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February 1st, 2012
09:23 PM ET

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

By Eric Marrapodi and Brianna Keilar, CNN

(CNN)–After years of bridge building with the Catholic Church, the Obama administration may have damaged some of the good will it built up with the nation's 70 million Catholics, which could have steep consequences at the polls in November.

Some rank and file Catholics are beginning to express the same frustrations as clergy about a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy requiring all employers, including religious ones, to pay for FDA-approved contraceptives, such as the birth control pill and Plan B, through health insurance plans. Churches are exempt but hospitals and schools with religious affiliations must comply. The new policy goes into effect August 1, 2012, but religious groups who oppose contraception have been given a yearlong extension to enforce the policy.

"What's offensive is that we're being told, our Catholic institutions which serve this nation well, are being told you who find these things offensive, you should pay for them, in fact you must pay for them," Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, told CNN.

Catholic teaching opposes the use of contraceptives.  Wuerl acknowledged the clergy and the faithful have been at odds over the teachings on contraceptive use. But on this policy he said both are in lockstep over what is being perceived as a violation of religious liberties.

"This time around what people are seeing this isn't a question of one moral teaching or another, it's being able to teach at all. Our freedom, and everyone has a stake in freedom in this country, and I think that's why this resonates across the board," he said.

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Wuerl is calling his congregants to action, asking them to call congress and the White House to express their displeasure.

"We're beginning to say to our people this is what the issue is, it's wrong, we've never experienced this in the history of our country before, this is a violation of the basic rights of conscience and religious liberty. So you need to know that and you need to speak up," he said.

The timing of the administration's announcement has drawn criticism for being tone deaf, coming just three days before tens of thousands of protesters, many of them Catholics who oppose abortion rights, came to Washington for the annual March for Life on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

"In my estimation it's a huge misstep politically," said Stephen Schneck a political scientist from Catholic University who has consulted with the administration on Catholic issues. In 2009, Schneck also worked with pro-abortion rights Democrats in Congress on the president’s signature health care reform measure to find language that ensured government funds did not pay for abortions.

"The way in which the narrative is being developed is that the administration is at odds with the Catholic Church fundamentally. What I'm seeing in the pews is something of a waking up, a Catholic solidarity. That I think could very well carry over into their political activities" Schneck said. "There's nothing like having a sense of opposition to you to rally the troops and I suspect that's going to happen here."

Schneck pointed particularly to states with large Catholic populations where this new solidarity could have a far-reaching political impact.

"If you look at where those Catholics are, they're in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Florida, which are of course critical states for anyone who wants to become president of the United States," he said.

In 2008, President Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote, according to the Pew Research Center. Early on in his presidency, Obama reached out to Catholics. He appointed prominent Catholics to several cabinet positions and ambassadorships.

In May 2009, the president delivered the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, where he spoke of working together on abortion.

"Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. Those are things we can do," the president said to rousing applause from the crowd in South Bend, Indiana.

In shaping the new Health and Human Services policy, the administration reached out to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the public policy arm of the church in the United States, and other Catholic leaders in November to seek their input in the process. Many of the same Catholic leaders received a heads up on January 20 several hours before the administration announced the policy.

"This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the statement about the policy.

On Tuesday in the White House briefing room, Press Secretary Jay Carney again defended the administration's decision when pressed by reporters.

"After very careful consideration the administration believes that this strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concern," Carney said.

The administration is extremely concerned this will affect Catholic voters’ support.

As the opposition grew this week, the administration noted to reporters there were Catholics in and out of government who support the measure, as well as interfaith groups.

Late Wednesday night the White House launched the first part of an information campaign to spell out what the policy change does and does not do.

An administration official also pointed to nearly $2 billion in federal grants that have gone to Catholic-related charities since the beginning of the administration as a sign of the willingness to work together.

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, which hasn't taken a position on the HHS policy, said there could be a silver lining for both Catholics and the administration on this issue. He said with more women able to access contraceptives there could be a reduction in abortions stemming from unplanned pregnancies as a result of the policy.

"More needs to be done on both sides. It's not just a question for the administration, it's a question for the pro-life community and the pro-choice community to put aside their heated rhetoric and find common ground," Salt said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,744 Responses)
  1. Jimmy

    Those who would deny health care, compassion and mercy to others, dare not establish themselves as moral people and do not deserve the same benefits they would deny

    February 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • George R

      Nobody's denying health care. They're denying contraception.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Nobody's denying health care. They're denying contraception" You know, for lying to be thought of so negatively in the bible, you Christians sure do a lot of it. 97% of the work performed by Planned Parenthood is healthcare for women, 3% is on abortion and isn't even part of the funding they recieved from the government anyway. I really think Christians must be in some compet i tion for the stupidest people award or something, they really have no clue, and whats worse is that they refuse to be educated.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • George R

      Who even mentioned PP?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • George R

      I realize now that I have been mislead. Free yourselves Christians.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&w=640&h=360]

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Dan LeMieux

    I'm a Catholic & I'm certinally going to back Pres. Obama. I would never vote for a candidate or not vote for him or her on one issue. I deffinately do not like it when someone thinks they can tell a group of people which way to vote. I'm an individual & I'll make up my own mind as to who I'll vote for. The last thing I'll do is vote the way someone says I have to.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Its not suprising.

      You are not Catholic , stop pretending to be one. Why you even bother. To convince, who?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • nc_writer

      A whole lot of people here claiming to be Catholic, but not wanting to follow the faith.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  3. Catholic Teacher

    I'm Catholic, I teach in a Catholic school and he's still got my vote and my support because the Democrats' approach to social issues such as poverty fits much more with my vision of social justice (and the Catholic Church's teachings on social justice) than the Republican party. I don't think I'm the only one in the Church who cares more about caring for the poor than ensuring that no one uses contraceptives.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      I agree with you on the social and economic issues. However, I do weight the First Amendment heavily. I guess heavily enough that when it hits close to home I am a single issue voter. I really wish Obama hadn't betrayed us like this.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Ryan

      I'm democrat but Obamas policies are forcing more poverty. Problem is the numbers a so skewed because many of the unemployed cannot collect benfits anymore.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Jalane

      Well said.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Uni

      If you do not follow the Roman Catholic Church principles, ethics, moral values and teachings you are not a real Catholic, you may say you are Catholic but you are lying to yourself, and you should not be teaching in a Catholic school, be honest with yourself and do not be a hypocrite like Obama is

      February 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • LoriRN

      The voice of reason! I'm Catholic too and President Obama has my support too!! I went to Catholic school k-12, and all 3 of my Kids did/are going to Catholic school...I wish you were teaching at their school!!!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Adam

      Uni: Stop casting stones, you have no right to tell someone whether they are a REAL Catholic or not.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • LoriRN

      Uni, last I checked judging people is against the Catholic religion.....

      February 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • prezhussein

      Detroit is the Democrats "answer" to poverty, which means nurture it, and allow it to ruin a city, permit all forms of crudeness and violence, and every 4 years go there and tell them you "care"

      February 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • nc_writer

      Actually Obama's idea of social justice is exactly opposite of the idea of social justice that is published by the Church. The catechism requires a recognition of the individual and individual dignity as the basis for social justice. Obama requires a surrender of the individual to the State (doing what the State decides is right) so that everyone can be made equal. If you surrender yourself to your State, then what is left to surrender to God? Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceasar's....does not include you.

      Additionally – you should recognize that you are going against your faith here. If your school found out, it would be grounds for your dismissal.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • sarahsmart

      right on Catholic teacher! Well said and this Catholic agrees! I dont see any of the moral and values I grew up with in the Catholic church reflected in the GOP today thats for sure!

      February 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  4. Tommy(L.A.)

    Look at any message board. Obama and his minions despise Catholics. All they spew is "church scandal" this "pedophile that" ..Newsflash: Most Catholics aren't involved in these scandals hence the hateful speech comes across as silly. Obama lost me about one year in.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lonewolf777

      FOX news called. The want their troll back.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Tommy(L.A.)

      LOL. Well Olbermann Jr. are you reading this message board or am I wrong?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Catholic Teacher

      I've never seen Obama or his administration say anything about my Church's issues with pedohpiles. The media is not teh administration.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  5. Ipredict

    He's just loosing period!! 1.20.13 the end of an error!!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • boocat

      And then you woke up....

      February 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    Good God, how can any educated person take issue with sensible birth control practices. It's a bit like Taliban reasoning..quite a bit.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • boocat

      The RCC needs people to keep having children or their organization will go defunct. They're just another group of snake oil salesmen getting a free ride on our tax dollars.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lonewolf777

      I was raised Roman Catholic and I find the Church's position on birth control so ridiculous that it threatens to make the religion irrelevant. Italy is over 95% Catholic and practically every woman there practices birth control.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • George R

      Not only Catholics oppose contraception. All people of conscience do.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Jerry

    Jerry
    The president probably wishes he was only loosing the Catholic vote. Mostly, all he's got are the "dolers" and the corporate crooks (Solindra?!) that he has contributed billions to in exchange for political contributions, supporting him.

    This president has been an embarrassment for America. So much for "Hope and Change."

    February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Mad irish

      Keep dreaming Jerry. Keep dreaming.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Ex-Catholic

    I swore off the Church when they conspired with Obama to create a government controlled healthcare plan that is bound to go bankrupt. That was treasonous. Now they are getting what they deserves for making a deal with the devil. This is obviously and infringement on the 1st Amendment and will be struck down by the Supreme Court...if ever gets there. I think the Obama Administration will come to realize how poor of a decision this was.

    It is very hard for the far left, CNN's typical viewers/readers, to understand what the 1st amendment is all about as they are typically terrible human beings, corrupt and selfish to their very CORE. They have a lot of hell coming these next few decades that will set that straight or send them to an early grave. I'd call it Karma.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Providing basic health care to all Americans is treasonous?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Lonewolf777

      More proof that Jesus would despise Conservatives...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Mad irish

      Let me get this straight. The person (you) who wants to deny basic health care coverage to all Americans, calling it treason, is saying those who want to insure all Americans have basic health care coverage are Greedy? Man do you have your reality screwed up.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      This is NOT a violation of the const.itution.

      Nothing in the mandate requires anyone to use contraceptives. THAT would be a violation. All this requires is that ALL employers, regardless of religion, provide the SAME and EQUAL healthcare to their employees. Period.

      It has nothing to do with religion. Catholic people will not be required to put on a condom or take birth control pills. Catholic churches can continue to teach that contraception is evil all it wants.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bruce

      @Ex-Catholic: What do you think happens when someone goes out and purchases a health insurance policy that does not cover contraception? Do you think they are put in jail? Tortured? Put to death in the electric chair?

      Here's a hint: it's tax law, not criminal law. If you refuse to purchase a government-approved health insurance policy then you are assessed a modest tax penalty. That's it.

      Buy the insurance policy you want, one that doesn't violate your heartfelt principles. Then pay the tax penalty. Done. No rights violated.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  9. Freak Watcher

    Tax the Catholic church. Indict the Pope for crimes against children and women. And give them a really, really stern look.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Gene Church

      You're an idiot.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Susan

      Absolutely. If they want to interfere with women's CHOICES, then tax the hell out of them.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Descarado

    If the Obama regime is successful in forcing Catholics to violate their teachings on contraception, how far down the road will it be before the Obama regime then demands that churches conduct gay marriage ceremonies? Not far. Not far.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • John Danger

      That has not happened, though. Why make wild claims you can't back up?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Thinking7

      You are very right. He has declared war on religious freedom, and if he is allowed to continue it will only get worse.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Gene Church

      John Danger, the claims are valid because the conduct of the Administration is now established. For the good of everyone, the Government has the claimed right to impose itself on the Church

      February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      I used to thik such talk was crazy. I'm no longer so sure. Obama betrayed us.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I think they should start handing out tin foil hats at Sunday mass too. Your paranoia is astounding.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  11. Bruce

    By the way, under the health care reform law, people still have the right to purchase health insurance policies that don't cover contraception. They also have the right to not purchase health insurance policies at all. It's just that when they exercise this right, they will be presented with a bill for a tax penalty and they will be obligated to pay that penalty in the same way they are obligated to pay any tax.

    They are not, and this is important, held criminally liable for exercising their right to purchase a health insurance policy that does not cover contraception.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • LoriRN

      Excellent point!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Bruce, you are very wrong. Under this HHS regulation passed down this past week, ALL health insurance policies will require contraceptive coverage to be included, including the morning after abortifacient pill, and paid for by any employer that offers insurance. The employer may opt out of offering insurance, but the employer then pays a fine for not providing coverage, and HHS will be allowed to raise that fine to any amounts it sees appropriate. As of August, 2012, there will be no policies available except to these religious organizations, which will have an additional few months to conform. Socialism at its finest.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bruce

      @Gene: That's what I said - you pay a fine under tax law. It is not a criminal liability.

      The employer purchases whatever health insurance policy they want. If it isn't approved, they pay a fine. Done deal.

      If they want to challenge the amount of the fine, then they have that right.

      In fact, since this is ultimately under the tax code, I wonder if the Church's tax-exempt status shields them from the fine anyway?...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bruce

      And whether or not there will be insurance policies available for purchase is a matter of market demand, since these are still private insurance companies. If people purchase the non-contraceptive policies and pay the tax penalty, then there will be a demand for those policies and they will be available. If they don't, then it's not the government's responsibility to ensure that the private sector create a product for which there is not enough demand to justify its existence.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. LoriRN

    I am Catholic and I supported President Obama in 2008 and will in 2012. This bill does not require churches to pay for birth control. It requires hospitals (which get federal funds through medicare and medicaid) to pay for birth control for their employees through their insurance. If a Catholic does not want to use contraception because of their beliefs, then don't use it! This bill certainly does not mandate that a person take birth control!! "Personal accountibility" isn't that what republicans preach...well here it is....

    February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • John Danger

      I believe you represent the majority of Catholics. I can't believe the anti-Catholic scare headlines on CNN sometimes.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      What this is is an attempt to get the Catholicism out of Catholic health care and education. If the Church is out of education/aiding the poor/and healthcare then it leaves the government as the sole provider of these services. This is an effort to expand secularization and to trample down our First Amendment right to religious liberty. I voted for Obama in 2008, this is such a slap in the face its unconscionable, akin to making a Jewish or Islamic soup kitchen serve pork rinds.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Thinking7

      You do not work in the insurance industry, do you? No, you certainly do not understand this law. It will require every single person who has health care insurance to have part of their premiums go towards covering abortions and contraceptives. Though a Catholic may not use those services, they will be paying for it. Thus, furthering the population control agenda. It is wrong. Period.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • LoriRN

      John, I believe I do too and I live in the deep south, very very conservative. But I personally know only 2 women who have never used bith control because of their Catholic beliefs ( and each has 8 plus kids). And you are absolutely right about who they are interviewing....

      February 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Lori, in choosing to violate Church teaching, and support a candidate that supports abortion, which is intrinsically evil and non negotiable, you have sullied the claim of Catholicism, and established that you are no real Catholic.

      First they came for the Catholics....

      February 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • LoriRN

      Thinking, but it's ok for our premiums to pay for Viagra, but not contraception? Everytime you go to a hospital you pay for those who don't have insurance...for instance....if a poor mother with no insurance comes to an ER in labor, she will deliver and we will pay for the bill through our insurance premiums and hospital costs...is that cheaper than paying for contraception up front...good grief....
      Oh and no I don't work in the insurance industry, if I did I would be against this law as they do not want ot pay for anything regarding women's heath...I work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and have for 28 years....I've seen what happens when people can't access contraception or health care!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • LoriRN

      Gene, last I checked, judging people is against the Catholic religion....and if your argument stands than virutally every "Catholic" I know falls under your judgement...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • LoriRN

      Interesting how most of the replys to my post are from men.....

      February 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Lori, they must have intelligence.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  13. John Danger

    Here's a hint for CNN: if you want to know what Catholics actually think, try asking someone who doesn't make their income from the Catholic Church. Then, you'll understand why a majority of Catholics voted for Obama in 2008.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Gene Church

      If they did that, they would not find out what Catholics believed, only non-believing hypocrites.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Robert

    Religion OUT of the public space now! This is precisely the reason why religious groups MUST NOT be allowed to administer welfare services. This is the purview of secular federal government. We will NOT allow this country to become like Pakistan, Egypt, and other failed religious states, where RELIGIOUS organizations acting as charities get free license to control the minds of the people. Organized religion need to be relegated to the ash heap of history.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Robert, your ignorance is showing. The Catholic Church is the largest provider of social services in the United States. Were it not for Catholic Schools, the Federal Government would have to pay an additional $7 billion each year for a substandard education. You believe this gives you the right to make Catholics trade in their beliefs. You are disgusting.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Real Christian

      @ Gene – "The Catholic Church is the largest provider of social services in the United States." Thanks for the big Lie little Gene, but "The Catholic Church" does nothing, zero, zip for anyone anywhere. There are however many good people who give and work hard for their fellow man, and some even work under the banner of the "Angel of light" who they have been blinded by for so long, but someday they will see the Cathloic Church for what it really is, a tool of Satan and all that is evil in this world to mask the violence, hate, racism and perversion that is Babylon the Great. Down the harlot shall be thrown and she shall be completely consumed and Governments and commerce shall weep and gnash their teeth at her despair.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  15. a

    So will Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, have "his pack" vote for Mitt or write in the pope?

    February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • John Danger

      Catholics don't pay attention to nosy right-wing bishops on stuff like this. Over ninety percent of Catholics have used contraception. A majority of them have used birth control. Finally, a majority of Catholics went for Obama in 2008. The bishops can't tell American Catholics what to do anymore, which is what scares them into trying to invent "controversies" like this one.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Gene Church

      There are those, including Democratic Congressmen, who are turning on Obama on this. This was a critical mistake for Obama.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  16. J. Gonzalez

    The fact that husseins rabid henchmen & toadies loathe Catholics speaks volumes. But Leave it to hussein to completely trash Catholics religious freedoms with his insurance mandates. It's not like El presidente has a prayer this fall anyways.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • boocat

      I'll bet you're one of those "christians".....you don't know the meaning of the word. And his name is Obama you racist moron.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  17. John Danger

    Another fact for this fact-free story: among white men, Catholics support Obama much more than non-Catholics. Clearly, Obama has the Catholic vote.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Given current situations, not for long.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  18. Terry

    I remember when I was a "tween" back in the late '60s I wished I was Catholic because they were the religion of social justice, nuns and priests were getting arrested for protesting the war and standing with oppressed minorities. Now because of one issue they vote with the party of social injustice. My husband who was raised Catholic and I always have a good laugh when those Come Back to the Church commercials are on becuase the reason people have left the church is because of the church draconian stances on birth control, divorce, gay rights, women priests, priests marrying, abortion, etc etc maybe if they tried to come out of the 13th century they could fill some pews again.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Gene Church

      No they tried that. If you don't stand for anything, you fail. Thank God the Church is finally standing up, and that even liberals believe Obama has gone too far.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  19. ajgorm

    Money only works in a greed based society. In a society which uses nepotism , jealousy and envy to survive not faith in God. Hipocrisy to think that God made you rich when society is about working together to achieve utopia (uhuh). What does a man have to live for if he has everything when he is born. Leave it to the next generation to figure it out. Maybe the rich invented God so they could find an excuse for being greedy. Good Luck !

    February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  20. sdanderson

    I find it interesting how this conversation has turned to a trial of Catholics, religion, and belief in God. This decision by the administration has nothing to do with belief or non-belief ion God. That discussion should be reserved for other forums. THe real issue is whether GOvernment has the right to force others to do things that go against their personal beliefs. The problem is that Government in general has decided it is the protector of everyone and the provider of those who are unable or unwilling to provide for themselves. If Geovernment would stay out of places where they do not belong this argument would never come up.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      So I suppose we make you the arbiter of where government does and doesn't belong?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • fritz

      I'm Catholic and I think the Catholic Church needs to stay out of people's bedrooms. I'm all for people being given the options and for the government allowing them the chance. It's the Catholic Church that needs to start letting people make their own decisions and re-think some of their own doctrines before there is no Roman Catholic Church. I left the Roman Catholic and belong to the National Catholic now – check it out – there is another choice which is not tied to the papacy.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Bruce

      Except that the government is not forcing anybody to do anything that violates their religious beliefs. Do you want to buy an insurance policy that doesn't cover contraception? Go right ahead. Just don't be surprised to find a tax bill in the mail that includes your tax penalty for purchasing a policy that is out of compliance with the law.

      Buy the insurance policy you want, pay the tax penalty. Done. Nobody forced you to do anything.

      If the tax penalty for this sort of thing is way too high then you might have an argument for lowering the tax penalty, but not for eliminating it.

      Get over yourselves. This is not criminal law - it found its way into tax law, of all places...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.