The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Church and Politics Now a Less Popular Mix

By Krissah Williams Thompson
Days after both presidential candidates attended a nationally telecast forum at an evangelical megachurch, a survey shows that voters are growing wary of the mix of faith and politics.

In a 63-page report out today the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 50 percent of conservatives now believe that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Four years ago, only 30 percent agreed. Across the entire political spectrum, 52 percent of voters said churches should keep out of politics. Forty-five percent said they should express their views.

That is not to say voters don't want the candidates to discuss their faith. While more than 60 percent of the public says that churches and other houses of worship should not endorse one candidate over another, 70 percent say it is important for presidents to have strong religious beliefs.

Pew polled 2,905 for the study.

Posted at 6:52 PM ET on Aug 21, 2008  | Category:  Religion
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Megachurch = GOP brainwashing center.

Posted by: Dianna72 | August 22, 2008 1:24 PM

So true, and after that Sham Saddleback forum, people even feel more strongly that politics and religion.

I want someone to make decisions with their mind, and with facts, NOT on what some relgious figure tells him to do!

Look at where Bush and his "mission from God" took us...seems more like Bush and McCain are walking arms in arms with the devil to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 1:22 PM

I don't understand why this is even a question.

Any church or "house of worship" that endorses a political candidate should immediately lose their tax-exempt status. That's the law.

What's the issue?

Posted by: pedestrian | August 22, 2008 12:06 PM

Come on already. The politicins have to ask someone to forgive them for their sins. It's politics and they are both using faith to gain votes. This is America! this seems to be another issue that has the Bop-O-Meter spinning at Obama supporters are making a charge going into the weekend. It looks like a pre-convention push by his cyber supporters.

Posted by: acarponzo | August 22, 2008 10:50 AM

Mccain is not a man of faith nor will he ever be. Mccain had little to say about faith during the faith forum. Mccain went back to his talking points that he says everyday on the stump. When asked a question about faith, Mccain gave a 2 word answer. Mccain is not a church goer nor does he have deep faith in god. Obama was giving quotes from the bible and since Mccain couldn't do that he went back to politics. Mccain is nothing more than a fraud. He will say and do anything to win an election.

Posted by: Jim | August 22, 2008 10:25 AM

we just experienced 8 years of governance by the candidate of the funnydamentalis of a right wing religious community that is best epitomized by the strawberry growers in central florida. when one of the strawberry growers was questioned about the rights and wrongs of the bu$h administration they said, "I don't care if he's right or not, he testifies with us." no mention was made if the oily one was speaking in tongues as per usual and while clearly many would like to see geo w testify i don't think they're thinking of a tent as the venue. put your hand on the radio and visit the Church of the Immaculate Misconception at

Posted by: Saint Peter II | August 22, 2008 6:45 AM

Read this guys post " David Brainard " he's one of the kooks i was talking about in my other post. You all know he gotta be a Republican .... lmao

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 1:59 AM

Why do Politicians seek out all the Religious kooks .... Maybe the kooks tell them not to worry, someday they'll be forgiven for their sins ?

Posted by: SadAmerican | August 22, 2008 1:54 AM

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and of religion, so you are perfectly free to talk all you want about your belief in fairy tales, and nailing people to trees, and I am just as free to ignore you and vote for someone else. Maybe you can use your magic leper-healing powers to stop me.

Posted by: Mick Jagger | August 21, 2008 11:29 PM

When did conserve mean something other than being frugal? Did someone rebrand nationalism or what? I guess I forgot that AM radio existed. It's like an untreated wound on the leg of freedom thats been festering and suddenly burst open in the last 5 years. The America they keep talking about only existed on Leave it to Beaver. They dont seem to be conserving anything, just making stuff up and isolating themselves. I starting to think eveyone should own guns EXCEPT conservatives...they appear to be a dangerous lot. The only humans they are compassionate to are the ones exactly like themselves...or are desperate enough to persuade.

Posted by: Hmmm | August 21, 2008 11:02 PM

I don't care what religion people practice. But I care very much when people feel that what a person's religion is has political importance, unless one believes that violence is a sound part of a religion's dogma. In other words, keep religion out of politics! In other words, keep your faith to yourself. In other words, no one has the right to legislate morality in a pluralistic society, such as the USA. Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion.

Posted by: Lassair | August 21, 2008 11:00 PM

We must conserve are hatred for others to maintain our feelings of conceit and disdain and cloak it with words like family. We must conserve a twisted view of the bible that was made up just 40 years ago. We must justify any action to maintain control. We conserve a feeling of fear. We must conserve Fox news. We must conserve ingnorance and destroy knowledge. We must secretly do meth and hire hookers, preferably young children.

Posted by: Angry Control Freak | August 21, 2008 10:35 PM


Posted by: Joe Canadian | August 21, 2008 9:09 PM

I can't wait for the day when religion and all their diluted views, poisoning minds of children, and hypocritical ways are fully barred from politics. Every year I cringe at the thought of having to vote for someone who believes in an invisible man, or someone who believes the world is only a few thousand years old... seriously wtf

Posted by: Creamsykle | August 21, 2008 9:03 PM

jack latona:

You didn't believe him about supporting the Separation of Church and State, which is different from Faith and Politics?

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:58 PM

i disagree entirely with Rick Warren's theology and his marketing of it, but I must say his event and questions were far more useful than any so called debate I have watched. We must be careful to keep churh and state separate, but this was well done.

Posted by: jack latona | August 21, 2008 8:55 PM


No. If you are so sick, may I suggest you move from the U.S. to one of the Godless countries in Europe? Be sure to stop by the American Embassy and formally renounce your citizenship.

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:47 PM

I literally cringe when I see all the God stuff in blogs and comments. I'm sick of trying to reason with people who are blinded by dogma. Go away.

Posted by: STILTON | August 21, 2008 8:44 PM

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 21, 2008 8:33 PM

So how about a follow up poll asking how voters feel about Obama's comments on the faith based initiative program?

Posted by: None of the Above 08 | August 21, 2008 8:31 PM

Hi there, angriestdogintheworld : )

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:30 PM

ahhh... but religion and powerball together are MORE popular than ever. What could it mean? ... we all want tp go out like Elvis.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 21, 2008 8:29 PM

David Brainard:

I agree with all of that.

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:21 PM

Christians need to be truly conservative. As we conserve our faith, we remain truly prophetic, declaring what God says about righteousness and mercy, in face of what others may say. However. we must not only be conservative in our biblical faith, we must also be conservative in other areas. We need to conserve nature. That speaks for itself. We need to conserve the family. We must stand against the sins of homosexuality, adultery and other sins against the family. We need to 'conserve' or protect the poor. We must be liberal in our service toward them so that they can stand on their own feet. We need to conserve life and not kill our babies that are still in the womb.

Posted by: David Brainard | August 21, 2008 8:19 PM

Just look around you at what religion has done to the rest of the world...people killing each other in the name of God?

When is this madness going to stop and when are people going to start living by their God given common sense instead of listening to a bunch of Jesus freeks that just keep making this stuff up as they go along to maintain power over their fellow man.

Posted by: Fliptrx | August 21, 2008 8:19 PM

Brian R:

I would have voted for MITT Romney ; )

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:16 PM

True religion is not necessarily the opiate of the masses, but an effective social part of many communities. The trouble is that over the years religion has become a tool of the demagogue both political and religious. The religious demagogue radicalizes the congregation to accept his/her view of religion. Jim Jones is a primary example of that. Within the evangelical ranks there are demagogues such as Robertson, Hagee,and others that radicalize their flock for their vote and money. They are nothing more than political operatives delivering the vote for the right on issues they have created for the sole purpose of radicalizing people. We must do more than just be surface thinkers. We must ask why we are thinking this way and are we being manipulated. Just Google--"right wing manipulation of religion", "the 14 points of Fascism", and read "The 12 Year Reich" by Richard Grunberger. Also, read--"Totalitarianism" by Professor Paul T. Mason. Just think and question the message if it becomes political and promotes hate.

Posted by: ghostcommander | August 21, 2008 8:12 PM

Yup, we want our presidents with strong religious believes, unless he/she is Mormon.


Posted by: Brian R | August 21, 2008 8:11 PM

Truly, the Republican Party have no real interest in the religeous aspirations of the electorate. Witness the first term of Bush (jr). I think Bush believes in the pro-life agenda but, other than working the Supreme Court to the right, what did he achieve? Not much because he did not receive much other than hot air from the Republicans in the Congress.

The Republican party sees abortion as a divisive issue they can use repeatedly when it come to election time. Like finding Osama Bin Laden they have no real intention of solving the problem, it is much better to keep the issue alive and well.

Fortunately, many religeous people are beginning to realise that this is the case and are stepping back from the political process.

Posted by: nigeldavey | August 21, 2008 8:10 PM

The survey was taken BEFORE the Saddleback Forum!!!

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 8:01 PM

We started caring when one of the candidates spent 20 YEARS listening to HATE and RACISM under the guise of "christianity" aka Black Liberation Theology.

What about the other 88% of Americans?

Posted by: DEM now IND | August 21, 2008 7:54 PM

"Grown Weary"!!! It's bloody unconstitutional! And it led to the election of the worst President ever. Calling it 'faith' and not religion doesn't change a thing. It's superstitious nonsense and has no place in government!

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 21, 2008 7:31 PM

The Founding Fathers intended to keep government and church separate based on their experiences in Europe where he Church dictated to the Rulers. This is different than professing a particular faith. Bush and Rove moved the U.S. into backslide on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers for political gain. It is good to see the wisdom is returning.

Posted by: Lou | August 21, 2008 7:21 PM

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