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Liberal Catholics challenge bishops on Obama's contraception rule
A growing chorus of progressive Catholic activists say the American bishops, above, don't speak for all Catholics on public policy matters.
February 15th, 2012
02:17 PM ET

Liberal Catholics challenge bishops on Obama's contraception rule

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - America’s Catholic bishops have criticized the White House’s mandate for insurers to provide free contraception coverage to employees, but plenty of other Catholic groups have endorsed the plan - some taking swipes at the bishops in the process.

“The Catholic bishops and their allies in the Republican Party are increasingly isolated,” James Salt, executive director of a liberal group called Catholics United, said in a statement over the weekend supporting the White House’s contraception rule.

“The bishops’ blanket opposition appears to the serve the interests of a political agenda, not the needs of the American people," Salt continued, e-mailing his group’s support for the White House to tens of thousands of Catholics nationwide.

Another Washington-based Catholic operative, John Gehring, e-mailed reporters over the weekend to knock the bishops for criticizing President Barack Obama, even after his administration revised its contraception rule Friday to mandate that insurers - not Catholic institutions - pay for birth control coverage.

"You have to ask why the bishops can't take yes for an answer," wrote Gehring, who works with the progressive group Faith in Public Life.

On Wednesday, Gehring helped organize a call with reporters to discuss a congressional hearing this week at which some bishops are expected to testify against the contraception rule. "I believe everything my church teaches," Nicholas Cafardi, a prominent Catholic lawyer, said on the call, voicing support for the birth control rule. " I don’t consider this as a question of dogma, but of how we apply Catholic teaching in the real world."

For the White House and Democratic Party, such expressions of Catholic support have been helpful, providing political ammunition against conservative allegations the administration and party are anti-religion and are at war with the Catholic Church.

But the support has not come easy. It reflects a years-long campaign by liberal Catholic activists to push back against the leadership of their church on controversial political matters - and years of White House bridge-building with a spectrum of Catholic groups.

In an election year in which Catholics will constitute one of the nation’s biggest swing voting blocs - and in which the bishops are likely to continue slapping the White House - the political heft of a new generation of progressive Catholic groups and the White House’s Catholic outreach efforts are about to face a huge political test.

Groups such as Catholics United and Faith in Public Life got off the ground during and just after the 2004 election when a Catholic Democratic presidential nominee - Sen. John Kerry - was hard-pressed to find Catholic support in the face of condemnations from some Catholic bishops over his support for abortion rights.

Kerry, the first Catholic presidential nominee since John F. Kennedy, wound up losing the Catholic vote to George W. Bush, who made Catholic outreach a priority.

“For too long, the far right owned the values debate and there were very few progressive and religious groups willing to speak out in specific and strategic moments to help shape that debate,” Catholics United's Salt said. “But since 2004, there’s been a turnaround.”

The emergence of progressive Catholic groups such as Catholics United helped Obama handily win the Catholic vote in 2008.

And such groups provided Catholic support for the president in 2009, when he faced conservative Catholic criticism over his commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, and in 2010, when the bishops opposed Obama’s health care law, alleging that it left the door open to taxpayer-funded abortion.

Some activists from the new progressive Catholic establishment have been hired into the Obama administration, including Alexia Kelley, who started a group called Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good after the 2004 election, and John Kelly, a Catholic outreach liaison for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“This will be a surprise to some, but this has been an extremely Catholic friendly White House,” said Stephen Schneck, a Catholic University professor involved with a handful of progressive Catholic groups. “It probably has more Catholic members than just about any presidency I can remember.

“That’s partly been the way that the administration has been able to court Catholic progressives,” he said.

Since its early days, the Obama White House has heavily courted Catholic organizations like Catholic Charities, USA and the Catholic Health Association, which voiced support for the revised contraception rule, upsetting some bishops.

That support was politically important for the White House because the administration doubted it could ever win support from the bishops, even after Friday’s revision.

“Unfortunately, the White House knew all along that there was no chance in reaching the bishops - Richard Doerflinger, John Carr and the Bishops Conference staff are far too cozy with right-wing politicians on the Hill to have any real negotiation,” says a senior Democratic official, referring to influential bishops conference staffers.

“Until a bishop shows some leadership over their own staff, it’s going to be hard to negotiate,” the official said, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss White House negotiations.

A spokesperson for the bishops said the White House never consulted them on the contraception rule.

“When the President called Cardinal Dolan… it was merely to tell him what the White House had already decided,” the spokesperson said, referring to Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops’ conference. The spokesperson also insisted on anonymity because the bishops don’t typically speak on dealings with the White House.

“Never was there an attempt to collaborate or learn what kind of accommodation might have been acceptable,” the spokesperson said.

A survey released Tuesday from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that among Catholics who have heard about the issue, 55% support giving religious institutions that object to birth control an exemption from the federal contraceptive rule, while 39% oppose exempting those institutions.

 

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bishops • Catholic Church • Culture wars

soundoff (429 Responses)
  1. Chris

    The bishops are the equivalent of executive management in any corporation. They contribute little to the product (spirituality) but wield an unseemly amount of power – and hubris. The higher up the chain you go, the greater the rot sets in – just as in any corporation.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • brandon

      These bishops are the same ones who protected all the pedophiles within their ranks and hid this from the public for decades and continue to do so. No apologies. For them to become political as they have been in the last decade is outrageous. Makes me ashamed of being a catholic and am moving further and further away from them because of this. Catholics and Christians have become political weapons and led by corrupt bishops and leaders with no regard to moral values or the people they are supposedly guiding. These vocal bishops need to shut the F&%&* up! Leave politics to the politicians.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • J.W

      Brandon there are better denominations out there anyways.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    Liberal Catholics have no influence in the RCC aside from dwindling amounts of tihes they collect.

    Many will be fooled and lead astray. Many with let the world sear their beliefs and never realize the false path they walk. An ultimate truth does not change, it does not sway with public opinion and it does not compromise to new 'accepted' 'truths'. Christians/Catholics that begin to compromise on their beliefs only bring falsehood to their own beliefs, not the truth behind those beliefs.

    Where is your belief and trust in the ultimate authority figure you so claim to believe in!?!? He DOES NOT and WILL NEVER speak false. It is an ALL or NOTHING road you walk. (Those that do not believe, need not comment on this, as it does not apply to you)

    February 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Jonathon contains the Willed Ignorance fallacy, the Genetic fallacy, the No True Scotsmen fallacy, the Group Think fallacy, the Guilt by Association fallacy, and the False Dilemma fallacy.

      Remarkable, really.
      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Jonathan contains the Willed Ignorance fallacy, the Genetic fallacy, the No True Scotsmen fallacy, the Group Think fallacy, the Guilt by Association fallacy, and the False Dilemma fallacy.

      Remarkable, really.
      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • J.W

      I guess you are still better at this than me.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Kris Craig

      Shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere?

      February 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Darwin

      Your beliefs are falsehoods

      February 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • TR6

      “it does not sway with public opinion and it does not compromise to new 'accepted' 'truths'.”

      So what happened to the immutable truths of limbo and eating fish on Friday? And how come the mass just got changed again

      February 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Jonathan

      "So what happened to the immutable truths of limbo and eating fish on Friday? And how come the mass just got changed again"

      I'm not Catholic and don't profess to believe their teachings. I merely hold the grounds that ultimate truths do not change. Read into that any way you want.

      Personally, I find no biblical origin supporting limbo or eating fish on Friday.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • TransHumanism: Easier to Prove Than Your Faith

      Brilliant! You're the ultimate self-negator. You close your initial argument with: "(Those that do not believe, need not comment on this, as it does not apply to you)". Then (and this is were it gets really, really amazing), you announce in a comment rebuttal that "I'm not Catholic and don't profess to believe their teachings".

      So, if you don't believe, how can you comment? Hell, how can you make the initial statement? I think my head's going to explode...

      February 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Jonathan

      I merely stated that I was not a Catholic. I never said that I did not believe in ultimate truth. I do, in fact. To explain myself further, I personally believe that many of the things the RCC teach and rituals it attends are not based in this 'ultimate truth' nor do I believe the Pope has a direct line to God or is infallible. One of the things that I believe the RCC has correct is its stance on abortion, as it follows suit with the commandment of "Thou shalt not murder", something I can explicitly find references to in the bible. I'll not argue over whether or not an unborn child is human or not, I've already made up my mind to the affirmative.

      Take it as you will.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  3. William Demuth

    I'm William Demuth and so's my wife!

    February 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So I guess I am from Nantucket?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ahh looks like I have more followers and rabid copy cats. I'm the real William!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      One more of me and all we will need is a virgin bimbo, and Christ will return again.

      Tragically, virgin Christian chicks are as rare as straight priests.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Darwin

      LMAO

      February 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • TransHumanism: Easier to Prove Than Your Faith

      Christian chicks are the wildest lays – hell, if I meet a woman and she tells me she's a Southern Baptist, I _know_ we're getting our freak on soon. Atheists, northeastern liberal feminists, etc are the _worst_. They expect you to respect them, _talk_ to them, take them out on dates, etc etc etc...

      Show me a southern Christian woman over 30, and I know this immediately without you saying a word: she's soon to be divorced from her second husband; she prowls Facebook for men; has at least three kids; will go down on me in a movie theatre on our first date if I ignore her enough. If I'm nice to her, she'll think I'm gay.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  4. Doc Vestibule

    "Abortions for all!"
    (crowd boos)
    "No abortions for anyone!"
    (crowd boos)
    "Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!"
    (crowd cheers)

    February 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Hey someone stole my handle!!!

      effin boinkers

      February 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  5. hippypoet, William Depoop, Reality, JW, Aguest9, Im the best!, jimtanker

    Does everyone else just skip the article and go right to the comments section? I love to do that and follow the same people posting all the time, It's the coolest!!! You guys are soooooooo smart I'm just absolutely amazed. The astuity and rigor you bring to the CNN belief blog comments section is absolutely astounding. I'm sooo amazed at your intellectual capability, please do share how you have gained this insurmountable amount of knowledge. I've never met anyone with all the answers before, but alas I have now found those people in the CNN comments section!!!!

    You all are the coolest!

    February 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Thank You! Thank You!

      I am here all week!

      Try the veal!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • J.W

      Wow what an honor. I got included with all these brilliant atheists.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      JW

      I keep warning you dude. You don't tow the line.

      Your Christian buddies and gonna nail you to a CROSS!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • hippypoet, William Depoop, Reality, JW, Aguest9, Im the best!, jimtanker

      @JW – My apologies.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Um.... you forgot someone......This guy!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • J.W

      William if practicing Catholics are defying the church's hierarchy I think that opens the door up a little more to discussion over various controversial issues. The problem is that the Catholic churches have so many rules that they are supposed to be bound to even though obviously they are not followed. But maybe this opens up the possibility that the rules will change.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      CHUCKLES IS BACK!!

      When did you get out dude?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Well I was taking some hard poundings and unfortunately it took me a while to walk back to my cpu....i still cant sit 🙁

      February 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W

      You do realize revolution happens in churches right?

      The RCC was DOMINANT, till some began to protest, and you know where that led. The RCC is SOL!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      When I heard about Whitney Houston I thought you were gone for sure!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • J.W

      What exactly do you mean by hard poundings? You got beat up?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Haha it's good to be back, even with handle stealer and all

      I do love the people who get on simply to mock the frequent atheists on the board while trying to act superior at the same time. It's adorable really.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Ha ha, nope not beat up, our local handle stealer is back and set his targets on me, it's a nice welcome back really.

      @William

      I won't lie, after whitney I didn't know what to do with myself for a while

      February 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      @chuckles

      I'll will your ass boy.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Whip*

      I'll whip that ass boy.....you aint nothin

      February 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah Chuckles we have not heard at all what you think of the contraception debate or Linsanity. We need to hear your wisdom on these things.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Indeed, I'm sure you'll be able to call it, but the contraception stuff that's been going on is clearly just a repub gimmick to fire up the base and accuse obama of attacking religion, even though most catholics use contraception, 8 states currently have the law in place before obama signed anything AND obama is just evening the playing field with making org's that receive taxpayer money do what everyone else has to do. The fact that obama gave in was ridiculous not to mention it made me a little bummed that he's already begun doing stuff for his reelection rather than doing what is right.

      As for linsanity, I feel the same way about it the way I feel about tebow. Don't really follow it nor do I really need to.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Darwin

      You're welcome

      February 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  6. SPA Knight

    It's amazing that the Catholic Bishops who speak for the American Catholic Church are being challenged by polical action groups who believe they actually have an authoritative voice in this debate. James Salt (Catholics United) and John Gehring (Faith in Public Life) and just polical hired guns by progressives to promote anything but unity among Catholics.

    It's time to pick sides if you are a Catholic and let the battle for freedom of religion wage on. Hebrews were faced with a similar dilema when enslaved by the Egyptians. Obey their leader Moses in following the prescribed instructions of God regarding Passover. Choose to save yourselves at the expense of your first born children or obey God and become outlaws in Egypt for the sacrificing animals which were sacred.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • J.W

      Do you think there should be insurance plans that do not cover things such as blood transfusions, x-rays, smoking, alcoholism, and male enhancement drugs?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nuns on the pill dude.

      Cause they get crampy (and they don't want the Cardinals baby)

      February 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  7. chief

    so how many of those moron are peds.... good chance that 2 are

    February 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      If you look at the first row, you can see a circle jerk breaking out.

      I guess the croped the Altar Boy out of the picture.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  8. William Depoop

    I'm back.......hehe, I also pose as every other common name on here, so basically everyone's post is mumbo jumbo bc it could very well not even be the real person

    February 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • ɥʇnɯǝp ɯɐıןןıʍ

      Not all names are so easily copied!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Mıllıɐɯ pǝɯnʇɥ

      Some are even harder to fake

      February 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • ɥʇnɯǝp ɯɐıןןıʍ

      Yes moron, they actually are easily copied.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mıllıɐɯ pǝɯnʇɥ

      And I'll say it once again: Yes moron, they are easily copied

      February 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • William Depoop

      Did I prove you dumb yest Demuth? P00P is a more appropriate name for you.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      But can you be sure its not me copying me?

      Its like the Gospels. Any azzhole can write anything, and some red neck will buy into it!!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • William Depoop

      demuth – youre an ldiot

      February 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      William Demuth

      No we are not!

      William Demuth

      February 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  9. William Demuth

    I wonder if the bishops garters match their frocks or their beanies.

    I would think the church would prefer the neutral black, perhaps with some pink piping?

    February 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • chief

      it makes them look holy and crap..... and what kind of knucklehead looks at that picture and thinks of anything that might remotely be spiritual... ?

      February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  10. Halo of Flies

    This article pleases me greatly.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  11. William Demuth

    It's high time that I lose it. The simple fact that the political establishment is in cohootz is usurping the calamity that I call process. Their process by and large then becomes the crux of our local district which in turn help establish boundaries for the brave. This must stop and I suggest that everyone write a letter to your local school board to start protesting the attestation of the presidential indignation.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It seems I have an admirer.

      Probably some gay Christian guy from the South!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • J.W

      William that is not the first admirer you had. Remember William Depoop? lol

      February 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      JW I have had em all!

      Posers galore, like squirrellls tryin to get a nut!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • chief

      come on william.... dont bring the south into it

      February 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Chief

      No intent to offend gays of southerners, just to annoy one person!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  12. William Demuth

    At one point I thought the right had a real shot at the white house, but they are blowing it.

    If they nominate Santorum, Obama will have the largest victory in modern times.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I didn't think Catholics were allowed to "blow it"?

      That isn't part of "good old fashioned american man on top get it over with quick type of se.x".

      (god I miss George Carlin)

      February 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  13. Gerald

    The Bishops are hardly isolated as this article claims. I ran a booth after mass a couple of sundays ago with info and letters to send to Senators and congressman. There was a steady stream of lay faithful coming up and getting info and sending letters out. More CNN claptrap articles.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Only you can believe that what occured was a win for the RCC.

      Christianity will remain with us for some time, but that church is on its last legs and I think even you know it.

      Recepits are down, attendance is down, political power is down, and penalties and settlements fro the abuse scandal are having a HUGE impact.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Sue

      Wonderful to see the Catholic church ripping itself apart and self-destructing. Progress, finally.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Sue

      My dream girl returs! Give me hell lady!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • chief

      well if gerald said ... it must be true.... btw, where do the bishops shop..... gotta get me some of those clown suits so i can look holy... wth

      February 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • sam

      So...some folks came up to you at your own church? And that made it seem to you like this whole article is nonsense? I'm just checking, but it seems like you believe your logic is sound and that your little corner is an accurate representation of anything.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • chief

      re sam.... gerald is most likely a priest..... he openly defend the ped priest every week when another group of them are caught.... his last known address was at the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri... google it and you will understand

      February 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • J.W

      Gerald committed the hasty generalization fallacy here. Man I am getting better at this than Fallacy Spotting 101.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  14. 100%

    There aren't many guarantees in life, one of them though is that the CNN comments section will be full of absolute morons spouting their ignorant shlt as if they know something.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • be careful

      Santorum for President 2012

      February 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • William Demuth

      be careful

      Yeah! And his VP for President in 2013!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • chief

      re 100% .... you are what you write...

      February 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • chief

      santorum cant beat obama and the media.... i dont think romney can either

      February 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Frannie

      Rick Santorum's been commenting here again??

      February 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • be careful

      Out of the pack comes Rick Santorum, what has made the difference? Prayer works !

      February 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Sue

      If Rick Santorum is the result of prayer, then prayer is definitely a bad thing.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Sue

      Other than assuring an Obama term 2, of course.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Left Wing Anarchist Subversive Black Bloc Radical

      We on the Left LOVE Santorum! We very much want him as your candidate. When November rolls around and the vote that matters comes from the moderates and undecideds in the middle, Santorum is a loser.

      Prayer failed to produce an Evangelical candidate. Prayer brought an unelectable candidate to the forefront of the Right.

      Kepp praying! You are doing a GREAT job! It is really working well for us Leftists!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • J.W

      I think more people prayed that there would not be an evangelical in the White House, and that Obama would be reelected. It looks like those prayers may come true.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
      Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
      Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
      Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
      Spam spam spam spam!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Joe T.

    You Catholics will NEVER be happy. First Obama was going to make the religious affiliated organizations (who are tax exempt and yet receive billions of dollars per year from the government) provide it and pay for it. The church wasn't happy. So Obama said "Okay, I can find a compromise on the issue." So he decides to make it so that insurers provide these birth-control methods free of all charge and for some reason Catholics still aren't happy.

    Nobody is forcing Catholics to take birth-control. All he is doing is making sure it is provided if anybody wants it. The Church does not have to pay for it.

    Also keep in mind that 98% of Catholics use birth control. WHERE IS THE ISSUE??? What exactly are they unhappy about?

    February 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually, Catholics are forcing Catholics to use birth control and rightfully so.

      If you can't afford a child, PLEASE don't make one.

      The taxpayers here in the US are running out of charitable feelings, and are about to stop the gravy train of freebies, so do NOT think it will just be "OK" because of God.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Woody

      It's all about control, control, control. They have to convince the sheeple that whatever they say, goes. No ifs, ands, buts or questions. They've been on the same power trip for 1500, or so, years. This is no democracy, it's a dictatorship. Once they start caving in to what the majority wants, it's the beginning of the end and they know it.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • J.W

      I would not say the control aspect is true in most churches, but in the Catholic church I do think it is. The Catholic teaching is that their leaders are infallible. After they make these doctrines they cannot be changed, because the doctrines are made by their infallible leaders. In order for things to change the church will have to admit that they are wrong.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  17. J.W

    The bishops and republicans are committing the fallacy of special pleading.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  18. Joe T.

    For this I quote a sane voice of reason on the matter:

    "You've confused a war on religion with not always getting everything you want. It's called being part of a society. Not everything goes your way." – Jon Stewart

    February 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam

      YES. Thank you. I knew I wasn't remembering it verbatim.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  19. Reality

    Beyond the nitty-gritty of politics:

    WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate, one million unplanned pregnancies/yr) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate, another one million unplanned pregnancies/yr) 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.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

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

    February 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    Divide and conquer!

    Set the idiots upon each other and call for no quarter.

    A church divided has no political power!

    February 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • be careful

      President Santorum might take issue with your opinions. Choose the right sun screen for Guantanamo.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I would enjoy a second Civil War.

      Last I saw the score was Northern Progressives One, and Red Neck Conservatives Zero

      February 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.