October 6th, 2007
08:42 AM ET
11 years ago

'08 White House hopefuls rated on 'God-o-Meter'

How does your favorite presidential candidate do on the "God-o-Meter?"

WASHINGTON (CNN) - What role does religion play in presidential politics? CNN’s Abbi Tatton reports on a web tool dubbed the “God-o-meter” that ranks candidates according to how often they discuss faith on the campaign trail.

Click here to CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Brooklyn

    That first person said it best.

    "There is something sick about religion and politics in America, and we've been paying dearly for it."

    So true. Ditch the God-O-Meter and create a Servethepeople-O-Meter.

    October 6, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  2. laurinda,ny

    I think it should be left up. Alot of undecided voters can learn from it.

    October 6, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    The media continues to associate religion and politics. No one should vote for someone because they are religious or are not religious. People need to wake up and realize that politicians that are especially religious are just using that because they think it allows them to control the dumb masses, and actually have no respect for it at all. We need to elect someone that will work for us, not use us.

    October 6, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Mike Dallas, TX

    Let me respectfully repeat my plea. Take this cartoon down.

    You are assuming we are not intelligent enough to make our own analysis the only way we can understand the issue is looking at a cartoon.

    How desrespectful!

    October 6, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. Moe, NY

    Religion has no place in politics. Separation of church and state at all costs.

    October 6, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. NS, New York

    God-o-meter? What a god-awful level our politics has sunk to.

    October 6, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Robert Wooller

    I don't think we need policians to preach about God. Why can't they stick to the real issues?

    October 6, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. Ellen K., Burlington, VT

    I kind of knew McCain would do well after reading this:

    McCain Pushes To Put Jesus On Dollar Bill

    October 6, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Terry, El Paso, TX

    There are 24 world religions that have more than a half-million adherents, and most of them have a significant representation in the USA. Most of us did not choose our religion; we simply inherited it. Most Americans inherited some flavor of Christianity, of which there are 80 denominations containing more than a million believers, and most of them have significant representation in the USA ( http://www.midasjones.com/html/the_gospel_truth.htm ).

    Of these 104 different religious groups, the largest is Christianity (31% of the human race), followed by Islam (19%). The third largest "religious" group (16%) consists on non-religious people: agnostics, atheists, secular people who do not consider religion to be particularly important, and people who do not think about religion at all. The largest religious group is Roman Catholicism, whose believers are about 16% of the human race.

    Therefore, if you are a Catholic you believe that 84% of the human race has chosen the wrong choice. If you belong to any other religious group, then you believe that an even greater percentage of the human race is lost in error and an even smaller percentage of humanity agrees with you.

    Every religious belief is merely a splinter group of humanity. And, as we all know, members of each group do not all agree with each other. For every Muslim who calls for a jihad, there is another Muslim who claims that the first Muslim's belief is contrary to "true" Islam. According to surveys, 20% of Christians believe in reincarnation, though 80% do not. Many Buddhists believe in reincarnation, but many Buddhists are atheists who do not believe in the soul. Many evangelistic Christians believe that the Pope isn't a "true" Christian, and some evangelistic orphanages will not place an orphan in a Catholic home. The Pope, on the other hand, says that Christians who are not Catholics have alienated themselves from the true church, though he forgives them and welcomes them back into the fold. If any five Baptists form a church, after a time two of them will split off to form another church because of the doctrinal errors of the three.

    Bottom line: we live in a polytheistic world. Humanity believes in many gods. The scientific, secular world view is the only one we can all agree on, and it is the only perspective that government can take. Otherwise, some splinter religious group is imposing its beliefs on the great majority of us (because all religions are splinter groups).

    "You believe that I am the puppet of Satan and I believe that you will probably be reincarnated as a garden snail. I believe that you should spend more time meditating and fasting. You believe that I should attend your tabernacle services four times a week and give one-tenth of my gross (not net) income to your local holy man. Each of us believes that his particular truth is obviously correct and that the other’s is fundamentally flawed. A statistician might point out that the odds are that both of us are wrong. He might say the odds are at least seven out of ten that a particular individual will not be born into or choose the most perfect of all religions. If you believe in statistics, you have to agree that it is probable that both you and I have chosen an inferior path and rejected the True Way." – from MidasJones.com

    October 6, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. D., Greensboro, NC

    As a person of faith I believe it is very important to express your faith in everyday life, ONLY if you really believe in it. I do think politicians use God as a means of getting a vote which is very very wrong and they will answer for it one day. As for the separation of church and state, there is no such thing.

    October 6, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Mike Dallas, TX

    "I think it should be left up. Alot of undecided voters can learn from it."


    Can't you read and make decisions? Do you need a CARTOON? How do you even know this cartoon is accurate. You want ready made cartoon just like a ready made burger to make one of the most important decisions? How sad?

    October 6, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I would rather they have a "position-0-meter" or a "truth-0-meter" to determine what peoples positions are.

    Tired of this worn out BS, where BOTH sides start talking about faith (the Democrats do it also sheep).

    I make no decisions based on religion, NONE.

    I do get mad as hell when losers who worship nothing feel it is open season on all Christians just to make their point.

    If you want to worship a "gerbil" no problem here, but don't bash my religion when you can't make a simple lucid argument.

    October 6, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Brian, Syracuse NY

    John F. Kennedy was a man of strong faith but he didn't bludgeon people over the head with it.

    Religion is a substitute for substance in politics. These hacks are no different from the pharisees. I'd much rather see these people showing their faith through good works than bludgeoning voters over the head with it.

    "God this, God that." Yeah, we get it. Now what are you going to do about our national security? Healthcare? Tax reform?

    You hear more about God than about issues these days.

    October 6, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Evelyn, Princeton, WV

    There really are alot of narrow-minded people in the world. I can't believe people can not see past their ignornace. When separation of church and state became, it simply meant: KEEP THE STATE OUT OF THE CHURCH BUT NOT THE CHURCH OUT OF THE STATE. This country was founded on God and over the years people have tried so hard to change that and it's not my place to judge them, but they will be judged accordingly when they face judgement day before God.

    October 6, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Andy Huntington, NY

    Wow. That's great. The graphic would be a great overlay for my kid's "Whack a Mole" game. There's just no way to take this seriously...well...except when one considers that someone thinks this is serious enough to garner some attention as a tool for evaluating a presidential candidate.

    Let's see, if we can get Fred Thompson to sing "God God God God...God God God God...God God God God God God God God" to the tune of that cat food song, will he win?

    October 6, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    If need a clue as to why 'merica is so dysfunctional, consider the impact of the phonies who are manipulating crosses and flags.

    October 6, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Angela, wpb, fl

    To Terry El Paso TX,
    that was so accurate and refreshing. As my son puts it, people are "zoned" for a particular religion and generally do not pick their beliefs. Please start a Voters Education Group to help people process information.
    When candidates mention their faith he or she is bound to offend alot of people who do not beleive in their particular application. As far as the God-o-Meter, well I can't really think of anyone who wouldn't be insulted.
    Bad, BAD, choice for a news story.

    October 6, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. laurinda,ny

    Mike from Dallas..I do not need a cartoon to make a decision. I certainly can think for myself. The cartoon may be helpful to some people who can not make decisions without getting every little fact. I am a free spirit and I hope that you learned in school that TEXAS was not part of the thirteen colonies!

    October 6, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. speakingoutworld

    Here we go again God, Jesus, God. When can we start focusing on the real things. The issues,war in Iraq, and the poor in this country. No instead we have to rate political leaders on there religuos beliefs. Look not everyone cares about religion and doesn't want some group of believers forcing their beliefs on us through the laws. Lets leave faith completely out of politics, and start taking care of our problems.
    The Spokesman

    October 6, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Mike Dallas, TX

    .."I do not need a cartoon to make a decision. I certainly can think for myself. The cartoon may be helpful to some people who can not make decisions without getting every little fact."

    What makes you think other people are less intelligent than you are and can't inform themselves through diverse resources so they should be informed through some whacky cartoon somebody created with no reliable way of establishing it's accuracy?

    So you think there should be one class of people who should continue to make well informed decisiond and another lazy class that needs to be fed low quality pre packaged junk like this cartoon?

    Give me a break!

    I repeat my plea!
    CNN please take this insulting cartoon down! Show some respect!

    October 6, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Greg, Barrington, IL

    The really depressing thing about this story is that it is a story at all! The truth is, we have so many voters in America that believe a choice for a presidential election (and to go one step further, how we evaluate everybody in our society) comes down to a belief that there is this huge struggle between "moral" and "immoral" people. The actual truth is, most of us are moral in our feelings about decency, kindness, and an appreciation of our fellow Americans even though we do not all think exactly alike on every issue. To misquote Forrest Gump: "Religious is as religious does" It's time to let these people know that religion is not just another tool to hate people! How can we educate our voters to start being concerned with what is really important in a leader, namely intelligence, education, an inate caring for people, and the ability to deal with domestic and foreign policy that can only be handled by our best and brightest. Message to you self-appointed "moral" watchdogs: Get over this 24-7 search for people you think are not religious enough, moral enough, not fit to live in our society enough! There are people out there that would see us all dead... Almost all of us are basically good people, so lets start using our intelligence and solidarity to protect ourselves and be the world leader that we deserve to be!

    October 6, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. laurinda,ny

    MIKE from Dallas..I said that some people want to know everything about a candidate before they make a decision. I am not smarter than other people nor would I ever want to be. As far as that cartoon is concerned that's all everybody talks about. Why don't you go find something better to do than annoy me about cartoons. Futhermore someone else said to leave it up so go bother him.

    October 6, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  23. MCD, San Francisco

    For a minute there I thought I was watching the John Stewart show or "The Colbert" report! Or maybe Saturday Night Live! This is simply beyond belief!!!

    October 6, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. David, Encinitas, CA

    Evelyn from WV:

    I'll bite. You've got your argument backwards. The founders clearly stated that religion, and government, were to be separate. That is, no church in state, and no government in church. This is not a christian country, nor is it jewish, muslim or hindu. If you read Jefferson's writings, you'll find he was more a rationalist than a christian. While other founding fathers were christians, the majority voted to keep religion away from government. The "christianization" of America did not really start until the 1950s. Hopefully, that chapter is coming to a close. We need to honor the ideals of our founders and keep religion out of our government.

    October 6, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. josh

    All the canditates have a firm belief in the God of our forefathers except for the candidate for the Nation of Islam, Barack (Saddam) Hussein Obama (Bin Laden).

    October 6, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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