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.
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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."
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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.
Ryan is a great choice...for those of you stating the he will "hurt" SS and Medicare.....they are all ready destroyed....Bankrupt in fact....get your heads out of the ground...better yet stay there and don't vote!
Maybe...but Ryan wants to take much of Medicare away from the elderly right now. The elderly are reliable voters and tend to lean right. I suspect Ryan is going to do a lot of back tracking on this issue in the next few weeks or Florida is lost.
Romney has to win all of the other swing states except NH if he loses Florida. That isn't happening.
No wonder – a Catholic wacko. I think they are even worse than the Fundamentalists. Full of guilt and anger, and a very negative view of human kind. Especially children. I say, keep your crappy cult out of my government!
Yes Erin the Catholic Church hates children. Why else would they oppose abortion?
Hey, I agree that these cultist wackos should be kept out of politics but the evangelicals and fundamentalists are wayyyy worse than the Catholics. Catholics are generally split along party lines even with the higher powers in the Church steering to the right. Whereas with evangelicals its almost all about the rapture and saving out country from the socialist, which he clearly is not. In 2008, the year Barak Obama was elected president, 25% of the electorate listed themselves as evangelical. Thats the scariest statistic I can think of in recent past.
I'm Catholic and really offended by this. Maybe step into a church and see what Catholics are really like rather than spew off ignorance.
I am an atheist and you are a a bigot against Catholics.
This must be why America is a dump. People vote for candidates based on their religion and not their political policies. Go figure
I'd love to see an atheist be elected president or a vp selected as atheist
Get "faith" the F*** OUT of my government. I could care less what fairy tale you believe in as long as not one decision you make is based in ANY way on said fairy tale! That goes for you too, libs.
R'amen. I'll ignore the lib diss but I could not agree with you more on the absence of religion in government.
If the founding fathers didn't have faith in God you wouldn't have your government. That is a fact!
I agree 100%, Religion Poisons Everything......RIP Mr. Hitchens, you were right about 'everything'.
Perhaps you're on the wrong Belief Blog article, try this one:
This so called 'god' has been the focus of millions of innocent people being slaughtered in his 'name'. He does not exist, its a fairy tale that adults keep brain washing their off spring with. It's time to put an end to this BS. Religion is a mental illness.
Oh yes. The founding fathers were really religious. Have you never read about the shenanigans good ol' Ben Franklin used to get into?
Pistolshrimp, thanks for confirming my theory that when a poster announces "That's a fact", "'nuff said", "End of story", "Period, end of sentence", and the like, the post itself is pure manure.
We are at a very serious turning point — a time for greater awakening and mature value adjustment. Getting away from the old religious limitations is essential to our survival. Religion should not play a role in the required evolutionary change. If fact is is a liability.
The belief that an infinitely old, all-knowing sky-god, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, chose a small nomadic group of Jews from the 200 million people then alive to be his "favored people" provided they followed some rural laws laid down in Bronze Age Palestine equals Judaism.
Judaism PLUS a belief that the same god impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate a rule he himself made equals Christianity.
Christianity PLUS a belief that aliens from other planets mated with humans who will one day be gods, that post mortem baptisms send people to a heaven, that the Israelis colonized America and that magic underwear will protect you from evil equals Mormonism.
I guess Mormons take the gold for utterly stupid beliefs. One can imagine Brigham Young standing on a pedestal, accepting his medal and humbly proclaiming, “If my beliefs are even more ridiculous than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.
You do know that there is not ONE acknowledged atheist in our government, right?...including your precious liberals...
Maybe you could make a point instead of throwing out red herrings?
Wow, Colin, you obviously haven't studied religion much. There are some pretty gross generalizations in there. Where did you get the alien thing for the Mormons? You call their beliefs the most idiotic, but I'm pretty sure that is not within their belief structure. You might want to actually do some research before you open your mouth. Just sayin'.
Kurt, can YOU be more specific? What generalizations did Colin post that amount to distortion of the truth?
well put....It makes you think. I should say, it makes some of us think.
Not sure what your point is.
I thought the first openly Atheist congressman was Pete Stark.
Tom, Tom, for example: aliens mating with people on earth.
in reply to TCP, who claims there is not one atheist in our govt. youre wrong. Pete Stark is an atheist in the House. so before you spout off nonsense. use google.
TCP..what makes atheists liberals? just because we do not believe in your god? Atheists have differing views on all aspects of life..some agree with abortion, some do not, some are for say, gun control, others are not....We are not defined in the same way that a religion dictates the rules of membership.
Kurt, it comes from the Book of Abraham, in which Joseph Smith makes this and various othe rclaims bordering on insanity, including the planet Kolob. The book is supposedly based on an ancient Egyptian scroll interpreted by Smith. Have a quick read of this stuff. It is fvcking ludicrous.
Kurt, they believe there are intelligent beings on other planets and that they are our "brothers and sisters".
What conclusion would you draw from that?
Kurt..One of the definitions of an alien is a being not of this planet..then by definition god is an alien..he lives. according to myth in "heaven" .
Come on, Chard, rise to the bait again.
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no surprise here. mittens will say anything and do anything just to get elected...even in the choice of a VP.
His "faith" DOES NOT matter.
his faith does matter. voters have a right to know what he believes in and how he handles tough situations. does he sit back and wait for god to tell him what to do? is he voting bible first? these things are very important.
It absolutely matters. If his faith led him to believe women were property, you don't think that might influence his choices as a leader? Faith is the greatest brainwash. People are convinced of things with absolutely no evidence (pretty much the definition of what faith is). I have a real problem with someone that focuses on how devote he or she is to believing things without evidence. How does that in any way point to someone capable of reasonable decision making?
*devoted, not devoted.
Well, I just can't type today.
CNN: this is not a thing!
"But Ryan's advocacy for cutting taxes and trimming the deficit..."
Would be like my advocating myself not working whilst paying all my bills.
And would only further stall the economy into recession.
romney picked ryan just hoping to attract the extremist radical right. R&R = Dubya squared
Great we have a Mormon and a Catholic tandem. Hmmm wonder how it plays out with talibangelicals.
GOOD QUESTION!!!!!! Talibangelicals, where are you? You have one VERY CREEPY CULT, (not xstian) and one VERY ARCHAIC DINOSAUR OF xsianity, but NO 'BORN AGAINS"
This would all be funny, if it weren't scary. (Hey, I like the term "talibangelicals" well coined) OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
Somewhere in here is a joke about a racist polygamist and a pedophile walking into a bar.
the f-NAMBLA, perhaps?
excuse the name butchering, please
Focus on gays and abortion? I guess the other sins like ADULTERY – you know that thing Newt, Limbaugh and Beck committed by divorcing their first wives and marrying others is not a sin. What a bunch of hypocrites.
Everyone is a hypocrite. The only thing that differentiates us is to what extent we acknowledge our hypocrisy.
You can't differentiate murder from adultery? Slicing up an unborn child and taking it's life and comparing that to an illicit affair has a huge chasm of difference. Whether the mother wants the child or not, abortion is always wrong because it always kills the person who had no choice in it being there. Period.
If you're so opposed to abortion, don't ever have one. You have no say in what a woman chooses to do with her pregnancy. Carry your own fetus.
But you fundy morons will fall for the abortion issue EVERY time. The politicians know it. They pull it out every election and wave it around to get you monkeys to scream. As soon as the election is over, no matter who has won, abortion won't even be a dim memory for them.
You've had 4 decades to try to overturn R v W. It's not going anywhere.
Divorce and adultery is as much a sin as homosexuality and killing unborn children.
Of course all sin (except blaspheming the Holy Spirit) can be forgiven, but I agree that it is hypocritical for Newt and Limbaugh to be condemning sinful behavior in anyone..
@TTTPS "If you're so opposed to abortion, don't ever have one."
=>that's a really silly statement..
would you agree if I said "if you are so opposed to stealing, dont steal anything"
Chadwatch: @ @ @ =====> <===== ++ * 👿
Chadwatch: Chad fails to grasp the fact that abortion isn't murder and never has been considered so under law. He also fails to grasp that stealing infringes on rights of others to their own property. Abortion infringes on no one's rights.
Now Chadwatch, wait for it: Chard will try to argue that the fetus "has a right to live" or "should have a right to life" and that (nonexistent) right should trump the rights of a woman under law.
Wanna bet on it? @@@@ =======> <======= :crazy:
@TTTPS "Abortion infringes on no one's rights."
@Chad "regarding your nonsense argument that unborn children have no rights:
First, you need to understand that the law irrationally allows mothers the unrestricted right to kill unborn children ONLY until viability, killing unborn children can be CONSIDERED MURDER later than that.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a constitutionally guaranteed unqualified right to abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy(later modified to viability). She also has a right to terminate a pregnancy in the second trimester, although the state may limit that right when the procedure poses a health risk to the mother
second, you need also to understand the irrationality of the state allowing a mother the unrestricted ability to kill an unborn child when it is less than 3 month's old, but at the same time prosecuting mothers for drug use during pregnancy.
some states have held women criminally liable for any use of illegal drugs that harms their fetus. Prosecutors in many states have sought to deter such behavior by charging women with a number of crimes against their fetus, including delivery of drugs, criminal child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and manslaughter. Johnson v. State, 578 So. 2d 419 (Fla. 1991), demonstrates the controversial aspects of such prosecutions. In this case, a Florida district court of appeal upheld a lower court's conviction of a woman for the delivery of a controlled substance by umbilical cord to two of her four children. The decision was the first appellate ruling to uphold such a conviction.
Chadwatch: I win. Chad pulled exactly the stunt I predicted he would.
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Honest question. What if abortions are actually the lords work? What if the woman in question was never meant to have a baby and if she didn't get it aborted, then god would make her miscarry anyways? What if all you who think god wants every child to live is dead wrong and you're actually doing the will of Satan?
Now, with those philosophical questions out of the way, you must (though obviously don't) understand that the fetus in a woman during the first trimester has no more right to live than the mother, even less so considering if has no brain function or anything resembling a human life. It sure has the potential to be and the law makes it clear that if a woman is going to carry a child to term, they can't begin harming the baby by doing drugs, illegal or otherwise.
I'm not necessarily for a woman to be able to use abortion as a form of birth control, and in a perfect world, unwanted pregnancies wouldn't happen. We don't live in a perfect world though and women get pregnant from rap/e, one-night stands and the good ole fashion condom break. For the woman's sake, for the potential child's sake and for society's sake, it's better if the woman has a right to choose to carry the baby or not. It should never be up to you to decide if a woman 1000 miles away should have the child or not. That's between the mother and the father.
@Science "What if abortions are actually the lords work? What if the woman in question was never meant to have a baby and if she didn't get it aborted, then god would make her miscarry anyways?"
@Chad "if God wants to take the life, God will take it, He certainly doesnt want or need us speculating on His intentions."
@Science "you must (though obviously don't) understand that the fetus in a woman during the first trimester has no more right to live than the mother, even less so considering if has no brain function or anything resembling a human life"
@Chad 'nonsense.. you picked your moniker inaccurately 🙂
some facts, note that brain waves at week 6, less than 1/2 way thru the first trimester (13 weeks)
Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child's own blood, often a different type than the mothers'.
Week 3: By the end of third week the child's backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.
Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.
Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.
Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.
Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.
Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.
Choosing one sentence and expounding on it like it's the entire point of the post is a dishonest way to debate, stay on target here.
First and foremost, if god doesn't need us to do stuff for him on earth, why did he create us in the first place?
Next, abortion is legal Chad not because crazy people like to kill children, it's because these zygotes within the first trimester don't have the ability to survive outside the womb and are still considered potential human life the same way an egg or a sperm is. I don't see you campaigning to outlaw masturbation though. Also, lets try to not personally attack one another huh? Instead of going after my moniker hows about we just focus specifically on the points at hand?
I'd prefer if you actually replied to the whole post instead of looking at one measly sentence and making it seem like that was the entire post.
@Science "Choosing one sentence and expounding on it like it's the entire point of the post is a dishonest way to debate,"
@Chad "scroll up and read my response again, apparently you missed some stuff..
@Science "First and foremost, if god doesn't need us to do stuff for him on earth, why did he create us in the first place?"
@Chad "God created us to be in fellowship with Him. Again, if God wants to take the life, God will take it, He certainly doesnt want or need us speculating on His intentions."
@Science "Next, abortion is legal Chad not because crazy people like to kill children, it's because these zygotes within the first trimester don't have the ability to survive outside the womb and are still considered potential human life the same way an egg or a sperm is."
@Chad "1. killing babies is ONLY legal until the baby is considered able to live outside the womb. It is an arbitrary distinction that allows killing unborn babies up to a certain age.
2. the potential for life is obviously not the same as life. 😉 . It is the termination of life that is the issue.
nice try though.."
see that you dropped the "babies dont have brain waves until after the first trimester ;-)"
Science, "Choosing one sentence and expounding on it like it's the entire point of the post is a dishonest way to debate"
This is true, and it is also true that this is typical Chad. And no, he is not an honest debater. He is notoriously dishonest, ranging from these bait-and-switch attempts, to posting quotes taken out of context, to using sock puppets to submit fake comments in support of himself, to outright lies. It is the policy of Chadwatch (a public service) to discourage engaging Chad in any way.
CNN rears its ugly head once again!! Shame on you and everything you stand for.
Why does a man's faith matter? It shouldn't and never did as attested to the U.S. military graves around the world suppressing those regimes that tried to annihilate people because of their faith.
It's of interest to the voters. Why would CNN not report his faith?
Why does his religion matter? Because I don't want some Catholic VP making laws based on what he believes might be a sin. Separation of Church and Nation please.
So, who would you rather have making decisions? A protestant, buddhist, hindu, muslim, zoroastrian? Nope, you choose to single out ONE "faith" and slam them simply because the guy on the "other" side practices that "faith". Bigot.
Laws for all should not be made based on a religious belief that others may not practice. I'm not bashing him for being Catholic. He could worship the flying spaghetti monster for all I care.
They spent zero time and energy on the hateful Jeremiah Wright and Obumbo's 20 years in that bigoted Trinity United Church of Christ....but Ryan's faith....now that's a real issue. How can this be. A Catholic and a Mormon, on my gawd!!! The sky is falling.
Can you say scared!!!!!
dang, I was hoping for Romney – Palin – Bachmann team. Some Mormons like to have more than one woman.
my guess is you can't even find ONE woman
I see what you did there. it was......almost funny, I guess?
hahahahaha!!! Good one Vulpecula.
Listen, faith and belief in something is a wonderful thing but it should be your own. What mortal man knows the true meanig of life?To follow blindly into an organized religion just because of social pressures or tradition is a sign of weakness. Organized religion has been the most destructive force on the planet. It's time to end this nonsense now and become human beings.
I agree with your comment and whatever happened to seperation of church and state?
I agree one shouldn't blindly follow because of social pressure of tradition, but what of those who actually believe or have faith? Aren't they allowed to promote their views just like every other American?
I changed my name BTW. Now we can all go sing kumbaya.
Hey Maverick...yeah...he was...but on the opposite side of the aisle from the Bush supporters....and look how well the country and economy turned out after 12 yrs of Bush/cheney-ism. Ask some of the Iraq war victims and their families that quesiton. .
"12 yrs of Bush/cheney-ism"
12 years? How so?
Haven't the Dems been in control of Congress for the last 5+ years, after the Dems took control of House and Senate in 2007?
All I can say to that is look back to my first comment and ask people who know what they're talking about. (A Church) You still haven't responded to that comment and I wonder why, but please, you need to give Christianity a real chance, Take your best arguments, which I'm assuming you already posted, and go around asking professionals to try to dispprove your "theories." (Real professionals)
I hope gas prices go lower though
Sawmills, I probably know your religion comparably well to your so-called "professionals" and can at least discuss the contents of the bible in more detail than most priests. I've looked in depth at Christianity and can confidently reject its tenets such as Jesus' virgin birth, "sacrifice" by an omnipotent, and the supposed loving nature of your sky fairy as, now read this carefully, complete and utter nonsense.
And that is just to get started. Care to take me on, with or without your "professional" help?
your name??? is it copyrighted? are you the only Braden in the world????
Shall I refer you to my first comment, aka, why is everyone so testy this morning?
This is a riot. The guy has been a Congressman throughout the Bush years. This is the guy that had 12 years to assist in balancing the budget and hasn't done S***. Now he's going to do something different as VP? LOL What a joker.
wasn't Obama also active during the Bush years?
Thank you Maverick. Exactly, both sides had a chance to something and they haven't done crap because they are too busy beign partisan and hating the other side rather than compromising and actually doing something. Both sides are guilty of being idiots. The sooner we can all come to that realization the better.
Wasn't Obama in government during the 'Bush' years? What the heck did he do while there?
Kurt, you are completely correct. But it's not just the people, it's the system that encourages that kind of person to get into government. The whole government, lobbies, special interests, etc. needs major overhaul.