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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. Milky Pirate

    I sometimes wonder where we would be, as a species, if 100,000 years ago (or whenever) all of the cave-people got together and decided that making up stories to explain the unexplainable was a waste of time and energy; thus, negating the birth of religion.

    I mean, just imagine what we could do if we got back all of the time and energy wasted on religion.

    I bet we would have flying houses and talking cats and all kinds of coll stuff!

    October 23, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • truth be told

      If your scenario were true we would still be living in filth and caves, illiterate and unable to advance ourselves, if we would have survived more than a few generations at all.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • truth be told

      If your scenario were true we would still be living in filth and caves, illiterate and unable to advance ourselves, if we would have survived more than a few generations at all.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Please explain how supersti.tious beliefs got us out of caves...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Dan Merica,

    please recheck your story.

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

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

    See:

    http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/AVS-2012-Pre-election-Report-for-Web.pdf

    You appear to have reported the data backwards. The numbers are close and with a margin of error of 2%, either outcome is possible, but based on what I can see here either your story is inaccurate or the survey is inconsistent.

    Please recheck your sources.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dan Merica,

      Now that this story is linked on the CNN front page – you might want to check quickly.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Dirk the Daring

      Excellent catch. As CNN always says "lit's a draw" Even though it's 49 Obama 47 Romney (and they got it backwards). It's like the debate Obama wins 48-40 and CNN says the president has a "slight advantage." Or the debate before Obama wins 46-39 and they call it a "draw."

      October 23, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dirk,

      ... "like the debate Obama wins 48-40 and CNN says the president has a "slight advantage." Or the debate before Obama wins 46-39 and they call it a "draw.""

      They're just afraid the big bad Fox will make fun of their polling and call them names like 'liberal lamestream media'.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Story now reads: "Overall, Catholics slightly favor Obama over Romney, with 49% supporting the president and 47% supporting the Republican challenger."

      Excellent – thanks Dan and team.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  3. Milky Pirate

    How is this a surprise. In my experience, Catholics, more than any other arm of Christianity, pick and choose what they want to believe in. The only thing all Catholics can agree on is that their religion is better than yours.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • JBB

      Generalizations are lame...as is being a hater.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Atheists haven't a clue to what they think or say

      Milky, you must be very popular to know every Catholic that is living today.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Dan G

      What a well thought out comment! Derisive, Flippant, Petulant... It probably sucks to be you.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • GMarius

      Well Milky, our religion is better than yours– at killing people. Two thousand years of practice makes perfect. Also it is a lot more interesting to read about than whatever fundy Christian group/ "enlightened" pagan drum circle you belong to. Also our places of worship are way prettier.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  4. Lil Hemie

    If this is true it really shows how moral law and the catholic church is failing vs human law. It also explains how the lack of morals and personal responsibility has morphed into "Fairness". That said it might appear that they writter knows nothing about the definition of social justice? If your killing your children there is no social justice. If you are enslaving people into government proograms that have never worked in the history of civilzation than there is no justice. The problem with the chruch is the same as socity. We expect others to do things, whe expect others to take care of the poor and we dont want to take ANY responsibility for the mess of a country we are leaving for our children. Its going to get worst before it gets better and when you and society bottom out we will say the same thing we have for 4000 years. Be kind and LIVE the 10 commandments. God Bless

    October 23, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  5. Warren Mass

    I feel bad about all those misguided people who left the One True Faith. Some of them are really likable people and if I'm fortunate enough to get to Heaven (as I hope and trust) I will certainly miss their company. But it's not too late. They may still return to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and save their souls.

    October 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • falcon7453

      Then I suggest you stop judging, follow your teachings and quit imposing YOUR THOUGHTS ON OTHERS!!

      October 23, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • penquin

      Point? Jesus Christ was the unltimate leader in social justice issues. He stressed it is our obligation to help the poor and downtrodden. The leaders of our Catholic Church would do well to follow the example of those within the church who run homeless shelters, St Vincent De Paul societies, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. The men in charge are pushing away many Catholics who follow and believe in Christ's teachings because the leaders are so worried about keeping their money and power, they have forgotten to follow Christ's path.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Gerald

      Penquinn,

      Man what a stupid comment. The magesterium isn't worried about social justice. How do you think Mother T got her organization going? She went to the Pope and told him what she wanted to do and he approved and helped it along!!! Do you not think there were priests and bishops involved. Do you think the Pope knew nothing about what she was doing. Social justice, true social justice is fully in line with the magerstierial teaching and would never be accomplished without the teachings of the Bishops, Pope, and priests. Such ignorance.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Seyedibar

      I feel bad for people who believe in talking snakes and talking donkeys and cursed fig trees and winged men and a 6000yr old world without dinosaurs. i feel bad for people who don't know how the water to wine magic trick works. I feel bad for people who think our original dna was mud and a rib. I feel bad for people who think there is a burning prison hiding underneath the earth waiting for them. I feel bad for children that are forced to confess their deepest thoughts and sins every sunday to a creepy old unmarried man so they don't have to go to that fire prison, but instead have a slim chance to go live with an extradimensional being.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • James

      As a former practicing Catholic, I think the church needs to focus on more important issues other than trying to ban gay marriage and other froot loop ideas. The abortion thing...... I look at science.... If it has a heart beat, it's living. Go back to the John Paul II days, or better yet, days before Vatican II. And to say that the Catholic church is the one true religion is the most arrogant thing you can say. Judaism was here befor Catholism. If you really understand your religion, you'd know that the Catholic church teaches that ALL religions have a kernnal of the truth. Not one religion is the only true one. Do your homework and think before you preach to the choir there Pope Pompus.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Warren,

      I am one of those that left the Catholic church and christianity as a whole because i don't think your god exists, the dogma is absurd.

      But just hypothetically, let's assume you are right, your god exists and he is going to punish me for eternity for non-belief, a thought crime. That just makes your god an immoral pri.ck that I would not worship anyway.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • KMW

      Warren,

      I totally agree. I would be lost without my Roman Catholic faith. It is the one and only church for me. It is the true Church. The others are imposters. (I am sorry I do not mean to insult Protestants.)

      October 23, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • James

      KMW...... You just said that all other eligions are imposters????? Um, Judaism was here LOOOONG before Christianity. And please be one of the idiots who say and think that Jesus was a Christian..... cause he wasn't if you didn't know. He was a Jew...... So... by your mode of thinking, Jesus was an imposter.... Way to go.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Chick-a-dee

    God changes things by utilizing those who wish to cooperate with Him. Prayer is the was we speak with Him.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      WAY as in "the way we speak to Him." Really, when is the spell check going to start picking up on these typos?

      October 23, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      god changed a lot of lives in the bible when he drowned every human being on earth but one family. every baby, child, teenager, the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally challenged, the infirm, people in comas and on and on. read that again: god drowned BABIES. babies are never evil. babies are never deserving of execution. any sentient being that kills a baby is EVIL. on an evil god could kill a baby, let alone every single baby on earth, as god did in his flood. how can you worship such a monster?

      you don't need god to be a good person - in fact, you'll be a better person without god. unclasp your hands, get up off your knees, go outside and put those hands to use helping others. congratulations - you're now a better person.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Spell-check? Why would spell-check pick up on a word like "was," which was correctly spelled?

      My question is this: when is your god going to pick up on things like that for his believers?

      October 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Just so we're being accurate, this guy is claiming he can speak telepathically with a being from another dimension.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You don't need spell check you need reason check

      October 23, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Don't you ever get tired of being like this?

      October 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. I don't.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  7. lcleejr

    why would catholics support a liar like ryan. what a disaster that religion has become. how embarrassing.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Patricia

      The only religion that fails miserably, is that of the atheists cult religion and the followers.

      October 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      @ Patricia- a little education about your religion and your weird god from America's Best Christian. You're welcome.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq3U09DeKpg&w=640&h=390]

      October 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • sherin

      typical liberal comment......

      October 23, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Atheism fails? at what? Mapping the human genome? Putting robots on Mars? Curing illnesses that were once plagues? Creating computer networks? Yeah, science is so terrible!

      October 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  8. curious

    my appologies for posting a comment that doesn't really have anything to do with the article, but when I see the above picture of the vp candidates, I am struck by how Biden looks like Guy Smiley and Ryan looks like the Count.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Wow

      Okay, that's freaking hilarious! Gotta riff on that one:

      AND NOW, THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE WITH GUY BIDEN AND COUNT RYAN ! ! !

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

      October 23, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • End Religion

      Thx for posting the debate. I didn't get a chance to catch it on TV. It seems Ryan handled the tough question pretty well. It was nice to see Biden remain smiling and friendly.

      October 23, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Funny, I was just thinking he looked like Eddie Munster.

      October 23, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  9. seanarussell

    60% think they should concentrate of social issues that Jesus talked about constantly and only 30% say they should they should be republicans, which Jesus never said.....not once.

    Doesn't sound too 'divided' to me. Sounds like large majority of catholics want to follow Jesus' teachings and less than a 1/3 want to follow the GOP.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Two places these inner and outer spaces.
      One is ascending while the other transcending
      Physical for one and spiritual the other
      Well ain't thoughts special?.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      I learned my special thoughts in special ed.

      I am special.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      I forgot to use my special smilys I learned in special ed.

      This is the one that means Father Chester is having his private session with me :shock:

      This is Father Chester :evil:

      This is the special mouth thing he likes me to do :lol:

      This is what I do when SuperInvisoBuddy Jesus doesn't answer my prayers yet again :cry:

      This is what everybody's face looks like when I tell them my innerspace theory :roll:

      And this is what the super minigod who lives in my atomic subspaces looks like :twisted:

      Very special.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Well ain't Life special?

      October 23, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Phloont

      Jesus never preached forced wealth redistribution by the government. He preached charity. There is a big difference between giving money to the poor out of love and being forced to part with your money by the government so that the government can purchase votes for itself with your money. And Republicans give a lot more money to charity than Democrats do. Of all income levels. So which party is more following the teachings of Jesus?

      Jesus WAS NOT a Democrat! Or a Republican.

      October 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  10. GO_GOP

    What ignorant people commenting here do not realize is that USA is a Christian nation founded on Christian morals and values. We became a great nation because of this. Unfortunately the present president is anti religion and is taking us down the slope. We Christians need to stand up to this and serve our lord and bring back Christian morals into our schools, courtrooms and politics. Romney 2012.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Of course, as been shown many times, you could not be wrong wrong about the USA. As an example, if the USA is so religious, why are 70+% of all abortions in the USA had by believers? Why aren't your cult, alledged gods and beliefs strong enough to eliminate abortion by believers?

      Please vote for the least delusional candidate – Obama.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

      1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      Well ain't these words special?

      October 23, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • seanarussell

      What is 'christian' about vulture capitalism that destroys companies, fires people (Romney loves firing people), sends their jobs to China, and doesn't offer any kind of support once they are unemployed (47% are lazy)?

      I don't think you'd know the difference between the teachings of Christ and a hole in the ground. Also, when did Jesus say that 'corporations are people'?

      October 23, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Now to watch GO go

      Well, you are one consistent liar, Go_boy. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are not Christian ideals – absolutely nowhere inthe Bible is liberty mentioned, especially as a guiding principle.

      No, those are Enlightenment ideals. As are Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press, both notably absent from Christian theology. The whole idea of participatory government is not championed at all by Christianity, which mostly prefers an authoritarian theocracy.

      Freedom of Religion is not Christian either, as Christianity has always done poorly in the peaceful coexistence department. It always want dominance. No, that freedom is Enlightenment as well.

      Due process, trial by jury, protections against self incrimination? DEFINITELY not Christian, either in theory or practice.

      Indeed, I challenge you to show me the parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that ARE Christian in origin. Name those elements, and give Biblical citations to prove your point.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • End Religion

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvBSpk4-3OY&w=640&h=390]

      October 23, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • terry

      What a pair of knobs.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Very profound

      You must have been captain of the Harvard debate club, Terry. That was dazzling.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • mama k

      Although the U.S. is predominantly Christian, it is, in no way founded on Christianity. If you find that the principles upon which it was founded are aligned with some Christian principles, that is one thing, but that is not what you wrote. Christians do not "own" the principle of freedom, which is the primary principle upon with the country was founded.

      Different Christian sects were feuding and persecuting each other around the time of the founding in several states (or soon-to-be states). Because this feuding between these sects annoyed our key founders so greatly, they made it a top priority to establish the separation of church and state (and to make it Amendment #1 of our Constitution). This is also reflected in what they had to say on the matter:

      James Madison (our 4th President, was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution):

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

      and then ten years later:

      Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?

      (A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)

      Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President, was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)

      Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

      (Letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808))

      and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:

      President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

      Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

      I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • mama k

      You also said: "We Christians need to stand up to this and serve our lord and bring back Christian morals into our schools, courtrooms and politics."

      No we don't need that. We simply need better enforcement of the laws and Constitution that we already have. This includes, of course the 1st Amendment along with its Establishment Clause.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GOOP, it's hilarious you mention "the ignorant people here." You are the ignorant person here, ding-dong. This is not a Christian nation unless you mean the majority of people claim to be Christians. It wasn't founded as a Christian nation, its laws are NOT based on morality and the Bible, and there IS separation of church and state. Public schools are NOT going to reinstate The Lord's Prayer as a daily ritual. If you want to live in a theocracy, then leave. This isn't one,and it never WILL be one.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • WASP

      @Gay Old Person: troll. you can't possibly be that ignorant to believe everything that has went wrong with america is obama's fault............or is there a more sinister reason you don't like obama? i'm guessing you enjoy blaming him for your failures, most christians are good at that. "the devil made me do it" "god told me to do it by talking through my dog." etc etc etc
      just accept you're crazy and move on with life they have medcinies for what ails you now. :)

      October 23, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • penquin

      We are not a "Christian" nation and if you really knew history you would understand that the people who founded this nation wanted no religion above any other or above the government. Too bad you had a history teacher who did not teach you properly. Or perhaps you just did not bother to pay attention. Please educate yourself and read any decent biography of any founding father ( I suggest you start with the one about Benjamin Franklin)

      October 23, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • sherin

      So sad that people like to make up the rules to suit their fancy....in the end they end up a disaster, just like this country will be if people don't wake up and start paying attention to others instead of themselves. So sick of hearing all the "excuses"! Try following some of God's laws, you might actually have a happy life instead of the misery you put yourselves though.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • GMarius

      Christianity, like the paganism it replaced, is on its way out, at least in the US and Europe. In a century or two Christianity will only be found in impoverished nations and in history books.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  11. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog

    Why Catholics no longer matter 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 including many "catholics".

    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.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  12. End Religion

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4JS4LKqFvg&w=640&h=390]

    October 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      Former minister talks about her realization that religion is a crock of shit.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 22, 2012 at 11:20 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 12:13 am |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian:...

      October 23, 2012 at 8:57 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 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  14. Eliminate Christians, Jews, Hindus pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam answer for humanity in new world oder

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

    October 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  15. Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

    :-) :-( :-( :-)

    October 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • MyButtSpace is God's Place while outerspace is, uh, wait, humans don't life in outerspace. They can't.

      I really hate it when my cutesy little cliches turn out to be asinine.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Biffy The Truthy Cross-sucker

      Smiley faces make it true.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      :-)

      October 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Inward or outward are the only 2 choices,
      Ain't we special?
      What's that? Voices?
      Who's special now?
      We have a soul on that one can count,
      Well ain't that special?
      Careful when you dismount!
      Who's special now?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Nora

      There are Human's living in outer space. Tons of supplies are flown to them. Research for you then...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Nora,

      Ain't Life special?

      October 23, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • MyButtSpace is God's Place while outerspace is, uh, wait, humans don't live in outerspace. They can't.

      Uh, Nora? It costs millions and millions to keep a couple people in space, and takes a whole lot of effort and SCIENCE. The obvious point is that outer space in not a habitat for humans.

      You see, Nora, humans do not live in outer space. The visit temporarily in sealed containers, but the only humans who actually exposed their unprotected bodies to the environment of space were in the process of dying in accidents (Soyuz 11 and Columbia).

      But Christians aren't very good at understanding the obvious.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      InnerSpace, the Triune God's Place of mostly residential neighbor hoods. Stores are centrally located and easy to get to.

      OuterSpace "Places" of the human conditionsm have places picked out already for exploring as if we didn't already do that.

      InnerSpace places size wise spaces.

      1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

      October 23, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • End Religion

      Luk 17:21 Forever shall they say, Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirate's life for me.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKnIi05XNK4&w=640&h=390]

      October 23, 2012 at 3:48 am |
  16. Brampt

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

    October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you think that because there isn't an answer yet, then it must have been some invisible giant?

      Yeah, that's really showing some critical thinking there, bubba.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      I just had a puke-related belch incident. Can you prove the burning substance in my nose and throat is not responsible for creating the universe?

      October 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eeeeewww. TMI! TMI! My eyes! My eyes!

      October 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • For Brampt

      In the first few minutes of the big bang, there was no matter as we understand it. It is thought that at about minute 3:20, the rudiments of matter began to be possible. That is where matter came from.

      If you are trying to play some silly "there had to be a creator" thing for matter (or anything) to exist, then you will run into a parallel paradox for your own position. You cannot say that matter/whatever cannot have existed forever when you will then say that God existed forever. You cannot say that everything must be created because then your creator had to be created. Everything you are trying to say disproves science also disproves your God.

      It's a failed tactic. Try something else.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @End Religion,

      funny you should mention a burning sensation in your nose ...

      "... in the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Many races believe that it was created by some sort of god, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle Six firmly believe that the entire Universe was, in fact, sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure. The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call ‘The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief’, are small, blue creatures with more than fifty arms each, who are therefore unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel. However, the Great Green Arkleseizure theory was not widely accepted outside Viltvodle Six." – Douglas Adams The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

      October 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's Place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."

      Well ain't this special!?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Biffy The Truthy Cross-sucker

      I get mad at fig trees too, because Jesus did. I kill them too.

      I sometimes secretly wonder why a guy who could foresee almost everything with his magic powers and knew just a moment before there was an unridden donkey in the next town, why he didn't know that a fig tree didn't have fruit on it.

      I also wonder why Jesus got mad at a tree? If I saw a person get mad at a tree, I would naturally think he was a total nut case. But I keep these thought to my self, because critical thinking like that is strongly denounced here in Jesustan.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Time to call 'Poe' on @Innerspace aka Church Lady.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      @notGOP: I grew up playing D&D and reading Lord Of the Rings and by all that's right in the universe I should have been into the Hitchhiker's Guide but just never was. But, thx for posting the further Adams evidence that a nose could possibly have been involved in the creation of all we know and love.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "You can hold to the Big Bang theory if you take it as a scientific theory about the physical beginnings of the universe. The theory taken strictly is just what the scientists have observed about the origin of this physical world. Thus there is no necessary contradiction between this and the teaching that God created heaven and earth in the beginning. Those who see a contradiction are going against good science. They are intruding into philosophy and religion. There is only a contradiction when one interpreters the Bible too literally, as Protestant fundamentalist do. The essence of the Biblical account is that God created directly the souls of men and women as well as the spirits called angels. Exactly how he create the bodies in which these souls were inspired is an open question which the Church leaves to the scientists. If scientists still to their science, they admit that they are only tracking how bodies behave, no more and no less. But in our culture today secularist use science illegitimately in attacking religion."

      "The catechism teaching that, since God created the world from nothing, there was no preexisting material. There could have been if one holds that God from all eternity was creating material. But the Bible cuts out that interpretation because it says that the world had a temporal beginning. The writers of the Bible, who existed in the 12th or 11th century B.C., portrayed the beginning in six days with the seventh day as one of rest. They were not literalists as a modern historian or journalist would be. They meant that God created the world from nothing, that he created man and women, and that the Parents sinned. Those truths do not contradict the Big Bang theory when that theory is understood properly. All it says is that science has been able to locate the source from which the universe has sprung. It says nothing about where the material came from that did the banging. Thus the theory is no threat to the theology of the Bible or the Church unless, of course, atheists and agnostics make it a threat. But they are not doing science. They are intruding into the realm of philosophy or theology where they really know very little because they have been busy about measuring and counting things. Fine! That is what a scientist is supposed to do. If he sticks to his trade, we need not worry about him. It is only when the world of intellect gets all confused that we have any attacks upon religion."

      Dr. Richard Geraghty

      October 23, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • mama k

      Chick-a-dee wrote, quoting someone:

      "It is only when the world of intellect gets all confused that we have any attacks upon religion."

      (last line from your quote from Dr. Richard Geraghty)

      Heck no, many argue it from common sense. Recognizing rehashed folklore for what it is can be an argument by itself, without being a scientist or someone trying to follow scientific theory to explain creation and existence.

      October 23, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • End Religion

      Dr. Richard Geraghty, PhD in philosophy (unconfirmed).... who also inadvertently "proved" there is no heaven when he said,
      "One principle is that all living things have a soul. Here soul is defined as what makes an organic body live. Now when any living thing dies, its soul is separated from its body. In the case of plants and animals the soul goes out of existence."

      No soul, no heaven.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  17. Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

    Human I want to sell my old camel for parts, but how do I do that?

    October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  18. Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

    Human I am here to scare you BOOOOOOOOOO! hell no, with my incoherent posts.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  19. Clyde

    Why doesn't Biden say, “We ought to take care of the poor. 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.”

    October 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Perhaps it is because ALL Christians already believe the gospel; "On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

      because the Jews already believe they have an obligation to give to the poor; "For six years you may sow your land and gather in its produce. 11But the seventh year you shall let the land lie untilled and unharvested, that the poor among you may eat of it and the beasts of the field may eat what the poor leave. So also shall you do in regard to your vineyard and your olive grove."

      and the Muslims already incorporate alms-giving into their religious practices. Additionally, many faiths other than the monotheistic ones have practices or beliefs that address giving to the poor. Even many who are non-believers profess that their secularity does not exclude them from practicing compassion and service to the poor.

      So it appears there is an almost universal belief in social justice. We simply need to discuss how best to implement care for the needy, those who would leave the least among us are a minority of sociopaths.

      Conversely, there is no similar plurality of opinion on when human life begins so THAT stance must begin with near universal conversion to the belief that life begins at conception before legislating that opinion will be democratically accepted by those of other belief systems.

      That whole enlightenment/democracy thing really gummed up the ability to unilaterally issue civil law that conforms to natural law and Catholic teaching.

      October 23, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  20. Eliminate hindu Judaism, Atheism, secularism, 'SELF CENTER ISM' for peace among humanity.

    TRUTH ABSOLUTE BOO
    LIVING GOD BOO
    ALL KNOWING BOO
    ALLAH HEARING BOO
    HAVE NO MIND DOUBT ABOUT IT BOO

    BOO
    BOOO
    BOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Did I scare you?

    October 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

      hindu, ignorant, nothing else but booooooooooooooooo, restarted.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:02 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.