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. Ron Nebraska

    josh........you are an idiot,and your voting rights have been revoked due to chronic stupidity.

    October 6, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    If someone's mind is so tiny that the best they can do is to make childish fun of someone's name, it's doubtful that such a person could handle any truth. It is disgraceful for someone to make moronic comments without any effort to look at truth. ANYONE who has even a minimal interest in honesty should look at facts before advertizing their lack of intelligence. Apparently there was ONE person who didn't get the FACTS that claims about Barack Obama being Islamic were invented by liars. CHECK facts before looking so dumb.

    October 6, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. Don, Sandpoint, Idaho

    I still don't understand why people still believe in such rubbish. In an ideal America, religion would have no part in American Politics or the campaign process. If the Church gets more power, I can see the bed time for Democracy.

    For Anyone intrested...
    Check out the free movie on google. Zeitgeist.

    This brings us to the question...Which pagan "God" do you worship? or is it the sun or stars?

    Thanks but no thanks Jesus (or Muhammad, for the matter)... stay out of this one. I can wait for the Age of Aquarius for the next messiah.

    Freedom of Religion does not necessarily mean freedom. If anything the exact opposite.

    I could be wrong about all of this. I may have already bought my ticket for the Highway to Hell. But sure as un-hell, i'll be bringing the Dark Lord a six-pack, some heavy metal music(we all know how he loves the mind-bending guitar solos), and perhaps some illegal fireworks and Schedule One Drugs(courtsey of our favorite/current President). Im sure he would like that....

    Oh, thats right! THERE IS NO SUCH THING. selah

    October 6, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. Theresa Fleming, Strongsville, OH

    Why The Faith & Values of Presidential & Congressional Candidates Matters…

    Family, faith and freedom are the foundation upon which this country has been built and they are the reasons for its enduring success. It is these core beliefs that have become the very heart of the American spirit. And it is these beliefs and values, along with the courageous service and sacrifice of so many, that has made America the kind of country that millions all over the world wish to come to, and millions thank God every day to be a part of.

    Having the courage and taking time to honor God’s place in our country and our country’s history doesn’t take away from the fact that we also care deeply about other important issues such as national security, the economy, education, health care and social security. Throughout our country's history, we have faced many such challenges, but because our country has been built upon a foundation of faith, family, and freedom; and blessed with people who care far more about the welfare of others than they do for themselves, we have always managed to find solutions to the challenges that we face. And that's why, if we hope to find solutions to the challenges that we face both today and in the future, we must work together to preserve and protect the values and traditions that have served us so well in the past.

    As for those who would remove God from our Pledge of Allegiance and from our country and our country’s history. Although there are a few people who would like to remove God from every facet of our society, the vast majority of Americans do believe in God. God has always been a part of our country, and our country's history and culture.

    God is in the Declaration of Independence, The Star Spangled Banner, The Gettysburg Address, and on every single dollar bill.

    God was there on the day so many gave their lives fighting so that we might be free and He was there the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.

    God was there the day our boys stormed the beaches of Normandy and He was there the day the Twin Towers came down.

    Without a doubt, our country has seen some very difficult times, and yet we have always been able to find a way to stand together in times of need, as one people, “One Nation Under God”, to meet the challenges that we faced.

    And what has always brought Americans together, what has given us the courage and strength to face the tough times and the terrible tragedies that sometimes occur in our world, is Faith.

    Faith in God, Faith in Each Other, Faith in the Values and Traditions that have so well stood the test of time. And that’s exactly why, as Moms, we do feel that the faith and character of Presidential and Congressional candidates matter. And, in fact, it matters more than any other issue.

    For if a man or women wishes to lead this nation, they must first be able to show the American people that they understand and support the American values and traditions that have for so long stood the test of time and that they are as committed as we are to ensuring that America remains what it has always been-"the land of the free and home of the brave".

    -Theresa Fleming, Moms For America

    October 6, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Evelyn from WV, you got it exactly right. The constitution is written to keep the state out of religion, not ban religion from our lives and government. And it has been twisted around and people get indignant over a supposed infraction that does not exist. God speed.

    October 6, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  6. God, Everywhere, Universe

    Wow! A God-o-Meter. Why didn't I think of that. I'm going to bring one to Judgement Day. That'll sure speed things up.

    October 7, 2007 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  7. Katherine, Lexington,KY.

    Separation of church and state was originally adopted as a principle to protect the church from being controlled by the government.

    (referring to King Henry the Eight's efforts to rule the Catholic Church, then forcing the people to depart from it and accept "The King's Church).

    The original immigrants of the country came fleeing from religious persecution.

    In a country of at least 313 religions in the US, each with a different level of power and number of members.

    The smaller the religion the more likely they could be unfairly treated by the government.

    There is no reason for any candidate not to express their belief system, on the contrary, it is their right.

    If you feel their belief system does not support your own, by all means show your opinion with your vote.

    But, you do not have the right to silence them nor to expect the government to violate their fifth amendment rights just because they are presidential candidates.

    Separation of church and state in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    October 7, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Peter, Wausau, WI

    There's just one problem with this... if everyone accepts this "Beliefnet" as an authority on which candidates are guided by faith in God, the people who run this website will have what I believe is too much power to influence peoples opinions.
    That being said, it's great that there are some people who are willing to state the fact that religion is an essential part of our society, and that a candidate needs to have faith in God and Christ in order to be a truly righteous leader... even if that means being - gasp!– "politically incorrect."

    October 7, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Thank you, Theresa Fleming, for your thoughtful, articulate, and obviously sincere post.

    The best Christians are among the best people in our nation. I was raised in a devout Christian family (this was back in the fifties), and the good men and women who attended our church were honest, sweet, and nurturing people for the most part, though they were just plain working people with no advanced education. I would have trusted my wallet and my diary with any of them for safekeeping for any amount of time, and both items would have been returned to me unopened when I asked for them.

    It was a shock for the congregation to learn that our preacher of fifteen years had redirected hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church collection plates to unknown destinations. Also, the luxurious parsonage that the church had paid for turned out, to everyone's surprise, to be his private property. He left the church to retire very comfortably.

    This is the problem. The good people like Theresa Fleming love their God, their families, and their country. A large (perhaps larger) number of Christians are not so sweet and not so friendly, though they quote the same verses.

    Christianity is a polytheistic religion. Christians, despite their denials, worship many deities – all named God. Its like knowing many men named John Smith: some of them are good men, some of them are scum, and some of them are nitwits – but they are all John Smith. The same verses mean many very different things to different Christians, and any two Christians can provide at least four interpretations of the same verse.

    The very best Christians are in the pews. Christian leadership, I assert, is corrupt, often decadent, and unworthy of their followers for the most part. The best Christians, and I suspect Theresa is representative of this group, are naive and trusting. They believe that their leaders are as good as they are. There are none so blind as good people.

    The leadership of the religious right always stands for policies that result in less freedom of action, less freedom of thought, greater governmental control of personal behavior, opposition to scientific facts that they find inconvenient, and a denial that any belief but their own is legitimate.

    If only all Christians worshiped the same God, but they don't. Some of those Gods are pretty scary.

    October 7, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. David, Encinitas, CA

    The words of the founding fathers do not support the claim that many here make, that America was born of faith. Several founders were self-described deists, and were at times patronizing of christianity in particular. These men were rationalists, not mystics, and certainly not evangelical christians. Do your research.

    Here's a link to get you started:

    October 7, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    For those of you who cannot think rationally or live without your elixir of delusion,there's now an MRI scan to rid our politics of your ill-informed vote.Domenici is just the first of many to come.Most religious people while suffering some form of religious interference in their thinking,can seperate out bigotry from faith. These are the only ones that deserve to vote. Anyone that would degrade our nation with theocratic ideals is not worthy of our country,nor of their faith. Rudy- good job! Let's just ignore the theocrats,they'll disappear through obsolesence.

    October 7, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. God, Everwhere, Universe

    aah kids...I did an extensive field study to see if this little gadget works (yes, I had time, I created the world in six days). It's been giving too many faulty readings. All it does is measure how many times people mention my name,and doesn't really measure how well they uphold my rules.
    You wouldn't believe the mess we have at the Pearly Gates. St Peter decided to rely on it to expedite the process of admission into Heaven. We now have the task of removing the people who got in under faulty readings. And be prepared for a long wait at the Gates because we are going back to the question and answer method.
    On a good note....Lucifer loves it.

    October 7, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Evelyn, Princeton, WV

    To Shawnie of Grants Pass, OR: Thank you for realizing the truth of all this. The Separation of Church and State was to KEEP THE GOVERNMENT(STATE) OUT OF THE CHURCH(RELIGION) simply. Our 1st Amendment clearly states that we have "FREEDOM OF RELIGION". Is that not enough for people? Instead the world has tried to change that.

    TO David, Encinitas, CA: You have it all wrong. As stated above, that was meant for the GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE CHURCH, not backwards. Also, if our founding fathers didn't want this to be a christian country, why would our 1st Amendment state "FREEDOM FOR RELIGION"?? Our country was founded on GOD. If you build a house, you must a foundation, correct? If you remove that foundation, it will fall, correct? Well, if you removed God, our country's foundation, from our country, our country would also fall, correct? If you don't believe in God, why don't you just give me all of your money because it clearly says on the back "IN GOD WE TRUST". People to need to think about that instead of being ignornant to what happened 2000 years ago when God created this world and everything and everyone in it because I hate to tell you, but you sure didn't come from monkeys.

    October 7, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    The earth is now only 2000 years old? Wow! I guess those other religions all came from another planet.That's as good as the monkeys reading one.

    October 7, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. God, Everywhere, Universe

    Evelyn, Evelyn, Evelyn.....where do I start?
    First of all, your passion is endearing but your logic and facts are, well, illogical and false.
    –Please don't try to steal anyone's money because they don't believe as you do. That would be stealing. (read the 10 commandments, also refer to your local laws).
    –2000 years ago is when Jesus lived.(Read the Bible to get more information)
    According to the Jews, the world was created by Me 6000 years ago.
    –The Scientists have determined the Universe to be 15 Billion years old and the Earth about 4 billion years old.(Read a High School Science book for more info)
    You did not come from Monkeys as you put it, But Humans and Primates share a common ancestor. That is the correct interpretation of evolution.

    Newsflash, for the rest of you, Judgement Day will be moved back another 1000 years to give my slower children a chance to catch up.
    Love, GOD

    October 7, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. God, Everywhere, Universe


    When I said "Humans and Primates" what I meant was "Humans and Non-Human Primates". Humans are actually a sub-set of the larger group of Primates. My HAA (Heavenly Administrative Assistant) gently pointed that out to me.

    Sorry about that kids...

    October 7, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "if our founding fathers didn't want this to be a christian country, why would our 1st Amendment state "FREEDOM FOR RELIGION"??
    – – –
    For those who obviously have not ever read the Constitution, here is what it actually says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The quoted words "freedom for religion" do not appear anywhere in the Constitution. References to God also do NOT appear anywhere in the United States Constitution. Obviously, the mostly Christian men who created it, did so INTENTIONALLY as they tried to make the best possible nation.
    – – –
    "If you build a house, you must a foundation, correct?". Absolutely true. We need a nation built on trust, integrity, honesty, understanding, sympathy, etc. One of the greatest delusions that Christians have is the insane idea that they have some exclusive right to admirable qualities. All of the traits that we feel are needed in people for a good foundation for our country are present in Christians, non-Christian faiths and even atheists. If you believe that only Christians can be good people, then you have no contact with reality.

    If it was not a typo error, we may have located the only person in the entire world that actually thinks the world is only 2,000 years. There's not one piece of evidence anywhere that this is true. Read some books!

    October 7, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Angela, wpb, fl

    Aaah, Richard from WPB, I'm pretty sure you'll have to read TO her.

    October 7, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. Glen, Boston, MA

    I can't believe that news reporter got through that report without cracking up.

    What a joke American politics is. A more evolved society would understand that the concept we consider to be "God" is simply an energy that flows through all of life and provides capacities far greater than anything any religion or scientific dogma has concieved. But, people must project their own perceptions on that formless force – be it as a person, a cheerleader for one religion, or a complete absence – and politicians must pander to those projections for votes, thus validating those projections as if this country were founded on one or another of them.

    The cycle goes round and round. Silly, silly Americans.

    October 7, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Glen, Boston, MA

    "if our founding fathers didn't want this to be a christian country, why would our 1st Amendment state "FREEDOM FOR RELIGION"??


    By the way – this is perhaps the most illogical statement made on this entire list of comments.

    Freedom for religion has NOTHING to do with establishing one religion as the only one deemed worthy of that freedom (i.e. a Christian nation).

    I think many people hear the word "God" and they automatically project their interpretation of that word upon the context. So when "God" is mentioned in government documents, some presume it means their particular Christian interpretation of God. They never really study the issue, and only parrot what religious and political leaders they trust tell them.

    But, as Thomas Jefferson himself so eloquently wrote in a letter:

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law."

    Case closed. We are all Christians. We are all Pagans. We are all Jews. We are all Muslims. We are all God.

    You bless.

    October 7, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    Subjective crap.

    October 8, 2007 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  22. Mary, Beaver, PA

    I'd respect a pro-life candidate more if he/she demonstrated concern for human life AFTER birth.

    I am not impressed by a candidate's harping on his/her faith, and who needs this ridiculous and offensive "meter?" A candidate who talks constantly about his/her faith and what a hot-shot religious person he/she is should draw our cynicism, not our blind support. "By their fruits you shall know them."

    October 8, 2007 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  23. therealist

    Now we expect CNN to put up a:
    and my favorite, Hate-o-Meter

    October 8, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. Tom, Macon, GA

    Terry from El Paso

    You are correct, good and bad lie in all of mankind, no matter what their religious beliefs are. That is because sin is in every one as well. No denying that. No mater what a person’s title or position is, its still there. I would encourage you to study this for yourself, before you go making assumptions. The good news is, Jesus paid for it on the cross with His Blood. Once you understand that, you will see her post differently.

    I do agree the God-O-Meter is not right. Just look at how the candidates stand for things. You will see who is true and who is not. A tree is known by its fruit.

    Those of you who mock the Holy Bible on here let me just say. God preserves His Word. Many people have done the same thing, but it has stood thru all, many wars, even. Its still here and will always be.

    Study before you make all those assumptions. You will see all the statements that are being said were foreseen long ago. True Christians rejoice, we know our Savior will be coming soon.

    October 8, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    I'd like to see a hate'o'meter ranking of these posters,maybe a stupid'o'meter for the mentally deficient. Though, maybe we'd have no one left to laugh at. Stay tuned the refraction of the wings is just starting.

    October 8, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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