Most Tea Partiers call America a Christian nation, study finds
October 5th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

Most Tea Partiers call America a Christian nation, study finds

Members of the Tea Party movement tend to be Christian conservatives, not libertarians, and are more likely than even white evangelical Christians to say the United States is a Christian nation, a detailed new study has found.

More than half of self-identified Tea Party members say America is a Christian nation, while just over four out of 10 white evangelicals believe that - the same as the proportion of the general population that says so.

"We found actually that among the Tea Party, rather than being libertarians, at least on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage, they're actually social conservatives," the survey's lead author, Robert Jones, said Tuesday.

Despite the headlines the Tea Party movement has generated with their candidates upsetting mainstream Republican candidates in primary races from Delaware to Nevada, it is only half the size of the Christian conservative movement, Jones said.

"We found that the Tea Party movement makes up a significant number. One in 10 Americans consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, that's not insignificant," he said. "But it is half the size of those who consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement or the religious right," he said.

The details come from the American Values Survey, released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Read an analysis of the results by the institute's CEO and research director

Some findings from the telephone survey of more than 3,000 Americans confirm the conventional wisdom.

Tea Party members are big fans of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and not so hot on President Barack Obama.

They're much more likely than the general population to trust Fox News most - almost six out of 10 say it's their most trusted source of news, more than twice as many who say that among Americans as a whole.

A former speechwriter for George W. Bush said the emergence of the Tea Party movement reflects the latest development in a long-running conflict.

"We used to have culture wars on abortion and the nature of family," said Michael Gerson, who is now a Washington Post columnist.

"I think we're in the middle of a culture war, just as vicious, on the role and size of government and I think these results are consistent with that," he told a packed house at the Brookings Institution in Washington, where the report was unveiled Tuesday.

The Tea Party is not simply a movement of white evangelicals, the survey found by digging deeper into the specific beliefs of both groups.

The religious beliefs of Tea Partiers tend to be more traditional than those of the general population, but less so than white evangelicals'.

Pollster Robert P. Jones releases the results of a new study at the Brookings Institution.

Nearly half of Tea Partiers believe the Bible is the literal word of God, for example. One in three Americans overall believes that, while nearly two in three white evangelicals do.

Tea Partiers are much more likely than white evangelicals or Americans in general to think that minorities get too much attention from the government.

Almost six in 10 Tea Partiers believe that, while fewer than four in 10 white evangelicals say so. Figures for white evangelicals and Americans in general on that question are statistically identical.

But Tea Party opinions of immigrants line up with those of white evangelicals, with just under two out of three in each group saying immigrants are a burden on the U.S. "because they take jobs, housing and health care."

Just under half of the population as a whole says that.

The head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said he was not surprised that there's both agreement and disagreement between the Tea Party and white evangelicals.

"Opposition movements tend to draw very broadly. When it gets to the specifics of governance there's going to be some big contrast," Albert Mohler Jr. told CNN.

"I think those areas of natural overlap are understandable but the issues of contrast are going to be unavoidable," he said.

Libertarians - who oppose government intervention in people's personal lives - will not see eye to eye with evangelicals on abortion or same-sex marriage, he said.

"Very few evangelicals would say the government has no role in these issues," he said.

The Public Religion Research Institute report, "Religion and the Tea Party in the 2010 Election: An Analysis of the Third Biennial American Values Survey," is based on telephone polling of a national random survey of 3,013 adults between September 1 and 14.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Polls • Sarah Palin • United States

soundoff (766 Responses)
  1. WhiteKong78

    Honestly I'm an independent. Independents are the largest voting block yet we are forced to choose between a left wing crybaby and a right wing nut job. When are independents going to get their views answered? I'm fed up with being stuck in a moron sandwich.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • svscnn


      October 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • b.

      I wouldn't call it a moron sandwich, but I do agree with your general thoughts. I'm, obviously, an Independent, too.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  2. jacq

    And they think Jesus is white when in the Bible it says he hair like sheeps wool and skin of bronze,

    October 5, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  3. jacq

    And they think Jesus is white when in the Bible it says he hair like sheeps wool and skin of bronze

    October 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Luke

      Sort of. But they have never read the bible. They only see the pictures and believe they're true.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Sanity

      Why is skin color so important to you? Do you think it tells you something about one's character?

      October 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Luke

      Sanity – It isn't. Although, it demonstrates how terribly ignorant the religious base is, therefore leading us to believe rather concretely that the religious right will 1) believe anything, 2) is gullible, 3) can be convinced of things they know nothing of and 4) conducts no follow up research on things they are told. Given that, I don't know how they can be trusted to run a government.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • John

      Was jesus on the Jersy Shore?

      October 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Poland

    It was only 2 years ago that conservative anti regulation policies almost destoyed the u.s. I'm shocked any american would consider voting to bring those policies back. Is this nation suicidal?

    October 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Luke

      No, this nation is blindingly stupid as evidenced by a recent scientific poll that ranked the 30 most developed nations from top to bottom regarding the population's math, science and literacy scores. The US ranked 27th in science, 17th in math and 10th in literacy. It only goes hand in hand that, for the most part, that the population cannot properly rationalize things and understand logic since the science scores are absolutely abysmal.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • bravado in boston

      i am surprised as well. it would almost be worth it letting the Republicans and Tea Baggers get into office, then their policies can block any growth, and we would spiral into a depression that only the "educated elite" could get us out of. i saw a couple in the Staples Parking lot with Tea Bagger solgans all over their windows written in chalk and white ink...they were illegally parked straddling a parking space and the road...at the cash register, they were insistent that the change was made wrong...it was made right, but they couldn't understand that they got pennies and dimes back. It was horrible. If they could've counted, and possibly read, it would have been different. These are the people who think they have the solution. GIVE IT TO THEM. See ya all in a few years after we dust off from being in the soup lines.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  5. ozark9

    Why is it always the wacko right that garners attention? How come half our country is so threatened by the left's intellectualism? I've heard so many people say "I like Sarah Palin because she's a regular person just like me..." Well, think about it – you're a low level factory worker from Nebraska or a trucker from Texas or a freakin fisherman from Alaska. What chance do any of YOU think you'd have of running the country successfully? Please. You want to run a quality movement then end the hypocrisy. You can't tell the federal government "leave us all alone, except tell the gays they can't get married and tell the hippies to stop smoking their dope and tell the blacks to stop running for president." Its really hard for any of us with an IQ to take you screwballs seriously. Unfortunately the press seems to have no trouble giving you overly equal time. Congratulations sheeple. Baaaahhhhh......

    October 5, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Luke

      why? Ratings.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Mark

      Almost certainly better than those running it now. It seems OZARK your comment shows how well aquainted you are with low IQ people, being around a 10 yourself. Hypocrisy, both parties live it. Your low opinion of those who cherish that which in additions caused divisions, also made the country great. Your way,the liberal way, is to give unabashaedly to all. Guess what, in doing that you destroy what this country was built on, the notion that hard work, doing your best, being generous will bring you to security. Liberals want it given to them and therefore have no appreciation because THEY DID NOT EARN IT.
      How a liberal can feel good about half-a$$ed work is beyond me. Maybe it's genetic, probably it's just laziness.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • b.

      And a 'community organizer' is more qualified? Why? He's never paid anyone for their work. Why are farmers or factory workers any different? Just curious. Are they not as intelligent? Why do you say this?

      October 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Frogist

      @b: Yes, much more qualified than Palin, because Mr Obama did not quit his position leaving behind a flurry of scandal and lawsuits so that he could go on a whirlwind tour of the country to promote himself and grow his own wealth while the city that was his responsibility languished in debt that he increased by his own incompetence and ignorance of the rules.

      October 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  6. WhiteKong78

    This nation was founded by Puritan outcasts. Many people in England had grown tired of the Church ruling every part of their lives, so they came here. I believe this country was founded so all people could flourish. There are some people who are racist against Obama and I've personally talked with people who inject race into the discussion. Ninety seven percent of black voters chose Obama. Its disingenuous to suggest only whites are racist in this country. Everyone has some prejudice it appears.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Jumokeq

      WhiteKong78. You said, "I believe this country was founded so all people could flourish." Please try to tell this to Native Americans...they were not allowed ot flourish under our country's "Christian morals." Please tell this to African Americans – I'd hardly call 250 years plus of slavery "flourishing under Christian morals." Please tell it to Hispanic Americans – they've come here for the same reason everyone else have, for a better life, and all they get is a type of non-flourishing morals.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  7. bruce

    The Tea Party was created and exists as a means for racist, uninformed and uneducated people to express a biased and racist agenda. Proof is in the pudding as their favorite news station os Fox News and their unofficial spokesperson is Sarah Palin. How obvious do they need to be?

    October 5, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Sanity

      In April 2010, a CBS/NYT poll concluded "Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. " You can find the full report at http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/312/312.pdf. Maybe you should actually read it for some facts.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • mike

      I don't know about the tea-baggers being racist; they may just be willing to tolerate racism to further their agenda. I am sure they are wealthy old white people who don't want to pay any taxes to educate the next generation. It's like: "I've got mine, .." you know the rest.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • steven harnack

      @sanity, The trouble with that is that it relies on the teaheads being truthful and the trouble with that is that if a teahead told me it was daylight right now I would have to doubt my own senses and assume that it was nighttime. How many of them are going to tell the pollsters that to tell the truth they dropped out of sixth grade and that their biggest fear is a black President?

      October 5, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Sanity: It also says they are the party of the rich, old, white, male crowd... Funny... Wonder how these educated people have somehow chosen uneducated buffoons as their representatives.

      Here are some highlights:
      They believe the president has increased taxes for most americans despite the fact that most of us got a tax cut. They said that they want reduced govt but liked their Medicare and Social Security. And when asked what they don't like about the President, the top number of reponses were that they "just don't like him." And my favorite stat: 84 % of tea party said they reflected the views of most Americans, but only 25% of actual Americans agreed with that.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Echo Charlie

      @Sanity, I don't think it is surprising that they are more affluent and more educated than the general population. However, I think the key words there are "general population." There are, I believe, some facts that must be considered to put the findings of that poll into focus. First, the tea party is whiter than the general population. That's not to say that it is a racist movement, it's simply a fact. Whites are, in general, wealthier and better educated than most minorities. Second, involvement in an activity like the tea party requires that one has some amount of leisure time to attend rallies, keep up with tea party news, etc. This is a luxury not afforded to the poorer classes who must work longer hours at lower wages to make ends meet. That implies tea party members have/had jobs that provide/d better-than-average salaries or wages, ones that usually go hand-in-hand with a better education.

      I'm not trying to imply anything negative about the tea party here, I just think the poll results are completely irrelevant to any policy debate and I've heard tea parties use it to claim a position of authority when none exists. I also believe that, because of the second point I made, were there any comparable organization on the left that its members would also be wealthier and better educated than the general population.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  8. frasier6670

    I love how people mock Christianity like it's such a bad thing. This nation was founded on Christian beliefs. That's what made this country what it was. For all you people knocking people who believe in a higher power, your exactly why this country is in the condition that it's in. Anything goes with you people and that includes our morals. I'm voting TEA PARTY, TEA PARTY, TEA PARTY and wait til you see how strong this movement is going to become. People are sick of moraless people who feel that anything goes and then have the audacity to call people racists.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Luke

      Pardon my brevity, but basically everything you just said is false. That is why I will refuse to argue with you. You are just dead wrong. The country was not founded by Christian beliefs, it was bound by secular logic. Let me ask you a question – what Christian Beliefs do you believe this nation was founded on? Since most of Christian values are derived from Jainism, I'm wondering if you have anything new to toss in the ring that I can rebuff.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • Kate

      Um, did you not see what happened in Afghanistan when the religious nut jobs took over? All of those poor, oppressed people supported them, too, at first. They thought they would restore a moral compass to their society. They were very, very wrong. You, too, are very wrong. Religion is your choice. I'm glad you made it. I hope it makes your life better, and I hope it helps you in making good decisions. But, that's not how I lead my life, and I'm free to lead my life any way I see fit. I do not want a preacher in office. I'm have good morals. I don't need an elected official to tell me the difference between right and wrong.

      I've always been so surprised to see conservatives, who want less government, jump so quickly to a religious takeover. Who are they to tell me what to do in my life?

      October 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Kate

      Oh, dear lord, my grammar was HORRIBLE in that post! I apologize.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      Sick of "moraless people" ........ you ought to check your spelling it is "immoral"..... FYI. I am NOT mocking Christianity! As a Christian, I am disturbed by the hate-rhetoric of the GOP/TeaParty! AND...... PLEASE, do some research, you will find that our Founding Fathers were Masons, were men who left Europe because they wanted Freedom of Religion! Most of the Founding Fathers were not devout Christians that is a myth (lie) that has been promoted by the Far-right!

      IF we were a Christian Nation, we would not have HATE towards our Neighbors! Read my post.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • mytoys666

      I disagree extremely with frasier6670, but at least he has told you how he feels, what he want and what he's willing to do about it. Which is to force his views on anyone who disagrees. His type cannot be reason with and the only way to deal with them is with extreme violence nothing else will work. Civil War II here we come this time let's not accept their surrender

      October 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • ScottK

      People are sick alright, sick of rightwing nuts who have hijacked morality and tried to convince others that you can't be moral without being christian. Is the fact that you have not abducted a child today because your Christian? Is every murderer non-christian? If all religious beliefs were deleted from our brains would you be out rap ing and pillaging? If you did some research other than watching Faux News, you'll find that morals actually developed over thousands of years through social evolution, good things were things that helped or aided the tribes survival, bad things were those that hurt the group.
      Religion was a social invention, just like morality, that put structure to the unknown, and Religion has been claiming to be the moral authority for the last 6000 years of recorded history so I can understand why you might have this misunderstanding. If you only want to go back to when your Bible tells you God made the 4.5 billion year old earth in 6 days and poof created man out of clay and gave to him rules on how to live, or that Santa knows when youve been naughty & nice so you better watch out, thats fine, whatever keeps you from harming others. But dont expect the rest of us to stop being moral just because we dont believe in your God.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
    • Joe

      Or to put it simpler (like ScottK said) religion comes from a set of agreed upon morals. Not the other way around. Morals don't come from religion...religion comes from a set of morals. Therefore, you can and do have morals without religion.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • vp

      "This nation was founded on Christian beliefs. That's what made this country what it was. For all you people knocking people who believe in a higher power, your exactly why this country is in the condition that it's in. "
      UTTER BS. You made that up to make yourself feel good....

      October 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ScottK: "you'll find that morals actually developed over thousands of years through social evolution"
      Well for them to believe that, they would first have to believe in evolution. And we know how that goes...

      October 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Pardon my cut and paste,
      Treaty of Tripoli – "Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

      Tom Jefferson: "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

      John Adams: ""I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

      Ben Franklin: "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

      October 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • Sarah

      Frasier6670 – You cannot simply state that non-religious people have no morals. There is absolutely no basis for that. I don't need to be threatened with the idea of Hell in order to do the right thing – I do the right thing because I want to be a good person and I want to be someone that people can rely on, trust in, and look to for advice or support. While you have every right to your opinions (misguided as they appear to be), I feel I should point out to you that a moral and good person would not blame all the problems in the world on millions of people just because they do not believe what you believe. Especially when you consider that I cannot recall a single war started because of atheism, whereas, there are countless religious wars in our planet's history. I do not blame religion itself for these wars and I do not blame the religious followers. Nearly every war can be traced back to misguided extremists who believed they were doing something good, rather than something horrible. It is important to not become so swept up in what you believe in that you forget that people who disagree with you are in fact, people. People who might be offended at the thought that despite all of their efforts to be good and wise, there are those who would call them immoral simply because their mind refuses to allow them to accept the claims of religion. I can't simply choose to believe in God – I could only choose to pretend to and that would be pointless. But at the end of the day, I know I'm a good person and I do not need your approval or your blessing to live my life the way I see fit. Your rash generalizations speak to your character, but not mine or anyone else's.

      October 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  9. Adam Drake

    A line is being drawn in the sand. The Tea Party has chosen what side they will stand on. Which side will you choose? Pick carefully, the fate of this nation depends on it.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Duncan

      Hi Adam... who is on the other side of that line? Is it the BOOGEYMAN!?

      October 5, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Luke

      Duncan – The ones that are going to end up the correct side of history, that's who. Recalling that history has a liberal bias, those that condone racism, anti-immigration, anti-science, creationism, religious dogmatic righteousness, etc, are drawing a line that cannot be erased from the history books (unless the TX board of education decides to alter history again in 40 years).

      October 5, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • John

      There is no line, you can stand wherever you want. Stop being dramatic.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Sen

      I'll sit in a circle with a lawn chair and a cooler full of beer, anyone who doesn't care about 'sides' is welcome to join 😉

      October 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • paddywhack


      History has no liberal bias. History is written by the winner. Any bias in how it is recorded is based on the bias of the winner. It is not biased toward shifting concepts like "liberal" and "conservative".

      October 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  10. HeyZeus

    Christian Nation.. pfft right. A true Christian nation would not treat its citizens that way that WE DO. No, we are no Christian nation tea baggers, we are non-religious as far as how we treat our fellow man.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Toph

      No, a true christian nation would burn people at the stake for Witchcraft, stone people for adultery, ban books, etc. If this was a christian nation we would look identical to any of the middle earstern countries.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • erasmus

      " I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians – they are so unlike your Christ!" .. Mohatma Gandhi

      October 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  11. Jeff

    If Tea Farts think this is only a Christian nation they are more ignorant than they look and sound. Wake up America, turn out to vote, and ensure extremist views as the Tea Farts display never take this nation over.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  12. RickeyV

    Fiscal conservatism and the observation of a Christian majority are seperate issues. Beware of all who claim to speak for the TEA party, most are either dreaming or lying. The average American is just to the right of center, the extreme right and extreme left can't make their ideas work in our real world, so forget them both. Political spending will not sway an informed voter, be informed and vote wisely.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Michael

      Actually, 'the average American is right of center' is a myth propogated by the beast, FOX Noise. You should inform Yourself – not just absorb whatever drivel comes out of the tv box set on corporate FOX news. My Republican Dad is even voting Democrat because the reich wing has become extreme, both fiscally and socially. They are the new Tearrorists of the USA.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • John

      Since the 'Center' is hard to define, it would be hard to say that anyone is right of center or left of center, but I agree with your sentiment that the majority of Americans when polled are in the center. Unfortunately for multiple reasons only the extremes get attention and only issues that split us, therefore split the center and marginalize the majority, get attention.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      I disagree that the "average American is right of center" proof, 54% of Americans voted for President Obama; in 2006 and 2008 American majority voted to put in a Democratic majority.

      Americans are not right of center, they are left of center; and that's what has the Far-right-TeaParty/GOP SO angry & scared!

      October 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Oh good, so it's a No True Scotsman fallacy. Any TEA partier who believes or says something that you don't also believe isn't a *real* TEA partier. Nevermind that more than half of the movement seems to disagree with you; *your* definition of the TEA party is the only correct one.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jay

      There is no center. It's concept. Not a fixed point. It changes with the times. But being the center, there is 50% to the left and 50% to the right. So the center is most likely moderate and embodies the best of both parties–progressive ideology with conservative fiscal responsibility. The last thing we need is to go back to a conservative ideology with liberal spending. That's always ends in hate and fear and astronomical defense budgets. Lose, Lose, Lose...

      October 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  13. hec

    Teas baggers are ignorant and susceptible to the fear and hate campaigns promoted through fox news, sarah palin, glenn beck, et al.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • RickeyV

      I don't believe we have ever spoken. How many TEA party members do you know personally? This seems like an unsubstantiated claim.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Frogist

      @Rickey V: I know a few people who align themselves with the tea party... and it seems hec is quite correct.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • RickeyV

      I know eight that aren't, so I'm up by five.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • Alverant

      RickeyV, I asked a T-partier at a protest last year to name 6 christian values that were part of founding this nation. He gave me that "how DARE you ask me to prove my claims" look for a few seconds then said, "Boy, I have a revolver. Do you still want your 6 examples?"

      That's enough for me.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rickey V: I'm not sure you understand the math of the situation. Eight minus "a few" is not five. And you have not refuted hec's claims.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Troll

      As with any movement, the most extreme portion of it makes the most noise and gets the most media attention. I seriously doubt that all tea partiers are as crazy as what you see/hear in the news.

      October 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  14. Sanity

    Sept 28, 2010–""I'm a Christian by choice," Obama told his audience here. "My family didn't – frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church.

    "So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me," he continued.

    "And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God," Obama said. "But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace."

    Obama said he seeks to do that through daily prayer and public service. "That's what I strive to do. That's what I pray to do every day," he said. "I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith." "That this is a country that is still predominantly Christian, but we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own."

    October 5, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Peacemaker

      Well said! One of the things that makes America Great.... is DIVERSITY! To have just one group lay claim or define our Nation is wrong.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Cindy1234

      "This is where we are right now. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

      But I have asserted a firm conviction - a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people - that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union."

      October 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  15. shirley

    Iagree with Charlie it is racism pure and.simple

    October 5, 2010 at 11:21 am |
    • Sanity

      You are correct. The people who bash the Tea Party without having any facts are racists.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • DownTownBrown

      Here's a fact for you: Teabaggers are morons who think that their one policy of "LOWER TAXES = MOAR JOBS!!!" is beyond stupid.

      If that were the case, why don't we have 0% taxes?? That way we'd have 100% employment, right?

      October 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • LandofOz

      Here is a bit of truth for you Insanity...

      Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. – Thomas Jefferson

      Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. – Ronald Reagan

      Don't tread on me indeed, keep your religious ideologies in church where they belong!

      October 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Luke

      DownTownBrown – Uh? I think you need to go back and take an economics course.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Charlie

    So most tea partiers are WRONG. The US is not and has never been a Christian nation. Secularism, ironically, is the only thing that has guaranteed their obnoxious faith's persistence in this country.

    I wish the teabaggers could just admit that their anger is not over a couple bailouts, but over the color of our presidents's skin. It's as simple as that.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Lonnie

      Thank you!, Thank you!, Thank you! I've been stating the obvious from the very beginning of this tea bagging nonsense.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Charlotte

      Charlie is of course absolutely correct. These obnoxious wack jobs wouldn't utter a peep of protest over the huge deficit if their flipflop boy McCain were in office, they'd be calling for even more wasteful Defense spending and more holy wars just for the sake of being at war. It's racism, pure and simple, wrapped rather ineptly in their bogus 'patriotism' and bogus Christianity.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • chris w

      Charlie, I am surprised at your comment, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
      Samuel Adams, First Chief Justice John Jay
      Names synonymous with the spirit of our country
      Founding fathers of the U.S.A.

      Over 200 years ago they shook off the chains of tyranny from Great Britain
      By divine call Citing 27 biblical violations they wrote the Declaration of Independence
      With liberty and justice for all, do you know how many Ivy League colleges that were founded on Christian Priniciples and because the true Church has not stood up against its change over the years along with other universities, We now have schools allowing teachings out of the Quaran which leads to no peace and love, is that what we want for this nation? Do you honestly think Christians are all about hate, yeah, we have had people preaching when they think they were called to do so but have not. This is part of the problem, people may not want to accept the fact that Jesus Came and Died for us, the whole concept may change a persons life, but Gods word will be filled and you better be ready, This nation is going in the wrong direction and turning its head away from God and when revelations is fullfilled, I feel sorry for those who are going to a place that was not intended for us.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Ira

      Charlie is correct that the Tea Party is primarily driven by fears about Obama's race. That said, that doesn't make them wrong about the bailouts (this administration is handling the economy about as badly as possible). The USA is already overly religious, so electing some fiscal conservatives with backward religious ideas isn't going to do more harm than leaving a wrong-headed socialist like Obama in office.

      I self-identify as a libertarian athiest, and I see the Tea Party as a useful tool to fix the country.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • sheetiron


      You do realize that Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklyn, and John Adams all rejected the belief that Jesus was the messiah and that he was the Son of God. Thomas Jefferson created his own version of the New Testament where he took out any reference to Jesus being the messiah or divine along with any portion of the NT that mentioned miracles or the supernatural. So much for our "Devout Christian Founding Fathers"

      October 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • David

      Chris, let's see what some of those "founding fathers" you cite as being exemplars of Christianity had to say about failth...

      Tom Jefferson: "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

      John Adams: ""I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

      Ben Franklin: "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

      Get the picture?

      Our country was founded within an era of religious intolerance and came on the heels of centuries worth of religiously perpetrated wars. The Founding Fathers, in their profound wisdom, understood that only a society built on concepts of religious pluralism was the only chance to produce an enduring civil society. Few of them were devout Christians; most of them were pragmatic Deists.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      Right ON, Charlie. Bottom line is that we have a Black president! And the nuts are angry about that.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Sen

      @chis w – If that place was not intended for people I fail to see why it would exist. Places of torment in religion have a very specific purpose; it is to prevent you from going against their teachings. Simply put. Don't see how this nation should become a theocracy just to placate your fear of the after life though.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • SouthSideSlim

      When people start invoking the names of the founding fathers of this in an attempt to prove that this is a Christian nation, they overlook one fact: Most of them were Masons. This includes: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Sam Adams, Paul Revere and John Paul Jones.

      While they also may have been Christians, because they were Masons, they understood the necessity of separating Church and State. They realized that most of the wars that have occurred through history have been caused by religious differences. All we have to do is look at the world today to see the truth in this.

      There are also Jewish Masons, and Muslim Mason. When they get together religion cannot be discussed.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Langkard

      chris w, you are rather confused about the religious tendencies of some of those you call Founding Fathers of the USA

      First off, George Washington was a deist. He did attend church; but he never stayed for communion. He never, while in office as president, uttered or wrote the word "god", using instead the deist term "providence" and even used the female pronoun "she" when referring to Providence. That means George Washington wasn't a Christian.

      Jefferson was barely even a deist. He was most certainly NOT a Christian, once stating in a letter to John Adams, "The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills." In other words, Jesus was an extraordinary man and the Gospel writers were idiots and deceptive. Christian? Not even close.

      Sam Adams and John Jay were both Christians, yes. But John Jay was hardly someone to hold up as a champion of religious tolerance. He once argued in the provincial convention for prohibiting Catholics from holding elected office. So much for Christian tolerance, eh?

      As for other Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine was a devoted deist who criticized organized religions of all types, and devoted a good portion of his work "Age of Reason" to debunking the myth of Christianity.

      John Adams was Deist-leaning Unitarian. He did not believe in the trinity. He did not take communion.

      Madison was a Deist who attended an Episcopal church, and like Washington never took communion.

      Little is known about Monroe's religious views, except that he, like almost all of the Founding Fathers, used Deist vocabulary almost exclusively.

      Benjamin Franklin was entirely a Deist. In his writings he was decidedly pro-religion, believing it had a positive effect on society, but he openly questioned the trinity, the resurrection and miracles as being mythical and not real. Definitely not a Christian.

      It is pure propaganda by Christian extremists today that this country was a Christian nation. It wasn't. The first 5 presidents were all deists in one form or another, who appreciated the morality and ethics of the man Jesus but didn't entirely buy into any divinity or mystical side. The other figures of the Revolution, like Paine and Franklin were more or less Deist, with a few definite Christians like Jay and Samuel Adams in the mix.

      Saying that the USA was founded as a Christian nation is a blatant, ignorant lie. Sadly it is being taught as truth to those poor kids subjected to Christian education.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • b.

      That's total BS. I don't care if he's green, purple, orange, or fushia... I believe he's wrong on just about any topic. But that's just me. YOU can think whatever you want. That's what the teapartiers are saying. YOU think what you want and they'll think what they want. What on earth is wrong with that? ...and I'm not one. I'm just gonna vote on the person I think is best for the job...whether red, black, yellow or white.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Sarah

      @ Chris – the majority of the founding fathers were deists, not Christians. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion". This treaty (including this statement) was read aloud to Congress and approved unanimously in 1797 and was also signed by President John Adams. Even if the founding fathers had ALL been devout Christians (which they weren't)...the colonies of the New World were founded in large part because the founders were seeking religious freedom. They were not about to force everyone to become Christian. It is true that most of the early settlers practiced some form of Christianity and it is true that the majority of Americans today are Christian, but you can no more say we are a Christian nation than you can say we are a Caucasian nation. America was founded on the ideas of religious freedom and equality for all. There are a lot of folks in the Christian community that would do well to remember that and stop trying to make everyone think and act as they do.

      The fact of the matter is that Tea Partiers, by and large, are people that do not embrace the diversity of our country. Not just racial diversity, but diversity of opinion and background. They are used to people who think like them (and look like them) running this country and the idea of an African-American intellectual with a funny name that spent some of his youth in Indonesia is alarming to them. These people never gave President Obama a chance, which is obvious since they continue to gripe about taxes (even though Obama has not raised taxes), blame him for TARP (even though Bush was the one who signed off on it and failed to ensure proper oversight), call him a Socialist (even though America has been at least partially socialist for a century), call him a Nazi (even though as a non-Aryan he would have been a target for extermination), blame him for the deficit (which was outrageous before he took over), and question his place of birth and his religion even though there is significant evidence available to show he has not lied about either. Fiscal conservatism is fine and I would agree that our country has been in need of it for some time, but you are lying to yourself if you think that the Tea Party is simply a group of fiscal conservatives. They are basically the lunatic fringe of the Republican party that wants everyone to be Christian and is still wishing the Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education had gone the other way. Despite their huge concern for the deficit, they do not protest the largest causes of it – our unfocused war in Afghanistan/Pakistan and our unjustified war in Iraq. Why not? I don't know...I've been wondering about that for a long time. The only thing I can come up with is that they're okay with these wars because they just don't like Muslims. After all, if they really are fiscal conservatives and they think we've stretched our resources too much, they should be the loudest voices calling for our troops to come home. Instead they'd rather dangle teabags from their heads and complain about the Bush tax cuts expiring for the wealthy. By the way, the Bush tax cuts this year accounted for 25% of the deficit, so it seems to me that letting them expire will at least help us climb out of the hole we are in. But Tea Partiers don't want to recover THAT way, they'd rather the money just come out of thin air. Tea Partiers solution to the deficit: Let's let all the poor people starve to death during the recession, and the money saved not helping them will correct the deficit and then hey! There won't be any more poor people...

      October 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Joe

      There is that element but I think it mostly about BLAME. Blame of any and anything not like them. Blame of everyone but themselves for anything they disagree with or that doesn't fit their theology (religious as well as personal). They are quick to blame others and very quick to deny that they or the people or philosophies they support are resposible in anyway for the situation. Todays problems are not simply of policy but culture. The culture of greed and willful ignorance.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Danmj2

      I like how all you folks that think you now so much about history chime in. It's like you were right there living with our founding fathers. Point is , that most of the stuff you are writing about is taken out of context. I have actually been to several founding father's churches in the North East. The whole theory that the founding fathers are a bunch of atheist if total crap, and anyone that believes that should consider their source. Most sources have what denomination and curch each founding father attended.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • SouthSideSlim

      There's a difference between being a deist and an atheist. The founding fathers were the former. A deist can be a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindi, etc. No one is saying they were atheists.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Chris R

      Just a point of information. The Obama administration had *nothing* to do with the bailouts. They were enacted in the waning days of the Bush administration. Obama *did* enact the stimulus program but they are *not* the same thing. Bush bailed out Wall Street. Obama bailed out state and local governments.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Pope Jon

      OK Danmj2 , where are your written sourcses if everyone else’s is bunk or taken out of context? Prove them wrong with backed up true historical facts.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Reference something written BY our founding fathers. Read Article 11.


      How many times is god, jesus, christ mentioned in the US Con sti tution?

      Sort of shatters your talking points.

      October 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  17. Joe from Ohio

    Remember this November, the real crime was the supreme court ending limits on corporations for political spending (voted by the 5 Republican justices). You will see the results of this in the next few weeks as corporations are now buying as much air time as possible for their favorite “No regulation-Big Business friendly” Republican.
    Your vote is now bought and paid for by Exxon, Phizer, AIG, BP, Bank of America, etc, etc,
    Want to see where each member of congress gets their money?
    Go to opensecrets (dot) org

    October 5, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • LandofOz

      Very true Joe, even Woodrow Wilson in the early 20th century saw this issue.

      "The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy."

      October 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • joe

      yes you are totally right Joe from Ohio, this right wings are nuts, they live in a not real world, this country is going to suffer more if the republicans take control of congress. This country is not a Christian nation, where the got that from? from their ignorant, narrow mind, in this country is people of many countries, cultures, religions and races, than God for it

      October 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • joe

      yes you are totally right Joe from Ohio, this right wings are nuts, they live in a not real world, this country is going to suffer more if the republicans take control of congress. This country is not a Christian nation, where the got that from? from their ignorant, narrow mind, in this country is people of many countries, cultures, religions and races, thank God for it

      October 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      Thanks Joe, for bringing up this very important point. With Big Corps buying votes, do we still have a Democracy? Scary.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Kate

      I know! And no one seems to care! This was the one thing I saw on the news that I thought was grossly under-covered. Meanwhile, this is the one thing that people from both sides can hold hands and PANIC over. That ruling is beyond bad. It made me a little hysterical for a couple of days. We could have the Sarah Palin campaign sponsored by Wal Mart. Or we could have the Barack Obama campaign sponsored by McDonalds. Either way, it's horrible. It perverts our already perverted system of elections. Thank you for bringing it up, because I think you and me are the only people who know about it.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • DearyPie

      Your comment couldn't be more true Joe.

      @Land of Oz As said as it makes me to say this...I happen to agree with your perspective. We tell each other we live in a land filled with Democracy but our rights and responsibilities are being dictated not by the people but those that hold their livelihood in their hands. You tell me, do you think they will care what is just for the people or what enhances their bottom line?

      October 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jorge

      I agree completely. The ruling was horrible……but it's not just the corporations that use it. Look at the obscene amounts of money poured into the political system by the public service unions, environmentalists, activist groups like ACORN, etc.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • DJL329

      Well said, Joe. It's a shame that we need big government to protect us from big business, but that's their job.

      It's great to see so many intelligent people here. Let's all remember to get out and vote!

      October 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Ralf the Dog

      The First Amendment is sponsored this week by Walmart. Remember in Walmart America you are free to say what we tell you to.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • I caught that too

      I know! I heard on the news about the Unions contributing money to campaign advertising but that their money paled in comparison to some other GOP backers – who thanks to our Supreme Court are to remain anonymous. What???? How is donor anonymity it our best interest? This is supposed to be by the people and for the people – not the corporations. Then the news broke to commercials which are all Pharma companies! So what about the little MFG company trying to recover in this economy – can he please buy some airtime big Pharma? Because I don't care about your drugs – sell them to the doctor. This is ugly.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  18. james miller, seymour,TX

    I love the Tea Partiers. I sure hope they don`t have a monopoly on Christianity, otherwise, I would be in trouble !!!!! ........... Do you think many of them believe the only way to heaven is thru the Tea Party?!?!? Sure hope not...........

    October 5, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • chris w

      James, love the comment. Its sad all the retribate minds, america is feeding right out of Satans hands and no one knows it. Hell was not intended for us, only Michael and the others that were fallen, but yet it wasnt until I started posting my beliefs here that I fully understood parts of the Bible and people who would rather believe that they themselves can save them and they dont need a saviour and will be thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and others... its truely sad

      October 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • MIchael Schulze

      Chris, you're a nut job...

      October 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Neeneko


      Hell is the creation of medevil authors and poets... it is not biblical.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Havildar

      As the true "Christians " of the British Commonwealth know, that the only way to heaven is by drinking a good hot cup of "Chai". ( Tea ).

      October 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • claybigsby

      CHRIS W: stop with the fear mongering......its getting quite old and is pretty much the signature of Christianity.

      October 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Blue

    Big surprise. Why does fiscal conservatism have to go hand in hand with this nonsense?

    October 5, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • Luke

      It doesn't. But that's the right wing's political strategy. They think they have a patent of fiscal conservatism and wrap a bow around it with all sorts of religious nonsense. It abandones people like me, who would love to vote for someone who is fiscally conservative, but cannot place my vote with a party that is so socially backwards.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • Alleygator

      So much for their "small government" ideology. If the teabaggers were in power, they would enact their own brand of "religious correctness" into law, making us all worship as they do.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lance

      Alleygator: That's EXACTLY what "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act are. They are using the law to force people to adhere to Christian dogma.

      Just remember, the First Amendment doesn't apply if it's YOU who gets to be the religious dictator.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Kate

      Thank you! I'm a liberal, but I can see the point of the fiscal conservatives. I have a different opinion, but I see where you're coming from. I think that people like you and people like me (reasonable people) could probably come to some pretty productive compromises given the opportunity. I do not, however, understand what religion has to do with spending less. I also don't understand how crazy people get so much air time.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • DearyPie

      @Kate..Because they are entertaining. Unfortunately, people mistake entertainment for information. There in lies the problem that we face.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Joe

      This is a gripe of mine as well Blue. The shame of it is that the fiscal conservative message is actually one most American agree with and could be a winning platform. Unfortunately, its also why the less popular social conservatives are trying to use it to implement their social changes. While I was hoping this wouldn't be the case...some of the people they supported in the primaries showed that their litmus test included social conservative issues rather than sticking to the fiscal.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Oceanside

      The myth is that Republicans are fiscal conservatives.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Troll

      @ Kate,
      The crazies attract more viewers, which allows the networks to charge advertisers more money. Having extremists from both sides weigh in on an issue also allows the news to appear unbiased. Another reason to dig up the crazies is to discredit the movement (people see how crazy the supporters on tv look and decide they want nothing to do with it).

      October 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Troll

      @ Oceanside,
      Republicans are fiscal conservatives, when it comes to social programs. One mistake I have seen both parties make is increasing spending (for war, for the health bill, etc.) while cutting taxes. Common sense makes it clear that if you spend more than you make, you're going to run into financial problems; even the USA's credit line could dry up if our creditors think we're getting too deep in debt.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  20. JohnQuest

    This is no surprise if you listen to their message.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • Muneef

      Seems to me being a Christian country but non Christian nation?

      October 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      @ "A Christian" Thank YOU! Well said!

      October 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      You can love your neighbor and maintain proper borders at the same time. It's not either/or. The ultimate need is to maintain law and order within this act of loving your neighbor. Would loving my neighbor mean to give him all my worth and me live in poverty? Of course not, so we need to logically draw a line of what is sensible.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • C Linae

      Note the beginning of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, that ended the Revolutionary War and established the U.S. as a country –
      "In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity."


      October 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • ScottK

      @Jorge – So Obama is a BLT? Which part of that do you have a problem with? The B part like many in the 95% white Tea Party? And just because he professes to be christian but also talks about social justice you are going to label him a liberation theologian? He's not even a Catholic, he's a Protestant. Or are you just passing on the made-up Beckian nonsense because you are unable to have a rational thought on your own? Try reading a book that you didnt get from the Fox book club, there will be actual facts in them.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • DearyPie

      Stephan I love your comment. Had me holding my sides with laughter because it so suits them.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • vel

      c linae, you seem to not have realized that the Paris Treaty was not written by the founding fathers but by the gov't of George the 3rd, someone who claims to be "It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch-treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse , between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages"

      and again we see that some Christians must lie since reality doesn't confirm to their claims.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Brak

      They didn't say illegal immigrants in the article, they said immigrants are a burden. They're inclined to think immigrants in general are a burden. Ironic given we're a nation of immigrants.

      "But Tea Party opinions of immigrants line up with those of white evangelicals, with just under two out of three in each group saying immigrants are a burden on the U.S. "because they take jobs, housing and health care.""

      October 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nora

      Note the beginning of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, that ended the Revolutionary War and established the U.S. as a country –
      "In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity."


      Note article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli...

      "Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,..."

      October 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • c linae

      Yes, Vel, but the U.S. leaders of the time still signed it.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • CarefulThought

      I thought the motto of the US was "In God We Trust"? I thought that it was CARVED into every building in DC. I thought that people who wanted to take on major roles had to swear an oath with their hand on the bible. I thought Government offices were closed on Sunday.

      You may not LIKE that, but it's strong evidence that so far, The US, is still showing its Christian roots.

      October 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Jorge

      @ScottK-You can drop the liberal race baiting. It's getting SO old and tired.

      The part I have a problem with is the hypocrisy. BTW, perhaps you should take a little time away from Maddow and Olberman and study up yourself. If you did (but I know you won't) you might realize that BLT in this country is promoted by Protestants such as Cone and Wright. The Catholics aren't involved and the Pope has condemned the ideology.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Mr. Man

      A third party of some type is what is going to save this country. At least the tea party members can see how pointless it is to further believe in the political business machine.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • C Linae

      Nora, I posted a longer comment about the Treaty of Tripoli, which is not appearing. Anyway, the U.S. was fighting pirates and needed a quick solution, so signed the treaty with Muslims. Article 11 was apparently removed when the U.S. felt more powerful and reworked the treaty 8 years later. Sneaky, Yes. Unfortunately, that's politics.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • C Linae

      I see my longer comment finally appeared.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • bailoutsos

      shawn_the_bohn God is for suckers. @@@ Are you talking about Catholic priests?

      October 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • ModerateAmerican

      @ CarefulThought

      the phrase "In God We Trust" became the official motto of the United States in 1956. Eisenhower and the Congress declared this to supposedly differentiate us from the evil, godless commies. That motto is cold war hysteria propaganda, not the action of our founding fathers.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • ScottK

      @Jorge – I was not "race baiting" in any way, I was pointing out what should have been obvious. Why would you feel the need to point out the color of his skin when attempting to refer to his supposed Marxist social justice leanings. The only reason to do so is to appeal to others of your ilk. Its like the republicans constantly using Obama's middle name so as to try and conect him with muslim extremism even though there are no ties, its the code word for the "secret racists" around the country, those who hide what they are except when they are among their "friends". And yes, the movement you are refering to was started by Catholics and continues to be a majority of Catholics (mainly in south america) in the movement even though the Vatican did admonish and criticise them. You are attempting to make the case that because he has talked about social justice and he's a christian then he must be one of them, which is a conclusion that can only be drawn on Glenn Becks magical blackboard.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Loren

      @ Stephen: "Tealiban?" Priceless! 🙂 I think I'll start using that.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • grifty

      This article is pointless garbage and should be taken with a grain of salt. The Tea Party message has nothing to do with religion, so what is with all the focus on it? I also don't understand how a "random" 3000 person survey of Tea Party people works. How random can it be if you only ask people who are affiliated with the Tea Party? Where did they survey? Did it happen to be a region that has a high population of Evangelicals? I support the movement. I am not Christian. I don't like Sarah Palin. I have no problem with Immigrants.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Doug

      Perfect. I wonder if they even believe their own bs, or if this is a continuation of the same political strategy that worked so well for Bush, despite his blatant incompetence. A perfect opportunity to grab the moral high ground, and it just takes a few idiots falling for the ploy to tip the scales on election day. Of course, if all else fails, there's always the options of calling in favors from appointees on the Supreme Court.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Jack in EC

      The sad part is these people don't know what it means to be Christian. To be Christian means to be Christ like, i.e. to follow in his footsteps and imitate him as best we can. CHRIST WAS A FLAMING LIBERAL!!!!

      There is a conservative tradtion and a part of the bible these people like to quote and that is the old testament. If that is what these people base their religious beliefs on, they should call themselves what they really are – Jews.

      There is nothing wrong with any of the major religions. There is everything wrong with calling oneself one thing to promote another, such as calling oneself Christian in order to promote the Jewish religion.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bruce

      Actually, up until 1956 the original, official motto of the US was , E Pluribus Unum. It was changed during the height of the cold war during the McCarth era. I rather like the orignal motto better, it was secular, meaning it was deliberately "seperate" from religion, and meant, One from many", and first appeared on federal coin in 1795. So for over 150 years our nation did not feel it necessary to include those words , In God We Trust", anyhwhere in the lexicon of the Federal goverment. Do you and the Tea Party get it? One om many, not one under god who happens to be white, and christian.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • guest208

      Liberals are against the death penalty but are for abortions. Conservatists are against abortions but are for the death penalty (he who is free of sin cast the first stone). I think both abortions and the death penalty are wrong, but the law is the law. Unless it changes, abortions and the death penalty are legal. Get over it.

      October 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Steve11

      Let's try to label the teaparty as extreme religiously. How come CNN doesn't do a survey on the NAACP, or the extreme left liberalism in the democrat party. Good try CNN, but it won't work. Americans are sick and tired of the liberal media bias. We see through you.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Christine O'Donnell's is so much a Christian she worshiped Satan and practiced Witchcraft.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • paddywhack

      For those "In God We Trust" folks...

      That was not adopted as the Nation's motto until 1956. But don't let a little history get in your way.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Whoami Whereami

      I am a Hindu immigrant from India. I have been working hard and paying my taxes for the last 12 years. I volunteer in my community, I vote, and I try to be the best citizen that I can be. I was inspired by the talks during my oath ceremony about the great people who became citizens of this great nation which was the land of the free and brave.
      I teach my kids to be good and patriotic citizens and to be proud to be Americans. I teach them the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. They ARE Americans.
      I feel a bit confused now...

      October 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • uggh

      @CarefulThought...your ignorance falls in line with the palin loving and conservative christian nutcases...if anything, America has it's roots in DEISM...good luck in your research! :)...that is, if you can read.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • teaParty2010

      Teapartiers aren't against immigration, that's what you moronic liberal extremists want everyone to believe. You can't stand the fact that we can differentiate between ILLEGAL ALIENS and real legal immigrants. If you do the work to immigrate legally, we WANT you here! Our beautiful, diverse nation becomes more beautiful when new culture is introduced. Illegals simply drain our funds, take advantage of our hospitality, and spit in our faces by flying a Mexican flag OVER the American flag IN AMERICA!!

      October 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jorge

      @ ScottK-You should go back and reread what I posted and stop twisting the facts. I never pointed out the color of his skin (which could be purple and he'd still be a BLT) and to accuse me of speaking in "code" is so silly it's ridiculous. It's amazing how you blind Obama supporters deflect all criticism by crying racism. It's as if he can do no wrong so racism is the only possible reason why anyone would oppose him.

      I'm not calling him a BLT solely because he speaks to social justice issues in the way that he does. You are obviously choosing to ignore that he sat in Wright's church absorbing the ideology for 20 years. It is the combination of these factors that make this case far stronger than the allegations you are making regarding the non-existent linkage between the Tea party and fundamentalist Christian dogma.

      Once again, it's the amazing hypocrisy of the uber-liberal "progressive" double standards that that you are so aptly illustrating for the whole world to see. And a closing FYI: I don't fit the stereotype you are assuming. I don't read Beck's books or watch either his TV show or Fox news. I arrived at my conclusions all on my own. Oh, and I'm also a life long registered Democrat and an agnostic.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • DisabledVet

      I am reading so many of these posts. Many of you people need to back and actually read about the history of this great country of ours. This country was NOT founded under the principles of IN GOD WE TRUST. In fact, that was not even the motto of the US until July 30, 1956. We did however start printing IN GOD WE TRUST on money in 1861. This country was founded on the principles of religious freedom. And for all the religious NUT JOBS out there, you are in the WRONG country to try to be forcing your beliefs on others. This country is equally diverse in all the religions, NOT just Christianity. Sometimes I wonder why I sacrificed so much for this country, when so many of you have no concept of what this country is about. I sacrificed for this country as well as my family as we have served in the military in my family for generations, so EVERYONE has the right to believe what they want. And I am sorry to break the bad news, but CHRISTIANITY is NOT what this country was founded on, it was added later because of the culture at the time. Today's culture is different and WAY more diverse, and we should start RESPECTING each other and our beliefs. Maybe if you people learn respect, then other countries wont hate us so much.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • JLC

      Here's hoping that the Tea Party becomes an actual Political Party, and furthermore siphons out the extreme religious and social right from the GOP, therefor moving the Republicans that remain more towards the center and more in line with the values of main stream folks.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • formerteaparty

      I used to identify myself in the tea party. It started out as a bunch of people with no affiliations with LIbertarian-centric ideas and now it's been hijacked by fox news and the political machine (repub and Dems.). Both Republicans and Democrats want YOU to group yourself into parties so that you will be more easily controlled. Dems don't questions dems and Repubs do not question repub party. AND have a common enemy to hate. That's their plan.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • jksprint

      "Careful Thought" , sorry but you are wrong. There are no bible swearings in US courts, you raise your right hand. "God" is also never defined as any specific God, could be pagan, christian, hindu, budhist, Native American, what have you. And Sunday is actually of pagan origin, that was adopted by Judaism and other religions later on. Maybe check your facts next time.

      This is the problem with you Tea Partiers you are lazy participants in a society.

      October 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • Josh in FL

      Careful thought, "In god we trust" became an official motto in 1956, so that's not saying much about our "christian" roots. This is not a christian nation, and never will be a nation under the control of any religion. Isn't it considered sacrilegious to be connecting god with money anyway? crazy is as crazy does...

      October 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Ralf the Dog

      @ DisabledVet. In this country we have the right to be stupid. The First Amendment gives us the right to show how stupid we are. Many of these people are just exercising the rights you fought for.

      Thank you for your service.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • A fence straddling christian

      This country was and is founded on religion. Like someone said earlier, In God We Trust is everywhere, and it's what this country stands for.

      @William Butler: You got that right!

      October 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Somehow

      Somehow my dad is a Palin lover. He is a smart guy. I dont get it. She is a complete and utter moron. I told him good, go vote Tea Baggy and youll split the republicans in half and the democrats will win. Though Obama is less than I hoped, I dont feel like spiting myself and my nose and 4 years of morons making nutty right extreme decisions.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • herrer

      Oh please America a Christian Nation. Of what faith are they exactly talking about. Are they refering to christians such as themselves or protestans, evangelist be more specific. On top of that not everyone in America has the same beliefs and faiths they have to get with the program you can't force people to believe on your faith. On top of that there are Americans who believe in Buddism and other such religion. America is a nation of multiple believers in faith not just christianity and not just a christian nation. We are suppose to be a country that has the freedom to believe what we want not just because some poilitical group is telling us.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Kolya

      A point to note-"In God we trust" is not part of American history. It was placed on our money in the 1950s, as was "one nation, under God" added to the pledge. This was red scare propaganda.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • AntiChrist

      Let them have their little faith rallies. Let them think what they want. It are setting themselves up for failure, purely because they are even more extreme than the already extreme left and right wing. This will result in more lefties sitting in congress. Pure and simple. They are defeating themselves, and they don't even know it.

      Religion.... is bad.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Ron

      We are NOT a Christian nation... point of proof, Treaty of Tripoli, 1797, Article 11:
      "Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"

      October 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Garett

      All this really means is the the TEA PARTY is Christian. Duh!

      October 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Richard

      What ever happened to religous freedom in this country? Does this mean I have to believe like you do to be a good american? What if I don't believe in God? What if I do, but believe there is no hell? Does that make me a bad american? What about the Guatemalans that our government injected with Syphilis? Did that make our government right with God? Because that surly is a christian act, is it not? How about the Tuskegee Experiment, was that a christian act? How about lying to get the war in Iraq? All the American lives and tax payer dollars spent, so Haliburton could get fat. Was that at all a christian act? How about forgive your brother seven times infinity? Or has that been left out of your so called christian ideas? I agree with Dave. Policies do take time to correct the economy. Especially after the sever devistation to our economy, wrot by the republican bunch in Washington, and wall street. They are the biggest terror threat this country faces. Bin Lauden could not kill our ecconomy with 911, but the domestic terrorists sure did. Greed is good. Greed works. Just ask those that got wealthy while the working class got screwed. To put republicans or tea baggers (ie. jerked over republicans) in control of this country would be a crime, as they were the theives that killed our economy, and so much more. I am voting Democratic, as in democracy. Remember President Clinton left office with a surplus after 8 years.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      @ C Linae

      Reference something written BY our founding fathers. Read Article 11.


      How many times is god, jesus, christ mentioned in the US Con sti tution?

      October 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Free thinker

      Tea party followers are brilliant. Let' s go back and try all the failed policy's of George W. again, and see if they work this time. They are being funded and manipulated by power brokers (does the name Karl Rove ring a bell?)and big corporations. Amazing how dumb we can be as a country...

      October 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • 4merRepubCT

      Apparently, no one has told them what founding father John Adams had to say about our national religious roots. In the 1797 treaty with Tripoli, Adams was quite specfic:

      Art. 11. The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

      October 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • IronRider

      This country was founded off God. Being a Christian means being one with the Christ. Unfortunately, this country, as well as its church has long forgotten who he is.

      October 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • RH of WI

      What is surprising though, is the amount of hate the "christians" spread. Sad and shamefull.

      October 6, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • asdfa@yahoo.com

      WHEN will people understand that RELIGION is a private matter, and has NO place in politics or law. Unless, of course, you'd like to live in a third world country. Say, Iraq? Afghanistan?


      October 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
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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.