Our Take: Biggest moves in religion and politics in 2012
December 31st, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Our Take: Biggest moves in religion and politics in 2012

Editor’s Note: Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., is the CEO at Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Daniel Cox is the Director of Research at PRRI and specializes in research on millennials and the religiously unaffiliated.

By Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Considering that 2012 saw the first presidential contest in which there was no white mainline Protestant anywhere on the presidential ticket, religion played a surprisingly subtle role in the election cycle. But even if religion played more of a supporting than a leading role in the election, the religion factor was nonetheless alive and well this year.

Here are the 10 most important ways religion influenced politics and culture in 2012, trimmed out with findings from 16 surveys and over 22,000 interviews conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute research team in 2012.

1) The Mormon question is finally laid to rest

We, too, thought the speculation would never end, but the “Mormon question” was essentially answered by May, when white evangelicals fell in line behind Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. This answer was confirmed at the ballot box in November, when white evangelical Protestants, who made up nearly one-quarter (23%) of all voters in 2012, turned out at a rate comparable to 2004 and supported Romney (79%) over Obama (20%) by nearly 60 points.

The bottom line: partisanship and antipathy toward Obama ultimately trumped theological concerns about the Mormon faith among white evangelical Protestants.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

2) The end of a white Christian majority

Obama’s decisive victory in 2012 was largely the result of his strong support among the growing number of non-Christian, nonwhite Christian, and religiously unaffiliated voters. While white Christians made up the vast majority (81%) of Romney’s vote, they comprised only 39% of Obama’s coalition. Over the past few decades, Democratic presidential candidates have relied less and less on white Christian voters (e.g., white Christians were 60% of Bill Clinton’s 1992 coalition), while Republican presidential voting coalitions have continued to rely on coalitions that are approximately 8-in-10 white Christian.

The bottom line: In presidential election years, there simply are no longer enough white Christian votes to overcome deficits among other demographics for Republican presidential candidates.

3) The religiously unaffiliated are not all 'nones'

Americans who identify with no particular religion now represent nearly 1 in 5 (19%) Americans, but they are not all “nones” or nonbelievers. Although more than one-third (36%) of the religiously unaffiliated are atheist or agnostic, roughly 4-in-10 (39%) of the unaffiliated identify as secular, and nearly one-quarter (23%) belong to a newly identified category of “unattached believers.”

These groups differ significantly not only in their level of religious commitment and belief - most secular Americans believe in some type of God and unattached believers overwhelmingly believe in a personal God and pray with some regularity - but in who they are.

Unattached believers are more likely to be Hispanic and African-American, while the vast majority of seculars and atheists and agnostics are white. As a whole, however, religiously unaffiliated voters are fairly unengaged, politically. They strongly supported Obama (70%) over Romney (26%) in 2012, but despite representing nearly 1 in 5 Americans, they made up only 12% of voters in 2012.

The bottom line: The growth of the religiously unaffiliated is changing the American religious landscape, but it has only partially been felt at the ballot box due to lower turnout rates.

4) Jewish voters unswayed by rhetoric on Israel

Despite strenuous efforts by Republican leaders and strategists to convince Jewish voters to abandon Obama because of his record on Israel, only 4% of Jewish voters reported that Israel was the single most important factor in their vote this year.

A majority of Jewish voters reported that the economy was the most important issue in determining how they would vote. The proof was in the pudding on Election Day: Obama won 69% of the Jewish vote, a result that was lower than his support among Jewish Americans in 2008 (78%), but only slightly lower than John Kerry’s level of support in 2004 (74%).

The bottom line: GOP leaders will have to expand their outreach strategy beyond the topic of Israel to reach into the American Jewish community; this will present a challenge on the domestic policy front, since American Jews strongly favor economic justice and are among the strongest supporters of rights for women, immigrants, and gay and lesbian Americans.

5) Failure to launch: Contraception mandate as religious liberty violation

Bishops sought to raise Catholics’ ire against the “contraception mandate,” a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires religiously affiliated organizations to provide no-cost birth control to their employees through health insurance plans. Yet, throughout the year, most Americans (55%) and a majority of Catholics (52%) agreed that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should have to comply with this requirement.

White Catholics were more divided, but white evangelical Protestants are notably the only religious group that remains staunchly opposed (66%) to the mandate.

The bottom line: Rank and file Catholics strongly support the principles of religious liberty, but most do not have moral objections to contraception and failed to see the religious liberty threat in the ACA.

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6) Shattering the myth of the “Catholic vote”

While it’s a much-repeated fact that the winner of the Catholic vote has won the popular vote in every presidential election since 1972 (Obama led Romney 50% to 48% in 2012), this fact hides the presence of at least two Catholic votes. Three-quarters of Hispanic Catholics voted for Obama, while nearly 6 in 10 white Catholics supported Romney.

The bottom line: While Catholics maintained their bellwether status again this year, the shrinking number of white Catholics coupled with the rapid growth of Latino Catholics promise to tip the scales toward Democrats in the future, if current voting patterns continue. Look for delicate negotiations as the laity drifts left while the bishops tack right.

7) Millennials not their parents’ 'values voters'

Upending many likely voter models in pre-election polls, this 75 million-person cohort flexed its political muscle once again this year. On Election Day, millennial voters under the age of 30 outnumbered seniors (19% vs. 16% of all voters), and strongly supported state ballot initiatives on marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage. Fully 6 in 10 lined up behind Obama. Pre-election polls found that more than two-thirds (68%) of millennials nationwide favor same-sex marriage, and 6 in 10 (59%) favor legalizing marijuana.

The bottom line: Using traditional models, most polling firms underestimated millennial turnout; this generation is sending analysts back to the drawing board to understand both their style of political engagement and a new generation of “values voters.”

8) The sea change on same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage advocates went from a 13-0 losing record on state ballot measures in 2004 to 4-0 winning record in 2012. Before a single vote was cast, it was already clear the landscape on the issue of same-sex marriage had shifted considerably over the past decade. Most notably, Obama’s support for same-sex marriage before the election was not a prominent theme in negative campaign ads. Three states (Washington, Maryland and Maine) legalized same-sex marriage through popular referendums, and a ban against same-sex marriage was defeated in Minnesota, marking the first time this issue has ever triumphed by popular vote at the polls.

The bottom line: Look for this issue to fade at the national level as a campaign wedge issue. The polling shows that it’s not just America’s youngest voters who favor same-sex marriage – a majority (51%) of Americans age 30-49 now support allowing gay and lesbian people to marry.

9) The perils of staking out extreme views on abortion

Republican Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin seemed not to realize just how far outside the mainstream their comments about rape and abortion were, even among their base.

While 69% of white evangelical Protestants say abortion is morally wrong, two-thirds (66%) nonetheless believe that women should be able to obtain a legal abortion in cases of rape.

The bottom line: While the issue of abortion continues to divide Americans, political leaders on both the left and the right would do well to remember that Americans hold complex views on this issue, that they distinguish between moral disapproval and legal prohibition, and that few on either side are absolutists.

10) Americans support Second Amendment, but also strict enforcement

Earlier this year, just after the mass shootings in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we discovered that although more than two-thirds (68%) of Americans perceive the right to bear arms to be as important as other constitutional rights, majorities also want both stricter gun laws (52%) and stricter enforcement of existing gun laws (67%).

Furthermore, roughly three-quarters of Americans believe that concealed weapons should not be permitted in churches, on college campuses, or in government buildings. While support for stricter gun control laws has generally waned since the 1990s, there is early evidence that in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, support for stricter gun control laws is now in solid majority territory and at a 10-year high.

The bottom line: Still to be seen. The Columbine High School shootings resulted in an increase in support for stricter gun control laws for about a year before support began to flag and continue its downward trend.

Finally, the 2013 religion and politics forecast:

Look for religious groups and themes to appear in debates over immigration reform, economic policy as the “fiscal cliff” fight spills over into 2013, implementation of the ACA, and LGBT rights as the Supreme Court hears challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Opinion

soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Johnny 5

    Religion and politics are both based on false claims and drive the division of civilizations. Religion is a vehicle of war and politicians are behind the wheel.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  2. Bootyfunk

    read the bible and replace the word "God" with "magic". see a difference? neither do i.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • truth be told

      Everyone but an idiot sees a difference.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I am proud to be an idiot.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam

      Thank goodness for idiots.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      when your explanation is "goddidit", it may as well be "it was magic". you're leaving logic and reason at the door.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Siara Delyn

    I recently learned that the Aramaic word for God was "Elah". Jesus spoke Aramaic.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Siara Delyn

      Elah Yisrael.
      God of Israel (Ez. 5:1).

      December 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  4. Reality

    And the biggest religion story for 2012???

    Without the votes of the Immoral Majority i.e. the 70+ million "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies, BO would not have been elected President.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Siara Delyn

      Time to up your dose.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • pauleky

      @Reality: Wow – talk about one's name being furthest from the truth. It may shock you to know that women who've had abortions run the gamut. They all don't vote Democratic, they all don't worship at your particular church and they don't all fall for your rhetoric (mainly because it's plain wrong). You do realize that trolling as you do only undermines your cause, right? No one who actually thinks will ever fall for your misinformation.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • sam


      December 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Without the votes of the Immoral Majority i.e. the 70+ million "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies, BO would not have been elected President."
      Considering that there is a very strong correlation to someone's beliefs and that of the people that raise them, it stands to reason that the fetuses, had they not been aborted, would hold very similar beliefs as their parents. Religious beliefs are a very strong predictor for how someone votes.

      Assuming that you are correct in implying that democrats have more abortions than republicans, the odds are that, had Roe v. Wade not been in place, Romney would have lost by an even larger difference.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity: (i.e. that of the Immoral Majority)

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      December 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

      Once again, all the conservative votes in the country did not help the "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

      The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

      2008 Presidential popular vote results:

      69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

      And the irony:

      And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

      The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.


      December 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  5. Reality

    Summarizing religion in 2012 by putting the kibosh/”google” on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!! (and mind- boggling how easy this is)

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    December 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  6. Reality

    Out take for 2012:

    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.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    couple thing i got from this article...

    *** the religious conservatives are always on the wrong side of the fight. the church is always on the wrong side of the battle. now with g.ay marriage, they once again prove they are a force for bigotry and hatred by coming out against two loving people of the same s.ex that want to marry. disgusting. the only group, besides the KKK, that can stand on a soapbox and spout prejudicial cr@p and somehow they aren't @ssholes. ridiculous. but that bullet proof vest is coming off - the church is starting to be held accountable for the terrible philosophies it supports.

    *** religion is going away. the non-religious are growing. the internet and fact checking is killing religion. all religions are cults based on silly and superst.itious belief.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  8. independant jim

    the truth appears to be missing in this article part 1 days it was antipathy and partisanship that had white evangelicals voteing for a non Christian over a Christian .. the truth is it was pure bigotry and racism that had white evangelicals voteing for a Mormon.. white evangelicals would vote for an atheist rather than a black man

    December 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "white evangelicals would vote for an atheist rather than a black man"
      that's not actually true. while white evangelicals in the bible belt hate that a black man got elected, they hate atheists more. here's a study showing that atheists are the least trusted group in america:

      December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  9. Bonjourno


    December 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • sam

      Your capslock key is stuck. Go away.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  10. Old Realist

    Nice that religion and politics are combined in one topic.....they are both forms of social control, and neither is based on reality.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  11. Phil Jackson

    Eliminate all religions! They poison the public debate!

    December 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • gerald

      And just how do you propose to do that Phil? Outlaw religion and kill those who continue in it? Gee that sounds like what happened in Russia and China. Seems you need to move to a totalitarian state and have your wish.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      nah, education, logic and facts are eliminating religion. watch it go away....

      December 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  12. David

    Question for a Conservative Christian:

    If you use the bible as the basis for forming laws in this country, how do you argue against a Muslim appealing to the Koran for his/her basis for promoting Sharia Law?

    December 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • gerald


      Your comment/question demonstrates that you like to broad brush. As a conservitive Christian I will say that I excercise MY right to use the Scriptures as a part of how I choose to excercise MY influence on the laws of society. A muslem in a free society can do the same with their books. That is the law of the land. You don't seem to like it. Move to a totalitarian atheistic society then. China, Vietnam, etc.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      as opposed to the theocratic dictatorship you want?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • David

      Gerald, I understand what you are saying. Let me pose a different question to illustrate my concern.

      Suppose the majority of the population believes that there should be a law that requires a woman to cover her head in public. Should that law be upheld, and if not, what argument would be used to prevent it?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam

      gerald...you're the reason why no one wants to talk to conservative christians. It is pretty funny that you griped about a broad brush, then used one yourself, though.

      December 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  13. mklsgl

    It's all too much... nonsense, I guess would be the correct word for what is actually going on. Every religion is based on peace, love, and understanding, right? Yet, when religion factors into the a political context, what happens is it becomes a tool for fear-mongering and division.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      religion based on peace, love and understand? read the bible. the pillars of christianity are guilt, fear and ignorance.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  14. Joseph Smith's 12th wife

    Just a minute. I can tell you that even my most moderate Christian voting buddies NEVER really warmed up to Romney. Choosing a Mormon was only less offensive than voting for a socialist like Obama.

    Look, if Mormons actually changed their beliefs to a "trinity" based faith, they might be accepted by a broad majority of Christians. The dubious origins of Joseph Smith's polygamy-based faith remains unsettling to the masses.

    Jus' say'n

    December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's no more dubious than any character in the bible. it's all fairy tale. you're arguing that if mormons only believed in your version of the god fairy tale, they'd be accepted. lol.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Sane Person

      Polygamy is biblical. Someone hasn't been reading their bible.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Larry

      Just to be clear...if Mormons would believe that a person who was executed to symbolically end ritualistic and cruel animal sacrifices in which somehow the animals bleeding to death atoned for the sacraficers bad acts, rose as a divine zombie, and ascended to a paradise was one of the three avatars of a all powerful divine being THEN and ONLY THEN would mainstream Christians accept them?

      So what will it take for you to think Hindus or Buddhists can be good people?

      December 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  15. N.Shapiro

    Jews and Israel – Obama was not hurt bythe Republican claims on Israel, particularily as the Jerusalem newsaper, Ha'Araetz strongly endorsed Obama.
    Abortion; – people who follow the Bible, rather than some anti-feminist preachers, know that the Bible dos not condemn abortion, a fetus is not human life, according to the Bible, which says;: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

    December 31, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  16. David

    The most significant implication I got from this election is that the ability of Conservative Christians to bully and persecute others is diminishing little by little. Maybe one day they will simply believe what they want, worship as they like, and simply leave everyone else alone.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      hopefully. but i doubt it. christianity is based on bullyism. love me or be tortured forever, the christian slogan. some day christianity will just go away. anyone believing in any god will be on the fringe, looked at as a nutter.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  17. RAWoD

    The "certaiinty" exhibited by "believers" is certainly weakening. This is ultimately a good thing if the USA wants to regain our global positions (especially in science).

    December 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  18. OFC Old Fashion Christian

    I used to believe that the reason that more and more young Christians are walking away from their faith or their church was do them giving in to the great temptations of society. After this past Presidential election it became obviously clear as to why. The answer is simply “Christian Hypocrisy”. One reason is that today’s Christian leaders have changed from being preachers of the word to becoming dictators of the word. They are today’s modern day Pharisees. Look no further than Billy Graham’s Bible cherry picking statement that one should only vote for a candidate base on only abortion and gay marriage while ignoring the lies and deceptions of the candidate that he supports. How about Joel Osteen, believing that he has the right to sit at the right hand of God by asking one candidate a few questions about his faith and then declaring that his answers are “Good enough for me” thereby giving approval for other Christians to vote for someone whose religion in the past had been preached to have been cult like. But the most overwhelming form of Christian Hypocrisy was the acceptance, embracement and promotion of hatred. For instance, we were told that the President wasn’t born here (hate him), he is a Muslim (hate him), he wants to destroy America (hate him), he will bring on a 1,000 years of darkness (hate him). It wasn’t all aimed at him though. Low income and poor people were called the “Moochers” and “Leaches” of society (hate them). People who lost their job and were on unemployment were considered to be lazy and were gaming the system (hate them) even though these people were lucky to have been collecting half or less of what they were originally earning. Today’s Christians will scream and protest that there is a war on Christmas because some people don’t want a nativity scene set somewhere or they are saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, but have remained silent for centuries while a man in a red suit claims that Christmas is about him and his naughty or nice list and not the birth of the savior of mankind. In my Bible, Jesus taught me to love everyone, even my enemies. He was always willing to help the poor and never looked at the less fortunate with disdain in his eyes. I don’t know what Bible that today’s Christians or Christian leaders read from, but I can tell you that it’s certainly not the one I do.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRanierBraendleinism©

      Absurdity of Old Fashion Christian Captain Crunch dog. absurdity of Ron Jeremy foot-long dog.
      NO DOGS!!!!!!
      Who let them be out????
      NO DOGS!!!!!!!

      December 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • C, K, Justice

      You are absolutely right!! While the so called "evangelical Christians" talk a good game their practice is just like the politicians they support, it is more rhetoric than action.



      December 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      " In my Bible, Jesus taught me to love everyone, even my enemies. He was always willing to help the poor and never looked at the less fortunate with disdain in his eyes. I don’t know what Bible that today’s Christians or Christian leaders read from, but I can tell you that it’s certainly not the one I do."
      *** sounds to me like YOU haven't read the bible. a Canaanite woman wants Jesus to heal her sick daughter. Jesus tells his disciples he only heals Jews. he calls the woman a dog and won’t heal her daughter until she agrees she comes from a race of dogs. sounds like a prejudice jerk to me:

      Mathew 15:21-28
      21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
      22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
      23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
      24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
      25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
      26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
      27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
      28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

      doesn't exactly sound like the prince of love and compassion to me... very very cruel.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Old Realist

      If Christians want to be taken seriously they might consider celebrating the birth of their main guy in the season it was actually supposed to take place, and not tie it to a pagan winter solstice celebration. Read a little history and figure out that the date of the Roman tax/census was't in what we now call December.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  19. DJones

    It is ironic and short sighted to talk about religion and never factor in God. God doesn't change and isn't interested in what the public wants except for the purpose of judgement. A simple truth is that if there is no God then the entire religion issue is sheer ignorance. But if there is a God, then all of the so called progressive stances like supporting gay marriage and abortion are insane, immoral, and in the end, deadly.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Sam

      I like the part where god can't exist in a world of progressive causes.

      God means many things to many different people. It's not ONE or the OTHER.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      the christian god is disgusting. in his great flood, he drowned babies. read that again: BABIES. only a monster could fill a child's lungs with water and call it divine justice. and this is the god you worship?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  20. Richard

    I pray to God daily. May God have mercy upon our nation. We have a lot of very evil things in this nation. Most of the evil things in this nation are called people. There are those who do follow God. I am glad for this. I wish I followed Him more closely, and I will endeavor to do so in this coming year. I believe God is in control, no matter what happens. Some of the things that are happening are not good, and could be better, but God is still in control. It is a sad thing that people do not see. God will judge the ungodly when they die. God will judge those who stood for abortion, and did not stand for justice. Now is the time and the day to repent and believe in Jesus. Like I said, God is in control. No one will get away with anything. Evil will be judged, and the righteous will inherit eternal life.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • sam

      That's quite a boogeyman you have under your bed, dude.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • RAWoD

      You obviously listened to your parents and their choice of a shaman. Will you become a teenager this year?

      December 31, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      there is no god. so you waste your time, daily. instead of praying, take that time and actually go outside and put those hands to use really helping your brothers and sisters.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Old Realist

      Swap the word "God" for "Allah" and you would sound just like the type of Muslim terrorist the right wing religious nuts are screaming about all the time. My wish is that some day you see the world like it really is, a bunch of human animals with the same wants and desires as every other human animal: food shelter and a safe place for their loved ones. Now look around and figure out what is blocking that goal and you will see that religion is a prime mover in getting us to hate, distrust and act against our fellow human animals.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
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About this blog

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