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. JimK2450

    What religion will the Republican Party be choosing as the "right" religion? It’s seems almost inevitable.
    Whatever happened to “separation of church & state”? Has it become an obsolete idea?
    Will the American taxpayer be required to pay the bill for turning the White House into a church?
    The Republican Party has become a party controlled by faith, greed and power. I just can’t figure out which comes first, since all three are so intertwined with each other.

    Ahhh...religions...the cause of more hate, more death, more wars, more disagreement and more misused and misguided power than anything else known to man!

    August 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • ib42

      Absol-bally-lutely NOPE.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

      No true at all. Actually,
      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 27, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  3. !

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    August 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You can always tell when a christian is lying: They put the word "true" in their headline.

      If you want to indicate that something is true, the best way to do so is to actually include some proof, i.e. historical references, doc.umented accounts, statistical facts. Of course in this case, you are so very obviously lying that one can only as.sume that you are a troll.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • truth be told

      You can always tell when an atheist is lying. It is the natural state of an atheist to be a liar.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TuBeTop, did you tell the truth in church today? What did you say to your fellow believers when they asked you what you did this past week?

      August 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • B Schmitt

      THANK YOU!!!

      August 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • iminim

      You obviously have not met many (any?) atheists. The atheists I know are pretty much like my religious friends. They go to work, shop at the grocery store, pick their kids up from school, donate to charities, worry about how they will fund their kids' college education, argue politics (both sides of the issues), sing to the radio, go to the gym, etc. The only way I know they are atheists is when we discuss religion. I find your post totally uninformed and very judgemental. I also find it to be very unChrist-like.

      August 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • JimK2450

      You state that Atheists do not exist. Then what are you so worried about?

      August 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I wonder if the "USA is a † nation" is the same troll as @Evangelical Christian?

      @Evangelical Christian posted a lot of the same nonsense (our calendar is "Christian", we have "two" Christian holidays, therefore we are a Christian nation etc) in a thread last week. It got pummelled.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh and guess what? @Evangelical Christian is two posts down.


      This person is really seriously deluded.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Atheist

      Thank you for your post I have copied it and sent it to my work colleagues, definitely worth a laugh to brighten up our Monday.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  4. capnmike

    Religion is a total lie. "Faith"is baloney...believing in something that simply does not exist. Any politician who goes around spouting how he actually believes this enormous pile of crap certainly would never get MY vote. The brainwashed gullible majority of people would never have the guts or intelligence to elect an atheist.

    August 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Evangelical Christian

    Time to declare Christianity as an official religion in this nation !

    August 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      My grandmother was named Evangeline. It was rather ironic, because she was a complete agnostic.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • UncleM

      Please read and try to comprehend the consti.tution.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Obvious troll is oblivious.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • JimK2450

      Just curious...do you mean "an" official religion or "the" official religion of the United States?

      August 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  6. Satan

    So, socially conervative Christians agree on some level with Akin? I certainly hope that's not true, because if it is it's even more important to not only politically crush these psychotics, but see to it that their views never leave their home counties. This is 2012, your religious opinion (whatever it may be) cannot be permitted to trump reality simply because it's something you believe. I'm sure we'd all like to believe the world is made out of chocolate and money grows on trees (obviously, the money worshippers on Wall St. seem to think so), but it isn't true. No matter how much you pray for it to happen, or believe it to be so, IT ISN'T. So if you think otherwise, your viewpoint is worthless and should be ignored. Same with these socially conservative Christians in this country. Who the hell are they to tell women that it will be ILLEGAL to get an abortion?! Their first order of business, if they want to be taken at all seriously by thinking people is to proof not only that their God exists, but also connect the dots correctly about how Biblical law UNIQUELY inspires general law AND, once that is done, to point out where exactly their God A.) defines explicitly that a HUMAN BEING exists at conception, and B.) where God EXPLICITLY says "aborting a fetus" is not allowed. If they can do all of that, they may have some traction...but since they absolutely CANNOT do it, I say we muzzle these lunatics.

    August 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Jonboy

    My mommy cleans my cooley for me after I'm finished taking a poo poo.

    Some day, I will be a grown up boy!

    August 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  8. gary

    Faith = believing in silly ancient myths

    August 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  9. Reality

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    August 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Reality

      I'm also a complete moron who makes no sense. Humor me. This is all I've got on a Sunday afternoon. My girlfriend dumped me because I'm a bore.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Reality

      The last comment was not from the original reality.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  10. curious

    edwierd69–That is an excellent question. Only GOD can answer that . But what we do know is all of creation does reflect HIS awesome power and glory. We will never be able to create a set of rules ( eternal equilibrium) for GOD to exist by. HE has created the rules for US to live by. It is true that GOD is perfect in every way, and in even more ways than we understand. How can we say there is nothing HE desires. HE desires our love. HE desires to be glorified. HE has told us this with HIS WORD (Jesus). So for GOD to be our perfect creator is not only possible, but necessary. For HIM to have given us life and a purpose to pursue it, and HIM, to me is amazing. What HE asks from us is to believe in HIS SON Jesus. Not just mentally, but through our actions as well. It's really sad that so many have used Christianity to lie, cheat and steal from so many. This has only given Christianity and HIM a very bad name. If you could see what a real Christian is suppose to be, I'll bet you would have a very different perspective. They are out there, unfortunately, there are very few of them. I fail at it every single day, but, I know GOD sees my heart and I will continue to run the race HE has put me in. The good news is that even when I screw up, I know I have already been forgiven because of my faith, and what I do with it. I hope this has helped.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • UncleM

      He is made up

      August 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Ronald Smith

      Which god are you referring to? I sort of lean to Fortuna, the Greek goddess of luck.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "O fortuna! Velut luna!"

      August 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • believeInReason

      Good trolling my friend. I __almost__ believed you were serious 😉

      August 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • LouAZ

      WOW ! I never knew GUILT could be so comforting.

      August 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  11. So say I

    Mormonism is a cult, just like all the other made-up religions.

    It worships money, violates our laws with local theocracies while pursuing a national theocracy, and has no legitimacy whatsoever.

    Mormons tend to be treasonous in how they live here in the USA. We need to crack down on their violations of law.

    The RNC has become a massively treasonous organization, so of course they welcome Mormons behind closed doors, but pretend to look askance of them in public. They only gave Romney the position because he is as sleazy as they are and are, of course, as thick as thieves, conspiring to overthrow our government by stealth, subversion, propaganda, and corruption.

    Salt Lake City needs to be taken back from the theocratic traitors that have ruled it for over a hundred years, and the traitors taken out and shot after a quick trial. This sort of thing needs to happen all over the country. Little theocracies keep springing up in violation of the Consttution.
    It's time to take back our country and destroy these theocracies that are clearly banned from existing here, and all the traitors seeking to overthrow our country to be arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to prison or death or expulsion from this country.
    So say I.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sendai

      Mormons? At one time I was afraid they might become a significant pain in the ass. These days Romney will not admit that he embraces the full doctrine of Mormonism. Perhaps he does not. He hopes to be taken for a Christian. Perhaps he is one.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Terrie Bittner

      Before suggesting Mormons worship money, you might want to read the Book of Mormon. (Never write about a faith you haven't studied from its own sources.) There are few books that warn more clearly the dangers of wealth. There was one used in the lesson I taught children at church today: " ye are acursed because of your riches, and also are your riches cursed because ye have set your hearts upon them, and have not bhearkened unto the words of him who gave them unto you." (Helaman 13:21.) There are many more like that one. Over and over again, the people of the Book of Mormon were warned that the love of money will endanger their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • So say I

      I'm a complete idiot, too.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bo Noddy

      Greedy people worship money. I have never met a non-greedy Mormon, so maybe you're right about that. Maybe they exist somewhere. The LDS church is one of the wealthiest in the world, right up there with the Vatican.
      When will they "sell everything and give it to the poor"? NEVER.
      They will need somewhere besides Heaven to go to, since they hate Jesus and his words. I guess that's why Smith made up the Kolob thing and having every Mormon man rule his own planet as a god. Makes a crazy sort of greedy sense.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  12. GoldenChild

    Please teach me to lie the way these Republicans do.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • GoldenChild

      I'm such a moron. That's why I believe everything the Dumocrats tell me to believe.

      It's so much fun to be ignorant.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • GoldenChild

      And I couldn't care less about 23 million people out of work - as long as I'm getting my welfare check so I can buy more pot.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Steve

    Not one item up there has anything to do with "small government" in fact quite the opposite. Republicans should just admit to being liars.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Steve

      I'm a complete fool, too.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  14. ProfBill

    The republicans want a theocracy...plain and simple...it is in direct opposition to the absolute separation of church and state...it seeks mind control through dogma...these people frighten me...

    August 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • No Theocracy for USA

      Fully concur! The GOP could care less about the Const itution (except for the 2nd Amendment). Religious wingnuts are trying hij ack this country. In my book, these parasites are trait ors of the first magnitude.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Athy

      Could care less??

      August 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • No Theocracy for USA


      Oooops, should be "couldn't care less"...

      Thanks for pointing out the typo.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  15. Sunday all day

    Jesus for President and no worries :))

    August 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ronald Smith

      Luke 14:26 (King James Version)..."If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

      That sorta rules me out!

      August 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  16. hooah

    Only thing I know about Faith is she used to be hot.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Sunday all day

      LOL !

      August 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  17. Science

    The republican party is very interesting when you think about it. Before it was hijacked by its fringe elements, and disregarding the social stances they espouse, republicanism understands the human being better than any other party out there. Fiscally, being a republican means your hard work is rewarded, the government is there for barebones protection, both militarily and economically, but only to a certain extent. As a lifelong democrat, I can be hard pressed to argue with a lot of those things and I have to agree that smaller government has a lot of pros for me personally. My problem is when it comes to social issues, the republicans do a complete about face and try to legislate lives based solely on individually held beliefs. They literally use the democratic reasoning to further their own ends when it comes to any social issue and by using unsubstantiated claims based on religion, it's just plain silly that they have any clout at all, let alone enough to actually control an arm of the government.

    Like I said, I've been a democrat pretty much my whole life, but my ideal party would be fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'd settle for people with basic common sense and honesty - people who are willing to do the job they were 'hired' to do. Our government is rife with unabashed corruption. It would be funny if it weren't so scary.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ronald Smith

      Republican candidates and spokespersons are very curious. They wrap themselves in Christian faith but actually practice social darwinism...survival of the fittest and you get what you deserve.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Science


      I'll cheers to that. The interesting thing is how you look at how politics is supposed to work. One side calls it corruption and the other calls is compromise. When two senators meet to discuss one persuading the other to vote a certain way on a bill and start to trade votes, we have a democracy that rests on a small group of people trading values in order to further personal agendas. In a way, it doesn't seem crazy that republicans want to hold their representatives culpable for working with democrats. They bang their shoes and yell when they heard Santorum met with dems while in senate in order to win a vote because a true republican wouldn't need help.

      The funny part is, politics needs a certain amount of corruption. People who will sell out their values and const.ituents in order to win a vote or further a personal agenda, and so we as a nation condone it or we would have a government that does even less than it does now (which would be saying something).

      My real issue is that the corruption has reached such a fever pitch and it's become all about posturing and making the other side look bad that most reps have lost sight of why they were elected in the first place. Maybe it's time to introduce a third party to mediate between the two or some other check and balance within the house in order to make sure it doesn't come to a standstill when a congressman doesn't get his way. This includes getting rid of the filibuster.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Science is a liar and is merely a republican lying as usual. Pay no attention to this mouth-breather.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Science


      That's the most repugnant part of republicanism. Their ways of espousing two completely contradictory ideas and intentionally ignoring the problems that arise because of it. I just wish someone could call a timeout in government and lay down exactly what each party is supposed to represent and then start back up and see how it all shuffles out. I have a feeling there would be a solid amount of moderate republicans who would switch parties if they really knew where their party was headed.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Science


      That's a new one. Where exactly did I lie and what makes you think I'm a republican? Because I dared to agree with some republican stances philosophically?

      August 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Where you said, "republicanism understands the human being better than any other party out there. Fiscally, being a republican means your hard work is rewarded, the government is there for barebones protection, both militarily and economically, but only to a certain extent."

      Since that is totally untrue and is clearly republitard propaganda, that makes you a republican in my book, and one who is just pretending to be a democrat.
      It would not surprise me to hear that you have ra.ped someone. Republicans like that stuff, not because they "understand" anything at all, but because they think they are above the law and don't care what sort of damage they do to other people no matter what their goals are individually.
      You were saying?

      August 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jon, that's quite a leap you're making. Do you work without a net?

      August 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Tom, would you like to explain how this so-called "democrat" continually inserts republican talking points?
      Maybe you need a net.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dear, I'm not the one leaping to conclusions, such as believing that Science has ra-ped someone.

      Stop being so silly.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Ah. That was hyperbole, "dear". I have found that no matter how low my expectations, republicans and other whacked-out religious people never fail to live down to them.
      For your edification, I will direct your attention to what I actually said – that is I said "I would not be surprised".
      That's a far cry from saying he/she has ra.ped someone...."dear".

      August 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooooh, someone's a bit testy! Didn't get your Fruit Loops at breakfast, Jon?

      I wouldn't be surprised if you had s3x with your dog last night.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Science


      I guess it can't be said that there only crazy republicans out there. What I said is true, so please tell me exactly how I "lied" here. When it comes down to it, the majority of people who make money want to keep that money and not give it to anyone else. Furthermore, especially in America where individualism runs very deeply, we tend to skew away from collectivism and allowing a big external force control our lives. Who would honestly want that?

      As a democrat I willingly sacrifice some of those things in order to feel safer and to help my fellow man. I think it's important to start working with the international community instead of against them and I think that government programs are what helps people who can't help themselves. We live in a world where not everyone can be a winner and so I think it's good to have programs in place to help the people who were initially given a raw deal. However, when push comes to shove, those programs can become inefficient and bloated. People who are able to help themselves use these programs out of laziness or addiction.
      The republican platform used to be way more pragmatic and didn't involve killing all government handouts in order to fuel our war machine and let corruption run rampant unlike todays mutant republicans.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Ad hominem attack, eh? Well, sweetie, all I can say is that you have left the path of reason and have clearly descended into being a ranting idiot. Thanks for playing.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Science, you prove me right with every post you attempt. Don't stop.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How is it any more of an ad hominem attack than that which you posted to Science?

      If the foo sh!ts, wear it, JonBoy.

      You don't like it when you're called on making generalizations that aren't supportable with evidence, do you?

      August 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Republicans like that stuff, not because they "understand" anything at all, but because they think they are above the law and don't care what sort of damage they do to other people no matter what their goals are individually."

      This is supposed to be the path of reason?

      August 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Science

      Also just for the record

      I have most certainly not ra.ped anyone. Just thought I should make that clear. Seriously though Jon, it's not treason to listen to the other side or even agree with them on certain issues. What the current republicans espouse is unrecognizable from the republicanism I'm talking about nor can I even find common ground with this fringe element that has taken over the party and created the monster it has become. I can only find solace in the fact that this part is slowly imploding and hopefully a more moderate party will step up and take its place and be able to make this country seem somewhat sane again.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Like I said Science, don't stop. You claim to be a democrat. Well, then, that makes you a DINO and nothing more.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jonboy

      Back to arguing now, Tom? Thanks, but you have gone so far out of your way to defend "Science" that I wonder if you even know what you're doing anymore. Do you know "Science" personally? Would you vouch for this person at risk of your life?
      Somehow, I doubt it. Maybe you're just bored on a Sunday afternoon. Me too. 😈

      August 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You do know, Jon, that there's a difference between republicanism and Republicans, don't you?

      August 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not so bored that I need you, Jonny Applecore.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Science


      It's cute that you keep trying to call my democratic leanings into question. Not only are you committing the no true scotsman fallacy, but you are showing that the polarization has happened on both sides. I've already provided you my political leanings, tell me where I've lied exactly? Do you think all government programs work perfectly? Do you think that a person who works 60 hours a week is completely happy about being taxed at insanely high rates so we can pay for programs that are not as good as they should be? What exactly is your beef with me?

      August 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Jonboy

      I am by far the biggest idiot on this forum today... and I'm darned proud of it, too!

      Gotta go... I'm finished and mom is coming to wipe me.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jonboyyyyyy

      Well, first off, the only sorts of people who use "Science" as a username tend to be religious fundiots who want to appear "scientific" while they talk about "Intelligent Design". That's the only reason I looked at your post in the first place.

      Second, you constantly expound on republican talking points, none of which have any scientific basis or any basis in truth.

      Thirdly, you see no problem in "compromising" with people who will not compromise with anyone, and thus you give up your position and take their position on quite a few things that are extreme and not any sort of "middle ground".

      Fourth, you give only lip service to democrat talking points and then in the next breath expound on how wonderful and reasonable the republican talking points are...when they have never been reasonable since Rove took over the reins of the party.

      You think, like so many republicans, that "poor" people just need to be put to work, regardless of their individual circu.mstances. You hate all taxes and speak only on behalf of the wealthy. In short, you are a DINO, but I'd bet you constantly vote the straight republican ticket. I wouldn't trust you with a dead dog.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • John

      jon, please reread science's intial comment. Something about "Before it was hijacked by its fringe elements ..." Eisenhower republicanism was far less concerned with social conservativism. Eisenhower even famously warned us about the military industrial complex. As for quoting the other side's ideas (and working with them) Reagan was far less extreme than the republicans are today and even was very willing to compromise with legislation. Look at the facts instead of the myths. BOTH sides have good wrokable ideas, but neither side has the only good workable ideas.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Jonboyyyy

      I have yet to see any intellligent republican ideas on anything at all. The overwhelming lack of cogent and reasonable points in the republitard platform causes me to laugh at your attempts to use a false equivalency to give support to the GOP's worthless and extreme stances on everything from birth control to letting people live their lives.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree that the Republican party of today has little to recommend it, Jonboy, but you are ignoring the word "today" and the qualifiers that Science used in his posts. Conveniently, for you. Hardly honest.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Science

      Finally, I get a straight answer out of you.

      First, I am atheist and proud of it. I've never pretended to be otherwise and again, you call my "faith" into question if you so choose but I can as.sure you that I've been an atheist for a while and have 0 intention of ever going back to judaism or relapsing into some other idiotic religion.

      Second, the republican talking points I've presented are strictly fiscal and of course is based on truth. You want studies done on if man is inherently altruistic? The answers might surprise you. When it comes to fiscal policies, why am I not allowed to be republican leaning? I personally vote democrat because I think social issues are more important and the sh.it the GOP has come up with to defend their positions are idiotic and down right bigotry. My thoughts on gay rights? For em, thoughts on abortion? pro-choice. Gun Control? We need a sh.itton more and if I had it my way, we'd abolish that idiotic second amendment. Stem Cell research? Hell yes.

      Third, compromise should not be a bad word, but I have to agree that at the moment there is no compromising with these people and I'm thrilled that the dems are finally starting to throw punches in this election instead of just playing defense. We should always strive for compromise, that's the basis of how this democracy works, but when a party is so intent on disruption, it's hard to think we should compromise with these as.shole specifically.

      Fourth, I've only pointed out again, that republicans can in fact make good points. That's all I'm saying. Where they've gone to and this current incarnation does not make good points, in fact that make horrendously bad points. Tom Tom asked you a question and now I will too, do you know the difference between a republican and republicanism? That's the key to understanding what I'm talking about, please do a little research.

      Lastly, I do think the poor need to be put to work, everyone should have a job. Do you not think so? I understand there are reasons why all poor people can not work and I support the government programs that exist in order to help the impoverished, but that doesn't mean I have to accept that as a reality. What's so wrong about working towards a goal to have low unemployment and try to stop free riders? Go down to the agency that hands out food stamps and actually speak with some people in line. Most are there because they've drawn the short straw either through injury, bad luck or any number of reasons and they deserve the help, but there are groups of people who have no intention of trying to find a job. They are fine getting food stamps and other government help and then going home and doing nothing. If you don't believe that you're as stupid as the republicans you claim to hate so much. I also don't mind taxes, as long as they're used wisely and efficiently. I would also prefer my taxes go to more productive programs instead of the defense budget, but what can I do about that exactly? I can call my rep and push for a more balanced budget and stop this insane arms race that we've already won, but that's pretty much it.

      Also for the record, I've only voted dem my entire life and the only republican that I've even considered voting for would have been John Huntsman. He was pragmatic and moderate, he held his own views on social issues that I disagreed with but also was aware that just because he disagreed with something didn't mean he could force everyone else to. I most likely still would have voted for Obama, but if the race had been between Huntsman and Obama I would be listening more closely to this election and actually considering a jump.

      Jonboy, you need to learn what republicanism actually is and understand that the other side isn't entirely made up of monsters. The fringe has taken ahold of the GOP and it's terrifying, but by rejecting all republicans and having the same reaction only silences the moderates and allows both fringes to fight it out to the detriment of everyone. Come join us moderates and help us take this country back to sanity and reason.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • truth be told

      All atheists lie it is so natural for them , but the only people fooled are other atheists.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Jonboyyyy

      Okay. You sound more legit this time. Kudos.
      I will send you a certificate, suitable for framing, if you like.

      As to the "republicanism" thing. I suggest you leave that behind as you seek to move forward, for it is a term I have never heard of before and, after looking it up, find it isn't really a useful word to use if you indeed want to move forward regarding your personal ideology. If the word can be hijacked by the christian taliban, they will do so, and the definition does not preclude them and their "current" policies from the table, so bringing it up when it lends itself so easily to misunderstanding or misleading the ignorant (me in this case) into thinking it has something to do with the GOP and their ilk, would appear to be counterproductive.
      (btw, I see little to show that "republicanism" addresses anything clearly, as there are different forms of it all over the world...nor can a word "understand" human nature.)

      By focusing on social welfare programs and calling for reform, all I can say is that you haven't talked to those people waiting in line yourself, nor do you appear to have researched our social programs or how they work nor WHY we even have them. You toss out old misconceptions about the poor as if they were supported by science. They aren't.

      This country is in a severe economic depression. There are NO living wage jobs for those people no matter how much or how little they want to work for a living. Until the economy recovers, snapping at their heels and demanding more "efficiency" of our social welfare programs is ridiculous and unsupportable.
      As to taxes, don't get me started. If you are willing to pay taxes, that's a good thing. Money is an illusion and taxes doubly so.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Science


      Glad that it's possible to reason with you, I thought you might have been too far gone.

      As for your last bit about the welfare programs. I'm not saying they're a bad thing and I understand where we are economically speaking. I also wrote that the majority of people applying for food stamps are in need of it and just saying, "get a job" doesn't cut it. I'm merely pointing out there's inefficiency in the system and there are people who are abusing the system or falling through the cracks. It's not a crime or a bad thing to demand more efficiency in the system.

      I would recommend you watch Welfare Queens by Alexandra Pelosi. It sheds a lot of light on the inefficiencies and that it needs to be solved rather than just let it keep going.

      August 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • iminim

      I'm not an atheist, as you state you are, but boy do I agree with you on a lot of the issues!!! Thanks for speaking up for a moderate approach to government that requires our elected officials to work together instead of sticking to the "it's my way or the highway", hyperpolarized approach. I am looking forward to the day when our politicians vote based on what they think is best for our nation as a whole and are willing to have rational, open-minded, calm discussions about such topics rather than talk in sound bites and act like petulent children when someone expresses a different opinion.

      August 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  18. Ronald Smith

    Faith: "Belief in something for which there is no evidence." Irresponsible and historically disastrous.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Mark Twain

      "Faith is believing something you know ain't true."

      August 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Simran

      I think Faith can have a lot of meanings. The Faith in question here (of God) has evidently done a lot of harm, but then it also helps a lot of people. Remember, whatever helps you get through the day. It is acceptable to me as long as the other person is not trying to impose his faith on me.
      Then of course is the broader meaning of faith – on another person, on your own self etc... In some ways, we all have faith and that is what keeps us going.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Every human being with a functioning brain believes in SOMETHING. This means that, according to you, the ONLY "historically responsible" humans are those brain dead.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Belief in something" does not equal belief in an invisible creature, Thinker. And "belief" has more than one connotation.

      I know that's difficult to grasp, but give it a shot.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It isn't really even safe to believe in something for which there is evidence. Cars always seem to stop on red at certain intersections, for example. Always question your beliefs.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Ronald Smith

      OK...you got me! I actually have FAITH in the scientific method.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Those broader examples you mentioned aren't faith...they're reasonable expectations. For example...Trust is "granted" to friends, loved ones or aquaintences. Beliefs that are tentatively given to various thing or situations based on previous knowledge and experience. Beliefs that can instantly change with new or contrary information Humans use inference and induction to makes decisions...and we're very good at it. But the religious meaning behind the word "faith" has been loosely thrown around to include things that are not faith-based in an attempt to make "faith" seem more reasonable...when it's not.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      AtheistSteve- " Humans use inference and induction to makes decisions...and we're very good at it."

      Again, proceed with caution. Psychologist have found that when people have moderate skill at something they almost always overestimate their level of skill – they consider themselves to be above average.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Tom... I have no reasons to believe (pun intended) that your beliefs Re somehow better than mine. Further, there are many invisible things in this world most educated people believe in. Examples include air, electromagnetic field, dark matter and a lot of other things. I know that it is pretty difficult for you to grasp a concept of something invisible but you should give it a shot. Good luck!

      August 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Simran

      @Atheist Steve,
      Exactly my point here Steve. Faith can have a variety of connotations.

      The Faith is God, though may not be based on facts, well, for some people is good faith. Even though I may not share that faith, I don't feel the need to challenge them, as long as it does not harm me. And there are a lot of good religious people who probably would claim that their faith has worked for them. Fine with me. I only draw the line when it starts to interfere with my freedom.

      Faith in other things/ people is subject to change based on circu.mstances. Good enough. Some may call it trust – and yes, we often trust someone without evidence and contrary to what evidence states.

      Like I said "Whatever helps you get through the day" – I just tell myself I will be fine no matter what, that works for me. Someone wants to think God is watching – fine too.

      Just do not misu.se that faith.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Again, Thinker, you prove you don't really think much at all. You use the word "belief" when other words would suffice as well or be even better choices. Pretending that "belief" in the existence of "air, electromagnetic field, and dark matter" matter is equivalent to a religious belief is ridiculous.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Granted Tom,Tom...but what I meant by that staement is what all of us do every moment of every day. We walk down a busy city street with no way of possibly taking in all the information bombarding us yet we still form a reasonably complete model of the world around us. We can pick specific sounds out of the din and avoid obstacles without a second thought. Pattern recognition, motion detection, shape, color, texture...all instantly assimilated. But the cost is in the details. That's why eye witness accounts are so notably inconsistant.
      So to point back to my previous post...I would not say I have "faith" that the sun will rise tomorrow...it's expected because it happened the day before...and the day before that...and etc. Or for example I might say (well I wouldn't) I have "faith" that my wife is being faithful (lol.. faith twice in one sentence) but it isn't really faith...it's trust...and I could just as easily be wrong if she was being dishonest.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When someone says "I believe it's going to rain," Thinker, do you automatically as sume that person is a "believer"? If that's your standard of measurement, then I suppose your conclusions are accurate.

      I have a somewhat more narrow definition. But I'm sure yours makes you feel virtuous.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Simran

      @ Steve,
      Since u created a doubt in my mind, I looked up the Oxford Dictionary definition of faith:
      1. trust in somebody's ability or knowledge; trust that somebody/something will do what has been promised
      2. strong religious belief

      So I guess, we do stand on the same page! 🙂

      August 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      So there it is. 2 separate meanings for the same word. Common enough in the English language. But that still doesn't mean that religious faith is equivalent to trust granted. The two are distinct and not similar. Thus refuting the argument from theists who boast that we have faith also. Our "faith" is not like religious "faith" at all. Comparison is a category error.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Simran

      Oh, I dont even pay attention to theists like the one above for basking in the glory of their ignorance.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      It is precisely because of the religious meaning behind the word "faith" that I endeavor to not use it. To avoid confusion. It's just like the word "theory". In science "theory" doesn't mean what it does in it's more common use to express an vague idea or supposition.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Thinker" might be the same nincompoop who insisted that people have "faith" in what science tells us, even if we haven't performed an experiment ourselves.


      August 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yes Tom,Tom
      Science is built on the body of knowledge and discoveries of those who went before. We stand on the shoulders of giants. The complexity and advancements of science are based on the work of pioneers. If we so choose we can replicate their work to prove its validity, but that's just redundant.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      To be an atheist you must be an accomplished liar.

      August 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      To be a Believer in something for which there is no reason to believe requires no special talent:

      "We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves."

      August 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  19. Abinadi

    19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Chapter 10)

    August 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Your post is what Ed said.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • sendai

      The Hat Trick Book is a derivative of that incoherent slipshod collection we call the Bible.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  20. ChristardMingle.com

    A Poem by ChristardMingle.com

    My thorns, now flies.
    Buzzing around my gruesome head and face.
    My wasted body……finally brought down. Breathe still in me, just a whisper.
    Nurtured and cleansed. Bandaged and cared for.
    Now I am risen to say my final farewell.
    Do not worship me.
    Do not mourn for me.
    Do not build churches for me or profit from me.
    I am a man, born of a woman from the seed of my father.
    I am as you are. A man and a human being.
    Learn from the sacrifices I have made. Learn from the hypocrisy.
    Bury me in good company. Remember me as a friend.

    August 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
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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.