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. Pete

    The Catholic religion is well taught in the art of pressure tactics,on women for this contraceptive debate,on religious dues,they request a financial statement at some churches to see how much in tynes,dues you're require to pay each year.By pressuring parents on religious schooling in some areas with a Catholic dominated population.You can't get married unless marital classes are taken,they also frown on differences in religion in couples with marriages being done at a Catholic churchs.They're still thinking in 16th century terms in a 20th century today.Remember Catholics see things only as a catholic wants too,very opinionated,very judgemental,very straightforward,to the point,their way or nothing,no variations,its in writting,in the GOOD BOOK...This is comming from a religious lineage going back to the pagans of the European eras,the middle ages when people sacrificed animals,humans to their gods,remember that,read your history.

    April 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      Religion is based on myth and legend. The rest is propaganda. It's amazing to me to see how gullible people are and permit themselves to be pushed around by the church hierarchy and other members. Why, you'd almost think they were in some kind of cult.

      April 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  2. daemonreaper

    The only thing that makes me feel like my religious beliefs are being threatened is by the Catholic Church. And if you say that the Chruch isn't trying to force their beliefs on people, then what about "faith-based policies" that they are trying to pass though the lawmakers, or how they are trying to make it recogonize that this country was founded on christianity and should follow it, despite the numerous quotes and statements that the founding fathers made disparaging religion, or how they don't want laws to pass (letting women have abortions or the legalization of gay marriages) that affects people of other beliefs.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  3. Rene

    Thank you for critizing the Church...now try criticizing the state and the federal mandate....ha....bingo! The First Amendment rules!

    April 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Freedom of religion is an individual right, not an organizational right. The purpose of the 1st Amendment is to protect individuals from the church dictating their lives. Freedom of religion applies to us all, not just Christians.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Rene

      "We the People" is not an individual's statement. See?

      April 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is evidence of psychosis. God Bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Rene

      You are funny!

      April 21, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  4. reason

    Does this mean the Catholic Church is going to stop trying to impose its religion on others?

    April 15, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • kway

      It is not imposing it's religious beliefs. This is the octrine that has stood for quite some time. Sorry you are just coming to realize. It is not new. They are not imposing anything new. They are actually not imposing anything on anyone. It is the federal government that is imposing on the church. Keep politics out of religion.

      The media has created this into a contraception debate. It is amazing how easily people are swayed. Look it up. CNN will outright say that it is fabricated. This has never been about contraception. It is about religious liberty. The media has spun this so far.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Mattski

      Catholics don't have to pay for things they don't agree with on the same day that I no longer have to pay to supplement their tax exempt status.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • tnfreethinker

      Even with the mandate, catholics will not have to pay for birth control. A recent Supreme court ruling ensures the church the right to fire any employee on religious grounds. Religious freedom is an individual right, and as each individual woman can still choose to not take birth control, no rights have been violated. This is the church trying to violate separation of church and state. Religious freedom is still firmly entact. Now quit trying to force everyone to live within the confines of your beliefs. You don't define morality. Get over yourselves.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      If the Catholic Church wants to operate social service organizations, that is certainly worthwhile. However, if they want to receive tax dollars they will inevitably run into rules they don't like. The government represents all the people–not just Catholics. It is not an infringement on the freedom of religion to require compliance with federal and state rules pertaining to tax-supported services. No one is trying to shut down the Catholic Church.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • John

      @Reason –
      You are the one that is writing on a religious blog when you profess that you believe in nothing besides yourself. Why are you here unless you are trying to impose your beliefs on other. The Church – Catholic or any other – doesn't impose its beliefs on anyone in the US.....that point is only valid if you are living in a Muslim country that restricts official religion to only Islam but by your comment, I'll assume that's not the case. And if you are here to impose your beliefs, wouldn't that make you a hypcrite? No need to acknowledge the obvious. 'Nuff said.

      April 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Justin

    What about the freedom of the individual to not comply with a religion? If a non-catholic happens to work at a catholic hospital, why should their personal activities outside of work be controlled by the church? Just because a jewish deli does not serve ham it doesn't give the employer the right to forbid employees from eating it right? It isnt a war on religion, it is an argument against the religion and the individuals right to follow it or not. I think the founding fathers would fall on the side of the individuals right to pursue what they want without the church's control.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • kway

      You are right and I bet you wil not get the Jewish deli pay for the ham. Nor would the government force them to pay for the ham for the employees. Thanks for proving the point.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      OK. Let's hear your statistic since you seem to know the truth.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  6. Javis.Lorry

    It's not just non-Catholics who are asking questions, but the members themselves are asking the same kinds of questions. For example virtually all American Catholic women practice birth control in defiance of Church doctrine. If people can defy the church in one area, they can defy it in any area where they see a failing.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • kway

      Stop repeating misrepresented statistics....like a bunch of cattle. This is a falsely quoted number gathered by a a giant planned parenthood supporter. Duh someone said 98 percent, duh I will keep on blabbbing, not knowing the basis for it.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      OK. Let's hear your statistic since you seem to know the truth.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  7. abcontador

    I think it is time to tax churches and make it illegal for them to donate money to political organizations - it is time to start phasing religion out of the U.S.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  8. kway

    Keep politics out of religion!

    April 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      Keep religion out of politics!

      April 15, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  9. ElmerGantry

    Education changes things

    April 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Bringing prayer into education has produced a high quality world from creation until in the year of our Lord 1963. Agreed we need to restore prayer to education. God bless

      April 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      The government has never prevented individuals from praying in school. All kinds of prayers are sent up every time there's a final exam.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      We need to restore sanctioned Government prayer in all Government inst itutions again. God bless

      April 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Zeus

      Yes, Zeus bless.

      April 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Education changes things.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      Agreed mixing prayer with education would be the bees knees ! God bless

      April 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • abcontador

      prayer does nothing but waste time

      April 15, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      April 15, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  11. VERY TRUE!

    “A little philosophy makes a man an Atheist: a great deal converts him to religion”
    ― David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

    April 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      Theoretical physics make me suspect there cannot be any supernatural events or beings in the universe(s).

      April 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact."
      ― David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

      April 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      "Is there any maxim in politics more certain and infallible, than that both the number and authority of priests should be confined within very narrow limits; and that the civil magistrate ought, for ever, to keep his fasces and axes from such dangerous hands?"
      ― David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

      April 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Casey

      zeyn2010: Actually... if you really unserstand quantum, and think of the possible ramifications of the physics, it actually makes the miracles possible... and operated within the physical laws of the universe. The multidimensional nature of the universe, even though we can't perceive it, quantum entanglement, the Higgs... these all have imlications that allow for extraordinary action by the Lord God.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      Can you cite any particular Christian miracle that is explained by your theory? How about a virgin birth, being absolutely dead for 3 days and coming back to life, walking on water?

      April 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      Casey, that's great! I have no problem with a scientific explanation of our creator. If there is one, I'm grateful that he created us!

      April 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      What if there is no creator? What if all there is, always was and always will be? What reasons can you give to support the notion of a creator?

      April 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • zeyn2010

      Jarvis, all I can say is that there is a possibility that the religions on earth could have come about because of advanced extraterrestrial contact. Who knows maybe their manipulation of our ancestors' dna is the missing link in evolution. I don't have any reason not to entertain this possibility since the genesis story is echoed across continents in most religions. However, I don't know about a creator that may have created everything we have in the universe(s) – I just don't know…

      April 15, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Javis.Lorry

      It's far better to say you don't know than wear a pink hat and black robe like the gentlemen in the picture claiming that they know the absolute truth.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • zeyn2010

      I guess it's built on tradition rather than reasoning – I'm just glad there are people out there like us who are able to question everything – the world is so connected now that anyone can google anything in a few seconds to validate or debunk any claim – I'm still in shock that we have so many unexplained structures left from our ancestors which are not talked about; such as Puma Punku, Baalbek and Machu Picchu. In these places we see structures that we may not even be able to build today – most people don't even know about these places.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  12. Writerscramp

    "Religious" and "Freedom" I never laughed so hard in my life seeing those two words used together

    April 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  13. M.F. Luder

    This is proof that the church is getting desperate now.

    April 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • abcontador

      lets hope so - I am very encouraged by the recent challenges to religious influence as of late - seems more and more people are speaking their minds about how damaging religion is

      April 15, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  14. Rainer Braendlein


    My following comment is somewhat anti-Catholic, but this refers merely to the Catholic doctrine. The Catholic believers are human beings like me, which I love, despite their questionable belief. It is the same with the Muslims, Mormons, etc.. If I ever write a critical comment, which refers to these beliefs, I never want to express hate against the ordinary believers, but solely against the wrong doctrine. I hate wrong doctrines, and nobody can blame me for that. There is one and only one good doctrine, which was accepted by the civilized world around 300 AD and that is the Christian doctrine of the Early Church (Church of the Roman Empire and Byzantine Church).


    We should wonder sometimes, why at all the Reformation took place in Europe. The Reformation was an epochal event, which changed Europe completely up to now.

    One of the reasons, why Prof. Dr. Martin Luther (University of Wittenberg/Germany) started the Reformation, was the wicked papacy.

    According to the Bible actually Jesus Christ himself shall be the invisible head of the Church. This office the pope has stolen. One could remark, let the pope just be the highest human secretary of the Church and Christ still may be the invisible head. Papacy could be endured, if the pope would really be merely the highest human administrator of the Church organisation.

    Yet in fact the pope is the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church and this cannot be tolerated.

    What is the problem about that?

    The first Christian Church was the Church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Church). It was a really good and Christian Church, where people could find health for soul and body. This Church consisted mainly ot the Churches of Italy, Egypt, Greece, Palestine and Syria. Clerics of these Churches met sometimes on free international (ecu-menical) Councils, where they freely discussed complicated matters of the doctrine. The ecu-menical Councils were not predetermined by a lousy pope, but let by the Holy Spirit. The outcome of such Councils was indeed the divine decision and these decisions are still valid today after so many centuries.

    Nothing is more blasphemous than a predetermined council, because it is pure hypocrisy. Imagine Obama would predetermine all decisions of the Congress and the Senate. It would be ridiculous, if they would still meet. Predetermined councils are a lie in itself, because they conceal the absolut power of the "pope-rat(z)". All Catholics are ruled by one ridiculous individual from Bavaria, which doesn't understand the Bible.

    At a predetermined council the bishops only gather to let sth. through on the nod. How shall the Holy Spirit influence such a council of hypocrisy? It is impossible. The Spirit is completely extinguished on such a council.

    The real Church is a spiritual body in a real sense. No human being is able to lead this spiritual organism, but merely Christ or the Spirit, which are powerful, divine persons.

    Hence, it is clear that the Roman Catholic Church had to corrupt totally in the course of history, because a human dwarf (the pope) tried to lead her and failed totally lacking any divine abilities to lead Christ's body. The RCC has become a pi-sspot of heresies.

    In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit we condemn the Roman Catholic Church. There, you can find no health, but merely damnation. She has become the cursed harlot of the Revelation, which will finally get destroyed by the Most High.

    Dear Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Rebaptizer, etc. forsake your false cult, church or religion and join the loveable, meek and humble Jesus from Nazareth, become a Protestant Christian.

    Here is my love in Christ: In contrast to the pope Luther teached the true gospel. What is that?

    Luther once was a Roman Catholic Abbot (even a supervisor of several monasteries). As a child Luther got baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. He never got baptized again.

    The Roman Catholic Church had added on someting to the baptism: Righteousness by good works. This was totally wrong and Luther rejected that doctrine. Luther started to reform the RCC. The congregations of the RCC, which accepted Luther's reform, became the Evangelical Church of Germany. Luther teached that a believer shall always live a life of righteousness by the power of his first baptism (mostly infant baptism) and if he has sinned again the believer shall exercise privat confession and return to his first baptism, but not try to get righteousness by good works (to say a rosary, to do a pilgrimage, buy indulgence and the like).

    What happens at baptism?

    God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification. We get metaphysically connected with Christ's death and resurrection by baptism (look Romans 6). In a narrower sense we can only believe in Christ in connection with the sacramental baptism. At baptism we die and resurrect with Jesus. Our sins get atoned by his death and we get a new life of righteousness by his resurrection. This is the true and powerful faith, which restores sinners. After baptism we are dead for the sin and in Christ. We have died and resurrected together with him. Day by day we overcome our sinful body by the power of baptism. We daily invite Jesus to be our meek and humble ruler.

    This is the doctrine on baptism by Luther, St. Paul, Bonhoeffer and the Early Church.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • One one

      If you were born in a Muslim country, to Muslim parents, with practicing Muslim friends and family, you would be claiming Islam is the one true religion.

      April 14, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Reality

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      April 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @One one

      I guess you err. The Faith in Jesus Christ is the only faith, which delivers (redeems) the sinful human being.

      A honest Muslim had to admit that he is not able to overcome the lust of his body (the real biological body).

      One example: On the one hand the Muslims force their women to wear headscarfs, as if they would love se-xual purity, but on the other hand they look after every female a-ss.

      Obviously the dead, decayed Muhammad is not able to release sinners from their lust. This divine capability has got only the eternal, living, resurrected Son of God Jesus Christ.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      A porcupine is so ugly that it is almost beautiful again.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • tnfreethinker

      Rainer...I find it disturbing that Christians focus more on their ability to sin and be forgiven, rather than following Jesus teachings and avoiding those sins. To me, it's do as you please, then ask forgiveness. That is not moral.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Casey

      You have misconceptions about the Catholic Church. The Church clearly teaches that the founder and head is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the teaching, and basis of the Church. There are other several other factual errors and incorrect conclusions in your discourse as well.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      I have studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), which is an official docu-ment of doctrine of the RCC. You can tell my no stories about the harlot (RCC).

      The problem is that the pope sits on a throne, which he isn't actually allowed to sit on. The only person, which would be allowed to sit on the throne of the Church, is Jesus Christ.

      Hence, the pope is an usurper of the holy throne.

      The problem has nothing to do with the character of the pope. It is merely about the place, where he stays. He stays at a place, which is resrved for a divine person, the invisible Christ.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Reality

      Dear RB,

      In case you missed this:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      April 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • otto

      What a load of garbage, the early church was bitterly divided and the 'truth' it came to was a complety political. People died and were tortured for their beliefs. The winning dogma had nothing to do with what is spiritually true. There is no objective truth in ANY religion. Your assertion that the finding of the early christian church was directed by the holy spirit is baseless balogny. You have no more proof that your version of religion is any more true than the catholics, muslims, mormons or the church of Scientology. Believe all you want but you have no proof other than groundless assertions. Your claim has the exact same proof of truth as all the others....NONE.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Rene

      I don't think Bonhoeffer believed in contraception to begin with...but thanks for mentioning him at least.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Rene

      And definitively the Early Church officially did not either....just saying...

      April 15, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  15. Mal

    This is just the Catholic Church trying to save face after all the child molestation. Trying – pretending – to be a moral authority.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Rick

      You are completely right on! All they are trying to do is take the focus off of their own indiscretions-PEDOFILIA !
      And besides what do a group of uptight old farts know about birth control, raising families, and other issues that they have absolutely no leg to stand on in the discussion! Maybe they will start to burn books again!

      April 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  16. Mike P

    The real issue here has never been about religious freedom. The real issue is about government forcing companies to provide services at no charge.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • One one

      I see it differently. The real issue is the power, influence, and special accommodations the church has enjoyed for so long are slipping away. They are using the health care issue to make a stand to protect their empire from further decline.

      April 14, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • M.F. Luder

      Without health insurance, a full year of the recommended seven well baby visits costs an average of $668 total - or just over $95 per visit - according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of a va.ginal delivery without complications ranges from about $9,000 to $17,000 or more, depending on geographic location and whether there is a discount for uninsured patients. The typical cost for a C-section without complications or a va.ginal delivery with complications ranges from about $14,000 to $25,000 or more.

      The price for the generic version of Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 is $25-$28. This is NOT an insurance COST issue.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  17. Gregmetzger

    I explain here how I wish that the bishops had been consistent and decried the challenges to religious freedom that Muslims face from these ridiculous anti-Shariah laws. http://debatingobama.blogspot.com/2012/04/bishops-and-sharia-law-hysteria.html

    April 13, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  18. Reality

    Some nitty-gritty:


    "Twenty-one states offer exemptions from contraceptive coverage, usually for religious reasons, for insurers or employers in their policies: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (administrative rule), Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia."



    The Catholic hierarchy does not believe in artificial birth control so why do they employ those who do? Did not the Supreme Court recently decide that religious organizations have the right to decide who they hire and fire? Bottom line: To reduce health insurance costs and to not be subject to Obama care regulations about supplying contraceptives, Catholic groups should simply not hire those who want contraceptives and fire those who demand such coverage.


    There are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is and therefore all non-profits should file Form 990's. At the moment, religious groups are exempt. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.



    "The government must stay out of hiring and firing decisions by a religious organization, even if a minister sues for employment discrimination, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

    Religious freedom groups praised the decision, and especially the fact that it came from a unanimous court."

    Next topic !!!

    April 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  19. Jarvis.Lorry

    The story is from March 30, 7 reasons Catholics Leave Church.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Jarvis.Lorry

      Even though Roman Catholics are the second-largest religious group in the United States, the tradition has seen an exodus of members in recent decades. One in ten Americans is an ex-Catholic.

      The article says that "If ex-Catholics were counted as their own religious group, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the National Catholic Reporter."

      "If it weren’t for the infusion of Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin American, the American Catholic Church would be shrinking pretty fast."

      April 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • M.F. Luder

      It's tough to find a statistic that illegal aliens aren't affecting in this country.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  20. Jarvis.Lorry

    In a recent CNN story it was reported that 1 in 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. Apparently these people exercised their right to religious freedom by abandoning the Church. Church membership is hemorrhaging in the U.S. and it has everything to do with the rigid belief system the Church tries impose on its followers. If it can't keep its own members, there is no way its value system can be imposed on the rest of us.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Actually according to another Atheist post the church, Catholicism is still growing in membership. Not as fast because the Evangelicals are growing as well.

      April 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Sociologically speaking, the Mothering Church of Christendom is Catholocism. agreed?

      April 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • M.F. Luder

      @Mark from Middle River – the predominant religion of illegals from Central and South America is Catholicism.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
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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.