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September 14th, 2011
10:58 AM ET

My Take: Don’t be fooled by candidates’ God talk

Editor’s note: Brian T. Kaylor is assistant professor of communication studies at James Madison University and author of “Presidential Campaign Rhetoric in an Age of Confessional Politics.”

By Brian T. Kaylor, Special to CNN

Rick Perry’s Wednesday visit to Liberty University marks only the latest effort by the Texas governor to reach the White House by confessing his faith.

Even in an election cycle dominated by economic concerns, Perry and several of his Republican presidential opponents have spent the last few months trying to out-God-talk one another in hopes of attaining salvation at the ballot box.

While debate moderators and election commentators focus on economic issues, the religious rhetoric of the presidential candidates appears to go mostly unnoticed - except by the key Republican voting bloc being courted. After being a Republican, the best predictor of someone being a Tea Party supporter is whether a person has a desire to see religion significantly impact politics.

This type of confessional politics, in which candidates invoke God and cite Scripture to win elections, has unfortunately dominated U.S. politics for three decades. Ever since Bible-quoting Sunday school teacher Jimmy Carter won the White House in 1976, presidential candidates have followed his example of using religious rhetoric that is testimonial, partisan, sectarian and liturgical.

Exemplifying the confessional political style, Perry said he felt “called” by God to run for president. He kicked off his campaign with brazen confessional gusto, bringing tens of thousands together in an NFL stadium for a day of prayer and fasting.

In June, Perry secretly met a group of nearly 80 conservative Christian leaders at a gathering organized by evangelist James Robison. The Texas evangelist led a similar secret meeting in 1979 to plot Jimmy Carter's defeat.

That earlier effort culminated in an August 1980 religious-political rally with Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan that helped Reagan mobilize conservative pastors for his victory. At the event, Reagan famously used a line suggested by Robison to win over the crowd: “I know you can’t endorse me … but I want you to know that I endorse you and what you are doing.”

Perry isn’t the only candidate who believes the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue runs down the church aisle.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has also said she felt God was “calling” her to run, won the Iowa Straw Poll last month in large part because of support from conservative evangelicals. Her campaign strategy includes speaking in churches and garnering pastor endorsements.

Now that Perry has entered the race with a similar strategy, Bachmann’s poll numbers are in free fall. As Jesus warned, those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

Even candidates who might not be expected to try their hands at confessional politics have orchestrated come-to-Jesus moments.

Libertarian-leaning Ron Paul may idolize thinker Ayn Rand (even naming his son after her) but he is rejecting her atheistic worldview as he hopes to become the GOP’s standard-bearer. In July, Paul’s campaign launched its “Evangelicals for Ron Paul”  initiative.

The website for the effort prominently features a quote from Paul: “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all that I do in every position I advocate.”

Even Mormon candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, whose faith makes them suspicious to many evangelicals, work references to Jesus into their speeches.

In the last presidential campaign,  Romney proudly confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Savior of mankind.”

At the June Faith & Freedom Conference run by former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed, Huntsman attempted to endear himself to the evangelical audience by crediting Jesus with bringing his adopted Chinese daughter into his family.

These candidates may not have the same natural religious swagger as Perry, but they're clearly seeking faith-based voters in hopes of not being left behind.

Romney has spoken at Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell, as has Paul, while Bachmann is speaking there in a couple weeks. Then-presidential candidate John McCain spoke there in 2008, even after labeling Falwell an “agent of intolerance.”

Sometimes the political conversion experience on the way to Washington seems even more dramatic than the spiritual conversion of the biblical Paul on the way to Damascus.

Not to be outdone, President Barack Obama also employs the confessional political style. During the 2008 campaign he spoke of God and cited Scripture with more eloquence and ease than McCain. Obama continues to weave biblical themes and divine references into his speeches, including in remarks last weekend at the September 11 anniversary event in New York.

Voters should ignore attempts by candidates to out-confess one another and instead focus on what really matters.

John F. Kennedy declared in a speech to Protestant pastors in Houston: “I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 campaign … the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctors bills, the families forced to give up their farms - an America with too many slums, with too few schools.”

These same issues demand our attention today. When religious confessions crowd out critical issues, we all lose. We are not electing an evangelist-in-chief.

When political elections come down to who can claim to love God the most, we all lose. Religious devotion and piety does not inherently equal governing competence.

When religion becomes merely another political trick, we all lose. The politicization of faith profanes the sacred.

My prayer is that candidates and voters will move away from confessional politics. As a committed Christian and former Baptist pastor, I do not wish to see religion excluded from the public square. However, giving religious beliefs too much weight in electoral decisions undermines the basic democratic values that have guided our nation for over two centuries.

The expectation that candidates talk about God and their personal religious beliefs shifts attention away from critical policy concerns, creates a de facto religious test for office and essentially disenfranchises those of minority faiths or who have no faith. Confession may be good for the soul, but it is not always good for democracy.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Brian T. Kaylor.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Opinion • Politics

soundoff (1,643 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    It depend how much he is committed and practicing to his faith otherwise then he is just playing on the human believer strings but unfaithful or liars just as we were warned from such as those of false prophets...

    September 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • go

      All religious prophets are false prophets.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Muneef

      Am not sure whom you refer to as false prophets!? To believe that there are false prophets then you do believe that there are true one's? But if you meant you do not believe about any holy prophets then this is a different issue... !?
      Expect you would then believe in "King Kong" of the Ape Planet" as your ancestors ?! 😉

      September 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      They said ;
      In India President Obama will have to deal with many threats including monkeys. This video shows the scope of the monkey problem in India.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/08/obamas-india-trip-terrori_n_780304.html

      I say; 
      It seems President Obama will have to deal with many threats including Monkeys Threats in America as well with such Evolutionists  !!

      September 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  2. David Russell

    Whenever I meet a person that believes in gods I internally shake my head in pity for them and move on to some other conversation. They just don't see that they are just like the folks that believed in Zeus and the moon goddess. It's no use arguing with them as they are parked so far in the past that they can't see beyond the smoke and mirrors. It's a waste of time to argue with anyone that believes in a superior being.

    September 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Snoops have to mind what could be under their feet while they walk otherwise no one can help them when they fall...! Today in life you pity those tomorrow after life they will pity you...! "They say: "Modesty raises the man as a crown above the heads of others". They say; "The Servent of the people is their Master/Lord"..!!!

      September 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  3. Anon

    All Christians are screwed up in the head.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVXEmJRGns&w=640&h=360]

    September 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  4. captain america

    Lets review
    In God we trust
    One nation under God
    God bless America
    pretty much says it all!

    September 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • u7string

      Says exactly what?

      Let's review...

      In God We Trust, adopted 1956
      One Nation Under God, adopted 1954
      God Bless America, written in 1918

      All that says to me is since the 1900's the Christian right has been trying to make the US into a Christian nation.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Lucifer - My god can kick your god's @ss

      The pledge started in the 50's during the Communist scare, a time when people were terrified of nuclear war and the communist horde. So what are you trying to imply?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      hey i jest seed a in God we trust on a 1943 nichel

      September 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • u7string

      What you "seed" is correct. It did appear on coins since 1864, and on paper currency since 1957. It did not become the official motto till 1956.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      lol captain america thinks this country was founded by jesus itself

      September 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  5. Lucifer's Middle Finger

    "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means."
    – George Bernard Shaw

    September 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Kyle

      You are right.

      No christian will ever quote this verse:

      "Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." (2 Peter 20-21 NAB)

      September 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Chad

      You may not realize what that verse is saying, namely "no prophecy is of human origin, it comes from God".

      And, Christians quote it all the time 🙂

      September 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Quite right.

      September 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Lucifer's Middle Finger

    Fear those who claim to be "called by god", they are usually the first to start eliminating those who disagree with them once they are in power.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • hey

      hey luci..where is your middle finger ..we can't see it...

      September 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Lucifer's Middle Finger

      It's proudly raised, letting the appropriate people know that they are number one!

      September 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • huh

      I think your left knee is around here somewhere. Hey, why don't you get together and party?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Middle Finger

      LOL. Hey are you stalking me?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      When are Lucifer's naughty bits going to make an appearance?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • peekaboo

      i am here right outside your window....

      September 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Belphegor

      I always figured that if there actually was a devil, he created the inhuman religions like Christianity and Islam. I mean, concepts like "obey or you will be tortured for the rest of eternity" sound far more like what an evil deity would say and do than what a legitimate god would say. The way god behaves in the Old Testament and the Quran sounds more like something a devil would do.

      The demands that followers be subservient and worship you – that cannot be a good being demanding that. The intolerance of other beliefs and practices – that must be the Devil.

      Wouldn't that be a giggle, if Christians and Muslims die and find out that they have actually been serving the Devil?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • huh

      Why would anyone stalk a "Lucifer's Middle Finger"?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Lucifer's Half-Burnt Junk

      Did someone call?

      September 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Thumb

      I bet you can guess where I've been hanging out....

      September 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Lucifer's Little Left Toe

      TOE!

      September 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • huh

      Wow. If Lucifer would just pull himself together....

      September 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • give up

      luci..we know you are in all the naughty places...it's just that good people don't see ur middle finger, the rest can...

      September 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @Belphegor: That would be a giggle indeed. I have thought the same thing as well.
      That's why I'd rather choose to go to "hell" even if god's existence was proven. What an incredibly incompetent deity! I wouldn't worship that even with all the threats of torment and torture. I have more kindness for my fellow man than this supposed god ever has.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      I am Lucifer's smirking revenge. 😉

      September 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • St. Skippy, Patron Saint of Peanut Butter

      You know Belphegor, if what you are saying is true, then the atheists are the ones rejecting the devil.

      September 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  7. Angie

    Doesn't Perry remind you of Jim Baker? And Bachmann of his wife, Tammy?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • remind

      u remind us of someone...very familiar..wait a sec...oh yeah jessica hahn

      hayyyyyyyy we've missed u, how is life?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  8. Corey

    Very interesting read, though Ron Paul didn't name Rand Paul after Ayn Rand. Heavily bringing religion into campaigns loses sight of what matters: the issues.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • lost sight

      kinda like how you are groping in the dark right now..tsk...tsk...

      September 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Corey

      Sure buddy, making fun of people on CNN.com is when you know you've made it in life.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • u7string

      My mother is gonna be sooooo proud.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Corey

      You know your joke made no sense, right? Maybe if you wrote "Kind of like how you aren't groping yourself in the dark" it would have been at least entertaining. I'm sure sarcasm is a little too tough for you to master though.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • lost sight

      u guys are soooo naughty..

      groping in the dark in English, merely means 'clueless'

      September 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Little Tiny Mustache

      Knowing you will never make in anywhere in life:

      When you can't even properly stand up for yourself in the comment section of an article on cnn.com like a man.

      Just leave corey alone. He can't take it people.

      September 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  9. GOP Hate America

    no more inbreed christian leaders!!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • sheik

      let's outsource to the sheiks and imams!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Little Tiny Mustache

      no more muslim liberals!

      September 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Little Tiny Mustache

      Too late sheik. We've already got obama

      September 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  10. u7string

    Has our country become so divided, that a common ground has become impossible? Is it time for an East US and West US? If we were to divide the country down the Mississippi, which side would the left and right want?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • send this guy

      let's send this guy packing to that new planet which is 40 light years away from us!!!!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • u7string

      I do hope it's a nice place, and the air and water is clean, oh, and a fast internet connection, gotta have that!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • *frank*

      the right can take kansas and nebraska and create one giant 'children of the corn' utopia

      September 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • huh

      They don't deserve any of our country. They've already declared war on it and are doing their damndest to run it into the ground.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • u7string

      @*frank* ,,, Every time I read that I chuckle. Bravo.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • mkjewel

      I agree. I'm ready for my divorce from the horrible policies. All left out west (they associate with Hollywood better) and right stay east and lets put the new capitol in Nebraska

      September 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River
      September 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  11. It_flyer

    Republicans candidates could never turn off the religious crap? When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Some of the most heartless people I know call themselves Christians. Look at Perry. In a 2 week period he's put 4 people to death in Texas. Well he still has 9 commandments he really believes in.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Yeah...Perry put them to death. Not the judicial system of Texas, or the judge, the laws, juries, prosecutor. Nope...it's all Perry's fault. Oh, don't forget the whole reason why they were on death row...because they broke the law. Just keep blaming Perry.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Uncouth There are questions about whether at least one person executed in TX was in fact innocent.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Kyle

      The ten commandments were written twice. And they are different. Contradictory.

      Also, they are old testament. And the old testament authorizes killing.

      Most christians are under the false belief that the old testament is no longer valid. They'll pick and choose what scripture to abide by. The fact is that jesus said he wasn't there to abolish the old law.

      So, uh, this guy is being a biblically law abiding christian by killing.

      What's the problem?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • stunned

      Yeah just like Obama claimed in lord our savior in his jobs speech and pelosi claimed her in God we trust for the healthcare bill. Your arguments on here are basesless. Stupid

      September 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @John Richardson- Sadly...the law isn't 100% perfect.

      September 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Timothy

    God created man, man created religion.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • and

      Timmy came from the monkeys!!!!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • u7string

      and came from dirt!!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Timmy

      ook eek ah oook!

      September 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  13. uh dur?

    Mark from middle river, clearly you do not understand where Chuck was coming from. Religions do not live side by side. History shows us that they can't. If the religious could simply keep it to themselves, as Chuck suggested, we could all live side by side. That has never occurred in the past, so the next best thing is for those who can't live with other faiths, or the faithless, then they should move. I like the idea.

    And where the h3ll is middle river? Does that come from the fck-if-i-know lake?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • John Richardson

      We've had very little in the way of religious strife in US history. The Civil War was not a sectarian war. After a really, really bad start after the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants have gotten on reasonably well in Europe. There have been major wars, but generally not along sectarian lines. You are simply not being empirically sensible.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Albert

      JohnR, your ignorance is showing. There's been religious strife since before the Revolutionary War.
      Please read up on it before making a blanket statement like that.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark from middle river, clearly you do not understand where Chuck was coming from. Religions do not live side by side. History shows us that they can't. “

      >>>”That has never occurred in the past, so the next best thing is for those who can't live with other faiths, or the faithless, then they should move. I like the idea. “

      From the web:

      “Caliphate of Córdoba's taifa (successor) kingdoms. Rule under these kingdoms saw the rise in cultural exchange and cooperation between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, and the city of Córdoba became one of the leading cultural and economic centres in both the Mediterranean Basin and the Islamic world.”

      “In the Iberian Peninsula, under Muslim rule, Jews were able to make great advances in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, chemistry and philology. This era is sometimes referred to as the Golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula."

      If we throw in Saladin's rule of Palestine we see Jews, Christians and Muslims living side by side. Even in Middle Eastern Countries today you see areas where all three have lived together for thousands of years.

      Try this, take Iran. An Islamic therocrasy .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_synagogues_in_Iran

      Or this … “Iranian Jews have been living in Iran  (Persia) since 2700 years ago and there are many holy and historical places of Jews in this country such as the tomb of Prophet Daniel in the city of Shoush, Ester and Mordechai in Hamedan and Prophet Habakkuk in Touiserkan.“ http://www.iranjewish.com.

      So when you say :

      “That has never occurred in the past”

      All I have to do is show one time where it has happened and your argument falls like a deck of cards. 🙂 I offer up just a quick search of where it is happening … I do not know, ..pretty much it is happening everywhere. The vast majority, do not care.

      There was a great article in National Geographic a year ago about the Lebenese Christians. Another group that has been there for thousands of years living side by side with Jews and Muslims.

      One of the things that I have learned in the past year or so is that it is not as much “Jew vs Muslim vs Christians” …. it is more like “... vs. Israeli.”

      I know you sound like a person who wants persons of Faith out of your life the same way some in Faith want folks of other Faith or no Faith out of theirs. Sorry but folks can come together, if we stop listening to those trying to tear us apart.

      l'Chaim

      September 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  14. Ted N.

    "Voters should ignore attempts by candidates to out-confess one another and instead focus on what really matters." Yeah, good luck wth that.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  15. Sandra

    I am a Christian and I believe in God. What I do NOT believe in is mixing religion and politics. Professing one's religion and belief in God is not going to fix the economy, is not going to put Americans back to work and fix whatever else ails us. Getting off your collective backsides and thinking more about country than party is going to do that. So far I am totally unimpressed.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • u7string

      As an Atheist, I'm sure we'd have a lot we'd disagree about, but I totally agree with what you have said here. Cheers.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Ms. Smarty

      Please list the top five policies in order so that we can be educated.
      Please weigh the candidates against these top five policies and quantify why one is better than the other.
      Be specific in your responses not just economy, jobs etc. etc.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Wolfgang

      Go Sandra....!!!!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  16. hello

    I call it god garbage... they spout the silly mythic puke talk to mush and gush to those who believe in Santa clause in the sky.
    It sounds down right goofy.... it show just how stupid the government thinks the majority of the population is.. and well they are right. As long as they puke on the god talk... and smoozz the smoozzable with all the god garbage they will suck up votes. It is the same TRICK that Bush used.... It is a effect of the Age of Mythic Stupidity humanity is still locked in.

    The masses cling to the myths.. the god talk is a great way to su--ck up su- cke rs.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • eureka

      we found an intelligent voter finally who can really talk meaningfully!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ eureka

      Sounds more like a "fluke" you know the type,,,,,,,,,,,,Flat fishie fishie

      September 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  17. Dennis Pence

    So you are another one of those that wants to take God out of the equation. Taking Him out is what got us here. No morals, no ethics – just do what feels good. Without a moral compass, these people can never govern. You are correct in one respect, only God knows their hearts – we all have to have faith in Him and make the right choice – and by "him" i don't mean the candidate.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Yeah, NOT

      "Taking Him out is what got us here. No morals, no ethics – just do what feels good. Without a moral compass, these people can never govern."

      You don't have to believe in a god to be moral. Plus, people hide behind the label of being christian but it doesn't automatically make them moral.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Norman

      you cant take God out-He was never "in"-morality law existed long before any religion-youre uneducated and ignorant if you think religion somehow created morality-morality codes predate religion by thousands of years-basic tenet of do no harm to anotehr is not religious at all-dont worry, silly religious sheep, you acn practice your mythology all day and every day-just keep it out of my government

      September 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • G0D

      this is god speaking... did I say you could use me in your political campaign in an attempt to appeal to the weak minded and garner their votes, based not on your policies, but on your faith? I don't remember saying that. I am so pleased so many christians feel they know me and my word, when their words directly conflict with the teachings of the bible. If you feel you know me, you most definitely do not. If you tell others how to live their lives based on your interpretation of my words, you most definitely do not know me. If you ever mention my name again in an attempt to convince others of what you think I meant, you will not be joining me at the pearly gates.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Plus, people hide behind the label of being christian but it doesn't automatically make them moral."

      Then the reverse is also true. Being a person of Faith does not make you a evil person.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • hello

      humanity had morals and values long before the Roman invented Christianity.. after all it has its roots in Judaism and it has its roots on the Egypt myths...
      When the myth masters linked the so called morals and values to the myths they just plagiarized a natural human character.. we already had for thousands of years, before the deserts myths were imagined.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • u7string

      Being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, White, Black, Gearhead, Metalhead, Dancer, Singer, or whatever label you wish to use does not make you a good moral person, nor an evil person. Stop the nonsense!!

      (Someone labeled a terrorist may be prone to evilness though 😉 )

      September 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Kyle

      Since when do I need a magical sky hostess to be moral?

      I go to work. I go home. I am faithful to my wife.

      What immoral godless acts am I doing here?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Wolfgang

      oh God......

      September 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Dennis So you're another person willing to lie about other people lacking morals. I guess you're lacking some yourself.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Kyle

      I wouldn't say lacking morals, just common sense.

      This is what happens when you live in constant fear of burning in hell because of a storybook.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Geekalot

      This is one of the biggest lies foisted on religious followers; that without religion there is no morality. This lie has two purposes. First, to make the sheep following some godspeaker feel superior to people who follow some other godspeaker or who follow no godspeaker. Second, to make it acceptable to force their godspeaker's brand of morals onto everyone else.

      You don't need religion to know that killing another person except in self defense is wrong. You don't need religion to know that raping another person is wrong. You don't need religion to know that stealing from another person is wrong. these are obvious to any human being with enough intellect to understand and parents willing to teach them.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  18. Interested48

    Can I get an Amen to that!!!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  19. Chuck

    These nutty people are no different than extreme muslims anywhere else in the world. Two words that go hand in hand are religion and hypocrisy. Keep your nutty beliefs to yourself. Or better yet, why don't you all move to Tejas, form your own country and let those of us that want to move forward to think for ourselves!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Since holding steady at almost 80% profess as acknowledging a Faith ... maybe it is you that should move out.

      Or.. maybe we can find a way that no one has to move and folks can hold their Faith or non-Faith and live side by side. The only ones who do not think this is possible are the extremist on both sides.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That would work great if the religious would stop attempting to make the US a theocracy by forcing others to live according to their beliefs. Let me know when that occurs.

      September 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  20. George

    As long as there are Religious fanatical, mislead Nutcases who cites bible quotes only when it suits them or to claim superiority? .....There will be wolves who will take advantage of them.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.