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My Take: 'Real Catholics' not opposed to birth control
There has long been a division between Catholic clergy and congregants on contraception.
February 3rd, 2012
02:06 PM ET

My Take: 'Real Catholics' not opposed to birth control

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I don’t know yet what I think of the Obama administration’s policy of requiring employers, including Catholic ones, to offer contraceptive services for free as preventive care. But I know this: It is crucial in this dispute to distinguish between the Catholic hierarchy and rank-and-file Catholics.

Catholic bishops have a clear position on contraception. Citing the encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968), they contend that sex has a purpose, and that this purpose is procreation inside marriage. Therefore, any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, as is any “unnatural” means of birth control inside marriage. So while the so-called rhythm method is acceptable, condoms and IUDs and the pill are not.

But is this the Catholic position? It depends on what you mean by Catholic.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has strongly condemned the new Department of Health and Human Services rule. “Never before in our U.S. history has the Federal Government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates our beliefs,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the group's Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “At issue here ... is the survival of a cornerstone constitutionally protected freedom that ensures respect for conscience and religious liberty.”

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

Yet survey after survey has shown that U.S. Catholics neither agree with official church teachings on contraception nor follow them.

According to a 2011 Guttmacher Institute survey, “only 2% of Catholic women rely on natural family planning.” A 2002 survey found that Catholic women in the United States were more likely than American women as a whole to use the birth control pill, and only slightly less likely to use a condom. In a 2000 poll that strikes even closer to the heart of this debate, 90% of American Catholic women surveyed said they wanted to see access to birth control services at community hospitals.

Turning from behaviors to beliefs, it is clear that the majority of U.S. Catholics also disagree with church teachings on contraception. According to a 2005 Harris poll, 90% of U.S. Catholics support the use of birth control.

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

Of course, U.S. bishops say that Catholics who think and do these things are bad Catholics. If so, the pool of "good Catholics" would seem to be shrinking to close to zero.

Are the only "real Catholics" in America the priests decrying the new Obama administration policy and the 2% of U.S. Catholic women who rely only on "natural" birth control? Who is to speak for the other 98%?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bishops • Catholic Church • Health care • Politics • Polls • Religious liberty • United States

soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. savvy

    bff,

    I am confused about your statement, "They are not free to stay"

    Every individual is called to study the church's teachings, then study and pray over what they don't understand. And then if they still disagree, they are free to leave, and would be honest in doing so.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • bff

      Exactly. They do disagree, so they are not free to stay in the church.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • shut up, herbie

      herbie, shut up.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      You can't even be LATE for a team meeting or you WILL be fined!

      February 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • herbie

      herbie does not exist

      February 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • sarah

      Hahaha... the Catholic Church does not want 90% of its congregation to leave. Sorry. This is where they get all their money. Once a Catholic always a Catholic, even if you're condemned. The only way to leave is to be excommunicated.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Stevie7

      Actually, you can leave – you can ask that your name be stricken from the baptismal records.

      February 4, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Bizarre

      sarah : "The only way to leave is to be excommunicated."

      Nope.

      "Excommunicated Catholics are still Catholics and remain bound by obligations such as attending Mass, even though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking an active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.).[3] However, their communion with the Church is considered gravely impaired.[4] In spite of that, they are urged to retain a relationship with the Church, as the goal is to encourage them to repent and return to active participation in its life." –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication#The_Catholic_Church

      They want to keep their numbers of "members" looking large.

      February 4, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  2. *frank*

    Where are the revolting vermin that are the church hierarchy going to get their kicks from now that they can't roast people to death, steal all their gold, and rape their little boys with complete impunity? Facebook and twitter must seem pretty pedestrian by compare. Quite a pickle......

    February 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  3. Mary

    Mr. Prothero – The subject should have “Disobedient Catholics not opposed to contraception”. The Catholic Hierarchy is there for a reason and that is to hand down and teach the faith that can be found in Sacred Scripture. They don’t make up the rules. And the preferred method for family planning is not the rhythm method which you mentioned (that method is very outdated) but NFP (Natural Family Planning). The Catholic Church’s position is that abortion is killing and contraception and sterilization are immoral. How many people actually realize that the pill they are taking can result in a spontaneous abortion? That’s right, an abortion! The pill can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Since the Church teaches that life begins at conception this is one of the problems with birth control pills and IUDs. The other issue is that the Church teaches in marriage (yes marriage) the husband and wife must be open to life. If a contraceptive is used that openness to life is thwarted. Does this mean that they cannot have control over their family planning? Of course not which is why there is NFP. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority of Catholics disagree on birth control; the fact remains then that the vast majority are being disobedient to the teachings of the Church and committing a sin. The U.S. Bishops have every right to speak out against the injustice of the HHS mandate.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      Mary,
      They DO make up the rules. That fact that YOU have never observed the PROCESS, is one of the reasons you probably still buy all that crap.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • sam

      $10 says Mary's middle name is Margaret.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Good Catholic midwife

      Au contraire, Mary
      Birth control pills, including plan B, and IUDs prevent fertilization and ovulation...they do not act after conception has taken place. Contemporary research has shown, catholic hype to the contrary, that IUD’s do not function as abortifacients
      See this abstract overview of MANY studies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2623730
      And this link for a pdf of the full article http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/Sivin.pdf
      I worked in a major medical center in Cleveland that also conducted clinical research. I find these studies conclusive.

      In the early days scientists did think iud’s interfered with implantation..It was what I was taught in midwifery school and for that reason I never included insertion of IUDs in my clinical practice. But subsequent studies showed a quite different mechanism that IUDs in fact suppress ovulation and inhibit sperm motility. Advances in the ability to do micro assays of hCG levels made this research possible.

      I fear the Catholic Right comes off as pretty anti science, anti intellectual whether it is in biblical studies, theology or medicine.

      And I challenge you to show me where Sacred Scripture talks about Birth Control Pills.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      Midwife,
      What they really "mean" to say is "fertilization", (fusion of sperm and egg), NOT conception, (implantation in the endometrial wall). In BOTH cases there is a PROCESS which occurs, and no MOMENT would ever be identifiable. BOTH processes would be refutable, but they are too ignorant of science to even take the discussion that far.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  4. savvy

    All the self-professed experts on Catholicism are amusing.

    Perhaps this article might help.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/

    February 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      False premise : (only) good Catholics agree with savvy's view. (No true Scottsman)

      February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  5. savvy

    bff,

    Yes, those who disagree are free to leave. But, since private revelation is not part of the deposit of faith, those who make claims otherwise will have to prove that their views are consistent with what's been previously revealed.

    If not, they are just contradicting themselves. They would look like rogue idiots incapable of engaging in a rational debate.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • bff

      savvy,
      They are free to leave as you say. I'm not sure they are free to stay. BTW, I'm confused by your second and third sentences.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  6. savvy

    Stevie7,

    Evolution is not an article of faith, so one's personal views on this issue can differ with church teaching.

    On the other hand this is a subject that falls under the church's official teachings on faith and morals.

    Please read Humane Vitae. While people are not held accountable for their ignorance on church teachings. A Catholics still has the responsibility to study church teaching.

    February 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Stevie7

      The church's teaching on evolution – or, specifically on Adam and Eve, are derived from an encyclical – the same form of teaching that instructs catholics on contraception.

      Wait – you acknowledge evolution? And don't think there's a special exemption for the human race? Then you must not be a Catholic.

      *sigh*

      February 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  7. PrimeNumber

    Yes. Many Catholics, fully aware of the Church's teaching against ARTIFICIAL birth control, use it anyway. Catholics face the same tough world as anyone else. (Margaret Sanger said that Catholics and other poor people shouldn't have been born in the first place.) But not all Catholics can be a St. Gianna Boretta. The difference? THe catholics I've known give the matter serious thought. They don't merely copulate and say "that was fun, but whose going to pay for the consequences."

    February 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      I use "artificial" birth control. It's made of fake plastic atoms.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  8. Reality

    B16 and Condoms– http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/21/pope-benedict-edges-away-ban-condoms

    "But the statement made clear that Pope Benedict XVI was prepared to consider the use of condoms in certain, limited circ-umstances.

    The statement, and the pope's interview reported in a book to be published this week, suggested that, notwithstanding the interpretation of remarks he made last year on his visit to Africa, Benedict accepted that condoms reduced the risk of infection from Aids.

    His spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said the pontiff's view was that "Aids cannot be solved only by the distribution of condoms".

    But, he added: "At the same time, the pope considered an exceptional situation in which the exercise of se-xuality represents a real risk to the lives of others. In this case, the pope does not morally justify the exercise of disordered se-xuality, but believes that the use of condoms to reduce the risk of infection is a 'first step on the road to a more human se-xuality', rather than not to use it and risking the lives of others."

    Considering the epidemics of abortion and S-TD's in the USA, one concludes that the RCC approves of the use of condoms for US Catholics.

    To wit:

    As per the CDC, there are on average one million abortions every year in the US

    Also, from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"

    February 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • jjr

      What's you take on flavored condoms then, Reality?

      February 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • savvy

      The writer of this article makes a lot of ignorant claims. First of all NFP/Naprotechology is not the rythmn method and is equally effective as artificial contraception.

      Second, hormonal contraceptives are permitted if the intention is not to contracept.

      The issue with the ruling is that it forces the church to pay for it for whatever reason.

      There is also a grassroots movement of lay Catholics backing the church on this issue.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • ......

      hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

      February 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      The "intention" of the Rhythm Method IS to contracept. (see Bucky's comment page 1).

      February 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  9. bff

    Catholisism IS defined by its hierarchy (which is different than with many other religions). So to me, you are either a catholic by following all of their laws, or you are not. So, since we know that 98% of all women that have ever been s.exually active have also used birth control, catholisism is already just a mens club.

    February 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Axis

      Hey – I do my part. There's an ancient Catholic saying: "Wrap that rascal before you ride."

      February 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      Just a mens' club? Don't be silly. Step into a Catholic church and here's what you'll find: The people in the pew are mostly women. Probably five women for every three men. These women work hard to enhance the life of the church. And they are fulfilled by it; they form women's groups to pray, study the lives of the saints, help any needy people, and other lifegiving work.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • bff

      PrimeNumber
      I don't think you understood my post.
      I'm saying that at least half of the congregation (and you say it is more) openly disagree with Catholic law. And we know that not only do they disagree, the practice the acts to prove it!
      And since the catholic hierarchy determines what a catholic belief is, then these parishoners (whether they attend or not) should not consider themselves catholics. They should either all strike until the hierarchy changes its laws, or form a new religion, maybe call it catholic-lite!

      February 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      bff
      I what determines a Catholic is based on hierarchical compliance, what happens when the bishop goes off the deep end ?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • bff

      I gues excommunication if you have a moral hierarchy; repositioned to a different parrish if you have the current hierarchy.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      @bff. Thanks for clarifying.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • bff

      No Prob, Prime.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  10. Leucadia Bob

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL0GDv73j0

    February 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  11. Reality

    The Catholic hierachy do not believe in artificial birth control so why do they employ those who do? Did not the Supreme Court recently decide that religious organizations have the right to decide who they hire and fire? Bottom line: To reduce health insurance costs and to not be subject to Obama care regulations about supplying contraceptives, Catholic groups should simply not hire those in need of contraceptives and fire those who demand such coverage.

    There are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.

    February 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Reality

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/supreme-court-backs-church-in-landmark-religious-liberty-case/

      "The government must stay out of hiring and firing decisions by a religious organization, even if a minister sues for employment discrimination, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

      Religious freedom groups praised the decision, and especially the fact that it came from a unanimous court."

      February 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • savvy

      So, Catholics should be punished for serving non-Catholics?

      One-fourth of hospitals in America are Catholic. The church started hospitals before the government got involved.

      A lot of things Jesus did would not qualify for a religious exemption.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "So, Catholics should be punished for serving non-Catholics?

      One-fourth of hospitals in America are Catholic. The church started hospitals before the government got involved."

      Quite the opposite, non-catholics should not be punished for living near a catholic hospital, especially if there's nothing else around. If a woman is ra_ped, she should have a legal right to get access to the morning after pill.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  12. Reality

    Added information before making your next "move": (Something else S. Prothero forgot to mention)

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (i.e. the Bill Clinton Syndrome)

    February 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Alfred E Neuman

    Nice hiding behind dots? Go screw yourself

    February 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • ......

      More abusive language, your insecurity and low self-esteem is showing.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Polite doesn't work on ass holes.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • ......

      Thanks for proving me correct.

      Bullying consists of abuse verbal language and typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. You should seek professional help for your low self-esteem issues.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah...we've noticed that polite never quite worked on you.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

    • Hey! Dots is the only thing standing between you and Reality.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      i don't feel the need to pretend How about you sammy? Been told to go whack off in a corner lately?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      i like me . Who do you like dotty?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • ....

      Thanks for showing us you're nothing more than a bully, it's time to get some professional help.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Assessing dots as an ass hole is proven correct as acknowledged by dots itself , who'd a thunk it?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • ....

      More low self esteem comments, feeling better about yourself now? Or are you going to continue to try and be a bully. Your next comment will reveal more, so continue.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • sam

      You seem frustrated. It's got to be hard arguing with a set of dots.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Not really i don't particularly care , how did the whack job work out for you?

      February 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    A "real Catholic' is a catholic that actually practises the 'Catholic' religion and all that goes with it. Those that compromise and do not follow the Catholic religion are not 'real Catholics' in the ultimate meaning of the word. They are 'compromising Catholics', 'false Catholilcs', 'pretend Catholics' or you good old fashion, 'oops-i-made-a-mistake-and-need-to-correct-myself Catholic' (Hint, that later part is the majoirty, as in all of us, sinful creatures that follow the catholic religion).

    All this double-speak is wasteful of all of our times. You don't judge a religion based on the actions of the followers, for they are human and make mistakes. You judge the religion on the bases of its tenants (teachings). Catholics are against birth control and abortion. Period. You can't be catholic and be for it without lying to yourself.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      old fashion.....old fashioned
      wasteful of all of our times.......wasteful of our time
      the religion on the bases of its tenants (teachings)......basis of it's

      Don't they teach English in Catholic school ?

      February 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Being overly critical of someone's rushed comment, with little or no time to prepare or even spell-check, and commenting on their spelling when the obvious meaning of their words comes through, is merely a waste of time and does nothing but show your own ignorance.

      And, of course they teach English in Catholic schools, most of them anyway, considering not all are in English speaking countries.

      Oh, did you assume I was Catholic? Seems you are bringing a lot of assumptions and preconceived notions to a non-existing argument that you THINK you gain an uphand in by a show of elitist superiority.

      If you have an actual counter arguments to make, do so and stop wasting our time.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Stevie7

      By that logic, anyone who recognizes the validity of evolution can also not be a Catholic.

      I think you grossly misunderstand the teachings of the church. The church does not state that it is infallible in these regards, and there are many Catholic clergy whose opinions differ from the bishops.

      That said, all of the catholic infighting is amusing. Why do you feel the need to put other Catholics down? Inferiority complex much?

      February 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • periwinkle

      Johnathan....

      Your second entry was no better.
      It appears you do need to review your English grammar....

      February 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • FYI

      The moon is made of green cheese and Jonathan,

      tenants = renters
      tenets = beliefs

      February 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      A "real Catholic' is a catholic that actually practices the 'Catholic' religion and all that goes with it.
      --Where did you go to take the "catholic" test ?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Stevie7:

      "By that logic, anyone who recognizes the validity of evolution can also not be a Catholic."

      I agree completely. Anyone that espouses to be a Christian (of any sort) and recognizes the validity of evolution is denying the basis of the entire Bible. Without original sin, there is no logical reason why Christ would have to die in order to save us. If death existed before Adam sinned and Adam was only doomed to a spiritual death, then why would Christ have to die a physical death in order to save us?

      If you are going to claim to be a Christian, its an all or nothing thing. You either trust in God completely and totally, or you do not.

      "I think you grossly misunderstand the teachings of the church. The church does not state that it is infallible in these regards, and there are many Catholic clergy whose opinions differ from the bishops."

      Difference of opinions, even in the leadership of the Catholic church, except by the Pope himself, don't mean anything. Anybody can misrepresent the teachings by lack of understanding or intentional twisting to justify their own actions. The only one exempt from this is the Pope.

      "That said, all of the catholic infighting is amusing. Why do you feel the need to put other Catholics down? Inferiority complex much?"

      Yet someone else that assumes that I am a Catholic. Did you fail to read my above post or did I actually post a line that states 'I am Catholic, you are not".

      @periwinkle:

      "Your second entry was no better.
      It appears you do need to review your English grammar...."

      I care not. My grammatical errors can be a typo or a minor issue with dyslexia. Do you really want to push the subject only to find out I have an minor handicap and make an as s of yourself?

      @FYI

      "tenants = renters
      tenets = beliefs"

      Thank you for the clarification. Not that i wasn't already aware of that, being a homeowner and collecting rent monthly from my tenants.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • TR6

      @Jonathan:”A "real Catholic' is a catholic that actually practises the 'Catholic' religion and all that goes with it.”

      I think your absolutely right and that the RCC should so the right thing and give back all the money it has collected from these false Catholics

      February 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Jonathan,

      If evolution is a false science, then I guess you won't be needing any flu vaccinations, right?

      Wow.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "Where did you go to take the 'catholic test?"

      Maybe if I type it slowly and in CAPS you might understand. I A-M N-O-T C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C. Not Catholic. Not Catholic. Not Catholic. You don't need to be something in order to defend it or understand it.

      "I think your absolutely right and that the RCC should so the right thing and give back all the money it has collected from these false Catholics"

      This kind of comment is not very helpful. For what reason should the RCC give back the money that was donated to them? Does the government refund your taxes if you don't agree with everything it says or legislates? I would like to see the logic behind your comment unless it was just in jest. If that's the cause. I respond with "Ha-Ha, no"

      February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Stevie7:

      "If evolution is a false science, then I guess you won't be needing any flu vaccinations, right?

      Wow."

      First point, I never said evolution was a false science. You are reading into my comments and seeing something that is not there and never was stated.

      Second, flu vaccinations are not the result of any science that supports the commonly termed phrase 'evolution'. You will need to be specific, precise and accurate in your definition. Flu vaccinations are developed and made based on the principles of natural selection and mutation. 'Evolution' attempts to use these two processes to explain how single celled organisms developed into more complex creatures.

      Third, I have never had a flu vaccination and have never needed one. I am a firm believer that one has to allow one's own body to develope immunities to the common cold, flu and other non-fatal illnesses, rather than allow it to depend on artifical substances. I have had vaccinations against the more nasty stuff, like small pox and and the like. As a result, I have a very healthy immune system.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Jeff Confarotta

      Jonathan,

      I think your wrong. When the whole of the organization refuses to follow a man made rule that was created by males with little regard for the female portion of the congregation, you have a church that is failing. If the church were to insist on following the rules they would have even fewer parishioners. As it is they are closing churches all over the this country.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things !

    February 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~~~-The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.-~~~~

      February 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Greg

      'Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things'

      There's a new study shows that many devout Americans know less about religion than do atheists. To some observers, it suggests a shallowness of faith

      February 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • periwinkle

      All animals and children are born atheists

      February 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      No animal is born without an inner knowledge of God. All children are born and come from the very presence of God. All children are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Animals never lose their standing with God. Children can be abused by selfish atheists and other liars to the point where their awareness of God becomes muted.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • periwinkle

      just saying.... "no animal is born without an inner knowledge of god..."..... AND how do you know this? I thought so.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • periwinkle

      Children abused??? So, forcing someone to believe in crazy stories of hell, damnation and torture......scaring the hell out of children, isn't abusive? Atheists don't have to do anything to raise an atheist except NOT abuse them by teaching them religion. There is no atheist doctrine. My kids believe there is no end to the questions to be asked in life.... believers shun questioning, and yet, questioning is what has advanced our race. Where is this knowledge coming from about animals and children being naturally OF god? Your bible? I'm sorry, that doesn't count. Maybe I believe in my special book of ONANA and it tells me that ladybugs are the chosen life form. Why shouldn't you believe me?????

      February 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • ......

      Alfred E Neuman = Prayer changes things=just sayin = Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      You are contributing nothing to this blog except for some immature trolling. Your constant posting is really showing us you suffer from low self esteem issues and abusive behaviour. Why don't you look up the reasons for your continued need to troll.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "All children are born and come from the very presence of God."

      This is simply invented whole cloth from the head of "just sayin' ". There is no proof of this or indeed of the existence of any god. This sort of nonsense is a sad example of the sort of delusional thinking encouraged by religion. Perhaps "just sayin'" should change their screen name to "just makin' stuff up".

      February 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Bible clearly shows that God knows each child personally. Sorry Tallulah 13 but you can be wrong if you want to be. Who has caused you to lose your faith?

      February 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Actually

      ""just makin' stuff up"."

      That would be a good one for fred too. LMAO!

      February 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Bizarre

      just sayin';

      The Bible is a book which includes some history of primitive Hebrew culture, and some good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @everyone

      There is no point in trying to talk to just sayin, he will continue to use the bible to prove itself, thus verifying his own beliefs that are taken from the same book. It is impossible to get him to use any other arguments, and he and his ilk will continue to make their claims (including those that all people who do not believe exactly as they do will burn in hell) which are contrary to the "loving god" they claim to worship.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • periwinkle

      @ just sayin'....

      How quickly you broke the argument rules and went to your little sacred book to give evidence or proof. Remember, that's not allowed. You have to provide logical, reasonable proof, not in your "bible", of the claims you give. Otherwise, my god: "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" gets equal validity in this argument.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Hawaii Guest,

      Yeah, I know... just sayin' is fully delusional, but others are reading here, even some who never post.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bizarre "There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book."

      =>except for:
      a. origin of the universe
      b. creation of life on earth
      c. creation of fish-birds-land animals-humans
      d. creation of Israel, deliverance from Egypt
      e. conquest of promised land (most of it anyway)
      f. birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ
      h. outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentacost..

      other than that..

      February 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Greg

      "a. origin of the universe
      b. creation of life on earth
      c. creation of fish-birds-land animals-humans
      d. creation of Israel, deliverance from Egypt
      e. conquest of promised land (most of it anyway)
      f. birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ
      h. outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentacost.."

      Chad evidence outside of the bible, you need another source to prove that its right, especially since the bible has been shown to not be a historical book.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Chad,

      a. origin of the universe
      b. creation of life on earth
      c. creation of fish-birds-land animals-humans
      d. creation of Israel, deliverance from Egypt
      e. conquest of promised land (most of it anyway)

      Could 'a' thru 'e' have happened any other way? Any other way? If there are other possible explanations, and there is no verified evidence for your a.ssertion, the result is, "We don't know (yet)."

      f. birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ
      h. outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentacost..

      'f' and 'h' - unverified hearsay.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Chad

      a. origin of the universe <=our universe had a beginning, see Big Bang, Hawkins et. al.
      b. creation of life on earth <= unless you want to believe that life just spontaneously "jumped" into existence..
      c. creation of fish-birds-land animals-humans <= see fossil record
      d. creation of Israel, deliverance from Egypt <= see Israel – wikipedia
      e. conquest of promised land (most of it anyway) <= Israel – wikipedia
      f. birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ <= see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
      h. outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentacost. it has been? where? Must have missed that..

      February 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Greg

      "a. origin of the universe <=our universe had a beginning, see Big Bang, Hawkins et. al.
      b. creation of life on earth <= unless you want to believe that life just spontaneously "jumped" into existence..
      c. creation of fish-birds-land animals-humans <= see fossil record
      d. creation of Israel, deliverance from Egypt <= see Israel – wikipedia
      e. conquest of promised land (most of it anyway) <= Israel – wikipedia
      f. birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ <= see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
      h. outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentacost. it has been? where? Must have missed that.."

      LOL! You're using evolution to try and match it to your bible. Wow! That's funny and you're using wiki. LOL!

      February 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bizarre "Could 'a' thru 'e' have happened any other way? Any other way?"
      =>with the same likely hood as a million monkeys in a room with a typewriter have of eventually banging out War and Peace. i.e. zero..

      @Bizarre "'f' and 'h' – unverified hearsay.
      =>Gospels of Matthew/John, letters from 1,2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, James all first person accounts.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Chad

      Should have read..:

      @Greg: "the bible has been shown to not be a historical book."
      @Chad: "it has been? where? Must have missed that.."

      February 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Greg

      "Should have read..:

      @Greg: "the bible has been shown to not be a historical book.""

      ? Have started drinking already?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • A Universe 4 Free....1+(-1) = 0

      Chad
      No god needed.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQhd05ZVYWg\
      Krauss : A Universe From Nothing

      February 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Chad

      With respect to Krauss.. what they are talking about is a different "nothing" than existed prior to the big bang.

      The "nothing" they are talking about is the vacuum of space being devoid of all matter.
      Now, that's a different "nothing" than existed before the big bang.

      For example, even in the vacuum of space, time exists, whereas time did not exist prior to the big bang.
      Empty space is a way different "nothing" than before the big bang, where there was no space, no time, literally nothing.

      What does Kraus actually say on this matter:
      "I continued to try and explain that quantum gravity may imply that space and time themselves are created at the moment of the big bang....If time begins at the big bang, then we will have to re-explore what we mean by causality, just as the fact that electrons can be in two places at the same time doing two different things at the same time as long as we are not measuring them is completely nonsensical, but true, and has required rethinking what we mean by particles. Similar arguments by the way imply that we often need to rethink what we actually mean by 'nothing', from empty space, to the absence of space itself." Kraus
      "it is quite possible, and indeed quite plausible, that time itself arose just as space arose. And there was no concept of time. It's something that arose as the world became classical. So it could be that the question what happened before the big bang is not even a good question, because before it had no meaning." -Krauss

      His "A Universe From Nothing" does not posit a universe arising from the conditions that existed prior to the big bang, which is what he acknowledges above.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Envision Chad, writing in the winter of 2012 B.C.:
      "There is an angry god in that volcano who causes it to erupt. There is no other explanation."

      "Gospels of Matthew/John, letters from 1,2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, James all first person accounts."
      - Unverified hearsay. Would you like a list of first person accounts of folks who say that they have been abducted by space aliens? I'll bet there's one on Wikipedia... 🙂

      February 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      Hey Chad...since you seem to be in one of your listing moods, remember when you spewed these ridiculous assertions?

      a. "I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

      b. "Every book that purports to accurately record history needs to be examined critically for internal consistency and for its accuracy in detail. The bible succeeds on all accounts."

      c. "The Genesis account stands alone amongst all creation stories of the time, a fact universally acknowledged...We are only know [sic] beginning to scientifically discover how accurate it is indeed."

      d. 'As for supernatural vs natural processes, I also believe that the origin of life, and the development of more and more complex life forms on earth in the stages reflected in the fossil record, is the direct result of supernatural intervention (it's called "punctuated equilibrium" )'

      HAAA! How could anyone take you seriously when you utter such nonsense?

      February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bizarre "New Testament is hearsay"
      @Chad ""Gospels of Matthew/John, letters from 1,2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, James all first person accounts."
      @Bizarre "Would you like a list of first person accounts of folks who say that they have been abducted by space aliens? I'll bet there's one on Wikipedia... "
      @Chad: "you can choose not to believe the statements of first person witnesses, but you cant accurately call that hearsay which is what you incorrectly did."

      Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience

      February 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "=>with the same likely hood as a million monkeys in a room with a typewriter have of eventually banging out War and Peace. i.e. zero.."

      Once again, Chad, you show your gross ignorance of probability theory. Go read a book (other than the bible).

      February 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      "Now, that's a different "nothing" than existed before the big bang"
      Chad, watch the video.
      "nothing" "existed", (including your god), before the Big Bang. There is no "before" time started, AND "existence" requires a dimension" (time), in which to proceed.

      February 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @The moon is made of green cheese.

      Well said. Seems obvious, doesn't it moon? Not to a dogma drunk Chad.

      Cheers

      February 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience."
      ... almost correct and close enough for folk singing. What Bizarre should have said is, "The New Testament is a blather of unsupported claims." Now that's precise and accurate.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @The moon is made of green cheese. ""nothing" "existed", (including your god), before the Big Bang. There is no "before" time started, AND "existence" requires a dimension" (time), in which to proceed."

      =>again, you are missing the point and side stepping the issue..
      Krauss is not claiming that his "Universe from Nothing" explains the origin of the big bang, which is the entire point.

      If you dont want to believe that God did it, what did?
      You either face an infinite regression, or acknowledge the necessity of an uncaused cause.

      What caused the big bang?

      February 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Bizarre

      @Chad: "you can choose not to believe the statements of first person witnesses, but you cant accurately call that hearsay which is what you incorrectly did."

      Ok, point taken. I might call them uncertified witnesses then. Plus, the exact authorship of those gospel writings is much-disputed.

      - Mohammad said (first person) that an angel who spoke for "God" (at great length) visited him. Do you accept that as fact?
      - Joseph Smith also said (first person) that he saw and angel who told him "God's" words. Do you accept that as fact?
      - Jim Jones, David Koresh, the Heaven's Gate folks, Warren Jeffs, a couple of recent political candidates, and tons of others claim (first person) that "God" has spoken to them. Do you accept these first person claims as fact?

      February 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "you show your gross ignorance of probability theory. Go read a book (other than the bible)."

      Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball due to gravitational attraction.

      Physicist P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by at least a thousand billion billion zeroes.

      Davies also calculates that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by merely one part in 10 raised to the 100th power (!) would have prevented a life-permitting universe.

      ""Roger Penrose*, a famous British mathematician and a close friend of Stephen Hawking, wondered about this question and tried to calculate the probability. Including what he considered to be all variables required for human beings to exist and live on a planet such as ours, he computed the probability of this environment occurring among all the possible results of the Big Bang.

      According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were on the order of 10^10^123 to 1.

      This now tells how precise the Creator's aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 1010123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10123 successive 0's. Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe- and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure- we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. ""

      now, "we're here, so that proves it's possible" is the logical fallacy known as "begging the question". Such a statement ignores the other more likely possibility of an enti tiy outside our time and space intervening.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "if you dont want to believe that God did it, what did?
      You either face an infinite regression, or acknowledge the necessity of an uncaused cause.
      What caused the big bang?"

      The fact that you don't comprehend that there may have been no "before" the big bang (as, I admit, I do not) does not mean it must have all been started by some sort "magic". Your assertion that "god did it" adds nothing to our understanding of the reality and leads to your "infinite regression" – unless, of course Chad, your satisfied with "god did it" (as seems to be your fallback position in all of your arguments).

      February 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @Bizarre "
      – Mohammad said (first person) that an angel who spoke for "God" (at great length) visited him. Do you accept that as fact?
      – Joseph Smith also said (first person) that he saw and angel who told him "God's" words. Do you accept that as fact?
      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, the Heaven's Gate folks, Warren Jeffs, a couple of recent political candidates, and tons of others claim (first person) that "God" has spoken to them. Do you accept these first person claims as fact?"

      => all of those claims are not falsifiable, one can never know if what a person claims to have received from a god is true or not.
      The claims of Christianity are falsifiable, the birth/life/death/resurrection are all events that qualify as falsifiable. (That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false; rather, that if it is false, then some observation or experiment will produce a reproducible result that is in conflict with it – wikipedia)

      February 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Damn I hate those your/you're typos.

      February 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "The claims of Christianity are falsifiable"

      Really Chad? ALL of them are falsifiable? You know Chad, you can't just throw nonsense out there and expect no one will call B ULL S HIT!

      February 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      Chad ,
      You still haven't watched the video. There is no need for a "cause" if there is no time, because there is no "before" in which it happens.
      People who use the "First Cause argument also usually imply that "My god did it". There is simply no reason to JUMP to THAT irrational position.
      "If you don't want to believe that God did it, what did?"
      ..... Nothing "did" it. I just explained "doing" something requires time in which to "DO" something.
      You either face an infinite regression, or acknowledge the necessity of an uncaused cause.
      ...... Wrong. That's the "god of the gaps" position. Just because YOU can only cook up 2 explanations right now, does not mean YOUR'S is the correct one. What's wrong with "we don"t know yet".? You are assuming also the universe HAS to present to you a set of observations which are subject to YOUR intuition, (capacity). We know for a fact from Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle, THAT is not true.

      What caused the big bang?

      February 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • The moon is made of green cheese.

      please ignore the last question...should have been deleted

      February 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      "Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million..."...blah, blah blah.
      –Improbable, no matter to what degree, does not equate to impossible. Lord almighty Chad...do you really want to keep making my point by continuing to display your ignorance? (remember, cutting and pasting from Wikipedia does is not a display of smarts).

      "Such a statement ignores the other more likely possibility of an enti tiy outside our time and space intervening."
      –Right-o, Chad. You love numbers so much...what is the probability "of an enti tiy outside our time and space" being responsible for existence? Look, you can't even accept the reality of evolution – why would anyone expect you to accept or understand the origins of the universe?

      February 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      ...and before blather on with your nonsensical hijacking of Stephen Jay Gould's works on evolution – remember your own words:

      'As for supernatural vs natural processes, I also believe that the origin of life, and the development of more and more complex life forms on earth in the stages reflected in the fossil record, is the direct result of supernatural intervention (it's called "punctuated equilibrium" )'

      February 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @The moon is made of green cheese. "You still haven't watched the video. There is no need for a "cause" if there is no time, because there is no "before" in which it happens."

      =>:-)
      funny how that logic goes:

      atheist: "We don’t need God any more, we have explained how the universe was created"

      creationist: "Really? how? you cant get something from nothing, and that's what was before the big bang right?"

      atheist: "Oh, stupid creationist,,, here, watch this movie, I haven’t watched it, but my search on infidels.org says it refutes your point"

      creationist: "well, krauss himself says that the "nothing" of vacuum space is different from that which existed before the big bang, and says that he isnt positing that is how the big bang originated. So, your video fails to demonstrate your point"

      atheist "oh you stupid Christian, don’t you realize that since there was no time before the big bang, there can be no causality, so the question of how the universe was created is meaningless and a question that needn’t be asked?"

      christian: "well, you're the one that said you had the explanation for the creation of the universe, right? So, how was it created? If the question is stupid to ask, why did you claim to have the answer?"

      atheist “well, why can’t I just say I don’t know how the universe was created”

      Christian “ you can!, but, you didn’t.. you claimed to have the answer.. right?”

      Atheist “well… ah… hmmm”

      February 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @The moon is made of green cheese-
      Regarding Chad's response to "You still haven't watched the video. There is no need for a "cause" if there is no time, because there is no "before" in which it happens."

      Chad thinks he's clever and a master of mental prestidigitation, but, of course, he's not. Such obvious obfuscation reeks of desperation or, at least, childish denial. I bait him from time to time, mainly to extract his quotable nonsense for later posts, but I recommend you not take him seriously.

      February 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Chad (I had to leave, and now I have only a few minutes) but...

      Remember way back in this discussion I asked, "Can there be any other way?"

      I know of no atheist, agnostic or non-believer of any stripe, who claims that they have it all figured out - some have offered a few possible "other ways" (or parts of them), and there might be even more different ones to come.

      We don't know what we don't know.

      The default / fall-back answer in the case of the unknown is NOT, "a god did it... no verification, but that's the end of the story". "Oh, and furthermore, it's *my* god too".

      February 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Chad

      I'm happy getting atheists to the point that they acknowledge that they have no answer to the question of how the universe was created.

      February 4, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  16. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    There are a number of interesting issues here.

    a. Is a "real" Catholic one that agrees with EVERYTHING the hierarchy "promulgates", (which results from non-unanimous "discussions") ? Nah. More and more, numbers of Catholics are saying "it's my church too", and are choosing to stay and fight, instead of just walking away. (Tomorrow, I was invited to the ordination of a good friend, a woman, who will ordained a priest.)

    b. The positions of the Roman Church that:
    ........1). "se'x is for use in marriage, where the act is open to life-creative potential"
    AND
    ........2). (from moral theology)....that the crux of a "moral, (or immoral) act is INTENTION), is simply inconsistent.
    If a couple is practicing the Rhythm Method, the intention is clearly to prevent a pregnancy. There is no way the two positions can be reconciled.

    The "open to creative potential" also does not address the issue for post menopausal ladies, and (known) sterile men, (or the MULITI'TUDE of genetic anomalies), or women who, for example are "status post", TAH, (Total Abdominal Hysterectomy).
    Time for the old men to "give it up" trying to tell women what to do. 😈

    February 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Liz

      Bucky Ball –

      The Church never said it was wrong to prevent pregnancy... many couples may choose not to have children for a variety of serious reasons (financial, medical, emotional, etc.). The way to create a child is to have relations, so logically, if you don't want to have a child, don't have relations. This is the backbone of NFP: know when you are able to conceive and when you are not, and act accordingly (not the rhythm method – I think that's been gone for 30-40 years now). There is no sin in using NFP or abstaining because you are not interfering with the way God designed our bodies. We were created to have cycles with fertile times and infertile times. The sin of contraception lies in trying to change the way God created us by rendering ourselves infertile against His will. Hopefully that clears things up. 🙂

      February 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  17. MRW

    So we need to ask ourselves whether or not truth is determined by a democracy. If every "Christian" in America choose to believe that Jesus was not the Son of God, could they call themselves Christian. If you are a "Catholic" who denies the infallibility of the Pope, can you call yourself Catholic?

    February 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • periwinkle

      No, truth is truth.
      You can't change the truth just because you believe something else.
      That doesn't change what the truth actually is.
      Basic logic.
      Consensus determines democracy...

      February 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  18. Matthew

    Fair enough – 90% of Catholics believe that birth control is morally and religiously permissible. But does that mean that the rights of freedom of exercise of religion of the other 10% just don't count, because they're not a sufficiently large chunk of the popultaion? Where would that argument go if we were talking about other small religious populations in America, like Buddhists, Hindus, or Muslims? Do they not get freedom of religion just because majority opinion is against them? That seems like an odd reading of the Bill of Rights.

    Also, I'm fairly sure 100% of Catholics sin. That doesn't mean they can't still say sin is wrong.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Ok how is this denying freedom of religion? First, the chuches themselves are unaffected, as this law only applies to employers outside of the church where they hire non-catholics as well. Second, the law says that they will need to offer it, not that they need to take the contraceptives. The reality is that those who do not take contraceptives will have nothing change for them, and those that do will now be covered under their medical plan. So tell me again how is this infringing on the religious right of expression?

      February 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • periwinkle

      @hawaii.... you're right this is a stupid article. Those are the same thoughts I had after skimming 3 paragraphs in.... who cares about the rules of the Catholic church, this is the public sector we are talking about. If you don't believe in birth control, don't take it!!! geez

      February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • periwinkle

      Are we finally having an "ah ha!" moment???? THIS is why religion should be separate from state, AND why religion is ridiculous and a waste of time in the first place....

      February 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I won't make a judgment on whether or not religion is a waste of time. My family is religious and it helps them with their lives, so I won't begrudge them that. Where I put my foot down is the injection of religion into the lives of those that does ascribe to it.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • periwinkle

      My second comment was in reference to Mathews comment, that's why I didn't reference you (@hawaii) in that one:) BTW most of my family is religious, but I still hold that it is harmful, and only needed for those who are emotionally/intellectually inferior.

      February 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  19. KM

    Yes – it is "be fruitful and multiply." As Christian parents, one of our duties to our Creator is to help Him populate heaven.

    February 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • sam

      Jumping off a cliff populates heaven faster.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Why's he need your help? He could just wave his finger and populate it, boom.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • periwinkle

      Sam, I agree with you.... I wonder then, why they don't all do that?

      February 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  20. J.W

    I have seen it said the Catholics are following the teaching of Christ by not using birth control because birth control was against the teaching of Christ. Where in the Bible does it say this? How do you know that is true?

    February 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I believe it's simply their interpretation of "be fruitful and multiply."

      February 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why do Catholics oppose birth control?
      The condemnation of birth control stems from a their belief that God wants humans to spew forth as many cro/tch critters as possible in order to populate heaven and to "be fruitful and multiply" (gen 1:28).
      To purposely countermand God's will to breed like rabits is to lie to the Holy Spirit in the same way that Ananias and Saphira did in Acts 5 : 1-11 when they held back a portion of their gift to God. God's slaying of that couple is one of the few instances of divine wrath in the New Testament.
      They also belive that many forms of birth control, like IUDs and the pill, are actually forms of abortion and therefore consti.tute murder.
      There is also a heavy emphasis on self-denial as a path to righteousness amongst Catholics, this stemming from Matthew 16:24 in which Jesus says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
      For Catholics in terrible marriages, God allows separation (and therefore lifelong abstinance) but not divorce.
      It was the apostle Paul's opinion that it was far better to be single and abstinent, but marry if you can't control your loins.
      "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
      There is also the old fear of witches and warlocks and their ungodly potions which God condemns in Gal. 5:20 and Apoc. 9:21. Today's sorcerers are pharmaceutical biochemists.
      But most of all, the scripture cited by Catholics in regards to contraception is Genesis 38:9.
      In that uplifting story, God commanded a fellow named Onan to impregnate his sister in law.
      They repeatedly got jiggy, but Onan kept pulling out at the critical moment. For this transgression, God killed him.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Steve Kellmeyer

      The Catholic teaching on birth control is founded in the Bible as the following URL demonstrates.
      http://www.thegodpod.com/thegp/content/holy-matrimony#contraception

      It should be noted that up until 1930, EVERY Christian in the world agreed that contraception was a sin that would send you to hell.

      This teaching first changed at the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 after heavy pressure from Darwinian eugenicists. It is highly ironic that many of the denominations which inveigh against Darwinian evolution are fine with contraception, given that contraception is a logical outgrowth of social Darwinism.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • J.W

      According to the Onan story, surrogate motherhood is supported in the Bible and so are open marriages, but the Catholic teaching opposes that as well.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Doc,
      Respectfully, ....disagree. It arises from the "immortal soul" paradigm.
      They stipulate that the "soul" is "infused" at the "moment of conception", yet NOT ONE of them can say EXACTLY when that is. 😈

      February 3, 2012 at 6:32 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.