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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. Frank

    More irrefutable truth of this nation being founded on Christianity. FACTS...

    youtube.com/watch?v=m40r1KeOjX8&feature=related

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

      Yea, but your beliefs are not the law of the land. I don't believe the same as you. And I am not your child. Nor am I a slave to your beliefs.

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

      treaty of Tripoli – signed by John Adams ( a christian sympathizer no less) and ratified by a congress still influenced by many of the founders.....in case you don't want to look it up it specifically states that the US was in know way founded on Christianity.....

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

      edit – sorry.... "no" way founded.... apologies...

      September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • midwest rail

      open question – does Frank realize he is a caricature of everything that's wrong with the contemporary faux Christian ? Or is he just trolling ?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Really? Irrefutable proof? I doubt it, somehow. While parts of the country were settled by one religious sect or another, what is irrefutable is that none of them could stomach the thought of being dominated by the other. So, a compromise was reached, where a secular government would not interfere with the practice of religion by any one group. So far, that compromise has worked. Religion may inform our laws, but religion is not in the business of writing them. We reference religion, but leave people to decide for themselves. That is the genius of our system, reaching compromise. Compromise cannot be acheived with religious nutjobs acting as new Pharisees: that is un-American.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Truth

      More irrefutable truth of Frank being a child molester in waiting. Frank believes in top down morality, where if God wasn't telling him not to fvck your children then he would be online right now trying to hook up with your 8 year old.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Frank

      Do as please Jerry. But stay the he11 out of my beliefs! Its pretty sad to see the level of respect you sorry excuses for citizens have for the birth of America. Your all a complete disgrace.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Frank

      And it's pretty sad to see people like you wanting to revise history into what you want. I find you entirely dishonest, condescending, and pretty much an all around asshat. Calling people a disgrace to America because they don't agreee with your spin of history? That says a lot more about you as a person than you realize.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Truth

      "Its pretty sad to see the level of respect you sorry excuses for citizens have for the birth of America."

      I wouldn't have minded seeing several periods of American history, such as slavery, appartheid, the subjugation of women and rejection of s.e.xual equality, aborted instead of being allowed to grow up and foster more ignorance and hate.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Really tho

      Frank, you sure get your panties in a bunch. Come on what about forgiveness. And please if we wanted to watch videos we have Yahoo. If you’re going to state facts read them come up with a strong argument and state it. While you were out looking for proof of your last statements some people have way proved you wrong. They actually know what they are talking about. They made the statement then gave conclusive facts.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Frank

      The problem I see with "freedom" is the unraveling of the fabric of society. Our forefathers spent centuries getting it right. The wisdom they handed down to us is the most important thing in our world. It keeps us from making the same mistakes. And it tells us how to live and how not to.

      Liberal groups have no use for that wisdom. They have a blatant disregard for tradition and families. At the core of liberation are h0m0se_xuals and feminists. They don't give a da-mn about what they destroy to get their way. They believe the world should change to accommodate their "feelings". We are all born with a flaw. And we practice self denial and sacrifice to preserve what is right, rather than to suit our own selfish desires. Liberals are the opposite. They believe if you are "born that way" then it's okay. They don't believe in sacrifice or self denial. Instead, they are self absorbed will corrupt your children. Pop culture and most of the online experience are the most threatening liberal demons on Earth.

      I agree about the Bible. But upon seeing what it does to the world, I would rather my kids go to church and learn to become selfless. What matters is what my kids learn in life. And "God" will protect them from the useless knowledge that liberals are spreading around.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  2. lavern

    So, I guess that means there will never be an atheist or agnostic president, and I think that's very sad.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  3. Karaya

    I am afraid we will see Mormon and openly gay presidents first before this country elects an openly atheist one. That's a crying shame...

    September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jerry

      Why is it a shame? Are you to be before anyone else? What is wrong with having a gay president? We've had straight ones for eons.

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

      At least you'll see an atheist before a Muslim.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Huebert

      We may have already had a gay president, James Buchanan.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  4. MT

    Frank get a life! Hatred is your religion and your brand of fanaticism is dangerous, offensive, and unwelcome.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Frank

      Why dont we just quit goofin around and elect SATAN himself!? Just get right to it! You twisted lefties wont be happy till we do! When the left has their way they will be watching po rno's in the White House!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Frank, whenever I read your posts, I envision you slobbering and spitting and whirling around like the Tasmanian Devil in an old cartoon.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • NoFoolJule

      @Frank, by the actions of your god depicted in the bible it could be argued you are worshipping Satan.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  5. Shuksan

    I don't know why we are so insistent on putting God into politics. What would God have us do? When Christ's contemporaries were wanting him to be a political leader and boot the Romans out of their occupied land, Jesus replied that his kingdom is not of this world. I think it is fine to let one's faith guide moral/ethical decisions, but I don't know that God would want to be a plank on a political platform...

    September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  6. DJK

    The fact that this author is a 'religious scholar' is scary....he has no clue what he's talking about.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Horus

      Why? Because he disagrees with you?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chelle

      Being a religious scholar does not require that you be a Christian. I can study Hinduism without believing in Vishnu. I can study history without being from the 14th century. Don't be an idiot.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @DJK

      What specifically in this article do you find incorrect?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Jim

    The new DNC Platform Ammendment – " In Unicorns We Trust".

    September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Frank

    OK HORUS! YOU WIN!

    Lets just turn the G d)am country into one big immoral o*^RGY! or all move out and hand it over to IRAN! Will that make you happy? And have can the Gays walking the streets naked in front of our children! That what you immoral trash want for a country!? Is that your idea of FREEDOM! ? That your idea of a FREE COUNTRY!?

    September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Frank, the orderlies are on their way now. They have a coat with nice, really long sleeves just for you, and a great big syringe full of goodies that will help you calm down. Relax.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Charlotte

      @Frank it seems you are the only one behaving like immoral trash here. The rest of us are making rational points and all you can do is spew hate and lies. Maybe try decaf.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • CR from CA

      Sure Frank, because having God in the platform of a political party ensures morality. Except no one told that to all the elected officials and church officials who love to cheat on their wives and bop Congressional pages. Make sure you close the window so the police don't smell what you are smoking.

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

      Didn't realize the thought of freedom would send you into a raging tantrum..... My general idea of freedom is allowing people to do as they please so long as they are not victimizing anyone else. I do not believe in the need for any particular God, or religion to guide the government of a "free" country....

      September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Godless Liberal

      More importantly so Sandra Fluke can all the contraception and abortions she wants courtesy of Uncle Sam

      September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Truth

      "Lets just turn the G d)am country into one big immoral o*^RGY! or all move out and hand it over to IRAN! Will that make you happy?"

      Whats so funny to me about this, is that if you follow Franks logic then you have to accept the fact that he is saying if he didn't have God telling him what not to do he would be out running in the streets naked and hu.mp.ing everything in sight, and it's only by God's grace that he is able to contain his urges to fvck little children or random farm animals.

      Personally, I have none of those urges and do not pray and live a very happy life and will protect my three year old daughter from the likes of Frank with force if necessary.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Frank

      Yeah whatever. You lefties all have the morals and class of an alley cat.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Frank, you don't know me or what I believe, nor do you have a clue how I live my life, you goof-ball.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Frank

      Horus;

      The bible is GOOD. the principles in the bible are of sound moral code and have served this nation for 350 years before they kicked it out of public school in 1963. Thats the point.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Frank, you silly man, the principles to which you seem to be referring are not original to the bible and they're not unique to christianity. They're common among many cultures and they don't require belief in a god.

      What planet are you from? This is a country that includes many belief systems, not just yours. If you want the bible back in school, then you must be prepared to include religious books of other faiths as well.

      Are you ready for that?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Truth

      "The bible is GOOD. the principles in the bible are of sound moral code and have served this nation for 350 years"

      Right, we should all listen to Frank because he's so smart. Oh, wait, let me do some math here, um, hmmm, founded July 4th, 1776 to the year 2012 equals....236 years!! So where did the other 124 years come from Frank of our supposed US history?

      Please go back to school. It's obvious you think you can add your two cents, but the fact is you are morally and financially bankrupt so you can add nothing to this discussion.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Truth

      Oh wait, my mistake, you were claiming it was 350 years from our inception to the year 1963 which is only 187 years, so you were just over half right, which would fit for a half wit.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  9. Citizen

    How many times does either party platform mention the words "US Citizen"?

    In case anyone forgot, that is who government is supposed to serve.
    Not God or illegal aliens or foreign kleptocrats.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Josh

    I don't hate God. I can't hate something I refuse to believe exists. American history may be laced with Religion, as is World history. That doesn't mean America's future will be, or even should be. The idea that in order to love your country you have to love religion is ridiculous. And if 95% of this country believes in a 'higher power,' so be it. I don't. My wife doesn't. My kids are being taught values and morals, not religion. Religion has killed more people than atheism.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Gman10

      Are you saying that religion has killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?

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

      GMan – Yes. How many wars have been waged based on Religion? A lot. Massacres in Africa, terrorists twisting their interpretations of religion, the list goes on...Who did Hitler kill? Jews. Why? Because they weren't the same as he was.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • fintastic

      er ah.. hey there Gman, Hitler was Catholic.... just an FYI/

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

      When most of the world is religious, it'd be a huge shock if most killings weren't related to religion in any way at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Josh

      Dillon – That is a good point. But it makes you wonder if that stat were reversed if we'd have the same amount of killing. I don't know.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    @Frank – just because people with actual intelligence agree that "God" is immaterial to the running of our country – which is supposed to have a secular government – does not allow you to blather at us about being "god hating" and certainly not "America hating." Only religious people are true god haters and America haters. The fact is, we prefer to keep your magical invisible sky people out of rational discourse although we don't "hate" them – how can you "hate" something you don't think actually exists? We think you are kind of pathetic for harboring such primitive beliefs but we don't hate you, either. We tolerate you and accept your limitations. Calling us "devil worshippers" is almost as stupid as claiming that gods exist. Surely you cannot imagine that we are any more likely to believe in the existence of devils than of gods. More invisible magic people in the sky. I'm sorry you are so afraid and inferior that you have to hate people who don't share your mythology but you really need to grow up and use a brain instead of lashing out at that which threatens you (in your imagination.....in point of fact nobody is threatening you).

    September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Where is the "Like" button when you need it...?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  12. David

    Leave God AND Israel out of the platform...

    September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • CR from CA

      Agreed. I for one was put off by the fact that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans specifically recognize Ottawa as the capital of Canada, or the flying spaghetti monster (for which there is as much evidence of its existence as there is for God).

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Charlotte

      I agree! Israel is completely immaterial and should have no place in American political elections. If they wanted to add a plank to the platform about Jerusalem then they should also have added ones for Paris, Delhi, London, Brussels, Moscow, Sao Paolo, Port au Prince, Rome, Pretoria, Cairo, Tripoli, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Kathmandu, Kiev, Manilla, Auckland, Sydney, Quito, La Paz, Bern, Havana, Jakarta and Juneau.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • toad

      You know, David, Israel is kind of responsible for God. Jews certainly are responsible for the God of Abraham. They created him so that they could be chosen by him. They created an enormous pile of infectious bullshit to go along with him: priesthoods, writings, martyrs that lead to even more cults and more bullshit. Israel should be a sort of leper colony for all the people who believed in what came out of all that.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  13. Chrashtopher

    The reason why religion is toxic is that people like Frank are a part of it. I believe in God, and I believe that Frank is going to burn in hell for what he is doing. He claims to be speaking for God, but it is apparent that he is siding with Satan. The burning hatred in each comment he makes is proof that he has turned his back on God. I will pray for him, but I honestly believe that his ticket has already been printed. Frank is going to go to hell for using God's words as a weapon.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Jerry

      Just because you believe in a fire-filled pit with scary boogy men doesn't mean the writer of the article is going to burn in it. Your belief is personal. It is NOT the LAW. So you can believe in your boogy men. Just make sure that not everyone believes the same. Freedom cannot be attained by a government that dictates what you believe. Or legislates against those who believe differently. Even your Jesus wouldn't do what you are doing. He wouldn't judge someone simply for believing differently. That's what it's all about 'FREE WILL'. You have the free will to believe in your boogy men. The problem isn't in the writer. The issue is in the deep seated beliefs of people who live in an alternate universe of the mind.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Kris

      LOL, Oh Christianity ..."Lovelovelovelove YER GONNA BURN IN HELL FOREVER"

      September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  14. eu

    All original ideas expressed in this column will appear again next week under the byline of Fareed Zakaria.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  15. Muzzie

    A reference to God is actually good to reminds us all that most of us are people of faith, regardless of specific religion. There is a difference in acknowledging God and referring to a specific church.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jerry

      Yea but what about the minority that doesn't believe the way you do? Are you to dictate to them what they are to believe? See the need for separation of church and state? It's so blatantly obvious it is needed.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bill O'Rights

      Who's this we you refer to? I certainly am not a christian and I certainly am an American as were my parents and their parents and their's before them. Two branches of my family were Americans millenia before the Euroean conquest. Most of all, I'm an American who is sick and tired of the supesticious right wing behaving as though all but a few odd ducks share their mythologies. The fact is that a huge portion of this country is outright athiest or agnostic and a majority is Christian only by habit. It's a minority that thump their bibles converse with the magic guy in the sky.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  16. MCFx

    How many of you liberal minded in this way would ever THINK for an instant of becoming a citizen of any other country (especially a Middle Eastern country) and demanding they remove ALL Muslim/God references simply because you are a agnostic or an atheist and offended by the dogma. NONE! THAT'S HOW MANY! In fact it’s these same liberals that would live in another country and preach how they must respect their religions and traditions even if it’s even MORE imbedded in their govt then here.

    So, then others that come to this country should bask in the freedom of religion that they should rightly enjoy but it is THEY that should be "respectful" of the American culture and belief that it was Almighty God Himself that got us here in the first place as they would expect others to do if they moved to their nations.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Horus

      There's a flaw in your analogy....THIS country's government was never defined by any particular religion, or God....if it had we would be calling it a Theocracy, not a Democratic Republic....

      September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Meade21

      You are dead wrong......this country was built on Judao Christian values and the God of the Bible...

      September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Frank

      OK HORUS! YOU WIN!

      Lets just turn the G d)am country into one big immoral o*^RGY! or all move out and hand it over to IRAN! Will that make you happy? And have can the Gays walking the streets naked in front of our children! That what you immoral trash want for a country!? Is that your idea of FREEDOM! ? That your idea of a FREE COUNTRY!?

      I always notice that those that hate God as much as you are Sodomites / Gay. No surprise there.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Frank

      More irrefutable truth of this nation being founded on Christianity. FACTS... Ok HORUS, go hack these facts up to with your DEVIL version of America you dreamed up.

      youtube.com/watch?v=m40r1KeOjX8&feature=related

      September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      How many of you liberal minded in this way would ever THINK for an instant of becoming a citizen of any other country (especially a Middle Eastern country) and demanding they remove ALL Muslim/God references simply because you are a agnostic or an atheist and offended by the dogma.

      You begin with a premise that is flawed. First, just because a person is liberal and/or not a Christian, does not mean that the person is agnostic or atheist. There are several other religions, many actually. I myself am Pagan. My brother is Buddhist. Second, most of us who ARE liberal and believe in religious freedom wouldn't ever consider moving to a country WITHOUT religious freedom. Not even to try to change them.

      Why? Because it isn't our country. This one is.

      NONE! THAT'S HOW MANY! In fact it’s these same liberals that would live in another country and preach how they must respect their religions and traditions even if it’s even MORE imbedded in their govt then here.

      When you travel to a place where a government is imbued with a religion, you MUST respect that religion and those traditions. Otherwise, you're likely to end up in jail.

      Regardless, one SHOULD respect the religions and cultures of others. THAT is actually the entire point. There is no inconsistency here.

      So, then others that come to this country should bask in the freedom of religion that they should rightly enjoy but it is THEY that should be "respectful" of the American culture and belief that it was Almighty God Himself that got us here in the first place as they would expect others to do if they moved to their nations.

      This also is a faulty premise. No almighty (or otherwise) God got us here. We "got here" because of religious oppression that drove our forefathers from the lands of their birth, and founded a country with the very specific notion that NO RELIGION would be invested into the government, so that the government by the people, for the people included ALL THE PEOPLE, not just those of the same religious flavor currently in favor by the government.

      This is the respect we, the citizens of the United States, are demanding. I'm not an immigrant. My family roots date back to at least the late 1700s/early 1800s on both sides of my family. Further if I could trace the Native American parts of my family. I was born on US soil, on a naval base in Florida. I have lived her the entirety of my soon to be 44 years.

      I am not some foreign "other" Frank. I am an average US citizen, demanding the civil rights that the constitution of the United States guarantees me, to be governed by an elected government that shall make NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.

      Nothing more. Nothing less.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • CR from CA

      If it were up to Frank we would have Sharia law evangelical Christian style. Frank you have more in common with Iran that you think.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Lets just turn the G d)am country into one big immoral o*^RGY!

      How does what Horus said lead you to this?

      or all move out and hand it over to IRAN!

      As an (apparent) Christian, I don't think you'd be happy in Iran.

      Will that make you happy?

      Why would you think either of those things would make someone happy?

      And have can the Gays walking the streets naked in front of our children!

      It would beat the violence and presence of guns and other weapons currently waking the street in front of our children.

      That what you immoral trash want for a country!? Is that your idea of FREEDOM! ? That your idea of a FREE COUNTRY!?

      I think maybe you need to do some reading/research around the concept of freedom and the rights provided by the constitution. You do not seem to grasp the basic ideas of what the document says.

      I always notice that those that hate God as much as you are Sodomites / Gay. No surprise there.

      Actually, the city of Sodom no longer exists (if it ever actually did), therefor no one alive today is actually a Sodomite.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Sean P.

    I wonder what this nation would be if God would have been removed from the founders' platform. Our rights aren't given by the government.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Charlotte

      LOL!!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  18. tt

    The United States was sanctified to God on Aril 30, 1789 by George Washington at the St. Paul Chapel. This is the same chapel that many took refuge during 9/11. St. Paul Chapel was where George Washington, Senate, and Representatives bowed and prayed together dedicating the future of the United States to God and to keeping God’s laws. Ground zero today is where George Washington and others came together to pray to God for America’s future.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you think that this proves what, exactly? That Washington was a Christian? So what? That does not mean that this nation is a theocracy or that it was founded on principles unique to Christianity. What is wrong with you people that you don't know this?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  19. MCFx

    The presumption of this article is that God is a "prop" in an election or in our country. God in our party platform, on our currency, in our Declaration of Independence has been a staple for over 200 years! That’s not a “prop” that’s a TRADITION. The founding fathers were believers in God regardless how you slice and dice it. Abraham Lincoln was a believer in God, and regardless of their "religion", EVERY president we've ever had believes in God, their submission to His name, and their need to pray to Him for guidance.

    This country fought wars believing that God was a just God and that justice would prevail. Low and behold...it worked! And when other's come to our country on the backs of those believers in Almighty God who died so that ALL mankind could enjoy those rights endowed by the Creator, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" it's a slap in their faces and a dishonor to their deaths that NOW that we all enjoy the fruits of their labor we say let's be "respectful" of other religions or non-religions by removing GOD from our vocabulary when speaking of the future of our country.

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

      Reqlly?

      Take a look....

      "The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma." [Lincoln]

      "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it"- John Adams

      "Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies." [Thomas Jefferson]

      As far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk. [Thomas Edison]

      "In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it."- Ben Franklin

      September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • MCFx

      SATCH, and how pray-tell does this prove that they didn't believe in a GOD? In one way or another, they believed in a Creator. A higher power. This is far closer to what I believe in than what an atheist believes in. You've proven nothing other than they may not have subscribed to traditional Christianity. You might as well try to make the case that a Jew doesn't believe in God while your at it.

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

      Whether they believed in god or not, it's obvious from what they wrote, they did not want religion in government.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  20. Frank

    Hey all you God Hating, America haters. Google "U.S. Capitol Tour with David Barton" And get yourself a REFRESHER COURSE IN AMERICAN HISTORY! We all know how you liberals and devil worshipers hate FACTS AND THE TRUTH. But it is what it is!

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

      Big pile of lies there Franky boy........ and how exactly can we hate something that doesn't exsist?

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

      Take the gas pipe.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Frank

      You'll also find in the tour of the U.S. capital video that the largest mega church in the Unites States in 1857 was THE UNITED STATES CAPITAL BUILDING! Separation of Church and State Huh? Google it and watch it if you want the FACTS.

      Google U.S. Capitol Tour with David Barton

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

      Not many dispute that most were at least deists. However, perhaps you should read some of the floor debates of the period, and journals of some of the most influencial founders. You will discover that religion was intentionally left out. In fact the US Consti.tution specifically states that no religious test may be given as a requirement for public service. Furthermore, several presidents refused to be sworn in using the bible, opting for law books instead......just facts....right?

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

      Watch the video's welfare trash

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Chrashtopher

      You are not a real Christian. We all know this.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Frank must be home-schooled. I wonder if his mama knows what he's doing on the computer.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Barton holds no formal credentials in history or law, and scholars dispute the accuracy and integrity of his as sertions about history, accusing him of practicing misleading historical revisionism

      Your idol has feet of clay, Frank.

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

      fintastic, at the very least you hate the belief in God. And by your rhetoric any sane person could deduce that you hate God Himself. Why is it that atheists such as yourself talk about God more than most Christians. Why would you spend sooo much time and energy arguing with people about someone you don't think exists. If that were truly your belief then go down to your local homeless shelter and argue with those who believe they have a friend named Maynard following them everywhere they go and try to convince THEM that he doesn't exist. Or go to the Middle East or heck a local mosque and argue with a Muslim and tell him that Allah doesn't exist and that Muhammed must have been a crazy man. Coward. No, you direct your anger towards Christians and their God. Why? Hatred towards God.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • screenthis

      I love Facts and the Truth, Frank. I love that Natural Selection is a Fact of life. So, how is it that you haven't been 'selected' out yet? You clearly are 'polluting' the gene pool.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • fintastic

      @MCFx Your post is just filled with so much christian love, I Don't even know where to begin; How about repeating, :how can I hate something that doesn't exsist? Does that sound hateful? Because I don't believe as you do, I am hateful?... that's funny. And to answer your question, as has been explained on these blogs many times in very simple terms...try and stay with me here.....

      You said "Why would you spend sooo much time and energy arguing with people about someone you don't think exists."

      ... because these "people" are forcing their PERSONAL beliefs into law. Git it?

      intastic, at the very least you hate the belief in God. And by your rhetoric any sane person could deduce that you hate God Himself. Why is it that atheists such as yourself talk about God more than most Christians. Why would you spend sooo much time and energy arguing with people about someone you don't think exists. If that were truly your belief then go down to your local homeless shelter and argue with those who believe they have a friend named Maynard following them
      everywhere they go and try to convince THEM that he doesn't exist. Or go to the Middle East or heck a local mosque and argue with a Muslim and tell him that Allah doesn't exist and that Muhammed must have been a crazy man. Coward. No, you direct your anger towards Christians and their God. Why? Hatred towards God.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      David Barton is not trained as a historian, and is not recognised as one except by the people who swallow his propaganda. Sorry, Frank.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • MCFx

      fintastic, maybe if your "simple terms" didn't involve crayons I could understand it. And I apologize for my "christian love". In no way was i trying to send that in your direction. Placing your personal beliefs into law is what people in a free nation do. It's what the founding fathers did, it's what the people of this nation did in the 1800's. If anything, those more conservative laws were ALREADY in law and a small minority like yourself are hellbent on removing the rest. So, if this country swings to the right once again as it was in the past, those who disagree are free to leave. And I will defend YOUR right to freely leave this country with my life. Now, THAT is Christian Love!

      ps. Still curious why you don't argue with Muslims here in the US as fiercly as you with Christians.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • fintastic

      My turn to accuse you of being cowardly;

      and let me re-phrase that..... forcing your personal beliefs into law that are base on imaginary beings and faily tales, ya, know. like blocking stem cell research? gay marrige?.... the 1800's ? oh and what year is it now 2012?.. you mean slavery? non equality for women?.. yea, we need to go back to those good' old conservative values. It is very clear, even with crayons, that the founding fathers intended to keep religion out of government. As far as leaving the country, if you want a theocracy, move to Iran. I'm staying right here because religion is thankfully on the way out. Keep your personal god out of government.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Really tho

      Frank, can you read??? All you do is tell us to watch video after video to try to prove your points. You are not coming up with any facts or statements of your own thoughts. So far you have put people down, etc. "Hey all you God Hating, America haters." That’s very petty I deal with young adults all the time. You are acting as one. I am not up on the bible but I think one of the commandments is not using his name in vain but you do etc. "Lets just turn the G d)am country into one big immoral o*^RGY!". Frank stop posting start reading calm down and get back with us.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:40 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.