White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?
February 7th, 2012
07:06 PM ET

White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?

By Brianna Keilar and Becky Brittain, CNN

White House (CNN) – The White House appears to be softening its stance on the controversial rule forcing some religious organizations to provide birth control as part of their health insurance plans.

“The president's interest at a policy level is in making sure that this coverage is extended to all women because it's important,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “(On) the other side is finding the right balance…concerns about religious beliefs and convictions. So we will, in this transition period …seek to find ways to implement that policy that allay some of those concerns.”

More than two weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Service issued a mandate instructing all employers that provide health insurance to their employees include the option for paid birth control, the morning after pill and intrauterine devices. The rule, scheduled to go into effect next summer, excluded churches from participation. The mandate did not exclude religiously affiliated employers like universities and hospitals creating a firestorm.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  2. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  3. Atheism is immaterial and irrelevant

    They neither bear any significance nor count.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      We're coming up in the world and we will not be silenced. The more you spew this stuff and keep it in the public, the more we will speak against it...keep it out of public affairs and the government is all we ask.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • just sayin

      As long as your government sees fit to honor God in your National Anthem it would appear that religion belongs everywhere. In homes , in churches , in government, in schools everywhere in the world. Don't like it? Dial 1 800 tough sh it

      February 8, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • BRC

      And yet, here you are talking about it. I find tea cozies insignificant, so the only time I ever even use that phrase is when I'm quoting a Guy Ritchie fim (that I am sure the word filter would die over). If Atheists are insignificant, why comment on us?

      February 8, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Saying something over and over does not make it so.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • fred (the atheist one)


      February 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • BRC

      Thanks for testing that.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • fred (the atheist one)

      The filters did snag it, but there are methods to step over the filters. 😉

      February 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  4. JohnQuest

    I don't understand the issues here, by all accounts MOST Catholics want the options, why is the church leadership fighting this? The law does not Make employers provide the service, just the options for their employees to get the service.

    This whole made up controversy shows how antiquated religions are.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • BRC

      "How dare you? You're respecting people's rights but not in the way want you to, because you're making it so we have to respect their rights as well!"

      That's the way the counter argument always sounds in my head. Doesn't make much sense to me either.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  5. Nonimus

    Very interesting poll at http://publicreligion.org/research/2012/02/january-tracking-poll-2012/
    "Survey | Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should Be Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost"

    I find the divisions/distinctions interesting:
    "A majority of Catholics (52%) say that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should have to provide coverage that includes contraception.
    Among Catholic voters, however, only 45% support this requirement, while 52% oppose it."

    At the very end are two other unrelated results:
    "Fourteen percent of Americans agree that American Muslims want to establish Shari’a or Islamic law as law of the land. More than two-thirds (68%) disagree.
    A majority (54%) of Americans believe that American Muslims are an important part of the religious community in the U.S. One-third of the public disagrees and roughly one-in-seven (14%) report that they do not know."

    February 8, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • GodPot

      "according to a new Marist Poll one in four (25%) Americans don't even know what country America declared its independence from. "

      "seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar."

      February 8, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Nonimus

      Good point. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  6. Samsword

    So here's a scenario:

    Let's say the U.S. openly lifts its ban on "Cruel and Unusual Punishment." And now all taxpayers are obligated to pay taxes to pay for the installation of torture chambers around the U.S. (Whether they believe in the use of torture or not.)

    Why then is forcing Employers to pay for abortions also not a restriction of freedom?

    The thing with birth control is, that (except in the case of r-ape) s-ex is a choice. Getting pregnant is a possible consequence of that choice. If you continue with that choice, you also face the consequences of it. You don't want to get pregnant? Well, abstinence has 100% results. 😉 And even in the case of r-ape I'd say adoption is a better alternative...

    February 8, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • SeanNJ

      I would like none of my taxes to go toward the defense budget. How's that?

      February 8, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • BRC

      Right off the bat, it doesn't matter if you think adoption is the better option in the case of ra-pe, what matters is what the woman who was the victim MIGHT want. Her freedom to choose must be respected and protected. And yes, abstinence is an option, but not a realistic one in many cases. We have the capacity to allow people to safely and effectively help control the size of their families, and by extension the unchecked growth of the population. It is in the best interest of this country to do so, the Government realizes that, and since they can make laws to make it easier for people to do so, without infringing on your right to live your life the way you want, it makes sense for them to make that law.

      As for your seriously off base torture comparison, if we saw a drastic increase in violent crimes, and there was a public outcry for harsher punishments to try and serve as a deterrent, and the Bill was drafted, made open to the public, and the solid majority of the population didn't turn against it with protests, signatures, and contacting their representatives; maybe a torture law could make it (though it would never get past the Supreme Court as the Consttution is now, but we'll let that slide as a hypothetical). IF the torture law was seen to work, and there was a dramatic decrease in violent crimes because bad people realized that they were okay with a death sentence, but 25 years of electric niple clamps was more than they were willing to take on, then the government could make the case that they enacted the will of the people by reducing crime. They did it at the cost of what was considered a National Principle, but as the populace didn't protest, they did their jobs. If the country did have a huge flood of conscience and guilt, and they started up protests and signatures, they could have the law repealed, deciding instead to maintain their principles.

      Even then the comparison doesn't really work. Nothing in the affordable care act requires an individual citizen to do anything, it targets organizations and companies with employees. Personal freedoms (what the Consttution actually protects) are untouched. For the torture law to be similar, it would have to require that the torture could only be carried out by volunteers who were willing to choose to enact the punishments, and members of the Department of Corrections could abstain from participating on principle.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      @BRC ".... and by extension the unchecked growth of the population. " By 2050, Russia will have 35 million fewer Russians. It will have a very old population with comparatively few young people to keep the economy going. Same with China with it's one child policy. It will be a country of the elderly. The populations of Europe are dropping with the result that Muslims are moving in in large numbers. The demographics of Russia and China will turn them into desperate countries – armed to the teeth with nukes. America is now depopulating itself. Want choice? We'll get to choose between millions of Catholics from South America, or Muslims.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • BRC

      A conjecture based out of paranoia and missinformation. Russia's population has suffered from massive econimic colapse (far worse than ours), a history of war that has pretty much always focussed on a strategy of atrition, and the fact that parts of it are icy tundra that is near unlivable. China has OVER A BILLION PEOPLE. Even if their population were an issue, as you said, there was a one child LAW, that mandated population control. Allowing free access to contraceptives doesn't endanger our population, it allows families to have a number of children that they know they can support, families with more can support more, and there is nothing stopping them. Besides, you can look at it this way. If you have an unemployment problem, you're not underpopulated.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  7. JohnR

    Earth to US citizenry: It is in the nature of EVERY law and mandate to restrict freedom.

    My view? Contraception is good. Forcing groups by law to pay for it even if they think it is bad is not so cool.

    How much does this stuff cost anyway? The practice of mandating that insurance must pay for more and more stuff can be and has in many cases already been taken to damaging extremes. I recall a discussion of a state law somewhere mandating that insurance must cover hair implants. That's nuts. Also, there was controversy in the UK over coverage of tattoo removal. Seriously, folks. Contraception is a good deal more serious than hair implants or tattoo removal, but it's not obviously a "health" issue per se in all but a few extraordinary cases. The question then is whether it is something that everyone should be allowed to have access to and, if so, is it so expensive that access is only feasible for many if it is subsidized by others. I just don't know the answers to the latter question, but note with chagrin that such critical issues are almost NEVER part of the discussion on health care mandates. That's a damning statement on the level of discourse on these sorts of issues in this country.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Samsword

      That's actually an interesting point. I wasn't even thinking of the economic questions surrounding the mandate. Good point!

      February 8, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Reality

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror like 9/11.

      – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

      – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

      – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

      Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook

      More on the economic front:

      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."

      February 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  8. PrimeNumber

    The US is a mere 2.5 centuries old. It has been a full democracy for less than that since blacks, Native Americans, and women have relatively recently been allowed to fully participate. Most of it's national energies have not been spent on the issue of what a human being is, let alone WHO a person is, not to mention WHEN life begins. THe CHurch has been thinking about these issues for 2000 years. The church has outlasted, and buried, everything from the Roman Empire, to Naziism, to Soviet Communism. Compared to the Catholic Church, American culture is adolescent. So the current office holder of the US presidency spits in the face of the Church's vast experience. THen he offers an olive branch when he realizes what he has done.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • JohnR

      The church has dlip flopped on this and pretty much every other vital moral issue. So you have no point.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      @JohnR For ages the church has been accused of being behind the times, monolithic, dogmatic and so on. If you have ever accused the church of this, then you gave up the right to accuse it of flip-flopping.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by PrimeNumber is an instance of the Tu Quoque fallacy.


      February 8, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • TooFunny

      "Post by PrimeNumber is an instance of the Tu Quoque fallacy."

      Yet they even state on the site you provided "Researchers disagree about how to define the very term “fallacy.” "


      February 8, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by TooFunny is also an instance of the Tu Quoque fallacy.


      February 8, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • TooFunny

      "Post by TooFunny is also an instance of the Tu Quoque fallacy."

      Dude give it up – they even state it can't be defined yet you continue posting demonstrating your stupidity. LOL!

      February 8, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by TooFunny is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.


      February 8, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • J.W

      I like the fallacies they are fun

      February 8, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • TooFunny

      "Post by TooFunny is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy."

      And you continue posting more stupidity with bad spelling – Nice job herbie.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by TooFunny is another instance of the ad hominem fallacy.


      February 8, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  9. TrigWit - Americas favorite tard baby

    AHHH HAHAHHAAA!!! Obama just sealed his fate.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • David Johnson


      I doubt I'd be the one the believers would choose as a spokesman, but there are many denominations of Christianity. The Christian Bible is ambiguous. It says different things to different people. Who is correct?

      Not all "Christians" condemn gays. Not all Christians reside in the U.S. I think Nii is as deluded as the other Christians. And even if he is a fraud, what does it matter? I think most believers, at heart, are.


      February 8, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Unfortunately for Anglicans we can be all we want to be! Evangelical, Liberal, High, Low, and even Messianic Jewish. Check out the genesis of Messianc Jewish from Wikipedia. Do not confuse the religion Judaism with the ethnic gp Hebrew. In Israel you can be Hebrew n Jewish or Hebrew and not Jewish.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @David: True enough.
      @Nii: You all believe in the same buybull in the end...the only difference is how you interpret it and not many agree upon who has it right. Gods have existed since the beginning of mankind and will exist for many years after we have died, your particular flavor of god was not written about until approximately 2000 years ago by so many men who never met one another (maybe a history lesson on the origins of the buybull is needed)...how are you so sure you have the correct god? Do you believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny? All we say is that given that there is no physical evidence for your god (no fossil records, no records outside of the buybull), we refuse to accept it as fact. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. My mother found sanct.ity within the Anglican church in her dying days and they treated her well...for that I am forever thankful. I just don't happen to see it in the same light and it works for me...I am happy and live an extremely good life without the need for a god.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:14 am |
    • Nii Croffie


      February 8, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      To anyone reading Nii's post's...click on his name...it leads you to his facebook page...he claims to be a good loving christard but goes against the one thing you people tend to preach about constantly-ho.mo.se.xuality (I personally don't care that he is sitting on the fence about it) and for CA's sake, I must point out that Nii is from Ghana-not even remotely close to the USA. The point is that Nii is a fraud and that needs to put out there and he should be defined as the hypocrite he really is...Amen my ass you stupid hypocrite!!! You come on here and preach to others about their ills in this world but yet you don't follow your own book of fables...how horribly hypocritical!! Once again your se.xual orientation is not my issue, the fact that you preach about how good you are and how true your belief in the buybull is but yet you are being a hypocritew...hope your god delusion sends you to those burning pits (not that either exist but to point out the irony of your hypocrisy and expose you for what you are-a liar; a hypocrite; a poor example of good christard)

      February 8, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • captain america

      To anyone reading canadian bull sh it it leads to unbelievable stupidity, let them screw up their own country and leave US to ours. There's your sign

      February 8, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @CA: all we hear is blah blah blah....btw-WE'RE STILL HERE!! WASP said it quite well to your other personality-just spewin'-you just hate that we speak the facts and are not quite as stupid as you-jealousy is an apparent sin-there's your sign!

      February 8, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      btw Ca: when did Ghana become part of the USA? We have closer ties than they do...you have proven how much of a hypocrite you are-does your god delusion not teach that hypocrisy is a sin? Enjoy your hell...it is where you think we are going but here's the end deal-it's your made-up place, so go there!

      February 8, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • just sayin

      Be sure to stand when you pray your National Anthem. "God keep our land..."

      February 8, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • 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 8, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @just spewin: You know I am not totally disrespectful to christards, just the ones who think they have the right to shove their garbage down the throats of others. I stand for our countries National Anthem out of respect for my country; just as I will attend my friends catholic wedding this summer out of respect for my friend. I don't happen to agree that adding the word god makes something a prayer because I do not believe that prayer works and if you think that puts me in line with a life in hell, so be it...I'd rather be anywhere that the likes of you and your kind aren't. I know good christian's who don't preach their beliefs and don't treat others poorly due to disagreeing on beliefs. Those good christian's are the type of christian's I associate with, not the type like you who argues the stupidest crap and pretends to be holier than thou (lets not forget the fact that you have already admitted to using Captain America as your other alias or at least CA admitted that you were the same person). As for your hockey comment...not my sport-sorry, my sport is based out of the good ole USA-NASCAR and I would stand for your countries anthem, just not the invocation.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Atheists surely are not very happy with me are they? Well if it has to be lies u have to resort to then I know clearly that yours is not the ETHICAL TYPE ATHEISM hence humanism is not in ur dictionary. Everyone is invited to visit my FB page and even send a Friendship Request. Ghana is very nice.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      As to GH-USA I don't think we've gotten round to it yet apart from 2 Soccer World Cups at 2-1. Obama won't be in a hurry to train nuclear warheads on us though. We got gold, oil and sweetest cocoa. I hope CNN has been showing u this. Oh and we've got real democracy too. Not 1:10000 voting.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      After all said and done however I do not hate any atheists, Americans or gays. I am a Messianic Jewish Anglican. I am proud of my ancestory and I do not wish the American Dream on my worst enemy if it produces people like TruthPrevails.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • captain america

      Nii Do not worry about "Liar"prevails and the American dream it dreams in butt in canadian, as if we didn't have enough crap from our own atheist types. There's your sign

      February 8, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Reality hits you hard bro!

      Saying you’re a “Messianic Jewish Anglican” is like saying you are a white black person. You can be one or the other, but you can’t be both.


      February 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Thanks CA

      February 8, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Reality hits you hard bro!

      @captain america
      In not condemning Nii C. for commenting on this topic, you’re simply exposing your hypocrisy. Pick a position and stick with it you feeble minded fool.


      February 8, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • just wondering

      How is it that you would know what a person was or wasn't better than the person themseves?

      February 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Reality hits you hard bro!

      @just wondering
      if that was a question, who was it directed at?

      February 8, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Messianic Jewish is my doctrinal position and Anglican is my denomination. In Anglicanism we have these doctrinal positions like Evangelical, High, Low, etc. Hebrews are not necessarily Jewish neither are Jews necessarily Hebrews.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      as to being a white black person look at Obama. Its funny but half-caste children are religiously rejected by the white race as 'not ours'. Funny!

      February 8, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Reality hits you hard bro!

      You can't believe that Jesus is the messiah and still be Jewish, any more than I can believe Jesus is the messiah and still be an Atheist. I’m not talking about half’n’half here. You can’t be black and be white at the same time any more than you can be jewish and Christian, or jewish and atheist, or agnostic atheist Baptist.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Unfortunately the definitions are not yours to make. S. Paul was a Jewish Christian. Jesus' brother James the Just was a Jewish Christian. Both were Pharisees. How come you do not know these things. Read the Bible more ok.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      One of the teachings of Christ is that those disciples of His (Christians) who are experts in the Law (Jewish rabbis) have double treasure both from the Old and the New Testaments.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Nii: How is this a lie...http://www.facebook.com/nii.croffie? You do come on here and preach but yet fail to follow your own book! That is why I called you our and called you a hypocrite! I'm not angry with you, I don't know you. I'm sickened that you put other people down for their misgivings but yet your buybull clearly states that by lying with a man you are sinning that in itself is hypocrisy. As for the Ghana vs USA thing...the point is that CA aka just sayin' has the audacity to put others down for coming to this site that it claims belongs strictly to the USA and is only pertinent to them but yet you come here and you are much further away than we are...your countries money means little in the end, we are their closest neighbors and we have their backs in every war going and on every other subject possible. Both you and CA aka just sayin' (see the hypocrisy there?) are both hypocrites!

      February 8, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Reality hits you hard bro!

      All of jesus’ followers in your fairy tale book were jewish prior to the his resurrection. The moment you believe jesus has fulfilled the messianic prophecies, you become a Christian, not a jewish christian, but a christian. Judaism is still waiting for their messiah, and believe jesus to be a false messiah. Call yourself what you will, but you my friend are a straight up christian.

      I think you should read more too, try something outside of the bible for a change. Something a little more grounded in reality.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  11. No please ...

    Latest CNN Headline: God quits over unauthorized use of her
    name. Main Story. God handed in her resignation this morning, according to
    informed sources. She was heard to say that she was "tired of people doing
    and saying really shi**y things" and " using her name without her
    permission to justify those shi**y things", especially those who call
    themselves “Christians” while denigrating others and talking about how heaven
    will judge others.. She also said she doesn’t have a plan and that S**T
    happens. And she “really likes gays more than Republicans” and she designed
    humans 14 billion years ago to have free choice so what they do "is up to
    them" and others have NO right to judge them.. Attempts to contact her
    were unsuccessful because she doesn’t tweet. Rumors are that she will retire
    somewhere off the coast of Somalia.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Samsword

      "...NO right to judge them..."

      um... kind of like you're judging Christians?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Samsword

      Seriously... this life is full of people. People are full of opinions. Opinions are a reflection of people's "judgement."

      The only way to NOT be judged, is to live in isolation. Welcome to the world of living with others. 😉

      February 8, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      As non-believers we are not compelled to reserve judgement...that's your shtick.

      "He's your God...they're your rules....you go to hell."

      February 8, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • fred


      Opinion: Riding dirtbikes is a fun pastime
      Judgement: Riding dirtbikes will send you to hell for an eternity

      February 8, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Samsword


      Still an opinion... Perhaps an opinion with some conviction... but still an opinion.....

      February 8, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      "CHRISTIANS" were still attending synagogues after AD200. Some still do. Christianity worships the Jewish God. The moment you believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah the Rabbinic and maybe Khazar Jews do not consider you a Jew. However their authority over us has never been historical.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      "CHRISTIANS" worshipped in de 2nd Temple n Jewish synagogues until de Temple was destroyed. Afterwards they worshipped in de synagogues until Gentile Christianity was dominant around AD300. even then some continued. Rabbinic Jews n maybe Khazar Jews have never had the authority to define Jewishness.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  12. Jonathan

    Its not just the Catholics. Anyone with a conscious objection to subsidizing abortion, whether through donations or a mandated 'premium charge' on their health plan, should be able to opt out of this.

    I can not and WILL NOT comply with this law, the consequences be damned. Fine me, jail me, torture me, kill me, do your worst. When you tell me I can not follow the directives of my own conscious, you have just started something you can't win short of eliminating me and my conscious. I will fight for what I believe in and woe be to the person that attempts to strip my freedom to do so from me.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • *facepalm*

      How do you plan to not comply with this law?

      What if an employer thinks that transfusions are evil? Can they then withhold providing insurance for transfusions for their employees, regardless of their employees beliefs? What if they have a conscientious objection to antibiotics? Do you draw a line, or should any business that's backed by a religion be able to withhold insurance payment for any reason?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Jonathan

      If it comes down to it, I will refuse health coverage. If I am willing to die for my beliefs, it is only logical that I would follow through and put my life on the line to show how serious I am about it.

      If someone wants a particular type of health coverage that their employer doesn't offer, they have options to get it elsewhere. No one has the right to be employed and if you plan on getting health coverage, you better make sure what you want is what is being offered.

      The whole issue comes down to where or not you can force someone to violate their beliefs. You are taking away someone's freedom to choose when you do that and people have fought and died for the right to make their own choices. If Obama wants a war on his hands, he will get one if he pushes this. I refuse to allow someone else to make my decisions for me, no matter what they are.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Samsword

      @Facepalm – So don't work for that employer... I can see your point... but also having to PAY for something you believe to be morally wrong IS a restriction of rights... So the question is, who's rights do you restrict? The Employer or the Employees?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Jonathan

      Typo "where" should be whether (dumb autocorrect).

      And I should clarify. We all have the freedom to choose to do anything we wish. Doesn't matter if it is legal or not, right or wrong. We can choose and deal with the consequences. That is what is being taken away.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • fred

      Free abortions, free birh contol, free morning after pill, free STD testing Yeah, I know where that is coming from. Talk about an agenda, talk about being bought and paid for by the Corporations that feed off $exualizing the young. Sic perverted from the fist time democrats began to push the "safe $ex" motto down our childerns throats. Pass it out free like candy. Oh, no parent authorizations needed because daddy may find out. Yep, you kicked the church out of your bedroom now welcome big sis. Nice swap

      February 8, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Jonathan

      Nothing is free. Someone always has to pay for it. Instead of the person engaging in the acts paying their own way (instead of controlling themselves and living within their means) they want everyone else to chip in and make it more affordable for them to continue with their habits.

      Part of the reason I refuse to comply is that I don't not feel it is beneficial to enable someone's addiction, whether or not it is phyasical, chemical or psychological. The other reason, and most important to me, is the higher authority that i will eventually answer to. Whether or not you believe in Him or not, doesn't matter. You just have to believe that I believe and I am willing to live accrording to and DIE according to those beliefs.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      S ex education is good but good relationship education is helpful to enable emotionally mature and intelligent decision making.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • fred (the atheist one)

      "I refuse to allow someone else to make my decisions for me, no matter what they are."

      Do you pay taxes?

      February 8, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • BRC

      Nothing in this law affects your perosnal religious practice. At all. Noone is forcing you to do anything. The law forces employers, regardless of their beliefs, to provide insurance to their employees. That's it. Don't want it? Don't use it. Noone is going to come after you.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  13. You cant be serious

    Lol these comments have the maturity of a 15 year old or extremely ldiotic people. It's hilarious watching the same people bicker back and forth and nobody ever presents anything of substance, just the same old tired responses to the simplest overarching question, which shows no intellectual capability whatsoever.


    February 8, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Pot or kettle?

      Thank you for that substantive, mature post. I feel enlightened.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  14. Reality

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    For your next news conference–


    To all overse-xed h-o-mo-sapiens:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.

    Added information before making your next move:

    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.'"

    Obviously, Planned Parenthood, parents and educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    religious health insurance plan: prayer...right?

    February 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Observer

      You can opt out of anything objectionable: contraception, coverage for blood transfusions etc.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      right so science is there when god isn't – got it! thanks. 🙂

      February 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Samsword

      I'm religious... but I don't object to using science. In my faith science can be part of the Divine too.

      After all, if you believe that Intelligence is behind the organization of the universe, then science is part of that. Furthermore, if you believe mankind's mind is part of that Intelligent Order (as I do), then even the discovery of science is Divine too.

      I have no qualms admitting that scientific medicine can accomplish great things. I believe it to be a miracle of sorts. To me, science is part of "God."

      February 8, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  16. David Johnson

    *sigh* Obama has a really hard time taking a stand and sticking with it. When the policy was being discussed, before it became law, didn't it occur to him that some might be opposed to it? I hated when he gave in to the Republicans. I have that same feeling of being let down, again.


    February 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  17. Politics is nothing but a crime in progress

    He should offer an olive branch to their molester priests and the many clergy who helped cover it up. They are voters too.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  18. AGuest9

    Damn, it, Obama, don't back down to these rosary-bead thugs!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Prayer didn't help Brett Favre in the 2011 NFC Championship game the Vikings could've just run the ball and kicked the field goal, but there's no way the wise old veteran turns the ball over right?

      The interception not only ended Minnesota's season where they were the most talented team in football, it led to the disastrous ending of Favre's career.

      He could've won the Super Bowl and left the game on top, but after the interception, he just couldn't end his career on that note. Everyone knows what followed in 2010...

      February 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • pervert alert

      brett didn't pray the vikings did end of story you don't know sh it about sports

      February 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      No way for either of us to know but if I were him I would have started praying the moment I let the ball go lol! Which reminds me of how praying didn't help The Blue Jays. In 1987, the Toronto Blue Jays held a 3.5 game division lead over the Detroit Tigers. They proceeded to lose seven straight games which lost them the division crown!

      February 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Doesn't your church teach that you will go to some imaginary place filled with lakes of fire when you die if you tell lies?

      February 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • captain america

      yeah i think it is called canada, smart ass moron. There's your sign

      February 8, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  20. Nature Boy

    You and me baby aint' nothin' but mammels so let's do it like they do on the Discovery channel!

    February 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Nature Girl

      Your love is like a roller coaster baby. I wanna ride!

      February 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      I am reminded of Tom Brady's wife showing her true love for hubby after the Super Bowl by berating the Patriots wide receivers.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • fred (the atheist one)

      @Sports Fan

      I couldn't stand you when you first showed up, but I must admint that I now look forward to your off-topic posts. They're good for a chuckle or two every now and then.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Our love is like a Bruce Springsteen concert. It's not that great; it's really long, but *wow*! What energy!
      Our love is like having s.ex with a dwarf when you're drunk. Oh, it's great at the time; but when you think about it the next day at work, you feel shame and guilt, and an array of sadness.
      Our love...and I mean this in a nice way...is like taking Lassie to the desert, removing her teeth with a hunting knife; and shooting her in the head with a gun that you and she built together.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:34 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.