home
RSS
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. Agnostic for Democracy

    While there is nothing wrong with believing Christian dogma, or any religious doctrine for that matter.. One has to remember there is a difference between one's professional life and one's personal life. I would have no problem having an evangelical politician if they could separate the religious portion of their lives (the personal) from the professional version. The majority of Americans are not evangelical. That means much of the religious doctrine behind evangelicalism may not fall into the purview of the majority of Americans. I would not want to peer into a politician's bedroom or their chapel. I personally disagree with most religions for various reasons, but that is not the issue here. The main problem with evangelical politicians that I see, want to force their own "social" issues that are not held by the majority of Americans. Let's take the evolution versus intelligent design debate. The intelligent design doctrine pushes a christian style form of intelligent designer. It doesn't suggest multiple designers from a religion such as greek-roman tradition or Norse. It also doesn't suggest less-coherent deities in a Wicca/Shamanistic sense. That suggests an ulterior motive. That in on itself is reason enough for me to avoid politicians with that agenda.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Since the majority of americans do not believe in nontheistic evolution, what is your point?

      October 17, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Melissa

      I agree... seperation of Church and State. No religion should influence the professional decision. Unfortunately it does. This is the core problem right now. However, the debate should be no matter a person's religious beliefs, do you care about the well-being of your friends, family, neighbors. The poor, the unemployed and those who wreak large fortunes upon the backs of the few. Do you care about the meek the suffering?

      It doesn't matter if you are christian or not. This is the basic tenent of life: care for others.

      If this offends you because a person is not a christian then shame on you because you have just violated one of the 10 commandments: love thy neighbor

      I understand this to mean love is unconditional, whether the person is christian or not. And that a person is not to condemn another for not being christian.

      Sound familiar?

      October 17, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Melissa

      BTW God created Darwin to Explain our existence.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • dg

      One point may be that even though christians, who may be in the majority, who do not believe in evolution does not make intelligent design right any more than christians who owned salves in the past with Gods ok makes slavery right. Just because a majority is for something doesn't make it right. This is where logic and reasoning become powerful tools to make a decision that is in the best interest of mankind as a whole. To base such a decision on one religions beliefs sets a tone for prejudice against any other and this is not right, thus one of the reasons the seperation of church and state is so right.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:29 am |
  2. Louis Faihild

    I love that underground song by the Beatles. Not many know about it. It was their corollary to the song with the lyrics "Love, love, love...." The lyrics in the little known song are "Wrath, wrath, wrath..." I sell copies if anyone is interested. Let me know. Thanks..

    October 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  3. Louis Faihild

    The question is this: what is the point?
    And the point is that Jesus Christ was really on this earth, really lived a perfect life, really died upon a cross, and really rose from the dead. This is the point. Everything else is fluff. In fact, everything else may as well be pasta, which is eaten, and digested and either used by the body, which will eventually die, and be raised to heaven or hell, or gone out of the body through regular bodily processes. Is Christ a stumbling stone to you? Or is he who he said he was, which he backed up by his miracles and resurrection? This is the point.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • and895

      Rock ON!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Get Real

      "...is he who he said he was, which he backed up by his miracles and resurrection?"

      If he was an all-knowing "God", he would not have "backed it up" with writings which are so easily disputed, mistranslated, mistranscribed, misunderstood and misinterpreted. It's a lousy job of evidence.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Scott - 1

      “And the point is that Jesus Christ was really on this earth really lived a perfect life, really died upon a cross, and really rose from the dead”
      And your evidence for this is…?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  4. Melissa

    Gee, according to Reality Check I am not allowed an observation, but apparently it is OK for other's to IMPOSE their VALUES upon ME....... a little hypocritical don't you think?

    October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • ThisMann

      Then vote against their measures. That doesn't mean they can't vote for them.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Melissa, all he is stating is that your goal is the same as the evangelicals and pretty much the same as every other person on the planet.

      Most if given the ability would desire for those that think differently than them to convert and accept our way of thinking.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Melissa

      I was raised Evangelical. I left because of the hypocracy. Do on one day that will benefit thus, and confess on another because it hasn't.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Melissa

      P.S. read my first post

      October 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • reality check

      well stated Mark.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Joanna

      Funny how that works huh?

      October 17, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  5. Louis Faihild

    There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: a rock and roll star after a concert, a participant on Dancing with the Stars, a senator at a fundraiser, and a Wall Street Wookie.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  6. Mr Chihuahua

    The Evangelicals' days are numbered cause they eat too much fried food! Faith won't save you from hypertension "the Silent Killer," so keep on prayin' and keep on eatin' those chicken fried steaks and biscuits and gravy, dummies! so all your hearts explode and you become extinct like Velociraptor lol!

    October 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bev

      your ad hominem attacks only reveal the weakness of your own argument...your vitriolic hatred is actually quite sad and reveals the emptiness of your own heart.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • dg

      Funny bev... you do the same as the one you castigate.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  7. PCK

    For the record, evolution is set in stone. They are fossils.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Dom

      The devil placed those in the stone to trick you LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      October 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Interestingly, the fossil record does not support Darwinian evolution. Darwin himself knew this at the time, but believed future fossil finds would fill in the gaps and show the missing links. It hasn't and it won't, since God didn't create the links. Creation: 1, Evolution: 0.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      Sorry SciGuy, you need to think about changing your name. First of all, every fossil that we have is a transitional fossil. So we're talking hundreds of thousands for science, religion 0.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • SciGuy

      Hahahaha, chickybaby, never takes long. I am a full blown scientist working as a scientist, so my screen name shall remain. You who think that science rules out God and Intelligent Design need to awaken from your slumber. True science is a search for truth, and the obvious (from nature) fact that there must be an eternal self-existent One means that science must account for his existence. Get over it.

      Sincerely,
      SciGuy

      October 17, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Get Real

      SciGuy,

      You keep working on it then. Get back to us when your proof has been peer reviewed. You will be famous. Until then the default position is *not* goddidit.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • SciGuy

      GetReal, your honesty is commendable. Most so-called scientists today assume your admittedly default position of "no God." That is an irrational position, but of course you are free to take it. But understand that being irrational does not make you scientific. Quite the opposite.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • dg

      Most scientists default to belief in no god due to there being no evidence of a god other than the words of man.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • BioArtChick

      Perhaps you should consider a career change then, because your skills as a scientist need some work.Just because you're a scientist doesn't mean you're right about there not being any transitional fossils.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • tallulah13

      If SciGuy is indeed a scientist, I would guess him to be a meteorologist or something unrelated to the topic of paleontology, because he sounds like he doesn't have the first clue about evolution.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @: SciGuy: “Interestingly, the fossil record does not support Darwinian evolution…. Creation: 1, Evolution: 0.” I dispute your contention; but, even if you were right how does that count as anything for creationism?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Scott - 1

      @SciGuy: “… I am a full blown scientist working as a scientist…True science is a search for truth, and the obvious (from nature) fact that there must be an eternal self-existent” So you have redefined science so you can call yourself a scientist. If you’re not using the scientific method you’re not doing science

      October 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  8. Dom

    Any religious fanatic is DANGEROUS. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT NO MATTER WHAT ALL RELIGIOUS FANATICS ARE DANGEROUS. RELIGION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SO MUCH SUFFERING IN HISTORY AS WELL AS THE PRESENT DAY. THOSE SO CALLED "MISSIONS" ARE JUST AS BAD REGARDLESS OF THE GOOD THEY CLAIM TO DO.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Going full cap-lock just makes you look stupid no matter which side of the debate you are on.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Dom

      Perhaps but I'm drunk so you see caps I see no caps

      October 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • reality check

      Atheists Stalin and Pol Pot responsible for 85-100 million dead?...no your right, the Christians are who we need to worry about.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Mr Chihuahua

      lol!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Dom

      Those are two atheists compared to the billions slaughtered in the name of a higher power over the past 800 years and not to mention the dark ages. Basically 400 years of stagnant technological/scientific development thanks to dogmatic rhetoric.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Dom

      Also for the record I consider political doctrine to be just as dangerous and deadly as religious doctrine. Stalin and Pol Pot were communists they used their power over individuals who were most likely to follow them to their advantage. Those who weren't willing to follow them were slaughtered sounds very similar to all the things humans have done to corrupt religion throughout human history does it not? Religion is a human construct just like society is which is exactly why it is so easily corrupted by human individuals.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Melissa

      It just completely boggles my mind that people do not remember the Crusades...

      October 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Dom

      Melissa it has nothing to do with them forgetting them, in fact it's the christian equivalent to a jihad. What should blow your mind even more than that is the fact that these people are so blind to their own hypocrisy.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • reality check

      Um, the world population didn't hit 2 billion until about 1930...your not just pulling numbers out of the air are you?? I'm sure you have sources nevermind.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Dom

      My point exactly, religious fanatics can't even comprehend addition over time.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • BioArtChick

      Yeah, there may not have been a billion alive at once up until recent history, but I'm pretty sure that if you add it up, it probably exceeds a billion– in fact there are a few sources online that say approximately 15 billion people have ever been born. You're not understanding what is being asserted, reality check.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Dom

      How could 15 billion have been born if you believe the world has only existed for 6,000 years? lol

      October 17, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • SciGuy

      Dom, seems like it wouldn't be hard at all. If Adam and Eve had four, two boys and two girls, and they paired up and had two each, and so on, and this happened only every sixty years, we'd have 2^100 = much much more than 15 billion. So in fact, looks like the problem is in your court. How could we have only had 15 billion born in the long time spans dictated by evolution?

      October 17, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • What IF

      @SciGuy,

      You forgot that it went back down to 8 with ol' Noah and fam...

      October 17, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Dom

      sciguy take your math and logic elsewhere ^^

      October 17, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • dg

      Did god create dinosaurs before or after creating humans? If the gods creation time line is only 5000-6000 years old and there is evidence of man existing at the same time as dinosaurs, were the dinosaurs around in noahs time? And if they were how would noah have ever been able to build a ship large enough to accommodate all the the dinosaurs and animals in existance? Evolution has more evidence and seems infinitely more plausible than creationism. Plus much of science relies on repeated results in multiple experiments and not faith, so how do you account for your beliefs in the scientific method and your faith (iow just believing something because you feel it is right or because a book written by men and unproven that it was divine inspired).

      October 17, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @ reality check: ” Atheists Stalin and Pol Pot responsible for 85-100 million dead?” Your right. We need to watch out for all forms of religion including communism which Is just another instance of ridged theology, dogma and totalitarian repression.; just like all the other religions

      October 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  9. Radu

    For Mohammad,
    I think you are wrong.
    I have one question for you... Who attacked USA on 9.11? I bet there ware not Christians.
    Who are persecuted in Middle East? The Christians. In Middle East Christians are persecuted, killed because they believe in Jesus. So how cam you say Christians are terrorists?
    And one more think, USA is not a State.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Tyler

      Christians killed millions in the Crusades, hundreds of thousands in the witch hunts, millions more during the Inquisition, hundreds of thousands in the Catholic concentration camps in World War 2, hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, and hundreds of thousands during the Rwandan massacres, to cite a few of the better-know examples. Just how many people do you need to kill to be considered a terrorist?

      October 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Melissa

      Agree Tyler, sorry didn't see your post before I posted mine.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  10. Phil Ologus

    From reading these comments one would come to the conclusion that a majority of the people here have mistaken this for an "atheist blog" or a "disbelief blog" - not a "religion blog" or a "belief blog". Yet the URL clearly says it's a "religion" blog, and the webpage headings clearly say "belief". Now... on three... attack me . . . 1 . . . 2 . . .

    October 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Louis Faihild

      Phil, I am an atheist. I stopped believeing in god when he tried to kill me. I think I should be able to express my opinion here. I am a gay man, but I don't judge others.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Louis Faihild

      I am a magnet, I attract all sorts of metals. the previous reply was by one of those metals; a lot of work has gone into souring my good name. I am not gay. I believe in and follow Jesus. This is a crazy piece of wood who tried to impersonate me. I am the real wood.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  11. Della Kruger

    they want to play politics/ pay taxes like everyone else!!!

    October 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Does that include all of the unions that endorse candidates each election or candidates that go and speak at charity events?

      Gotta be fair to all tax exempt groups.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Bev

      We do – we also contribute to the government waste like Solyndra.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  12. Louis Faihild

    For this country to be, it had to have a beginning. For this country to cease, it will have to have an ending. Those who initiated this country were overwhelmingly Christian in their religiousness. Why do the heathen believe they can keep something going which was started by their opposites? It makes no sense at all. But, this is typical of infidels.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Melissa

      Umm, you might want to do some more research on those who helped shaped this country. Most were NOT christian.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Louis Faihild

      Sorry. Fail.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      Your post leads to me to believe that how you think the country began is not in fact how it began, as evidenced by the existence of the first amendment. Although I do take your point– to begin the legal premise of our country one way and then to transition to another (secular -> religious) is indeed very dangerous.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Melissa

      Yep you did!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • dg

      A countries in ability to change will lead to its downfall more quickly than a country that is open to and can change. Thus, a country may be very different than how it began. Just like the USA, how people do most every thing other than biological functions has changed in many respects even the christian religion.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  13. Adam C

    99% of the comments on here are highly subjective ad hominem attacks on Christians or secular progressives – one side falsely characterizing and attacking another. Don't bother wasting your time reading these comments. Christians are good people. NonChristians are good people. The problem is – I don't think good people go to heaven. (The Bible teaches that)

    October 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Phil Ologus

      So true in ALL regards! In the past I have come here from time to time. But after reading through the venomous attacks here tonight, I have resolved to not return. (I know, I know... "good riddance" comes to me from the majority.) So, carry on Adam C!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      Its not about good people versus bad people. Its about reality vs wishful thinking, faith vs reason, liberty vs dogma. If you think the ideas of religion are immune from criticism, I think you may need to consider growing a pair, because people are tired of keeping their mouths shut just to keep you from misunderstanding the intent or taking things personally when it is obviously not the intention.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • reality check

      BioArtChick...please watch your language. There are ladies reading these comments.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      I don't recall being explicit... rather implicit. Nice way to duck the argument by the way. And believe me, the ladies can handle it.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • and895

      and children as well 🙂

      October 17, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  14. Melissa

    It isn't that EC's are 'bad', it is that they SHOVE their doctrin down the throats of everyone they meet. Leave religion out of politics and out of my face!

    October 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • reality check

      Melissa, quit imposing your values on us...

      October 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Bev

      Melissa – freedom of expression applies to ALL – including Christans. Your intolerance for any opinion other than your own is quite undemocratic

      October 17, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • dg

      Bev, freedom of expression is for all but than so should tolerance for others beliefs and evangelical christians show are exhibiting a lack of tolerance for others beliefs by constantly trying to get nonchristians to convert. If christians don't want gays hitting on them than they shouldn't be hitting up others to become christians.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  15. Louis Faihild

    13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

    14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

    15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

    16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

    17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

    18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • God

      Louis, you son of a bi.t.ch. I thought I killed you. How DARE you defy me. Back to your grave from whence you came.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Louis Faihild

      Are you from the 17th century? What's with this word "whence"?

      October 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  16. zip

    Is the average person even aware that virgin births, crucifixions, resurrections and eternal life were part of religions long before Christianity was even on the radar??

    October 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • reality check

      Translation: I watches Zeitgeist and i am smart!!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      I am so impressed with that fantastic rebuttal, reality check!!!!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • reality check

      You own it on VHS don't you? I'm sorry ArtChick...didn't mean to offend.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  17. JoJo

    Yeah, they want to teach children that they are going to burn in hell without Christ and that the earth is 5000 years old. Not dangerous at all.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  18. JP0

    Sure they're dangerous. They want to make US law conform to their religious beliefs. That's dangerous for anyone who doesn't agree with them and dangerous for democracy. God protect me from the christians.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      What happens when they state what is good for the country is their view? The same argument that you give is the same as theirs. What do you do when both sides or many sides declare that they are doing what is right.

      Also if they run for office and win the election is this not democracy? isn't this like saying that Hamas is bad for democracy but it is proven that they won the popular vote? Can democracy only exist when the people that represent our own personal views get elected?

      October 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  19. cyberCMDR

    The writer seems to have forgotten what evangelical means. Evangelicals evangelize, pushing their beliefs onto others. This includes trying to prevent evolution from being taught in schools which is one reason why so many Americans doubt it (they were never rally taught it properly). Evangelists demonize those who don't fit their view of "good people", meaning that Muslims, gays and other groups are valid targets for harassment and bullying. They don't go into a room and pray in private as Jesus taught; they make their beliefs (and the beliefs of others) public issues instead of private ones. In their minds this is perfectly justifiable, because they are doing "God's work".

    October 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Susan

      Why are you so hateful? I was on the fence but now I've decided to become a Christian thanks to your post that lacked love...thank you for opening my eyes.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Tyler

      Whereas the atrocities that Christians have committed in the last 2000 years, of which the crusades, the witch hunts and pedophile priests are only the tip of the iceberg, are not hateful at all. Of course, Susan, allying yourself with that group is the loving and compassionate thing to do.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • dg

      Susan, that has to be one of the most mor.onic reasons to do something, just because one person doesn't present something in a manner you agree with. I am fine with christians following what do consider to be quite unbelievable beliefs. Believing in aliens is no more fantasy than believing I virgin births, people ising from death after being dead three days, or stories that relate if we don't accpet these fantasical stories you will spend the evrlasting life in hell and that there is only one way to do this. But the problem comes in when christians ignore facts, evolution has more facts behind it than one supreme being doing so. Yes, there are theories in evolution that haven't been competely proven but more has been proven than has with christianity's ideas of the worlds creation. Christians are dangerous to me because they limit my ability to live my life to the fullest, try to adopt legislation that stops me from making choices based on my own beliefs, ie: abortion, my ability to smoke marijuana instead od drink alcohol (science proving alcohol to be much more dangerous than pot) and other such ridicluousness. Let me live my life without interference and allow everyone equal access to civil rights including gays. Christians want gays to live without the rights they have and they justify this with their beleifs. Just sad, wrong and dangerous... gay people die because of the proliferation of christians who want to deny them their rights and push their children to believe such people don't deserve the same rights as everyone else.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Susan

      you just called me a moron and you told me how you like to smoke pot and live fast and loose...I think I fit in with the christians more than with your crew...thanks though.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • dg

      It doesn't matter who you fit in with the best. It is a matter of what you consider in making your decisions, which in your case is what someone says other than what is actually in your best interest or the most logical or rational. So you want to be in a group that does not tolerate those that live different than yourself. This isn't freedom whatsoever and remember christians were once in the place of people like me. I also I really don't live loose or to smoke pot. I smoke pot occasionally because it alleviates issues I have with pain and the inabilityy to eat due to anxiety and has less side effects than the drugs doctors want to give me, in fact my doctor agrees with my decision to smoke pot rather than take drugs. Your choosing to be part of an intolerant group is one of the problems of this country and leads to the erosion of freedom and civil rights.

      October 17, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  20. JP0

    Sure their dangerous. The want to make US law conform to their religious beliefs. That's dangerous for anyone who doesn't agree with them and dangerous for democracy. God protect me from the christians.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • JP0

      erase erase erase

      October 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • ThePrankster

      The very nature of democracy is that you believe the law should conform to your beliefs because they are superior to that of the opposition. Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, all do the same thing. A religious upbringing effects your worldview. To believe that one persons view is inferior to yours, you are doing the same thing that they are doing. So don't act all high, and mighty about you being morally superior to somebody voicing their opinion.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • BioArtChick

      Um...Prankster, there ARE indeed correct answers to questions, and not all opinions are informed or backed by thoughtful reason or evidence. All opinions are not on equal footing. There are two kinds of people in this scenario– the ones who assert their correctness out of conviction alone, and others who take the time to present a rational argument. And I'm sorry, faith is never going to be a good reason for anything when it comes to someone who doesn't value faith (defined as belief without consideration of evidence). Right in the real world and right in your imagination are two completely different things. So you're welcome to be upset by people who obviously have convictions that will win over yours in a rational debate, but it only makes you look ignorant. Sorry.

      October 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • ThePrankster

      Thank BioArtChick for proving the point that I was making flawlessly. You have a different opinion then mine, and are speaking down to me already, because you believe that you are 100% correct in your opinions. Also, it is good to know that you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Labeling all Christians as ignorant, and lost in their own imaginations. My convictions do have meaning, not that you would find them the least bit interesting, because you have already told me that you have written anything I have to say off. It doesn't matter if I did have evidence to support my faith at this point, because you don't care. Thank you again for proving my initial point with your rebuttal.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • BioArtChick

      Good thing I have my post in writing, so that other people can go back and see the blatant mis-characterization of my argument that you've asserted. In no way did I label all Christians as ignorant– I labeled the behavior as ignorant: to reiterate, when the argument from faith fails in a rational debate, it makes you look ignorant. Because faith is not an intellectual position, it is a spiritual one based on hunches, feeling, dogma etc. that excludes evidence and reason. And yes, ignorance is can be dangerous. Now, there are many Christians that can manage a private faith while believing in evolution and keeping law out of people's bedrooms. Evangelicals cannot seem to do that, and it based on the strength of their conviction in their faith that so happens to include a mandate to spread that particular religion to the rest of the world. Not all Christians fit this bill.

      I think where our lines may be crossing is that I don't value faith, and you do. I value evidence that can be backed up by reason, statistics and probability, and you don't, because you give faith the priority in determining what is right and wrong. Some Christians find a balance. You obviously don't. But don't get upset when I call you ignorant, because it is an accurate statement.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • BioArtChick

      BTW, every dictionary available defines faith as belief without consideration of evidence. Feel free to go look it up. I've already posted it once here. There in fact is no evidence for any position of faith, and if you've been told there is, then you've been misled.

      I think its completely unfair to be redefining words. If you religious folks want your own dictionary, perhaps you religious folks should think about publishing one so that we can hypothetically be on the same page when we have these discussions.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • ThePrankster

      Your skirting around the issue saying that we look ignorant, and are behavior is ignorant. When someone is exhibiting a particular behavior, no one says that person appears to be sad, or that person looks as if they are happy. The majority of human kinds takes a persons state and says they are. Chris is Happy, Rebekah is sad. In this case, lets call a spade, a spade. Based on your arguments thus far, you believe Christians to be ignorant of the facts surrounding them. Your worldview states that there is no evidence to support a God. Christians believe in something that they cannot see, or prove, therefore they must be ignorant of the facts that support my worldview. Seeing as how we are grasping at definitions. Here is the one for ignorant.

      ig•no•rant/ˈignərənt/
      Adjective:
      Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
      Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: "ignorant of astronomy".
      Your original argument is the exact definition of the word. Don't call me ignorant, when you appear to be allergic to definitions.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • ThePrankster

      In reference to calling me ignorant, all you have done is support my initial point that you could care less about a Christians view. It is the very nature of Democracy that you think your opinion is superior to theirs and that is fine. Regardless of the merits my view may have. Secondly, you have already deemed me the enemy in this argument, and could care less about my convictions, and any evidence, or reason supporting them. Instead you back pedal and try to rationalize what you originally said. However, as shown you called us ignorant. I had yet to insult you, but only pointed out that you could care less, which by your omission to counter I can only assume is true. So, all you have done is prove my initial points, call me ignorant, and say that I could have no rational belief (in your world view) for why I believe in God.
      So, let me get this straight you have insulted me, when I put a fact out there about democracy. And, demonized me for having an opinion that is opposite of yours, when I didn’t even mention Christianity in the beginning.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • BioArtChick

      Your positions are in fact ignorant. You tell me that you have both faith and evidence which is completely contradictory. And then you get angry when apparently I'm not listening to your evidence– really??? I haven't seen any.

      To boot, you have absolutely nothing of substance to say in rebuttal. No evidence, nothing that even makes sense. All I'm hearing is a complaint about how I'm being judgemental because your pride got bruised, when in fact, the entire crux of my argument has been to call a spade a spade. You're basically taking the position of "Nuh uh" because you're so entrenched that you couldn't possibly fathom changing your mind for a second. This is another point that helps to prove my point about your ignorance.

      Me telling you that your position stems from ignorance has nothing to do with my willingness to know things about Christianity. The two points are completely unrelated, and I find it comical that you seem to think you know my intentions when they have not been expressed on this subject. If you'd like to know, I am in fact very interested in knowing as much as I can about Christianity. I listen to AFR and watch Fox, TBN, I even got to church.I am begging to be proven wrong on this subject because I think the idea of a God would be fabulous, and would provide a lot of comfort. It would also align me with my family and my community. Its not easy being part of such a reviled minority. But I refuse to simply take someone's word for it, and whats worse, is to accept that there is any human being on the face of this planet who could know the mind of any hypothetical God.

      I personally don't think that all Christians are ignorant, just the fundamentalist/evangelicals, and yes, I consider them to be synonymous. The reason I believe this is because if they were indeed of the implications of what they say, they would have to concede to their faith being contradictory to the current state of reality. And so they ignore it, choose not to engage in science, rationality, critical thinking, evidence, and they demonize intellectuals and call them elites. They deny the fact of evolution, don't understand the meaning of a scientific theory, deny climate change, and then feel compelled to assert these ideas as facts based on evidence when they are anything but. If there ever was an appropriate time to use the word ignorant, it is here.

      Note also that my "worldview", or rather reality states that there is no evidence that would allow a rational person to come to the conclusion that God exists. And I have not seen any argument that comes close to proving this wrong despite my search and hope that it exists.

      Lastly, I did not intend to insult you directly, but merely your ideas and your way of thinking. I wish no harm to you at all. But I wish your ideas and your ignorance would die a painful death and free you to exercise the potential of the mind you have the privilege of possessing.

      I find it so interesting that evangelicals in particular assert objectivity and relativity in the same breath by claiming persecution when their ideas are criticized. Your religion asserts a truth to which you ascribe, and at the same time, you try to chastise me for challenging you on it. 😀 Its a good chuckle.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • BioArtChick

      In 4th paragrah- if they were indeed AWARE of the implications...

      October 17, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • ThePrankster

      Let me put it as blunt as I possibly can be. If you indeed are interested in Christianity you should make that more clear as opposed to assuming that all Christians can not have reason or evidence to support their beliefs. I will start to use the word beliefs, because the word faith and evidence seem to be contradictory in your mind. When in reality you are arguing semantics, and not focusing on the heart of the issue.

      Your right, I have had nothing to say in rebuttal to defending my faith, because the original argument was not about me proving Christianity to you. And, that is in fact still the argument. The original argument I had was basically, nobody actually believes in Democracy. People believe that everyone else's point is stupid when they have an established set of views, and no one should listen to anyone else's. You came in and said that there is a right, and wrong point. Which inherently proved my original point.

      You then went on to say that belief in a higher power and reason/evidence are incompatible. Why would I even argue the evidence of Christianity with you, when you have already come out and said that it is impossible? It is a waste of my time to argue points of Christianity when you basically said that you have already made up your mind. Your right, I don’t know your intentions. So, don’t call us ignorant, and use your words to make me assume you are hostile to people who have beliefs right off the bat. I may have not made that inference, had you not basically called us all ignorant to start off with. See the dictionary definition of ignorant again, if you have any question about your original post.

      I also find that its funny that you can make a blanket statement that Evangelicals/Fundamentalists are the same, when in reality they are very different. Yet, I can't make a blanket statement about faith being compatible with evidence, because semantics are more of a concern for you, when in reality they aren't when it comes to your own opinions.

      You also go on to say that you would love to believe there was an actual God. But you said, and I quote. "Note also that my "worldview", or rather reality states that there is no evidence that would allow a rational person to come to the conclusion that God exists." HOLY CRAP!! Make up your mind! You talk about me being close minded, when in one paragraph you say that you would actually be interested, and in the very next one saying that it is impossible.
      I am assuming that you think I am in line with the majority of the “Righteous Right”, when in reality I cannot be any further. I am a Libretarian, and believe in individual freedom, and as little government intervention as possible.
      Finally, if you actually are interested in Christianity you are looking in the world’s worst areas for a decent view of Christianity. TBN, and FOX are terrible. As a professing Christian I don't want to have anything to do with either of them. Lee Strobel wrote, The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator are excellent resources. He was actually an atheist turned Christian.

      C.S. Lewis was also an atheist turned Christian as well. He wrote Mere Christianity, and the Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory to Scripture. He was originally an atheist.

      There is also Michael J. Behe who wrote Darwin's Black Box, he wrote Darwin's Black Box. He says there are major biochemical issues surrounding Evolution. He is indeed not a Christian, but a deist.
      I am still not arguing Christianity yet, as I have yet to present any evidence. I am merely providing you with resources, if you indeed are interested in Christianity.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81
Advertisement
About this blog

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