Survey: Religiously unaffiliated, minority Christians propelled Obama’s victory
A quarter of President Barack Obama's supporters were religiously unaffiliated, the Public Religion Research Institute says.
November 15th, 2012
02:24 PM ET

Survey: Religiously unaffiliated, minority Christians propelled Obama’s victory

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama’s victory relied largely on two dramatically different religious coalitions - minority Christians and those with no religion according to a survey released Thursday.

“This presidential election is the last in which a white Christian strategy will be considered a plausible path to victory,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted the survey. “The American religious and ethnic landscape is becoming increasingly diverse, and any campaigns relying on outdated maps are destined to lose their way.”

One-in-four Obama voters were religiously unaffiliated, the second-largest “religious” demographic in the president’s coalition, according to the study (PDF). Minority Christians - consisting of black, Asian, Hispanic and mixed-race Americans made up 31% of Obama’s coalition, the largest religious group.

Among major religious demographics, Obama struggled most with white Christians, including Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelical Protestants. When these three groups were added up, they accounted for just 35% of Obama’s religious coalition. In comparison, Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s coalition was overwhelmingly white and Christian, with 79% of Romney voters identifying as such.

The Public Religion Research Institute numbers flesh out exit polls released after Election Day. According to those numbers, 70% of the religiously unaffiliated supported Obama, compared with 26% who backed Romney. Ninety-five percent of black Protestants voted for Obama, according to the exit polls, while 75% of Hispanic Catholics supported the president.

Romney, according to the exit polls, overwhelmingly won white evangelical Christians (79% voted for him) and white Catholics (59% voted for him).

The rise of the religiously unaffiliated has been a major recent trend. A survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released this year found that the fastest-growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all. According to the survey, 20% of adult Americans have no religious affiliation.

At an event announcing the Pew results, senior research adviser John Green said the growing political power of the unaffiliated within the Democratic Party could become similar to the power the religious right acquired in the GOP in the 1980s.

The 2012 election results have some political experts questioning whether the religious right’s influence is fading.

The Rev. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted after the election that the results show “we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”

Conservative evangelist Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the Rev. Billy Graham, told CNN that while he doesn’t believe the movement is fading, “there is a lot of work we need to do.”

“I just think there are a lot of conservative Christians who did not vote for whatever reason,” Franklin Graham said.

Like Graham, Jones said the legalization of same-sex marriage by ballot initiative in three states last week shows that America is changing.

“For the first time tonight, same-sex marriage has been passed by popular vote in Maine and Maryland,” Jones said last week. “The historic nature of these results are hard to overstate. Given the strong support of younger Americans for same-sex marriage, it is unlikely this issue will reappear as a major national wedge issue.”

The results of the Public Religion Research Institute survey were based on 1,410 telephone interviews in both Spanish and English conducted between November 7 and Sunday. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

- CNN’s Dan Gilgoff contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Faith • Politics • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,305 Responses)

    evolve people!!!...its what God ...Jesus...Muhammad....etc. wants us to do

    November 16, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  2. ER

    So disheartening that in a time when we are so advanced and on track to make real progression through science and reasonable and rational thinking, we must be bogged down by religion. We need to evolve ideologically, as a whole, and really push to educate our children so we do not have to combat false ideas and archaic thinking. Sorry religion, your time is numbered.

    November 16, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, educate children in the areas of science.... I guess that is why Faith based schools students tend to score higher in the areas of Science than those in the secular public schools.

      Sorry, dude but for folks of intolerance, such as yourself .... your time is dwindling.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • joe

      But really Mark, if that were true – it would simply be a result of private funding verses the lack of proper funding for public education. It also just churns out more delusional people.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Ahh... but then why is it that the religious based schools spend less to educate per child than the secular public ones? Do not forget that teachers in such schools on average make less than the counterparts in the public schools.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • ER

      Mark you are a moron. Plain and simple. If you think religious ideas are gonig to be around 100 years from now you are in for a rude awakening. What is the fastest growing religion ... ? Oh yea.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Mark – one reaon is that the majority of parochial schools are Catholic. The Catholics support evolution. They support all areas of science. We could run an experiment if you wish – take a group of students from fundiot schools and a group of students from public school AP science classes and test them on biology including evolution, chemistry including abiogenesis, and physics includiong the Big Bang. Any guesses on who will score higher>

      You also might want to familiarize yourself with ACSI v Sterns.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Why, devolve into name calling instead of addressing my post. If you are looking for a flame war of name calling, you wont find it with me dude. Faith has been with us forever and will be with us forever.

      Also, if you add up the growth of Islam, Mormons, and the continued growth of the church then the rise of those choosing no faith is not that great. Notice, in this article they had to include minority Christians and Agnostics , to make the claim of who pushed Oba over the top.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Primewonk

      Mark, if someone chooses to be a fundiot (fundamentalist îdiot), why would they object to being called a fundiot. I am a liberal atheist science geek. Should I object to being called a liberal atheist science geek?

      And I did address your post. I showed one reason why parochial students scored high in tests. I also gave you a freaking reference to read on what happens when fundiot nutter schools try and get their scientifically ignorant students into public universities.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Chuck

      Saying that kids learn more about science in "religious based schools" is basically just a lie. I am tired of being nice about this. You can't just create your own statistics to suit your own ends. You can't just create your own facts. This nation has coasted on the science and engineering of Americans from the late WW2 era for over 60 years, and time is running out. You can't have an intelligent populace that believes the Earth was created in 6 days, and ALSO expect them to be able to design rockets. Atheist China is set to overtake America in almost every imaginable way, and it is BECAUSE of the rise of American evangelicals. Nothing more. Sorry.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Check your stats again Marc. In this last election exit polls showed 3 out of 10 youth voters (that's 29 and below) identifed as atheist. Not non-religious...atheist. That's 30% of todays youth and that number is growing. Why? Because fear of reprisal for blasphemy is waining. Faith no longer has teeth to coerce those who recognize religion for what it is. Superstitious nonsense.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    white Christians lost any moral highground when they invaded others lands(Crusades)....murdered minorities( Inquisition)...enslaved people ...stole native American lands and became the worst represntatives of Gods ideals on earth

    November 16, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Donna

      White Christians also gave us a higher standard of living, better health care, better technology, better food production, and a democratic governement.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Thought

      Suppose some of the stuff you said did have a shred of truth. Are we suppose to dwell on something that happen in the past? It is too late to look that further back. Perhaps the best way to move FORWARD is to learn to embrace and accept that we are not all the same and that humans make mistakes. Mistakes has caused us dearly, but it has also enable us to learn from our own mistakes and reevaluate our values. Bringing the past makes you just as bad the the folks that are doing what we do not find morally correct, because you are not giving any lead to a possible solution to our problems either.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  4. ER

    Bahahhaa. Religion. People still believe in that?

    November 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • whocares

      Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
      10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
      9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
      8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
      7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
      6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
      5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
      4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
      3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
      2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
      1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

      November 16, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  5. 'Nother-Son-'O-Ursus

    Re: "...told CNN that while he doesn’t believe the movement is fading, “there is a lot of work we need to do. I just think there are a lot of conservative Christians who did not vote for whatever reason... {Franklin Graham, Conservative evangelist, Samaritan’s Purse CEO; son Rev. Billy Graham}

    I find it ironic, in the extreme:
    The evangelicals, creationists & Intelligent Designer-supporters spend so much time / energy unsucessfully attempting to discredit Charles Darwin & associates, yet...

    What would you call the diminishing social-relevence / importance of Intolerant Monotheistic Belief, worldwide, (in general), and in the U.S., (in particular)?

    I'd call it an impending 'Neo.Darwinian.Extinction.Event'...
    Mediated by passive attrition, via 'cultural' rather than 'bio-mechanical' means / events;
    Analogous to both the meteor-strike that left Iridium across the earth…at the K-T-boundary, some 65 million years ago AND
    WW-1’s trench warfare...
    Minus MOST of the 'drama, realized in both those events!

    Pretty soon…
    Intolerant monotheism, (as practiced in the U.S.), will be reduced to the social relevance of Fred-'N-Margie (Phelps) and their (Westboro) ferals!

    Who’ll pay the freight on all the crystal-cathedrals...?
    ...To say NOTHING about all the hi-priced legal eagles the R.C.C. / other faiths need because...
    They simply won’t discipline their 'not-so-celibate' clerics / oblates / true believers?

    November 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      If correct, I think the Roman Catholics purchased the Crystal Cathedral and according to figures, they are still growing here in America.

      The same as the Mormons and the Muslims.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  6. gggg

    I love pundits that try and narrow a victory/loss down to one thing, when that is not possible. Obama won because he was able to effectively create a coalition of minorities that, through that coalition, became a majority. It wasn't any one group that single handedly won or lost the election for either candidate. Second, the religiously unaffiliated voted for Obama because they did not want a minority of Christian zealots telling them what their morals should be according to the zealots. The majority of intelligent Christians understand that government and religion are two separate things. Religion can not be injected into government to the point that it causes others to feel discriminated against or oppressed by that religion. Conversely, government can not tell the people what religion to be or what to believe with respect to that religion. Most people understand that. There are a few very vocal idiots who can't separate their religion from politics. To them I say, simply, if you can't separate law and government from religion, perhaps you should stay out of politics.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  7. William Demuth

    Take that Biatches!

    Jeebus is a LIABILITY.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  8. J. R. Roberts

    Religion has NO place in politics. Those who cite the Founding Fathers should read what they said a little closer.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • mama k

      Well politics is politics and I doubt you would could remove religion from it anytime soon. But the key founders most definitely knew they wouldn't be able to enforce the Constitution and its Amendments without keeping religion away from their primary duties as much as possible. Their intent is clear on that from their many writings.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      When people debate their own interpretations of scriptures or words of people such as the Founding Fathers, do people ever interpret the same way?

      Really, you are telling folks to continue to look at the letters and doc'uments and you believe that they will eventually interpret the words the same as you. Are you willing to do the same and continue to study and maybe you might see things their way?

      November 16, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • mama k

      And by primary duties that means government or an extension of the government. The Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment was applied in 1962 and 1963 for the SCOTUS to determine that mandated prayer and Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • mama k

      Well let's see, Mark, how many ways do you think something like this can be interpreted?

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. – James Madison

      November 16, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      ""If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice, by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and such a spectacle must be interesting to all Christian nations as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, freed from all coercive edicts, from that unhallowed connection with the powers of this world which corrupts religion into an instrument or an usurper of the policy of the state...Upon these principles and with these views the good people of the United States are invited, in conformity with the resolution aforesaid, to dedicate the day above named to the religious solemnities therein recommended."
      Given at Washington, this 23d day of July, A. D. 1813.[seal.] JAMES MADISON

      I would interpret it using this quote from Madison. That the separation of the church and state was so that the state could not interfear with the church. Many Atheist would think this to be the other way around or in effect both ways but if you want to pull Madison, then this quote I offer you even states the "Christian Nations" phrase.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • mama k

      Well Mark, I never insinuated that Madison was not a religious man. But please, Mark – what plays a more important factor in our lives today, the Const itution (my quote – and I have others – showing Madison's clear intention that religion stay out of the primary duties of government) or the National Day of Prayer (the subject of your quote)??? Get real, Mark.

      Madison even wrote later in life that it was a mistake for chaplains to be retained for Congress out of National Treasury money. It's no wonder he felt like that. That's similar to what they were feuding about when he wrote A Memorial and Remonstrance when he said:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • mama k

      (and that last quote of Madison's, by the way, was delivered to the Virginia General Assembly)

      November 16, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      That is what I am saying. Madison was/is a dead politician. Alive, it is hard to try to get a politician to admit what he really means and holds to be true. When he or she dies, then we have tons of people who "claim" that they truly understand what the same politician meant. You posted a quote and I posted a quote, from a guy whose job it was to try to please as many voters as he can. Heck, mine even had him calling for a Christian nation. So, in truthfulness, we will never know what Madison truly felt.

      Same as most politicians. Even Lincoln freed the slaves .... only in the states that were not under Union control... 🙂

      November 16, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • MCR

      "[T]he Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion" – John Adams, 1797, unanimously ratified by the US senate. You were saying?

      November 16, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  9. Pedro

    Antony Flew had It all right in 2004 and beyond.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • tallulah13


      November 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  10. fortruth47

    Romans Chapter one best describes where we are in America. Its been coming for quite a while as the Universal Church has abandoned the number one truth of the bible that we all have sinned and need to repent to be saved. Instead of changing the culture the Church has let the culture change the Church. However mans thinking will not pervail nor does it change the truth of Gods word. All men will meet the same end. They will die and give an account of how they obeyed or ignored God to do there own thing.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • mama k

      Just be aware that not everyone in this country subscribes to the magic of the bible, therefore chatty cathy Paul's words don't hold the same value you try to assign to them.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • William Demuth

      Out here in the fields, I fought for my meals, I get my back into my living!!!

      I don't need to fight, To prove I'm right and I don't need to be forgiven!!!!!!!

      Don't cry, Don't raise your eye, It's only teenage wasteland!!!

      November 16, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • dzerres

      Considering that four fifths of the world, at least 5 billion people, are NOT christians and happy that they aren't, I'd say most people are ignoring what your God and your Bible says.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • fortruth47

      At one time I did not believe in biblical truth either. One day God convicted me of my sin and I yielded and repented and submmited then I saw a whole new world. When your mind is opened up to the bibles truth its the most amazing book in the world. It really does explain why folks hurt each other, the reason for the bad of this world and the only solution to mans problems. One cannot understand unless they repent of sin and submit to Gods authority.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Chuck

      Actually, when a person dies, all brain activity simply stops. There is nothing after that. It's quite similar to going to sleep. This has been proven over and over and over again. Sorry. Belief doesn't trump fact.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  11. John P

    No, some Christians voted for Obama because they were duped into thinking he was a Christian, thanks to CNN. Then again many Christians did not vote in this election because they could not decide to vote for either a Muslim or a Mormon. So they chose neither.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      Exccept, of course, what you wrote is simply fucking bullshit. Obama is no more a Muslim than he is a Hindu, or a communist.

      Seriously – is there anything you fucking teabaggers won't lie about?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Chat Pata

      Maybe those white Christians males were thinking, "What is worse? A black man or a cultist?", and they decided cultist was worse than a black man.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • William Demuth

      So how did they fool you into thinkin he was white?

      Same way they fooled you with Jeebus?

      That dude was at least three shades darker than a Hot Cocoa from Starbucks, yet the rubes have Jeebus statues with Blue Eyes!!

      Next I suppose we will be hearing he wasn't gay, and his mama was a virgin!!

      November 16, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • guest

      Obama is muslim? based on what? stop spreading lies.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • TeaPatriot

      1. Obama slipped up in in an interview "my muslim faith" he said. look it up.
      2, he went for 4 years to a madrasa.
      3, Then to a racist 'church' for a few years. still wont whitewash the madrasa education in my view.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ TeaBagger –

      I spent 4th – 8th grade in a fundamentalist LCMS school. And then spent another 4 years still in that racist, misogynistic, hômophobic church.

      Does that mean that I am a racist, misogynistic, hômophobic, bigot?

      Your logic fails. You môrons lost. Again.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • MCR

      @TeaPatriot, you are one gullible little fool. Obama never attended an Islamic school. In Indonesia he attended first Catholic school (attended by most wealthy Indonesians) and later a secular public school.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  12. KCRick

    For those of you that condemn religion, I remind you that before the Judea-Christian era, pagans sacrificed children and young women, incest and inter-family marriages were common,and there was no moral compass. Democracy, our values, and our moral standards are all outgrowths of the Judea/Christian ethics established long ago. Do you have any idea what the world would be like without that great compass for living?

    November 16, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Primewonk

      The Crusades

      The Spanish Inquisition

      The Holocaust

      The Salem Witch Trials

      Lot's young virgin daughters getting daddy drunk so they can ràpe him.

      Adam and Eve's kids boinking each otherrr and mom and dad.

      Your god murdering every living creature on earth, not on the boat.

      Yeah, you nutters have some geat values.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • abbyt

      Paganism is also a religion.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • William Demuth

      Let me guess, your mama was also your sister?

      It never ceases to amuse me when inbreds speak of morality!!

      We have heard of the blind leading the blind, but Christianity is the Crazy leading the Stupid

      November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • KCRick

      You can mock my statement, but our democracy, here in the US, was based on Judea/Christian principles – that is a fact!

      November 16, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • greaemonkey

      ummm ...you do realize that DURING the Judeo-Christian era, according to your own book at least one man was asked to sacrifice a child, and the New Testament is predicated on the entire idea of the god himself sacrificing his own child?

      November 16, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """ I remind you that before the Judea-Christian era, pagans sacrificed children and young women, incest and inter-family marriages were common,and there was no moral compass. """

      This is your argument? That humans were less moral 2500 years ago?

      Since you have clearly posted in English, I assume you can read. How did you miss all the "immoral" crap going on today? You know, our world filled with 2 billion christians, 1.5 billion muslims, and nearly a billion hindus...

      November 16, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • greaemonkey

      **You can mock my statement, but our democracy, here in the US, was based on Judea/Christian principles – that is a fact!**

      chapter and verse please.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Democracy

      Democracy was established in Pagan Greece. Who, by the way, did a much better job of it than we are doing today.

      Pagan ages were also responsible for great empires such as Egypt, Rome, Assyria, China, Carthage and countless others that remain unnamed.

      And incest/inter-family marriages were just as (un)common during Christian era as they were before – the ruling class always interbred.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Primewonk

      " You can mock my statement, but our democracy, here in the US, was based on Judea/Christian principles – that is a fact!"

      This, of course, is simply more pure unadulterated fucking bullshit. Unless you can show us where in your bible it tlks about a governmental system of 3 branches regulated by checks and balances. I'd especially like you to post your verses where your bible talks about freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the ending of slavery, and that whole civil rights thingy.

      I'll wait here, eagerly anticipating your return.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  13. tim schmidt

    Political Correctness, aka Cultural Marxism, is pushing out traditions like faith, family values, patriotism. And that's sad.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • MCR

      If you've never read Marx, don't try to make references...you just sound ignorant.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  14. Mohammad A Dar

    Ninety-five percent of black Protestants voted and 75% of Hispanic Catholics voted the president; okay, but their votes were based on issues that mattered most to them, economy, Immigration, or tax cuts. Only fools, goons, put their religions first.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Millie

      Amen to that!

      November 16, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • John P

      Obama is as Christian as my dog. The black overwhelmingly and racially voted for Obama simply because he was black.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRainerBraendleinism©

      Must agree worst goon is religion goon.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • fortruth47

      I will put my religion first and forgive you for calling me a fool and a goon. I pray one day you can see the truth about those who think they are wiser then God and have no need to obey him.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Chat Pata

      John P, OK the black overwhelmingly voted Obama because he is half balck, and some whites voted him because he is half white. The Latinos overwhelmingly voted Obama because he is brown. What about the Asians? Did those color blind people thought he is yellow? LOL

      November 16, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      @fourtruth47 – thanks for your views, but religious people don't have act like fools, religion is a personal thing, it should stay with in four walls of your house, country is bigger than religion, any religion.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  15. christina knight

    I am an atheist and social progressive. I am proud to say that I voted for Obama, and it is encouraging that the number of people rejecting religion is increasing. Christina Anne Knight

    November 16, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • KCRick

      Christina, read the Ten Commandments and imagine our government and way of life without them?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • John P

      Sorry to tell you sweetie, but Atheism is a religion too. You have a creation myth – evolution, a dogma – science, your own code of ethics, and numerous evangelists like you...

      November 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • tim schmidt

      Don't forget that Obama went to a Christian church for 25 years, and still proclaims a strong faith in God. As did all the Presidents going back to at least Eisenhauer.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • abbyt

      @KCRick Do you really need the ten comandments to know that murdering someone is wrong?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • K-switch

      Interesting point John P, so what you are saying is atheists are as dumb as you are.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • ER

      Bahahha John P. There you people go again, trying to discredit SCIENCE. You go believe in your santa claus magic man in the sky theory and leave the educated alone please! Grow up!

      November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      John P wrote, " Atheism is a religion too. You have a creation myth – evolution, a dogma – science, your own code of ethics, and numerous evangelists like you..."

      If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby, and bald is a hair color. Evolution is not a myth. It is a fact and a theory. Only ignorant nutters claim otherwise. Science is not a dogma, it is a method to explore and explain the natural universe. Folks who understand science are not evangelists, they are simply more intelligent than you nutters.


      November 16, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Primewonk

      KCRick wrote, "read the Ten Commandments and imagine our government and way of life without them?"

      OK. Your first commandment says that I must worship only your god – under penalty of death and eternal torture. My first ameendment says that I can worship your vesion of god, some other version of your god, completely different gods, or no gods. Guess what? My first trumps your first. I win. Every freaking time. Every freaking day.

      I don't need to imagine my government without your 10 commandments, because we live it. Every day.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Michael

      KCRick – I need but three: I will not lie, steal or cheat.
      It amazes me that half of your commandments dictate that you shall _WORSHIP_ a diety that can neither be seen or heard. Your diety is supernatural by definition.
      My religion is math and science; my sole "leap of faith" is that first Fermi-second (1 x 10 -43 seconds ... decimal point, 43 zereos and a one). I both understand and believe the Theory of Evolution, just like I do the Theory of Gravity. I made a conscious decision to refuse religious indoctrination because nobody can answer the most basic of questions. I have read the Bible, twice, cover to cover, yet there are no answers, only myth. But this is just the way I see it. I'm not forcing my views on you; you shouldn't force your views on me.
      "So many have died in the name of Christ; so many have lied in the name of Christ that I can't believe it all."

      November 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Steve


    Akira: Of course I see the difference that way, but forcing them to pay for employees {activity that they deem sinful} is like you forcing me to pay for your birth control by holding me up with a shotgun No difference.

    I feel the exact same way about Faith Based Initivies, yet my taxes are used for them. I feel like the church has a shotgun to my head making me pay for something I am in total disagreement with , you are not alone , get over it.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    There seems to be a drifting away from theological to more-secular within western civilization - many academics theorized and predicted the eventual decline of western society. Perhaps we are beginning to witness its early signs?

    November 16, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why would moving away from religious mythology equaate with a decline in Western civilization?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • GD

      Perhaps this is a good sign, the American public's move away from the fantasy of religion to an embracing of common sense.

      November 16, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  18. RES

    I am part of a demographic that is not being accounted for, late 50's aged white Christian who votes social liberal. There are some of us out there who are not mis-guided angry white guys who beilieve it is better to error for Liberalism than conservatism. The religious right and catholic bishops do not represent me. I believe God loves all equally and we should strive for the same.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • SmallFarms

      We're not being counted, RES, because we're not especially newsworthy by the standard of value-by-controversy. Most of us are busy working (and probably with volunteering) and not angry enough at the world to be a good source of juicy and argumentative quotes.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:06 am |

    I believe that many Republicans chose to sit the election out - perhaps for religious reasons or feeling disgusted with BOTH candidates.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Primewonk

      Can you explain to us what Article VI, Section 3 of the Constîtution says?

      Why this bizarre need to see which candidates can "out Jesus" the others?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  20. mama k

    Different kinds of Christians have been bickering with one another since the very beginnings of Christianity. We certainly saw a lot of this bickering during the last election. Each type of Christian has their own idea of what it takes to be a "good" one. This conflicted nature of Christianity is built right into the religion.

    Around the time of the founding of the U.S., there were terrible feuds in various states – some of it deadly. Some of our key founders who were Christians, some of whom were influenced by Deism, witnessed the feuding that was occurring in their home states. Thomas Paine, born a Quaker, might be considered by historians as more Deist than many of his peers. And he probably witnessed persecution – even hangings of Quakers in Massachusetts around the time of our founding. In Virginia, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, & George Mason witnessed religious persecution involving members of their own Christian sects. This is important because, along with the influence of Deism, I believe witnessing this bickering among different religious sects made it obvious to our key founders that they needed to establish as secular a government as possible despite their own religious leanings.

    James Madison, who became our 4th POTUS and chief architect of our Constitution and 1st Amendment, was furious with the fighting going on between the Anglicans (that he helped establish as Episcopalians) and Baptists in Virginia. And he was mostly furious with his own kind. If you read his A Memorial and Remonstrance (1785) that he delivered to the Virginia General Assembly, you will see his ferocity – using words like bigotry and persecution leveled against his fellow Christians.

    Still, though, it is quite obvious that Madison longed for a better day when the different Christians could live peacefully with one another. One reflective quote from him that he wrote a bit later in life, I believe, expresses his satisfaction that the secular nature of government that he helped establish successfully allowed religion to flourish more peacefully than it had before in the new country:

    It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Govt could not stand without the prop of a Religious establishment, & that the Xn religion itself, would perish if not supported by a legal provision for its Clergy. The experience of Virginia conspicuously corroborates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

    (Letter to Robert Walsh – 1819)

    Three years later, Madison wrote this:

    Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    (Lettter to Edward Livingston – 1822)

    A surprise to me, John Adams (POTUS #2), had a very Deistic sounding reflection of the founding of the U.S. government in this writing:

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

    (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

    November 16, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • 4fusion

      Thank you mama k...brilliant selection of quotes.

      November 16, 2012 at 11:16 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.