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February 1st, 2012
09:23 PM ET

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

By Eric Marrapodi and Brianna Keilar, CNN

(CNN)–After years of bridge building with the Catholic Church, the Obama administration may have damaged some of the good will it built up with the nation's 70 million Catholics, which could have steep consequences at the polls in November.

Some rank and file Catholics are beginning to express the same frustrations as clergy about a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy requiring all employers, including religious ones, to pay for FDA-approved contraceptives, such as the birth control pill and Plan B, through health insurance plans. Churches are exempt but hospitals and schools with religious affiliations must comply. The new policy goes into effect August 1, 2012, but religious groups who oppose contraception have been given a yearlong extension to enforce the policy.

"What's offensive is that we're being told, our Catholic institutions which serve this nation well, are being told you who find these things offensive, you should pay for them, in fact you must pay for them," Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, told CNN.

Catholic teaching opposes the use of contraceptives.  Wuerl acknowledged the clergy and the faithful have been at odds over the teachings on contraceptive use. But on this policy he said both are in lockstep over what is being perceived as a violation of religious liberties.

"This time around what people are seeing this isn't a question of one moral teaching or another, it's being able to teach at all. Our freedom, and everyone has a stake in freedom in this country, and I think that's why this resonates across the board," he said.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Wuerl is calling his congregants to action, asking them to call congress and the White House to express their displeasure.

"We're beginning to say to our people this is what the issue is, it's wrong, we've never experienced this in the history of our country before, this is a violation of the basic rights of conscience and religious liberty. So you need to know that and you need to speak up," he said.

The timing of the administration's announcement has drawn criticism for being tone deaf, coming just three days before tens of thousands of protesters, many of them Catholics who oppose abortion rights, came to Washington for the annual March for Life on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

"In my estimation it's a huge misstep politically," said Stephen Schneck a political scientist from Catholic University who has consulted with the administration on Catholic issues. In 2009, Schneck also worked with pro-abortion rights Democrats in Congress on the president’s signature health care reform measure to find language that ensured government funds did not pay for abortions.

"The way in which the narrative is being developed is that the administration is at odds with the Catholic Church fundamentally. What I'm seeing in the pews is something of a waking up, a Catholic solidarity. That I think could very well carry over into their political activities" Schneck said. "There's nothing like having a sense of opposition to you to rally the troops and I suspect that's going to happen here."

Schneck pointed particularly to states with large Catholic populations where this new solidarity could have a far-reaching political impact.

"If you look at where those Catholics are, they're in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Florida, which are of course critical states for anyone who wants to become president of the United States," he said.

In 2008, President Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote, according to the Pew Research Center. Early on in his presidency, Obama reached out to Catholics. He appointed prominent Catholics to several cabinet positions and ambassadorships.

In May 2009, the president delivered the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, where he spoke of working together on abortion.

"Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. Those are things we can do," the president said to rousing applause from the crowd in South Bend, Indiana.

In shaping the new Health and Human Services policy, the administration reached out to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the public policy arm of the church in the United States, and other Catholic leaders in November to seek their input in the process. Many of the same Catholic leaders received a heads up on January 20 several hours before the administration announced the policy.

"This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the statement about the policy.

On Tuesday in the White House briefing room, Press Secretary Jay Carney again defended the administration's decision when pressed by reporters.

"After very careful consideration the administration believes that this strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concern," Carney said.

The administration is extremely concerned this will affect Catholic voters’ support.

As the opposition grew this week, the administration noted to reporters there were Catholics in and out of government who support the measure, as well as interfaith groups.

Late Wednesday night the White House launched the first part of an information campaign to spell out what the policy change does and does not do.

An administration official also pointed to nearly $2 billion in federal grants that have gone to Catholic-related charities since the beginning of the administration as a sign of the willingness to work together.

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, which hasn't taken a position on the HHS policy, said there could be a silver lining for both Catholics and the administration on this issue. He said with more women able to access contraceptives there could be a reduction in abortions stemming from unplanned pregnancies as a result of the policy.

"More needs to be done on both sides. It's not just a question for the administration, it's a question for the pro-life community and the pro-choice community to put aside their heated rhetoric and find common ground," Salt said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,744 Responses)
  1. clé activation microsoft office 2007

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    May 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  2. MaryM

    As a Catholic, President Obama is not losing the Catholic vote. In fact most Catholics use birth control. Thats right I said most. The Catholics also know that President Obama is trying to help them. Not like the leaders of the Repub party.

    February 19, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • ed graves

      You Mary M, are not Catholic. You say you are, but your support of Abortion and contraception means that you support what the Catechism calls "Intrinsic evils". That is MORTAL SIN Mary M. You think you understand the Teachings of the Church, but you do not. You have not a clue. Obama has been the number one enemy of Catholicism since he was sworn in office in January 2009. Abortion, Gay marriage, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, the Mexico City Policy, lying to Cardinal Dolan, the list goes on. He hates the Catholic Church. Period. And you really want that monster to win again?

      August 17, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      ed graves: How exactly does those things affect you directly? Set aside your 2000 year old set of beliefs and attempt to give an honest answer. The reality is that it not your damn business what one does with their own body and the law states without question that abortion is legal up to the end of the first trimester (the law is all that matters b/c your book of fairy tales can't be used in a court of law). As for the gay issue-people are born gay, it is not a choice.
      Don't like abortion-don't get one. Don't want to use birth control-don't. Don't like people being gay-don't marry one!!
      How one deals with their own body and their life is not your business nor that of any church. If they are not harming society, then your opinion takes a back seat to EQUAL rights. Now educate yourself before sounding like a complete ass again!!! The facts are out there and they are updated and trump your book any day.
      Do you stone your disobedient children? You're sinning for not doing so! Do you wear clothing made of more than one material? You're sinning for doing so.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • captain america

      liar prevails comments are worth less than sh it on a stick. it is a hateful foreign bigot that promotes evil that is not even welcome in its own country. There's your sign

      August 17, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      captain america: When did they release you from the asylum? I'm here and so is Atheist Steve and your hate filled bigoted opinion does not matter in this world or did your psychiatrist fail to make you comprehend that? You are truly a fucktard without a valid opinion...now get back on your meds! I will remain on here as long as CNN remains an INTERNATIONAL website!!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  3. Mark

    When has the Obama administration ever built bridges with the Catholic community? They have done nothing but attack the Catholic community since 2008. Obama has proven his anti-Catholic bias. The Obama administration prides itself on being precise and calculating. There is nothing chance about this. This proves the depths this tyrant will go to. I pray that the Catholics who voted for him, without whom he would not have won the election, will see the threat he presents and vote him out in 2012.

    February 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Maybe because unlike you Obama is not an idiot and knows that the constitution requires a separation of church and state! He's not required to do anything more than support equal rights for all...you live in Secular country, not a christard country. If you want a theocracy, I understand there are plenty of countries available but the USA is not one of them.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • captain america

      So how often have YOU voted for Obama? Oh that's right none. YOU don't have a say in America YOU don't live here. There's your sign

      August 17, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      captain america: When did they release you from the asylum? I'm here and so is Atheist Steve and your hate filled bigoted opinion does not matter in this world or did your psychiatrist fail to make you comprehend that? You are truly a fucktard without a valid opinion...now get back on your meds! I will remain on here as long as CNN remains an INTERNATIONAL website!!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  4. Chuks

    Men should stay out of the debate because this is a woman's choice issue. Why are all these male politicians and their religious counterparts trying to deny women their right to choose what is best for them? This is not a religious issue but a health issues. Therefore, men should stop playing games with women health issues.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Mikey

      It's not a "women's choice" issue. It's a faith issue.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Mark

      The men you are referring to are trying to ensure that women and men are free to choose according to their conscience, a part of our American heritage. How ironic that the "pro-choice" crowd would deny to others the same freedom of choice that they say they stand for.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      How exactly does the pro-choice crowd deny the rights of pro-lifers? Are they being required to have unwanted abortions? No. The flip side however would enslave women into being forced to be incubators. A womens right to be in control of her own reproductive system is what's being threatened here. Nothing more. You can scream all you want about the rights of the unborn but a fertilized egg or fetus is not a baby. By your argument all 400 of a womans eggs(potential people) should usurp her rights. Why are you not also screaming about fertilized eggs that fail to implant, or fetuses that self-abort, or stillborns, or children born with horrible defects that ultimately lead to early death? It seems that natural causes that lead to the demise of potential humans get a pass but any intentional intervention is utterly taboo. How ironic that the natural failures to produce healthy children(apparently all part of God's plan) far outnumbers the abortion statistics. It seems that God is the biggest baby killer of all time but you don't have any problem with that now do you?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • captain america

      And who will you be voting for steve? oh that's right no one because you don't live in the USA. You are a foreign agitator here to promote bull sh it values that are not even welcome in your own country, There's your sign

      August 17, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      CA: We do have an opinion based on facts, unlike you...do they allow fucktards like you to vote in the States? You fail to comprehend that we are your countries biggest ally and unlike your hate-filled bigoted stone-cold heart, we happen to care what happens. Now get back on your meds you delusional waste of human flesh!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:24 am |
  5. jack

    Do you know who lost the catholic vote ? The catholic hierarchy.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • idiscern1965

      Ok, nothing against Catholics, but let's analyze this. First, to say Obama's health plan is attacking religious freedom is a misnomer. The contraception part of the bill is addressing the option to HAVE contraception choices for the religious affiliated businesses, i.e., universities and hospitals... same businesses that accept federal tax payers dollars and admit students and hire non-catholics. So, the catholic church can't have it both ways. You can't function as a business in the public sector but splice your existence as a religious organization while accepting government aid. The universities and hospitals are business, but the church is not/should not be. Other wise this is a twisted version of separation of church and state. Churches can be tax exempt, but should not get government aid. To say the universities and hospital are part of the religion in name alone is pushing the envelope. Besides, most Catholic women already use contraception. Again, it's a option to use contraception as a functioning member of the BUSINESSES (university & hospitals), and not an attack on your choices as a member of the catholic church. Listen to what I'm saying carefully. To say that you work at the university or hospital doesn't give you the right to proselytize your religion on me in the work place as a non-catholic. The same applies here. You can't prevent non-Catholics from their choice to accept contraception options of the health plan just because the word Catholic is on the building, especially while receiving government aid. Catholics are not being forced to choose contraception, and non-Catholics can't be denied that option, IN THE WORK PLACE.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Mikey

      idiscern1965,

      "First, to say Obama's health plan is attacking religious freedom is a misnomer."

      It *is* an attack on religious liberty. It really makes no difference if it is a large business like a Catholic university or a smaller one owned by an individual Catholic employer. The religion specifically forbids contraception. The womb is the domain of God. God created life. We are not to prevent life through contraception or sterilization nor end life with abortifacient drugs (all of which is in the HHS mandate). All marriages are supposed to be open to life. For the government to force a Catholic to participate in this intrinsic evil is prohibiting the free exercise of religion exactly as stated in the First Amendment. As for Catholics who may be using contraception, they have free will to sin, but their sin does not change the faith.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  6. reXteryalizer

    Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

    But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !....Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    HIMSELF

    Barack Hussein Obama II (

    Who hates American Values ) who is A " SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy" ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU

    | / At

    your COST & Sacrifice.\ ...This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ......To his supporters.Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans” – Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters. “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!– Obama Demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” –

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. ANGER VIOLENCE And more taxes..... THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america /“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands ! *Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk To these folks…~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.“ OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /"`

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat” and HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and ON BORDERLINE killing MODE, " VIOLENT / and STAND and STOMP and MOB for their immoral CAUSES and THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !* Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ....PLEASE.... go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! - [ THE FINAL SOLUTION - for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE.

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child, BORN ALIVE sTabS it iN the head and SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just too wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA.

    Respectfully and Thankfully Thank you ALL for your Time.

    To see HORRIBLE HONOR Killings~` HATE CRIMES ]`~ ! eXecuted by the CLINTON,RENO and ATF Media WHO COMMITTED H0NOR KILLINGs [

    SLAUGHTERING }] 21 LITTLE Helpless Children at Waco.

    Click Here http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/partly_born_totally_murdered.html

    February 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Cruz Pewrez

      So; your hatred of Afircan-Americans consums you?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  7. reXteryalizer

    Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

    But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !....Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    HIMSELF

    Barack Hussein Obama II (

    Who hates American Values ) who is A " SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy" ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU

    | / At your COST & Sacrifice.\ ..

    .This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ......To his supporters.Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans” – Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters. “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!– Obama Demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” –

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. ANGER VIOLENCE And more taxes..... THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america /“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands ! *Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk To these folks…~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.“ OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /"`

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat” and HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and ON BORDERLINE killing MODE, " VIOLENT / and STAND and STOMP and MOB for their immoral CAUSES and THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !* Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ....PLEASE.... go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! - [ THE FINAL SOLUTION - for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE.

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child, BORN ALIVE sTabS it iN the head and SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just too wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA.

    Respectfully and Thankfully Thank you ALL for your Time.

    To see HORRIBLE HONOR Killings~` HATE CRIMES ]`~ ! eXecuted by the CLINTON,RENO and ATF Media WHO COMMITTED H0NOR KILLINGs [

    SLAUGHTERING }] 21 LITTLE Helpless Children at Waco.

    Click Here http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/partly_born_totally_murdered.html

    February 5, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Mirosal

      You wouldn't, by chance, be running a militia in the backwoods of Montana or some other remote location, would you? Or is your tin-foil hat on a little too tight, cutting off circulation to everything above your neck?

      February 5, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • MaryM

      You are the reason the majority of people think the extreme religion right is *********** crazy. And you need help right away

      February 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  8. Doc

    A lawyer on retainer for the Catholic church explained that the church believes that by using birth control you are thwarting the will of God. I take the point of view that if He can make a virgin pregnant, then if He wants a couple to have a baby it won't matter what "protections" they use. Call me a doubting Thomas if you'd like but I personally think that what the church is really concerned about is the decreasing number of true believers. With the decline in the church there comes a decline in the power that the church wields. And don't bother telling me that they aren't involved in politics. Attempting to influence the vote of politicians who are Catholic by denying them Communion, denying them absolution, excommunicating them is definitely involvement!

    February 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  9. craig

    I'm tired of catholics trying to shape our politics. They NEED to be FOCUSED on PRIEST RAPING little BOYS in the BUTT all over america!

    February 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Linda

      I think your vulgarity in assuming that all priets are rapist is appaling. Catholics are not interferingi in anything political. We don't talk about politics in church we worship the Lord. I am offfended that you are not getting it. The goverment want to breach the separation of Church and State. The government wants to tell catholics what to do. Your remark shows your ignorance and studity on the subject..

      February 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Patrick

      No Linda, You are mistaken I'm afraid. Not everyone who works for catholic organizations is catholic. Why should they be denied coverage for birth control? The bottom line is you don't have to get the coverage if you don't want it. It's not like people are forcing you to take birth control! Of course the catholic church is just doing what it does best; distorting everything to suit their agenda

      February 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • CJ

      Catholics are not trying to shape your politics that would be the rich Koch Bros and Congress and the 1%.

      February 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • CJ

      Catholics focus on religion,why don't you do the same then politics....

      February 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • CJ

      Obama has this Catholic vote and he will win.....

      February 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Paul Stengel

      Your statement is FALSE & grossly offensive.

      February 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Bill

      In the first place, it is the politician who is trying to shape the religion.
      Second, when you take a job with a faith – based organization, you should understand that faith. If you don't agree with what they teach or what they offer...go work someplace else. That's the beauty of a free capitalist system.
      Third, the Church is not against birth control...only the artificial kind. Friends have had tremendous success with natural birth control. My sister-in-law had two babies on artificial birth control.
      Finally, pedophilia is not confifned to the Catholic Church. Google it...they are in schools, Protestant churches, police departments...throughout society. The problem with priests, is that are collectively grouped so it appears to be a Catholic problem. Remember that priests like you and I are humans. We can be greatly disappointed when we confuse the Church and all it stands for and all it has done for society with those humans who have failed us.

      February 5, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Cruz Pewrez

      Study the history of religion and you will study the history of conflict.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Linda: The Catholic church is the largest criminal organization going. They hide their pedophile priests from being prosecuted. You are a horrible person for standing back and supporting these immoral SOB's. I hope you don't have children because you don't deserve that right...people who knowingly expose their kids to these sickos should never be allowed within 100 feet of innocent kids.
      for some real facts go to bishopaccountability.org

      August 17, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Bill: Pedohpilia may not be confined to the catholic cult but they are the only ones who harbor the criminal...any other religious organization or public sector place would turn those pigs over to the authorities.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  10. Jim Colyer

    Obama will be gone this time next year.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Aaron

    CNN missed the point that most American Catholics do not adhere to the Vatican's hardline birth control policies.

    February 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Howard

      Is Obama loosing the Catholic vote ?
      I HOPE SO !!!

      February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  12. kyphi

    there are already religious hospitals that include birth control in their insurance

    February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Dejavu39

    Take away tax exempt status for ANY religion that preaches politics from the pulpit

    February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • CJ

      We never hear politics at our Mass,we hear about religion only. The Pope,priest,nuns and laity do not discuss politics during Mass.

      February 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      CJ Jut because it doesn't happen within your particular branch of the cult of pedophiles does not mean it doesn't happen. The point that quite inevitably you turned a blind eye to is that if politics are preached, tax exempt status should be gone and that is exactly what happens.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  14. P. G. Hess

    He WILL lose the Bishops vote, but they better not take this too far and become a POLITICAL rather than a religious organization.
    They certainly DO understand the threat of being taxed!!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Kev

    Although the government is not supposed to impeade on one's religious beliefs that does not necessarily mean that any church in this country has the right to actually practice whatever they want to because it's their religious belief. This situation is not without precedent. Since the church's have the exception when it comes to those under their direct employment, this should be considered rather fortunate. Also, when it comes to those other areas of employment such as church-founded hospitals and schools that actually receive government funding, there is no impediment from those churches from discouraging their church members, whether employed by that church or not, from actually using those services.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  16. EJ Yabochuk

    Well there you go Catholics. In accordance with all the comments, It seems El Presidente Obama's brownshirts don't want you around. Tsk tsk

    February 3, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  17. Angela

    Any Catholic who supports this measure IS NOT CATHOLIC!

    February 3, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Angela

      I am Catholic, from Florida, and I say it's time for Catholic women to raise their voices. 98% of contemporary Catholic women use birth control. Give me a break. It's not what Jesus would want the Bishops to be focusing on – He would decry the pedophile abuse and lack of concern for the poor that Romney expresses. Catholic social teaching is the work of Jesus Christ. The male hierarchy need to give it up and get real about life outside the confines of the wall they erect.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • kyphi

      Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Calif. disagrees

      February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Mark

      Angela in Florida,
      Who are you to say that Jesus would teach any differently now than the Church has taught from its inception? It sounds like a very arbitraty standard that you pick and choose whatever suits you. Anyone can call themselves a Catholic. But you are only Catholic to the measure that you practice Catholicism. If you are practicing birth control then you are by definition rejecting Catholic teaching and you are not truly practicing the Catholic faith. I can call myself a law-abiding citizen, but if I choose to run red lights and exceed the speed limit and engage in petty shoplifting because I say it is ok, then am I truly law-abding?

      February 17, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  18. AGuest9

    Planned Parenthood lost Komen funding because it's under investigation. But Penn State is, too. Another 7.5M that Komen needs to find a new use for.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:41 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.