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Survey: Catholics divided on political issues, as adherent numbers decline
The divide between social justice Catholics and social issues Catholics became most evident during this years debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan.
October 22nd, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Survey: Catholics divided on political issues, as adherent numbers decline

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – As important as the Catholic vote is in the 2012 election, a new survey finds that the group is far from monolithic and is not largely focused on the issues that get a lot of attention from church leaders – abortion and gay marriage.

Among the Catholics surveyed by the Public Religious Research Institute, 60% believe the Church should focus more on social justice issues and their obligation to the poor, even if it means focusing less on social issues like abortion and right to life.

Thirty-one percent say the opposite – they favor social issues over social justice issues.

Even among Catholics who attend church weekly or more, 51% say the Church should stress social justice issues over strictly social issues. Thirty-six percent said the opposite.

“The survey confirms that there is no such thing as ‘the Catholic vote’,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the polling group. “There are a number of critical divisions among Catholics, including an important divide between ‘social justice’ and ‘right to life’ Catholics.”

When looking at the 2012 elections, these Catholic divisions continue to be apparent.

Among those Catholics who support more “social justice” teachings, 60% support Obama while 37% support Romney. Likewise, 67% of “right to life” Catholics support Romney while 27% support the president.

Overall, Catholics slightly favor Romney over Obama, with 49% supporting the Republican challenger and 47% supporting the president.

Catholics top issues are also largely in line with Americans as a whole: 61% of Americans say the economy is the top issue in this election, followed by health care, national security, abortion and immigration. “There are few differences by religious affiliation in terms of voters’ issue priorities,” reads the report.

Catholicism has been a topic of political conversation lately, primarily because both Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice presidential contender Rep. Paul Ryan are members of the faith. Two weeks ago, Biden and Ryan debated on the national stage – the first time two Catholics had ever debated each other in a presidential election.

The divide between social justice Catholics and social issues Catholics became further evident during the debate, when moderator Martha Raddatz asked a question about how their shared faith plays into the candidates different views on abortion.

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

“I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help,” Biden said. “Life begins at conception. That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews.”

But even as two Catholics vie for political power on the national stage, the number of Catholics, the survey finds, is shrinking.

Although nearly one-third of Americans were raised Catholic, 22% currently identify with Catholicism. As has been shown in previous surveys, the number of former Catholics remains substantial at 12%.

The religiously unaffiliated seems to be the benefactors of this decline – their numbers continue to rise, especially compared to the small number of Americans who were raised religiously unaffiliated. Seven percent of survey respondents were raised in an unaffiliated family, but today 19% identify as religiously unaffiliated.

Their reasons for the religious departures are varied.

Twenty-three percent cited rejection of their childhood faith, 16% cited overall antipathy toward organized religion and 11% cited negative personal experiences with religion as their reasons for leaving.

Five percent of overall respondents cited the Catholic Church’s child sex abuse scandal – the entirety of that group was made up of former Catholics.

The PRRI survey was done in partnership with the Brookings Institution and was made up of 3,003 adults, contacted by phone, in the United States. The survey was conducted between September 13, 2012 and September 30, 2012 and has a margin of error of 2%.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Abortion • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Mitt Romney • Politics • Polls

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

    Colin

    TRUTH ABSOLUTE, LIVING GOD, ALL KNOWING, ALL HEARING, HAVE NO hIND DOUBT ABOUT IT.
    To answer short, if a human can watch multiple station's around the globe simultaneously, what makes you think, creator, designer, truth absolute GOD has no way to watch every one and every thing simultaneously ?
    Every thing and every one in universe is dependent on truth absolute, constant GOD, being essence of existence, thread of constant, truth absolute, means to watch and control.

    GET OUT OF hIND, SLAVERY OF hINDU SOUL, FILTHY DESIRE AND LOVE, SUBMIT TO THE HIGH ONE, TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD, THE ONE GAVE YOU BODY TO BE, TO BE LIKE "HIM' ON EARTH FOR SHORT TIME WITH GIFT OF CHOICE.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

      BOO!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  2. Dan

    Sad to think that the leadership of our country is down to a Mormon Businessman and a Muslim Appologizer...

    October 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Sad to see you're so clouded by hate you can't just see 2 men. Instead you see all the things you hate like: a religion that isn't yours and a skin color that isn't yours.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Romnesia

      That Texas education doesn't serve you well. Do some research before you post.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dan, it's sad to think that someone as ignorant as you gets to vote for anything more important than what flavor ice cream you get after dinner.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Just Wondering

      tallulah13, why do you atheists breath the air the Lord made, drink the water he created. eat the bounty he provided and utilize all from him if you hate him so much? That's right. He loves you.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  3. cashmeremafia

    Tell us something we don't know, this has been common knowledge for years.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  4. Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

    Human my English teacher, stupid, and I were divided too, doo-fus, my Mullah teacher, never taught me sentences construction.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  5. mama k

    If the brand of Catholics like Paul Ryan had their way ever since our country's founding, we would now have a population similar to China, and our city slums would make the slums of Latin American look like Pleasantville.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  6. Colin

    A few questions should help highlight why some might be inclined to question Catholicism

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:

    (a) The ancient Celts;

    (b) Bronze Age Egyptians;

    (c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs; or

    (d) Modern Catholics

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are:

    (a) a reptile handler who has severe mental issues;

    (b) a five year old boy who just read a fairytale;

    (c) a scientific fraud; or

    (d) a Catholic

    I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" like protect myself from disease with a condom. I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Catholic

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A gifted psychologist

    (b) A well respected geneticist

    (c) A highly educated sociologist

    (d) A Catholic with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Catholic

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from Catholicism:

    (a) Catholicism tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Catholicism can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas Catholicism is regional and a person’s Catholicism, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than geographical upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) a Catholic.

    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) the mafia

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) the Catholic Church

    What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:

    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;

    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;

    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or

    (d) All of the above.

    The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:

    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;

    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;

    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions as “boots on the ground” to distribute condoms; or

    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:

    a. Circular reasoning at its most obvious;

    b. The reason 99% of Catholics believe what they do;

    c. Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or

    d. All of the above.

    Probably the most fundamental tenet of Catholic faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Catholic should:

    a. Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.

    b. Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.

    c. Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or

    d. Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.

    Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    a. Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    b. When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    c. You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    d. A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • nope

      @colon....
      nope.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      October 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • as always

      snopes is wrong

      October 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Well, folks, it's a difficult choice here - @Colin's intelligent, thoughtful and clever post?
      vs
      @nope's rebuttal? (re"butt"al!)

      October 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Frayed Knot:

      I find nothing in Colin's post to be intelligent or clever and is not worth the time and effort of a response. The lack of commentary seems to indicate that opinion is widely held.

      October 23, 2012 at 4:57 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      It's not worth your time and effort because there's nothing you could say to dispute it. Especially given that you apparently are not intelligent enough to detect Colin's intelligence and cleverness.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Just Wondering

      Same statement goes to you Colin as I wrote to tallulah13, why do you atheists breath the air the Lord made, drink the water he created. eat the bounty he provided and utilize all from him if you hate him so much? That's right. He loves you.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Just wondering if you can provide a single bit of evidence for your god and the divinity of jesus. No proof means your are delusional or a liar. We're waiting....

      October 24, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • GMarius

      While I cannot deny that most if not all Catholic beliefs are silly, I would like to point out that most Catholics don't buy into it very much. Also Mother Church has contributed to society in many ways: 1. A Catholic monk- Gregor Mendel invented genetics 2. The Church preserved literacy and classical texts for centuries, and they also founded the modern university system. 3. Through their patronage, much of the world's most beautiful art was created. 4. They created lots of corpses- some say too many.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    It's nice to see a survey that corresponds very closely to the Pew data, who also trotted out some recent analysis here:

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/The-Catholic-Swing-Vote.aspx

    [As a group, Catholics are] "far from monolithic and is not largely focused on the issues that get a lot of attention from church leaders – abortion and gay marriage". ... Yep – they don't vote en bloc or per religion.

    "“The survey confirms that there is no such thing as ‘the Catholic vote’,” ... Well, duh!

    Like always, Catholic voting patterns are split right down the middle, and reflect the electorate as a whole.

    The biggest discrepancy between these surveys is who gets the edge:

    ......... Obama ... Romney
    Pew: .... 47% ... 45%
    PRI: ...... 47% ... 49%

    Source: Pew 10/7/12 (before the 10/11/12 vice presidential and the second presidential debate)

    http://projects.pewforum.org/2012-presidential-election-candidate-religious-groups/#catholics

    October 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So much for all those posters here lately who will say:

      "I'm a Catholic and all the Catholics I know will vote for Romney."

      We have yet another poll that concludes this position is completely wrong. The Catholic vote will split close to 50/50, but their votes might well mirror the electorate as a whole.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So comparing the two most recent surveys:

      ...................................................Pew ... PRRI
      --------------------
      Total Christian .......................... 73% ... 75.7%
      Total Protestant ........................ 48% … 43.3% **
      White evangelical protestant ... 19% … 19.9%
      White mainline protestant ......... 15% … 14.9%
      Black Protestant ......................... 8% ….. 8.5%
      Other minority protestant ............ 6% … n/a
      Catholic ..................................... 22% … 22%
      Mormon …................................... 2% … n/a
      Orthodox …................................. 1% ... n/a
      Other Christian* ....................…. 9% … 10.4%
      Other Religions ........................... 6% ….. 5.7%

      Unaffiliated .........................… 19.6% … 18.6%
      Atheist + agnostic .................... 5.7% ….. 6.7%
      Secular nones .....…..................... n/a ..... 7.3%
      Unattached believers .................. n/a ….. 4.3%
      Nothing in particular ................. 13.9% … 11.6%

      Sample size .............................. 2,973 … 3,003
      Error ........................................... 2.1% … 2%

      * Includes Pew Other Minority Protestants 6% + Mormon 2% + Orthodox 1%
      ** May undercount "other minority Protestants" not reported in PRRI

      These numbers are broadly very similar which adds credibility to both sets of poll data.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ not a GOPer:

      RE: ""I'm a Catholic and all the Catholics I know will vote for X."

      I think that this is a reflection of the polarization in our culture. Even within the church, people are self segregating into two camps and socializing within them.

      October 23, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chick-a-dee,

      While I'm sure there is some truth to what you say, but a lot depends on whether the mass you attend is delivered in Spanish or in English.

      Also, the article says: "Overall, Catholics slightly favor Romney over Obama, with 49% supporting the Republican challenger and 47% supporting the president."

      Page 25 of the survey however says: "Catholic likely voters were, overall, divided in their support for the presidential
      candidates: 49% preferred Obama, while 47% favored Romney."

      THE REPORTING IN THE STORY IS EXACTLY BACKWARDS.

      The PRRI survey prettty much matches Pew with Obama maintaining a narrow lead with Catholics.

      Also significantly:

      Favorable opinion of ...
      ................................. Obama ... Romney
      White Catholics ............ 27% ... 54%
      Hispanic Catholics ....... 70% ... 48% *

      * Apparently they had statistical issues with the number of Hispanic Catholics in the survey.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • JBB

      The Catholic vote has traditionaly been Democrat...it's not news. The fact that Romney is in a dead heat with Obama for the Catholic vote tells me Obama is in trouble. Obama won the Catholic vote by nearly 10% in 2008. That's a big swing...

      October 23, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      A correction to my earlier post – the article was originally wrong. It has been corrected.

      Amongst all Catholic voters:

      ......... Obama ... Romney
      Pew: .... 47% ... 45%
      PRRI: .... 49% ... 47%

      October 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @JBB,

      yes, once upon a time Catholics were more likely to be liberal. Today their vote is very close to the whole country. They often (but not always) go with the winner – which is why there is so much talk about the 'Catholic' vote. I suspect its not always causal but it is a bellweather.

      In 2012 they lean to Obama in a close call. (Sounds just like the nation to me.)

      Catholic voters:

      2000 ... Bush / Gore ......... 47% ... 50% (Gore)
      2004 ... Bush / Kerry ........ 52% ... 47% (Bush)
      2008 ... McCain / Obama ... 45% ... 54% (Obama)

      See:

      http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/The-Catholic-Swing-Vote.aspx

      October 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

  8. Flay all the strange pedophile priests who openly abstain from women. Dry their flesh for the Eucharist. They've teased us with the "body of Christ" for far too long.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  9. petena

    I walked out of church service two weeks ago because the Catholic church is telling people to vote for Romney. Yet 90% of the congregation is receiving some type of social benefit (medicaid, food stamps, food assistance, SSI, etc, etc). Yet the priests keep asking for money instead of taking care of the poor. Its hypocritical.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      You are just now realizing the catholic church is hypocritical?...Welcome to reality.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      Just wait a few more weeks or months as the fraud begins to really become transparent. It will seem so obvious to you that religion is a fraud that you may be tempted to start calling people idiots. Try to remember you were one once. Religious people aren't dumb just because they're religious; there is some veil of ignorance that keeps them from applying logic to religion even if their lives are otherwise field with critical thinking.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Just Wondering

      End Religion, same statement applies to you ... why do you atheists breath the air the Lord made, drink the water he created. eat the bounty he provided and utilize all from him if you hate him so much? That's right. He loves you.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  10. Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

    Human my hook'er mother and Taliban father divided too, almost on everything, goons, so I am half Sunni, half Shia.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, ignorant.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  11. justaminit

    As I Catholic who loves his faith, I am often stunned by the Church's stance that abortion and contraception frame the political debate. Always with the cry of right to life. Well in nations that are killing their own citizens, there is not right to life. In Haiti, where the poor have to face famine, disease, and hurricanes without shelter, there is no right to life. In Africa where untold scores of people suffer and die, there is no right to life. So to the clergy I say, expand your view of right to life and social justice.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      I agree.

      I am also repulsed by the idea that voting for the GOP will somehow make abortions stop. The facts that: republicans have been singing this song for 40 years without accomplishing anything significant, republicans have no problem maintaining relations with India and outsourcing call centers and IT jobs to them – although they have 14 million abortions/year, republicans led by Regan and Bush pushed for China's "most favored trading nation" status and handed them our manufacturing industry despite their one-child policy and 15 million abortions/year. Why aren't the pro-life republicans demanding that abortion in these two economic partners be as restricted as they want it to be in the U.S. before they may have any of our GNP?

      October 23, 2012 at 5:19 am |
  12. Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

    hinduism, crime against truth absolute God Bible is hinduism, criminality of hindu Jew's, criminal secular's of Egypt and Persia, one has to be a hindu, blinded to call hinduism, crime against truth absolute GOD to be some thing of holy nature.
    To learn hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminal, visit limitisthetruth.com.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

      "Boooo, did I scare you Hindu boy?

      October 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  13. Brampt

    Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,9 and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” Matt 4:8,9

    Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source. John 18:36

    October 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      Proof Every Christian Goes to Hell by End Religion
      1) The only irredeemable sin against your Lord thy God is denying him, the Holy Spirit
      2) To deny is to refuse to admit truth of or to refuse to give that which is requested
      3) Any sin is to deny god of his commandments
      4) Therefore, even one sin results in a soul that cannot be forgiven. Sin once, and you're going to hell whether you repent or not. Since Christians are "born into sin" they're automagically damned to hell and cannot be forgiven.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • snowboarder

      not one of the gospels was written withing decades of jesus purported crucifiction, so at best they are gross embellishments of a decent philosopher or at worst entirely fabricated.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Sarah

      Oh, ye, of no faith.

      Jesus' truth was word of mouth and the scribes wrote the scrolls, which were sacred and kept to the priesst/rabbis for the priests and rabbis. It wasn't until the 1400s that the printing press was created.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

      from the book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, scripted by some hindu, denier of truth absolute, having nothing to do with truth absolute GOD, hindu pagan Christian's hind, deny in bigamy, infidelity.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • snowboarder

      sarah – the original writings of the gospels were at least a generation after jesus supposed death, yet we have thousands of direct quotes. there is no reason to have that much faith.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Brampt

      Snowboarder- If your an atheist i consider you to be in the same position as someone that believes in the bible. you make science your belief but science changes with time and what was right in a period of time is wrong today, because no one can tell for sure what happened millions of years ago!

      October 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      brampt
      science does not change.
      Theories change, the amount of comfirmable data changes, our full understanding changes, but science itself is the pursuit of truth.
      Not the rediculous stories that come from the bible nor from any other religious texts. Religions start with people making up answers to questions without any empirical data. Science starts with questions and theories and distills the truth.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Brampt

      Who invite? – And what is a theory? The bible doesn't talk about theory's but about certainties.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can believe whatever you wish, Brampt, but you won't convince me if you can't convey facts and do so in a manner that suggest you have at least a rudimentary education. Your posts are dreadful.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you idiotic spew about no one knows what happened millions of years ago puts the lie to your own claims about the bible and your god.

      No, no one knows. Including you. You don't know anything. You believe. There's a big difference.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Brampt

      Pipers son- Want a fact? "every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God" Heb 3:4. You cannot deny your house had to have a builder and an architect that drew a blue print. To say that the universe came from nothing is a non sense. But believe in what ever you or others want to believe. its of a christian to respect every ones choices. But the bible also says: " For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap;8because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but he who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit." Gal 6:7,8

      October 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Brampt

      Pipers Son- I wasnt there, neither you or the ones that think there was a big bang, or we came from apes! But God was!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Brampt
      Trying to quote from your book to bolster your arguement simply shows your opposition that you don't have anything to say.
      I can quote from many books, written by men.
      You quote from a book written by men.
      You are no closer to the truth for reading your book, but I can show you many scientific works that contain ACTUAL truth,
      Becausewant to believe, and for no other you don't understand advanced science does not invalidate the science. The fact that you cannot prove anythiong in your bible, and actually I can disprove mush of it, shows even more you do not have an arguement, you disagree but you obviously don't know why.(probably just because you want to, even though there is nothing to justify it)

      And by the way...the plural of theory is theories not theory's

      October 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Brampt
      Also, the Big Bang is no longer theory, The 2006 Nobel peace prize was given to two scientists who PROVED it.

      Big Bang did happen, and we have proof.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Brampt

      Who invite?- Im not against science, science helps us understand many things, for me it confims more and more that there has to be a Creator!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Brampt

      Invite? – Big Bang existed? Were did he get that from? Whos that mortal men? Lets say it did happen...if it happen there had to be matter.. Matter came from were? from nothing?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Why is it that you can get information, that proves the bible to to at best, inaccurate, at most completely wrong, and yet you can somehow jump to an unjustified conclusion? And why coose the theory of god? I can give you several theories as to how the universe came into being, each of which has as much credibility as your theory of a creator.
      Assuming that your god theory is correct and somehow, data collected from testing real scientific theories can somehow support your impossible to test god theory is just rediculous and lazy.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here we have number 10 on the top ten (or thirteen) of most irritatingly stupid ‘arguments’ that religionists make here.

      10. The ‘reductionem ad creationis’ argument, no matter what the topic of the day, let’s talk evolution … again and again!
      eg: ”science doesn’t explain what happened before the big bang, so God is real, ergo he created everything 6,000 years ago”

      Wot's creation got to do with 'ow Catholics vote then eh?

      Even most Catholics are happy to accept evolution as God's mechanism for creation and it was a Catholic Priest who first posited the big bang theory.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Brampt
      The Big Bang IS FACT.
      Just because you cannot comprehend the actual meaning of advance physics...let me try to break it down a little for you

      You ASSUME that the big bang was the beginning, but was it. It was (as modern M theory would indicate) likely the collision of two or more of the 11 known dimensions, some reality ripping event.

      You assume that all matter came into being at the point of the big bang. What makes you think that. Matter could have existed long before the big bang existing in what ever state it could exist in in whatever form the universe was in prior to the event.

      Now to really blow you mind ( and any of your other silly theories)
      Time is considered to be one of the dimensions and even though we are in terms of time, traveling along in this dimesion at a steady pace and only having the perspective of on point in the dimension. Expand you comprehension. If it is a dimension, then travelling in that dimesion is possible. What if the big bang involved the collision of the time dimesion? Then time itself couild have been radically altered, and the next big bang could actually happen (from our perspective) BEFORE the one we have evidense of) the big bang was likely NOT an isolated occurance, there is every indicattion that there were others and there will be others.

      The big bang proves the beginning of our percieved universe. It does not necessarily indicate when all matter came to be, and likely, the question of "when" anything happened shows a linear thinking that you must get past in order to comprehend.
      Since time is a dimension, when is only relative to the observer and is moot in the overall picture of the nature of the universe.
      I

      October 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Brampt

      Invite?- If you blow up your house can you get another house out of that?

      October 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Brampt, did you even make it through high school? It's looking more and more like you never got out of your little town.

      Clueless git. The Bible isn't fact.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Brampt

      Invite?- How did matter come to be?? Havent got an answer yet.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Brampt

      piper son – Even if i have no education, when we die, all are the same, we all turn in dust.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Exactly. You'll be in the dirt just like everyone else. Nothing more.

      Thanks for admitting it.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh Sarah of little knowledge. The bible was written, edited and codified by many different men at many different times. That is probably one of the reasons that it is so full of contradictions that there are websites dedicated to the topic.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      brampt, lawrence krauss has an idea where your house came from

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZiXC8Yh4T0&w=640&h=390]

      October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  14. snowboarder

    there are nearly as many interpretations of scripture as there are readers. why would anyone expect a religious group to be monolithic?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • moi

      For me religion is for wedding and funerals. Knowledge of religious words can be usefull.
      I do use a lot of church words such as "tabarnac", "calice" and "ostie" when it is needed. That helps more than standard prayers.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • snowboarder

      moi – i think that is similar to most christians in america. for the most part education has relegated religion to little more than a social club.

      i will admit that i enjoyed a pagan "hand fasting" ceremony for a wedding recently. the symbolism of the ritual had so much more meaning than the stock religious ceremony. i wish i had known of such things when i was married.

      i chafe at funerals from the absolute absurdity of the christian doctrine of sin, forgiveness and eternity.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Rose

      snowboarder, when you die, how about your family and friends put you out to the curb while the dogs in the neighborhood pees on your corpse so you can wait until t he garbage crew picks your stink up.

      That should suit you fine.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why, sweetie, did snowboarder get under your skin? Poor you. What you don't get, dearie, is that after snowboarder dies, why would he care?

      Why are you so stupid?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Rose

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, why are you writing in a defensive manner ? I wrote what I thought he'd like.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Thought"? You don't even know what a "thought" is, Rosie. Those impulses you're having? Those are brain farts.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Rose

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, it was Jesus that told us to respect and bury the dead. You atheists detest him but want what he provided the world. Think about what you detest. That's if your brain can work on it's own besides what you've been brainwashed into believing, which is nonsense at it's best.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son", but the entity "Rose" does think. However I have determined that the entity "Rose"'s capability of reasoning is approximately 75% less than that of the average human being.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Rose,
      "... it was Jesus that told us to respect and bury the dead."

      You think that respectful burial was a bright, new idea thought up by Jesus? Oy! Evidence of human burial (along with various rituals) goes back to prehistory, even with some evidence of it by the Neanderthals. Of course, some of the practical teachings attributed to Jesus are conducive to beneficial human behavior - but none of them were at all original.

      Your inane comment to @snowboarder was horrid. No, he won't care after he is dead; but he is alive and thinking and feeling now - and making such a comment shows your depravity.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Zebulon

      Praying to Satan does change things. Thank you for the advice.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • truth be told

      Prayer is talking with God and only God, your communication with satan may be many perverse things but it is not prayer.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • ATT

      truth be told,

      I guess you think you are "God" then... since you are just talking to yourself.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • snowboarder

      whenever the toilet overflows i say a little prayer, but i always bring the plunger with me anyway.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • truth be turd

      Prayer is talking with yourself and only yourself, your supposed communication with god may be many perverse things but it is not prayer.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you "talk to god," Turdy, do you let him know that there's a difference between "Gaul" and "gall?" Oh, wait. You didn't know there was one, did you?

      October 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Rose

      Zebulon. Fantastic. I am copying your post. I never thought an atheist would dare admit who they worship.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Rose,

      1. What makes you think that Zebulon is an atheist?
      2. Even if he is, atheists do not pray to *any* imaginary creatures.
      3. Zebulon was joking, you clueless twit.
      4. Be sure to copy this along with Zeb's post, ok? We'll be watching.

      ------------------------------------

      @Zebulon,

      Joking and facetiousness doesn't work with most believers. They are just way too dense to get it.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 23, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  17. Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

    Catholic ism is based on fundamentals of hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD and corrupted teaching's of truth absolute GOD to justify hinduism, racism, Water and oil do not mix, a hindu combustive mix, and cause of conflict among humanity, Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn more about hinduism, crime against truth absolute GOD and "HIS" humanity called Catholicism,

    October 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Salamander Jones

      Outstanding post. You have officially mastered the english language.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  18. Salamander Jones

    Abortions are hilarious.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

      And you missed the abortion to hind, absurd about murder.of a baby. hindu, criminal.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Rose

      It's the same as when the Egyptian Pharaoh ordered midwives to slay every male born. Moses escaped this persecution.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  19. End Religion

    "Party time! Excellent!"

    October 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  20. Ah, what lovely words!

    "As adherent numbers decline"

    October 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, yes!

      October 22, 2012 at 6:43 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.