November 6th, 2012
03:10 AM ET
By Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer
Johnstown, Colorado (CNN) – Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, asked a priest he met at a restaurant Monday to bless a rosary he carries with him.
The Republican vice presidential nominee was in the middle of a five-state battleground blitz through Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the day before Election Day when he met Father Greg Ames prior to his second rally in Johnstown, Colorado.FULL STORY
October 12th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
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.”
October 11th, 2012
12:27 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(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.”
August 17th, 2012
11:33 AM ET
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.FULL STORY
August 15th, 2012
11:29 AM ET
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
Now that one of the Republican Party’s least ideological men (Mitt Romney) has christened one of the GOP’s most ideological men (Paul Ryan) as his running mate, Ayn Rand is back in the news.
Ryan, who used to give away Rand’s novel "Atlas Shrugged" for Christmas, once described this Russian-born preacher of heroic individualism as "the reason I got into public service.” “There is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism," he told the pro-Rand Atlas Society in 2005, "than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works."
August 14th, 2012
11:50 AM ET
By Josh Levs, CNN
(CNN) – In selecting Paul Ryan for his running mate, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has made modern political history: a major party ticket with no Protestant Christian.
Some historians call it the first ever. Others say it's technically the first since Abraham Lincoln. And there is an argument to be made regarding Dwight Eisenhower.
But in any case, "this Republican ticket really symbolizes the passing of an era," said William Galston, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution.
Romney is Mormon. Ryan is Catholic.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.