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As politicians talk more about faith, voters seem to want less
President Barack Obama at a White House Easter prayer breakfast in April.
April 27th, 2012
09:48 AM ET

As politicians talk more about faith, voters seem to want less

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast about the debate: By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Is Washington a holy city? It might seem that way, with all the talk about religion and morality in the 2012 election.

But all that God talk may be rubbing voters the wrong way.

"It's getting ugly out there," said Tim King, an evangelical Christian who works for the progressive religious group Sojourners. "There are a lot of Christians who are using their faith as a political weapon, which it's never meant to be."

King, who calls himself "politically homeless," says that while both parties talk about faith and invoke Scripture, he and other young evangelicals he knows sense an undercurrent of political gamesmanship in all the religious talk.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"You don't get to win the argument because you have more Bible verses," he told CNN Radio. "You need to make the case about why your policies are good for everyone."

King is part of what looks like a national shift. In March, the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life saw a first in its ten years of polling: the largest group of voters in its survey, 38%, said that politicians are talking about religion "too much" right now.

"In fact, we saw an all-time high number of people taking that view," said Greg Smith, one of the researchers who produced the Pew report.

The survey found that 30% of Americans think politicians talk "too little" about faith and that 25% said it's the "right amount."

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There is a political factor, with twice as many Democrats saying politicians talk too much about religion as Republicans. But both parties saw sharp increases in the number of voters who want to hear less about religion from politicians.

Religious talk played a big role in recent elections, with Barack Obama distancing himself form his longtime pastor in 2008 and George W. Bush benefitting from a surge in so-called values voters in 2004.

“I think morality is being talked about a lot more in 2012," said David Brody, chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"Not necessarily religion, but now we've seen the budget cloaked in moral terms by Roman Catholic (Congressman) Paul Ryan and by Catholics who think he's wrong, on moral grounds," he said. "Immorality has been invoked a lot more in 2012."

Brody noted another possible factor, saying that many voters question the sincerity of how some candidates talk about faith.

"There are some (politicians) who are natural when they talk about faith," Brody said, "there are other politicians who may do it more for political purposes."

For now, it seems that the more politicians talk about religion, the more voters want them to stop such talk.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Politics

soundoff (507 Responses)
  1. Birch please

    I would give my life to assure that anyone can practice any religion in this country. I would also give my life to keep all religion and theocracy out of the US government.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • fred

      So, atheists would run the world yet, religious nut jobs need to shut up (except in their bedrooms which the courts have declared off limits) when it comes to how the world is run? You’re simply Stalin until the End Times arrive.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Birch please

      You do not have to be an atheist to practice governing a society using the philosophy of ethics. In fac,t if you let your religion skew your reality to that extent you have some serious problems. Case in point: largely secular government = USA, theocracy= Iran. Please try and make a coherent argument against.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      Our secular government only works so far because the population is still under “God”. We have gone from 98% who had Biblical fundamentals as their core belief to a very blended society that still fears God. This has been the source of our success. You cannot suggest that even you could park your beliefs at the door when you sit in the oval office. The Western World View (Judeo Christian core) still sits at the head of the table. Some would suggest that we are blessed by God.
      Iran is lopsided to the extreme and is a perfect example why a government cannot be atheist or Christian etc. in it’s rule. Just as the Catholic Church ran afoul with power so to Iran, Stalin, Mao etc.
      You book of philosophy of ethics is based on what?

      April 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Each "building" called a person's body holds a landlord and the building's tenants! Agreed? If such is truly the case(s) then each of our body-buildings has a landlord or God and this landlord/God does lease this body called building apartments out to those who are in need of residencies! A building called one of our bodies is awash with far too many mansions to ever be filled by willing tenants wanting to reside within our buildings of embodiedness!

    1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    According to this ONE VERSE, we labour together with God and our bodies are His Husbandried Buildings to rent to His Kind and His Kindred sakes!

    April 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Agreed?"
      No

      April 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Uh, right.

      *Sidling out of room, hoping not to be noticed*

      April 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Birch please

      Or you are your body, nothing more nothing less.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Samuel L Jackson

      English Mother F*@&er. Do you speak it?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  3. Robert Brown

    It makes se.nse for people to want to elect leaders who hold beliefs similar to their own. The numbers tell the tale, from Gallup; The United States remains a predominantly Christian nation, with 78% of all adults identifying with a Christian faith, and more than 9 in 10 of those who have a religious ident.ity identifying as Christians. Fifteen percent of Americans do not have a formal religious ident.ity, a continuation of a dramatic change from 50 and 60 years ago, when almost all Americans identified with a particular religion. The precise implications of the increase in the "no religious ident.ity" segment are not clear, given that 92% say they believe in God, and that 81% say religion is a very or fairly important part of their lives.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      As science and reason fill the gaps of knowledge we will gradually see a decline in the belief of the supernatural.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      As science fills the gaps of knowledge we will gradually understand more about how Gods creation works. Through the use of human reason some are deceived. Through the use of spiritual reason we understand more about God and ourselves.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Through the use of spiritual reason we understand more about God and ourselves."

      How in the world are you going to defend such a nonsense statement? First off, you are assuming there are spiritual reasons and secondly a god. You have proof of neither.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Birch please

      Ok so we learn how a intelligent being created the universe. You still have no soul and all human religions are just mythology.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Through the use of spiritual reason..."
      What exactly is "spiritual reason" and how does one "use" it?

      April 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Voice of Reason,

      I have all the proof of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that I require. What more proof do you require?

      April 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Birch please,

      If you believe in the Creator then it not a great stretch to believe what he said about the creature. The soul of man shall never die.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Nonimus,

      Believers have spiritual discernment or spiritual reason through the Holy Spirit. To use it would be simply to be sensitive to it, figuratively, to listen.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      " What more proof do you require?"

      For me, it would be something that actually meets the definition of proof. I have as much proof that your god exists as the Hindus have for theirs. Why should I believe you?

      April 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Spiritual Reason = Supersti.tion. Completely interchangeable.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Stats from 2008

      [In thousands (175,440 represents 175,440,000)---------
      Total Christian---------173,402
      Catholic---------57,199
      Baptist---------36,148
      Protestant-no denomination supplied---------5,187
      Methodist/Wesleyan---------11,366
      Lutheran---------8,674
      Christian-no denomination supplied---------16,834
      Presbyterian---------4,723
      Pentecostal/Charismatic---------5,416
      Episcopalian/Anglican---------2,405
      Mormon/Latter-Day Saints---------3,158
      Churches of Christ---------1,921
      Jehovah's Witness---------1,914
      Seventh-Day Adventist---------938
      Assemblies of God---------810
      Holiness/Holy---------352
      Congregational/United Church of Christ---------736
      Church of the Nazarene---------358
      Church of God---------663
      Orthodox (Eastern)---------824
      Evangelical/Born Again \2---------2,154
      Mennonite---------438
      Christian Science---------339
      Church of the Brethren---------231
      Nondenominational \2---------8,032
      Disciples of Christ---------263
      Reformed/Dutch Reform---------206
      Apostolic/New Apostolic---------970
      Quaker---------130
      Full Gospel---------67
      Christian Reform---------381
      Foursquare Gospel---------116
      Fundamentalist \2---------69
      Salvation Army---------70
      Independent Christian Church---------86
      ---------
      Total other religions---------8,796
      Jewish---------2,680
      Muslim---------1,349
      Buddhist---------1,189
      Unitarian/Universalist---------586
      Hindu---------582
      Native American---------186
      Scientologist---------25
      Baha'I---------49
      Taoist---------56
      New Age---------15
      Eckankar---------30
      Rastafarian---------56
      Sikh---------78
      Wiccan---------342
      Deity---------32
      Druid---------29
      Santeria---------3
      Pagan---------340
      Spiritualist---------426
      Other unclassified---------735
      ---------
      No religion specified, total---------34,169
      Atheist---------1,621
      Agnostic---------1,985
      Humanist---------90
      Secular---------34
      Ethical Culture---------11
      No religion---------30,427
      ---------
      Refused to reply to question---------11,815

      It's interesting all the different religions within "Christianity." LOL!

      April 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      *facepalm*,

      Assuming you are an unbeliever, there is a method by which God established for you to become a believer. However, it will require some interest and effort on your part. If you are willing to hear the Gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be lead to believe.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      MarkinFL,

      Your statement can be true for those who do not believe.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Assuming you are an unbeliever, there is a method by which God established for you to become a believer. However, it will require some interest and effort on your part. If you are willing to hear the Gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be lead to believe."

      No it doesn't that is a lie. There are many former Christians on here that proves that statement false.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      YeahRight,

      “It's interesting all the different religions within "Christianity." LOL!”

      Yes, it is interesting and not only that but even the various subsets under a particular denomination. The explanation of this phenomenon can be found in Daniels prophecy concerning Jesus setting up his spiritual kingdom on earth. For example, Daniel 2:44, And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Snow

      world population ~7 billion..
      number of christians ~2 billion..

      Do you mean to say that you want to support an ideology that 5 out of every 7 people on earth reject it as bunk?

      April 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      YeahRight,

      Former Christians on here prove the parable of the sower. Mat.13

      April 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “Yes, it is interesting and not only that but even the various subsets under a particular denomination. The explanation of this phenomenon can be found in Daniels prophecy concerning Jesus setting up his spiritual kingdom on earth.”

      Wow really you and Christians since at least the early second century about the time and manner of the end time, the destruction of this world’s kingdom, and the coming of Jesus in glory. And here is where you have erred: Christians who have engaged in speculative prophecy have almost always seen the end as coming in their time in a visible manner. They have looked at the events occurring in their day and have tried to fit them into what is described in Daniel as well as the book of Revelation. That the end has not arrived and Jesus has not come in some world-shattering way is proof that all such speculative prophecy has been in vain and wrong, based on a wrong premise.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Former Christians on here prove the parable of the sower. Mat.13"

      Well gee now...now what about all the other parables in the other religions that say similar things? Oh....that's right they knew religions are myths and eventually die.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      Robert Brown

      YeahRight,

      Former Christians on here prove the parable of the sower. Mat.13

      ----

      Prove it without assumption on your part.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Snow,

      Of those 5 billion I wonder how many have heard the good news preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor.1:21-24 & Rom. 10:17.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      Yes, it is interesting and not only that but even the various subsets under a particular denomination. The explanation of this phenomenon can be found in Daniels prophecy concerning Jesus setting up his spiritual kingdom on earth. For example, Daniel 2:44, And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
      ------
      Your assumption that it pertains to Jesus.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Cor.1:21-24 & Rom. 10:17."

      Dude really? It's the same premise for anything that you want to try and convert people over. I bet if you attended a cult meeting and they were all fired up about their religion you would fall for it. How do you think the K K K got their members? Doesn't make what is being preach correct especially since the bible has been proven not to be an historical document.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Yeah Right – Christians faith started in man and is in man. The word of God is man. Man/woman subject themselves to Man. Man is God(s). When you remove the programming and habits, a person can start to be aware. Example, it is impossible for Robert Brown to understand or fathom what we say. He is a creature of habit......to question is blocked and just does not happen. Kind of like the military breaks you down (humbles you), then builds you back up. You do not hesitate, rather react to what you have been told and trained to do. Robert can truly not remotely even consider the fact of actually thinking the bible is of man and his faith is in those men. His mind passes over that thought directly to it is the word of God. If Christians truly had faith, they would strip themselves of the "man influenced thoughts" strip themselves bare and go into the wilderness as Jesus did.........talk to their God...see what happens. That is true faith...seeking direct relationship with their God...remove man that stands in between them and their God.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Snow

      and how many of those who never heard of your so called "word" do you think god sent down to the hell for not following him? merciful god? are you kidding me?

      PS.. using the verses from bible to verify the validity of bible and thus proving it as word of god doesn't work.. its called circular logic.. and by that same logic, I can say that I am superman – would you believe that?

      April 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      ps Robert Brown you might say I am still in the wilderness as an agnostic. Words and voices of man are meaningless to me....only the voice of a God or Gods would be of value.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      YeahRight,

      “Wow really you and Christians since at least the early second century about the time and manner of the end time, the destruction of this world’s kingdom, and the coming of Jesus in glory. And here is where you have erred: Christians who have engaged in speculative prophecy have almost always seen the end as coming in their time in a visible manner. They have looked at the events occurring in their day and have tried to fit them into what is described in Daniel as well as the book of Revelation. That the end has not arrived and Jesus has not come in some world-shattering way is proof that all such speculative prophecy has been in vain and wrong, based on a wrong premise.”

      I should probably elaborate because from your statement I think I didn’t do a good job explaining. The prophesy I referenced was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again. He immediately became the King of the Spiritual Kingdom of God and every believer from then until now, and forevermore, are subjects of his kingdom. This was a huge problem for the Jews who believed that he would become their literal King during that time.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I should probably elaborate because from your statement I think I didn’t do a good job explaining. The prophesy I referenced was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again. He immediately became the King of the Spiritual Kingdom of God and every believer from then until now, and forevermore, are subjects of his kingdom. This was a huge problem for the Jews who believed that he would become their literal King during that time."

      So what about the other gods that rose again? Oh...that's right those religions were proven to be myths too.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Just Sayin,

      You sound more like a Christian than some Christians I know. Alone with God is where I have personally had my most powerful spiritual experiences.

      Now as far as striping myself bare, that would be of some difficulty. As feeble as it is I do have some memory, so what you suggest seems fairly impossible.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Alone with God is where I have personally had my most powerful spiritual experiences."

      Alone with myself is where I have personally had my most powerful reality of getting to know who I am.

      Every religious person and non religious person can have powerful personal experiences with whatever they want to call it, doesn't prove it is actually coming from a god. Most of the time as science has proven it's all in the chemical releases in your brain.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      Yeah Right – the Christian persepctive only sees the Bible as the true word of their God. By default, any other Gods is simply false and not real. In their mind there is no need to consider or evalaute. Their reality is only in the pages of the Bible. That is all they need for their faith. Closed book/mind on the matter you might say.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Just Sayin,

      I love to hear and admire the testimony of an elderly person who was saved early in life and was faithful to God all the years of their long life, never mentioning a doubt one, and living the Christian life to the best of their ability. Such a testimony is not mine, I have questioned my faith, maybe even left it, depending on whom you consult. I have been in that far country feeding the swine.

      Things are not always what they seem. What you perceive as habit and training could be tried, tested, and proven faith.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      Robert, I don't have the space or time to go into detail on what I was getting at. There are acts of faith and there is faith. If I had zero faith that there was a god or gods then I would call myself an atheist. I think there is a truth or more to the story out there but it most likely isn't in the form that man dishes out. As I mentioned I have removed man as the middleman and live with free will. If I hear a knock without the interjection of man, I will answer.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      "If you believe in the Creator then it not a great stretch to believe what he said about the creature. The soul of man shall never die."

      Au Contraire, Robert. It is a great leap of logic to go from the possibility of a creator to the existence of a soul, or heaven, or hell

      April 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  4. chuck

    So when you see Mitt Romney out campaigning, is he really wearing a diaper? Am I really not welcome in a Mormon church? Do Mormons really believe that other Christian religions are satanic? As I consider voting for Romney, a little researching about the Mormon church is a little disquieting. Is he ever going to address these issues?

    April 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Are you voting for him to be your Pastor or President?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So how did you feel about Santorum and Gingrich thinking they literally eat the flesh and drink the blood of their version of god? And did you care that Bachmann and Perry believe a talking snake convinced a rib-woman to eat a magical fruit?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "So how did you feel about Santorum and Gingrich thinking they literally eat the flesh and drink the blood of their version of god?"

      ~Did it effect Gingrich's ability to be the Speaker of the House? Did it effect Santorum's ability to be a Senator? If not..what does it have to do with anything?

      "And did you care that Bachmann and Perry believe a talking snake convinced a rib-woman to eat a magical fruit?"

      ~Again..did it effect their ability to work in the govt? If not...who cares then?

      Unless it effects how they work for the people, the belief or unbelief ones has is irrelevant.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  5. Michael

    Everyone keeps quoting the seperation of church and state. The seperation was put into place to protect the church from the government. To prevent the government from taking over the church or restricting worship practices.

    Funny to me how all the liberals who want the church to leave the government alone are the very same ones who say that churches should not discriminate in the hiring of their clergy on basis of religion and are saying that churches who do not support contraceptives are required to pay for it. So, they want to be able to tell Christians what they should and shouldn't do, but get angry and sometimes even obscene what a Christian just states their opinion and believe. It takes more courage to stand up what you believe in when it isn't popular, than to go with culture, because that is what everyone else is doing.

    It's amazing how the liberal movement not only doesn't want to hear what Christians have to say, but even when a Christian (who, by the way, is also an American citizen, the same as any other, and should have a right to share their opinion and have a right to determine who they will vote for and why, no different than any other) tries to speak or share anything they result to name calling and talking about how stupid we are or how we don't use logic...etc. The fact is that many Christians contribute to society just as much as anyone else. Many Christians hold down productive jobs that aid this country. If you have ever went to hospital, you would find most are owned and operated by Christians. There are Christians in every type of occupation, not different than any other group in America. So to insert b/c we believe that we were created and didn't just happen, we are dumb is asinine in and of itself. Seriously, common sense tells you that if you see something it was created. No one looks at a car or any other object and says I wonder what atom that came from and how it evolved from a pen to car. You look at it and no one someone made it, considering that we are much more complex than a car, it goes without saying that we were created.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Michael says:
      "...considering that we are much more complex than a car, it goes without saying that we were created."

      Is this your argument to prove there is a god?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • momoya

      Is there anybody who thinks you can tell something about the couch/car/watch designers personal feelings and desires from looking at the creation?? If people want to assume that there's a designer, who cares?. But when you assume that argument proves your exact version of god–that's just.. .that's just.. fvcking stupid..

      April 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Not that you are, but if you don't want to be considered ignorant, then don't use ignorant arguments.
      "No one looks at a car or any other object and says I wonder what atom that came from and how it evolved from a pen to car."

      Cars do not reproduce.
      Reproduction is necessary for evolution to occur.
      Therefore, cars did not evolve.
      (... and no one is saying they did.)

      April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "...considering that we are much more complex than a car, it goes without saying that we were created."

      Then one would have to consider god to be more complex than us, correct? If so, then it was created too. By what?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Frankly, as long as the church is fully independent and not using government money for the affected jobs, I believe they can hire or fire anyone for whatever reason they wish.
      However, if you knew your history at all you would understand that the founding fathers specifically did not want church interference in the government and vice versa.
      The whole notion that this is a Christian/Bible based nation bears no resemblance to reality. Please study the Consti.tution whose sole mention of religion is simply to say its up to each individual to believe whatever they wish. How do you explain the fact that 60% of the Ten Commandments are forbidden from being enacted into law in this country? Only the obvious secular laws involving harm to other citizens happen to be allowed because they would be there with or without the Bible..

      BTW, breaking the 10th commandment is the very basis for our economy. The 10th Commandment is practically the national sport.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "No one looks at a car or any other object and says I wonder what atom that came from and how it evolved from a pen to car." Your own statement answers itself. That created object clearly occurred through artificial means, whereas we procreate in a natural fashion as dictated by our biology. Nothing magic there. Certainly not proof of a creator.

      You cannot use ignorance to prove knowledge. Just because you cannot explain something does not mean your wild guess at an all powerful creator has any resemblance to reality.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Birch please

      Umm the founding fathers were fighting against a country that had a state religion... in that context it is pretty clear what they meant.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Point 1 – No one said churches should provide contraception. This is a tea party/republican lie. At issue was whether BUSINESSES that offer insurance should have to cover contraception.

      Point 2 – Regarding evolution. If you purposefully choose to ignore science, then yes, you are ignorant. There are 2 billion Christians on earth. Of that number, 1.8 billion (90%) belong to sects whose position is that there is no problem with a faith in your version of a god, and an understanding that evolution is a fact. It is only amongst the fundamentalists that we see these choice to be ignorant. And unfortunately, a vast majority of these folks live in the US.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • chris

      First, generalizing liberals as attacking religion is silly. They don't care what your religion is so long as you are not hurting people with it. You have the right to your opinion even if it is wrong (and I'm not saying it is) but when you start imposing that opinion on others it becomes a problem. Separation of church and state was to keep the church out of the government and the government's business out of the church's business. I have no problem with religious people stating their beliefs but lately it has been worse. For example: gays in America should have the right to do whatever they want, including getting married. It is not hurting anyone. The reason the government has ANY control over marriage is not a religious one but one that involves the welfare of children which families may have or adopt. The argument against gay marriage isn't that it has a harmful effect to anyone else but instead that it is against certain religious beliefs.

      In closing my point is this:
      Treat religion like your genitals, don't wave them around in public or force them on other people. Simple as that.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  6. TG

    Religion had been prominent in politics for centuries, peddling and meddling in the realm of power. For example, Charlemagne (742-814 C.E.) was a ruler who saw the benefits of consorting with religion and having the blessing of the clergy of the Catholic Church. The New Encyclopædia Britannica explains that the pope anointed Charlemagne, his father, and his brother, in founding a new dynasty after the former reigning family had been ‘shunted aside.’

    Then it adds: “The political alliance between the Franks [Charlemagne’s people] and the Pope against the Lombards was affirmed on the same occasion. . . . Charles [who became Charlemagne] early acknowledged the close connection between temporal power and the church.” Charlemagne was crowned king of the Western Roman Empire by Pope Leo III in 800 C.E. at Christmas Mass in St. Peter’s, Rome.

    Jesus however, told his eleven faithful apostles: "If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you."(John 15:19) True Christians are to be "no part of the world" and it's political wrangling, and anyone involving themselves in the political arena, makes themselves "an enemy of God".(James 4:4) As a result of the churches meddling in politics, whereby these have "committed fornication with the kings of the earth"(Rev 17:2), our Creator, Jehovah God, has decreed their annihilation.

    Revelation 17:16, 17 says that "the ten horns (the earth's political governments) that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot (world empire of false religion) and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire. For God put [it] into their hearts to carry out his thought, even to carry out [their] one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished."

    April 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You're a Jehovah's Witness, aren't you TG? I've heard some of these buzzwords from the JW's before.

      When they come knocking at my door, they never seem to be able to give me a straight answer. I ask them if it is true that we have to be a Jehovah's Witness to survive God's wrath at Armageddon. They always give some answer like "No, God reads hearts." I'm pretty sure your magazines have said only JW's have a chance at surviving.

      Regardless, if God reads hearts, why do you go and preach? If it doesn't matter if you are a JW or not, why are you trying to convert people? If good people will survive regardless of religious affiliation, why do you preach?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Thomas Jefferson omitted it (Revelation) along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      With respect to John's gospel:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1john.html

      April 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Politically religious voters and the religiously political debutantes seem adjacently apart in terms of spiritual relativisms! God has become the latex pariah, a meaningless conjunctive wherewith the politicised variances become secular in trade-minded "constabulations'" recreancies! "I am a Christian" will never win in an undulating participatory abatement while agnostics playing the fields are with aplenty, the reverences regarding the religiously feudalistic omnivariations of monotheisms nationally and even worldwide! Typically pragmatic in their evolutional over-writes are the ilks of politics' armadas!

    April 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Well... isn't that special.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • fred

      I have no idea what you said...............perhaps I am an idiot. Finally, I will concede atheists finally got one thing right.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  8. IslandAtheist

    It's time for all the atheist politicians come out of the closet.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Little too early for that. Soon though, I hope. Until christians get more educated on atheism/agnosticm, they will continue to wrongly perceive us as amoral and evil. I just hope to see it in my lifetime. This shift back towards christian fundamentalism is a bit disheartening.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  9. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Bottom line: Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him? After all, BO also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

    One should be voting based on rational thinking. Believing in angels, satans, bodily resurrections, atonement, and heavens of all kinds is irrational.

    Apparently, BO and MR have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  10. chuck

    Before i vote for Mitt Romney, I would like to hear him talk about the Mormon church. There are a lot of rumors out there, and I would like some answers before election day.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Would you vote for an atheist?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      Yeah, baptising dead people seems a little creepy to me.... wouldn't their 'souls' have already left and been sent to the hot place or the harp place?
      Of course, as any historian can see, religions change to meet the needs of their followers over the years and Mormonism is a fairly young religion. Seems just like yesterday they killed all those settlers and blamed it on the Indians (see Mountain Meadows Massacre).

      April 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Why? I thought Romney was running for President of the United States, not President of the Mormon Church?

      Did you ask Santorum and Gingrich if their communion wafers tasted like white meat or dark meat? Did you ask Perry or Bachmann if their talking snake spoke English?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    How cool would it be? Hello, my name is "so and so" and I don't believe in god. I want you to vote for me to be your next president. I don't believe in the supernatural but I do respect those out there that do, that is your right as a citizen of this country. My platform is to run on reality, reason and no religion. Vote for me!

    April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      That would require a politician who had balls. Haven't had one in a while.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Liman925

      I would and I hope someday the will be an Atheist President!

      April 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • closet atheist

      I will only vote for a fiscally conservative atheist. What are the chances of THAT...??

      April 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I would not vote for an Atheist... just because they are an Atheist.
      However, if two candidates were equal in all but belief, I would vote for the non-believer.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  12. sativa619

    I eagerly await the day that I can vote for an Atheist politician. I am so sick of politicians wearing their faith on their sleeve like its a UDSA stamp of approval. Religion should not influence government, that is what Separation of Church and state is about! Protecting religion from government, and government from religion. Religion is how you choose to live your life, and government is about the rules we as a society deem universal. Everyone does not belong to the same religion, and not everyone in our country is a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. There are thousands of religions, and I am sick to death of the political establishment pretending that they don't exist. They pander, and pander, and pander, and claim to be holy and pure, but what do we usually see? A bunch of self-righteous hypocrites that don't practice even one thing they preach. Political Christians are so un-Christ-like that it makes me wonder how they could even call themselves a Christian! Anyhow, I'm sick of it for sure. Keep your faith to yourself if you're running for office! I honestly don't care what invisible man you believe in, so long as it's not telling you to launch nukes and start the apocalypse yourself.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>>"I am so sick of politicians wearing their faith on their sleeve like its a UDSA stamp of approval."

      “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor

      Is her statement the same in that she is wearing both her ethnicity and gender on her sleeve?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  13. DefyTheGods

    So, a rich goes to Jesus to tells him of the good things he's done, and wants to ensure his place in heaven. The rich guy's like: "What do I need to do, Jesus?". Jesus is like: "Hmmm...here's an idea for ya. Sell all your stuff, and give the proceeds to poor people. It would be most cool, if you just gave it away." The rich guy was totally not into doing that. I don't blame him. Unfortunately, the rich guy could only walk away disappointed in himself. Is it me, or does the idea of just giving your stuff to the poor sound a bit socialist? Somehow, I think Jesus would've hated Wall Street. I don't mind people, who support capitalism. It just seems to contradict what so-called christians believe Jesus represented. I'm an atheist after all, so I may have overlooked something. Feedback, anyone?

    April 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • DefyTheGods

      Oosp! Pardon my typos: :...So, a rich guy goes to Jesus to tell him of the good things he's done..."

      April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      If you asked Christians they'd probably tell you Jesus was a capitalist who loved guns.

      In all reality, Jesus WAS a socialist. Look at when he overturned the tables of the money changers. That was capitalism 101 and Jesus was totally against it.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Like my old man used to say "It's all a bunch of BS." People that have money work very hard. So, it's not bad enough I get heavily taxed and sit back and watch the poor have more children because they can and get paid for it but they want me to give to the poor? Give me a break! Oh, but they are less fortunate than me? How so?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If you think that level of effort correlates to level of pay, I'd suggest first trying to work some labor-intensive job for minimum wage, and then spend a few weeks in, say, a law office or computer firm.

      It is entirely a myth that working hard will allow you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. I say this as someone with a nice paying job who came from a wealthy family.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @*facepalm* says:
      "It is entirely a myth that working hard will allow you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. I say this as someone with a nice paying job who came from a wealthy family."

      You do not know about working hard as I have done both, hard labor for 16 hours a day and 16 hours day in executive management. Coming from a lower class blue collar family I did pick myself up by my bootstraps and made it happen. Everyone has the same opportunity if you just go after it and not give up.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • BeverlyNC

      Ever hear of the Biblical story of how Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the Temple? Republicans are the "moneychangers" of today and Jesus would throw them out of the Temple again for cheating the People and defiling the House of God. Republicans aren't "Christians". They are so full of hate, lies, and disdain for the poor, for women, for veterans and anyone not rich and white like them. Romney is so clueless about how Americans live he cannot even speak without making a total fool of himself. He is already flip-flopping again. He endorses the Ryan budget which the Catholic Church is attacking in full force calling it "immoral" and "opposite of the teachings of Jesus"! (and Ryan is a Catholic). Republicas have betrayed the People and it is time we clean them all out of public office to restore real values back into government. No Republicans in any local ,state, or national seat come November and watch America begin to flourish again, watch all the hate and fear speech evaporate, watch all the slander, lies, and disrespect of President Obama disappear, watch all the extremist religious nutjob laws in our states against women get repealed, and us getting our voting rights back. Republicans not only destroyed our economy under Bush, they destroyed the middle class and are trying to destroy every People program left so they can hand it all to their rich buddies and abusive corporations who send our jobs overseas. It's time to stand up to these traitors and throw out the Republicans.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Voice,

      I would suggest reading: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Not everyone is able to get ahead. Just because you were able to, does not mean that everyone has that opportunity.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • momoya

      I disagree.. It's not entirely a what you know/do versus who you know/do; it's a mixture of the both.. If it was hard work alone that made people su.ccessful, there would be a whole different group of su.ccessful people.. And in some cases–the job market really is that bad, and the job seeker really was given very horrible information when he was a.ssured that getting a particular training or degree would all but guarantee an open sl.ot..

      You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps unless somebody recognizes the value of your work and has the deep pockets to reward that ability with a "living-wage" job that allows for advancement.. I think it's pretty rare that everything just happens to line up just right so that a person can even claim that they pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps.. I think the rags-to-riches-because-you-worked-hard tale is as big a myth as any, although it CAN happen under the right circ.umstances and within the right system..

      You have to be within a system of meritocracy for diligence to be benefi.cial.. Currently, I feel that the average worker is evolving to match the message of equality where by he thinks that everyone is ent.itled regardless of the individual's personal worth.. "Why work hard?" they think, when we feel that everybody should be prospering equally.. "The work will get done somehow as it always does, why should I be concerned?". So the work gets done poorly because it is just "getting done" without any creative strive for excellence..

      Success = hard, ethical work + knowledge + a TON of luck

      April 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      If everyone were able to get ahead, that means if everyone worked hard enough, we'd have no janitors, no grocery store clerks, no gas station attendants, no bank tellers, no waiters/waitresses. This is why not everyone can get ahead with enough work. These jobs need to be filled and if you think you work harder than these people, you're awful full of yourself.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • momoya

      That's a fair point, but plenty of people do just those jobs AS they are also working in another area to "get ahead.". Like waitressing and going to college.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ VOR / *facepalm*

      I'm 100% with VOR on this topic. I give a TON to the poor... I pay taxes. And in NYC, that's between 45-50% (fed, state, city, etc).

      I work on "wall street". So?

      I was raised in a blue collar family who were lower middle class at best. Through hard work and lots of it, I was able to succeed. Everybody can... it's just a matter of ambition and work ethic (the latter of which seems to be severely lacking these days).

      April 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Voice of Reason

    Vote godless for president.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Is that the same as may in the African Americans who voted for Obama and their only reason was that because he was "black"?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Mark from Middle River

      Absolutely not, it has nothing in common. The first litmus test would be a candidate that did not hold the belief of the supernatural. Any race or gender would do.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Voice... That would be for you.... I am asking that is your statement we could remove "Godless" and drop in any demographic. In that way how is your statement any different than those African Americans who state that the only reason that they will vote for Obama is because he is African American? Or for the Feminist who say that the only person that they should vote for is a Woman.

      What I am saying is that from your simple statement you are as closed minded as those groups are.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Mark from Middle River says:
      "What I am saying is that from your simple statement you are as closed minded as those groups are."

      I believe it is just the opposite as I welcome diversity if it makes sense and not based on something that cannot be proved.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Mark from, it is the equivalent of saying I will only vote for a rational person for president.

      I am prejudiced when it comes to favoring rational people.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Honestly, is it that simple? As much as I'd LOVE to see a non-believer as president... i'd jump out a window before it was a socialist, obama-type, redistribution-for-votes candidate. Fiscally right, socially moderate, free-thinker... i'm on board.

      It pains me to say that I actually agree with Mark on this. What's this world coming to?

      April 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "It pains me to say that I actually agree with Mark on this. What's this world coming to?"

      Maybe these really ARE the end days? 😉

      April 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ *facepalm*

      "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"

      April 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  15. Alicia Townes

    I agree most people don"t take religion seriously

    April 27, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      How seriously should one take nonsense?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  16. TomK

    Mr Tim King needs to 'pull his head out'. People have been pulling the religion card for years. Al Smith, John Kennedy, were deemed 'controlled by the Vatican' and were not really Christians because they were Catholics. It is like....'I need the votes so now I am sooooo Born Again'. Give it a rest folks. Am not so sure I want someone with over reaching 'Christian Values' in the Whitehouse anyway. There are ugly decisions that get made and I'm not sure they can make those decsions as needed.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  17. William

    I am PAST sick of all these people wearing God on their sleeves. We criticize the near east for wanting to put their holy book into the government, but how are we different if we keep bleating that we need God in our congress halls? Enough. I have had ENOUGH. We dont ask the ambulance driver if he is a believer when he is racing through traffic. We just want to be sure he knows the way to the hospital and doesnt wreck the ambulance. Why is this different? Just fix the economy. Stop praying for a miracle and roll up the sleeves and get to work.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Can ones do both? Say your prayers, hear the bell ring and come out swinging?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Nonimus

      Not on Sunday (or Saturday or Friday, depending on your beliefs)

      April 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  18. tom

    Our forefathers knew the problems that would come if you didn't seperate the two and wisely deemed "seperation of church and state". It appears it's worse than ever now and all began with the Moral Majority that Reagan used to his advantage back in the 80's. Now it's the wicked evangelicals christians and that lot that plan to elect the president based on what THEY believe supports their platform. It's all about social issues now...esp abortion, contraception etc. (although a great majority of them are big ole sinners themselves)

    April 27, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  19. Rabbit One

    since "god" is actually all of the humans and the world and space and beyond, we should really ask, are not we sick of politics (divisions) in god ?? In other words we should walk away from divisive ideologies and abstractions and go back to living humbly and diversely and happily as one human family on earth with large tolerance and a divine wealth of education and human opportunity and accountability – the politics are as dead as a false god of convention.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  20. tony

    Who was the unique and all-powerful, god of the 10 comments, jealous of? And even more important, Why?

    Was it perhaps because the stone idols and the graven images were perceived by their followers as answering prayers just as well and much as "him"???

    That alone is pretty much proof that no such things as god(s) exist (within) our Universe.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      When you look at the history of theism for the Jews, they were at one time polytheistic. If you read the OT (especially first 5 books) in that light, the books make a lot more sense. YHWH (Yahweh/Jehovah) was originally one of several gods that the Israelites worshipped. Over time, Yahweh the war god won out over the others. This was probably due to the fact that the Israelites suffered many horrific defeats and it was thought that they were not appeasing Yahweh properly. There were many divisions in beliefs in Israel. The loudest seemed to be the Yahweh supporters.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:50 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.