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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. zeyn2010

    I heard otherwise!

    August 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  2. honesty

    hey Ryan.. you are against gays and are catholic? So is the pope who wears a ruby red hat, ruby red shoes and a dress. Go figure. BTW,, jesus was likely gay too. Rabbis back then were married men, he instead hung around with a dozen unmarried men. Yes, likely gay. And to the black haters? Jesus was black.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Well since you're making up things with not one shred of evidence . . . how do you know Jesus wasn't married and had kids? There is much unwritten about His life after He was about 12 and before He started His more public ministry. 😉 I like to think He had a family. 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • honesty

      You have a problem with jesus being gay? I don't.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Not at all . . . as long as He didn't let that abominable temptation control Him and He chose to stay faithful to His wife and family. 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • honesty

      you are a–s-suming he had a wife and family. You'd think that would have been docu-mented as such. After all, with all his preaching he would have clearly spoke out about his wife and kids. It would be unnatural not to. That is if a wife and family were any concern to him. However, no such writings and one must conclude he wasn't, gay implied. Remember, he was a human and if anyone states he had super powers that could eliminate the se-x drive – well that would make the crucifixion far meaningless and painless.

      How extremely odd it would have been for him to have been married and said nothing.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Honesty, some suggest that He may have held her with such regard that He avoided mention of her to protect her from the shameful references that would have been made about her . . . as have been done with Mother Mary and any other rightious and Holy sisters mentioned in the scriptures and throughout history. But, again, nothing to suggest this is so . . . other then His perfect ability to deal with the women he came in contact with. This is also a counter to your silly suggestion that He may have been gay. I would think the references to Soddum and Gamorah would clear that silliness up. But . . . food for thought . . . and perhaps some prayer. The Spirit of The Holy Ghost can teach us the truth. 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  3. MattBMO

    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."

    Well that's a bald-faced lie right there. Like most conservatives, he will do anything for a fetus, but once they're born, they're done. They'll get nothing more out of him. He wants to cut all government assistance, including that for pregnant women, the disabled, and the elderly. Medicare? Gone! Social Security? Gone! He hates people he can see – only the ones that he can't see yet are worthy of fighting for.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Are you serious? Perhaps he wants more mothers and fathers to assume responsibility for their children once they are out of the womb . . . like he and Romney are doing with their children. If more people took responsibiity for the families they create, we wouldn't need all these "social" programs you seem to cherish.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Science

      @Leeroy

      Sure, in a perfect world, everyone would be a productive member of society and take responsibility, wear a suite, go to work, pay their bills and blah de blah de blah. However, we don't live in a perfect world. People are flawed. Would you rather watch children get thrown in dumpsters, be beaten and abused or just ignored rather than help them?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Sceince, follow the fine examples of Romey and Ryan. They have been demonstrating how families and communities care for their own . . . without the need for so much government. I just went to help a family move from one house to another today. They didn't need to hire a moving company. They saved a boat load of money. Our Church has its own welfare program. We take care of members and non-members. No, we don't believe in leaving children in the cold as you suggest. We also don't believe in assisting poor behavior as many of the government sponsored programs do at great expense to the tax payers.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Science

      @Leeroy

      You're still missing the larger point here. Just because we have welfare programs to help people does not mean I'll stop helping my fellow neighbors, but all too often this isn't the case. The governments job is to protect it's citizens, no matter who they are, you have no such charter and can pick and choose who you're going to help. Tell me, did you help me move when I packed up from DC and moved to Denver? Why are there any moving companies at all when people have neighbors to help them? Oh yeah, because people don't always help their neighbors. Telling a homeless person to get a job is easy. Creating a government program that helps provide jobs for the homeless is harder but does more good then giving a dollar to a man on a street and tell him not to buy booze. See the difference?

      August 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Leeroy

      @ Science, it is you that is missing the point. The "Family Unit" is where basic moral values are taught and where people learn to help one another. Government does not do that. Government is afraid to teach basic moral values due to an over emphasis on separation of Church and State. You want us to rely more heavily on expensive government programs when they do not teach the basics like good religions can . . . and good families can. You are right, the goverment is there to provide in times of national defense and crisis . . . as in providing a strong military. But now, our current administration is trying to cut our military to pay for free birth control pills. If you can't see the problem with that . . . then just vote for Obama again and you will get what you vote for. 😦

      August 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Science

      @Leeroy

      How can you sit there and ignore the amount of people that aren't in a little perfect family unit? There are ab.usive parents out there, single parent homes, apa.thetic parents, loving parents, sepa.rated parents, you name it. This isn't a question of who should teach morals Leeroy, that's a red her.ring and you know it. A government providing programs to help homeless get jobs isn't designed to teach any morals at all, it's designed to help their citizens because other citizens aren't helping them, get it? Again, you're being willfully ignorant of the fact that no matter how "good" you think you are and that everyone should follow your example, people don't, can't and won't.

      As for you're whole little "mili.tary spending" rant. We spend more on the mili.tary than the entire world combined. That's right, if you added up all the spending from every single country in the entire world, the US still spends more on them. Not only is it entirely ineffi.cient as we've seen from mil.itary person.nel still not getting what they need in the field, but we have more than enough materiel to defend ourselves from an attack from multiple enemies at once without breaking a sw.eat. Our mil.itary might is unpar.alleled at this point, so why not si.phon of money that's going towards a war machine when we're going towards pea.cetime and put that money towards education, health care and yes bir.th control. Of course I'm going to vote for Obama again, Romney is too unpredi.ctable and too ma.lleable by the right to actually do this country any good and Ryan would only bring us back to po.licies pre 2008 (the same poli.cies that led us straight into reces.sion).

      Getting back to our original debate though Leeroy, I would love to live in a world where everyone knew the right thing was to raise good children, get a good job, pay their mortg.ages, have friendly neighbors to help them move or throw a B.BQ and all live in perfect har.mony, but I don't live in a dream world. I live in a world where there are drug ad.dicts who need help, there are ra.p.e vi.ctims impreg.nated with an unwanted child, there are mothers and fathers who des.pi.se their kids and abuse them mentally and physically and I live in a world where self-righ.teous christians can congrat.ulate themselves on bombing ab.ortion clinics. Our government exists not only to protect us from ext.ernal threats, but to protect us from ourselves.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Leeroy

      @ Science, again, the root of the problem is the avoidance of teaching basic moral values. You mention how powerful our military is. I'm in that military and have been to Iraq twice. I've seen the problems that occur when our im moral troops go in and do and say things that cause ha tred between us and our host nations like Iraq and Afghanistan. I agree with you that we need to care for those who can't care for themselves. But far too many can and will not. Why not give urin.alisis tests to those receiving food stamps? You know how many "pi.ss tests" I've had to take in the Army? Talk about sham.eful to give these hum.iliating tests to soldiers who are willing to put our lives on the line . . . but not to people receiving food stamps. There is something terribly wrong with that. You want to change people from the outside; in. I and my reli.gion suggests teaching people from the inside; out. We have to start from within. Otherwise, we will get nowhere in the world . . . as is evidenced in the outcome of 10 years in Iraq and Afgha.nistan. There is more vi.olence in both countries now then when we arrived. They are turning on us and k.illing us now . . . killing those there to help them. Why is that? Because we were too worried about offending them. We were too busy trying to seperate Church and State in country's that are very highly reli.gious. We blew it. And you are suggesting we continue to do so. Well, we will get what we vote for.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Science

      @Leeroy

      Thanks for your service, however you are dead wrong on a number of things. Lets start with the pi.ss tests. You get drug tested because in the military people are using lethal weapons and machinery that, if a person is under the influence, could get himself and other people killed. It's a way for the military to not be liable and to protect others from being harmed. The people who need food stamps aren't in the same situation. Politicians want to drug test them because of their bias and their belief that all homeless people are drug addicts. Do you think it's right for someone in the slaughterhouse to be drug tested but people who work in the Capitol don't? If you have an issue with drug tests, that's a horse of a different color that you should address with politicians, not with a specific party whether they be democrat or republican.

      It's also fascinating to me that you are a proponent of chaining from the inside out and yet want to give the military MORE money? Seriously? You are right that our methods clearly didn't work in Afghanistan or Iraq, but then how can you in good conscience think we need more military spending instead of putting that money towards education and healthcare?

      It's not the governments job to teach morals and ethics, it never has been, that's the cultures job and it's something that happens from the ground up. If you want to help people, that's great, keep doing that, I don't understand why you are so against helping people with your tax dollars, but that's just me I guess. I'd prefer to be both a guy who goes to a soup kitchen to help out AND contribute my share to programs that will get people off the streets in other parts of the US. You have to start dealing with the world as it is now instead the idealized world you would rather have or else all that's going to happen is more people are going to suffer and die and you'll just sit there saying, "I told you so" which helps absolutely no one.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Leeroy

      @ Science,

      Dead wrong? I am not. Please allow me to enlighten you on a couple of issues. First, we took at least 5 pis.s tests one year in the Reserves. It takes the better part of a day to get everyone in the unit through one. We only get 12 weekends a year to train. Once a year for reservists . . . more for active duty . . . fine. My point is that it makes sense to give pis.s tests to those receiving government assistance because it is a fact that far too many are abusing the system. I grew up in East L.A. with a divorced mother and homeless father who provided her with nothing but problems. My point is I saw far more then you would believe abusing the system and something needs to be done.

      As for spending, I never said we need to spend more on the military. In fact, I've presented plans to cut spending on wasteful military programs in favor of more cost effective techniques . . . which I can not share here. My point is that it would be wrong to weaken our military simply to provide social programs. By the way, what happens to these young men and women who are forced out of the military to provide those social programs you desire (abortion, birth control,food stamps for those capable of working, etc.)? Many are not able to convert their military training and experience cleanly into a civilian career. If you want to employ people and provide for people, leave those who want to soldier stay in uniform. By booting them, it harms them and our country on many levels.

      You say it's not the government's job to teach morals and ethics? So what is it Clinton taught in the Oval Office with Monica? What is it Obama is teaching to supporting gay marriage and allowing those in uniform to violate UCMJ and march in the gay pride parade in uniform? Our elected officials have always been required to conduct themselves with a high degree of morals and ethics. Now we have a president supporting comercials calling Romney a murderer of the wife of a steel mill worker? And Harry lying about Romney's taxes? Please. The government's leaders and employees do teach morals and values whether you are willing to believe it or not. The government spent a lot of money to teach our military how to act when Don't Ask, Don't Tell was tossed out. No, my friend, you are wrong if you think the government is not in the job of teaching morals, ethics and values. But you are right that many of them are trying to avoid that responsibility. Sounds like you support that.

      As for your suggestion of "just sitting there and doing nothing", I have to believe you are talking about others because I believe my two tours in Iraq and my earlier statement that I volunteered and helped people who I never met before today, move from one house to another . . . today . . . suggests that I am not one who is sitting around and letting things fall apart around me. Who did you help today?

      Okay, I'm done. Nice chatting. Have a nice day. And please reconsider your desire to imagine you're an athiest who believes in science and not religion. Science is going to prove that religion is real and show us how God and Jesus have been able to perform all those "miracles" through the years. 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Science

      @Leeroy

      First and foremost, do you understand the point of a drug test? It's not to catch people doing illicit drugs and then judging them based on that. The whole point is to make sure that people using heavy machinery or lethal weapons don't endanger others. That's it, that's the point of them. I'm sorry about the home you came from, but do you think that giving drug tests to people on food stamps is going to help? The whole point of drug testing people on food stamps is to shame them and starve the people who are using, which can only lead to more crime.

      That's great that you want to make cuts on military spending as well, as long as it's smart. I agree with that. We don't have to "weaken" our military to make cuts and if you agree with that then you agree more with democrats than republicans on that issue, so kudos. Also, if you're smart enough, having military background can easily translate into civilian jobs. If you want to help, instead of trying to keep the people in uniform all the time, we can create programs or incentives to hire ex-military, it's that simple. I have a good friend who's a marine and he's working very hard to make exactly this sort of thing a reality, where military can transition into civilian jobs.

      Next, on your little tirade about government and morals. Sure, we should expect our politicians to act with dignity, but they're people of the government, I'm talking about the government as an enti.ty, not specific people that make the it up. Was Clinton wrong with Monica? Sure, and is it not right that some people are saying Romney has some responsibility in the death of a steel workers wife? Yeah, it's gross. Then again you have pastors like Hagee propositioning men in the bathroom and taking meth while pretending to be a paragon of goodness, or the other pastor who was just arrested for abusing his children. The real people claiming to be the moral authority are even worse than the politicians as far as I can tell, but you still believe morals flow from the religion itself, not the people. Same case here. The only thing the government has attempted to legislate as far as morals and ethics go is Hate Crime legislation and business practices to make sure business flows smoothly and we keep our open markets. Please understand the difference between a government legislating morals and the people who are part of the government who are supposed to be moral. I stand by my original comment that it's cultural rather than governmental when it comes to morals and ethics.

      As for the sitting around and doing nothing, I fail to see where I accused you of doing so, in fact I remember thanking you for your service, but hey, make me a straw man if you so wish. Who'd I help today? That's a good question, what do you count as helping, did I help someone move? No, did I donate to a charity today, yes. Does that count or am I a terrible person because I should have been more active?

      Also yes, have a good day and believe me, my "desire to believe I'm an atheist" is extremely justified and at this point I am an atheist, no desire to believe I'm one here. I hope one day you'll realize the utter foolishness of your beliefs and realize that it's time to grow up and stop believing in fairy tales!

      Have a nice rest of your day!

      August 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  4. honesty

    These guys aren't real conservatives. A real conservative would end all tax dollars going to religious organizations, as cathlic charities. How awful that our tax dollar contributes over 67% of catholic charities income, grant money. In fact with that money, it gives the catholic church more exposure, marketing dollars. Let's not forget that we all have to pay for these religious leeches, we pay their property tax. Time to end all grants to religious organizations and make them pay their fair share in taxes. And if they claim they do good work, who cares. Tell them to use their own money, ends there.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  5. Mama for Obama

    Isn't this the idiot who wants to gut medicare and to give even more tax breaks to the ultra wealthy? How Christian is that??? My family is Catholic. We have put our three children through the Catholic Schools and our son is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame, but no-one in our family will vote for these clowns. I'm sure that Jesus would say that PEOPLE are more important than corporations! Jesus was the greatest liberal who ever walked the face of the earth! This man does not know how to truly "follow in the footsteps of Christ." Christ did not profess worship of money or the rich and powerful.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  6. MattBMO

    You know, this country is nuts. When a serious article about a political candidate's God fantasy is done by a major news agency, the place is completely looney tunes. Next we'll see a candidate who worships the Greek gods and why Zeus will help him fix America.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • TJ

      Matty, the difference between an adult atheist and you: An adult will speak with respect regarding others beliefs, and children (such as yourself) will spout and spew their vitriol about others beliefs. Your post speaks volumes about yourself, and less about your point.

      Have a nice day anyway.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  7. Deneen

    Thank God it wasn't Marco Rubio.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  8. Billy

    Can't wait to see an election between two athiests / agnostics who actually care about THIS LIFE / THIS COUNTRY rather that their "next life." Who do they think they are putting our REAL futures on the line for their GUESS of what is next. Seriously this is getting dumb.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You have two VPs about to debate for this election who are both Catholics but still have vastly different views of what is right or wrong for this country. If you had two Atheist would not there still be a debate on views of what is best for this country, or will they naturally agree on every point?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Science

      @Mark

      Of course not, Atheists also come in all shapes and sizes. I think what Billy was trying to point out however is that if Atheists were debating, the mention of god wouldn't be mentioned and the debate would be slightly more pragmatic. Personally, even if it was two atheists debating I think it would still be idiotic and pander to the lowest common denominator. It would make me feel slightly better having an atheist in office however so he wouldn't say something like, "god told me to invade iraq", etc...

      August 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Glad you recognize there is a life after this one. That's called religion. Romney and Ryan are involved in two of the best. Obama followed Rev. Wright. Our choice is crystal clear.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Sally

      Well said Billy, well said.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • TJ

      Bill, you're always welcome to move to a country ruled by atheists... such as communist China, North Korea, or even Cuba. However, if you wish to remain here you might be a bit more respectful of Christians; It is THEY who gave YOU the "right" and "freedom" to be an atheist, or not. They also gave you all your other rights, and insured they are not given by "man". Because if men can give rights, then men can just as easily take them away, and NONE of your rights are "inalienable".

      You might also consider how many Christians who fought and died for this nation, so you could be free to spout your vitriol against them. Sure, some were atheists too... a very tiny minority.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • pssst

      If you had more than one Atheist, you would have Atheists.

      How can you justify saying "Catholics" and even "VPs", but you can't say, "Atheists" (or scientists or posts... or anything else ending with -st)??????

      August 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • pssst

      p.s. That was for Mark (and any others who can't get this simple thing correct).

      August 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Science

      @TJ

      Come now, you know the countries you listed are Communist, which is all that needs to be said to refute your first point. Secondly, your logic on men creating laws means that we can strip them away is correct to a degree, but you see how our government works with things called "checks" and "balances". It stops people like you who thinks there should' be a separation of church and state from actually getting their way.

      Also, there have been atheists, jews, hindus and muslims who have also died to protect your rights too, but do you respect their beliefs?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • psst's understudy

      Thanks, sensei.

      Don't hold your breath that it will make a difference.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Billy

      Thanks TJ for the GTFO but you are wrong to believe that it is the Christians in charge who choose to give me freedom. You guys are not kings of this country. As far as people who have died for this country, I thank them for their actions not their religious beliefs. I love and hate based on merit. Do you?

      August 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good post to TJ, Billy. Unfortunately, TJ probably thinks Barton was the one telling the truth about Jefferson.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  9. pw

    Reading these comments sometimes makes me wonder how people who are so incredibly mentally ill found the time to learn how to read and use a computer.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Steve the Zombie

    Oh for got sake here we go again pandering to the idiot religious people who feel that just because a man claims to have a religion he must be trust worthy. May as well have hired Pastor Zachary Tims. Oh ya he died of a crack overdose, we need somebody else.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Larry Ratdog

    Paul Ryan seems to know very little about the teachings of his religion. All he knows is to be against gay marriage and abortion. But the Catholic religion is about helping those less fortunate, not sticking it to the poor and the middle class in favor of the elite. I think he spends more time reading Atlas Shrugged then the bible. And Ayn Rand was no catholic.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Older Sista

    I'm not a Catholic myself, being of the Pentacostal persuasion, but I support and encourage the social works the Catholics have given mankind thru the years. Please don't let the awful behavior of a few mar your opinion of the group....there are unserupulous people in EVERY profession...teachers, doctors ...everyone we respect can blow it, everyone.
    Now, can we please focus on his politics and policies? We're electing a VICE president here.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • trying to sift through it all

      What?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  13. pat

    I am going to start a new religion that worships human beings, our current planet and our universe. Instead of looking to a magical fairytale land we would worship and sustain our current reality and make heaven here...instead of a mystery land made up by the human imagination in the dark ages. I am an escaped Catholic; the majority of whom are dark, twisted and more akin to The Fallen Angel than Jesus himself. Wake up...spend that money, time and energy on fixing OUR planet and help the people HERE...NOW. Ryan is just another ego who wants power. Unless you earn over 1MIL a year look elsewhere....do not let them control you because of your faith.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Leeroy

      You are speaking of making the earth a "Heaven on earth". That suggests you believe in God, Jesus, religion, etc. Well, Ryan and Romney are using the Good Book as a guide to do just that. Obama is using the teachings of Rev. Wright. The choice is clear. Romney/Ryan 2012. Thanks for making things clearer. 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • totempole

      @Leeroy,
      You must be totally high to make that connection.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Leeroy

      Totempole, I'm high? Pat's the one talking of creating a new religion when we have perfectly good ones already. No, Homey don't do drugs. So, that would make your assumption incorrect. You shouldn't assume. 😉

      August 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • totempole

      @Leeroy
      I smell trools afoot. Have a nice day 🙂

      August 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • pat

      I think you missed the point...but I suspect you would still vote for the GOP if Romney picked Beelzebub as his running mate.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Leeroy

      @ Pat, Obama earns over $1mil a year. His wife probably does too. I think you missed your own point.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  14. TKO

    Ryan will NOT appeal to "middle of the road" Catholics who already feel bullied by Rome. He will appeal to conservative Catholics, the ones who choose to follow the words of Benedict instead of Jesus, who, interestingly, didn't say anything at all about gay people or abortion, but had plenty to say about embracing the poor, and the least powerful in our society.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Older Sista

      Wrong. A Catholic of any stripe is better than Obama for another 4 unimaginable years.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • TKO

      Oldasista? Read your Gospels again–nothing there about gay people or abortion, plenty there about helping the poor and neglected–something Obama the Dems are trying to do against the resistance of the GOP who hasn't shown any interst in helping the poor.

      Before you throw religion in my face, read the words upon which that religion was based.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      exactly TKO. This is another perfect example of a forked-tongued christian. they will spout the words of love using jesus' words, and then, when they feel threatened, will have to jump over and start spewing words and concepts from all the other characters of the bible, regardless of how distorted those words may obviously be against the simple words and ideals of jesus (who actually had some decent ideals).

      August 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Holly

    A couple of points and a couple of questions here. Question 1 to Colin...doesn't most of your original comment apply to most Christian religions, not just Catholics? Question 2...why is it when Obama was running 4 years ago, Democrats got angry when HIS religion was brought up, but Romney and Ryan's are fair game now? Question 3...are those of you going on about Ryan wanting to end Medicare Aware that the non-partisan Politifact chose as their "Lie of the Year" for 2011 the Democrat's claim that "Republicans voted to end Medicare"? Fact....while criticizing the intelligence or lack thereof of others, don't you think using lame words like "Repugs", "Mittens", "Democraps", "Dumocrats", "Rob-me", etc., bring your own intelligence into question???

    August 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Older Sista

      I wish you had written this article, it would have been .....let's see....what's the word God seems to like? Oh yeah! It would have been GOOD. Thanks for your observations.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Science

      @Holly

      Can't answer 1, wasn't directed at me

      2. Is Romney's faith more important than Obama's? No, neither's faith should be brought up and as far as I can tell, I haven't seen any billboard, tv ad, canvasser etc... try and nail Romney on being a Mormon. In 2008 however, there were ads and billboards everywhere about Obama's associate with Reverend Wright and Obama being a "secret muslim". Those things are also happening in this election. I'm not sure why you think all of a sudden that democrats are seemingly after Romney's mormonism when that just straight up hasn't happened.

      3. Honestly didn't understand your last part about Medicare, are you saying Ryan doesn't want to end Medicare as we know it contrary to his voting record? Also, I think that using puns are actually funny and doesn't throw someone's intelligence into question. It's using bad grammar and syntax that makes people wonder how smart/dumb a person is.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • TKO

      Holly, I give you tlast fact–the name calling here is just silly. On your other points, you are, I fear, just plain wrong. Although it is true that every religion has its arguable aspects, the Republicans are the ones who bring up religion incessantly–going all the way back to family values, etc, etc. The republicans base their opposition to gay marriage and abortion purely on religious grounds. Prominent republicans–most prominently right now, Paul Ryan– have argued for the removal of Church/State separation. and the republicans, taken as a whole, do favor the dismantling of Medicare–it is an ideological issue for them, and Bush said as much in his second term.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • trying to sift through it all

      yeah – i'm with TKO on this one. Catholicism and the LDS religion, along with evangelicals, Southern Baptists and the like are extremist and dangerous, so it is of paramount importance that two of those are now represented on that one ticket. And as TKO pointed out, Republicans, if they had their way, would eliminate the one thing that keeps this country somewhat sane with regard to religion, separation of church and state.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  16. leary

    Religion should be a non-factor in 2012 for every country.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah, join the chorus of those who live in fear and intolerance Leary.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Mike N

      That expains how a Catholic who believes in the Holy Trinity, as in three persons in one God Head, can run alongside a Mormon who believes in three Gods as in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost being distinct persons. Mormons do not believe in a basic tenet of Christianity. BTW, most rigfht wingers believe in taking from the poor to give to the rich which is exactly opposite to what Jesus taught. So, you are right, better to keep religion out of it but faith needs to be in it and the two are not the same.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Science

    Interesting choice in a person. It's clear from Romney's pick that two things are happening. 1) Most other candidates are finding Romney's campaign too toxic to be a part of. If Romney is digging at the bottom for a person like Paul Ryan, he must have gotten rejected from a good amount of other people. 2) The choice for Ryan means that Romney is having trouble energizing the base. This is going to help get the fringe conservatives off their as.ses and vote for him, but he's now faced with alienating independence and giving democrats a huge amount of cannon fodder. If Ryan was at the top of Romney's list then it was an idiotic move, but if Ryan was the only one to say yes, I guess Romney could have done worse (like say, Palin)

    August 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Mike N

      When Romney was vetted for Veep by McCain, one view of his 23 yrs of tax returns made him too toxic for McCain, hence he selected Sarah Palin.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  18. Marty in MA

    Who cares about his religion?

    Religion is just a big time waster. Let's get past the imaginary friends and move on.

    Romney & Ryan? NO WAY!

    August 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  19. hinduism, denial of truth

    Another hindu,denire of truth absolute catholic, compounded to hind, fool America, One denying truth absolute without any division is a hindu, traitor and in violation of foundation of American values, enshrined as GOD, truth absolute without division. Electing hindu pagan Christian's is a violation of foundation of USA, not just violation but hinduism, treason.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Older Sista

      WHAT? Somebody slipped you something dude, your babbeling makes no sense. Can anybody make out what this person is trying to say? No, never mind, I've already wasted too many min. of my life on here.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  20. Aezel

    So Paul Ryan comes from the Catholics that like to molest people, but I think Romney believes his Mormon powered magic underwear will protect him when they are in the room alone together.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      Another hindu gentile, filthy slave of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, secular s, believer not of truth absolute, un divided, but follower of hindu Judaism, filthy secularism, pretending to be what they are not, follower of son of blessed Mary, to hind, fool humanity.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Mike N

      Will Romney baptise Ryan without his knowledge or consent?

      August 11, 2012 at 1:57 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.