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My Take: America's 12 Most Influential Catholics
Author Stephen Prothero gives his list for the 12 most influential Catholics in America.
March 2nd, 2012
01:06 PM ET

My Take: America's 12 Most Influential Catholics

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Anyone who is old enough to remember Sen. John F. Kennedy’s run for president in 1960 knows that this used to be not just a Christian country, but a Protestant one. Admittedly, the Constitution makes the United States secular by law, but for most of our history, we have been Protestant by choice.

All that has changed in recent years. We now have a Catholic speaker of the House (John Boehner), a Catholic House minority leader (Nancy Pelosi) and a Catholic vice president (Joe Biden). Six of the nine justices on the Supreme Court are Catholics. And that guy duking it out with Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination? Rick Santorum is Catholic, too.

It wasn’t so long ago that U.S. Protestants were burning down Catholic convents to protest efforts by the Vatican to infiltrate American society and take it over from within. Today, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that Catholics now occupy some of the most powerful positions in the land.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Which leads me to today’s top 12 list of America’s most influential Catholics:

1-6: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor

I know that justices are supposed to stick to interpreting the law rather than making it, especially if they adhere to the judicial philosophy of “original intent,” but I’m not buying it. When it comes to “judicial activism,” there are really only two kinds of judges: those who know they are acting and those who wrongly imagine they are not.

Throughout U.S. history, the Supreme Court has played nearly as important a role as the presidency on the race question, and a more important role than the U.S. Congress. Women seeking abortions do so under a regime written and enforced by the courts.

In a 2011 speech at Duquesne University School of Law, Scalia denied that his Catholicism affected his legal decisions. I’m not buying that either, which is why he and the five other Catholics on the Supreme Court occupy half of this list.

7: Speaker of the House John Boehner

As any child (or parent) can attest, the word “no” is powerful indeed, and as the leader of the House Republicans, John Boehner wields that power today. Before he gave the commencement address at Catholic University last spring, more than 80 professors at that university wrote an open letter to Boehner saying that the budget he pushed through the House contradicted Catholic social teachings by neglecting the poor. But Boehner continues to say “no” to the Obama administration, most recently on its decision to require Catholic-affiliated employers to cover birth control services in their health plans.

8. Vice President Joe Biden

The first Catholic vice president of the United States, Joe Biden wields by most accounts more power than many vice presidents in American history. (Remember Spiro Agnew?) And though Biden has ruffled the feathers of church authorities on the abortion question, he is an observant Catholic who attends church regularly and met with Pope John Paul II four times. “The animating principle of my faith, as taught to me by church and home,” Biden told the Christian Science Monitor in 2007, “was that the cardinal sin was abuse of power.”

9. Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania

For a while, Newt Gingrich was the Catholic Republican front-runner, but that title has been seized by Rick Santorum. Unlike Gingrich, who converted in 2009, Santorum is a cradle Catholic, and he's a more convincing fellow traveler in Christ to the religious right.

Everyone thought this election was going to be about the economy, but Santorum's mantra seems to be, "It's the culture, stupid." Santorum has grabbed headlines in recent weeks by calling President Obama a purveyor of a "phony theology" and otherwise keeping questions of faith not just on the front burner, but at a rolling boil. This weekend, Santorum said that John F. Kennedy's famous church/state speech, in Houston in 1960, made him want to "throw up" when he first read it. "I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," he told ABC News on Sunday.

10. Archbishop Timothy Dolan

It says something about Catholic authority today that it is hard to think of a member of the Catholic hierarchy who stands among the most influential U.S. Catholics. But Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan is the most likely person for this honor. A theological conservative, Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010, and he was elevated to cardinal in Rome last month. In 2008, Dolan took on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi for their views on abortion, and in 2009, he criticized the University of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak at its commencement.

11. Stephen Colbert

The man behind the Super PAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow will not be happy to learn that he fell outside the top 10 here, but he is still one of the most influential Catholics in the United States today. Colbert makes his political jabs with a smile, but they sting nonetheless.

Last year, The Washington Post asked whether Colbert was “Catholicism’s best pitch man,” and he does put a very different face on a church that has been best known in recent years for sex scandals. Both Colbert and the character he plays on “The Colbert Report” are committed Catholics. In fact, Colbert (the character) loves his Catholicism so much that he gave it up last year for Lent.

Colbert (the real person) regularly books Catholics on his show and has appointed Father James Martin, S.J., as the show’s official chaplain. With Martin and other theists (and atheists), Colbert regularly discusses matters of faith. In fact, his character often gives guests discussing such questions wider berth than his more political guests.

12. Blogger Andrew Sullivan

In another era, this final slot might have gone to Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and public intellectual whose writing regularly addresses the intersection of faith and politics in the United States. But we now live in a digital age, so the nod goes to Andrew Sullivan, the Brit behind “The Dish,” a popular blog now hosted by The Daily Beast.

The thumbnail bio is that Sullivan is gay, Catholic and conservative, but his blog is far more nuanced (and coherent) than readers might imagine from that trifecta. In part because of his unpredictability, his site is the go-to blog for all things political and cultural. And the reading is easy because of Sullivan’s refusal to pull his punches. (Obama’s “uninspiring” state of the union was, in his words, a litany of “cramped, tedious, mediocre micro-policies.”)

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

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- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Church and state • Joe Biden • John Boehner • Newt Gingrich • Opinion • Politics • United States

soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Four Jumps to Insanity

    1-6: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor

    Ahh maybe, but they can drop Clarence-sleeping-through-the-oral-arguments-Thomas. He is THE MOST UN-influential person I can think of. He is an embarrassment to himself, and the country. He should just resign, and go away.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  2. Prothero Can't Jump

    Prothero.....he can't jump.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  3. 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

    America's 12 biggest liars and/or 12 most in need of the help of mental health professionals. Rick Santorum gets added title of Biggest Asshole.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Lord John Worfin

      I'm not sure if this article shows that Catholics suck, or that "influential people" suck. Might be a combination.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  4. Indiana Jones

    Porthero-I have no comments but one observation.

    Can you please change that profile picture of yours? That stare scares the reader. :(

    TIA! :)

    March 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Indiana Jones

      oopsy, I misspelt your name Prothero. Apologies.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    god hates women! women shouldn't whorship a hater of them – thats stupid...unless they are stupid themselves...that actually makes sense considering the placement of belief!

    March 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      That is true HP, the bible is very clear. God hates women big time. I don't understand why there are female Christians either.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hippy, God loves all His children. Male and female forms are created by Him to be born of women to come to earth so we can be fruitful and multiply. When we die in this human form, we all go back to Him in spiritual form which are/were always male. The reason God chose some spirits to become female in human form is because they are mentally and spiritually stronger than the other hearts (aka minds) to endure child birth and other hardships of life due to sinners in the human form.

      Amen.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      That is not what the bible says HS. Are you going to believe the bible or the stuff you make up?

      March 3, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  6. Ungodly Discipline

    Hey just sayin, why don't you quit name calling like a child and debate my argurments against prayer?

    March 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Pat

      He can't there is no proof of anything that he's spewing, his only tactic is to disagree without any factual evidence.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      It was rhetorical but you are quite correct. I can live with the beliver who at least tries, but just sayin is too lazy to even attempt any reasonable conversation on either a topic or an article. Very boring.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      Proofs have been given and accepted for quite awhile now sorry you all missed them.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • yep

      Proofs have also been given and accepted that your god is a nothing more than a figment imagination. guess you missed that too

      March 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @just sayin
      Yup, lazy and nothing to say. As usual.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only thing anyone missed is evidence that you have any working brain cells, you moron.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Not only has "just sayin nothing" not produced any studies showing prayer works or evidence that the studies that show prayer does not work are wrong, she/he/it has not produced any evidence to show their god even exists. Clearly if god does not exist prayers can't possibly work so it looks like she/he/it needs to establish a foundation so that prayer might be able to work.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • captain america

      hotair how many of Americas top 12 catholics live in canada? go screw yourself ass hole. There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I guess Captain Asshole is upset that he didn't make the top 12 catholic list. And there's certainly no chance he will make it onto a Top X USA Ambassadors list. When does the Top 10 USA Bible Belt Brain Dead Redneck list come out?

      March 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • captain america

      News flash for hotair mind your own F'n business you are not of any use to US and probably no use were you live. There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      What the religious assholes (Rick Santorum and Newt "The Fornicator" Gingrich, as current examples) in the USA might do to the rest of the world is my, and everyone's, business, and pricks like you do nothing to lessen our concerns, or enhance the USA's reputation abroad. You are the epitome of the ugly american.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • captain america

      You don't live here you don't vote here your opinion of our politicians is worth less than dog crap.There's your sign

      March 3, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  7. hippypoet

    Do unto others
    As you would have them do to you
    Said the rap.ist

    March 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A rapist and a papist went into a bar and ... well that didn't go anywhere. Do you imagine I'm anatomically correct hippy?

      March 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      did you just admitt to being a rap.ist?

      March 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Herbie is the only one 'admitting' to anything.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Herbie the Hand Job

      there is a herbie the hand job

      March 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  8. just sayin

    Poor simple Tom,Tom. It is soooo very hard for sweetums to understand when sweetums can't read what is posted. All together now for poor widdle Tom, Tom Awwwwwwwww

    March 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, get a clue, you moron. No one is fooled by your idiocy, you fucked up boob.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You seem to be coming along. Pretty soon we'll be able to let you post on your own.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      Awwwwww Tom, Tom I feel so bad for you. Poor mixed up widdle thing. There, there precious, maybe someday you will be able to understand things. For now it will be O.K. I don't think less of you because of your condition. Your secret is safe with me.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Pretend all you want to, or need to, honey.

      If you are so bereft of self-esteem that you need to gain some from denigrating me, feel free.

      I am not that needy.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      Uh, yes you are Tom.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So says the eunuch.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh roger you in all of your orifices just sayin.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Reality

    The law schools that many of these border line Catholics attended (e.g. Yale and Harvard ) have a much larger influence.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  10. AGuest9

    One through eight are largely irrelevant. Biden's f-bomb drop on the red carpet was priceless. He talked to the pope with that mouth? Nine is a buffoon, and I don't even know who ten and twelve are. Colbert is a comedian, does anyone take what he says seriously? He's like Gingrich!

    March 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  11. Ungodly Discipline

    Jesus is supposed to be God. God is supposed to be perfect.
    When Jesus speaks, he should speak the truth.
    Yet when we look at what Jesus says about prayer,
    he is clearly lying.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Here is one of MANY examples:

      In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:

      "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

      March 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You can gather a million faithful believers together into a giant prayer circle. Have them all pray together in Jesus' name that God cures every case of cancer on the planet tomorrow. Pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.

      Now, we certainly have two or more people gathered together (Jesus liked the two or more thing), and they have asked in Jesus' name, and we have not one but a million faithful believers who, by definition, have faith and believe. We have fulfilled every one of Jesus' requirements.

      Will Jesus answer the prayer now? Of course not. Your prayer will go unanswered, in direct defiance to Jesus' promises in the Bible. In fact, if you pray for anything that is impossible, your prayer will always go unanswered.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      There is many reasons prayer can go unanswered, from sin to asking for the wrong reasons.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      There is many reasons for your bad grammar, but there is not many reasons for prayer not working. God is imaginary.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      In James 5:15-16 the Bible says:

      And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. IF HE HAS SINNED HE WILL BE FORGIVEN. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

      More lies.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      Lies to who? I find much truth in that verse. I've seen sick healed. I've seen the lost found.(from which I'm one of) Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't make it a lie. You have to seek forgiveness before you can be forgiven.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @a person of the name

      You are either not reading or not comprehending my posts.

      Lies to His followers.

      The so-called answered prayers you claim to have witnessed are merely natural phenomena. Nothing is magical, and if a prayer preceded the event then we have what rational people call a coincidence.

      However, that was not my point. Jesus clearly lies in the bible about prayer. Many times over. That is the topic on the table.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      a person of the Name – you claim to have been healed huh.... please, you have me enthrawled... you must tell the story!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      No, I understood. Jesus, is God in flesh and he does not lie. I have seen what I have seen and nothing you say can change that. What I see though you, is someone has made you very bitter and I am sorry for that. Now though I'm afraid our conversation is at an end. I most get the kids ready for church tonight. Best of wishes to you.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @ a person of the name
      So if I read the bible and report back what it says, that makes me bitter? I don't understand.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Church is so fun for the kids, especially on Friday night! lol, poor things.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Past the seeker as he prayed
      came the crippled
      and the beggar
      and the beaten.
      And seeing them... he cried,
      "Great God, how is it that a loving creator
      can see such things
      and yet do nothing about them?"
      God said,
      "I did do something.
      I made
      YOU."

      ~Anonymous

      March 3, 2012 at 2:51 am |
  12. just sayin

    Prayer is the joy of life.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • hippypoet

      so is prayer is the joy in your life then your life must totally suck by any standards but your own! just sayin! lol dum.b sh!t

      March 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mine and millions of others for thousands of years leading into forever.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer is the joy of life."

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • sam

      Did you forget to switch handles?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • AGuest9

      There's the proof. Sooner or later.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • just sayin

      Never study studies, studies are misleading, study God

      March 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Pat

      "Never study studies, studies are misleading,"

      All our our knowledge and research comes from studies. Wow are you an idiot.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      All knowledge comes to mankind from God because someone asked for it in prayer

      March 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Jesus

      "All knowledge comes to mankind from God because someone asked for it in prayer"

      Wow are you an idiot and a liar.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      No.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Pat

      "No."

      Seeing as there is a high percentages of scientists that are atheist they learned nothing from your god or prayer. You are a liar.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      You asked, I answered and then you still come back with an opposite opinion? What is wrong with you?

      March 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Pat

      "You asked, I answered and then you still come back with an opposite opinion? What is wrong with you?"

      Just letting the readers know what an idiot and liar you are.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      You'd be wrong but you can be wrong if you want to be Pat

      March 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Pat

      "You'd be wrong but you can be wrong if you want to be Pat"

      I am not wrong in the fact you are a liar and an idiot. Others posting have also pointed it out.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      same sh!t different day.

      your post proves that prayers don't change a thing – i took your advice and prayed last night, to have you not post here again...yet here you are, wasting air continuely everyday!

      March 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      A few moronic atheists do not consti tute a quorum or a valid opinion, sorry. Start a club you can all be wrong together.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • hippypoet

      leave the twit alone – its not worth more then one condescending remark, no point to even check for a response – they too are worthless.

      if this creature had it in it to argue... a proper one would have been posed a while ago instead of this meaningless string of spew that never changes – ironic really considering the post!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Pat

      "A few moronic atheists do not consti tute a quorum or a valid opinion, sorry. Start a club you can all be wrong together."

      We don't have too your constant posting of the same shit proves you're an idiot and a liar.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Your judgement is meaningless Pat, you have no authority and no relevance to what is being discussed.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Pat

      "Your judgement is meaningless Pat, you have no authority and no relevance to what is being discussed."

      More lies and yet you keep responding so it must be relevant. LOL!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      hippypoet
      Prayer is talking with God. God wants us to talk to Him. You can't pray away an encouragement to prayer. Prayer is a joy to be shared !

      March 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer is talking with God. God wants us to talk to Him. You can't pray away an encouragement to prayer. Prayer is a joy to be shared !"

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      I keep hoping the light will come on for you Pat but it looks like, as far as you are concerned, it is time to change the bulb.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Pat

      "I keep hoping the light will come on for you Pat but it looks like, as far as you are concerned, it is time to change the bulb."

      More lies on top of more lies your poor ego can't handle that you're wrong.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hippypoet

      just sayin...i got a question for ya – are you a woman.....if not, do you respect women....i have evidence that if your a woman then you should shut you mouth and since i'm a man you should listen.... or i have evidence that since your a man you shouldn't really respect women....have you read your bible recently? check out timothy! :) he has much to teach.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Snow

      oh gee somebody tickled you in the wrong way, eh, justsayin.. your reply is a perfect example of Ad Hominem attack..

      anyway, the point you are missing is.. to make fun of biased idiots like you is the real joy of life

      March 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      You ain't got a "snow" balls chance in hell.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • LOL

      "You ain't got a "snow" balls chance in hell."

      Hey Snow you've just been proven right. Congratulations!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • hippypoet

      notice the lack of argument from just sayin.....one could easily deduce that just sayin is very simple...(speaking directly to just sayin) i shall call you lenny. :) don't squeeze too hard please. god only created soo many field mice!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Snow

      oh wow.. that is soo.. um creative insult .. are you a sixth grade dropout?

      And, you are a clairvoyant as well now? capable of predicting the future because of god?

      March 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just lying has a 504 plan. Its teachers are just hoping it finds a sheltered workshop so it can live out its life pretending to be useful.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  13. just sayin

    Wonderful Truth , no stress desperation free prayer. Life changing prayer, proven and powerful every day, known and loved by God. Sweet hour of prayer !

    March 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • hippypoet

      desperation seems to be the best reason to pray....just sayin! lol dum.b sh!t

      March 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Looking at Clouds

      Fantasies can be quite pleasurable... it's all up to you and your imagination.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is a prayer for every need, but there is also prayers of love and friendship with God. Not all prayer needs to be an emergency. Do you speak with all your friends and acquaintances in desperation?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Oops, sorry I assumed you had friends. Look at where we are.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Sweet hour of prayer !"

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Looking at Clouds

      just sayin,

      Roy Orbison "In Dreams":

      A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
      Tiptoes to my room every night
      Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
      "Go to sleep. Everything is all right."

      I close my eyes, Then I drift away
      Into the magic night. I softly say
      A silent prayerLike dreamers do.
      Then I fall asleep to dream My dreams of you.

      In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you.
      In dreams you're mine. All of the time we're together
      In dreams, In dreams.

      But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.
      I can't help it, I can't help it, if I cry.
      I remember that you said goodbye.

      It's too bad that all these things, Can only happen in my dreams
      Only in dreams In beautiful dreams.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The illiterate doofus vomits yet again! How you doin' crack monkey?

      March 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • hippypoet

      leave the twit alone – its not worth more then one condescending remark, no point to even check for a response – they too are worthless.

      if this creature had it in it to argue... a proper one would have been posed a while ago instead of this meaningless string of spew that never changes – ironic really considering the post!

      March 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  14. hippypoet

    thank you Bo Burnham for this lovely song

    All the seats at the sunday m@sses,
    Filled with the m@ss's m@ssive @sses,
    Cl@sses p@ss as fast as mol@sses.
    Ceremonial reading gl@sses.
    Read a little bit of leviticus.
    All the kids are a little too little for this.
    All the parents nod in agreement –
    "I think I can va.guely see what he meant."
    It's too early in the morning glory
    To read another allegory story,
    The father, reads a little bit farther,
    @ssuring the @ssured that they need not bother
    "when god, in verse 45, said the slaves are okay to buy,
    He meant that people, all from the start
    Each have slaves within their hearts.
    Things, that we have sold or boughten, that are forced to pick our moral cotton
    God calls us to set these free, free our hearts from slavery...
    And then as god goes on to explain the logistics of buying and selling slaves..."

    In the back, I sit and I nod to the beats that are bumpin from my ipod
    My god, they're starting to pray
    And over the music I can hear them say
    "dear god, dear lord, dear va.gue muscular man with a beard or a sword.
    Dear good all-seeing being, my way or the highway yahweh.
    The blue-bal.led anti-mast.urb.ator, the great, all-loving fa.g.got hater,

    I'd like to thank your holy might for making me both rich and white
    And though this is your day of rest, I come to you with one request
    There's so much pain beyond this steeple,
    Wars and drugs and homeless people.
    Sadness, where there should be joy, hate and ra.p.e and soulja boy.
    A world in darkness needs your light, so I'm sure your schedule's pretty tight
    But my dog just had leg surgery if you could fix that first...

    Debra messing's fingers in a holy place, "hail mary full of grace."

    Obama, could you p@ss some hope to the pope
    I know a couple dude's who wanna elope
    See the pope said, "nope" so the bros can't cope.
    (The bros can gro.pe but the bros can't cope)
    They've been in love, they've been addi.cted
    Who said they shouldn't? benedi.ct did.
    Cause in the holy land of the lord he's the holy landlord and di.cks are evicted.
    Cause you can be a benedi.ct if you've been a di.ck under benedi.ct but
    You can't have benedi.cts because there's only one pope and only one di.ck
    What? a di.ck on a pope is
    Just like a soap on a rope cause it's
    Pointless, unless in prison, throw up your bibles, christ has risen.
    Hallelujah, now it's raining men,
    Because the gender ratio is 1 to 10.
    Winos at the eucharist station, trans-gendered-substantiation
    Jesus wasn't the messiah, get back I'm a heretic and I'm on fire
    It was oedip.us, and those holy nights
    The holy motherfu.cking christ.
    I'm a blasphemah post-katrina cruising the marina. on a crusade to cruise aids
    And blast FEMA
    You're too late, we're fu.cked we don't need ya.

    :)

    March 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Brad

      Haven't seen any of your work in a while, hippypoet. It was pretty good. When will you show more of it?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i wish i could take cedit for this, but alas it belongs to Bo Burnham...very smart kid – apparently he is only 19 – i remember being better then i am now at 19-22 ish... but i was fuc.ked up alot of the time so my thought of me being better may just be wishful thinking. :)

      but to my own defense, how many musical artists can you think of that seems to be better when on then compared to when the artist becomes "clean" – there IS something to it!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • hippypoet

      but as far as your question which i completely missed- all my poems have words that don't translate into cnn speak very well – its like ben and jerry's ice cream in ja.pan...... not sure if your familiar with this but its true – here we call it chunky monkey, well there, because of the translations error – its called either monkey chunks or chunks of monkey...so they just changed the name, makes sense! But everytime i think about it i can't help myself but to think of chilled monkey brains – Indiana Jones, temple of doom!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • sam

      Good old Bo!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  15. Salero 21

    Mr. Prothero is somewhat narrowminded in his understanding. I'm Not impressed at all by these or any other romanists-idolaters-papists.

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to say that.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Salero 21

      ...
      "It wasn’t so long ago that U.S. Protestants were burning down Catholic convents to protest efforts by the Vatican to infiltrate American society and take it over from within."
      ...

      Was that an actual scholarly quote from a History book or paper? Please provide link or Bibliography.

      Otherwise be ready to be called a big fat-liar.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Google Ursuline for a beging

      Protestants have killed Catholics, burnt schools and convents and made general mischief at several points

      I think you Catholics should return the favor and blow up the PTL Club studios

      Seems only fair!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Salero 21

      Done. Found nothing Historical as proof. Only an article on Wikipedia which is not a scholarly site. But you're off your hinges.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Salero

      Check gilder.lehrman.center@yale.edu for details, unless Yale isn't scholarly enough?

      Sheesh, you rednecks are clueless ain't ya!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Salero 21

      Tried; link don't work and you continue to be off your hinges. Thou shall not call anyone a redneck just because thou art one.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "College Misericordia opened in 1924. As a Catholic inst.itution, the college witnessed in its early years cross burnings on the campus by the Ku Klux Klan. They persevered in their mission, however, and within a few years, newspaper accounts of the achievements of College Misericordia and its contributions to the community were consistently laudatory. "

      March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • West

      You should have searched the internet about discrimination against Catholics, espcially Catholic immigrants, back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The really big question is how come sounded like this was the first time you heard about this.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  16. BRC

    As an interesting twist to the article, what about influence through negative publicity? I'm sure there are some Catholics in the public eye out there that have had substantial impact on public opinion and views of the church through bringing negative light (if the article is about people who have influence inside the church, then I understand why you wouldn't consider this category).

    March 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  17. Jesus

    "You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting"

    Lying is a sin.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • William Demuth

      You too have been weighed in the balance, and we have found three nails are sufficient

      March 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  18. JohnR

    What? No Tom Brady?

    March 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Norman

    Which one is the Anti-Christ?

    March 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • momoya

      Colbert

      March 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      A shared triumvirate of Scalia, Thomas and Boehner

      March 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wouldn't it be funny if Christ was the Anti Christ?

      March 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • sam

      If Christ is the anti-Christ, that's like dividing by zero!! OH SHI -

      March 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      sam

      NICE!

      Actually a Bipolar Savior seems perfect for our twisted race!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ghosts of departed quant.ities. Now it is all making sense. I finally understand the Holy Trinitiy thanks to Sam.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      It's Ground Hog Day!

      March 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      To it that takes the Lords name in vain. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting

      March 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jesus

      "You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting"

      Lying is a sin....

      March 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      @Jesus Faith is an interior quality of a person , and prayer emanates from that condition. "Studies" done with equations, microscopes, telescopes, in laboratories and observatories are somewhat effective when dealing with material phenomena. But since an interior quality is not material, "studies" are of no value. You cannot measure a quality with a caliper.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • TooFunny

      "But since an interior quality is not material, "studies" are of no value. You cannot measure a quality with a caliper"

      Wow was that a stupid statement so the whole field of psychology just went out the window with your poor logic. What an idiot.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      March 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven"

      You have not proof otherwise you would have posted it by now in rebuttal. What a fool you are.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      All proofs have been given and accepted for some time now, sorry if you missed out.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      No need to rebut repeti tively. That would be redundant.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Jesus

      "All proofs have been given and accepted for some time now, sorry if you missed out."

      More desperation and lying nice job you're going to hell!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Productive
      Prayer really changes things

      March 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Productive
      Prayer really changes things"

      More lying and desperation proving me right! YeeHaw! LMAO!

      March 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is the breath of life. Prayer has changed the course of human history. What joy to speak and learn life changes from God.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer is the breath of life. Prayer has changed the course of human history. What joy to speak and learn life changes from God."

      LOL! More desperation but knowledge is what has changed human history NOT prayer.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • AGuest9

      just sayin
      All proofs have been given and accepted for some time now, sorry if you missed out.

      So, proof that just sayin really is Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. It was bound to come out.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bwah! Just lying is pretending to be God again! What a hoot!

      March 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      Heaven is entered by works. Salvation is by Gods unmerited favor through faith, not anything that the saved can do. Damnation is rejection by God due to your rejection of Jesus Christ. Once saved you cannot be unsaved, all the judgement you suggest mean nothing before Gods throne. I cannot be assigned anywhere but the Kingdom of God, no matter what I do or do not do. I am accepted and acceptable before God not by my merit but by faith in the Lord Jesus.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      All knowledge comes to man from God because someone asked God in prayer for knowledge.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • herbie needs a new hobby

      herbie, get a new hobby

      March 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie

      March 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Heaven is entered by works." Sez you, dumbazz. The Lutherans say otherwise. Are you equipped to prove them wrong?

      You aren't "equipped" to tie your own shoes, you brain-dead jackazz.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      herbie is a eunuch who sings soprano in the church choir. Badly.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      Oops typo, should read heaven is not entered by works. Go with the Lutherans on that.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Pat

      "All knowledge comes to man from God because someone asked God in prayer for knowledge."

      At least half of the scientists are atheists, they don't believe in your god or prayer – proving you are a liar.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      God is gracious enough to allow even those who do not acknowledge Him answers . You do not have to be the one who prays to receive knowledge. There is no proof in your statement at all Pat.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Pat

      "God is gracious enough to allow even those who do not acknowledge Him answers . You do not have to be the one who prays to receive knowledge. There is no proof in your statement at all Pat."

      More lies on top of more lies.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Herbie Get a Hand Job

      herbie get a hand job

      March 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Herbie

      There IS a herbie!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you delusional? Herbie couldn't get a hand-job from a beagle if the beagle were starving and herbie bribed it with a bowl of chili.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie .

      March 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just lying in a pile of shitt, it must be sad to be such a load. Or such a toad.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Just sayin.."All knowledge comes to man from God because someone asked God in prayer for knowledge." funny how that knowledge is in concert with our discoveries..I mean did no one ask for the knowledge of how to do heart surgery before the 20 th century? or how to repair a brain.., how to replace a lung, cure disease. You are stuck trying to find ways to insert your square peg god myths in to round hole reality.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      herbie IS a hand job.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      God has eternity to answer prayers in. Some prayer is answered in a relatively short time as mankind measures time, other prayer has taken years, decades even centuries. Some disease prayers have been answered, others are still in the process.
      There is an order and a progression as these things are accomplished.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, oh gee. I'm just SO thankful that just lying is here to interpret God's word.

      What an arrogant jackazz you are, just spewing lies.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Just sayin..total nonsense again...square peg into round hole.. you just amking stuff up again to make it look real,,,,sorry you have no proof as usual just sayin.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:04 am |
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About this blog

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.