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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.”

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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. SokrMom

    I thought this question was obnoxious on Raddatz' part, assuming as it did that one's religion must inform one's leadership. This is not necessarily true (obviously).

    October 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  2. ME II

    Another thing to consider, a woman's decision to continue a pregnancy, affects not only that child but every child she has after that one, via her ability to support that child.

    October 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  3. John D Lamb

    Comments please .....

    October 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  4. gladiatorgrl

    ME II

    @gladiatorgrl,
    What? Men are not allowed an opinion, just because they can't have babies? What about barren women? Or under age girls? or women past menopause?

    Ethics doesn't rely on biological equipment.
    ________________________________
    So now it's "ethics" not "morals"? WHO decided those "ethics"?? the panel of men w/o a uterus who testified in front of Congress? when a man has a uterus he can decide what to do with it.... otherwise watch where you spill your seed and leave a woman's uterus alone.

    p.s. you can do what you want with your prostate.... feel free

    (don't know why a barren or menopausal women would need an abortion or a girl so underage she can't conceive??) BUT they certainly I'm sure discuss their uterus with their physician – it DOES have other purposes.

    October 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Gladiatorgirl

      That's almost being as narrowminded as the people you are against. Men should have at least a voice in the matter. Not on a legislative level but on a personal level. Men might not have the physical effects of going through pregancy and birth, but there sure are emotional and fiscal ramifications that can't be ignored. Should a man be held responsible for a child if he made it clear at the onset that he wasn't ready but the woman went ahead anyways? What about the opposite side where a man might want a child but the woman decides to get an abortion anyways?

      Legislating abortion is ridiculous in the extreme, but to completely cut the man out of the equation is equally as ridiculous

      October 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • ME II

      Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you were saying no one without a uterus could consider the ethics of abortion.

      I agree that the decision about individual abortions should be left to the individual, i.e. the women who is pregnant. If that is what you are saying.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • lordnimrond

      Well, folks, those of you who say a man should be able to also choose whether the woman he i.m.p.r.e.g.nated has to allow the child to be born, how about we try this option instead:

      Mr. Lee Mingwei a natural-born male, has decided to carry a child in his own body and eventually have the child delivered through C-Section... This was a Special Report Case in the US News and even now doctors are observing his pregnancy... I'm not talking about the fellow born a woman who had a s.e.x-change, and who decided to carry "his" child for his wife when she had complications..... I'm talking about an actual man who has decided to experience pregnancy first-hand...

      Now that this seems possible,....if a man wants their baby bad enough, and the woman doesn't want it, nor does she have any desire to be a part of their lives, then the man should be willing to carry the child to term, get a C-Section, and raise it himself... Sounds fair to me!

      October 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @lordnimrond,
      While this may be possible in the future, I don't think it is feasible right now.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  5. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Life begins in man's body according to invisible spirit, program PROVEN by quantum physics, Sperm is alive and seed to sprout in to human body. To say, life begin's with conception is hinduism, criminality by hindu atheist, criminal self centered, secular's to justify murder of living being to satisfy their hindu soul, filthy desire. No different than hindu criminal ROMANS. hindu, beast in form of human. MOST DOCTOR'S PERFORMING ABORTION'S, MURDER ARE hINDU'S DENIERS OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE FROM hiDERED, GUTTER OF hINDUISM, ILLEGALITY CALLED iNDIA AND HINDU JEW'S, CRIMINAL SECULAR'S, DENIERS OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    October 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Jeff Cox

      Seek. Professional. Help. SOON!!!

      October 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • esperanza

      Wow. And YOU have the right to push your beliefs on the entire nation? That's arrogance to the extreme!

      October 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • lololololol

      Did you just call me a murderer for jerking it?

      October 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @lololol
      If you're Catholic, then YES.
      You see, once upon a time there was a man named Onan whom God commanded to impregnate his sister in law.
      He schtupped her several times, but always pulled out at the critical moment and spilled his seed on the ground.
      So God killed him.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  6. gladiatorgrl

    Adman

    Well conversely all I hear from the pro-abortion side is that Roe v Wade must be left alone because it is "settled law"
    ______________________________________
    It IS settled law.... BRING A CASE!!! and maybe won't be. They can bring a case to overturn Citizen's United ( "settled law" for was it 100 years?) and cannot find just ONE case to overturn Roe v. Wade ?? ALL that tax exempt money ALL that televangelist money ALL those rich powerful "conservatives" like the Koch Brothers and NO ONE can bring a case?? ALL those supposed "regretful" women they continue to trot out yet no case? or do you think it's just serves all those rich and powerful to continue to use it as "red meat" every election?

    October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Adman

      On that point we agree, if someone wants to overturn Roe v Wade it must be a case that works it's way through the lower courts to SCOTUS. But they could try to do it legislatively I guess which would most likely create a case.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  7. gladiatorgrl

    RobK
    So, if something is universally wrong, like murder, theft, slavery, perjury, and abortion, then it does not matter if the majority is in favor of it. It should still be illegal
    ________________________________
    I never assume but for the sake of rebuttal I'll assume you're male RobK?

    newsflash: morals do NOT only come from religion

    How bout you pray to God to grow you a uterus and when he does THEN you can come talk to women about what your "true" God says. In the interim I suggest you go out and talk to some men about morals and where they spill their seed 1st. good luck with that

    October 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @gladiatorgrl,
      What? Men are not allowed an opinion, just because they can't have babies? What about barren women? Or under age girls? or women past menopause?

      Ethics doesn't rely on biological equipment.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • ME II

      ... well, a brain, I suppose...

      October 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • gordyb

      I grew up in the 60s, I am not in favor of abortion, it is the most difficult decision a women can make, I witnessed back alley abortions before Roe V Wade, I am pro choice, It is not my decision what a women does with her body, its between her and her doctor, this issue if changed will dramatically impact the lower income women who face this decision, the wealthy will fly off on a shopping trip and have the procedure done, I can't believe after 50 years this is even under discussion. What is next adultery?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  8. Horus

    The potential for nomination of SC Justices in the next four years is one reason why I will vote for Obama. Romney/Ryan would stack the court with a right-wing majority and send this country back 50+ years (socially). Of course their big 5-point 'plan' to save our economy might send us back further, faster. Oh sure, we are going to cut taxes 20%, create jobs and broaden the base to pay for it.... yeah, ok... most economists don't see the numbers in your favor there Ryan.....just say'n.

    October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • gordyb

      When Ryan was pressed last night, he did not have one specific answer to most issues, he ducked direct questions and went into talking points, he sat there like a school boy and was schooled by Joe. He had only false data and GOP story lines.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Nate

      That would be too many left leaning judges. I don't think Romney is that extreme. He is a moderate. Why does everyone want to make the other look extreme?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Horus

      @Nate – I disagree. Romney is what ever he needs to be. He's an opportunist. If elected, along with Ryan, he will most likely cater to the base and nominate right leaning judges. Given that the court is already essentially a 5/4 split favoring conservative activism, it would only take one nomination to truly change the landscape of the court (for the worse in my opinion).

      October 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • gordyb

      Nate, Quote" Romney" I am extremely conservative" he has been pandering the tea party and the right wing extremists in the GOP for the past year. He owes them if elected. He did a unbelievable makeover during the first debate and became moderate Mitt, trouble is we don't know who he is or what he stands for since he has flipped so many times on so many issues. How can anyone trust him , moderate or conservative?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Sid Airfoil

    I have a religious question for those who are so inclined to answer: If god gave man free will, by what authority does the government take it away ban banning such behaviors as abortion or gay marriage? In other words, if god gave man free will in order that we may CHOOSE to be moral (and risk punishment for immorality), aren't we interfering with gods judgement by passing earthly laws taking AWAY our moral choices? Don't earthly laws against vice violate our god-given free will?

    Sid

    October 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • kls817

      One person's choice is often another persons oppression. If you concede that a fetus is a person, then abortion takes away their choice. The question really is, at what time does a fetus become a person. Is it at conception, birth, or somewhere in between? As a nation we need to define when this is, and then no person should be able to "choose" to end someone else's life.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A Candid Conversation between Two Species

      The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
      The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
      The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
      The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
      - Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life

      We need to start reforming society to take into account new “lifestyle” factors. We need to catch up with ourselves. We need population control, and until the disgusting lack of s.ex education, proper information, self-esteem, choice and critical thought is addressed, it won't happen.
      We need to stop arguing about the semantic evils of abortion and concentrate on making it unnecessary. We need to encourage people to have abortions if they must, and make damn sure that the next generation doesn’t have to. Or that giving up children for adoption is a mature, honourable choice. Or that getting sterilized and adopting a used kid is even better. But we’re not acting in an intelligent way, for the most part, and for the damnedest reason people who don’t use birth control use vaccines and take antibiotics for their strep throat and TB. We use the positive applications of technology and yet feel bad about using the other side of it.
      We need to stop feeling and start thinking.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Sid Airfoil

      kls817: Valid points. I guess my problem is the whole idea that god gave man free will, but that man takes away man's free will. Sure, if an embryo is human, aborting it is murder. But who decides that? According to Republicans, MAN decides that and passes laws accordingly. What is the point of having god-given free will if you are not allowed to exercise it in order to gain gods favor or suffer his condemnation? If god passes judgement on us in death, by what right does man pass judgement in life?

      Sid

      October 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  10. sandee ashworth

    I think Mr. Biden gave the best possible answer; he does not personally believe in abortion, but he is not about to force his beliefs on the rest of the country. I think we need to give the GOP some cheese to go with all their whine today. Please be sure to vote!!!

    October 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  11. gladiatorgrl

    What I'd like to hear from Ryan is how much the tax exempt church is going to kick in for all the babies they want born?.... Seriously, I worked in the "welfare office" for a few years and you know what the church does when women go to them for help?? they maybe give them some DONATED clothes and some DONATED food (nothing acutally purchased with any of that tax exempt money) THEN they give them a list of GOV't agencies.

    If one does not have a house full of wards of the state or adopted children they're supporting with their own money or their tax exempt churches money HYPOCRITES!!!!! .... (I'm sure the the rest would not get by the censors)

    October 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam

      Life is sacred until it's born. After that it's a filthy moocher that needs to pull it's own weight. LOL

      October 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • gordyb

      The GOP only wants the babies born, then the mother and child can starve to death as far as they care. If they need assistance, they are on their own, they should be responsible for their actions and are nothing but dependents of the state to quote Romney.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • miki thinks

      Many Republicans are pro-BIRTH not pro-life. Oh no abortions, or in some cases birth control, but no pre-school, or food stamps, or wick, or medicaid. Oh but don't cut tax deductions for "charity" where we can show up at a food bank and beat our breasts and look down on those that we are "helping" and film for any possible political run. Or cut "charity" where we can go to Paris and knock on doors and try to convience people that a remote religion is better than their beliefs.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The "conservative's don't care about people after they are born" crap has been debunked so many times it's not even fun anymore. Just kidding, it's still fun. Here's one of the latest data points:

      The eight states whose residents gave the highest share of their income — Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Arkansas and Georgia — all backed McCain in 2008. Utah leads charitable giving, with 10.6 percent of income given.

      And the least generous states — Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire — were Obama supporters in the last presidential race. New Hampshire residents gave the least share of their income, the Chronicle stated, with 2.5 percent.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill
      Do you consider religious ti/thing to be charity to your fellow man?
      Utah has a 10% average becuase there are a LOT of Mormons there who are required by their religion to ti/the 10% of their annual income to the Church.
      So the truly relevant question is what charities are getting the money?
      Giving Jimmy Swaggart $100 isn't the same as giving The Red Cross $100.
      Giving PETA $ doesn't help the poor feed, clothe and educate themselves.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill,

      the frugality of Yankees (New Englanders in this case) is proverbial and historical – no matter what their religious stripe. Your point about red state versus blue state charitable giving proves nothing.

      The issue in this election is that the GOP have coopted a hedgefund manager with a track record of dodgy corporate tax evasion schemes who is both a scion and a chattel of the richest 1%. Only the monied interests of the 1% will be considered.

      Romney is (unintentionally) on record about not having any regard for 47%. He won't care about the remaining 52% either once the election is done.

      October 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • lordnimrond

      Hey Bill Deacon,...

      "Charitable Giving" is NOT the same (nor is it in any way NEARLY as useful) as actual legislation meant to help those who need it most,...including babies born out of wedlock, or to under-capable mothers, or due to r.a.p.e, or due to i.n.c.e.s.t, etc. etc..

      This type of legislation is the kind that right-wing conservatives (especially those states you mention) firmly oppose...

      I'm not buying what you're selling, dude...

      October 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I presumed I'd start a fire storm with that and that several would choke on the truth. So, why not post your own data that shows liberal do, in fact give more?

      October 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam

      Bill, your mind's always made up. There's no point in engaging with you at all – you don't listen.

      October 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill,

      can you explain the relevance of charitable giving?

      October 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  12. gordyb

    Keep religion out of politics and in the home or church. Thats the way this country was formed so no religion would become the state religion. Today we have churches doing business , taking tax benefits in the public sector. That crosses the line and exposes them to laws which may conflict with beliefs. These churches need to decide if they are businesses or churches. They want both the tax benefits and exemptions from the law. Thats the problem and it has been exposed in the birth control debate.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • miki thinks

      Too true on the churchs doing business. Last week I went to a Wendy's and ordered a bacon burger. I was told bacon was not available because the owners, the Church of Seventh Day Adventists do not believe in eating pork. That's just fine with me, as long as the Wendy's income is not exempt as church income. Charity deductions should be the first to go. Your good thing may just be my bad thing.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  13. Nietodarwin

    I have never met xstians who throw up all over the table when other people are sitting there eating, yet this is just what they do with their (deluded and mentally ill) belief system. Killing Osama Bin Laden and punishing theTaliban with bullets was good, now let's hope we can eliminate the threat of the American Taliban, otherwise known as the GOP

    October 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  14. ceejay08

    If I were a politician, I would refuse to state a position on abortion until I knew what specific problem we were trying to solve with it.

    Seems like before we agree on the best solution, we ought to be sure we are trying to solve the same problem, and what other solutions we considered and rejected.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @ceejay08,
      Not sure what you are trying to say, but there is no "we" in the abortion decision. The only position "we" can take is whether or not it is illegal.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • miki thinks

      The whole point is that abortion is not the governments problem/decision. It is the problem/decision of the woman involved. Back off and back out. Abortion costs are now an insurance problem and should be covered just as we cover

      October 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • miki thinks

      The whole point is that abortion is not the governments problem/decision. It is the problem/decision of the woman involved. Back off and back out. Abortion costs are now an insurance problem and should be covered just as we cover a arm broken skiing. If one had not gone skiing the arm would not be broken. However, it is and needs to be fixed. Judge not lest you be judged. There are many, many things covered by insurance that an individual does not approve of. Blood transfusions, porcine valve transplants, CPR, life support, invetro fertilization, et al could be stopped if the theory is carried forward. We need freedom from religion.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  15. Sy2502

    I thought it was as hypocritical as it could be when Ryan said he "respected those with different views" on abortion. Sure you do, but you are still going to legislate to force them to act the way you believe. Because that's what respect is all about.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  16. gladiatorgrl

    Adman

    So if we are not allowed to re-visit SCOTUS decisions I guess Dred Scott is still the law of the land. Of course there really can not be any thing considered "settled law".
    ________________________________
    TRUE. I was mearly pointing out the "hypocrisy" we continually see from the right wing THEY can ? the SCOTUS on something THEY don't agree with or try to push out Judges in elections who rule against anything THEY want a/k/a intimindation ..... BUT "God forbid" anyone else does that (again their reaction when Obama ?'d Citizens United as an example)

    October 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Adman

      Well conversely all I hear from the pro-abortion side is that Roe v Wade must be left alone because it is "settled law"

      October 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam

      There's no such thing as pro-abortion, Adman. But I see what you did there.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Adman

      Well Sam call it whatever you like.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Ugh "pro-abortion", nice subtlty right there.

      In any case, "settled law" doesn't exist, BUT appointing new justices doesn't mean you can just revisit a case whenever you like and overturn the decision. Even if SCOTUS had 9 ultra-conservative judges on the bench what are the chances a case that could overturn roe v. wade would be brought forward? We haven't discovered something different during pregnancy to lead us to believe life begins at conception. The chances of Roe v. Wade being overturned anytime soon is pretty slim.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Adman

      I'm as much pro-abortion as you are anti-womens rights. Hows about we discuss the topic like adults instead of stooping to name calling just to make yourself feel better.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • lordnimrond

      Hey Adman:

      We WILL call it whatever we like, because we choose to call it what it IS.....PRO CHOICE.... Not "pro-abortion",...not "pro-death"... Pro Choice,....meaning,...the mother gets the right to CHOOSE what happens to her body, and the growing embryo inside of her... She gets to CHOOSE whether she keeps the child or not... This shouldn't be a problem for that percentage of us who claims to believe that the child's soul is immortal, and that all children who are aborted go straight to heaven... Sounds like those mothers who choose abortion are doing that child a favor, based on what I've heard from the Christian Right...

      For that same reason,....we'll call what conservatives desire what it is too....PRO BIRTH.... Because "pro-life" makes it sound like consevatives are going to be passing lots of legislation to make sure those unwed mothers and r.a.p.e victims and i.n.c.e.s.t victims get all the help they need, to make sure that newborn gets properly fed, and eventually well-educated.... But guess what,...we ALL know they won't! We ALL know that a conservative's care for someone else's baby grinds to a complete halt once it pops out of the womb... At that point it becomes a "burden on the system" and "an excuse for welfare" and "one of the 47%".... These sentimesnts sure aren't pro-life...

      October 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  17. Tom

    Some of the stuff I see on comments makes me want to hit a like button (there isn't one here of course) for some of the stuff I read are really meaningful.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  18. 1plus1

    A sunflower seed is not a sunflower.

    I agree with the Vice President in that I don't believe that abortion is ever a choice I would make.

    I also agree with the Vice President that an elected official's personal religious beliefs should not be forced upon the rest of the country.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • mikem

      I should not have to pay for a practice a find repugnant. Killing babies in the womb is wrong. It's especially wrong, when we use abortion as a form of birth control because two people cannot control their behavior.
      Sadly enough this nation has lost its sense of right and wrong. We are now punishing those that abhor gay behavior, and gays can do no wrong.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • sam

      mikem – nothing you just said has any basis in fact anywhere but your own head. You're a bigot, we get it. Maybe find an island where the whores and scary gays won't get you.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Thom

      mikem, I would much rather a woman be allowed to receive an abortion than decide to place her child in the toilet after birth or strangle their child after birth. Why force a woman to keep a child she doesn't want? So we can read about her later because she killed the kid she just gave birth to?!
      Sounds like the pro-lifers would rather a woman keep a kid she doesn't want OR throw them in foster homes until they reach legal age. Hmmm, sounds like a charmed life for a child.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • ME II

      "I should not have to pay for a practice a find repugnant. "
      Sorry, but your disgust or lack thereof is irrelevant. The government funds many repugnant things, war, animal testing, tax-exemption for churches, torture, regime destabilization, etc.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Bob PA

      sam, to bad your mother wasnt in the mindset of having an abortion.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @MikeM
      Scientologists find Psychiatry and Psychology to be repugnant. I guess we should those things illegal too.
      Jehovah's Witnesses are opposed to blood transfusions, so those are out.
      In fact, Christian Scientists don't think ANY medicine is necessary – only prayer.
      No more medicine for anybody!

      October 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • sam

      Ladies and gentlemen: Bob, and the best he could do with a comeback. I'll just bet you're a stellar christian member of society, aren't ya Bob?

      October 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      I should not have to pay for a practice a find repugnant.

      good lets stop funding congressional morning prayers, i find Christianity repugnant.

      October 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  19. hawaiiguest

    "“Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding … that to me is pretty extreme.”"
    Ryan is such a lying sack of shit. It's against federal law for that to happen, and it does not happen. Ryan you stupid mysoginistic, fuckstick go live in the vatican if you want everyone to agree with your lies!

    October 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      I agree with every word you wrote, but the censors always block my profanity.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You need to either split the word. Like sh..it. Or you can put (without the spaces)between the offending word. It's an auto filter so it'll get past it. The thing is HTML code that doesn't since it's opened and closed immediately. So it comes out shit.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Hmmm ok I though spaces would work....

      October 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Look up the coding for bold lettering and just put the open and close tags right next to each other.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam

      I wish the debates included the option to zap people with a bit of electricity when they lie. Ryan would be screaming like a little girl.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The religious right would scream that the electricity itself is a liberal, socialist, communist, marxist, muslim.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Nietodarwin

      Insert <b></b>

      October 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I often see italics and bolding but not underlining.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • ME II

      Hey cool, shit. Didn't think of that.
      I used to used html codes in the middle of the word, t( & # 1 0 5 ;)t, but I think they started blocking that.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @hawaiiguest,
      Thanks!
      I can once again say Constitution.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • LinCA

      The tag for underlining is <u>. <u>Underlining</u> prints as Underlining

      October 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ME II,

      don't forget to close out the tag. Usually any formatting goofs end at the end of the post, but there was one time where somehow I messed up a closing italics tag that propagated to the remainder of the whole page.

      hrefs don't seem to work.

      I wonder if headers do?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Lin

      Did you use italic code inside the bold code to show the bold code?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @LinCA,

      thanks, my test contained the underlining tags.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @hawaiiguest

      You said, "Did you use italic code inside the bold code to show the bold code?"
      No. To get the less than and greater than characters to print I use the HTML character codes. The < character can be printed with & lt ; (without spaces), and the > with & gt ;.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • ME II

      &gt; &lt:

      October 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • ME II

      sorry, that was:
      &<i></i>gt<i></i>; &<i></i>lt<i></i>:

      October 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  20. TheSchmaltz

    It is important to ridicule religion, or else it might gain the illusion of legitimacy.

    October 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      It is important to PROSECUTE religious abuse of humans, before it destroys our society, and the survival of our species.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
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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.