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My Take: Why should Santorum decide who's a real Christian?
February 20th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

My Take: Why should Santorum decide who's a real Christian?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

There has been much chatter in recent days about the reinjection of religious matters into the presidential campaign, with a focus on the increasingly bitter debate over Catholics and contraception. But Rick Santorum has just opened up a new and dangerous front in the culture wars.

We are now being asked to debate which of the Christians running for president is really a Christian. I am referring here not to questions about Mitt Romney, whose Mormonism according to many evangelicals is not the right theological stuff, but to questions about President Barack Obama.

In the past, the strategy on the right was to intimate that Obama was a closet Muslim (he is not.) It was too crass even for our crassest politicians to come out and utter this falsehood, so, when asked about Obama’s faith, the strategy was to say, “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

In fact, that is precisely what Santorum said in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

This “Obama is a Muslim, maybe” strategy was also on display in Lady Lake, Florida, in January when a woman in the audience called Obama an “avowed Muslim” and Santorum let her remarks pass unchallenged.

Santorum took things a step further on Saturday, however, when he blasted the president for adhering to a "phony theology." The context, oddly enough, was a discussion of oil drilling technology, namely “fracking.”

In an effort to explain why Obama was in his view dragging his heels on this new technology, Santorum said the president was not motivated by “quality of life” issues. “It’s not about your job. It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” he said. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology.”

On Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," Santorum tried to shift the conversation from Obama's faith to the "phony ideal" of "radical environmentalists." "I accept the fact that the president's a Christian," he said,  even as he insisted on questioning Obama's "worldview."

Later on Sunday, at a suburban Atlanta megachurch, he seemed to compare Obama to Hitler while comparing Americans' complacency about Obama today to complacency about the Germans during World War II. "Remember, the greatest generation for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was in darkness," he said. "We think . . . 'This will be okay. I mean, yeah, maybe he's not the best guy after a while. after a while you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who's not so good of a guy after all."

I will leave it to theologians to explain to me what the Bible says about hydraulic fracturing, to lexicographers to parse the fine distinctions between phony "theology" and a phony "worldview," and to historians (or 5th graders) to distinguish between our president and Germany's Fuhrer, but my point is this: Santorum has crossed a line.

In 2008, he crossed a similar line, but he had not yet announced his run for president, so his remarks went largely unnoticed. In remarks at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, however, he said that our culture war actually a “spiritual war” and that “Satan” was on the march in America.

This “Prince of Lies,” as Santorum called him, was destroying universities, the government and popular culture. But he had also infiltrated mainline Protestantism, which in Santorum's view had ceased to live up to the name of “Christian.” “We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," Santorum said.

All this language about the “phony theology” of the president and mainline Protestants is in my view a misguided response to the decision of the Democrats to get right with God after Senator John Kerry’s loss to President Bush in the 2004 election.

Up to and during that election, Republicans were able to cloak themselves in the mantle of right religion and tar the Democrats as the party of the secular left. After 2004, however, the Democrats spoke increasingly about God and the Bible, linking their public policies to longstanding Christian commitments to justice and the poor.

Today Republicans continue to attack Democrats for adhering to the religion of “none of the above,” but such charges are increasingly implausible. So the new charge is not that the Democrats are godless. It is that they are the wrong kind of Christians.

There is considerable debate about what the founders meant when they preserved religious liberty and disestablished religion in the First Amendment. About these meanings (and in my view they were multiple) reasonable people can disagree.

It is also worth debating how far the founders thought religious diversity might go in their new nation. There was some conversation about Muslims and Jews during debates over Constitution's exclusion of any religious test for federal office. Some questioned whether Americans really wanted to allow non-Christians to be president.

There is no debating, however, the fact that the founders insisted on amity among the Christian denominations. In fact, they saw such amity as essential to peace and prosperity in their new republic.

Now Rick Santorum is turning the tables on those 19th century bigots who excommunicated Catholics from the community of the Christian faith. Evangelicals apparently pass muster with him, but not liberal Protestants, who according to Saint Santorum are less Christian than he.

There are doubtless theological discussions to be had here. In fact, Americans have been having them since the Reformation. And if Santorum wants to address a Catholic catechism class about whether Protestants are going to heaven, more power to him.

I also have no problem with Santorum citing chapter and verse from a papal encyclical to explain why he thinks "artificial birth control" is “harmful to women” and "harmful to our society" (as he said in 2006).  You want to give Catholic reasons for your public policies? Knock yourself out. Just don’t expect non-Catholics to agree with them (or many Catholics, for that matter).

Santorum also has every right to argue (as he has repeatedly) that church and state have never been separated in the United States the way some strict separationists would like them to be. But there must be some distinction between what happens in a sermon on Sunday morning and what happens in a presidential debate.

Conservatives in the United States have long spoken on behalf of community values. One of the most venerable values in American public life is religious pluralism.

This tradition of agreeing to disagree in the public square about such matters as the Trinity does not dictate that you check your faith at the door. It does not mandate that we all become moral relativists or theological compromisers. It does insist, however, that we refrain from reducing God to a wedge - which is to say a tool –for our own partisan politics. As any real conservative will recognize, that is not our tradition.

When I look at the shape of politics in this country, I too see that it is a shambles. And when I look at Rick Santorum's recent remarks I see one reason why.

My question for the former Senator from Pennsylvania is not whether he adheres to the right kind of Christianity. My question is whether there is anything he will not say in order to become president. Have you, sir, no sense of decency?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Politics • Protestant • Rick Santorum • Uncategorized • United States

soundoff (796 Responses)
  1. Jessieandjake

    Every time I read about a santorum surge I get grossed out.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      It's his aftershave.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  2. Herbie Get a Hand Job

    herbie......get a hand job

    February 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Herbie

      NOW there's a Herbie!

      February 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • herbie

      nope herbie doesn't exist. there is no herbie

      February 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Herbie get a Hand Job

      Oh come on Herbie, come out and play! I love you long time!

      February 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • herbie

      you will have to play with yourself there is no herbie

      February 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • herbie

      you will have to play with yourself there is no herbie.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Herbie Get a Hand Job

      But honey me so h.orny! Only five dolla Herbie. Me so h.orny!

      February 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      Funny Herbie.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  3. marisa

    So Rick Santorum believes that Obama is attacking religious freedom, so does that mean that he'll strike down or change any law that he believes is against religious freedom in this country. For example, women's right to vote. That was basically a religious belief that women were not equal to men and therefore didn't have the say on who was elected and couldn't vote. So is he going to get rid of women's right to vote too because it's not what HIS religion dictates? Scary.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  4. LORD TOM CRUISE

    I don't know about the rest of you liberal piles of crap but I'm seriously going to vote for Palin hard when she gets elected to the running.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Tom
      1. Palin isn't running, so even if you do have an e.rection, you can't vote for her.
      2. Unless of course by "the running" you mean the running of the Bulls. Now that would be funny to see her in the running.
      3. When I vote, I don't vote hard, it is embarrassing there are always lots of people around.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      Happy birthday, i hear you just turned six.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  5. melanie

    Why are you getting so mad at what Santorum says about Christianity? Was it not your Obama lord that said this country is no longer a Christian nation? Is it not he who said just because he went to rev. Wrights hatred spew on religion he never listened? I mean seriously people! Obama is a known Christian hater & he has proven over & over again...so where is the hate for what he says? Santorum is just stating facts here, nothing more & some of you seem quite upset over it.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      melanie, I do hope what you say is true.

      Obama 2012!

      February 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Seaturtle

      Melanie honey, you need to stop watching Fox News. It's not really NEWS you know.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      There are no American patriots greater than the Founding Fathers. The Treaty with Tripoli, (1797), stands as a testament to those founders.

      George Washington's administration wrote it and supported it, and by the time it was passed, John Adams was the President. It was read aloud in its entirety and passed by both houses of congress on June 7, 1797. The vote in both houses was unanimous. President Adams signed it into law. Here is the complete text of Article 11, with its original spelling.

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

      In other words, according to a unanimous agreement of America's Founding Fathers, the USA is NOT, was NOT, nor ever intended to be, a Christian nation. 🙄

      February 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • TR6

      The problem is that there is good truth and there is real truth and Santorum is full of good truth

      February 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      ** Obama is a known Christian hater & he has proven over & over again...

      Proof Melanie.
      Without proof, you are lying.
      Lying is a sin.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  6. CNN

    john, DUE TO YOUR CONTENT CNN HAS CENSORED YOUR POSTS. YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT WE HAVE ASSIGNED A SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE MEDIATOR TO MONITOR ALL OF YOUR POSTS AND CENSOR THEM IN THE SPLIT SECOND YOU HAVE SENT THEM EVEN THEY IT IS NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO CAPTURE, READ AND CANCEL YOUR POST THAT QUICKLY. WE HAVE YOUR IP ADDRESS AND HAVE REPORTED YOU TO OUR ATTORNEY AND THE FCC. YOU ARE SPECIAL john AND WE ARE WATCHING YOU.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  7. citizensopinion

    christian or not christian who cares? the problem is with writers of no faith based back ground twisting the story to meet thier own narative. 1 "the prince of lies" was referring to the devil or evil spirit strating to take college campus yet you seem to weave it in your opion as if he were saying it about "BO" your a fool pandering just as the politicians do and you call yourself a journalist. CNN writers always seem to violate the ethics clause in the AP when in meets your needs. stay on the story leave your opions out. False theology? that is the intellectual understanding of faith. So one could be taught a false theology right? Stop pandering and be a journalist ask tuff questions both sides....

    February 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Renee'

      I so agree! This writer has serious problems! He needs to think God that he has a job as a journalist because he always states his personal opinion and not the actual facts. I want to read facts which he never seems to provide. After researching the statements of this article he blatantly lied.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  8. Why does God not talk better? Seems like he would be a lot more fluent and convincing, instead of sounding just like something a man would write. When he talks in the bible, he's not any more eloquent than a mediocre public speaker. Why does he sound like

    mysterious!!!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Try reading the Bible in the original languages. It was not written in English you know?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      @just sayin
      Well, I for one don't read in Hebrew or Greek. I guess God is kind of dum ass for not thinking ahead a little.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Ake

      I have. It's still like he said.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      you asked, you were told your ignorance is not my problem or my responsibility.
      cheerio

      February 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      Ake
      Tell us what is unique about Psalm 119.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Ake

      Devastating comeback.....

      February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As always. Just lying isn't exactly a beacon of intellect.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Hey Jude

    Dear God,
    Please save us from Rick Santorum and his kind.
    Amen.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      You mean President Santorum?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • fail

      your post has failing

      February 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Seaturtle

      Ronald,
      THAT will never happen. While it is a confusing time in American History...there are not enough "religious zealots" and outright crazies to put him in office. On the other hand, we'd love for him to be the nominee because Pres. Obama will winn without campaigning!

      February 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  10. Joy of Sin

    If a perfect being is going to make statements about how prayer works in the Bible, then three things are certain:

    1) He would speak clearly,
    2) he would say what he means, and
    3) he would speak the truth.

    That is what "being perfect" is all about. A perfect, all-knowing God would know that people would be reading the Bible 2,000 years later, and therefore he would not use first-century idioms (he would say what he means).

    He would know that normal people will be reading the Bible and interpreting it in normal ways, so he would speak in such a way as to avoid mis-interpretation (he would speak clearly).

    He would know that when you say, "Nothing will be impossible for you", that what it means is, "Nothing will be impossible for you" and he would make sure that the statement "Nothing will be impossible for you" is accurate (he would speak the truth).

    If God says it, it should be true - otherwise he is not perfect.

    Unfortunately, the fact is that thousands of things are impossible for you no matter how much you pray, and no one (including Jesus) has ever moved a mountain.

    In order to see the truth, you need to accept the fact that all of the above verses are wrong. The fact is, God does not answer prayers. The reason why God does not answer your prayers is simple: God is imaginary.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Leo

      He came down and spoke face to face with man and was willing to pay for the sins of the world. You can't communicate better than that, nor is there any greater love than to lay down your life.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Well Hung Jesus

      Leo

      He came down and spoke face to face with man and was willing to pay for the sins of the world. You can't communicate better than that, nor is there any greater love than to lay down your life.

      -------------

      Let me guess, you get this information from the writings of men. lol

      February 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Leo

      Joy you misunderstand the bible and are quoting out of context!! Very deceptive!

      Matthew 17:20
      And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

      Matthew 19:26
      And looking at them Jesus said to them, “ With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

      Mark 10:27
      Looking at them, Jesus *said, “ With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

      Luke 1:37
      For nothing will be impossible with God.”

      Luke 18:27
      But He said, “ The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

      February 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      No he didn't.

      Hey, explain the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost thing to me? That always puts me in a good mood. Standing by. Make sure to explain how God made himself into his own son and than sacrificed himself...er....his son which is suicide.....but suicide is a sin.....but Jesus, also God but still two being are alive but yet there is a ghost too, even though Jesus,...er God is alive.....etc.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      You interpretate in one way, I another. That is my point. Thank you.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Leo

      No you simply attempted to take the verse out of context. Then you try to change the subject in regards to the Trinity since you know you were wrong, then you try to justify it.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      No I didn't. I can handle two different threads of thought at the same time. Sorry I am going too fast for you. Why don't you answer my question about the holy trinity and the god/son thing.

      As far as the versus, we can can all cherry pick all we want. It doesn't change the fact that it was writing BY uneducated primitive men FOR uneducated primitive men. So why should I care what it says? There are much better books on my book shelf.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Leo

      Tell me if a simple compoud like H2O can be found in 3 forms, Water, Liquid, Vapor why would you think that the Almighty God could not?

      Here is one for you explain for me Life from non life? Abiogenesis? Take a real good look at the simplest of life forms and tell me that happened by random chance! You have to close your eyes to believe that!!

      February 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Leo

      No Joy this is the tread where you claimed "He would know that when you say, "Nothing will be impossible for you", that what it means is, "Nothing will be impossible for you" and he would make sure that the statement "Nothing will be impossible for you" is accurate (he would speak the truth)"

      I proved that the scripture in context said "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed"

      It is you that is mistaken.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Sorry, I over-estimated you. You are dumber than I thought. The was weak bro.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Leo

      Yes the standard Child response... I am going to call you names....

      February 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Not at all Leo, your responses were really week. I was dissappointed by them. And it stands to reason that you are unintelligent just based on the contect of our conversation. You have not argued a position or made a point. You have simple copy and pasted some bible versus and told me I don't understand them. In completely ingnoring my original point relative to the lack of availabitly of god in our times, you have disrespected me entirely and calling you a dum ass in a compliment. Go pray to your water, er....ice.......no your vapor and see all the good it will do. Have fun Leo.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Oh, sorry Leo, yes I believe in evolution. It is a fact. And people like you are dangerous and should not be allowed around children or we will all get dragged back to the 1800's. Nanny nanny boo boo

      February 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Jesus never said he was *paying* for anything. The need to appease/pay the angry gods, and the salvation paradigm were introduced into Christianity by Saul of Tarsus. It should be called Paulianity. 🙄

      February 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Why didn't he just wait 2,000 more years ? After 200,000 years of Ho'mo sapiens, why not just wait for TV, radio and iPods ? Easier on the missionaries, and more people would see the miracles, and know about everything. 🙄

      February 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      ** Leo

      He came down and spoke face to face with man ....

      Wow Leo, you was there and saw it happen huh !
      I am sooooooo jelouse.

      Hey Leo, go get some fresh air.
      You have been in the basement too long.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  11. jon

    I am so sick and tired of "religious" people, I could just pewk. Pardon me while I go to the bathroom to do so.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Rob

      Bulimia is a sin.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  12. Alvaro

    Rick Sanctorum is the new Christian Taliban. He scares the daylights out of me!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • melanie

      So I guess Obama scares you too with his speech on our country is now a non christian country & how he bows to the Muslims, but demands for religious statues & pictures to be hidden when he visits colleges that them. How Obama went to a "church" that spewed such hatred towards other Christians but he did not "really listen"..where is the out cry on Obama saying such horrible things about Christians? Why are you not questioning his reason behind going after the Catholic faith on health care when he gives union organizations the pass on the insurance plan?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Seaturtle

      Melanie,

      You and your ilk are scary! Where do you get your information. Please quote a source...other than Fox. Your accusations are ludicous!!

      February 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      *** where is the out cry on Obama saying such horrible things about Christians?

      No out cry because he never said anything bad about christians.
      You do know that lying is a sin, right ?

      February 21, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  13. Joy of Sin

    Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by an omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn't you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet??

    Yet, when we open the Bible and actually read it, we find it is nothing like that at all. Instead of leaving us in awe, it leaves us dumbfounded by all of the nonsense and backwardness that it contains. If you read what the Bible actually says, you find that the Bible is ridiculous. The examples shown above barely scratch the surface of the Bible's numerous problems. If we are honest with ourselves, it is obvious that an "all-knowing" God had absolutely nothing to do with this book.

    The reason why the Bible contains so much nonsense is because God is imaginary. The Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. A book that advocates senseless murder, slavery and the oppression of women has no place in our society today.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Leo

      Genesis 1 The Creation
      1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

      Time Space and Matter in the very first line!! How long did it take man to figure that out??

      February 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Leo

      2 Timothy 3

      “Difficult Times Will Come”
      1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Leo

      @ Joy, God had you figured out 2000 years ago!! Pretty Accurate??

      February 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      @Leo

      1. Lets see, you left out the part where God created a firmament in the sky. Don't see one. That would have really created some challenges for the space program. So I guess that is a bible lie.

      2. You left out the part where god created light! Oh, but oops, he had not created the sun yet so.....where did this light come from?? Another bible lie.

      3. Oh, you left out the part where god created all the stars to light the Earth. Hmmm. Execpt for our Sun, stars don't light the Earth. They are kind of far away.

      Yeah, really good factual stuff their. Nice effort. Course it cold be that uneducated primitive men wrote those words and didn't have the slightest idea how the universe works.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • just sayin

      The firmament, separating the waters above from the waters beneath, creating a perfect eternal environment and climate,released onto the earth at the time of Noah, thus reducing the protection and with it the age span men lived to in those days. That is why you do not see it, it is gone. The light before the sun was the Son and He will be the light after the sun is gone. The light of the heavens, the stars and reflective light of the moon does reach the earth. That is all it is said to do.You are wrong three for three, you may want to rethink your joy of sin position.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      just sayin, you are COMPLETELY insane. I hope you are not allowed around children.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  14. Ellen morgenstern

    This man is sick. He wants to spout all his right wing psycho babble to the people of America. I hope people are smart enough to see him for what he is , an idiot!!!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • OS Bird

      Ellen, is it necessary to call people idiots? Do you really think that by doing so you're helping anything? What's your priority: to have an intelligent discussion that might be of some use, or to rant and accomplish nothing?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  15. CaptianObvious

    Not really a fan of Santorum or Obama, but I just wanted to interject my two points here.

    I agree with the foregoing article, I agree that Santorum is dangerously and overly positioning himself and the "religious candidate." Indeed, I think he wear his faith very much on his sleeve. I do not think Santurum has a prayer at winning in Novemeber becuase of it.

    However, I dissent on the comment made in the article above that it was Santorum that threw open wide the gates of the culture war. The Obama administration did this by openly and flagratly violating the frist amendment. That said, and while I do not endorse statments like Santorum has made, you can't really blame believers for being a tad angry with Obama right now.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • OS Bird

      I disagree with your second point. However, I want to thank you for posting in an intelligent and courteous way. I'm sick of name calling rants.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  16. West

    INTERESTING EVERYONE (STARTING WITH cnn) TAKES THE WORD THEOLOGY TO MEAN only RELIGION- IT MAY BE BUT IT ALSO IS DESCRIPTIVE OF A WAY OF THINKING WITHOUT THE USUAL CONNOTATION OF RELIGION- HERES A UNIQUE IDEA LETS HAVE THE MEDIA STOP HYPING THE RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL THINGS THAT HAVE NOT REALLY BEEN HAPPENING AND CONCENTRATE ON REAL ISSUES LIKE THE ECONOMY, JOBS AND THE DEFICIT. the medias job is supposed to be reporting news not trying to make it and control what people read or hear- they made history last presidential elcetion and we got a man that had no idea what to do now they are working over time to give him another term to continue getting things worse

    February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • OS Bird

      Please take a look at a dictionary. Theology does refer to religion. However, I think in Santorum's case he began with poor word choice. It happens sometimes. It's telling though that he sidetracked himself and got on the religion thing again. Not a real sharp guy, it seems.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  17. Vivitar

    We should let Rick Santorum decide because this is sure to anger or "freak out" a lot of people. and Obama will cruise to an easy win in November. The election of Santorum makes me think of the political / social setting in the movie "V for Vendetta".

    February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  18. john

    wow....they censor my post in this debate! I did not cuss or call names. wow!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @john

      You said, "wow....they censor my post in this debate! I did not cuss or call names. wow!"

      CNN uses automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. My guess is that your post had had a forbidden word in it.

      Repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
      arse
      bastard
      bitch
      cock
      coon
      cum
      cunt
      douche
      effing
      fag
      ftw
      fuck
      homo
      horny
      jackass
      jap
      jism
      kinky
      kooch
      nipple
      orgy
      pis
      porn
      poo
      prick
      rape
      sex
      shit
      slut
      snatch
      spic
      tit
      twat
      vag
      whore
      wtf

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      February 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  19. OS Bird

    http://www.osbird.com/020510imouttahere.html

    February 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • herbie, get a job

      herbie..........get a job.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie

      February 20, 2012 at 6:09 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.