Voters fill out ballots at a polling place inside the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

How partisanship drives religious attitudes

Voters fill out ballots at a polling place inside the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) — Which comes first, religion or politics?

On the one hand, political scientists have long held that people’s political choices are formed by their childhood faith, which, for the most part, sticks with them.

On the other, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, a thrice-married adulterer who rarely attends church.

A new book by University of Pennsylvania political scientist Michele Margolis argues that it's political science that has it backward.

As she lays out in “From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity,” most Americans choose a political party before choosing the religion to follow in their adulthood, if they choose a religion at all.

“From Politics to the Pews” by Michele F. Margolis. Image courtesy of University of Chicago Press


 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“Political science sometimes assumes religiosity is a fixed and stable trait, like gender and race – things we think of for the most part as unchanging," she said. "But there’s a whole literature out there that says it changes over time."

The idea upends conventional thinking based on Americans' lives of 100 years ago, when young people typically got married at age 18 and had their first child at 19. Today, young adults leave home for college. Then they take jobs. They marry later in life and have children even later.

During that transition, Margolis wrote, whatever religion they had fades into the background and they begin to form a political sensibility. Only when they’re ready to settle down and have a family does religion re-enter the picture.

“When it comes time to make religious decisions in adulthood, we have these formed partisan identities,” Margolis said.

Sharpening this political-religious split is the fact that many white Americans who end up as Democrats don’t come back to church, while Republicans tend to become more religious to better align with their political convictions. (She concedes the theory does not apply to African-Americans, who are highly religious and vote solidly for Democrats.)

“It may seem counterintuitive, if not downright implausible, that voting Democrat or Republican could change something as personal as our relationship with God,” Margolis wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. “But over the course of our lives, political choices tend to come first, religious choices second.”

Author Michele Margolis. Courtesy photo

Margolis’ findings are part of a growing body of evidence about the relationship between faith and politics. In their 2010 book “American Grace,” political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell noted the "God gap" — the most religious Americans were Republicans and the least religious were Democrats. The two found that those who say grace before digging into their meals are more likely to find a home in the Republican Party.

Sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer even earlier theorized that the rise in people of no religion — the so-called nones — might be partly due to a backlash against the religious right that may have begun during George W. Bush’s presidency. (Prior to the 1970s, both parties included similar numbers of religious people.)

“People who think of themselves first as being a Democrat look out at the world and see religious people all tend to be Republican and a particular kind of Republican, and they say: ‘That’s not me. So I must not be religious,'” said Campbell, who teaches at the University of Notre Dame. "So they drop their religious affiliation because of their politics.”

The idea that people form their political opinions first may help explain recent studies showing that white evangelicals no longer frown on elected officials who commit immoral acts in their personal lives.

Famously, a 2016 PRRI/Brookings poll found that 72 percent of white evangelicals said an elected official could behave ethically even if the person has committed transgressions in his or her personal life — a 42-point jump from 2011, when only 30 percent of white evangelicals said the same.

Campbell said the nation’s political divide might foreshadow the emergence of a strong secular coalition. While secular Americans are not nearly as mobilized as white evangelicals, who have an advantage of church organizing, there are signs they may be growing.

In an online post about research he and other scholars published in the June issue of the American Journal of Political Science, Campbell concludes that the movement founded to increase the role of Christianity in the country may in fact be its undoing.

“The irony is that the Religious Right was founded to assert a greater role for religion in the public square, in opposition to 'secular humanism,'" the post says. "Instead, it has fed the growth of secularism. The result is a likely continuation of cultural conflict in American politics.”

Comments

  1. This is old news, but it’s essentially one-sided. As this author rightly notes, Democrats, being largely liberal, are leaving religion behind as religion continues to define itself by its so-called “core values” that mostly have to do with stigmatizing / outlawing homosexual behavior and preventing women from having an abortion. So this is really about the manner in which the more “religious” party, the Republican party, has abandoned its supposed fealty to Jesus Christ (who never said a word about either homosexuality or abortion) in order to maintain their fealty to the party that hates gay people and abortion, their two pet issues, along with tax cuts for the very rich of course.

    As I posted elsewhere, Union Seminary in NYC recently posted a thread online responding to an article in the Washington Post about a Baptist church in Alabama where the preacher just couldn’t bring himself to address the issue of Donald Trump and his infidelities during a sermon series about the Ten Commandments when it came time to discuss “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Union Seminary felt this underscores a deep crisis point in Christianity that needs to be openly discussed. Here is that thread again:

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1021772412122218496.html

  2. I’ve long thought that most of us tend to form our religious views through the lens of our politics and not the other way around. I can’t speak to other religious traditions, but for Christians there is plenty in the Gospels to challenge both liberals and conservatives. No single ideology fully embraces the counter-cultural nature of what Jesus taught.

    Healthy religion is, first and foremost, about self-awareness and ongoing conversion, whereas politics is mostly a matter of trying to get other people to do what we want them to do through persuasion and coercion. Both can be noble pursuits. It’s just important to understand the difference.

  3. Can’t trust information that’s based on PRRI polls that are too biased (and/or too racist), to allow Black and Latino respondents to be openly categorized as Evangelicals just like the White respondents.

  4. If a “Christian” is putting party before faith or family they’re doing it wrong.

  5. “Famously, a 2016 PRRI/Brookings poll found that 72 percent of white evangelicals said an elected official could behave ethically even if the person has committed transgressions in his or her personal life — a 42-point jump from 2011, when only 30 percent of white evangelicals said the same.” – brought to you by the folks who can’t stop talking about the unchanging morality of the Bible.

  6. If we could only vote for people who never committed transgressions in his or her personal life, 95% or better of candidates would be disqualified.

    Try Ted Kennedy on for size.

  7. Certainly if your own views are your criterion and your posts indicate your views accurately, it is understandable you would think most of us tend to form our religious views through the lens of our politics.

  8. Partisanship drives religion.

    How you read the Bible depends on what kind of person you are. No one reads the Bible and says, “hmm. I think I’ll become a religious bigot.”

  9. THUD! Typical apologist for church pedophiles Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca posts yet another heavy steaming, stinking load of whataboutism on us.

  10. Apparently partisanship also drives irreligion.

  11. Could it be that correlation is being confused here with causality?

  12. It seems to me that the issue is far more complex.

  13. Makes sense…politics comes before religion !! Most Christians don’t live as if Hell is the destination for their lives, which are overwhelmingly sinful (as Christians define sin). So instead of living a religious life…people vote for their tribal politico-religion.

    Over 90 percent of Christians, including evangelicals, have sex before marriage — if marriage ever comes. Catholics tolerate clergy getting BJ’s from kids…the issue never goes away. Drugs, alcohol adultery and gluttony are common amongst all Christians and other Western religious people. Hypocrisy is rampant…just look at current RNS headlines…

    …Who really wants to live a religious life?…Very few, maybe the Dalai Llama, the Amish, Haredi Jews, Ben-Op’ers (maybe)…everybody else is playing politics and virtue signaling.

  14. What Pew and PRRI do is fair — they count evangelicals in different racial groups because the doctrine is so radically different for white evangelicals…whose historic theology is racist. SBC was formed to support slavery, and to this day…modern white evangelicals came out of the movement to continue Jim Crow and oppose civil rights, Falwell etc. Look how they vote…very different from non-white evangelicals. So white fundy’s should be grouped on their own.

  15. “Look how they vote…very different from non-white evangelicals.”

    That’s truer than you know. The New York Times recently ran an article which contained a very interesting interactive map which detailed down to the last voting precinct how people voted in the 2016 election. In the South and elsewhere you could pinpoint the Clinton voters where most black people live and the Trump voters where most white voters live. That was true almost universally. People who deny that race had nothing to do with Trump’s voter base are either kidding themselves or lying to themselves.

  16. And he had to reach all the way back to the incident at Chappaquiddick in 1969 to do it. Desperate doesn’t even begin to cover it.

  17. You wish to be openly categorized as a homophobe, apparently, just like Hitler.

  18. Says the raging homophobe. Try the DSM on for size.

  19. Just stop lynching gay and trans people, already.

  20. Your nascent trend toward homophobia and transphobia is obvious to anyone who reads your posts.

  21. Perhaps because there are so many different ways, with different combinations and permutations, to satisfy our identity needs? And some need to believe that only their choice of combination and permutation is the best way and the right way, and some don’t?

  22. Not clicking on white supremacist website…all yours.

  23. Oh … you mean “not clicking where I might be afflicted by facts”.

    Yes, I understand.

    You are, if nothing else, consistent and predictable.

  24. ““It may seem counterintuitive, if not downright implausible, that voting Democrat or Republican could change something as personal as our relationship with God,” Margolis wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed”

    Seems rather less implausible if you apply a little scepticism and amend the statement to
    ““It may seem counterintuitive, if not downright implausible, that voting Democrat or Republican could change something as personal as our imagined relationship with God,” Margolis wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed.”

  25. Not so long ago (two years to be exact) Republicans smarmily claimed to inhabit the moral high ground of godly “family values” compared to those libertine Democrats and their sinful ways. That is, until Donald Trump came along and all that high-minded moral rectitude conveniently went right out the window. Now all sins can be forgiven and Mulligans granted in abundance. And you think we’re going to listen to a single thing you have to say about the lack of morals among Democrats? Please.

  26. Oh please. Trying to blame racism on evangelicalism is not only historically false, it’s an insult to Black, Latino, Native, and Asian evangelicals. Here’s three clear definitions of “evangelical” from Merriam-Webster:

    => of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels.
    => emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual.
    => marked by militant or crusading zeal : evangelistic.

    Those definitions go right back to the Bible texts, which (unlike Darwinian Evolution) makes very clear that all humans and all races are created equal (Gen. 1:26-27; Acts 17:26). That’s what evangelical means. Nothing racist about evangelical theology.

    “But what about diversity issues in the evangelical SBC?” Well, what about diversity issues in the liberal Unitarian churches? What about racism in the Atheist community? Racism in the Gay community? Racism in the Black community?

  27. People who deny that race racism had nothing to do with Trump’s voter base are either kidding themselves or lying to themselves

    Fixed.

  28. Unlikely to get facts from Nazi’s !!

  29. Tell that to the 24 percent of Hispanics, 8 percent of Blacks, 24 percent of Jews, and 44 or 45 percent of women who voted for Trump nationally (not to mention all those Black Americans who simply stayed home on Hillary in a crucial state like Florida, knowing that they were quietly handing over the Sunshine State to Mr. Trump).

    Gotta choose the lesser (actually, the WAY lesser) of two evils, you know!!

  30. Whew…8 percent…big number !!

    Makes my point …white fundy’s 81 % — belong in a different category than others.

  31. Hey wait a minute, you forgot to accuse ME of transphobia!!

    (I demand equal opportunity accusations!! )

  32. Ok, transphobe. How many of your own people did you lynch today?

  33. It’s “Nazis”, not “Nazi’s”.

    And, of course, they’re not Nazis.

  34. I see you have a Nazi fetish…you’re even making sure others spell it right !!

  35. You certainly do have your black hats and white hats and little story.

    In reality the Republicans are the party of “we’re not the Democrats”.

    There are Libertarians, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives.

    So, to claim “Republican smarmily” anything defines you as tuned out right off the bat.

    That also put a large torpedo right at the waterline of “until Donald Trump” since your premise was silly.

    If you go back and read my comment, I made no distinction about the parties at all.

    95% is large enough to encompass both parties and Bernie Sanders.

    It is interesting to find an adult who still believes in fairy tales, but they are fairy tales.

    Btw, Ted Kennedy was a grossly overweight, not all that bright, womanizing drunk.

  36. Damien, YOU brought up Nazis, you accused others of being Nazis, so YOU have the fetish.

    Oh, and Spuddie as well.

    Your inability to spell (you used the possessive instead of the plural) was just enough gravy to me to point it out.

    Well, back to whatever it is you do.

  37. Blame my Catholic school education for the grammar issues.

  38. It’s pretty clear that all the blame is your own.

  39. The 8 and the 81 were (regarding theological beliefs) pretty much **both** evangelicals, and a non-evangelical or non-Christian could not hope to ever decrease either number. (Especially by using fake anti-evangelical mythology!)

    By the way, black Christians DID try to send Hillary a friendly little love note, yes? (See link below.) We black folks merely wanted a tiny reassurance that Queen Hillary still took our Christian beliefs seriously regarding public policy issues.

    Hillary only needed to have her fake speechwriter plop down a few stale Democrat lies about respecting religion and diversity, and that people disagree on abortion & gay marriage but she was committed to respecting all sides. That’s all.

    But she didn’t do it, did she? Nope, she gave NO love to her plantation workers. Therefore, Trump won!!
    http://westa.org/bishop-blake-faith-leaders-clinton-black-church/

  40. Thanks for the link. It immediately proves 3 things:

    (1) Black, Latino and other non-white evangelicals ARE being racially segregated and “made invisible” by Pew and PRRI.

    (2) In your link, the Pew spokesman clearly admitted that because most blacks vote Democratic anyway, Pew racially segregates the white and black evangelicals, ONLY labeling the **White** Evangelicals as evangelical (which I’ve shown on previous polls). This is unbelievable segregation. Since most blacks vote Democratic anyway, Pew and PRRI go ahead and assume that us blacks voting for (let’s face it) a very visibly anti-biblical Democratic Party (remember when they tried to remove the word “God” from their National Platform?), means it’s okay to literally deny the “Evangelical” category for ALL Black and Non-White Evangelicals, regardless of anyone’s beliefs, regardless of anyone’s actual voting record.

    (3) Pew and PRRI have completely abandoned ANY standard dictionary definition of the word “evangelical” in regards to Black Latino and other non-white evangelicals. Our core **theological** beliefs, which are like those of most White Evangelicals, are segregated and invisible for poll purposes. Instead, Pew is basing the definition of “evangelical” (for us minorities) solely in **political** terms. They’re not even following Webster’s dictionary.

  41. I think that there are people who, for one reason or another, are unable to live with uncertainty or even a moderate degree of ambiguity. In their need to maintain control, they try to impose their certainties on others and often view as threats those who are more comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity.

    From what I have read in numerous places, it appears that the need among some for absolute certainties tends to increase when societal change affects issues that they have considered to be inviolable. It makes sense that such people would be attracted to a religious group that establishes very clear guidelines. It also makes sense that such people would find attractive political personalities that provide sure, clear answers. I’m not really sure that the choice of religion drives the choice of political personalities or philosophy, or vice versa. I think that the two tend to dovetail.

  42. Nun, Sie scheinen ein wenig zu sehr auf ein oder zwei Gegenstände fixiert zu sein, aber ansonsten denke ich, dass Sie relativ okay sind!!!
    🙂

  43. Jesus didn’t have to say anything about homosexuality and abortion; he figured we knew better.

  44. A rash? …Lay off the scotch for a while, Bob!

  45. None of them bragged about sexual assault.

  46. Unfortunately, this is true. It is ruining both religion and state in America at the same time. It is probably ruining both religion and state in Russia at the same time as well.

  47. And another THUD! Typical apologist for church pedophiles Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca posts yet another heavy steaming, stinking load of whataboutism on us.

    Bob-Jose still doesn’t get it, but that’s not surprising; he’s not very bright, he’s very gullible, and he easily gets stuck in dogma.

  48. Well, evangelicals are all just deluded fools anyway. They aren’t mentally very functional, and hopefully will decline soon to numbers so small as to be irrelevant in politics.

  49. No it isn’t, Bob Jose, when you attack other posters personally at every opportunity. You suck, and you are an as$hole.

  50. It’s interesting that Eblabulus, the MSM and others often comment on how Christians went against their normal moral tendencies and voted for trump; thereby making them hypocrites.
    As I’ve stated before, I do not condone trump and “some” of his behavior. That being said, there was no way I would ever vote for HRC. The fact of the matter is that Christians (if they held to their convictions) were placed with three bad choices: 1) vote for trump, 2) vote for Clinton or 3) don’t vote. What liberals such as yourself STILL cannot come to grips with after after almost 2 years is that 1/2 of the American people preferred a womanizer to a liar. Get the ver it and move on.
    I’d be curious to know how self-righteous liberals such as yourself voted for a lying, deceitful woman who ignored her husbands adultry and helped destroy the lives of his victims? Oh, you must not have voted then.

  51. Ok. I’ll put it right next to the Hillary 2016 signs.

  52. Elagabalus, CanisPulchrae, et al are talking through their hats and know it.

    As proponents of same sex marriage and other “moral” innovations the notion that they are in a position to critique “Christianists” choice of the lesser of two evils is as preposterous as the notion of a symposium on Jesse Jackson by twelve white men wearing white gowns and peaked hoods.

    You’ve got your finger on it: they had deluded themselves into believing the New Age had arrived and were stunned to find out most Americans barely tolerated Obama and absolutely could not gag down Hillary.

  53. I hope you realize there is no “Bob Cariozen”.

    That is the nom de plume of another poster who doesn’t much more sense.

  54. I think you are absolutely right that an individual’s relative ability to tolerate uncertainty is a primary driver in their political and religious choices. And as you say, since both those choices will be compatible with the individual’s tolerance level, they will tend to be compatible with and reinforce each other. Thank you for an excellent analysis and distillation.

  55. Science seems to be defined by the percentage of white evangelicals that are polled. As long as there are polls, there will be ostracization.

  56. I know. Just trolling the low brainwave frequencies.
    Wait, what does that say about me?!
    🙂

  57. Yep. And as liberals usually do, they flip the conversation to force the conservatives to defend their choice.
    I have yet to hear from the liberals why they support Hillary and her lying cheating ways.
    Oh look!! Trump called someone a bad name….

  58. That was very kind, alwayspuzzled. It’s nice to be able to interact with friends from NCR. There are so many on this site that like to snipe and attack.

  59. I actually agree with what you’ve written, but I think that linking religious choice to political viewpoint is a bit superficial.

    I don’t believe that the people who support the man currently in the White House can actually defend his ethics or morality. It seems to me that the pretend to do so, because …. oh, heavens, I really can’t truly fathom it, unless they are riding his coattails.

  60. As I always say, the issues are power, money, dominion, revenge, and despite. Faith and morality are just the lipstick on that pig.

  61. Unfortunately there is an undercurrent of low brainwave frequencies. I just block them. I have better things to do.

  62. Hmm, Trump isn’t a liar? That’s certainly news. What hypocritical Trump-suckers like you forget is that Hillary won 3 million more votes than your lying, serical adulterating, sexual predator, disability-mocking hero. You’re disgusting.

  63. Dude – tell me why you voted for Hillary. Seriously. Please.

  64. How could Evangelicals ever vote for Trump, with all his personal transgressions? Because Trump offers a path to the social outcomes Evangelicals consider desirable. And they consider them desirable because they have been brought to feel that way by their faith.

    It isn’t that faith/religion dictates politics or vise-versa, its that politics is dictated by values, which may be sourced either from faith (most likely for those who are right-leaning), or more secular sources (those who end up more left-leaning).

  65. Unlike your lying, racist, idiotic, petulant, thin-skinned traitorous hero, Hillary Clinton already had years of political experience, and served the country well as Secretary of State. Trump has succeeded in alientating our European allies, while praising dictators. History won’t be kind to Trump or his army of sycophantic idiots.

  66. I had no illusions about how racist people like you are in America.

  67. Hi, Alexandra. On another topic, I’ve been in dialogue lately with Monica DeAngelis from the old NCR site. She’s interested in putting together a discussion blog for some of the old NCR regulars, and maybe a few others. It wouldn’t be ideologically based, but it would be by invitation only, which, hopefully, would help keep the rancor to a minimum. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll keep you up to date as things progress. And feel free to pass this on to others you run across from the old site.

  68. AA, on another topic, I’ve been in dialogue lately with Monica DeAngelis from the old NCR site. She’s interested in putting together a discussion blog for some of the old NCR regulars, and maybe a few others. It wouldn’t be ideologically based, but it would be by invitation only, which, hopefully, would help keep the rancor to a minimum. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll keep you up to date as things progress. And feel free to pass this on to others you run across from the old site.

  69. Ok – she had experience. I would argue not the best experience ; but I’ll give you that one. Your argument revolves around morals and ethics; of which Clinton, inc. is just as lacking as trump. She lied about Benghazi, lied about the email server, lied about whitewater, etc.
    FYI – I don’t care who trump alienated as ling as it benefits America. Obama went on an 8 year apology tour and has nothing to show for it.
    Face it-people don’t like Hillary. She had 20+ years since bill was in office to make the sale to the American people and she couldn’t close the deal.

  70. Politicians lie. You’re overstating Clinton’s case, because you need to. Trump, not a politician but a sociopathic narcissist, lies about EVERYTHING. Trump still has the lowest approval rating. But you’re whining about how people don’t like Hillary? Fk off.

  71. Dude, just saying. I can’t help it people don’t like her. Later tough guy.

  72. Evangelicals know better? That’s a laugh. You gentiles worship a man who states multiple times in Matthew 10:5-6 and 15:24 that he only came “for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He didn’t come for gentiles (considered heathen) or for righteous Jews whom he believed were already saved..

    While Jesus said nothing about abortion, the mythology recorded in Exodus 21:21-23 states that a fetus isn’t life and Numbers 5:11-29 condones aborting a fetus conceived in an adulterous relationship. Additionally, there’s biblical evidence both Paul and his “special friend” Luke were homosexual as were David and Jonathan. I guess ignorance is bliss for those who aren’t biblically literate.

  73. We witness christians’ hypocrisy everyday as it relates to politics since there’s not one single sentence in the New Testament about christians being active in politics. The reason there isn’t is because Jesus was an apocalypticist who repeatedly claimed the end of the world was imminent 2,000 years ago. Oops.

    And for one of you christians, help me understand how two gods on two heavenly thrones (actually 14 gods on 14 heavenly thrones) is monotheism. Is 1 + 1 = 1 new math?

  74. If we only voted for people who were sane, Trump wouldn’t be in the WH.

  75. You just block everyone who disagrees with you. #ThatsSoChristian

  76. Nobody can gag down Christianity. Stop lynching people for being gay or trans.

  77. Apparently a lot of people thought otherwise.

  78. Religion precedes politics because it’s not until they become evangelicals that their ministers, those frauds who stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning, are able to sell them the christianity fraud and inform them which politicians they should support.

  79. There is actually no real “Bob Arnzen”. The person who uses that name and many others here is merely a deluded old co​ward and con artist. He was previously booted out of another community for his, er, “habits” and his bigotry.

  80. It’s clear that you can’t defend what you said. Again, all you can do is whataboutism.

  81. False as usual from Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca, as he goes on spewing more of his standard BobWorld spew.

    Bob Jose, in your case, it’s not your hat you are talking through. It’s your back orif​ice.

    Bob Jose, the delusion is all your own.

  82. I don’t care that people don’t like her. But you can’t face facts: 3 million more people liked her than liked Trump on election day.

  83. Please explain so that I can make my own decision. I’m not familiar with his work.

  84. Trump lies on a daily basis. Haven’t you seen his Twitter feed?

  85. Trump wants to enable Christian bigots to exterminate gay and trans people.

  86. Christians want to exterminate gay and trans people, just like Hitler did.

  87. It’s basically every tweet, especially the ones calling Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt”.

    Christians are the ones witch-hunting gay and trans people, because they are nothing but an angry mob that needs someone to lynch, to make themselves feel better.

  88. So, Trump lies on a daily basis, and you don’t care, because you’re just another stupid Christian who can’t think for themself.

  89. Sure, sounds good. Keep me updated. Thanks.

  90. So-called “Christians” like you go against your so-called “normal moral tendencies” EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIVES. There is nothing “normal” about such sanctimonious BS.

  91. Sure. Please let me know.
    You do know that we have a Facebook Group called “Homeless Commenters from the National Catholic Reporter”, don’t you? It’s a closed group, and one needs to apply to get in. You’re welcome to try us. When you have more info about Monica’s group, I’ll let others know.

  92. Doesn’t matter. Learn about the electoral college.

  93. Dude, seriously; round 2?
    I told you why I voted they way I did. I’m sorry you cannot accept the fact (again) that Hillary lost. You can call me every name you want (which is the emotional reaction of liberals when people don’t agree with them) but it still doesn’t change the results of the election.
    She had 20 years to make her case and couldn’t do it.
    By the way, I AM no better than anyone. I’m a sinner just like you.

  94. Listen, snowflake, I have never argued or disputed the results of the election. The integrity of the election is under suspicion and investigation, however.

  95. Face the facts. More people liked Hillary than liked Trump — and that is certainly the case today.

  96. Ok. I’ll give you that. But they didn’t live in the right states. Although you guys may have that taken care of by 2020 with the open borders.

  97. To hell with you and your wack-job conspiracy theories. Trump is going down, and it will be by his own hand.

  98. https://www.newsandguts.com/far-4229-lies-misleading-statements/
    August 1, 2018

    It’s interesting to see how far one’s moral compass will stray when there are no consequences. These lies are the result of no one willing to stand up and say no, no one willing to tell the President of the United States that his actions are harmful and demeaning to the office. Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post, has told 4229 lies or misleading statements in 558 days in office, or an average of 7.6 a day. From The Post:

    When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. But the average number of claims per day keeps climbing the longer Trump stays in office. In fact, in June and July, the president averaged 16 claims a day.

    Put another way: In his first year as president, Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims. Now, just six months later, he has almost doubled that total.

  99. If you like your doctor, you can keep him…
    The cost of health insurance for the average American family will decrease by $2500 per year….
    The attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi was due to a political cartoon…
    I did not have sexual relations with that woman; Monica Lewinsky….

  100. Integrity of the election? Huh?
    You mean ballots were forged? Systems hacked? Ballots missing?
    I don’t seem to recall those things occurring.
    Now, if you’re referring to the dead people still on the voter rolls in cities like Chicago and New York that just happened to vote straight democrat; or illegal immigrants voting in the state of California and Illinois; now you’re talking sense.

  101. So, you’re too stupid to realize you’re being duped.

  102. QUOTE: “On the other, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, a thrice-married adulterer who rarely attends church.”
    Hillary Clinton was the only presidential candidate in the last 20 years that would make Trump look saintly in comparison as far as white evangelicals are concerned. So that pretty much blows up this whole theory.

  103. Who said this: “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

  104. You have never read the Bible, have you? I think you are regurgitating talking points from someone else who tried to cherry pick verses. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” That sounds like God though Jeremiah was a person before he was born, doesn’t it?

    As for Paul and homosexuality, he came out against it four square in Corinthians, Romans, and 1 Timothy Here is the Romans, you can look the rest up on your own.
    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

  105. Then they need to stop lynching cake bakers and pizza makers already.

  106. His opponent was Hillary Clinton. She thinks abortion is some sort of “women’s health”

  107. We evangelicals like Trump because his election seems to be the reason that Democrats and liberals and the media started championing the idea of strict monogamy…unless it is Mike Pence, then strict monogamy is somehow twisted.

  108. Yeah, because we all know that only Christians can be hypocrites, right? As for your two gods, and that 14 whatever, I don’t even care to speculate as to how you came up with that. Because Father, Son, and Holy Spirit doesn’t equal two, seven or fourteen, but that might be your new theology.

  109. “All have sinned and fallen short the glory of God”. That’s what Christians believe about themselves and others. Atheists claiming that Christians believing that they are perfect is one of the bigger lies they keep repeating.

  110. Yeah, Ted Kennedy was the last bad apple as far as you’re concerned…right?

  111. I’m glad you have started to care about monogamy, the sanctity of marriage, the sins of adultery and fornication, etc. Nobody on the left gave two hoots about any of that until Donald Trump. He converted as many lost sheep in two years as Billy Graham did in 60, by the sound of all of the moral indignation coming from you guys now.

  112. No one is lynching bakers and pizza makers. They’re all still alive, in case you couldn’t tell.

  113. If Trump looks crazy to you, it might be that all is yellow to the jaundiced eye. I’m sure I sound crazy to you as well, don’t I? 😉

  114. Atheists don’t really believe that Christians believe they are perfect.

    Atheism is basically an act, and pretending that Christians believe they are perfect is part of the act.

    They stop in at Religion News to make themselves feel better about their empty little lives (and heads) by trolling.

  115. Answer: One of the hundreds of anonymous Bible authors. It certainly wasn’t Moses, to whom it’s attributed, because the mythological Moses would have lived (1530-1410 BCE) about 400 years before Old Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, was invented in Canaan about 1,000 BCE. Oops.

  116. Quoting mythology to prove fairy tales. Hilarious.

    How did Paul know that men were consumed with passion for other men since this thought never occurred to me as a heterosexual? Isn’t it clear that Paul wasn’t talking about his fingers and toes when he said, “I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin…in my members.” Luke was probably also homosexual as were David and Jonathan. Oops.

  117. In case you weren’t aware, there is an ongoing investigation with multiple indictments so far regarding the corrupted election of 2016.

  118. Believing two gods on two heavenly thrones (the Father and Jesus) is monotheism evinces a complete lack of critical thinking skills. And yes, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost does equal two because Jesus’ Father, according to the mythology in Matthew 1:18, is also the Holy Spirit, thereby reducing the trinity to a binity of Father/Holy Ghost and Jesus. Oops.

  119. Not crazy, just gullible and unable to differentiate between fact and fiction.

  120. Would that be the college that allowed Trump and W to steal two elections?

  121. Name five dead people who voted in Chicago? How about New York. Name 10 illegals in California who voted. There’s a reason Trump loves the “poorly educated” and intellectually challenged like you.

  122. Obviously, Alex Jones is your role model. Such lies — that’s your thing. LIES.

  123. Rather than address your fairy tales, how about the following from the Washington Post.

    In one of the most comprehensive investigations of fraud, Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles turned up 31 credible instances of voter impersonation out of more than 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014. Some of those cases may have been because of clerical errors. Levitt’s investigation suggests that while voter impersonation does indeed happen, it happens so rarely that the rate is approximately one instance out of ever 32 million ballots cast. This is similar to the odds of getting “heads” 25 times in a row on a coin toss.

    You’d expect a liar like Trump to lie about rampant voter fraud. The real tragedy is that people like you don’t have the critical thinking skills to recognize his claims as fiction.

  124. What exactly is being investigated?
    What are the indictments related to?
    Who was in charge in 2016?

  125. From investors business daily 11/28/2016
    But, in fact, it’s almost certain that illegals did vote — and in significant numbers. Whether it was three million or not (in CA) is another question.
    While states control the voter registration process, some states are so notoriously slipshod in their controls (California, Virginia and New York — all of which have political movements to legalize voting by noncitizens — come to mind) that it would be shocking if many illegals didn’t vote. Remember, a low-ball estimate says there are at least 11 million to 12 million illegals in the U.S., but that’s based on faulty Census data. More likely estimates put the number at 20 million to 30 million.

  126. I guess you can make up whatever you want and call it your version of “Larryanity”. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make any sense. Anyhow, the Bible also says this: “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” So I guess we are done.

  127. He most likely saw homosexuals and or heard about them. That would be the most obvious answer and the one you skipped right over. I bet you think all of the soldiers in Easy Company from Band of Brothers were homosexuals because they said they loved each other. If you were the Bible expert you claimed to be, you would know the differences between “Eros” and “Philia”. Lastly, do you end every post in “Oops” as if you are awarding yourself bonus points for your answer?

  128. Wow your reply has earned another “Oops” from yourself. You are REALLY piling those up!

    As for the answer, it was Jesus Christ, so you are right when you said it was not Moses, but it shows you have never read the Bible. (Can I get an “Oops” for exposing you?)

  129. The Biblical term for what most self proclaimed “atheists” are would be “lûwts”, or “scorning fool”. These guys were pegged for what they would be about 2,600 years before they were born.

  130. As long as we are taking “lynching” literally, do you have a picture of a homosexual or transvestite that has been hanged lately, other than by their own hand?…

  131. Where’s the evidence since neither you nor Investor’s has been able to identify one single person who voted illegally. Critical thinking skills aren’t Investor’s Business Daily’s strong suit. Let’s file this under “Loony right wing conspiracy theories” until someone produces some evidence.

  132. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX (CNN) – A Mexican National is facing charges after she allegedly stole someone’s identity and used it to vote.

    A Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted Laura Janeth Garza with voter impersonation and ineligible voting.

    According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Garza obtained documents to steal the identity of a U.S. Citizen.

    They say she illegally registered to vote in Harris County and actually voted in three elections.

    If convicted Garza faces up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
    She is scheduled to be in court this Thursday.

  133. Christianity has been done for decades and is only practiced by the most gullible, biblically illiterate, and intellectually challenged. It’s no surprise those who believe this theological nonsense also adore the Trumpster.

  134. URBANA — A Mexican national who has lived in Urbana since 2005, allegedly using a stolen identity, was arraigned Thursday on seven federal counts, including four related to voting by an illegal immigrant.

    Miguel Valencia-Sandoval, 33, who allegedly had been using the identity of a Texas man named Ramiro G. Vasquez, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Eric Long at U.S. District Court in Urbana.

  135. Actually, Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t alive when the Old Testament was written about 580 BCE in Babylon. And Jesus wasn’t the christ since he couldn’t trace his lineage back to King David because, according to mythology, he had no human father.
    Nothing you believe about Jesus is true except that he was born, probably preached exclusively to the Jews, and was crucified for sedition.

  136. In a case watched around the country, Melowese Richardson was a Hamilton County poll worker from 1998 until her arrest earlier this year when she was charged with eight counts of illegal voting. In May, she accepted a plea deal and was convicted of four counts in exchange for the other four being dismissed.
    “This is not a little thing. It’s not a minor thing. This is what our country’s based on — free elections,” Judge Robert Ruehlman of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court told Richardson, chastizing her for violating the principle of one person, one vote.
    She was convicted of voting twice in the 2012 election and voting three times — in 2008, 2011 and 2012 — for her sister, Montez Richardson, who has been in a coma since 2003.
    Richardson told the judge she was bothered that Amy Searcy, the Hamilton County Board of Elections director, had criticized her moments before the sentencing. Richardson, 58, said that for years she helped register Democrats to vote but now was being persecuted despite her decades as a poll worker.

  137. I knew homosexuals growing up but it never occurred to me that they would lust after each other as it did to the Apostle Paul. He knew they lusted after each other because he lusted after other men, a fact which explains why Paul was at war with his members. What’s an evangelical to do: homosexuals Paul and Luke wrote half your New Testament.

  138. So now you have abandoned all of your self proclaimed Biblical expertise and are going with the name calling and insults. So I will leave you with this: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.” But more importantly, I’ll point you to this: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

  139. Done here. Sticking your fingers in your ears and going “la – la – la – la – la -la” won’t make it go away.

  140. Lynching comes in a variety of forms. Just ask Matthew Shepard.

  141. I’m not talking about voter fraud; I’m talking about the Mueller investigation into Russian interference and influence in the election. I recognize EVERYTHING about Trump to be fiction. Talk to Parker12 about his claims of millions of instances of voter fraud.

  142. Please be specific so that I can address you point by point.

  143. You can’t address anything. You’re blind, ignorant, gullible and given to fantasy.

  144. Hmmm… I see.
    Can’t go point by point; or aren’t willing to.
    Easier to be lazy and lob out hate speech.
    Ok. Later.

  145. You’ve already shown yourself to be blatantly dishonest and clueless, so why should I waste my time on that?

  146. He hasn’t been convicted of voting illegally.

  147. Charged but not convicted. Even if true and 10,000 more were found, it wouldn’t be the millions Trump must find to prove he was the people’s choice for president.

  148. What are the “social outcomes” that evangelicals consider desirable? Legislating against entire classes of people they consider undesirable and sinful? Racist, xenophobic immigration policies? Ignoring our pluralist society in favor of legislating by the bible? The social outcomes of evangelicals are essentially immoral, unethical and illegal.

  149. Oh. So you now admit that it occurs.
    Glad we could talk.

  150. Try me. I’m willing to talk. You just call me names.

  151. I’m what you would call an evangelical, but don’t identify at all with their politics. Religion’s big change over the last 40 years is we are very much a secular society, but politically more conservative than liberal. My Dad was conservative and all his kids are, Today I still don’t buy Hilary’s socialism, of let the state solve your many problems, But neither do have i bought Trump’s populism which has turned many Evangelicals into moral and spiritual schizophrenics, i.e. “we hold to certain moral absolutes, except in the case of our champion, because he will hold back the tide of godless socialism. . .

  152. Terri Lynn Rote, 55, was booked into the Polk County Jail about 3:40 p.m. Thursday on a first-degree election misconduct charge, which is a Class D felony. Rote, a registered Republican, reportedly cast an early voting ballot at the Polk County Election Office, 120 Second Ave., and another ballot at a county satellite voting location in Des Moines, according to a Des Moines police report.

    .

  153. Lock her up! Lock her up! Oh wait, that’s for Hillary.
    Seriously, lock them all up. Being able to vote in our country is next to being able to breathe. It should not be tolerated, condoned or endorsed by anyone.

  154. Trump should not be tolerated, condoned or endorsed by anyone.

  155. You’re willing to tell lies. You’re willing to believe stupid conspiracy theories. No, not at all interested. You represent everything that is wrong with this country.

  156. You must be a Russian bot…
    Man up – let’s talk.
    Let’s go point by point.
    I’ll admit to you, I’ve actually learned something from Ben in regard to the homosexual community; so I am coachable…
    Just don’t tell him I said that.,,

  157. Really? Are we better off now that 40%+ of our children are born out of wedlock? Is it an ethical outcome that somewhere between a third and half of marriages end in divorce? Is it moral that the traditional family, the compatibility of men and women, and the benefits of propagating the species have been torn down, to be replaced by LGBTQXYZ hedonistic sexual ideology?

    What are the social outcomes Evangelicals consider desirable? Marriage. Family. Reproduction. Public religiosity. A society guided by belief in the Christian God. Patriotism for such a society. Hard work. Personal responsibility.

    Goods, all.

  158. Your bigotry and platitudes aside, evangelicals don’t know how to live respectifully with others.

  159. “live respectfully with others” apparently equals a tolerance for evil, in your mind. And make no mistake: most of the facts of social leftism are evil. Throwing around words like “bigotry” and “xenophobia” and “racism” that have long since lost any real meaning, and then whining about platitudes, is quite the gymnastics routine.

  160. So loving and Christian!!! You’re an extremist, not much different from radical Islam. Your fundamentalist BS is evil.

  161. This is insightful if highly depressing, as it suggests that in the contemporary American landscape, there are ultimately no values or loyalties that transcend the self. Religion cannot really correct one’s politics, right or left, because one’s religion is picked on the basis of one’s politics and presumably will be changed for another religious identity if one’s clergy began to offer leadership that contradicted the usual political positions of the group. It also means that religious and political conflicts will become more polarized and intractable, because the old centrist consensus of mainline Protestants and liberal Catholics and Jews will cease to influence a broad spectrum of middle America which will have retreated into more ideologically homogeneous religious communities. It’s a disaster for American society, although it has been going on for a long time.

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