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After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces 'religious freedom' campaign
The American Catholic bishops.
April 12th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

After contraception controversy, Catholic Church announces 'religious freedom' campaign

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church announced a major campaign Thursday aimed at bringing attention to what it said were growing threats to religious liberty in the United States, including the pending White House rule requiring health insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees of Catholic organizations.

An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the initiative would stretch out over the course of a few years and that it would include everything from encouraging priests to address religious liberty concerns in church to sending inserts for church bulletins.

“Religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad,” the American bishops said in a new document titled “Our first, most cherished freedom.”

Compared to other Catholic communications campaigns, “This is bigger in that it’s not a one-time thing, not aiming for a specific Sunday” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the communications director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s going to be extensive and it’s going to be occurring over a few years.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The Catholic bishops say a proposed White House rule connected to the Affordable Care Act requiring health insurers to provide free contraception coverage forces the church to fund an activity it opposes for religious reasons. The White House tweaked an earlier version of the rule that required employers, rather than insurance companies, to pay for contraceptive coverage, mollifying some Catholic groups who objected to Catholic colleges and hospitals having to fund contraception coverage.

But the bishops said the so-called White House compromise didn’t go far enough.

In their Thursday document, the bishops also said that a handful of American states and municipalities have driven Catholic foster care and adoption services out of business because Catholic charities refused to place children with gay couples or unmarried straight couples.

The document also said that the federal government recently revised its contract with the Catholic Church’s Migration and Refugee Services to require it to provide or refer women to contraceptive and abortion services, in violation of Catholic teaching.

“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the bishops said in a Thursday statement. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?”

“This is not a Catholic issue,” the statement said. “This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon or Muslim issue. It is an American issue.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (2,540 Responses)
  1. anonymous

    What is the deal with contraception? IF YOU DON'T WANT IT DON'T PURCHASE IT FROM THE PHARMACY! It is not an attack on religion

    April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Andrew

      It's not about purchasing contraceptives; it's about insurance companies being required to give people free contraceptives. If people want contraceptives they should purchase them on their own and not expect others to pay for it, especially when it violates the ideals of those who have to pay.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Just -In

      Andrew, what about people who pay taxes that are against war because of their religion? This is about the Catholic Church not liking something and hiding behind a non issue when it comes to religion. Like I mentioned before...the Catholic Church is slowly dying an dlosing power and influence. Giving a $ h it about what a Pope thinks or says is becoming more and more of a joke and quite comical.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Chris

      Andrew, nothing is free. When I pay my health insurance premiums, I expect this health insurance to pay for the prescriptions my doctor gives me (minus co-pay). Otherwise, why would I pay those premiums? If you needed medications and your health insurance refuses to pay for them, how happy would you be? I need oral contraceptives to treat a painful and disabling condition, how is treating my disease less acceptable than treating yours? If your employer's religion didn't accept modern medicine or blood transfusions, would you be happy with that?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  2. Tim

    "The Roman Catholic Church announced a major campaign Thursday aimed at bringing attention to what it said were growing threats to religious liberty in the United States, including ..."

    ... the liberty to have s3x with those really cute alter boys.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  3. teena

    I DON'T WANT A BUNCH OF PEDOPHILES TELLING ME HOW TO RUN THIS COUNTRY!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • rbsrs

      A bigot who uses caps.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      your dad is a peddo

      April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Just -In

      Wow, i bet you waited all month to use that statement. You must be about 13,right? You sound like an uneducated idiot.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Narutogrey

      Only some, not all catholic priests are pedophiles. There are plenty of catholic priests that are not pedophiles at all. Also, with the recent publicity, many would be pedophiles have probably decided now not to become one.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  4. Dano558

    The Catholic church shouldn't have to provide contraception anymore than the a Jewish church should be required to serve ham.

    The government shouldn't be allowed to impose itself on the church like this, they don't have the power.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam

      Why is the church worried about it. A good catholic employee shouldn't be using contraceptives. If the employee isn't catholic, fire him, he doesn't belong there.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Han

      The Catholic Church is effectively forcing all of their female employees to follow Catholic principles, taking their religious freedom away.

      The male employees, on the other hand, still enjoy their subsidized blue pill used for God knows what as part of their insurance coverage..

      April 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Shorn

      It's not that simple. Non-Catholics work for the Catholic Church. They should not be denied access to health care because of some stupid church's backward, made-up rules. Using contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy is not a sin – I don't care what these pedophiles say. You want this debate Catholic Church? Your own members don't agree with you, so let's have the debate.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Narutogrey

      According to the law, the catholic churches do not need to provide free contraceptives. However, catholic employers such as a would need to provide free contraceptives with their insurance. It's the same thing as religions that are against war. You still have to pay taxes that fund the war even if your denomination is 100% against any type of conflict. KKK members have to pay funds that definitely benefit blacks even though that is against their beliefs.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • visitor

      The Church will NOT provide contraception. What do you think they are required to pass out birth control pills during communion?

      This is a minimum standard being set for health care benefits. And the Church won't be picking it up!

      The Bishops decided they are getting more attention than since they were caught covering for child rapists. THIS is their issue. This is ALWAYS their issue. WOMEN'S BODIES.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Chris

      If your employer is a Jehova Witness, his religion bans blood transfusions. His freedom of religion will prevent your health insurance from paying for your blood transfusion next. Better not need a surgery with lots of blood loss in the near future...
      Should a muslim employer be allowed to force his female employees and the female relative of his employees to wear a burka? If not, you are going against his freedom of religion.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  5. cbus

    Atheist are a odd lot. They spend so much time obsessing about something they don't believe in. There are a lot of things I don't believe in, but they hardly ever cross my mind.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Apparently because you don't have a mind to cross.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Pirate X

      Those things you don't believe in don't have an army of followers intent on forcing you to bow to their whims.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • rbsrs

      "followers intent on forcing you to bow to their whims" – wow!! somebody's put paranoid in the cereal this morning.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Snow

      simple.. It is hilarious making fun of fundidiots..

      April 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  6. Nonimus

    Hmm... hot pink appears to be "in" this year.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  7. † In God We Trust †

    *First President, George Washington, concluded a prayer he wrote in 1752 addressed to "O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ": "...Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word... Direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land."

    April 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      What has that have to do with anything?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Turtle man

      You my friend are in need of help. I've read many of your posts and first found them amusing. I'm now concerned for your well being as well as those around you.

      God bless

      April 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Mark in California

      And John F. Kennedy said: I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

      Keep your Church politics out of the American goverment.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Just -In

      So, voice of reason is an idiot and (turtleman) wow you are a freekin wierdo you have a thing for turtles and other penile looking animals,,

      April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  8. MrHanson

    Reson doesn't really exist. It is the by-product of a mindless, meaningless chemical process that crawled out of a pond. So atheists quit touting your 'reason'.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Get your head in this reality MrHason.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • MrHanson

      I have just reminded you of your reality. What was it I said that was untrue?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Eric G

      Reason may be a byproduct, but it does exist. Please provide any verifiable evidence that your god exists.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      @MrHanson I find it difficult to believe that your comment made sense even to you.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Reason is, in part, the recognition of logic in the way the universe works, not a creation of the mind. Similar to gravity as an acknowledgment of how object are attracted to one another in this universe.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "meaningless chemical process that crawled out of a pond"

      Saves lives.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • MrHanson

      You are obviously (deliberately?) missing my point.You thoughts and so called
      'reason' have no more significance than that of a tapeworm whom you shair your
      ancestry with. Why should I listen to you?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Snow

      Thanks for reminding why religious fundies like you are considered stupid, idiotic and hypocritical jerks.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Reality itself exists. Your view of it however is just the byproduct of chemical reactions. What doesn't exist is a soul. Your consciousness is just chemical reactions as well brought on by the intelligence to create language. And since everything is chemicals based on input from your senses then in reality free will doesn't exist either. Without free will or a soul its painfully obvious that there is no god.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Another question I have to you athiests is why do you keep saying that Christianity
      is halting progress? I guess Newton, Baggage, Wright brothers, Mendel, Maxwell, Faraday,
      Plank, Kelvin, Dr Francis Collins, Raymond Vahan Damadian, etc.., etc... don't count?
      I guess in your tiny, narrow, arrogant, bigoted minds they don't. By the way I'm not
      Catholic but Lutheran, but it's obvious you have a pretty broad brush when you try
      and paint a picture of the church.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Lol

      you and I came from the same anscestry buster.. and like it or not, the same thing is gonna happen to both you and I. just because you refuse to see the truth and choose to build a castle out of fairytales does not make you any higher.. It in fact makes you even lower than a tape worm that at least has self reliance

      April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      Newton was excommunicated by the church because of what he was trying to do for science. Nice try but the church has been trying to ki.ll scientific discovery ever since the first person started to think for themselves.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • rbsrs

      Professor Haldane: "if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms." – Strict materialism is self defeating.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Snow

      Strawman fallacy.. just because someone happens to be christian and they did something good does not mean the credit lies with christianity. It means that the person who contributed was a genius and says nothing about the belief system he follows.

      I am sure you choose to not understand, so here is an extension of your logic.. Did you know how many murderers are christians? Jails are filled with them. Does that mean being a christian makes a person more susceptible to become murderer?

      Besides, did you ever consider how many more genius minds were wasted away over the last 2000 yrs because your so called god commanded people not to think too much? and to waste their lives away in musty old monasteries chanting fairy tales?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • MrHanson

      "Thanks for reminding why religious fundies like you are considered stupid, idiotic and hypocritical jerks."

      Wow you and I haven't even met. Stupid and idiotic? Well right now I am trying to alt-tab between CNN and Visual C# whilst working on a rather large engineering application. Jeez sorry if I, or my ilk have said anything hateful, but I have the right to get angry, whenever someone resorts to name calling because they happen to hate ALL christians for whatever reason.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • rbsrs

      "Besides, did you ever consider how many more genius minds were wasted away over the last 2000 yrs because your so called god commanded people not to think too much?" Seriously?? Science exists because of religion. Ask yourself why science did not evolve in China? The Christian world view of order and law inspired the study of science. Christians invented universities. Think before you post.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @MrHanson
      "You thoughts and so called 'reason' have no more significance than that of a tapeworm..."
      I disagree. Our thoughts help us understand the world we live in or, if you like, the world that God created for us. What more significance do you need?

      "Why should I listen to you?"
      Ummm... are you asking for a **reason** why you should listen?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Thank you rbrs for you posts. Good quote from Professor Haldane.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      MrHanson
      "Another question I have to you athiests is why do you keep saying that Christianity
      is halting progress? "
      I would say 'inhibit,' rather than halt altogether, and that those you mentioned made progress "in spite of" religious influence. That however is just my opinion on the matter, same as yours. I also noticed that you didn't mention Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, etc.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • well

      what you do doesn't have anything to do with what you believe in.. George Bush was the president of the country, but he was still a bumbling idiot in most aspects.

      It is sad that you make a living out of thinking through problems logically, and yet the logic of why god's existence is impossible or the logic of why silly things written in bible can never be true.. Try living in a whale for 3 days and then tell me you do not have a problem with that

      April 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      Epicurus :"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" Strict Belief in God is self-defeating.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • rbsrs

      @I'm the Best – not many use that argument anymore. It makes a assumption that is not warranted. That God would have no reason for allowing evil. And since evil has no meaning to the atheist it is an argument that assumes God.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Snow

      Christianity? Universities? really? ever heard of these places called Takshashila(Taxila) or Nalanda ? ever heard of the surgeries conducted by sushruta? Do you know about Aryabhatta? Do you know where gun powder was invented? Do you know where agriculture started as a large scale farming industry? Do you know where math was developed purely as academic exercise? Do you know what Pythagoras theorem is, genius?

      The fact is, the entire world had its part to play in pushing science through to its modern state. It is simply idiotic to say that science was developed by christianity. And to lay claim to what you did not do is paramont to stealing. And apparently, you forgot that your own religion advices not to lie or steal..

      April 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • What?

      "And since evil has no meaning to the atheist"

      Oh gee you are not assuming anything there now.. isn't it?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Well right now I am trying to alt-tab between CNN and Visual C#..."

      Maybe this will help:
      God may be the ultimate null reference exception. i.e.
      "Object reference not set to an instance of an object"

      April 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • rob

      @what if materialism is true how can there be evil?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      The quote that you posted made the as.sumption that reason does not hold up if the reasoning was done with chemical processes alone. This is obviously not true, computers reason through problems all the time and they don't have anything other than digital processes. Materialism is not a self defeating philosphy unless you make that first as.sumption with is incorrect. Unless you can prove otherwise.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @rbsrs,
      "That God would have no reason for allowing evil."
      Actually, I think, the argument is saying that if a god is omnipotent and omniscient it would be capable of finding an alternative to evil.
      Not that there couldn't be a reason for it, but why allow for the necessity to need a reason in the first place?

      Also, "meaning" does not require a God.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      @rbsrs
      If materialism is true, there is no universal evil. Which can be seen throughout the world with genocide in Africa, Honor kil.lings still being the social norm in some middle eastern countries, and slavery still normal in some parts of the world. Acts are deemed as evil by the society in which the people live. In the bible it even talks about stoning people and it being okay. Society changes and so does what's good and evil. Materialism has still yet to be debunked by you. If anything, the points you are bringing up is helping the case.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • rbsrs

      @Noimus – the argument is based on the premise that God allows evil.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • rbsrs

      @I'm The Best said: "If materialism is true, there is no universal evil." actually. The Epicurus quote is based on the assumption of universal evil.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      The meaning of the quote is if god is all powerful, all knowing and all loving then he would not allow evil at all, know how to rid the universe of evil, and have the power to do so. Since there is evil in the world, then it's obvious there either is no god, or it isn't the god of the bible.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      The bible is based on the as.sumption that there is universal evil. Which I have shown is not true. If you as.sume the bible is true, then you as.sume that he is all powerful, all loving, and all knowing. no being can have all these traits as shown by the quote that I posted earlier.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @rbsrs
      "the argument is based on the premise that God allows evil."
      The argument is based on the fact that bad things happen, **if** God exists and is all good, all knowing, and all powerful, then why would God allow, or need a reason to allow, those bad things, a.k.a. evil, to happen.

      If God does not exist, then bad things would be expected to happen, since there is no all good being in control of everything, and there is no issue, at least around bad things happening.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "One example among many of a formulation of the problem of evil is often attributed to Epicurus[9] and may be schematized as follows:

      If an all-powerful and perfectly good god exists, then evil does not.
      There is evil in the world.
      Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good god does not exist."
      (from wiki, a better source would be welcomed if someone has one.)

      April 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • wait..

      Christianity founded university system? Ha.. really?

      Taxila or Takshashila – 5th to 6th century BC
      Platonic Academy – 387BC
      Taixue – 124BC
      Nalanda – 4th century AD
      Academy of Gundishapur – 6th century

      I guess christians were very busy spreading their university system.. in BC centuries too.. Lol.. I don't like to call someone an idiot, even when they display every characteristic of being one..

      April 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  9. † In God We Trust †

    *In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office.

    *In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      And? These pointless figures are exactly what I am in opposition to. These religious people shoving their crap down our throats.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Snow

      so a nation that was just established had to consider set up a fresh governement, hire each and every govt employee all through the country to assist the governance and bring about an economic stability .. but wasted 300 grand on fairytale books? do you know how much 300 grand was worth in those days?

      It is like the GSA spending 800 grand for ribbon cutting in hawaii and seems like you approve of such fanciful spending. Do you call yourself a patriot?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      In 1776, there was no Consti.tution. That didn't come until 1787.
      The Bill of Rights (including the 1st Amendment and the Establishment clause) 1789, ratified 1791.

      "in God We Trust" was not the national motto until 1956. Yes, that's *nineteen* fifty six.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Just -In

      michae robinson,,its better than the other things youve been choking onl

      April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Also, I didn't think Congress (continental congress, mind you, under the Articles of Confederation) bought anything, they just agreed to certify it as an accurate translation, nothing more.

      But, hey, cite your sources, if I'm wrong.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  10. Nii

    Atheists fighting "religion" is as stupid as it gets. Atheism is a religion though a non-theistic and most likely anti-theistic religion. Leave the others alone. In countries with Atheism as the established faith things are not pretty. Scandinavian Christians are secularist without killing you.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Google "happiest countries to live" and tell me what you see. Norway, Sweedan, Netherlands. All majority atheist, all pretty places. Sorry, wrong again. Keep lying though, I heard your torture god like that.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      I AM THE ULTIMATE AGNOSTIC, HEEEEEAR ME!! What do you guys have against hard-working scientists that go out breaking their hump figuring out how stuff works, huh? The way the religious treat scientific findings boggles my mind. Just because you cannot understand them, doesn't mean it's wrong. It MEANS you may need to learn what they know in order to launch a challenge against it. But that requires work, and not automatically saying, "Oh God makes it so" and keep it moving.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • sam

      You need to calm down! Arguments like yours are too stupid to be so passionate about!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "In countries with Atheism as the established faith..."

      I'm sorry is there any country that has "Atheism" listed as it's "established faith"?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Andi M

      Nii – Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  11. Kent

    Religious Freedom is an oxymoron.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  12. my2cntsworth

    We just finished having Zombie Jesus celebration and now the Catholic church wants the freedom to have this country run by the Vatican? First of all, they have no leg to stand on regarding morality. What about all of the abused young boys? The catholic religion cannot control their own priests. Second, if they don't want to be forced by the government to provide birth control, then don't accept government funding. It's really just that simple!!!! Get your religion out of my government and we'll get our birth control out of your insurance plans. Geezus!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    There is no afterlife.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  14. Han

    Women's intellect in this country is being hindered by religion. Just check out the responses of Miss USA 2011 on evolution which showed they know absolutely nothing about biology, a high school first-year science course.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkBmhM0R2A0

    April 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • rbsrs

      How do you know any of these women are religious?? Your post makes not sense.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • visitor

      I got about half way through. Good g-d, it seems most of these women don't know what evolution actually is! Frightening.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Just -In

      biology should only include facts.Evolution is not a fact its an idea. YOU are the one that knows nothing about biology you fool

      April 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Just -In

      The bible is fact.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  15. † In God We Trust †

    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7

    READ READ! USA is a Christian country

    April 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • David

      I don't think Jesus would appreciate a bully saying that this Christian nation. This is not a christian nation. This is the United States of America. be proud of the red white and blue... not the bible.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • my2cntsworth

      No it is not. No matter how much you say it, it ain't so. This is a country composed of any and all religions and also for those that don't subscribe to fairytales.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      No I'm happy to live under theocracy like here in America

      April 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      Read your history books, this is NOT a christian nation. Ben Franklin said "light houses are more useful than churches" Thomas Jefferson was not a believer. These were the founding fathers. Get your history right! The founding fathers made sure we had separation of church and state, for a good reason. Religion is poison.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Andi M

      You are wrong IGWT. The US is a secular democracy. A majority of the citizens are christian but that does not make it a christian country. That is an "appeal to the majority" logical falicy.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      *First President, George Washington, concluded a prayer he wrote in 1752 addressed to "O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ": "...Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word... Direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land.".. !!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  16. LAWgistics

    KEEP THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (AND THE GOVERNMENT) OUT OF THE BEDROOM

    April 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Nopp this is a Christian country

      April 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      IGWT, wrong again.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  17. FajitaBob

    Oh, great. Here come all the mis-informed or intentionally mis-informing atheists to whine about how all religion is evil.You are the first to cry that some evil religion or other has violated your rights, and the first to attack whenever there is any hint of anything religious in a story. you have your beliefs, let others have theirs, hypocrites. Or, please share how these evil religions have so destroyed your life that all you have is hate.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • blastoff

      We don't have a belief, we have a non-belief. So we don't have anything to defend, you do. Don't get pi$$y when someone questions your belief. If it is true, you shouldn't be afraid of the questions.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Fajita Bob! Why don't you get your burrito out of god's a.s.s.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  18. Kate

    I am Catholic and I am appalled at what these Bishops are doing. They do NOT represent the vast majority of Catholics in this country. And I cannot understand why they are turning a blind eye to other "morally indefensible" positions taken by Congress – namely the Ryan budget. This is what Catholic leadership is saying on that issue: “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms,” argue the signatories. The signatories include the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a women’s Catholic organization, a retired Priest in Ryan’s district, and the former Associate General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These Bishops are nothing more that dinosaurs who (like most of the GOP) are clinging to an out-of-date, intolerant and bigoted view of the world that shuns women, persons of color and anyone considered "different." How shameful.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • FajitaBob

      Katy: you are not a Cathoilic. Your religion is liberalism. If you were Catholic, then maybe you would focus your energy to help others through the Church, rather than by supporting politicians that steal from others and claim they are using the money for "the public good." What a farce. I gaurantee $10 spent by the church does much more good than $10 by the federal government. Yes, I know this from experience. When I had troubles, I (just like all the other sheep) sought help from the government. When I realized how foolish I was, I turned to my local church, and they helped me to resolve my issues. Now if I can, I help others through the church, as I know what happens when you put your faith in the gov. God bless!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • cbus

      The have taken positions on it, but the media will never report that because they have a vested interest in painting the church as right wing extremists. The fact is that besides gay marriage and abortion, the Church is nearly in lock step with the democratic party.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  19. JJ

    Freedom of Religion also implies freedom FROM religion. Deal with it, chumps!

    April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      JJ,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.

      We have Freedom from religion and Religions of Freedom and even Religions for freedom! Oh the choices the freedom lovers have!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      No your moron

      Where does it say that on the cons.tiution?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  20. Question

    What I do not understand is why so many atheists read and comment of religious articles. Can someone please explain to me why someone who does not believe in God would read and comment on articles that are in regards to a subject they do not believe in. I mean seriously why? Why are there a ton of atheists commenting on these articles, why do you care? I don’t read articles on atheists.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • JJ

      Because religion is this planet's true abomination. More people have suffered and been murdered for religion than for any other reason.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Question,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.

      Atheisms humanists just love to claw and scratch and punch and flog the hell out of the religiously debonaired ,,,,,,,,,

      April 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      It is apparent that you do not understand a lot. Don't mean to be rude but if you don't understand why atheists are concerned with the perpetuation of something that cannot be proved and that thing that cannot be proved is the driving factor to the downfall of the human race then it will be difficult for you to get your head around it.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      You're right. Same way I can't turn away from some of these reality shows. A guilty pleasure I guess. But this, and many other topics, like race, are big attention getters. And these topics are our biggest hurdles. So I like to get a pulse on what people are thinking.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Mike

      Question – it's because whether or not they believe in religion, the fact is their lives are affected by it. Laws are passed in this country that are rooted in religious belief, which therefore impacts everyone – regardless of belief.

      This is why laws should NOT be based on religious belief. Laws impact everyone, not just those who follow the tenets of any one faith.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Andi M

      Because religions are trying to limit all citizens rights.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Question

      Mike, thank you, that was a very good response and really helped me to see it from a different perspective.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Question

      AverageJoe76
      I get that, guilty pleasure. Yup I have a few of those myself.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • visitor

      Question, it is because this article is about Bishops who are going to start a campaign positing that there is a War on Religion, which is reprehensible. Frankly, that targets a whole bunch of people with a whole bunch of baloney that don't deserve it.

      How about, the religious mind their own business and stay out of other people's lives, and follow the laws of the land?

      How about that?????

      When Christians stop teaching that people will roast in h-ll if one does not "accept j-zus", I am quite sure you will hear much less of the counter view.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Voice of Reason,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.

      To be reasoned and reasonable might not be traits of rationalities attributed to many loving Christians who are to hellishly scared to clamour against the folds of riddled Atheists who do ever make a mockery out of Christendoms! I, being a lowly "closeted" Christian do see the immoralities of today's mega-monolithic styled churches whose upkeep and maintainence dollars would feed in the 3rd world countu=ires bookoo people! I stand with Atheisms' that see such things ! The opening of the eyes of reasonabilities need to be channeled more effectively and not by banters of disregardings and thrown volumes of contmpt. If your words could be of thoughtfilled rationalisms and then addressed to the proprietors of the religious circles then might not you recieve an answer?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Question

      visitor, no need to be rude. I don't know what christians you have encountered but we do not all think, say, or believe people will roast in h-ll. Let's just say (just go with it) that heaven exists, do I believe even if you stay an atheist your entire life if you will go to heaven, yes I do, I do believe you would go to heaven. I do not agree with certain things that religions do, and I do not agree with infringing beliefs upon someone who does not share those beliefs.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      TO Voice of Reason,,,,,,

      (Re-posted due some typos')

      To be reasoned and reasonable might not be traits of rationalities attributed to many loving Christians who are too hellishly scared to clamour against the folds of riddled Atheists who do ever make a foolish mockery out of all Christendoms! I, being a lowly "closeted" Christian do see the immoralities of today's mega-monolithic styled churches whose upkeep and maintainence dollars would feed in the 3rd world countries and even in the US of A bookoo people! I stand with Atheisms' that see such things! The opening of the eyes of reasonabilities need to be channeled more effectively and not by banters of disregardings and thrown volumes of contempt. If your words could be of written thoughtfilled rationalisms and then addressed to the proprietors of the religious circles then might not you recieve an answer?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Question

      Pipe-Dreamer, I really like your writing style, that was really good.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Pipe Dreamer

      I'm pis*sed and beyond tolerant as I have no time for their intolerance. Yeah, I know, that makes me just as bad as them, right? Too bad! What is right is right and I can be confident in my world view of reality. They are not fair people and I have given them the opportunity to be fair but they do not respond in kind. They speak in circles.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • visitor

      Question
      I'll tone it down. I encountered every day garden variety Christians. I grew up Catholic, sort of. I love philosophy, religion, and spiritual thought. And rational thought. Move to my neighborhood surrounded by super churches and see how tolerant people are. They also are absolutely mixing up politics with their religion. It is ONE.

      Think about that question, and then question why people are so involved.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:22 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.