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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. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    Terminatus hit the nail on the head when he said: "I'm a Christian, and a Republican, and I would never vote for a candidate who gets on the stump and talks God. How gullible, or stupid does one have to be to believe a POLITICIAN talking about faith?" This is exactly what Jesus was talking about in the Sermon on the Mount: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." When a politician talks about their faith, it's "that they may be seen of men"–the reward they want is your vote. As Jesus said, if the reward you want is really from God, then show your faith by praying in private, where no person can hear you.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  2. wgf

    Whenever a candidate says that God has called him or her to do something, or that God wants us to pursue some plan that person supports, alarms go off inside my head. It's just scary to think that our leaders believe they are carrying on a conversation, or otherwise being directed, by a Supreme Being. It means that we're just one psycho-thought away from disaster.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Know What

      Yes, wgf, the audacity and egotism of folks, be it an individual or a church or a nation, who proclaim that a perfect, wise and powerful supernatural being has CHOSEN them is outrageous and disgusting.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • concerned

      You obviously don't have a relationship with GOD.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Todd (no, not that one)

      Neither do you, concerned.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  3. Elaine Connelly

    Sybaris

    By your logic non-christian countries should be in total chaos. That is certainly not the case. OH YEAH, THEN WHAT DO YOU CALL THE ARAB SPRING, YEMEN, SYRIA, SOMALIA, WAY MORE THAN I CAN COUNT.
    OH, AND IF YOU WANT TO THINK FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE GO TO SYRIA, OR ANY OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED COUNTRIES AND SEE WHAT THINKING FOR YOURSELF GETS YOU.
    Drop the cliche's and pulpit rhetoric and do some "free thinking" for yourself.
    I WOULD LIKE TO SAY GOD BLESS YOU, BUT SOMEHOW, I DON'T THINK HE WILL.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Saboth

      What do I call "Arab Spring"? I call it a season that needs to come to the United States. We should rise up and toss out all of these corrupt politicians, bar lobbyists from setting foot in Washington, shut down our "healthcare system" and start over. Now a Tea Party person should call such talk patriotic, while anyone in government would probably sic homeland security on the person that utters those words.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Vulpes

      Your actions are not one of a loving Christian ... we seem to have a lot of you people around today shouting your ignorance and believing your own lies.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  4. mkeblues

    I have to go now. I challenge you non-believers to PROVE me God does NOT exist. When you can do that I will listen. Until then, ado.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Normon

      What god!?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Saboth

      Personally, if I would call myself a member of any religion, it would be Christian. However, I'm also pretty smart and educated. I suppose you could say my faith on a scale of 1 to a 100 is maybe like 5 (with 1 being the lowest). I've never seen proof, only a book written by man, and then twisted by man to serve his goals. I can't prove God doesn't exist, and I leave that option open. I actually hope he does, and that he is a merciful god. You can't prove he does exist, so it's a stalemate. For leaders of our country to state otherwise, and run their campaigns on a theory that can't be proven is more than slightly disturbing.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Flashheart

      Neat, "christian science" in action.

      I don't need to prove a magical being doesn't exist. It's on his followers to prove it does exist, otherwise it's just a Bronze Age fairy tale... Actual science starts with a theory or hypothesis and goes from there to either prove or disprove it based on verifiable non-bias facts. You seem to assume what you say is true and then challenge others to prove you wrong...really? Wow, just wow. If the majority of people in this country think this way, we are in far more trouble than I suspected.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Luis

      I contend that we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you reject all other deities, then you will also understand why I reject yours.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Vulpes

      I will when you prove to me that I am not God.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • JT

      I challenge you non-believers in fairies to prove that fairies do not exist. Until then....you're wrong and I'm right....you fairy haters.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Flashheart

      "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" –
      Douglas Adams

      September 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • SeiLnoigileR

      Yeah, prove a negative. That's so very effective. Impossible to do. Lame.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  5. Jared

    As a conservative Christian person, I have no one that I can vote for without throwing up a little...

    September 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Normon

      Thank God for that!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    Some, have told me, "God works through doctors" or "God gives man his medical knowledge".

    Pfui!

    An Omnipotent god, if He existed, would not need doctors. He would just heal. The bible doesn't say god will heal through doctors. In none of the passages I quoted, does it mention a need for a doctor. All you need is faith, no larger than a mustard seed. LOL, 'till my sides ache.

    You go to the doctor, because you know the bible is B.S. You know prayer does not work. One shot of antibiotic, is better than all the prayers ever prayed, for curing an infection. You know it, and I know it.

    I think the appropriate word might be "knowledge" rather than wisdom.

    Knowledge – Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

    Man gained his knowledge, over time, through hard work. If god were responsible, why did he wait so long to give medical knowledge? Why doesn't He give a cure for AIDS or cancer?
    Why did God create all the horrid things that harm humans to begin with? All the germs and viruses and parasites...All part of god's creation. ?

    Look back through history. Man's knowledge was acquired over time. Man developed a vaccine for Smallpox. 300 to 500 million people died from Smallpox in the 20th century. If god gave man this knowledge, or allowed man this knowledge, why didn't He give it in time to save these people's lives?

    Cheers!

    September 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • 11:11

      They didn't believe Horton in that Dr. Seuss book either. Say it is G_d and well, you must be crazy. Say it's aliens and then people are a little less skeptical. Even atheist believe in the possibility of aliens... that are just as invisible as that man in the sky. You closed minded "free thinkers" remind me so much of the antagonist in Horton Hears a Who.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @DJ

      Nice post, per usual.

      Peace brother...

      September 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Jared

      David,

      I've seen God heal people. A friend of mine was healed one day as we prayed for him. He'd tried to kill himself 20 years or so ago and managed to only destroy part of his jaw and everything that made his left ear work. One day we were praying for him and he could suddenly hear again. Over the next few weeks his jaw regrew. He'd have me touch his jaw to feel the progress.

      I know that doesn't answer every question, but it is what it is. I can't tell you why God heals one and not another. Believe me, I wondered myself as my brother died as I held his hand. None-the-less, I have no doubt that God is, was, and will be.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Todd (no, not that one)

      Jared mindlessly blithered: "I've seen God heal people"

      No, you have not.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Normon

      @Jared,
      Great! I'm sure you have the x-rays to show the jaw-bone regrowing, right?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Jared

      Hey -Jared...

      You Said to @David Johnson: " I've seen God heal people. A friend of mine was healed one day as we prayed for him. He'd tried to kill himself 20 years or so ago and managed to only destroy part of his jaw and everything that made his left ear work. One day we were praying for him and he could suddenly hear again. Over the next few weeks his jaw regrew. He'd have me touch his jaw to feel the progress.

      I know that doesn't answer every question, but it is what it is. I can't tell you why God heals one and not another. Believe me, I wondered myself as my brother died as I held his hand. None-the-less, I have no doubt that God is, was, and will be. "

      First, let me say I'm very happy for your friend and his healing.

      However, I must add that when you say " I can't tell you why God heals one and not another " etc... You are 'already' starting out with the unquestioned assumption that there 'is' a God. You have left -0- opening for other explanations that a God had nothing to do with the healing.

      Just because something defies current explanation, doesn't *mean* ..."God did it"

      Something to think about.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      September 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Know What

      Jared,

      Bones (including jawbones) are one of the parts of the body which do naturally regrow. The regrown area surrounding a fracture will often be stronger than the rest of it. Sometimes medical intervention is necessary to prevent the regrowth from becoming misshapen, but the basic regeneration is perfectly natural.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jared

      Peace and Know What answered you. Peace did an outstanding job of pointing out, that you were begging the question and Know What explained why the regrowth of the jaw bone was not a supernatural occurrence. The jaw bone, an arm bone and a leg bone have a lot in common...they are all bones.

      You have suspended your critical thinking. You want desperately to believe. You are afraid to question. I feel sorry people who have been born again. The second birth causes brain damage.

      Cheers!

      September 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  7. fahrenheit451bookstore

    Lie’s, Lies than Privatize after that you can try and survive; on your own or just die. That appeared to be the general mantra at the tea party debate. No place or rest for the weary, the tired, the poor, the ill, the elderly or the poorly educated, no palms for the holy, it’s all just business; They know a God who is okay with these great social injustices, not to mention War as a function of foreign policy! Nonsense Republican God talks!

    September 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Yep, gentle jesus has been replaced by a bellicose demigod. Not surprising. Isn't He the offspring of the Desert War God?
      Like father, like son...

      Christianity seems to be based on Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, now. Why listen to Jesus, when the words of Paul serve you better?

      Cheers!

      September 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  8. us1776

    Let's keep the mythical "Invisible Being" out of it.

    .

    September 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  9. Hellotiki

    Jesus is coming. Look busy.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  10. Mark B.

    To Anomic Office Drone. No- not the America of today. We have turned our backs on Him and He has turned His back on us in return. He did however, bless this nation as it was founded. The Separation of Powers comes from the Bible. There was not a single forefather who thought this nation would stand if it strayed from it's Christian roots. I challange you to look at Israel – the only nation to disappear and becaome a nation again- as foretold in the Bible.Look at a google earth map.
    Everwhere surrounding Israel – nothing but stark shades of brown and ochre. Look at Israel – green and bountiful. There is a reason for that defying explanation and coincidence. Once we turn AGAIN to God – He will be faithful and just to bless us as He has promised.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Sean

      @Mark

      You have no idea what your talking about. Christians were a minority among the founding fathers. Most where Deist (not that I expect you to understand the difference) and Free Masons. No the idea of the separation of powers did NOT come from the bible. The concept was around long before your religion to say nothing of the bible itself. For all your talk about Israel do you even realize they are NOT Christians? Their religion again.. predates Christianity.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mark B

      " Look at a google earth map.
      Everwhere surrounding Israel – nothing but stark shades of brown and ochre. Look at Israel – green and bountiful. There is a reason for that defying explanation and coincidence. Once we turn AGAIN to God – He will be faithful and just to bless us as He has promised. "

      Are you kidding about this being some kind of God hates us but loves Israel... just look at Google Earth...?

      Please tell us you're kidding !

      Yikes !

      Peace...

      September 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jeremiah

      That's such horse krap. The "Separation of Powers" came as a result of the founding fathers studying the organization of Rome under the Senate, which was divided into an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, each with a set of specifically defined powers and sphere of influence. The Holy Trinity was never an inspiration for the founding fathers, but I'm sure a lot of evangelicals are more than happy to have devised that myth in the absence of actually studying history.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark B.

      While the establishment of the state of Israel was seen by Christian Zionists as a sign that God was fulfilling his promises to Abraham and Jacob, the early political leaders of Israel were primarily secular. David Ben Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister from the founding of Israel until 1963, represented the secular Ideals of the early Zionists.

      For practical reasons, Ben Gurion accepted the boundaries that excluded the ancient Jewish lands of Samaria and Judea in the West Bank. The early Israeli leaders also agreed to a divided Jerusalem.
      There was no miracle here, or Jerusalem would not have been divided.

      Idiot Evangelicals see a miracle behind every event.

      Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget.
      The United States is the reason Israel survives. Not the desert hobgoblin. LOL! LOL 'till my sides ache.

      Cheers!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Know What

      Mark B.

      "Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!" - Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir 1973

      September 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Mark B.

      Sean – Historical fact – No fewer than 26 signers of the Declaration of Independence had Biblical degrees. Ben Franklin encouraged the First Contintental Congress to start with prayer. Congress still does today. Fact – every college east of the Missisippi in the nations early years was started as a religious school, including Harvard and Yale which were started by ministers. "Truth" was originally "Thruth Through Christ".

      September 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  11. Save the Rich Vote GOP

    So does God get his/her/its kicks out of telling Perry and Bachmann they both should run? "When," maybe you also speak to god, let me know next time god speaks to you too. Thanks.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Don't Save? Vote DEM.

      .

      September 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Montanan

    You had me with you until you confessed your own mental illness. This sickness of the mind needs to be purged from our nation or we'll crumble like the gods of Mount Olympus and their Roman worshipers did before us.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  13. Unbelievable

    too*

    September 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Marshall

    Man made God in his own image.And ,I seriously doubt any of these candidates have any religious ties other than the ones they think they need to get elected.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  15. bmesc

    Seems like the right is increasingly referring to the term "secularism" in a negative way. I ask, What do you suggest we replace secularism with?

    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Elaine Connelly

      Perhaps a prayer of thanks to God that you live in the United States. Instead you choose to be ammoral in your beliefs. Well have at it. There is a judgement day coming, you may not believe it, but when it comes, I'll lay you dollars to doughnuts that you will be praying.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Elaine Connelly

      Not more of the "you better believe or you're going to be sorry on judgement day, nonsense...?"

      Please, spare us the vitriolic rhetoric.

      Peace...

      September 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Elaine Connelly
      You said: "Perhaps a prayer of thanks to God that you live in the United States. Instead you choose to be ammoral in your beliefs. Well have at it. There is a judgement day coming, you may not believe it, but when it comes, I'll lay you dollars to doughnuts that you will be praying."

      Or a prayer to thank god for cancer, disasters, birth defect, parasites, ad nauseum.

      Jesus predicted He would be back in the 1st century. He is late due to a previous engagement ... death.

      Anytime prayer is used for any purpose (other than placebo effect), I'll lay you dollars to doughnuts that you will be wasting your time.

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Sean

      Please explain what is amoral about secularism. And why would I thank ‘GOD” for the founding of a nation. There is no evidence such a being exist let alone was involved with nation building. Perhaps you should thank a Deist or Free Mason, as they were more of them among the found fathers than Christians.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Free

      Elaine
      Britain's King Arthur legends directly credits them with being God's new chosen nation. Yet, we rebelled against the British. So, who is to say that our nation's birth was not part of Satan's plan against God's chosen nation?

      September 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Buddy

      Welcome to the United Theocratic States of America.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  16. doughnuts

    It seems that god has called out a number of candidates. I say we let them work it out Thunderdome-style. God will obviously favor his own, and help him/her smite the pretenders.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Free

      Don't worry, The Adjustment Bureau will tinker with the candidates minds, and all will play out according to The Chairman's Plan. 😉

      September 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  17. Geoffrey Hamilton

    Lets show the world how different we are from the Taliban and extremists by electing the most christian extremist we can find... thats the Jesus way. I am almost certain the mean IQ for the American voter doesn't break triple digits.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Half the population is below average...and Republican.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • GodPot

      So a Liberal, a Conservative and a Teavangelical walk into a bar and the bartender says "Hey guys, I'll give you a free drink if you can guess how many jelly beans there are in this jar." So the liberal steps up and takes a good look at the jar and starts doing some calculations in his head. The conservative sits down and orders a drink and pays the bartender and say's to the liberal "Heh, you can guess all you want, but there aint no thing as a free drink" The Teavangelical meanwhile has pulled out a shotgun, aims it at the bar tender and says "I'll give you a chance to run or I'll send you to see my God, and while you're runnin, I'll help myself to your wares." The conservative finishes his drink, the Teavangelical takes a drink and the conservatives money and the Liberal shouts "420!" to which the fleeing bartender yells "Correct! But who cares about a free drink when you have crazy radicals running things!!"

      September 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  18. dissingod

    I'd go a big step further and say that the purpose of professing one's faith on the campaign trail is to distract voters from the candidate's real intention, which is invariably to cripple government's power to regulate the behavior of the corporate 'citizens' they represent. The louder they profess their religion, the more likely they are to sacrifice the sheep to the wolves.

    Don't believe it? Look at what has happened in Texas, and watch what happens to U.S. after these guys get elected.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Leafonthewind

      Let's hope none of them gets elected. Oh wait . . . too late . . . every president for the past several decades has used confessional language in campaign speeches. Well, in the case of the many extreme GOP candidates, we can hope they become a self-devouring snake.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  19. when

    Don't lose too much sleep, David. Those things will never cease until Jesus returns. And BTW...our country IS doomed. Destroy the family unit and the Nation will fall. Destroy it's monetary system and it will colapse. Remove it's morals and it's finished. All three areas have been under attack by the liberal, so-called "free-thinkers." Just remember...when you're pointing your finger at ppl of faith, you've got 3 pointed at yourself.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sybaris

      By your logic non-christian countries should be in total chaos. That is certainly not the case.

      Drop the cliche's and pulpit rhetoric and do some "free thinking" for yourself.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Howard

      Hey When. Its pretty scary when "free thinking" is considered a bad thing by anyone. I can only hope that you are of a small minority.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Athirson

      You're right when, in the same sense that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      The US IS doomed. But the reason is that the Talibangelicals wish that it be so, so they are doing their best to destroy it and make their cherished end times a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Faith based nihilism, anyone?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Free

      when
      If you believe the country is doomed then are you making plans to emigrate to another country? That would be the sensible thing to do, right?

      September 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Athirson

      Well said.

      Cheers!

      September 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  20. Alex

    Separation Of Church And State - 5 simple words. If they're so "godly" then they can donate all their money to their favorite mega-church i mean not-for-profit that will actually help people...

    September 14, 2011 at 1:42 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.