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My Take: The myth and reality of the Catholic vote
The author argues there is not one Catholic vote, but three discrete Catholic votes.
February 20th, 2012
11:39 AM ET

My Take: The myth and reality of the Catholic vote

Editor's Note: Stephen S. Schneck is director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America.

By Stephen S. Schneck, Special to CNN

For years, pollsters and political scientists have been stumped about Catholics.

On one hand, it’s been pretty clear that as American Catholics go, so goes the nation. George W. Bush narrowly won the Catholic vote in 2004 and won a second term. Barack Obama narrowly won the Catholic vote in 2008 and, with it, the White House.

It’s easy to see why Catholics are sometimes seen as the swing voters whose shifting political preferences swing elections.

Nevertheless, the idea of a Catholic bloc is patently ridiculous. As voters, American Catholics mirror the electorate as a whole, divided into Democrats, independents, and Republicans at about the same percentages as all Americans. And it’s hard to trace such political complexity to religious allegiance.

One explanation for why is the sheer number of Catholic voters and their now multigenerational assimilation into American society. About 35 million Catholics voted in 2008. That’s about 27% of all voters.

In the 19th century and for much of the 20th, Catholics self-consciously occupied a distinctive identity in America. Predominantly blue collar, they often lived in white ethnic neighborhoods, attended their own schools and colleges, established their own hospitals and charities, and experienced some level of discrimination.

In those years, Catholics associated overwhelmingly with the Democratic Party, which not only accommodated but promoted policies that advanced ethnic assimilation – everything from minimum wage laws to the GI Bill.

But by finally achieving that assimilation, Catholics in the last 50 years have lost much of their sense of special self-identity. For white Catholics, who are about 60% of the Catholic vote, their distinctiveness in class, education, income, and even ethnicity has grown increasingly ambiguous in America’s famous melting pot.

The melting pot has even transformed Catholics’ relationship to their church. Polling numbers released Friday by CNN about the White House contraception dust-up illustrate this: Only 11% of Catholics polled said they should always obey official church teachings on moral issues like birth control and abortion.

To put this differently, 88% of Catholics in the poll said that it’s OK for Catholics to make up their own minds about these moral issues. That represents a growing trend. In 1992 only 70% supported the “make up their own minds” argument. In 1999 it was 80%.

Today’s Catholics are picky and even suspicious about political signals from the institutional church.

Politically conservative Catholics bristle at do-gooder messaging from their bishops about climate change, immigration reform and Catholicism’s important “preferential option” for the poor. Politically liberal Catholics, meanwhile, are not much swayed by the righteous tone of church pronouncements about same-sex marriage and contraception.

And yet despite the pattern and consequences of assimilation, something Catholic is going on in politics. It’s evident when you drill down into the polling numbers. While there is not an obvious Catholic vote on the macro scale, there are three discrete "Catholic votes” that really matter in American elections.

The first of these is Latino Catholics.  Over the last three decades, Latino immigration has washed over the church in America like a flood.  From insignificant numbers 40 years ago, Latinos now constitute one-third of all American Catholics.

In the not-too-distant future, the majority of American Catholics will probably be Latinos.

Unlike the Italians, Poles, Irish and similar white ethnics, Latino Catholics have retained their distinctive identity as Catholics. Their voting behavior reflects that.

This is particularly true when considered from the perspective of the famous social teachings of the church, which emphasize social and familial solidarity, the common good, preference for the poor, tradition, and welcoming of the immigrant.

Latino American Catholics (excluding Cubans) strongly associated with the Democratic Party in 2008, with 67% of Latino Catholic voters supporting Obama. But the bloc includes swing voters, and turnout can be volatile. This vote can be critical in swing states like Colorado, Florida and New Mexico, and perhaps soon in states like Arizona and Texas.

A little deeper in the weeds are two other important groups of white Catholic voters, who might be called “intentional Catholics” and “cultural Catholics.”

An important social phenomenon for understanding intentional Catholics is what’s sometimes referred to as distillation. A study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life last year found that one-third of those raised Catholic have left the church. Fully 10% of the American electorate is formerly Catholic.

Because of assimilation, the glue of tradition and culture that previously inclined many to adhere to the church has lost its stickiness. Leaving is easy, whether by decision or atrophy, and little shame results.

Such disaffiliation happens for liberal reasons, conservative reasons, personal reasons and no reason at all. Some who leave still feel lingering allegiance to things Catholic, but many do not, and former Catholics do not have a distinctive political identity.

But as a result of disaffiliation, many Catholics who remain with the church are “distilled.”  More and more of those who remain are those who actively choose to embrace the church and its teachings. These “intentional Catholics” are the second of the three important groups of Catholic voters.

Largely white, with impressive education levels, mostly suburban and with moderate to high income levels, such Catholics are in evidence in weekly Mass attendance and parish activities. Politically active, intentional Catholic voters lean toward the Republican Party (with some youthful swing voters) and are motivated by economic issues and increasingly by opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration.

“Cultural Catholics” make up the third important group of Catholic voters. They are a complicated mix of mostly white Americans with lower levels of Mass attendance and higher levels of ambivalence toward Church authority.

These assimilated voters have varying education and income levels, often hail from urban and suburban communities, are more female than male - often with blue-collar roots - and are not intentionally but culturally oriented toward the church.

Because of the relative size of the Catholic population in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, swing voters in this group can be pivotal in presidential elections.

Many culturally Catholic voters are at odds with both conservatives and liberals on many issues. They are more socially conservative than the majority of Americans, but many are put off by the more intense social conservatism of intentional Catholics and evangelicals.

They are more economically populist than most Americans but are uncomfortable with the libertarian zeal of the tea party.  They are alienated from the lifestyle liberalism of many progressives but remain supportive of unions and governmental programs for the middle class.

The bishops may have little role in these voters’ personal faith, but cultural Catholics look to the church for the sacraments that mark the turnings of their lives and for the traditions that connect generations. Their religious sensibility might almost be described as ethnic.

Neither Obama nor any of the Republican candidates has clinched the deal for the voters in this group. Whoever does will probably win in November.

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (1,205 Responses)
  1. Rob

    In this country of 300 million there are 77.7 million Catholics. So of course who ever gets the majority of the Catholics is going to walk out the winner. Most Catholics come from the middle class though.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Jt_flyer

    Every catholic I know uses birth control on a regular basis. You people are living in a dream world.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • jhon

      Even the nuns and children? Wow! I had no idea!

      February 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  3. bdl1978

    I read a comment down a little bit that said prayer is only when you talk to a christian god because praying to a muslim god is a false god? lmao. wow. The possiblity of your god existing is just as implausible as the possibility of a muslim god existing oh self righteous one. And christianity is more cult like than muslim.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Calm Seas

      The original "God" was the sun.
      Primitive man worshipped the sun,
      couldnt live without it, but did not understand it.
      Some place in our history, someone replaced "sun", with "son".
      Its been down hill ever since.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  4. open400

    I am a 55 year old Catholic and would have to say that American Catholics do not vote in a block and they do not – and never did! – take “orders from the Pope”. When priests during mass dissuade you against using contraception, I think most Catholics just tune that out; after all, the Pope, bishops and priests do not have to raise children. BTW: 20% of all usage of contraception have nothing to do with birth control. As for abortion, I do find it repulsive that two people would just use abortion as a form of birth control, but I find it more repulsive for the government to intercede in a woman’s personal health. If we did outlaw abortion, one mile over the Mexican and Canadian borders would be abortion clinic; abortion would be another “service” provided by some form of organized crime. The prohibition of abortion would be no more successful than the prohibition of alcohol was in the 1920s. We do need to remember that Steve Jobs was an adopted child, but if adoption was not so expensive and not such a hassle, adoption might be a more viable option.
    Many of these Republicans looking for the Catholic vote are more pro-birth than pro-life. Many of these Republican want the child born be could care less about the health, education and welfare of the child once the child is born. We Catholics are well of what happens when a particular Church becomes a ruling body and want no repeat of the Inquisition here in America – that is why educated Catholics want a separation of Church and State – just as our founding fathers wanted.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Wow, for a catholic, you are REALLY out of touch with catholic values. You should read Humanae Vitae and do some serious soul searching.

      February 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • saywhat?

      I have to agree. You are out of touch with Catholic values. It's not the priests that are against birth control. It's God. The priests are just the messengers. True Catholics don't believe in birthing babies with reckless abandon. Have you never heard of natural family planning? I suggest you learn your faith better.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • areukidding

      I use to think like you. I was a dedicated catholic up until my early twenties. Then I realized I was "tuning out" of a majority of what the priests were saying. Today I'm a proud atheist and I've never been happier.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • geekgirl64

      in reply to " are u kidding?" You are never happier until you die. You are only kidding yourself.

      You tuned it out because you think you know best. History has shown that we humans tend to make a mess of things. You do not know what is best. There is a reason the bible has survived thousands of years. Sorry you are not "getting it." I will pray that you will learn as a Catholic, Jesus gave us Peter by stating "Upon this rock, I build my Church." The holy spirit filled the apostles who teaching of the Word and the bible was written and compiled by the Holy Church. Sure you can now have fun and live as you choose you will pay later.

      "The devil cannot steal the free will from those who give themselves to his influence. But in punishment of their, so to speak, methodical apostasy from God, He allows the devil to nest in them. I hate the devil too. And yet I am pleased about him, because he tries to ruin all of you, he and his satellites, the spirits fallen with him at the beginning of time. There are millions of them. They roam around the earth, as thick as a swarm of flies, and you do not even notice it. It is not reserved to us damned to tempt you; but to the fallen spirits. In truth every time they drag down here to hell a human soul their own torture is increased. But what does one not do for hatred?"

      http://www.catholicwarfare.com/Warfare/Lost_Soul.html

      You are the lost sheep. You are always welcome back. God Bless.

      March 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  5. G. Carvalho

    Only a small, and diminishing, fraction of nominal Catholics attend regular church services. As far as family planning is concerned, nations with Catholic majorities seem to have set the trend. In countries such as Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain total fertility rates are well below replacement level (2.1 children born/woman), thanks to universal access to both basic education and birth control, prodded by fast urbanization. Roman Catholicism, like other sects of organized religion, is shrinking, except in Africa. Some Catholics believe that their church should move its headquarters to an African city in order to remain relevant. The Vatican has been controlled by white European cardinals, they ponder, while growth is restricted to Africa.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  6. musings

    There are Catholics and there are Catholics. The narrative is not so simple. During the postwar years, many Catholics married Protestants and promised to raise kids Catholic. Families were not these simple immigrant ones in their little ghetto anymore. Also, the GI Bill meant college was widely available. You had a new mix.

    This is reflected in the swing vote mentality. Catholics are not just blue collar pro-union types (if they ever were). Nor are they fervently opposed to all forms of contraception t he way some out-of-touch Republican campaign manager might see them (fire the guy!). John Kerry is a Catholic. So is Newt Gingrich, after converting from two other Protestant faiths. This is a diverse religion.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  7. FL

    I am a Catholic that believes in the faith, but not the church. The Catholic church is man-made and corrupt; just touring the Vatican museum made me sick knowing how the church was behind the crusades – killing in the name of the cross. The modern Catholic church is driven by property; it is widely known why Catholic priests can’t marry or there are not female clergy; it goes back only a few centuries based on the desire to protect the property of the church. The worst enemy of the present day Catholic church is education; with higher educated members more think critically for themselves than blindly follow as sheep.

    I worship my faith, not other men, and I will certainly not give the Catholic church the pleasure of leaving it completely; I prefer to be a never ending thorn in its proverbial parts and continue to change it from within.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • musings

      Try the present-day Jesuits. They're not so bad and I think more intellectually honest than those who play on the ignorance of their parishioners. I've church shopped in my neighborhood. One bozo had a homily talking about how the world was only 5000 years old (trying to scoop the Bible belt believers). Another one conducts a Latin mass in which there are no English words used even for the Gospels or the homily, thus bearing out my Protestant atheist father's remark that it was all "mumbo jumbo". But the Jesuits talk about what is going on, and they don't seem to need to force anyone to come to a conclusion about some issue in its entirety. That they are connected with a very fine college nearby and are professors there keeps them in touch with what is happening in the real world. I wish you well on your journey.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • BloodofNords

      The Church's intention for the Crusades was to protect pilgrimage to the Holy Land. That was their soul intention. Unfortunately, many knights took advantage of the carnage by killing and stealing. After the Crusades came to an end, the Pope of that era excommunicated the corrupt knights.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Holy crap BloodofNords, I have never seen a complete rewriting of history than that which you just put forward. Its like you fell through from a mirror universe or something.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Jack black

      For a Catholic you dont know much, priests dont marry becasue Christ and the apostles werent married so the priests take a vow of celibacy and follow in his footsteps...duh?

      February 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  8. Don

    Not only is the catholic vote a myth, so is the catholic church and the mythological clown they worship

    February 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Tim

      Thank you. That is helpful and almost relevant. Your powers of persuasion are sure to have Catholics joining your views. Is it not time for you to run back under your bridge now.

      February 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • areukidding

      Well stated Don! I could not agree more!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  9. Dave

    Very wishful thinking. This doesn't in any way represent the so-called swing voters. To claim that the election swings on any Catholic group is ridiculous. This might be what Santorum would like to believe, but if this is what he's after, he as in the process alienated upwards of 80% of the population.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  10. BPD

    About the Hispanic Catholics... Hispanic immigrants are rapidly becoming Protestant, they will never be a majority of the US Church.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • musings

      Unfortunately, at the moment, Protestant often seems to mean fundamentalist, like Jehovah's Witness. The evangelizing Methodist-Episcopal sect that my father's family belonged to seems to have faded away (and it once had a big church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where it ministered to both businessmen and bums (sometimes a bit of overlap). It also sent out missionaries to post WWI Central Europe and to the Pacific. We could use more even-tempered Methodists in this world. But I was brought up Catholic, and that is where I feel more at home, in spite of my family history.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  11. catholics

    i think it just means that when you have that many people, you are going to see about anything. (sadly, even pedophiles)

    February 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Thinking7

      Sadly, you don't realize that proportionally, there are way more pedophiles that are not Catholic. Check it out before you talk about something you don't know about.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Thinking7

      You are either a liar or an idiot, but giving you the benifit of the doubt I will assume you are both.

      Your church was complicit in the buggery of THOUSANDS of children, and it WILL be held accountable.

      Stop protectecting child predators.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Chris

      Thinking7, I don't think the OP was picking on Catholics – if anything, he was justifying why a group that large would likely evidence every kind of human aberration, including pedophilia. You might want to think twice before shooting from the hip.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Joe

      Regardless of what the overall number of pedophiles is, the catholic obscenity still nurtures, harbors and protects the ones that flock to the corrupt clergy.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • bdl1978

      "Sadly, you don't realize that proportionally, there are way more pedophiles that are not Catholic. Check it out before you talk about something you don't know about."

      You missed the point. There should not be pedophiles period. Not even one. And there has been hundreds in the last ten or so years accused of molesting children, so that begs the question how many before that and how many have been unreported. Your statistic in your own brain is based on how many have been caught. The fact that there has been even one should make you question things around you, especially your faith. The catholic organization is nothing more than a mafia determined to control other people. It is beyond corrupt and evil.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      With the bankruptcy of the Milwaukee diocese, literally thousands of reported child abuse cases that the church never acted on have come to light. Fact is the Catholic Church has never been much of a believer in the real Bible because it goes against the Church's rise to economic and political power. Santorum wouldn't know the Bible if Jesus handed it to him.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Sockeyerama

      Your wording reveals a tendency to protect your criminal clergy. I never heard anyone discuss or suggest that "Catholics" had comparatively more or less pedophilia. All criticisms here have been directed specifically to the clergy not the parishioners. Thank you for permitting us a first-hand view of your "Stockholm Syndrome" at work. You've been groomed well.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  12. Bob Ramos

    When the bad guys tried to trick Jesus by asking him who should they pay homage to – God or Ceasar. Jesus took a coin and asked, "who is on this side? Answer: God; then he asked, "who is on the other side? Answer: Ceasar. Jesus told them, render unto Cesar what is Cesar's and render unto God what is God".

    I am a Catholic and resonably religious. But, my politics are seperate from my religion and will remain so. Millions of US Catholics do the same thing. There is no Catholic vote.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • JL

      I see your point, however if you know that the democratic party is for legalized abortion, contraception, gay marriage, etc. All things that the Catholic Church opposes. How can a Catholic possibly vote democrat unless they are simply a Catholic by name only?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      The Catholic Church also believes in the redistribution of wealth, universal health care coverage, the iniquity of war, and the inability of rich people to get into heaven. How can a Catholic possibly vote Republican?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • musings

      Lenny Pincus: the problem is that what the Catholic hierarchy also believes in is power. Therefore, they are able to attack universal health care if it means allowing contraception. They have chosen to back such Republicans as Rick Santorum, one of the creepiest of the men who are running, and also one of the most unintelligent. The hierarchy is not the same as the rank and file nor the same as the parish priests. It usually does not include Jesuits. The goal: end Roe v. Wade's 39 year tenure as the law of the land. Deliver justices who are determined to reverse it, even if they are mediocrities who will do other harm as well. What is at the heart of this all? Is it power over females? Is it a belief in the soul at conception (but if it is, why allow anyone to drop bombs on human beings?)? I think it is more the former than the latter. Women are an important resource and controlling them is key.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  13. FatSean

    The Republican leaders do want to change Medicare into a system where you get a voucher to purchase private insurance. That is "destroying medicare" to me.

    The Republican leaders do want to change Social Security into a private investment account like a 410k where pay outs are not guaranteed. That is "destroying Social Security" to me.

    It's not the media, it is the Republicans.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Right, because the longer we keep people dependent on the gov't to provide every little thing, they more control they have over the people. Be an individual. Contribute and be productive. Pay your own way.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      4mercy

      Who do conservative Christians cry about dependency when they take so much from the Feds?

      If it weren't fior the blue states, most of red states would starve.

      You guys haven't been self sufficient in over a century, and we are getting REALLY tired of carrying you.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Joe

      Unfortunately some people in every society either can't or won't support themselves and maintaining a society that forces them to "sink or swim" only creates desperate people who end up causing a great deal more trouble than they're worth. I want a society that takes care of those people so they don't attack me in the street. I'm proud to pay tax to support a decent society. I am not proud to pay tax to support a broken one. Trying to force everyone to pay their own way, or for that matter, trying to force everyone to do anything, never ever works.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • mike b

      @ 4mercy: Many people work hard all their lives and are very productive but have underpaying jobs. They cannot afford to cover their current expenses and also save for retirement. Medicare and Social Security provide a safety net.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  14. Marge

    To Fred of course people vote based on lies and the republicans tell a peck of them. Listen to Rush, Malkien and especially Fox, really really listen to the lies and people see what we mean.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • 4mercy

      The lies these days are coming out of the White House and its followers.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ 4Mercy – let's play a game of "which of these is not like the others"

      CNN, FOX, CNBC, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, NBC

      Now, which of these news organizations actually went to court and won a case claiming they had a right to lie to the public during their newscasts?

      [hint: it was Fox]

      February 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  15. Marge

    With the way the priest protected those who were abusing children, and the way they are acting like spoiled little boys over birth control, they are certainly loosing a lot of people who are following these restrictive rules. I left the Catholic Church I could not stand their campaign against women.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Clearly you don't understand the Catholic FAITH if you think the church is against women. I am Catholic and a woman. I am not oppressed. I stand against contraception and the Catholic church has done a lot to change the mistakes that led to the scandal of abuse. It's too bad you can't see what is GOOD and correct in Catholic values. God bless you.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      The Church does not campaign against women. You are against Humane Vitae, it you ever read it, as well as the Real Presence which you obviously never believed in. The Church's position has never changed. Society should conform to the Church, the Church does not conform to society.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Thinking7

      Are you serious? I joined the Catholic Church a few years ago. There is nothing that demeans women in this faith. You clearly do not understand Catholicism.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • CMoses

      I have never understood the liberal train of thought that support of women has to include access to abortions. If a woman feels that an abortion has become her best and only option, then we as a society have failed her on countless fronts to get her to that point. The Catholic Church has always understood the chronic damage done to society by the practice of abortion, the spiritual and emotional damage done to the mother, and the sinful destruction of a genetically unique human being.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Free Your Mind

      **** 4mercy

      Clearly you don't understand the Catholic FAITH if you think the church is against women.
      ------------------------------------------–

      My mother married my father in the catholic church.
      After six years of abuse and beatings, she went to the church and said she wanted out of the marriage.
      The priest told her, you married for better or worse.
      Go home, and take care of your husband.
      Nice church, how understanding.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Joe

      The catholic obscenity is vehemently against women. You need only look at history from today to the first dirty little pope to see that. You're a sad brainwashed fool Marge.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Garibaldi

      The Church's position on women has been consistent for 2000 years. You should have read Paul before becoming one.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Mark

    Intentional Catholics? You mean practicing Catholics dont you? Or is that too divisive. By saying Intentional Catholics they try and make everyone feel good.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • chris

      well said

      February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • chrisb

      Mark,

      I think the 'intentional Catholic' designation is fairly accurate.
      The distinction is not between practicing and non-practicing, but between cultural and (I suppose) theologically driven Catholics.
      As a convert I know I fall into the category of the latter, as I have no familial or cultural traditions to draw upon.
      Both cultural and intentional Catholics are practicing, but can have wide ranging disparities in political perspective based upon where they draw their values. Intentional Catholics will tend to be closer to official church teachings, whereas a cultural Catholic may find themselves influenced less by the church. (As the author stated)

      February 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  17. noXcuses

    And....YOU seem to make a lot of blanket statements based off of ignorance,lies, insecurity, ideology, and self-service so what is your point.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  18. t.sarcastic

    I want my theocracy and I want it now!!!!!!

    February 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • AGuest9

      That will be his undoing.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 20, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post is an instance of a Suppressed Evidence fallacy and a case of Willed Ignorance.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • FatSean

      Prayer changed the World Trade Center into a hole.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Prayer is talking to God.
      Cultists and false religions do not talk to God.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • just wondering

      fat sean
      Please tell us what prayers were offered that changed the World Trade Center into a hole? The major news networks neglected to tell us what was prayed , how is it you know? Were you one of the criminals and so have knowledge of this?

      February 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      February 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • momoya

      @just wondering

      The telephone calls from people in the planes. Islamic extremists / terrorists pray quite a lot–especially before their attacks.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Yeah?

      Proven? Citations please. Independent organizations without ties to any religious organization would be appreciated.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • just wondering

      momoya
      What were they then?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      Many proofs were given over quite a period of time, sorry you missed them all, but then you really didn't want to reread the proofs anyway. You want to discredit and hide the Truth because it makes you look stupid.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Free Your Mind

      Dont choke on your rosarie.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:11 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 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "Cultists and false religions do not talk to God."

      Look in the mirror.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      100 people take off in a plane.
      Engine trouble develops and all 100 pray.
      The plane crashes and only one survives.
      You catholics praise god for the one that lives,
      but do not hold god responsible for the ones that died.
      Prayer is useless.
      Sick religion.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ just sayin
      You never had any proofs. You keep saying that they have been given but no one else seems to know this. Actually provide one, just one of these proofs.

      I bet you can't

      February 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Prayer changes things

      .... in the way rain dances change the weather.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  20. J.W

    Obama won by a lot in 2008 I bet he would have won even if he lost the Catholic vote.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • fred

      How do people really vote? My parents vote democrat 100% because they think democrats are for the poor and republicans are for the rich. So, older people have a mind set you cannot change. This is why there is the constant drum beat in the media that republicans want to take away your social security and medicare. Forget the fact George Bush gave them drug coverage they cannot hear the difference.
      Gays vote 98% democrat because they think republicans take away their rights to do what ever they want.
      Blacks vote 90% democrat because they think republicans are whities that owned slaves and are racist
      Unions push for democrat vote to retain their power and contol over the working blue collar
      Teachers on fat lifetime reitrement plans are 80% democrat and actually think republicans want dumb kids
      Government employees are 72% democrat because they are afraid to get real jobs with no benefits.

      J.W that is the problem with our country we vote based on lies and selfserving interests. Being a Catholic is the least of a politicians worries.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • noXcuses

      FRED.....YOU seem to make a lot of blanket statements based off of ignorance,lies, insecurity, ideology, and self-service so what is your point.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • J.W

      Well of course everyone will vote according to their interests. People will vote according to what they think society should be like. I think the real problem with our election system is the electoral college.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • t.sarcastic

      Fred says that government employees "are afraid to get real jobs with no benefits." I guess FBI Agents, Border Patrol Agents, District Attorneys, Judges, VA Nurses and Doctors, and of course, Soldiers don't have real jobs????? Additionally, anyone who prefers a job without benefits to a job with benefits its not very brave but very stupid.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Fred

      Agreed. Republicans are white, middle-aged rich guys who are genuinely surprised when non-club members don't vote their way.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • AGuest9

      George Bush (Duhbya) gave us an immense deficit, two Middle Eastern wars (Crusades) with no clear objective (other than take out UbL for his daddy) which have only further destabilized the entire region while dumping hundreds of billions of OUR tax dollars into it, and creating an even larger, bloated bureaucracy, while taking away or hindering civil rights, but doing nothing to secure our borders. Not to mention the tax freebies he gave to his buddies, the top-earners. You want to point out Medicare Part D? Yippee. $225/month for drugs you can pick up at the supermarket for $6 a bottle, managed by the same "health insurance" companies that cover so little, that full-time workers have to put their children in state-sponsored CHIP programs because the parents can't afford to both feed them and put them on their insurance at work. As far as your 72% statistic, Fred, that's just pulled out of the air (or, somewhere else). Most of the members of the military and civilians that I know are republican because they think that they can afford to be.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • AGuest9

      BTW Fred, "afraid to get real jobs with no benefits"? The next time you work around the clock for weeks on end for no overtime, and keep that job for 11 years, let me know. You're on here babbling, so you obviously aren't in the office today.
      Where were YOU on 9/11, in your bed with your covers pulled over your head, listening to Rush on the radio?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • GodPot

      @fred – "Teachers on fat lifetime reitrement plans are 80% democrat and actually think republicans want dumb kids" Teachers do not think this, they know this. Why do you think there has been a huge trend in the last 10 years of Christians pulling their kid's out of school and "homeschooling" which is code for "incarcerated indoctrination" so they can raise a bunch of little Christian soldiers who for some reason think America is their new Promised Land and want to make this a Christian Nation at the expense of everyone else who already lives here, much like our ancestors did with the native Americans. Create a narative you can sell to your soldiers then take what you want and if anyone claims you are stealing from them you look them straight in the eye and say "Hey, my God promised this to me, so it's mine now." Why would any Christians need teachers who want to teach actual history lessons that might not put the right propaganda spin on it.

      February 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • fred

      tsarcastic
      It is because of those that actually care like the FBI, Marines, Army etc that keep the number from being 75% of government employees voting their own paychecks into office.

      February 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • fred

      momya
      Check out the facts, the majority of democrats believe they are the party of the poor and republicans are the party of the rich. Fact: only 3 of the top richest members of congress of the curent 112th are republicans the other 7 are democrats..

      February 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sockeyerama

      Fred
      So you feel that the financial status of individual senators and representatives reflects the socioeconomic groups they support? Rich senators would then support the cause of the rich person and less wealthy politicians would champion the less wealthy citizen? Oh man! Good Lord Almighty! This is what happens when a touchy-feely public education system can't bring itself to say to a kid's face, "You failed." Fred, you are overconfident.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • fred

      Sockeyerama
      No, I think the voters have been duped into looking at Newt and assuming “rich white man” looks like the typical republican politician. Obama looks like a nice guy really smart democrat that cares so much for the people.
      This election will be the gay hating anti abortion racist against the compassionate smart loving man that brought free healthcare to all and saved us from the hole Bush left us in when he gave Wall Street the hard earned savings of poor America.
      America does not vote on facts they vote based on selfish preconceived notions feed to them by the powerful who could care less.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • nowayjesus212

      Fred, you may have an argument on Medicare and Social Security, but you're a member of a party that has a base that sees gay people as a moral defect. You don't have to like it. You can even deny it and say gay people are lying to themselves, but the behavior of your own party in the debates (booing an openly gay soldier serving this country) speaks volumes. I would suggest that if you don't want to be seen as the party of rich, white Evangelical Christians, try appealing to the other groups, rather than saying they should die if they don't have insurance or booing active members of our armed services who are gay. Then, maybe then, you'll have more respect from the people you assert should be voting for you.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • fred

      nowayjesus212
      I did not see the booing but, all the focus on gay has at its core rejection of the Bible. The media pick this issue to drive a wedge between believers and drive home the false premise that republicans are bigots by asociation. Liberals good and conservatives bad rightwing christian puppets.
      How far should republicans distance themselves from the Bible? Why do Obama and Clinton get a pass when they hold up their big oversized Bibles for voters to see while Rick and Bush need to hide their Bibles under the desk?
      Voters are so brainwashed they are no longer capable of casting an informed vote.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:03 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.

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