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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. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    So what night are the Demoncrats burning the bible?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Horus

      Now that is an event I would take my children to...... what a great idea.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • toad

      When do the Republicans plan to start burning witches?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nicky F

      Ironic how someone who believes in sky fairies would claim Obama is out of touch with reality.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Godless Liberal

      Every night, but God help you if you burn a Koran in Obama's America

      September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • charles davis

      Demos don't burn any books. Not even Grimes fairy tales or the bible fairy tales. (Jonah in the whale, noah in the little boat that held all those animals, including polar bears, penquins, and all creatures that never lived in their part of the world.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  2. tuvia

    B"H

    ---------------
    MEDIA RELEASE: JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

    The Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob and is given to us, their seed, as an everlasting Inheritance.
    the Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU&w=640&h=360]

    September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  3. Wm.

    I'm a Buddhist, living in the Deep South, so when I hear Christians complaining how oppressed they are, or how secular America is, that there's war on Chritianity, I find it a little difficult to have a lot of sympathy.
    Like the forest and trees thing, I think it's hard for Christians to see that 1. How Christianity imbues so much in our cultuer, in our politics, etc. 2. That it might be possible that there are viewpoints/worldviews that's differfrom a Christian theological one.
    It's gets tiresome seeing these, I'd like to think, well-meaning people try to turn scripture into legislation.
    I'm not anti-Christian, I't's just I'm NOT a Christian. Please leave me alone. Thanks.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Brian Mouland

      I live in a city of 16,000 with 37 churches. I have not gone to church in ten years and am living in common-law relationship with a twice married woman. Where are these Christians who are supposed to be bothering me

      September 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Wm.

      To Brian Mouland:
      Perhaps, I should've clarified something. I'm not bashing the South. I'm not blind, the South has it's issues, but I've traveled quite a bit, and so does everyplace else. That's the biggest thing I learned traveling. There are things I love about the South.
      A second point, anecdotal experience is different. So, good for you! I mean it. Your experience has been better than mine. I try to avoid religion in casual conversation, but I will not lie if asked what belief system I subscribe to. The responses usually run from patronizing to hostile. I've had local folks,even family, tell me, regretfully, that I was going to Hell. And as Voltaire says:
      “The man who says to men, ‘Believe as I do, or God will damn you,’ will presently say, ‘Believe as I do, or I shall kill you.’ ”
      Be well, Mr. Mouland.

      September 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  4. tuvia

    B"H

    SHALOM

    MEDIA RELEASE: JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

    B"H
    MEDIA RELEASE: JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

    The Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob and is given to us, their seed, as an everlasting Inheritance.
    the Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU&w=640&h=360]

    September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • taint a thing

      Okay Jewish spammer...no one is watching and by the way your holy book is a story book.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Godless Liberal

      So true, this party ignores religon unless it has to do with hating on the Jews/Israel

      September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sdsd

      I bet that guy smells bad

      September 7, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • NoFoolJule

      There was no bin laden involved in 911, it was your secret service.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  5. SueC

    I agree with the writer, this is just so much worthless posturing and noise. I am sick of evangelicals repeating over and over again that "we are a christian country," which is totally untrue. They have truly bought into the whole Fox idea that "If you repeat something often enough and LOUD enough, people will believe it." I would rather have candidates discuss real issues that affect the citizens of this country and leave people to decide for themselves about their god and keep it out of our government and our schools. The more the evangelicals scream, the dumber this country gets and further behind we are in technological and medical breakthroughs.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • megan

      I wish drug dealers would stay out of public schools. Most drug dealers are 15 year old teens.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • JPX

      I think all fictional characters should be left out of politics.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Independent

      When God and Christianity is a major influence in grade schools and high schools, you see a much lower percentage of drug use, teenage pregnancy, and other adolescent social issues. Keep your "godless" thoughts to yourself. This nation was founded on principles of Christianity and millions want it to remain that way. You need Christ back into your life.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Independent – statistics do not back up your assertions.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chelle

      Independant – That is blatant nonsense. Other nations that are far less verbose in their religious beliefs have lower teen drug-use rates and pregnancy rates. The US was not founded on Christian beliefs. Where do you people get this stuff?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Stuart Blythin

      God has been part of our national history long before Fox news.

      Opening Prayer of Continental Congress, 1977,
      O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

      Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.

      Amen.

      Reverend Jacob Duché
      Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • LM

      I agree 100% with you SueC. What I cherish most in this country is "freedom of religion".

      September 16, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  6. glades2

    The writer seems to be confused – a nation that turns it's back on God, as we have for the past 50 years, has no future, and is not to be confused with praying to God in private...

    September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      So... you're saying that the entire developed world has no future? You really are a pessimist. I hope you don't have your finger on the button, maniac.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • glenngould

      Too bad China has no future.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Roberta Sorensen

      Let"s see. For 50 years we have turned our back on God, but when you turn your back on God you don't survive. ok....got it. So ...we have been a non-nation for 50 years?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Strange that Ja/panese culture has survived all these thousands of years wtih no God.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • glades2

      We turned our back on God in 1962 by telling students he wasn't welcome in school;

      We turned our back on God in 1973 by telling women that abortion is the answer;

      And we continue to insult Him by saying that accountability for sins does not exist – it does, and people realize that every day – usually when it's too late, as it may already be for our Nation, and one day we may lament over the blessings we had – and lost...

      As the Bible states, not one nation has escaped God's judgement over such things, and we won't, either – though as many have stated, God certainly has given us many chances to set things right – but we continue to refuse...

      September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • meemee

      Yep, got to be careful around your omnipotent, all seeing, all forgiving, loving God! Google a little allegorical story "The Evangelists."

      September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Charlotte

      ummmm.....I don't remember God ever saying anything about abortion, birth control, tax-payer-funded schools requiring prayer during school hours. So it isn't God against whom anyone has turned his back. Maybe you're just miffed that people have turned their back on what YOU think this 'god' has said, based on what your so-called holy men claim from their interpretation of a thousands-of-years-old mishmash of surviving mistranslated writings that someone else has re-interpreted umpteen times and handed down as if they actually knew what they were talking about? Yeah – we will continue to 'turn our backs' on THAT. But unless God has knocked on your door, walked in and sat down in your house and told you directly that he thinks this oughta be a theocracy, then you have nothing on which to base your claims.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Frank

      The first bible ever published in America was printed by congress FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

      U.S. Capitol Tour with David Barton, Google that and refresh you American History!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  7. Frank

    Really? Why dont your repeat out loud what is written above the speaker of the house's chair in the house of representatives?

    Say it over and over again until you UNDERSTAND IT! How did that quote GET THERE you GOD HATING S0B!? It was put there by the founding fathers of this nation!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      What?!?

      No it wasn't. The founding fathers came long before the physical building.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can spew and stomp around all you want, Frank, but this is not a country founded on Christian belief. It simply isn't.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • barbraS

      Does your God approve of cursing?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • DaveX

      *chuckle* Hate god? That's like hating Harry Potter. They are imaginary and, frankly, sane people don't typically have strong feelings about make-believe. Seek professional help and, once you're well, we will welcome you to the real world.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Frank

      As George Washington said. Even though you lefties all hate the creators of your nation for being Christians.

      "In vein would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars"

      He is stating in the quote that he doesn't consider anyone a patriot who would try and take Christianity from public life.

      Go ahead and spit in the face of George Washington! Thats right up the ally off all you liberals!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • johndoe

      From the treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams – "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

      September 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  8. DaveX

    Sheeesh. It's the 21st century! Why do our leaders need to pander to people who believe in magic? Religion is a mental illness – which should be treated, not coddled.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  9. jimbo

    Just because your a Godless freak doesn't mean others are

    September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • this guy

      you're

      September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Al

      A godless freak? Why would it not be the god believers who are the freaks? Have you actually read the bible? It's a banal, strange tome full of mythological creatures you dolts apparently believe in.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Horus

      ....just because you do believe doesn't mean everyone should have to...unless of course you are against freedom.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Just because you're a Christian freak doesn't mean others are...

      September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Soldier1

      Right on! Down with the godless commie liberals!

      September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  10. this guy

    I don't believe in a god or aetheism...what does that make me?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Frank

      Who cares. You dont believe dont. And stay out it!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Grey

      Incompetent; to not believe in God is to be an atheist. There is no dual exclusion.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • guest

      agnostic maybe? but you don't need a label if you don't want one.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Free...

      September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Horus

      "apatheist" meaning you are indifferent to theism.....

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • that guy

      probably agnostic.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • meemee

      Atheism by definition is not a religion, but simply the recognition that there is no god to believe in. So by definition you are an atheist. Further, atheism is NOT a religion. That is, it doesn't require adherence to a set of supernatural beliefs or a deity or a ruling principle, it is the absence of such belief. Many philosophers are atheists because classical philosophy deals with the search for truth, which is how science developed (from philosophy) hence, the PhD in advanced degrees "doctor of philosophy" even though the real meaning has been somewhat muddled. Your only problem is lack of education in the subject.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  11. Dan

    They need to mention the Easter Bunny more often too.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • mb2010a

      And Santa Claus, the Tooth, Fairy, leprechauns and every comic book character ever written...

      September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • BurnNotice

      When the Easter Bunny comes out of the cave on Easter Sunday, if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of Winter.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  12. lover of freedom

    there is not need for religion in government. but the GOP sure seems to think that it is needed. they base much of their platform on it. they are against marriage equality because they interpret the bible as saying that it is wrong. of course that is the same bible that seems to say that slavery is ok (murder too). they are against a woman's right to choose what is best for herself, her body and her health because they interpret the bible as saying that life begins at conception. But there is no need for it. believe what you want to believe but keep it to yourself and let the government take care of the things that actually matter.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Frank

      That's right TRASH. The moral principles of this nation CAME OUT OF THE BIBLE! I guess your some tattooed up loser raised by welfare parents and trying to push you sorry life on the rest of us because no one introduced you to the principles of the bible.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • hmmm

      Hmmm..."they interpret the bible as saying that life begins at conception." I think 99.9% of the human race can understand that life does infact start at conception. Regardless if you believe in religion or not. Ask a doctor.

      But, your belief is, that you can end that life at anytime. I am not a moral nut, or religious freak. But, I do find it hard understand the ease in which people choose to have an abortion. I believe Pro-Choice is the way to go, but me personnally, I am Pro-Life.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Frank, they weren't. The principles of ethics upon which the founders based the Const itution predate the Bible and are common to many cultures. Our laws are not based on the Ten Commandments, but on ethics. They are not intended to determine right and wrong but to protect the individual and his rights.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • meemee

      I'm a doctor and I recognize that while life begins soon after conception, conscious life only begins long after. If preserving life is the issue, then ALL life anywhere, regardless, must be protected by the extension of that logic. That would make the Hindus in India correct, and you must not kill even a bug, you must be very careful of what you eat because plants are alive as well.

      Perhaps you ought to just let yourself die because you will be committing a sin by living yourself.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • hmmm

      meemee, don't quite agree with extended the logic in that manner. In my mind, the internal debate that all should have with themselves is, "Do I believe it is ok to terminate a human life, becuase I do not want to go through pregnancy"

      You sound smart enough, so I'll just assume you let your emagination run a little wild, because comparing abortion, in say the 20th week of pregnancy, to eating vegetables is a weak arguement. Especially, when talking about a topic so important.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  13. H-

    The whole reason people are allowed to worship or not worship God stems from the original foundation of this country. You have a right to worship, not worship, believe or not believe without fear of persecution. The Founders put the reference to God in everything including our judicial system, Our Pledge of Allegiance and even our monetary system. It is these same founding principles that allowed people not to be judged persecuted or executed for their beliefs or lack thereof because these founders believed in freedom to worship God as they chose it meant that others could too. Please stop taking God away from references because you dont believe or want others to share your view. You are allowed to do as you want and so should everyone else that does want God to be referenced.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Your founding fathers did not do all that learn some of your own history.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • raggmopp

      The founding fathers did not do that. The pledge and money did not mentio god until the 1950's. The SCOTUS has a bible but they also have a torah and quran.

      The USA is a secular republic, as the founding fathers had envisioned.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • barbraS

      You obviously know nothing about which you speak. The Pledge of Allegiance's (1892) "under God" was added in 1954.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Frank

      You need to learn some history you America hating loser!

      Google "U.S. Capitol Tour with David Barton" And get yourself a REFRESHER COURSE IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Nicky F

      ArthurP is right, our forefathers did not insert all this god stuff. "God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950s - look it up.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      David Barton is hardly a neutral source of information, Frank.

      If you're so secure in your beliefs, why do you have to lie about American history?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Chelle

      Your Founding Fathers did not include God in the POA. That happened in the 1950s. Joe McCarthy ring a bell?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • meemee

      On U.S. currency; There was an ongoing effort exerted from the beginning of the minting of money in the U.S. by religious factions that "In God We Trust" be inscribed on all produced currency. This was opposed by people like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, but the pressure from the radicals did not let up. It was during the U.S. Civil War that the pressure to do this was finally victorious in 1863. The Union, stuck in political deadlocks and fearful of defeat, finally allowed the religious radicals to have their way. Once set in, such things are difficult to reverse, but this is not proof of anything about our nations founding or principles. In fact, it is only proof of how dedicated and insistent radical Christians (or any fanatic) can be. Hitler too, waited and struck when the time was right.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Charlotte

      The Founding Fathers did NOT put "God" into the Pledge of Allegiance OR onto our money. Until the 20th century there was no "God" in the Pledge – that was a fabrication of the McCarthy era – and our money only said E Pluribus Unum. That "In God We Trust" crap got put on mid-century 20th century. Educate yourself before spewing your misguided items of faith.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • really?

      You need to trash the Barton and pickup a real history book.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  14. ArthurP

    The question should be “Why do Americans want their political parties to be associated with a genocidal mass murdering terrorist?":

    "And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." (Exodus 12:29-30)

    (terrorism – killing those with no political power to force political change by those with political power)

    September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • terry

      the Israelites were not terrorists. They were Pharaoh's slaves for 400 years. I'm sure many of them had died premature deaths because of their bondage.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • mb2010a

      There is no proof that the Israelites were ever slaves in Egypt...google it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Chelle

      Terry – you do realize that the Isrealites were NEVER enslaved by the Egyptians? There is absolutely no historical evidence of that. Rather remarkable given that the Egyptians wrote down their daily happenings. The pyramids were not built by slave labour, they were built by workers employed by Pharoh.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • meemee

      The most radical rabbis in Judaism contend as they have for centuries (if not longer) that God chastises them for "disobeying" through the various persecutions and even the long exile from their land (theirs by first occupations (they were actually the Canaanites). I've read a few online that even claim that the Holocaust was God's judgement. My question to this is; Who would or could support a belief system that featured such a harsh, sadistic, and clearly rage-aholic deity?

      The fact is that the Holocaust created many secular Jews and non-practicing Jews.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Ancient Israelis may or may not have been terrorists but the modern ones sure as heck are. Or maybe it's more like self-righteous, feeling-like-the-world-owes-them-everything bullies.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • NoFoolJule

      Its like none of them read the book they love. It is utterly ridiculous!

      September 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  15. Burbank

    God as part of the platforms sounds sooooo childish! Like all those wars throughout the ages with "God on our side". Yeah, right! Keep God out of it please.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Just Saying

      I don't know why God should be in the platform. Our President is the leader of our country regardless of your faith or lack thereof. God doesn't really have any place in our political platforms. God is a personal choice.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  16. NC

    It never ceases to amaze me that God is never defined, when someone talks of believing in him, her, or it. God, or the lack thereof, can mean a zillion different things to a zillion different people. This can and does make any dialogue about God meaningless and irrelevent.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Burbank

      And that's exactly why it sounds so childish and immature when they do it.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  17. GOD IS IMAGINARY

    We need to insert Zeus into everything. Stupid believers.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  18. Ms

    Why do we need God in the platforms to begin with? Are Christians afraid that they'll forget about him if they don't write his name down often enough?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Greasehauler

      Because they're not confident enough in their own abilities. They need their decisions to be verified by a higher power.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • meemee

      They must run into a church and meet with others sharing the same delusion several times a week, repeat their beliefs everyday to anyone they can get to listen, and do it all again twice on Sunday, lest their own common sense creep in and inform them of how deluded and off-balance they actually are.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  19. Dan

    I agree. Let's hear how the candidates are going to fix the economy, etc. I don't care about their imaginary friends.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  20. C

    Athiests are about 2% of the population, and they want to have everything their way. Sorry, but the mainstream of America likes God being mentioned, and this includes Jews, Muslims, Hindu, and every other religion.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Ms

      98.6% of all statistics on the internet are made up, including your statistic and mine.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I am dying to know how many Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, etc. you interviewed to arrive at your statistics. Got any choice quotations from any of them, like "Sure, I'm Hindu and venerate Brahma and Vishnu, but I can't get enuf of this God guy; bring on more, please!"?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Dan

      It was 6% in 2008 and 15% in 2009. It won't be long before we rid ourselves of this nonsense.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • doughnuts

      If you want to hear god mention, go to church, go to Bible study, and out with Fred Phelps.
      But keep your deities out of government.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Maureen

      They like it as long as they're allowed to think that it's *their* god. If the Catholics feel it's the evangelical god, or vice versa, or if any christian thinks it might be the muslim god...then they're not so crazy about it.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ravens

      I’m not an athiest and still don't want God (or any gods) mentioned.......a free democracy must maintain a clear separation of church and state

      September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • MrGreenjeans

      You forgot your ones digit. The percentage of Americans choosing no affiliation is closer to 20%, actually about 17%.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • meemee

      I know for sure that Buddhists don't believe in any god, but in a universal principle that guides one in life, IF they pay attention to it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • NoFoolJule

      Just over 50% in the UK and europe – now that's progress! Most only say they believe because their 'afraid' of going to hell. Lets be honest what kind of monster would create a 'hell'? We went after Saddam for far less and the conservative right christians loved it.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:34 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.