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My Take: Obama pledged to dial down the culture wars. What happened?
The author says that Obama has let down antiabortion Democrats.
September 6th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

My Take: Obama pledged to dial down the culture wars. What happened?

Editor's note: Michael Sean Winters writes the blog "Distinctly Catholic" for the National Catholic Reporter and is the author of "God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right."

By Michael Sean Winters, Special to CNN

Four years ago, anti-abortion Sen. Robert Casey addressed the Democratic National Convention.

“Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion,” he said. “But the fact that I am speaking here tonight is testament to Barack’s ability to show respect to the views of people who may disagree with him… he’ll pursue the common good by seeking common ground rather than trying to divide us.”

The next day, speaking to fellow anti-abortion Democrats, we all admitted we had been moved to tears by Casey’s speech.

As candidate and as president, Obama promised he would try and heal the culture wars.

”Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause,” he said in 2009 at the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic university, “and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

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He retained the White House faith-based office President George W. Bush had created and even increased funding for religiously affiliated charities.

This week in Charlotte, Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, addressed the convention. Nearly all the politicians who spoke celebrated the party’s commitment to legalized abortion, offering some of the biggest applause lines of the convention.

Anti-abortion Democrats were crying again, but they were not tears of pride.

It has been clear for some time that President Obama’s campaign has concluded that they were never going to win the same levels of support among moderate, white, working class voters that propelled him to victory in 2008. Whereas in 2008, he was seen as a remedy for the bad economy, Obama is now seen as the cause, or at least not as the cure.

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So the president is re-litigating the culture wars he promised to salve in 2008. It’s one way to keep the Democrats from having to talk about the 8.3% unemployment rate.

And, so while one expected the Republican Party to be engaged in the culture wars, instead it is the Democrats, feeding off President Obama’s decision to bait-and- switch, that are stoking those wars.

Last November, President Obama met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference. Obama said that he understood the Catholic Church’s concerns about a new White House contraception mandate that requires employers to provide no-cost contraception coverage to virtually all their employees. That includes those who work at church-run organizations like schools and hospitals.

Fixing this problem wouldn’t have been difficult. Obama could have expanded the exemption and allowed women who work at Catholic institutions to get contraception coverage through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, the president announced there would be no change in the conscience exemption.

What happened? Women’s groups besieged the White House with complaints and the Obama campaign needed the fundraising support of pro-choice groups like Emily’s List. And so, Obama picked a thoroughly unnecessary fight with the Catholic Church.

The HHS mandate was the straw that broke the Church camel’s back.

But Obama’s Justice Department had earlier entered a Supreme Court brief arguing that churches had no special protection in the hiring and firing of their pastors, only to have the Supreme Court unanimously reject their view.

Then Obama’s Health and Human Services Department denied a grant to the bishops’ conference program to help the victims of human trafficking because church agencies would not provide or promote contraception, even though the program got high marks from HHS staff.

This week’s convention speeches are more evidence that Obama is still pursuing a strategy of exciting the base and suburban women and forgetting about culturally conservative Democrats.

“[The president] believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care,” first lady Michelle Obama said to thunderous applause.

It is possible the strategy will work.

For every culturally conservative Catholic voter Obama loses in western Pennsylvania, he may pick up the vote of an affluent, politically unaffiliated, nonchurch-going and decidedly pro-abortion rights woman in the Philadelphia suburbs. She might be in a position to write a check to his campaign as well.

And it’s true that some Republican actions have made it easier for the Democrats to rally the pro-abortion rights faithful.

In the key swing state of Virginia, the Republican legislature and governor passed a law requiring women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion, leading many centrist voters to conclude that it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are extreme on abortion. In Congress, Republicans tried to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

What may work for Obama, however, will prove disastrous for his party.

It is difficult to see how Democrats will ever reclaim the House unless they win back the seats once held by anti-abortion Democrats like Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania , Bart Stupak of Michigan and Steve Dreihaus of Ohio. All three of those seats went Republican after anti-abortion groups targeted them because of their vote in favor of health care reform.

Branding the party as rigidly pro-choice, and even refusing to include “big tent” language on abortion in the party platform, will not help Democrats reclaim the House, so we can all look forward to more culture wars in the future.

Abortion rights groups and the Obama campaign may have cut off their nose to spite their face by reigniting the culture wars. No one looks forward to four more years of squabbles between a GOP-led House and President Obama.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Michael Sean Winters.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Abortion • Barack Obama • Politics

soundoff (495 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 8, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 8, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Trolling trolling trolling

      September 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  2. Republicans SO ASHAMED of Bush they didn't invite him to their Convention

    Then again – would ANYONE want that moron at their convention?

    September 8, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  3. You - sir - are a hypocrite

    Mormons and Catholics spent $40 million to keep gays from marrying while hundreds of thousands of children died from sickness and starvation that could have been saved.

    Hell – they could have spent that money and bought farmland that would have fed ALL of the country's hungry on a continual basis – but instead – they gleefully kept Bob from visiting Sam while he lay dying in the hospital. Proud of yourself?

    September 8, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  4. Reality

    What happened?

    As with the 2008 presidential election, abortion will be the deciding issue in 2012 and that is why it is front and center on the Democratic Party's platform.

    Added details:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    September 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)- RCC approved
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)- RCC approved
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)- RCC approved
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      September 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  5. tuvia

    -> NEWS: JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU

    THOU SHALL NOT KILL – WHO MADE THE GUNS?

    September 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • mama kindless

      who made the guns???

      that happened back in one of those early Clint Eastwood movies. My goodness

      September 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Didn't you, with the billions we gave you?

      Or did you just use that money to build bulldozers to kill Americans?

      September 8, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  6. niknak

    It is not enough for the fundies/tea baggers.
    Until Obama can change his skin color to lilly white, they will always hate him.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  7. tuvia

    ------>

    B"H

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU

    DOES HE AND THE REST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    WANT THE TORAH?

    DO THEY WANT THE ISRAELITES, THE LEVIHIM AND THE KOHANIM AND DOES THE WORLD AND WILL YOU PLEASE
    ASK MR. ROMNEY, AND HIS CONVENTION THE FOLLOWING QUESTION.

    WE THE ISRAELITES, THE LEVIHIM AND THE KOHANIM
    WE WANT TO GET PERMISSION FROM THE WORLD TO
    BUILD THE 3RD TEMPLE.

    WE WANT TO ADVANCE THE EDUCATION TO THE WORLD
    THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    THE TEMPLE INSITUTE IN JERSUSALEM WILL HELP THE
    MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES WITH
    PERMISSION.

    MR. ROMNEY THE FOLLOWING QUESTION IS DIRECTED TO YOU.

    DO YOU MOURN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SECOND TEMPLE AND WILL YOU ALLOW THE ISRAELITES, THE LEVIHIM AND THE KOHANIM TO SERVE HASHEM IN THE LAND

    PLEASE ASK THE CANDIDATE THE FOLLOWING QUESTION.

    JONATHAN POLLARD HAS SPENT ENOUGH TIME IN PRISON.

    IT IS TIME THAT HE IS PARDONED.

    WILL THE PRESIDENT PARDON JONTATHAN POLLARD ON

    THE PLATFORM OF HUMANITARIANISM

    WILL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AGREE TO LET
    JONATHAN POLLARD GO BACK TO ISRAEL
    WITH HIS WIFE ESTER AND LIVE THEIR LIVES IN
    ISRAEL ONCE IF POSSIBLE THE PRESIDENT
    AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AGREE TO THIS.
    LET MY PEOPLE GO. PLEASE PARDON JONATHAN POLLARD
    MR. PRESIDENT.

    THANK YOU,

    TUVIA

    September 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • old ben

      This Jonathan Pollard is a traitor to the U.S. And a highly unstable lout to boot. Keep him locked up.

      And just google Richman and "red cow" to read more about this nutball.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Loki

      Ummm, I'm not sure it's your land. There in is the basis of your problem.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • In those immortal words from that spectacular movie "Desperately Seeking Susan"

      Take a valium like a normal person.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  8. Loki

    Watching the Democrats sing and dance about their less-than-perfect demi-god called Obama was truly an amazing spectacle. Then there is the theatrical speeches and hand gestures. The parade of ethnicity... Wow. This bunch of lunatics is going to fix the economy ? It looked like the mutual admiration society just found $5 and was celebrating a financially successful day. You are are a tribe of losers. Baby killers, criminals, bottom dwellers, complainers and fairies. Only you liberals will ever fit into your vision of America. There is no way the real hard working America will ever join your pathological party.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      It is the ugliness of people like you who hurt this country, NOT men like Obama and his supporters. You are obviously a Right Wing Christian who feels that just because some of us do not fall down and worship YOUR god, that we are unfit to govern or to participate in the process. You need to understand that the growing sentiment amoung today's youth is that there is NO need for a god figure. Religion and god are dying, there is no revival big enough to sustain the loss.

      September 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Have you Republicans fixed Mississippi?

      You've been there for over 40 years. Mississippi is the poorest state in the country and has been for over 40 years.

      How long's it gonna take, Sparky?

      September 8, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  9. An Angel

    New business opportunity: Fetus rescue! No more abortions required! Report to the Fetus Rescue League and they will carefully and respectfully, remove your fetus, place it in a controlled laboratory environment which will permit 1) cryopreservation, 2) asceptic culture (test tube growth so to speak), 3) transplant to another mothers womb. No loss of life occurs!

    September 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  10. An Angel

    For every divide, there is a bridge. Mr Obama has seen the divides created, however, what has he done to build the bridges? His lack of knowledge of what the divisive congressional members want, ... what is their dominant buying motive, has made his presidency ineffective at bridge building. He alone is accountable. He is.... the President of the United States.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Yeah - Bush: the Bridge Builder

      But wasn't that the Bridge to Nowhere?

      September 8, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "go ahead and play that race card one more time. See how it works for you. That one has been used too many times and it does not frighten people into left leaning compliance any longer."

    Who said anything about "compliance"? It's the religio-fascists demanding compliance, not those who are "left leaning." I don't personally give two steamy piles what you believe. In this country, you have every right to be a fundamentalist or a know-nothing or a birther or a bircher or a bigot or a racist or an uneducated slob or science-denier...whatever you want. However, your right to be and do so stops at my right to be free of it, free of you and free to believe as I wish. I have ZERO expectation that my government will spend its time and resources and use its authority forcing you to believe according to my beliefs...only that it will spend those resources keeping me free of yours.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      It's all about whining about not being able to tell others whose god is the right one, being able to control others thoughts, being able to control others health decisions and etc.; i.e. controll, power and $$$$$$$.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Bill C

      Totally agree. The Republican way is to use government against the right of women to make free will choices. The Republican way is to Keep the middle class as economic slaves, paying "tribute" to the corporations and the likes of Romney who is so unpatriotic that he hides money in overseas accounts so that he can pay less taxes than the middle class slaves. Romney didn't build those companies he raided, he destroyed what the previous owners dis and moved the jobs overseas while hiding the huge profits in foreign accounts.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • unknown11

      Bill, as long as we are being conspiracy theorists about people trying to keep you down: Which party benefits from having more poor people? Who maintains their power by appealing to poor people? Do left politicians benefit from more people on welfare or fewer.

      You may find the above argument rediculous, but it is no more than yours.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  12. buckshot

    Of course it's alie, that's all that POS knows to do is LIE.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  13. SonnyRey

    CNN must ban all videos as those posted here. Videos hog real estate and by doing so, squashes other voices! If CNN does not take steps to ban videos, then we all should upload videos.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Sniffit

      Seconded.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Third the motion.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  14. Bill C

    JAFGO Just another .... God Freak... If you are a single mother raising two kids working a minimum wage job with an ex who dodges support payments, watch out, because R&R and their right wing christian pals want you to pay tax on your pittance of income which won't even cover your basic needs. Oh and these good christian politicians want to cut Medicaid, so you can't get medical help for you and your kids, and your food stamps too. No job training to help you out either. In their opinion It is your responsibility to get out of poverty, Oh and women health issues forget it.

    Romney and Ryan and Fox News are pushing class & culture warfare and expect no push back.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • An Angel

      Gimme a break.... if you earn that little, you either don't pay at all or you get a refund. Stop lying.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Ram

      Bill-

      Why is she only earning minimum wage? I mean, she DID go through school, right? That giant "training program" we all pay for?

      September 7, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "It is difficult to see how Democrats will ever reclaim the House unless they win back the seats once held by anti-abortion Democrats like Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania , Bart Stupak of Michigan and Steve Dreihaus of Ohio. "

    Someone's been paying no attention to the census and clear trends demographic shifts that are incoming in the next couple decades...you know, those same demographic shifts, coupled with the election of a black man by a massive majority of the minority vote, that lie at the root, the very core of the entire GOP/Teatroll/right wing extremist freakout for the past 4 years as evidenced by their nonsense with Voter ID laws based on wild-eyed imaginings and hallucinations of pervasive voter fraud (for which there is ZERO evidence), states like TX blatantly trying to redistrict away the growing brown vote and the virulent conspiracy silliness from the birthers or people claiming Obama is a Muslim, etc. The author missed the boat on this one. Religious minority voters aren't necessarily like religious white voters, but the author seems to be incorrectly assuming they are, and the result is the incorrect conclusion that there's not way for the Dems to take back the House without pandering to fundamentalist ideology. Watch how wrong he's proven over the coming decades....and watch how the GOP/Teatrolls continue to go completely batsh-t over it.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • unknown11

      go ahead and play that race card one more time. See how it works for you. That one has been used too many times and it does not frighten people into left leaning compliance any longer.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  16. unknown11

    Abortion will always be contentious. However, this birth control thing is a made up issue by the left. They love it. Let's face it, birth control is cheap here and everyone has access. The women just want some kind of right to have it for free. That is a load of cra p.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Sniffit

      To borrow a concept from those on your side of the issue: please put an aspirin between your lips.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • WeCanSucceed

      Birth control is not cheap. Prescription birth control pills cost over $32 or more per month. That is not cheap.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • unknown11

      sure snifit. That is a perfect response. If you hear someone that you don't agree with, then tell them to shut up. Yet another fine example of tolerance from the left.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Sniffit

      Lighten up...it was tongue-in-cheek...altho admittedly (and on purpose) almost as offensive as the Teatroll who told women to put one between their knees.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Bill C

      Try being a family of five living on $32,000 a year with one member having(thank god for Obama care it will help) a pre existing condition. Both are working. Every penny counts. I dare you to try to make it in this situation without suffering extreme hardship. Until America starts creating jobs with decent pay and training programs to support them there will be culture wars. As an ex Republicans I must admit I dumped the party after looking at what will happen to my daughter and my grand kids under a Republican dominated government. I have actually become afraid of the Republican point of view which is based on greed with no compassion for those working hard but struggling to make it. Many are in same boat as my daughter and her family. It is time to reject the Republican views which do little more than make economic slaves of the middle class.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • unknown11

      $32/month for birth control is cheap. But the left just wants everything free. Ask any guy in the country if he will come up with $32/month in order to have se x and you will get a 100% YES response.

      When we were first married we both worked and still made only enough to live. But, we bought the little round case of pills every month. I don't look back upon those days as being terrible because I had to pay for that prescription.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Sniffit's sarcasm went way over unknown11's head.

      unknow11, sniffit did not actually say shut up. sniffit was only using the rights' own argument in sarcasm.

      Can you see that or are you willingly blind?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Ram

      Correct.

      I'm quite sure, for example, that Sandra Fluke has spent more in travel for TV appearances and for hair, makeup, clothing etc. for same than the onerous amount she whines about having to spend on BC copays for a long time.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • An Angel

      A pack of good quality latex condoms is about $4-10 dollars. You may also purchase them in some dispensers for about fifty cents!

      September 7, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Ram

      @Bill C.-

      What does your post have to do with the HHS mandate?

      Given the detail you lay out, BC expense is the least of the worries.

      Obama's been president for 4 years now and he had control of congress for a good part of that-have you asked yourself why he hasn't provided the jobs and training programs (other than the education system we all pay for now) that you demand?

      September 7, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • unknown11

      Ah, so now since you cannot win the argument you must declare me too stupid to understand sarcasm. Yet, when you used weak sarcasm to try to make your weak point that was ok. That is a typical response I have encountered when trying to have a cival conversation with some lefties.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • unknown11

      The "birth control" issue is a manufactured issue. Everyone in this country has access to cheap birth control already. This is just a made up issue to keep women in line and let them know which way to vote. On a side note, that Fluke women probably does not have that much need for this item. Her over the top view of feminism does not really lead to a lot of second dates.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  17. Voxovreeson

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Republican ideology is referred to as 'right' when it so often fails to be right and so often concerns itself with denying rights?

    September 7, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • unknown11

      No, not at all. The left only likes to consider some people's rights. In order to give a mother (remember when the word "mother" would give images of comfort, caring, and love) the right to an abortion, they are determined that the rights of an unborn baby must not exist. In order to give animals rights, they are determined to take away rights from humans. The left is never about rights in general. They are always about rights for their favorite group of the day.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Voxovreeson

      When Democrats move from the concept of 'choice' to making abortion, gay marriage, etc obligatory, you'll have a valid point. Right now, you don't.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • unknown11

      Like "rights" the left is only interrested in "choices" that they agree with. The Catholics and birth control are a perfect example. They want to take away the "choice" for catholics to not give out free birth control. The left always wants to give us choices by forcing us to do things. Kind of strange.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • An Angel

      As opposed to "left" as in left behind?

      September 7, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  18. SonnyRey

    The author and anyone else who would chose to let die any human, especially including a would-be mother, is not 'pro-life.'

    September 7, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Ram

      If you actually take time from sloganeering to read the article, you'll note that the author made no such statement of position and in fact voted for Pres. Obama in 2008.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  19. tuvia

    **********

    Rabbi Chaim Richman answers President Obama's Cairo speech
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyBZhTaf1oU

    WORLD VS ISRAEL. HILLARY CLINTON-THIS IS A MESSAGE FOR YOU – LET MY PEOPLE GO. FREE JONATHAN POLLARD NOW. LET MY PEOPLE GO BARRAK HUSSEIN OBAMA – NOW!
    The Land of Israel is the Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob and is given to us, their seed, as an everlasting
    speech
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyBZhTaf1oU
    PLEASE PLAY ON YOUR NETWORK NOW
    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE

    September 7, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • old ben

      didn't slaughter that red cow yet? I have a voodoo curse waiting to blow the ashes into dirty water just in case.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  20. Dave

    "What happened" is that the Republicans won't "dial down the culture wars". That's "what happened".

    September 7, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Correct. "It takes two.
      There's a phrase "you gotta dance with them that brung ya". The Tea Party brought Mitt where he is and now Mitt "has to dance with them that brung him". That is to say he will have to remain "severely conservative" inspite of his somewhat more moderate past.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Ram

      The Republicans issued the HHS mandate?

      I missed that.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:49 am |
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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.