home
RSS
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

Next entry »
soundoff (1,567 Responses)
  1. Oskar

    if America chooses the mormon candidate as their president, it will be the end. America knows that mormonism is a cult, and God does not play politics. The further away they run, the more punishment they will get. Just as simple as that.
    Away from God, the problems arrive. Don't forget, the only christian country on earth is the USA. If they choose a heathen like the mormon candidate, America will go to the dogs. Like all the other ungodly nations. Look around you and see what i mean.
    There is no one left. Every nation is trying to please satan, and that's why they are going down. America you have to choose on the Lord's side. Mormonism serves satan and you don't have to follow them.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      The most clear sign that god doesn't want a mormon in the white house
      Hurrican Issac !!!

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Believe it or not....

    I just met "The Most Interesting Man in the World", and he said "....I don't often pray, when but I do, I pray the GOP loses in 2012". Now that's a man I could drink Dos Equis with.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  3. 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 or coffee and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Atheism is hinduism, absurdity of hindu Sanatan's, ignorant goons, nothing can exist without truth absolute, GOD, proven bu Quantum physics, try to be a particle of dust without truth absolute your self, have no doubt a hindu ignorant atheist, self centered and his hindu Judasim, ignorant secular ism have no practical value for human.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  4. curious

    God would not seek to have people "self deport".

    August 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  5. norma jean.

    ONE QUESTION FOR THE MORMONS AND CATHOLICS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD........ISN'T IT IMPROPER FOR YOU TO BE SUCH LIARS.?.....YOU KNOW IT AND I KNOW.IT ..EVERYONE DOES ...THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE LIED ABOUT THINGS THE PRESIDENT SAID AND THEN WE SEE FILM OF WHAT HE REALLY SAID!! THIS SORT OF GARBAGE HAS BEEN RUNNING RAMPANT FOR THREE PLUS YEARS AND YET YOU PEOPLE CLAIM TO BE SO RELIGIOUS....WHAT A JOKE!!!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Religion's are hinduism, corruption of truth absolute, a hindu criminal way to deny accountability for their hindu, criminal deed's, devised by hindu Jew's, criminal secular s to make humanity their gentile, slaves.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Prayers have no value without deed's by truth absolute, nothing more than a bird without wing's. Do deed's in truth absolute and prayers will reach havens or be a hindu ignorant and keep on repeating your self like a Perot.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • truth be told

      Hindus are lost souls in relation to God. Unless they are born again they will perish with all other evil doers. The insanity of your post proves your lost estate.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 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 1:53 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      So are follower of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism, labeled Christianity to hind, fool humanity in submission to hindu Jew's, racist secular s, deniers of truth absolute to make humanity their gentile, slaves.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  7. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Convention of hindu's ignorant s, conserving not truth absolute enshrined in foundation of America principal of human equality but followers of hinduism, racism by faith, in human and un American, utter hindu's, idiots or hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters, selling hinduism, slavery for American on name of freedom in following of hindu Judaism, filthy secularism, but claiming to be following truth to hind, fool Americans. Shame to be called america's or human "HIS" desire.
    Hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism labeled as Christianity is an off shoot of hinduism, denial of truth absolute by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisee's, criminal self centered and promoted with sword by hindu criminal king's and their hindu pagan Magi' fortune teller Prophets to make humanity their gentile, slave, A hinduism, crime against humanity and truth absolute.
    Nazi racist ideology has its roots in hindu, pagan Egypt, ancestral home land of Saxons, meaning tied to or forged with essence, meanings god's, subcontinent never was part of hindu denial of truth absolute but hinduism, racism was imposed by force by hindu's, criminals of Egypt and Persia on nomadic population of subcontinent by declaring themselves to be god's, while native's of Europe were slaughtered to extinction by hindu Gaul's, criminal self centered after they were defeated as hindu, deniers of truth abolute Pharaoh's by the king's of Sudan. Letter X, Hinduism, forgery of word, tied to or forged with. hindu criminal sign of swastika is formed by joining of upright hindu criminal Pharaoh's pyramid and up side down on same axis, invisible pyramid of his hindu pagan Priest, crossing point of both pyramid's creates Swastika above burial chamber of hindu, pagan, self centered Pharaoh. Envisioned by hindu, pagan Zoroaster, preached by hindu, criminal Plato and displayed in Physical form by hindu sanatan, filthy goon Pythagoras. Presence of hinduism, racism is less than 3000 thousand years old in sub continent , not as hindu's, deniers of truth absolute hind, lie of 6000 years in their Hinduism, absurdity. hindu filthy sign of hinduism, pagan ism labeled as Star of David by hindu Jew's, pagan secular s has nothing to do with Israelite but top view of meeting of two hindu, fabricated pyramid to illustrate god hood of two hindu, criminal person's.
    Word Jew is based on Latin word Yahood, Je or Ja, Ye, or Ya, meaning from heart and mind base word for Yes in English, HOOD, habit or habitat, meaning, self centered or a secular, denier of truth absolute, such as King, or Pig, in disregard to truth absolute and Judaism, One who takes a wow to be in violation of truth by his intent, considering himself to be the God, the truth absolute, same as in hindu, denier of truth absolute, word hindu is based on Latin word hindrance, negativity, HAN, great, Hun, to be in greatness and hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity, as in word Jew, a self centered or a criminal, otherwise known as a goon, a shaman. Judaism is not a religion but in opposition, defiance to truth absolute in self center ism.
    In divine language word hinduism, absurdity called religion does not exist, borne out of hindu Judaism, filthy secularism defiance of truth absolute of Persia and Egyptian hindu pagan origin , hindu Jew's criminal secular s pretending to be Hebrew, but Theen Allah, way of truth absolute, source for peace, Shalom among humanity, Quran quantifies it and Hidat explains the La, limit's absolute to reach peace Islam in life. hinduism, corruption of truth absolute labeled a bible has nothing to do with truth absolute but justification of hindu Mithra ism, filthy savior ism, foundation of hindu filthy hinduism,. racism.
    World can never have peace in presence of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, humanity need to work together for elimination of hindu's, criminals and their hinduism, illegality.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Gregonion

      That is the most unintelligible bit of utter garbage i've ever read.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      It takes knowledge to understand my post and a hindu, without education, knowledge have no chance to realize the message.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  8. bxgrrl

    Cardinal Dolan's appearance at the GOP convention is outrageous, scandalous and completely out of step with the US Bishops condemnation of the Ryan budget. He should turn in his fancy expensive ring. Maybe the poor could be helped with the proceeds. Completely disgusting. What would Jesus do? Sure as heck he wouldn't be blessing the GOP.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Mbane18

    Real Catholics won't vote Republican because that idiology contradicts everything Christianity stands for. When will CNN learn that and stop marginalizing all Catholics and Christians by constantly associating them with the GOP?

    August 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  10. correctlycenter

    The U.S. should not force Israel to negotiate away their land. Will anyone in our nation give back their home, yard and property to the native Indians that settled in the land a few hundred years ago? No, you won't! And so don't require the Jewish people to give back their land either...

    August 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  11. nft

    Along with his tax forms, Mitt should disclose his underwear.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  12. BruceB

    typical hatred, the christian s views are only of self and none other. Screw anyone who doesn't believe as I do, you have no rights if you don't profess to be a bigot.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  13. Mark Gale

    I am jewish so to me be able to worship god as I please is important. The fact that the republicans want to support my relatives in Israel is even more important. For the first time since Nixon a presidential nominee that is not mandating that we give up land for the promise of peace. The Arabs do not want to make peace with us they just want to make easier to attack us from closer borders. We gave back Gaza and now look it is just a base to launch attacks against my relatives instead of building a great country and proving that peace is important. As for abortion forget about trying to stop it. Women have been aborting for centuries and this will not stop. California where I live is a pro choice state so if you need an abortion all you need to do is come here. Reality is that abortion will always happen so quit wasting time trying to stop it.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • NorthVanCan

      Only when you give back land that was never yours will you see peace. Until then you and your family will rot in hell.

      August 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • BruceB

      @norhtvancam
      Your religion is a cult, your prophet Mohammed was an ape. Islam is a cult.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Marie

    Both religious speakers are of Christian denomination – why isn't there a prayer from a Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish cleric? US politics seems rife with religious extremism – can't they look in the mirror and wonder how they differ from other political/religious-entwined regions like Iran?

    August 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • D

      I completely agree with you, Marie. It should be that they either represent all religions (and lack thereof) OR represent none when dealing with political issues-it seems so one sided to me. There was (still is) this whole issue about how Obama is Muslim and that 'we' can't have him as president. I personally wouldn't care if he was Muslim or Christian, or an atheist. What I care about: policies, not one's personal relationship with a deity (again, or lack thereof).

      August 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • kevin q

      I also completely agree with both Marie and D. Leaders of this country should not cater to one religion over the others, since our citizens embrace many different faiths. HOWEVER, politics is a popularity contest. Simple math: Cater to the majority and you will win. I just wish the politicians would acknowledge this publicly instead of wearing a different face at every meeting.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  15. SassyMe2

    Religious liberty? Why do these radicals think they are the only ones who should have religious liberty? I grew up in the church and have faith. Why do they think that those of us who do not believe in the narrowness of their religious scope have no say in our government, our own lives? Pushing their beliefs on someone else does nothing to get others to embrace their views.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  16. Jill

    See how they are using you Archbishop Dolan? Closing prayer from one who is called America's Pope...

    August 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  17. carlos

    on StreetWise....why do you call j. smith a prophet?????he was a polygamist sinner, period, and people worship him???

    August 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • rp

      Wrong Carlos!!! Been a Mormon all my life. I have never worshipped Joseph Smith for one nano second. I worship Christ as do all other Christian religions.

      August 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • INDEPENDENT

      Mormon Theology:
      Belief in any gods – man will be a god and given his own planet to rule with a spirit wife to populate the planet.
      Jesus Christ – was not conceived through the Holy Spirit, but by one of these gods that rules earth (a former human)
      Satan & Jesus Christ are bothers
      Lamanites – Dark skinned people who are dark because they are cursed by god for being decedents of CAIN. They are inferior.
      Nauvoo Militia – the militia that was formed by the mormons to take on the U.S. and anyone who did not agree with their theology.
      "Avenging Angels" – Brigham Youngs murderers – they did his bidding like the Mason Family. Brigham Young disliked Jews.
      Mountain Meadows Massacre – the massacre of 30 men 40 women and 70 children in Utah by the "Avenging Angels" see "Blood of the Prophets" by Will Bagley (mormon author)
      Blood Atonement – the practice of the mormons that atones for the death of its members and/or the act of which the mormons retaliate when they do not believe one is following what they think is right – google the 1984 murder the Lafferty brothers commited in Utah of their sister in-law and her 9 month old daughter by slitting their throats. "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer.
      "The While Horse Prophecy" – the mormon prophecy that a mormon will take over the U.S. at a time that is critical to the U.S.'s survival and make it as it should be.....Mormons have been trying to get into the White House since 1848;
      Maybe that is why Romney does not want the people of the U.S. to know and understand his religion.
      No other religion has had such odd beliefs in modern day America. If you not mormon you belong to a FALSE religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • LinSea

      Independent, you keep posting the same inaccurate lies over and over.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • John

      27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
      28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. (Old Testament, Proverbs, Chapter 26)

      August 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jonah

      1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
      2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
      3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. (Old Testament, Psalms, Psalm 109)

      August 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      Independent: First at all, investigate by your own eyes.....all your concept are falce or missinterpreted, I have no time to respond each one, but for example: The idea that Jesus and Satan are brothers is completely falce, brothers are those that are similars origins and characters, it is not the case of Jesus and Satan, Jesus was the chosen one from the begining, and Satan was only an angel......

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  18. macbil

    And I'm sure the evangelical Republicans love the fact that the party ticket is made up of a Morman and a Catholic and is being financed by a Jew (billionaire Adelson).

    August 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  19. cuervo jones

    yea lets elect the guy who believes he will become a god with his own planet, favorite wives and lots of darky servants.the guy whose religion allows murder if you baptize the victims (9-11-1857), while teaching it is the one unforgivable sin. he has decided what the god-head (3 separate gods) will forgive. Jesus and Satan are really brothers just mad at each other bla bla bla

    August 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • myintx

      I'll take mornanism over Jeremiah 'God Damn America' any day...

      Romnay has morals/values

      obamalies . net

      August 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • souptwins

      All lies! Quit acting like you know what you're talking about. No inheriting planets, no murdering (no matter what you do after), no servants. None of what you say has any merit in LDS doctrines
      .

      August 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • INDEPENDENT

      Mormon Theology:
      Belief in any gods – man will be a god and given his own planet to rule with a spirit wife to populate the planet.
      Jesus Christ – was not conceived through the Holy Spirit, but by one of these gods that rules earth (a former human)
      Satan & Jesus Christ are bothers
      Lamanites – Dark skinned people who are dark because they are cursed by god for being decedents of CAIN. They are inferior.
      Nauvoo Militia – the militia that was formed by the mormons to take on the U.S. and anyone who did not agree with their theology.
      "Avenging Angels" – Brigham Youngs murderers – they did his bidding like the Mason Family. Brigham Young disliked Jews.
      Mountain Meadows Massacre – the massacre of 30 men 40 women and 70 children in Utah by the "Avenging Angels" see "Blood of the Prophets" by Will Bagley (mormon author)
      Blood Atonement – the practice of the mormons that atones for the death of its members and/or the act of which the mormons retaliate when they do not believe one is following what they think is right – google the 1984 murder the Lafferty brothers commited in Utah of their sister in-law and her 9 month old daughter by slitting their throats. "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer.
      "The While Horse Prophecy" – the mormon prophecy that a mormon will take over the U.S. at a time that is critical to the U.S.'s survival and make it as it should be.....Mormons have been trying to get into the White House since 1848;
      Maybe that is why Romney does not want the people of the U.S. to know and understand his religion.
      No other religion has had such odd beliefs in modern day America. If you not mormon you belong to a FALSE religion.
      PEOPLE NEED TO PICK UP A BOOK ONCE IN AWHILE AND READ!!!
      I would vote for anyone else, Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, yes, even Buddist, or not – Aethist – but mormon? Never!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • LinSea

      And yet another cut-and-paste full of cow plop from Independent. And no Mormon has a problem with people knowing or understanding his or her religion. Our scriptures and hymnals are freely available online through the church website and I have frequently seen them in public libraries. Transcripts of sermons given by church leaders and church magazines are also available online. Mormons everywhere are happy to answer questions about what they believe. Visitors are welcome to attend Sunday services in any LDS chapel anywhere in the world. In fact, I wish people would try to understand what we actually believe; instead, what many people hear are lies like the ones you keep spreading.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  20. Liam

    Separation of church and state is such a good idea... too bad conservatives want the state to be a church.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Next entry »
Advertisement
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.