home
RSS
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. Henry James

    Believing and Truth are not the same thing. When you believe in spite of the evidence to the contrary, it just makes you confident and wrong. This closed mindedness prevents you from learning the real Truth. If you do not allow yourself to learn Truth then you are swimming upstream against the current of reality and make your life harder than it has to be. Often it is not you that pays the most for your beliefs but those closest to you. Many times the people that realize you are wrong and do not want you ruling their life and making it worse. I wonder how many families have been destroyed due to sons and daughters being shunned out of intolerance?

    August 15, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  2. on StreetWise

    Folks, you can't get around it: The first profit of the LSD church, Joseph Smith, put it in the pillars and tenant of faith, said "You can tell a lie as long as you don't offend a church member"... Well, let’s see what the other non-members think of the Mormon religion and its trust in the Romney/Ryan ticket now.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Listen, if there were an LSD church I would be on my knees, tongue-out.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hindu, pagan Mormon Church claims her existence from book of hinduism, corruption called Old testament or called Greek Torah, reject of son of blessed Mary, hind, corrupted in hindu pagan Egypt, subordinated to hindu pagan fundamentals by hindu Jew's, filthy secular s, translated in 3rd century AD by hindu Jew' filthy secular Ben Asheer with commentary in Yiddish, not Hebrew, as they hind, lie, hindu pagan Mormon ism is not any more truth than hindu corrupted book old testament. nothing but hinduism criminality of hindu Jew's, filthy secular s, followed by hindu pseudo self proclaimed prophet and their hindu ignorant followers to spread hindu Judaism, filthy secularism to make humanity their gentile, slave in violation of human equality granted by truth absolute by truth absolute "HIMSELF"

      August 15, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  3. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Elect hindu Catholic pagan compound Ryan and he will work hard to legalize abuse of boys to please his hindu sanatan, filthy goon's priests of hindu pagan Catholic church.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  4. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Name Jesus is hinduism absurdity of hindu Jew's, filthy secular s of Egypt, No one ever existed by this name, Name of blessed Mary 's son Easu, anointed one was corrupted by addition of letter J, to make him, a hindu Jew, filthy secular,but he was obedient to truth absolute, Hebrew, letter A was deleted to conform it to hindu pagan trinity, letter S was added to show respect, by Hebrew fundamental of language.Having no meaning's what so ever to make him,what he never claimed to be. WAY OF HINDU RACIST MAGI'S, FORTUNE TELLER TRICKSTERS TO IMPOSE HINDU, FILTHY HINDUISM,, RACISM ON HUMANITY AND FOLLOWED BY HINDU IGNORANT CHRISTIANS. CALL hINDU, PAGAN Christianity is, PAGAN MITHRA ISM, FILTHY SAVIOR ISM OF hINDU PAGAN EGYPTIAN'S.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  5. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    hinduism, absurdity of hindu's, pagan CHRISTIANS, Son of blessed Mary had no power of his own, AS IT IS STATED IN BOOK OF hINDUISM, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, BIBLE, HE SAID, "I CAN NOT ANY THING ON MY OWN'. NO NEED TO MAKE HIM, WHAT HE NEVER CLAIMED TO BE, POWERFUL.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  6. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    John 8:47-"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

    John 3:18-"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    John 8:44-"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    Matthew 13:38-"The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,

    John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4-"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

    It is very simple unbelievers do not belong to GOD. I know it sucks really really bad but this is the reality of truth. Now atheist you understand why it is impossible for you to believe, it is because you are already condemned. You are blinded by your father. You are not of GOD but of the devil, and the devil along with his seed shall perish forever according to the word of GOD Almighty.

    P.S. “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    August 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Bible verses are useless for those who don't already believe. All you're doing in preaching to the choir.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Leave a Reply to Jesus, etc...

      " It is very simple unbelievers do not belong to GOD. I know it sucks really really bad but this is the reality of truth. Now atheist you understand why it is impossible for you to believe, it is because you are *already* condemned. You are blinded by your father. You are not of GOD but of the devil, and the devil along with his seed shall perish forever according to the word of GOD Almighty. "

      Nice... 'pre-deterministic Calvinism' ???

      " P.S. “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus "

      Are believers just not getting that 'Pascal's Wager' is a non-issue anymore ?

      Peace...

      August 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom. Tom, the Other One

      Thank you for that. So Albert Camus took Pascal's Wager?

      The two possible states are "God Exists" and "God Does Not Exist" – before going further, which God are we talking about?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Name Jesus is hinduism absurdity of hindu Jew's, filthy secular s of Egypt, No one ever existed by this name, Name of blessed Mary 's son Easu, anointed one was corrupted by addition of letter J, to make him, a hindu Jew, filthy secular,but he was obedient to truth absolute, Hebrew, letter A was deleted to conform it to hindu pagan trinity, letter S was added to show respect, by Hebrew fundamental of language.Having no meaning's what so ever to make him,what he never claimed to be. WAY OF HINDU RACIST MAGI'S, FORTUNE TELLER TRICKSTERS TO IMPOSE HINDU, FILTHY HINDUISM,, RACISM ON HUMANITY AND FOLLOWED BY HINDU IGNORANT CHRISTIANS.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  7. rosebud57

    Yiiikes! he's one ugly dude!

    August 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Boy abuse is a holy tradition of hindu, pagan Zoroaster ism, religion of hindu, pagan Magi's, fortune tellers, forerunner of Vatican. What do you expect? People of Lout.
      It your lack education, knowledge making you hindu, ignorant, boy abuse is part of hindu filthy Zoroaster ism, as Zoroaster himself announced his god, Ahora Mazda did it him, while he was swimming in a lake, Every hindu sanatan, filthy goon abused boys as holy tradition including Plato, Pythagoras and Aristotle and King James of England , writer of King James Bible. Catholic church and their hindu filthy priest abuse boy's by holy tradition of their hindu foundation and profession as Magi, fortune tellers, foundation of Catholic church.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  8. raymond beckworth

    results of the rover on mars/ "NEWS ALLERT"...NO SIGN OF EVOLUTION FOUND!...EVOLUTION IS DEAD!..AND.."GOD IS ALIVE!
    ...
    GO TO CHURCH. SEEK GOD.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  9. EMMA

    PROPAGANDA, RYAN IS A LONG PLANTED SEED!

    August 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  10. Sandy

    Why are you going after Obama about something he knew nothing about or could do nothing about? You need to take a step back and look in the mirror.Why didn't you do anything about the priest's raping those kids? Is it because you didn't know it was happening or it wasn't your place, or just what is your excuse? You are Catholic and the Govenor what's your excuse?

    August 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  11. NYKnows

    "A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life," Romney said – according to this article.
    That's the problem. Religions only believe in the worth and dignity of those who adhere to that religion.
    Every other life is disposable, according to religions, to the point in some so-called religions where killing those of another religion is to be rewarded!
    Enough with religions. Separate church and state, and let's not hear any more about religion in this election cycle.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Bunkie Moon

    Ehr magherd , Certhlurks hert perple ...

    August 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Mr Robotron

    I would totally eat Lindsay Lohan's butthole.

    August 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      It is true that if you pray for a really long time, your sh it will turn color. Proven.
      Atheism is best for children.. Then let them make up their minds, but of course you wouldn't want to encourage them to be weak-minded and religious – that would be foolish.

      August 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Proof conclusively provided by response above.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:53 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 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Wow. "Prayer changes things" is quite adept at "proving" things. I'd love to hear his/her proof for creationism! ..lol

      August 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      You are here.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:58 am |
  15. Reality

    Time for a 21st century review of the historic Jesus:

    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 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT !

      August 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • HUMPMAN

      Oh deary dear where do i began so illinformed yet thats how you like to be as to enjoy you nothingness to life,but hey your the one spending your life that way not me. Have fun living with no meaning to life and just breathing being your only purpose.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • KK

      Whether or not you agree with Jesus, he and twelve of his followers changed history forever. He is one of the most influential persons in history.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Not so fast:

      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 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 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Linus Poster

    EWTN World Over – Budget battle – Raymond Arroyo with Rep Ryan, Joan Desmond – 06-23-2011
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_cHYaZ4ZJA&w=640&h=360]

    EWTN Global Catholic Television Network: Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, sits with Raymond Arroyo in an exclusive interview. The two discuss the ongoing budget battle in Congress, Ryan's path to Congress and his Catholic faith.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Linus Poster

      Skip to the 10:00 mark to get direct to the interview.

      August 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  17. Dave Harris

    It used to be that you didn't have to assume a Catholic politician was taking orders from his holy men. Now I'm not so sure. The Catholic holy men have become so extreme and intolerant that any Catholic politician who doesn't follow their theocratic commandments would be excommunicated. Do you really want a possible president who takes orders from the pope?

    August 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Only if he or she actually would.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Excommunication is a legal process under the Canon of the Church. It cannot be arbitrarily applied. Nice try though

      August 14, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  18. ImIrish

    For you Catholics who say you would never vote for R/R because you think they don't care about the poor......but you're okay with voting for someone who supports abortion? I'd much rather vote for the party who wants to cut the fat out of the system and ferret out the abuse in social programs than the party who calls a baby a choice and supports a woman's "right" to abort. By the way, I am a woman, and abortion is an abomination. Period.

    August 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • notachance

      Well, ImIrish, you're apparently very confused about biology if you believe that early-pregnancy abortions (the majority) involve a "baby." And Pro-choicers support a woman's right to give birth or not. We just support women, period. I'm sorry you are so ill-informed and negative about your own gender. I hope you *never* end up in some of the awful situations that necessitate the choice of abortion being made. Try learning about the issue sometime (not from anti-choice sites, they lie with every word.)

      August 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • ImItalian

      I will never vote for R/R because they DON'T care about the poor......but I am okay with voting for someone who supports getting a pregnant woman to the doctor for prenatal care, for assuring that every child receives pediatric care and every adult, regardless of age, receives medical care. I also back anti-capital punishment and anti-euthenasia candidates when there are any to support. By the way, I am a woman, and am actually PRO-life not just pro-fetus. Period.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  19. mydogbill

    As long as the lib media can put the focus on anything but the facts that's where their going to focus. They can't win on what obama's done.

    August 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Fred Evil

    There may be a god, there may not. But if there IS, he AIN'T CATHOLIC.
    If you believe all that mumbo-jumbo and silliness, you have only yourself to blame for being that GULLIBLE.

    August 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • southernsugar

      I'm sorry you're so illl informed..........meaning that you're not informed.. Maybe it's just as well.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Advertisement
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.