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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. Griswald Clan

    GOPers beat off to money, Jesus and Emmurrica. That do not beat off to socialism or those dang liberals. Praise him.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  2. lou

    His faith our anyone else's doesn't mean anything to me as long as you dont try to take my freedoms or make it tough to live if your not a apart of the flock. Going to church doesn't make you good.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  3. AGuest9

    Just wondering what to do with grandma if he gets into the Naval Observatory. I'm sure he'll push for death panels, and we'll see the cottage industry in nursing homes disappear in a puff of smoke. Without Medicare, there is no way to treat her around-the-clock.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  4. Peters pence

    Kind of wonder if old JC himself was a candidate for president/ VP or any other elected office. Resume; he is from a poor white family, father a carpenter, mother a virgin (so she says), no evidence of early or secondary education, influenced by rabbis in the temple (read nice Jewish boy), a good speaker and motivator (crowd pleaser), a bit of a rebel (does not respect authority), no known family life of his own (girlfriends, wife), hangs around with twelve guys that worship him and run his ministry, claims to have powers that are hard to believe (walks on water, raises people from the dead, etc.), reported that he was crucified and rose from the dead himself, definite liberal thinker, anti war, love thy neighbour, share the wealth and more. The Republican selection committee can not recommend someone with these qualities as candidate for our party at any level.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      There was a girlfriend, or perhaps a wife (depends on which version of the story you believe), but she was a prost.itute earlier in life.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Peters pence

      @ Aguest9
      Prosti*tutes on your resume would not actually be good thing to a far right winger. You may get a little flack from the jesus is perfect clowns suggesting he consorted with prosti*tutes, but boys will be boys,

      August 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • billdeacons

      My religion, Catholic, teaches me that Jesus was perfect and consorted with all manner of sinners. Still does so today. You should check Him out.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Glenc

    Inspired choice, take the attack dog of the right put him in the most pointless job in the universe. This choice gives the election to Obama, because it gives Florida to the Democrats. Just like 2008, another VP selection mistake. At least he didn't do a Cheney (head of the selection committee selecting himself).

    August 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. saggyroy

    I can't wait for the rapture when we get our planet back....

    August 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  7. Hypatia

    Lock up the altar boys. Ryan's declaring open season and all clergy are welcome.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  8. TheVocalAtheist

    This morning, across this country, millions will go to their Catholic churches and pray. To what? Why if cannot be proven? Couldn't they be doing better things then going to a church that takes their money and pays no taxes on it? An organization that knowingly covers-up child molestation yet they still go in droves and give their support. Who are the obvious wrong-choice makers here? Is it the atheists? I think not.

    These Catholics, couldn't their time be better spent discovering new and exciting advancements in science and medicine? How about taking their children out to the country or the ocean or the mountains and experience the wonder of nature? Why waste such precious time on something so ridiculous, so harmful and so blatantly intellectually insane while our time here is so very brief? Today is Sunday, just another day in another week, why is it so religiously special? Don't go to church, go to nature and please remember to take any trash back with you and don't start any forest fires. Thank you!

    August 12, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Hey weren't you just on the Belief Blog?

      August 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • saggyroy

      And if their god does have a plan, why pray? It will stick to its plan anyway.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • LatinaMD

      "The church is not the faith." Who told me that? My atheist best friend, when those scandals first came to light. I'm a parent – and I was sick to my stomach, like every other Catholic I know. (Don't forget that the victims were also Catholic.) To envision it another way, I may not like the president or the way the country is being run, but that doesn't make democracy inherently invalid. I give the church money because I want to contribute to the extensive social services my own parish provides directly, with the help of a lot of dedicated volunteers. Mother Theresa was a Catholic nun. Can you think of one ugly thing to say about her? As for science, you may be surprised to hear that Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mandel (a priest, and founder of modern genetic research) and Georges Lemaitre (originator of the big bang theory) were all devout Catholics. And yes, I do take my kids to the mountains and the beach; I encourage them to explore science and nature, to think for themselves, and to push their education as far as possible (everyone in my family has at least a master's degree). What I *don't* encourage them to do is disparage other people's belief systems, no matter how odd they may sound to us – because that's just a crappy thing to do to another person. It's nasty, unnecessary and disrespectful, and you will never, ever catch me calling an atheist an idiot for not believing in God. We all have a right to believe, or not believe, whatever we want.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Possibilities

      The VocalAtheist- who knew another dip wod with all the answers to the mysteries of the universe. Yada, yada, yada- he can't stop sharing the vast knowledge he gained in his journey through life.

      Maybe God did create the universe and just maybe he is challenging us to be the best people we can be because it's important to Him. That's a possibility also.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Veritas

      @possibilities. there are as many possibilities as there are sentient human brains – that says nothing about probabilities. would you accept $1000s in home or car repairs based upon such flimsy evidence?

      August 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  9. Hypatia

    Ryan is a fascist demogogue who is also a traitor bound and determined to turn this country into some kind of right wing cesspoll. he should be in prison, not the campaign trail.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. midwest rail

    Here we go – the "any criticism of Ryan is anti-Catholic bigotry" crowd sure didn't waste any time.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  11. saggyroy

    Magic underwear and transubstantiation...here we go.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Your Religion Might Be Bullshіt If...

        
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws&w=640&h=360]

      August 12, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • collectivedementia

      Metaphors for Romneycare and Ryans budget?

      August 12, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  12. Milt

    We won’t duck the tough issues . . . we will lead!

    We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!

    We won’t replace our founding principles . . . we will reapply them!

    Let America be America again, Vote Romney 2012!

    August 12, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Edward

      Let me get this straight, as someone who is not a dem, republican or tea-partyer: Bush-Cheney lied the nation into war in Iraq and wrecked the economy. Now, you want voters to believe your tripe? You are trumpeting a party that is for the elite and upper class, and are going to call that leadership? You people are amazing.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things, .

    August 12, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • kindless

      Actually, atheism is wonderful for children and all people! Prayer as it turn out, is just a time-sucker-upper. Who would've thought. Meditation is ok for collecting one's thoughts, but it's best to keep all the make-believe characters to one's self.

      Atheists have strong minds and encourage people to take responsibility for their actions within society instead of having their misdeeds excused and often hidden within their religion (comforting their weak minds, but simultaneously disserving society).

      Break the matrix of deception by all religions. Break the fallacy of revelation.

      If the thought leaving your imaginary friends behind is just too much, or makes you want to go p00py, then try Atheism Lite™ (agnosticism) for a period of time to ease your way into a much more rewarding, peaceful life.

      It is written. RIF

      heavenSnot

      August 12, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • atheism is

      a deadly virus that preys on the simple minded and extremely gullible

      August 12, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yet the statistics show exactly the opposite; the more educated and developed a society is, the less superst/tuous and fundamentalist their people. The less educated and developed a group of people, the more supers/tuous and fundamentalist they are.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • call me Ishmael

      Israelis are among the most educated people in the world and they hire thousands to study the Holy scriptures.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • call me Ishmael

      Americans are highly educated and advanced in all fields and are 80 % Christian.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • call me Ishmael

      China boasts the fastest advancing civilization in education science and technology and is home to the fastest growing evangelical Christian peoples on the planet

      August 12, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • truth be told

      Moby schtick should be mobys dick what a maroon

      August 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • kindless

      call me Ishmael wrote: "Americans are highly educated and advanced in all fields and are 80 % Christian."

      They are smart in their fields, but often weak-minded and afraid when it comes to their philosophy on life. It's understandable that the ones who are weaker-minded in this way have allowed concerns about the after-life and concerns about covering up their misdeeds within their religion to muddle their ability to rationalize and use good judgment. But because they are so weak in this way, it is not necessary for strong-minded atheists to be in the majority. Being an atheist is like being a pet owner who is trying to keep their pet from p00ping outside of the box. We occasionally have to lasso in the weaker-minded when their actions or words start leading to something that would be detrimental to everyone.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • kindless

      aethism is wrote: "a deadly virus that preys on the simple minded and extremely gullible"

      Oh that's just silly. aethists are more like sensibility shepherds. and they don't prey, they sometimes have to bring the "sheeple" or lemmings back to sensibility.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Republicans are not healthy for children and other living things.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!* .

      August 12, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Simran.M

      Bowing to your perserverance!!!
      Say a lie a million times and it becomes the truth!

      August 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "Prayer psychology – it increases forgiveness and preserves relationships, says study"

      Florida State University psychologist Nathaniel Lambert and his colleagues decided to test this scientifically in two experiments appearing in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

      http://www.sciencecodex.com/prayer_increases_forgiveness

      August 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • kindless

      You silly – it is fabulous for children and all people. Of course atheists know better than to try to apply it to "other living things" such as a begonia plant that is just not quite in the right amount of light.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!*

      August 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Atheism is

      disease and filth with a long history of mass murders

      August 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      oh you silly, now you're just talking like Carrie's mama.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  15. kerberusII@aol.com

    catholic has little meaning today-it's back to the warrior popes with blair, newt and ryan as catholic politicians, add the court jesters now called pope, and we have a very medieval kingdom

    August 12, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  16. CamNYC

    I'm a daily mass Catholic and conservative in many respects, but it's a mistake for Romney to assume that a significant number of us are going to fall in line because his running mate "on our team", so to speak. I could not agree with Ryan any less than I do on almost every issue that's come up so far. It offends me that he justifies his views by claiming they're rooted in the faith... but like so many do, it seems like he's using religion to justify his own biases. Or if not, I would really like to visit his parish to better understand how he came to these conclusions. He comes across as calculated, manipulative and creepy (politics as usual, some might say).

    August 12, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ CamNYC: I agree with you. The only difference in our opinions is that I have no question about how he arrived at his conclusions. We recently attended our 30th reunion from our Catholic high school graduation. Sadly, there is no shortage of well-heeled Catholics who have come to similar "conclusions" by simply spending their time doing everything except trying to live the faith.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  17. Army Wife

    Here we go again. The Left is now demonizing Ryan because he is a Catholic. What about JFK and Biden? No demonizing there.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Hitchens

      JFK and Biden are not the anti Christ

      August 12, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Army Wife: Ryan demonizes himself with his words and actions. Not everyone who dislikes his policies and ideas is from the left, or liberal or even non-Catholic.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Hitchens said "JFK and Biden are not the anti Christ"

      And also because they are not anti-Christ. Republicans by nature are greedy people and put aside the simplest teachings of Jesus about how people should treat one another. If Catholic, they lean toward the words and writings of all the other, often evil characters of the bible to validate greed and waging of wars, and other disenfranchisement. Even though Catholic, just by being Democrat demonstrates that JFK and Biden's basic philosophy is much closer to that of Jesus.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • collectivedementia

      @Hitchens....
      JFK WAS wounded in the head, and with todays technology it would not be too hard to make it appear that he is alive and well ala holographic imaging.....oh wait, that would make him the beast, not the antichrist. Sorry, you are correct.
      Biden is just the court jester...harmless,but he makes us laugh every time he speaks on any issue.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ "save the world...": American Catholics in the early 20th century were overwhelmingly democrats (and strong labor union supporters). The collusion to co-opt this voting block, by the GOP, started in the 70's with their adoption of the "pro-life" agenda. But the DNC seems to be interested in pushing the remainder of us out the door with the HHS mandate and the administration's "evolved" opinions on marriage.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Army Wife: Anyone supporting the Catholic Cult of Pedophiles gets exactly what they deserve-no respect!

      August 12, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Army Wife: And while they are not "demonizing" Ryan, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), have put pen to paper to criticize his budget plan – the same budget plan Romey enthusiastically embraces as his own.

      If one views the actual letters that Catholic leadership mails, they read much more liberally than the GOP or the weither the conservative or main-stream media would lead one to believe.

      US bishops: Ryan budget fails to meet ‘basic moral test’ located at:
      http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14247

      August 12, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Links to actual letters from the USCCB:

      Letter to House on Budget Reconciliation Cuts to Poverty Programs

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/reconciliation-letter-to-house-2012-05-08.pdf

      Joint Letter on FY 2013 House Agriculture Appropriations

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/agriculture-nutrition-rural-issues/upload/Joint-Letter-on-2013-House-Ag-Approps.pdf

      Letter to House Agriculture Committee on the Farm Bill

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/agriculture-nutrition-rural-issues/upload/house-agriculture-committee-2012-07-10.pdf

      Letter to Senate on Tax Credits for Low-Income Working Families

      http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/letter-on-tax-credits-senate-2012-07-25.pdf

      August 12, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Chick-a-dee wrote: 'But the DNC seems to be interested in pushing the remainder of us out the door with the HHS mandate and the administration's "evolved" opinions on marriage."'

      Well the gay marriage issue is another issue that extremist Catholics, to me, represent what I call the dark side of tradition. Just as with greed, those who want to stick closer to Jesus' simple concepts would not have a problem with it. Those who elevate the ideals of all the other characters in the bible above those of Jesus to justify fears or political motives find it easy and comforting to not change, to not progress, and are obviously going to have trouble with gay marriage, and they are going to continue to have trouble giving women more of a role in the church, and they are going to have trouble protecting more people with contraception use, etc., etc., etc.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ "save the world...": Sorry, no sale. While I agree that the offensive issues on the potential DNC platform this election season are less problematic than...oh, say... starting an unjust war and selling it to the country with a fairy tale about WMD or leaving Grandma out in the cold without food, her medicine and a winter coat so we have enough money to allow billionaires to continue to get ALL their tax breaks...they are still problematic. By problematic, I mean doctrinally defined as sin and therefore to be avoided. Neither side has a platform that completely takes the high road. The challenge will be to decide which route will cause the least amount of harm to the fewest and provide them most with the greatest degree of human dignity and charity. Fortunately, one side requires the sins to be conscious decisions and actions taken by individuals themselves and may be thus avoided. The other side is bent on dragging everyone into their sin agenda by taking our tax dollars away from the social good to fund a deficit created by an immoral war and the results of a failed experiment in deregulation of the banking industry (as well as a number of other GOP economic decisions that are on morally shaky ground).

      Well the gay marriage issue is another issue that extremist Catholics, to me, represent what I call the dark side of tradition. Just as with greed, those who want to stick closer to Jesus' simple concepts would not have a problem with it. Those who elevate the ideals of all the other characters in the bible above those of Jesus to justify fears or political motives find it easy and comforting to not change, to not progress, and are obviously going to have trouble with gay marriage, and they are going to continue to have trouble giving women more of a role in the church, and they are going to have trouble protecting more people with contraception use, etc., etc., etc.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ "save the world...": continued from last post.... Sorry... meant to include this, but hit enter prematurely. I'm curious. What do you mean by "Just as with greed, those who want to stick closer to Jesus' simple concepts would not have a problem with it."? I would have suspected that sticking close to the Love God, Love your neighbor concepts would include wanting to create a society in which greed and all the other seven deadlies would be considered universally objectionable because those who engage in them inevitably experience some sort of temporal punishment.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      @Chick-a-dee: Well it is really a "no-sale" from my point of view either. But primarily because I would never adopt the tenets of the Catholic church. I view it as an extremist religion along with evangelicals, mormons, southern baptists and similar. And this is because I firmly refute "doctrinally defined" anything (to use your words), before we even being to discuss the concept of sin. I occasionally give kudos to Jesus because I find his ideals to be helpful as examples of how people should get along. It is pretty obvious to me that all the traditions that the Catholic church will not break away from are things that biblical and other political characters built into the religion that have very little to do with any of Jesus' ideals. So although I find use with some of Jesus' words, I feel Catholicism as a whole and most of its doctrines are among some of the most dangerous, political religions of the world.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Chick-a-dee wrote: "What do you mean by "Just as with greed, those who want to stick closer to Jesus' simple concepts would not have a problem with it."?"

      I'm glad you asked about that, because that was way less than clear on my part. I just meant that those who want to stick closer to Jesus' simple teachings would not have a problem with gay marriage. It is only from characters outside of Jesus in the early church, such as the self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul that we see doctrine being built in a very political way that has lead to its wacky end-result. Early protestants were too primitive-thinking to address issues about se.xualtiy, but some of them quickly picked up on much of the other garbage early Catholics had thrown in the bible as if they were ear-marking a congressional bill.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • AGuest9

      JFK went to Appalachia and was horrified that people still lived that way. Ryan went there and thought "Huh, more poor to take advantage of."

      August 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ "save the world... We'll just have to agree to disagree on some things so that we can agree on others.

      Early protestants didn't show up to the party until Henry VIII wanted a divorce, was found to already be in a valid marriage therefore unable to get it 'annulled', decided to create his own church where he could make his own rules and give an uncouth hand gesture Rome.

      p.s. I don't really care what two people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. But when they co-habitate its not marriage no matter what gyrations anyone makes to misappropriate the word.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Chick-a-dee

      I certainly don't refute your statement about early protestants. I find many of their tenets as disturbing as I do those of Catholics. I was merely pointing out that they were some of the first to bring to light much of the weirdness in Catholicism and thus chose not to include it in their form of Christianity. As aforementioned, this weirdness that I speak of, are things that, for me, do not resonate with the simple teachings of Jesus (even though I view him as a man and that's it).

      g.ay marriage is a tough problem right now in this country. if g.ay couples could be afforded all the same rights as those labeled married (in each place in the country where there is a civil and traditional definition, which is everywhere), then I don't think it would be as big an issue as it is. But those rights are not there across the board. People still have to fight and often lose death benefit rights, etc. etc. because the laws are so archaic. Therefore it is a civil rights issue and it is also an issue of separation of church and state since these old laws still separate the civil rights of these distinct types of couples based on religious tradition. This is just another area where the US has fallen behind other countries, sadly.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      It is not a problem that has to be solved with your solution. If every human being in this country had health coverage, marriage would not be the route to receiving benefits. Every person should have the ability to will his or her estate to whomever he or she wants as the beneficiary and every person should be able to choose who is able to visit his or her hospital bed (and who does not have access) regardless of the existence or absence of family ties.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  18. Reality

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul (Obama, Biden, Romney, Ryan) et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    August 12, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT DO NOT READ

      August 12, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Well we should not care. But it is just interesting that this man had some ideals about how people should treat one another that were, imho, pretty beneficial for society. What is not surprising, but obvious though, is that these ideals were corrupted and twisted for political purposes during and after his life. (He often was telling people in his immediate circle that they missed his points.) You don't even have to go outside the bible to see this. Of course people like to cite pretty alarming actions and decrees and contradiction that don't even relate to Jesus or his ideas at all, so it's pretty scary that some still need to call the bible the word of god. a ridiculous and dangerous notion on all levels.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Reality

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      August 12, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  19. jasie

    Ryan is the only man in Washington who has the backbone to fix the economy. He is absolutely brilliant. Obama stole 500 billion from medicare to give to obamacare. Obama's own advisors say that our economy is headed off a cliff. I will vote for Romney/Ryan because the only thing obama offers is a welfare check and more marxism gov't control.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You're an idiot!!! Obama is not keeping money in off-shore accounts (not in your country). Obama didn't put the debt as high as the republitards did but you'd know that if you actually did some research and stopped listening to what FAUX news tells you.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • BillyB

      Wow. That's brilliant. What informed commentary. "Stole", "Marxism". It's a big conspiracy, Jasie. You're on to them! You know what only a few very smart people know. How did you get on the inside??

      August 12, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Johnny Shiloh

      RIght on, Jasie, right on! I could not agree more!

      August 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Reality

      On a positive note, an easy way to pay for universal health care in the USA:

      The sources of said funds ?: (And how many “souls” would be saved?)

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

      – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses probaby never existed.

      prob•a•bly

      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

      BOTTOM LINE: SAID FUNDS WOULD PAY FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE !!!!

      August 12, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • ....

      REALITY POST IS BULL SH IT

      August 12, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ jasie : He is also the only man in Washington who has introduced a budget that is so morally objectionable that it has drawn public criticism of the plan by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I trust that someone here will correct me if they are able to cite another.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  20. saggyroy

    Obviously he wants someone to help cover up scandals. Who better than a catholic?

    August 12, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • ziggy2

      Or Penn State?

      August 12, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • fathersdayblog

      You are an ass

      August 12, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Czarman

      Another intellegent comment from an anti-Catholic bigot.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      In my experience I have found that the more anti-Catholic a person is the more apt they are to be deep and insightful.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • saggyroy

      @Czarman I was raised a catholic. Did the communion, confirmation, cathecism things. Worked at the church fairs. I read the Catholic study bible. Studied the history of the church. I guess you could call me a bigot if you want to.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      czerman..Why, if you are anti catholic, you are a bigot? are you saying there was no cover ups with in the church of abuses? That priests were not moved to protect the church rather than the victims? What privilege does the Church hold to be above condemnation?

      August 12, 2012 at 11:23 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.