home
RSS
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. Up Your Rear Admiral

    Keith, I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the uplifting.

    Get ready for your plunging. Here it comes...
    ...a big Flussshhhh, and down you go, Keith. Close your mouth and don't swallow those brown floaters on the way down like you did in practice.

    January 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  2. S. Buck Pearl

    Woah! Who's this Keith freak??? See, that's why I could never vote for a Republican. They ALL think like this creep. I have to vote for Obama for two reasons.

    1) inasmuch as he believes in God, it's a decidedly anti-American God, which I like a lot!

    And 2) I don't really think he believes in a god at all! Dint you get that sense? He's really way to into himself, and power to pay homage to any so-called god. And I like that a lot, too!

    January 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      SBP, Cheers, and read up a couple of posts about Keith and his diving habits.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  3. S. Buck Pearl

    I'm back comrades! I had to step away to burn a flag, and spit on a crucifix. Did I miss anything?

    January 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  4. Keith

    Don't worry. The Christian Right won't get their theocracy in America. There will be a theocracy-in Jerusalem and after the Great Tribulation. So don't worry about it because most of you won't live through the Great Tribulation to see it if it happens in our lifetime. You will see it if you've accepted Jesus Christ as you Savior.
    Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    I look forward to the millenium. Finally a righteous ruler and leader who panders to no one.

    January 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Aw, you are just precious.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      There already is a theocracy in Jerusalem, and in case you didn't hear the news yesterday, the wack jobs there are fighting about who gets to be the bigger wack job. As for your "righteous" ruler...well, if you think the function of the President is to "rule", you're even more of a lost cause than anyone had imagined. How sad.

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

      He won't be voted in and His term is 1,000 years. It'll be great not having those annoying automated phone solicitations.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes, it will be nice not to get calls or visits from believer idiots.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      1000 years ? That's all ? What a let down. The Chinese had longer dynasties than that.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • captain america

      hotair won't be getting any American visits as he is a canadian and twice as useless on an American political topic. Try something entirely different acey mind your own f'n business. There's your sign

      January 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Keith, I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      Get ready for your big plunging. Here it comes...
      ...a big Flussshhhh, and down you go, Keith. Close your mouth and don't swallow those brown floaters on the way down like you did in practice.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Keith

      Looks like ace didn't get hit by any celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve-oh, that's right they don't have guns in Oh Canada-but I do like your national anthem. I always enjoyed it at the I-500 in Sault Ste. Marie and at Michigan International Speedway.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  5. Keith

    Just scooped some ashes/coals out of my woodstove. I was wearing leather gloves and a welding shirt, but it was still hot. Can't imagine an eternity of that with no PPE. Makes me glad Jesus died for me and others so I won't have to experience hell. I pity anyone who hears these words:
    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    January 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "Can't imagine an eternity of that with no PPE."

      There is no hell and you have no proof it exists.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Keith

      It is good to have free will and choice. If you end up in hell, it will be because you rejected God's gift of salvation to you through Christ Jesus.
      2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "f you end up in hell,"

      LOL! Keep proving your god is a tyrant and a monster, it has to use the fear of hell to get you love it. How pathetic of a god is that. LOL!

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

      OhPlz, Law to the proud, grace to the humble. He does offer grace to the broken in spirit. But you don't sound very broke.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "He does offer grace to the broken in spirit. But you don't sound very broke."

      Keep proving to the world what a monster your god is....oh the fear you can see it in your posts. It's the boogie man! LOL!

      January 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • sam

      You're doing it wrong. Oh, but don't forget to put those coals in a paper box or bag and leave them outside real close to your house.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      Baby Keith,
      IT'S a METAPHOR. Do you know what a METAPHOR is ? There is no "combustion", no fire, no fuel, ......................OMG, why even bother. Get help.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Keith

      The Bling Thing, This is no metaphor:
      Luk 16:19 ¶ There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

      Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

      Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

      Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

      Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

      Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

      Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

      Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.

      Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

      Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

      Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

      Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
      Note verse 24.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      NO baby Keith, THAT is not a METAPHOR. That is a parable. Do you know what a parable is Keithy ? Please explain to us, how in a dimension devoid of space-time, (which you assert to be a "creature" of your god), your "hell", there are chemical changes and heat being produced, both which require time to proceed. Hint; if god "exists" then time always existed, and it could not have been it's creator.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      Oh, and no more cut and paste babble verses please. They mean nothing.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Keith

      The Bling Thing, Sorry. This is no parable. Parables never used proper names. This was a real account.
      Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
      Now why would I want to quit using THAT?

      January 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Keith, I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      Get ready for your deep plunging. Here it comes...
      ...a big Flussshhhh, and down you go, Keith. Close your mouth and don't swallow those brown floaters on the way down like you did in practice.

      January 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      My scripture, my inspired word, is the Word of JK". It says Harry is all true too. So how do I deal with having to have faith in TWO "words" ?

      January 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • fred

      The Bling Thing
      You caught my attention. When you get a moment what is the rationale for "Hint; if god "exists" then time always existed'. Are you limiting God to this created dimension?

      January 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Keith

      BlingThing, To say a lake of fire doesn't exist isn't exactly true. White dwarf stars are liquid fire that cannot burn themselves out. So the possibility is there.

      January 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      fred,
      another hint: What does the word "exist" mean ? Is there "existence" without at least some sort of tiny change ? If you say "no", I respect that, but then the word "existence" has no meaning. Intelligent existence implies "thought". Thoughts have a beginning and end, and many, (in fact an infinite number of smaller and smaller possible divisions between them). The word implies at least tiny "changes", or the word has no meaning. That means those concepts have meaning only if time exists. The word "existence" has no meaning if time does not, ("a priori", or at least concurrently), exist. All the "humanoid" attributes of god are time dependent, (loving, being angry, guiding, moving, creating, seeing, ....bla bla bla). They ALL as'sume god exists inside the dimensions, (and only so), of it's (supposed), creature....time. Humanoids are unable to imagine "existence" outside time, as they are limited to that experience. So they, unwittingly, slap their humanoid concepts and attributes onto their gods, because that's all they can imagine. Not if the Bible had said ANYTHING, just ONE THING that was OUTSIDE the scope of it's cultural origins, it might give one pause, (such as Relativity, or Quantum Uncertainty, or steam power, or ....ANYTHING). As it is, it is TOTALLY COMPLETELY written by humans who know nothing except concepts which are local, and parochial to their era.

      January 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      "not if the Bible, should say, "now if the Bible"..

      January 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      No Keithy,
      White dwarfs, have no intrinsic source of energy, thus eventually burn themselves out. They are supported only by electron degeneracy pressure, causing them to be extremely dense. A white dwarf is very hot when it is formed, but since it has no source of energy, it will gradually radiate away its energy and cool down. This means that its radiation, which initially has a high color temperature, will lessen and redden with time. Over a very long time, a white dwarf will cool to temperatures at which it will no longer emit significant heat or light, and it will become a cold "black dwarf".

      January 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • TR6

      @ Keith:”It is good to have free will and choice If you end up in hell, it will be because you rejected God's gift of salvation”.

      Worship me or burn in hell is not a free choice. It’s kind of like love me or I’ll kill you

      January 4, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • fred

      The Bling Thing
      You said: "if the Bible had said ANYTHING, just ONE THING that was OUTSIDE the scope of it's cultural origins, it might give one pause "

      =>Take a deep breath your shining star is turning into a white dwarf.
      The Bible makes a paradigm shift for materialists and opens the door to that which is not of this world, that which all your science and reason cannot find. As I mentioned, the Bible gives; the proper perspective necessary to get a view of God, it gives the exact steps to follow, it gives specific examples after examples on how to proceed. Materialists are their own worst enemy in their attacks against the Bible and the Divinity of the Word. Each attack follows the express patterns established in the word and tells us these are the things that lead men astray. Putting Jesus on trial every day on this web site yet being blind to the fact these are the exact footsteps the Bible says materialists will take. Right up to the final criminal on the cross next to Jesus that mocked him “prove you are God come down from that cross”. So, if you do not think materialists are in denial of the truth that is before them simply look at what comes from their words and run a parity check.
      Proper perspective was given to us right up front since it is the foundation of understandings. In the beginning God created are the first five words of the Bible. That is the proper perspective God the creator and all we see is His creation. Get this perspective wrong and you will never see truth or God. This is; how it is, this is how God designed it, pain pleasure and the whole of it. God can choose the Hebrew or a puppy dog as His best friend and create afterlife or death. In the beginning God created that which can be seen from that which cannot be seen. All that we know was brought forth from what could not be seen. All the radiance of the glory of God was demonstrated in His creation.
      The materialist perspective radiates from self a limited finite source. Self is the basis of existence and looks around to make sense of what can be seen. Looking and seeing only from what is already there, already exists. Thought comes from the known and looks out and makes the world fit into what is known. Anything and everything must fit into what already was. Man creates gods, scientific theory and other forms to rationalize what is known totally unaware he is working from within outward. The entire world view is based upon a self absorbed mans eye view. This view is self limiting and incapable of comprehending any other point of view. The Bible simple refers to the self limiting nature as wearing blinders or being blind. The brain is known to automatically make sense of and justify what one believes. This is why an elaborate set of rules are used and put in place rejecting any perspective or knowledge outside of what is known. Most often this is reflected in a form of atheism that violently rejects and attempts to limit others from discovering what they cannot see using tools and methodology approved by them. In order to break this denial the atheist or materialist must be able to admit there is a higher power. Unable to do that the typical pattern is to continue the cycle of justification. Studies indicate that 8% of the population is severely affected by this inability to recognize this self limiting view while 92% are open to the possibility that there is more to life than meets the eye.
      Those willing to acknowledge a perspective other than their own are open to greater learning. Their eyes and hearts can catch a glimpse of that which cannot be seen by following the simple steps of those who themselves are witness to the truth. Take for example Able who in faith gave his best out of love for God or Abraham who left the security of his home country stepping out in faith to a hope a promised land. Note the perspective and focus on God results in a mindset that allows one to step from what is known and secure into what is not. Faith is assurance/confidence in that which cannot be seen. The Bible has such examples of faith throughout the history of its people from all walks of life. Today men and women throughout the world discover that faith by the millions. Beginning with Ho.mo Neandertalensis science has discovered an inate need to prepare for the afterlife. This falls in line with Jesus when He said “God wishes that none should perish but all come to the glory of God. The truth is everywhere and inside you once you step out in faith and ask for the promise.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Really?

      “In the beginning God created are the first five words of the Bible. That is the proper perspective God the creator and all we see is His creation. Get this perspective wrong and you will never see truth or God. This is; how it is, this is how God designed it, pain pleasure and the whole of it.”

      Really so all the earth quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other destructions in this world your god created to destroy human life and lives. That’s not a god to worship, that is a monster, especially since it does nothing to stop it.

      “Man creates gods, scientific theory and other forms to rationalize what is known totally unaware he is working from within outward. “

      Hey look fred finally admitted man created gods, yes they did which is why your god doesn’t exist, it’s all in your head. Science has proven that. Now take your meds fred.

      “The brain is known to automatically make sense of and justify what one believes. “

      Wrong, we educate ourselves into what we believe which is why ignorance is such a downfall for humanity because it breeds hate and intolerance.

      “This is why an elaborate set of rules are used and put in place rejecting any perspective or knowledge outside of what is known.”

      If that was true there would be no progress, the fact we continue to progress proves your theory WRONG.

      “Most often this is reflected in a form of atheism that violently rejects”

      Violently, really what a load of crap, according to your books of myths lying is a sin moron.

      “In order to break this denial the atheist or materialist must be able to admit there is a higher power. “

      No, they don’t that is called delusional and theirs drugs you can take for that. Especially since science has replaced your nonsense by stimulating the brain, it has nothing to do with a higher power.

      “Studies indicate that 8% of the population is severely affected by this inability to recognize this self limiting view while 92% are open to the possibility that there is more to life than meets the eye.”

      Duh, we’ve been proving that through science not a god. Your bogus book thought the world was flat, the sun was the center of the universe, it was science that proved your book wrong.

      “Today men and women throughout the world discover that faith by the millions. “

      Again you’re exaggerating to try to make your point maybe a 3rd of the populations of the world is christian doesn’t mean it’s true or right. DUH!
      “God wishes that none should perish but all come to the glory of God. The truth is everywhere and inside you once you step out in faith and ask for the promise.”

      The only thing inside of you is your brain and the chemicals it uses when you have a spiritual thought doesn’t mean your god actually exists. DUH!

      January 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      Really?
      “Really so all the earth quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other destructions in this world your god created to destroy human life and lives. That’s not a god to worship, that is a monster, especially since it does nothing to stop it.”
      =>If you wish to attempt a view from the proper perspective I would be happy to explain. If you cannot accept the Bibles explanation on anything there is little sense for me go over it again. I will give you the short version; God could stop it and chooses not to.
      “man created gods, yes they did which is why your god doesn’t exist,”
      =>Correct, gods were created by man yet, God created man and has revealed who He is not those passing desires from mans small world

      “Wrong, we educate ourselves into what we believe which is why ignorance is such a downfall for humanity because it breeds hate and intolerance. “
      =>wrong, you cannot and refuse to see that which has existed for all time which makes you the one with a closed mind. Most Christians can see your side and Gods side. Now, who is more rounded?

      ”if that was true there would be no progress, the fact we continue to progress proves your theory WRONG.
      =>progress? Your thoughts centered in materialism are older than Jesus Apostles. You have not progressed. We have killed more people for atheism /communism than all Christians have to date.
      “ Your bogus book thought the world was flat, the sun was the center of the universe, it was science that proved your book wrong. “
      =>No, the Bible did not say that. It was mans interpretation of the Bible which was often inspired by religious control freaks that made those assumptions. You can blame misguided people but not the Bible.
      ‘Today men and women throughout the world discover that faith by the millions.“- doesn’t mean it’s true or right. DUH!
      =>agreed the purpose was not argumentum ad populum simply observation that the steps in the Bible work today as before.

      January 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Keith

      TheBlingThing, Not the stuff I've read about them. They are liquid fire and cannot burn out. I'm not saying that this is the lake of fire-what I'm saying is that it is scientifically possible.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Really?

      “ God could stop it and chooses not to.”

      That just proves how evil and corrupt your god really is and doesn’t deserve to spit on the sidewalk.

      “Correct, gods were created by man yet, God created man and has revealed who He is not those passing desires from mans small world”

      You have no proof your god has revealed anything and even exists you’re just making crap up.
      “wrong, you cannot and refuse to see that which has existed for all time which makes you the one with a closed mind. Most Christians can see your side and Gods side. Now, who is more rounded?”
      The Atheists is because there is no proof of your god, therefore it doesn’t exist. Being delusional doesn’t make you more rounded.

      “progress? Your thoughts centered in materialism are older than Jesus Apostles. You have not progressed. We have killed more people for atheism /communism than all Christians have to date.”
      WRONG – religions have killed more people to date. Do your homework.

      “No, the Bible did not say that. It was mans interpretation of the Bible which was often inspired by religious control freaks that made those assumptions. You can blame misguided people but not the Bible.”

      LMAO! Misguided people wrote the bible and you believe it to be the truth. LOL!

      “agreed the purpose was not argumentum ad populum simply observation that the steps in the Bible work today as before.”

      No, it doesn’t prove that at all what you are not factoring in is all those that have LEFT christianity because the know it to be false and those that have read your bible and rejected it.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • fred

      Really?
      “ God could stop it and chooses not to.”That just proves how evil and corrupt your god really is and doesn’t deserve to spit on the sidewalk.
      =>No it reflects the fact choices made by man have long lasting consequences, i.e. forever.

      “You have no proof your god has revealed anything and even exists”
      =>There is in you and all around you all the proof you need. Atheists are typically materialists and reject all evidence that does not fit the physical. You know yourself there is something more than just the skin hanging on your bones yet you even reject that.
      “Being delusional doesn’t make you more rounded.”
      =>consider your statement and recognize it makes little sense for someone to be delusional in just one area of life. We see, do and accomplish as many great things as atheists. Is someone who is color blind delusional? I do not consider atheists delusional only that for some reason they refuse or cannot see what 92% of all other human beings can see.
      “WRONG – religions have killed more people to date. Do your homework.”
      =>Sorry, but atheists Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot alone killed over 285 million people. Killing is a problem with man not God. Never confuse religion with God or the things of God.
      “No, it doesn’t prove that at all what you are not factoring in is all those that have LEFT christianity because the know it to be false and those that have read your bible and rejected it.”
      =>Sorry again but, in China alone there were 80 million new Christian converts last year. Certainly many will continue to reject the truth of God but numbers do not lie, 92% is a steady number for people that believe there is something more.

      January 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Really?

      “No it reflects the fact choices made by man have long lasting consequences, i.e. forever.”

      That is such a pathetic excuse, man has no choice in earthquakes, tsumamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, wow are you delusional. If you believe your god created everything then it also created those and kills millions of innocent people yearly, That is the definition of a monster.

      “There is in you and all around you all the proof you need. Atheists are typically materialists and reject all evidence that does not fit the physical. You know yourself there is something more than just the skin hanging on your bones yet you even reject that.”

      No, you reject the science that explains it all. Just because someone doesn’t have all the answers doesn’t prove there is a god, it only proves your’ delusional. Eventually, the science community will be able to answer the questions, they’ve already answered many that people thought was a god and now we know it’s not.

      “consider your statement and recognize it makes little sense for someone to be delusional in just one area of life. We see, do and accomplish as many great things as atheists. Is someone who is color blind delusional? I do not consider atheists delusional only that for some reason they refuse or cannot see what 92% of all other human beings can see.”
      You believe in an imaginary friend, that is delusional.

      “Sorry, but atheists Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot alone killed over 285 million people. Killing is a problem with man not God. Never confuse religion with God or the things of God.”

      So religious wars has that beat over 809 million people have died in religious wars.

      “Sorry again but, in China alone there were 80 million new Christian converts last year. Certainly many will continue to reject the truth of God but numbers do not lie, 92% is a steady number for people that believe there is something more”

      Wow are you delusional, it’s politically correct to say you believe in a god. The flaw in your data is over have of those people self identify as non-religious. It’s political suicide to say you’re an atheist in society. CNN just had a piece on how atheists attend church just because. You have to tell yourself this crap to justify your reason for believing in an imaginary friend and that is delusional, but the reality is it's just a chemical in your brain making you think it's a god.

      January 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • fred

      Really?
      “man has no choice in earthquakes, tsumamis,…. god created everything …. That is the definition of a monster. “
      =>It was man that chose to live apart from God not vise versa. If you chose to snort crack you cannot blame God for giving you a nose.
      “ you reject the science that explains it all.”
      Sorry, the majority of Christians are very much at home with science.
      “Eventually, the science community will be able to answer the questions, they’ve already answered many that people thought was a god and now we know it’s not.”
      =>Wrong, ask any real scientist and they will tell you there is no end to the God question.
      =>Wrong, please read the Bible and note that to date Science has not answered any of Gods questions. If you are referring to pagans and others that made their own man made gods even the Bible itself told them how foolish they were. There is a big difference between these gods and God. The atheist community continues their attempt to confuse the real God with mans gods.
      “You believe in an imaginary friend, that is delusional.”
      =>A very real God saved my life and I have watched God save many more. It is not delusional when you see it for yourself.
      “So religious wars has that beat over 809 million people have died in religious wars.”
      =>Not a math major? You pull a number of religious deaths for all known history and compare that to a 47 year period when atheist leaders killed 285 million? 92% of all people believe in Deity and that is all that were killed in religious wars? Only 8% are atheist yet they were responsible for 27% of deaths due to war (even using your poor data). Atheist were responsible for 70% of war deaths if you wish to look at simply the 47 year period and compare apples to apples.
      “You have to tell yourself this crap to justify your reason for believing in an imaginary friend “
      =>No my love for God is based on what God personally has done in my life. War numbers can be anything are easy to twist.
      “the reality is it's just a chemical in your brain making you think it's a god.”
      =>ah, we have something in common, brain chemicals. I suspect you think atheist brain chemicals make you think clearer?

      January 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Really?

      “It was man that chose to live apart from God not vise versa. If you chose to snort crack you cannot blame God for giving you a nose.”

      What kind of idiot are you, if your god created everything, it continues to murder humans, the very thing it says you should not do, that is a monster.

      “Sorry, the majority of Christians are very much at home with science.”

      That’s why the church continues to try to block science from progressing, trying to block certain sciences in schools, and they don’t teach all science in private christian schools, stop making crap up and being too lazy to do your homework. You’re an idiot.

      “Wrong, ask any real scientist and they will tell you there is no end to the God question.”

      There will be.

      “Wrong, please read the Bible and note that to date Science has not answered any of Gods questions. If you are referring to pagans and others that made their own man made gods even the Bible itself told them how foolish they were. There is a big difference between these gods and God. The atheist community continues their attempt to confuse the real God with mans gods”

      They are ALL manmade gods, that’s the point moron, they used pagan religions to create the stories in the bible.

      “A very real God saved my life and I have watched God save many more. It is not delusional when you see it for yourself.”

      It didn’t save your life, you needed something else to be addicted too, you’re not cured yet until you acknowledge your addictive behaviors and change it.

      “Not a math major? You pull a number of religious deaths for all known history and compare that to a 47 year period when atheist leaders killed 285 million? 92% of all people believe in Deity and that is all that were killed in religious wars? Only 8% are atheist yet they were responsible for 27% of deaths due to war (even using your poor data). Atheist were responsible for 70% of war deaths if you wish to look at simply the 47 year period and compare apples to apples.”

      Thanks for proving how delusional you are and great at twisting reality to fit your pathetic excuses. Wow that took the cake in stupidity. You’ve got it backwards religious nuts are responsible for 70% off ALL killings in humanity.

      “No my love for God is based on what God personally has done in my life. War numbers can be anything are easy to twist.”

      No, its your addicted to the chemical your brain is giving out, nothing more. You don’t know how to love your pitiful self so you have to keep making excuses.

      “ah, we have something in common, brain chemicals. I suspect you think atheist brain chemicals make you think clearer?”

      Nope, not clever just not delusional like you.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • fred

      Really?
      “What kind of idiot are you, if your god created everything, it continues to murder humans, the very thing it says you should not do, that is a monster.
      =>First of all you know it is not murder. Perhaps an example will help. A big rock falls off the cliff and smashed you dead. What’s the big deal? Your dead and now you never exist. You want to blame someone for that and call it murder? You need to stop crossing over between the Bible you hate and claim is big lie (even though you do not understand it) then attach your godless world view to a god you claim to know. Everything you say about God is so far from the truth of who God is and how he revealed himself to us I wonder what “bible” you read. Many of your comments appear to come straight from the Dawkins bible. You need to either speak about the real God or Dawkins Idol so that we can have a worthwhile discussion.
      “That’s why the church continues to try to block science from progressing, trying to block certain sciences in schools, and they don’t teach all science in private christian schools”
      =>Public schools are so anti God it is pathetic you are way off on that one. Talk of God is outlawed. Private Christian schools turn out students with equal or higher academic scores. That is a fact.
      “Wrong, ask any real scientist and they will tell you there is no end to the God question.”There will be.
      =>that is wishful thinking. Go ask a scientist.
      “They are ALL manmade gods, that’s the point moron, they used pagan religions to create the stories in the bible.”
      =>No, scholars have debunked that nonsense regarding copycat Christian faith. God is and always was. God is very much alive today while all your manmade gods are in a heep in some musem.
      “religious nuts are responsible for 70% off ALL killings in humanity.”
      =>You should have stuck to the Dawkins bible on this one and said the 285 million killed by atheists were actually killed by communists and atheists just happen to have been the ruling party. Once again not only is your math off but you’re are comparing all wars since the beginning of history to the 47 years when atheists tried to wipe out deism killing 285 million worshipers. You do well without God.

      January 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Really?

      “First of all you know it is not murder. Perhaps an example will help. A big rock falls off the cliff and smashed you dead. What’s the big deal? Your dead and now you never exist. You want to blame someone for that and call it murder? You need to stop crossing over between the Bible you hate and claim is big lie (even though you do not understand it) then attach your godless world view to a god you claim to know. Everything you say about God is so far from the truth of who God is and how he revealed himself to us I wonder what “bible” you read. Many of your comments appear to come straight from the Dawkins bible. You need to either speak about the real God or Dawkins Idol so that we can have a worthwhile discussion.”

      Oh please moron, your god murdered everyone on the planet. What defines murder is knowing beforehand you’re going kill everyone, your god did exactly that. You’re the one that doesn’t want to see the monster of a god that is depicted in your bible.

      “Public schools are so anti God it is pathetic you are way off on that one. Talk of God is outlawed. Private Christian schools turn out students with equal or higher academic scores. That is a fact.”

      No based on science as we know it, idiot. State and local gov’t even your pee brain should know separation of church and state, the bible is a work of fiction and doesn’t belong in our school system funds public schools.

      “No, scholars have debunked that nonsense regarding copycat Christian faith. God is and always was. God is very much alive today while all your manmade gods are in a heep in some musem.”

      That’s not true there are still other gods being worshipped today. You have to believe the crap you make up so you can feel justified in your addiction.

      “You should have stuck to the Dawkins bible on this one and said the 285 million killed by atheists were actually killed by communists and atheists just happen to have been the ruling party. Once again not only is your math off but you’re are comparing all wars since the beginning of history to the 47 years when atheists tried to wipe out deism killing 285 million worshipers. You do well without God.”

      Oh, moron it still doesn’t come close to the 409 million, keep telling yourself crap to justify your stupidity and blaming atheists for concepts of history you don’t understand especially the plight of human rights.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  6. S. Buck Pearl

    Following up on Sean, the drunken Mick, I say "nostrovia!"

    We need to either, 1) deny believers the right to vote, or 2) round them up, put them to work on some shovel-ready projects, like filling pot holes, or tearing down churches so we have more room for ACORN centers, and free abortion clinics.

    BRITS OUT OF IRELAND (but leave the booze)

    January 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • S. Buck Pearl

      And if those things don't smack some sense into them, there's always the "rice paddies," (wink, wink). Starting with the Jews, of course!

      January 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  7. sonotso

    Santorum and Tebow; now thats a ticket those evangelicals could support. Go God go! Fight! Win! Beat the evil Democrats!

    January 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  8. Seán Ó Maoildeirg

    Is there any sane voter who believes that religious groups should have any input into the selection or election of politicians. After all, it is religion and it's radical groupings that are the root cause of all wars and tribal conflicts

    January 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • S. Buck Pearl

      I agree! We need more enlightened leadership like we had in the 20th C. That's when good visionaries weren't afraid to put those religious kooks in gulags, or graves, where they belong!

      January 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  9. JohnR

    The younger generation of evangelicals look a lot more civilized than their elders. Cool.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Seán Ó Maoildeirg

      Which aspect of evangelism respects democracy. Evangelists are nothing more than people who appoint themselves to lectures with the implied notion that they are holier than anyone else. Democracy is what they want. They would like if the world went back to the dark ages

      January 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • JohnR

      Am I supposed to agree with a dumb comment like that? What? Am I missing something?

      January 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  10. Agnethiest

    @Pearl

    You're not a liberal. You're a right wing nut!

    January 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • S. Buck Pearl

      Learn how to spell you fascist, phony Christian! Why don't you pray to Ronald Reagan.

      January 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  11. RevLama

    Rick Santorum is firmly against abortion – except when it is his wife!

    http://early-onset-of-night.tumblr.com/post/6502308112/our-abortion-was-different-when-the-anti-choice

    January 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • S. Buck Pearl

      I hate it when politicians take stands on abortion too! Don't they know that we have Amazonian tree slugs to save???

      January 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  12. S. Buck Pearl

    I prefer Obama's religion to Santorum's! You remember: "G D America! G D America!! G D America!!!" it warms my liberal heart to hear this country cursed at the top of BHO's pastors lungs. Now that's some old time religion I can get into.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • S. Buck Pearl

      P.S. I hope they hung another ornament of Karl Marx on the WH Xmas tree this year like they did in 2009! That was sooo cool. I sleep better at night knowing my comrad decorates the people's house with the father of communism. Sigh! He's quite a guy.

      Down with the 1% (except Bho, and the rich Jewish brokers on Wall St who fund him!)

      January 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  13. A true Atheist

    Rue Paul for president

    January 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  14. Lee

    Tomorrow's headline: "Santorum Continues to Knock on Back Door After Wild Come-from-Behind Night"

    January 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • The Bling Thing

      that's a lot of "back doors" and "beehinds". Are you saying he's gay ?

      January 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  15. Reality

    Only for the "newbies":============================================>

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

    January 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on reality garbage

      January 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • ..........^2

      report abuse on .............
      Freedom of speech etc.

      January 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  16. JunMint

    Chris – I can totally relate to your story and I agree with you on many points. My confusion is: Are you saying that you support Rick Santorum and/or his ideals? You say you support the preservation of ALL life. Rick Santorum openly admits he would bomb Iran today if he were president. How is that valuing all life? Is Muslim life not as sacred as Christian life? Rick Santorum is the scariest candidate out there in my opinion.

    The perfect candidate who embodies this "new evangelical movement" is Ron Paul.

    I encourage you to really listen to and research Ron Paul. He is the ONLY candidate that lives out his faith, truly values life (prenatal, Muslim, Christian, etc...), thinks that neighbors should love and take care of each other (not bureaucrats in DC) and defends individual liberties so that people are the ones doing the loving – not faulty policies and systems.

    Some people get really hung up on Ron Paul's belief in the individual. And yeah, it would require more personal responsibility from all of us, but if the government is just automatically taking your money (out of your paycheck each month) and doing your charity work for you – that's not really loving your neighbor anyway, is it?

    Here is a great place to start learning about him: http://www.whyronpaul.com/

    January 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  17. RC

    Good timing on this article. Within 2 wks, however, your points will be worthless after Senator Santorum actually gets looked at a bit for the first time. He will fall to the wayside as fast as the others just like the Huckster did 4 yrs ago.

    January 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  18. JC`

    What a joke, the media has been trying to tell us all along, Ron Paul is non existent and everyone and his brother is surging, one by one the con's are all dropping like flies on a winter day, cain, grinch, huntsman, now its Santorum's turn. Where is Bachmann now ? . MSM, us folks are not so stupid anymore.......

    January 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Project out of bounds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skpm78ZKcCo

    January 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Well now, thank you for voting for Bush and screwing up our country.

    January 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Did you even vote?

      January 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Advertisement
About this blog

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