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My Take: Santorum’s evangelical surge is about more than Christian Right
Rick Santorum speaking in Iowa this week.
January 3rd, 2012
10:23 AM ET

My Take: Santorum’s evangelical surge is about more than Christian Right

Editor's Note: Chris LaTondresse is the Founder & CEO of Recovering Evangelical, a nationwide movement of next-generation evangelicals, post-evangelicals and those outside the church who still like Jesus, and author of the forthcoming "Recovering Evangelical." Follow him on Twitter @latondresse.

By Chris LaTondresse, Special to CNN

Rick Santorum’s surge in the polls in the days before the Iowa caucuses has been interpreted by some as evidence of continued relevance and staying power of the Religious Right.

I disagree. I believe it signals the end of the Religious Right as we know it.

As a younger generation evangelical who voted for George W. Bush twice but who supported Barack Obama in 2008, the story of my political evolution offers clues for understanding the current presidential race and the changing face of the evangelical movement in America.

I grew up in a conservative evangelical home, the son of missionary parents in Russia. When my family returned to the United States so I could attend high school, I threw myself into sharing my faith and promoting conservative causes. By the time the 2000 election rolled around, the first I was old enough to vote in, I had become a poster child for the Religious Right.

I’d often wear my George W. Bush tee shirt with Bible in hand. But not all things stay the same.

Why are Iowa's evangelicals so politically powerful?

Like many of my peers, I eventually became disillusioned with a version of Christianity that had seemingly lost its soul: too politicized, too associated with just one party, and too unconcerned with, irrelevant to, and even on the wrong side of the biggest issues facing the world in the 21st century.

As a result, the past decade has seen a precipitous decline in young evangelical identification with the Republican Party. My own story follows this trajectory.

My generation of evangelicals is just as pro-life as our parents' generation (some studies say we’re more so), but for us, any serious conversation about “life” has to extend beyond polarized, protracted and hyper-politicized debates about abortion.

We believe “pro-life” is more than a bumper-sticker slogan; it’s an ethic rooted in the biblical idea that all human beings are created in the image of God, and are, therefore, of immeasurable and equal worth in the eyes of their Creator.

Though we believe that 3,000 abortions a day in America are exactly 3,000 too many, we are just as concerned about the 20,000 children who die every day worldwide because of hunger, lack of clean drinking water and preventable disease. We also view human trafficking and exploitive labor practices as fundamental violations of people’s God-given rights and dignity.

And when it comes to “family values,” we’re weary of battles to “protect” marriage from gay couples, when so many young evangelicals have grown up in broken homes, witnessing our parents divorce and remarry at rates just as high as in the non-evangelical world (more than 33% of marriages among born-again Christians end in divorce, the same as in the general population).

In response, we believe in building strong marriages with our spouses and children as we start our own families, but wonder what this has to do with fighting against equal protection for gay couples.

So when young evangelicals see Republicans ripping pages out of the political playbooks of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Religious Right, it’s more likely to induce eye rolling than shouts of “amen.”

The worst offenders in the Republican primary? Look no further than Rick Perry’s commercial promising to "end Obama’s war on religion", or Michele Bachmann’s speech at Liberty University appealing to the idea that America was founded as a Christian nation.

Perry virtually launched his campaign with a large prayer gathering, while Bachmann claimed last summer’s earthquake outside Washington was God’s attempt to send a message to Washington politicians.

Perhaps more than any other candidates, Perry and Bachman have staked their campaigns on winning social conservative voters. In spite of their early successes and willingness to wear their religion on their sleeves, however, both have plummeted in the Iowa polls.

This could be one of the most important “religion and politics" storylines of 2012. In the end, it hasn’t been the GOP’s most strident culture warriors or shameless religious panderers who have finally endeared themselves to Iowa’s social conservative caucus-goers, or who give my generation reason to take a second look at conservative candidates in spite of our flight from the GOP.

Instead, the story is Rick Santorum.

Of course, there’s no questioning Santorum’s social conservative bona fides. Throughout his career he has been at the vanguard of conservative battles against abortion and gay marriage. But that’s only half the story.

More than any other Republican candidate (and even more than some Democrats), Santorum speaks openly and passionately about his concern for poor and vulnerable people in the U.S. and around the world. These commitments are firmly rooted his Catholic faith.

As Senator, Santorum was one of President Bush’s key Republican allies in securing congressional funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Bush’s signature initiative aimed at combating HIV/AIDS in Africa. At the most recent CNN Republican primary debate, Santorum was one of the few candidates to defend the U.S. foreign aid budget, leading to a nod of approval from the ONE Campaign.

Earlier, Santorum came out against Herman Cain’s “999” plan because it would shift the tax burden to low income Americans and eliminate the earned income tax credit.

Santorum’s Iowa surge echoes Mike Huckabee’s in 2008. The two have much in common. Both have bucked their party’s conventional wisdom on winning the evangelical vote, offering a more compassionate approach to immigration (Huckabee) and making the case that poverty is a moral values and family values issue (Huckabee and Santorum).

Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa victory and Santorum’s surge suggest that, in spite of the dominant stereotypes about evangelicals, they value religious authenticity more than rhetoric and care about more issues than gay-marriage and abortion.

Those in the mainstream media who ignore these trends, or who simply place conservatives like Huckabee and Santorum in the traditional Religious Right frame, are missing a big story about the Republican Party, the evangelical movement in America, and my generation’s response to both.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chris LaTondresse.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Iowa • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Snow

    Well, he is biased, bigoted, who thinks there should be no privacy for anyone except himself, who hasn't done anything worth mentioning, who drives a self important, self righteous agenda and prone to make logical leaps where there is no logic..

    what the heck do people see in him? Oh ya.. he is an evangelical – so we should forget all of the above flaws..

    right, America?

    January 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Jo

      Exactly. He says birth control could be outlawed, abortion is bad in every case, but his own wife had one. Sheesh. He's about as bad as they come.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  2. meinellimu

    My prediction for Santorum, he will win in Iowa, then nothing at all after that.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Stingrae

      I predict he'll get 3rd or 4th.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Jesus was a space alien

    Surging from behind......sounds like Larry (wide stance) Craig.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • BOBBY

      or sandusky

      January 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  4. Will

    Surging Santorum? Something tells me Peter North was involved.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  5. Joshua Ludd

    The end of the religious right? Yeah, well... I think we all kind of knew that many of those folks wanted their end to come with a Santorum surge.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  6. D

    So ... how does all this signal the END of the religious right?
    The author never seems to bother getting around to that point ...

    January 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Patrick

      He said “as we know it” and went on to explain the differences.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Lee

    This was almost as good as the "Santorum Surges from Behind in Iowa" headline I read the other day. For those of you who do not yet know the second definition of the word Santorum, please do yourself a favor and google it.

    Disgusting? Yes. Childish and silly? Definitely. Deserved? Due to his oustpoken bigoted stance, absolutely.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Ad Nominem

      ... pathetic

      January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • rick

      Santorum comes in through the back door....

      January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  8. Jesus was a space alien

    The religious right are mentally defective. They have distorted the political process and polluted it with religion.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. NoFoolLikeThat

    in 2008 the Repubs wanted Obama to win, because thet knew how tough the next 4 years would be. Better he should have to deal with it then a 3rd term of a Repub. Now that machine they created (Tea Party etc) is running them all over and they're all but assuring a 2nd term for him. The cynical fools are taking America down with them

    January 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  10. BOBBY

    Evangelical christianity is the epitomy of shallow, self rigtious and destructive beliefs and provides nothing of value to humanity whatsoever... One's participation in it reinforces abject stupidity and a lack of understanding of what is inately know to humanity as goodness.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • NoFoolLikeThat

      Christian Fundamentalists are America's Taliban. And they'll leave us in a similar state to Afghanistan

      January 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • meinellimu

      NoFoolLikeThat....Don't wory, when they get to that, they will be annihilated by the government. I hope they start by taxing them heavily.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Tina

      Just wish there were more of you bloggers who were doing something about the issues you claim to care about, and are so quick to criticize others' solutions. Easy to sit back and type! My 20 yrs in Africa has revealed Americans who claim they care about 20,000 children dying every day from hunger and disease are guilty of the same useless rhetoric they criticize in politicians who are at least trying to stop unnecessary daily deaths in this country, by getting elected and passing moral laws. No politician is perfect....but the ones who tirade against them offer nothing but verbiage themselves.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • rick

      Tina: They are passing moral laws? What exactly is a "moral law"?

      January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • The Objective Observer

      Without any support evidence or argument, NoFoolLikeThat's comment comparing Evangelicals to the Taliban falls under Godwin's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law)

      January 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  11. j

    spot on–couldn't have said it better myself. as a christian, i agree that i'm tired of the anti-gay anti-choice rhetoric that ties together religion and politics and paints us "religious" folk with one colour... it's time we start moving on to issues we can solve politically, like providing for the poor and reducing corporate corruption

    January 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • longshot

      problem with the Santorum and the rest of the right wing is that their policies further hurt the poor, even though they proclaim to be "compassionate conservatives"

      January 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      Unfortunately, the loudest and most angry Christians are the Christians who are driving this political process. That is why the Iowa caucuses will be all but ignored in the next election cycle. These people are so outside of the mainstream of America that they have become totally irrelevant. And the politicians who pander to them are shooting themselves in the foot.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  12. boocat

    This just another illustration of how pathetic all of the republican candidates are....every week they have a new "front-runner." This week it's the Jesus freaks making their case for this guy.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  13. JohnRJ08

    Santorum's "surge" in Iowa can be attributed to the archaic, judgmental, bigoted, and grossly misinformed participants in these caucuses. Santorum is man filled with criticisms of the Obama administration, but who has not a single practical solution to ANY of the nation's problems. His appeal is strictly the limbic brain of Iowa voters.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  14. BOBBY

    Nothing this man has ever done or will do has any value whatsoever.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  15. Jones33

    I am going to vote for Santorum because he is the only one who will protect marriage from being corrupted by the gays. Say No to gays. vote Santorum.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • HellBent

      And how, exactly, will marriage become corrupted? How will straight marriages be affected? I'm trying to find anyway that the relationship between my wife and I will be affected if two people who are already in a loving relationship get to have the same civil rights that I enjoy.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • J.W

      No one who thinks this way will ever be elected president again.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nonimus

      How does gay marriage "corrupt" marriage?

      Is it the same way that incest, spouse abuse, and child abuse do?

      January 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • boocat

      Riiiiight...with all of the problems we're facing and you're worried about gays getting married. You don't deserve to vote. You're another fascist idiot who can't see the forest for the trees. Protect marriage from WHAT? 1 out of 2 marriages already end in divorce. GET REAL!

      January 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "Santorum because he is the only one who will protect marriage"

      What an idiot. There is nothing to protect – DUH- the divorce rate is at its all time high – all those adulterers running around.

      Part of being American is believing in EQUAL civil rights.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • NoFoolLikeThat

      1 issue folks like you are a gift to the manipulative political lobbyists

      January 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • michele

      You missed the whole point behind this well – thought out opinion. Sad.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • todd in DC

      Guess what, Jones. I'm gay, and I pay taxes. Why shouldn't I have access to the same rights as you do? Are marriage benefits (like tax breaks, inheritence rights, hospital visitation rights) merely special rights only for straight people?

      January 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Snow

      @Nominus.. so some dude hit his wife in NY, a man's relationship with his wife in TX will be effected? Wow! who would have thought that..

      With your skill at making logical leaps like this, you are exactly what the repubs need to lose the election

      January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Snow,
      "With your skill at making logical leaps like this..."
      Apparently you do understand the idea of sarcasm.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Stingrae

      I can't decide if you're joking or not.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • fred

      ToddinDC
      Those tax benefits you speak of are outdated. Taxes as well as social security and most private pension laws were designed at a time when the wife stayed home and raised up a family and went to church on Sunday. It was to take into account the cost of bringing up a family by one bread winner and care for the spouse with little or no income should something happen to the bread winner. That has not been the case for some time now and we need to strip all married people of social security and only provide pensions based on earnings of the individual period.
      Also, stop making stuff up I have never had a problem visiting a gay friend in the hospital. As a matter of fact the staff is scared to death to say anything. Inheritance laws? What a bunch of BS ! Set up a trust like everyone else if you want to make sure assets are properly transferred with the lowest tax consequences.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • wait..

      @fred .. Let me understand you.. According to you, if a man and woman marries, one of them have an option of stay at home and take care of home/family and be eligible for tax benefits that come with marriage.. if a gays live together, they should both work and even if one chooses not to work in order to take care of their adopted child, they SHOULD NOT be eligible for the tax benefits?

      Is that your logic? and you do not find any problem in that?

      January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Patrick

      Fred you have no gay friends to visit and we all know it. If you did they’d slap some sense into you. Your opinion on tax codes is irrelevant. FACT is being married gives you certain rights and denying a group of people those same rights is un-American to say the least.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HellBent

      @fred,

      So people shouldn't have the same rights as you. You're more special and everyone else should stop complaining. Basically, you're anti-14th amendment. Got it.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • fred

      Wait
      Back up 60 years and the answer is yes. Today if are a married gay or straigt and single your federal taxes are the same.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • fred

      Patrick
      You are wrong, oops you are wrong again............this time two wrongs do not make a right. I visit gay friends in the hospital and I am the one who does the slapping.
      If you want to bring up unfair civil issues at least bring up the correct ones.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Snow

      @fred, either you are blind, or uninformed or a pigheaded idiot..My guess is that you are all of those.. try to actually know about a subject before you spew an opinion.. a second of googling yielded this page.. start there to know what you have no clue about..

      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html

      January 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • fred

      HellBent
      Wake up no one has the same rights it is an illusion. One example is in the medical field. I do not care what kind of Obamma care health insurance you have you can never see the quality physicians others have access too. I will give you one medical example; we flew in a specialist that would not even return a phone call unless you personally knew how to reach him an then you still had to name drop before he would fly out. I will give you a legal example; I called my friend a DA and asked which judge to use for another friend, good luck yelling at the top of the your lungs thats not fair.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • fred

      Snow
      There are advantages and disadvantages to married filling separate. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting married when it comes to Social Security, inheritance and pension plans. The page you showed me is a leader page to intice you into signing up for their services it does not support your case.
      Many people do not get married because of the tax problem or reduced benefits. It is not a one way street.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • J.W

      What are the advantages of married filing separately? I thought that was just for if the spouses were still technically married but hated each other so much they did not want to talk to each other.

      January 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • HellBent

      @fred,

      Thank you for demonstrating that not only are you anti-14th amendment, you actually have no idea what the amendment is.

      Equal rights does not mean that everyone is equal. Maybe try reading that really slowly so that it sinks in. Then try picking up a history book. You may actually learn something (though I won't hold my breath)

      January 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Patrick

      @ fred
      There are times when only a spouse or legal guardian can visit at the hospital. So there goes that theory. The fact that you have at some point visited a gay person (still questionable) doesn’t negate this. I didn’t bring up any civil issue sir. I was responding to your comment.

      Try again

      January 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @J.W: Tax rates for those Married Filing Separately...sucks. Would be cheaper to get divorced, I think.

      January 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I know this because I got married in 2011, and this is the first time I've had to do taxes as a married couple. I compared the rates between single, married and married filing separately, and the last one is the worst of the three by far.

      January 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah that is what I seemed to remember Sean. I used to do taxes several years ago. I can't remember any specifics, but it seems like there are certain deductions as well that you cannot take when you are married filing separately. I think that it is possible that the tax situation can be better for MFS but it is extremely rare, like if a newly married couple and the husband owes a bunch of money to the IRS and the wife would get a big refund if she filed by herself.

      January 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      There are many deductions you cannot take if you file married filling separate:Student loan interest deduction,Tax-free exclusion of US bond interest ,Tax-free exclusion of Social Security Benefits ,Credit for the Elderly and Disabled ,Child and Dependent Care Credit,Earned Income Credit,Hope or Lifetime Learning Educational Credits,MFS taxpayers also have lower income phase-out ranges for the IRA deduction
      Also both claim the standard deduction or both itemize their deductions
      Big problem is tax liability goes to both husband and wife

      January 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • fred

      Patrick
      As I said I never had a single problem visiting a gay friend in the hospital. There was an ICU issue one time but the nurse cleared me in less than 5 minutes. You will have a problem if the family objects so if you are having a problem with the family then get your papers in order a head of time. Not to do so is just plain lazy.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "You will have a problem if the family objects so if you are having a problem with the family then get your papers in order a head of time"

      It's called a marriage license for all rights that come with being married. Gays deserve the same civil rights as straights.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Keith

      OhPlz, Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "OhPlz, Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination"

      That's part of the mosaic law moron and has nothing to do with gays as we know and understand it today. If you want to use Lev. then a woman has to marry their rapist and you have to stone your children to death if they talk back to you, you can't have tattoos, you can't eat selfish, you can't wear clothes made of different fibers, etc..etc.. . Or are you simply picking and choosing to justify your pathetic prejudice.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Keith

      OhPlz, 1Cr 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      Get your concordance and do a word study.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "OhPlz, 1Cr 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,"

      Well guess what that has nothing to do with the saved loving relationship of a gay couple now does it. DUH! Plus many bibles added the word homo<sexual later too. It has nothing to do with what we now know and understand about gay people. Now you do have to laugh that it does condemn adultery which means divorced people and how many christians fall into that abomination today. LOL! So again, you are picking and choosing scriptures to justify your personal prejudices, nothing more.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Keith

      OhPlz, I'm not referring to other translations. Get a concordance and study the oringinal Greek. Anyone who is observing this conversation can go to the Blue Letter Bible to do so for free.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Keith

      Stop trying to justify sinful behavior.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Keith

      Perhaps nonbeliever can walk you through the process since he's always lippin off about the original Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic texts.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Keith

      Jones33, Rick Santorum is a man I'm happy to come out of the closet with.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "Stop trying to justify sinful behavior."

      It's not sinful behavior if the gay couple is married before your god moron, that the point. Your bible does not condemn that relationship. DUH!

      January 5, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • J.W

      There are a few states now that do allow gay marriage. What statistics are there that prove gay marriages cause a breakdown of the family or of straight marriages?

      January 5, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  16. nooneknows

    So you say "...we’re weary of battles to “protect” marriage from gay couples..." and then go on to voice support for d-bag Santorum?
    That makes zero sense.
    But ,of course, that's not surprising since logic isn't your strong suit, as evidenced by your belief in imaginary beings.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • John

      "... logic isn't your strong suit, as evidenced by your belief in imaginary beings." An unhibited embrace of a Straw Man. You coudn't possibly be strong in logic yourself.

      I suppose humility isn't your strong suit, as evidenced by your lack of belief in the Creator.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      @John

      You said, "I suppose humility isn't your strong suit, as evidenced by your lack of belief in the Creator."
      The complete and utter lack of evidence for a creator strongly suggest there was none.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  17. LouAZ

    “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis 1935

    January 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • nooneknows

      What a fabulous quote!

      January 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • boocat

      Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Patrick

      And he was right.

      In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956.

      The phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954

      Strict “Separationists” have questioned the legality of this because they state that it violates United States Const.itution which forbids the government from passing any law respecting the establishment of a religion.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • michele

      exactly!

      January 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • abinadi

      The opposite of Fascism, of course, is atheist communism. We don't want either!

      January 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • rick

      abinadi: the opposed of fascism is not atheistic communism, it is freedom.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Patrick

      @abinadi
      I’m afraid not sir. The opposite of Fascism is actually Anarchism and has nothing to do with Atheism. Nice try though.

      World English Dictionary
      fascism

      — n
      1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism
      2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc

      January 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • platofish

      See.....http://gcaw.blogspot.com/2007/12/sinclair-lewis-quote.html

      The original quotation didn't mention a 'cross'.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Patrick

      @ platofish
      There is a debate on whose quote it even is. To state the cross wasn’t mention in the original is misguided at best, at worst it is a direct attempt at deceit. Regardless it is a great quote

      January 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  18. William Demuth

    Evangelicals face extinction.

    As each generation passes, the concept of a much more extreme seperation of church and state is taking hold.

    America is moving away from Christianity, and it is well past due.

    January 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • longshot

      yes, but they're like a wounded animal, they're getting louder and more dangerous as they realize they are in trouble...

      January 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • rick

      Ironically, as a whole, the evangelicals who are certain that Jesus supports them are not willing to meet Jesus halfway. Like BoldGeorge, they just blather on and on on the computer blogs

      January 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  19. Andrew

    The religious right is the Taliban of the United States, and a cancer on this nation.

    January 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  20. Stu in Iowa

    Please don't use the words Santorum and Surge together.

    January 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • nooneknows

      Yes, it makes one feel so... so... frothy.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ad Nominem

      ...pathetic

      January 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Tomorrow's headline: "Romney smears Santorum."

      January 3, 2012 at 3:44 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.