Top Catholic defends Obama invite against conservative criticism
Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended inviting President Obama to the 2012 Al Smith Dinner.
August 15th, 2012
03:22 PM ET

Top Catholic defends Obama invite against conservative criticism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Cardinal Timothy Dolan, America’s most prominent Catholic official, defended on Wednesday the decision to invite President Barack Obama to a major Catholic dinner in the face of criticism from conservatives, saying the event is an opportunity for “friendship, civility and patriotism” amid a heated political campaign.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also has accepted an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner, an annual Catholic fundraiser in New York with a rich history. Since Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy spoke at the event in 1960, it has been a regular stop for presidents and presidential candidates of both major parties.

Some conservative Catholic groups had asked Dolan – the archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - to reconsider the Obama invitation in light of what they say are attacks on religious freedom by the administration.

“As faithful Catholics, we cannot set aside our deeply-held differences and put in any place of honor those who continuously attack the tenets of our faith, and even our very ability to practice that faith,” wrote President Father Shenan J. Boquet of Human Life International.

In the past, some presidential candidates have not been invited to the dinner. For example, in 2004, Cardinal Edward M. Egan did not invite then Democratic challenger John Kerry nor Republican President George W. Bush to the event. In 1996, President Clinton was not invited after Cardinal John O'Connor criticized him for vetoing a bill that would have outlawed some late-term abortions.

In a Wednesday blog post on the Archdiocese of New York’s website, Dolan acknowledged the controversy, writing that he is “receiving stacks of mail protesting the invitation to President Obama (and by the way, even some objecting to the invitation to Governor Romney).”

But Dolan wrote that it is “better to invite than to ignore.”

“The teaching of the Church… is that the posture of the Church towards culture, society, and government is that of engagement and dialogue,” Dolan wrote in his blog post, saying it is “more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one.”

Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which has been vocally opposed to many Obama administration initiatives, is defending Dolan’s decision.

“If Catholics want to change the culture, they need to engage it,” Donohue said in a statement. “It means we fraternize with those with whom we disagree with at city, state and federal functions. It does not mean that we are selling out.”

Dolan was clear that his invitation of President Obama did not mean that the religious leader was changing his position on abortion, religious freedom and other issues that the Catholic Church has been at odds with the Obama administration over.

“In fact, one could make the case that anyone attending the dinner, even the two candidates, would, by the vibrant solidarity of the evening, be reminded that America is at her finest when people, free to exercise their religion, assemble on behalf of poor women and their babies, born and unborn, in a spirit of civility and respect,” Dolan wrote.

Dolan has been vocal in his opposing Obama’s stance on abortion, same-sex marriage and the Health and Human Services rule requiring employees to receive free contraception coverage through their health insurance, which he says violates religious freedom.

The Al Smith Dinner is held at the swanky Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, where candidates are asked to give short speeches, which are typically comedic and self-deprecating. In 2008, Obama and then-Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain joked about themselves a few weeks before the November election.

“Maverick I can do,” joked McCain about the admiration surrounding Obama, “but messiah is above my pay grade.” Obama returned the favor and joked about the McCain campaign's attempt to brand Obama as a celebrity.

“[I] punched a paparazzi on my way out of Spago's,” Obama joked. “I even spilled my soy chai latte.”

- CNN’s Simon Hernandez-Arthur contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Bishops • Catholic Church • Mitt Romney • Politics

soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. TC

    This is a story and surprise to some? Leaders inviting leaders? Sounds like someone is trying keep the lines of communication open regardless of differences. People just don't understand leadership.

    August 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • billdeacons

      A+ for discernment TC

      August 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • John Franklin

      Leadership requires listening to alternative view points. When is the last time Cardinal Dolan did that? He is inviting the President of the United States to a dinner in which the President of the United States will be disrespected and possibly booed. He is not inviting him to a conversation or a dialogue. TC may be on to something but this event is not it. But I do give the Cardinal credit for not snubbing the President. i would like to think it was out of generosity and not hedging his bets.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  2. albert

    Of course the Catholic church is going to play both sides of the fence. Much like they supported Hitler and his rise to power. If he was successful, the Catholics would have had a monopoly on religion. They are still up to their same Satanic tricks. The Catholic church is far removed from anything the Bible teaches.

    August 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Mark

      Really? Such as?

      August 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • TC

      Uh oh – looks like we found someone living in their own world making up history. Read about Maximillian Kolbe and Clemens Von Galen before you asserting your own version of history.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • albert

      Please explain why Catholics fought for Hitlers army and why priests and bishops saluted him. German Catholics were killing American Catholics and visa versa. The church remained quite. That my friend is factual and historic. A simple trip to the library or web search is all it takes.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Timothy

      Albert, enough with that ignorance. When you’re talking about the catholic church; you’re not talking about a building. You’re talking about me, the people. The people are the Church. Never have I engaged in Worshiping the Devil. Have respect and direct your hate to certain officials if you feel such way; rather than the Billion plus Catholics (people) in the World.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • albert

      Maximillian Kolbe was not a true christian (as Catholics are not). He is known for example (as many Catholics are), for praying to the Virgin Mary. The Bible states that the only prayers heard by God are through his Son Jesus. Then there are the pagan holidays that Catholics celebrate (Easter, Christmas), which are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Mother worship is based on pagan tradition and Greek mythology. It is NOT Bible based. The Pope and his hierarchy, again, nowhere to be found in the Bible. Catholics are NOT Christians. I would suggest reading outside of the biased Catholic literature.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      " Maximillian Kolbe was not a true christian (as Catholics are not). "

      'No True Scotsman' fallacy.


      August 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Posts by 'albert' contain multiple instances of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.


      August 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • albert

      Number of Catholics means nothing Matthew 7:14. The fact that Catholics continue practice pagan rituals and Greek mythology disqualifies them from being Christians. Your argument should not be with me, but rather you need to ask your church, why all the lies? Matthew 7:21.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • albert

      Seriously is that how the Catholic church does it's brainwashing, by claiming fallacy? Look up pagan traditions, Greek mythology and how they were adopted into the Catholic church. Better yet, read the Bible and see where the Catholic church follows it's teachings. The Catholic church is far removed from anything found in the Bible.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • billdeacons


      The two who identyfied your logic error are self avowed atheist to my knowledge. You appear to be one of the type of Christian who is indoctrinated against the Catholic church. Your suggestion to read something about the Church other than it's own catechism indicates a predisposition to ignorance. If you are going to condemn us, at least condemn us for what we are, not for what someone calls us.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      Hi -bill...

      " The two who identyfied your logic error are self *avowed atheist* to my knowledge."

      It 'is' an error of logic. A 'fallacy' correctly identified.

      Being 'atheist' has nothing to do with identifying errors in arguments. You're committing an 'ad hominem' attack on us to try and discount the facts of our statements.

      And, for the record, I am 'not' an 'atheist.'.



      August 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • billdeacons

      I am not attacking you at all peace. Albert reacted to your post by saying you were an indoctrinated Catholic which I thought was an error. I wanted to clarify that your critique of his reasoning was not based on religion but on logic. Sorry if I laid a name on you which does not fit.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      **That was my 'bad'... I did not read Alberts next post as it wasn't addressed to anyone in particular, which I usually skip over.

      Please accept my apologies.


      August 16, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • J.W

      Peace you aren't an atheist? I never knew that.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • therealpeace2all


      Hey buddy... Yep, i've made it pretty clear since being one of the original posters on the Belief Blog, from time-to-time, that I am 'not' an atheist.


      August 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      Mark??? your such as? I assume refers to the commenter's statement that the Catholic church is far removed from the Bible . If so, start with these: a sinless Mary, the Immaculate Conception (a super serious one with the only purpose to remove Jesus from true humanity), confession to a priest (which has no ability to read the heart) instead of to God, penance, celibate priesthood, indulgences, purgatory, statues in churches, limbo, the mass, and many, many others, all of which are 100% anti-bilical (not just extra-biblical).

      August 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  3. jdoe

    Conservatives are getting rather petty. An invite for a dinner and conversation doesn't mean they have to agree with President Obama. Or are they so insecure in their own viewpoints that they're afraid to hear from others?

    August 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • billdeacons

      The Catholic Church, like the rest of the country is probably about evenly divided politically. Conservative just don't want Obama to gain any traction witht he demographic.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm |


      August 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • truth be told

      Truth is never trolling

      August 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • GS

      Right. Just type in 4th Crusade.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • kindless

      now "PLEASE DON'T FEED THE TROLLS" – don't be mean, now. there's no reason for that.
      It's up to us strong-minded atheists to teach religious folk how their religions can get them into trouble when it gets out of hand. I found that rather than scold my pet when it p00ps outside the box, it's better to tell it good job when it does it the right way. You have to be especially careful when handling people with mental weaknesses. But if they start doing really bad things and then just hide it with their make-believe friends and their priest, well, you know what that leads to. my oh my. mama kindless do get upset with a lot of these religious fools, but it's not all their fault. They were misled a long, long time ago. my goodness.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tina

      HeavenSentUnhealthyUntruthTold, does your Jesus wear a thong?

      We know that you want to tell us all that you've seen.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  5. Jeff Cox

    In 2008, in its "Faithful Citizenship" program, the USCCB said very emphatically that neither party fully adhered to what the Catholic Church's platform for government. It encouraged its members to consider thoughtfully how they were going to vote, knowing they had a responsibility to their community.

    I attended a couple of the meetings at a Parish level. The program touched on a variety of elements ... respect of life, taking care of the less fortunate, the environment, equitable government, etc. It was disconcerting to see so many people focus entirely on the abortion issue. From my perspective, there are many ways that "respecting life" comes into play. When you considered all of these issues, I felt the Democrats more closely reflected my beliefs as a Catholic.

    It's going to be the same this year – neither party is going to fully embrace the "Catholic platform". The main difference as I see it is the problem the birth control / insurance issue has caused for the Church. I think it took a great deal of courage and, grace and personal strength for Cardinal Dolan to recognize the opportunity this invitation presented. I pray that it bears fruit.

    August 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      I've said it before. If the DNC would adjust the platform on the abortion (and now the gay marriage & mandatory vs. elective birth control coverage) they would be an unbeatable party. For the numbers to stack up any other way...a whole lot of Catholics and other Christians would have to admit that they vote republican because their green overrides their other values.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • billdeacons

      I don't have any green but I vote republican primarily because of the liberal social policies of the DNC along with their profligate tax and spend policies. I also believe Obama has an even harder turen to the left planned if he is re-elected and i believe that spells doom for America

      August 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  6. CSX

    We were warned by the founders about Catholics. A religion from the outside.
    Dolan sounds like a beer bum. No holiness, just a clown.

    August 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Oh really? Which "founders" would that be? Our country has had a long history with the Church with which you are apparently unaware.

      The United States established consular relations with the Papal States, whose capital was Rome, in March 1797. Relations were reciprocated at the same consular level in 1826 when the Papal States established a consulate in New York City.

      In 1867 Congress prohibited the financing of any diplomatic post to the Papal authority. The United States did not have a diplomatic representative to the Pope for the next 72 years.

      Despite strong anti-Catholicism in the U.S., on December 24, 1939 President Franklin D Roosevelt announced his intention to send a personal representative to the Pope. He appointed Myron Taylor to this position.

      Upon arriving in Rome, Mr. Taylor was regarded as the US Ambassador and served for ten years, covering the World War II period. Taylor had access to the Pope and top Vatican officials. His office was a source of important information to the United States. He was able to influence the Holy See in 1945 to recognize the dangers of the communist Soviet Union expansion.

      When President Reagan announced the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See on January 10, 1984, he appointed William A. Wilson, who had been serving as his personal representative to the Pope, as the first US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See. The current Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See is Dr. Miguel Humberto Diaz.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • TC

      The founders were WASPs, so most prejudicial to Cathoilics but religious freedom nonetheless. Read about the colony of Maryland.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  7. Rev. Joseph J. Johnson

    Listen everyone. We can't solve a problem if we don't discuss what the problem is...If we are to follow the precepts of Jesus, then we need to act like it. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone...and the church said Amen!!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jeff Cox

      Hopefully this is the first step towards more civility. I pray it is!

      August 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • albert

      Jesus was not involved in politics nor did he ask his followers to get involved. Jesus only supported one Government, his fathers heavenly kingdom. What do you think you are praying for when you recite the lords prayer?

      August 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Bob

      albert, why does your "god" need your prayers? Vain much? Prayers have been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for, so they sure aren't helping you.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Bob

      and I don't recite your idiotic prayer to your sky fairy.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Prayer changed my oil. Alleluia, amen.

      Jesus preached the world was about to end. It didn't. Time to move along.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  8. Severinus

    Where do Romney and Ryan stand on the death penalty? They have not said much, but their party's position is very clear. Ryan's disdain for the poor also goes against his supposed Catholic faith. Ryan and Romney are the most anti-Catholic candidates running in this election.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Mark

      The Church has never said that a state cannot use the death penalty. Some Catholics are against it but that does not mean that it is forbidden.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • sam

      Your right to life ends the moment you're born.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • billdeacons

      No sam it ends the moment you are conceived

      August 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      More important than what is the candidate's stance on capital punishment is what the Church's stance is.

      "Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'[John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56.]

      August 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  9. HenryB

    I am so glad that I quit this wicked church. They are more and more getting to be like the evangelical Christians who hate them as well. WHAT HAS MY CHURCH TURNED INTO?

    August 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      What in the world do you mean by THAT question???? Where have you been while the Church has been teaching? Hiding, perhaps? Stuffing your ears so you don't have to question your decisions?

      The Catholic Church does not recognize Moron baptism as valid. The link below explains why and comes from the Vatican not just someone's say-so opinion.


      August 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      BTW...what the Church says is


      Difference of views: Mormons hold that there is no real Trinity, no original sin, that Christ did not insti tute baptism

      Summing up, we can say: The Baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ essentially, both for what concerns faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name Baptism is conferred, and for what concerns the relationship to Christ who inst ituted it. As a result of all this, it is understood that the Catholic Church has to consider invalid, that is to say, cannot consider true Baptism, the rite given that name by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints."

      August 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  10. dutchtown

    I approve the invite.Know your enemy.How can a catholic vote for romney?First go to the booth provided and and put your finger on the screen where it says romney and just touch,its real easy.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Here are some VERY valid reasons that Catholics should NOT vote for Romney. Mitt Romney is a bishop of the LDS and this, among other things, is what they believe.

      1. Teaches that there are many gods, and that humans can become gods and goddesses in the Heavenly kingdom: "History of the Church" 6 p. 306; "Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," pp. 28, 51-53.

      2. Teaches that God the Father was a man like us who progressed to become a God and presently has a body of flesh and bone. "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!"—"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith," compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. 345-47.

      3. Teaches that Jesus is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, after being procreated in spirit by the Father and a heavenly mother, and conceived physically by the Father and an earthly mother. "The Restoration of Major Doctrines Through Joseph Smith." in, "The Ensign," Jan 1989, pp. 28-29. They hold that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers—"Mormon Doctrine," pp. 192, 546-47, 589-90.

      4. The Holy Spirit is a spirit in the form of a man and only his influence is present everywhere.—"Doctrines of Salvation" I. pp. 38, 49-50 by Joseph Fielding Smith.

      5. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate Gods—"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith," p. 370.

      6. The Bible is corrupt, missing many "plain and precious parts" and does not contain the fullness of the Gospel—"Doctrines of Salvation" III. pp. 190, 191.


      August 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • daphne

      Aren't you a little shi t stirrer? Nice try, Aisha.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ daphne: If Romney & Ryan weren't so full of it, there wouldn't be any to stir.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • daphne

      Interesting that you leave out Obama. They're all full of it, you stupid Muslim quim.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Loki

      All you quims quit stealing my insults!

      August 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • billdeacons

      Chick, your expression of the conflict between the Catholic faith and the LDS are spot on. The only problem is we aren't voting for a religious leader. We are voting for our political leader. It is enough for me to know that Romney has a credo which guides his actions.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ billdeacons:

      One might think that a voting member of the GOP would be interested in the beliefs of its candidate. After all, weren't they the ones who came up with the "Character counts." campaign slogan?

      These theological beliefs may be all you ever get to know about Romney's beliefs. He hasn't yet been forthcoming about his opinions or presented his plan of action should he be selected. That is not surprising. His church is notable for its secrecy.

      1) After Morman temples are dedicated, the buildings are closed to the public and meetings are held in secrecy.
      2) Church members do not talk openly about the rituals that take place within, like baptizing the dead
      3) Mormon church finances are concealed. Neither church members nor outsiders know where money from t ithing and business revenue goes.
      4) Latter-day Saints face excommunication if they publicly discuss problematic or provocative elements of Mormon theology to which the church chooses not to draw attention.
      5) Disciplinary councils that can lead to excommunication are always private, as is the process of gathering information and the closed meetings that consider the fate of a disciplined member.

      From the posts above, I guess that one of their tactics of dealing with those who reveal the truth about them is to falsely assert that the discloser is a Muslim.

      Perhaps indoctrination in secrecy is a factor is why we STILL haven't seen more than one of Romney's filed tax returns. Do you want to wait to have him in office before you find out what else he thinks must be held in secret from the American public? Do you want to be responsible for putting him there when you find out?

      August 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  11. Damich

    Hahaha... case in point... so they say "As faithful Catholics, we cannot set aside our deeply-held differences...".... What is wrong with these "Christians"?.... they forget they are supposed to live like Jesus are they not? ... so WWJD?... He would invite the President because Jesus didn't allow differences to get in the way of humanity and compassion... The "Christians" today do not live like Jesus and have certainly strayed from the teachings and has nothing to do with gay this or gay that or abortion or any of these social issues and has all to do with HOW THEY ACT THEMSELVES. ...certainly not Christian like thats for sure.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Hmmmm....Reminds me of a dinner I held....guests included 3 lay Catholics, a retired Catholic priest, 2 atheists (1 of who m had been a seminarian), a former Mormon, a Unitarian and a gaggle of kids. 3 are gay, 2 of them living together with the 3 children they adopted. After dinner, my priest friend said to me..."You have a very eclectic group of friends and its delightful that there was nothing but civil conversation all night." To which I replied," Yep...that's what happens when intelligent people get together and talk."

      August 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  12. Feb

    Finnally, a cleric with guts.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Anyone know where his blog is located? I'd like to read it. Please post the URL if you find it.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Found it. No need to post.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Political conservatives seem alarmed that they may not have persuaded all Catholics that Obama is an enemy of the faith. They will react saying that Catholics who approve of Obama are cafeteria Catholics. But few American Catholics have escaped being labelled that way. Cardinal Dolan may be one.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • billdeacons

      a parle is not a treaty Tom

      August 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    "attacks on religious freedom" is a concept invented by republicans and FOX News!

    how will catholics justify voting for Romney who beleves in a cult that spits in the face of far more catholic beliefs than Obama ever could.

    do "attacks on religious freedom" only concern abortion and no other part of the christian faith?

    How convenient it must be to cherry pick parts of your religion to justify your own political views and pretend the contradictions don't exist.

    What a crock!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  15. Reality

    Why said dinner is a waste of time and money:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Rudy

      How about at least trying to live up to your tag name . Come back down to earth . Judge not lest you be judged by like standards . All those pscho theories carry absolutly no weight .

      August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Dallas

      Stuff it!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Summary #1:


      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family) (As does Dolan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".


      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:


      August 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    how will catholics justify voting for Romney who beleves in a cult that breaks far more catholic beliefs than Obama does with his offering freedom of abortion to everyone in America?

    Note that Obama isn't making anyone have an abortion, he is just making it possible for all americans to have the freedom to choose. I would assume that catholic women everywhere would refuse an abortion, just like catholic women everywhere refuse to use contraceptives (LOLOL).

    republican catholics it seems are republicans first and catholics second.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  17. BG

    Cardinal Dolan – Welcome, Mr. President
    Obama – Where's the kabobs? I thought all you kiddy lickers liked kabobs. We sure do.
    CD – No kabobs, sorry. And please, no jokes about us serving 'cream of sum yung guy'.
    O – Yeah, that's always in poor taste. Hah! get it? I crack myself up. How about using 9 year old girls in place of altar boys, that way you could marry them when the service is over...
    CD – We're not Muslims, Mr. President, but I appreciate the thought.
    O – So, no kabobs, no 9 year old girls. Borrrinng. Why exactly did I come here? Tell me there's dog on the menu. I luv me some tender puppy.
    CD – No dogs, no tween girls. Would you like us to sprinkle you with some holy water?
    O – Flavored holy water?
    CD – Sort of. It's yellow.
    O – You got FDA or EPA clearance to use holy water on people ? How about guns? You Catholics have any guns?
    CD – No, but we've got about two dozen Mexicans hiding in our basement. Some of them have what they call "free US Government guns."
    O – Ah, good. Here's some food stamps and a voucher for some dental cleanings. It's on me. Well, sort of.
    CD – How can we repay you, Mr. President?
    O – VOTE! Then vote again and again, as much as you can. I'll even tell you which voting machines to use. Here's a hint – they're in all the churches.
    CD – What about those heinous voter ID laws being passed all over the country?
    O – My homeboy Eric will keep those fools wrapped up in litigation until after I win the election.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I bet you were just crackin' yourself up when you wrote this, eh?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • jnpa

      I don't see any humor in this. It is not insulting to me or anything – I just don't find it funny!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Bill D.

      It's hilarious if you're not a Muslim, Catholic, immigrant, or liberal. If you are, then, so what? The rest of us are laughing at you anyways.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Come on, Bill D, it's not prime time material but it's at least a chuckle...and I AM a Catholic. Have you heard the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the minister who walk into a bar... ;-D

      August 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  18. William Demuth

    The RCC knows it has to get out from under the microscope.

    They are on the ropes, having been badly damaged both politically and financialy by the buggery.

    I doubt Obama will attend, the pictures would be damaging

    August 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Divine Word Radio

      William, you would be wrong on two counts. The Church is not on the ropes, and Obama will certainly attend.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  19. robert ray

    a pedophile fundraiser. how appropriate for the church to try to play the politicians, or the opposite can be true. seperation of church and state,what a bunch of crao.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Divine Word Radio

      Your ignorance is showing, and is not limited to your inability to spell "separation."

      August 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  20. jimmer

    I guess these child mol est ing dooshebags don't realize how fuvcking stupid they look wearing table cloths and pointy helmets.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      well, it's not just a table cloth, for crying out loud. there are some doilies and felt runners under there to perk it up a bit . . .

      August 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Divine Word Radio

      And I suppose, jimmer, that you realize how stupid you look by posting something so childish.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Divine Word Radio

      save the world, as I recognize how clueless you really are, I guess I should expect nothing better. God bless.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • totempole

      @Divine Word Radio
      What's with the passive agressive "god bless" you and many others put at the end of your put-downs?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      totempole wrote:
      "@Divine Word Radio
      What's with the passive agressive "god bless" you and many others put at the end of your put-downs?"

      that's what I call the forked tongue of the Christian. they have always been good at that. Love with Jesus and then kill and put down with all the other characters in that little book of theirs that represents the word of god.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • jimmer

      "And I suppose, jimmer, that you realize how stupid you look by posting something so childish"

      Not as stupid as your mom looks with my dick in her mouth.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Jimmer, your posts are vulgar and lack class. I would have said they lack taste, but I know that would have let you to produce another disgusting comment.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Mark

      Maybe you dont rewalize how stupid you look You are so close minded you only see things from the the standpoint of todays Fashion. Im sure you have no problem over paying for this pair of sneekers or that aged washed pair of jeans. Pop Fashion is for Fops
      Get over it.......

      August 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • jimmer

      "Jimmer, your posts are vulgar and lack class"

      As if I give a fvck what you think.

      "I would have said they lack taste, but I know that would have let you to produce another disgusting comment"

      The only taste you know about is the taste of my dick.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:55 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.