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My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?
Many evangelicals want to ban abortion, but does that mean they want theocracy?
October 15th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN

Here we go again.

Every four years, with every new presidential election cycle, public voices sound the alarm that the evangelicals are back. What is so scary about America’s evangelical Christians?

Just a few years ago, author Kevin Phillips told intellectual elites to run for cover, claiming that well-organized evangelicals were attempting to turn America into a theocratic state. In “American Theocracy,” Phillips warned of the growing influence of Bible-believing, born-again, theologically conservative voters who were determined to create a theocracy.

Writer Michelle Goldberg, meanwhile, has warned of a new Christian nationalism, based in “dominion theology.” Chris Hedges topped that by calling conservative Christians “American fascists.”

And so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris claim that conservative Christians are nothing less than a threat to democracy. They prescribe atheism and secularism as the antidotes.

This presidential cycle, the alarms have started earlier than usual. Ryan Lizza, profiling Rep. Michele Bachmann for The New Yorker, informed his readers that “Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.”

Change just a few strategic words and the same would be true of Barack Obama or any other presidential candidate. Every candidate is shaped by influences not known to all and by institutions that other Americans might find strange.

What stories like this really show is that the secular elites assume that their own institutions and leaders are normative.

The New Yorker accused Bachmann of being concerned with developing a Christian worldview, ignoring the fact that every thinking person operates out of some kind of worldview. The article treated statements about wifely submission to husbands and Christian influence in art as bizarre and bellicose.

When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, topped all the rest by seeming to suggest that conservative Christians should be compared to those who believe in space aliens. He complained that “when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.”

Really? Earlier this month, comedian Penn Jillette - a well–known atheist - wrote a very serious op-ed complaining of the political influence of “bugnut Christians,” in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, no less. Detect a pattern here?

By now, this is probably being read as a complaint against the secular elites and prominent voices in the mainstream media. It’s not.

If evangelicals intend to engage public issues and cultural concerns, we have to be ready for the scrutiny and discomfort that comes with disagreement over matters of importance. We have to risk being misunderstood - and even misrepresented - if we intend to say anything worth hearing.

Are evangelicals dangerous? Well, certainly not in the sense that more secular voices warn. The vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy, or to oppose democracy.

To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy.

As Christians committed to the Bible, evangelicals have learned to advocate on behalf of the unborn, believing that every single human being, at every stage of development, is made in God’s image.

Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing.

We are deeply concerned about a host of moral and cultural issues, from how to address poverty to how to be good stewards of the earth, and on some of these there is a fairly high degree of disagreement even among us.

Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. Most of America’s evangelical Christians are busy raising their children, working to support their families and investing energy in their local churches.

But over recent decades, evangelical Christians have learned that the gospel has implications for every dimension of life, including our political responsibility.

We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (5,318 Responses)
  1. Lenny Pincus

    Pathetic. Dominionists like this guy are not much of a danger–if you Baptists were so interested in the Bible and the family, you wouldn't lead the country in divorce rates–but you do make the world an uglier place. I doubt God has much use for you.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Bob

      “If you alone found out what the lie was, then you're probably right—it would make no great difference. But if you ALL found out what the lie was, it might conceivably make a very great difference indeed.”
      ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

      October 16, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Jake

      Thank god i'm an athiest.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • AW Messenger

      Being judgmental, filled with hate towards certain groups of people, and disrespectful, is the most effective way to denigrate these types. It clarifies your own personal character. I am curious however, if these nuts don't speak out with their voices on behalf of the millions of babies being murdered in our country each year, then those who were never given a chance to live would not have a single voice at all. With that, I side with the "dangerous" evangelicals.

      October 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • MN

      Yes, because what this country really needs is MORE unwanted children being neglected, abused, and not taken care of. Who do you propose takes care of unwanted children??? The foster system is FULL, believe me, I provide foster care for FOUR teenage boys with behavioral and emotional problems. I'm a democrat and doing my part to help this problem in our country. What are you doing? Besides advocating for more unwanted children?

      October 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  2. TheLion

    These aren't evangelicals. These are people who don't know the bible. There's a huge difference between a conservative and person who is slave to Christ and the love of Christ. For some reason, they're confused with one-another. Is there a place to be heartbroken and burdened by what the world has become in the last 60 years? Absolutely. But picketing isn't the answer.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Anon

      They're both mental slaves.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Jesus

      Most of the Evangelicals have not read the Bible – I mean every word of it. Almost all of them have no knowledge as to the history of the Bible, how it was put together, and the omitted books of the Bible. They just mouth over and over again the few scriptures that are contained in their Pastor's lectures.

      October 16, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • soporifix

      They might have read the Bible, but they cherry-pick. I don't hear, for example, evangelicals calling for the stoning of people who wear linen-cotton-blend clothing, as specified in Deuteronomy.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Jason

      Factually speaking, evangelical Christians lag behind only Mormons and Atheists when it comes to knowledge of the Bible. This is according to Pew Research. They are much more likely to have read the bible in part or whole than more moderate protestants or catholics. Whether or not they have absorbed its lessons is another issue entirely...

      In general, the most knowledgeable group when it comes to religion in general are Atheists.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  3. CNN is part of the media blackout!

    How unbelievably obvious this propaganda is! CNN should be ashamed! All those people gathered in the streets for a peaceful protest, yet they lead with BACK TO BACK stories inviting you to hate someone. Oh, PLEASE tell me that the American people are smart enough to see the hate being spread here. Where are the videos of the protests?????

    October 16, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • athought

      I agree, it is outrageous. This is a grassroots, populist movement that is gathering momentum and strength without the media or political leadership which the so-called "Tea Party" movement needed from Day One to survive. That speaks volumes about the authenticity of it, and the energy behind it.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • AW Messenger

      I'm under the impression, for the most part, the entire "BELIEF" segment on CNN is nothing but a haven, a spawning ground, for hatred against those who believe.

      October 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  4. LinCA

    Ignorance and stupidity should be painful. If it were, it might help keep society from suffering at the hands of these imbeciles.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Bob O

      Is that the best you can do is name calling? Don't strain your brain.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • athought

      He is not calling names, he is stating facts. Anyone who cannot understand that it is the role of science to rise above popular opinion, not be led by it, who does not understand that beliefs are not facts and imposing your religion-based beliefs on others is anti-American, is mentally and emotionally impaired.

      The fact that words like "imbecile" are no longer politically correct does not take away from the fact that they are descriptive terms meant to convey the idea of intelligence that is well below the average. In this case, LinCA nailed it.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It's so cute when teenagers post. They're adorably stupid.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Menopausal woman

      This woman is deranged!

      October 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yet you're here posting to me on a Saturday night? What's that make you?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Menopausal woman

      Need a wipe?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I am remiss! I neglected to point out your other egregious errors, Sarky. Try to figure out why "has" is incorrect in your most recent post, mmmkay? When you finish doping that out, learn how to write a complete sentence–you are really not even capable of passing an 8th grade English test.

    Not surprising, herbie.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  7. Colin

    The silly religious beliefs of evangelical, in the absence of power to force them on others, would be harmless foolery. However, they constantly try to set governmental policy to comport to their superst.itions. For example, here is a list of some controversial political issues areas in the United States at the moment, some of which are alluded to in the article:

    (i) a woman's right to choose;
    (iii) medical immunization of teen girls against HPV;
    (iv) assisted suicide;
    (v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;
    (vi) gay marriage;
    (vii) my right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obscene” by theists;
    (viii) basic $ex education for older school children;
    (ix) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
    (x) population control;
    (xi) buying alcohol on a Sunday in many places;
    (xii) use of condoms and other contraceptives;
    (xiii) stem cell research;
    (xiv) little 10 year-old boys joining organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of the religious views of their parents ; and
    (xv) gays being allowed to serve openly in the military.

    Think for a minute on how you feel on all fifteen issues. Run down the list. Are you generally for or against each proposition mentioned? Well, the evangelicals in the USA are firmly against each and every one. In each of the above areas, their religious convictions underwrite a constant campaign to ban or control the relevant practice and tell us all – Christian, atheist, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist – what we can and cannot do. It is not enough that Christians who voluntarily submit to the faith not drink on a Sunday – nobody should be allowed to.

    Admittedly, some of the issues are more nuanced, such as abortion, where most accept that the rights of the unborn must be balanced at some point. If that were the justification for the religious right’s opposition to abortion, it would be a legitimate, rational argument. But taking a stoic negative position on these issues based solely on the perceived wishes of a Bronze Age Palestinian sky-god (which, by the way, is supposedly “omnipotent” and could presumably resolve the issue once and for all, or at least make its views known) is completely inane and, yes, dangerous.

    Fear the ignorant with power. They are like monkeys with hand grenades.

    October 16, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Pete from St Paul

      Exactly, and let's say they achieved to gain a firm hold on all the points you have listed. They cannot stop and will only strife to impose a Christian Taliban because at that point they will see the need to hold on to the "rightfulness" they have achieved, thus establishing the theocracy this man is suggesting they are not really after. The fact that the Kingdom of God to be established on Earth is a supernatural event which has to be done “from above” and not from the politics of “man” is the mere contradictory of Evangelical Politics. Case in point, criminalizing abortion along with banning the use of contraceptives will only lead to back alley abortions, dead mothers and child, and imprisonment of young women and whoever deemed to have known or assisted them. And, the lists goes on………..

      October 16, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Mark

      I love your posts Colin. They make such great points about Christianity

      October 16, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Central Srutinizer

      @Colin
      Ok, it is 5:22 where I am and I have read through all of your posts that I was too drunk...er.....tired to read through last night. Colin, I can honestly say I agree with everything and you rock. Keep up the good work my friend. And get the book published! Oustanding.

      October 16, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Steve

      Well said, Colin. Thanks for taking the time to destroy this propaganda for us and remind writers of such self serving trash that people don't buy it anymore. Look at your collection plates ten years ago boys and compare them to today. That's where you're going...

      October 16, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Pattycat

      Excellent, thanks!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Cutterman

      You forgot to mention that a theocratic government will need to blame all of there troubles on their neighbors (they, a peoples picked by God, cannot be fallible) and run those monkeys straight across there boarders---in the name of God.....

      October 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Eric

      Not all evangelicals in the USA are firmly against each one, I am an evangelical and I am for each one of these. Stereotypes are useful, but not 100% accurate and most are fear based.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Clyde M

      I'm for every one of those except number 14. On that one I say they are a private organization who should be allowed to free associate with whomever they want (unless they keep getting federal funds and then they should have to take everyone). But private organizations can set their own rules–right or wrong.

      October 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Red-Herring

      Well done, Collin. You have successfully set up a straw man of Evangelicals. Al Mohler is right when he says, "We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life." Sorry if we threaten your secular views.

      October 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  8. Colin

    "Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, topped all the rest by seeming to suggest that conservative Christians should be compared to those who believe in space aliens."

    Actually the liklihood of aliens existing on other planets is much, much higher than the liklihood that the all-kowing, all-powerful sky-fairy that most evangelicals believe in exists. Those who should be offended by such a statement are those who believe in aliens, not the Bible-cuddlers.

    October 16, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Central Srutinizer

      @Colin
      I will read your posts tomorrow when I am not sleepy. You always have great takes. Tomororw then.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      I think there are alien lifeforms for sure out there – even if they are single cellular. However, "intelligent" life with the capacity to travel throughout space and the universe? I wonder what the likelihood of that is, but it would be absolutely amazing.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Colin

      Yes AS, that is a bigger step. The biggest however seems to be is the ability to travel the distances required. I think we will encounter alien life, but it will not be the home run of a visit from them. It will be in the form of a microbe, likely extinct and fossilized, on mars or on a moon of one of the gas giants.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      I hear that one of the moons of Jupiter, Europa, has promising potentials for the possibility of life. I hope to live to see the day that we can declare life has been found outside of our planet. Nothing could make me happier.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  9. Colin

    The danger in Evangelicals lies in their numbers. One off, they are harmless fools, but acting in concert, they can influence political decisions. Take for example, teaching evolution in school or basic $ex education for older teens. The knuckle dragging Bible-cuddlers would have us turn back the clock to 1850, if they ever got control of a school board.

    They are the worst combination of low intelligence, poor education and a heart felt conviction that they are right and that everybody should believe what they do. Yes, they are to be feared.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Excellent post!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Fundie

      Too bad that the long-term trend suggests that you're going to be out-bred by us. Resistance is futile.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Superfed

      Dude, you need to get laid.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Freedom

      Actually the low intelligence, poorly educated more accurately describes the voters who the Democrats court every 4 years and then ignore while they retain power.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"....and a heart felt conviction that they are right and that everybody should believe what they do."

      My friend Colin... do you not have the same "heart felt convictions" in what you believe? Are you open to others beliving differently than you?

      There numbers, I do not worry about. Every time a group of folks get together and bond as one, other opposing groups get scared. How many times have we placed a fear of the Hispanics, the Whites, the African Americans, the Jews..etc etc...

      It's always some group. In some ways I think it is ok but at the same time it is trolling for folks fears. Remember, in Germany it was first the Jews growing in their country that the Nazis declared as a threat at the same time they themselves were growing in power.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Jesus

      READ MY LIPS....NO NEW TEXANS!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • Logical Scientist

      Colin, you are amazing.

      If only the Christians could put down their book of adult fairy tales and fables to truly examine how such stories contradict a wealth of evidence that their beliefs are not logical or scientifically valid. Their God is ever so narcissistic, and his hold over such a great number of people's intelligence is frightening.

      I find it amazing that any time someone today claims to be Jesus or God they are immediately deemed mentally ill, yet so many Christians hold on to the belief that someone who proclaimed this to be true 2000 years ago is logically valid.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  10. David Johnson

    Better be careful with these religious nuts. They are fun to poke fun at, for sure. But they have a terrifying "wishlist".

    Christian Right Agenda = Christian Theocracy

    Theocracy = A government ruled by or subject to religious authority.

    Christian Right = Predominately Evangelicals

    The Texas history books are rewriting history to give the conservative slant. The objective of this effort, is to create a Christian Nation, a theocracy with Jesus as Head of State.

    The recent article about the letter to the Jews, from George Washington, must sting like a son-of-a-gun. We are a secular nation. Thank god!

    A huge campaign is underway, to convince the American people, the founding fathers never intended a separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson's role as a founding father is played down. In some cases Jefferson is smudged.

    Expect an attack on the 1st and 14th Amendments. The founding fathers will weep.
    Most of the Tea Party are for a Christian Theocracy. The Tea Party is in bed with the Christian Right. A vote for any Tea Party candidate, is a vote for Christian Right domination.

    The Republicans are the puppets of the Christian Right and Rich White Men. If you aren't rich or if you aren't white, then this is not your party. Remember Rand Paul's wish to have limited government that should not force private businesses to abide by civil rights law? Isn't that a tad racist or is it just me? Can you say: "You want me to sit where on the bus?"

    You will see an amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. Gay rights will dwindle and die.

    Roe Vs. Wade will be reversed. Women will once again be forced to seek back alley remedies. Men may be forced to buy condoms on the black market. You will procreate! Or you will be abstinent! It is not up to you!

    Stem cell research will stagnate. The hopes of damaged and sick people will be dashed. Little Billy better get used to that wheelchair.

    All scientific research will be scrutinized by the Christian Right. "Whether or not a theory is in agreement with the Evangelical's interpretation of god's will", will be the new metric. Get use to hearing "God Did It". No one will dare question otherwise.
    Science classes will be much easier. Much less to remember or think about. 90% of the answers will be "D" – God did it. 30% correct will be passing. 50% will be Valedictorian.
    Makes it pretty easy to get their "sheep skin". Baaaaa!

    Education doesn't matter! Jesus is coming soon. When Perry told of his poor academic performance, The Republicans (Tea Party?) applauded.

    Let's glorify ignorance and stupidity!

    You say you've developed a vaccine that will prevent women from getting cervical cancer? No, Mr. Scientist. You will pour it down the drain! And you will make drugs that prevent STDs no more! So sayeth the Lord...According to the Religious Nuts.

    "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital $ex. Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV" – Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council

    I would much rather my daughter was lying there dying of cancer, rather than having taken a shot that might have given her out of control urges.

    There was a recent article on the Religious blog about how Evangelical young'uns are not waiting.

    Little Betty is not praying so often, because she is so devout. She is praying for her Aunt Flow. Amen!

    P_ornography will be illegal. The Religious Right will decide what is p_ornographic , as well as what is art. You will watch television programs approved by the Evangelicals. Lots of reruns of "Growing Pains", starring that Evangelical darling Kirk Cameron. Thank you Jesus!

    Will museums exhibiting transitional fossils and other evidence of evolution, be deemed po_rnographic and closed? Their exhibits burned?
    Creationism will be taught in public school, most likely alongside evolution rather than instead of, but no guarantees. Creationism/ Intelligent Design will consist of 10 chapters. Evolution will be mentioned on the book jacket cover.

    Vouchers will enable parents to send their child to religious schools. Funds to public schools will dwindle. Quality education will be out of reach for the masses. The finite amount of money, will be spread too thin. Destroying the public school system is the purpose of the voucher system.

    If each faith attends their own school, interacts only with children who believe as they do, Might this not interfere with the melting pot, we often brag about? Won't this increase prejudices? The Catholics once told their children that Jews have horns. *sigh*

    Segregation, is not beneficial. We need to learn to get along, and work together. Toddlers are really good at playing well with others.

    Little Johnny will believe in talking snakes and Zombie Messiahs. He will spend his free time watching the heavens, waiting for Jesus to return. The rest of the world is spending their time learning real science and math. Good luck Johnny. Can you say: "Would you like fries with that?" And you Betty! Lots of jobs overseas. With your qualifications, there is a pole with your name on it, waiting for you.

    State-sanctioned Prayer will be in our schools. The Christian Right think they know better than the Founding Fathers and want to tamper with the Bill of Rights. They want to amend the U.S. Const_itution, so that the Government would legally sponsor and take over the activity of prayer. Only the one true god, the Christian god, will be given homage. The god(s), of all other faiths, will be subservient to the Christian god. Muslim parents will need to make this clear to their children. Will the Catholics and the Mormons be Christian enough? What about the Jehovah Witnesses? The Evangelicals / Jesus will determine this.
    The non-Christians will be allowed to put their heads down on their desks, during the morning worship. They can contemplate their damnation, for not accepting Jesus.

    $ex education will consist of abstinence only. Studies have shown it is a worthless concept. But, it will please the religious fanatics. Why did little Betty have her purity ring reshaped into a tongue stud?

    The war against unions, commenced during the Reagan administration, will continue. Labor will be humbled. They will accept the wages they are offered and should be grateful to get it. The Mexicans won't come here for jobs, anymore. The rate of pay won't justify the effort.

    Say goodbye to enti_tlements. Medicare will be changed to a voucher system. When Grandma is out of vouchers, she is out of luck. Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme! We will reduce Grandmas' pension a % for each, predetermined, increment of life.

    Our elderly will die earlier than they would like. But, they have the promise of an afterlife to comfort them. Unless of course, they haven't accepted Jesus. Then, they will burn in a place created by an all loving and all just god, for all eternity.
    Best for them to concentrate on the pie in the sky. Works better than opium for a lot of people.

    Go toward the light, Grandma... Grandpa is waiting for you.
    We love you Grandma. But, the Republicans have taken away Medicare and cut your Social Security. Go to sleep, now.

    The government will turn over Medicade and the rest of the programs for the p_oor, to the Christian Right. They will decide who will receive help and who will not. No longer will the criteria for receiving help, simply be income. Every dime given, will have "strings". The poor will be beholden to the Evangelicals.

    The Christian Right has embraced Paul as the moral lawgiver. Paul's First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, is often quoted by the Republicans. You never hear them quote Jesus' advice to the rich. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. Jesus will understand.

    The Republicans applaud the executions, of human beings. The more the merrier. They will be a burden to the state, no more! If it turns out some were actually innocent, god will set it right... Providing they have accepted Christ.

    Perhaps trials aren't necessary. Send the accused directly to god's justice! We are a Christian nation!! Are we not the hand of god?

    The accused are of another faith, you say? Give them a chance to pray the Sinners Prayer, and send them to judgment.

    The Republicans screamed, "YES", when asked if an uninsured man should be allowed to die.
    If you read the Good Samaritan parable told by Jesus, you might come away with the idea that Jesus wouldn't agree.
    But, I bet Jesus will change His mind once the Evangelicals rule in His name.

    Could be, Jesus will feel compelled to rewrite the entire bible, leaving out those obviously unclear parts. The Evangelicals will help Jesus clear them up. Guaranteed!

    Jesus will be the Head of State! He will be represented by an empty chair at the head of the leadership table. Only the Evangelicals will be able to hear His voice. They will tell the rest of us His will.
    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
    The Evangelicals will rule in the name of a non-existent demigod.

    "Theocracies generally do not tolerate freedom of expression. They believe their dogma is divine; that it comes from divine revelation (directly from God as in Moses on Mount Sinai) and therefore, no dissenting opinion can be accurate or helpful. This often leads to widespread abuse of basic human rights."
    http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/T/Theocracy.aspx

    WoW! If the above quote doesn't make you wanna puke...

    The Evangelicals are not content to run their own lives. They want to get, by political means, what Jesus never has and never will give them, by returning.

    Vote for the Dems in 2012. There are a lot of things I would like to see changed in the Democratic Party, but at least they are not insane.

    Thank God, this country is a secular nation.

    Remember, Jesus won't really be in charge. It will be an Evangelical idiot.

    Cheers!

    October 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Bob

      “You're captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live. … You are captives—and you have made a captive of the world itself. That's what's at stake, isn't it?—your captivity and the captivity of the world.”
      ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

      October 16, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • jmbrown

      I thought about taking your thesis line by line, but you made it so easy for me: Nothing you say is accurate about Christianity. Some of the things you say may be true about some fringe groups, but not for Christianity as a whole. The claims liberals make about Christians wanting to quash free speech and wanting to put their enemies out of the way just isn't so.

      Libs only favor free speech if you agree with them.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • David Johnson

      @jmbrown

      Actually, everything I wrote is what the Christian Right would like. Perhaps they are not your wishes/ goals, but they are the wants of the Christian Right.

      But, why bicker? Let's just vote for the Dems and keep Jesus out of our government. Yes?

      Cheers!

      October 16, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Heather Morrison

      You and Margaret Atwood in "The Handmaid's Tale" hold a valuable light up to the direction Evangelicals will take us if given half a chance. Good warning for all of reasonalbe America to work towards keeping Republicans out unless you like the idea of a theocracy that reaches into every aspect of your life,

      October 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  11. Colin

    10 Signs You Are an Evangelical Christian

    1. You honestly believe, despite everything we have been taught by cosmology, astronomy, geology, biology, history, paleontology and archeology, that the World began about 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake. You have no evidence to support you, but your unmatched ability to ignore inconvenient facts and bury your head allows you to maintain this silly mythology into the 21st Century.

    2. You think that, despite Jesus getting it wrong, despite the apostles getting it wrong and despite every single time it was said to be “about to happen” over the last 2,000 years being wrong, the Second Coming is imminent. You fail to see that believing that the “end is neigh” is generally recognized by psychologists as a basic human reaction to one perceiving themselves as a failure in life.

    3. You accept the “leap of faith” as a valid basis for believing in god in the absence of evidence, but fail to see that this makes you a pantheist, because you have to accept that the same leap can be made to any god with equal validity.

    4. You consider simple thoughts like lust and mast.urbation a sin, but have no issue with the disgusting, degenerate way your Bible treats women and $ex and, even today, admire people like Michele Bachmann who consider women second class citizens to men.

    5. You likely deny global warming for no other reason than it makes you uncomfortable and hold science to the impossibly high standard of having to explain every conceivable mystery about the natural World before you will accept it, but some moron rolling around a floor speaking in tongues is enough to convince you he is channeling a spirit.

    6. You will regularly be ripped off and cheated by charismatic “preachers” who are obviously crooks to everybody but you. Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggard, Eddie Long, and the other dozen or so who have ripped you off are not enough to convince you that you are a mindless sheep that is regularly being fleeced.

    7. You spout off about the importance of charity and generosity as Biblical principles, but likely support movements like the tea party that promote the evisceration of social policies.

    8. You fail to see that, given your personality, the only reason you are not a fundamentalist Jew, Hindu or Muslim is an accident of where you were born. Had you been born in Iran, you would be one of those bearded half-wits that burns American flags.

    9. You will defend the Bible, an Iron Age collection of Middle Eastern mythology, despite it being indisputable wrong and literally infested with outdated morality, contradictions and barbaric cruelty.

    10. You believe that anybody who does not accept your silly faith will burn in hell. You don’t have to kill, you don’t have to rob, hell, you don’t even have to litter. All you have to do is reject a belief in the Christian god and he will inflict a punishment upon you an infinite times worse than the death penalty….and he loves you. You see no contradiction in using the same sky-fairy as both the carrot and the stick.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Central Srutinizer

      @Colin
      dang it I like u but too many words. I can 't focus long enuf! You rock tho.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Colin

      Sorry CS. The sound of my own voice is like a drug to me -:)

      October 16, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Like my friend CS, I am too tired to give all your points the attention they deserve, but what I've read is impressive. Good job, Colin!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Colin

      Thanks Tom ,and sorry for the unwelcome verbosity.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not verbose, and not at all unwelcome. You are an admirable writer, Colin. Please don't stop.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      Fuck them if they can't be bothered to read.

      Awesome post. Did you write it yourself or is it copy pasta from a website?

      October 16, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Colin

      I wrote it, but I have posted it before, if you think you may have seen it before. Obviously not all of the ideas in it are original. I am quite certain, for example, that I am not the first to think Evangelicals are intellectually retarded for rejecting evolution.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      Oh okay I see. I suspected you are the original writer. I read the one on "Ten signs you are a Catholic." a few articles back. You should save your writings, it's pretty good stuff!

      Darwinuakbar!!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Colin

      HA Akward Situations, I remember that Darwin comment of yours now. In a sense I save them as I am writing a book. Hope to have it out by early next year.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      That's great. Let us know when you publish, I'll be sure to purchase a copy. I have long term goals having to do with writing as well – if it gets picked up you might see it on the little or big screen.

      What are you writing about anyway? Something along the lines of the "new atheism" genre?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • TheLion

      This was very well written. I would call myself a Christian, but that word has been pretty rotten these past few years, so we'll just say that I strongly believe in the Lord and follow his guidelines (the Bible) to living as a man of God. As respectfully and unaggresive as possible, I would like to ask where you're getting your information for these 10 points. They're great points but what can you back them up with? How is it that me believing in a God who created everything, including you and me, is more unlogical than the big bang? I mean, how am I the crazy one?

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Colin

      I read your piece 3 times. I laughed harder each reading. Fantastic Post!

      Cheers to you!

      October 16, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Grace Alone

      We expect to see (read) people like you Colin.

      "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." – Psalm 14:1

      "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." – Romans 1: 20-22

      Here's a list of some really "dumb" Bible believing Christians:
      http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/

      Ah, but what's the real issue? Yes. There is only one thing that ultimately matters: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A335

      Sola Scriptura

      October 16, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Heather Morrison

      I love this whole list....but "sky fairy" really has completely made my day. I will be whistling a little happy secular tune with this phrase for days.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • ExCatholic

      Colin, ridiculing those you disagree with will not win them over to see the world like you do. Which you know. Which means your opus is meant to offend, alienate and belittle. Yeah, that always garners your side more votes. It's rather counter-productive but clearly you don't care.

      October 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Jesse Michaels

      I Love It! Well put! I had read something similar to the writings that you had just posted.Probably the Atheist.org site.This is so true! We must continue to stay strong and tough, We will win with education rather than false beliefs! This is just great!

      October 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • ttwp

      "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16

      October 17, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  12. Colin

    When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

    That just proves how appalling bad our education system is. In the 21st Century, so many of us are are stupid enough to subordinate what fifth graders in Europe know to Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tell that to Chad the Dim.

      October 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Central Srutinizer

      fuk'n A

      October 16, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Colin

      He's a beauty, isn't he Tom. Just imagine him or Herbert Juarez with political power!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Please, Colin. I'm about to hit the hay, and I don't want to have nightmares!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Free

      "We have to risk being misunderstood – and even misrepresented – if we intend to say anything worth hearing."

      This certainly holds true for we secular folk. In the previous article "My Faith: Who does God listen to?" the author rather stupidly assumes that everyone, including atheists, pray. Then there are the Christians who choose to deny evolution with statements like "It teaches that we evolved from monkeys"! Oh, there's plenty of misunderstanding and misrepresentation going on, all right. Just not the kind that you think.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  13. Central Srutinizer

    Hmmm. Are Evangelicals dangerous. In a word , yes. Not to me, but to the sheep.

    Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can’t stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself—his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill—most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain.

    In short, they are evil fuks.God Bless.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Amen.

      October 15, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Whoops.

      Whoops.

      October 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Very to the point, CS.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Al

      If heaven were open to all these would be the people who would choose to go elsewhere, because they already see themselves as better than the rest of us. They remind me of those characters in Milton.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  14. kimsland

    YES ALL religions are dangerous.

    October 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  15. Reality

    As with most Christians, Mohler suffers from the Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in the flaws and fallacies of Christianity. The cure? Reading and rational thinking!!!!

    October 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Synopsis of 21st Christianity based on the studies of Professors Crossan, Ludemann, Borg, Fredricksen et al:

      Jesus was an illiterate, Jewish, peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,–

      October 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Jacob Denhollander

      Like most internet commemorators, you have no clue what you are talking about. Mohler reads 7-10 books a week, and has a personal library of over 40,000 books. Most of those books are secular/non-Christian. He says he enjoys reading books that he disagrees with the most. He has a radio show called, "Thinking in Public" where he discusses current scholarly books with their authors, who are usually not Christians. It's amazing how people have to make those they disagree with out to be 'stupid' for not agreeing with you, not just of a different opinion.You might disagree with Mohler, but the one thing that he is not is stupid.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  16. Pravda

    Wow, a CNN article that actually makes sense. Cudos!

    October 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Smarts

      Kudos indeed!

      October 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  17. *frank*

    "Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution."
    And???

    October 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • sturm

      his statement just proves that "a majority" of americans are stupid.

      October 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      True, and how sad is that? I am deeply committed to public education and it is appalling to me that such ignorance seems to be on the rise.

      A teacher I admired described the type as 'country-dumb and proud of it'.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      Well, he is British! 😉

      October 16, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      He's also pretty hot! Want to touch the hiney!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  18. Freethinksman

    "...even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution."

    This confusion doesn't add to Evangelicals' credibility. It is *because* of Evangelical Christianity. There is no more scientific debate about whether evolution by natural selection is true than whether the earth is round. That it is a theory cast no more doubts on its validity than the fact that gravity is "only" a theory. Evangelical Christianity may help people make sense of their world. It may offer them solace. But its roots are in myth and its fallout is real and dangerous.

    If a shark wrote an opinion piece called "Are Sharks Dangerous?', a reasonable person would be suspect.

    Use your head. If there were a god, he'd probably want you to think.

    October 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      I don't think it is necessarily *because* of evangelical christianity. Although, they are definitely not helping the cause. It's more likely that our educational system is impotent in emphasizing science. We keep on outputting generations of stupid kids – the evangelicals are taking advantage our failures in properly educating the young.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The schools are only a reflection of the society that supports them. They can't teach science when the standardized tests used to measure them and to evaluate their teachers only test math and reading.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  19. *frank*

    He said "probing too aggressively" hehehe.

    October 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  20. Scott

    'Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and family' and that is dangerous how?

    October 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Smarts

      "We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life"

      Summed up very well, well written article indeed!

      October 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not marriage and family these nuts care about, and you know it.

      October 15, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Sark

      @Tom-Curious, it appears you do suffer from accute reading and comprehension disorder, go get some help before you get too old.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sarkophagus, you're too stupid to give advice to anyone else. When you figure out how to punctuate a sentence and use the word "do" appropriately, be sure to tell mommy so you can go on to 5th grade. Until then, consult with Richard Kaiser-he's King of the Do's.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Sark

      Tom-Menopausal? go get some help!

      October 16, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Observer

      Tom is a nincompoop! This woman also has serious rage issues.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, my day is complete! I've p*ssed off an idiot or two (who can tell-the brain pans are so shallow)!

      See ya, losers!

      October 16, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Sark

      Tom- You are not only woefully pathetic with your diction. But your comprehension and reading abilities has proved your idiocity beyond a reasonable doubt.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Idiocity"? Do find that one in the dictionary, honey. While you're trying to find it, look under the Ds for "diction".

      To quote Inigo Montoya: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

      Really, you're embarrassing yourself.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Sark

      Sadly you wimp and come back for more insults?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Was that supposed to make sense? Or were you ja*king off while typing?

      By the way, Sark/herbie, did you never learn that subject and verb should agree, or did they not teach that in special ed?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Sarky, does your god like your posts?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sarky, why is it you're here on a Saturday night? Can't get a date who'll let you do it?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Menopausal woman

      Hurting much?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not at all. Just relaxing by smacking a brainless teeny-bopper of a pinata.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      However, you're less interesting than a bag of hair or sleep. Have a nice wet dream, dearie.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Menopausal woman

      You keep coming for more you masochist.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Gordon

      If they're so worried about marriage and the family, they should be spending much more time and money on an effort to eliminate divorce.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:56 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.