By Adam Aigner-Treworgy, CNN
(CNN) - During a more than two-hour meeting at the White House on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden asked leaders from across the faith community to keep up pressure on lawmakers to support compromise background check legislation even as Congress begins to shift its focus to immigration reform, according to several attendees who spoke to CNN.
Biden urged the roughly 20 faith leaders in attendance not to be discouraged by recent legislative failures, and instead assured them that the White House had not given up.
"Even though he suffered a defeat, he didn't sound defeated," said pastor Michael McBride of the PICO National Network. "And we need that kind of hope from the bully pulpit of the White House."
In the run-up to last month's Senate vote, religious organizations from across the denominational spectrum pressured members of Congress to vote for background check legislation.
Without mentioning the names of any lawmakers, Biden acknowledged the effectiveness of such lobbying efforts and asked those in attendance to continue to target those whose opinions can be swayed.
By Kevin Bohn, CNN Senior Producer
Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden and officials on his gun violence committee held an unannounced meeting Wednesday evening with a group of 12 national faith leaders.
One theme brought up by several participants was the "moral tragedy" reflected in the gun violence the nation has seen over the past several months.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – It was the first-ever debate between two Roman Catholics vying for a White House perch, and in Thursday’s face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the question was put plainly: How does your faith shape your position on abortion?
It’s one of the most divisive questions in American politics, and the query from debate moderator Martha Raddatz, asked near the end of the sole vice presidential debate, set the table for some of the night’s most personal and poignant moments.
“I don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith,” said Ryan. “Our faith informs us in everything we do.”
(CNN) – As it organizes Catholic watch parties for Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, who are both Roman Catholic, the Obama campaign hasn’t been shy about suggesting that the GOP vice presidential nominee hasn’t lived up to his Catholic values.
“For Catholic outreach, a defining moment in this campaign has been (Mitt) Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate,” said Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser with Barack Obama’s campaign who spearheads Catholic outreach efforts.
“The Ryan budget has entered into quite a debate, particularly among Catholics, in terms of the moral test and what is in that budget and what the budget proposes to slash.”
By Timothy Stanley, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of "The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."
(CNN) - This year has provided something of a bumper crop of Catholic candidates. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in the Republican primaries, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in the general election. Given the endless cycle of sin and guilt that we have to live with, sometimes it feels like it's easier for a Catholic to get elected president than it is to get into heaven.
But political strength doesn't necessarily mean political unity. Today's Catholic vote is divided by intensity of faith. According to Gallup, the "very religious" lean toward Romney and the "nonreligious" prefer Obama, by significant margins. This reflects an internal story of conflict between liberal and conservative perspectives on what it means to be a Catholic. Biden and Ryan stand on either side of that debate, and their selections as running mates signal vastly different approaches to winning the Catholic vote.
Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
A lot has been written about the “Mormon moment” in American politics. But the election of 2012 is starting to shape up as a “Catholic moment,” too.
Now that Mitt Romney has tapped the former altar boy (and Rep.) Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, there will be a Catholic on both major party tickets for the first time in U.S. history.
So as Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden articulate their views, we will be tuning into an intra-Catholic conversation pitting “social justice” Christians on the left versus “family values” Christians on the right.
Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
(CNN) - Anyone who is old enough to remember Sen. John F. Kennedy’s run for president in 1960 knows that this used to be not just a Christian country, but a Protestant one. Admittedly, the Constitution makes the United States secular by law, but for most of our history, we have been Protestant by choice.
All that has changed in recent years. We now have a Catholic speaker of the House (John Boehner), a Catholic House minority leader (Nancy Pelosi) and a Catholic vice president (Joe Biden). Six of the nine justices on the Supreme Court are Catholics. And that guy duking it out with Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination? Rick Santorum is Catholic, too.
CNN's Lauren Pratapas and Bill Mears filed this report from Washington:
Vice President Joe Biden joined five Supreme Court justices to attend Sunday's annual Red Mass, the Roman Catholic service for the courts that has drawn criticism in recent years.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas attended the service, held at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, on the eve of the court's new term.
The Mass was started in 1952 by the John Carroll Society, a lay Catholic group of prominent lawyers and professionals, to celebrate the legal profession. But the event has drawn criticism in recent years for what many see as an unhealthy mix of politics, religion and the law.
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.