November 1st, 2010
06:22 PM ET

My take: Which religious voters will show up on Tuesday?

Editor's Note: Anthea Butler is Associate Professor of Religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is an expert on Black churches, evangelicalism and the religious right.

By Anthea Butler, Special to CNN

The focus throughout the mid-term campaign has been on the Tea Partiers and predominately white religious communities supporting Republican or Tea Party Candidates. What about other religious communities of African Americans and Latino’s? These constituencies, facing immigration issues, foreclosures, and high unemployment levels, have social issues requiring urgent action.

For Latino and African American Voters of faith, the traditional appeal to values voting or litmus tests applied to candidates are not the sole means of vetting candidates.

Social concerns often drive voting from these religious communities.

In the present economic and social climate, many of these voters are looking for different values, based in community care, uplift, and long-term social solutions. Many of these concerns are often based in religious practices. Examples are days of prayer and fasting for immigration reform, food banks, and programs to assist immigrants. Yet each of these ethnic communities will deal with the 2010 vote in different ways.

Latino voters of faith in Nevada, Arizona and California and Florida could tip the scales between Democratic, Republican, and Tea Party candidates. The small gains the Republican Party previously made within the Latino community have been washed away with strict platforms on immigration and amnesty.

The hard line against immigration clashes with Catholic and some mainstream Protestant beliefs, found in the bible, about showing hospitality to strangers.

Despite candidate pleas to morality and values voting, Latino’s are for the most part, breaking away to vote with candidates who favor some type of immigration reform that will protect those who are not legal citizens. Incidents such as Carly Fiorina’s repudiation and firing of her maid, along with Sharon Angles’ campaign commercials depictions of Latino men illegally crossing the border, have helped to mobilize Latino churches for voter registration drives.

Similarly, Latino candidates themselves cannot count on “affiliation” voting. Marco Rubio’s close connections to the Tea Party could alienate Latino voters from him, despite all of his outreach efforts.

For African American churchgoers, get out the vote efforts have been in effect in full force and from the pulpits of churches across the nation.

President Obama began making a pitch to Black voters in September when he gave an impassioned speech to the Congressional Black Caucus to mobilize Black voters for the for the midterm elections. Yet the wholesale acceptance of Black voters for Obama in 2008 may not translate fully into the 2010 election.

Testing the long-standing coalition between candidates, black pastors, and the congregations, the 14 Black Republican Candidates in the midterms could peel some black voters away from the Democratic Party.

In Florida, Kendrick Meeks may not be able to count on votes from African Americans because of the rumors surrounding being asked to withdraw his name from the race. Pastors of congregations hoping for political clout, will not back a candidate who is running last in a three-man race.

The biggest issue facing the African American community of faith is voter apathy. Voters beleaguered by issues of debt, unemployment, and foreclosures are not apt to find solace in candidates who are not providing solutions to these pressing community issues.

The coalition of black churches in urban communities can no longer be counted on for block Democratic votes, and despite the president’s pleas, he may find that his most loyal constituency will not be able to bring significant wins to the Democratic column come Tuesday.

Wednesday morning will be a very different situation in both communities, and how these communities vote will be crucial to the results.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Anthea Butler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Latino issues • Politics • Race • Tea Party

soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Religious Jerk

    Man Peanut, you've got one serious axe to grind...While you are pointing out the great evil perpetrated by the Catholic Church, the Crusaders, et. al...don't forget the absolute evil perpetrated by those who so resolutely looked to push all religion our of their societies...the Nazi's, the Soviets, the Chinese Communists...I'm not really one to toss out numbers w/o some good backing, but I would venture a guess that those 3 20th century areligious governments killed way more than the Catholics and Crusaders did.

    November 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Religious Jerk, the Nazi's were religious fanatics, the Soviets and the Chinese treated Communism like a religion, point in fact none (except for the Nazi) killed in the name of God.

      November 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Reality

      "The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other: (mixtures of land conquest, greed and colonialism and sometimes religion added to the mix)

      Rank Death Toll Cause Century

      1 63 million Second World War 20C
      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C
      40 million Genghis Khan 13C
      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C
      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C
      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C
      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C
      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C
      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C
      11 15 million First World War 20C
      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C
      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C "


      November 3, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  2. Peanut

    Religion = evil
    Religion = ignorant man disliking other man
    Ignorant man kills other men
    Ignorant man feels impowered and continues process.
    Sound familiar (Middle east you idiots)
    Find what is REAL in this world- the people beside you. They are carbon and other elements- not pixie dust and miracles. Grow up and deal with your insecurities.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      I believe one of the 10 commandments is ..

      You Shall Not Kill

      November 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Peanut

      The bible is based off of man's concepts of what is right and wrong- not what God said. If you really think the Bible was written by God then you must think you can fly and breath in space. There are certain actions that are naturally wrong and inhibited by the biological processes in our bodies- we don't kill unless it is to save ourselves- the principle of self preservation. Get a biology book and read...

      November 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Religious Jerk

      Peanut, I will give you that the Nazi's might have killed in the name of God, but was religiuos faith–specifically a faith in Jesus Christ–their primary motivator? Or, was their motivator a strong cultural bias against Jews and anyone else they could place blame upon for losing WWI and for the horrible economic woes that followed?

      Regarding the Soviets and Chinese Communists, I think you MAKE my point...they perpetrated HORRIBLE evils upon millions...in what name? For state? For country? Clearly those were lies, just another way to dominate over other human beings. Not much different than much that has happened in the whole of human history, isn't it? Whether in the name of God, country or the Emperor or King/Queen?

      November 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  3. JohnQuest

    Moment_of_Faith, and other Christians how is it, if you are a believer that you do not come the the conclusion that Jesus may have failed in his mission. The mission was to save man from God my crucifying God thereby releasing man from sin that was placed on man by God, it there is still sin in the world after more that 2000 years, I'd say, that is a failed mission, if you do not agree please tell me how I am wrong.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Jesus died for everyone's sin .. Once Adam ate from the tree of knowledge him and Eve died spiritually. So from then on they had of their kind. Fleshly alive but spiritually dead. The only way to receive your spirit is to be born again. You do this by accepting the gift that Jesus Christ died for you and all of your sin - past, present and future. believe he beat death and is sitting next to the father. Just ask Jesus in to your heart and tell him to make you what he wants you to be. You then have eternal live

      November 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Peanut

      Moment of Fate... I don't guess you think the world is bigger than your home town or that the star is a complex chemical reaction? You are the kind of person that shames humanity- your small minded ways have lead humanity down so many dead end paths and you continue to do so today. How I wish I could show you how insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things. You really think the gods care about us the way Christians think they do? Christians are just a bunch of spoiled kids who realized no one wanted to hear them gripe anymore. You guys haven't changed a bit.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, I am asking this in all seriousness, I am really looking for an honest sincere answer;

      If you have never heard the story of Christ before, (say you grow up in the mountains and your tribe had never been around any Christians). Could you really believe that a man was really a God although he was born from a women but she was a virg in, although he was killed in the most horrific way at the time he is still alive 2000 years later, I could go on and on but I think you got the idea. Could you, not ever hearing anything like this, possible believe this?

      November 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Peanut - I think the Universe is so large they we don't really know anything about it. I believe GOD made it. I believe one day he will allow us to see it. So let me get this straight .. Man wrote the bible ?? For what ?? To teach us right from wrong ? then why didn't they just say it was them and this is right and wrong ?
      See you are born dichotomous .. means you are made of Flesh and a soul, but once you accept Jesus in to your heart you become tricotomos which mean you are now Flesh, soul and spirit. so when a dichotomous person dies this person goes to Hades and when a tricotomos person dies Angels come and transport your spirit back to the Jesus

      November 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Peanut

      Man wrote the bible to CONTROL other men. If you can frighten someone by telling them if they do something that you don't like then God will strike them down and they will burn in h3ll. That's a pretty powerful motivator. You don't believe me- read the history of the Catholic Church. Study the Crusades. Stop thinking your religion is a divine gift to mankind- it's just another puppet to the sick will of disturbed biological organisms like you.

      As for the whole bi and tri body stuff- yes I do believe in the soul but I'm educated enough to know what your talking about is a bunch of crap. You are so afraid of the truth you hide from it with every pitiful excuse you can.

      Think about what I said about the Bible... and you tell me if it's not true.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest – we all come from very humble beginnings. We are from 12 tribes we are from Adam and Eve we are from Noah and his sons .. we are from GOD that created man from dirt and breathed life in to him and made women from his rib. I was born in 1970 and I believe / I know this to be true.
      It's all kinds of evidence the tomb was empty. Jesus was raised from the dead and is sitting next to the father. Remember Jesus had to pay for the sins of the world and the only way to do such was to walk the earth as a human and do no sin. he was tempted just like me and you. His flesh was tempted but he trusted in the holy spirit and did no sin and then he gave his life for all of us. That's why Jesus is the only one who can judge you because he understands all of our temptations

      November 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Peanut – The bible is for control? Well how is that working out? Also the bible is based on the choice to accept Jesus or not. It's a choice. if you don't believe then stand tall man. I believe in Heaven and Hell. I say get in where you fit in. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior

      November 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Religious Jerk

      JohnQuest, I absolutely don't agree that the mission failed. The premise we Christians tend to buy into is that the deed was done by JC and gave folks the option to "buy into it" or not. It's the whole "free will" thing...For those who buy in, there is the promise that JC basically vouches for us and we are in. Because of God crucifying God, EVERYONE has the option to buy in. Not all do. In our perspective, it is sad but it is OK. You seem like a pretty smart guy, I'm guessing its not anything you haven't heard before.

      'course, I was reading the blog and comments and getting fed up w/ people slamming the "religious" for even being allowed to vote. We all get our values from someplace, we all scour the world (this life) trying to figure it out as best we are able and then I get to read a bunch of comments from people shoving the religious into a corner like we are idiots who are incapable of thinking and weighing all the pros and cons just like an athiest or a theist or the like...seems a little hypocritical (yes, I see all the irony that may imply) to me.

      November 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Religious Jerk, thank you, that was a very well thought out answer. I have heard it before, I just don't think the world works that way. I did not grow up religious, the first time I heard someone talk about Jesus I thought they were insane. Then I heard other people talking about it, so I started studying it, believe it or not it made less sense. I came to the conclusion that if one person believed in Christ that person would be consider insane, if an entire population believes its consider a religion. Please tell me the difference other then the number of people believing?

      November 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  4. JohnQuest

    Moment_of_Faith, I am still waiting for the answer of where did your morals come from (not a trick question, although the answer can be tricky).

    November 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  5. JohnQuest

    Moment_of_Faith you and Doc Vestibule are incorrect, Anthony Johnson was only first in Va, but legal slavery was going on for over a decade in Mass. before the Va case. please study history. But in truth the race of the owner still doesn't change the facts that slavery in any form is amoral.

    November 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest – everything I have ever read says HE WAS THE FIRST LEGAL SLAVE OWNER - but lets look at the bible .. What about Jacob .. He put himself in slavery for a women AKA which was really a servant . A lot of times when the bible saves slave he means servant. A lot of these people put themselves in to slavery or as it was meant became a servant for protection or just to be taking care of . Now Joseph was sold to slavery by his brothers and he became the second most powerful man in Egypt. here's another good verse for you ..
      Romans 8:28
      28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
      God makes all things " That's good and bad things to work together for GOOD"

      November 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      So when a tsunami wipes out 200,000 people and leaves millions homeless and creates 100,000+ orphaned children, that is somehow suppose to be for the good (the good of who)?

      November 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest – was the beating and crucifixion good ? for all those who believe it is .. what about the killing of 6 million Jews ? They went home and claimed their land .. I don't know what good will come from that but he says to those who love him he works all things for good

      November 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Old Testament says:
      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      New Testament says:
      " The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

      So God says that you can punish your slaves in any manner you see fit, short of murder.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Doc Vestibule – sorry if I can't explain the entire bible, but always go back to the very basics .. He gave his only son and the son gave his life for you . maybe this slave / PERSON was in major debt and gave his land and himself to pay it off and didn't wont to do anything but lay around and eat all day. I have no clue at the moment but I always know GOD is Love

      Maybe you should study it a little more than taking one line of scripture and trying to use for the wrong reason

      November 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Doc Vestibule

      I think Moment_of_Faith just helped me understand religion! A book of supernatural tribal mythologies does not mean what it says – it means whatever the believer says it means! And it certainly can't mean what a straight forward reading by a non-believer suggests it means – we just don't have the right persepctive to understand the complexity of this little book that has been studied, but not changed, for centuries.

      I certainly feel better and am prepared for that great big leap of faith – NOT!

      November 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      HotAirAce – NO he means what he says. I have not tried to change his words. Some I can explain some I can't. I just tell you when in doubt I always go back to Jesus died for me and all my sins. If he did this then why would he be mean to me. Now he told me others would hate me for his name but he Jesus would never forsake me.
      He also said if you do not take that leap of faith that you are walking in the dark, you are blind and you can't understand the book. You must be reborn - WHY IS THIS ????
      See Once you accept Jesus he sends you the holy spirit and the holy spirit is your teacher.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest Exodus 21:18-21 it says the same about any man ..

      18"If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed,
      19if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed. 20"If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21"If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; (M)for he is his property.

      Everything comes from GOD - why do you doubt such

      November 2, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      So to truly understand the bible, I have to truly accept your shaman who will then give me the secret decoder ring to truly understand the bible and your shaman. Sounds pretty circular to me. Sorry, but I'm more of a "try before you buy" kind of guy...

      But, I just noticed that you wrote this about the bible: "It is the history of mankind all 6000 years of it in one little book." Are you saying that you literally believe what the bible says about creation, that you really believe the earth is only 6,00 years old, or that man has existed for just 6,000 years, that you believe man and dinosaurs shared the earth? If yes, that would put you and Sarah Palin in the same belief group, but that is not a good thing. Please tell us you are more intelligent than that!

      November 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, your interpretation of your Bible may need a little work. During the time frame of Exodus Israelites lived separate from others, if you were a man living amongst them you were either a slave or an Israelite no exception. The text is not inclusive, please don't take my word for it, talk to any Rabbinical scholar or better yet study it for your self, don't read the sections that you agree with read the whole thing, I promise it will give you a new appreciation for the Bible.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      HotAirAce - I believe from the time of Adam until now it has only been 6000 years give or take a few.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why do you assume that I haven't studied the bible?
      My father is a devout man – a knight in the venerable Order of St. John in fact. It wasn't until I lived with Americans that I first encountered blind, unreasoning christians who take the bible literally. I had a friend with a degenerative eye disease whose parents told him that if he prayed hard enough and was a good enough baptist that God would cure him.
      Each day he lost a little more sight and wondered why he was being punished. His parents always helped find just the right bit of scripture to increase his sense of guilt.
      I quote scripture in my debates with Christians in an attempt to speak their lingo and present my points in a way that cannot easily be refuted by saying "well, it isn't in the bible so it isn't so".
      I quote the Torah in debates with Jewish people and the Koran when arguing with Muslims.
      If you were an ancient egyption, I would reference Ra.
      Were you a Viking, I'd invoke the Norse pantheon etc.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Doc Vestibule - If you DON'T take the bible literally then what are you to believe and not to believe ? what is the true word and what is not ? Who makes that decision? I believe it is his will. I believe sometimes he allows things to happen to you so you can see more. Once you accept Jesus as your lord and savior you become flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. You are married to him .. what do we say at weddings . For richer or poorer in sickness and in health .. Just keep trusting in the Lord .. just be a warrior for him .. be a Job ..

      November 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Re: 6,000 years, I can't tell if you are being serious or being "cute," so I will ask again, do you literally believe the biblical creation stroy, or are you cleverly trying to dodge the question, perhaps answering the question in the context of some other belief or interpretation of that section of the bible?

      November 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      HotAirAce - Yes I believe in creation .. I believe it has only been 6000 years since Adam .. Do you have any other proof? If so send me a news paper article or something ..lol

      November 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      OK, you win! I don't have a newspaper article about science in general, and cosmology and evolution specifically, handy, and can't possibly include the thousands of reference to same here, so again, you got me. But I suspect it wouldn't matter if I did provide 1 or more references as you seem to be dismissing pretty much all modern day science and relying solely on your book-of-magic. This is no surprise, as that appears to be the standard advice to "Young Earth Creationists" when they are challenged with questions about genesis – as in don't believe believe anything outside the bible, all that you need to know is in the bible. More circular logic to keep the sheep in the fold.

      Similar to other posts, you are living in your own little delusional world of man-made supernatural myths. That laughing you are hearing is the cackle of an insane deluded human. Please seek help from a mental health professional.

      November 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      Well you could have provided something. I'm just saying we have information of / on people for about 6000 years and then it just drops out - WHY ? We know the kings and lands of the bible are correct. The bible is a great source of history.

      November 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Despite believing this is pointless, here's a site you might find informative: http://www.earthexplained.com/

      Re: "I'm just saying we have information of / on people for about 6000 years and then it just drops out – WHY ?" You can't be serious! One book (the bible) says it goes back that far, but there are many, literally too many to list, scientific books and articles doc-umenting older cilvilizations. Please do some legitimate "homework" – not limited to searching the bible for some arcane obtuse bit of scripture.

      Re: "We know the kings and lands of the bible are correct." we know no such thing! Some, a few, things in the bible have been shown to be true, but many have not. Non of the supernatural events ("miracles") have been reproduced or verified. The bible is not inerrant!!

      Re: "The bible is a great source of history." the bible is the greatest fable ever told and any coincidence with actual history is probably coincidental, or used to "hang" fables and lies on a thin skeleton of non-religious truth.

      November 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  6. JohnQuest

    Moment_of_Faith he was also a Christian

    November 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest – Some People treated Slaves with upmost respect. Some had very easy Jobs and paid back their Travel to America. I'm sure Mr. Johnson was a good MASTER. I'm sure he treated his slaves right. I'm just trying to show that all slavery wasn't bad .. It really was nothing more than a servant that is the kind of slave the bible speaks of, but when it goes past that and the owner starts to treat the servant wrong and control and beat on him .. then that person should be put to death by the words of the GOD

      November 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, there is a huge difference between indentured servitude and slavery. A "master" can never treat a slave well, the slave does not have the right to say yes or no. If God dose not have an issue with someone owning someone else but you do, I would say that your moral are even better that Gods, don't you think?

      November 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  7. Moment_of_Faith

    Doc Vestibule - I believe most America know slavery was wrong now, but who owned the first legal slave in America?

    November 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Is that a rhetorical question? Some say the first American slave owner was a black man by the name of Anthony Johnson – but this is unverified conjecture.
      However, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, and Zachary Taylor are amongst the presidents who were slave owners – many of them during their predidency!

      November 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      You Are Correct Anthony Jonhson Owned the FIrst Slave and Anthony was a BLACK MAN .. enough said

      November 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I don't see how the ethnicity of the slave owner has any relevance. There were some white slaves as well!
      But supposing we accept the veracity of Mr. Johnson as the first slave owner. The real question is whether or not he was a Christian.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Since America was not a nation until the Constltution was ratified, or perhaps when the Declaration of Independence was signed, then at that moment – ALL of the slave owners were "first"....yes?

      November 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  8. Moment_of_Faith

    @HotAirAce .. who changed his word ?

    November 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The simple answer is other supposed men-of-god changed the bible. You're not really going to argue that there are not multiple versions of the bible are you? Or that different christian cults pay attention to different parts of the bible? Even *if* the bible (pick whichever version you like as a starting point) was not actually changed, as in a version 1+ was never released, christians only pay attention to the bits they like, so in effect, the bible and christian's adherence to it, have changed over the years.

      And re: me proving the bible wrong, I don't have that obligation, even though it is trivial to find lots of errors and inconsistencies (lists and lists have been posted in this blog many times, not to forget the several christian sects that can't agree) – you are the one claiming it is true – you are the one that has to provide evidence. Also, as I've stated so many times, you're going to have to provide much better evidence than bits of scripture or "because my book of tribal magic says so." Attempting to prove the truth of the bible by quoting the bible is circular logic and proves nothing except that you cannot establish the truth and authenticity of the silly book you rely on too much.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      NO .. man has translated the bible several times trying to help each generation out also just thinking they can do a better job. The bible is a very complicated book .. It is the history of mankind all 6000 years of it in one little book. Man has studied this book their entire life and continue to learn and find more information in it, but as GOD told Daniel to sell the book up until the end - new information is discovered all the time. That's why it's called the living word of GOD.
      So you have several blogs were you have taking a few lines of scripture and tried to prove the bible wrong is what you are saying that's all

      November 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  9. Moment_of_Faith

    @Doc Vestibule – I have no hard feeling toward them .. I'm cool with the Indians .. It seems like you are not cool with me or Christians

    November 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Moment_of_Faith

    @HotAirAce - I read it and I have answered it .. PUT TO DEATH is what the lord says .. Again I pray that answered your question straight from the word of GOD

    November 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So, Moment_of_Faith, how many slave owners have been put to death for being a slave owner? I suspect you will come with up with a number greater than zero, but I also suspect the actual number is much, much less than the number of slave owners. Given the supposed high proporation of christians in the USA, how do you explain that many slave owners were not held accountable according to your book of supernatural tribal mythology?

      November 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  11. Moment_of_Faith

    @HotAirAce – Exodus 21:16
    16And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

    I will try and read again BUT wanted you to reread .. SEE THAT SELLETH HIM PART ?????

    November 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      This punishment only applied and only intended to apply if the man that was stolen was a Hebrew.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest - where did you get this ?

      This punishment only applied and only intended to apply if the man that was stolen was a Hebrew.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest - So let me get this straight .. GOD sent his only son to die for you .. JESUS said no man takes my life - I give it for all –ALL .. so then he turns around and says put all black men in to slavery ?? LOL .. I didn't die for them ???? COME ON

      November 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      HotAirAce – I don't know but a many died .. Remember the South lost the War their families, homes, land

      November 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, the only prohibition to slavery were for Hebrew men owning other Hebrew men, all other forms of slavery was allowed and encouraged. If you are say that because the UN and the UK along with the US took land from one people and gave it to another (which is responsible for the last 60 years of blood shed in that region) was a good thing and thereby the Holocaust is justified you should read more and question your own moral guide.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  12. Moment_of_Faith

    @Doc Vestibule - Well we had basically just come out the dark ages and fighting for our own rights and YES we made MISTAKES but the question is - Do we still own SLAVES ? NO .. We have grown and made wiser choices, but if you can find any where in the bible it says once you become a Christian you will never make a mistake again I would love to see it. Matter of fact I believe it says you will always fall short.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So if the bible is the inerrant word-of-god, how can mere men change it? Let's see, you are going to say than a few men have a special relationship with god/jc and they said god/jc said it was ok to change the previously inerrant word-of-god. If that's your answer, you're going to have to do better than second- and third-hand nonesense.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You're right. The bible doesn't say that becoming Christian makes you perfect, but genocide is a mite hard to write off as just a mistake.
      That's like dismissing the holocaust by saying "whoopsy! oh well. Jesus never said his followers were perfect!"
      And as a pre-emptive rebuttal: Yes, the Nazis were christian. The belt buckles on the Nazi uniform said "God is with us".

      And you are correct in stating that your country no longer practices slavery – but that change did not come about because of religious enlightenment! The bible explicitly condones slavery and biblical arguments were spouted ad nauseum by defenders of that horrid insti-tution.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, I am confused, are you saying that your personal morals are superior to what we find in the Bible? The Bible has no moral issues with slaves but you said that "We have grown and made wiser choices", I agree with you but my question is, where do you think our current sense of morals came from, it must have come from somewhere other than the Bible don't you think?

      November 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      JohnQuest – I believe everything comes from GOD - I just posted but will past for you also -

      Unbelief and Its Consequences
      18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools

      He is saying from the time you are born GOD is inside you .. He is knocking on the door of your heart .. He is waiting for you to invite him in .. If you can't hear him then look around at the world and you should know by what you see

      November 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Moment_of_Faith, Thank you for your post but I don't think you answered the question, Where does your moral authority come from, if it comes from the Bible you have to accept slavery as a moral act. If you do not accept slavery as moral act then your morals are from something other then your Bible. My question was, where are you getting your morals? I can readily admit my morals are far superior to what you find in the Bible, I think yours are too, do you not agree?

      November 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  13. Moment_of_Faith

    @HotAirAce – I get a warning when trying to open. Again I believe that sums it up. Any man that steals a man should be put to death.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Try http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl.htm.

      Stealing a man is not the same as keeping him as a slave.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Lofty

      Ace - once you keep a man as a slave, you steal his freedom to coexist as a normal human being, so even if you inherit the slave, and keep him in that state, you are stealing the man. If you choose not to believe in God, that's your decision. You have to live with those consequences. Why insult our intelligence and attempt to 'steal' our freedom to follow a God that we believe does exist?

      November 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  14. Moment_of_Faith

    @Doc Vestibule - someone always brings up the Indians - WHY? We didn't fight the Indians for Independence

    November 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • civilioutside

      No, we fought them for land and natural resources. What exactly does that have to do with the debate over whether their religious beliefs have Consti-tutional protection?

      November 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      No, your ancestors merely slaughtered them and felt perfectly justified in doing so because they were heathens.
      How terrible of people to bring up the "indians" to point out the hypocrisy of the ever so pure and righteous pilgrims.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Moment_of_Faith


    New Living Translation (©2007) 2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      All scripture is man-made tribal mythology relying on "blind (emphasis on *blind*) faith" to cause sheep to believe in supernatural beings. It may have been useful at some point but is pretty much useless in the 21st century. THERE ARE NO GODS – NOT EVEN JUST 1 – NOT SATAN EITHER – BEING GAY IS NOT SINFUL – grow up and deal with it!

      November 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      @HotAirAce - Then Prove something wrong in the bible -

      King James Bible 2 Peter 1:21
      For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

      another version
      New Living Translation (©2007)
      or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

      King James Bible 2 Peter 1:20
      Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

      another version
      2 Peter 1:20 New Living Translation (©2007)
      Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding,

      King James Bible Romans 15:4
      For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

      another version
      New Living Translation (©2007)
      Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled

      November 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      @HotAirAce – Is stealing sinful? how about adulterers? drunkards ? swindlers? revilers? fornicators?

      November 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      I don't buy into your biblical notion of sin, so the simple answer, that I'm sure you will take out of content, is no they are not sins or sinful. I would class them as ranging from stupid behaviour that might only negatively affect an individual to really stupid behaviour potentially damaging to others as well. What's your point though?

      November 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Yeah

      " Is stealing sinful? how about adulterers? drunkards ? swindlers? revilers? fornicators?"

      That these behaviors can be detrimental to oneself and/or to others – yes.

      That a god gives a rat's patootie about them – no. (unless you want to call natural consequences a god).

      November 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  16. cnp0404

    First off i'll state that I am Christian and DO believe in God. I take offense to the people out there who put down religion but yet do not know enough about it to realize that Christian and Catholic are NOT the samething. I also find it extremely amusing when people reference history like they were there when it happened. None of us know the real truth to anything. History books across the country/world are written and screwed to the liking of those who wrote it and they will continue to be! (There is a recent article about such a thing happening for anyone who wants to try and say that statement is false)

    Its your opinion to have and you are welcomed to have it but, I don't have to agree with it. My faith is just one of many things that impacts who I vote for. No one should be voting based on one prinicple.
    There are bigger issues out there then religion. The deficit, health care, wars, safety of the American people, the welfare system (NEEDS FIXED AND REGULATED!!!), medicare...the list goes on. Yes, opinions on those things will be effected by some religious beliefs but, thats no different then someone voting a certain way based on their different or lack of religion.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Yeah

      " Is stealing sinful? how about adulterers? drunkards ? swindlers? revilers? fornicators?"

      That these behaviors can be detrimental to oneself and/or to others - yes.

      That a god gives a rat's patootie about them - no. (unless you want to call natural consequences a god).

      November 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Yeah

      ...sorry, wrong spot.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  17. Moment_of_Faith

    @civilioutside - how many faiths did we have at the start of this country? matter of fact believe it or not this country still claims to be about 85% Christian

    November 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Moment of Truth
      Do the faiths of the indiginous populations count, or are we only talking about the European settlers? You know, the ones who tried to convert the natives their peaceful, merciful religion at gun point? Those ever so devout puritans who had no problems feigning charity so as to decimate an entire culture with smallpox blankets...

      November 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • civilioutside

      According to the American Adult Religious Identification Survey of 2008, the number you're looking for is 76%, not 85%. But in answer to your question... we had Christians, Deists, Animists, Pantheists, Muslims, Atheists, and a host of other religious affiliations present at the start of our country. Among them the primary shapers of the Consti-tution were Deists and Christians with a small number of Atheists, with the others being excluded largely because they for the most part weren't drawn from the ranks of white male landowners. None of which matters, really – arguing that the framers of the country intended it to be a Christian nation because they themselves were Christian when they specifically did not write that into the laws is just projecting your own desires onto them.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Lofty

    ~ and so much from the intolerant, non-religious, go-along-to-get-along, peace crowd.. as long as "those" religious nut jobs don't vote, you all think we will have a nice, safe, secure and homey country – bigotry? - it's not religion that's necessarily bad, it's the human beings who usurp it so look to the character of the people you're voting for and deep within their hearts will you find the nirvana you so desperately seek OR perhaps you're just too full of yourselves to take a long hard look at the history of the people who have truly moved this nation forward.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  19. JohnQuest

    Choconet, I think a lot have been said about your statement, you will get no help from me, I don't think our country, the one we both love and bled for, was founded on Christian values, (and we are very lucky it wasn't). Consider the following; some of the greatest minds (then and now) are non religious most are non believers, have you ever considered why that is? Would you really want to live under a religious rulers. You know there are more Eddie Long's than Martin Luther's, Be very careful what you wish for.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  20. civilioutside

    You know what? I'm an atheist myself, but I find the idea of banning religious people from voting and speaking their minds quite abhorrent. I don't want an explicitly atheist government any more than I want an explicitly religious one. You can't legislate belief, and when you try to do so you get into some pretty ugly waters pretty quick (after all, can anyone truly say that the enforced atheism of Soviet Russia was better for its citizens than the enforced Catholicism of Dark Ages Europe?). Forbidding debate, in my mind, is tantamount to admitting that your ideas aren't good enough to withstand argument. It is my deep hope that humanity will one day be able to abandon religious delusion, but I also believe that this will only happen through the acc-umulation of people reasoning and accepting for themselves that there is no god out there (and, just as importantly, that it's OK that there isn't). Forcing adherence to a belief system at gunpoint (whether in the literal or legislative sense) should be anathema to all of us.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I agree with you 90+ per cent. I would only add that religious beliefs expressed in public should be challenged at every opportunity. If believers want to congregate in their special buildings and run their lives by their books-of-magic, no problem, but the instant they try to push their silliness in public, they should expect to be asked to justify their position with something much more substantial than "this book says so" or because their charlatan leader says so. No more "free pass" for religion!

      November 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      @HotAirAce – Exodus 21:16
      16And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

      I pray that sums it up for you.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Religious Jerk

      You know what? I'm a Christian myself, but...
      The rest is very well said.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Moment_of_Faith

      @civilioutside – The Christian Faith is built on " One Individual accepting Jesus Christ in their Heart " You can't beat a person into believing, you can't make a person believe because Jesus knows your Heart. So that's a bad argument for Christianity ..

      Also can you prove there is no GOD? Moses wrote the first five books and he was the one that was there when the RED sea got partied, he received the 10 commandments. HE DID .. and wrote about it .. it was not a watered down story .. ALSO

      Jesus walked the earth, eye witness accounts of him doing miracles, raised the dead, healed the sick, made the blind see - so why do you have such a problem ?

      November 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      I suspect you meant to reply to mean under a different post, or this lousy bl-og so-ft-ware is misbehaving, but as we are here...

      It's trivial to find discussions about the support for, or against, sla-very in the bible. Rather than post numerous bits of scripture back at you, I will simply ask you to read and give me your perspective on ht_tp://w_w_w.religious_tolerance.org/sla_bibl.htm (with the underscores).

      November 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Sorry, the last underscore in "sla_bibl" is required.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • civilioutside

      Moment_of_Faith: “The Christian Faith is built on " One Individual accepting Jesus Christ in their Heart " You can't beat a person into believing, you can't make a person believe because Jesus knows your Heart. So that's a bad argument for Christianity ..”

      I don’t know where you got the idea that I was arguing anything about Christians beating belief into anyone’s head. This post was arguing against my fellow atheists who were claiming that religious people should be banned from voting.

      “Also can you prove there is no GOD?”

      Nope. But as he’s entirely unnecessary to explain the world as I experience it, comes equipped with no proof for his existence, and is morally repugnant, I see no reason to base my life around the unfounded assumption that he’s sitting around judging me.

      “Moses wrote the first five books and he was the one that was there when the RED sea got partied, he received the 10 commandments. HE DID .. and wrote about it .. it was not a watered down story .. ALSO”

      The Red Sea partied? Rock on!
      But jests aside… of course it’s not a watered-down story. It’s an overblown one. There’s no evidence that it ever even happened outside of the book that serves no purpose other than to perpetuate the myths contained therein.

      “Jesus walked the earth, eye witness accounts of him doing miracles, raised the dead, healed the sick, made the blind see – so why do you have such a problem ?”

      There were two types of witnesses: those who existed only in the pages of the Bible, and those who wrote the Bible years later to justify the perpetuation of its mythology. The only difference I can determine between the Iliad (another set of myths based on poetic exaggeration/fabrication around historical events) and the Bible is that my parents tried to convince me that one set of myths was true.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Unfortunately, you CAN force people to believe just about anything through the use of simple brainwashing techniques.
      Physical force is not always necessary. The main and most useful trigger is STRESS.

      Just stress. Emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, you-name-it-someone-has-probably-tried-it-STRESS.

      Once a person's mind becomes vulnerable through stress, simply indoctrinate them with your choice of beliefs.

      And the rest, as they say, is history. Look it up, don't take my word for it. Think for yourself and examine your personal experiences for events that match this description.
      Indoctrination is toooo useful for some things, like raising children, but add something delusional, like religion, and you've just opened up a whole new can of worms as far as mental health is concerned.

      This has been provided as a public service from Sum Dude.

      November 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • Moi

      Civilioutside, it's a relief to see a – moderate? – atheist. Nobody should be banned from expressing their views, but shoving them down other people's throats is a different matter entirely. Most of the atheists posting here are at least as rabid as the fundamentalists – the only difference is that they use better grammar and spelling.

      November 2, 2010 at 8:01 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.