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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. Simon

    The average atheist wants to live their life according to their own values. The average evangelical wants others to live their lives according to the evangelicals values.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • right on

      you have is so right nothing left to say!

      October 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Jonesey

      Atheists wish to live life by their own values. Evangelicals wishes for everyone to live life by evangelical values.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Jonesey

      Yes indeed, simon.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Jonesey

      Want to support religious tolerance? www dot religioustolerance dot org.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  2. vturner

    Evangelicals feel threatening because of the irony and hypocritical nature of their actions. What seems to become obvious is they are not tolerant, wise or loving people. They come off self righteous and judgmental. They seem more concerned with changing other's than responsible for their own behavior. It is offensive to be overwhelmed with their sales pitch on God at every turn. My personal belief is that our faith, whatever that should be, guides us to be better people ourselves...not used to hound other's into believing the way we do. It is frightening to think people are guided into feelings of hate through their religion rather than acceptance and tolerance. I find many who blindly follow the preaching of one man (their preacher) rather than to challenge what they know to be loving and make a better world for all. They do come off more as a cult than a religious group guided by a loving God.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • GauisJulius

      Okay, pushing aside your view of the average Christian, it is a Christian's job (as commanded by jesus) to evangelize the world of the good news. And what ppl do is inconsequential to the message.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  3. Paul Atheist

    Evangelical Christians advocate a belief system of witchcraft, mysticism, fear of women, superiority of humans over nature, willful ignorance of the natural world, along with the suppression and discredit of any information that contradicts the bible. Earth not the center of the universe? Ignore planetary orbits and condemn Galileo to death. Earth too old? Ignore geological facts, evolutionary evidence, orbital mechanics, speed of light, etc. to promote a fantasy world of talking snakes and magic apples.

    Science is a way of understanding the real mechanisms and forces that control the natural world, that ultimately control us. Science is a tool, neither good nor bad. It only offers the truth of the universe.

    Religion only offers easy answers as dictated by current interpretation. Witch hunts, Inquisitions, even validation of imagined devil worship (McMartin preschool, California, 1983) is all based on willful ignorance and deliberate misinterpretation of fact.

    All the GOP candidates are very scary evangelical Christians who think that women should have no say about their own medical conditions (abortion), that schools teach religious belief as science fact (intelligent design), and promotion of their own moral superiority (God bless America/..one nation under God).

    America is a VERY theocratic Christian nation – God appears on all American money, in the pledge of allegiance, there is a bible in every hotel room and every court room, every president swears his oath of office on a bible.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • GauisJulius

      i guess it doesn't matter that half of what you said is wrong on its face. The frontrunner GOP isn't even an Evangelical christian, nor does evangelicals worship witchcraft...which gets its derogatory name from christianity. In fact, therer isn't any factual facts from your whole rant. You instead come off as a bigot who must lie to demonize the position you don't take!

      October 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • J

      Your initial paragraph summarizes up this farce so well. It should be etched on a placard for future generations.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • c. s. s.

      I hope you like living where the heat is turned up on high.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  4. 77radio

    It is "either your with us or your against us" mentally that seems to be the fabric of their make up. No tolerance at all.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      It's because xtians think the future involves the suffering and death of all non-xtians. On one hand, you have the "saved", and the other hand, you have the "damned". This is EXACTLY how it is spoken in the fairy tale churches, "saved" & "damned". If you're not one of them, you're in the "damned" category and are scheduled to die a horrible death when the time comes. In my future, there are no religious delusionists because they've all become extinct.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  5. InFormed

    No one can agree on 'Which' religion is correct. Each one claims to the be 'right' one, and slag off all of the others as being 'false'. In the face of this, the only logical choice would be to have NO religion govern any democracy since none are valid or invalid, hence the REQUIREMENT for a secular government. Any other choice is doomed to fail.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • grumpy

      Not quite true. Atheists can agree that ALL religions are hogwash. They're the only group of people on earth who understand that having blind faith in the supernatural is just plain silly.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  6. WhatWhatWhat?

    All religious delusionists are scary to me, especially christinsanity & islame. With the way they are trying to help make their stupid "rapture" happen, and their delusions of the suffering the unbelievers will have to endure, including death. With delusions like that, they are very scary. Now, if they only thought they were going to heaven and that was it, who cares what they think. But no, it has to include suffering and war and death for everyone else who doesn't believe their fairy tale. And for those who think these idiots don't have an agenda to cram this stuff down our throats, xtians "above all...are most concerned about telling others about Jebus." There you have it, straight from the mouth of delusion. Anyone who believes in "revelations" and the "end times" should be committed to an insane asylum, and I never want to hear from them, let alone have them be involved in government, thank you.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Michael

      WhatWhatWhat,

      The deadliest wars in recorded human history - World War I and World War II - were fought for secular political and ideological reasons, not religious ones. Christianity led to the end of the Roman Empire - an empire built on murder, slavery and perversion - and has tempered humanity and given us a conscience we otherwise have demonstrated we wouldn't have. Neither Stalin nor Hitler were Christians, although their followers worshipped them and thought they were the greatest leaders in their times. Human history demonstrates without a doubt that man needs God. God helps man to become noble and compassionate. Without God, we become selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Michael, you are one of many victims of the historical revisionism being peddled by the Dominionists. Christianity did not bring down the Roman Empire, it co-opted it and weakened it from within, so that pagan outsiders could bring it down. Hitler was a dedicated Catholic, as he said repeatedly in Mein Kampf and various public speeches. I'm not sure what history you think validates the supposed benignity of this imaginary "God" guy you refer to, but I suggest you google Crusades, Inquisition, witch hunts, conquistadors, Northern Ireland, Gallileo, and Arnaud Amalric for starters.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Michael, so that's how you xtians resolve the necessity of god, to say that without him/her/it "we become selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals"? You should only speak for yourself, because I don't have god in my life and I'm not like what you described. It's kind of weird, now that you mention it, because you would think there would be many more "selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals" running loose since so many don't believe in your god. In fact, whole countries would, by your reckoning, be "selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals" right now, but they aren't. It's because your premise, that we become that way without god, is false, ludicrous, nonsensical and delusional, just like your belief system. Sorry to have to say it, but it's just a lie xtians tell themselves to aid in the acceptance of the delusion.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Greg

    Why is this guy even reporting on CNN? Kidding me?

    I'll say this. You can have the social skills of Oprah and the brains of Einstein. If you're not a Christian that believes in fairy tales that are 2000 years old, you will not be elected to be President in the USA. A very sad thought. Middle America holds a lot of votes out there. The same holds true for any Middle East country and Islam.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Jason N

    @John Richardson

    "you can't knock a soap bubble out of the park no matter how hard you swing?"

    What an odd idiom. I've never seen it used before. What exactly does it imply?

    October 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  9. C Robb

    1st off: People are the weirdest creatures on Earth. Religious people are intolerant towards other people's beliefs. Religion has lead to many sick acts. I do believe there are wholesome morals and values that are learned in church, but some of the most evil and hypocritical people I've met call themselves Christian. As backwards as the traditions of Islam seems to us, I am sure we are mutually awkward to the rest of the world. American has about 350 million people... what makes our beliefs more 'correct' than the other 6.5 billion weirdos?

    October 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • C Robb

      Marinade on that suckas!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Michael

      C Robb:

      The deadliest wars in recorded human history – World War I and World War II – were fought for secular political and ideological reasons, not religious ones. Christianity led to the end of the Roman Empire – an empire built on murder, slavery and perversion – and has tempered humanity and given us a conscience we otherwise have demonstrated we wouldn't have. Neither Stalin nor Hitler were Christians, although their followers worshipped them and thought they were the greatest leaders in their times. Human history demonstrates without a doubt that man needs God. God helps man to become noble and compassionate. Without God, we become selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Anon

      ^ So religion is keeping you from becoming a psychopath? So if you let religion one day, you'll go on a rampage killing and raping like a mad person?

      October 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • C Robb

      "Without God, we become selfish, bestial, murdering and fornicating animals"
      -via Not Brite Mike :p

      This guy Micheal proves my opening statement... People are the weirdest creatures on earth. But humor me Mike: Alexander the Great.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  10. Architectz

    Nobody of the above scholarly religion-in-poiltics promoters will read my post; and I am sure it will be lost among "the faithfuls' declarations-> However:whatever happened to SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE as explained in Jesus' own words in the Bible!!!!! As far as Evangelicals "concerns" about secular American culture and/or the drive to rewrite current scientific thought (so it will conform to "scripture"> the Earth was created 7 days and is five thousand years old etc)-> me personally–I do not care what sort of "ignorance" that these fine folks want to read into their Bibles on Sunday morning (the word "abortion" never appears in the Bible)-> HOWEVER> DO NOT TRY TO IMPOSE YOUR BELIEFS ON THE REST OF AMERICA!!!! If you do this by becoming politically active-then you are no longer a "Church"> and you should be required to pay taxes!!!!

    October 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Dan

      I hope you don't try to impose your beliefs on anyone, because you sound grossly misinformed. And you have the right to vote. That's dangerous, IMO. Much moreso than evangelicals.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  11. thefiler07

    To anyone who actually thinks this country was founded with Christian principles by "Christian founding fathers" you need to do more research. The founding fathers for the most part were either Atheist or Deist, and hardly respected the church. Look up quotes on google and it will become quite evident. Thus the separation of Church and State that so many people seem to forget about.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • InFormed

      People have a habit of forgetting about the past that they don't like.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Michael

      thefiler07:

      You clearly don't know your American history. This country was founded first by Puritans and later the Pilgrims, who fled England and Holland because they were being hanged there because the secular political powers in those countries could not tolerate them. The first European inhabitants of this country were deeply religious and worked out a way to live alongside the native Americans. It was the secular people who followed them that plunged Europeans into combat with the native Americans, and later with the French and other Europeans who came to the New World to plunder it. George Washington - the ultimate Founding Father - was deeply religious, as was John Adams. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were religious, and the Declarations reference to a creator speaks to that. The one we all know who was a Deist - Thomas Jefferson - was an abusive slave-holder who clearly fathered children with one of his slaves, and died in great debt. We admire his writing ability, but we do not admire his personal behavior or principles (on contrast to George Washington, who is the ultimate in character, and who risked his own life for God and country). You can have your Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton and all the other reprobates who have served as our political leaders. I'll take the George Washingtons and Pilgrims and the rest of the Founding Fathers any day. It is their world view that made our country great and allowed it to prosper and flourish for over 200 years. Your anti-values and perverted world view are leading to the decline of our country.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Anon

      The christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun. ~Thomas Paine~ One of the founding fathers of the USA.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Michael

      You're the one who doesn't seem to know history. You said, "This country was founded first by Puritans and later the Pilgrims, who fled England and Holland because they were being hanged there because the secular political powers in those countries could not tolerate them." Yeah, the Church of England was very "secular" (heavy sarcasm here). You must have failed English at the same time you failed History or else you would know what the word secular means. And why are you picking on Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves. I seem to remember that the bible says owning slaves was ok. So you should really be praising him for following God's word right?

      October 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  12. Guess Whom I'mam?

    A reading from The New Book of Joel, Chapter 2, paragraphs 43-45:
    "While we boast egotistically of our freedoms and our democracy, however, most of us in the free world seem to have forgotten one very important detail about heaven. Heaven is a monarchy, not a democracy. Heaven is what it truly means to be one nation under God, and in this way it is also kind of like communism, socialism and the billions of cells making up a larger body – everyone has a role and a purpose to fill. This is why God created all of this for you; why He created our forms of governments and our body structures, why He created the arts and sciences, and why He shows us controversial political topics such as cloning, and in particular, abortion – because in heaven, the biggest controversy surrounds the question of who should and who should not possess the privilege of controlling life.
    On one side of the argument is the concern that a child which is born but not wanted would certainly begin life with a major disadvantage. The parents, or more likely – parent – is, in all likelihood, not going to be capable or even caring enough to provide the love and attention growing children need in order to develop and mature. Without a responsible parent as the child's primary role model, he or she is far more likely to fail or drop out of school, turn to drugs and crime and become a financial hindrance to society, either in the form of prison costs or welfare payments. On the other side of the argument is the question, what right do any of us have to judge whether or not life has the right to live? The responsibility of controlling life falls upon God because, for among many other reasons, even God knows that He should not have the right to judge whether or not life has the right to live, therefore He gives the right of choice to life itself – and that is why we are here.
    Our Mother Earth, or Zion, or whatever you prefer to call Her; She is God's answer to abortion. God does not wait for life to be born to judge whether or not we deserve the right to live. Instead, He does this prenatally, or in-vitro, but even God would tell you the responsibility of judging life is much more a burden than a blessing – like an expecting mother of twins with complications which force her to choose which of her unborn children to terminate in order to save the life of herself and the other child, even though she would gladly sacrifice her own life to save the both of them if it were only an option. We call God our Father and the Earth our Mother because we do not die and go to heaven, but rather, we are born into heaven. We are delivered from evil, which is why the LORD is so forgiving and so patient – because how can He reasonably expect any better of us when we are not even born yet?"

    To read more of The New Book of Joel, visit plusone4theheroes.org

    October 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "To read more of The New Book of Joel ..."
       
      But why?

      October 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • InFormed

      Pretty sure the most common interpretation of 'heaven' is best described as a Dictatorship or a Monarchy, with a ruling 'clan' defining the 'rules' who are no placed there by any democratic process.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  13. Stand against Corruption

    Did you know that gorilla's have 98% of our DNA? They only need 1 more and they can join the 99% just as long as they agree to be peaceful. Thank God for atheists I have never heard them declare or start an undeclared war in the name in God.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Don

      No, you've read about them killing millions of their own citizens, banning religion, imposing state over individual freedom and settng themselves up as complete dicators all while starting worldwide conflicts and subjecting other countries. Yep, athiest rulers are wonderful folk who deserve praise and admiration. And you think of yourself as informed? Human nature does not suddenly grow better with the removal of religions.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Doc4Subs

    The unfortunate truth is that the only reason that the Tea Party, evangelicals and other fringes (right or left) have any power is because too many fair thinking people of all political views fail to vote in every election. While those who embrace a discriminatory, exclusionary or fanatical views line up in a straight column and march in lock step to the polls. Voting in block as they are told by their particular leaders.... The "American Dream" encompasses all races, colors, creeds, orientations, religious views, atheism etc.... but it's survival rests on the assumption that all will chose to vote and contribute to Democracy! Complacency of the majority leads not to democracy but to power for the "bugnuts" of any flavor. In the entire known history of the world there has never been a successful theocracy because those at the top chose to stifle any free thought, innovation or personal growth, since they already know all the answers! So get out and VOTE!

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

      Agreed Doc

      October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Don

      Agree. To nitpick howerver, we are a particpatory Rebublic. One in which the power lies with the people and government is its servant. Not the other way around. More and more it seems we are moving to an oligarchy instead of a democracy.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  15. occcomputers

    The greatest most intelligent minds this world has ever seen BELIEVED IN GOD! Newton, Einstein and many others!! OR for a more modern current mind....lets take your very former ATHEIST LEADER! Tony Flew!! The worlds most well known ATHEIST!! Now believes in GOD!! He has specifically sighted his reasons why. Can any non-believer here contest this?!?!?!?!?!

    October 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have never heard of Tony Flew.

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

      I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

      October 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • soporifix

      You're putting exclamation points and question marks together. That directly contravenes the specific injunctions in Deuteronomy never to mix unlike things - different types of cloth, different plants in a field, and so on. Burn the witch!

      October 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • CN

      you should do some reading, occcomputers. while newton believed in god, he was against the roman catholic church and thought the pope was the antichrist. you see how you christians love each other so much. and einstein didn't believe in a personal god or a god that answered prayers, stating that the miraculous thing was that the natural order was never suspended.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Newton also believed in the occult. Does that mean you do, too? After all, he seems to be the guy you've decided should be able to make decisions for everyone else.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • TS

      The problem isn't individuals who believe in God; the problem is individuals who want to legislate the tenets of their holy book into law. Those 'great minds' you listed were not advocates of legislating religion into law. Unfortunately, modern evangelicals *are*.

      Just as Sharia law is a bad thing, so are the laws that the evangelicals push.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Anon

      Antony Flew's mind was affected by dementia at his old age.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Although I already answered here, I couldn't stop thinking of what an nonsensical statement the original post was. Why do I care what other people think? I don't believe in god, not because others don't believe, but because there is no evidence. Atheism isn't like religion. We don't need a leader or a guide book. All one needs to be an atheist is to not believe in god. Therefore, this Flew guy has absolutely no bearing on me.

      As for Newton, who knows what he actually believed, as during his lifetime there were laws against blasphemy which were punishable by imprisonment. A wise man generally kept his mouth shut about such matters. Perhaps he was a christian. Perhaps he wasn't. Neither scenario influences the fact that there is no proof that any god has ever existed.

      If you look at all of Einstein's quotes, instead of cherry picking the one that supports your position, you will see that he was an agnostic at best. Perhaps you should find a scientist who actually does believe in god to support your claims.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Joede

    The problem i have with most evangelicals (of ANY religion) is they operate out of fear. On the other hand, the few people I know who REALLY practice Christianity operate out of love. They, unlike the evangelicals do not seek the power through the state. They realize and practice the power of love. I think it was Jesus who suggested living like that and who recommended staying out of matters concerning the state. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”

    October 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Mary

    VERY big problem with Mohler's assertions: These extremist views lead to hate and division of the people, whereas secular views are focused on supporting and uniting the people. Even if his owns goals are positive, the outcome is still negative. Christianity is NOT the only religion in this country, but the evangelicals strive to run the nation as though it is.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Dan

      What extremist views? Dr. Mohler basically said that evangelicals are just people who struggle with the same issues that 'normal' voters do (supporting their families, how their worldview informs their politics, their stances on abortion, etc.). The only difference is they believe in Christ and want to tell the world about Him. "Telling the world about Him" doesn't necessarily mean legislating that people must go to church (although to some, it does). It just means that through their relationship/belief in Christ, they cherish life in a particular way that informs their political views.

      That's not to say the crazy evangelicals don't exist. The trouble is that the crazies get lumped in with the ones who mind their own business and this is used to create bias against the entire evangelical spectrum so that anything they do is automatically discredited in favor of the ones creating the bias. From reading your post, it seems like they're getting the job done in making you biased against evangies. You seem like a smart woman, though. You should know that you can't accurately generalize that a group as large as evangelicals are all 'extremists'. It's far from the truth and life just doesn't conform to those kinds of generalizations that way. Ever. There's a vast variety of opinions in the evangelical realm. Probably more than several that are identical to yours, aside from a few differences...if any. You know what you get for assuming.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  18. soporifix

    Furthermore, I find it amusing that the author uses majority public opinion to support evangelical questioning of the theory of evolution, yet fails to mention that greater majorities of the public support gay marriage and abortion rights.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Gio

    The books of the Bible were written by unknown outhors and compiled by Constantine 325AD at the Council of Nicea leaving out countless books that were not fitting to the political interests of the Emperor. That happened 1700 years ago yet the Evangelicals expect everybody in the world to live by this book, and those who dare not to do so are considered a treat to human kind. Are they dangerous? DUH!

    October 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • InFormed

      never a truer word was spoken. This is EXACTLY what happened.

      October 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • MightyMoo

      I always wondered why some books of the Bible were omitted. Then I think of that one scripture that talks about adding to the book and your screwed. It then says taking away from the book and your screwed as well. Why didn't they just put all the books together instead of omitting some?

      The other thing is the Bible is supposed to be the inspired word of God. Ok I can accept that but isn't it also true that the inspired word of God can be changed (added/removed from) over the years to suit the latest translations own interests? It's not like God has a printing press on Earth churning out stone tablets or hard back/soft back books these days. At least not one that is obvious to everyone.

      I have to ask these questions otherwise I wouldn't be honest to myself or God.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  20. bobcat2u

    The pure and simple answer is, it doesn't matter. All religions are the same in that their mantra is, if you don't believe the way I do, you're going to burn in hell. I mean, how can every religion be the only one to gaurantee salvation.
    You would think that the people would have noticed this consistency or should I say inconsistency, amongst the religions. Not every one can be only one.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ud

      bov cat,
      If you ever read this article again and find your comments has a reply that would be great. With all due respect you are violating the very principle of thinking properly. You might have got some philosophy of escaping details and running into flimsy conclusions. All religions are not the same if that were true there could have been ridiculous as i have studied details i can say they don't all say that there is a hell and heaven. Hinduism has no concept of heaven and hell as there is reincarnation, Budhism says you have to escape from the cycle of suffering by killing desire, Islam you get virgins in heaven if you do the sharia there is a partial concept that all religions will go to hell, Bahai says all prophets speak the same that's not true at all. Judaism claims there is no Jesus yet there is no messaih at all till today.

      It seems the conclusion is, you are atheist so you have the right to say all are same. Thats illogical and if you are not sure don't just throw useless concepts which you haven't studied properly. Study yourself first in the light of truth thru Jesus.
      Bobcat have a nice day!

      October 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • pfft

      haha, as if christianity's claims about an "afterlife" aren't as pompous and unsubstantiated.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      @Ud
      You have obviously took my statement out of context. Let me clarify for you. All CHRISTIAN religions preach the same mantra. Now does that make you feel better.
      And one further point. No I am not atheist. I'm more agnostic, which means i don't believe or disbelieve. I hope thats not to much for your brain to handle. And in my 60 some years, I have studied with many different religions just for the satisfaction to know how they operate.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:48 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.