Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus?
November 2nd, 2012
01:57 PM ET

Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Here's a presidential election prediction you can bet on.

Right after the winner is announced, somebody somewhere in America will fall on their knees and pray, "Thank you Jesus."
And somebody somewhere else will moan, "Help us Jesus."

But what Jesus will they be praying to: a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus?

If elections are about choices, so is faith. And in Christianity, liberals and conservatives choose to see Jesus in different ways. Some liberals see Jesus as a champion of the poor who would support raising taxes on the wealthy, while some conservatives think Jesus would be more concerned with opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.

Good luck to anyone who tries reconciling their Jesus with the biblical accounts of his life. Even Jesus' earliest followers clashed over who he was and what he meant.

"Jesus didn't leave clear instructions," says Molly Worthern, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who specializes in religious history.

"He was a man who said many things that were quite cryptic. All Christians tend to pick or chose to emphasize some of his teachings over the other."

Perhaps most Christians follow not one Jesus, but many - including a bit of a red state Jesus and a bit of a blue state Jesus. We consulted several pastors and religion professors to come up with this voter's guide to Jesus. Answer these questions, click "Submit" and see where you fall on the red state-blue state Jesus scale:

Take the quiz here.



- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. Joe

    You can get by on atheism while you are living, even be "successful" while you are living. Probably won't be very happy inside. You won't have a great answer for what happens when you die.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  2. Vic

    My clear answer to the article's question is "Save Image As..." "My Answer"

    "A picture is worth a thousand words!"

    The above image is now saved on my hard drive, and it is clearly my answer!

    November 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  3. Anon

    How about neither since Jesus didn't exist in the first place.

    November 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  4. samsjmail

    Jesus doesn't have time to get involved in all this political nonsense. He's busy determining who gets to score a touchdown.

    November 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Keesha

    Our limited thinking limits our Creator! That's All

    November 7, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  6. Nathaniel M. Campbell

    It's disappointing that CNN–even the "Religion" blog!–has such a poor grasp of Christianity that it can reduce the religion to a series of false dichotomies. It is to your shame that you left out "both" as a possible answer for each poll question, since most theologians will tell you that "both" is the correct answer.

    November 6, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  7. Brampt

    Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” John 18:36

    November 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  8. danielwalldammit

    He, I love how people always say that we should keep religion out of politics. religion IS politics. It's bad politics, but it's politics. The only way to keep it out is to knock it off altogether.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Glen

      Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? (Deuteronomy 32:6) Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2: 20-22)

      November 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
      • danielwalldammit

        Is this the way you repay him? Seriously, Glen. Why do you hate Jesus?

        November 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  9. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "In Greed We Trust"

    In 1994, Bain invested $27 million as part of a deal with other firms to acquire Dade International, a medical-diagnostics-equipment firm, from its parent company, Baxter International. Bain ultimately made nearly 10 times its money, getting back $230 million. But Dade wound up laying off more than 1,600 people and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, amid crushing debt and rising interest rates. The company, with Bain in charge, had borrowed heavily to do acquisitions, accumulating $1.6 billion in debt by 2000. The company cut benefits for some workers at the acquired firms and laid off others. When it merged with Behring Diagnostics, a German company, Dade shut down three U.S. plants. At the same time, Dade paid out $421 million to Bain Capital’s investors and investing partners.

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    A couple of examples (it's pretty easy to find more):

    Bain closed GST Steel plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers.

    Controlling share owner Bain Capital closes BRP plant (Southern Illinois) so the 340 jobs there could be outsourced to Mexico.

    Also, this is disconcerting:



    November 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  10. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch


    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    November 5, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  11. Bob

    As a Catholic, I can't see how there could be any larger issue in politics than those involving life and death, so I cannot in good conscience vote for either party because one advocates murdering criminals and the other advocates murdering innocent babies. I guess if I HAD to choose a lesser of those 2 evils, I would rather we kill a few criminals than millions of babies, but I think in either case I would be complicit in murder, so I really have to sit it out and let everyone else fight about which evil they want to support.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Huebert

      I would still urge you to vote. There are more issues at stake in this campaign than just abortion and capitol punishment. Vote based on healthcare of enti.tlement reform, or whatever is important to you. Democracy works best when everyone participates.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Bob

      I understand what you are saying and it is a reasonable perspective, but I feel so strongly about not being a voluntary participant in murder that I am willing to live with whatever comes of what I believe are decisions of much lesser importance than life and death. Ultimately, the politicial machine in general moves a lot slower than people want it to and always seems to stay fairly close to the center, and the reality is that both parties are fundamentally the same in that they are "the haves" and they both look for different ways to screw the "have nots". The democrats are just a little craftier about it. So I think it's little difference which party wins compared to how I feel about the idea of supporting murder. I'm willing to live with the results of not voting.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • TC

      Neither party supports killing babies. One party does not want the governement involved in forcing women to carry children against their will. The other want's to make that decision for a woman, in all cases.

      If you really want to change America's statistics for abortion, you need to understand WHY women abort, and address the root causes.

      Which party do you honestly believe will help pregnant women feel secure and protected enough to carry a child they didn't plan, and can't afford?

      Abortions are a syptom of the problem, not the problem themselves.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bob

      Abortion is a symptom of the despair that comes from a culture where more than half the families are broken.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Bob, does the name Scott DesJarlais mean anything to you? Where does he fit into your narrative?

      November 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Abortion occurs for many reasons. No matter what reasons a woman has for making the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy, they are none of your business, Bob.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Nate

      Why do you believe abortion is murder? I am not "for" abortion... I am a father of three... we carried a child to term despite medical advice... he is 5 and asleep in the back of the house... healthy and wonderful... but I don't think he was my son 6 months before he was born... I am against abortion because I hate the loss of a POTENTIAL human.... it is more philosophical that moral... Nowhere in scripture is this issue addressed... but everywhere in scripture is a demand for values that are expressed through political liberalness... generosity, addressing poverty, stewardship. education, peace... just saying me peace as a father that knows how bad I want to see my children grow up in a safer and healthier world...

      November 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  12. Atheism is great for everyone. Pets too!

    November 5, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Nii

      Why is it that Atheists have nothing to say on the Belief Bog?

      November 5, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Atheists have plenty to say on the BB; just look around a little bit; take off the blinders.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  13. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:->>>

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    November 5, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Nii


      November 5, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the older members of this blog:


      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".


      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      November 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Joe

      Books that weren't true we're not written as factual and historic events at the time of the Bible. You should read it objectively before writing assumptions from some guy that is alive 2000+ years later.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    November 5, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Moarmun

      Plenty of people prayed for rain during the drought over the summer. It didn't come for weeks. It eventually (naturally) rained. People said their prayers were answered. Didn't help the crops that were already destroyed.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • TrollAlert


      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 5, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  15. Moarmun

    Wait, Jesus is real?

    November 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  16. Travis

    The Article writer makes a HUGE Mistake and Incorrect Assumption that it is Protect a Baby's Life vs. Protect the Poor.
    But the Truth is its as a Christian who should be responsible for taking care of your neighbor?
    The Government or YOU. Liberals believe let the Government tax us more and take care of the poor.
    Conservatives say tax us less and let us take care of our neighbor. A CHRISTIAN example is the story about Korbin.
    The Jews started giving Money to the Synague (a tax) so they would be Obsolved of their responsibility to thier parents.
    That is The Same things the Demo's are doing and this Writer is suggesting. Which is not what the Bible says.
    The Bible Condemns "passing the buck" on our own personal responsibility.

    November 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Travis, the conservative folks spit on the poor, and do not help there fellow man. That is why the liberals who do care, donate there time to just cause s, and wish the government would tax the rich to the hilt to pay for the protection of the poor.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • TC

      Actually, that's reall what it's about. If you want to render abortion unnecessary, then you need to address the reasons that women abort.

      Other countries, such as Germany, hvae been much more successful than we have in drastically reducing abortions. Guess how they did it?

      And do you think the Repblican plan for the poor will do the same?

      November 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  17. Mike

    If the enemies of politicized Jesus are enemies of the real Jesus, may the Lord strike them down! Problem solved. Muahahahaha.

    Wait... You mean to tell me no one was struck down? That's inconvenient. Maybe Christians should focus their faith on matters of faith instead of politics, then.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Travis

      The problem is to a TRUE Christian they are one and the same "You must persevere in your life and doctrine"
      And the bible says "The good you know you ought to do and do not do, is sin"
      So if you as a Christian recognize that a Political Party, or Policy or Person is immoral or contrary to God,
      it is you duty to do something about it as a Christian for the Bible says "Faith without Deeds is Dead"
      Thats why faith has been dying in this Country, because Christians have stopped standing up for God and whats right, because of Persecution and Pressure from people without faith, Like yourself.

      November 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nate

      There is a wealth of sin then... because if people were doing their neighborly duty the government would have no role... but the giving of the religious tends to focus on the religious, or on those that they feel they can convert... not those in the most need... so perhaps our government, which is truly just the right arm of "We the People," is the greatest national example of altruistic morality... that's a better way to think of it... we are the monolith.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Travis, christians have persecuted those smart enough to know theism is hooy, for most of the past 2000 years. I think it is there time for persecution. I just wish we still had the roman coliseum to deal with the evil if christianity.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Nate


      November 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nate

      Cute bumper sticker I guess... but empirically indefensible...

      November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • nope


      November 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  19. Nate

    Uh... multiple sources...Roman history... undeniable... go away..

    November 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  20. Nate

    I believe in historical Jesus.. a philosopher who fucused on love and community action... who labored for the poor... who was anti-materialism... who would abhor many of his followers, and turn over the tables in the house of the Grand Old Party...

    November 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, denire of truth absolute, hindu fabrication Jesus never existed.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Nate

      Uh... multiple sources...Roman history... undeniable... go away..

      November 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • AliceL

      Also, he never would have wanted a separate religion established in his name and, as a devout Jew, he would have been mortified by they very thought of people calling him "God". I can't think of anything more evil than taking the teachings of a wise rabbi and twisting them into a weapon against Jews, like Christianity is.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Nate


      I have no dog in that fight... people believe what they believe... perhaps if we could question a Canaanite they would rail against a Jew referencing their god El, but just calling YHWH... it is all what you wish to believe... but I can say this, unquestionably... the Jesus we are presented would not approve of how he is invoked, or of how many of his followers act in supposed deference to his teachings...

      November 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bob

      I don't think it's defensible to believe that Jesus was a wise teacher, but not the Son of God, because in all the quotes that are most widely accepted by historians as likely to be attributed to the real Jesus, He is pretty clear about being the Son of God and about the way to God and eternal life being through Him. So, you kind of either have to think that He didn't exist, which most historians disagree with, that He was a total fraud, or that He was the Son of God.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:00 am |
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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.