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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. Faithful

    Who the hell do these bishops think they are are anyway? What gives THEM the right to take away some else's religious Freedom? How dare they think their opinion about women's reproduictive choices is ANY of their business or gives them the right to force it on their parishoners? When is the last time a Catholic Bishop ever got pregnant? Spiteful, vindictive old chauvanist pigs. Women are not their property.

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

      Q. Who the hell do these bishops think they are are anyway?

      A. GOD

      Q. What gives THEM the right to take away some else's religious Freedom?

      A. They are demanding their own "freedom."

      Q. How dare they think their opinion about women's reproduictive choices is ANY of their business or gives them the right to force it on their parishoners?

      A. They are the leaders of their church. By definition, that makes ALL moral issues their business.

      Q. When is the last time a Catholic Bishop ever got pregnant?

      A. How is that relevant?

      Q. Spiteful, vindictive old chauvanist pigs. Women are not their property.

      A. Women who follow their lead, choose to do so. They are not forced, regardless of how stupid the bishops are.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Wootie

    The attacks we should be concerned about are the religion's attacks on reality.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Thank you Wootie!

      April 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  3. Chrissy333

    Freedom of religion means that people are free to practice their religion or not practice any religion. Forcing Catholics to accept birth control is not allowing them their freedom of religion. It should be their choice, not something forced on them by the government. People acuse Christians of being hypocrites but then are bigger hypocrites. You don't have to agree with them, but you don't have the right to tell them what to believe, just like you don't like them telling you what to believe.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Betty

      There religion gives them rules to follow regarding birth controle. The government wants to give them a choice. And if what you are saying is true why should the church care. There followers will follow the religous ways and they will not take the choice.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Realist

      This is right-wing propaganda. No one is telling any Catholic that they have to use birth control. It's the other way around: the Catholic church is telling people that if they want insurance as an employee, they CAN'T get birth control. The Catholic Church can practice it's beliefs all it wants. But it has no business inserting itself into all these other spheres and trying to dictate its religious rules to people. But, hey, let's make it simple to avoid all of this. Let's make a law that says a Church is only a church–it cannot go into business in the public arena. Then we won't have to have these arguments. The Church needs to get back in its place and stop sticking it's grubby tentacles where they don't belong.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Chris

      I hope your employer's religion doesn't ban modern medicine or blood transfusions... YOU may need one some day and it could get expensive. Like those women who had the stupid idea of suffering from ovarian cysts or dysmenorhea and have to pay for their treatment out of pocket because the insurance for which they pay premiums will not cover it.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Chrissy333

      Realist is spewing left wing propaganda. I'm not right wing and I support birth control. That is why I'm not Catholic and I don't work for a Catholic Church. I'm a moderate and independent. I believe freedom of religion goes both ways. You can't have it just your way and try to use the government to dictate peoples values and beliefs. If Catholics don't want birth control, then that is their perogative. You left wingers are always whining about Christians dictating your beliefs, but then you try to dictate everything about people's lives by using the government to decide what we eat and how we live.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  4. thedoctor

    “Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home....”

    YES it is! The government has the right to regulate hospitals. If you as a religion want to run a commercial hospital, you must abide by hospital and employment rules.

    This is not an "attack" on religion. Nobody is forcing Catholics to use birth control.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Snow

      unfortunately, being a christian means the persecution complex is well ingrained into their psyche.. Not their individual fault, but their church's for teaching it since their childhood

      April 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  5. timothy

    Our religious values have not been taken away. What has been removed is mans heart towards God? No one can tell me I can't pray open prayer is no more righteous than reading my bible in the open, Its an issue of the "heart", as a society we're good at looking religious or playing church but our heart is far from God. Therefore, stop kidding yourselves with this religious attack. I am neither religious nor a protester against everything our government implements or the media tells me is forthcoming, I believe in the power of prayer. Read 2 Chron. 7:14

    April 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      The power of prayer is a delusional statement.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  6. slimjim66

    The Catholic Church should stay out of condemning ANY BODY , until it takes care of its internal Child Molestation Movement of favored and well compensated Holy Child molesters ,

    April 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  7. the church is exactly right

    This is intrusive government violating the first amendment protection of religious freedom. No citizen can be forced by the government to violate their conscience and go against their reasonably chosen faith beliefs. And look at the typical trolls commenting on this section – nothing like an opportunity for a cheap shot against the church, right?! Good luck with those dishonest standards you profess. Perhaps if the government takes away your rights, others will say, quit your hypocritical complaining, it's just a "political issue."

    April 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • TownC

      People of all faiths must band together to fight the war on religious freedom. The church must speak out on issues that threaten religious freedom. It is the administration who wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. They want to compel churches to violate their own precepts.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Betty

      who's religion should win. Your teachings or your neigbors teachings. What if your neighbors laws state that they can hurt or maim you if you do not follow there teachings. Should they be able to. No that is what separation of church and state does. You can follow your teaching as long as they do not interfear with the laws set up by the people (all of them) for the people. God can always win in your heart. But the law is the law and to break it is punishable. Also I would prefer myself if your god was not part of my life. (I am not saying god, but your idea of god)

      April 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Betty

      Sorry your neighbors religious laws. (and forgive my errors, hands do not do as well as they used to.

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

      I would like to see a religious person's response to Betty's question..

      April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Sean

      Except no one is telling the church to do anything that it shouldn't already be doing. If people want contriceptions and still be catholic its within their right to do so. I'm pretty sure molesting little boys isn't very Catholic of those priets but I bet they still consider themselves catholic.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  8. timothy

    I am not an atheists, I am a believer in Christ, however, people have a right to choose and make choices that are within their belief system. The concern I have is the hypocrisy of the Catholic church "these men" and thats all they are empty spiritual zealots who profess to have a higher deity with God...laughable. Instead of fighting contraceptives look internally "pedophilers" within the church but their against contraceptives. I do apologize but not all these Bisops are and I respect those who have resisted their own lust for boys as well as having to defend the church.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      You should apologize, and get better education. All the Priests I have known have worked hard for God and their community. Of the approximately 46,000 Catholic Priests in the U.S., only 300 lawsuits have been filed. Do the math, that is less than 1%. Pedophilia affects fully 4% of the U.S. population including all faiths. In California alone, in one year alone, 6 Protestant ministers were convicted of child abuse but did you see that in the news? If you are a Christian you may remember the parable about taking the log out of your own eye before commenting on the speck in your neighbor's eye. I am sure you could find such numbers in other faiths in this country but no one bothers to look because Catholic bashing has been around since the Mayflower landed. Saying such things about Jews or Muslims would be Hate Speech so why isn't it Hate when directed at Catholics? The 1st Amendment covers Religion too, not just speech or the press. Repent and live the Gospel!

      April 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • visitor

      southern celt, while the pedophiliacs might represent a small number, the conspiracy to protect them involves the entire clergy.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  9. war on religion

    There is no war on religion, that is absurd. There is a small battle to keep the crazy religious nuts from forcing religion into everything. We have separation of church and state it is not a war on religion to keep church from pushing itself into state more and more.

    OH and before Catholics decry all the horrible things that are happening to religion how about FIRST teaching your priests to not molest little boys. I would think that be your top agenda before forcing more religion.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  10. stewart eisenhower

    oh please. I am a Catholic but I don't listen to these clowns who head the church. These Bishops should spend more time fighting child molestation within the clergy than politics.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dude

      Can you say, "Redirection?"

      April 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      How about the Bishop of Rome? Do you listen to him? If you recall what you learned in CCD, ALL men sin. That is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation (a.k.a. Confession) exists.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Bender Armand

    I often find myself looking at these religious articles, mostly just to see the comments at the bottom. I am Christian, but that doesn't mean that I hate other faiths, races or nationalities. If I expect people to respect my beliefs, then I feel that I need to respect theirs, no matter if it aligns with my beliefs or not. Does this have limitations? I guess so, for example I don't condone organizations such as the KKK, even if they believe they are simply acting according to their faith. In that sense I agree that I am a hypocrite, but perhaps I will not be condemned for such a view, seeing as my thinking follows the human rights idea of "all created equal" and that every man has the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (or property if you follow the original quotation, ha ha!) Back to my main concern: as viciously as religious fanatics attack those who choose to not believe, we find that the self proclaimed atheists bite back in similar kind, both parties creating a battle ground where there is no "victor" and no one can walk away without being hurt or perhaps hurting another human being. One would hope that the true "fruits" or "proofs" of religion would be found in the actions and characters of those who follow. I would also hope that those who follow the guidance of current secular understanding would be judged in a similar fashion: are they decent human beings? In the end, why should a fellow Christian hate me? Am I not a fellow brother, a child of God along with them? Or why should a Jew hate me? Am I not simply a Gentile that is trying to follow the law according to my understanding? And what of Atheists? Am I not just a fellow hairless monkey, trying to survive along with them? As I see it, every human being deserves a measure of respect.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Betty

      Very well stated.

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

      Very well stated. I am Catholic myself and I am very offended by many of the comments on this thread. Most anti-Catholic statements here appear to be so superficial and lack any attempt to view the issue from the priest's point of view. I agree that we must uphold our first amendment that allows the free practice of religion without persecution but at the same time, protect those with opposing views as well. Sure, a religion may point out the condemned for not following the teachings of Jesus Christ, but in my view, it is also not "Christian" to treat your neighbor in a way that you would not want to be treated yourself. I don't want to get into what it means to be "Christian" as it has just as many differing viewpoints as the bible itself, but as Americans, each person is given the liberty to live their lives as they see fit, religious or not. Though I am not the standup Catholic by not regularly attending mass, I am deeply spiritual and treat everyone with respect and do my best to understand all points of view. To me, the role of the government should not be to obliterate religion in order to "equalize" the masses or to impose one religion on everyone, but to allow each of us to remain individual and to practice religion or atheism with the same rights and respect as anyone else.

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

      Indeed! Well said.

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

      Well said Armand

      April 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  12. ShawnDH

    Of course to these wacko religious fanatics, forcing everybody to live according to their backwards, oppressive and morally retarded "values" is religious FREEDOM. The Taliban would be proud.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  13. MNTaxpayer

    ““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.”

    It's a political issue. If the church want's to be involved in politics and preach legislation from the pulpit I consisder that an attack on separation of church and state.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Betty

      Agreed, And also the church and all other religious instiutions should start paying taxes.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Agreed and in agreement on both posts!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • um, no

      It's about the first amendment. The church is exactly right. It is government that has no place to interfere with people's rights, including every citizen's right to religious liberty. You are more likely dishonest than just lacking in understanding, MNTaxpayer. I'm sure you can figure out that this is not a "political" issue any more than the government trying to seize your property or force you to do something that violated your conscience would be a "political" issue.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dude

      You misunderstand the "separation." The government has to stay out of the church, just as it has to stay out of the media. However, that does not mean the church or media have to stay out of government.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Betty

      Umm, there are to many relgions in the melting pot that is america. Who's should win out if several ideals conflict. Also lets say a religion that your neighbor has says that if you do not follow there teaching they can hurt or maim you. Is that right. No, laws for the general public are designed to protect all.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Um,

      Do you support fundamentalist mormons' rights to polygamy? Or do you only support religious freedoms for religious practices you personally approve of?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  14. Ivan

    How about the Freedom to NOT get molested by Catholic priests?

    April 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  15. NorCalMojo

    It's a war on Catholics!

    April 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      No, it's not!

      April 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Truth7

    "I fed you in the desert and you were satisfied. When you were satisfied, you became proud.

    Then you forgot me"

    God

    Jesus actually states: "They are to be taught by GOD". Notice He didn't say MAN! The Holy Spirit connects to God for teaching and understanding. Man's number is "6" in the Bible. Man and his trappings are not your salvation. FOLLOW Jesus and "overcome the earth" – man!

    Noah: was saved because "he did ALL God commanded"
    Jesus: "if you love me, do as I command"

    April 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • William Demuth

      You do understand that the whole thing is made up right?

      I mean do you REALLY belive in virgin birth, reanimated corpses, cannibalisim rituals and zombie saviors?

      You are about 200 years behind reality!

      April 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Betty

      Jesus also was the only one in a group of people who had the right to "cast the first stone". But instead chose not to. Many who love Jesus need to think long and hard on this particular tale.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Truth7! You are delusional!

      delusion |diˈlo͞oZHən|
      noun
      an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: the delusion of being watched.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Betty

      And Voice, I am not religious but wondering how attacking someone for being religious helps. I want my right to not have to be a part of a religion as much as they want there right to be part of one. You are being just as bad as they are.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      William Demuth,,,, "You do understand that the whole thing is made up right?"

      2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

      This "word of truth",,, could it weigh in as the Gospels? I'd take odds it is!

      April 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dude

      Pipe-Dreamer: Circular reasoning is not reasoning. If I lie, and you swear to it, does that make it true?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Truth7

      William and Voice of Reason.
      To me, God is to teach the person directly, so I am not a fan of religion, because that is not what God intended. If you want to preach that God is not real, then you will willingly take the mark of the beast and remain blind ("without knowledge"), unless God calls you. Man is not your savior, nor will he ever be.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Betty
      "And Voice, I am not religious but wondering how attacking someone for being religious helps. I want my right to not have to be a part of a religion as much as they want there right to be part of one. You are being just as bad as they are."

      Frankly Betty, how am I attacking someone? Are you the sensitive type? Well, I am not and I am sick and tired of the religious types. Of course they have a right to believe anything they want, BUT, when the leave their boundary of personal belief and try and perpetuate it as the truth to our children and influence our government then that's where I have to draw the line of tolerance. If you think by me calling them evil and harmful as an attack, so be it. I really could care less what you think.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  17. TR6

    Pedophiles on parade

    April 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  18. Matthew

    There are three great evils in the World that threaten the human race and Western Civilization: Islam, Athiesm, and Communism. They are responsible for most the wars and genocides of the past two centuries. Athiesm/Darwinism was behind Nazis and Communist rise, both regimes regulated religion first. Islam killed of Christianity in North Africa adn Middle East in the Middle Ages and ever since those regions have been split from Europe (The Roman Empire had united the Mediterranean into one world but Islam ruined it). Western Civilization has DECLINED since Athiesm took over. We are now bullied by China and Muslims, Nations we occupied and controlled at the beginning of the 20th Century. Gone is Austria-Hungary, Russian Empire of the Romanovs, the German Empire, British Empire, etc. USA is only strong Western Nation left and we are declining fast thanks to Athiesm and the idiots on here.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Betty

      Are you sure it has to do with nobody wanting to take their fair share of the blame. But wanting to blame everyon else.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • RNC

      The holy wars were a bunch "Christian" folk using that as an excuse to kill off everybody else and Hitler was in fact a Christian. Read your history.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Mike

      Interestingly, Matthew, there's a pretty major flaw in your theory there, especially as regards the Nazis: They focused on the Jewish population. If atheism were truly the culprit, they'd have expanded to include all religious belief.

      And have you ever stopped to think that it's *because* we occupied those countries that we're now reaping the benefits of what we've sown?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Josef Bleaux

      Western civilization has PROGRESSED since so many people have stopped believing in invisible, supernatural beings.

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

      I think you are forgetting a few wars that Christianity can take responsibility for. Lets just start with the Crusades which by far and away was one of the nastiest pieces of Christian history I can think of. You should read a history book before claiming to understand it.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Amers

      On what planet has atheism taken over???? Poll after poll shows that most people are still religious.

      Try again.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Truth7

      You know what time it is. The western countries are being attacked because they hold many of God's believers. Lift up your voice and cries to God, He hears them.

      Hallowed be His name.

      As stated in Daniel and by Jesus "the wicked will not understand". They have been been made blind and deaf and have no idea what's coming for them.

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

      Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa....oh Matthew, you're too funny. Oh wait...you're serious? lol.... So you'd like to see society go back to being controlled by the Catholic Church and have them burn our scientists and anyone else contradicting their "view" of the world? When have they EVER gotten it right??

      April 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • D-dada

      Christians also killed off people in the name of God...please add that to your list. Before you ask, I am a practicing christian and i know my christian history very well. One can easily say that more people have been killed in the name of God (christian God) than any order religion or idea. Check your history

      April 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Nope.

      That's not correct Matthew. Hitler deplored Atheism. Hitler claimed to have "undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out." (Baynes, Norman Hepburn (1969). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939'. H. Fertig. pp. 378. October 24 1933). You write before thinking.

      Atheism was not behind Nazism, Christianity was. Read the beginning of Mein Kampf. Here's an excerpt of a speech given by Adolf on April 12, 1922:
      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter... In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison...I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people." (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942).

      You write without reading, and I bet if I were to meet you I'd find that you speak without thinking. Your country is declining because half of your citizens are actively trying to impede progress, and revert back to a romanticized version of the 1950's. Why not try and catch up instead of complaining about other countries forging ahead?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • biggal195

      Let's see if I have this right, then. What previously made the West "great" in the past was its ability to "lord it over" other peoples of the world or even to wipe them out. I'll bet the crusaders who slaughtered everyone in Jerusalem and the conquistadores who slaughtered many of the Mayans and the Aztecs were your heroes. Well, gee, that's actually not what Jesus said, and he DID address the subject. He said, "It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant." (Mt. 20:26 NRSV)

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

      Hey Mathew, have you been in touch with reality lately? Atheism has never been an organized movement. There have been governments such as the USSR which have persecuted Christians, but that was because they simply recognized how poison religion is and happened to overreact a bit. The truth is, millions have died because of religious wars. In the 1500's and 1600's most of the European wars were over the rift between the Catholic and protestant churches. You might want to take a history class before you start making such nonsensical statements. Then, again, such a fascinating topic as history would probably be lost on you, since you're so bent on seeing everything through your religious prism.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  19. Shannon Underwood

    Lobbying and interfering with government, or intimidating people should not be done with tax exempt dollars. Lets have a real level playing field, if people want to donate to charity let it be exempt, only the charity portion of a religious donation should be exempt, not the building cost, advertsing or the live style of these men in skirts or there well paid subborinates.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • hollow-welt

      advertsing or the live style of these men in skirts or there well paid subborinates.
      April 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      advertising

      life style

      their

      subordinates

      April 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  20. clubschadenfreude

    the pure hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. Poor wannabee martyrs, all about religous freedom for them but not for anyone else. It's grand to see such lies being told by one Christian sect, who is sure that their version is the only "right" one, and who would be overjoyed if their religion was declared the state religion and those bad ol' protestants, jews, muslims etc were put to the stake that their god so very much approved once upon a time.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:41 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.