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. Whatev

    @Mark Miller – another video with someone who thinks they have the real word from G himself while everyone else is just wrong He's just another Glenn Beck Chalkboard Devotee connecting dots with his beautiful mind and a lot of time on his hands. What do Israel, Monica Lewinsky, Earthquakes, Hurricanes have in common? NUTCASES!

    The Bible is a BOOK, written by MEN who had their own personal/political goals at a specific time in history. The stories are told to make points, illustrate the lessons they are teaching. Not facts, people.

    Oh, and if you want to give away all your worldly possessions before you get ruptured, try Haiti.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Whatev, same goes for you ...

      But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

      Matthew 10:33


      January 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  2. Tori

    Reblogged this on The Beat.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  3. MennoKnight

    He was born into poverty and a broken family. His father, and immigrant, left his mother to fend for herself while he was still a young boy. While as a teenager he feel into the wrong crowd and then his mother died of cancer. His father later died too.

    He was then an orphan being raised by his Godly grandmother. She showed him faith that he at first did not embrace. But being a strong student he received scholarships to universality. He eventually was accepted into an ivy league school on his own merit.
    While there he met an amazing woman from a strong born again faith background. This family was grounded in social action as the out-flowing of their faith. The orphan boy became a born again believer in Jesus Christ. They married and they graduated at the top of their class with law degrees.
    Instead of taking million dollar salaries they took jobs helping the poor with cheap legal work.

    As a born again believer I will vote for the person who walks the walk.

    Who am I talking about?

    January 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • dr.no

      Herman Cain?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • lolwut

      Neil Patrick Harris?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Just me

      your comment puts a lot in perspective, i don't get people who say that president obama has never accomplished anything. they truly underestemate the man. most of his critics had their lives handed to them by mommy and daddy. obama had neither.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Dr No, please tell me about Herman Cain's story. I do not know it. He dropped out to soon for me to follow his story.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  4. sequoia

    That any thinking person (I guess that's the problem) can ACTUALLY BELIEVE that the myths of ancient Middle Easterners are FACT is seriously the most embarassing thing in all of humanity. And they want to force everybody to live according to their idiotic, backwards beliefs. No thanks.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  5. CGreen

    I think it's egregious to attack someone's faith. If you don't believe in God, that's your problem. More people acknowledge a higher being than those that don't. America prospered when we were kinder and had faith. Today, we're torn apart. When you take God out of the equation and you start having problems like we see in the world and in our schools with students plotting terrorist against one another; with so much hate around us, it's no wonder God has taken a step away- we've asked him to butt out of our lives. So instead of asking why God allows things to happen, you might look into your own actions since God isn't part of your world- you consider him a made-up fairy tale, so how can he POSSIBLY can be responsible for things that go badly? No matter what you say, and you can believe your own fairy tales, as for me I will follow Jesus because I have faith and hope- that's what gets me through each day-not hatred or despair.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Really now

      Every scientist's theory is attacked, sometimes by the same one that created the theory. Why is this idea about faith any different?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • lolwut

      Spoiler: There probably is no god. Live a good life the way you want to live it.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      CGreen – I'm not attacking anyone's faith. I'm attacking the fact that those with "faith" are trying to cram their religion down my throat.

      Believe Bart Simpson is god for all I care, just don't inflict your beliefs into our political structure so that I have to conform to your beliefs.

      Is that such a difficult concept for evangelicals to grasp?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • sequoia

      I don't know when you imagine this magical time in America was and for whom it was so perfect, but it really shows how self centered you are. No offence.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • sequoia

      I don't know when you imagine this magical time in America was and for whom it was so perfect, but it really shows how self centered you are.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. Krivka

    The Bible, what MM calls infallible is so full of contradictions as to make it an absurdity. The people who wrote it never knew or even met the subject, the stories told in the four independent "gospels" do not match at all concerning the subject's birth death and what little of his life is known. One would THINK whatever group put this mash-up together would have thought about the inconsistencies and did a better job at it. But the truth of the matter is THEY DIDN'T CARE because they believed the so-called end times was upon them THEN and the end of times was imminent. They believed they would live to see the end of the world. I don't think they thought about the future at all.
    Martin Luther said.."Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason" He also said..."Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it has never come to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God." There is a reason the faithful are called "The Flock" and why education and reason are the enemies of ALL religions. The Taliban know it, the Catholic Church knows it. That is why the blue staters have to hold on against the red staters. To let the red staters win means this country is on the road currently taken by the rest of the Faith based countries. To poverty and ignorance.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • dr.no

      which contradictions please?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • lolwut


      hope this helps!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • One one

      Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
      (a) God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
      (b) Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)

      In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
      (a) Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) One million, one hundred thousand (IChronicles 21:5)

      How many fighting men were found in Judah?
      (a) Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)

      God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
      (a) Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
      (b) Three (I Chronicles 21:12)

      How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
      (b) Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)

      How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
      (a) Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)

      How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)

      The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
      (a) Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
      (b) Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)

      When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
      (a) After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
      (b) Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)

      How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
      (a) Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
      (b) Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)

      When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
      (a) One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
      (b) Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)

      How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
      (a) Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
      (b) Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)

      In what year of King Asa's reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
      (a) Twenty-sixth year (I Kings 15:33 – 16:8)
      (b) Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)

      How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
      (a) Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
      (b) Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)

      Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
      (a) Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
      (b) Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)

      Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of Pahrath-Moab?
      (a) Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
      (b) Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)

      How many were the children of Zattu?
      (a) Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
      (b) Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)

      How many were the children of Azgad?
      (a) One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
      (b) Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)

      How many were the children of Adin?
      (a) Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
      (b) Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)

      How many were the children of Hashum?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
      (b) Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)

      How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
      (b) One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)

      Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
      (a) 29,818 (Ezra)
      (b) 31,089 (Nehemiah)

      How many singers accompanied the assembly?
      (a) Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
      (b) Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)

      January 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Krivka, what is absurd is people pointing their fingers at Jesus' truth written in the bible stating it has contradictions instead of taking responsibility that you have issues in your life you need to deal with.


      January 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      oneone all those so called inconsistencies and more have been debunked so many times that it is tiring to keep repeating the proper interpretations, yet people like you keep bringing them up as if you had real insight or proof of something. After being shown the error in your interpretation you should move on. Those lists are from someone else book and you are merely trying to look impressive, but you come off like a sick parrot.

      January 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  7. Katie

    Christian definitions:
    Free will: the excuse you use when you sin (as in God gave me free will and I chose to not do what He wanted)
    Devil: the excuse you use when someone brings up arguments you can't rebut (as in the Devil is speaking through you)
    Being Christian: quoting the Bible to justify your bigotry and hatred (no examples needed here)

    January 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • lolwut

      Here's another popular one. Atheist: a person who hates god and worships satan. 'merica!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Really now

      popular, yes.
      correct, no.
      You need to believe someone exists before you can hate him.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • lolwut

      It's the definition that most of my xtian acquaintances hold.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Really now

      Then I'll add to it:
      Atheist: a LIBERAL person who hates god and worships satan. 😉

      January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • lolwut

      Even more accurate!!!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Whatev

      @lowiq, or lowut, or lout: your xtian acquaintances all have their own little culture that is wildly out of synch with reality. More in synch w/Faux News and Snewt Gingrich. You make up definitions that only the people in the club believe. Why, it's like you're in the Taliban or some other vacuous cult that seeks to impose their will on others.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • lolwut

      I believe you've failed to detect my sarcasm.

      January 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  8. TRH

    Again religion is being discussed. I genuinely fear for the future of this country.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  9. Fair Tax Task Force

    If poverty is what it takes to get into heaven, why do I have to pay churches' tax liabilities in this life?

    January 28, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  10. TonyT

    Wow, lets have a christian police state. If the muslims can do it, so can we.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • George

      Your hatred of Christianity is showing. If you don't like it, move somewhere else like North Korea. America is a majority Christian nation whether you like it or not.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • lolwut

      George, you represent the exact type of person the founding fathers wished to protect our nation from. Nothing Tony said was hateful or bigoted, just a simple observation. Your zealotry has blinded you to the fact that we are a melting pot. It's just simply...not nice.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      Tony – they're working on it. The last dark ages lasted hundreds of years. This one will too, there's plenty of time.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Russ

      It's called a Theocracy and that's where these Evangelical idiots will take the USA.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't be fooled by Georgie. He's a fake-he doesn't really believe what he posts. He's actually a liberal troll.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  11. Jim

    Know this is old, but so far none has answered it.

    Who created god?

    January 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • us1776

      The whole god myth just goes TILT when you ask that question.


      January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • lolwut


      January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Many people have answered it. Who created god? Man

      January 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • ddominik

      ....and nobody every will. Bible simply says that God is ever-existing... Bible also says that while we are bound by time and space, such things do not apply in God realm. One day we will know, but not in this world.

      "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:29

      January 28, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • One one

      Power hungry leaders?
      People afraid of death?
      Clergy looking for a lucrative gig?
      Insecure people who need someone to " love" them?
      Politicians pandering for votes?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • George

      Nobody created God. He has always existed and will always exist. You can't even imagine a being who exists outside of space and time.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • lolwut

      And you can, George? The irony in your statement is absolutely crushing me! Hahaha.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Fair Tax Task Force

      If god has always existed, why is it so hard for evangelicals to conceive of the possibility that the universe has always existed, and didn't need god to create it?

      More specifically, if god has always existed, what took him/her/it so long to getting around to creating the earth 6,000 years ago. Did he/she/it just get bored?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Seth

      No one created God. God has always been, is, and always will be.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  12. DF

    These evangelicals are even more crazy than the mormons. Every time I see an ad for one of these megachurches it scares me to the core. With all their disco lights and preachers wearing head mounted microphones and clapping their hands.. It is a joke to me.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • George

      Actually, very few Evangelicals go to megachurches. Many Evangelicals are just as put off by megachurches as you are.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Robert

      You won't see any of that sensationalism and false hype in a Mormon service. The contrast is stark and revealing. Very much centered on humility and honesty before Christ.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • DF

      And the Mormons also believe in sacred underwear and that you are supposed to refrain from drinking coffee and tea and alcohol. I'm sorry, but if there is a God, I'm sure he never intended for any of these items to be forbidden. It's just a means of trying to get people to abide in a certain manner.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  13. loathstheright

    Dear Evangelical Christians:

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the Centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who withheld all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifth, I would not care who you do or how you “do it”. I really wouldn’t. This would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

    Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.


    January 28, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Dave A.

      Loath: brilliant! I'm with you!

      January 28, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Susan


      January 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Susan

      I was temporarily stunned by your diatribe. Please know you can say what you will but one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Even yours.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • lolwut

      Susan, what are you doing? Pray for him instead, isn't that most effective? Why even comment when the power of prayer is so palpable and evident? Unless....

      January 28, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Yup, Susan, your tyrant lord will make us worship him. You know, if you really want to convert people, fear and extortion aren't good tactics. But the christian version of god tends to be more of a mafia Godfather anyway.

      'you better behave or santa will leave coal in your stocking' doesn't actually work for most thinking adults.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • tl;dr


      January 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Simon

      Thank you.

      The chances are that there is no god and we need to work things out ourselves.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Really now

      Why do you believe this stuff, really now?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Midwestmatt

      Awesome post. Except you cannot be God...cuz I am.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • lolwut

      ALL HAIL MIDWESTMATT, THE ONLY TRUE GOD!!! I believe it because I read it somewhere!!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Brad

      loathstheright for the win.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  14. loathstheright

    God is made up by man, it never existed and never will no matter how hard to pray to the magical invisible faerie in the sky. 19% of America is now Atheist...which means 19% of America is able to use their brains to reason.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Jose

      1.6% are atheists.... stop listening to David Silverman. Over 90% believe in God in the U.S.
      16% are not members of any religious group but we still believe in God.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • George

      No matter how much you disbelieve, God still exists and you will find that out. Let us hope that it won't be too late for you.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • lolwut

      Atheists account for 93% of the National Academy of Sciences. Weird.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • lolwut

      George, no matter how much you don't collect stamps, you will one day realize that you are a stamp collector.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Really now

      Ah ha! Charles and George are the same person!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Alex

      And probably more, if we could fix the educational system. This rampant religious extremism is a proof of the widespread lack of quality education.
      The same science that saves lives with medicine (yes, it's science, not god and prayers) has produced researches that say that there is a correlation between atheism, liberalism and higher IQ, as well as conservatism and lower IQs. There is also plenty of scientific evidence that obesity causes brain damage. Not a good outlook for this country...

      January 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  15. Mark Miller

    You people might want to take a look at these links to these YouTube videos:


    These videos happen to tell of more examples of proof that God is indeed real and the Bible IS IN FACT INDEED infallible word-for-word. I don't know how many people in this planet have done such research on associating a nation's disasters with the same nation's policies about Israel. What would the odds be of hitting a Royal Flush? What are the odds of lightning striking twice in the same exact spot? If all this DID turn out to be a coincidence, rather than prophecy, then there is going to be some major confusion and headaches going on for some people, such as me. And has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) done this kind of biblical research? Does the mainstream news medias (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, USA Today, etc.) know of this kind of possibility? Why have they not brought this kind of ordeal as one of the top headlines and discoveries? Is it because of the fear that it would send the world on such hysteria? Why is there so much silence on this kind of research and discovery? Don't you news people and government scientists know how many souls you can saved, by giving out this information and maybe this can help jumpstart people into looking to Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior?

    January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      "And has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) done this kind of biblical research?"

      I sure hope not. We pay them to do actual research.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Shawn

      You people are nuts. I genuinely feel sorry for you that you have this deranged, morally retarded worldview. It's just sad.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Midwestmatt

      Complete and utter BS. These types of predictions are always, yes, ALWAYS, false.

      The Lord told you to do everything for free? God told you, bibleprophecyman?? Please get your head out of your nether regions.

      Everything single thing you have spouted off about is false. Everything you have stated here has been said, literally, for centuries and they never come to pass.

      Curse Israel and God cuts you in pieces? Odd since the Arabs have been doing just that for decades and yet God hasn't cut anyone in those nations into pieces. Fail.

      Look up preterism and you'll get you "real" answers.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Alex

      Religious extremists who believe that books written by men are infallible, I suggest that you stop being such hypocrites and start following your own beliefs. God is real, science is pointless? Don't take medicines, don't go to doctors: just pray!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  16. charles

    One day you will all get your answer weather God exist or not, i only hope it's not too late for some of you.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Observer


      January 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • omg

      Charles, Is that a threat? Can you explain?

      January 28, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Jim

      Can god create something so big that even he/she/it can't move it?

      January 28, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • lolwut

      Keep it to yourself. Yeah, we're all quaking in fear of your religion's impending judgement day. How will I ever sleep at night?

      January 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • One one

      Atheists don't tell children that god will send them to hell to be tortured forever if they don't follow their beliefs. Shame on you!

      January 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Dave A.

      The idea of an external "heaven" waiting there for just the good little boys and girls is based on hot air
      Get over your fears and wishful thinking!

      January 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Alex

      He's just talking about the god of snow and rain and sun

      January 28, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  17. scobro15

    Who said transcultural and transnational is better? The Bible says "narrow is the way" and that Christians are to separate themselves from the things of this world. Stop drinking the kool-aid and speak the truth.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Simon

      Convenient for preachers like so much of religion.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • rizzo

      I did, I said that they're better.

      Oh and Jesus said to love your fellow man, not to turn your back on him to 'preserve the white race' or whatever views your racist comment hides. Hell, when worshiping Jesus, you're worshiping a man from a different culture than you...Hint: He was pretty brown, dude.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  18. Jose

    If I was president I would pass a law to kick out all non-Christians because I'm sick and tired of listening to their whinigs and cry babies.... We need to enforce theocracy. Yes, I'm serious!

    January 28, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      While we're at it, should we kick out all the non-whites?

      January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • JoseIsAMoron

      Jose, this country was founded by people escaping religious persecution. If anyone needs to be kicked out it's religious zealots like you trying to push their shoddy morals on strangers. Live and let live, keep your god out of my politics.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • sequoia

      Well you'll never be President and you have zero understanding of this nation's values or how laws are made. If you love theocracy go live with the Taliban. How has that worked out?

      January 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Alex

      Or just do us all a favor and move to a country that shares your political values: IRAN!

      January 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • rizzo

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  19. Dick Bacon

    Tim Tebow is a sissy virgin.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  20. J. Tolbert

    Thank you CNN for so clearly describing Florida evangelicals; amazing that every one fits your description. Oh, wait, when someone else attempts to do that with other groups – blacks, gays, Muslims, etc. then you and your devotees shriek they are bigots, racists, etc. Double standard?? Shoddy 'journalism'? Yes and yes,

    January 28, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • tony

      CNN came up with this belief blog for you. Be more grateful. Their day-job is publishing news.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • J. Tolbert

      So sorry, I get confused when CNN continues to run their Belief blog as the lead story, above-the-fold on page 1 with large headlines and inflammatory pictures. My bad.

      January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • tony

      Maybe, but they haven't bothered to have a dis-belief blog for the rest of us. How insulting is that?

      January 28, 2012 at 10:40 am |
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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.