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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. David Johnson

    If abortion is illegal, women will seek back alley remedies.

    We, as a society, must take away as many of the reasons women seek abortions as possible.
    We need to make adoption easier and make it financially possible for a woman to keep and care for her baby.

    Obama has a program to do this. More needs to be done, but with the Republicans controlling the House, funds won't be forthcoming. But, there may be money appropriated, to force women to carry a child conceived by ra_pe or incest to term. If the product of incest is born with webbed feet...well, it is all part of god's great plan. Like babies born without brains...

    Most of all, we need to make birth control available free of charge, to all women. The health care bill passed in 2010 (Obamacare) does this. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

    Hmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

    Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

    Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

    Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

    Girls who are babies themselves, are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

    If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/babies, abortion wouldn't be needed.

    The Christian god is said to be all knowing (Omniscient). If this is true, then god would know the gift (a child), that He is giving, will die.

    And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

    God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist... I guess He is just really, really hidden.

    We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control. The Religious Right wants only abstinence taught. But then again, the Religious Right wants the kids to learn about talking snakes and trees that impart knowledge and eternal life. *sigh*

    We will never totally eradicate abortions. Only a god could do that, and he either does not care, or does not exist.

    Cheers!

    October 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Goodness in the midst of utter evil

      "We need to make adoption easier."

      and

      "Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

      Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child."

      I couldn't agree more on you DJ!

      See how mysterious God works? He has enlightened you thought you don't know it.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Goodness in the midst of utter evil

      I meant though not "thought"

      October 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Solomon

      October 19, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  2. myklds

    Everybody must have equal rights, including the unborn.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Ok, lets lower the voting age then yeah? Maybe for every confirmed pregnancy we can shove ballot up there to aquaint this unborn fetus with the rights it has in the womb. After that, lets also extend those rights to the dead as well, then elections could be really interesting right? I mean the unborn and the dead are supposedly in the same place at this point and so should both have an equal say. Shall we allow GW and TJ and the rest of the founding fathers vote in the next election?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • AtrociAtheist

      OK, everybody has the right to be born except atheists.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Duh!

      "OK, everybody has the right to be born except atheists"

      Great example of what is wrong with religious people.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Joe Bauers

      AtrociAtheist:

      ALL babies are born without knowledge of a god(s) - agnostic. They have to be taught. They have to be carefully taught... whatever nonsense, with NO verified evidence, that the 'teacher' comes up with.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • myklds

      @Joe Bauers you said and I quote, "ALL babies are born without knowledge of a god(s) – agnostic."

      That's what you believe and I would respect it. Meanwhile, allow me to share mine. I believe that parents are just procreator and that God is the primary creator of all life and all things. Hence, humans for me humans are born theists.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • myklds

      @chucles and joe bauers

      Yeah, and they have a boxing champ President and use gatorade to water their plants. But....the post/reply above in my name was not mine. I don't know what his/her motive behind using my moniker. But it's his/her call.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense. As are all your posts, mykids. Learn the difference between "chose" and "choose".

      October 21, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  3. AtrociAtheist

    Since atheists are advocating abortion, they must make it mandatory ONLY for them. They don't deserve to be born at the very start.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Joe Bauers

      There truly is a danger of "Idiocracy" coming true if the low IQ religionists are the only ones who reproduce!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Actually, pro-choice is advocating for the CHOICE of abortion, but thats ok anyways, considering the people who get the most abortions are self-identified christians. I guess you guys are just gluttons for self-inflicted punishment though.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • BRC

      That would certiainly be an efficient population control method, as no fetus has any knowledge or belief in deities, so by definition could all be considered athiest (although I'd recommend we call them all agnostics or the dene pool is going to dry up real fast). I think most people would also disagree with the measure, even us nasty atheists who want people to have control over their own bodies, but I could be wrong.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • AtrociAtheist

      @Joe

      Intelligence only brings good things when good people use it in good ways.

      Atrocracy will be most likely to reign when intelligent atheists who think accountability to no one other than themselves.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • AtrociAtheist

      Atrocracy will be most likely to reign when intelligent atheists who think accountability to no one other than themselves are allowed to reproduced.

      Mandatory abortion must be enforced but ONLY to atheists.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Duh!

      "Atrocracy will be most likely to reign when intelligent atheists who think accountability to no one other than themselves."

      LOL I think you meant Autocracy but either way your unintelligent response shows exactly what is wrong with religion. Uh Duh moron you're belief in one god is autocracy and the world has gone to crap. The world you claim your god built but out of your lack of respect for that said god – you trashed the place.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • BRC

      @AtrociAtheist,
      I'm not sure of your specific religious leaning, but if it is in any way evangelical, I'd like to thank you for providing the article's leading question with an emphatic yes.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • myklds

      "LOL I think you meant Autocracy but either way your unintelligent response shows exactly what is wrong with religion."

      @duh!

      I don't usually sp-o-onfeed my students but I'm generous enough to consider special child, I mean..special cases as yours. Open your mouth Einstein!

      My (word) Atrocracy was meant to match Joe's "Idiocracy".

      It INFORMALLY means- a form of government that runs by atrocious people (like atheists). On the other hand,

      Joe's word "idiocracy" which INFORMALLY means- a form of government that runs by the idiots and for the idiots like you. DUH!

      But anyway, I would retract my first post. I've been wrong to generalize all atheist. It should be specifically for intelligent atheist only. Your specie is exempted.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @mykids

      Idiocy all around, I think you need to watch some TV and understand that Joe was actually referring to a movie called "idiocracy", once you get that, things will fall into place. Ya dig?

      October 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Joe Bauers

      Atroci/myk,

      "Idiocracy" is a MOVIE... about how a couple of average-IQ subjects, who were experimentally frozen in the early 21th century, wake up 500 years in the future and find that they are the smartest people on Earth, and the place is run by low IQ idiots, who were the only ones who reproduced. It is a hilarious movie... and sort of frightening at the same time.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • myklds

      Yeah, and they have a boxing champ President and use gatorade to water their plants. But....the post/reply above using my name was not mine. I don't know what his/her motive behind of imitating my moniker. But it's his/her call.

      October 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  4. David Johnson

    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.

    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 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Realty

      @David

      You are nothing but a second rate trying hard COPY PASTE!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @REALITY

      You said: "Realty

      You are nothing but a second rate trying hard COPY PASTE!

      Gee, and I've been nice to you. I won't make that mistake again.

      I have pasted this before, but they are "facts" I have garnered and contain no direct quotes, not cited.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @DJ

      Nice post !

      Peace...

      October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      DJ.
      Hi there, i have not read that but assume it being a nice post since "Peace2All" certified to that and I can take his word for it. By the way the commentator above is not exactly our "Reality" that we know but rather find him be one with out an "I" and written as Realty and not Reality...! Any how even our dear Reality is a cut and paste fun just as I was or I am...Cheers 😉

      October 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      Correction....replace "Fun" with "Fan". Sorry

      October 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Reality

      Dave,

      Reality here, not REALTY i.e. I did not make the above comment.

      Muneef,

      Copy and Paste? No, tis reiteration of facts or the conclusions of those trained in the fields of theology and/or history to make a point as reiteration is an important learning and teaching tool.

      October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Reality

      @Dave

      I could care less if you've been good to me or not! Just don't steal my trademark here in CNN or I sue you for piracy.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Ha ha ha 😉
      That's the Reality I know... As hard solid as a rock...
      Any way pray for me Reality thing we hear will get much worse now in the coming days since today battle was fulfilled in Libya now they might allow ours to start...
      Oh forgot that you do not do that nor do you share your compassion with any religious person....! Any way I will still hope for you all the best in life and after life..

      October 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  5. Dr.K.

    Evangelicals are only dangerous to the extent that they discourage rational thinking among their peers, and try to impose that anti-intellectualism in our schools. They are dangerous to the extent that they encourage discrimination on the basis of gender. They are dangerous to the extent that they insist that their interpretation of the bible should trump federal law and evidence-based knowledge. Steer clear of these trespasses and you will not be considered dangerous.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Brian

      Evangelicals are not anti-intellectual. The fact that we appeal to scripture as our highest authority is no different than "intellectuals" appealing to reason and Logic as their highest authority. In fact, however the atheistic worldview cannot even account for the laws of reason and logic without borrowing from the Christian world-view. So we are not anti-intellectual, we are instead being intellectually honest.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Brian, what you wrote was just plain stupid and clear evidence of how intellectually challenged many evangelicals are.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  6. guy cunningham

    i owe no fealty to the gods of others and I resent the attempts by religious groups to impose laws about behaviors that pose no actual harm. my soul, or lack there, none of their business.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  7. guy cunningham

    nope, but they aren't very rational

    October 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  8. Fact check

    Teach children –

    'Abstinence NOT Abortion'

    October 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fact check

      You said: "Teach children –
      'Abstinence NOT Abortion' "

      Abortion is an important part of the Family Planning Toolbox. Young men and women should be taught all the options.

      Woman's body. Woman's choice.

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Scuromondo

    Many so-called "independent" churches promote claims of exclusive or exalted status for themselves and their members, are often preoccupied with bringing in money and new members, discourage and sometimes punish doubt and dissent among members, encourage members to socialize only with church members, and revolve around a charismatic leader that is not accountable to any authority. So what's dangerous about that? It's not like it's the complete definition of a cult or anything.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  10. isaac

    Where is the tolerance for Christians from liberals? Don't tell me to tolerate sin until you can tolerate my beliefs. Walk the walk.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      I love this arguement " Where's your tolerance Liberals ?? "
      So "liberals" aren't tolerant of you opressing womans rights, gay rights, marriage rights, health care rights etc. etc. etc.
      So basically you want us to "tolerate" intolerance?

      October 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Brother Maynard

      Well said!

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Not well said brother...
      "opressing womans rights, gay rights, marriage rights, health care rights etc. etc. etc."

      I don't know a single Christian that has done any of this. Sure there are some (not all Christians) that have differing views on the above topics...but being Christian does not mean they believe in any of what you just put...etc etc etc.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Mandy Cat

    Conservative Christians are as free to express their political opinions as everyone else. What is not acceptable, however, is to lobby for laws which will be enforced with the full power of the state with no other justification than "God told me so." Sorry; you'll have to come up with something else.

    October 19, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mandy Cat

      You said: "Conservative Christians are as free to express their political opinions as everyone else. What is not acceptable, however, is to lobby for laws which will be enforced with the full power of the state with no other justification than "God told me so." Sorry; you'll have to come up with something else."

      Yep. Especially in light of the fact, that 4 separate Republican candidates for president, have claimed god told them to run. At least 3 people are liars. Do you think that could happen with the laws of our nation? I bet god would jump on the bandwagon of any law the lying Evangelical pukes come up with.

      Vote for the Dems. Don't let the Evangelicals take over our country.

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  12. P Nickel

    A theocracy requires a sitting and present God. There never has been such a government, and the Theocracy to come will be inaugurated quite without a vote by anyone. All governing systems generated within the minds of men will continue to fail until the stage is finally set for the Author to appear.

    There are many who deem themselves an "Evangelical Christian", yet such an appellation is relatively meaningless and conveys with it much properly owned bad baggage. It is a mistake to refuse to acknowledge the Deity. It is more so, to acclaim oneself the mouthpiece for His people. The former is done in ignorance; the latter is spiritual delusion.

    Subjecting unbelievers to the will of God without their consent is foolishness. Doing so through political means is folly, as history bears out. If subjecting others to one's will (politically) is not diametrically opposed to leading others into the will of God, then I submit myself disqualified as a student of the Scriptures.

    To participate in the politcal system, claiming to be a Christian, is to play against the house, and to fall victim to the illusion that this life is above the life to come. Being a "Christian" necessitates losing one's life, dying to Christ, and not preserving it. It is questionable the level of commitment in those which believe voting and political activisim are valid. It is a sign of unbelief, betrayel and rejection, not unlike those who crucified Him on the cross, and did so for political reasons.

    This world and all the governing systems, all of them, exist out of the reasonings of mankind. It has been that way, and will remain that way until the rightful King returns. The ones committed to propping up those systems are part of them. Voting for the "right" person for a political office is an admission of unbelief and evidence of trying to lead a double life.

    It is hypocrisy.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • William Demuth

      It is more than that.

      It is treason.

      Amy of us are prepared to fight and indeed to die to prevent the rise of the zealots.

      Mixing religion and government is a witches brew that has the potential to end life as we know it.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • David Johnson

      @P Nickel

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Jesus was a myth.

      You have proof, that I am wrong?

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Brian

      @david Johnson

      I find it interesting that liberals always want empirical proof to the existence of something when in fact they believe and live accordingly to a great many beliefs that they have no e evidence of. They argue on the basis of the laws of logic which they cannot even prove exist, because the liberal worldview does not account for any absolutes.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Brian

      I think your non-existant god is crying at your stupidity. You do realize these values you hold up as purely christian were around before christianity and judaism right? Or the fact that a great many of them are common sense, unless you think the only thing holding people back from full on massacres is god.....

      You also equate atheists and liberals, which is not the case. There are believers and unbelievers on all ends of the political spectrum, try not to muddy up the waters here by making everything political on a religious blog.

      October 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  13. Logical

    @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son: "People have a right to their own bodies and their own medical decisions, and yes, that DOES include abortion."

    And what of the child? Whose protecting their 'right to their own bodies'? You?

    Are you so bigoted that you've lost all capacity to think cohesively? Or are so desperate to have your own way that you're happy to brush dead babies under the carpet?

    October 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      A zygote is not a child. Study the process of human development for awhile, then maybe you can understand that while a cluster of cells is capable of becoming a human, it is not a child yet. Legally, abortion is available in this country. Personally, I think that it is none of your business what another woman does with her body.

      A woman who finds herself pregnant knows the situation she is in, and she knows, better than you, better than your church, and better than any government, if she is capable of carrying a fetus to full term. It is a personal choice. If you don't want to have an abortion, then don't. But you don't have the right to control the life of another person, based on your personal beliefs. You are not special. You do not own them and they are not your slaves. Take care of your own life and stop trying to interfere with the personal business of others.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      I have met many women who aborted children for various reasons that years later are troubled by it. Not a single woman applauded her abortion years later in life. My experience is bias since naturally those with a positive abortion experience would not bother to bring it up.
      Women do get a fair choice in the matter. The pressure to get an abortion is all around. Planned Parenthood seems a convient drop off spot for our secular society. Every last Planned Parenthood clinic I visited failed to show abortion options on an equal footing and none had the information on hand for prepaid adoption services. One young woman just happen to stumble into me that was getting an abortion because it was free and she had no money to cover the insurance for a full term delivery. We made sure the medical bills were all covered so she did not need to stress during pregnancy. The baby is two years old now, the father came back into the picture and I get to see their smilling faces every so often.
      I did not force it because I am a wack job Christian, I just want the mother and baby to hear the truth seeing all options available. Abortion is a lazy cheap quick fix for a society that values their own happiness above others. Planned Parenthood has the opposite agenda of the conservative Christian. Why does the taking of an innocent life need to agenda driven. I think I understand the agenda of one who follows Jesus which is life eternal. The other agenda is a billion dollar abortion mill and political visability. Sandwitched in the middle is an innocent life. 42 million abortions in the world this year, 93% were for social reasons. Yep, looks like the world is heading in the right direction.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"A zygote is not a child. Study the process of human development for awhile, then maybe you can understand that while a cluster of cells is capable of becoming a human, it is not a child yet."

      ..and the other side will want to know if that cluster of cells could naturally turn into any other animal.

      Just because you have defined a child at one stage another will define it another and yet another will deem it a child at another stage of development. The Pro-Lifer will just say that since the Pro-Choice side can not settle on a stage than its better to outlaw the practice.

      >>>"Personally, I think that it is none of your business what another woman does with her body. "

      I can respect your view Tall' but the Pro-lifers will declare her body yes, the life growing in side her is a human life is another story.

      l'Chaim 🙂

      October 19, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Cory (Humanzrstupd)

      Oh and P.S. to "Fred": I had an abortion 21 years ago. 21 years later I feel no "remorse" whatsoever.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • fred

      Cory
      Thanks Cory, I was involved in Christian recovery programs so the women that came in were looking for release from various past and present areas of pain. It was always a joy to see someone move out of pain and back on a positive track. My motivation is simply that each woman have a fair opportunity to make the decision and not be bullied into one or the other because of lack of knowledge.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fred, when can become pregnant, you are free to choose not to have an abortion. You too, Mark. As I said before, the best person to judge if they are able to carry a fetus to full term is the woman who is pregnant. She is more qualified than any other person, church or government to know what is going on in her body and in her life. This is a private choice and frankly, none of your business.

      Christians love to tell horror stories of women whose lives are destroyed because they chose to have an abortion. They conveniently forget that most common emotion that women have after abortion is relief. Why do christians feel that women don't deserve control over their own bodies? Do you think that a woman should be forced to carry the child of her ra.pist? (An estimated 13,000 abortions are performed every year on ra.pe victims.) Do you think that a woman too old or too young or too fragile deserves to have her body damaged for the crime of unwanted pregnancy? And who gave you power over the lives of these women? The laws of this country sure didn't.

      If you feel a zygote has a soul, feel free to pray for it. You can also pray for the many more that are miscarried (as many as one in four pregnancies), apparently by the will of your god. However, in the United States, women still have the right to control their own reproductive organs. Your ego and faith are not valid reasons to treat women as second class citizens.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"However, in the United States, women still have the right to control their own reproductive organs. Your ego and faith are not valid reasons to treat women as second class citizens,"

      Hi Tall'. The arguments have been made and the points will always be that one side feels that it is a human child. You feel it is treating the woman as a second class citizen and the argument from the other side is that no first class citizen has the right to take a innocent life.

      Question, do you even hear the other sides argument? I mean I respect and do not expect you to agree but you post as if you do not believe that the other side feels just as justified.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      "The other side" Mark, desires to control the lives of virtual strangers because of their personally held beliefs. "The other side" has radical members who think it's good and virtuous to kill the doctors that help women by performing abortions. "The other side" has members who have done their best to prevent kids from getting honest education about their se.xuality, and from getting the proper tools to prevent unwanted pregnancies. "The other side" has members with policies that deny affordable and accessible health care to the poorest members of society, denying prenatal care and compromising the health of the mother and the child after child is born. I see nothing of value on "the other side".

      The funny thing, Mark, is that I honestly think that abortion should be the last resort, not the first. Also, I am a woman. This is a topic that effects my life a hell of a lot more than it does yours, unless Mark is a nickname and you are a woman. Sometimes abortion is the only choice. That is why the procedure must remain available to all women.

      If you wish to actually do something to reduce the number of abortions, start advocating realistic s.ex education for kids, make birth control available and affordable to all people, and make health care available and affordable to all people.

      Unless you're doing that, you are part of the problem.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • J.W

      The two sides of abortion are mainly a disagreement about what point a human life begins. I consider myself pro-life, but if there is a medical issue or say that the mother would die and the baby would die too anyways, then abortion could be the lesser of two evils. Plus women still got abortions even when it was illegal, they were just less safe. We need to control the reasons why women would get an abortion to stop them from happening.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @Mark from Middle River: “Question, do you even hear the other sides argument? “
      As the accidental, unwanted and unloved child of very Christian parents I can speak for the real “other side” that is never heard from.

      I can tell you that my childhood and adolescents were a living hell (you try growing up as a 3rd class citizen, the odd man out and the unwanted guest). This was made even worse by my parents religiosity. I have spent the rest of my life working to recover from the damage.
      You talk about the remorse a woman will feel if she has an abortion. I can tell you about the remorse a child had because the woman didn’t.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      I agree with your point about prevention, JW, however, those arguing about when a fetus becomes human seem to forget that the a pregnant woman is already unquestionably human and sentient. At what point do you think that the personally held beliefs of strangers should override the judgement and needs of the person who is actually dealing with the situation?

      October 19, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • J.W

      I see what you mean tallulah, however some would say that a fetus is unquestionably a human. Some also argue that a fetus is defenseless and so on. I have not looked up any statistics on this, do you know how many abortions are done for medical reasons, reasons of abuse, or matter of convenience? How many of the women did or did not use birth control.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Tallulah13

      JW, I'd love to discuss, but I've gotta go to work. Just keep in mind that a fetus does't even have a functioning heart until the fifth week.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • JohnR

      Sincere question, Fred: Did anyone in your group think of these women as the moral equivalent of Susan Smith?

      October 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Logical

      The fetus has no rights until it can survive outside the mother (21 to 24 weeks). It exists in the mother, at the mother's pleasure. It is a parasite.

      Woman's body. Woman's choice.

      Cheers!

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Krisis

      So if the woman chooses to have the child and basically tells the father it's none of his business...he doesn't have to pay child support..right?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Mark from Middle River is the moral compass of the blog. He wants to find middle ground. He points out thinking that is not fair and balanced. LOL

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Krisis
      That's what I'm thinking. It's not just about the woman here (although it is a bigger deal for her than the man) but it is a HUGE life change for both people involved. If the man doesn't want the kid, and wants an abortion but the woman keeps it, does he still have to pay child support? The woman say it's their choice, but the man should have a say in it as well.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @Krisis & ITB

      Men do have a say in the process. Wear a condom. This goes a long way towards preventing unplanned pregnancy. It's not foolproof, but it's better than as.suming your partner is taking birth control. If you can't bother or don't want to protect yourself, don't be surprised if you end up with a dependent.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Just keep in mind that a fetus doesn't even have a functioning heart until the fifth week."

      I work next to a Senior Center and Medical center is also in the area.... can you define a "functioning heart" ...cause I know a few with pacemakers and a few are in the medical center hooked up to machine to keep them alive. Also, if you use 5th week, you are moving into a question I asked before. What happens as medical tech enables the baby to survive closer and closer to conception?

      Can we move the definition of "late term abortion" to follow the medical tech?

      October 20, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • tallulah13

      Mark? That would be a heart that beats. Before that, there is no functioning heart. There is no functioning nervous system until about the 10th week.

      I think that using artificial means to extend a life is a choice best left to the person affected. That is why I would recommend a living will to anyone who, like me, is horrified by the concept of becoming a brain dead shell on life support. This has no bearing on abortion.

      It is not right to make a ra.pe victim bear the child of the man who attacked her. It is indecent to victimize the victim. It is not your place to force a child to have a child, just because she made a mistake, and it is not your right to tell a woman who already has three children that she must abuse her body with another one, just because her birth control failed. A mass of cells with no heart and no nervous system is not a human and does not deserve more consideration than the person whose life is most effected.

      In 2010, there were 408,425 children in foster care. About a fifth of those got adopted. There is already a surplus of "unwanted" children. Why not let a woman choose to abort a mass of cells and concentrate on the children in need who are truly human? Or do you stop caring when the fetus is born.

      Also, what are your intentions for the fathers of these children? If a woman has the right to control her own body taken from her for 9 months, what equivalent punishment do you have in mind for the male half of the equation?

      October 20, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    When you all are finished counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, abortion will still be legal. Roe v Wade has stood since 1973 and you boobs haven't been able to do a thing about it. You never will, since no one can be forced to continue a pregnancy against her will without violating her rights under the law.

    Let me know when you can transplant an unwanted fetus into your uterus. THEN you might have a say.

    Right now, you don't. At all.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  15. Entil'zha

    Wouldn't be more dangerous to deny them, or anyone, their right to express their point of view in national politics?

    October 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, which is why no one is doing that.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Entil'zha

      Seems there are many on here that would if given the chance.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chuckles

      No, many (most) on here don't want to silence them, but most certainly do NOT want them to get their way just because they have the numbers. There is a difference.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  16. ashrakay

    @HotAirAce, not to mention that they also don't seem to have problems with all of the children being killed in collateral damage by bombs being dropped in wars they promote and participate in.

    October 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  17. Reality

    From p. 76:

    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!!!!

    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, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,–

    October 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  18. The Other Guy

    Interesting points you've made, but you're forgetting that there are not only Christians in this world. Being Jewish, having a theocracy would not be good for me, since I'd have you and your pals trying to kill me every five seconds. So no thanks, let's stick with the secular stuff...

    October 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Being Jewish, having a theocracy would not be good for me, since I'd have you and your pals trying to kill me every five seconds. "

      Greetings my friend. Iran is a theocracy and while I am not in favor of living under one either I do wish to share with you that Jews have lived and thrived under theocracies in the past and ones currently.

      Here is a list of just some of the Jewish Synagogues that are active in Iran:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_synagogues_in_Iran

      October 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  19. Mark from Middle River

    >>>”The question is: Is this the sort of problem that we want police, prosecutors and prison guards working on”

    John, I think we can agree that different people have different views on what and whom the judicial part of society, should be “working on”.

    I am pro-life and such I am also anti-death penalty. I hear the argument of cost to keep a inmate a alive and the “what if it was your love ones killed” arguments. Through all of those I say that the cost to keep a human alive to me is one the basis of my Faith. May not be yours, or Rev Terry Jones of Westburo... it does not matter to me. I believe it to be a great use of public funds.

    I will say this, since being on this blog I wonder if we are moving towards a society where forced sterilization from Birth until legally pet'itioned to the courts upon a twenty something birthday just to have a child and then re-sterilized.... might actually become a workable solution to this issue. We could have both boys and girls fixed at birth and this would eliminate any un-wanted pregnancy, folks could decide when they were mature enough to begin to have s'ex. Men could not be tricked into a girl having a child he did not want. A woman who sadly may have been rap'ed won't have to carry the child of her rap'est. I am un-aware of any religious objections, that I know of. The physical required to have the sterilization reversed will check to see if the woman can safely carry the child to term. That will all but knock out the “in the case of the mothers” health argument from the pro-choice side.

    Could this work?

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      In a pig's ear. You don't have the rights to require a person to give so much as a drop of blood, even if it's a case of life and death, Mark. What idiocy compels you to write such drivel? People have a right to their own bodies and their own medical decisions, and yes, that DOES include abortion.

      Get over it.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Mark writes: "John, I think we can agree that different people have different views on what and whom the judicial part of society, should be “working on”."

      Indeed, and the trend in the 20th century was regrettably for more and more issues to be deemed police matters. And when billions of dollars spent on police, courts and prisons failed, people clamored for 10s of billions to be spent. And when 10s of billions failed, they clamored for 100s of billions. At some point, however, the well really does run dry and people are FORCED to be more creative in their problem solving.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark. What idiocy compels you to write such drivel?”

      Tom' Tom. What compels me to offer this suggestion up is just to see what options might work for all sides. Yes, I can figure it would be a hard sell but when folks are unwilling to budge on either side we can either do nothing or we can offer up suggestions for a solution that might work for all sides.

      You can declare that people have the rights to their own bodies but equally those on the other side are argue that no one has the right to take the life of a unborn child. Its a stalemate and one justice or congressman or woman, or states vote to elect the president from it sliding this way or that.

      I can respect you want to come to a place such as this and just shout your views but some of us might enjoy this forum to discuss and respectfully listen to other's points of view.

      …. I yield my remaining soapbox time to you 🙂

      October 19, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Forced sterilization of everyone, even temporarily, to prevent abortions seems like a major over-reaction to me! And I'm pretty sure the rcc and pope-a-dope would not be happy. Given that 70+% of abortions in the USA are had by believers, woulldn't it be easier if believers actually followed their cult's rules, or if their supernatural being stepped in and fixed the problem?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"fixed the problem"

      Funny ... no comment. Hey, I was just throwing offering a suggestion. Something that would "cut" both sides and be possibly workable. 🙂

      October 19, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Fred

      Yes, and we could “test” people before we let them become parents to insure they will provide a proper Christian home environment for the child. Once the child is born we could send inspectors around every month to make sure the child is being raised to be a proper Christian. And when the child turns 18 we can give them a test to make sure they are good Christians and only let them have citizenship if they pass

      October 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • David Johnson

      The sad thing is, that many of the deranged Evangelicals would consider this. Isn't it close to Jesus' thumbs up for a man being altered?

      I'm sure you meant this as a joke, but we are dealing with insane people.

      Consider instead: The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      Or, we could accept and ENFORCE the separation of church and state.

      Cheers!

      October 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I hope you're kidding fred.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  20. Tom Piper'Son

    "When did this turn into a pro-life forum?"

    @Mirasol

    It was my abortion survivor son Tom Tom the culprit. Though he survived abortion but it leaves several abnomarlities making him spend his entire life in misery, anguish and pain. Aside from being gay & having 3 toesb, he's also bald and has a butthole on his forehead.

    He is dying to have a companion in misery. That's why he is strenously advocating abortion that he'll advertise it in every forum in every article that he encounmters even it's way off-topic.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Juvenile humor adds so much to the discussion...

      October 18, 2011 at 10:09 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.