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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. John

    Catholicism is a perverted religious cult that protects child rapists.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tim

      Did you get that charming remark from your "lifemate"? Just goes to show the contempt the O'bozo regeime and his lap dogs have for Catholics.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • John

      Tim I just like rubbing your fur the wrong way.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      Tim, leave John alone. He is obviously compensating for some sort of shortcoming. Maybe he's mad that the Catholic church is no longer tolerating child molestation in any shape or form, and he missed his boat to become priest.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tim

      Yeah I'll bet thats not all your rubbing johnny boy. Typical obozo lapdog.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  2. markiejoe

    I can't wait to see a large block of Catholics vote for a Mormon for President. Can't wait.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • John

      Two cults for the price of one.........give me a break.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tim

      Nah , Catholics and Mormons don't worship your fuhrer obozo..Not cults.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Mormonism is definitely a cult. I would not say that the Catholic Church is as much of one but comparisons can be made.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • markiejoe

      What I was getting at is that the day that a large block of Catholics votes for a Mormon for President will be the date that he!! freezes over.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Tim

      Well old scratch better steal a snowmobile.Cause All the Catholics I know are sick and #$%^ing tired of the hatred shown to them by Obozo and his rabid minions.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

    Some have made the point that many Catholics use birth control (I do). However, this isn't a contraception issue, its a first amendment issue. To that end Obama has slighted the Catholic church severely, instead favoring other political allies who believe Catholics are ignorant and backwards. Some of his supporters anti catholic bigotry is on full display in this forum. The message is loud and clear, the first amendment does not protect the Church from the state and Catholics are no longer welcome members of the democrat party.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      You've repeated this over and over and don't respond to any follow-up questions.

      So do you work for Mitt, Newt or Rick? You're clearly just spamming the board without bothering to back up your "first amendment" claim.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  4. medianone

    Believe what you want. We all know NOW that for years the country was headed toward financial disaster of mega proportions and when it collapsed all those responsible for causing it said in unison, "But we never saw it coming." That of course was after they had all made gazillions of dollars while the party was going on. So NOW we are to believe that someone has a crystal ball and can tell us what is in the hearts and minds of millions of Catholics only a week after President Obama's speech and the announcement of these policies? Really? Why stop there. You may as well tell us who is going to win the Super Bowl this Sunday and save us the trouble of watching.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      I'd tell you, but I don't want spoil it for the rest of them. (PS: The team that will win is the one from the East Coast).

      February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  5. eric

    Anyone so conservative to not vote for Obama for protecting women's health, probably wasn't going to vote for him anyways.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tom

      Protecting women's health from the "disease" of conception.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  6. J.W

    Why don't we just make a deal. We could repeal this act, then make gay marriage legal throughout the United States.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh man no responses on this? I thought it was a neat idea.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I'd probably vote for that, although we'd need to find a way to keep the pre-existing conditions part of the bill.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • J.W

      LOL you responded while I was complaining that no one responded. Yeah I mean just eliminate this one part.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I know...you let me keep the part that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and I'll let you include language in the marriage act that prevents people from marrying their pets.

      Win-win for everyone.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah that way we can eliminate any of the slippery slope fallacies from occurring. Or I guess we would have to say people cant marry relatives or children as well lol.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @J.W: You said, "Or I guess we would have to say people cant marry relatives or children as well lol."

      Whoa, I don't recall agreeing to that. 😉

      February 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Rob

    Who gives a crap what "Catholics" think? They are cowards that hang on to mythological falsehoods.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      Who cares what Rob thinks? He is a coward that has such a small ego he has to put others down to feel halfway adequate.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Rob

      I think you are confusing me with Catholics. I'm not afraid of the real world. I believe in science which is provable and repeatable.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Good thing Phil

      Rob is upset because he can not have 6 kids. Not capable of creating them and providing for them 🙂 What women would choose liberal?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Who cares? About a billion other people in the world who call themselves Catholic. Cowards? All evidence of the Saints past and present to the contrary.They have also educated millions. Too bad you didn't take advantage of it.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      BELIEVE in science? Ha! That is so funny! Science is not meant to be "believed." It's meant to be known and understood because it describes the basis of our natural universe. Catholics, by and large, understand and know science quite well, thank you. Obviously, you don't understand science because you treat it as some kind of dogma that has to be "believed." Seriously, you're not helping yourself here. Not one bit.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Tim

      Rob is a fat ,goatee wearing pussbag who hides behind a keyboard no one worth a #$%^ cares what he thinks. In other words he's a typical obozo lapdog.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bruce

      Actually, Rob, science owes a lot to Roman Catholic tradition. Read some history of science some time and learn something.

      You shouldn't confuse Roman Catholicism with the idiot YEC people and the banana-theory Kirk Cameron's of today...

      February 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Snow

      catholics did to science? yep.. hindered it for centuries.. tried to discredit it's proponents and punish people who said truth that they did not like.. and when they couldn't kill it, decided to join the fun in grudge.. well, lets see, other contributions..
      – belief in sky daddy controlling y'all.. science
      – belief a sky plane man came to knock a girl up with divine ticklers.. science
      – belief that if you don't suck upto this invisible man in sky all your life, you burn in hell for eternity.. science
      – belief that the dude dead for 3 days woke up and shot up into sky.. definitely science, that

      that all great contributions to science.. y'all

      February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Smithy

      hindered it? Hello Big Bang theory? idiot..

      February 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Snow

      Too little too late.. after 1900 yrs of persecution, a century of contribution does not erase history..

      I hate to bring out the well used argument again, but time does not make a wrong right.. so.. umm.. ever heard of this dude named Galileo Galilei? what do you call his house arrest anything other than hindering the progress of science? new style of funding?

      February 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      1900 years of persecution? Last I heard, Mendel and Newton didn't live in the same century. Galileo was pretty much one of the few exceptions, not the rule, regarding the treatment, nay, relationship, between the Catholic church and scientists. Snow, you must think that we all are as poorly read as you are.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      1900 years of persecution? Last I heard, Mendel and Newton didn't live in the same century. Galileo was pretty much one of the few exceptions, not the rule, regarding the treatment, nay, relationship, between the church and scientists. Snow, you must think that we all are as poorly read as you are.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  8. Jesse

    what about the sick immoral things Catholic priest have done to innocent young boys, some of those stories are still untold............................is this the best breaking news story CNN can come up with today? Talk about the victims of the Catholic Priest, not Obama losing the Catholic vote.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Mr. N.

      People have talked about that and condemned it to death, but hey anything to deflect the spotlight from your messiah, right?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Which Catholic priest? Less than 1/10th of 1 percent have even been accused yet look at the press they get and CNN is well known to be anti-Catholic. Say the same things about Jews or Muslims and watch the outrage. Hatred is evil wherever it comes from.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Tim

      Most priests have never done this..Next pathetic argument in favor of your personal fuhrer obozo?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Sorry but the Catholic Church's policy towards covering up instances of child abuse is definitely worth noting.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  9. Erin

    I think the Catholic Church should worry more about shielding the pedophiles they employ than crying about religious freedoms when the vast majority of their followers don't even heed that belief about birth control..since smart, mature and responsible adults use birth control. Then again , the Catholic church is full of hypocritical, old fashioned men clinging to a dying religion that doesn't want to admit its teachings are far from in touch with reality, so I'm not surprised.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Come on, the Roman's had worse things to say. Can't you be more creative? The Church has been here for 2,000 years and will be for at least another 2,000.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tim

      Since less than .10 of a percent of priests have done what you said they got jack and squat to worry about. Actually a kid is statistically more likely to get molested by a Teachers union deviant than a priest. I think you should be worried about your boy obozo. He's going down fast this November.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  10. gerald

    The negative comments toward the Church on this position only show that Americans no longer value religous freedom or they would defend the religous freedom of others. It will soon be lost and we will be little better than communist china.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    • You are only asking for the right to oppress others. The vast majority of young Catholic women use contraception.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • gerald

      I keep making broad, general statements that show I seem to think the sky is falling, when really it's just my own narrow worldview.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • eric

      I am all for religious freedom. You can't do illegal things in name of religion in this country. Women walking around exposed is offensive to some Muslims.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • John

      Gerald........you say the Church like it's the one and only........you are a fool.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Kat

      I have no problem with the practice of Catholics and their freedom of relgiion, just don't ask me to pay for it with my tax dollars.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tim

      Nah , it only shows that Obozo's lapdogs feel a sharp pain in their manginas everytime someone is critical of their fuhrer.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  11. zephyr

    If the churches are going to get so involved in politics, they should be paying taxes. That might also cut down on the mega-church buildings our taxes are subsidizing.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      even if they're not involved with politics they should be paying taxes.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  12. Kat

    Simple enough solution, if you want to separate church and state with the policies, then separate it right down the line.

    If Catholic hospitals want to impose their religious rules that are opposed to Federal rules, then follow your own rules but don't accept federal funding.. That includes no Medicare, no Medicaid, no research dollars, no support what so ever.
    That way someone walking into a Catholic hospital will know that they practice Catholic medicine, not medicine based on federal laws.

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

      Amen.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • RobN

      Catholic hospitals make up 15% of all US hospitals and 25% of all hospitals in rural areas. Those hospitals close due to lack of funding and you'll have massive areas of this country without access to doctors. It's easy to say there should be no federal funds when you're not the guy who's going to have to drive 200 miles with a sick kid to find a hospital or emergency room.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm a Catholic who believes that contraception is immoral and I strongly dislike the HHS's decion. However, I agree with you. I am fine with total separation–if the Catholic hospitals accept federal money they open themselves up to this regulation. Let us be and let us pay for things ourselves... that is fine with me!

      February 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  13. BigAlTX

    Here's the issue and the irony as I see it:
    1.) Catholic Church has been entrenched with the democrat party since JFK.
    2.) Democrats are overwhelmingly for Abortion Rights
    3.) The Catholic church has been clear in the belief it is a 'SIN' to use contraception.

    It is striking that the very Church which describes its position as Biblical in its opposition to abortion would somehow find it correct to endorse a candidate who preaches the very opposite position of Freedom of Choice and ALSO finds it a sin to use contraception. This seems extremely perverse.

    Whether or not you believe for or against Abortion Rights, you have to see how truly pathetic the political process is in today's US national politics.
    Now, watch the feds clamp down on the church in retaliation.

    I agree the Catholic church is falling under the weight of its own sins.

    However, I don't share Colin's view of believing in ghosts as being Catholic. Sounds like his issue is with the existence of God and not about dogmatic differences.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    • Colin is replete with issues.

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

      The issue clears up quite nicely when you figure out that most of American Catholics don't understand, don't care about, and/or understand but don't really believe and embrace the dogma (the stated beliefs) of the Roman Catholic Church when it comes to things like "artificial" birth control.

      It's no contradiction if Cardinal X issues his *fatwa* against "Obamacare" and President Obama receives more than 50% of the American Catholic vote in November.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  14. zephyr

    Why are people foolish enough to vote along religious lines? They are supposed to be voting for a national political leader, not the pope, bishop, pastor, or any other church leader. Think about the future of your country. We are a mix of all things good with a few fanatics mixed in that make life interesting.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Unafiliated

      Zephyr,

      I'm an atheist. However, religious people have as much right vote as anyone else. Of course, they are going to vote for politicians an policies that closely align with their own thinking. It's no different than now most artists are liberal, and vote for democrats. They aren't "voting along artist lines" It's just that they see the role of government to promote the arts for the betterment of society. For me, that's ridiculous. For someone else, it makes perfect sense. That's the idea behind democracy.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  15. Ron

    Too many religions but only one God in Heaven. That's the problem people worship religion instead God, our Heavenly Father, be careful with this idolatry stuff called religions.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      People worship an imaginary character that even if real is not worthy of worship.

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

      What about His Son? OK to worship Him in your world?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Joe Bobbit

      If you have an image of Jesus in your head when you pray to him that is still idolatry.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Jo Bobbit,
      So ideas are idolatrous? Anything else besides ideas and Statues?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Joe Bobbit

      SouthernCelt
      Not ideas, just images.

      February 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  16. Glades2

    Losing the vote – he should have NEVER received it in the first place, but many weak-tea fellow Catholics sold out their faith for their retirement plan – and they reaped what they sowed when their 401 plan became a 201 plan. Hopefully this time they will have learned the hard way...

    February 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Tom

      The 401 plan became the 201 plan because the republican party in power for most of the last thirty years did not believe in oversight. And the republican corporate executives ran the financial system into the ground and then handed it over to Obama on day one. Since day one it has been slow but steady improvement. As for the catholics, an overwelming majority of catholics believe in birth control. A sign that they think for themselves. The bishops, what a joke, did nothing and are doing nothing meaningful about child abuse except hide it and they now want take a public stand about distribution of health care. It will be a cold day in hell when they can claim leadership as far as I am concerned.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • RONTX

      well said reply! its common sense but pple like to blame whats convenient to them.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • JW

      Tom – You may want to check your facts before commenting. The "Republican" party has been in what power for the last 30 years? Presidency, House, Senate? All three at once? Two chambers? Super Majority, Majority, what? Point is...as an ECONOMIST, what led to the last round of problems falls squarely on one thing. The "Everyone Should Be A Homeowner, Even If They Can't Afford It" plan. This is circa 1993-1994...to save time, all three branches that are electable (House, Senate and President) were in the same majority. It starts with a "D"...

      February 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  17. Why?

    As an atheist I feel obligated to point out to my fellow atheists that you cannot use the argument "do not force your beliefs on me" when trying to force your beliefs on others. Hypocrisy thy name is

    February 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      what about "don't force your stupid, no evidence to support, illogical, destructive beliefs on me."

      February 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Allen Dickerson

      Um, not true. Atheism, even though it is the belief that there IS NO God, is a belief. It's just not an organized religion (and I bet some might even argue that point).

      February 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Why?

      Let's pretend for a moment you aren't being completely irrational and don't just have an emotional issue with religion. Let's pretend religion didn't exist at all. Do you honestly believe the same beliefs you oppose would not have come into being through non-religious thought? I offer the example of abortion. One lady grows up, loves children, especially fond of babies, values human life. This lady reasons to herself, if human life is valuable, ending a potential life is destroying something of value. This lady tries to convince people to stop aborting. Another lady values her individual freedom and convenience. She doesn't really want a family or to be a mother and is more interested in her career or her social life. She advocates for the right to have abortions so she isn't inconvenienced with pregnancy or children. Humans, by nature, religion or not, will always have differing opinions and will always advocate their worldview. Being intolerant of another's beliefs or worldview is no less hypocritical just because you think they're wrong.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @Allen Dickerson, t seems that you are in need of a course in logic. The absence of a trait is not the existence of another trait.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • J.W

      Belief does not mean the same thing as religion. Atheism is a belief.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  18. Erin

    The Catholic church is the epitome of hypocrisy...they are against birth control BUT oppose abortion... all so they just people producing a ton of unwanted children they can brainwash into the next generation. Whats even funnier is in a recent survey, 98% of the Catholic women that particpated said they use some form of birth control...so clearly, the vast majority of Catholics, despite the teachings of the church, know this is a fundamental flaw in the foundation of a religion that refuses to adapt and move forward with today's world.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    • What is to be expected when all the clergy are men who've been raised to have an entirely unrealistic understanding of women?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Why?

      So they're hypocrites for opposing birth control and abortion? Explain the logic behind that? And a religion, if it wants to be taken seriously for what it is (belief in an unchanging deity who prescribes morality) can't adapt to the whims of society, else it was never a legitimate religion in the first place. It speaks more about the faith of the followers that they break with the doctrines than it does about the organization.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      It's all about money. And they do it well, all these suckers hand over wads of cash which their king (pope) is laughing all the way to the bank with your cash (and children).

      February 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Rose

      This is why we have no morals in our society today. I am a catholic and proud of it. God is my strengh and savior.
      Religious freedom is being taken away from society just like some of our other freedoms. We all have a right to voice
      our opinions. America is a grand country it is just those who politically serve that are destroying it. God Bless America!

      February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Joe Bobbit

      Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE
      There are no rich evangelical pastors who people take as an authority on faith, I assume?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      The Catholic Church is NOT opposed to birth control, just artificial(chemical) contraception. There are natural ways to prevent pregnancy other that abstinence. People like you hate what they think the Catholic Church is without actually knowing what it teaches.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chuck Waggin

      Erin: You know nothing of the Church's foundation. As it relates to birth control , it is this: ALL life is sacred–even a life that is "unwanted." Nice way to view another person, Erin. And if you don't believe it is a person from conception, go ask any doctor. They may argue for the convenience of the "mother," but I have NEVER heard a person of science argue it is not a living person.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  19. Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

    Breaking News, 69 Million Catholics don't take issue with birth control because they use it.

    If you want to be anti-choice you have to be pro-birth control.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Ron

    Catholosism is not even mentioned in the bible, anyway why do they care as many biblical rules they break, hypocrites!

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

      The word "Catholic" is an anglicized Latin word roughly meaning "Universal". You were only called either Christian or not from the day Jesus Christ founded the Church until Martin Luther deleted the books he disagreed with and started the Protestant Reformation. That is when individual names had to be used to keep track of all the Protestant Churches. The only reason the Bible exists today is because it was kept safe by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the Dark Ages.St. Jerome translated the various books and letters of the Apostles into Latin and bound them into one book now known as the Latin Vulgate. All Bibles in all languages are translated from it. It is in the Vatican Archives if you need to see it to believe it.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Ron,
      Catholics assembled the bible. The church came before the written word.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bruce

      @SPA Knight: No, no... the Bible came from heaven and descended in it's original KJV form, and the True Church (TM) was founded based upon the book that came directly from God.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Joe Bobbit

      The one thing that Jesus told his followers to do in memory of him, the eucharist, is largely ignored by bible-first protestants. Care to explain that one?

      February 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • J.W

      Protestants do the eucharist. They call it communion, but it is the same thing. And the writings of the Bible were around before the church. The church just decided what was going to be in it.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
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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.