. You will then see how dumb religious people sound to educated individuals.
Brenda.......yes, they will be dead in their mother's wombs with their brains and limbs sucked off cause moma was selfish and didn't care! Then they'll be where they belong with a Heavenly Father who loves them more than their selfish mothers!
AH you must be speaking from experience, but our children will be more responsible than yours. Nice try with your disgusting comment, but all you did was prove how brainwashed you are and why your religion is so wrong for our society.
JPX.......that's all atheists problems, they are always threatened. I don't need your science. I have a personal one on one relationship with the originator of science. He laughs at your arrogance and that you think you know anything of science. You know what he has allowed you to know and that is all. There is so much more to science that you could ever fathom. Someday you will look and and feel your idiocracy wash over you like a blanket of fear. You educational status is nothing but a joke! You know nothing without knowing God!
Maybe the real Christianity of love and caring for our fellow man can take its place. I hope so. This hateful right wing so called Christianity makes me so sick!
Brenda......not hardly dear! I would never ever kill an innocent child, even if it meant my life. You're children will be lost like you because you have deprived them of knowing their God and you will answer for it. If you teach your children to kill their children for convenience to their lives then the blood of your grandchildren will be on your hands. Yes the comment is disgusting and the act of abortion is disgusting and you need to go and watch an abortion before you condone it. It's not a pretty sight and God had a purpose for every child that the mothers and doctors has destroyed for selfishness and money. To kill a child is disgusting and anyone who supports it is disgusting.
Slowly backing away from Atheist Hunter...
Sadly, this is the future of the monotheistic argument. As the evidence mounts, the only counter-argument left is, "God makes you think that. It's not real." At some point, they will all sound like David Koresh, and then we'll really have a problem...
Evidence? Both sides of this argument tend to be pretty pathetic when it comes to their definition of "evidence"... a particular problem when all you're basing yourself on IS the evidence.
But your god is omniscient and omnipotent. If he has a plan for every child, then his plan for that child was to die. He knew what would happen before the child was ever conceived. It was his plan all along. Yet the MOTHER is to blame? It's God's plan. He caused it. Right? Oh wait, no. The mother has free will...except that would mean that she changed God's plan...which means he's not omniscient and omnipotent. Except he is, and his plan was for the child to die. Except...wait, I'm confused.
This is why rational people think Christian dogma is stupid.
Shessh, Athiest Hunter, NOBODY I know is "for" abortion. I would personally never have an abortion, nor would my daughters unless life threatening. But I certainly support other folks right to safe abortion. Yes, I do know somebody who had one and it is a horrible, painful procedure, but it was either that or both the baby and mother would die.
The religious right has held our country hostage for too long. We need to move forward in a progressive manner that acknowledges the diverse beliefs held by Americans.
it was true back when and it is true now -
"The Moral Majority is neither"
we don't need any Taliban here – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, whatever...
What the christian conservatives don't understand is, the people they're putting into office, that call themselves christian conservatives, are nothing more than liars, and hypocrites. Bush started 2 wars, and as a result, thousands upon thousands of innocent people were killed, including 45 hundred of our soldiers, in Iraq. He sent millions of our jobs to China and India, causing the suffering of millions of families, here at home that were forced, to go on food stamps. And the trillions of dollars he wasted, on Halliburton and Black Water. Stop me when any of this sounds christian, to you.
Exactly! People filled with all kinds of hatreds are walking around calling themselves Christian. You can't support torture and putting people in prison indefinitely without even giving them a trial and then call yourself a Christian. The Bible is clear that everyone will face a judgement day .. hope the so called Christians are ready to explain to Jesus why they supported torturing their fellow human beings. Nobody gets to heaven without going through Jesus. A lot of Christians have been lead to believe by false teaching that there won't be a judgement –yet the Bible is very clear that there will be. We may not get in by merits of works (obviously since for example disabled people can't go out and do works), but definitely by beliefs and thoughts –make no mistake.
If Michelle Bachmann had been defeated I might have been led to think there really is a God after all.
I'm with you on that one! What the heck happened there?
Oh yeah, my friend... what the fvck happened with that one ?!?!? 8O
I guess we haven't 'fully' by any stretch as of yet, removed all of the funiot nutters out of of office.
Making deals with the Devil is part of the mythology too, so that may answer how she got reelected.
The fact that Obama got reelected must mean that God answered the prayers of moderate Christians instead, right?
At least Minnesota got some of the others elections right.
the christian right has been holding this country hostage for decades – and finally the demographics have invariably, and permanently moved beyond this groups influence. There will never be another rick santorum because there just arent enough fools left in america that can be pandered to by waving a bible in their face which is some of the best news from this election.
To my fellow NON-neoconservative right wing religious extremists,
Just be gracious today. Last night was a victory for rational thought and equality, and a stunning defeat for those who use religion to control others and inspire hate and fear.
Let the losers lick their wounds in peace.
When the Republican Party began embracing the intolerant, Talibanish dogma of the Christian Right, that began their downfall.
When they kick these dangerous fanatics out of their party and reclaim it for sane, rational thinking, they will be welcomed back to the national stage.
And as early as last night, even before his concession speech, the Fox pundits turned on Mitt Romney.
Bah! How hilarious!
People have hated the people who acknowledge an objective right and wrong for milennia. The Romans stoned them. Obama winning a 50-50 popular vote doesn't change. There will be a Republican president in 2016, and it will be the "end of times" according to the left. I have five children, and they are all being raised to respect others, but to be firm in their moral convictions. This is not the end of our values or our influence, no matter how much the secular humanists would like to tell you that it is.
Try following the gospels rather than the old testament for a change. A lot of us Christians voted Jesus's values last night, rather than those of the hateful religious right.
Maybe the GOP won't kill their candidate in the primary in 2016?
Being firm in one's moral convictions is not the same as being firm in your religious convictions (admittedly, there is room for overlap). Pushing a religious agenda in a secular nation goes against everything this country stands for.
Jesus did not teach hate and intolerance he did not reject health care he healed the sick he did not preach for profit and he did not deny anyone there rights he did not look down on others and he did not bear false witness the right wing conservatives have hijacked the word of god to fit their political agenda . if you are a christian you need to go back to your bible and read the sermon on the mount then tell every one what the true word of christ is and what jesus taught .... right wing republican hate mongers and fear merchants need to be driven out of their pulpits and politics so our country can once again be called the United States of America
You're correct about one thing: this is not the end of traditional American values. It may be the end (politically) of the religious right's ability to claim dominion over them. I think if you cut through all of the vitriol on this board, there's a debate going on about whether this election signals a willingness by Christian voters to separate social issues from religious beliefs. Can you still win over voters by tying your social platform to religion? Is that still decisive, or even a positive driver going forward?
I have my opinion, but that's less important than the debate itself. I think the GOP will evaluate this in depth. There is a disconnect between conservative notions of "small government" and the "thou shalt not" social agenda of the religious right, which is why the Libertarians gained even the small amount of traction they did. The next generation of GOP leaders is generally more socially moderate, and it will intriguing to see which part of the conservative base secures control of the party's platform in 2014. Not sure how it will play out, but I do think if they determine that the religious right is hold back the party, it's influence will be greatly reduced. Could go the total opposite way, but it makes for a great political debate.
I have read some comments that economic meltdowns and natural disasters will increase because America is becoming more secular, atheist and socialist. What the people saying this nonsense are really saying is that God will rain down these misfortunes on the american people. By the same measure, the all-loving God decides to punish us because he allowed Obama to be elected. No wonder, people are becoming less sreligious and more secular.
pathetic cop out for taking responsibility for how we vote! You voted it in, you are responsible. The rest of us are the ones who get rained on with the unjust!
It depends who is talking and about what. There are a fair number of rational people concerned about economic foolishness, and to some extent that is related to liberal social behavior.
In his concession speech Akin said Obama's reelection was part of God's plan for history, so how can he punish a nation for doing what he intended?
Jeebus has inflicted a Black president on the cult as punishment for not sacrificing enough unborn children.
The Christians must abort more babies to appease him
Can we hopefully snuff the Duggar's womb rats and see if he gives Florida to Romney?
Evangelical nut cases are saying this. There are many Christians who are NOT nut cases, who follow Jesus' teachings of love and tolerance and are very happy right now.
AND THEY LOST.
An what the idiots that voted for Obama don't get is that they lost bigger and the rain is coming!
You are even less significant than say Donald Trump, AHun. A LOT less. You should either stay in your pathetic hole and wither away there, or starting facing reality and learn a thing or two.
AH, go stock up your bunker and leave the sane humans in peace.
The God's have chosen Obama. Time to change your religion from a false one and worship the true Gods. Do not anger them further or they will turn you gay. lol
"we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.” . . . No, this has been the feeling of most people all along, that you dont push your religious beliefs on others at the cost of taking away their right to the pursuit of happiness. You dont like gays? Then don't be gay. But live and let live. People have just gotten tired of this forced freedom robbing extremism.
what cracks me up the most about this is in reality obama has been far more christian in his politics then any republican has... helping his fellow man, looking out for the weak, diplomacy instead of war.... the christian right is no longer the massive influence it once was and we should all be thanking god for that
Any Republican? That's a tall order.
This election proves that any american voter with half a brain will no longer tolerate (or vote for) anyone pushing a religious agenda. Just because someone chooses to believe what's written in the Bible doesn't mean they can push this nonsense on others. The Republicans better get their head out of the sand, they are not going to get a whif of the whitehouse anytime soon until they rid their party of the Christian Taliban!
Maybe it proves that half the population won't. That's not "proving" much of anything.
I guess I feel the same way about a liberal agenda that say that to get out of debt we have to spend more, or that my tax dollars have to pay for something I think is morally wrong (Obamacare sets up a fund to pay for late term abortions) or a government that confiscates kids lunches, or tells me how much soda I can drink, or uses my tax money to choose winners and losers (mostly losers but Obma doners) in energy production that produces no energy yet we are sitting on more coal and oil than any other nation on the planet.
He said he would continue on and vow to keep going with what he started: (1) Gas prices doubled.. YEA – I can look forward to 6-9 dollar gas! 2) My take home pay fell 4G... AWESOME! I can't wait to take home 4G less! 3) My health insurance actually went up only about 1000.00 over 4 years so I guess another 1000.00 wont be that bad.. Man, I feeling better all the time! Lets see, we had an ambassador and 2 seals die after repeated calls for help, a President that said during the debate that he called is a terror attack in the Rose Garden but in a CBS interview the next day he said he wasn't ready to call it an attack.. So I guess either he LIED to the American people in the debate or on the interview... Either way, I wonder how many more Americans we will leave to die in the next 4 years just to keep the Muslims happy...
I get your point.. I guess we can all have opinions, just as long as they match yours... Otherwise, the name calling begins and the character defecation becomes the norm..
As a Christian, I vote for extended rights not because of changing morals, but because Jesus told us to accept all. It does nothing for us to deny others, and by doing so we give ourselves a bad name. We need to love and accept others, even if we do not love and accept actions.
Seriously, why can't you think for yourself?
If you look at who voted for Obama it was the younger generation, women, African Americans and Latinos. The issue is the republican party represents the white male and obviously they are intolerant azzholes using their religion for discrimination.
thank you for such a well written opinion. it is rare these days, regardless of party or religion. it seems as though most of us has lost tolorance for others thoughts or feelings (myself as well on Occasion)
Wow. Nice statement. That is what Christianity is all about. Good for you!!
I hope the grinding of teeth for eternity isnt as bad as it sounds for those who reject the sacrifice Jesus made to forgive their sins.
Tell your Palestinian Super Hero that if he ever finds the courage to come back, we will simply crucify him again
But this time, we use a fourth nail, so he stays dead.
Damn zombie God's gettin in the hen house at night, killed one of my roosters!
And, for those without teeth to grind, chompers will be provided just for this purpose, right? ;-)
The "you're going to burn for eternity if you don't believe what I believe" argument is common among religions. What better way to frighten people and make them easier to control?
Well if the Bible is wrong, than Ive lost nothing, if its right man you people will suffer big time.
FVCK you and your jesus myth.
Thanks Honey Badger ;)
I am not sure that we should be much more than hopeful that Honey Badger understands the context here, say, as Descartes put it.
It's a shoddy proof, but a totally reasonable approach to living.
typical religious hypocrisy to use the immoral Pascal's Wager...
Sure, you've lost nothing. That is, if you call time spent reading one single book and/or praying instead of living, learning to live with and embrace those who are different than you, the people you alienated due to hateful rhetoric, and having stronger relationships with others around you without the Jesus myth getting in the way, "nothing."
Hey Uh Oh, you said that by following the Bible you've got nothing to lose even if it's wrong. What if it's actually the Koran that's right? Then by following the Bible you have lost everything. Or maybe it's the teachings of Buddha that are actually correct. Or is it Hinduism that's correct? You better start covering all your bases and worshiping them all just to be safe.
Ugh I hate that argument. The truth is, the chance of you actually being rewarded for you beliefs is less than 50/50. There are thousands of religions across the world, including extinct religions, that you have chosen not to believe. You have picked one religion probably because it is popular where you live or your parents follow that religion. Even in Christianity, there are many different sects that say they are the correct branch. Sadly, you have almost no chance at all of even being correct.
Happy atheists can have that; I don't feel like I particularly need religion. But that is a limited supply of people.
"...we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”
That's right. More and more Americans are realizing that it is immoral to foist their own narrow-minded views on everyone else, and deprive a large segment of the population the happiness that comes from marrying the one you love.
That issue should remain a state issue and out of the control of the Federal Government. Does your logic also pertain to those issues that I will be forced to pay for even though I don't agree with them? For instance; abortion is legal.. Late term is not (well at least until Obamacare is implemented).. With Obamacare, Why should my tax dollars fund a procedure that I do not agree with? This was taken straight from the pages of Obamacare:
All persons enrolled in insurance plans in State Exchanges that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium straight from their paychecks to fund all types of elective abortion (ObamaCare Sec. 1303(b)(1) & (2), Pg. 779–80)
ObamaCare says this separate premium will not cost less than $1 per month per enrollee, but does not say how much more it could cost (ObamaCare Sec. 1303 (D) (ii) (III), Pg. 780)
This separate charge will go directly into an abortion-on-demand fund established by ObamaCare to cover all types of elective abortions – surgical, chemical, late term, etc. (ObamaCare Sec. 1303 (C) (ii), Pg. 780)
We're required to pay for things we don't agree with all the time. I didn't agree with the war in Iraq. Didn't stop them from spending billions on it anyways...
And probably it does remain a state issue. The Supreme Court is going to rule on this in the very short term... conservative handwringing about who Obama may put on the court aside, how else can we imagine the conservative justices ruling on this?
GOPers only held the House becaue of extreme gerrymanding tactics. It's fortunate they cannot re-distric state lines. So far, they've managed only 8 wins, a shockingly poor performance. It's time for districts to be drawn by a non-partisan body. Safe seats are bad for democracy, bad for a national conversation, no matter your political preference. We do need to work together. Pledges have no place in the dialogue that needs to happen.
We need to work together to get these extremists OUT of government.
There is no such thing as a "non-partisan" body. A better solution would be to elect TWO representatives from each (larger) district. That would ensure better representation.
Gerrymandering is used by BOTH side. dork.
Attention: Now that the election is over I will stop mandering for a short while. But expect me to be back at it in the next election cycle.
The House margin seems large enough that the Dems were not winning it under the last set of congressional boundaries, either.
I am a christian, but i m not god , yes i go out and tell all , but as im not god i have no right to take away his gift of free will
Freely given and freely taken away. Where then are freedoms given taken to?
Obama won because Christians pray to the wrong god. Next time take a knee in praise of Thor! This is your punishment...well this and a slew of genetic diseases due to inbreeding.
Athena and Saraswati.
No! Praise of Poseidon is the only True way. Thor is not real.
Athena could beat the cr&p out of Poseidon; he couldn't think his way out of a box.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.