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My Take: When it comes to 'God' in our political platforms, less is more
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided over the reinsertion of 'God' into the Democrats' platform.
September 6th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

My Take: When it comes to 'God' in our political platforms, less is more

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I first heard that God had gone missing from the Democratic Party platform from a Facebook friend who rejoiced in a godless platform as a triumph for the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.

I was surprised, however, because since the loss of John Kerry to George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential race, Democrats have gotten religion.

President Obama used the word God five times in his inaugural address. And according to my search of the database of The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he has used it thousands of times more during his presidency.

In remarks at annual National Prayer Breakfasts, Obama called us “children of God” in 2009, spoke of “God’s grace” in 2010, quoted from the Book of Job on “God’s voice” in 2011 and invoked “God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’” in 2012.

The president also invoked the almighty in more prosaic settings, including fundraisers and television interviews and remarks to Super Bowl champions.

This April he used a weekly radio address to talk about Passover and Easter—“the story of the Exodus” and “”the all-important gift of grace through the resurrection of his son.”

And in dozens of speeches over the last two years Obama has spoken of our “God-given potential.”

That is the formulation that found its way back into this year’s Democratic Party platform, after "God" had gone missing in a prior draft.

None of this should really matter, of course. There isn’t any straight line from an affirmation of our “God-given potential” to any particular federal law. But it does matter because we continue as a nation to wage a culture war that goes back to the late 1970s.

That was when Republicans decided to start hammering away at their Democratic opponents on so-called “values” questions and in the process turned U.S. politics into a decades-long referendum on the libertinism of the 1960s.

Foolishly, the Democrats responded as my Facebook friend did, by invoking Thomas Jefferson and the First Amendment and the strict separation of church and state. But being the anti-God party in a nation in which 95% or so believe in God proved to be a losing strategy. So the Democrats reversed course in 2004.

For better or for worse, we now have two religious parties in the United States. The Constitution may be godless, but both parties are hell-bent on presenting themselves as godly.

Is this a good thing? If you believe, as George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, that “religion and morality” are “these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens," then perhaps it is.

But do we really want “God” to serve as a “prop” of our politics? Apparently, the answer of both parties to that question is yes.

The decision of Democratic Party delegates to reinsert God into their party's platform was clearly motivated by political calculations rather than theological acumen. But are the decisions of the Republican Party any different?

Are the repeated references to "providence" and "God" in its platform proof that its policies are more godly?

In its discussion of the Second Amendment, the GOP platform informs us that our citizens’ “God-given right of self-defense” extends not only to gun ownership but also “the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration.” Really? Is bearing a semi-automatic weapon really the answer to "What would Jesus do?"

Is the fact that the GOP platform refers to “God” twelve times rather than one supposed to prove that Republicans are 12 times more godly?

As a matter of tradition, Americans have always mixed church and state, but they have almost always tried to do so in ways that were respectful of adherents of minority religions and of citizens without any religion at all. So what our two religious parties are doing today runs in the American grain.

Still, I can't help but feel that the now-obligatory references to God in virtually every presidential speech and every party proclamation are more about pridefully asserting one's godliness than humbly asserting one's faith.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his followers not to pray, as the hypocrites do, on the street corners, so they might be seen and admired, but to pray instead in their closets, in secret, with the doors shut.

Today I'd like a little more of that sort of religion, please, and a little less of the street corner hucksterism of the Democrats and Republicans alike.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Culture wars • Politics • United States

soundoff (1,491 Responses)
  1. pat

    It is possible to be ethical and moral in public office without having to use God's name all the time in an attempt to get elected. As a republican I still strongly believe in the necessity to separate church and state. I find the overuse of God's name in an attempt to get elected so irritating that I would probably use this as a major criteria in selecting or not selecting a candidate.
    We can pray in our heads at any time we want therefore no need to knnel down in the middle of a public school classroom.
    Religion MUST be kept out of government...... it is sufficient for a politician to use his sense of ethics and morality... be it based on a specific religion or not. Lets keep America great and free.....

    September 14, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • G to the T

      Well put Pat!

      September 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  2. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    It's all about who has control of the person. For Christians it's........................ '1Cr 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?'............ Now what's that got to do with a gumit sanctioned, created, and subservient church? And/or vicey versey?

    September 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Athy

      Ye speaketh the trutheth, O wiseth one!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Athy

      Sorryeth, wiseth oneth! A thousandeth pardoneths!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Well, ath, thanketh you, too.......'Job 17:5 He that speaketh flattery to [his] friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.'.........'Pro 27:6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.'

      September 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Athy

      Hmeth, I needeth to mulleth on that one for a while. Man, I'm starting to like this new lingo, sort of liketh pidgin English, eh?

      September 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      I don't thinketh so. From Wiki, '..... Fundamentally, a pidgin is a simplified means of linguistic communication, as it is constructed impromptu, or by convention, between individuals or groups of people. A pidgin is not the native language of any speech community, but is instead learned as a second language......' English is my second and only language. Some might just saith, 'It's all Greek to meeth.'

      September 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Athy

      Greeketh, not Greek. BTW, did you know that Greeketh is the oldest Indo-European language still spoken today? Not many people knoweth this facteth.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  3. icon-design

    Between us speaking, I advise to you to try to look in google.com

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?

    September 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  4. roneco

    The Democratic Party did not reinsert God into the platform. The Chair of the Convention did...........There was clearly no consensus among delegates.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Christian!

      So! who needs it in there anyway. God can take care of himself ...I become a little weary of those weak minded people who need god in government .....ours move along pretty good with out him there..ya see the first amendment provides a separation of power there.. anyone who needs God in government, does not have God in real life...period! 🙂 🙂 🙂
      we don't need symbolism of religions in our government .... that is our job at our homes in our daily lives ...in what we do but not in the government..... it promotes hypocrisy !!! 🙂 🙂

      September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Jon

    It's impossible to take religion out of politics because people's entire world view and perspective on reality depends on what they believe in. So you can make Romney not talk about his religion but that doesn't mean his policies won't reflect his religious beliefs.

    September 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Christian!

      well there you have it... as a Public official he needs in most cases to leave religion out of his policy making except if it crosses his conscience... 🙂

      September 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  6. WildOmar

    A very dry, cynical opinion piece. What the writer loses in his ideologic mumblings is that political parties are made up of people. Real live squishy messy human beings. Most of them come with bumps and scars. The vast majority have some variation of religious beliefs. For someone to say that we should keep religion out of the political conventions, is to say that we should cover our eyes and try to ignore a portion of a political candidate's character. Whether you agree or disagree, the reality is that religion is a major component of our society. It is a relevent question to ask a candidate for political office what his or her stance may be on issues that are affected by religious beliefs. These include abortion, capital punishment, immigration reform, health care, ... on and on. Frankly, and argument could be made that a candidate's religious beliefs affect their position on almost every question confronting our society. Character matters in politics. Therefore, religous beliefs matter.

    September 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • FactoidLover

      I agree with you that many people have some form of religious, spiritual, or supernatural beliefs. The further reality is that the range of these beliefs is wide and invoking the word "god" as a blanket category is disingenuous. When Romney refers to god he is stating a belief in a theology that most other Christians would find categorically false, and some Islamists as heretical. When O'Bama refers to providence or god I imagine his true beliefs vary a great deal from Romney's. If character counts and religion is part of it, then let's have candidates be as transparent and particular about their beliefs as they are about their plans for governing. Otherwise character is diluted.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  7. scottt01

    Forcing religion out of politics and government is as wrong as forcing religion into politics and government. It is not so much what you believe inside but what you respect others to have the right to believe. Tolerance, its like a mental lubricant for social frictions.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Sara Greene

      And we send these FANATICS $200 million a year? WHAT FOR? Blackmail them into liking us? That's the problem in the US – they don't know how to deal with fanaticism...people who shove their toddlers' faces into the Koran and brainwash them into this crap. Get out, stay out and protect OUR OWN borders with all that money. Insanity!!!!!!! The atrocities committed through "BLIND FAITH" is just bewildering – and I call it blind faith because people follow blindly – through books written by MERE men. If there were proof I would fall to my knees and beg for forgiveness – but there is NO proof. Fanaticism is a far cry from religion – period.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Athy

      Religion should be forced out of government. The government already intrudes enough on our lives. Why should it encourage religious beliefs as well? All governments should be completely secular. That means no religious mottos in government buildings or on our currency. Religion is a personal matter. Believe what you want, but don't push it through public venues.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  8. ianaleah

    Keep RELIGION separate from politiics, but God is in all religions
    The error -former president Bush used Jesus in his speeches -not God -that is wrong.
    What 'Christians' did ; genocide – by Inquisition, the spanish conquisidors,the nazi, the kkk have killed non-christians, the mayans, the aztec ,the jews, the blacks etc. So, lets no judge others because there are evil people in all religions as well as good people. The Founding Fathers :"all men are equal/free 'ha! they owned slaves. Keep religion out of politics.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Don

      To denounce christians for the acts committed by some professing to be christians past or present is not right. There have been acts of atrocity committed by people of many beliefs. True christians are peaceful, do not bear arms, and are sacrificial givers to those around them. If men would follow the teachings of Christ, we would not have the violence we are seeing around the world. Christ was our example, peaceful, compassionate, walking in love, and was nailed to a cross for doing good and speaking out against injustice and hypocrisy veiled in religious leaders of his time. There are true christians who live by His example. I pray that you will not judge all by some.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • G to the T

      A classic case of the "True Scotsman" fallacy. Who are you to define what a "true" christian is?

      September 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  9. Jadeturner

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    George Washington prayed to God every day and felt that many of his battles and problems, including not coming to physical harm himself in battle was the hand of God protecting him. Both LIberal and Conservative use God for their benefit and that will not change. I just don't understand how any one of you can feel that you are so superior to those of us who do believe. I also feel very sorry for true atheists. How do you have hope? And excellent speaker told me once. Many scientists who study the creation of the universe actually become Christians when they try to figure out how all the galaxies, stars, suns etc. could have been created from nothing or as some say from a "Big Bang" I like the bumper sticker that says "God said Bang" What I do know is that if we don't start being kind or at least civil to one another and be more tolerant of each other's beliefs, we are all in trouble. God Bless and Have a wonderful day

    September 13, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Athy

      So where did god come from? Did some bigger bang make god? And don't give us the usual baloney that he was always here. Why not just say the universe was always here and be done with it? Why use two stages of miracles when one will do? Seems to me that if there truly were a god he would be a hell of a lot more evident. As it is there is no convincing evidence of a god.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Michael Puffer

      George Washington was mostly a deist than Christian. Just pointing that out.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • timmuh

      We agnostic atheists are superior because we say we don't know and believe that you, the theist, have not made your case. That is all we say and it is the most intellectually honest position to hold. You know as much about the life hereafter as we do before we were born: nothing. tell me where I've gone wrong.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • sam stone

      thanks for your sympathy, jade...atheists feel sorry for snivelling, begging sycophants....so i guess we are even

      September 13, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Frank

      Ill tell you were you've gone wrong timmuh.

      Breaking your backs to keep everyone else from believing in God. If you don't believe then DON'T! And stay out of others business who do. If you see a cross and you don't believe in God, IGNORE IT, just like you ignore everything else you dont agree with.! If you don't believe why SUE PEOPLE to have it removed? That's like me not believing in Santa Clause and suing CHILDREN to have Christmas shut down to make me feel better so I don't have to look at Santa Clause. SAME PRINCIPLE as atheist suing everyone else just because THEY don't like it or agree with it.

      Pure dam meanness and hatred is what atheists are! Plain and Simple. The concept is simple, if you don't believe in God that's your right. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT KEEP OTHERS FROM BELIEVING!

      September 13, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Frank: Who is keeping you from believing?

      September 13, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • sam stone

      Frank: If you are comfortable painting people with a broad brush (pure dam meanness and hatred is what atheists are), then you should be comfortable being included with all the other sanctimonious christians who feel that they speak for god.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • keefer

      frank – atheists wouldnt have to attempt to educate christians if you weren't trying to bring your childish beliefs into policy making. Grow up...does it seem likely that there is an invisible guy in the sky that has you under constant surveillance? Why would you even want it to be true?

      September 13, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • College Prof

      As an atheist, I and tell you that hope does not spring from a belief in a divine being. It spring from knowledge and understanding. I have hope for the future, simply because I know that we are better off today then we were four years ago, four centuries ago and for eons ago. No divine intervention needed.

      Also, to denounce all of Islam for the acts of about 20 extremist is also not right. If Christians are allowed to denounce Islam for the acts of a few extremist then it is just as valid to denounce Christians for the acts of there extremist.

      Finally, when I was a prof in the college system, I never met a single cosmologist who came to any religion by studying cosmology. Some I knew felt there personal religious beliefs were reinforced by their studies, but actually converting to a religion, I know of none. If you could give a name or site an article to support you statement that cosmologist get religious from studying cosmology, it would lend credence to you statement. Otherwise it just another false statement.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • FactoidLover

      As an atheist I have plenty of hope and work to help humanity flourish. I do this without belief in a god which places more responsibility on me, and from my point of view on others, that those who believe in an intervening deity. You could argue that my version of hope requires more strength because there is no super powerful savior to appeal to.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Athy

      Frankly, Frank (sorry, I couldn't resist) you're free to believe anything you want, regardless of its unbelievability (sorry again!). Just let us atheists (aka, logically thinking nonbelievers) disbelieve what we want and don't try to promulgate religion through public media.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  10. stephen

    I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. ....Jesus/Yeshua/Messiah. .....Jn. 18:37

    September 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Athy

      So, tell us, what is the truth?

      September 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Athy, you're an echo of resonance, .....'Jhn 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].'

      September 13, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Glen

      well said: stephen
      I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. ....Jesus/Yeshua/Messiah. .....Jn. 18:37

      It seems Keefer has convinced himself otherwise. There there really is no one watching over us who hold us accountable when there is One who says there is, he's in for a rude awakening soon after he dies lol

      September 13, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Athy

      You call that truth? Sounds like some mythological bullshit to me.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      ooooh....THE TRUTH.....how incredibly impressive

      September 17, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  11. Abd.

    awww you poor poor irreligious person you

    September 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Abd.

      everyone pity the atheist

      September 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Athy

      Jeez, abd. Have you ever heard of capitalization and punctuation?

      September 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      Abd.....get off your knees

      September 13, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • FactoidLover

      Your lack of compassion stains your beliefs.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  12. rjp34652

    NO HYPOCRITE LIKE A RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITE.

    When CNN trots out someone to denigrate Christianity, why do they always pick some lettered pervert to do it? Does this fellow know which side his bread is buttered on or does he just make a living by lying to people who pretend to be religious? His agenda is obvious to everyone; make as much controversy for himself as possible so as to continue his ability to sell his tripe to his unsuspecting students.

    Meanwhile the rest of us would be better served by hearing from someone with a bit more integrity. How about reprinting a column from a respected atheist such as Gore Vidal (of whom I am a fan, BTW).

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    September 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bee

      No need for name calling.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      You mean like this, BEE, 'Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.'

      September 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  13. Christine

    I agree wholeheartedly. There's another organization who includes God in their platform: The KKK.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  14. Kirk

    hey wonder you still havent come up w/ any scriptures that back up your statements about snow & hail & storehouse, show me the scripture, it sounds symbolic anyway.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • niknak

      They will just tell you that they are in fact there, but you just can't see them. Kinda like Wonder Woman's invisible airplane.
      In fact, that is what fundies always say, it is happening but you just can't see it happening.
      Or the fall back line of how god works in mysterious ways bull.
      Hard to argue against make up sh_it as you go.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      nikjak, wonder woman and airplanes? To put it bluntly, she always needed upward G's to stay dressed. culture, alright.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • I wonder

      Kirk,

      Re: "Storehouse" for snow and hail

      You don't know how to search your own book for stuff?

      "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail" Job 38:22

      Symbolic or real? How can you tell the difference? It seems as if __anything__ that has been proven to be bogus all of a sudden becomes "symbolic" or "metaphorical". Silly.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Evangelical Rule of Thumb

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

      If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical, metaphorical, symbolical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Kirk

    Athy, i agree w/ your comment about keeping religion out of politics. i just didnt like the foul language you used yesterday to try & prove your point.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, it got your attention, didn't it?

      September 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  16. NorthVanCan

    It's incredible , most Americans believe the bible is a true story. The world is flat and all that jazz . What on earth is humanity going to do when push comes to shove and we all start praying to god for help? Lets hope in rains.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Isiah 40:22

      Why that's funny ....the bible says the earth is roundi n Isaiah 40:22 ... 🙂 read it andweep 🙂 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • I wonder

      Isiah 40:22
      "Why that's funny ....the bible says the earth is roundi n Isaiah 40:22"

      No it doesn't. It says circle. They had a word for sphere, ball, etc., but did not use it.

      Btw, tell us about those storehouses in the sky where snow and hail are kept!

      September 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Huh?

      "God sits above the circle of the earth. "

      People make the mistake of saying earth is circular in shape which is wrong and they should rather say it is spherical in shape. Funny that your God made such a stupid mistake.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Isiah 40:22

      Circle of the earth is the only source written 600 years before Jesus and we have a couple smart axxes who are so blinded by their ignorace and hatred of Christians for shoving their religion down their throats... both sides in their pride can't accept reproof... 🙂 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Hear This

      Issy,

      The concept of a spherical Earth goes back to several cultures, both before and concurrent with the writings of the book of Isaiah.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth

      (Isaiah does say "circle", however)

      September 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Damian

      It is pretty remarkable and even scary at times how many intelligent rational people belive the Bible to be true. That's not to say anyone should be disrespected for what they believe in............unless they are using it to be hateful or harm others.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bee

      It's also incredible that Cleopatra knew about the earth orbiting the sun, but the Catholic Church denied it for centuries and persecuted Galileo for telling the truth.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jadeturner

      Most Americans that have studied the Bible know that it is written in several different styles and forms. Some parts are very historically correct but other secitions are written as parables or other forms of literature to tell a story. Without understanding when and where particular books were written and for what audience, sometimes a person could not truly understand the Bible.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • keefer

      Isiah – Looks like you are the one who should do the weeping : http://www.crivoice.org/circle.html

      September 13, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Christian!

      @keefer .. Isaiah 40 :22 says it is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth and the inhabitants are as grasshoppers...
      in no way does it suggest that the ancient Israelis understood it ... in fact it went over their heads just like a lot of scripture..to actually think that they understood what was written by the prophets would have meant that they would repent from their wickedness and would have already suggested to the world that the earth was round... I write this to you here to show your simple willful ignorance to the truth ... not only did they miss it but so have many in the later generations ...even the many of Europe at the time of the new world discovery were still led to believe that the world was flat...but the bible does not ever suggest that.. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      September 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  17. PASTOR STEPHEN COOPER

    This great nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, as such, we prospered greatly. As the leaders turn the nation away, America has come into a great state of decay.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • I wonder

      Pastor,

      Must be "God's" will, eh?

      September 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • PASTOR STEPHEN COOPER

      That is the crux of the problem, man`s will. The answer to the problem and way to success is God`s will !!!

      September 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Coop, Judeo-Christian principles? What's that hyphen mean? A sensuous consensus right out of foreign political powers? Too bad the Monroe Doctrine didn't apply to ideas as well as military adventurism.

      September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Isiah 40:22

      you'd do well tospeak what the bible says and not Pat Robertson.
      O unless Pat Robertson is God! 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • I wonder

      Isiah 40:22
      "you'd do well tospeak what the bible says and not Pat Robertson."

      Half of the books of the NT were written by a first century version of Pat Robertson.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Humanist11

      The United States was founded on human values, proven behavior that optimizes the quality of our lives. It just so happens that religions have adopted some of those values, but not all. Religion does not have a monopoly on good human values nor did they invent them. Humans have used good values since the caveman days to evolve into what we are today. We are born good and most of us stay that way, unless of course a silly religion tries to alter those natural good values.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      The problem with your statement pastor is that Judeo-Christian principals were founded on many, many religions that came before, a fact you choose to ignore. Instead you believe you are somehow the chosen ones and believe you are ordained by God to lead us all with your "original" beliefs. You have chosen to turn your back on what ACTUALLY happened, you have chosen to believe in a simpleton God who waved a magic wand and made the universe appear, you have chosen to ignore the fact that your bible's ten commandments were written almost line-for-line from the Egyptian faith a full 3,000 years before Christ was born "ironically on the EXACT same day as the Egyptian god Horus. In fact, there are many um "similarities"...
      1.Born Dec 25th
      2.Born of a virgin birth
      3.Birth coincided with a star in the east
      4.Adored by 3 kings
      5.Became a teacher at 12
      6.Baptized at age 30
      7. Had 12 disciples
      8.Healed the sick
      9.Walked on Water
      10. Was called the light, lamb of God, the good shepherd
      11. Was crucified, buried for 3 days and resurrected
      12. YOUR 10 commandments are an almost exact reproduction of HIS 10 commandments

      There are many, many, many more "similarities" and I could go on, but suffice to say, YOUR religion was largely plagiarized from the Egyptians, of course so was theirs plagiarized from those who came before , it's a story that has been rewritten and retold throughout human history and it's roots are purely ASTROLOGICAL. That's right, your entire belief system is nothing more than a plagiarized pagan myth. Until you come to terms with that, nothing you have to say is worth the time it takes you to say it.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Isiah 40:22

      @ I wonder if you are speaking of Paul he is the greatest evangelist of all times..He is apostle to the gentilesand his works continue to this day ... He is no Pat Robertson, he never sought control of government nor over the lives of Romans even his enemies...after his conversion.. 🙂 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • niknak

      Excellent rebuttal to the pastor germ, but like all fundies, he will run away and hide.
      The one thing they cannot stand is to be questioned or have someone throw up actual facts in their face that contradicts the bull they preach to their sheep.
      I found that out when I was forced to go to Sunday school and dared to question the bull they were trying to lay down.
      Lucky for me I was born here and now, as all they could do was tell my folks not to send me back.
      Had I been born in the Middle East, or 500 years ago, they would have done what all religions do when confronted with someone who won't go along with the fairy tale.
      They would have killed me.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      This great nation of ours was founded on slavery and women not being able to vote. What is your point, "pastor"?

      September 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      thagerm, Jesus was born on dec 25? I smell a germy rat. BETTER CHECK your sources for other B S.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bee

      It is the media and the popular culture that has turned people away, not our leaders.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      HUMMY11, evolved? How many at the beginning did it take to get modern man procreating?

      September 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • keefer

      Wrong on all accounts pastor.....get your nose out of the bible and seek education.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  18. Independently Independent

    Right about public display of faith (I despise the word religion – it smacks of dogma), but the fruit of someone's faith is manifest in their actions, not so much their words. For words are meaningless unless they are backed up by what you do and how you live your life according to what you really believe. If you are a believer in Christ, then revisit Romans 1:18-32.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Isiah 40:22

      when Paul wrote that he wasnot talking about now but the past, even the time before him...

      We do not need religion in our government... we do need Christians to simply act like what the bible says..
      Just do what Jesus says every day and excuse me shut up until the right time to speak ...
      That way you won't put your foot in your mouth 🙂 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      Isiah and independent, Spot on!

      September 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  19. Steve

    Do not take "God" out of politics. I hate censorship.

    Sherlock Holmes bless America.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Isiah 40:22

      It's not god in politics it's religion that's the problem... 🙂

      September 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  20. Kathy

    God Bless America and let's vote for Mitt...morals and conviction can't be all bad!

    September 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Intelligence and common sense can't be all that bad either.

      September 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Indeed. How much is Kathy willing to give up for that warm fuzzy feeling that Mitt might bring because he is right with God?

      September 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Athy

      And Mitty doesn't strike me as being particularly well endowed with either one.

      September 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      true, kathy....morals and conviction cannot be all bad. jimmy carter had both. how did that work out for him as president?

      September 12, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • ThaGerm

      Tom, Mitt is Mormon so assuming he is "right with God" may be a bit of a stretch 😛

      September 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
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About this blog

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