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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. n8362

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Guest For

      And what is reality? That accident or chance produces complexity, order, and useful collocation?

      Do you not see if takes a greater faith to be an avout atheist than it does to believe in a supreme power? Everything in the material world requires an orchestration of thought, action, and purpose, yer to the atheist the origins matter and its initial construction required neither. That my friend is a real leap of faith! You believe despite all evidences to the contrary!

      May 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Guest For

      And what is reality? That accident or chance produces complexity, order, and useful collocation?

      Do you not see if takes a greater faith to be an avout atheist than it does to believe in a supreme power? Everything in the material world requires an orchestration of thought, action, and purpose, yer to the atheist the origins of matter and its initial construction required neither. That my friend is a real leap of faith! You believe despite all evidences to the contrary!

      May 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • n8362

      I do not consider myself an atheist and am not very interested in the debate of whether there is a god or not.

      What is obvious is that all organized religions and their gods are man made.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      and what's with all this hate focused towards Atheists??? Slow your role grasshopper.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  2. Tim W.

    I read awhile back where Romney stated he will ask for guildence from his church and the Book of Mormon on all issues ! I will never vote for theocracy in America ! While I do not like Obama.....I dislike Romney more ! In elections we do not vote for a person we like.....we just vote against the person we dislike the most !

    May 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  3. Joe

    Interesting thing is that I can back up the real truth from quotes by leading activists, the gay Journalist association, etc, but can't post it on CNN, but the anti-religion activists are clearly fabricating nonsense about religion (see below, they pretend Mormons do all this stuff, are trained to quote scriptures at Christians, make scary dishonest movies, all in an effort to get Obama elected, hoping he will promote their agenda. And what is the agenda? I'll try to post more if I can.

    Here is how Obama became involved-

    May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Joe

      Can't post it, it was from the Post and basically explains that 20% of his $500,000 and up donations come from gay activists, who said they were going to pull support if he didn't do what he did.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  4. Joe

    Gay marriage is the major issue for the left. There are many good people on both political sides, but sadly, activists are taking over the liberal party.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Joe

      Since I can't say certain things about what these activists are doing, I'll just say- read the comments here. They have been trained to remove faith, and it is their goal to end.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Joe

      You can type this "war on gays"

      May 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Joe

      Cant' quote activists saying what they are trying to do to religion, perhaps CNN doesn't want anyone to know: read this article, they work at CNN- http://www.defendthefamily.com/_docs/resources/639...

      They are hired and trained.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Patricksday

      3% of the American Population that is Gay who would even choose to marry given the chance ARE ALREADY LIVING TOGETHER! The only thing that will change is their legal rights as a couple to make choices in each others life and to protect each other from Hateful family members who only wish to punish them at a time of crisis. Keep your nose out of other peoples business. Blacks could not marry out of their race until 1971 in some states. You cant vote on human rights.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  5. Connie

    In the end, it's God who will judge.. Whether you like it or not, God is the real law, his word, his book. It's not for us to judge, or live our life by what someone says. I'll leave it up to God.. He want's us to love each other, and accept. if there are those who live outside his word, then that's between them, and God. As for this election, it's ALL about our future, the economy, without it improving, we sadly will not have a future now will we? The issue is survival, it's about our economy.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Bob

      Sure, Connie, we'll leave things up to your fine Christian sky fairy to judge us. Come on, really. This is a "loving" god that according to the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible,will threaten and punish you with torture forever if you so much as doubt his existence or think a different god exists, even if you haven't read his awful storybook. What an asshole it is that you worship.

      Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric, to say the least. And the threats of torture purportedly by your god could consti-tute criminal assault. That's one very nasty god you've made for yourself there.

      Take a look at some of the instructions that this god of yours lays out according to the bible. Awful stuff like this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You mostly just burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Connie, atheistic trolls like Bob take pleasure in trying to put forth their so called truths. They are only fooling themselves into thinking they have all the answers about a book the barely understand. We know Scripture is the inspired word of God because we don't have the vain idea that we know more than our Creator. We can only pray that Bob comes into the same knowledge and does not remain in darkness himself.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • momoya

      Okay, Bob, then how about you explain the method by which all christians should pick and choose what verses are essential and which are stupid bullsh!t to be ignored exactly as you do?. Lemme guess, you have absolutely no good answer for why you want everyone to be forced to follow the ten commandments in the OT while yet forbidding believers to sell their daughters into slavery as it says your god permits just a few pages away?

      May 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • momoya

      Excuse me! My message was for Disciple. 🙂

      May 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Momoya, there is an explanation but you have already made you choice to disregard it. We have had thousands of years of teaching and preaching and it is just like it has always been, it is up to each and every individual to choose whether they believe or not. No one wants to force anyone into to believing anything, at least not Christians. We don't have to force anyone to believe anything. We know every soul will choose the path they want to follow, just as you are choosing yours. So stop telling the lie that Christians are forcing a choice.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "We have had thousands of years of teaching and preaching and it is just like it has always been.

      No it hasn't that the point. You really believe that crap. Christians have been proven wrong about their bible over and over again, which is why so many are leaving your cult. Plus the fact that the bible has been proven not to be an historical document totally makes your point moot. LOL!

      May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • momoya

      @Disciple:

      >>there is an explanation but you have already made you choice to disregard it. <>We have had thousands of years of teaching and preaching and it is just like it has always been, it is up to each and every individual to choose whether they believe or not.<>No one wants to force anyone into to believing anything, at least not Christians. <>We don't have to force anyone to believe anything. We know every soul will choose the path they want to follow, just as you are choosing yours. So stop telling the lie that Christians are forcing a choice.<<

      Belief isn't a choice and attractiveness has no bearing on accuracy..

      May 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • momoya

      @Disciple: (lemme try this again)

      *there is an explanation but you have already made you choice to disregard it.*

      Nope.. If there was a reasonable explanation than it would have been demonstrated long before now. You, like all other christians, just pick and choose whatever you want to count and whatever you don't want to count.. It's stupid, selfish, and self-defeating, but I hope that you and all who believe like you keep doing it.. You can't do any better, and it really, really helps out those who oppose you.
      `
      `
      *We have had thousands of years of teaching and preaching and it is just like it has always been, it is up to each and every individual to choose whether they believe or not.*

      Nope.. Over the past two thousand years there has been every kind of christian cult or denomination based on every other scripture or principle available to choose from. Everything has been preached as righteous and unrighteous, godly and ungodly and it's all done with the same text that cannot express how to hierarchically valuate the precepts within the text.. If the bible was demonstrably workable (not necessarily true) then all those who study it would come to extremely similar conclusions, but this doesn't happen, which makes the bible laughable.
      `
      `
      *No one wants to force anyone into to believing anything, at least not Christians.*

      Nope.. That's far, far, far to general a statement to be reasonable at all.. No wonder you believe in Christianity if you can't keep from making such stupid mistakes when you attempt to 'debate.'
      `
      `
      *We don't have to force anyone to believe anything. We know every soul will choose the path they want to follow, just as you are choosing yours. So stop telling the lie that Christians are forcing a choice.*

      Belief isn't a choice and attractiveness has no bearing on accuracy..

      May 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Momoya, you have just proven my point that you have made your choice. No matter what anyone says or does at this point, you have made up your mind and it is evident. Why don't you forget trying to address every point I make and accept your choice and not try to force your choice on anybody else.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Talk about moot points, YeahRight, where is the evidence of your assertions?

      May 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • momoya

      Disciple, you seem not to comprehend what I have written and have instead chosen to simply repeat your stupid ideas that lack any merit.. Belief isn't a choice because if it was we wouldn't believe it when someone close to us dies or other unattractive facts.. You claim that god exists; therefore, you have the burden of proof.. You have not proved anything about god; therefore, I am justified in not believing your stupidity.. It's a choice to follow logic, not a choice to believe or not.. Grow a brain.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      @m, "belief isn't a choice", really, but you can choose to follow logic. Wow, you have just proven my point. We choose to believe what we want to believe and what you don't want to believe, whether you like it or not. You have made a choice whether you believe it or not.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Disciple translated: Blahahhahhablaha, be blahadie b lahd whohoo oooh cid bebad dowhapdoo wad. Bee neyeh edhdlkjhb mbnw You ou fo sjorh goood booos,

      As if anyone cares what such a hypocrite brays.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dick Siple of Chris, you could be more of a phony, I suppose, but it's hard to imagine how you'd achieve that distinction.

      You're beyond laughable, dear, as you have failed to prove a single point. Hardly a surprise, considering your mental limitations, but really, any idiot could have done better.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dick Siple of Chris, you could be m-ore of a phony, I suppose, but it's hard to imagine how you'd achieve that distinction.

      You're beyond laughable, dear, as you have failed to prove a single point. Hardly a surprise, considering your mental limitations, but really, any idiot could have done better.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Tom Tom, whatever issues have caused you to be so bitter can be healed if only you weren't dead set in your choice. No amount of insults or name calling will make you right or good. If you stuck to the issue at hand instead of spewing your bitterness, maybe we could have a decent discussion.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  6. GrouchyKat

    It's not social issues. It's not religious issues. It's the econonmy. It's the fact that more and more Americans have stopped even looking for jobs and have fallen off the radar. It's the deficit that has ballooned to monsterous proportions.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  7. livingston

    No matter how hard the republicans try to make it otherwise,the election will be decided on jobs and the economy. Anyone who is to stupid to realize that will not be elected.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • souptwins

      Excuse me– I believe the GOP are the ones trying to focus on the economy but Obama's team takes up every distraction from that known to man.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  8. mandarax

    "frequency of attendance at religious services was a better predictor of how Americans voted than any other demographic factor besides race. "

    Not surprising, I guess, but pretty scary. This means that most people aren't really thinking about issues, they are just being good sheep.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Chris Hogan

      The fact that a third of the polling stations are at or next to churches doesn't help either. I think that should be against the law.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      ya no kidding @Chris Hogan

      May 14, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  9. Primewonk

    From my constîtution:
    Article VI, Section 3, no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States

    From my Treaty of Tripoli:
    Article 11, As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...

    So, why are all these fundiots, and candidates so insistant on trying to "out jesus" each other?

    May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • closet atheist

      Great question...

      Sadly, a lot of people (my old-fashioned parents included) truly believe we are a christian nation. I blame it on the blinders of indoctrination.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  10. anonymous

    Hahahaha, well, only in America anyways!

    May 11, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  11. John Stefanyszyn

    It is not about gay marriage rights.
    It is not about womens rights.
    It is not about taxation rights.
    It is not about economic opportunity rights.
    It is not abour "religion" rights.

    .....it is about freedom and equality of self-rights.

    This is the strategy, the belief, the "god of fortresses" that President Obama is advanacing...
    ....and it started in his proclamation and commitment to freedom of rights in his 2009 UN spech to the world.

    But there is Only One True Creator God and Christ is the Only Way to Him.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      There are 5 billion people on this planet who would not agree with your last statement. You're just caught up in a 2000 year old myth. watch it or Zeus will hurl a lightning bolt at you. Oh, you don't believe in Zeus? What makes Zeus any different that YOUR "god"?

      May 11, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • momoya

      Cryptic conclusions are stupid.. Have a point you want to get across when you write.. Listing a few personal truisms and concluding with some weird and narrow religious nuttery that doesn't affect anything at all is nothing more than ma.ste.rbating in public.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Bob

      momoya, that's a great response to John Stefanyszyn that you made. Spot on.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      John, you hit the nail right on the head. You can tell based on the responses of M & M. 5 billion people will find out you told the truth and clever sayings won't make a bit of difference then. The only wisdom that counts is the wisdom of God.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • momoya

      So asking people to make a point when they say something is proof that they are right?!?!?!!? About what?? If you don't make a sensible point it can't be proved wrong or right.. How fvcking stupid are you, Disciple?

      May 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ Momoya... please be nice to Disciple. He/she is just being a good sheep.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      CA, I am far from needing anyone to stand up for me. I realize momoya is typical of every atheistic troll that resorts to degrading statements when they can't make a valid point. m's tone and intention was evident from the first comment and that is degrade believers. But you and m are both sadly mistakenly to think that just because we sometimes referred to as sheep that we are always sheeplike. We are also referred to as soldiers and we will defend the faith, so don't get it twisted.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Disciple

      Then why can't you defend your beliefs?. Why do you refuse to answer questions that would clearly demonstrate the correctness of your position?

      If you had sensible answers to my questions you'd provide them.. You don't, so you pretend that they're irrelevant and continue to act just as stupid as before.. It's diversionary and a tactic that all christians fall back on whenever they finally realize THEMSELVES that they've been painted into a corner by their own a.ssertions.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      Really m, you have an anger management problem. How can you speak about sensible replies when yours are so full of venom and obvious hatred for believers. You really don't care about a sensible responsible. You are just looking for an opportunity to try and make yourself sound intelligent and logical. The truth is attacking and putting down believers will not accomplish what you desire because believers have endured for thousands of years in spite of these and much more injurious assaults. If you really are interested in knowing the truth, then why don't you undertake a serious study of Scripture?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ummm, dude? Momoya was a minister. I suspect she's more knowledgeable about scripture than you'll ever be.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      actually it's 7 Billion but who's counting...carry on

      May 14, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • DiscipleOfChrist

      @Tom Tom, key word being "was" a minister. Nobody who is truly called and truly a believer will turn away from the faith. Most like had a "spoken" faith but never and a true relationship with God.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, really? Anyone with a conscience and any integrity would, you twit. Too bad you possess neither.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Idiots like Disciple of Christ are the sort that were the impetus for my disenchantment with the farce that is the Christian Church. They're nothing but phonies who could not care less about the sick, the tired, the disenfranchised, the hungry or anyone else who hasn't a dime to put in their coffers.

      Get bent.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  12. The Truth

    The LDS church has been caught on camera giving AIDS to the children of gay couples so that people will think that gay people are raping their kids and they ARE INNOCENT GAY COUPLES!!!

    http://mormonconspiracy.com/

    The celestial room is a room in the LDS TEMPLES that is kept VERY SECRETIVE like the masons because the masons helped them design in! Not only that but new information has been uncovered recently that explain why so all of the temples are so locked down hard!

    Families donate their sons and daughters that are CHILDREN and they are then taken to celestial room and there the priests and high council church members who are WHITE MEN secretly marry these children usually three at a time and then they CONSUMATE the marriages to these CHILDREN and have been doing terrible things! The celestial rooms is never cleaned because the MORMONS believe that children's blood bring them closer to GOD. So they wipe the blood from the children all over the furniture!! After then they inject children with AIDS so that they don't marry anyone else later on and are kept "PURE" by that way.

    LDS IS SICK AND NEED TO BE STOPPED!!

    May 11, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Joe

      The truth? Are you trying to be funny? It's really not. And you're showing how silly liberal bigotry is.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • SOAPY32

      THE TRUTH marie osmond shown recently as slim skin and bones figure attributed rapid weight loss to successful weight watchers program IS COVER STORY BY SCARED MORMON TEMPLE LIVING IN WRETCHED FEAR OF SECRETS OF TEMPLE SEEING LIGHT OF DAY rapid skeleton transformation due to accidental exposure to HIV PLUS TERTIARY PNEUMONIA WORST LINGERING DEATH upon recent visit to temple chamber in salt lake city usa

      May 11, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • souptwins

      I literally LOL'ed on this one. The "celestial room" is kept cleaner than any other room and is used for personal meditation only with no ceremonies performed there at all. It's easy to keep clean that way and no room anywhere, Temple or otherwise, is used for such ridiculous & sick things as you propose. You seriously need a good therapist!!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • souptwins

      The Aids thing doesn't ever deserve a response you are sick and wrong to spread such outlandish and utterly false things about others.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Joe

      I thought he was trying to be funny, the fact that he's apparently not does make me smile at the insanity of those who hate religious people. The things they believe!

      May 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  13. Dave, Central Illinois

    Funny how the atheist call Christians stupid, etc. It's a well known fact that Christians as a whole are more successful in life than atheist. Go ahead you godless little toads, whine to the government to make things right since you can't yourself. Oh, don't forget to turn off the lights in mommy's basement when your done spewing your views on these forums.

    May 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Crom

      @Dave, the lame troll
      1/10
      Troll harder. You sound like a little kid.

      May 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • I call BS

      Wow. Hilarious. The moron can't even figure out how to make "atheist" plural.

      May 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "It's a well known fact that Christians as a whole are more successful in life than atheist."

      Please provide proof, thank you!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • momoya

      Dave, you protest too much.. It seems that you're especially worried that nonbelievers might have a more fulfilling life than you and your believer buddies.. I'm not sure why you would be worried about that, but it speaks to the level of your faith where it is thinest.. Would you lose your faith if you found out that most atheists were happier and freer emotionally than most christians?. Or is it more of an admission that you find your faith vapid and grey?.

      Either way, your post says more about you than about atheism.. Hope you're okay with that.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ Dave... I think you may be too stupid to follow this, but let's try....

      1.) High levels of education tend to be negatively correlated with religiosity (read: countries that have higher percentage of people with degrees / advanced degrees also tend to have higher percentage of people who claim to be atheist or agnostic)
      2.) High level of education is also positively correlated with high income
      3.) People with high incomes don't tend to live in their mother's basement

      You follow me there...??

      May 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ Dave - "It's a well known fact that Christians as a whole are more successful in life than atheist."

      Personally, I couldn't be happier with my life. I'm married to a gorgeous, wonderful woman. I'm the father of a cute, sweet, intelligent 4 year old... a real free-thinker in the making. Own a great place in a very expensive market (NYC) and have a pretty darn good job.

      I, too, would like to see where you pulled such an idiot statement from....

      May 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  14. mormonsarechristian

    If there had been no Nicene Creed or Emperor Constantine, Evangelicals’ theology would be quite similar to Mitt Romney’s In fact, there would likely be no need for the Mormon Church to restore Jesus Christ’s church. Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not Fourth Century Creeds. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus Christ are closer to Early Christianity than any other denomination. And Mormon teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com/

    According to a 2012 Pew Forum poll of members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) 98 percent said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion. They volunteer 7 times as many hours as does the general population, according to a 2012 University of Pennsylvania study. Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:

    http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

    11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians. Those who now insist on their Fourth Century Trinitarian and salvation-only- by-grace definition of Christianity for candidates for public office are doing our Republic an injustice.

    May 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Christian

      Actually early Christians went to the synagogues with the Jews and even upon having their own church went there every sabbath (saturday). Don't believe me? Do the research. I would point you in the right direction but it's late and I still have another day to get through before I can worship my Saviour.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Cameron

      This reply is to "Christian" above...your assertion of early Christians worshiping at synagogues is correct...however, if worship is something you do only in a little block of time you put "here" on your calendar, and are not worshiping your Savior with every breath, in your daily life, with your actions, in all you do as you "get through" your day, then I shudder at your Christianity. Because I suspect its not very Christ-like.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Christian

      I didn't say I didn't worship my God whenever I can I simply said that if one attends such things as a church, congregation etc. then it should logically be on saturday, the sabbath, which early Christians used. Although I don't see anything wrong with attending every other day as long as you keep the fourth commandment of God to show that you love and honor Him.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Christian

      What I should have said is "I still have one more day to get through before I can have a FORMAL worship of my Saviour with my Christian brethren." Although, like I said, it was late and us humans don't exactly think things through when we're about to pass out from exhaustion. Anyways, may God bless you and keep you in all that you do. You're quite right though, the Lord is coming soon and we must be ready so we are not like the virgins who are left behind in ten virgin parable.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  15. kindness

    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and trancsend our own desire to know and have proof. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Let go and let god".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime .
    Its awsome .

    May 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Yoi

      Ecclesiastes 2 >>
      New International Version 1984

      --------––

      Pleasures Are Meaningless

      1I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2“Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

      4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harema as well—the delights of the heart of man. 9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

      10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;

      I refused my heart no pleasure.

      My heart took delight in all my work,

      and this was the reward for all my labor.

      11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done

      and what I had toiled to achieve,

      everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;

      nothing was gained under the sun.

      Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

      12Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,

      and also madness and folly.

      What more can the king’s successor do

      than what has already been done?

      13I saw that wisdom is better than folly,

      just as light is better than darkness.

      14The wise man has eyes in his head,

      while the fool walks in the darkness;

      but I came to realize

      that the same fate overtakes them both.

      15Then I thought in my heart,

      “The fate of the fool will overtake me also.

      What then do I gain by being wise?”

      I said in my heart,

      “This too is meaningless.”

      16For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;

      in days to come both will be forgotten.

      Like the fool, the wise man too must die!

      May 11, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  16. Bootstomper

    The south should try Atheism,it might make them more Tolerant.

    May 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Lolz

      Lol they're too stupid, their brain synapses are clogged with grease from all the fried food they eat.

      May 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  17. Marko

    Why is it that Richard Land and the Southern Baptist Convention taking such great strides attempting to conceal and defer Mitt's Mormon "exotic" beliefs? Why does the SBC feel compelled to make a presidential endorsement anyway? Perhaps, the SBC would be better off developing a side-by-side factoid comparison of Mormon church doctrines/beliefs vs. Traditional Christian doctrines/beliefs least it lose current members or potential converts to cults and other fake christian groups, enticed and deceived by wolves in sheep's clothing, regretably, aided and abetted with the assistance of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    May 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  18. Crom

    I think it will only matter insofar as each voter is willing to ignore common sense and compassion for others.
    Their votes will go to Romney, for they are as immoral, unethical, and as ignorant as one could hope for.
    Those are the people who will vote for a proven pathological liar, who is for sale to anyone, who would sell their own children into slavery if they thought they could get away with it.
    Criminal minds think alike. Honesty doesn't matter to them. They hate any law that might keep them from committing the crimes they enjoy. They hate the regulations that keep them from poisoning their neighbors in the name of their god – money.

    May 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  19. brad7watson4miami

    Pres. Obama stated his religious view is the 'Golden Rule', therefore, he supports gay marriage. The Mormon Mitt Romney replied, "My religion teaches that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman..."

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

      Do you also think people in the South still practice slavery? Mormons got rid of polygamy shortly after the civil war so it would make about as much sense as you "joke".

      May 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  20. i see dumb people

    anybody who sees religion as an issue in the presidential is way too stupid to vote. ... most are just closed minded ignorant bigots who use religion to justify their own hatred and unwillingness to accept others, when in reality christianity preaches accepting each other...

    May 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • saustin

      Amen!!

      May 11, 2012 at 8:08 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.