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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. George R

    Obama is washed up. His disdain for religion is so very apparent. No Christian in their right mind would vote for him. I for one am glad that our next president will be more sympathetic to conservative Christians. Enough of secularism!

    February 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • RA

      An adulterer and a mormon.

      Who would stand to see the poor shafted and thrown to the curb.

      Who would strip unemployed benefits.

      Yes, your Republicans candidates do make for excellent Catholics.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • streetsmt

      That's right. Let's get rid of secularism and all of the advances it has made over the latter centuries. Let's go middle ages!!!!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Thinking7

      Very true. He has a disdain for life, marriage, and the values of America. Obama can go run for president in another country where they might appreciate his immoral laws.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • George R

      Ignore all my PP (previous posts). This is all you need to know.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]

      February 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Anomic Office Drone

      Why should the rest of us have to live by the dogma of your religion? If you don't believe in religious freedom, maybe you're just in the wrong country.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • George R

      Again somebody is stealing my handle. Ok. I'll just rotate my name. It's no problem for me.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Furious Styles

      No Christian in their right mind would care what Catholics think. Who are you to be upset over who uses the pill or not. Its nome of your darn business. Stay out of everyone else's bedrooms!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • George R

      Again somebody is stealing my handle. Ok. I'll just rotate my name. It's no problem for us.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "You know what I'm gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel, don't you Herman?" then Governor George W. Bush asked a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
      When the journalist, Ken Herman, replied that he did not know, Bush delivered the punch line: "I'm telling 'em they're all going to hell."

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • George R

      Ok, fake George, I've taken steps that you won't be able to immitate. For real this time.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Mark

      Obama is the only true Evangelical in this race for President and really the only true Christian as properly defined. The other Catholics and Mormons in this race are all haters. The Rupublicans have three racists and a Mormon (racist religious history) as their candidates and have hood winked the religous self righteous into voting for them. Repubs are a bunch of lemmings. There only consistent values are hate, greed and paranoia. Thankfully the Tea Party has awakened a sleeping giant among the 99% and will put the repubs on the street for good this November.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Coggs.....I don't hate catholics...just ignorant hatemongering morons like you who accuse people of doing what YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU DO. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.......HAVE A NICE DAY, MORON!!!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Coggs....glad you found my comment funny....that's the best you got, huh? I don't hate catholics. I hate people like you with your hatemongering and lies and bigotry....LIKE I SAID...YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. HAVE A NICE DAY, MORON! CHECK MATE!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • boocat

      Coggs......what an intelligent mature response! Noone will ever accuse you of having "christian" ways. You are a hateful mean-spirited person who apparently has major psychological issues. Go read your STUPID bible and get back on your meds.....have a nice day...MORON.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Coggs

      Checkmate indeed boocat..ROFL You were evidently too stupid and incoherent with grief at having this aforementioned stupidity pointed out to you to respond to the right post..Thanks for the chuckles today, they were many

      February 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Jon

      So my Jehovah Witness employer will now not be required to pay for blood transfussions under the senate bills now filed.
      After all, he shouldn't be required to pay for something that's against his beliefs. There are hundreds of examples of religious beliefs that could be cited.
      I think you get my point. He is still free to hold his belief that it can't be done but it should not carry over to my health care.

      February 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  2. nadine

    He is also losing agnostics. I have always had doubts about deities and badly run governments.

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

      Evil governments are the most dangerous.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  3. J.W

    Let's all just forget about this and vote for Obama.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Yeah, all the liberals with the conservatives would just "go away". Hah. not gonna happen.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • 4mercy

      *wish*

      February 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I think society will continue to become more liberal. Conservatives are too old now to stop it.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  4. AnnaMaria44

    So Obama just admitted to a "life-changing experience" when he met with the Rev. Billy Graham. I wonder how the atheists here will handle that one? Rev. Graham is known for being.. umm.. QUITE conservative, lol

    February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Howard

      Anybody who believes in God should denounce Obama for the corrupt traitor he is. Barack and Michelle's only relationship with God consisted of TWENTY YEARS listening to 'God Damn American', in Jeremiah Wright's anti-American, racist church !!!

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

      Michelle and Barack listened to Jeremiah Wright for twenty-some years without walking out? What does that tell you about their intellectual velocity? Or was it just currying political favor with the folks in the pews?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  5. yeahalright

    Here's an idea backward Catholics...you're against contraception, then DON'T USE IT. Instead you want to make sure everybody who works at your hospitals can't take birth control? Birth control we're talking about? Not even abortion? You people are so uptight and controlling.

    You guys wonder why you're losing members. How about putting all this lobbying money into feeding the poor or taking care of all the unwanted children your policies produce.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • RHO

      You are an imbecile. The Catholic church can't and isn't stopping anyone, including hospital employees from using contraceptives or abortion. They are refusing to subsidize those things, and it will stick. The court will turn this over, and contraceptives are not to blame for dropping church attendance. Every religion in this country is declining because of people who like you, who don't have religious or moral values.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Thinking7

      This is about a law that gives Catholics no option of not paying for abortion and contraceptives in their premiums. It is unfair and illegal. It is taking from our religious liberties. If you want to have an abortion or use contraceptives or have an abortion, you may do it on your own dime. This law needs an opt out clause, and Obama knows it. It is not about health care. It is about population control.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Amanda 14

      Most contraception IS abortion as an egg is fertilized but not allowed to attach so the baby can grow. It is just so small no one sees it on a regular basis. Just because your insurance doesn't pay for your contraceptives, doesn't mean that the worker who wants to can't buy them themselves! Does the workplace or the government have to buy EVERYTHING? People need to take care of themselves.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @RHO

      I am completely sick and tired of the thought that religion has a monopoly on morality. Guess what you self-righteous, piece of sh!t, YOU DON"T NEED RELIGION TO BE MORAL!!!! To think that you do is to be an elitist a$$.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • savvy

      This is just plan ignorant of you. This is also about abortion drugs. People can pick up these things from so many different place. They can't force others to do it for them.

      As for helping the poor, the Catholic church runs more schools, and hospitals and social service agencies than anybody else on planet earth.

      There is no secular equivalent to this, anywhere.

      Catholic charities also provide many services that would be affected by this mandate. Hence the poor would suffer as a result of Obama forcing this on them.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  6. Tracey

    It is fine with me if the Catholic church wants to opt out of this provision – as long as they opt out of taking my money in federal tax exemptions. I do not like funding any church or religious organization, but I don't get to pick and choose do I? I understand the church's position (I am an ex-catholic) and can see why it is objectionable to them. I would even support their argument, but if they want to do this then they need to stop taking my money because I object to what they teach and do not want to fund organizations that promote such ignorance..

    February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • J.W

      The government does not fund any church, Unless you were talking about hospitals and charities and things like that.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • RHO

      Isn't going to happen. You don't have a right to any money from the Catholic church. They aren't taking money from you with an exemption, you are trying to take money from them that you have no right to. If you want money you should try working for it.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Amanda 14

      Are you ready to give up almost 1/2 of the hospitals in this country? Or the schools, or the orphanages, or the soup kitchens, or the adoption services, or the many organizations that take care of people in this country? What happens if the hospitals close? That is a possibility. I'm sure that the atheists, agnostics, and whatever out there are ready to jump right in a replace all those hospitals? They are privately owned and it is up to the Bishops and Abbots and Abbesses what they do.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • savvy

      Tracey,

      The mandate applies to all employers regardless of whether they take money or not. Even if they did not take a dime it would still apply to them. There is no way out of this.

      As for ignorance, are people so obsessed with abortion and treating pregnancy like disease, that they want services cancelled to other people who need. Services the state does not provide.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  7. Jake

    All I need to see is the postings on this message board. Obama and his angry little drones hate Catholics. My choice in the voting booth is pretty clear.

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

      Peace be with you, Jake.

      Come November, Call three friends. Remind them to vote. Remind them to vote their religious conscience. Ask them if they need a ride to the polls. Ask them to call three of their friends to keep the chain moving.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  8. PB

    Those that will be upset by this are likely people that wouldn't have voted for Obama in the first place.

    The story quotes the outrage from church higher ups and spokes people, not the rank-in-file. Many surveys have suggested that perhaps as many as 90% of practicing Catholics either use or support the use of contraception. This won't change the Catholic vote.

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

      PB,

      A lot of liberal Catholics have come out against this. The issue is not whether people use birth control, the issue is that government has not right to force them either way.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Joe T.

    How can anybody look at Romney/Gingrich and honestly believe either one stands a chance of beating Obama? How can you say that with a straight face? Regardless of how you feel about Obama, neither of those two look like a better option to the average Joe.

    Anybody who thinks the Republicans stand a chance, is going to be in for a surprise when Obama wins by a record margin.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Believe.

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

      if you are so sure, why you're wasting your time commenting here. just relax and celebrate your virtual victory.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Bruce

      Even if one of them manages to win against the President, how can anyone honestly believe they would do anything better? Is the Senate filibuster suddenly going to disappear when Obama leaves Washington? Will John Boehner suddenly get control of the Tea Party members of his caucus?

      LOL dream on.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Descarado

      You must not know much about politics.

      How can Obama win Ohio and Pennsylvania without the conservative Catholic working class vote? He cannot.

      How can Obama win The White House without Ohio and Pennsylvania? He cannot.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • PB

      @descardo – the catholics that will be upset by this weren't voting for obama to begin with, this is not going to change many minds.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • ernestly

      I don't see why catholics even listen to the pedopholes that make up their priesthood

      February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Joe T.

      This might be hard to believe but the average person likes Obama. 54% of Catholics voted for Obama last election. The number who don't vote for Obama because of this bill will be offset by those who don't want to vote for a Mormon (Romney will win the Republican nod). Even my Republican friends don't want to vote for Gingrich or Romney. There is just nothing to get excited about if you are a Republican. That lack of enthusiasm is already having an effect. I know some people who voted for Mccain last time who are voting for Obama this election and others said they won't vote at all. Nobody I know of who voted for Obama is changing their vote. This is just my observations of people that I know. Looking at it as an independent (I'm not republican or democrat and have no blind allegiance) and a realist, I do not see Romney or Gingrich beating out Obama.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  10. REPUBLICAN ARE GREAT

    Barack Obama is losing the American Vote

    February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  11. 4mercy

    "increasing access to important preventive services."

    "preventive services"?....It's called ABSTINENCE, ladies. For those who are married, Natural Family Planning is the healthy option without putting your life in danger from carcinogenic hormonal birth control and from complications of sterilization. Unnatural and immoral, both.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The thought of abstinence being a viable argument against birth control is ridiculous. I think you need to just shut up since you really have nothing of worth to say.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  12. Rudedog

    I am Catholic and my faith in Obama has not been shaken. I will NOT add to the collection plate to pay for priest misconduct. I would rather donate to Obama's re-election campaign.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • 4mercy

      How about you put in a dollar for every unborn baby that was killed under his administration? That would be a place to start.

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

      You arent Catholic. If you were you'd know a majority of Catholics DON'T molest children let alone partake in cover ups.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      Fair enough, mine has. I think the handling of this by Obama hints strongly at a lack of respect for our faith and its tenets. I disagree with the church re contraception. But I don't like seeing my faith and its faithfull denigrated as if we are a bunch of hill billys. Further, Obama's actions seem to run counter to the 1st amendment, which I hold in fairly high esteem.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it: You look the other way on abortion, and you're pro-contraceptives. I'll ignore the obvious "cafeteria Catholic" viewpoint for now.

      What exactly is Obama doing to "malign your faith" otherwise? You're not being very specific on how requiring a health care plan offered to employees of Catholic organizations also cover contraceptives (just as any healthcare plan offered to every other employee everywhere) as being a violation of the First Amendment.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Jana

      Then your not a Catholic

      February 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  13. TownC

    This is all about the administration dictating what a religion must do in its private enterprises in violation of their beliefs. Even if you disagree with the Catholic church's stand on contraceptives you must see this is wrong. People of faith and fair minded independents are abandoning Obama in droves.

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

      You don't see the irony either. You are condemning Obama for the same practices of the RCC.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  14. Aviate

    As a Catholic, I'm tired of this phony religious freedom argument from the Church and other religious groups. It's the same logic that allows pharmacists, for instance, to impose their personal, religious beliefs on women by refusing to fill perfectly legal, physician-prescribed medication. I'm sorry, but the Obama administration got this one right–you don't get to discriminate against a group of people by hiding behind religious freedom. Besides, the Catholic Church at this point has much bigger things to worry about–like cleaning its own, sordid house.

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

      It's also blatantly-false to presume that assessing people a tax (the consequences of not purchasing a government-qualified health insurance policy for yourself or for your employees is a tax penalty and not a criminal fine) to pay for things that they find morally repugnant is somehow against the First Amendment.

      If that were the case I would not pay a dime in taxes because I find the wars we have been engaged in over the past several decades to be morally repugnant.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Try going into a Jewish kosher deli and telling them they should be serving pork because they would have more happy customers walking thru the door.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • BRC

      @4mercy,
      Bad analogy, this law is basicaly telling the Jewish Deli (the chuch) that yes, they have to pay their non-jewish employees, even though they might use that money to by a hamsandwich (birth control)

      February 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Scherzo Factor

      Actually, 4mercy's analogy isn't such a bad one, after all. It IS a lot like telling a Jewish deli owner that they have to stock ham because a hungry customer may come in and want to buy it. There is no guarantee that anyone WILL buy it, nor is the deli owner forced to EAT it, but the deli owner will be required to handle and stock something he finds abhorrent. The Catholic Church already is paying its employees, and they may use their wages to buy contraceptive or an abortion if they choose. The Church just doesn't have to provide its employees with access to those choices–and the government cannot legally force them to.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • savvy

      We are not talking about a public pharmacy,but organizations started and run by the church. The first amendment does not force someone to buy something that goes against their convictions.

      It also does not force someone to work for the church and then complain of discrimination.

      Why can't Obama and friends start their own organizations, if they care so much about women.

      Catholic charities also covers health care services that the mandate does not,

      Health care is basically being reduced to preventing a pregnancy. Women deserve healthcare that covers so much more.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Sean Russell

    This is no compromise or any working with religious fanatics. They refuse to yield one bit of ground because they think they have god on their side. Rather than just mind their own business, they have to stick their noses into what everybody else is doing.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      And there is no working with fanatic secularists as well. This is (in part) why we have the first amendment. Calling Catholics stupid or otherwise maligning them will not help the democrat cause. The majority of Catholics vote democrat for Pete's sake! The amount of anti Catholic bigots backing the President on this has caused me to rethink my political affiliation. You really do think we are a bunch of idiots don't you? You disapoint me.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • 4mercy

      If women want birth control paid for, they are free to seek a job with a company whose insurance plan provides that...or they can pay for it themselves...or go natural...the way it was meant to be.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  16. 4mercy

    "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."

    Tens of thousands? Really CNN? Great reporting. I think you misspoke and meant to say HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS! The pro-life people are alive and well, vocal, and growing in numbers everyday! Go, pro-life youth of America!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Descarado

      You don't think CNN would ever accurately report on the Pro-Life movement do you?

      But CNN is full speed ahead with their admiration for the Planned Parenthood abortion chambers that have exterminated 20 million Americans.

      20 million Americans and counting...and counting...and counting...

      February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • boocat

      Yeah...."pro-lifers." These are the same hypocrites who are pro death penalty and pro war and like to murder doctors that give LEGAL abortions. Ask these pro lifers if they are so damn interested in ending abortion why don't they offer to take these unwanted children. The minute these children are born this is the same group of people that want to deny them health care, education, housing and food. All you'll hear is hemming and hawing. They are such liars and hatemongers.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • 4mercy

      hey boocat, most pro-lifers are prolife in all things...not just abort ion. The idea is to get people who would likely have an unwanted pregnancy to be responsible and not have casual relations in the FIRST place. You don't want a child, don't have s e x ! It's not that difficult, REALLY. I don't care what age a person is. People need to be less selfish and conduct themselves in a more responsible way.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  17. Manny

    98% of catholic women have used or use birth control... Just because the church says it's not ok doesn't mean Obama will lose the catholic vote

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/13/us-contraceptives-religion-idUSTRE73C7W020110413

    February 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • 4mercy

      God works in mysterious...and sometimes obvious ways.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      This isn't just about birth control. Im a pro contraception catholic. I'm also a pro first amendment caholic. I don't like seeing my preists and bishops being forced to violate their consciences.

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

      Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it- You need to form a new religion. The Pope says no-no-no to contraception.

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

      It's a far cry if Catholic women use birth control or to assess the political fallout of Obama's decision and then equate that to deny funding to Catholic organizations that do a vast amount of good for all people regardless of ethnic or social standing or if you can pay for treatment or not!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • 4mercy

      formerly, why are you pro-contraception? Aside from interrupting the natural processes of the body..... Do you know that hormonal contraceptives were declared 'carcinogenic' in 2005 by an international cancer research center? They are not good for women's health. Women can suffer serious side effects including STROKES and increased risk of CANCER.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • 4mercy

      We need to educate a new generation of youth that responsible behavior means no casual intimacy...it's not worth it. Look at the rates of disease...we're not meant to have multiple partners in life. The rate of disease spread speaks for that!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Joe T.

      4mercy, what doesn't give you cancer nowadays?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Coggs

    Hatred, Bigotry, spite, class warfare, intolerance. These have been brought to you by Barack Obama's term as president...Had enough fun yet?

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

      How is that Hope and Change thingy really working?

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

      For a second I thought you were talking about Republicans.

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

      Yes the republicans have used those weapons against the president and after he wins, the attacks will still continue.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      I voted for Obama in 2008. I thought his values more aligned with my faith (I was willing to overlook abortion). I was mistaken, he has stabbed catholics in the back. He used us for his political advantage and has no respect for our faith and its tenets. He apparently has little regard for the first amendment as well. Won't be fooled again though. So very disapointing.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • RA

      Jon... I think he is... If not... well, it's hilarious.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • John Sullivan

      Obama's blessed America far more than Catholic bishops.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Bruce

      Yeah–those things didn't exist on January 18th, 2009!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sean Russell

      Sounds like you're confusing them with the religious right.

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

      Yes, the right wing response to Obama's election has been truly dreadful. Exactly everything you've described and then some.

      @ Descardo - would you care to go back to Fall 2008? Oh, I forget, conservative memories all stop at Jan. 20, 2009. Can't even remember the name of that last GOP President now, can you–you know, the guy who did a heckuva job running this country into the ground...

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

      Look in the mirror, moron. I believe you are referring to yourself. You are one pathetic individual.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Coggs

      Spoken like a grumpy little internat coward boocat. Thanks for proving my point about the hateful Catholic loathing dirtballs that make up the obama voting base.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Coggs.....YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW...Guess you missed that part of your stupid bible...."christian" huh? You're about as "christian" as Osama Bin Ladin was.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Coggs

      Yes boocat, "Stupid" bible? Aww someone didn't get their bong hit today? LOL keep on typing cat you can only keep showing everyone how "tolerant" obamas bitter voting base really is.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Jimmy

    If you practice birth control, it's less little boys for the priests to prey upon.

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

      An almost majority of Catholics are not into pedophilia. Thanks for proving what spiteful little zombies you and your fellow obamabots are

      February 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bruce

      @Coggs: An almost majority? LOL!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ernestly

      Coggs – I'm glad you clarified that "An almost majority of Catholics are not into pedophilia". Which means as we suspected that a majority are into it.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Coggs

      Nah, just you and your two dads ernestly.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Coggs....give it up....you're not gonna win this debate. We use facts....you conservative morons use fiction. Go back to Fox "News" so you can feel good about your ignorance and bigotry.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Coggs

      What do you mean "give it up". I've already won. You and your little commie class warfare pals have already shown yourselves to be hateful little churls.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • boocat

      Hey Coggs....I was raised catholic till I reached the age of reason and started to think for myself. That's one thing you conservative morons should try..YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!!!!! Tattoo it on your forehead, moron....maybe you'll remember it.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Coggs

      LOL! You do reap what you sow boocat..Irony is like a true imbecile you and your scabby Catholic hating minions are helping sow defeat for your buddy Obama. Thanks

      February 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  20. 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 hospital.

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

      These hospitals historically have a religious mission and foundation.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:49 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.