Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky, of Peoria, Ill., ordered all parish priests in his diocese to read a letter to their congregations condemning Barack Obama. The letter, to be read the weekend before the election, declared that Obama and the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate had launched an â€œassault upon our religious freedom.â€
He wasnâ€™t the only priest who used the pulpit to attack the President. Bishop David Lauren of Green Bay, Wisc., told his congregations that voting for Obama and other candidates who were pro-choice or who believed in embryonic stem cell research or gay marriage could put their â€œsoul in jeopardy.â€ Others, primarily from evangelical Protestant faiths, were even more adamant in their religious intolerance, declaring that voting for Obama would definitely condemn their souls to Hell.
Southern Baptist evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, said President Obama was â€œwaving his fist before Godâ€ by supporting same-sex marriage and womenâ€™s abortion rights. In full-page newspaper ads, shortly before the election, the 94-year-old Billy Graham, whose words may have been written by his son, declared that Americans should vote for â€œcandidates who base their decisions on biblical principles.â€ Those principles, according to the ad, include opposition to same-sex marriage. A spokesman for the Grahams said that neither person endorses candidates. However, Billy Graham reportedly told Romney he would do â€œall I can to help you,â€ and removed Mormonism from a list of cults on one of their web pages. In February, Franklin Graham, who earns about $600,000 a year as head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, declared that Obama had plans to create â€œa new nation without God or perhaps under many gods.â€
The re-election of President Obama didnâ€™t stop the attacks. The Rev. Jerry Priscano, a Catholic priest from Erie, Pa., said Obama was the anti-Christ. On his Facebook page, he declared, â€œIt will only be a matter of time before our nation is completely destroyed,â€ and that Hurricane Sandy, apparently a sign from God to the liberal northeast, â€œwas only the beginning.â€
A Pew Forum study of the 2012 vote showed that white Catholics favored Romney (59%â€“40%), Hispanic Catholics overwhelming supported Obama (75â€“21). Romney also had the evangelical Christians (79â€“20), and other Protestants (57â€“42). Although Romney pandered to Jewish voters, claiming he would be Israelâ€™s best friend, and that Obama couldnâ€™t be trusted, Jews went for Obama (69â€“30). The Pew exit poll measured only persons who identified themselves as Jews or Christians.
Factoring into the vote against Barack Obama is religious bigotry that drips with the hatred of anything not Christian. About one-fourth of all White evangelical Protestants believe he is a Muslim, although the President goes to a Protestant church and has never held Muslim values or beliefs. In one of the great leaps of faith, evangelicals also believe Obama is a â€œgodless socialist Muslim,â€ something much rarer than a Klan leader voting for a Black Jew for president. Overall, about one-sixth of Americans believe he is Muslim, according to a poll by Public Religion Research Institute. Ironically, most evangelical Protestants also believe Mormonism is a non-Christian cult and refused to support Mitt Romney in the primaries. Faced by a â€œMuslimâ€ and a Mormon in the general election, the evangelicals supported the Mormon, who had flip-flopped from moderate to conservative to get the nomination and then tried tacking slightly to the center for the general election.
The right-wing believe that America is a Christian nation and should elect only like-minded Christians to office. Even many Christian religions, such as Unitarianism, are suspect in the eyes of those who absolutely believe they absolutely know Godâ€™s intent, and everyone else is wrong. They support Israel, far closer to being a socialist nation than the U.S. ever will be, as a Biblical necessity, but would be conflicted if a Jew should ever become a major party candidate for president. [More]