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Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina
Evangelicals are expected to account for about 40% of the Republican vote on Tuesday's primary in Florida.
January 28th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina

By John Sepulvado, CNN

(CNN) - Conservative Christian activist Ralph Reed has called the Bible Belt home for decades, but he grew up in Miami in the 1970s, when the city was emerging as a diverse megalopolis.

Among his middle school friends were Jews, Catholics and Methodists.

Then, at age 15, Reed's family relocated to the sleepy mountain town of Toccoa, Georgia, so his dad, a doctor, could take a better-paying job.

“It was very conservative,” says Reed, who now lives outside Atlanta. “At first – as would be true of any 15-year-old – I didn’t like it. I think it was a culture shock.”

Ultimately, the mostly evangelical residents of Toccoa shaped Reed’s faith, helping lead him to Jesus in his 20s. But in terms of his faith-based organizing, the well-known activist drew more on his experiences in hyper-diverse Miami.

"Later on in life, when I became a leader in the Christian Coalition, I had a greater appreciation [for] ethnic and religious diversification,” Reed says.

That could be good news for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is looking to regain momentum from chief rival Newt Gingrich, after the former speaker’s upset in South Carolina, in Florida’s Tuesday primary.

There are signs that Florida’s evangelical voters may be more forgiving of Romney’s past social liberalism than their Iowa and South Carolina brethren – and more willing to support a Mormon candidate.

“I think Romney could do well in Florida,” Reed says.

A more centrist evangelicalism

As a percentage of GOP voters, there are fewer evangelicals in Florida compared to South Carolina and Iowa, where Rick Santorum won the presidential caucuses, according to CNN exit polls from 2008.

In that year, evangelicals accounted for 40% of Republican primary voters in Florida, compared to 60% in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primaries.

And compared to those other early primary states, Florida is much more religiously diverse. In the 2008 primary there, Catholics were nearly a third of the Republican vote, with other kinds of Christians, Jews and those with no religious affiliation each claiming a chunk of the vote.

Still, evangelical Christians claim a bigger share of the Florida Republican vote than any other religious tradition. There also are signs they may be more tolerant of a Mormon candidate than born-again Christians in the Bible Belt and Midwest.

In the South Carolina primary, Romney claimed 22% of the evangelical vote, compared to 44% for Gingrich, according to CNN exit polls.

Florida’s evangelicals are “more open” to the idea of a Mormon in the White House, according to Orlando area pastor Joel C. Hunter.

“Our nature, of being a fairly mobile state, with a lot of tourism and a lot of transcultural and transnational interaction really makes us boundary spanning, rather than sticking to our own affinity groups,” Hunter says.

He leads a congregation of 15,000 at Northland, a Church Distributed, a nondenominational megachurch of the kind that are more popular in Florida than in Iowa or South Carolina.

“For any independent church, you’re going to be open – necessarily open – to non-ready made boundaries, open to other religious groups,” Hunter says. “You’ll be more likely to partner with groups that aren’t necessarily like your own.”

The pastor cites his church’s partnerships with local synagogues and mosques to help local homeless children. For Hunter, teaming up with different religious traditions follows the example of Jesus.

“Jesus talked to the people, the religious leaders others wouldn’t talk to,” he says.

“As an evangelical, I should be ready to talk to a lot of people that aren’t like myself, because that’s what I see in the life of Christ, and I’m looking to build relationships.”

Mark I. Pinsky, the Florida-based author of "A Jew Among Evangelicals," says there are other key differences between evangelicals in Florida and those in Iowa and South Carolina.

“In Iowa,” Pinsky says, “they tend to be rural and older. In South Carolina, they tend to be more fundamentalist, and more likely to be affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention,” a denomination that isn’t shy about pointing out theological differences with Mormonism.

Pinsky says Florida evangelicals, especially in the central part of the state, are more likely to have Mormons as neighbors, compared to their brethren in South Carolina and Iowa.

“Nondenominational evangelicals are less likely to demonize someone who is a real person,” Pinsky says.

Less Preaching, More Teaching

Even in smaller Baptist churches in Florida’s Panhandle, there are “notable differences” with Christians in more historically evangelical parts of the country, according to pastor Curtis Clark.

“There’s still a lot of yelling from the pulpit in South Carolina,” says Clark, who leads a congregation of 2,500 at Thomasville Road Baptist Church in Tallahassee. Clark says his congregation is split between Republicans and Democrats, that almost all the adults have college degrees and that the parishioners want to be led, not yelled at.

“I try and teach, try and encourage,” Clark says. “Florida evangelicals are a little bit more educated, and have a broader experience.”

Census figures from 2010 show Florida has a slightly greater share of college graduates than South Carolina.

Both the Romney and Gingrich campaigns are reaching out to evangelicals to quell concerns about their candidacies. Both campaigns held conference calls with influential conservative religious leaders last week, discussing religion, personal and policy decisions.

Many evangelicals have expressed concern about Romney’s past support for abortion rights and gay rights and over Gingrich’s failed marriages.

But Romney doesn’t need to win big among evangelicals to take Florida, Reed says. Because evangelicals make up a smaller portion of Republican voters, Reed says Romney only needs to win a sizeable share of their support.

“If Romney gets a third of evangelical voters” Reed says, “he wins the primary.”

While Romney skipped meeting with some evangelical leaders in South Carolina, including officials at Bob Jones University, his campaign has started more aggressively courting pastors and religious community networks in Florida. The campaign has participated in multiple conference calls with religious leaders and activists.

“In part, I think [the Romney campaign is] more open to outreach by virtue of the Florida demographic,” Reed says.

That suggests the Romney camp suspects Florida’s evangelicals will be more open to his candidacy than other evangelicals in the primary states so far.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Politics

soundoff (1,828 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Here's what Evangelicals believe:

    Satan is a real person and, when given the opportunity, he attempts to defeat Christians. However, Christians can overcome Satan's schemes by applying scriptural truth (Ephesians 6:10-19, Luke 10:18, Job 1:6-12, John 8:44).

    It baffles me that so many people in this country are gullible enough to believe this? I have to think that some part of them knows this is ridiculous. The human race takes 2 steps forward and one step back.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Mirosal

      "scriptural truth" ??? I've heard of some oxymorons in my time, but THAT one in definitely in the top 5!!

      January 28, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Deep North

      Yeah. All this is an accident from a explosion in space 14 billions years ago.

      January 28, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Pete

      The best current estimate of the age of the universe is 13.75 ± 0.13 billion years. A number of scientific studies have concluded that the margin of error is approximately 0.13. If you would prefer to believe the Universe is 5000 years old, because that's what the Bible indicates, then you're living in a fantasy.

      January 28, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Yes Deep North it is called the Big Bang and that can't be refuted...numerous scientists have confirmed. You quite apparently are too lazy to go further and seek the answers. The honest stance is to say you don't know but instead you, like most other christards use the god of the gaps to fill the spaces...a little lazy on your behalf. Btw: spewing buybull quotes is silly considering the buybull was written by man, inspired by man and is full of stuff that our laws say is criminal and therefore punishable by incarceration....in your case that incarceration should probably be an asylum where they help you cure the delusions.

      January 28, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Deep North

      Truth. Are you an Astrophysicist or an Astronomer.....Or are you just taking someone word for it?

      January 28, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • paul

      Pete, have you ever consdered that you may be blind to the truth? Ask God to show up in your life... He just might do it.

      January 28, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Reality

      Deep North,

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      January 28, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • ......

      deep sh it hit report abuse on all reality posts

      January 28, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Deep Borth: I'm neither but I do happen to go on what numerous scientists who have conducted the studies and came up with the same answers over and over again have said. They are able to accurately predict the age of the universe within a .013% accuracy rate...can you say the same about your faith in god? Your only basis for your belief is a book written by man, inspired by man. When science makes a mistake, they correct it...when the buybull gets something wrong people choose to blame the devil or deny that it is wrong!! The buybull/a belief in an unknown makes a thinking brain stop functioning!!!

      January 28, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  2. Jabez Clay

    I have studied religion around the world. Religion has its strongest base with the poor and those with low self esteem. They recruit telling them that they are "wanted" when nobody else does. That they are "special" when nobody else does. Its the same technique used by every religion and cult since the dawn of man.

    The more downtrodden the person is, the more they are attracted to the more extreme religions, which tend to be louder and more vocal in their opinions.

    The muslim religion is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. It attracts non-white people from poor countries. These are some of the poorest people on the planet. It tells them they are special and the "chosen" Evangelical works the same, for that matter, pretty much all relgiions use the same technique, just the more extreme brances are louder and more vocal about how special you are and better than everyone else. It's resonates strong with those with low self esteem, which is why you tend to find more successful self-confident people steering away from religion.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • MormonChristian

      Jabez,

      Of course people who are downtrodden are looking for hope. You should look at the recent Pew survey which shows that Mormon adherents are actually stronger in their faith the more education they have. I've known many well educated Catholics, Muslims and people of other faiths as well. While some people of faith are intolerant (they seem to get the press), there are plenty of Atheists who also disparage believers and want them to not speak (some seen here...). There needs to be more recognition of the good in all and less hate.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • MormonChristian

      I would add that belief that one is a child of God builds self-confidence. It also leads to better behavior with others in recognizing they are ALL children of God and worthy of respect.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Pete

      Mormons believe that American Indians are a lost tribe of Israel. DNA testing has proved this is not true. Christians believe the devil is real, and that he tempts people to do bad things.

      What is it about people that allows them to completely disengage their brain when it comes to religion? How about we stop indoctrinating our children into this fantasy?

      January 28, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • cmdvimes

      Many atheists (self included) don't care what is going through the mind of the "faithful". Oh, we may look think they are less educated or the unfortunate victim of childhood indoctrination but how is that much different from what the "faithful" think about us? What we *do* mind is when these people start trying to manipulate laws to favor their position. Young people are less and less likely to believe in gods even in the US. It is time that the faithful get used to the fact that their loss of special privileges does not equal persecution.

      January 28, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Alex

      MormonChristian

      You are right, but the first step would be taking religion completely out of the spotlight. Individuals should be free to believe in whatever they want. The problem starts when you push your religious agenda. We need to recognize what is good in individuals regardless of their faith, and we need to stop this absurd assumption that being of a certain faith means that that person has specific qualities.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • cleareye1

      L. Ron Hubbard was quite familiar with how religions work and put that knowledge to good use for himself.

      January 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • hez316

      I I consider myself reasonably well educated and understand from a logical sense how many question certain aspects of various religions. I have a hard time with someone truly believing there is no spiritual content to a person; i.e. you consist completely of flesh and bones and the associated chemistry. That's it. When you die, you completely cease to exist. One may consider that completely logical. I couldn't find it anymore false.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • ARALE NORIMAKI

      I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood. Drink his blood and eats his body

      Most of the stories in the Bible were taken from older Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek mythologies.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mormons Are Christian

      Here are the characteristics of a cult:
      • Small? The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) has 14 million members in 132 countries. In America, there are more Mormons than there are Presbyterians or Jews.
      • Excessive devotion? Mormons are devoted to the Savior, but in appropriate measure He would approve of.
      • Unethical techniques? Ask the pie-throwers to name one.
      • Control by isolation? Even if Mormons wanted to, this would be impossible with 14 million members in 28,000 congregations throughout the world.
      • Control by threats? Again, evidence? Mormon missionaries may be exuberant, but do not threaten.
      • Dependency on the group? The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is just the opposite. Mormons want members to be self-reliant and independent so they in turn can help others.
      • Powerful group pressure? Only if that’s the way the critics prefer to define love.
      • Strange? Guilty as charged. Mormons plead guilty to all the strange things that were done by Christians in New Testament times that were lost during the great falling away in the aptly named Dark Ages, among them temple worship, baptism by immersion by the father of the family (see 2nd century font in photo above), vicarious baptism for the dead, definition of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as separate but united in purpose, salvation requiring both grace and obedience to commandments, prophets and apostles, unpaid clergy, and continual revelation to guide His Church.

      January 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  3. Tim

    I'm a Christian, but I'm not a weirdo. These people that can't converse for five minutes without going on about God and Jesus, to the point where it controls their life in an odd way, are usually the most ignorant type of people and typically misquote the bible. In addition, these people that think they need to wear a cross and have to put them hands up/out in front of them when they listen to music, seem like complete frauds to me. But, I guess they're trying, but they seem to be so easily swayed one way or the other, they are never sure what they think or feel and seem to need church to tell them (or their pastor), and typically think stupid things like Democrats (Obama) are evil and someone extreme right GOP nutjobs are somehow NOT evil POLITICIANS!? That sort of stuff is what annoys me, and these weirdos are all over my town (Bethel Church, where they think they can raise the dead, see fairy dust and talk about the most strange things). I see very few educated, legitimate Christians, it's almost embarrassing to say I am one (definitely not one of THEM anyway).

    January 28, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • J

      Jesus Christ is Lord, and He is supposed to control your life. When you are born again, you turn your life over to Him and live your life *through* Him. He also commanded you to preach the gospel. So, what you call weird is normal, and what you are doing is not normal. If you're not someone who lives their life for God and preaches the gospel, how can you say you know the Lord?

      January 28, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • UhYeaOk

      Nice try Tim, do you really believe that we believe what you posted? If you were a Christian you wouldn't have posted what you did. Next!

      January 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  4. Mirosal

    It's ALL wrong, because in the 200,000 years that our species has existed, not ONE person has been able to confirm that any god .. ANY god, has ever been real in the first place.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • NJBob

      For these people the absence of evidence is proof that god exists. Only a very powerful god could so effectively and completely conceal the evidence of his own existence.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Sambo is a liar and not a person anyone should trust...this person confirmed it by claiming to know god exists!!

      January 28, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Jesus

      You claim there is a God and yet you have no competent proof of that. You lean on "faith" and "belief" - the crutches of ignorant and weak minds. Rational and logical thinking short circuits your brain. I suggest you start reading the Bible – ALL OF IT....EVERY PAGE! Ask yourself, is this the "word" of God or the ruling strata's edicts in parable form on how to live and what to fear in the Bronze Age.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  5. TJeff1776

    I note the presence of "NO TAGS". Yesterday he labelled Mormons as Non-Christians and advised they should read the Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price and see for themselves THAT Mormons are not Christians. Of course he was banking on no one doing that and that his deception would stand. Anyone reading those books would see first hand that Mormons are Christian as one can be. Obviously, NO TAGS is DEEPLY prejudice and intolerant against other people's religion. In reverse of his statements, Mormons teach from the Old and New Testiments EVERY Sunday. Indeed, the name of their church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Certainly they teach differently from other Churches- ALL churches do. BUT one thing they don't do is point the accusing finger at other churches and call them non-Christian and/or other disparaging names as does "NO TAGS".

    January 28, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • cleareye1

      "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
      -Epicurus

      January 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Mormons Are Christian

      Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not Fourth Century Creeds. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus Christ comport more closely with Early Christianity than any other denomination. And Mormons’ teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:

      http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

      According to a 2012 Pew Forum poll of members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) 98 percent said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion. Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:

      http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

      11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians. Those who now insist on their narrow Trinitarian and salvation-only- by-grace definition of Christianity for candidates for public office are doing our Republic an injustice.

      January 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  6. One one

    I find it informative that there are so many different views about what god is, wants, and expects from his creation, namely, people. Assumptions, According to believers:
    – God is perfect, never makes a mistake
    – God created man in his image, as he wanted him to be
    – God wants man to know what he expects of him
    – He communicates his "word" in the bible

    Why then is there so much disagreement about what god is, wants, and expects?
    There are 35,000 denominations of Christianity, each claiming to have the true understanding of what god is, wants, and expects of his creation. It doesn't add up. One or more of the above assumptions must be wrong.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • MormonChristian

      I would add that God allows us our freedom to choose. It is one of the pillars of why we are here. Without it, we cannot learn and without learning our life has no purpose.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • One one

      Then you are saying god created us in such a way that we will be confused and disagree about what he wants.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • J

      We live in a fallen world. God is perfect and we're imperfect. We have the capacitiy to screw up anything, which is the reason there are disagreements. However, within orthodox Christianity, there is widespread agreement on the foundations. That we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. That God the Son was born into the world as the man Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross and rose again. When we trust in Him as Lord and Savior, our sins will be forgiven and we will be given eternal life. This is agreed upon by nearly every Christian, and this is the essential faith that all Christians have.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • NJBob

      The Word of God is generally surprisingly similar to one's own personal opinion. Imagine that!

      January 28, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • One one

      There are many beliefs, but only ONE truth. Fortunately, I happen to know what it is. 🙂

      January 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Then you are saying god created us in such a way that we will be confused and disagree about what he wants."""

      Exactly. And to thoroughly confuse matters he's not the only god out there making up stuff. He even admitted to Moses that there were other gods. No wonder we're confused.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • UhYeaOk

      35,000 denominatins eh? Where did you find that number? I am guessing in a dark smelly hole just south of your spine..

      January 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  7. Jt_flyer

    Let's have voodoo witch doctors elect our officials.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Jesus

      Sounds like life in Haiti

      January 28, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  8. Matthias Klein

    What is the Holy Cow of Politics? What is wrong with the Primaries?

    Too many of the Voters' decisions are not based on wisdom but on simplemindedness and folly.

    Voters are the holy cow in democracies.

    I have not heard anybody among the elite criticize them. The media focuses on their ratings, business on their profits and politicians on their votes. I have not heard anyone say that the voters are responsible for the policies in Washington. Only the governments or the liberal or conservative policies have failed.
    But who elected them? Politicians who want to get the majority of votes are forced to pay attention to the will of informed, simple minded and foolish voters.
    Who dares to speak the truth. The mess in the USA is caused primarily by voters.
    Stand up for the truth and make the voters an issue. As long as they do not change, policies in Washington will not change either.

    Watch: German preacher's thoughts on 2012
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpLYq525SpM&w=640&h=360]

    January 28, 2012 at 5:58 am |
  9. NoTags

    Having previously lived in FL for 29 years, I don't consider that State to be a part of the southern evangelical Bible belt because of demographics.

    I believe Romney has a very good chance of carrying FL, however I can't see him carrying any of the remaining States that comprise the southern evangelical belt, i.e. GA, AL, MS, LA, TX and AR. I believe Gingrich's margins in those States will be about the same as they were in SC.

    From the article; "In the South Carolina primary, Romney claimed 22% of the evangelical vote, compared to 44% for Gingrich, according to CNN exit polls." Having lived in the south my entire life I know that exit polls when it comes to religion can be very skewed. Southern evangelicals are not going to tell a poll taker who they actually voted for based on religion, and it would surprise me greatly if Romney actually garnered 22% of the SC evangelical vote. The "die hard" southern evangelicals are simply not going to vote for a Mormon for POTUS.

    I do believe Romney will eventually be the GOP nominee, but his victory will be without the southern Bible belt evangelical votes.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:41 am |
  10. OrangeW3dge

    I am soory to say this, but why is it that when I meet one of these people that my skin starts to crawl? Am I possesed with the Devil or something? Seriously, they make me very nervous and I start to itch. I f I stay too long, I start to swoon.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      You are swooning because they are sucking all the oxygen out of the room, so they can feed their egos. As for your skin crawling, that's a natural reaction when your common sense lights up and your internal "BS meter" is pegged to eleven.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      Whew, I was begining to think that it was too much sugar from all that human kindness

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      it isn't sugar ... it's saccharin. Cancer-causing and purely artificial.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • Mark

      Drats I usually just get migraines, they seem to kick in as soon as I hear them speaking

      January 28, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      The scary part is that, indeed, these are the very kind of people that come out to vote, while the more "logical" ones stay home figuring that they already know the outcome. Getting out to vote will be the ONLY answer

      January 28, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  11. Shrike

    I would hope that the individuals (posting above) who are critical of evangelicals, and their involvement in politics, could do better than name-calling.

    It is reasonable to question the propriety of the involvement of organized religious bodies in politics. I would quickly add, however, that both of the major political parties regularly appear in religious (or other) forums to appeal to potential voters sympathetic to their viewpoint. It seems unfair to cite only those sympathetic to Republican perspectives.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Shrike ... you stated "both of the major political parties regularly appear in religious (or other) forums to appeal to potential voters sympathetic to their viewpoint." I think you have that backwards. The voters aren't sympathetic. It's the candidate who appears sympathetic to the voters' wants and/or needs. It's only half (the word) right, the polticos certainly are pathetic, regardless of which party they affiliate with. It's all lip service. Nothing more, nothing less. Once they get into office, it's all for one (self) and none for all (the people who put him there).

      January 28, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  12. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Jesus was a jew

    January 28, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • Jesus

      Jesus was an atheist trying to make a buck in the Bronze Age by pushing a new religion on trhe public--a religion where Jesus was right under the top dog (i.e. the son of the God). If it weren't for Emp. Constantine in about 300 AD (read about the First Council of Nicea), Christianity might have gone the way of many other religions and faded away.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  13. Will

    "Evangelical" + Republican = Hypocrite!

    January 28, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • UhYeaOk

      Will, get back to your mothers basement. Your childish comments only feed your own feeble mind and the few others who are as stupid as you are.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  14. Richard Aberdeen

    If these people believed in Jesus at all, they sure as hell wouldn't be voting for a Republican. Evangelicals = hypocrisy.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  15. Spangler

    The word 'abomination' is used 65 times in the OT and 2 times in the NT. The only named abomination in the NT is Luke 16:5 where Jesus calls the love of money an abomination.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Richard Aberdeen

      Perhaps today Jesus would use the word "abomination" every time an evangelical opened their mouth, who can say for sure?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      I just hope that it is an Obama nation after November 6th this year, because it definitely be an abomination to get a Santorum. Barack is a little too religious for me already, but better than one of those sky pilots waiting for "The Word" or a set of carved tablets before making a decision for the rest of us.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Orange .. don't worry, the republi-tards are so split and fractured, they can't unite behind a single candidate. Their convention will be a circus that even P.T Barnum would envy. Obama will win without much of an effort. After all, how much campaiging is Obama doing?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • OrangeW3dge

      Mirosal, you appear to be a person of good sense

      January 28, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • Mirosal

      Nah ... just an Atheist who doesn't give a rat's ass about the evangelicals or their vote. The more they push their 2000 year old book upon us, the more they need to just STFU. This 'god' of theirs is reputed to have told them to run (ha ha), but not a single word was ever said about them winning anything.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • Mark

      While I would have, perhaps, chosen to word it differently; it certainly does appear as though Conservatives are very fractured and that concern has been voiced for months – and unless they really get behind one of those candidates all they, then 2012 could prove a greater struggle than they had thought. I am ONLY guessing, but thus far, this has to be GOP strategist's worst scenario unfolding.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • MormonChristian

      Mirosal,

      What is it about loving your neighbor as yourself, forgiving and loving your enemies, etc. that has you so upset? Is it really the core content of Christianity or the way some people twist and abuse religion for their own power and control? You can hijack any good message. Don't throw the baby out with the bath...

      January 28, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  16. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican I'd be rich!

    Nut cases no matter where they live.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Richard Aberdeen

      Good comment, but you probably would be a rich Republican.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:22 am |
  17. allenwoll

    "Born Agains" wherever found have a strong common factor - Utter DELUSION ! ! !

    January 28, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • harlequin

      Arrogance cometh before the fall. First of all I'm born again and I'm a liberal who supports Barrack Obama supporter. I'm also NOT pro-choice. But as someone else who commented here recently I disagree with the American conservatives that are anti-pro-choice and will protect fetus' but fail to reach out to children that are under privileged or otherwise in bad situations. Whether educational or health insurance wise. I live in Germany which is a very socialized country, but also many of the born again Christians I know personally are M.D.s, physicists, engineers and in general very educated. I could not classify any of them as illusional quite the contrary. Most of them in fact all of them will agree that spiritual matters can not be explained scientifically because they are matters of faith. Everyone I know that is born again agrees that an democratic society has a moral responsibility to pick up the weak, be it that there are always going to be those that abuse the system.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:38 am |
  18. Dr.Fritz

    The dim witted evangelicals have been handled by the Mormon PR machine. Google THE SECRET WORLD OF MORMONISM.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Charly StJames

      I did google it and it's scary... but also if you want to research deeper google: "Heart of the matter" with Shawn McCraney, it will give you more stuff to get scared about Mormonism 😦

      January 28, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • Mormons Are Christian

      To understand how the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) restores the esoteric ordinances given by Jesus Christ during the 40 days between his Resurrection and Ascension, just go to:

      http://NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com

      It's not so much that they are "secret", but they are "sacred". People of little faith don't understand the sacred.

      January 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  19. Shelby

    newt gingrich is an erratic blowhard and is so misogynist towards women that it's frightening to think of him as a leader of our great nation. I don't understand how ANY female voters, and especially Christian women that have knowledge of newt's behavior, could favor him.

    "I read Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and I found frightening pieces that related to...my own life." - Newt Gingrich, The Washington Post, June 12, 1989

    Scary!

    January 28, 2012 at 3:13 am |
  20. Mirosal

    It's STILL a violation of the Sixth Article of the Consti'tution. These evangelical "leaders" need to have their books audited and their tax-exempt status revoked. Courting the cadidates with meetings and conference calls means they are trying to influence their congregations, and THAT is entering the poltical arena, in direct violation of federal tax-exempt laws.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • c

      Good comment.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Mormons Are Christian

      You will never hear an endorsement of a candidate over the pulpit in the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS).

      January 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
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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.