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Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism
Paul Ryan is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes.
August 11th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism

By Dan Gilgoff and Dan Merica

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate promises to cast a spotlight on American Catholicism in an election year when the tradition has already been a major focus.

Ryan, a Catholic who chairs the House Budget Committee, is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes like opposing abortion and gay marriage.

But Romney called attention to Ryan's religion Saturday in introducing him as his running mate: "A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life," Romney said.

And socially conservative groups were quick to praise Ryan's selection, with the president of National Right to Life saying that "Ryan has a deep, abiding respect for all human life, including unborn children and their mothers, the disabled and the elderly."

Ryan’s advocacy for cutting taxes and trimming the deficit — he is the architect of the GOP’s proposed federal budget — married with his willingness to talk about fiscal belt-tightening in moral terms and his low-key social conservatism speak to a political moment in which the economic concerns of the Tea Party and the social focus of the Christian right have merged into a relatively cohesive anti-Obama movement.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the day's big stories

Ryan’s presence on the ticket also could increase Romney’s appeal among the millions of middle-of-the-road Catholic voters who populate key swing states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Catholics are considered the quintessential swing vote, and no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Catholics since at least the early 1990s.

With Romney, a Mormon, selecting a Catholic, Obama is the only Protestant in the 2012 presidential race (Vice President Joe Biden is also Catholic).

"As a conservative Catholic, Ryan is likely to appeal to a number of Catholics in the Midwest,” said John Green, a professor of religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio. “Catholics who are concerned about religious liberty, he is certainly a positive there."

The Catholic Church has helped frame this year’s election by strenuously opposing a rule in President Obama’s health care law that requires insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage to nearly all American employees, including those at Catholic colleges and hospitals. The Democrats have said that Romney’s and the GOP’s support for the Church’s position constitutes a “war on women,” while Romney and his party say Obama’s rule represents a “war on religion.”

In an interview with CNN, former GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich, who is Catholic, said that Ryan would shore up support in a Catholic community that feels it is “under siege.”

Romney released an ad Thursday repeating the war on religion charge. Next week, Sandra Fluke — a Georgetown University law student who was thrust into the national spotlight after radio show host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” for her role in supporting Obama’s contraception rule — will introduce the president at a stop in Denver.

Ryan’s own Catholicism became a major issue this year, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticizing his proposed federal budget for what the bishops said would be its adverse impact on the poor.

The bishops cautioned against overreaching budget cuts that endanger “poor and vulnerable people.” The bishops’ message called on “Congress and the administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities.”

This split between politically conservative and liberal Catholics has existed for decades in the Catholic Church. But with Ryan running for vice president, some experts expect this divide to be sharpened.

"What Ryan will highlight is a division within the Catholic community,” Green said. “More politically liberal Catholics are very critical of the Republican approach and the Ryan budget, but Ryan has taken them head on.”

In an April speech at Georgetown, a Catholic school, Ryan defended his budget in religious terms.

“The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” Ryan said. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”

Ryan’s $3.53 trillion budget doubles down on past proposals to overhaul Medicare and other government programs that are seen as politically sensitive. While the budget has little chance to become law, it draws a distinct contrast with Democratic views on spending.

That speech, along with other statements that put his budget into religious terms, led liberal Catholic groups to openly protest Ryan’s budget.

In particular, NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic nuns that speaks out on social justice issues, went on a bus tour around the country to protest the Ryan budget.

In an interview with CNN, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said Ryan has co-opted sacred Catholic teachings and twisted their meanings.

This line of attack will intensify in the coming months because of Ryan’s nomination, says Deal Hudson, a religion and politics expert who ran President George. W. Bush’s Catholic outreach in 2000 and 2004.

“I think the Catholic left will make this the drumbeat about Congressman Ryan,” Hudson said. “That is why it is so important for the campaign to effectively get out in front of this argument.”

According to Hudson, it is possible to defend the Ryan budget from Catholic attacks, it will just take a campaign that “realizes this is what they face."

- CNN

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (1,690 Responses)
  1. BuddyLee

    Beware America! We have more to fear from WITHIN than from WITHOUT.
    The Supreme court justices are mostly Catholic or have a Catholic mindset. Most of America has a Catholic mindset.
    So whats one more Catholic to add to the confusion. Obama even has a Catholic mindset. Watch what happens when the Pope comes to America. Lets see who goes to see who? Who will kiss the hand of the Pope?
    The Catholic religion hasnt changed. They will persecute you just like the did in the "Dark Ages" or Reformation.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is..."

      Do you know how silly you sound?

      August 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • BuddyLee

      You cant see what I see. You are blinded by misseducation in the schools of the world.
      Rome is working very stealthly, behind the scenes, to conquer the world. And America is her enforcer.
      In the end, we'll see whose been silly.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "You can't see what I see."

      Nope. I am sane.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • psst's understudy

      It's "miseducation".

      "whose" is a possessive: "whose craziness is this?"

      "who's" = "who is"

      The "miseducation" seems to have occurred on your end.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • psst's understudy

      Oops; left out "who's"also equals "who has".

      There you go.

      Go and sin no more, Buddy.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • BuddyLee

      But you got my point

      August 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  2. NN

    I may be mistaken but in every country where the overwhelming majority of the population are unquestioning devout Catholics, there is political corruption, and unbelievable over-population and poverty. Many of these countries are third world directly as a result of Catholicism, they will never be anything else. To forbid their followers from practicing contraception is absolute insanity in this day and time. America too is on the verge of over-population and a third world standard of living. We don't need this here! And we don't need Ryan and people like him!

    August 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    Reublikans and thosee Libertarians are the same thanng. aI know becuase I am a smart demokrate. They believe in the xact same thang. They are the same thang. Religouds republkcan, = relgiousd lib3ertarian. zI am stamart and unnderstand polikticks.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  4. GoDucks73

    I'd like to take his faith, wrap it around his neck and watch him slowly pray to his god with his last heart beat.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    I whish i could except that there are non-religous peeple likre Ayn Rand that not republikan and not democrat, but my braaain capakity is beyond that.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Henderson - gonna troll all day under my name?

      August 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      I am so glad that you understand. I never graduated from junior high, but at least you understand that I can not comprehend the difference between a rational libertarian like Ayn Rand and a religious republican.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i like dem turdles.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      when did i say there was no difference? i said they have a lot in common, but i recognize they have differences. what is your problem? why the broken record? please quote where i said republicans and libertarians are exactly the same on every issue.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Libertarians are the same as Republicans. They are all pro-life religous people because in my simple mind they are all conservatives.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    and also Attis, Mithra, Gilgamesh too.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Fact

    Wow! Looks like Romney's VP pick has put the liberals over the edge- look at all the gibberish!

    August 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  8. Mr Chihuahua

    He looks like the T-1000! Somebody call Miles Dyson lol!

    August 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  9. ArthurP

    Bootyfunk this is the difference.

    Rational libertarians will allow a pregnant woman with cancer to have chemo even it causes an abortion.

    Religious republicans will not.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you talking to the guy that keeps posting under my name? that's Henderson. he likes to steal names and write gibberish cause he doesn't have an original thought in his head.

      yes, there are differences, mostly on social issues between run of the mill republicans and libertarians - but more often than not, they vote along the same line in congress and senate. they agree on fiscal issues, like cr@pping on the poor.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  10. vinny

    wow another chenney aren't we lucky

    August 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  11. Mel

    I'm so tried of religion in politics.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      mE Tried too. ugh. Me demokrat, so that makes me smarter than non-religous libertarians.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • stormrider2112

      Oh yeah. The entire conservative spin is that "freedom of religion" only applies to Christianity, and anything that seeks to eliminate overtly Christian things from the public space are met with the "War On Religion" BS ("What, those gay people want to get married? That infringes on my religion!"). I'm not pro-abortion (I only think it should be an option of last resort), but at what point do you want to draw the line of what rights a woman has over her body? Not my call, not your call, just the woman's and her doctor's. Why does the "less government is good" crowd want to impose MORE government laws on what people decide to do with their private lives and their bodies?

      August 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Henderson Troll, do you really think you're ....

      Never mind. Just put a question mark after "think."

      August 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    Ayn Rand must be1 auh them prolifers because she wuus conservative. I od not unnderstand poliytics becuzzz I am themocrat. Only stooooped repubs cud objective to my reasoning. I am smart. I am a demokrat.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Henderson

      there is absolutely no difference between an republican and a libertarian. rand and republicans and libertarians are exactly the same. fact.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  13. Joseph L.

    UGH another brainwashed, Cult member.....at 42 ( he looks a hell lot older) he is young enough to know better regarding religion such as Christianity is a man made mythology which Mankinds biggest threat to it's morals and survival. We must protect our children from this destructive Christian myth. Paul Ryan should know better at his age.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      they don't bother to look up all the myths that christianity plagiarized for their own myths. they don't realize most of the figures/stories in the bible have origins in other religions - christians just "borrowed" them and then claimed them as their own.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Chad

      what is your evidence to back up your claim that Christianity is a made up plagiarized religion?

      August 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Henderson

      look up Horus, egyptian god, for starters.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Henderson "look up Horus, egyptian god, for starters."

      Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his penis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish,[6][7] and used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a gold phallus[8] to conceive her son[citation needed]. Once Isis knew she was pregnant with Horus, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Osiris and who she knew would want to kill their son.[9] There Isis bore a divine son, Horus.
      Since Horus was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the sun and moon. It became said that the sun was his right eye and the moon his left, and that they traversed the sky when he, a falcon, flew across it. Later, the reason that the moon was not as bright as the sun was explained by a tale, known as the contestings of Horus and Set, originating as a metaphor for the conquest of Upper Egypt by Lower Egypt in about 3000 BC. In this tale, it was said that Set, the patron of Upper Egypt, and Horus, the patron of Lower Egypt, had battled for Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until eventually the gods sided with Horus

      so..?
      I'm not following you....

      August 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • hey.................

      shut up, you tiresome jackass troll.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Some parallels between Horus and Jesus Christ:

      1. Horus born of a v.irgin. Jesus born of a v.irgin.

      2. The foster father of Horus was Seb or Seph. Jesus was fostered by Joseph.

      3. Horus was of royal descent. Jesus was of royal descent.

      4. Horus birth accompanied by three solar deities [star gazers] who followed by the morning star of Sirius bearing gifts. Jesus birth accompanied by three wise men [Zoroastrian star gazers] who followed by a star “in the east” bearing gifts.

      5. The birth of Horus announced by angels. The birth of Jesus announced by angels.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      6. Herut tried to murder the infant Horus. Herod slaughtered every first born in an attempt to kill Jesus the forthcoming messiah.

      7. Horus is baptized at age 30 by Anup the Baptiser at a river. Jesus is baptized at age 30 by John the Baptist at a river.

      8. Horus resists temptation by the evil Sut [Sut was to be the precursor for the Hebrew Satan] on a high mountain. Jesus resists temptation by Satan on a high mountain.

      9. Horus had 12 followers. Jesus had 12 disciples.

      10. Horus performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water. Jesus performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      11. Horus raised someone from the grave [his father Osiris] Jesus raised Lazarus [notice the name similarity] from the grave. Lazarus is short for Elasarus – the “us” on the end is romanized. Elasarus was derived from “El-Asar” which was the name given to Osiris.

      12. Horus was buried and resurrected in the city of Anu. The place Bethany mentioned in John was a derivative of the words “Bet” and “Anu” which translates “the house of Anu”. The ‘y’ on the end of bethany is interchangeable with the letter ‘u’.

      13. Horus was killed by crucifixion. Jesus was killed by crucifixion.

      14. Horus was accompanied by two thieves at the crucifixion. Jesus was crucified with two thieves.

      15. Horus was buried in a tomb at Anu. Jesus was buried in a tomb located in Bethany [Bet-Anu].

      August 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      16. Horus was resurr.ected after 3 days. Jesus was “said” to resurr.ected after over a period of three days.

      17. The resurr.ection of Horus was announced by three women. The resurr.ection of Jesus was announced by three women.

      18. Horus was given the t.itle KRST which means “anointed one” Jesus was given the t.itle Christ [Christos] meaning “anointed one”

      that's just the jesus/horus comparison. christianity stole lots of other myths/figures too.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Chad

      1. Horus born of a v.irgin. Jesus born of a v.irgin.
      =>well Jesus was, but Horus wasnt.. see above nonsense about a retrieved penis..

      2. The foster father of Horus was Seb or Seph. Jesus was fostered by Joseph.
      =>so?

      3. Horus was of royal descent. Jesus was of royal descent.
      =>Jesus was, but Horus wasnt.. He was son of Isis & Osiris (both gods, no earthly kingdom)

      4. Horus birth accompanied by three solar deities [star gazers] who followed by the morning star of Sirius bearing gifts. Jesus birth accompanied by three wise men [Zoroastrian star gazers] who followed by a star “in the east” bearing gifts.
      =>source for Horus 3 solar deities?
      I find no mention of that anywhere...

      please dont tell me you just cut and pasted that list from http://www.paganspace.net/ without even attempting to check if any of it was true..

      5. The birth of Horus announced by angels. The birth of Jesus announced by angels.
      =>source?
      I find no mention of that anywhere...

      please dont tell me you just cut and pasted that list from http://www.paganspace.net/ without even attempting to check if any of it was true..

      August 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Chad

      so, bootyfunk, you have been duped..

      putting to death the nonsense comparison of Horus and Jesus
      Claim #1-Horus and Jesus are born from a virgin.

      Horus’s mother is Isis. Isis was married to Osiris. We do not know for what length of time, but presumably the marriage was consummated. Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter though. After Osiris is killed, Isis puts him back together again (he was hacked into 14 pieces) except for his penis which was tossed in a river or a lake. Iris fashions a substitute penis for him, humps him and here comes Horus. There is nothing virginal about that.

      Claim #2-Both Horus and Jesus were born to a Mary and Joseph. (Seb)

      As noted Isis is Horus’s mother’s name not Mary. In addition, Seb is not Horus’s father, Osiris is. Seb is Osiris’s father. Further, Seb is a distinct name from Joseph. Putting them side by side does not make them synonyms, and that appears to be what was done here.

      Claim #3-Both were born of royal descent.

      This is accurate.

      Claim #4-Both births were announced by angels and witnessed by shepherds.

      I can find nothing that mentions that the birth of Horus was announced by an angel or witnessed by shepherds. I have found that Horus was born in a swamp, which is a pretty unlikely place for shepherds. In addition Acharya mentions that Horus was born in a cave. Massey makes no mention of this, although he does represent that Mithra was born in a cave.

      Claim #5-Both were heralded by stars and angels.

      There is no star that heralded Horus’s birth nor is there any angel announcing it. Archarya in a footnote in The Origins of Christianity indicates that that there are three stars named the three kings in Orion and then relates this to the birth of Jesus. When we look to the stories regarding Horus, we find no star or angel announcing his birth. To the extent that Acharya S relies upon Massey and Massey relies upon what is depicted in the panels at Luxor see (from an atheist) further regarding virgin birth and pronouncement by angels http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/carrier_luxor_inscription.htm

      Claim #6-Both had later visitors (Horus-3 deities and Jesus-3 wisemen.)

      There is no indication that there ever were 3 wisemen. The bible never mentions the number of wisemen, nor is there any document that reflects 3 deities at the birth of Horus. See the website referenced in Claim #5.

      Claim #7-Both had murder plots against them.

      There is mention that Seth did want to kill Horus, and Herod wanted to kill Jesus. so this is accurate.

      Claim#8-Both came of age at 12, were baptized and their baptizers were executed.

      There is no indication that Horus was preaching in a temple when he was 12. In fact, Massey indicates that Hours the child was depicted as a “weakling.” That doesn’t jive with story of Jesus preaching in the temple. Again this appears to have been a confabulation from Acharya and repeated by others.

      Horus was never baptized in any of the Horus stories. In addition, Acharya mentions that John the Baptist is actually Anup the Baptizer. This individual is never mentioned anywhere in any Horus account. There is not even a footnote in Archaya’s on-line work The Origins of Christianity to support this. There is nothing.

      Claim #9-Both had 12 disciples.

      According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers. There is some indication of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. Horus did not have 12 disciples. Jesus reportedly did. Acharya failed to give a footnote to support this.

      Massey points to a mural in the Book of Hades in which there are twelve reapers. Horus is not present in this scene. For Massey to make this connection he goes to a different scene within the same mural. In this scene there is a picture of a god whose name is the Master of Joy. Horus is never depicted although in other murals the artists do depict Horus. Had the artists ascribed 12 reapers in any relation to Horus all they had to do was put Horus at the scene. They did not.

      Claim #10-Both walked on water.

      Horus didn’t, or at least there is no record that I can find that he did. Massey does not maintain that Hours did. Massey uses wild conjecture to connect the story of fish man, Oannes, not Horus, to Jesus. Oannes came out of the sea during the day, and went back into the sea at night. Massey makes the two analogous because by his calculations, Jesus walked on water during the day.

      As to Acharya, she as usual provides nothing to substantiate this.

      Claim #11-Both performed miracles.

      This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature.

      Claim #12 Both exorcised demons and raised Lazarus.

      The actual claim is that Horus raised Osiris from the dead and that the name Osiris morphed to Lazarus. It doesn’t matter because Horus did not bring Osiris back to life. There is no mention of this in any document regarding the story. Horus did avenge Osiris’s death, but that did not raise Osiris from the dead.

      Claim #13-Both held a Sermon on the Mount; both were transfigured on a mountain, died by crucifixion along with two thieves and were buried in tombs where they paid a quick visit to Hell and then rose from the dead after 3 days time, both resurrections were witness by women, and both will supposedly reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

      These are the most damning claims if they were proven true in my opinion. Yet, I can locate none of this. No sermon, no transfiguration, certainly no crucifixion w/ two thieves, no trip to hell and no resurrection. There was an incident in which Horus was torn to pieces and Iris requested the crocodile god to fish him out of the water he was tossed into, which was done, but that’s it. I am at a loss to refute this because I can not find anything to support it.

      Massey does compares a story about the Autumn Equinox related to Osiris, not Horus, as the symbolic crucifixion. There is no indication that Horus is involved in any way. There is no mention by Massey of any Sermon on the Mount. No mention or any actual crucifixion, no two thieves, no burial in a tomb. Massey does not maintain that anything of the sort occurred with Horus.

      In short, of the claims outlined in this entry, I find the comparison between Horus and Jesus to consist of the following: they were of royal descent, they allegedly worked miracles and there were murder plots against them.

      August 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    So how do rational libertarians like Ayn differ from religoius reblikans? I do not unnnerstan!!!

    August 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you sound like a broken record, Henderson. can't post under your own name? grow some bawls.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      I dun liake them rebpuiklicans because hte3y lik e religoun and no other political becan be rational like democarats can be.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      wow, you really don't get bored with trolling, do you?

      August 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      I LIIYKE Tukkin to meself becuz I know that only -democrats can be pro-choice. Basicsally religus reblicans and Libertarians are hte same hting.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  15. Kyle

    "They're all about the unborn. They'll do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own!" – George Carlin

    August 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol. love Carlin.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Janine from TX

      Miss George Carlin's insights!

      August 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  16. J.

    I don't care about his religion nor should anybody else. It is NOT a requirement for the job and as the founders believed should never be. I will rate this man on what he has accomplished or not and what he proposes or not.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      @J.

      You said, "I don't care about his religion nor should anybody else."
      I care. When adults profess to believe in fairy tales for any reason other than to get the sheeple to vote for them, they are unfit to lead a nation.

      You said, "It is NOT a requirement for the job and as the founders believed should never be."
      it would be good if the voters rejected those that make their religion a key part of their message.

      You said, "I will rate this man on what he has accomplished or not and what he proposes or not."
      So do I.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @LIinCA "When adults profess to believe in fairy tales for any reason other than to get the sheeple to vote for them, they are unfit to lead a nation."

      =>are you making the claim that Ryan's faith isnt genuine? Are you saying that he is only saying that he is a Christian to garner votes?

      August 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • NN

      He doesn't seem to have accomplished much in his lifetime

      August 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "are you making the claim that Ryan's faith isnt genuine? Are you saying that he is only saying that he is a Christian to garner votes?"
      No. I don't have enough information about Ryan to make that call. Even if I knew a lot more about him, I'd only consider the odds to be one way or the other. I don't presume to know what he believes.

      The comment was about politicians in general. Anyone who believes in fairy tales is unfit. Former candidates like Bachmann, Palin and Perry, among others, appear to be genuinely deluded, and therefor unfit. I suspect that Mr. Obama and to a lesser extend, Romney are agnostics or even atheists.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "The comment was about politicians in general. Anyone who believes in fairy tales is unfit."

      =>you do realize that this eliminates all presidents to date, and roughly 80% of the population of the USA?

      August 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you do realize that this eliminates all presidents to date"
      I consider quite a few to have been unfit.

      You said, "and roughly 80% of the population of the USA?"
      Well, duh.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Best possible response to Chard's posts.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "The comment was about politicians in general. Anyone who believes in fairy tales is unfit."
      @Chad, "you do realize that this eliminates all presidents to date"
      @LinCA "I consider quite a few to have been unfit."

      =>hm.. but you said "anyone who believes in fairy tales is unfit"..
      so.. I'm confused, you consider some people who believe in fairy tales fit, but other people who believe in fairy tales unfit?
      if so, why did you say "anyone", meaning "all"..?

      please clarify..
      😉

      if it helps, you can amend your statement to be "I believe any republican that believes in fairy tales to be unfit, but I'll live with it if they are democrat.."

      August 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Chadwatch

      Thus spake Chad, the sarcastic. And stupid.

      August 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "hm.. but you said "anyone who believes in fairy tales is unfit"..
      so.. I'm confused, you consider some people who believe in fairy tales fit, but other people who believe in fairy tales unfit?
      "
      I know, for someone who likes to see things black and white, it can be confusing to get the true meaning of a statement. Let me try to clarify.

      It is sometimes very hard to distinguish between someone who actually believes the nonsense (fairy tales), and one who simply pretends to. It is far easier for a rational person to act delusional than the other way around.

      I don't pretend to know what every president believed. I have my suspicions about some. There is also a pretty strong correlation between those that I suspect to have been, or still are, believers and whether I thought they were fit to be president.

      August 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "It is sometimes very hard to distinguish between someone who actually believes the nonsense (fairy tales), and one who simply pretends to. It is far easier for a rational person to act delusional than the other way around."
      @Chad "so.. you would prefer a person that doesnt believe, but merely pretends to, than one that does believe? Just getting that straight.. that's what you would prefer? Disingenuousness?

      @LinCA "I don't pretend to know what every president believed. I have my suspicions about some. There is also a pretty strong correlation between those that I suspect to have been, or still are, believers and whether I thought they were fit to be president."
      @Chad "pure speculation, ok, got it.. and, the ones you like, you have convinced yourself that they didnt really believe, but were just lying about it to get the votes?

      ok, interesting line of reasoning...

      August 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "so.. you would prefer a person that doesnt believe, but merely pretends to, than one that does believe? Just getting that straight.. that's what you would prefer? Disingenuousness?"
      Of course. I would prefer one that openly states to be an atheist, but I'll take one who's in the closet over a believer. Unfortunately it still is virtually impossible to get elected to any office in the US without professing some belief.

      You said, "pure speculation, ok, got it.. and, the ones you like, you have convinced yourself that they didnt really believe, but were just lying about it to get the votes?"
      Ones words and actions do reveal at least some of their positions. How much it is smoke and mirrors, I don't know. I'm not convinced very many atheists ever inhabited the White House. But see my statement about correlation above.

      August 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Chad

      personally I prefer honesty over disingenuousness, viewing a person that would be willing to profess belief in something just to get elected certainly not worthy of my vote.

      but, different people have different criteria.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "personally I prefer honesty over disingenuousness, viewing a person that would be willing to profess belief in something just to get elected certainly not worthy of my vote."
      That's easy for you to say as there is no need for christian politicians to shield their true beliefs (even if they could). But, of course, as I mentioned above, I also would prefer someone who can be honest about his or her positions, but unfortunately, bigoted christians make that very hard in this country.

      I'd like for everyone to feel safe to be who they are without risking getting beat up because they are gay, or shot at, or having their temple burned down for being of a different faith.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      LInCA, your responses to the vegetable have been remarkable restrained.

      I have no idea how you do it, but kudos.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Chad

      Kind of amazing that you are actually coming out and saying that you approve of an atheist politician lying about his/her belief just to get elected...

      August 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "Kind of amazing that you are actually coming out and saying that you approve of an atheist politician lying about his/her belief just to get elected..."
      You're not too bright, are you? Let me see if I can dumb it down for you.

      In US elections, voters most of the time only get to choose between two options. Either candidate is the perfect candidate for only a small sliver of the population. For the rest it is a compromise. Some are even a choice for the lesser of two evils.

      When weighing the pros and cons of a candidate, a lie out of necessity doesn't tip the scale. Especially when the opponent appears to be fully delusional.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  17. Bootyfunk

    Ayn Rand was like totallly pro-life becuz she was a conservutive and only Konservatves can be prolife. Lioke, 4 real. My entire world view is dogmatyic. Eiyther you are a liberal or a conservative.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^^ bad troll attempt

      aren't you getting bored stealing my handle and posting gibberish?

      August 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • lol

      herbie stinking up the interweb with his feeble peabrain and bargain basement attempts at wit...............................

      August 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^^^ I stull don understan wuyt people are talking abouyt! Only doos Demookrats cud be rational about them religous v beliefs.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. *frank*

    Mr Ryan looks like a peeping-tom staring thru a window.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  19. YouveBeenSpun

    Great picture pic. Ominous lighting on his face. Oh CNN, so in the pocket for Obama. Most boring news station ever continuing in its legacy of boring tactics and tricks. Seriously no way you can call CNN a news network. It's CON, a Cable Opinion Network.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      go back to Faux News.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Janine from TX

      Yes, go back to Fox where facts are meaningless.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  20. ArthurP

    There is not a single politician in existence that follows true Christian moral teachings. Not a one. So why is it so important to people?

    August 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Bekuuuss all them nondemos think that all us non religgus fulks are de same. Cuz repuvblcans and the Libertarians are the same. We allll juszz luvin on the jeeebxus and they can only do that thaank. Aboooortion is so murder, but only if yoo are religousw.l,. So therel.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      they SAY they are christian. they say they DO follow christian teachings. but they don't. thank zeus.

      christian teachings say we should kill all g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend. christian teachings say when a woman is r.aped, she must marry her r.apist. christian teachings say the world is flat.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      Christianity is hinduism, pagan ism, having nothing to do with son of blessed Mary, but hindu Judaism, filthy self cementer ism, hypocrisy at its best.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      POlussz forgive me, for I do not understand the difff betweeen religous republicans and rational libertarians.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Snowdog

      Bootyfunk, what he hell are you talking about. What a ridiculous statement to make and absolutely false at that. Wow, really??????

      August 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
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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.