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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. Fair Tax Task Force

    It's tough being a "true" believer. All of these logical questions that have no answers.

    That's why religion hates education. It causes people to ask questions that the religious heirarchy doesn't want asked because it threatens their power structure.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Correction Tax, the education system teaches you Jesus' wisdom, just calling it by another name so you don't stick your nose up in the air, walk out, and remain ignorant for the rest of your life. Jesus does work in mysterious ways.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      But evangelicals are all up in arms about the teaching of evolution. So, I'm not buying that the American Education system is wholly (not holy) a religiuous endeavor.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's because you list evolution as a theory and not the religion you worship.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  2. Steve the Goat

    They are not different at the core. They all believe in a space ghost that doesn't exist. It's like arguing who is better off between someone standing in a bucket of cow manure vs. someone standing in horse manure. You're still standing in manure.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • jg

      But I LOVE Space Ghost!!! Wait... are we talking about the same thing? 😉

      January 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mk2

      Is there anything more intolerant in other's belief than an atheist liberal? I mean you guys have the Taliban covered with all your intolerance . It's America let others believe whatever they want to believe and stop being so hateful and intolerant of other's beliefs .

      January 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • One one

      @Mk2. Well actually, Jesus. He is the most religiously intollerant person in the universe. He sends people to hell for not believing in him.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, Steve. Do tell us ... did your ancestors swing from trees? Or, did they get blown across the universe during that batman and robin big boom?

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out

    This is a "George" classic. George discussing the Big Bang. Enjoy!

    1. George “Physics seeks to find an alternate explanation for the beginning of the universe other than God.”

    No it doesn’t. Physics seeks to find the truth for the beginning of the universe.

    2. George: “It is thus a religion and is in direct conflict with Christianity.”

    No it is not because it relies on provable facts. Christianity is a cult and has no knows basis in reality.

    3. George: “It asks it's adherents to believe in an unproveable "big bang" on “faith”.

    No it doesn’t. There is excellent data to suggest the Big Bang happened. The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory which is widely accepted within the scientific community because it is the most accurate and comprehensive explanation for the full range of phenomena astronomers observe. Since its conception, abundant evidence has arisen to further validate the model. Scientists are just as interested in what happened before the big bang too. And what comes next. Having said that, if a better theory (and there are other hypothesis regarding the origin of the Universe) comes along it will be just as rigorously tested and validated.

    4. George: “Also, it tells its followers that things such as quarcks exist. Have you ever seen a quark? Didn't think so. You gotta take it on faith.”

    It is called a “Quark” George, and it is an elementary particle that cannot be directly observed, however much of what is known about quarks has been drawn from observations of hadrons. The science is there to support it. Think about it this way, we can’t observe planets that are many trillions of miles away, but by observing their stars, we can detect their existence by the small gravitational wiggle, or some case the steady “blink” of the planet passing between the star and us.

    5. George: “I could go on and on about how physics is a religion.”

    No you couldn’t, because it not a religion and you are a profoundly stupid person.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • jg

      Oh George. He tries so hard... god bless him. (snark)

      January 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • George

      I stand by every one of my statements. In particular, if you can't observe a quark, how do you know it even exists? You have to take it on faith. Have you ever seen a hadron? How do you know it exists? You have to take it on faith.

      The whole science of modern physics is nothing but a religion. The big bang didn't exist unless God created the universe that way. But to suggest that the universe was created without God is ludricrous.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is no proof of that whatsoever, George. None. You're free to believe it if you choose. But it's not a fact.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out

      Oh I know you stand by your statements George, that is what makes you so hysterical.

      So: Believe in God on Faith – Acceptable
      Belive in anything else on Faith – Unacceptable

      Correct?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out

      Not that sub-atomic particles have to believed in based on faith mind you. There is evidence. And that George my friend, is the fundatmental difference between God and sub-atomic particles. Evidence. You have none.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • H in Texas

      George, I will help you test to see if your God is real. If he is there he will stop me from posting again on this website and perform a "miracle" in front of the thousands of CNN posters. So if this showed up and you are reading it, then God (or well I guess specifically your God) was incapable of preventing a simple http connection from forming. If that is the case, I am wholeheartedly unimpressed. Oh and please do not use that tired old "he doesn't work that way" excuse.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • George

      I have no evidence? What do you call the Bible?

      And to answer your question, it is unacceptable to take on faith something that contradicts the Truth.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      George – you have the biblle, muslims have the Koran, every religion has their own writings.

      What makes the bible right and everyone elses' writings' wrong. You've just transferred "faith" to a book of unknown authorship, and questionable translation from ancient languages.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      According to George: "if you can't observe a quark, how do you know it even exists?", where observe means actually see. Applying this to (some) god: "if you can't observe a god, how do you know it even exists?". So George, where can I go to actually see god? If we can't actually see god, by your own words, we can't be certain it exists.

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

      Oh, hum, another reading the lies posted on the blog ... from gays that still won't come out because they now hide behind science bash Christians. Thank you again science with your detective work of unovering.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out

      How do sub-atomic particles contradict your Bible George? Huh? What do you think EVERYTHING including you is made from?

      The Bible is evidence that people wrote it. Nothing more.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out, I'm glad you agree with Christians that holy men through divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost scribed Jesus truth about life and the hereafter.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  4. brain wash the lost

    Lol another weak idiot brainwashed at a young age for his natural desire to be a normal person. pathetic is what i call it. this nation will tear itself apart because of a lack of ability to shed a dead way.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  5. jonborg

    Evangelicals like Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, and Donald Miller are huge among young evangelicals. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Christian Right swing towards the center, if not the Left; well, not the Left in the traditional sense, but in the idea that the individual isn't god, war is bad, and Christians should do all they can to help the poor.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      atheist believe in helping the poor.. and that's without the promise of reward.. makes the atheist pure.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  6. tony

    Just imagine George as a Shari. . sorry Inquisition court judge. . . . . . . I wonder how many souls he'd save by burning their bodies . .

    January 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • George

      Just throw in a personal attack when you can't respond to an argument.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  7. EddyL

    Lunatics and fanatics.... disgusting.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  8. Fair Tax Task Force

    George – I also question whether my dog has a soul. She loves me. She comes running with her tail wagging when I come home. She dreams. She even barks in her sleep and I see her feet moving like she's running in her sleep.

    If dogs dream, why don't they have a soul? If dogs don't have souls, what the heck is a soul anyway, and what makes humans so special that they have one (or maybe more if you're schizophrenic).

    January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Kay

      The only people saying we have a soul are us. Doesn't make it true.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  9. H in Texas

    George, please wake up and stop worshipping your imaginary friend. The faster people like yourself wake up the faster we can move on. You are being duped by the greatest "long con" in history.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • George

      That's just the problem. We have moved on too much. We need to get America back to God.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And just what do you think that will accomplish, George? What will suddenly improve if we "get back to God"? Go ahead and tell me all the things that will transpire if we all just believe as you do.

      Will Tinkerbelle live?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • H in Texas

      No, really we could go so much further without you. I honestly wish I was born in a time without the God of the house of Abraham being fixated on and fought over so much.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  10. RS

    That poor child had to be brainwashed by those conservatives in Georgia. I feel awful for him. Shame on his selfish parents.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      well said..

      January 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  11. Zeta Reticulan

    We were on earth 15,000 years ago & 5,000 years ago then came back again 2,000 years ago ... we gave you a helping hand but you turned our help into religions. We are coming back to straighten you out on your earth date of 12/23/12.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  12. Fair Tax Task Force

    Imagine all of the people that would still be alive if senior citizens in Florida hadn't forgotten their glasses on November 7, 2000.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • George

      Are you trying to smear George W. Bush who was a far better president than we now have, a good Christian, and a fine man?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      George – stop being paranoid. It's a hypothetical question about an alternative history that might have happened if Al Gore had been elected president, and made different choices that George Bush.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • TB

      Cut George some slack. It's clear from his assertion that he is delusional.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • George

      The implication being that George W. Bush killed a lot of people unnecessarily.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tounge Sticking Out

      George Dubya's Top Ten – The stipidist president in history.

      10) "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

      9) "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

      8) "I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft." —second presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

      7) "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

      6) "You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." —to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

      5) "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

      4) "They misunderestimated me." —Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

      3) "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

      2) "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

      1) "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." —Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

      January 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Larry L

      I'll be more clear. George W. Bush should be in prison, along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. They falsified intelligence data to prompt the Congress into supporting an attack on Iraq – one of the very few states in the region not involved in 9/11. Their actions caused the death of hundred of thousands of people – and over 5000 Americans. They never even put the cost of the wars on the books and coupled with unbridled spending, trashed the American economy. They had sweetheart deals with defense contractors – many of whom were oipenly cheating the taxpayers. Can you say "Haliburton"? They were criminals and you are delusional if you believe that "W" was anything but disasterous for America. Is that clear enough?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      George – unnecessary deaths? Would Al Gore have lied to justify an invasion of Iraq? Yes, I AM blaming George Bush for unnecessary deaths.

      Even George Bush is afraid of that. He cancelled his visit to Switzerland, because he was afraid that he'd be arrested for war crimes.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  13. Fred

    Florida is no different. 30% of evangelicals will sell out their faith to vote for a corrupt Catholic who has been married 3 times and has been fined $300000 by his fellow republicans.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Willie

      Correct

      January 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  14. Fair Tax Task Force

    If god is "All Powerful", can he create something so heavy that even he can't move it?

    January 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • George

      This is an old riddle that you are trying to use to trip up Christians. Google it. There are plenty of answers.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      George – there are plenty of answer, you just don't happen to know one.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • tony

      Pity you can't answer that yourself George

      January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • jg

      The question isn't "could he", the question is "would he try", and the answer, of course, would be no because it's pointless mentalmasturbation/waste of time... just like religion.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Can God resolve any paradox?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • tony

      Collection plates aren't full enough yet. Keep giving to the so all powerful god, he doesn't need money

      January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Curious

      OK Observer, can you define predicates on all of logic? On God?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Observer

      I'm not about to follow you down Goedel's rabbit hole Curious. Go play somewhere else.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LOL, Observer has left the keyboard.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  15. George

    It is often said that religion will not get you into heaven. This is most certainly true. But having the wrong religion will surely buy you a ticket to hell.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      What about my dog?

      Does she get to go to heaven? She never hurt anyone? Never fornicated (as far as I know). She never prayed, because she can't talk. She peed on the rug a few times, and killed a rabbit in our yard once, does that count?

      Does she go to hell? If she doesn't go to heaven, why not? Does god hate dogs?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Observer

      All dogs go to heaven

      January 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • George

      Animals have no souls. They go neither to heaven nor to hell.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • JJ

      Who decides which religion is wrong or right there Georgie?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      George – So where to dogs go after they die?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • tony

      No earthlings went to heaven before 33 AD then George?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Smurf

      This is quite possibly the most arrogant and ignorant statement I have ever seen.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Then why did God make wrong religions? Why does he allow wrong religions? If he is omnipotent & created us all, why did he make us imperfect so we can choose the wrong religion & be punished for it for all eternity in a sea of fire? Does that make any sense at all?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Lee

      Can't have it both ways George. Religion can't get you in but it can keep you out? Sounds hypocritical to me.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • George

      @JJ

      Compare all of the world's religions and their sacred texts, and you will see that the Christian Bible is the only one that has been proven true time after time.

      @Horses

      God didn't make wrong religions. Prideful man and satan have created these false religions.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Larry L

      Everybody with religion you ask will define their religion as the "right" one. Differences in them all are really quite slight – most have a super hero who rose from humble beginnings, performed miracles, provided basic tenets of behavior to guide humanity, was misunderstood and persecuted, and continues to communicate with a chosen few holy men. Since you seem to have all of the answers I'll assume you are on of the chosen.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God created ALL for His pleasure. Animals will be in Heaven as written in the Book of Isaiah 65:25.

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  16. JJ

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    You, you may say
    I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people sharing all the world

    You, you may say
    I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    January 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • George

      I'm sure you paid the copyright fees to post that or do you have express written permission?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Art Garfunkel

      Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson,
      Jesus loves you more than you will know.
      God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson.
      Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
      Hey, hey, hey

      Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
      Going to the candidate's debate.
      Laugh about it, shout about it
      When you've got to choose
      Every way you look at this you lose.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Frank Sinatra

      Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Where is Tallulah to complain about atheists going against copyright laws?

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  17. Rogue351

    You are wrong all wrong.............. Separation of church and state. By electing a religious leader you are falling directly into the say way of archaic thinking we are fighting against with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The only difference is that you are advocating Christians and they advocate Muslims. A radical is still a radical regardless of the color or religion. Keep religion and politics separate.

    January 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • George

      Every leader of this country needs to be informed by his faith. Without religion how will a person govern morally?

      January 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Fred

      Who needs faith to govern morally? I could be an atheist and still have morals. Don't act like only Christian people have morals.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Edwin

      George: I remember a catholic friend from high school who did not understand this. He asked me why I tried to do good in the world when I didn't believe in a God that would punish me otherwise. I think a lot of religious people are like that - they think that lack of religion = lack of morality - because they cannot conceive of a person CHOOSING to be good of their own volition.

      Christians are taught at an early age that humans are essentially flawed, base creatures whose only hope of divine behavior is in the salvation that God offers. Atheists realize we may be flawed, but we are actually capable of incredible acts of decency and goodness, even without promise of a reward.

      January 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  18. The Dude

    Want to make an Evangelical Christian?

    Mix 1 Part Sheet with 2 parts of Self Righteousness and 3 parts arrogance.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Edwin

      Did you even read the article, or did you set your mind to dislike all evangelicals? I know, keeping an open mind is hard work, but don't expect others to behave well if you're not going to behave nicely yourself...

      January 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • The Dude

      I am old. I have had an open mind my entire life, at some point you need to take your life experience and come to a conclusion.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  19. Fair Tax Task Force

    George tells me that the bible says there would be people like me in the "end times."

    Now that has started me thinking. Do we really want someone that believes the world is going to end to have control of the nuclear football? Maybe electing Newt Gingrich is what CAUSES the end times, and electing Obama is our only way of avoiding the end times?

    Think about it? If the world's ending anyway, what's Gingrich got to lose from nuking all non-christian nations besides may be moving to the head of the line.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  20. Paul Garcia

    All this talk about "hell" cracks me up. Thats why I think everyone should take a chance and learn more about Mormonism. We believe that wicked people will surely suffer, but who's to judge who is "wicked" The protestants believe if a kid is born in China and dies never accepting Jesus as his personal savior then he is "damned" nothing could be further from the truth. Mormons believe that chinese kid will get the chance to hear the gospel after he dies and then have a chance to accept or deny it. And we dont believe anyone is really going to "hell" with "hell" being defined as where Satan lives. Except the "sons of perditions" which only a few people in the history of the world qualify to be those guys. Not everyone is going to go to "heaven" either with "heaven" being the place where God lives. The bible talks about it as bodies terrestial and bodies celestial, with one being bright as the sun and one being bright as the moon. God is fair, Jesus Christ is fair. They're not going to send someone to hell for ever just because they werent "Christians" heck thats just silly. They LOVE us. They want us to come back. To learn more, visit http://www.mormon.org

    January 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • cigarlover6

      LOL, how someone can defend one stupidity by explaining a better stupidity.
      Man, this world befuddles me!! brainwashed folks 😦

      January 28, 2012 at 4:00 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.