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More ways social issues and religion will shape 2012 election (besides same-sex marriage)
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have starkly different views on gay marriage and other social issues.
May 10th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

More ways social issues and religion will shape 2012 election (besides same-sex marriage)

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Everyone knows the 2012 presidential race is about jobs and the economy. As likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney said a couple weeks ago: “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”

But have you noticed how the culture wars keep intruding into this it’s-all-about-the-economy election?

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama voiced personal support for same-sex marriage, launching a new wave of national debate around the issue. A day earlier, North Carolinians voted to amend their constitution to ban gay marriage and other legal arrangements for gay couples.

It’s a one-two punch of reminders that social issues with deep religious reverberations still matter.

In that spirit, here are five ways faith-based politics could shape this presidential contest, drawn up with help from religion reporter friends who gathered this week to talk about God (and godlessness) and politics:

1. President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage means a hot-button social issue will be a factor in the race. How much of a factor is up for debate. Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition chief, calls the president’s announcement a “gift to the Romney campaign,” because it will mobilize social conservatives and won’t play well in swing states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia. It's also likely to disappoint some black voters, who tend to be socially conservative. But the University of Akron's John Green says battleground fallout is unclear; we don’t have reliable polling about where voters stand on gay marriage in those states, he says.

2. Regardless of the issues at play, religion is one of the best predictors of how Americans vote. That’s been true in elections like 2004, the year of “values voters” and more than a dozen state-level gay marriage bans, and 2008, when most of the political talk was about reviving the economy.

Even in years like 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life determined that frequency of attendance at religious services was a better predictor of how Americans voted than any other demographic factor besides race. That means religiosity was a better predictor than gender. Better than education level. Better than age, union membership, or whether someone lived in a rural vs. an urban area. That’s pretty amazing.

As USA Today’s Cathy Lynn Grossman points out, “There’s a set number of people for whom religion really matters.” That doesn’t change from election to election. It’s a safe bet that level of religious observance will be a good predictor of how we vote this year, too.

3. Despite their focus on jobs, debt and taxes, the two major parties and their candidates are really presenting two competing moral visions for America. National elections, Washington Post religion columnist Lisa Miller says, are more about those contrasting narratives than about how each candidate would craft a federal budget.

Miller says that most voters fall into one of two camps: those supporting a “communitarian” America, in which we’re all our brother’s keepers, and those stressing “self-reliance and individual achievement.” The former are liberals, the latter are conservatives, and Miller argues they're separated by different moral takes on economic systems. Conservatives would disagree, saying that they are their brothers’ keepers - they just don’t want the government playing that role. Still, Miller is onto something about competing moral visions.

4. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. There’s been so much discussion of how Romney’s faith will affect his chances - some Christians consider Mormonism a cult, etc. - that there’s no need to rehash it all here. But Kevin Eckstrom, the editor of the Religion News Service, notes that Romney has yet to prove that he could win the evangelical base of his own party. (Eckstrom also notes that President Obama has his own base problems.)

On the question of whether Romney can surmount doubts about Mormonism, Eckstrom has invented what he calls the “A.J.” test, named after his Southern Baptist father-in-law. A.J. ain’t fond of Mormons, but he hates President Obama even more. Eckstrom theorizes that a despised incumbent - Obama - will make it much easier for Romney to win evangelicals than it would be otherwise. Worth noting that some political/religious minds believe Romney’s Mormonism will be a bigger stumbling block for independents than for the GOP base.

5. The battle over the White House’s contraception mandate provided a strong frame for women’s issues in the election, especially on health care. The conventional wisdom is that the White House won the battle with the Catholic bishops for public opinion, and the GOP is working overtime to win back independent women. To wit, the party is promoting its own version of the Violence Against Women Act in Congress. And Romney has equated Obama’s economic policies to an economic war on women. What started as an inside-the-Beltway battle over a proposed Health and Human Services policy has metastasized into a full-blown metanarrative.

One caveat to all this is that the presidential candidates themselves may talk a lot less about religion than during the 2008 and 2004 elections.

Romney doesn’t like to discuss his Mormonism, and Obama got burned for his close relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008, which may make him more reticent on his personal faith this time around. His campaign has yet to hire a religious outreach director this year, even after pioneering such outreach for Democrats in the last election.

This doesn’t mean religion won’t matter in the battle for the White House (see points 1 through 5, above) but it will matter differently than it has recently. Which should keep things interesting.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Brian

    I can't wait for the day when religion is irrelevant

    May 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      me too

      May 14, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  2. Reality

    IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.

    May 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Crom

      @Reality
      Wrong on both counts. I'm surprised you bothered to say such nonsense.
      Get a grip on yourself and fap away. Clear your mind! lol

      Birth control does not matter to a rapist, and Obama is just more intelligent than his opponents. That's why I voted for him in 2008. His views on birth control didn't have a damn thing to do with it.
      Do try and think these things through, Reality. I enjoy many of your posts, but this one is an utter failure.

      May 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Gay marriage? Gay unions? Minor issue!!

      Onto the nitty gritty of s-ex, contraception and STD protection in the 21st century;

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:-–>>>

      – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      1a. (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      1b. (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      May 11, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  3. David Nelson

    I view Obama as just another closet left wing Catholic out to redistribute wealth. He claims he became a christian while working for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, (which coincidentally gave money to ACORN.) There has been some effort to make people believe that he might be Muslim, and I think that the deception has worked on some. Romney seems a run of the mill Mormon who believes that his religion is true because he feels its true. Neither candidate impresses me much when it comes to the area of religion. Obama has said thing that seem to make me believe he believes in group salvation, rather than individual salvation. Mormonism is just plain strange in that it teaches that God was once a man like any other man and that he worked his way to Godhood and that any man can become a god if he does what the Mormon church teaches. Would be tough to vote for either of these two men.

    May 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  4. Bad Religion

    In regards to #2 and how religion is a good determinant on how a person votes....... I would say a big resounding DUH to that! Religion brainwashes people and makes them more complacent and obedient to their faux leaders moral leaders. I mean how else can you explain someone thinking all knowledge in the world can come from a 1800 y/o bronze aged book of tomes written by people who though a woman's menstrual cycle was something evil and to be condemned! LOL

    May 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  5. MNTaxpayer

    Everyone knows the 2012 presidential race is about jobs and the economy. As likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney said a couple weeks ago: “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”

    But of course it really isn't. People will not admit it but we really don't understand the economoy well enough to know who 'plans' and 'programs' would really work. Neither do the candidates themselves. It's all about social issues. Which candidate you think is more like you. In the end it is always an irrational, cultural, and emotional decision. That is why the biased media today has such an impact. People turn to media outlets that tell them what they want to hear. That assure them that they are the good guys and the other party is the bad guys. The economy has nothing to do with it.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  6. jodie

    Why even campaign?! Peoples' mind are already made up. Tremendous waste of money, resources and time.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Eh, job creation?

      May 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  7. cigarman

    No person who is not a multi millionaire could possibly vote for any Republican. I am a registered Republican and have been for many years. The so called Republican Party of today is not like the Republican Party that I joined Fifty years ago. The way I see it, is that the Republican Party of today is only for the Rich and to Hell with anyone else. I can`t even believe my ears when I hear any Republican Speaking. My Party is the most Pitiful Party I have ever belonged to. The Teabaggers my age had better watch out for what they stand for with the Republican Party. The Republican are Not trying to trick anyone, they are coming right out and saying what they are going to do to the Middle Class and the Seniors in the United States. I will name only a few. Get rid of Social Security, Get rid of Medicare, get rid of Unions, Get rid of Womens rights, Undermine our teachers who are teaching our children, Go to war with Iran. Like I said, these are only a Few of the things that the Republican Party is planning for you. Wake up, all Americans, Obama is not the best President I have seen, but he is a heck of a lot better than anything the Republicans offer.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      the lesser of both evils

      May 14, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  8. REG in AZ

    There is a whole lot of aggressive effort going on to put over biased propaganda aimed to deceive, con and manipulate the voters, all for self-serving purpose without real concern for the people’s best interests, so what is reality?

    Obama is accused of being at fault for everything, which of course is total exaggeration and really doesn’t make a lot of sense. We know Obama actually inherited the problems from Bush-Cheney, including the deficit, which necessarily increased with the responses required to address the problems. There is really ample room for wanting better results but there also is real justification for criticizing the Republican’s stubborn and arrogant blocking and faulting of all efforts as well as belligerently and obnoxiously withholding any bipartisan cooperation and refusing to compromise. The point being that while we want better results and Obama needs to accomplish more, to accept the propaganda aimed to completely discredit him is not only unfair but really only serves the interests of “the few”, those who don’t have the interests of the majority in mind.

    The problems we have are the direct result of exploitation by “the few” and, contrary to the propaganda aimed to excite and deceive, are not the result of the deficit, or government spending or of “big government”, It is important to control government spending and to reduce the deficit but doing only those things won’t solve the problems and, in fact, government spending is currently needed to address the problems. What has caused us the havoc we have experienced is permissive politicians, catering to the wishes of “the money” for their strong support, by having policies, excessive deregulation, lax enforcement and little oversight that encourages exploitation by “the few” (1%) , resulting in run-away greed, self-indulgence and gross dishonesty with “the few” walking away “fat and sassy” and always leaving the majority (99%) with the costs. We have continually seen these drastic problems with crises in savings-and-loan, banks, dot.coms, in the financial, mortgage and investment industries, also in corporate corruption (like Enron) and with industrywide failures, all of it being similar to illegal “pyramid schemes”, where the few substantially gain and the majority are fed the subterfuge and loose. This is the mentality that is constantly pushing us to be a two-class society with “the few” competing in having it all while the majority is left struggling.

    Politicians refusing to address those problems and who stubbornly put their political ambitions above all else, no matter what the cost to the people, as they just serve as “puppets” for “the money” who strongly support them and “pull their strings”, absolutely offer no hope to the majority. It has been said that the Republican Party has become owned and controlled by “the money” and as such are currently incapable of honestly and responsibly governing. Over the last twelve years we have seen this completely substantiated with the stubborn and arrogant refusal to compromise by Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Ryan, Bachmann and others, always protecting only the interests of “the few”. We have seen it with Norquist, Cheney, Rove, SuperPacs and others as they use the mega-millions provided by “the few” to first, intimidate and coerce their own to squelch individual consciences and assure unity behind “the money’s” interests and second, to aggressively promote the propaganda aimed to deceive and sway the public, insultingly taking them for granted as “pawns” to be used and abused. It has been totally obvious with the “puppet” candidates they offer who are always ready to do just as they are told, GWBush style. We see it in the obnoxious personalities of Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, Hannity and others who always use hyped up exaggerations and deceptions aimed to excite and cloud over reality, trying to block rational and objective discernment. The total picture presented by all of them just leaves no doubt and no hope.

    It is up to the voters. If they can be disciplined to put aside emotions, firmly reject the abundant, aggressive efforts to con them and to instead ascertain what is reasonably in their best interests, then the stranglehold “the money” has on the Republican Party may be broken, encouraging their return to being the Grande Ole Party with a sincere and honest interest in the people, and thus avoiding a return to “more of the same”, Bush-Cheney style, which cost us so much.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • souptwins

      Next time, get a publisher.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  9. Honey Badger Dont Care

    This one issue means that President Obama is a lock for this election.

    The haters will always hate but his statement will bring a lot fo the moderates his way.

    May 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Howard

      OBAMA IS USING THE POWER OF THE STATE, TO FORCE HIS RADICAL VIEW OF AMERICA ON ALL OF US. IF ... GOD FORBID ... HE BUYS A SECOND TERM ... AMERICA IS DOOMED.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "BUYS A SECOND TERM"?

      Bush Jr. was "elected" by the Supreme Court that his Daddy and Uncle Ronnie appointed. If there is no one worth voting for, then we end up with some other non-standard solution.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • ME II

      AGuest9
      "Bush Jr. was "elected" by the Supreme Court that his Daddy and Uncle Ronnie appointed."
      I thought he was elected by the dumb-a.ss laws/election rules in Florida, not the Supreme Court. They were just trying to clean up Florida's fvck up.
      Not to mention that one study said, that what the SCOTSOF(?) stopped, then the SCOTUS stopped again, i.e. a limited recounted, would have likely gone to Bush anyway. (They also said a statewide recount might very well have gone to Gore, but that apparently wasn't on the table at the time.)

      May 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  10. Richard Miller

    Christian Taliban the organization of the too narrow minded set, in fact, their ears rub together because of this condition. I wonder if they would be so unsupportive of the issue if they knew just how many of their community members had their names and pictures on sites like silver daddies, show your dick, gay friend finder, etc. Take a look folks, I did and I was very surprised at the amount of hypocrisy these people have.

    May 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • HAHA

      Glad you regularly spend time surfing those sites "Dick" Miller. Keep supporting your communist leader Obama. He's done so much for gays like you

      May 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Mike

    Hey OOO,
    Anybody who places the blame for partisanship on any one party reveals him/herself as an ignorant...well...PARTISAN! Both are very much to blame. It is interesting that the perception of which party is at fault is highly correlated with which letter (D or R) happens to be behind a person's name. Pull your head out of the sand man!

    May 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • JohnL

      hmmm, you know I have noticed social issues are dominating the about-the-economy election. Probably because THE LIB MEDIA IS DOING EVRYTHING THEY CAN TO AVOID REPORTING ON THE MiSERABLE ECONOMY!!!! How dumb does Obama and the libs think we are? He just magically "evolves" (or flip flops) on the issue of gay marriage right after it get smacked around in NC the day before. Probably ha nothing to do with LBGT(what have we come to) supporters are not donating to this fraud of a president. Nice out by him leaving it up to the states though, who have voted it down 32-0, including California!! What a joke this is

      May 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  12. Me myself and I

    I guess those of us (like me) who are not Christian or any other religion, magic beings and underpants included, will have a much easier time at the polls making an informed decision on the issues that matter without religious propaganda to cloud judgement. Social issues should be determined by individuals, communities, and families- not politicians.

    May 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      The problem lies within the foundation of their world view and belief systems. Face it, any religion's world view is based on a foundation of the supernatural. The choice between the two evils would be (even if they are just words at this point) the person stating the reasonable and moral choice based on humanity not dogma.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  13. closet atheist

    Our political system blows a goat....

    As an atheist and fiscal conservative, I'm not voting for either of these scrotums.

    We need a valid third party for a change.

    May 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • BRC

      I have the same issues.

      Part of me thinks it would be a good idea to put Romney in charge. He was a ruthless businessmand that made a load of money and right now our economy is greatly suffering. But I would never want someone with the social platform he has campaigned on to have the capacity to direct the laws that affect other people's lives.

      The lack of a VALID (sorry libertarians) socially liberal fiscally conservative party is very dissapointing.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ BRC.... totally agreed (unfortunately). He got dragged into the muck by Santorum and the other loonies in the primaries. Don't think he has any intention of taking on a social agenda as president. My wallet will probably make me grudgingly vote for Mittens.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tranice

      Why, you dont believe in anything...............

      May 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • momoya

      Tanice, atheists believe in all sorts of things, just not god.. Kind of like how you don't believe any gods but the one you were taught to believe.. You don't believe in Allah, but you believe in lots of other things..

      Try slowing down and really thinking over what you're saying.. Nobody but you will keep you stupid.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Crom

      @BRC – There is one extremely crucial point about running a country that you appear to be missing here: A country is not a business and cannot be run like a business.
      An economy is not a checkbook, our budget is not a checkbook, and any attempts at "austerity" measures go against every single bit of economic data and every Economics 101 textbook.
      A "ruthless businessman" has absolutely NO business being in charge of this country. "Ruthless businessmen" are the ones, the exact same ones, that got us into this mess!
      And here you'd want to hand everything over to them so they can finish the job of destroying our economy?
      Not good. If this were all about economic policy I would want someone like you to refrain from voting your ignorance into real world events. Ignorant voting is the biggest failure of our democratic system. It's like asking someone with no knowledge of anything to vote at random, except it's not all that random, is it? Ignorant bias is introduced into the mix. Bad stuff.

      May 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • souptwins

      Actually I'd prefer the economy being run with a budget. We haven't had one for years. Obama thinks it's run like a credit card with no credit limit. I'm will to try someone who understands the loopholes because he's used them, understands how to decide where and when to restructure govt. because that was his profession, and is will to look at all the necessary adjustments and not just those that enslave those who receive and those who give.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  14. Momof4

    Of course social issues will play a role in the election.
    How could a Christian vote for a man who is in favor of same-gender marriage and the slaughter of unborn babies?

    May 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • BRC

      because they are capable of more than one dimensional thought?

      May 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Satan

      Vote rom rom! He has my backing. Discriminate against ga ys, oppress women, and profit off gods name? Sounds like my candidate.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • OOO

      mom,
      Believing life starts at conception is not a religious issue. You can be christian and still believe life starts later on. You can be an atheist and believe it does start at conception.

      The christians just decided they needed an issue to rally on.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • momoya

      Momof4:

      You didn't answer my question yesterday.. Why are you going to vote for a cult member who won't get in to your god's heaven instead of for a fellow christian brother in the lord?.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • km

      how can a Christian vote for a man who does not believe that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      May 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      km

      how can a Christian vote for a man who does not believe that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


      They believe in freedom?

      May 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      lmaooo@just sayin
      no kidding

      bible thumpers I tell ya

      May 14, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  15. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Obama is a weiner's bun! His voiced alibasters of prudencies' proper are but propelling "ad hoc" phenoms of battling barbarisms! Such goes the human conditions ever languishing momentums of para-brute force liberalistic episodes! Chase one's deamboats of sensualisms continuities! Eat drink and be of gay cheers for the sky is falling, the sky is falling! We are all a bunch of banana clowns ape-ishly groping for one's only banana left well hung! Eat like a gltton eats ravishingly and with zest! Be the pig in a poke! Drink of the liquors ever so fast and be liquors' alcoholic! Get laid ever the more so you who are yet in diapers!

    May 10, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • ha

      The hipster coffee houses were in the village in the '50s. Are you still there?

      May 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Guy

      Great...more crap from GOD.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Crooked Bridge

      Oh my, we are all impressed, yet probably not as much as you are with your own self. Please go away and babble to yourself as only you could.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Satan

      I wish I could ra pe your mouth with a large knife.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      .Kids do prod and even poke!

      May 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tranice

      WORDS......................................

      May 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      no kidding @ Guy

      seriously it's in ever thread these days

      May 14, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      is it just me or did this post give you a headache just reading it too?

      May 14, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  16. Tak

    Not for this voter. Social issues are a non-starter.

    I want fiscal conservatism, a decent energy policy that does not involve subidizing or giving tax breaks to oil and energy companies, and someone who can lead us as one nation ... not Republicans, Democrats, liberal, or conservative, but Americans.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Yup

      I tend to agree. Both parties spend recklessly. The Republicans pretend they don't but history shows otherwise. Both sides make the bureaucracy bigger. Both negotiate like the showdown of the 7th grade bullies.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Which God?

      Agree. And keep the fairy tale bible, etc out of it all. Religion does not and should not be in politics, or the governance of our country. To those who proclaim that we we were founded on such religious principles are liars, flukies out of high school, and socially inept people who need a "god" for a crutch and some form of "father figure" for their pitieous life. They need to feel special. You are not.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Dean

      Obama fails your litmus test.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  17. zandHcats

    Who care about religion? Christian are nice people only in their small church, after stepping out of the real world, they change face!

    May 10, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  18. Voice of Reason

    Who would you vote for? A man that states for the record; a sound and reasonable judgment about human rights or a man that is in a cult and wears magic underwear?
    One's feet in reality while the other is delusional? I'll take a bad economy and reality any day of the week for moral progress!

    May 10, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • just sayin

      Amen!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • ME II

      Isn't it just a matter of degree? One believes in magic beings and the other believes in magic beings and magic underwear...

      May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • just sayin

      I don't even agree with the Democraps but the Christian Taliban leaves me no choice.

      May 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • souptwins

      Mormons never claimed their underwear is "magic". Do you also say Jews wear "magic beanies" or Nuns wear "magic robes"? All are symbols meant to remind them of sacred covenants made with God. Mormons just see them as so personal that they are worn under their clothes so as to be noticed by the wearer alone.
      Last I checked Mormons also teach to obey and sustain the law and allow all men to worship "how, where, and what they may". You might try those two principals some time.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  19. just sayin

    "Regardless of the issues at play, religion is one of the best predictors of how Americans vote."
    .
    As long as the Christian Taliban hijacks and hide within the GOP and pushes to impose their God's Moral Law on others.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  20. OOO

    ...and I think Dick Lugar's parting comments place much of the partisan blame on the republicans.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:06 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.