home
RSS
Question on Catholicism, abortion, makes for dramatic moments in vice presidential debate
October 12th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Question on Catholicism, abortion, makes for dramatic moments in vice presidential debate

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – It was the first-ever debate between two Roman Catholics vying for a White House perch, and in Thursday’s face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the question was put plainly: How does your faith shape your position on abortion?

It’s one of the most divisive questions in American politics, and the query from debate moderator Martha Raddatz, asked near the end of the sole vice presidential debate, set the table for some of the night’s most personal and poignant moments.

“I don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith,” said Ryan. “Our faith informs us in everything we do.”

“My religion defines who I am,” said Biden. “I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life.”

But the two men took very different tacks on applying their faith to the abortion issue. Ryan said his religion – combined with “reason and science” – led him to oppose legalized abortion, and that “the policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Ryan recalled when he and his wife, Janna, saw the ultrasound of their firstborn child, Liza. “We saw that heartbeat – a little baby was in the shape of a bean,” he said, noting that they still called their daughter “Bean” and saying he believes that “life begins at conception.”

“With respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare,” Ryan continued. “Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding … that to me is pretty extreme.”

Biden said he accepted his church’s anti-abortion position – “life begins at conception in the church’s judgment” – but that he refused to impose that view on “equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews.”

“The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees,” Biden said. “That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. … Do you think (Romney is) likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.”

Both men also used the question on abortion and Roman Catholicism to pivot to other issues, with Ryan saying the Obama White House is “infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals” presumably because of a new rule requiring insurers to provide free contraception coverage for virtually all American employees.

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

Before answering the abortion question, Biden said his Catholicism has “informed my social doctrine … about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.”

The Obama campaign and liberal Catholic groups used the debate to organize Catholic watch parties and to argue that Ryan’s proposed budget in the House of Representative ran counter to Catholic values.

About one in four American voters is Catholic, though there is such a broad range in Catholic political concerns and voting habits that many political experts reject the notion of a cohesive Catholic bloc.

Catholics have voted with the winning presidential candidate in every election since the early 1990s.

Obama camp, liberal groups use VP debate to organize Catholic voters

In 2008, Obama beat John McCain among Catholics by 54% to 45%. In 2004, John Kerry – the first Catholic nominee for president since John F. Kennedy – lost the Catholic vote to George W. Bush, provoking Democrats to take Catholic outreach more seriously.

Both major parties had America’s highest-profile Catholic cleric, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, give the closing prayer at their recent political conventions.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Abortion • Catholic Church • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan • Politics

soundoff (1,543 Responses)
  1. waitasec

    why can't the infringing religious just understand that by sticking their noses in someone else's life is an act of NOT TRUSTING their god to do anything, but rather taking on the "responsibility" of being god's police.
    it's as if these insecure religious folks actually think that 9/11, katrina and all the natural disasters that occur are gods way of punishing a country where gods police failed to keep the unbelievers in line.

    it's self defeating the entire idea of faith.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Brenda

      STOP Obama's terrorism against Medical Marijuana cancer patients. STOP – STOP – STOP

      October 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  2. CJC2010

    There is simply NO difference between the views of Congressman Ryan and the Taliban on the worth and rights of women. Both believe they should stay in the kitchen, ignorant and pregnant, and are willing to use whatever force necessary to keep them subjugated. If Romney/Ryan win it will be the biggest leap backward in American and world history. Their only answer to questions they know they're lying about is 'trust us', just like the investment bankers right before the crash. Should they win we will suffer the greatest depression ever and be involved in a war in which the nuclear option is our only hope of victory. Then, as the riots spread across America, he'll have to have marshall law declared. Only a dictator could possibly accomplish his objectives. If you really want what's best for America, make me dictator instead of Romney. How do you know I can do it? Trust me!

    October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Fred

      Are you for real?
      The only thing you left out is "the sky is falling!"
      Using lies and panic to discourage votes is sad a pathetic.
      But, I would expect no less from an Obama-zombie.

      October 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  3. MagicPanties

    Ryan a heartbeat away from the presidency?
    He is scarier than Palin if you stop and think about it.
    NO separation between public and private beliefs, meaning he would impose nationwide personhood amendment making all abortions (no exceptions) illegal and also making all birth control illegal.

    Romney/Ryan – back to the dark ages.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Agreed! I listened to the debate on radio so did not see antics Biden supposedly engaged in and I thought his interruptions of Ryan were appropriate (as in Ryan was allowed to go on too long unchallenged). I thought Biden won the debate overall, and that Ryan blew it on abortion and Syria / Iran. If Romney wins, the USA will be in continuous war with Middle East countries....

      October 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  4. Idiotic America

    To all of you Christian's judging and imposing your beliefs on others who don't care:

    God has given mankind freewill to do as we please. (ITS IN THE BIBLE). God is the ultimate Judge on how we lived our life, not mankind, a judge, lawmaker, pastor (ITS IN THE BIBLE)(HE EVEN SAID MAN IS NOT THE JUDGE OF MAN FOR GODS LAWS).

    Why on earth do you try to force people to do things and judge others constantly? You are going against God's will.
    If you truly believe in God then you will let him punish people for their transgresions aganist his will and not make laws to force others to behave like you. Everyone has their own beliefs that they personally are accountable for, who is to say yours is right?

    October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Dotk

      You are right it is in the Bible that God has given us "free will". Does that mean due to someone's "choice" (because they have free will) to go out an murder a man, woman or child that we as people and Christian or not should not submit them to a court of law and pass a sentence on them because we would then be passing judgement on them which is against Gods will? Then you would accuse Christians of being ridiculous because that thought pattern is ridiculous. Do I agree with going out and holding up hateful signs at an abortion clinic. No. I think that women choose to abort for various reasons, I would hope that it is a tough decision for them and that they do not need more condemnation. That being said I do think that abortion is wrong. People tend to sympathize more over animals than they do an unborn life. Before I even knew that I was pregnant my child had a heartbeat. Therefore to abort would be to stop a heart from beating. Simply put I would have killed a life form if I had chose to abort. I think if we aborted puppies there would be more people appalled by that. While God gave us "free will" and you are right God will be the ultimate judge. A command is given in the Bible to spread God's word. Although it is not demonstrated by Jesus or any disciple to do so in a demeaning way. Jesus while being the ultimate judge did not spread God's Word by being judgemental. He did it by being among sinners and loving them...but he did not condone their actions and as a matter of fact told them to turn away from the things that were wrong. Therefore as a Christian we should not Condone an action and let it just be. We should hope to change it and mostly to change the hearts of those that are making the bad decisions. While at the same time remembering that our sins are just as bad and just as hurtful to our society, ourselves and our God.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • snowboarder

      dotk – the problem arises when people attempt to make law based on their beliefs, which are not universal. morals and laws are a function of civil society, not any particular religion.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Hal

      Wow Dotk. I hope reincarnationists and vegetarians do not get large enough to prevent the murder of any animal life. It is sad when the Christian Taliban tries to enforce their religious beliefs upon others with such justification. Especially, if they are concerned about Sharia law being imposed in other countries. I wonder if they pay much attention to the birth rates of Muslims versus Christians in this country?

      October 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      @ DotK

      Belief in a soul is a religious concept, not a scientific one.

      Belief that life (ensouled) begins at conception, again, a religious one. It has it's issues. Like -what of twins. Twinning can happen up to two weeks after conception. Later than that, it happens too – causing conjoined twins. The issue of 'soul' - do you really believe that twins share one soul?

      Belief that life begins at conception is quite recent. Stated, in 1869 by Pope Pius IX, restated into Catholic canon in 1917. Before that life began halfway or so through pregnancy – when the child 'quickened'. There are those of us who believe that the child is a life of it's own when it is viable. When it can live outside it's host.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  5. JH

    Or Obama can win and we will be taken over by the Muslims and in debt so far our grand kids grand kids will never get out.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Jeff Cox

      You're working off the 2008 Republican "playbook of lies" chief. You need to renew your subscription. This year's edition focuses on lies about Medicare funding reductions, lack of embassy security and Obama being divisive.

      Geesh.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Islam and debt won't be the problems that "kill" your children. It will be constant war with middle eastern countries.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • snowboarder

      jh – taken over by muslims? you sir are a moron.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Hal

      I remember a bunch of conservatives arguing during the Bush years, concerning Bush's increasing debt, unfunded wars and unfunded tax cuts that it would be "foolish" it would be not to take advantage of such low interest rates that the US gets.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    The Catholic constructs that:

    - After at *some* point during gestation, abortion is wrong
    - And that there is no natural 'cut off point' for fetus / viable baby
    - Leads to 'life' (inhabited by a soul) begins at conception
    - and all abortion is therefore wrong
    - and if marriage is for procreation
    - contraception is wrong

    May well be coherent from a canonical academic theological perspective, but is hopelessly and stupidly impractical.

    If the church thinks abortion is wrong, then every method to prevent unwanted babies like contraception need to not be sinful. As a practical matter church teaching is absurd. Church teaching on reproduction like many other Catholic teachings is carefully constructed house of cards with no practical foundation.

    Avoidance of contraception – leads to more unwanted babies – leads to more abortions.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  7. liz

    Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholic church leaders said it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • snowboarder

      liz – it is also a persons moral abligation to strive to provide it for themselves. the government should be the safety net, not the provider. it disincentives citizens from striving to provide for themselves.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • waitasec

      to snowboarder,
      and if they cant? duh...

      October 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • snowboarder

      wait – hence the safety net. it sounds like you are more deserving of the "duh".

      October 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Actually no, snowboarder.

      Lack of a national health care disincentivizes people.

      The father who can't leave his dead end job because his kids need the health care that the job provides (perhaps one has a pre-existing condition), even though he has the bright idea of a start up that could better them all.

      The phyiscally disabled person with some skills on medicaid who can't get a job because it wouldn't pay enough to cover both health care and keep a roof over his head, and he needs the medicaid to survive, if he worked he'd lose both the disability payments and his healthcare. So he eeks out a life in subsidized housing (either gov't or family or even friend subsidized. I know of a couple 'pay me what you can' situations like this).

      When the cost of health insurance for a man and spouse is greater than what a man can make working 40 hours a week at minimim wage... (and it is in NYC where I live) That is disincentive all it's own.

      The cost of health care incenitivizes us to work for the corporations who provide health care to their employees. It disincentivizes us to form our own small companies, be entrepreneurs etc. My father spent all his life self employed. With a family of 6. He states, hands down, if the costs were like this back then – % of possible income – he'd never have done it.

      We are killing off our small businesses, even before they are formed.

      Once you realize that a healthy work force is a very productive workforce, you get the idea. Once the fear is removed from the equation, you will see more innovation.

      October 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  8. History Bear

    Used to be Catholic, altar boy even, then read history not controlled by the church, took some philosphy, comparative religion and learned to think for myself and realized that they weren't anything special. Now I think before I vote or make a decision... and viola' I feel better. Get over yourself organized religion. You ain't all that.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • MagicPanties

      Yah, me too. Was reading existentialist literature when I was 16; that put the kibbosh on catholicism.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  9. Jeff Cox

    I disagree with the contention that the question had nothing to do with governing. I think it has EVERYTHING to do with governing ... just not from the same perspective as the "right to lifers".

    Biden answered the question exactly the same way that I do as a Catholic. I am not "pro-abortion". I donate time and money to organizations that provide support to unwed mothers, and to those that educate women on abortion alternatives. But like me, Biden recognizes that it's not appropriate to foist one's personal religious beliefs on everyone else.

    This is not a theocracy, nor should it be. I am no more interested in having the country run in accordance to the Catholic catechism as I am in having it run under Sharia law. And THAT's where their answers have everything to do with governing. Biden understands he represents everyone and takes the pragmatic approach. The Romney/Ryan ticket will do everything they can to enforce their personal belief system on those who don't share it. And that's wrong.

    My opinion.

    October 12, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • liz

      Amen

      October 12, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • snowboarder

      jeff – that is exactly the correct answer.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Madangswe

      I agree with Biden 100%. One must not impose their belief to others. I practice my religion, but it is not government's role.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Hal

      I agree wholeheartedly.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Kevin

      *applause*

      October 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Here's the deal. the Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is legal, there should be no laws put into place to limit who can get an abortion or why. All the republitards can do is hem and haw and do whatever weasily thing that they can to try to push abortion providers out of business.

    October 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • niknak

      Or they can just start killing anyone associated with the clinic to show how murder is wrong.
      They seem to like that approach the best.
      But don't worry, when the fundies take over in a coup, which they will some day, there will be no Supreme Court.
      It will be replaced by a "council of elders" who will make all laws based on the babble.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Suzette

      Biden is a CLOWN... Paul Ryan is a MAN and will be a GREAT Vice President.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • === o ===

      Your a tard Suzette. And so is Ryan, the one who's child started off as a bean.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Pat F

      "the Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is legal, there should be no laws put into place to limit who can get an abortion or why"

      That is 100% false – it did nothing of the sort. Sit down and read Roe v. Wade.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • iscuba

      Great liberal response ====0======

      October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  11. snowboarder

    the whole abortion issue is a red-herring. abortion is not the problem, it is a symptom. outlawing abortion will only create a class of criminals and solve nothing.

    no one is pro-abortion and i agree that abortion should legal, safe and rare.

    October 12, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Actually I'm pro abortion. there are many people out there who should have been aborted before 20 weeks and should still be aborted after 20 or 40 years.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • niknak

      It will also lead to improved cross Atlantic flights as all the rich fundies will send their knocked up teenage girls to have their "European" vacations.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • JL

      Plenty of democrats are pro-abortion, including this administration. They see the 300,000+lives terminated each year as revenue savings and population control. If this isn't this case, ask yourself this question, "Why is it so much easier to get an abortion than it is to adopt?" It's not a conspiracy theory, many liberals openly talk about population control. Abortion is a key player in accomplishing this. It's disturbing and I'm ashamed that our country allows it. Hopefully Roe V Wade will be overturned and we can look at abortion like we now look at slavery. A dark period of our nations past that half of the country thought was acceptable.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @JL

      Hi -JL...

      You Wrote: " Plenty of democrats are pro-abortion, including this administration. "

      "Pro-Choice" actually. Your attempt to frame the issue as "pro-abortion" makes it sound like everyone can't wait to get one. Good try though.

      Here's one for ya' -JL... There's *Pro-Choice* and you guys(so-called pro-lifers) are *Pro-Forced Gestation* ™ !!! :D

      You Wrote: " They see the 300,000+lives terminated each year as revenue savings and population control. " 8O

      LOL... Now that statement is fvcking funny. Yes... the DNC is out to use abortion as a tool for "population control."

      You Wrote: " If this isn't this case, ask yourself this question, "Why is it so much easier to get an abortion than it is to adopt?"

      Um... because the time and cost to attempt to ensure that a child that is up for adoption, has the best chances of making it into a good and loving home, is a process. There are way to many horror stories over the years of people that adopted a child and there was way to much abuse. I know *several* couples that have adopted a child, and yes... it's not an easy process, and you have to jump through a lot of hoops, but... it's all done to make sure that the child and the parents are as good a fit as possible. The parents are financially, emotionally, mentally, etc... are *loving and competent* enough to handle a child which goes on for the childs... the rest of it's life.

      Abortions, when that heart-rendering choice is decided upon by a female, it's usually done very quickly for a variety of reasons. It wouldn't make sense for the female to have to wait months and months before getting an abortion, right ? I mean come on... how ridiculous would that be!!!

      You Wrote: " It's disturbing and I'm ashamed that our country allows it. Hopefully Roe V Wade will be overturned and we can look at abortion like we now look at slavery. A dark period of our nations past that half of the country thought was acceptable. "

      What the fvck are you even talking about ??!?! 8O

      Peace...

      October 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • snowboarder

      JL – you are simply full of feces.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Kevin

      @JL: But since so many abortions are had by the poor who can't afford to have children, by the GOP reasoning, the DNC would want to suppress abortions so that there's more "poor democratic voters", so your idea doesn't make any sense.
      It's amazing that you don't even follow your thoughts to their logical conclusion, even working off completely invalid logic and facts that are, frankly, wrong.

      October 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  12. niknak

    I was surprised that neither of them had some huge cross hanging from their neck.
    They both have that silly piece of Chineese made ferrus metal American Flag pin to make sure to pander to all the flag wavers.
    Maybe we will see both candidates lug around an actual wooden cross to pander even further to the fundies.
    Cause we gotta have god make all our decisions and have all our laws based on the babble.
    Hey woman, better get fitted for that burka now so you can aviod the lines when the fundies get in power.

    October 12, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  13. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    70+% of all abortions in the USA each year are had by believers. Believers can dramatically reduce the number of abortions simply by following their cult's rules – no change to current laws required.

    October 12, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Beth

      Bingo.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Exactly.

      I was raised catholic in the 70s-80s. We were taught that there were things that were legal and allowed by the society around us, but that we were not supposed to do. I have some Jewish friends, differing set of rules, but same thing. It is your choice to follow your religions viewpoints and mores, it is not your right to force them on other people – not in this country. We have but to look elsewhere in the world for lessons on that idea.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      " 70+% of all abortions in the USA each year are had by believers. "

      No sh!t -0G-No gods, etc... GREAT statistic !!! I didn't know that.

      Let's see if the fundies come and try and dispute this.

      Peace...

      October 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  14. Reality

    (Only for the new members of this blog)

    Observe how abortion is coming to the front of the election issues:

    From CNN's home page:

    ELECTION CENTER

    "O'Brien grills GOP boss on abortion

    Romney takes heat for abortion talk

    Foes get personal on abortion"

    And why is that? Democrats know how to count votes.

    To wit:

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    Bottom line: Watching last night's debate was a waste of your time.

    October 12, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Dave

      The vast majority of "Pro-choice" voters will never have an abortion... it's never been about that. It's about not allowing a line to be crossed, the boundary over which government steps to tell you what decisions you can make concerning your body, and consequently... the rest of your life. One sentence sums it up best: "Against abortion? Don't have one." The only real irony here, is that the party of "less government", spends so much time trying to allow more govenment into the most personal part of peoples lives. You follow your guidlines for life, and let the rest of society follow theirs. STFU and go pray in a corner.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      :The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      - (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      October 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Shane

    As far as abortion goes, I don't like the thought of abortion. And in the perfect world there would never be a reason to have one.

    But the reality is we live in an imerfect world where people make mistakes. And as sad as it is, I think it is better to terminate a pregnancy than have that pregnancy result in an unwanted child, or a child whose parents have absolutely no way of supporting it.

    October 12, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, contraception, abortion and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% ACTUAL failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% ACTUAL failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      - (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      October 12, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Nobody ever thinks about the Baby, it's not the baby's fault that someone got pregnant.

      October 12, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • snowboarder

      rebel – apparently you are incorrect, otherwise we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

      October 12, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Rebel4Christ

      Hi -Rebel...

      " Nobody ever thinks about the Baby, it's not the baby's fault that someone got pregnant. "

      That's blatantly false. For the majority of people, if almost all that make the choice to terminate a pregnancy, they have typically thought long and hard about it.

      It's a choice. Otherwise... you are advocating *Government 'Forced Gestation'* against the females will.

      Terrible thing to do, to 'force' women against their will to have a child.

      Peace...

      October 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 12, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      Tell that to the religious zealots who prayed for their kids to be healed, yet still died. Not much help was it?

      October 12, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      October 12, 2012 at 9:36 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!~..

      October 12, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  17. Mirosal

    Until one of these two miraculously grows a uterus, their opinions are worthless. It would NEVER be their choice to get one. To tell a woman she'd better not get one, or legislate that a woman CANNOT have one is almost dictatorial. It is taking away a WOMAN'S right and restricting HER options. And it's all done by MEN who would never be in that situation. Oh, and if you're going to throw in your religious viewpoint, I challenge you to call up your "god", have it get its ass over here, grab a microphone, and tell us explicitly what "it" allows or doesn't allow TODAY, because the only texts they are using are from a long-dead society of 2,000 years ago.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • Andy

      I wish my biological mother had aborted me instead of letting me be adopted by my wonderful parents. I hear being dead is so in right now.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • derp

      I wish your mother had aborted you too.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  18. nate

    I completely respect the pro-choice position. However, I cannot accept it when someone says they believe an unborn baby is life, yet they let people choose. If you believe they would be killing life, then it's not okay to let them! If you don't believe it's life, then that's fine. I'd say Biden would have looked a lot better to have said his religion teaches him to respect all people and not force them to live certain ways. But I cringed when he went from saying he believes it's life to letting people choose... not ok with that.

    Anyway, that was the most absurd and uncalled for question I have ever seen. Religion has no place in a political debate.

    October 12, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • snowboarder

      nate – how is your personal belief a requirement on other people? how can you not believe that is wrong?

      October 12, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  19. Badda Bing

    Given a choice between watching vice presidential candidates debate or watching opossums try to dress up an ballerinas, I'd go for the possums. Far less boring.

    October 12, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Which God?

      @Bada Bing. Yeah. 'Posssum trot., Moe.'

      October 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  20. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    That was the absolutely MOST idiotic question to ask a political candidate for Vice President. What did that have to do with anyone's ability to govern? I thought the moderator was looking to get Ryan to step into the abortion situation and stumble.

    October 12, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's always interesting to see how someone who claims to be devout tries to reconcile pragmatism with faith. But I'll take it. Pragmatism contaminated with faith is something we can work with.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • realbuckyball

      At least Biden gets that in a secular society it's inappropriate to force one's religious beliefs onto others. Since the advent of Plan B, (which the Catholics *love* to call an "abotofacient*, even though OBGYNs have debunked the notion), with education it will likely become a non-issue, (maybe?)
      The STUPIDEST thing is they keep restating the crap about "moment of conception". There is no "moment". It's a fiction. Most OB docs won't get into that discussion. It's a complex process. And the fact that twinning can occur up to two weeks after the first zygote is formed, proves the "soul" bullsh1t is meaningless.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      One one level... nothing to do with governing. On another level, these social issues are very important to millions and is a big decision factor as to whom they vote for.

      And, I also agree with -Bucky's comment.

      Peace...

      October 12, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • realbuckyball

      And BTW, there is no "absolute boundary" between life and non-life, and certain rational considerations can help us. If what is valued is "human life", then at least until a neural tube and brain structure is in place, it's not actually "human life". For at least a while in the pregnancy, the enti'ty remains "potential" human life. If "any growing set of cells which contain human DNA", (but do NOT require a brain/nervous system), is a human life, then a tissue culture in a burn unit lab of human skin cells, is a "human life", and must be respected as a person. (Obviously it's about potentiality).

      October 12, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • csm.

      That's like saying you wouldn't mind Obama nor Romney being Muslim. Their religous beliefs have alot to do with how they chose to govern their country. Obviously Ryan RELIGION says that abortion is morally wrong. So why is it that he is pushing his RELIGION on other people,-IF...IF elected in office with Romney?

      October 12, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Romney / Ryan have said they will impose their religious beliefs re abortion on all. Obama / Biden have said they will not. Which candidates are more closely following the const!tution?

      October 12, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Mirosal

      If Romney gets elected, the capital would essentially be moved to Salt Lake City. you can bet your bottom dollar (if they don't tax it first) that Mitt will be calling the Quorum of Twelve for major decisions, or they'll call him on the President's private line to "advise" him on what he should do, should pass or should veto.

      October 12, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • .o.

      test fuck

      October 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.