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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

    FLMom

    Right, limit of life is not of a woman, but of seed, sperm, vibrant, living and ready to spawn in to human in mother's, smurf, womb, Woman created to make thing's better all her life, if not ready to be, what a woman have to be, former of body, do not lay in bed with a man to obey his/ her hindu soul, filthy desire, A woman or a woman has no right to terminate life, murder of living sperm, seed, but right of sperm, seed to live. One cling to woman womb is his designated place to be, by not his/her will but will of truth absolute GOD, Denier of "HIS" Lord and God, truth absolute is none, but a hindu, denier of truth absolute GOD, and a person of hind, hell. To learn more visit, limitisthetruth.com

    October 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  2. J

    SO WHAT??????????????????????????????

    October 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  3. ;p;

    Ryan looks like a googly-eyed muppet.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • ;p;

      With The Count's hairstyle

      October 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Humanist11

    On Judgment Day.....I feel sorry that you spend your life selling an ideology that has no evidence to support its validity. Your religion recruits followers by either brainwashing children before they can think for themselves or taking advantage of people when they are in a weakened state of mind. It teaches women to be subordinate to men, that it is OK to sin as long as you ask forgiveness, that science is just wrong, you should pray in order to solve your problems and it is possible for 20 million animals to live peacefully on a boat for almost a year. I don't have enough space to cover all of the violence and genocide that your holy book spouts. I do feel sorry that you spend your one and only life working to get to an afterlife that does not exist.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bob in S Dakota

      Finally, someone speaks clearly! Seriously, he nailed it! These fluffy religions are all just words (a few good words, love, help, but mostly selfish and foolish notions) Amazing so many people choose to believe these words rather than other words when they have no basis in any basis. I would suggest to any religious follower to simply read/study the time period of human activity during which their religion arouse......you will find a lot of answers as to why you are made to do certain things (hint hint, control the masses)

      October 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • tonyw

      I am sorry you feel that way. I think people do bad things and then claim religion. One of my friends and colleague at work is Muslim and he wishes me no harm anymore then myself to him. People will always do bad things and then blame others or ideals but in reality the burden is on their shoulders.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • ;p;

      I back this post except...there will be no judgment day.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Eliminate hindu Catha compound of hinduism,. pagan ism and truth absolute, for peace, Islam among humanity

      Ideology, only bu hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, ignorant to the fact of truth absolute, essence of hindu's, deniers of truth absolute GOD, existence, deny it if you can hindu's, ignorant's by science, every one is search to learn truth absolute, constant of life to be.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • OOO

      tony
      You are sorry that he or she feels this way? What do you have to say about the content of what he/she is saying?

      October 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Humanist11

      TonyW. I agree with you to a degree. We can't stereotype all members of a religion. The reality is everybody has a different take on what their religion espouses . How many versions of christianity or islam are there? Nearly every major act of violence or discrimination on a global or national scale is related to religion some way. It is usually aimed at members of a rival religion or offshoot of the same religion, but can be aimed at those that have no belief in the supernatural. A religion's holy books give the followers moral authority to commit or condone violent acts. You can cherry pick parts of a religion that are good, but to ignore the harm caused by their definition of morality shows a lack of integrity or knowledge.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • on judgement day

      You have no clue as to what you are speaking about. It is interesting that what one so called atheist lies to all the others will swear to, yet claim they are "free" thinkers.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Humanist11

      On Judgement Day says
      "You have no clue as to what you are speaking about. It is interesting that what one so called atheist lies to all the others will swear to, yet claim they are "free" thinkers."

      We "free thinkers" rarely agree 100% on societies' main issues. The reason is that we are free to have out own opinions without oversight and brainwashing. What is interesting is that we almost all agree that all religions are not only false, but harm society in very clear and profound ways. You can't see it because you are in the bubble. Please, tell me where I'm wrong.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here is the quick list of your errors:

      1. Catholics do not brainwash. What you call brainwashing has actually been the most fruitful educational system in the world bar none.

      2. Catholic do not take advantage of people in weakened states. Catholic ministries serve more disadvantaged people on the planet than any two other organizations you can name.

      3. Women are not considered less than men. Mary is in fact the most venerated human in history and the Catholic Church holds women in higher regard than the debased secular society

      4. Catholic doctrine never condones sin and requires repentance, which literally means to "turn one's back on"

      5. Neither do Catholics reject science. It is simply ignorant of you to make that claim. A short google history will produce hundreds, if not thousands of scientific contributions by Catholics

      6. While no one denies violence and wars have been fought on religious grounds, an unbiased look at the history of war reveals that religious causes, even where improperly accounted to religion, comprise the smaller portion of man's inhumanity to man. On the balance, the Catholic faith has been a boon to mankind, not a burden.

      So, not only are your allegations not supportable by evidence, they are simply either plain wrong, at best ignorant (meaning uninformed) or deliberate lies and hatred. Either way makes me no difference.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  5. jUsT landed

    earthlings! sorry, but ALL of your religious beliefs are hilarious! Gods? celestial beings? Hoo-HAR!!! grow up little kiddies, cellular function is your 'god', your first glimpse of the dark reality of universal physics will not come to be for eons by your current calender. So sit back and relax for more time than you have already had, find your Neanderthal genes mixed in, watch your idiot boxes and grow fat on your "food" and smile as think of your "death" and your selfish little dreams of utopia that go with...

    October 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  6. ROMNEY2012

    OBAMA VOTERS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA AND

    October 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      And what? Did you just die of stupidity?

      October 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Funny

      Ha!

      October 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • josie MO

      R-E-T-A-R-D

      I spelled it out so we would all get the joke and the GOP troll won't understand.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • ;p;

      There's no country named 'America And' so I guess nothing's being destroyed

      October 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • RedskinsFan

      I'm guessing the macro froze? If you are going to pull a stupid, insipid, insult out, don't fail so poorly... it shows your lack of willpower and brains even more transparently...

      October 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Eric

    Too many people say they know God's will, thoughts, and teachings, yet their interpretation often seems very simplistic. As a past, present, and future thinking Catholic, I haven't the foggiest idea how God votes, if indeed God doesn't laugh His backside off at the whole process. God let into being the most complex system, the universe. I laugh at the hubris some people show when they say they know God's will. Try these ideas on for size.

    Let your actions speak louder than your words. Turn the other cheek. Help the downtrodden.

    P.P.S. A special 'thank you' to BLESSED ARE THE CHEESEMAKERS. I almost snorted coffee through my nose. 'The Life of Brian' proves God has a sense of humor, that and the platypus.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Eric,

      please don't forget that our brother, @Blessed are the Cheesemakers, does not discriminate against the manufacturers of other dairy products.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Funny

      You are Blessed, Peace Maker. Great post.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "It's not to be taken literally...."

      October 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  8. wilmanf

    What exactly does it mean to be catholic? Just claim to be one and live like pagans? Or to follow the biblical mandates?

    October 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @wilmanf

      Catholics don't believe in "biblical mandates" – that's the Protestants you are thinking of.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • OOO

      If you are a woman, or most men, it's just claim to be one, since more than 97% of se.xually active catholic women use birth control and most catholic men are OK with it.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Catholics follow the teachings of the church – which is a combination of the bible, plus 2,000 years of re-interpretation by Catholic theologians.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • montyross

      you mean mandates from the Pope

      October 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • tonyw

      Actually, I was brought up with one saying – Little Johnny went to church every Sunday, but went to hell for what he did on Monday. Being Catholic is not just claiming to be one or going to the church every Sunday. We are all not perfect, and we are all sinners. I do strive to be better and don't believe I have all the answers.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • OOO

      @tonyw,
      It's not about sinning and not being perfect. It's about disagreeing in what you believe in (confilicting with the "church") and still calling themselves catholic.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seems you mostly got arrogant and sarcastic response. I sometimes wonder if people are even capable of anything else these days.

      The answer is to be Catholic means to be in communion with the Holy See in Rome through a local Bishop and to partake of the seven sacraments of the Church which are

      Baptism
      Confirmation
      Reconciliation
      Communion
      Marriage
      Holy Orders
      Extreme unction

      October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  9. John Q.

    Christians usually vote with those that adhere to the most religious beliefs. Even though he is a Mormon, Christian voters would need to vote for him. Obama's Christian faith is questionable at best (if existent) and he is pro-gay rights, and pro-abortion. Both no-no's...

    October 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • 250 Ministers Proclamation

      "and he is pro-gay rights"

      As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

      In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

      -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

      –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

      –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

      –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

      Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • John M.

      And Romney is pro-death penalty and pro-war, both non-no's. And for cutting medical care for the poor - another no-no, if you ask WWJD. And so what if you question Obama's Christian faith, I don't - but I do question yours, John Q.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • nottolate

      @John Q,

      "Christian voters would need to vote for him."

      No authenic Christian I know will be voting for Romney.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • *

      nottolate,

      "authenic"? I'll bet that you say "liberry" and "spasgetti" too (or would that be 'to'?)

      Sorry, you are just too stupid to have anything that you say be taken seriously.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • mk

      @250 Ministers Proclamation
      This is a nice thought, but will you still claim that they are sinners for their orientation? If so, this means nothing.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  10. FLMom

    I am a Catholic. I am a female. I have voted in every election – local, state, national, etc. since 1982 and I am a Democrat. My votes are motivated by the entire outlook of the candidate and not just one one stance. I feel like I have to choose and I am willing to allow the individual reproductive rights of women to be an individual choice for women in order to ensure candidates continue programs that benefit early childhood, elderly, veterans, homeless, and other "social justice" issues. My vote is not for sale to any Republican like Ryan, Santorum or others who try to influence me on the right to life platform and "shared religion" - because although I respect that tenant of my church leaders and others, I respect more the plight of the child who is hungry or the elderly man who needs his medication or the veteran returning home with PTSD and feel we need to be sure we are effective in reaching a broader base. And when it comes down to it.....most religions are "right to life" and some of us see that "right" beyond the child in the womb and government should NOT play "God" with abortion. If men could become pregnant I wonder how quickly the tide would change and it would be an "individual" right to decide on contraception, abortion, etc rather than a nosey neighbor making something their business that is not. Until everyone who touts themselves as "pro-life" adopts the children of women incarcerated, addicted to drugs, living in poverty, or anything else they claim is detrimental to the future of the country, then I will listen to your platform. Until then.....leave me, my conscience and my relationship with God out of your vote bullying. And before someone here types back a negative reply - absolutely yes, I support the causes I have listed with my personal time, talent and fiscal support. I work full time at 50 hours and log at least 15 hours of "service" to my causes weekly and I actively parent a 14 year old who is successful in school and outside endeavors. So, I sacrifice sleep, don't watch tv, but I walk my talk.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • tonyw

      I have nothing bad to say to you as far as your vote or the way you live your life, however, you speak of reproductive rights. You want to help the poor, sick, elderly, soldier with PTSD but what about the rights of the unborn fetus? Don't get me wrong, I am also a catholic, but I differ from the church in contraception and even go so far as morning after pills, but partial both abortions supported by both Biden and Obama is beyond what I can tolerate. A lot of people will try to use fear and oppression about what a candidate will and won't do, but using abortion, especially late term abortion is murder. I am not a democrat nor republican but I can not, and can't believe anyone such as yourself would condone these actions with a vote. It really is that simple. The people we need to protect are those with the lowest voices and nothing gets more lower then a late term pregnancy terminated! When do the mothers rights stop and the baby's take over, birth? Do you realize babies have been born premature and survived with less gestation time then some of these abortions. Do you know that some of these, very rare but still condoned, are aborted, live, and then have a small needle inserted into their spine to kill them. Now a young woman taking a morning after pill to me is really, none of my business, some of these other practices goes against everything, I believe or have fought for. BTW I am an Engineer, Naval Veteran, and work more or less the same as you and pay all my taxes.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The question no "social justice" CAtholic has been able to answer:

      Using the teachings of the Church, how do you support a foundation for social justice which does not include the right to life?

      October 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  11. digitalclips

    "The Catholic Vote is a myth' ... seems about right for something based on myths LOL

    October 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Truth

    Romney thinks 'Christianity' is an abomination. He thinks he is a 'god' who will be granted rule over his own planet. Yet conservatives paint him as being Christian. This is a lie. Mormonism is a cult. They do not believe in armageddon, or the end times. Conservatives have tricked their base into voting against the poor, the sick, siding with the wealthy, and now throwing their support behind a candidate that thinks they are clearly wrong and should be converted. Real Christians see this and will never support Romney.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Fozzyspeak

      You are still crazy.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • John Q.

      Nor would they vote for someone who is pro-abortion and pro-gay rights. And has more Muslim tendencies than Christian beliefs...

      October 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  13. The Dude

    Romney Profited from Abortion:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYWjGT95JTY&w=640&h=390]

    October 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    “The survey confirms that there is no such thing as ‘the Catholic vote’

    Sure there is, provided the Catholic is being honest and true to his/her religion.

    While I am not Catholic, I hold many beliefs that run along similar lines. I will vote for the person that most reflects my own values, regardless of their actual religion. Social justice does not rank the highest on my list simply because I believe that social issues are a direct source of many of the issues that turn into social justice issues. Social justice is still on the list, of course, but you have to address the source of the problem before you can really start the healing and recovery.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • John M.

      You are wrong and the reason you are wrong is because Catholic theology points in different directions on the political spectrum - e.g., anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage on the right, anti-death penalty and pro-amnesty for illegal aliens on the left. Catholic theology is a religious "ideology" and not a political ideology. And there are a lot compromises with Catholicism that any good Catholic will unavoidably have to make if they are either ideologically politically liberal or ideologically politically conservative.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @ John M.

      Not quite seeing your point or how it proves my comment incorrect.

      If a Catholic votes straight down the line of his/her faith (one that sticks closely to their tenants), regardless of how much personal 'weight' they assign to particular aspects of political ideology, the votes will align in one particular area.

      There is a Catholic vote. There are also a lot of 'catholics' that don't vote along their tenants.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • BostonBob

      Which tenent? The social justice part of the anti-abortion, anti-gay part? And if you get down to it I think Jesus said a lot more about social justice than crucifying those evils gays.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • John M.

      The problem is that it is nearly humanly impossible for all Catholics who would try to vote consistently with every theological tenant of Catholicism to reach the identical political position on every issue. There is too much political ambiguity. Should I vote for this imperfect candidate or that imperfect candidate? Which one is less imperfect, from my religious perspective? Is it the one who disagrees with Catholicism on abortion or the one who disagrees on the death penalty? Should we raise taxes on the wealthy to expand a certain social program? Even Bishops disagree on various political issues that are on the ballot?

      October 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  15. Romney Roulette

    How do voters deciding on a candidate by their theology know with Romney they are trying to elect? http;//www.romneyroulette.net

    October 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  16. vtguy

    I do not vote for anyone who is pro gay marriage or pro abortion. Yup, the economy is the most important, but Obambam has not done anything to improve the situation. This year it is easy... Romney.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Humanist11

      I sounds like you take your marching orders from a religion instead of thinking for yourself.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Romney Roulette

      You better not vote for Mitt. http://www.romneyroulette.net

      October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • The Dude

      Romney, unlike Obama, has made millions of dollars profiting from Abortion. Look it up!

      October 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • TC

      So, you vote only for anti-family candidates? Odd.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • DB

      Romney is LAUGHING AT YOU behind your back.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      Sounds to me like your concern is more about the s*x lives of others than the economy. And BTW,women being able to control their reproductive rights is a HUGE benefit to the economy.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • RedskinsFan

      You sir, make me ashamed that you are a fellow Hokie. You need to take off the Religious bigot blinders. 60 years ago people like you used the Bible to validate discrimination against blacks, hispanics and such. Now, you do the same by looking at the Old Testament (ie, pre-Christian... the New Testament and time redacts most of that more than a government report on 1950's nuclear testing) to validate the same backwards arguments.

      October 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Frankenstein scares me...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Humanist11

      It has worked wonderfully for me and my family for more than 20 years. Never was this happy when I believed in the big sky daddy. You pray for me and I'll think for you!

      October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Lord has not given US a spirit of fear. God bless

      October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Ben

      Yeah, it does...it indicates that you are at least halfway to crazy town

      October 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Troll Alert

      "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 12:12 pm |
    • 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 12:13 pm |
    • on judgement day

      Look for humanist11 and its family. They will be among those with the oh sh it looks on their faces.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:15 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 12:18 pm |
    • Humanist11

      Any god who promises to send 90% of his creations to eternal suffering when they die is not someone I'm willing to follow. Lucky for all of us this god does not exist. Make the most of your life and live in reality!

      October 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • The Dude

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q&w=640&h=390]

      October 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The Lord has not given US a spirit of fear. God bless"

      Sure he has, the foundation of your religion is built on fear and guilt.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  18. Milky Pirate

    Truthbetold, how is that? Last I checked religion was not responsible for scientific advancement. In fact, last I checked, religion was/is responsible for holding back science and innovation.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • truth be told

      Then you best check again. God gave science and all advancements to mankind.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @truth be told

      " God gave science and all advancements to mankind."

      Is that some kind of "trickle down god-enomics" or something ?

      Peace...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • truth be told

      @therealpiecetoall
      no.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • drrabbit

      Science as we know it develop in the heart of Catholic Europe during 'the middle ages.' There are two things that all scientists MUST believe. 1) nature is not God. 2) nature is intelligible. Both of those are things straight from Catholicism. Some of the world's greatest scientists have been faith-filled Catholics. (Father of microbiology/vaccines, Father of Genetics, Proposer of the Big bang theory)

      October 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • common sense

      @drrabbit that is not what catholics teach at all...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  19. KEVIN

    I would love to see the same survey on Jewish Americans. There is always profound political attention on Jewish Americans and Israel. But Jewish Americans are only 1% of the total population.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  20. A Convert Myself

    Catholics are a lot more nuianced in their thought than either-or, social issues or social justice. The Church is pro-life because of social justice, not in spite of it. Our treatment of the unborn reflects our most basic understanding about human dignity, one of the pillars of Catholic social teaching. As Catholics we believe that life begins at conception; however, even without that belief, even if we don't know whether a fetus is a human being yet, so long as there is even a shadow of a possibility that a fetus is human life, we protect that life. We are pro-life for the same reasons we work so hard to rescue trapped coal miners, even when we don't know whether they are alive: hope.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • End Religion

      "one of the pillars of Catholic social teaching"
      Another pillar of Catholic social teaching seems to be pedophilia. Catholic priests desperately want to save every blastocyst in the gleeful hope it will grow into a child they can fondle.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @A Convert Myself

      I understand, @A Convert Myself. You are "Pro-Life."In reality what you really are is a **PRO-FORCED GESTATIONER** ™ 8O

      You Said: " We are pro-life for the same reasons we work so hard to rescue trapped coal miners, even when we don't know whether they are alive: hope. "

      This is without question, one of the most absurd statements i've read on here lately. 8O

      Peace...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And you god punishes people for eternity for thought crimes and is an immoral monster and is in no way pro-life.

      October 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Good morning, my friend.

      Peace...

      October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      and peace be with you!

      (sorry, I am one of those 'recovering Catholics')

      October 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • common sense

      So this is how the non-catholics fight an argument? Blast some pedophilic stereotype to discredit source – (if an atheist is a pedo, that makes all atheist pedos, right? No?) Argue with the idea that you might go to hell? Weak, weak, weak. Third trimester abortions are illegal because the infant clearly could be autonomous, but how do you draw that line? One day – ok, next day – illegal? Is that logical? How arrogant to pass judgement on things you do not have perspective of knowledge of. Even as I write this, I wonder why I am wasting time. Trolls....

      October 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Goddess of Whine

      And the reason I left the RCC is because of their hypocrisy that, while they "protect and speak for the unborn", do everything in their power to "protect and hide" all of the men who do their best to destroy children after their born....
      Sure, who CARES about children AFTER they're born? The RCC and their policy of not prosecuting the most heinous of crimes against children totally eclipses their social justice/issues and makes this organization the LAST organization I would listen to for my spiritual instruction, let alone political instruction.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      (not so) Common Sense,

      You are right that just because one person of a group is a pedophile it does not make them all pedophiles. However, the issue with the Catholic church is that AS an insti.tution it protected pedophiles and continued to allow them to offend, it was policy to do so. That makes those who support the church accomplices (willing or unwilling). If any other organization that you did not belong to was as complicite in child r.a.p.e as the church would you have a problem with that organization and it's supporters? I am betting you would.

      As far as arguing with the issue of hell, yes it is an immoral teaching, even if that god does exist. If you don't agree tell me why, saying it is "weak, weak, weak" is itself weak. That does not tell me why you think it is weak.

      The best part of your post is your point about how to draw the line on the abortion issue, though you don't offer any thought beyond that.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • QS

      "How arrogant to pass judgement on things you do not have perspective of knowledge of."

      How self-righteous to presume that it's your body or your decision!

      How presumptuous to assume that nobody else has any perspective or knowledge of this issue besides yourself.

      You pro-lifers are nothing more than control freaks who think it's your place to make decisions for others because you are so full of yourselves that you actually believe you are so superior that, to you, of course others are too stupid to make these decisions for themselves – they must obviously need your help!

      October 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ;p;

      @QS – your post only makes sense if you meant 'you pro-birthers'.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:32 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.