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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. Michaelwg

    This church is still around? huh.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      what you are witnessing are the catholics who are still under the influence of brainwashing as children. Sad is they can't see what they are really saying. Starting the brainwashing as children is child abuse.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      pervert you should spread ur a-s s hole widerr next time i molest you

      February 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Willie

      The RCC church will always be around. As long as they keep people under their fingers and control. They will control you, everyone, and the government. Number one target right now is taking out the Baptist and Protestants churches. Get their keys Jesuits in positions to act like baptist or Protestants and these keys Jesuits will pose as people preaching love and unity. The bible says to be separate if you are Born Again. Salvation is free and for everyone, does not need to be paid for or worked for but it's given to you freely. Just ask. So, the Catholic church is going to always be around because they are under the command of Satan.

      February 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jessica

      Willie @ you're truly an ignorant Anti-Catholic moron who was raised by terrible parents. Go to hell !

      February 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Willie

      Jesus is Lord. Kings of Kings, First and Last, and wonderful counselor. All you need to do is Ask Jesus and salvation belongs to you. Jesus is the head of the Church and the Church is the Body of Believers in Christ. Many will come in the name of Christ but are wolves in sheep's clothing. All one has to do is ask Christ to forgive them and not a priest. The church is letting the priest get away with crime. Hurting children in the name of God. Lying to children saying it's God's love. Jesus will bring justice for the children. Jesus is for the poor, weak, orphan, and widow. These men of Satan taking full advantage of these people. May you find a way out and turn to Jesus.

      February 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Willie

      The RCC church will always be around under the control of satan. He will keep the people blind and won't let them see the truth. All one needs is Jesus. As long as they keep people under their fingers and control. They will control you, everyone, and the government. Number one target right now is taking out the Baptist and Protestants churches. Get their keys Jesuits in positions to act like baptist or Protestants and these keys Jesuits will pose as people preaching love and unity. The bible says to be separate if you are Born Again. Salvation is free and for everyone, does not need to be paid for or worked for but it's given to you freely. Just ask. So, the Catholic church is going to always be around because they are under the command of Satan.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  2. OH MY!

    Know how to destroy the U.S. and everything great about our nation? PUt CNN's God hating, se_xual devi_ate moderators in charge of things!

    February 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      CNN doesn't moderate.. you need to watch the words you use, it's all automation. eg don't say as–sas–sination because the a-s-s in the word.. Same at t-i–t. If these are in words, you get dumped.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  3. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    god is a myth

    February 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Willie

      Ignatius of Loyola was hit by a cannon, recovered, wanted to be like St. Francis and started seeing things, so he seen mary one night and that was it....Jesus is the way, not mary. Satan will appear to you as a shinning light of angel the bible says. So, Ignatius hung up his sword by the alter of Black Madonna in the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat. He put himself in pain to suffer which is not BIBLE and this is not repentance..It's penance. He would ship himself and see visions. He would tell people he knew the secrets and people would follow him. then the catholic church wonder what kind of witchcraft this was, and who he this man is...they put him in jail for a few years and after those few years went before pope Paul III. The pope accepted him and made this a part of RCC. "The society of Jesus" which came into being on Sept. 17, 1540. To destroy baptist and Protestants churches.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  4. Pat Robertson

    All Catholic hatred is coming the Conservative, right wing, Christian fanatics.

    Which is code for, "We don't want you... do us a favor and remain in the Democratic Party!" The fanatical right wing of the Republican Party is trying in earnest to destroy the Republican Party. They have become the party of exclusion. Meaning, they exclude everyone (Black, Latino, Catholic, Asian, Muslim, gays, etc... pretty anyone who isn't like them) everyone except Evangelical Christians.

    Well, good luck with that in about 20 years, when the Republican Party is read its last rights.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  5. An inconvenient truth

    aguest9 whatever these people were as children, as adults they were atheists and mass murderers.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • No

      regardless of stalin's or hitler's faith or lack thereof, the overwhelming majority of the killings under their regime were carried out by good old fashioned christians.
      you lose.
      troll.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      their lives were influenced by their belief system.. Remember, the catholics hated jews and hitler was a devout catholic. The only catholics, christian natzis killed, were those who helped the jews.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      pervert you should really attend these things called schools that you can thank Catholics for. And remember Satan loves you

      February 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Can't figure out how to use a blog, truth?

      February 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  6. Tom

    Why so many haters here? Leave the Catholics alone. Actually, do not comment on any other religion... just express your point of view where is relevant.

    February 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • B-Squared

      Tom, if this is your first visit to CNN's belief blog – welcome to hate central.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      as a victim of sodomy at ages 8 and 9 by catholic priests, one a bishop today.. I can say as I will. Thanks to the catholics supporting the bishops lobby effort to deny the truth, many victims will never see the truth revealed. Yep, politicians were promised catholic votes to stop laws that would expose pedos.. Yet the truth is the greatest healer. The catholic church is a lie.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      perhaps hate central, but definitely the source of pompous declarations

      February 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Willie

      Catholics are not Christians according to the bible ...The Black pope controls the pope and controls the Government. they want control , power, and money. The RCC is the riches in the world. they will take from the poor no matter what, as long as they get the money. Jesuits put in certain areas to work the toward one direction. 1932 the catholic was caught killing babies and having under ground tunnels from the men's dorms to the Nuns dorms. Look it up! Jesus is to be glorify, and is the only way to heaven. The RCC church sit on SEVEN HILLS.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      you were never molested by children. you were molested by in your dreams. Unable to handle your feelings for gay men you searched for a way to be molested and was then molested. And then in your own selfish delusions, akin to the whitch hunts, blamed what every other blamer decided to blame the lowly priest.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      Looks like helinahandbasket might be a pedo.. They always blame the victim. I find it difficult to believe a small child will opt for being sod-om-ized repeatedly when in fact this child feels only pain, has not reached puberty.

      helinahandbasket, you are a sick putrid priest. (or bishop)

      February 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      I was the man who molested you

      February 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  7. Joan of Arc

    "More and more of those who remain are those who actively choose to embrace the church and its teachings" If they really embrace the Catholic church and it's teachings, they would probably be burning more people at the stake.

    February 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      or killing Jews.. Hitler was a devout catholic, catholics hated Jews then. Ever wonder why the vatican was never bombed? That the pope never stoop up to hitler calling him a sinner? People should google pics pf pope and hitler.. many happy pics of the two.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      Hitler killed Catholics and was an atheist you fool

      February 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  8. OH MY!

    But what if I post a comment suporting traditional American values.................Obviously that is not tolorated by the deviate friendly, God hating aithiest of CNN..................What pathetic losers you moderators are!

    February 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      you mean early christian values where christians massacred over 11 million indians.

      Let me help you, it is good people who do good deeds and set good example, not religions. And those good people include atheists too.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      god hating atheists?

      atheists cannot hate something in which they do not believe.

      but, we can sure have fun with theists

      February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      pervert Hitler was an atheist. Really great guy I hear...

      February 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  9. OH MY!

    Post a comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah right!

    February 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  10. Scholar

    The Crusades

    Massacre of the Huguenots

    Spanish Inquisition

    Henry VIII persecution of the catholics

    February 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      pretty disgusting group.. Then again, most were brainwashed as children.. More child abuse by the catholic church.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      christian lynched Catholics and killed 9 million Indians and hundreds more blacks. You should calls yourself pervertuninformedrebard

      February 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Willie

      They killed people and many of their own. All because of power and money. One world government in the making and they will do anything to get control. Jesuits are dangerous.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      I can say the same thing about every other people in America you bigot. Get your facts straight and stop smoking so much pot and learn something for once in your life from something other then your sh it y internet connection that you afford from your welfare checks.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  11. MorningStar333

    CATHOLICS SUCK!!!

    February 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Jessica

      You suck...... go seek a physical doctor

      February 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • indifferent

      I really hope you did not have to fire up both brain cells for that stunning rebuke of religion.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Not so much. That's why in high school, I preferred protestant girlfriends.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      nothing like a bigot

      February 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Mark

      Reading remarks on CNN is a lot like what you might have encountered in truck stop in Mississippi 50 years ago, except the bigotry was directed against blacks back then. Now that would be socially unacceptable. CNN would never allow such comments against blacks, or Jews, or Muslims. But this filth is allowed toward your fellow Americans as long as they are Catholic. We are seeing something very similar to the racism black expereinced then in our country today, only now so many seem to think it fashionable to spew their ignorance and bigotry toward Catholics. You are all cowards. Why have I never seen you in person, never have I heard one of these comments spoken to my face. It's real easy to sit there in private in front of your computer and type insulting remarks towards people that you would never dare speak to their faces, and I guarantee you, you very small man, that if you ever said something like that to my face, you would walk away even smaller than you already are.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      Mark take an Race ethnic diversity class. This country was built on bigots and racists. We promise freedom for White Protestant Males. Thats it. this country needs to change.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  12. John Hus

    "More and more of those who remain are those who actively choose to embrace the church and its teachings" If they really embrace the Catholic church and it's teachings, they would probably be burning more people at the stake.

    February 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      and the christian and atheists didnt? Learn your facts fool

      February 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Willie

      Martin Luther was on the run to translate the Bible so people could have the Bible. He did it in 11 weeks sept 1521all because he had the guts to make it happen. The Germans could have the Bible. RCC trying to add human rules and keep people from the truth of the Bible.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  13. Roger in Detroit

    God and Jesus are very real, just like the Catholics who arrive to vote on Election Day. I am sorry if this presents an inconvenience for those who believe otherwise. And for those who do not believe, well, He will have a word with you eventually...

    February 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Luciferf

      I am sure Jesus will have a word with me about the same time as the tooth fairy and mother goose do as well.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      ah...empty proxy threats.....only so convincing, rog

      February 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      Lucifer get your a back in hell, we need you

      February 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  14. Ex. Atheist

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † Atheism makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things.
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, alcoholics and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate!

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††

    February 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • ....

      first off, this is not an ex atheist
      second, some one without the delusions please counter this loser
      third, report it for the abusive nature of its worthless post

      this person is a hypocrite

      February 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Jessica

      '.....' why get mad because he tells the truth?

      There are many ex. atheists out there who converted to Christianity (My father is one of them).

      February 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • barbraS

      Utah has the highest suicide rate in the US.

      And none of these points make sense or are true.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Jessica

      Note that he said COUNTRIES, not states. Utah is a state, NOT a country. Perhaps you should take basic geography classes at your local community college.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Jessica..you know that ,as christian that you have just supported a lie, how do you know that god will not punish you. Naughty girl...

      February 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Kelly

      Wow.. Your post is intolerant, hateful and ignorant. And you think people should be concerned about atheists? People like you are one of the many reasons I am atheist.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • HappyAgnostic

      "Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise" and the Bible doesn't promise this either, you might want to try to read the whole thing, not just listen to your minister's agenda
      "Most Atheists are uneducated... " and judging from the lack of basic grammar, scentence structure, or even basic English, neither are you
      "Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists" I can't even begin to fathom how a person smart enough to work a computer or even stand upright, can believe a statement so complete in its lack of logic or reason.
      "All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals" see above.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Anonymous Catholic

      I am certain I speak for many a Christian... Catholic and Protestant... this kind of post is ignorant and embarrassing... I pray for you Ex. Atheist

      February 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Pervert Bishops

      I em now a evangelican chri-stain and I is smarter then antheist. I is only posting gooder stuff on cnn. I is believe that satan making me do bad thing. I is angryer and I is hating all Black peoples and Muslems. I is smarter I is making it to 3 grade. The bible say okay to kill poeple. I is have to go now. My sister is naked and drunk... me to.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      I am gun take my red neck gun and take you out perv I hear u hatin on us athiets

      February 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I choose to live my life free of delusion.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Productive
      Talk with God daily.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • UncleM

      Prayer porven not to work.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • UncleM

      Or maybe proven

      February 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      Go back to sleep UncleM, you lose.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  16. augustghost

    Religion is a myth...oh sorry, that only applies to the ancient Greek beliefs.....everyone else's fairytales are true...my bad

    February 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  17. Texas

    There is really a problem here, After all the child molesters on the Catholic Church, we really don't care about the Catholic Church

    February 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Ex. Atheist

      go to hell with your anti-Catholic hate and bigotry.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Doesn't your book of Matthew say “Judge not, that you be not judged"? (Matthew 7:1)

      February 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      nothing like a bigot texas, huh? Oh wait you are one

      February 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  18. 21k

    he left out "recovering catholics" the ones who finally acknowledge the loosely biblical advice "to thine own self be true". these folks own up to the fact that they never really believed, because well, it's all bs. they live the rest of their lives with that self-inflicted stress in their lives, and are better people for it.

    February 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • 21k

      he left out "recovering catholics" the ones who finally acknowledge the loosely biblical advice "to thine own self be true". these folks own up to the fact that they never really believed, because well, it's all bs. they live the rest of their lives withOUT that self-inflicted stress in their lives, and are better people for it.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • augustghost

      and how is this different then any other religion...full of B.S. and magic

      February 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      atheists believe in this spaghetti monster, bunch of kids with down syndrome atheists are

      February 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  19. pervert bishops

    the first amendment has zero to do with bishops or this foreign religion, from the vatican. It is about individuals rights with religions, not religions rights over individuals..

    February 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • ms

      No one is suggesting religious rights over indviduals. No one is FORCING an individual to support the Catholic religion. Your argument fails there.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • 21k

      we are forced to support religions. they all get tax exemptions. we struggling taxpayers subsidize the religious businesses, and all the gold dripping off their alters.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Joseph Mzutrnski

      go to hell with your anti-Catholic hate and bigotry.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Pat Robertson

      Pervert Bishops – Molest yourself much?

      February 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      Pat i molested him enough as a child

      February 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  20. agnostic

    Just because there were few Catholic priests/bishops out there that abused children does NOT mean all 1 billion Catholics are the same! This terrible thing happens in every religion/non-religion faith. There are crazy people everywhere.

    Just because Pol Pot and Stalin killed MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people, does that mean att Atheists are murders?! No. So shut up!

    February 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      Incorrect,, As a victim, I have since connected with a vast majority of victims. As it turns out, you'd be hard pressed to find a single catholic diocese in the USA that is hasn't happened in. In fact it happened a mult-itude of times in almost each and every one. If the catholic church were a national day care center, the bishops and the pope would be in jail for these crimes. But instead, the politicians protect the bishops as we see time and again.

      Then again, they can always say it never happened since the politicians favor the churches lobby efforts. Without court, victims are denied and the truth is never exposed. What you hear in the media are only 2% of the victims, the other 98% denied justice.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • pervert bishops

      don't forget.. stalin had a wonderful christian upbringing. He was a seminarian. Hitler was a devout catholic, ever notice the vatican was never bombed? The pope never stood up against him calling him a sinner? How about googling pics of pope with hitler..

      Nazis were primarily christian.

      And don't forget about the early christians coming to America and massacre of over 11 million indians.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • B-Squared

      Wow Pervert Bishops, you should reconsider your tactic of using generalizations. The macro and the micro are often in conflict and rarely can one provide support for the other.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • ms

      "So shut up!".....I'll shut up when you grow up.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Josh

      Hitler was half Jewish and half Catholic. He later rejected his Christian faith and died as an atheist.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Hitler , Stalin, Mao, Ho., Pol Pot, Somali warlords all mass murderers and all atheists.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Your ignorance is showing again:

      Hitler was raised catholic, and this has been beaten to death. He tried to turn Nazism into the state religion.
      Stalin attended primary school at Gori Church School, and went on to the the Tiflis Theological Seminary.
      Mao Tse Tung did state correctly that "Religion is the opiate of the masses".
      Ho (assuming you mean Ho Chi Minh) was Confucianist.
      Pol Pot was a Theravada Buddhist.
      Islam is the dominant religion in Somalia.

      Hitler even went as far as to say, “If my mother were alive, she would definitely be a churchgoer, and I wouldn’t want to hinder her. On the contrary, you’ve got to respect the simple faith of the people”. With friends like that, the believers seem to be in a bit of a pickle. You are 1 for 6 in your argument. Not good.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      For the record AGuest9, you are quoting Adolf Hitler as your "truth" source? Do you realize that when you 've done that anything you say is then suspect? You are kidding right?

      February 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      AGuest9
      Whatever these people were as children does not matter, as adults they were all atheists and all mass murderers. Granted there may be some Muslim warlords in Somalia but at this writing I really could not name any. By the same measure some atheist warlords exist in Somalia.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Following your line of as.sumption, by "the same measure some" catholic "warlords exist in Somalia." Because we know that this is just an a.ssumption you are making.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "Whatever these people were as children does not matter, " I wholeheartedly agree.

      Stalin attended the Tiflis Theological Seminary as an adult.
      Ho Chi Minh was Confucianist as an adult.
      Pol Pot was a Theravada Buddhist as an adult.

      Hitler created himself the Führer, the second incarnation of Caesar (after Napoleon), the successor to the Holy Roman Empire. Perhaps that's why Pius XII was SO agreeable to Hitler. We see the continued affect of the Nazi Party in the election of Benedict XVI, who is in place to undo the progress of the church made under John Paul II. It all makes sense now. You religious TRULY are twisted!

      February 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      I was molested by 50 atheists

      February 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Nilda

      Great! President Obama is a liar. There is nothing free from the Insurance Companies. They exist for BIG PROFITS. The premiums of the “free” contraceptives and other contraception’s methods will be postponed until the next annual premium calculation, with the reality of the claims paid. Obviously, Obama has no knowledge of Economics and prefers playing the naive roll. It is a tragedy that apparently, Obama never learned to honor his word. Obama flat lied to the Congress and the US People that the abortion would not be included in the National Health Care ACT. Obama, additionally, flat lied about given to Stupak an Executive Order eliminating the abortion from the Bill. Obama flat lied in National Television to the People and to the Congress about the National Heath Care (Obama care). No Nation can trust Obama, after tricking his own Nation. Independently of his believe, he will be accountable to God. Abortion leaves a scar forever in the soul of the mother, no matter what.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • helinahandbasket

      ^ you should start a blog

      February 20, 2012 at 9:38 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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