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. ccb

    Not one word from the GOP in re their platform about stamping out racism, how to help the poor,etc. These are the very things that the Bible speaks about quite clearly. The GOP will not touch any of these issues! Why? Racism!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Bob

      Can't speak out against racism because they can't afford to offend the Tea Party, and they can't speak out against poverty because the tax money needed to help correct that would have to come from the wealthy 1%. If they actually tackle all of the things that Christians are supposed to be fighting against they'd lose their entire Base.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Bruce D.

      Allen West speaks openly and is expanding the dialogue concerning race.

      “Let’s be very honest and let’s put this in military vernacular, if you’re feeding a person a crap sandwich with a smile, it’s still a crap sandwich,” West said over the weekend. “That’s what you see coming from President Obama. He’s fed America just a load of you know what and it’s not done anything for this country other than increasing our unemployment, increasing Americans in poverty, increasing the food stamp rolls, and we’re heading in the wrong direction.”

      August 27, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Bruce D

      "Rep. Allen West lashed out Thursday against what he described as race baiting by Democrats determined to defeat his re-election bid this year and keep Mitt Romney out of the White House."

      August 27, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Bruce D.

      Here is Herman Cain's interview on CNN for those who did not see it.
      “One of the most important lessons Dad taught us was not to feel like victims,” Cain wrote. “And both our parents taught us not to think that the government owed us something. They didn’t teach us to be mad at this country.”

      Cain does not question whether the GOP has done anything to alienate black voters. Instead, he argues that African-Americans who won’t consider voting Republican aren’t thinking for themselves.

      ”African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in September

      August 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    1. As far as the ghost of Todd Akin is concerned – Republicans are always opposed to legal a bor tions until their daughters need one.
    2. Too many Conservative Christians still view LDS as a cult and will be swallowing their own bile to vote for Romney, knowing that they will never vote for "one of them". Gee, what would they have done if Herman Cain won the nomination.
    3. Ann Romney as the voice to concerned women? Give me a break. She was raised in LDS back when women were required to be subservient to their men. She has no clue how to be an "independent voice" for anyone.
    4. For all of their talk, the Republicans appear to be the only ones actually waging a "culture war" against established judicial decisions. Funny thing – when controversial decisions are made that agree with Conservative thought it is considered jurisprudence; when controversial decisions are made that disagree with Conservative thought it is considered judicial activism.
    5. Republicans are all for Religious Liberty. Everyone should be free to practice Evangelical Conservative Protestantism. However, they are not free to practice any religion that does not agree with Franklin Graham's teachings.
    6. Israel – Israel is the polar opposite of Cuba, as far as Republicans are concerned. Nothing Cuba could ever do (outside of having every Castro face a firing squad) is right. Nothing Israel could ever do (apartheid, ethnic cleansing, pre-emptive strikes, etc.) is wrong.
    7. If Hurricane Theology is trying to tell them they aren't pious enough, what about the drought in the Red States that is devastating livestock and crops? Think the Chinese thought "Mandate from Heaven".
    8. On Dolan – Sure. Pick someone to end the convention who made a career out of hiding pederast priests. That makes a good statement.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Mike

      Matthew 5:10-12

      August 27, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    So, we have a Morlic ticket....so what? Ryan only follows the teachings of the Church when they support his political needs, and the rest of the time he's following the musings of a Russian atheist who collected Social Security while decrying the intrusiveness of the state. Romney is clearly Mormon royalty, but their teachings and history are so cloaked in secrecy that no one should believe a word he says. Bottom line, no person of faith should vote for these 2, since they either lie about their faith, or they are unwilling to talk about it, yet both use religion to get their supporters whipped up, claiming the " war on religion" is threatening the country.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • sendai

      Mitt Romney has sold just about everything about himself that can be sold, all in order to become President. It's been a sad thing to watch.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • just a John

      In a war there is always an opposing side, the war against religion is being waged by science, reason and non-believers of any deity as it has been over the ages. Knowledge and reason will win in the end and the hustlers making a good living off of religion will have to move on to honest work.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Interesting that you see the situation as war being waged against religion by the science sector. Most Christians feel the same way but you do realize that the scientific method was first postulated by religion and many scientist throughout history have come from religious backgrounds and educations don't you? Do you every wonder why it is that science decided to oppose religion?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Huebert


      Science doesn't oppose anything, science seeks truth. That is the beauty of science, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are or what your background is, if the scientific method is applied properly It will help you find answers. The reason that science seems to oppose religion is that, as i said earlier, science seeks truth, religion claims to already have truth, in the form of it's dogma. When the two disagree the religious like to cry that science is oppressing or opposing religion, when in reality science is simply showing religion where it needs to make some corrections.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • just a John

      @Bill Deacon
      I will replace science with knowledge, if you prefer. Many religions have tried to stifle knowledge from spreading over the ages including but not restricted to scientific knowledge, does that help?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Bill Deacon wrote: "you do realize that the scientific method was first postulated by religion and many scientist throughout history have come from religious backgrounds and educations don't you?"

      That is simply because the mind has the potential to be both rational and irrational unto itself. A young mind that ultimately becomes the mind of a brilliant scientist can also dream up make-believe friends, be convinced to believe in the tooth fairly, etc. In the same way then, it is not at all surprising that a brilliant scientist can easily hold on to religion with which he/she was indoctrinated throughout life. Others, regardless of their interest in science, easily see the holes in the "proof" supporting religion – and find it easy to compare religion to anything else that salesmen have sold to each other since the beginning of mankind.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Jack

      There is no war on religion by science. There is a war by atheists, but atheists don't own science. In fact, the atheists have made very few, if any, real contributions to science – mostly they borrowed other people's ideas and then contributed small modifications in order to take credit.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    the upcoming election will prove two points.
    (a) that christians are believers according to convenience, and
    (b) that republican christians are republicans first and christians second

    Romney is a mormon which is a religion that, as well as co-optingsome parts and characters from the bible word for word, also contradicts and makes a mockery of so many key christian religious beliefs that it should be a bigger issue to christians than gay marriage and abortion. But ... the same way as christians always pick and choose which parts of the bible to loudly proclaim and which parts of the bible to pretend don't exist ... they will ignore all these issues and vote for Romney anyway.

    What do you think God/Jesus will think of you if you give your vote to a man who truly believes that he will one day be a God? Or a man who truly believes that Joseph Smith, a 19th century reknowned con-man, is an equal of Jesus?

    Go on christans, pretend you never read this post. Find some obscure bible quote that will justify you supporting a cult. What a joke!

    August 27, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • just a John

      No kidding. The religious right, in particular the evangelists, that have been spewing venom out about the evils of the LDS and Mormonism in the past are swallowing their pride and are very quietly supporting Romney. The hypocrisy is astounding. I would love to see a fool like "truth be told" come up with a few bible verses that justify backing a false prophet and pedophile like Joe Smith and Brigham Young.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • alan

      you are all idiots. dont talk about something you know nothing about. and if you do, prove it with actual sources.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What if we are Christians that simply believe there should be no religious test for political office and happen to like his politics more than the other guy's?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    God does not want Americans to vote for a Mormon cultist. He is telling us by sending a great storm!

    Mormonism denies essential doctrines of Christianity. Of the essential doctrines (that there is only one God in all existence, Jesus is divine, God in flesh, forgiveness of sins is by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:1-5), and Jesus rose from the dead physically (1 John 2:19; Luke 24:39), the gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, 1 Cor. 15:1-4), Mormonism denies three of them: how many gods there are, the God of Christianity, and His work of salvation.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Larry L

      God will be quite busy in the coming months. Football season always distracts him with the requirements of directing all of those field goals and touchdown passes. He's got time to send a hurricane or two but a lot of the major "smiting" will have to wait until after the Super Bowl.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Jonah

      I doubt you will reply, dyslexic, but, out of curiosity, how do you explain Acts 7: 55 and 56:

      55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
      56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (New Testament, Acts, Chapter 7)

      Steven saw the heavens open and saw Jesus on the right hand of God. Count them, one, two. As to Jesus physical resurrection, I don't know what your point is. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead with a physical body and that he still has that body of flesh and bones today.

      Grace? We believe in grace as much as you do. We just believe we first need to do all that we can do and then Christ will make up the difference. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (New Testament, James, Chapter 2).

      August 27, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  6. 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 cocoa and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 27, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • truth be told

      To deny a child eternal life is the worst form of child abuse.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • just a John

      @truth be told
      What a deluded fool you are too. With what is happening in this world today and throughout history over the last 2000 years, if your jesus and god did exsist they are more than total fvck ups, they are the worse kind of sadists. You have no proof other than your faith in an old man-written book of fictional stories and using quotes from that nonsense to defend your belief is ludicrous. Use your brain, escape the delution, for you own sanity.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Marcuscassius

      It's truly a disaster that the majority of so-called Christians believe their god is so stupid. truly, God is great. He would never be stupid enough to put a soul in a body He knows will never b born. He may judge, at the end of time, a person for delaying a birth, but honestly those that involve themselves in judging others behavour and enforcing their beliefs on them are condeming themselves to Hell. Follow the teacjing of Jesus and you'll never get caught up in this nonsense.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Lisa

      I suppose little kids should have an "agnostic approach" to monsters in their closets too?

      "Yeah, Sally, we can't really be sure that there aren't any monsters in there ready to come out and get you when you're asleep. We can't see any, but they could be invisible and just hiding. So, it's probably best that you quit sleeping altogether. Wouldn't you rather be awake just in case one did come out of your closet than sleep soundly and get caught?"

      August 27, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  7. lastofall

    The thing about faith is that it is as a marriage: We may believe in marriage, but are we faithful in the marriage? We know in our marriage with God, that on His part God is absolutely faithful; but what about us? In this particular case of politicians, there is only one thing that is needful for them to be faithful, but they are so very unwilling to perform the doing thereof, namely: Repent of the sin of the love of money. If they were to do that, then would there platform be genuine.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • saggyroy

      ah...breath of fresh air

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Kind of hard not to think about money when you have a $16,000,000,000,000.00 Visa bill.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Lisa

      Except, in religion, you imagine yourself married to some guy you've never met, or even know exists. Not a great analogy.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  8. 8 ways faith shouldn't matter anywhere...

    1. Just have faith no cars are coming when you cross the street...looking both ways is for p u s s y's.

    2. Just have faith your kid's will do the right thing when confronted by drugs or alcohol...no talk required.

    3. Just have faith that there will be available rooms when you show up at the republican convention... reservations are for the faithless.

    4. Just have faith that gas station toilet with the rust colored stains all over it is sterile and those aren't blood and feces stains... toilet seat napkins are so last decade.

    5. Just have faith that drink the flirty guy at the end of the bar sent you doesn't have any GHB in it, down the hatch!...being cautious is so old hat.

    6. Just have faith the hot stock tip you heard from "your guy" is going to pay off big and borrow all you can to invest in pork bellies... being kosher is so last century.

    7. Just have faith that priest was just giving your son some extra faith lessons since it must be motivating him, every time he gets home from his lessons he can hardly sit down...

    8. Just have faith that casting your vote for a Mormon won't mean you are tacitly accepting the Mormon premise of magical golden plates and a lost tribe of Israel right here in the Americas... Catholics and Protestants are so dark ages.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • saggyroy

      Amen brother.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:24 am |
  9. dilberth

    Faith – that fuzzy feeling you get when you believe something that you know is not true but you believe it anyway.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • I have Faith

      There are real vampires that live in Forks, WA. and their skin glitters in the sunlight...

      August 27, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  10. GodFreeNow

    Once again, Romney believes in magic underwear... Even for a cult, this requires a high level of denying reality.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Jonah

      19 For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 5)

      August 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  11. Reality

    Dear Republican Party,

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No red-neck politicians, koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    August 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  12. John Bunyan

    Jesus is just beautiful.

    August 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Just a John

      What a deluded fool you are. Look around you and see what is happening in the world; your messiah jesus and the rest of the holy trinity are total fvck ups if they did exsist, but they don't, understand, it is all in your head.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  13. I have a dream

    This world will be a better place only when people honestly stop looking at the color of the skin to judge the character of a person.
    If you were blind what preconceived notions would you have about the human race?????

    August 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Let's work on getting rid of religion....the rest will follow.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

      You might be surprised, but,
      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 26, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. How healthy is mass murder?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  15. GoldenChild

    Why did Mitt Romney choose Paul Ryan and not a Negro?

    August 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A "N egro"? Which one? Would any "Ne gro" do or did you have a specific one in mind, you ra cist pig?

      August 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • GoldenChild

      Is there something wrong with Negros? Something that Mitt Romney knows and you don't?

      August 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is there? Why not just answer the question, dipsh!t?

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

      I think Herman Cain opted out.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • and I was wondering

      ... why not a k.ike, or a hook.nose, or a re.tard, or a mong.oloid, or a w.op, or a m.ick, or an Aunt Jemima, or ch ink, or a In.jun, or a ...

      August 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Bruce D.

      Golden Child was a great movie but you are mostly a race baiter. People like you are the reason why Americans cannot unite. You keep the concept of division constantly in peoples minds. Most Americans would like to move beyond race. This isn't the 60s anymore.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  16. Jerry

    I just watched some of the CNN broadcast regarding Romney revealed, until I could take no more. He spoke about sharing his belief and mentioned Jesus Christ, strange he did not Mention Joseph Smith. Inside his Church they rarley mention Jesus Christ. Peasonaly I am completely baffled why the Republican Party chose him to run for the Presidentcy when he Mit Romney and the Latter Day Saints feel "Christians should not have the right to call themselves by that name." This is a better explaination Orsan Pratt one of the early apostles of the Mormon Church asserted that it isblod impudence for the "non-Mormon xhurches to call themselves Christian Churches since Quote ""They have nothing to do with Christ , neither has Christ anything to do with them."" Mitt Romney if not outright lying definetly stretches the truth to the limit which he possibly learned to do from the head honcho of his Church Mr. Joseph Smith Jr. If you would like to check out the truth of this statement go to utube and view this video ""DNA vs. The Book of Mormon"" in this video Mormons themselves admit Joseph was a liar and much more. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svfxSscxh8o&feature=related . But look this is not about the Mormon Church they have the right to their beliefs and not to be rediculed but it is about coming clean and being truthful not hiding behind falsehoods, and furtheremore it is mostly about the right (Christian leaders) who taught their people about the Mormons and now they support one to lead them to the highest office in the land, figure that one out if you can. Hypocrisy I say. They have comprimised the Christian doctrine for what – POWER, POLITICS, THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, none of it or all of it is worth the trade. They owe Christians of America and the world an explanation.

    August 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      two questions:

      1. You said: I am completely baffled why the Republican Party chose him to run for the Presidentcy

      Because compared to the bag of mixed nuts they had running in the three ring circus called the Republican primary, Mitt was the MOST electable of all of them. Michelle Bachmann?? Herman Cain?? There's your answer.

      2.You said: They have comprimised the Christian doctrine for what – POWER, POLITICS, THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, none of it or all of it is worth the trade

      Who is 'they' in your statement? Mormons or Republicans?

      August 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • sendai

      Now they want to slither in under cover of Christianity and rape our country, forcing us to accept them once they are lodged in the highest places and have bound us with our own Constitution. Recognize them for what they are before it happens. Symbolically reject all white bread until November as a sign to the rest of us that you know the truth about these Mormons.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Its called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm a Mormon, and yes, Jesus Christ is my personal savior and that of man. Joseph Smith was a Profit, and a great man, however he was certainly not the messiah.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • $

      "Joseph Smith was a Profit,"


      August 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Bruce D.

      If you are a skeptic or a religious bigot you can find fault with any religion. If you are a Marxism you will not like religion at all.
      Religion is the opium of the masses."
      Karl Marx

      "And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or
      antipathy to people who aren’t like them... "
      President Obama

      August 27, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bruce D.

      Here is another viewpoint.

      "The former candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia points to what he calls the Democratic Party’s “cult-like devotion” to abortion; the rejection of the traditional biblical model of family; the hostility hurled at those who express a Christian viewpoint, such as Chick-fil-A president and Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy; the actions of organizations such as the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in suing cities and towns for displaying crosses at memorials or mentioning the name of Jesus in prayer at official events."

      August 27, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  17. Jack

    Everyone is welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  18. Rational Libertarian

    I'm gonna repost this because I'm genuinely interested and it seemed to get ignored initially.

    Are there any atheists here who are supporting Romney? I'd count myself as a begrudging supporter, on the condition that they drop the whole 'no abortions for anybody' stance. I think Romney is the right choice economically, especially with Ryan on board, but socially I'm less than optimistic.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      You can't evade the Republican Platform and if you look and see who the designers are behind it, how can you in good conscience consider their agendas and vote Republican?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wouldn't vote for him no matter how bad the economy was. I have no faith that his ideas on economic policy will do a damn thing to pull the US out of the recession.

      No president has the ability to do that anyway when the entire global economy is suffering.

      Putting Romney in office to fix the economy would be useless and his views on social issues would make him dangerous.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I was a Ron Paul supporter because, in addition to his other policy stances, he absolutely places the Consti'tution ahead of his own personal agenda and/or religious beliefs. No, he isn't ideal, but I think he got about 75% of it right. If Romney spends more than 30 seconds talking about his faith, I won't vote for him.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian


      I also can't reconcile my libertarianism with the Democratic Party platform. I don't support the Republicans, especially considering how they have consistently shunned the greatest Republican since Lincoln (Ron Paul), but I believe economic issues are th current priority, which is why I'll (probably) vote Republicans. It's either that or give the Libertarian Party a symbolic vote.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian


      I doubt he will. His Mormonisn isn't exactly loved by the stereotypical red neck Christian conservatives.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      There is a way bigger agenda then the economy coming from Mitt and the boys. That's why when people often ask what does it matter if the candidate is religious, I can only defer to my gut paranoia, a theocracy is in the making. If you dig-in and read the back stories of these people you quickly learn how deceitful their display of the American Way is. They want it their way and by gosh they'll do anything to secure it. This country is whacked with a whole bunch of whack-a-doos trying to get at the helm.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      if you are serious then vote Libertarian.

      The conservative movement of Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley is utterly lost.

      Ever since Nixon turned the Dixiecrats into Republican voters, the unholy marriage between the American taliban and the GOP (as presided over by Karl Rove) has been getting stronger. The tea-party distracted them for a while but all those Evangelical Protestant votes are a choke collar around the GOP's neck.

      The big spending neo cons outspend even Democrats in their mission to define a new American world order.

      The Tea-Party branded 'fiscal' conservatives have no comprehension of how this country functions. They are the shortest path to disaster.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Then give the Libertarian Party a symbolic vote.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I probably will, but four more years of Obama's economic policies has me worried, but then four years of social repression is a frightening prospect as well.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      So, where does a Libertarian draw the line between their economically conservatism and their socially liberal views? Is that a 50/50 draw or does it lean one way or should it lean at all?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Rational Libertarian –

      In my younger years (only a few years ago) I, too, was a libertarian (small "L") as I viewed the essential function of central government as exerting unprovoked force and, therefore, immoral. While I still accept this position philosophically, my current pragmatic position has changed; as a libertarian, are your willing to accept exchanging governmental authority for corporate authority?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Science

      @Rational Libertarian

      Honestly, libertarianism sounds great on paper, the same way communism has certain appealing qualities. It's just a good political ideology when applied to real life. True libertarianism strips away all government except down to the most barebones. It only keeps the military intact in so far as to protect against outside threat and then there is some government imposed on states insofar as to make this a union and not a random group of 50 states that are geographically close to one another. However, Human nature would completely destroy this country just a few years into a country run like that. We'd tear ourselves apart economically, ideologically and physically. We have a government that protects its citizens not only from external forces, but internal as well. We have anti-trust laws against monopolies and oglipolies which allows freedom of entry into the market and allows for our type of capitalism to succeed instead of getting bogged down.

      If you truly are a libertarian, vote libertarian. Voting for Romney simply to make your vote count by trying to elect a person that is still opposite your views is your way of trying to reconcile the fact that your ideology is untenable but you're making the best of it.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Clearly conservative social issues are malodorous to many of us, but I would also question the long-standing assumption that Republicans are fiscally responsible. They talk about it, but even a superficial review of the last few decades of US history reveals that this is largely a myth.

      The current Republican strategy (as epitomized by the W. administration) of spending wantonly while cutting taxes is absolutely devastating, and is arguably what we are trying to recover from.

      I challenge anyone to demonstrate that Republican administrations spend less than Democratic ones in the last 40 years, or that the economy has improved under any Republican since Reagan.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Science


      If you look at my post on page 5, I pretty much agree with you, though Reagan style republicanism is the type of republicanism that I can understand as a fiscal way to save money and cut taxes. What I just don't understand is the people who are able to compartmentalize their feelings on the social issues and look past them.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Rufus, I've suspected for some time that the Economy hides a plurality of economies. Watch for the ones who do well under the Republicans. When the Republicans speak of the Economy, theirs is the one they usually mean.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      to that end ...

      G.H.W.Bush – (1 term) economy failed – he tried to help with tax increases that were 1, too late and 2. political suicide*
      W.J.Clinton – (2 terms) enconomy recovered – even to the point where there was no deficit!
      G.W.Bush – (2 terms) economy failed drastically
      B.H.Obama – (1 term**) economy limping out of the Bush disaster, but not fully recovered

      * "Read my lips, No new taxes!"
      ** so far

      August 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Science –

      A couple of quick points:
      -Reagan was not a fiscal conservative...check the numbers.
      -No individual vote counts, unless the election was decided was decided by one vote. It's simply mathematics.

      August 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Sorry for the redundant "was decided".

      August 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Science, I enjoyed your posts on page 8. Good stuff.

      I agree that the religious right has a strange choke hold on the GOP, and it forces people to swallow that poison in order to vote according to their fiscal priorities. I have been wondering if the conflicting interests of fiscal conservatives (conservative but "sober" economists), the Tea Party (economically suicidal ignoramuses), and social conservatives (say no more) will soon splinter the GOP. One can only hope....

      August 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Just the Facts Maa'm

      "but four more years of Obama's economic policies has me worried,"

      I hear this line pretty often now, but I have yet to see any real substance to it as it just sounds like more rhetoric when no one has any specifics other than "the economy isn't recovering from the Bush years as fast as we want it to..."

      Here is the truth: The republicans would never allow any democratic president to really try democratic ideology of creating a strong social safety net, invest in education and infrastructure while having fair taxes of all income brackets. Because of this , the Obama administration has not and will never get to test what they feel could fix the economy, the republicans will just constipate the process to the point of failure and then point at the president and say "ha ha, you can't get anything done, but anything you got done wouldn't work anyway because we know better..."

      FDR was the only president who was able to actually test his social reform theories, and mainly because of his amazingly strong and intelligent wife, but had to over double the debt to bring us out of the depression. Every now and then you hear a whiny little b.i.t.c.h. republican complain about those social safety nets he established like social security or medicare, but they are few and far between because America LIKE's those programs, they have worked! And all it would take to save them for our children would be to increase their funding by 2%, reduce the consumer price index by .21%, and increase the benefit age to 67, that would extend our social programs for another 100 years and beyond.

      Opponents to the social programs like to claim fraud and abuse and Cadillac driving welfare queens, but the fact is that the fraud accounts for only 6% of the total costs, which is a good chunk of change, but people often forget that means it's working properly for 94% of beneficiaries. Are we going to say F you to the grandmothers and disabled and children who have no other recourse to eat and have a roof over their heads because 6% of the money is being misused? Really?

      Anyone thinking they are going to vote for Romney and his promise of letting the free hand of the market get to work will get to watch as that free hand rob's Americans blind, and if we let them turn social security into a voucher system it will literally be robbing from our blind. Just ask yourself where your grandparents would be living right now if GW Bush had his way in 2005 and had privatized social security and everyone had their retirement funds invested in the stock market by 2008... think about it people, or are you republicans that thick headed?

      August 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      ideologically the GOP has splintered. The nonsense over Todd Akin is demonstrative of this. Todd Akin said *nothing* that American taliban funded candidates haven't been saying for 12 years, but he is suddenly branded a pariah by the RNC surrogates for extolling one of the party planks in the election run-up. The rank and file don't know which way is up.

      The tea-party generates crazies like Christine "I am not a witch" O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann who are all nothing but sound-bite machines without a single coherent thought between them – which they demonstrably prove over and over again.

      The neo-cons have only the legacy of Darth Cheney's administration, fronted by their good ol' boy W. Massive deficit, the longest war in US history, the precipitous and simultaneous 'brink of failure' of the US auto industry and the banking industry even then they couldn't find Osama. Why? I suspect they made a promise to one of their hand-holding Saudi buddies. The 'POTUS bows to no one' – what crap!

      August 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Science


      Reagan I guess was only fiscally conservative in name only, but who knows what life would have been like under his democratic counterpart.
      Of course no vote actually "counts", what I was referring to is if you vote democrat or republican at this point, you can at least feel like you've participated in the process. Voting for a third party candidate is tantamount to writing that persons name on a piece of paper and throwing it in the garbage. What I was pointing out the @RL is that voting a libertarian candidate won't feel like voting for anyone at all, which is why I'm as.suming he's going to vote for Romney because at least he'll have voted for a viable candidate.

      @Rufus, I have a good feeling that in the very near future the GOP is going to have a huge "come to jesus" about the direction of the party and there's going to be a giant schism. in the short run this is great for the democrats. If we can stay united, we can gain control of a large portion of the government and actually be able to insti.tute democratic policies. In the long run however, our political system relies on the checks and balances of having a two party system. I'm really hoping that there's enough moderate republicans left who can create their own party and take us back to a time where it was fine to reach across the aisle.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Go see the movie 2016 then think about it.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Think about what? A movie?

      Is that the extent of your 'research' into the issues?

      August 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @bill deacon's – 2016? Are you kidding? lol. You are not very smart are you. Dinesh D'Souza is a lunatic evangelical Christian who states in the introduction of his book, that "[t]he Bush administration and the conservatives must stop promoting American popular culture because it is producing a blowback of Muslim rage. With a few exceptions, the right should not bother to defend American movies, music, and television. From the point of view of traditional values, they are indefensible." He wants us to live under some Christian version of sharia law and you want to push his films like some drug addled junkie high on the republican mantra of "Obama is a Muslim and stuff!!"

      August 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I guess you didn't like it is what you're saying.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  19. exlonghorn

    Actually...I have a question. Why should religion play any role in selecting a President?

    August 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Indeed, the Const'tution is quite clear on this. It even says:

      but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      Unfortunately most voters in the US are not particularly good Const'tutional scholars. Even the framers didn't really trust democracy very much (we are a Republic after all), which is why we have the ridiculous and mostrous construction known as the "Electoral College".

      August 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • old ben

      Simply because a candidate may be religious. As an deity-agnostic religion-atheist, i would like to know as much as possible about the candidates beliefs, so that I may decide if they are even too crazy for me to even consider them. If the candidate is not also an atheist, then for me anyway, it comes down to the lesser of two evils so to speak – at least regarding religion. (Although I have made choices in the past based on factors other than religion that I felt at the time were more important.) Hope that helps.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I was actually shooting for a response from a believer, but thanks for your thoughts.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • old ben

      And to further clarify my reply, I would say that I am speaking to why it is important for me personally to find out as much as possible regarding the candidates beliefs, as I also search to learn other aspects of the candidate. I am not implying that the Const'itution or rules in place for candidacy are inadequate.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      The electoral college is indeed an abomination. While I can imagine how it was useful in a prior era, it makes absolutely no sense today, except as a means for consolidating power from the general population. It should be abolished.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It's really indistinguishable from the debate about JFK's Catholicism in 1960.

      Did Richard Nixon act like a Quaker??? when he ordered the carpet bombing of Cambodia?
      Did Paul Ryan act like a Catholic in his budget proposal? (The Catholic Church didn't think so and I would define them as the final arbiter of 'Catholicness'.)

      ALL the discussion about religion is trying to 'sell the candidate' along the lines of "I believe in the things you believe in, so I will represent you, vote for me."

      It's nonsense. Believing that a candidate will act on their religious beliefs in a country that exists under the ausp'ces of the 1st amendment is absurd. I will assert that the only truly 'religious' modern president was Jimmy Carter, and I don't think very many voters want someone like him.

      Whether a candidate believes in an Abrahamic God or the great prophet Zarquon makes no difference to what they will materially do once elected.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The no religious test thing has nothing to do with an individual voter's standpoint. I'm perfectly aware that no religious test is required to hold office (although there are several states where it is technically illegal for an atheist to hold office), but if somebody believes in hocus pocus, it will definitely affect my opinion on their eligibility to hold office.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'm ready for the implementation of the popular vote and abolition of the Electoral College as the 28th amendment. This election will be decided by a handful of counties in PA and OH. That's no way to run an election for the whole country.

      Article II, Section 1, is the most heavily revised section anyway. We have the technology – it's time.

      As to opinions from religionists, perhaps Chad will oblige you. It seems to be impacting his choice this year.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rational Libertarian,

      I'm perfectly aware that no religious test is required to hold office

      And that of course is the literal meaning – we don't need to swear fealty to God to work for the Federal Government. (I find it ironic that most of them voluntarily do so.)

      I would argue that every public discussion of a candidate's faith represents a religious test by proxy in the media and is not in concert with the spirit of the Const'tution, even if it is not illegal.

      Let's hypothetically say that a Buddhist or Sikh or even an atheist candidate with all the right answers comes along one day. How many generations will it be before they are electable in this country?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Chad

      but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      So, you interpret this how?
      A. No person shall be required to belong to a particular religion when running for public office
      B. No person professing faith in the God of Abraham shall be allowed to run for office


      August 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You first, Chard. How do you interpret it?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad the disengenuous,

      Really Chad?

      No religious test means simply that anyone of any religious stripe, be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, Ba'hai or Calathumpian (or even people who are not religious like athesists) may hold office in the United States.

      Cool idea, huh?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Chad

      ah, just checking

      regarding electability.. perhaps you are confusing good judgement with intolerance ?

      August 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well, when you have three religions all based on infanticide, people who adhere to these religions deserve extra scrutiny.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt either of the candidates could best the Chard in the area of evasion.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      exlonghorn- "Why should religion play any role in selecting a President?"

      Religion is important to a lot of people and they will use religion as a criterion for selecting the one they will vote for. The Constitution can't reach into the minds of voters and prevent them from applying their own "tests". We have to deal with that as best we can. Pointing out the absurdity of religion is a start and maybe it's all we can do.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • JecciBeans

      As a believer, I use religion as a basis for decision-making. I have made some very difficult decisions over the past few years professionally – before I was a believer and after I was a believer. I see now that I made the wrong choices before I was a believer – it came down to either money or morals and I made the wrong choice. In becoming a believer, I feel that I have made better decisions in my life for my family and myself.

      With respect to an election, I believe religion is important because it does give insight as to what influences the official may have when making decisions. I do not believe that anyone should push their religious views off on anyone else and I don't believe that either candidate has done that. I see a lot of postings about it – but I don't think that has actually occurred.

      I'm curious, however, on one thing. Many people have speculated that Obama has different religious influences. If Obama were a Muslim – would that impact anyone's vote?

      August 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's not about religion, It's about politics.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • exlonghorn

        Bill, if that's the case, perhaps you can explain why a Catholic cardinal is performing a closing ceremony blessing of the Republican National Convention? Looks like politics IS religion to me. And it shouldn't be.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  20. exlonghorn

    If ANYONE casts their vote based on the religion, or religious views, of the candidates, they should seriously consider removing themselves from the election process until they can find a better rational for selecting their political leaders.

    August 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • old ben

      I won't say much here, because I have replied to your later post, but, as you can see, I have a reasonably-defined reason (in my reply just above) for why it might matter to me. So I can't say for sure at this point, but I might very well be casting a vote based on religion where I might see one of them as more extremist than the other, and where I think it will be enough of a social threat to be the key factor for me. And I think as an atheist, it is pretty obvious which ticket would seem more extreme.

      August 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • JecciBeans


      August 26, 2012 at 10:38 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.