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Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism
Paul Ryan is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes.
August 11th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism

By Dan Gilgoff and Dan Merica

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate promises to cast a spotlight on American Catholicism in an election year when the tradition has already been a major focus.

Ryan, a Catholic who chairs the House Budget Committee, is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes like opposing abortion and gay marriage.

But Romney called attention to Ryan's religion Saturday in introducing him as his running mate: "A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life," Romney said.

And socially conservative groups were quick to praise Ryan's selection, with the president of National Right to Life saying that "Ryan has a deep, abiding respect for all human life, including unborn children and their mothers, the disabled and the elderly."

Ryan’s advocacy for cutting taxes and trimming the deficit — he is the architect of the GOP’s proposed federal budget — married with his willingness to talk about fiscal belt-tightening in moral terms and his low-key social conservatism speak to a political moment in which the economic concerns of the Tea Party and the social focus of the Christian right have merged into a relatively cohesive anti-Obama movement.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the day's big stories

Ryan’s presence on the ticket also could increase Romney’s appeal among the millions of middle-of-the-road Catholic voters who populate key swing states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Catholics are considered the quintessential swing vote, and no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Catholics since at least the early 1990s.

With Romney, a Mormon, selecting a Catholic, Obama is the only Protestant in the 2012 presidential race (Vice President Joe Biden is also Catholic).

"As a conservative Catholic, Ryan is likely to appeal to a number of Catholics in the Midwest,” said John Green, a professor of religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio. “Catholics who are concerned about religious liberty, he is certainly a positive there."

The Catholic Church has helped frame this year’s election by strenuously opposing a rule in President Obama’s health care law that requires insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage to nearly all American employees, including those at Catholic colleges and hospitals. The Democrats have said that Romney’s and the GOP’s support for the Church’s position constitutes a “war on women,” while Romney and his party say Obama’s rule represents a “war on religion.”

In an interview with CNN, former GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich, who is Catholic, said that Ryan would shore up support in a Catholic community that feels it is “under siege.”

Romney released an ad Thursday repeating the war on religion charge. Next week, Sandra Fluke — a Georgetown University law student who was thrust into the national spotlight after radio show host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” for her role in supporting Obama’s contraception rule — will introduce the president at a stop in Denver.

Ryan’s own Catholicism became a major issue this year, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticizing his proposed federal budget for what the bishops said would be its adverse impact on the poor.

The bishops cautioned against overreaching budget cuts that endanger “poor and vulnerable people.” The bishops’ message called on “Congress and the administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities.”

This split between politically conservative and liberal Catholics has existed for decades in the Catholic Church. But with Ryan running for vice president, some experts expect this divide to be sharpened.

"What Ryan will highlight is a division within the Catholic community,” Green said. “More politically liberal Catholics are very critical of the Republican approach and the Ryan budget, but Ryan has taken them head on.”

In an April speech at Georgetown, a Catholic school, Ryan defended his budget in religious terms.

“The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” Ryan said. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”

Ryan’s $3.53 trillion budget doubles down on past proposals to overhaul Medicare and other government programs that are seen as politically sensitive. While the budget has little chance to become law, it draws a distinct contrast with Democratic views on spending.

That speech, along with other statements that put his budget into religious terms, led liberal Catholic groups to openly protest Ryan’s budget.

In particular, NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic nuns that speaks out on social justice issues, went on a bus tour around the country to protest the Ryan budget.

In an interview with CNN, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said Ryan has co-opted sacred Catholic teachings and twisted their meanings.

This line of attack will intensify in the coming months because of Ryan’s nomination, says Deal Hudson, a religion and politics expert who ran President George. W. Bush’s Catholic outreach in 2000 and 2004.

“I think the Catholic left will make this the drumbeat about Congressman Ryan,” Hudson said. “That is why it is so important for the campaign to effectively get out in front of this argument.”

According to Hudson, it is possible to defend the Ryan budget from Catholic attacks, it will just take a campaign that “realizes this is what they face."

- CNN

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (1,690 Responses)
  1. Rocky

    Who cares if Ryan is a Catholic. What is more important is that Romney is a Morn and from a heretical cult. It's who the President is that matters. Not the VP spot. I will never vote for anyone from a heretical cult and that is what Mormonism and Romney are all about. I'm sitting this one out.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Midwesterner from Iowa

    Ryan is a cafeteria-style Catholic...they pick and choose what they want to adhere to from the church...

    August 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  3. ty

    Ryan is catholic. his claim to fame is his budget. the budget has been condemned as unfair to the poor by the catholic church..so yes ryan does bring focus on catholics... and romney has done another stellar job !

    August 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Francis Clark

      The nuns taught me about the concept of Social Justice. Since the class sizes were about 50 kids, it's possible Ryan was sleeping in the back of the room that day? He sure didn't get the point

      August 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  4. Squeezebox

    Neither vice-presidential candidate fully reflects the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Ryan reflects the pro-life part (except let's hear what his position is on capital punishment). Biden reflects the social welfare part. What we need is a pro-lifer who expands tax breaks and assistance to poor families, esp aid to dependent children.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • WiscBadger

      And how do you propose to pay for it?

      August 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • mikeM

      That should be the role of the church, not the government.

      August 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  5. Bobbym007

    So who do you think will win the White House ??? I'm voting OB

    August 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  6. Bobbym007

    I havn't seen ONE not ONE post that explores just how the GOP (or should we say the RYAN Buget) position came about . When just last week I was thinking geez: just what are the GOP positions on anything ,anotherwords they had no position cause maybe the VP wasn't picked yet publicly.Or was it more like they had none,now out of nowhere right after the Ryan pick the GOP like magic now has a position and there target is lets take it from the ones who had nothing to do with the problem in the first place, things were fine before BUSH and Cheney.What a bunch of misfit weasels and moles and to think I was actually going to vote for the GOP.But no more I'm 61 just at the start of my better days and these super Rich want the little nescesities I paid for and basicly contracted for when I began work and YES we DID PAY for it SS and Medicaid thank you.Till the Bush family got a hold of it both of them both failed presidencies that BOTH left the USA in financial ruin Remember.Now they want to give THEMSELVES MORE and we are to PAY for there mistakes and outright greed they don't even want to pay a few more dollars in taxes in fact want a tax reduction.think about it am I not posting the facts as we know them today??? How insulted I'm feeling by there shear indecency.Wow what a pair.
    And how much study went into this overnight GOP backed Romney endorced and out of the mind of Ryan's head Proposal.And thrown at us with 90 days to go sure feels like the Bush days when policy became fact overnight,nothing analyzed no number crunching no debate no nothing just do it no matter style got us HERE Dummies.I could go for days so much waste,you know if we would stop for just a few years of rebuilding OTHER COUNTRIES and outright Military assistence for nothing in return,giving away our tax dollars for NOTHING in RETURN.That could be a great source of revenue for the USA.It was so easy to turn your guns on the American People and show us the bills you racked up. We pay for the rest of the World Already,why not have BIG BUsiness pay some of the tab there accounts are loaded.

    August 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  7. Hypatia

    Another Xian Bible-thumper consumed with hate. Gee, I'm so shocked!

    August 13, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  8. mikey

    It really is hard to reconcile the fact that many orders of Nuns support Obama. It could be that Obamacare would drop millions into their health system.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • David

      You insinuate nuns are in it for the money. Dude, seriously?

      August 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  9. Vangi

    The article says Obama is a protestant ???~!!!!! No he is NOT. He is a muslim. Google "Obama's speech saying he is a Muslim." You will find a audio/video of this !!

    He is FAR from being a christian protestant believer !!!

    August 13, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Well, why not post a link to this video? And I'm sure I am not the only one who would like to see a complete list of what medications you are taking.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • MKinSoCal

      @ Save a Christian – I think you are off in chastising Vangi for his list of medications. Judging from his post, he is obviously NOT taking them!

      August 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • chidmd

      OMG...where in the world do you get your information Vangi...from the Enquirer?? What a crazy statement too make and one that is a complete lie.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  10. kindless

    HeavenSent wrote:
    "That's the thing about atheists, they lie about who they are when doing their dirty deeds. They claim to be who they are not, to point the finger on others."

    Oh dear, you need to get yourself a cup of tea and a good newspaper and find out what's going on in the world!
    The normal thing for atheism is that they know there is no one else to blame for misdeeds other than one's self. Now a Catholic who co'mmits a grave sin can run and be confessed for that sin, making them feel all better, and it can just stop there without society knowing what happened. That's a big disservice to society, dear.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  11. kindless

    HeavenSent wrote:
    "That's the thing about atheists, they lie about who they are when doing their dirty deeds. They claim to be who they are not, to point the finger on others."

    Oh dear, you need to get yourself a cup of tea and a good newspaper and find out what's going on in the world!
    The normal thing for atheism is that they know there is no one else to blame for misdeeds other than one's self. Now a Catholic who commits a grave sin can run and be confessed for that sin, making them feel all better, and it can just stop there without society knowing what happened. That's a big disservice to society, dear.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • cc

      I don't believe a moral conscience is a big disservice to society. Are you able to tell me with great confidence at most atheists are of high moral/ethical standing?

      August 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      I can assure you that any Atheist is as moral or above the average Christian, Muslim or Jew. The point is we are all human and all make mistakes on this we can agree. Morally though an Atheist does not claim to have any moral high ground and the other religions do claim it. When an Atheist slips below societal moral levels they accept responsibility. When a monotheist religious person slips they have now committed 2 immoral acts. 1 The immoral act itself 2. lying to themselves and the world and their creator that they have moral high ground at all. And lying is immoral.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  12. kindless

    HeavenSent wrote:
    "That's the thing about atheists, they lie about who they are when doing their dirty deeds. They claim to be who they are not, to point the finger on others."

    Oh not true, dear. The norm for atheists is that there is no one to blame for misdeeds other than one's self. Unlike many, religious folk often run and hide their misdeeds by confessing them and they may feel better, but not allowing it to be handled by society is an injustice to the country when only the church can forgive everything. Haven't you been reading the news dear? The Catholics have been under fire for mishandling misdeeds this way a lot recently, but many of the extremist Christians in the US of A are also cheating our society this way. You need to get yourself a cup of tea, and a good newspaper and find out what's goin on in the word, dear!

    August 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • kindless

      I was wondering where these went. When the page returned the first two times, they didn't even show. And now I see they were not treated as replies. Interesting.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • kindless

      OK it is working better, now and it filed it underneath my other reply to HeavenSent.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Hypatia

      Don't bother answering that troll. She's a harpy and nothing more than a general pest.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  13. MaryM

    You've worked hard all your life. You've paid Medicare taxes for almost 30 years. But under the Republican plan, Medicare won't be there for you. Instead of Medicare as it exists now, under the Republican plan you'll get a voucher that will pay as little as half your Medicare costs when you turn 65—and as little as a quarter in your 80s. And all so that millionaires and billionaires can have a huge tax cut

    August 13, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Hypatia

      But they'll claim it's all for 'citizen's benefit'. Lying hypocritcal morons.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. Simple Truth

    Ryan, Romney, the Tea Party and the majority of "conservatives" are without doubt, the most un-American anti freedom Benedict Arnolds since, well, Benedict Arnold. They wish we had stayed under British rule and want to bring us back to white male dominated oligarchy. This is evident every time they open their mouths and spout the rhetoric of small government with no social safety net, all while they greedily take any government handout they can whether it's in the form of a tax deduction or loophole or subsidy. Plus they figure they could have deferred much of these labor costs if they had remained British and hadn't given up on slavery so easily.

    We are a democracy. Not a theocracy so get your religion out of my laws. Not an oligarchy so get your fat cat cash buying loopholes out of the political system . Not a Monarchy so get your self declared conservative Kings like Rush and O'Reiley and your harpy queen Anne Coulter off our televisions and radio. Everyone gets just one vote, so use it and then shut the heII up.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The First Amendment is a pesky thing. Everyone is free to make everyone else uncomfortable.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Our founding fathers were Caucasians. Why do you have a problem with the color of their skin? The Caucasians are a tribe of Israel!

      August 13, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Our laws are taken from the Torah/Old Testament. Get over yourself!

      August 13, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Billk

      You got your shot. Now shut....

      August 13, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Bobbym007

      simple truth: Thank You and well said

      August 13, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • kindless

      Oh my no! Atheism is, in fact, fabulous for everyone! It helps a person take full responsibility for their lives.
      Prayer is not really necessary. Some people just need a little quiet time and a cup of tea.

      This is my experience. thank you.

      heavenSnot RIF

      August 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • truth be told

      atheists have murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries, kindless would have us believe murdering millions is a wonderful way of life.

      August 13, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • Mirosal

      still spouting your crap on other pages I see ... ok "truth" I'll ask you on THIS thread .. name people you THINK killed and used "in the name of Atheism" as their main reason for doing so.

      August 13, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • HeavenSent

      That's the thing about atheists, they lie about who they are when doing their dirty deeds. They claim to be who they are not, to point the finger on others.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • kindless

      truth be told: I see is still trying to associate atheism with a handful of the world's worst rulers. Everyone knows that most of those rulers were in fact associated with a religion, but chose to abandon them when it politically was to their advantage. So it is useless to try and define them by their religion or lack thereof. Now the Catholic church is another story. That's a whole organization that has been consistently responsible for death, disenfranchisement, etc. since their beginnings.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • kindless

      HeavenSent wrote:
      "That's the thing about atheists, they lie about who they are when doing their dirty deeds. They claim to be who they are not, to point the finger on others."

      Oh not true, dear. The norm for atheists is that there is no one to blame for misdeeds other than one's self. Unlike many, religious folk often run and hide their misdeeds by confessing them and they may feel better, but not allowing it to be handled by society is an injustice to the country when only the church can forgive everything. Haven't you been reading the news dear? The Catholics have been under fire for mishandling misdeeds this way a lot recently, but many of the extremist Christians in the US of A are also cheating our society this way. You need to get yourself a cup of tea, and a good newspaper and find out what's goin on in the word, dear!

      August 13, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Hypatia

      The beyotch is back!

      August 13, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! '

      August 13, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  16. Kebos

    One need not be a Catholic, to " believe in the worth and dignity of every human life,"

    August 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Not at all but Catholic doctrine codefies and delineates in a scholarly fashion why human life is dignified and valued so that it becomes a basis for policy and societal action as opposed to something one simply recognizes or feels

      August 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @bildeacons – "Catholic doctrine codefies and delineates in a scholarly fashion"

      And yet they decide to to not even allow for debate as to when a fertilized egg becomes a human which is the most important issue to anyone and everyone who doesn't give two shlts about your Catholic invented everlasting soul.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Catholic doctrine is derived from the statements of men Catholics deem to be, or to have been, the representatives of Christ on earth. Some of us see them as mere men who have chosen a strange lifestyle within a strange cult. Scholarship should be based on something legitimately authoritative.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      ok then what do you base the dignity and value of human life on? What are the origins of the thought and where does the extension of it lead?

      August 13, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  17. cyndi weiss

    i've been reading ryan's bio-again very interesting, his dad died in h.s., however typical of a republican,. he did not grow up poor, or under privileged; his father was a lawyer, grandfather started a well known and large construction co., and i believe a great grandfather was appointed u.s. attorney by pres. calvin coolidge for western wisconsin. why is it that most republicans, especially romney/ryan can't tell the truth?!? romney/ryan have been giving the impression the past two days that ryan had it "rough" finacially after his dad's death, rough in the sense he was sad, but not rough in the sense financially!!! in fact, ryan should know, his way around politics; from what i have read he completely fits the extablishment politician and again doesn't have a clue of what the working man and the poor experience. also, i'm catholic and this guy doesn't have a clue of what catholic doctrine says; i try to go to mass daily, go every sunday, and attended catholic grade, h.s., and breifly college; he needs to read the catholic catechism and educate himself before he opens his mouth about the religion he loves, that he seems to know nothing about! maybe V.P. Biden can educate him since he is catholic-at least he knows catholic doctrine or perhaps ryan will reconsider meeting w/Sister S. Campbell so she can educate him about the ryan budget being in violation of catholic doctrine!!!

    August 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  18. Autism is Funny

    All life is merely condensed molecules vibrating. The path to self actualization lies in DMT.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Autism is Funny

      Ah... yes, the so-called 'spirit molecule.' Might be worth a try someday.

      Peace...

      August 12, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      What sin is it that God punishes parents for by giving their child autism?

      August 13, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "What sin is it that God punishes parents for by giving their child autism?"

      =>your theology is horrible...
      As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9

      August 13, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, I believe what follows in your Bible story is a miraculous healing. Most parents of autistic children don't get to see such.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Damocles

      @@chad

      *yawns, stretches and peers bleary eyed at your post to bring it into focus*

      Mmm... yes... works of god.... so bring me up to speed, Chad, since I just woke up. How many children born with certain problems does it take to prove the works of god?

      I asked this question before to other believers but I don't think they answered it, maybe you can, Chad. The question is this: What is the accetable body count to bring one person closer to god? Like would god say 30 people dying is ok as long as it brings one person closer to it? Or is it some kind of formula? Or does it have to do with what side of the bed god rolled out off that day?

      August 13, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Damocles

      *acceptable

      August 13, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Squeezebox

      You must mean that Autism is strange because it is not at all funny. Life is hard enough when you have Asperger's Syndrome. OTOH, Asperger's is also a gift because it allows us to see the world differently from everyone else. Sometimes that leads to great insights and discoveries, sometimes it just makes us outcasts. Anyway, the only person allowed to be perfect is God. The rest of us have to suffer. People of faith think there is an ultimate reason for it, people who don't believe think it's just what is.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  19. karebear

    Watch 2016 the movie.
    Read "The Communist".

    August 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Watch :
      "The Hangover 2" for fun.
      "Shawshank Redemtion" for morals
      "Rudy" for Never quit Spirit
      "Rocky IV" for patriotism
      And "The Blues Brothers" for soul.

      August 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And please don't watch any of Mel Gibson's ego projects if you are looking for historical accuracy.

      <The Patriot and Braveheart are the worst.

      <The Passion... I'll leave to others. I never saw it, though I did hear that it offended some of God's 'chosen people'. A hobby of Mel's apparently.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      @Mark from Middle River

      I haven't seen the first one – I'll check it out. But the others are all great.
      I find it thera'peutic throw in "What About Bob?" every once in a while.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Mark, I admire your taste, though I might subst.itute "Raising Arizona" for the first one, and add "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for a sense of wonder...

      Cheers.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mark etc,

      You may well enjoy The Patriot but take it was a fable. Please don't assume it has any bearing on the facts of 'the southern campaign' during the revolutionary war. The facts are well worth the study.

      The ultimate battle in The Patriot is a proxy for Guilford Courthouse near Greensboro, NC, which contrary to the movie, Corwallis won, though greatly outnumbered, and at a heavy cost in men to his small army.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – take is as (not was) a fable.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  20. John Svengali

    If honest people who actually care about the poor, the sick, those truly in need of help would consider the amount of money wasted by government falsely in the name of helping the aforementioned, they would also seek budget cuts and fiscal responsibility to ensure the resources will always be available and not wasted, borrowing over 40% of all that is spent. When the bubble bursts, it will be the vulnerable and poor who will be hurt first and most. Government needs to be cut to about half its size on all levels. Helping the truly needy should never be an issue for debate, only the demagogues in the Democrat party use the needy as cover for their outrageous spending agenda.

    August 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Casper

      Cutting the government in half would eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. Are you serious? If you want to return to the feudal system of lords and serfs, move to the middle east pal.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Do you know how much money the churches have and their not taxed on? Let's take that money and help the needy, every last penny!

      August 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Sorry "their" should be "they're"

      August 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      For a self proclaimed Catholic, and a man with higher education under his belt, Ryan doesn't seem to be able to read – or at least not comprehend. Or, perhaps he just wants to play dumb to avoid acknowledging that the leadership of the faith that he wants to exploit for his political gain has already counseled him directly on the immorality of his budget plan.

      August 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Veritas

      Certainly get rid of corporate welfare and loopholes for the wealthy, reduce military spending etc. Don't forget government spending has had the biggest % increase under George W Bush and Reagan – those well-known Democrats.

      August 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Vocal, since there are thousands of Non-profits that are not taxed as well and some parts of society that have a negative view of those other non-profits... How are we going to judge which non-profit should be taxed or should we tax them all?

      August 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Vocal will decide with Tom Tom as assistant

      August 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't believe churches should be taxed, beady.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • billdeacons

      My mistake. Vocal, you're on your own.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:47 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.