May 11th, 2008
09:48 AM ET
10 years ago

Religious right leaning toward Democrats?


Watch how evangelicals are reaching out.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For decades, evangelicals have been seen as solid supporters of the Republican Party. That could be changing.
The religious right, a cornerstone of the so-called Reagan revolution - the battle over abortion law, and gay marriage - wants a change.

At least some evangelicals do.

A group of influential Christian leaders are declaring they are tired of divisive politics, tired of watching fights over some issues trump all the good they could be doing.

"Our proposal in [our] manifesto is to join forces with all those who support a civil public square. ... a vision of public life in which people of all faiths - which, of course, means no faith - are free to enter and engage public life on the basis of their faith," said evangelical leader Os Guinness.

For Democrats, the timing is good. The party has been pushing to overcome the "faith gap," that many feel has hurt them with church-going voters.

Read more here

soundoff (139 Responses)

    The people of America need change, they need honesty and someone that will speak to us with the respect that a President should be giving us. Unlike the Republican President, he has disrespected us and put us in this terrible state that we are in. We owe China and the republicans are taking care of other countries and not taking care of us. Katrina is still a big sore for us and President Bush and the Republicans have not tried to heal this wound they have only poured salt in it. It is still burning.

    Go Obama!
    from 2008 – 2017

    May 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Abby

    Obama's "church" is so radical – even the new guy is just as bad as the old Wright – same ranting, radical black power message.
    How can obama even think American's would vote for him?????

    Hillary or McCain Anybody BUT obama!

    May 11, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |

    Well, the Christian Right starting to realize the Republicans will never do away with abortion and only promote superficial Chrisianity. Welcome to the Christian Left. Better late then never i suppose...

    May 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. JC

    This election is the most interesting in that we had witnessed the ugliest Dem primary in history. Now religious right leaning toward Democrats is very refreshing. I am so glad to be around at this time. A vote is a vote, no matter whose vote it is. Yes, we should unite behind the majority, but do not silence differences, which make us great.

    Happy Mother's Day to you all!

    May 11, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Joseph Adewole

    God is not a man that can lie; He is showing that He is able to do all things. The green light is there for everyone to see.

    May 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Norm

    That's a very good news, not just for the Democrats but the nation as well.

    May 11, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Jane from Nevada

    For far too long, those of us who have faith have been told that the Republican party and its leaders are the only party who truly shares our views. We've been led down this false path with promises to overturn Roe vs. Wade and to keep marriage as a covenant only between man and woman.
    But, these issues and a very few others are all that the Republicans really offer to those of faith. And, come to think of it, they really haven't delivered on those issues, either. (Frankly, even though I am religious, I am not sure I really feel the call to support either of these causes... so it has never been a very compelling argument from the "right" to me.)
    The way I have felt about it all these years is this...
    The party who advocates for caring for the least among us, the party who actively calls for the collective support for the poor, the sick, and the challeneged – that's the party that appeals to my Christianity.
    The party who wants to care for the earth we've inherited, the party who points out excessive greed at the expense of little people, the party who chooses a peaceful approach above a militant approach – that's the party that feels more Christian to me.
    That party is the Democrats. The Democrats have long been a party that is most concerned about the poor and those who are unable to care for themselves. They have been leaders in calling for the fair treatment of our planet (you know, the only place in the universe that we can live????). They have been advocates of peaceful diplomacy in the world. They have been the party of tolerance – for everyone.

    The idea that the Republicans hold some kind of lock on the religious within our society is bunk. Those of us who are truly faithful know that war, support of the richest among our society, and opposition to available healthcare are NOT Christian values. We won't be used!

    May 11, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Realistic

    If you are pro-War and against helping the poor and impoverished people here in our own country, and believe that religious leaders should live like princes in huge mansions and be catered in private jets and limousines, then you should continue to vote Republican.

    If you are a true Christian, then you will not vote for the Pharisees. I'm not saying that you should necessarily vote for the Democratic Party, but merely consider that continuing to support the Republican party with all they have done in the last 8 years is very un-Christian no matter what else you may think of politics.

    May 11, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Donald from SC

    I find it interesting that Senator Clinton is about as religious as two flies fighting over a pile of horse droppings on Sunday. Senator McCain has proven that he is the horse that left the droppings for Senator Clinton to lament on. Senator Obama is the only candidate that has shown somewhat regular church attendance between all the candidates. Yet, it is the irreligious McCain who has chased the pulpit for support (which he has gained). While we all know that Senator Clinton only attends church when there are camera folks about, else it's lets go to a fund raiser and say religious things. And oh yea, the favorite political target Senator Obama has had his former Minister used against him for things the minister said. A current question being asked to Senator Obama is, "why did you stay in that church for 20 years?" The real question here should be Senators Clinton and McCain, "why didn't you attend church for the last 20 years?"

    The funniest part about all this is that Senator Obama is the person being persecuted for going to church, while the other two didn't; and they are the one labeled as non-elitists in tune with the average American church goers.

    Hum, now I am thinking about dropping out of church so that everyone will view me as upright. All I need is a few hallelujahs and amens; and I am good to go. I might even run for some political office.

    May 11, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. JW

    No surprise here. You people electecd a 'good Christain' in Bush – how's that working?

    May 11, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. GUY

    I just finished reading a book about the Christian's role in politics and it's not what a lot of the Christian / Church "leaders" out there are telling people. The Republican Party does not represent Biblical Truths – in fact, if you look at the current national and global circumstances, the actions of our President and his team have taken steps completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus. There is no help for the poor or the oppressed. There is no loving our enemies. The Republican Party has marketed themselves to the Christian Community. Bait and switch. And the leaders of the Christian Community have been deceived into thinking that the actions of our Republican leaders are in line with Scripture. Christians need to wake up or the Democratic Party will do the same thing. Get the book, "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw – there's a better role for Christians in this world than being used by politicians to get elected.

    May 11, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Rachele

    Why wouldn't real Christians who are pro life theologically and biologically vote for a man who wants to end the grand theft of oil and land for redevelpment in Iraq and repair all diplomatic relations that the Bush Administration has DESTROYED in 8 years??? Is he not following in Jimmy Carter's footsteps who in my opinion is a true Christian.

    May 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. shan

    Seems to me that most religious people should be democrats. I say this because the bible teaches to love the sinner hate the sin. Yet, republicans have basically hating both. Why not help the less fortunate? Isn't that "what jesus would do?"

    Not only that, seems like the regilous ppl would get tired of being used by republicans. The right is never, never, never going to ban abortion. The topic raises too much money and gets them too many votes.

    Think about it, folks.

    May 11, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. TexasTamie

    It all starts with a news article, with the Democrats hopin' and a-prayin' that it's true...that conservative Christians will set aside the beliefs and issues that matter (abortion/life, gay marriage/true marriage, etc.) and join with them to advance the Democrats' issues. Give me a break. This time, "planting the idea" through the liberal media won't work, because you're not dealing with mindless people who will follow any suggestion. You're dealing with people of strong convictions, strong beliefs...that the Truth is more important than "joining forces" or "why don't we all get along". It's all rhetoric and wishful thinking. Conservatives, true conservatives, don't care as much about "getting along" as they do advancing the Truth, God's truth. So dream on, Dems. It ain't gonna happen.

    May 11, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Obama 08:white, female and 60

    This election will be about a generational change. Younger voters are no longer divided by race and sex nor tied to the generation which has ruled since the 60s. Obama has proved he attracts these voters cross lines of race, religion, party affiliation, and sex.

    Western democracies have been doing this and it is time for America to do the same: lose the hurts of the racial divide, and the echoes of the Vietnam War. Obama's success will largely depend on this.

    May 11, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. I'll modify it for Dems

    Where are my posts?

    To those many Obama supporters who continually blog:

    "I cannot find one reason why a Democrat would not vote for Obama other than racism "

    Statements like the above (from an Obama supporter) are incredible in their arrogance, naivete, and stupidity. As a lifelong democrat I have always voted Democratic until this year.

    I have to tell you that while I find some of what Obama says inspiring, I DO have many reasons- all policy, character, issue based and none due to racism – that WILL keep me from voting for Obama. ( by the way I am in an inter racial marriage with inter racial children)

    An issue that has become more and more obvious to me (and others) is the incredible filthy, vulgar, hateful arrogance of Obama supporters.
    This reflects poorly on any candidate you purport to support.

    Despite the ALL American Idol image embraced by a biased media, Obama IS NOT a savior, nor omnipotent, nor infallible. He's just a pandering, hypocritical, lying candidate.

    I think many of you Democrats have bottled up your angst for so long that you're allowing it to whip you into a dangerous cult-like frenzy.

    Know this: The world is complicated, and your simplistic views of how things will change are most likely NOT going to happen. It's NOT because those who disagree with you are evil nor are Americans the anti-christ.

    It's because the world is complicated and the U.S. is filled with people that think only of themselves (liberals are much more this way than conservatives, by the way).

    Get over yourselves, and realize that pretty much everybody is as smart as you…maybe more so

    May 11, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Doug, WV

    Welcome aboard. We will love the sinners and hate the sin.

    Obama 08

    May 11, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. susie

    You got to check out Rev. Manning, it sounds like he is telling the truth!

    May 11, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Daniel

    This Evangelical reads his Bible and knows that God is firmly pro-life, so any candidate that claims that abortion is OK is in complete denial about the word of God and the heart of God.

    One cannot profess to be a Christian and support abortion at the same time.

    As Jesus said, "Woe to those teachers of the law that lead anyone astray."

    May 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Rick from NJ

    Now this is about the White Religious Voters?

    No one is talking about the issue of race properly. I really believe because they can not.
    Before you start knocking Senator Clinton and her "white" comments, ask yourself who would comment about African Americans other than African Americans.

    Why is it, blacks can talk about blacks, whites can talk about whites, blacks can talk about whites, but whites can not talk about blacks or today, whites can not discuss whites? Your implication that whites or Senator Clinton are racist is unsettling and unfair?

    White people are being asked to have an interracial marriage with Senator Obama. This a presidential election and many people do not want Senator Obama in their living room daily. Many whites in my community does not like the ‘Trinity United Church of Christ” that Obama continues to attend. It is a hateful anti American Church.

    White Americans can not relate to Obama’s church, his relationships with radical leaders,his values and even his upbringing. Kerry may have been out of touch, buy Obama is African American and out of touch for other reasons.

    All Americans, including Whites, should be able to comment about Latino's, Whites, Blacks, Brown and Whites. Let’s make this a fair playing field. You are not looking at the American people. You are looking it from a racial white view. How dare anybody knock Senator Clinton or Bill Clinton for their racial views. They have fought for civil rights their whole political life. Clinton chose to have his office in Harlem rather then on 5th Ave. overlooking Central Park. For anyone to suggest that the Clintons are playing the race card is unfair and cruel.

    White people are not talking about their concerns about race. They are too afraid or do not want to say the “wrong” thing. Even the word “white” from a White person is being addressed as a racial slur. Do you really think that any American would voice their true opinions? You will be portrayed as a racist and they know it. The Sharptons and Jacksons would come out of the woodwork to twist words.

    African Americans would be more apt to vote for Clinton much more that whites would vote for African Americans. African Americans know that they would never want a Republican President. White American would find no problem switching their allegiance.

    The groups of Americans that have shown their prejudice are the African Americans. For 90 percent of African Americans to vote for color is speaking volumes to the American people. Why it is no one is discussing how "racial" this is. It is only because of the repercussions of their comments and the consequences they would face.

    Please stop this type of discussion unless you ask Black Americans the same type of questions. Clinton supporters, over 16 million of your listeners, are disturbed about this issue.

    You are being unfair to the all Americans: Whites, Black, Brown and Yellow.

    May 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. PhilT

    Here is what i believe is the key to this article:

    They are tired of divisive politics, tired of watching fights over some issues trump all the good they could be doing.

    This is what Barack Obama brings to the current political landscape. Americans realize it is time for change.

    I sincerely believe the Democratic primary voters as well were smart enough and no longer ready to accept a "gun toting, sniper-fire ducking, Canadian whiskey swigging, NAFTA plugging, phony tax holiday pandering, Iran obliterating, poll driven triangulating, trade time outing, crocodile tear jerking" politician from PennsIllinArkanYork.

    Thank God!

    Phil T.

    May 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. leej

    Most evangelicals vote on one issue to the exclusion of a variety of others such as aid to the poor, equal rights, poverty, wars and so on. As long as the abortion issue is on the table, the left will rightfully or wrongly never attract the majority of these worshipers...who in the minds of many are virtual hypocrits with blinders on.

    May 11, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. pakuna

    " tired of divisive politics – a vision " Why are you allowing obama to scare you into beleiving false
    Obama has done nothing but cause division and strife to our country. I will not vote for any ticket that has his name on it, no matter who his running mate is. He has not won anything. It has been handed to him on a silver platter. I do not even feel sorry for you. You will reap what you have sown.

    May 11, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. lol

    hillary is bringing in the reagan democrats, and evangelicals. you can't credit obama with this one since he belongs to a black separatist church, that preaches hate. run independent hillary, the reagan democrats, evangelicals, and your core base blue collar, seniors, catholics, and hispanic base will back you. the dnc doesn't deserve hillary for the way they treated her, and pushed barack. hillary clinton independent candidate for president, go hillary!

    May 11, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. tim

    With Mrs. Clinton on the way to winning Tuesday and the majority of the
    remaining contests and after winning IND and PA it's time for the
    unity we have all looked for to take back this Country.
    Mrs. Clinton will win the General Election.

    May 11, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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