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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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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. Anomic Office Drone

    If you're practicing religion in your hospital instead of medicine, I would contend that you're a church with a medical theme and not an actual church.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Gogy

      Or a mental hospital.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  2. Get a grip

    Wow is all I can say to some of these posts. #1 The Government is not forcing anyone to take birth control. So it is not being forced on you. However what is being said between the line is if you receive Federal funds for you hospital or school even if you have a religious affiliation the insurance need to cover it. A rather huge difference that many are not looking at.

    It just truly bothers me that so many don't look past a sound bite or at the other side of the coin. So if somebody wants to be responsibly and not have a child they do not want or can not afford your religion should dictate what they can and can not do to prevent it. Are they other options, sure but you are dictating to them which ones are aval. and not. The word is hypocrisy, I guess that whole love thy neighbor and do unto others thing is only good when it works for you.

    To all of those who live their life peacefully and don't spew hate or use faith as a weapon I am sorry that the vocal minority taint your beliefs, keep doing the good thing!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • George R

      How about just saving s.e.x for procreation and then you wouldn't need contraception? Contraception is used only for sinful s.e.x when people give in to their lusts and don't want to deal with the consequences.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Yo!

      "How about just saving s.e.x for procreation and then you wouldn't need contraception? Contraception is used only for sinful s.e.x when people give in to their lusts and don't want to deal with the consequences."

      So George the only time you have sex with your wife is to procreate, that must be a pretty boring marriage.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • ernestly

      George R – maybe you think its sinful and dirty – my wife and I think its wholesome and healthy as do most of the other adults in the world.

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

      Ask any priest or conservative minister what the purpose of s.e.x is. It's not just me who thinks so.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • George R

      @ernestly

      It's atti.tudes like yours that is the reason why so many people are burning in hell today. Your att.itude was born of the 60's in the era of if it feels good do it.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Diane

      "Ask any priest or conservative minister what the purpose of s.e.x"

      So when your bible states...

      # Intimacy

      * Song 1:13, "My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts."
      * Song 2:3, "Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
      * Song 2:6, "Let his left hand be under my head and his right hand embrace me."
      * Song 4:5, "Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies."

      The purpose of sex is to glorify God, bring forth children, express intimacy, provide comfort, and bless the spouse.
      # Companionship

      * Song 3:1, "On my bed night after night I sought him whom my soul loves..."

      # Physical Pleasure

      * Song 1:2, "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine."

      February 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  3. ajgorm

    Religion connects us back to reallity when we lose it. I am going to cut the branches of my tree today some branches are growing wildly and freely and causing the rest of the tree to do poorly. Cutting the bigger branches down to the ball of the tree makes the tree grow stronger. Maybe we need to tax the rich ? How did that work at connecting religion to government ?

    February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Descarado

    If you think the Obama regime is threatening the Catholic conscience, call THREE friends this November with FOUR reminders.

    1. Remind them to vote.
    2. Remind them to vote their Catholic conscience.
    3. Ask them if they need a ride to the polls.
    4. Ask them to call three friends to keep this chain moving.

    Anyone BUT Obama!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • boocat

      Catholic conscience???!!! Now that's an oxymoron if I ever read one.....

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

      Is that you, Newt?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • PP1887

      You are complete disgrace to the human race. Don't you have any brains? Can't you think for yourself? How much money are you paid to lose your mind?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • josh1

      So, with your Catholic conscience, you would vote for a Mormon over a Catholic...?? Anyone but Obama???

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

      Whom do we call if we think that covering contraceptives under a health plan is reasonable, and that decisions of conscience should be made by INDIVIDUALS and not imposed self-appointed messengers from God? Stop the theocracy – this nation's principles on religion were designed to prevcent PRECISELY this kind of crap, and, specifically, from the Catholic Church.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • RA

      Meanwhile, Republicans wanted the whole economic system to collapse while they shouted down Keynesian economics (even though it worked before). Even though the Republican party has repeatedly advocated for measures that would destroy the lives of many poor Americans, your Catholic conscience wants to go vote for them.

      Way. To. Go.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Gogy

    If the Catholic Church released an official statement reinterpreting Biblical teachings to forbid taxation of church property, would the American public lend any credence whatsoever to their complaints? If not, then why is any attention being paid to their latest attempt to throw around their waning political weight in order to get special treatment?

    February 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Gogy

      ...no response, as expected. Logic is difficult for fundies to counter.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    Let's see, I'm going to believe in the words of an "old Boys" club full of peds over common sense?

    February 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Coming from a Democrat: Let's focus on the real issue here. Can anyone say in the last 4 years, what has Obama done for us? When was the last time you even heard or saw Vice President Biden? Are you better off then you were 4 years ago or do you feel like you are stuck in the same rut you were 4 years ago? Has anything changed as promised? I'm sorry, we had a Democratic Congress for the 1st 2 years to start the changes. Instead we increased spending more than Bush did and he was pretty bad. The Housing problem has not even come close to being resolved and it is worst today than it was 4 years ago. Obama talks a great game, but never comes thru. I am tired of the "We need to and We Should". What we need is a leader and I dont care what party at this point it comes from. I strongly believe that is how America feels now.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • RA

      Argument from ignorance? The things he has done are too long to list. Search it. Look at politifact. He's done a lot despite the fact that there has been more obstructionism by his opponents than at any point in American history.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bruce

      I'm a Democrat who voted for this President and I agree.

      Except, I see nothing in Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum to lead me to believe that any one of them will be able to do anything in Washington between 2013 and 2017. They'll still have a Senate filibuster to deal with and the GOP may very-well lose the House. Even if they keep the House and manage to win a filibuster-proof Senate, why do you think any one of those three will be able to pull off anything meaningful in their first 2 years after you saw what that combination failed to accomplish just a couple years ago?

      I wish people would do something other than be against President Obama. Try, for example, to be FOR someone. Except for Ron Paul fans I haven't seen anyone do anything but complain. (And I think Ron Paul would not be able to get a single thing done if he wins. In that way he'll be like reelecting President Obama...)

      February 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • josh1

      Ok, let me start:
      1) What about all the people who now cannot be refused to have healthcare???
      2) What about the fact that we are out of Iraq?
      3) What about the fact that the economy has been improving ever since Obama took office?
      4) What about the repeal of Don't ask, Don't tell?
      5) What about the nuclear agreements with Russia?
      6) What about the push towards healthier food in school?
      7) What about the guts to go in and get Bin Laden?
      8) What about the reduction in Defense spending
      9) What about the revival of American cars?
      10) What about the push to increase taxes on the ultra rich???

      February 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bruce

      @josh1:

      1) What about all the people who now cannot be refused to have healthcare???
      Not in effect, yet, actually. The real enforcement of that portion doesn't take effect until 2014 and it may get repealed (or neutered) before then.

      2) What about the fact that we are out of Iraq?
      Except for the troops that are still there... and he didn't get us out of there any faster than McCain would have.

      3) What about the fact that the economy has been improving ever since Obama took office?
      Only if you calculate inflation in a way that dramatically underestimates it, which is what the government does. When you factor in a more-accurate estimate of inflation, we've been in a deep recession for some time and there really seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel.

      4) What about the repeal of Don't ask, Don't tell?
      That was nice, actually, however he should have simply done it by executive order rather than pu.ss.yfooting around with legislation.

      5) What about the nuclear agreements with Russia?
      Those are actually a horrible mess, and he let them be used against him as collateral for the GOP to broker some bad tax deals.

      6) What about the push towards healthier food in school?
      Don't know... not bad I guess.

      7) What about the guts to go in and get Bin Laden?
      Great! Unless of course you respect the sovereignty of other countries (like Pakistan) and are for the rule of law. But of course someone who couldn't (or wouldn't) shut down Gitmo and who trumps up false charges against Bradley Manning and signs into law the indefinite detention of US citizens without cause or trial doesn't really care about the rule of law, now do they?

      8) What about the reduction in Defense spending
      LOL that's a good one. Seriously?

      9) What about the revival of American cars?
      The government takeover of GM was a gutsy move. I'll give him credit for that one. Now let's see if they hire a bunch of people... oops!

      10) What about the push to increase taxes on the ultra rich???
      Symbolic pushes that result in nothing at all, when he could have simply let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010 by a veto or a veto promise, do not mean much to me.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ryan

      See Josh, you are unfortunarely clouded by a bunch of smaller agenda items. Dont ask Dont tell? Who cares when 75% of our housing is underwater and the Banks will not negotiate with individuals. Our Economy is very bad. I head a bank and just because the Dow Jones is at 12700, Drive by your local mall or shopping center and see how many vacancies there are. Every day someone announces job cuts (American Airlines 14,000 yesterday, Bank of America another 35,000 etc). There are so many people out of work. The only jobs created are government and automobile jobs (USA owns GM now...Lightbulb bud!). Our manufacturing is practically gone in this country and that is what our country was founded upon. Our Foreign Policy is a joke, we apologize to countries now. You are kidding about the healtcare I hope? Because that healthcare policy just eliminated 300,000 medical jobs (FACT). Gotta dig deeper Josh and quit focusing on the headlines.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Drew

    No... Obama is just LOSING PERIOD.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • uriel2013

      Do you believe that snake can talk because you read that somewhere once too? Wishful thinking does make things happen. Obama is lucking out because his two possible rivals are incompetent.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  9. PP1887

    This is totally unbelievable. Say anything to bring Obama down! I am a Catholic, and my whole family is Catholic. We support this legislation and will vote for Obama. Gingrich and CNN needs to tell this story to illiterates who cannot think. We don't need any Bishops or anyone else telling us what to do. This is a good example of the press using their powers to instigate hate against a good, necessary legislation. However, WE THE PEOPLE will have the last say in November. I am soooo very disappointed with CNN. Is there no real, important news to report anymore??? Plus, Catholics who disagree with this legislation – go vote for Mormon Romney – now you win!!!! Freaks!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      The "telling of what to do" cuts both ways. I dont like it when my preist or bishop boses me around telling me to refrain from using contraception, and I dont like it when the President boses my preist or bishop around ordering them to provide it. It evidences a lack of respect for our faith, and our rights to pracitice it freely under the first amendment. I disagree with the church on contraception, but it angers me to see Obama throw us under the bus.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bruce

      @Formerly: Practice your faith, do what you have to do with health insurance and contraceptives, maybe you or your employer pays a tax penalty. Done. First Amendment protected and upheld.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. boocat

    The irony here is that people commenting on this are accusing Obama of doing EXACTLY what the RCC does...telling people how to live, who they can and cannot marry, etc. And some of you are too dumb to see it.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  11. Adam

    Most protestant fundamentalists think that the Catholic church is an instrument of Satan.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Sheila

    The fact that obamas occupy stormtroopers in Rhode Island threw rubbers at Catholic school children is cause enough to understand the situation.

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

      Obama is on record as referring to his OWS protestors as "patriots." He called the Tea Party members, "terrorists."

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

      Descarado – state your source. You're a damn liar.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Drew

      True, Obama is a failed President. He has ripped this country in pieces.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Sheila – state your source.....Fox "News" again, huh?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Descarado

      @boocat Too lazy to Google? Your government check is in the mail.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Descarado – I happen to be gainfully employed. Your response tells me your comment is a lie and you're a liar. And you're one of those "christians", huh? You're a stupid moron. Go back to Fox "News" so you can feel good about your hatred and ignorance.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • josh1

      I hope they put them to good use... Definitely a better option than another teen pregnancy...

      February 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Descarado

    The fundamental skill in governing a modern democracy is the ability to fashion a consensus from opposing views and move the nation forward.
    Lacking that basic skill, Obama campaigns 24/7, 365/365, polarizing the nation into abject economic and social paralysis.

    This fruitloop fool has a natural ability to divide everyone and conquer no one.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. Bob

    This article has it all wrong. It's not President Obama who's losing Catholics – it's the leadership of the Catholic Church. I know this as a long-time practicing Catholic. Most U.S. Catholics either disagree, disobey, or don't care about the clergy's teachings on contraception. And a large percentage have the same stance on abortion. I deeply resent and disrespect attempts by the clergy to dictate votes by individuals or elected officials who happen to be Catholic. The church has reached this sorry state of affairs because its clergy leaders tend to appoint and promote only the like-minded. The situation won't improve, until the Pope and bishops do a much better job of listening to lay Catholics.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Marc

      Heresy: The willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church. The church's position on birth control is infallible Catholic teaching.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Linda C - AZ

    I am Catholic; I will NOT vote for Obama!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • uriel2013

      Shocker!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Jimmy

      You Rich and full of yourself?

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

      Peace be with you, Linda.

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

      Well, noone will ever accuse you of being the sharpest knife in the drawer.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • manyote

      I am Catholic; I AM voting for President Obama, AGAIN.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • bobbie

      who are you going to vote for–the mormon!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • sarahsmart

      I am Catholic: I WILL!

      February 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  16. Jimmy

    If you provide birth control, you don't have to worry about abortions.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Manfred

    Fool me once shame on me ..Fool me twice not so nice. I agree with many posters here. This Catholic can only see hatred in Obama's America.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      Agreed. My eyes are open now. Obama thinks that Catholics owe him support no matter how much he disrespects our faith. Its not about contraception, its much bigger than that.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Adam

      A black man is president, keep repeating it to yourself in a calm and clear voice. Eventually, your racist obsession will pass.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • WWJD1965

      You comment is ridiculous and speaks volumes, not of Obama's hatred, but your own.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • streetsmt

      No one should respect anyone's faith without a good reason too. Why should the idea of a supernatural, 3-sided being up in the sky that cares about contraception deserve any respect?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Descarado

      Peace be with you, Manfred.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Sheila

      Good job adam, when all else fails play the "racism" card..ROFL

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

      Hatred starts with you. Look in the mirror.

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

      Hey Sheila – you ought to know about playing the race card. You cons are full of racism and hatred. Because Obama doesn't fit your white ideal of what a president should be. Guess you haven't learned much from your "christian" religion, now have you? YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Sheila

      Exactly BOOCAT, how does a hateful little person like you type with that Catholic hating white hood over your head?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • prezhussein

      Adam, a man born of a white mother and raised by whites in white culture is every bit as much, if not more , white than black.
      We have a bi racial president, who is part white and part African.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  18. John Collins

    I am Catholic.

    The Clergy, the Bishops etc.. seem to really dislike Obama, they've made abortion the only social issue they care about.

    As for birth control, I would guess that 90% of Catholics use it when the determine its in their best interest.

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

      The clergy are worried about their dwindling numbers. That's one reason why they have latched on to the one still galvanizing issue that keeps them afloat, abortion. And it is also why they don't excommunicate all women for using contraceptives.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • MIchael

      The numbers I have seen from surveys say it is closer to 98%.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  19. Truth

    This is not about being for or against abortion. It's just another instance of the government interfering with the rights of it's citizens. It's like requiring everyone to buy health insurance. What would be your reaction if the mandate was that no insurance company could pay for contraceptives? What would you say if blue laws were reintroduced and businesses had to close on Sundays? Even "cultural Catholics" in name only that I know are upset by this ruling because it is just one more step toward socialism and away from democracy. It may be my rights that are trampled today, but it will surely be yours tomorrow.

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

      What do you think happens when someone refuses to purchase health insurance, or when someone refuses to purchase a government-approved health insurance policy? Are they put in jail? Tortured?

      No. They are assessed a tax penalty. It's called a "fine," but a fine is what a criminal court puts out. This is not criminal law. It's tax law.

      Buy the policy you want, one with or without contraceptive coverage such as your morals dictate. Then pay the tax penalty if you get one. Done. Finished.

      If the penalty is too stiff, then fight the size of the penalty and you'll probably get relief somewhere down the road. But the government has long-established the right to tax its citizens and citizens are obligated to pay their taxes whether or not they approve morally of where those taxes go.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Adam

      You forgot to mention the Black Helicopters™

      February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • nunya

      "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. "
      –Thomas Jefferson

      February 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bruce

      @nunya: So, by that measure, if I oppose the wars that this country fights I should not be compelled to pay taxes that support those wars?

      Bye-bye tax revenue! Wheeeeeee!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  20. ajgorm

    Do we need religion to keep order ?

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

      Sure, just move to Iran to get a sneak preview of what a Theocracy looks like.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:44 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.