February 1st, 2012
09:23 PM ET

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

By Eric Marrapodi and Brianna Keilar, CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (2,744 Responses)
  1. The Phist

    He never had my vote.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  2. David Marriott

    Those pesky backward christians that cling to their bibles and guns, that support outdated ideas like religious freedom (1st amendment) and the right to bear arms (2nd amendment) can not support Obama and his socialist agenda! ...religious doctrines are inalienable rights and not a democratic process that can overturn ones belief in God at the ballot box!

    February 2, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • tffl

      Religious doctrines are not _rights_, let alone inalienable ones. A democratic process at the ballot box cannot overturn your belief in God, but neither can your belief in God overturn the rights of others who believe differently than you.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • David Marriott

      tffl; You obviously don't comprehend the term "inalienable rights" or the historical fact that the founding fathers believed that they were God given and could not be voted, traded,denied or bartered away like I stated! Here is a modern working definition that leaves out God that you are so easily offended by from (Dictionary.com) Main Entry: inalienable right
      Part of Speech: n
      Definition: a right according to natural law, a right that cannot be taken away, denied, or transferred

      February 2, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • blucorsair

      tffl, Reigious doctrine establishes the differences between all religions and the first amendment prevents the government from outlawing particular religions or establishing a single state religion! Religious doctrines or the differences between religions are inalienable. ...geeeez were do we get'em!

      February 2, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • tffl

      David Marriott – I understand what an inalienable right is, but either you don't or you phrased what you meant badly. The right conferred in the first amendment is one that prevents the government from either forcing you to accept a specific doctrine or preventing you from having a specific doctrine. It certainly doesn't give _your_ particular doctrine any special privileges. The problem that people have with the argument you and others seem to be making is that you seem to want your belief system to take legal precedence over other peoples' belief systems, and that are no rights in this country (inalienable or otherwise) that support that.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • tffl

      blucorsair – religious doctrines by definition aren't inalienable (meaning inherent or universal) – if they were, there would only be one. Similarly, it doesn't make sense to say differences between doctrines are inalienable. What is codified in the first amendment (and by the way, it was codified there because it isn't inalienable – many countries do not have our first amendment religious rights) is that the government may not dictate to you what doctrines you must or may believe.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:15 am |
  3. Bob

    I've never understood people who, as many Catholics did, vote for a mass murderer, like bush, who launched an unnecessary war that killed hundres of thousands of people, because of bush's disapproval of abortion. I can't understand any Catholic who feels that an organization that sponsored and continues to defend a rather large network of pedophiles, stood by in Europe as the Nazis committed horrific crimes, and assisted Nazis fleeing to South America to escape justice, has any moral authority of any kind. I'll happily vote for a candidate who chooses to completely ignore religious organizations and religious ideologues, and I'd never vote for a candidate that panders to religion of any kind.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Gene Church

      Because all issues are not equal. Abortion is intinsically evil, and is non-negotiable. You cannot be for abortion, and against war, and get the vote of an informed Catholic. The Church does not support pedophiles, any more than your local school does, it did not stand in Europe and allow Jews to be killed, having saved far more Jews than you ever will,

      February 2, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • tffl

      Gene Church – abortion is not _intrinsically_ evil, as "evil" is a moral judgement and therefore is relative to a particular moral code. Your code is based on your religion, which is fine, but your religion is not relevant to me, so its views cannot determine _my_ view of abortion. As far as "the Church" supporting pedophiles or standing aside for the Nazis – this may not have been official church policy, but clearly senior officials in the Church did not act to end the pedophilia quickly or punish the perpetrators, and did not act or speak against the Nazis (and in some cases actively assisted in their actions). As a very hierarchical organization, the Church as a whole must take some responsibility for the actions of its senior officials.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • fred

      Let me see if I get this right. Nurses quit their jobs because they could no longer take waching babies squirm in a cold stainless bowl. Some nurses were forced to strangle babies that did not die after 45 minutes of stuggle for life. You are what I would call evil.
      How are you any diferent than the Amalekites that put babies into the red hot bronze arms of Baal and danced as the babies screemed.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • blucorsair

      BOB; You probably voted for guys like Clinton, who did nothing about Bin Laden the first time he blew up the world trade center only to dump the 911 mess in Bush's lap. ...and by the way, while we're talking about mass murders, Obama spent more money and lives in Afghanistan than Bush ever dreamed of! ...google it!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Q

      "How are you any diferent than the Amalekites that put babies into the red hot bronze arms of Baal and danced as the babies screemed." Or from the Israelites or their deity demanding these babies be hacked to death...Irony?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Gene has never taken a moral theology course. He does not know the elements of "mortal" sin, and the one that makes it impossible for HIM to make that judgement. He is obviously just trying to make Catholics look ignorant.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  4. Reality

    o What Obama can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority leader label?

    He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

    And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

    The Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

    The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing (and largest?) USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  5. zx81

    I am a catholic too and will vote for Obama. As long as Republican candidates will not support a real civilized healthcare reform.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Joy

      Romney had already "civilized" healthcare.. Who needs Obamacare along with his socialism ?

      February 2, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • larry

      Joy do you know what socialism means? It id simply when the government owns and runs things like the healthcare industry, aka things that are a basic human right, so that everyone can have equal access to it. Its not a bad idea id love to be able to get insurance and medical but I can't because nobody will insure me because I went to a chiropractor a few yrs ago. In socialized medicine I could have coverage and see whomever I needed whenevr I needed to.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Gene Church

      Abortion isintrinsically evil. It is not a position that an informed Catholic can take, whether they like a candidates healthcare stance or not.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Gene Church

      Because abortion is intrinsically evil, a Catholic in good conscience cannot support a candidate that supports abortion "rights" even if they like his healthcare position, any more than you could support Hitler's healthcare position,even if he had that little holocaust problem.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • tffl

      Gene Church – no, abortion is not _intrinsically_ evil – it is just against your particular religion's code. Since your religion is irrelevant to me, you don't get to decide for me what is evil and what is not.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Gene Church

      ttfl, it is my religious code that this article is about. Obama is ordering me to pay for birth control and abortifacients for my employees. He is ordering my Church to pay for these for their employees as well. And we will not comply.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Gene never heard about the three branches of government.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  6. TexInd

    Not one American Catholic follows the Pope or the Catholic Church. It is an individual religion. We have great fish frys and we allow our priest to dance all night at gay nights clubs!

    February 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Joy

      That would be a Wiccan. Don't forget your meds

      February 2, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Gene Church

      Tex, you are an idiot. If you are supposedly a Catholic, try reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church..

      February 2, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      If Gene has no logical answer, he just calls everyone an idiot. What a boring troll.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:25 am |
  7. Scott

    The issue is abortion. Why does CNN reportthis as about cotraception. You are not the appointed protector of Barak Obama. Try to be a reputable news source for a change.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Joy

      Would be if CNN didn't start reflecting the eugenic views of Ted Turner

      February 2, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • tffl

      You could try reading the article, which discusses a law specifically covering contraception, not abortion. Try to be a responsible commenter for a change.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • prezhussein

      It's not being reported truthfully, as an abortion issue, because liberals like to pretend abortion is like extracting a tooth.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  8. Mephistopheles

    Why this is hell, nor am I out of it. Think`st thou that I who saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells, In being depriv`d of everlasting bliss? Obama! leave these frivolous demands, Which strike a terror to my fainting soul.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  9. Ana v

    Dear Readers, especially those who are anti-Catholic Church,

    Do not use the words "birth control" and "contraception"/"contraceptives" interchangeably. They are NOT properly synonymous. Contraception (stunting/thwarting the body's generative process) is a *form* of birth control. Yes, the nuance matters.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Michael M.

      I would point out that "birth control" does not control birth and is a nonsense word designed to distract and distort people's perceptions of preventative care and prophylactics in general.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  10. Geoffrey Hamilton

    Us catholics are a crazed cult I tell you. We all think the same, have the same thing for dinner, of course we all vote the same... the pope didn't already fill you in on any of this at mass?

    February 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Joy

      Not as crazed as the socialists are at their mass rallies, they all do exactly the same thing – Destroy, Destroy, Destroy wherever they exist in the world

      February 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  11. RightTurnClyde

    There have been a lot of knee jerk articles on Belief Blog these past few months and this is one of them. Various authors have posted things that do not make much sense at all (their take on something). Often they are trying to **argue** some concllusion that cannot be supported. They are using all of the known logical fallacies in the these "takes"
    Barbara Cesare Datisi Calemes
    Celarent Camestres Disamis Dimatis
    Darii Festino Ferison Fresison
    Ferio Baroco Bocardo Calemos
    Barbari Cesaro Felapton Fesapo
    Celaront Camestros Darapti Bamalip

    February 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  12. tffl

    Having insurance coverage doesn't mean that Catholics need take advantage of it if it offends them, it just means that other (non-Catholic) employees aren't discriminated against. As long as they have employees, the Church should have to obey the same employment laws that all other employers in the country must obey.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • blucorsair

      ...when do we start making the Jews and theMuslims eat pork, because the rest of the country does?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • MN

      Your examples are way off in regards to what this law would do. There is still INDIVIDUAL choice involved, it is only the EMPLOYER that this affects. Meaning, people who are against birth control are still able to choose not to use it. Your example would be more like a law that forces everyone to use birth control and you know darn well that is not what it is, and if you don't know that, well then that shows your intelligence level.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  13. Tom

    I think any religious organization should think twice in view of this law. If he can force Catholics to do things that go against their conscience he can do the same to anyone else.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Michael

      They do already. They outlaw murder, which is against the beliefs of some extreme muslims. Having more than one spouse, and forcing underage girls to marry is also against the law. Those happen to be religious practices of the Church of FLDS. So please stop with the religious suppression crap. There is a separation of state and church so that the state can make laws based on what will help the majority of it's people, and not what will make a certain religious group happy.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Lonewolf

      Stop trying to make an issue out of nothing. A very few politically motivated are the ones trying to make a big deal out of this for purely political reasons. The lae does not force anyone to use contraceptives, it only applies to those that do and they should have that right. I am a Roman Catholic and I support the President. Some in the church, clergy and lay people are using this opportunity to attack the president for right wing motives. I can remember not that long ago, that my Church the Roman Catholic Cburch in America practiced segregation. Minorities had to attend their own Church or if they attended the so called majority church, they had to sit in the church on a side opposite and separate from whites.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Gene Church

      See you in the voting booth. Oh, and before the Supreme Court. Let's see, 6 Catholics.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      So Gene is suggesting that the SCOTUS would actually make a decision based on personal views, rather than the law. He really thinks very little of those 6 Catholics.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  14. urshadow

    Anyone who votes for Obama most likely needs handouts from the Government.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      what does THAT mean? Completely ridiculous commentary. Congrats!

      February 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • urshadow

      What else? Money from the Government in one form or another. Wealth re-distribution.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • tip4u

      everyone recieves handouts from the government in some form. its either called welfare, subsides, or loopholes

      February 2, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  15. urshadow

    Given enough time all Left Wing leaders turn into Socialist Dictators – and all in the "name" of Common Good, Fairness, and Equality. And yes, given enough time the Right Wing creates a Police State. We The People don't need either – Think Libertarian!

    February 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • toadears

      I totally agree

      February 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Me

      That's the smartest thing anyone's said about the subject.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  16. David

    I'm a Catholic and I'm voting for Obama.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Gene Church

      I'll pray for you. You need it. Try reading Church teaching in the Catechism. Abortion is non negotiable. So is expecting an employer to pay for your abortions.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • urshadow

      Thanks David – your vote continues The Road to Serfdom – more ownership of property by government, more of our money going to government, more of our lives run by government – thank you very much.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Joy

      I'm a catholic and I am not voting for Obama

      February 2, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Michael

      Gene. Try reading what Jesus actually taught. I believe this is about contraception, not abortion. Unless I misread something, abortion is not included as part of contraception.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      SINNER! (just kidding)

      February 2, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Jonesey

      Personally speaking, religion should stay the hell out of politics and in the way the country runs. If one believes in all the bibli-hoopla and it makes one feel better and more at peace... awesome... do your thing... you have my blessing. But for those of us who don't... shut the hell up.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • peter

      David, I am with you on this one.. I am Catholic and I am voting for Obama. Last time I Checked, abortion was not the only sin in the bible. What leads to Abortion? For starters, Fornication, adultery etc. I think the catholic churches teachings towards this subject are reversed. How about paying more attention to priest that molest children. Catholics that buy this nonsense should have only themselves to blame.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • zx81

      Luckily we are not alone Dave. Many Catholics had enough of republican hypocrisy.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Gene Church

      Michael, it is about both. The regulation would require employers to pay for the morning after pill, an abortifacient.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Gene Church

      Peter, Catechism section 2271 states that abortion is intrinsically evil. It is a non negotiable concept. There are certainly other evil things, and sinful things, but you cannot rationalize away abortion by saying, I like his other policies, so that makes everything fine.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      gene thinks that saying "abortifacient" makes him sound REAL smart.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:28 am |
  17. pcooper

    (In response to: Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?)

    No. He still has my support. And I am very much Catholic.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Your definition of "very much Catholic" must differ with the Church's.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Isn't it funny when Jesus said to Peter, "Tu es Petrus..." "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church", Pete didn't say "What's a 'church' ?", since there were NO churches at that point. Hmmm....

      February 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Gene Church

      inconvenient, obviously Peter and the apostles understood. It is a shame you don't.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      No Gene, the logical conclusion is that Jesus never said that, and in fact they know he didn't. Too bad you never studied scripture.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:36 am |
  18. scoobypoo

    start paying taxes and maybe I'll listen to your woes

    February 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Start paying taxes and we might listen to yours.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  19. Jon

    Poor Catholics. It's a tough choice I imagine. Voting for Romney is basically admitting your religion is wrong and that his Mormon views will control your life. But voting for Obama is basically going with today's logical almost atheist opinions. Oh the dilemma.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Gene Church

      Not a great choice, but an easy one. I'm not paying for abortion.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Joy

      what's so logical about atheism except to atheists ?
      Forget evolution, tell me what's so logical about the big bang ? Did it evolve 🙂

      February 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Jon

      What's logical about the big bang? The fact that it actually happened with scientific evidence sure puts it a step ahead of God saying, "Let there be light" in my book. Even if you did buy into the whole God thing, the simple thought that God is ever-powerful and couldn't create the universe himself is 10 seconds is just embarrassing. 6 days it took him, not to mention he had to rest? The perfect being in the sky gets tired and lazy?

      February 2, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • blucorsair

      ...so you're saying that voting for Obama proves that the devil is right?

      February 2, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Joy

      That was the point – the big bang does not logically follow from anything and it really did happen

      February 2, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Real Deal


      Your own Monsignor Georges Lemaître proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe,

      Rational people = continue to investigate
      You = closed-minded "Goddidit"

      Don't expect any serious discussion – you are much too flippant. Do your own learning. We did... and continue to.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Xycxyxyzyd

      There is no physical evidence for a big bang. Yes, I admit, the universe is expanding. That doesn't mean something exploded. Besides where'd the matter that made the big bang come from? It was always there you say? Oh wait what was that thing about God.... Oh yes he's always been here. In reality for the big bang or the God theory to work something has to have always existed because nothing doesn't create or transform into something. Our theories aren't so far apart.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • ema nekaf

      @ Xycxyxyzyd
      Their is no physical evidence for the big bang theory? How out of touch with science are you? Cosmic microwave background radiation. If you don't know what it is, look it up. your understanding of physics is minimal at best.

      My personal favorite explanation of how the universe came from nothing is the "zero energy universe" hypothesis. It has not yet been proven, but all the data seems to fit.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Mike in Honolulu

    Would the church as employer also want to have veto authority on which operations and procedures could be performed on the employee at the employee's favorite hospital (Catholic or other)?? Let's say the doctors performed a life-saving procedure that was in the mother's favor and not the fetus. Would the Church want its insurance premiums refunded? There has to be a standard of care that applies to all users of the health service..not just some.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Gene Church

      The Church would oppose abortions being performed.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      There is no structure in place to ask the Roman Church what they oppose or do not oppose. You actually have no way of knowing WHAT the "church" thinks about anything..only the old men in red dresses.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:38 am |
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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.