October 6th, 2007
08:42 AM ET
7 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. Jeremy

    The more religious someone is the more ignorant he/she must be. It is fine to believe in something (with doubts) but to assert knowledge of the unknowable is ignorant at best and insane at worst. This country has become so afraid of offending the crazy religious fanatical beliefs of a small minority of us that we have lost science in our schools, have museums exhibiting dinosaurs with saddles (because people used to ride them), have a president who doesnt "believe" in evolution and have convinced ourselves that we have a moral God-ly authority over the afairs of other nations. We apparently believe it is alright to have a government in charge of peoples personal relationships and even of peoples reproductive organs in a proportedly free society. What an absolute joke we have become. The nation that produced nearly every great invention in the last 100 years and succeeded in sending a man to the moon is now thought of (rightfully so) as the dumbest "civilized" nation on earth not to mention the greediest.

    The lunatics have taken over the crazy house for sure.

    October 8, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Jeremy

    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.

    Posted By Evelyn, Princeton, WV : October 6, 2007 2:31 pm

    Grrrr.... this irritates me. HOW DARE YOU SPEAK OF IGNORANCE!!! Ignorance and faith have practically the same definition... belief in something without proof or knowledge. Also, you are absolutely wrong about the founding of this country. Religion was absolutely intended to stay out of government, as the perversions of that influence could be seen in the British government leading to persecution of other religious believers. Who do you think persecutes religions... other religions of course (aka competition). I also like the bit about "not judging" though you clearly are, which also makes you dishonest. Bravo! I am ashamed I share a country with you... how is that for judgement. Also, I beg you to not vote again... ever.

    October 8, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Lucy Tallone-Cincinnati, Ohio

    Keep religion out of politics. It's all mythology anywy.

    October 8, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. r schier Norwalk, CT

    This is about as hilarious as the religious monarchy we've been living in, particularly over the last few years....Organized religion is such a SHAM....just another device for the miliary-industrial-congressional complex to reinforce their pathetic indoctranation...

    October 8, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. r schier norwalk,ct

    "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."
    Posted By Tom, Macon, GA

    Keep your fairy tale stuff AT HOME. I don't want, or need, anybody else's self-fulfilling prophecy; it has absolutely NO PLACE in a true democracy. This has nothing to do with hate...it has all to do with SENSE....I want to have a future left for my children, and want those like yourself to butt out from it....

    October 8, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Matthew, Arlington, VA

    "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
    –Excerpt from Article VI, Constitution of the United States

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
    –Excerpt from Amendment I, Constitution of the United States

    Congress cannot pass laws abridging the free exercise of religion, nor can it establish an official state religion. Religion cannot be used as a criteria to prohibit an individual from holding elected office. Period, that's it. There's not another single reference to religion in the document, and the word "God" does not appear at all.

    Any and all claims for removing religion from the public sphere rely on interpretation of part of the 14th Amendment - not on the 1st Amendment or any part of the original text of the Constitution:

    "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    I offer this not to take a position on this issue, but simply to add some actual facts to the discourse. If you're going to claim you know the intentions of the founding fathers, or use the Constitution to back your argument, you should at least know what it actually says.

    October 8, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Tom, Macon, GA

    I want to have a future left for my children, and want those like yourself to butt out from it….
    Posted By r schier norwalk,ct : October 8, 2007 11:30 am

    The good news is your children will have a chance to make that decision for themselves because will do live in a free country with democracy. That has come to this country because of the blessings of God. I will not debate you on the existence or the teachings of God. I know what Jesus has done in my life. That point sir, you could never argue.

    To the affect we should include in government, I will debate you. To condone and teach immorality through government funded institutions is against my rights as an American tax payer. I elect to vote for someone who will represent what I hold true to the best of their ability. Everyone has a choice, that’s something God gives everyone believer and nonbelievers. Free will.

    October 8, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "The good news is your children will have a chance to make that decision for themselves because (we) do live in a free country with democracy."
    – – – –
    I cannot agree with you more. I hope you raise your children that way.

    I also hope you care about your children enough to feel guilty about the huge tax burden your "moral" president has imposed upon them. He is totally unchallenged as the largest debt-generating president in history. Your children will have a higher percentage of their taxes NOT spent on new services like bridges, but just to pay debt than any generation in history.

    I also hope that the morals you stress to your children include appreciation and honesty. The freedom we cherish has come about because of the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers. When we think of them and show appreciation, we need to be honest and realize that an estimated 15% of them do not believe in God. Tell your children about them, too. It is your "moral" president who has sent 3,800 Americans to die and 28,000 to be wounded in a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Your "moral" president hasn't caught the person who killed 2,900 Americans in our nation, but of course, as he said, "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you" and "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about (Osama bin Laden)."

    October 8, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Evelyn, WV

    From Katherine in KY: "Separation of church and state was originally adopted as a principle to protect the church from being controlled by the government". THANK YOU! This is exactly what it means. Although it is not directly stated, there is a clause called "FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION or FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE which states we have freedom of religion. NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL RELIGION OR KEEP THE RELIGION OUT OF THE STATE.

    THANK YOU TOM, GA: We true christians do know our savior will be coming soon. I can't wait to be in his arms rejoicing in heaven. The sad part is that everyone could be there but they won't open their eyes and hearts and see the truth. THE TRUTH OF GOD WILL SET YOU FREE!

    To Richard, Glen, R. Schier, & Jeremy: You have totally twisted everything I've said. There is good people everywhere regardless of your beliefs. Also, how do you think you got here? From the big bang theory or monkeys? I DON'T THINK SO!! Also, none of us is GOD. There is only one God and he reigns in Heaven and will be back one day to take me with him. ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN WITH GOD??? Also, I do have proof of my living God who reigns in heaven. Not only is it in the bible, but I've seen it with my own eyes as well. No one can tell me that the miraculous things and miracles that have happened in my life didn't come from GOD! I thank you God that I do know the truth instead of all the worldly myths. I'm not perfect and I don't have every answer but I know my savior is real and is alive today and will take me to heaven one day.

    October 8, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    May I proudly state that I score a zero?

    October 8, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "being ignornant to what happened 2000 years ago when God created this world and everything and everyone in it" – according to Evelyn

    Unless you are claiming that God created Adam, Eve, Jesus, dinosaurs, and, retroactively, the Roman Empire, at the same time 2000 years ago, I would like to think that your comment was a typo. I don't think there are ANY scientists or religious leaders who believe that.

    You certainly are entitled to your opinion. All I would hope for is that you do some research before making statements. Let's start with the Constitution. That is THE document that defines our nation. It was created over several months by some of our finest minds. They were given the unique opportunity to freely design the best government they could think of. When they got done, these predominantly Christian men designed a document that NEVER ONCE mentions God. God isn't even referenced in the Preamble that lists their objectives. The only references to religion were prohibitions on it. No one could require religious tests to run for office and "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". It is without question that these religious men believed that the best government was one that kept religion and government separate. Thomas Jefferson, the guiding force on the Constitution said "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law”. Please look at the Constitution and study history.

    I have only one interest and that is in truth. You stated that I "have totally twisted everything I've said." Please give details. If I have said anything false, I want to correct it.

    October 8, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Are these comments enough to warrant MRI testing for voter registration? We have the technology and the knowledge to rid our nation of this mental illness in our politics. If we don't pursue this in defense of our nation,our children will suffer from these intellectually deficient theocrats. I for one don't want my family members burned at the stake. It's time to act. Universal testing for illness might be a socialist necessity to preserve democracy.

    October 9, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  13. Glen, Boston, MA

    Evelyn –

    Your argument is based on flawed logic.

    You believe X. You have experienced miracles Y and Z. Therefore, X must be true.

    This is a common mistake of many religious adherents. Just because you achieved positive results from a specific belief system does not mean it is the only way to achieve those same results, or greater.

    One need only look at the Shamans of Native Americans or the Sufis of Islam or the Bodhisatvas of Buddhism to see the universal power of human potential inherent in many spiritual and non-spiritual paths.

    I have personally experienced everything from seeing glowing eyes to shape-shifting humans to actual conversations with the one we know as Christ. He's far greater than any religion has ever imagined him to be, yet never demanded worship or said that through him is the only way.

    Those were concepts put into the books that were selected for the Bible centuries after he lived.

    I wish you well in your journey, but please stop forcing your belief structure on others. You need that structure for this phase of your growth. Many have already outgrown it.

    October 9, 2007 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  14. r schier norwalk, ct

    to evelyn in WV
    "Also, how do you think you got here? From the big bang theory or monkeys? I DON'T THINK SO!! "

    Your capitalized statement is the KEY POINT: "I" as in "I" "me" and "myself"
    DON'T think so. THat is very fine FOR YOU...IT HAS NO PLACE FOR ME, and it should not influence decisions being made THAT AFFECT ME....You can believe all you want...there is now way you could, or should force me to !!

    October 9, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. r schier norwalk,ct

    "We true christians do know our savior will be coming soon. I can't wait to be in his arms rejoicing in heaven. The sad part is that everyone could be there but they won't open their eyes and hearts and see the truth. THE TRUTH OF GOD WILL SET YOU FREE!"

    This is my very point...politics are being influenced by those who want to start a "final" war because it's so-called "Prophecy". This fits in really nice with Israel's intent to dominate and oppress, and as Richard in FL so eloquently stated, is serving to bankrupt the country and send it to ruin. And Tom in Macon, GA: Are you assuming I am immoral, or support immoral activities, because I'm pagan, atheist, or whatever you choose to call me??? I've lost count of the hypocrates I've seen walking out of churches/temples/synagogues etc..I'm not going to stand for policies being set and influenced by faith related mysticisms that have NO basis in absolute FACT...

    October 9, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. Evelyn, WV

    To Richard: What I meant by you twisting what I had said was that you were making it out like I said people aren't good unless they are christians. That is not what I said. There are good people everywhere regardless if they are christian or not. The question is are they going to get into heaven when our savior comes back? Being saved will get you there. Being a good person, which is what everyone should be, however will not get you to heaven.
    And not that I would steal anyone's money but for all who don't believe that our country was based on God or for the one's who still don't believe in God, why don't you give me all of your money. WHY? Because it clearly says on the back of all money "IN GOD WE TRUST"! I don't believe that would be there if our country was orginally founded and based on God years ago. I also don't believe that if God wasn't the foundation for our country, there wouldn't specifically be a clause in the 1st Amendment that states we have "FREEDOM OF RELIGION". And I repeat again: "GOVERNMENT(STATE) OUT OF RELIGION(CHURCH)" not the other way.

    October 9, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. r schier norwalk,ct

    To CNN: please discontinue CENSORING peoples opinons, unless the contain profanity!! Are YOU joining in suppressing FREE SPEECH????? Is reference to Israel TABOO????

    "We true christians do know our savior will be coming soon. I can't wait to be in his arms rejoicing in heaven. The sad part is that everyone could be there but they won't open their eyes and hearts and see the truth. THE TRUTH OF GOD WILL SET YOU FREE!"

    This is my very point…politics are being influenced by those who want to start a "final" war because it's so-called "Prophecy". This fits in really nice with Israel's intent to dominate and oppress, and as Richard in FL so eloquently stated, is serving to bankrupt the country and send it to ruin. And Tom in Macon, GA: Are you assuming I am immoral, or support immoral activities, because I'm pagan, atheist, or whatever you choose to call me??? I've lost count of the hypocrates I've seen walking out of churches/temples/synagogues etc..I'm not going to stand for policies being set and influenced by faith related mysticisms that have NO basis in absolute FACT…

    October 9, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Tom, Macon, GA

    Richard,

    You are right; Christianity is not part of common law. It wasn’t designed to be. I didn’t personally know the founding father nor did you, but I do know ALL authority is given by GOD. He and He alone allows all things to happen, and everything that has happened is no surprise to Him. We don’t and never will understand the mind of God, but it’s His plan. He only allows us to know what we need to know.

    It kills me to see people try to find all of God’s mysteries but not accept Him and His love. People try to study so they can argue his existence. But take a second and look around everything you see and hear and smell has all been created by God. No artist could paint a sunset, with out first seeing the one God created.

    The vastness of God is beyond comprehension, but for some reason He loves us, and lets us know Him through His witnesses and His Word. He has preserved that for us. He helps us understand it also. First you must know him through His Son Jesus Christ, then many answers you seek to find, I promise you will. God said wisdom can be man’s downfall, often it is. He would rather have us come to him as a child.

    As for this country, God has used us to do mighty work. The United States does more missionary work than any country ever. Also our support for the Nation of Israel.

    God has blessed this country, even with Godless leadership. I’m not saying GW Bush is perfect, he has made mistakes, and the Republican Party has issues as well, as all parties do. This is God’s plan. We are living in a generation that could see the coming of Christ. Know one knows the day or hour, but He is coming. We all will stand and give account one day. Those who know Jesus will be saved, those who do not, will be punished. That’s very fair, He gave His Son for all our sin. All He asks is we accept that gift and love him for it. To Richard and all other people who post here, could you give your only child’s life for another person, even a stranger, or murderer, or much worse? God did!!!

    I thought just like you Richard, till I stop being so wise.

    October 9, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Glen, Boston, MA

    Evelyn writes: "Because it clearly says on the back of all money "IN GOD WE TRUST"! I don't believe that would be there if our country was orginally founded and based on God years ago."

    "In God We Trust" was added to money over a century after the country was founded. So was "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Also, "God" does not in any way suggest or denote support of one religion.

    Eveyln writes: "I also don't believe that if God wasn't the foundation for our country, there wouldn't specifically be a clause in the 1st Amendment that states we have "FREEDOM OF RELIGION". And I repeat again: "GOVERNMENT(STATE) OUT OF RELIGION(CHURCH)" not the other way."

    Again, "God" is not a religion. The founding fathers were mostly deists who understood the need for freedom of spiritual exploration.
    Giving people the freedom of religion does not denote a government support of any particular relgion. Again, God is. God is not something you believe in or don't. "God" is the life that flows through all. It is scientific as well as spiritual.

    Lastly, where is the statement in any of the founding documents "Government out of church" You put that in quotes as if it were a foundation of our country. It is not. If a lie is repeated enough, it becomes the truth.

    October 9, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Monkeys can read,the earth is only 2000years old,wisdom is not a virtue,can they be any clearer about their mental disability? Despite any and all proof these individuals will march forward to their fates."gods plan" will reward them for dying,sounds like 69 virgins for flying an airplane into a building. Learning disabilities are serious problems that need to be addressed before granting voter status.

    October 9, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Tom, Macon, GA

    Are you assuming I am immoral, or support immoral activities, because I'm pagan, atheist, or whatever you choose to call me??? I've lost count of the hypocrates I've seen walking out of churches/temples/synagogues etc..I'm not going to stand for policies being set and influenced by faith related mysticisms that have NO basis in absolute FACT…
    Posted By r schier norwalk,ct : October 9, 2007 9:12 am

    Sir, I’m not assuming anything. It’s a fact mankind itself is immoral and sinful. We were born into it when we came in the world. You have the right to believe however you see fit. I actually agree with you churches/synagogues/temples are full of immoral people. Till the day we die we will live in a world of sin. All of us have fallen short of perfection. Even pastors and preachers. No matter how hard a person tries to live, that person could never be good enough. No one as been. That’s why God sent his son through a virgin birth to live a perfect life for us. Because of our sin He took that upon himself to be a sacrifice for it. Sir if you could go through the rest of the day and not commit one sin, in thought word or deed, I would stand corrected. However you can not. Its impossible. Out of all the imagination you can create in your mind, you can’t think of one sin that’s not listed in God’s commandments. They are perfect and complete. No one can live up to them, but God. He himself came lived in the same world you and I live in, faced every temptation imaginable and did it with out sin. That way He and only He could be a worthy sacrifice. We just receive it as a gift. Just asks us to believe in that sacrifice. How would you feel if you did something extraordinary for someone and they didn’t appreciate it or even believe it? You would be upset. God is the same way. We were made in His image.

    When you accept Him, you see things much clearer, He teaches you. Then you can see how we as Christians strive to stand for good and morality. Even when we live in such a world absent from it. We still fail, and try our best, but our fate lies not in how good we can live but in the faith of the ONLY one who lived perfectly for us.

    I know many will perish; our purpose is to share this good news with as many as we can. We vote for lawmakers and leaders who can preserve that right. In addition try to the best of their ability to implement standards God has put in place. Standards He calls moral and decent.

    October 9, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. r schier

    It's obivously a lost cause....faith=ingnorance indeed. You
    just REFUSE to acknowledge that all religion is entirely subjective, and in being so, a personal matter. I am an
    atheist, and I should not be subjected to the effects of policy decisions being made under the influence of religion...our Israel policy for a start. We should be tending to our own affairs, not following mysticism. And
    by the way, "in god we trust" did not
    appear on currency denominations until
    the mid-20th century, so it has absolutely no connection whatsoever to
    the "founding fathers". It is clear that it is the freedom to practice the religion of choice, and absolutely NOT have any particular CHOSEN religion attempt to dictate to the populace as a whole via policy making.

    October 9, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. Evelyn, WV

    First of all I want to thank Tom from Macoon, GA. I'm so thankfully that there are other people on here who realize what God and his son Jesus Christ is all about. God will be back one day to take all of us that are saved through Jesus Christ to heaven.

    To Glen, Boston, MA: I'm truly amazed at how ignorant Lucifer has made you. You really don't belive the truth that God is coming back one day and the only way to get to heaven is to be saved through God's son, Jesus Christ. And by the way, apparently you don't know where true miracles come from. Only God can make the impossible happen. It doesn't just happen. BTW, I'm not forcing any beliefs on anyone. I'm just stating facts. Whether people choose to believe them and become saved through Jesus Christ so that they may enter Heaven is a different story. Regardless, everyone will give account on judgement day and will either enter Heaven's Gates or be cast into Hell. There is no in between.

    TO Schier Norwalk, CT: The point is not what I believe. The TRUTH is that no one comes from monkeys or the big bang theory. GOD created everything and everyone just like Tom from GA has stated several times in here. And again, like I stated above, I'm not forcing any beliefs on anyone. I'm just stating facts. Whether you choose to go to Heaven by being saved or to go to Hell is your choice. BTW, if you really are atheist, like most people claim until they are on their death bed afraid of hell, why don't you give me all of your money? Regardless of when it happened, all of our money says "IN GOD WE TRUST". Apparently you don't believe in the miracles that God does, the beautiful world that God has created, or that you only have two choices which are to be saved through God's son, Jesus Christ and enter Heaven on judgement day or to be cast into Hell, so why not just give me your money.

    October 9, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    So an atheist that can live up to the ten commandments is god? We have a lot of gods running around! Why is it that believers are the only ones that can't live up to some simple rules of life? I think Tom has hit upon something there. More proof I think that these mental deficients are a burden on our society.

    October 9, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. Evelyn, WV

    TO Ed, Ellenville, NY: There are no God's running around. There is only one God who reigns in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ in which you can be saved and enter Heaven. Everyone can be good people or follow the ten commandments but that won't get you into Heaven. The only close thing to God, but still isn't God, is when people put other things more important than God. That specific thing, such as alcohol, becomes their God. But will alcohol or anything else get you to Heaven? NO The only way to through God's son, Jesus Christ.

    October 10, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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