8 ways faith will matter at the Republican National Convention
Paul Ryan, left, is Catholic, while Mitt Romney is Mormon.
August 25th, 2012
06:58 PM ET

8 ways faith will matter at the Republican National Convention

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN)–For the next four days, the eyes of the political world will be on Tampa, Florida, the site of the Republican National Convention (which will now get started Tuesday, after Tropical Storm Isaac cancelled Monday's events).

Though politics will be the name of the game, it's a safe bet that religion will also play a major role. The convention opens with a prayer from a Hispanic evangelical leader and closes with a benediction from a Catholic cleric who's sometimes called "America's pope."

In between, balloons will drop on the first Mormon to be nominated by a major political party to be president of the United States. Here are eight ways faith will matter this week. What did we leave out? Let us know in comments and we'll expand our list as warranted.

1. The ghost of Todd Akin
Most people couldn't pick him out of lineup and he won't be attending the convention this week. But the Missouri Senate candidate who claimed that women could prevent conception in cases of "legitimate rape" opened a rift in the Republican Party, with GOP chieftains pressuring him to drop out while some powerful conservative Christian activists rally to his defense. Those activists are using the Akin episode to allege that the Republican Party wants quash their socially conservative agenda even as it happily accepts their votes. If the infighting continues into this week, there could be a battle for GOP's soul at a moment when the GOP wants to project unity.

2. The M word
Even now that he's talking more about his religious faith, Mitt Romney almost never refers specifically to Mormonism or to his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And yet Romney has held a series leadership positions in his church. Will the Republican Party continue to studiously avoid one of its presidential candidate's defining characteristics? Or will some convention speaker make a case for why Romney's Mormonism is an asset? Will Romney himself mention his religion as he accepts his party's nomination?

3. Ladies night (or week)?
For months, the GOP has been on the defensive, as Democrats say Republicans are waging a "war on women," a theme the Dems began sounding when the American bishops blasted the White House for its contraception mandate for insurance companies earlier this year. This week, Republicans face a delicate balancing act in trying to assuage the concerns of moderate women voters while also satisfying its religiously conservative base. (See ghost of Todd Akin, above). A big part of that mission falls to Ann Romney, the Republican nominee's wife, and to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both of whom have choice speaking slots.

4. The possibility of a culture war speech
"There is a religious war going on in this country," former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan told the 1992 Republican convention in a primetime address. "It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself. For this war is for the soul of America." There are still debates over whether the speech, which provoked a media frenzy, helped or hurt President George H.W. Bush, who would go on to lose to Bill Clinton. But the Republican Party is keen on avoiding such moments as it tries to win over independents this fall. There's some nervousness about what Rick Santorum will say in his convention address.

5. Religious liberty
Many conservatives are livid over the Obama administration's requirement that health insurers offer free contraceptive coverage, even for employees of Catholic institutions. Plus, talking up religious liberty is likely less of a turnoff for moderate voters than is talk about bans on abortion and gay marriage, traditionally the top concerns of religious conservatives. Catholics and evangelicals, two key voting blocs, have been buzzing about religious liberty for months, with mega-pastor Rick Warren recently canceling plans for a presidential forum with Obama and Romney and announcing plans for one on religious liberty instead.

6. Israel
When it comes to foreign policy, look for convention speakers to try outdo one another in pledging support for the Jewish State - and in railing against Obama for what they'll allege are his administration's shabby treatment of a key American ally. Israel is especially important to the GOP's evangelical base, some of whom see a biblical bond with the Jewish people and some who believe Israel must be in Jewish control before the Second Coming can happen. Mitt Romney included Israel as one of his marquee stops on his recent foreign trip, including a photo-op at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

7. Hurricane theology
Will some televangelist claim that Tropical Storm Isaac, which is headed toward the Gulf Coast, is God's way of punishing the GOP for insufficient piety? It wouldn't be the first time a prominent preacher blamed severe weather on American insubordinance.

8. "America's pope"
The convention's closing prayer will be delivered by Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads the American Catholic bishops and is sometimes referred to as America's pope. It's a good indication of just how important the Catholic vote is thought to be this year, with Catholics accounting for 1 in 4 Americans and considered to be the quintessential swing bloc. Whoever wins these voters will likely win the White House.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mormonism • Politics

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soundoff (1,567 Responses)
  1. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Eric Marrapodi,

    Exactly when and by whom is " Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads the American Catholic bishops and is sometimes referred to as America's pope"?

    This is very poor journalism on your part sir. He is a Cardinal, not a pope. Surely this distinction would be evident to an editor of the "Belief Blog" and you would choose NOT to propagate such nonsense by repeating it.

    August 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Zeke2112

      That he is referred to by some as "America's Pope" is a fact, whether he agrees to it or not. Reporting it is well within his job. Some people still think the world is flat. Reporting that some people think the world is flat does not mean that a reporter agrees. Direct your criticism to the American public, not the author of this piece.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  2. Colin

    I wish there were a different way to put it, but there isn't. Christians are dumb. Not all of them, but certainly those who are into it enough to be publicly active. They are small minded, silly little people.

    August 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • toad

      Silly humans. You are all small-minded. Fuck you Colin. I hope I was the first to say that to you today.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • old ben

      I know. I wished that I knew Randy Newman personally and could convince him to do a song about these small-minded people, but you know, a more serious song than Short People. Gosh he could just call it HeavenSent and I'm sure it would be a smash hit in no time.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Chad

      didnt see you on the Pakistani or the Sikh blog..

      Curious, why do you only hurl insults at Christians?

      August 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, ignoring the hard questions again?

      How do you reconcile the universe being both a closed system and the result of a supernatural force that lies outside of it?

      August 26, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Colin

      Chad, as an atheist, I reject all religions. The day Sikhs or Muslims run the Republican Party or influence its platform, I will make the same comment about them.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Chad

      In thermodynamics, a closed system can exchange energy (as heat or work), but not matter, with its surroundings

      I'm still confused Colin, what does involvement in politics have to do with your view that their gods dont exist?

      I have a different theory.. You only scream at Christians/Jews because you really dont care at all about the others.. Why dont you care? Could it be because you know they arent real?
      And, if you dont care about the other gods because you know they arent real, why do you care so much about the God of Abraham?


      August 26, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good morning Chad. I won't speak for Colin, but the God of Abraham is the best-known and most influential God concept in this part of the world, and the one anyone would want to address first. I'm curious. Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham just as Jews do, but you allow that Jews do worship the right God (though perhaps in error) and seem to say that Muslims do not. How do you exclude Muslims?

      BTW, I am reading the Gospel of John as you recommended. I have read it a few times over the years, but not recently.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Sorry, Chad. A Wikipedia quotation that isn't even referenced (not by you, nor the person who wrote it into the Wikipedia page for that matter) doesn't count for much. Here is the definition according Donald Simanek, an actual physicist who put together a dictionary specifically addressing physics terms that are frequently misused:

      "Closed system. A physical system on which no outside influences act; closed so that nothing gets in or out of the system and nothing from outside can influence the system's observable behavior or properties."

      The question becomes even clearer, How can God influence a closed system from outside of it, if a closed system is one that cannot be influenced by outside forces?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I've never had a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist attempt to dictate how I should live my life, tell me I'll got to hell if I don't believe what he does, or come knocking at my door with pamphlets about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Chard.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Damocles


      Quick fix: those groups haven't come to your door YET.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Colin

      But Chad, if I believed it were real, I would hardly invoke its wrath by publicly rejecting it now, would I? The reasons I address Christianity more than other faiths are (i) I was brought up a Catholic so I know a lot more about the Judeo-Christian tradition; and (ii) 99% of the people on this blog are Christians. In order to help them overcome their beliefs, it wouldn't make much sense talking about the absurdities of Sikhism now, would it?

      August 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • What IF


      I have seen that "why do you pick only on Christians" query of Chad's answered at least 15 times here. He is either very forgetful or very bone-headed (maybe both).

      August 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO "Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham just as Jews do, but you allow that Jews do worship the right God (though perhaps in error) and seem to say that Muslims do not. How do you exclude Muslims?"
      @Chad "the only difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians believe the Messiah has come, Jews dont. The Old Testament writings are identical.
      The only difference between Muslims and Christians/Jews, is that Muslims believe all of the writings of the original authors of the Law and prophets have been utterly and hopelessly corrupted, and that the "prophet" mohammed restored it to it's correct form of hating Jews and Christians as allah desires..

      so.. yeah.. it's a little different..

      @TTTOO "BTW, I am reading the Gospel of John as you recommended. I have read it a few times over the years, but not recently."
      @Chad "ok, good.. I"ll get started on that other doc..

      @Rufus: here, take a look at a complete description of a thermodynamic closed system.
      "In thermodynamics, a closed system can exchange energy (as heat or work), but not matter, with its surroundings. In contrast, an isolated system cannot exchange any of heat, work, or matter with the surroundings, while an open system can exchange all of heat, work and matter. For a simple system, with only one type of particle (atom or molecule), a closed system amounts to a constant number of particles

      Thermodynamics describes the physics of matter using the concept of the thermodynamic system, a region of the universe that is under study. All quant ities, such as pressure or mechanical work, in an equation refer to the system unless labeled otherwise. As thermodynamics is fundamentally concerned with the flow and balance of energy and matter, systems are distinguished depending on the kinds of interaction they undergo and the types of energy they exchange with the surrounding environment.
      Isolated systems are completely isolated from their environment. They do not exchange heat, work or matter with their environment. The only truly isolated system there could be is the universe, but even that is up for debate if the Big Bang is considered

      August 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "If I believed it were real, I would hardly invoke its wrath by publicly rejecting it now, would I?"
      @Chad hmm, and yet, you find a belief in the God of Abraham very threatening.. That's why you react with such anger all the time.


      @Colin "The reasons I address Christianity more than other faiths are (i) I was brought up a Catholic so I know a lot more about the Judeo-Christian tradition; and (ii) 99% of the people on this blog are Christians. In order to help them overcome their beliefs, it wouldn't make much sense talking about the absurdities of Sikhism now, would it?"
      @Chad "hmm.. except:
      A. you know barely anything about basic elements of Christianity (why again dont you endeavor to learn more? seems like an excellent way to get more ammo and therefor be more compelling in your arguments)
      B. you repeatedly claim that there ARENT many Christians on this blog (remember? "Chad, go get some friends.. there arent any Christians here")
      C. perhaps close to 30% of this blog are on non-Christian religions.. and you dont post there?

      your response is not consistent with reality..

      August 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Damocles: Well, considering that I live in a very diverse area in general, and that my immediate neighborhood contains people of all the religious groups I mentioned, you'd think they'd have been here, wouldn't you? I don't see THEM proselytizing like the fundy Christians.

      But I'll knock on wood anyway, just to make sure...

      August 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • bam

      these are the only ones can mix them around
      1. Fear Mongering
      2. Christian Taliban
      3. Fear Mongering
      4. Christian Taliban
      5. Fear Mongering
      6. Christian Taliban
      7. Fear Mongering
      8. Christian Taliban

      August 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chad's theory (repeatedly, ad nauseum): You atheists attack Christianity more than other religions because you are secretly afraid that it is true.

      Other "theories" The Chad is certain of:
      1. Girls don't talk to me at parties because they are too intimidated by how hot I am.
      2. Scientists disagree with my pet interpretations because they secretly know I am right and it would ruin their careers.
      3. The reason that Security told me to stop hanging around the school playground is that I am so awesome that I make the teachers look bad.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  3. Chick-a-dee

    "Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hard-heartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked compet.ition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself."
    Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on 15 May 1891

    Not much has changed since then, eh?

    August 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I seem to recall a philosopher who wrote about the impact of capitalism on working people and died shortly before 1891.

      What was his name again?

      Oh yes, Karl Marx. The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848.

      (From wikipedia)
      The Manifesto explains that the reason the bourgeois exist and exploit the proletariat with low wages is private property, "the accvmulation of wealth in private hands, the formation and increase of capital", and that compet'tion amongst the proletariat creates wage-labour, which rests entirely on the competi'ion among the workers.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @I'm not a GOPer: Are you advocating for a rev olt?

      August 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      no. Real communism scares the crap out of me. It's a lot closer than we might think.

      If Romney wins and joblessness increases and the gap between the haves and have-nots gets bigger with the "economy" (meaning the DJIA) improving on the backs of workers in India and China, watch out. The Occupy movement showed us that the tinder is ready and dry. All it needs is a spark from a real revolutionary.

      Each time the workers feel downtrodden in a capitalist society, communism reemerges. It was very strong in the US in the 1930s. The right like to paint FDR as a socialist, but he was what saved this country from real socialism. I hear strong echos of that when they paint Obama as a 'socialist'.

      August 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @I'm not a GOPer: I'm not that optimistic. I see no real evidence to indicate that the average person is smart enough to vote in his or her own interests. I'm also not convinced that the majority of people are interested in questioning the latest sound bite or reading and understanding the counter points that refute them. Since the 1930's, we have become a country of morons.

      August 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I truly hope we don't see any unintended consequences from the 2nd amendment.

      If there's any uprisings, tt won't be anything like that whack-job judge in Lubbock thinks it might be.

      August 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ I'm not a GOPer: Oh, there are times when I am ashamed to say I'm from TX. This is another one of them. Actually, pretty much anytime one of our elected officials gets picked up my national news is one of them.

      ??? So, what do you think it would be like? If Texas decided to go its own way, I'm not sure that the rest of the country wouldn't spring for a farewell party and heave a collective sigh of relief.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      BY national news

      You'd think typing short words wouldn't be quite so difficult.

      August 26, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'm not so sure. The last time the south tried to secede, it got pretty messy.

      "Remember the Alamo".

      August 26, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "I'm not so sure. The last time the south tried to secede, it got pretty messy."
      Tee hee...I'm not so sure that the Union wouldn't have been better off without all the inbred illiterates they tried so hard to keep.

      "Remember the Alamo".
      Yes. John Bowie's last stand. That was during the Texas revolutionary war to gain independence from Mexico(preceeding the civil war by three decades)...and thus become the Republic of Texas. If Texas wanted to cede, I wonder if they'd want to take back the territory under its original borders. It wouldn't be bad to have New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas...but really I think the deal should be off if we had to get stuck with Oklahoma too. ;-D

      August 26, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      my reference to the Alamo was intended to be ironical.

      As the legacy of the war of Texas independance from Mexico, I find it highly ironic that what people remember was a pointless military suicide to overwhelmingly superior forces by the hopelessly broken command structure between Bowie and Travis. Yet this, and not the successful campaign by Houston and Austin is what sticks in the memory of modern Texans.

      This clearly was not always true. We don't have a major metropolitan area named "Travis or Bowie". As for the 'legitimacy' of the Texican revolution in Tejas ... I guess the winner gets to write the history – like all of US colonization and westward expansion.

      Why "Remember the Alamo!", the Texas state motto is "Frienship" not "Live Free or Die" (New Hampshire). (More irony.)

      August 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  4. muezzathecat

    These people act as if the are in the 16th Century in "Cromwell's England" or something. I mean come on, this is Not the land of the Puritans or the Calvinists any longer..it hasn't been for a couple hundred years. We will not give up our birth control, or our Jobs (when we don't get outsourced), our education, our voting rights, or any other freedoms we have gotten through struggle throughout the 1070s and 1980s. We will NOT "Be living according to the Principle", nor will we give up the Freedom to be FREE of religion...This is not 1699.

    August 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      Hear Hear @muezzathact!

      The fundies in colonial Massachusetts never gave up on the English Civil War. They fought it again a little more than a century later*, and again (in a manner of speaking a century after that**).

      The spiritual ancestors of the Puritans are the Evangelical Protestants. They fight the English Civil war every day.

      "Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time." – H. L. Mencken

      * The revolution
      ** The US Civil War (arguably in a good cause in this case)

      August 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
      • muezzathecat

        Yep..You are quite correct about that. And regretfully...they are "still with us" and still causing problems for the rest of us.

        August 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – spiritual descendants (not ancestors).

      And of course it is 17th century England in @muezzathecat's OP.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  5. TheVocalAtheist

    You really have to stop and wonder it these religious right people in Tampa are having second thoughts about being there since the storm in coming in. I think it is hilarious because I know it has to be on their minds. I know theists that still believe storms are created by their God and the destruction it wreaks is because of sin. Sorry Tampa, I really don't mean any harm.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Sorry, storm "is" coming in.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      For sure. And now that this Barbara Ann Fenton has extended this "olive branch" to gays regarding civil unions, we all know what the "good" people of the Westboro Baptist Church and similar minds are thinking regarding the storm. I can't wait to hear Pat Robertson open his silly mouth.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • truth be told

      And what would Mr Robinson say to you Tom?

      August 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I'm reminded of this, (courtesy imdb)

      Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
      Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
      Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
      Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
      Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
      Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
      Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
      Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

      August 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV: "@TVA, I'm reminded of . . ."

      omg you're right. and i think a lot of uptight old white men with no d cks, too!
      they are bound to get slammed. lol

      August 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  6. save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

    Oh boy. Romney says of Armstrong: "The moon will miss its first son of earth." Sounds like he is more worried more about how things are going on Kolob than earth.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  7. TheRationale

    It's disheartening people still believe in religions.

    August 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • truth be told

      That would be the normal human population of the planet the 99%

      August 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only if you're counting Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Shintoists, Buddhists, and host of others.

      Are you counting them, TuBeTop?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Kebos

      @truth be told: First off, 99% of the human population is not normal. Of course, normal is a relative term. But I think your normal means "being religious". The religious segment of the population is much less than 99% but I won't even hazard to guess what % is religious. But of those that are, they don't fit into my definition of normal.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      So that would make you abnormal.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Bob

      It is heartening to see people believe in God. It is disconcerting to observe childish behavior by senior citizens, like the one above.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keep on with that remedial reading comprehension class, TuBe! You can do it!

      August 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • bspurloc

      it is more disheartening that people are being FORCED into religion still....
      It is even more disheartening seeing Mexicans more religious than the christian priests who murdered their ancestors into christianity. amazing what a heavy hand of fear slaps into u.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  8. Jack

    Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  9. toad

    If you really want a mission Christards and Atheist filth, maybe even a mission from GOD, here's one: By any means necessary keep these Republican fucks out of the White House.

    August 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Romney/ Ryan 2012

      August 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • toad

      That's absolutely right Ronald. THOSE Republican fucks.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • bspurloc

      Christian Taliban 2012

      August 27, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. Fink

    So let's review: take away support for the elderly and give it to the wealthy; take away support for the poor and give it to the wealthy; take away support for the sick and give it to the wealthy. Put the country into servitude to the benefit of the wealthy. Demonize non-whites. Foment hatred against "sinners".

    Yeah, faith matters to the RNC and Republicans. Faith in what, we have no bloody idea.

    August 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      You will find out right after the Romney inauguration. Romney/ Ryan 2012

      August 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Tahuaya Armijo

      Fink, I accept basic Christain values. My problem with the Republican party, the Tea Party and their Conservative Christain allies is the fact that they do not represent traditional Christain values. You hit it on the head. They are against social programs, Medicare, Medicaide, National Health care but will always support new weapons for the Pentagon and being the policeman of the world where we get our young men and women killed an wounded. Then they turn around and want tax cuts for the wealthy and say they will balance the federal budget by cutting social programs.

      Those are not Christain values. It is all a crock.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Truth

      "You will find out right after the Romney inauguration. Romney/ Ryan 2012"

      aka, internment camps for non-believers...

      August 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Tawhoya Speekintoooo

      Tahuaya lern yerself ta spel yo. "Christain" is that what happens when priest does nasty?

      August 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • asm_ith


      "You will find out right after the Romney inauguration. Romney/ Ryan 2012"

      Shouldn't voters know ahead of time what the policies will be, so that they can make an informed choice? The fact that Romney & Ryan refuse to provide any specifics about any of their policies should be a concern to everyone- Democrats, Republicans, & Independents. It is also stupid for Romney to keep saying things like he will repeal Obamacare on day 1, which he can't do unless the Congress sends something to him; a Democratic Senate won't send it to him, either because they have the majority or they will filibuster any attempt to repeal it. So what will he do about health care? He & Ryan talk about tax changes but won't tell us what deductions or credits they will eliminate; more than likely, they will will protect the ones they & the 1% depend on, screwing the rest of us. So let's get real about things and demand specifics from both sides about policy directions; being willing to wait until after the election would only make the electorate like the kids blindly following the Pied Piper. We deserve better.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  11. ChristardMingle.com

    When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

    β€’ The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

    β€’ The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

    β€’ The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.

    The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary." For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer. How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds. In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.

    According to believers, God is an all-powerful being who has the divine, magical power to do anything. How do we know that this belief is a fairy tale? One way to know is to try to invoke God's magical power. For example the Bible tells us in many places that God answers prayers. However, whenever we try to pray, we notice that nothing happens. That tells us that God is completely imaginary. The magical powers ascribed to him are a fairy tale.

    Another way to know is to read the stories of magical events in the Bible. There is the magical flood, yet we know with certainty that the flood never happened. There are the magical miracles of Jesus, but (predictably) none of these miracles left behind any tangible evidence. There is the magical resurrection, yet there is zero evidence that it ever occurred and no reason to believe it.

    God is identical to Leprechauns, mermaids and Santa. God is a magical fairy tale creature. The magic surrounding God tells us that God is imaginary.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      Religious people can't live on without their magic.

      Even when they go berserk with their heaven talk they want their god magic. Who'll provide their heavenly body with food.. who will keep their heaven clean.. how will they get around in heaven? In the end of all things, even their god is just a battery for their pleasures.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Observer

      That's pretty good but it gets a bit thin when you use the word "identical". There's a fellow Colin who sets up a splendid straw-man of God as the "sky-fairy". His thinking has the same defect. The concept of God doesn't go away when you try to trivialize it. You have to grapple with God as people actually see him.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com


      Answer me this...why? Why is what is so completely obvious to us, not obvious to them?? Is it brainwashing, mental illness? What??

      August 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • truth be told

      You all may be mentally ill. Recognizing your problem is the first step to leading a normal life.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Answer

      "The concept of God doesn't go away when you try to trivialize it. You have to grapple with God as people actually see him."

      It's not a struggle to trivialize the concept. It is a concept that is not relevant for existence. The fact that people want to see their delusions as being real is their problem.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Answer


      I don't care to explain why they can't see it. I know I see the phony ploy of old men who want power to dominate and as a tool to pacify others. In my life I just take the time to ridicule them to no end about it. XD

      August 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "Religious people can't live on without their magic."

      They really really want to believe that this is not all there is to life, and they have seen the finality of death, so they prefer living in an imaginary world where they get to live on forever and ever in a super special place that is way better than where other people they don't like will be going, and so to have what they want it requires magic...along with a hefty dose of ego and a lot of imagination.

      If you have ever been to a Vegas magic show, you'll find it's a lot more fun not knowing how they do the tricks and just having your mind blown. Ignorance is bliss...

      August 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Whats also rather funny is that "Bliss" is one of their biggest selling points for religion...

      August 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      truth be told – "You all may be mentally ill. Recognizing your problem is the first step to leading a normal life."
      This initial fortune cookie message by HS shows desperation right from the start.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Paranoia is definitely a sign of mental illness, as well as misspelling simple words and the HS delusion. Have someone drive you to the nearest psyche ward immediately. It may already be too late.

      August 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      truth be told – " . . . as well as misspelling simple words . ."

      I wrote "This initial fortune cookie message by HS shows desperation right from the start."

      "Pray tell", truth be told, what words were misspelled? Hmmmm?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • truth be told


      August 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since he/she is addressing hypocrites and morons like you TuBeTop, it's pretty accurate as far as a description goes. If you want it to be spelled "Christian", maybe you should start acting like one.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • truth be told

      I ask one a question and Tom Tom answers Hmmmmmmmmmmm ? whats up with that?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you giving someone a hummer, TuBeTop? Is he nice?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      In which post did you ask a question of any kind, TuBeTop? All I see are declarations. As usual.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • truth be told

      How many personalities do you represent on these blogs Tom Tom? What does your therapist think?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When did you stop giving blo w jobs to the inmates?

      I post under one name only.

      Ever hear that a skunk smells its own hole first, TuBeTop? That's why you and HS are incessantly accusing everyone else of stealing your names-because you do it all the time.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • truth be told

      Denial ... the first danger sign.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Danger sign? Of what? Don't those who haven't committed an act of which they are accused deny it?

      You can believe whatever you want, TuBe. Won't make it true.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      I think your unstable ship has sailed Tom Tom, it is apparent to everyone except you. What does your therapist say, how many do you have?

      August 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only if by "everyone", you mean wackaloons like you, Boob, Heaven Sent, and PrayerBot.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What are you going to say to your fellow churchgoers tomorrow, TuBe, when they ask you what you did on Saturday night? Are you going to smile and lie? Are you going to pretend that you are a kind, loving, humble servant of Christ?

      I wonder how many of them see right through you.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • truth be told

      Everyone would include all rational people everywhere. It is painfully apparent you have issues.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "All rational people everywhere."

      Well, that would certainly exclude you, TuBe.

      Have fun lying through your yellow teeth at church tomorrow.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Wot's the "HS delusion"?

      That's a new one on me.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      Embarrassed for you not with you Tom Tom . Hope your therapy works.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're embarrassed all right. You should be. You're a poster child for atheism.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • truth be told

      something in the twilight zone of Tom Toms mind

      August 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ notaGOPer: TuBeTop's been smokin' the dra-pes.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Uh-oh! TuBe's really been hitting the hookah! It can't even remember that it made that comment to someone else, not me.

      It's had a hard day, you know. And it has to work on its act for church tomorrow.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I guess he means the HeavenSent Poe?

      The whole handle stealing thing is pretty childish. I don't know a single regular here who it hasn't happened to.

      The real HeavenSent didn't deserve it (no one does) but she did ask for it with her hit and run. The HS Poe is really starting to dial at in. Unless he says something really vulgar I can't tell the difference any more.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I guess I should show TuBe a little mercy. After all, it isn't playing with a full deck and it's been beaten all to smithereens on the board this past hour.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      When I said that "no one" deserves it. I'd think about making an exception for prayer-bot.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your guess is as good as mine notGOPer. HS has been accusing me of writing under everybody's "handle." I'll drop into a thread and discover that she accused me hours before I was even online. TuBe just follows her lead.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • truth be told

      Word on the street is tom tom is the name thief as well as multiple personalities on these blogs.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you spend a lot of time on the street, do you, you little round-heels?

      I'm shocked.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @truth be told,

      just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you. πŸ˜‰ (I mean this as a jest)

      There are a lot of handle stealers here. I put it to you that the people who are not afraid to back down, are the least likely to resort to this childishness.

      Admittedly it is funny if done really well, but it is rarely done really well. No excuse though.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      aww – i misspelled the word christian (on purpose you wacko) as in my handle. but of course you knew that – you were just trying to build a false impression of me in case someone else might not be reading carefully. i know your tricks now all too well, TOOF BE TROLL.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  12. TheMagusNYC

    A majority of Evangelicals still consider Mormonism to be Christian, in spite of the defining issue concerning the nature of Christ, the former claiming eternally equal with the Father, the latter claiming Jesus to be a mere created spirit being. Each nominee explicitly rejects the claim of the other to be an "authentic" Christian, neither accepts the sacraments of the other. With Santorum questioning the Christianity of our president, how will the GOP nominees respond?

    August 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  13. OldNassau

    1. Will faith lead Pat Robertson to declare that Isaac is God's punishment of the GOP for its anti- women and -immigrant positions? He was uncharacteristically silent when the Saints won the Super Bowl.
    2. As long as the USA pays for Israel's defense – about $3 billion annually – Israel will be our ally.
    3. As long as the GOP echoes the Catholic Church's anti- abortion, -women, -contraception, the Church will back the party.
    There are no allies in politics or religion: there's only "What's in it for me?"

    August 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  14. Atheism is healthy for kids and grown-ups too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. Teaching kids to be agnostic helps reinforce their understanding of the new real things they can see and learn about in life. It helps them properly separate the known from the unknown without confusing them. They just need to be taught things that are unknown, like god, and things that are made up, like all religion.

    Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

    We have only begun to scratch the surface in using the mind to its maximum. Damaging it with made-up junk that politicians and salesmen dreamed up long ago is senseless, and limits the mind's potential. These politicians and charlatans didn't even do a good job of organizing and being consistent with the stuff they dreamt up to try to control people. Daddy used to say they were caught with their pants down when the bible was first translated so that common folk could read it. Very true.

    Instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  15. ChristardMingle.com

    God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents.

    For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;

    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circ.u.mstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion.

    If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.

    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is it then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in this proposition.

    Think about Adolph Hit.ler. He was evil incarnate, and Hit.ler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hit.ler is part of God's Plan." Think about this:

    He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hit.ler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan - no amount of prayer will help - because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.

    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have - God has pre-planned their births.

    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hit.ler is blameless. Hit.ler was not "evil," because Hit.ler had no free will at all. Hit.ler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust - he planned their deaths in exact detail. Hit.ler had to kill those people. Hit.ler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.

    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get r.a.p.ed tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your r.a.p.e, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.

    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hit.ler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hit.ler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."

    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense. That lack of sense shows us how imaginary God is.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • toad

      "Under this view of the universe, God plans everything." Filth, why did you spew this? No doubt God does have a plan for you but you are an absolute fuckup. Your intellect is like a French army rifle. For sale. Dropped once. Never fired. Cowardice does not become you. Grow a pair. Turn to God and admit that you are a cretin who can't shit without His help. Then the plan might start working for you.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      toad, that is all very nice, but what is your argument with what I said? What part is wrong and why?

      August 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • toad

      Your post was cogent and well-stated. My advice still stands.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Renee

      Excellent! But I do believe it was someone's plan to send the hurricane as a warning, he he...

      August 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      That was advice? If I gave my kids that advice I should be jailed for child abuse.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com


      LOL, timing is everything.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  16. toad

    I like to imagine them French kissing and toying with each other's nipples.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Duke

      You LIKE to imagine that? I prefer to imagine the Olsen Twins having hot, lusty, incest lesbian s.e.x and peeing on each other.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • toad

      Duke, that's the only way I could see voting for them. That and if they announced their engagement at the RNC.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Duke

      toad, you are stranger than me and I like incest lesbian pee s.e.x.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • An American

      Duke, why are not the new American Dictator?

      August 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • An American

      why are YOU not the dictator?

      August 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  17. ChristardMingle.com

    Eddie Munster and his Dad Frankenstein.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Eddie's dad was Herman Munster.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  18. AMERICA DONT WANT NO POPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    August 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      What you want and what you get is two entirely different things. Romney / Ryan 2012

      August 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  19. Mr Chihuahua

    Fist lol!

    August 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • midwest rail

      One fist ? Two fists ? Why are you making a fist ?

      August 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Mr Chihuahua is the happiest blogger on line.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • The prophet

      He was trying to say "first" and for a "second" there he was almost right.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hey

      can it change a horrible troll into a good one?

      August 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • truth be told

      What do you call troll?

      August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi HeavenSent, er, Prayer-bot.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent


      For the third time in two days, I am not the prayer person. You, cough, Scotty, cough tommie tom keep making handles close to mine to spread your filthy lies. I know filthy, my kitchen floor has a layer of fur balls, urine and cat food like you can't believe. I come on these blogs to teach you athiest the truth of Jesus' truth the Bible which is the truth.


      August 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

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

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

      August 27, 2012 at 10:56 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.