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More Americans say too much religion in politics
March 21st, 2012
05:06 PM ET

More Americans say too much religion in politics

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) – For the first time since 2001, a plurality Americans say there is too much religious talk from politicians, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The poll showed 38% of Americans saying there was too much religious expression from politicians, compared to 30% who said there was too little. Twenty-five percent said the current level of religious rhetoric was the right amount.

Those figures represent a shift from 2010, when more Americans (37%) said there was too little talk of faith compared to those who said there was too much (29%).

Wednesday's survey was the first time since 2001 the figure for Americans believing there is too much religious talk in politics has surpassed the number who say there is too little.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Agree that many con men take advantage of religion in politics to drive the masses as they wish in the name of religion...

    March 22, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Agreed, but men of faith are the appropriate leaders. It is right and just that we should be ruled by such. It is up to us to distinguish between the con men and the people they would imitate. Vigilance and discernment are needed, always with God's help.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • BRC

      I get the feeling someone is taking creative license with Tom, Tom's name.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Muneef

      Bit hard to remove when they are already in power and wide supporters... It beomes just like Taliban to the resisting masses list verses in the ways that serves their purposes just like turning few youth to become human suicidal bombs.. Or bombing other worship houses... Learn the examples of what is going on in the east...

      March 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • northern light

      To Tom Tom
      "Vigilance and discernment are needed, always with God's help."

      There are often comments here about god doing this or that or getting help for some worthy, in the eyes of the faithful, task or project.

      Why is that you have to ask for the he/sh/it's help....why does one have to grovel or beg for what seems to be simple requests?
      If he/she/it is all knowing all seeing and controls the universe ....how it that he/she/it does not know that you need help.

      Is he/she/it a special projecst diety and, like Alladin in the lamp, only shows up when asked?

      The Jews in the camps in WW2 asked this he/she/it diesty to provide assistance on the way to the ovens or the cyclon B gas chamber shower rooms.......but he/she/it did not show up.

      When one ponders why there seems to be a lack of interest from this diety in human affairs the answer is the most simple one can imagine........he/she/it does not exist........it is oh so very simple.....and you belivers are wasting your time and hours in any human undertaking that involves your imaginary friends.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • J.W

      It looks like Tom Tom has been converted.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      What ever happened it was the with the Will of GOD... And now today they have a greater power than any other nation and to maintain it they have to leave behind their ill doings Such as tyranny and oppression to others weakens powers and bring GOD's anger allowing similar bad things to happen to them. Live and let live.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  2. Mike from CT

    Sooooo......... 38% is the new majority?

    March 22, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      plurality

      March 22, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      When you're discussing more than two options it can be majority.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  3. JohnQuest

    Rick was right about one thing, A college education is the deat of religion (or more to the point, the death of God).

    March 22, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I like the way he basically pointed out that religion was for the ignorant with that statement.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Ignorance is Strength

      March 22, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • a person of the Name

      No just points out part truths are dangerious.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 22, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Jesus

      ~You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~~

      March 22, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  5. Aristocles

    So, according to the article, 55% of Americans think that there is just enough or not enough religious talk from politicians.

    Mind you, Santorum is probably the one using up our willingness to listen to it, but still, 55% is a lot.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • haha

      PLEASE READ: "Twenty-five percent said the current level of religious rhetoric was the right amount"

      March 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  6. Chef Sun

    We all need to sacrifice a goat or two to almighty Zeus and his pantheon. A sacrifice to Odin wouldn't hurt either.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Observer

      Do you have a particular attachment to goats? You wouldn't be the first.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  7. Bootyfunk

    it has in the past, just ask Reagan, pretty non-religious guy that suddenly found Jesus when he decided to run for president. but that was then, this is now. the uber religious are losing their power, just as they are losing members. but yeah, keep trying to enforce your archaic christian laws on women, h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.s, etc. someone with a g.a.y friend realizes the church is wrong for not letting that friend marry his/her life partner. the church has a dark ages sense of prejudice that has no place in a modern, ethical world.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  8. tallulah13

    Focusing on religion instead of the real problems facing this country certainly hasn't done the Republican party any favors.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Yes, until it becomes a no

      Yes it has! Talking about religion has major benefits for the Republicans. First of all, it gets their potential supporters all worked up and radicalized over an issue they do not have to deliver on. Angry people vote. Second of all, and more important, talking about religion means they do not have to talk about real issues, they do not have to defend their real ideas, and worst but truest, they don't even act like they have a program at all, which they don't.

      Very useful, until the general election. The primaries are the realm of the extremist right, but the moderates are always the swing vote in a general election, and that is where revulsion to the overbearing excesses of the religious right will become a liability.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Yes, until it becomes a no, very well put. The republicians are using religion to divide and defeat us.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • closet atheist

      Sounds like a consensus...!! As a right-leaning, fiscal conservative (and an atheist...scary, right?!?)... I find these primaries beyond revolting. Even the more centrist Romney is being forced to play the religion game to appease the lunatic right-wingers. This will inevitably turn enough swing voters to Obama in the general election. Time to move to the Caymans.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  9. Oh Yeah

    One thing that having religion in politics does is it really pits the various faiths against each other publicly. Mormon against Catholic, evangelical against Muslim. Wouldn't society be much better off without people's faith being used as a political weapon?

    March 22, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • chubby rain

      How else will the rich get their tax breaks?

      March 22, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  10. Ridiculous

    I wonder if the religious zealots will say that there isn't enough religion in politics.. lol

    March 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Excuse me but I have to change my diaper.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  12. Reality

    All the religious talk you will ever need:

    ONLY for the newcomers:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Why only for new comers? Are you sick of being face with information that clearly shows that you have prejudices and refuse to dive deeper into those areas?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  13. mandarax

    History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    March 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Beatriss Scatolakis

      Spot on!!

      March 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"....a free civil government"

      Interesting. Talk of freedom from a owner of slaves. Including one that he slept with who was also his wife's half sister.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "a owner of slaves".

      Good job, college boy.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  14. Bootyfunk

    i love it. christianity is going the way of the dinosaurs. the light of education and truth is sending religion into the shadows. christianity is a cult, just like any other. when a cult is accepted by society, it is called a religion. when no one practices a religion any more, it's called a mythology. christianity will take its place with the other mythologies, norse, greek, egyptian, etc. every year the church cries about their numbers dwindling. with the internet has come ease of fact checking. christians hate facts. keep your religion to yourself and stop trying to shove it down everyone's throat via the public/gov't arena.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  15. The One True Steve

    That's it ... We need Devil Worshippers to run for office ... They can add their Satanic beliefs and start making laws based on Satanic values...

    If this is a country that was built on freedom of religion, then let's hear all the voices.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      both Satan and Jesus are part of the christian mythology, so if anyone is going to worship satan, its christians.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Paul

      I think we already have that. Jesus said that Satan rules the world.
      Thats why true christians have no part in politics

      March 22, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Bob, please consider your friends more carefully. One of them is a complete moron.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Colin

      Tom, I would never have pegged you as female. I had a 20 something smart male college kid in mind.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, well. You would be wrong, then.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not that I don't value your posts and opinions; I do.

      I'm 57, married for over 3 decades, female, straight, and unlikely to be impressed by much at all.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stands 4'11", weighing 367lbs, divorced and has not been laid for a decade or two.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      57? .... Really? Very Interesting.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Remember when there was just the two of us, Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son?

      March 22, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  17. Colin

    Here are a quick dozen reasons why religion should not be in politics:

    (i) the perennial issue of a woman’s right to an abortion;
    (iii) medical immunization of teen girls (and boys) against HPV;
    (iv) assisted suicide;
    (v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;
    (vi) gay marriage;
    (vii) my right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obscene” by theists;
    (viii) basic se.x education for older school children;
    (ix) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
    (x) population control;
    (xi) buying alcohol on a Sunday in many places;
    (xii) use of condoms and other contraceptives;
    (xiii) embryonic stem cell research;
    (xiv) little 10 year-old boys joining organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of the religious views of their parents (a non-governmental issue); and
    (xv) gays being allowed to serve openly in the military.

    The conservative religious movement in the USA is firmly against each and every one. Their religious convictions motivate a constant campaign to ban or control the relevant practice and tell us all – Christian, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist – what we can and cannot do. It is not enough that Christians who voluntarily submit to the faith not drink on a Sunday – nobody should be allowed to – unless of course one is drinking the blood of Christ because of the magic powers (or “divine powers” if you prefer a less embarrassing term) of a Catholic priest.

    It is hard to have anything but contempt for these simpletons.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Ridiculous

      The word 'ridicule' rolls off my tongue quite easily.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Can you roll your tongue into a little tube? I can.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Mike from CT

      "Their religious convictions motivate"

      But yours don't? How do you keep convictions out of the public square? Surely you have convictions for items 1-15 on your list. Why are your convictions acceptable and others not?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Christians who voluntarily submit to the faith not drink on a Sunday"

      Where did you find this in the Christian doctrine?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Colin

    Religion in politics is like pi.ss in white wine. You can't quite see it, but it fouls the whole thing up. I long for the day that 21st Century social policy is not based on 2,000 year old Middle Eastern mythology and the desires of the half-witted simpletons who still believe it.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Looking around, it can't happen soon enough.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Haha. My husband always said it was "like wetting yourself while wearing dark pants. You get a nice warm feeling, but nobody notices."

      March 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well said, collin.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  19. AGuest9

    If only there were more reason and logic in politics.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  20. Colin

    Well, its the Republican Primary. The candidates have to pander to the nut case Christians. Once the general election hits, religion will retreat back to astrology in importance.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Truer words were never spoken. Every 4 years, the Repubs prod the right-wingnuts into 'action' that will amount to nothing. Even if the bible-thumpers shove the candidate of their choice into office, it will amount to nothing.

      The idiots never get it. The candidates don't care about you or your silly views. They just want to make you mad enough to vote. That's ALL. Once in office, they'll do precisely what their predecessors did about all the issues you are passionate about-absolutely NOTHING.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      Colin = Hate pretending it is acceptable. Colin lies, Tom,Tom swears to it.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:21 am |
    • AGuest9

      It's sad that in this country speaking the truth is viewed as "hate".

      March 22, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • AGuest9

      Just lyin's falsehoods are acceptable, however. Right?

      March 22, 2012 at 9:03 am |
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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.