home
RSS
My Take: Elections are the rite of our American republic
The author says Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's speeches early Wednesday testify to an American rite.
November 7th, 2012
01:26 PM ET

My Take: Elections are the rite of our American republic

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Some believe that the United States is held together by a common creed. What marries our “pluribus” to our “unum,” they argue, is a common commitment to a shared "American idea."

I am not so sure. Americans may agree on certain values such as “liberty” and “equality” but we disagree fiercely about what these keywords mean and how to weigh one against the other.

What holds us together are rituals.

As I observed in my book "The American Bible," Americans come together - like rabbis in the Talmud - to argue about our core texts, trying to divine what Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” might have to tell us about affirmative action or what King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” might have to say about the separation of church and state. And as long as that argument is civil and informed, it serves to unite the nation.

Another rite of our republic is the election itself, where we put our arguments on the table and let the voters decide. But this ritual is only unifying if both sides accept the outcome and manage to be gracious in both victory and defeat.

Last night we saw a lot of gloating from ebullient Democrats. We also saw an ungracious loser, in Donald Trump, who as the scales were falling from the eyes of Romney supporters tweeted: "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!"

But in the key players in this election — President Obama and Gov. Romney — we saw something else. We saw men who, for the moment at least, put country above party.

Especially in recent years, it is easy to see the United States as a house divided, a nation of culture warriors denouncing their political opponents as enemies of the state. But woven throughout U.S. history is a great tradition of conciliation that has sought to calm what George Washington referred to as the “mischiefs of the spirit of party.”

In an era in which many citizens referred to their respective colonies as their “countries,” Patrick Henry rose before the First Continental Congress in 1774 and declared, “I am not a Virginian — I am an American.”

After his victory in the bitterly fought election of 1800, an electoral college tie broken only after 35 ballots in the House, Thomas Jefferson struck a note of bipartisanship in his first inaugural address. “We are all Republicans,” he said. “We are all Federalists.”

In 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, Lincoln concluded his first inaugural address with: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.”

Closer to our own time, there is Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, pledging his allegiance not to blue states or red states but to the United States. And there is George W. Bush, after the closest and most contentious presidential election since 1800, saying in 2000, “Our nation must rise above a house divided. ... Republicans want the best for our nation. And so do Democrats.”

Early Wednesday morning morning, we saw the unifying spirit of this great tradition of conciliation in the words of Romney and Obama.

“At a time like this," Romney said in his gracious concession speech, "we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.”

He added that he was looking to Democrats and Republicans alike “to put the people before the politics.”

In his acceptance speech, which he addressed to his “American family,” Obama referred to the United States as “one nation” and “one people,” a country where “it doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight.”

But he also lauded our political diversity, referring to the arguments we have not as a mark of our division but as “a mark of our liberty.”

Obama thanked those who worked for his re-election and those who worked to elect his opponent. Then, returning to the signature theme of what many still see as his signature public utterance (his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech), he concluded:  "We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.”

A few years ago, an Indian economist wrote a book called "The Argumentative Indian." You might imagine that this book would be a lamentation on how the tremendous diversity in India is driving that nation apart. Instead it is a celebration of a political tradition that not only exhibits intellectual diversity but embraces its argumentative nature as a strength.

I see the United States in a similar light. Our arguments and our elections bring us together, but only if those arguments are civil and the winners and losers on Election Day remember that the reason we vote is not to coronate one party but to govern an increasingly diverse country.

I am not naive. I know that things are going to get nasty again, probably sooner rather than later. Republicans are already arguing that this election was not a mandate, and Democrats are already insisting that it was.

But when we find ourselves back in the muck and mire of petty partisanship, when our politicians once again mistake anger for strength, it is good to remember these brief, shining moments when, as John F. Kennedy once put it, "civility is not a sign of weakness" and our common life seems more important than the "mischiefs" of our parties.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Politics • United States

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=390]

    Holy Hallucinations 35

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=390]

    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&w=640&h=390]

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

    http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

    Peace

    May 5, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  2. #lpgpump[SHSHHFSSHRRH]

    We specialize in providing cost-saving solutions for increased reliability and reduced energy consumption in rotating equipment. Boulden is the North American and European sales agent / distributor of DuPont™ Vespel® CR-6100, an advanced composite material that prevents pump seizure when used for wear components, as well as DuPont™ Krytox® high performance lubricants. Visit our site http://www.bouldencompany.com

    January 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  3. gman tello

    obama won yes. suppor our troops

    http://www.airsplat.com/

    December 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  4. kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    November 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  5. Just call me Lucifer

    Religion scholar is an oxymoron. Heavy on the "moron".

    November 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  6. lol??

    The USA once was a republic until the progressives started playing in their sandbox with the consti tution. Now it's, "Our fadder, who art in washington, hollow is thy name, appoint mo Czars. Mo Czars! Mo Czars! Mo Czars! Mo Czars!!!!" Freedom, my zars.

    November 12, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  7. Daniel

    There really was no choice for a Christian on this election. The devil was holding 4 aces. We could choose a Mormon to bring about spiritual damnation for thousands and even millions, as the distinction between Christianity and a demonic Cult was removed. Or, we could pick a Muslim, and not just any Muslim, a Holywood Muslim, who brings with him all the evils of Islam, while holding on to all the pervesions of Hollywood. It is clear that there is no victory here for a Christian, there was NO opportunity for one. Put your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as this evil world is quickly passing away. Look beyond this shadow of a lifespan and focus on eternal life. PTL

    November 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional idiocy.

      November 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, yeah-the end is near. Except it's not.

      November 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  8. fred

    Mainly two kinds of people are religious

    1) the unintelligent
    2) people who had past abuse smart or not, use religion as a crutch to make sense of their horrible childhoods

    November 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Henry

      Mainly 1 type of person breaks animals as complicated as human beings into "2 types of people": worse than unintelligent, we might just call it "intellectual laziness"

      November 12, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  9. fred

    "Why do Christians and atheist constantly fight and debate each other? "

    Because Adults praying to a god is just a little scary and ridiculous in 2012

    November 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Mutations have made you better, fred.

      November 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  10. augustghost

    religion is a mental crutch for the weak...

    November 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  11. 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 7:02 pm |
    • Bob

      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 8:05 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      John..you think a human being is intelligently designed..what gives you that idea?

      November 10, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  12. auggiedoggy

    "There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages."

    November 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  13. when my doG looks in the mirror he sees God

    Billy Graham did "flip flop" in supporting Romney. The "religious" sure came out of the woodwork regarding supporting Romney and what they "believe". It was a terrible display of "christianity" to the point of insanity.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • lol??

      The demoncrats have Reid, courtesy of the Chitown mobsters. Wait, wait, they have the Big O, too. Mormons and Muslims ganging up on the Christians, tsk, tsk.

      November 12, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  14. Linda

    Billy Grahams not a Christian he was faking it, he turn his head on the Bible to support a Book of Mormons candidate.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • atomD21

      When did you get appointed the decider of who is a Christian and who is not? While Billy Graham's sudden reversal on a long held evangelical belief that Mormonism is a cult and not true Christianity was interesting, it surely does not invalidate his faith. In truth, it was little more than a political move to throw his hat in with Romney...

      November 10, 2012 at 5:27 am |
  15. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Why do Christians and atheist constantly fight and debate each other? @ Christians: All who believe in the Son of God was chosen and destined to be children of God before the world was created. If you are a TRUE Christian you should accept this simple truth. John 8:47-"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." Why argue with fools? Why argue with children of death? Why argue with people who are and will no longer be? Why argue with the ones who will be forever forgotten and seperated from the Living God and His children? @ Atheist: Why argue with Christians? You cannot provide the smallest piece of evidence proving the non-existence of a Creator. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. @ Christians go to the right, @ atheist go to the left. Agree to disagree. Soon enough the truth will be revealed to everyone. If you are elected as the Son og God says, you will come to the light and the truth will not be hidden from you. If you were not elected the truth will be kept from you due to the hardness of your hearts and the blinding power of your father satan. Remeber it is God who chooses us first to come to Him. Love Him who first loved us.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, Atheism, Secular ism. way of animals, not human.

      Ya, a hindu, fabrication who never existed.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • ME II

      "Why argue with Christians?"
      I can't speak for atheists in general, but as long as Christians attempt to put their religion into legislation, e.g. Creationism in science classes, same-se.x marriage bans, stem-cell research bans, etc., then the non-religious need to argue to keep the government secular.
      Liberty requires vigilence

      November 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      @OP: "Why do Christians and atheist constantly fight and debate each other?"

      Because we're right and you *think* you're right, and you have the incessant need to make others live the way you think is "right".

      ***
      "@ Atheist: Why argue with Christians?"

      Your delusion can be entertaining at times. In addition, occasionally one of you freaks wakes up and sees the church for the scam that it is. If you want to preserve religion you may want to begin cloistering your people in caves, because exposure to fact is killing religion at a record pace.

      ***
      "You cannot provide the smallest piece of evidence proving the non-existence of a Creator. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE."

      Not sure what that has to do with anything but this is a rare glimpse at you speaking truth.

      ***
      "Soon enough the truth will be revealed to everyone."

      We know the truth now. There is no Abrahamic god. There was no Jesus, son of god.

      ***
      "Remeber it is God who chooses us first to come to Him. Love Him who first loved us."

      You might want to clear this with some other versions of your cult who feel it is up to us to seek your god, and that all we need do is seriously ask him to come into our lives. But of course, you're right because you know the only True way to salvation, right? Somehow, you, among the entire world knows the truth in all the disagreement about what that may actually be.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • atomD21

      As a Christian, I completely disagree with most everything you said. You start off with an assertion that God has already chosen who he wants in Heaven and who he thinks would be better off in Hell. Where's the good news and hope in that? And then you continue on this vein of predetermination, essentially saying everyone that God didn't decide was cool enough for his club is just out of luck, regardless of what happens. I am glad I don't believe in the same version of God you do. I see God less as a cosmic bully, but as a source of love, light, and truth that is for all people, regardless of religious belief (or lack thereof), and a force that should cause us to do good things for this world and all life in it. The God preached in your church is a real jerk...

      November 10, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      jesus ,blah blah. when you call folks who do not agree with you "children of death" and claim they will not "meet God and all his children".. it shows that you appear to have an issue with reality, and as such any rational discourse is wasted and would not be understood by you.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

      @atomd21. MAybe you should read the bible again and pray for understanding. You just admited to not believing in God of david, issac and jacob. God the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. How much more clear can this verse be? Matthew 22:14- "For many are invited, but few are chosen" These are the words of Jesus. Its for a reason why God refers to His children as chosen and the elect. Read and pray for understanding.

      November 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven,

    November 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • niknak

      Really, then why did Romney LOSE the election?
      I am sure he prayed, and you did too.
      How did that work out?

      November 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • LinSea

      Prayer is not about getting your way, niknak.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • niknak

      Then why do it?
      I thought that was what you fundies all did to "Name it and claim it."
      Plus, isn't that what you fundies say all people do in foxholes.
      Arn't those people supposed to be praying to live? That is not trying to get your way?

      Man, it must really be hard to be a religious person.
      So many dumb rules that don't make any sense and that get broken all the time.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot..

      November 8, 2012 at 8:28 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 9:36 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs`

      November 9, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  17. Mickey1313

    Prothero is a tard. He doesn't understand the difference between rite and right. This country is not a theocracy. While the majority claim to be "christian", most of them do not stick to the tenants of their faith.

    November 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 8, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • 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"

      This troll is not a christian:.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs

      November 8, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayer-Bot...

      November 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  19. HarryJames

    You actually think that Republican candidates have hearts? I see no evidence to suggest they do.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Huebert

      While it may not be a heard per se. Robo Romney must have some sort of pump circulating oil through out his chassis.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    If we want think of election as a rite, here's a modest suggestion: the victor should eat the heart of the vanquished. Well, maybe just in the case of the Presidency. But it would be a splendid symbol of the power and potency of the POTUS.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • HarryJames

      Oops, replied above.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TTtOO, that sounds perfectly, uh, umm.....something.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, wait. What if the vanquished HAS no heart?

      November 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
1 2 3 4
Advertisement
About this blog

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.