Obama camp, liberal groups use VP debate to organize Catholic voters
The debate between Paul Ryan, left, and Joe Biden marks the first time two Catholic vice presidential nominees are facing off.
October 11th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Obama camp, liberal groups use VP debate to organize Catholic voters

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – As it organizes Catholic watch parties for Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, who are both Roman Catholic, the Obama campaign hasn’t been shy about suggesting that the GOP vice presidential nominee hasn’t lived up to his Catholic values.

“For Catholic outreach, a defining moment in this campaign has been (Mitt) Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate,” said Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser with Barack Obama’s campaign who spearheads Catholic outreach efforts.

“The Ryan budget has entered into quite a debate, particularly among Catholics, in terms of the moral test and what is in that budget and what the budget proposes to slash.”

Johnson is referring to the proposed budget that Ryan crafted in his role as chairman of the House Budget Committee, which was roundly criticized by many Catholic interests – including by the Catholic bishops – for cutting programs that help the poor.

The Obama camp hopes the debate will provide an opportunity to reprise such Catholic criticisms of Ryan. “The vice presidential debate will be a significant event and will provide a strong contrast on how these two men from the same faith come to two different visions for the country,” said Michael Wear, Obama's national faith vote coordinator.

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For a party that has often been accused of insufficient piety by its Republican and conservative opponents, Democrats' implications that the GOP vice presidential nominee has fallen short of his Catholic faith are a dramatic turnabout.

And it’s not the only way the Obama campaign and liberal groups are using Thursday’s debate to organize Catholic voters, one of the country’s big swing voting constituencies.

Beyond encouraging Catholic watch parties, the Obama campaign has been visiting Catholic colleges in swing states and dispatching Catholic campaign surrogates to address Catholic groups in the leadup to the debate.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“Every time I see the president, we talk about how Catholic outreach is going,” Johnson said. “He’s very interested in that, and it makes my job more meaningful.”

Left-leaning Catholic groups that aren’t officially connected to the Obama campaign have been even more vocal in attacking Ryan from a Catholic perspective.

“Some of his positions are fundamentally at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said a Ryan critique issued this week by dozens of Catholic theologians and other Catholic scholars.

The organizers of the statement, part of a group called On All of Our Shoulders, said that while Catholic politicians who support abortion rights are often called out for their differences with their church, “Catholic Republicans who dissent from church teaching on issues such as torture, war, the environment and the economy receive far less scrutiny.”

With Ryan, progressive Catholic groups have taken particular aim his proposed budget, which passed the House but not the Senate.

A letter to Ryan from faculty at Georgetown, a Catholic university, summed up the Catholic opposition to the proposal: “We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”

This year, a group of progressive nuns organized a “nuns on the bus tour” to decry what it called the Ryan budget’s “slashing of programs for the poor.”

This week, the nuns reprised the tour, criss-crossing Ohio just in time for the vice presidential debate. “He clearly has not been where I’ve been," Simon Campbell, an organizer of the tour, told MSNBC of Ryan. “He just is out of touch.”

A progressive group called Catholics United is organizing watch parties for the debate, noting in an e-mail blast to supporters that the event marks the first time two Catholics vying for the White House are facing off.

“This election is coming down to the wire and the Catholic vote will certainly play an important role in determining who will win,” the group said.

The Romney campaign, like the Obama campaign, has rolled out a Catholic outreach effort. And Ryan has invoked his Catholic faith on the campaign trail after defending his budget in distinctly Catholic terms earlier in the year.

“The work I do, as a Catholic holding office, conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” Ryan said in an April speech at Georgetown in which he responded to criticism of his budget.

Ryan has promoted the Catholic idea of “subsidiarity,” which he says means that “the government closest to the people governs best” and which he says informs his budget proposal.

When Romney introduced Paul as his running mate over the summer, the Republican presidential hopeful called him “a faithful Catholic” who “believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.”

About one in four American voters is Catholic, though there is such a broad range in Catholic political concerns and voting habits that many political experts reject the notion of a cohesive Catholic bloc.

Catholics have voted with the winning presidential candidate in every election since the early 1990s.

In 2008, Obama beat John McCain among Catholics by 54% to 45%. In 2004, John Kerry – the first Catholic nominee for president since John F. Kennedy – lost the Catholic vote to George W. Bush, provoking Democrats to take Catholic outreach more seriously.

Both major parties had America’s highest-profile Catholic cleric, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, give the closing prayer at their recent political conventions.

–CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Bishops • Catholic Church • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan • Politics

soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    Oh please, most Catholics label themselves as such but are socially moderate. Unless you're referring to someone's 80 year old grandparent, most Catholics today do not observe traditions and can barely quote the Bible, let alone attend church every Sunday. This is coming from someone in a Catholic family. Catholics might put up the holier-than-thou front, but it's not the same as it was 50 years ago.

    October 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  2. rudy espinoza


    October 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • coder20601

      There is nothing to learn from the bible, and please don't say morals, thats one thing the bible has least of.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  3. rudy espinoza

    As far as I am concerned, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS STOOD THEIR GROUND IN THE BASICS OF CHRISTIANITY AND HAS NOT GONE APOSTATE AS MANY CHURCHES HAVE IN OTHER DENOMINATIONS. Apostate as Demonic in basic beliefs, ANTICHRISTIC BELIFS SYSTEMS. May The All Mighty One of Israel have mercy on them when judgement time comes.

    October 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Israelite were dependent on God of Abraham, truth absolute, Israelite had no power of their own, hindu, ignorant, why beg a two legged human just like you, than to ask the one Israelite were used to ask for.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  4. bspurloc

    get religion out of politics.....
    and 2000 year old farie tales out of your heads

    October 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • k

      So there was no place for Rev. King in the politics of the 1960's. Really? Be careful what you wish for.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  5. bolts

    More libs doing the religious thing again...

    October 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • bspurloc

      Theocratic States of America....
      where the morally wrong gop push their morals on others while declaring government get out of their bedroom

      October 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

      Every time Ryan says "revenue neutral" tonight, you have to chug a beer or do a shot.

      Make sure you have a designated driver.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • bspurloc

      revenue neutral:
      increase military spending by 300billion.... cut 200million pbs funding to pay for it
      gop math fail like their creationism

      October 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm |


      He would explain it, but it would take to long. It is matter of faith.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  6. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Ok i challenge all atheist/non-believers to a simple small short mature intellectual debate. I claim that there is a GOD, Higher Power, Intelligent Designer/Engineer, and Creator. You claim that there isnt a Creator and everything is a coincidence. (If what i say about your claims are wrong please correct me) Here are the rules: No THEORIES and no BIBLE VERSES. Proven known facts ONLY, none requiring faith. I simply ask that you consider my facts as i will yours. I will provide 10 facts in defense to my claim and you can list as much as you will.
    1.The perfect unseen order of our solar system.
    2. The accurate and precise distance of our sun and it's perfect compatibility with our moon. Its unfailing rising and sustaining power.
    3. The engineering of the earth in every aspect.
    4. Nature, it's power, beauty, and contributions.
    5. Natural law.
    6. Creatures, all of their different abilities, bodies, and behaviors.
    7. The extraordinary and intelligently designed human body and mind.
    8. My user name. Jesus indeed had the most influence and biggest impact on this world than anyone in all of time.
    9. Due to how orderly and precise creation is, the chance of the big bang theory or coincidence happening is statistically 0. Scientists have come up with approximate numbers that far exceed the trillions, but these numbers are made up from their theories which is why i didnt paste the number. As of right now the chances of life forming from nothing is statistically 0.
    10. Time & Life (consciousness)
    Please be respectful and list your facts.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @R to J is the M P F K to M (F)

      First you need learn the defintion of the word, "theory" and then try again. Fail.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Also I read your "facts". You also need to learn the definition of the word "facts". Fail.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • bspurloc

      Mr Jesus was a man a poor man.
      Mr Jesus apparently preached to be bigots and hate all that are not of the same religion, hate all that do not abide by his morals. to kill all that do not believe as he did.... poor Incas/Mayans/Aztecs etc.... heretics

      October 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • veritas

      So...since we don't have answers for everything...then...it must be a god. They did that crap 2000 years ago with sun...really...

      Walk thru a childrens burn unit at a hospital....and watch the children shaking with thier flesh peeling off because thier father lit them on fire....lean over and tell them that god loves them.....

      And don't hand me that free will bull....the child was helpless...where was god...

      When I see children suffer...it just furthers my understanding....I could care less about adult...but when it comes to children your god is an a s s

      October 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • coder20601

      1. The universe is not perfect, chaos of the universe is why we are here, FACT
      2. The earth just happens to be at a distance to harbor life, nothing special about it.
      3. The creation of the earth is called physics, again nothing special here.
      4. Nature, thats what its called NATURE.
      5. Natural law = physics
      6. Evolution
      7. The human body is not really designed that great, life span is very short, body can be hurt or killed very easily, no great design.
      8. Religion has caused more pain and suffering for the human race than anything else.
      9. Life is a by-product of environment, no magic here.
      10. Life a journey not a destination.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • fred

      If all the believers of the world turn out to be dead wrong nothing changes with the children in your burn unit retrospectively. I understand how and what a christian thinks when encountering burn patients but, I do not have a clue what an atheist thinks. Seriously, do you kick the delusion of God or Christians at those moments? My mind and heart can and does go into what you call a delusional reality at those times which brings peace that binds with the sorrow even though it does not stop the tears or crys of the child.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Margaret J

      Burn patients? You bring up burn patients? Go die in a fire.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  7. rchenkle

    Whose side is God on?

    October 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Truthful, obeying truth absolute GOD in life.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • ;p;

      I guess that first response you received is likely as good as it's going to get.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center



      October 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  8. Mr. Hand

    This could be significant, since the tenets of the Catholic church were developed over the past 2000 years to suit the needs of the ruling class.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • ;p;

      Sadly true.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  9. Debate HQ

    Martha Raddatz: How are you both today?

    Joe Biden: "Feeling great Martha, ready to take this man to task."

    Paul Ryan: "It is revenue neutral! I don't have time to explain it to YOU!

    October 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  10. angelosdaughter

    Ryan may be a Catholic, but he is also a Republican; Most Republicans are oblivious to anyone who is not rich, except as a class to be raided to keep them and their corporate supporters in power and comfortable.
    Biden is a Catholic who understands that Church and State are separate.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    October 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mr. Hand

      And most Democrats don't actually follow any of the teachings of the Catholic church.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Scott

      At the risk of being a copy-n-paste type, I'll repost what I stated before the diarrheal discharge of "24 Hour Crisis Center".
      - ------
      You might want to read Arthur Brook's book "Who Really Cares". In there Mister Brooks provides the statistical evidence that religious conservatives give more in time and money to charities than any of the other three groupings. Now you were inferring what about conservatives, a.k.a. Republicans?

      p.s. I'm a conservative that is registered democrat. Always have been and always will be

      October 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • offreservation

      That supports murder of innocent babies! i'll take a live baby that could grow up rich or poor, dem. or republican over a DEAD one who never hurt or did injury to anyone- One of Jesus creation.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • ;p;

      Yeah, definitely go with Scott's suggestion, he loves that book, it's total proof. Or, whatever.

      Supports the murder of babies...what the hell is wrong with some of you, are you that far around the bend?

      Please don't breed or vote

      October 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center


      Like I said, read and learn. At least I have something factual to say.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • bspurloc

      And most CATHOLICS don't actually follow any of the teachings of the Catholic church.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT


      And most CATHOLICS don't actually follow any of the teachings of the Catholic church

      And most Christians dont even follow the teachings of their bible. Pretty much explains their ill behavior towards mankind.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • pattieb

      What a load of crap.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  11. Jerry

    Haven't read the entire discussion....but please.....Biden may "say" he's Catholic, but he's so far away from the Church that he shouldn't even use the word "fringe"!

    October 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  12. Margaret J

    What is with all the gigantic posts? Did everyone suddenly start getting paid per word?
    24 hour verbal diarrhea virus and spew center. That's what your name should be.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Margaret J

      That was for "24 Hour Crisis Center".......

      October 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Scott

      Margaret J,

      Typical out gassing from a member of the Soros Troll Alert Network. It's the electronic equivalent of talking over someone.


      October 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • angelosdaughter

      Well, with so many misinformed people posting how little the President has done or how much he has supposedly destroyed the economy single-handed, someone decided to bring some facts to the discussion. The Republicans don't like facts.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Margaret and Scott;

      Read and learn.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • ;p;

      Scott can only read the one book.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Margaret J

      One: It doesn't do much good to list every detail.
      It is enough to know he's not a Republican and doesn't much act like one.

      Two: Obama will win and more power to him. This back-and-forth is just something to sooth the feelings of Republicans before they lose.
      They know they are going to lose. But they want it to look like it was a "close call" to keep everyone interested in what is a slam-dunk for everyone else. The media are helping to make it look like a close race, but this is a race the GOP has shot itself in the foot over since the campaign began. All their finalists were the absolute worst of the lot.
      They either have no intention of winning, or they are letting the crazies run the show, or both. I really can't tell.

      But Obama is going to win. I'm going to vote for him. He's not very good at the games in Foggy Bottom, but then what Chicago politician ever was? They have a different culture of corruption in Chicago. Obama needs to dump Axelrod into a deep dark hole and get himself someone with the real deal. Obama is still trying to prove himself instead of just doing stuff.
      It sucks but it's a thousand times better than what the GOP keeps trying to do.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  13. ObamaJoe

    British King or Founding father of America ?

    It's a clear choice.

    Should they debate ,

    Come on ,,,,founding fathers did not bring back the economy in short period, but they founded Great America .

    Everyone may make their American dream at here. That's a good system.

    But Mitt is like the British King. His system will put America back to 1775. 1% have almost all. Not a choice for real American.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • ObamaJoe

      And, his system will make more loopholes for him while he is enjoying many already.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  14. Reality

    Observe how abortion is coming to the front of the election issues.

    And why is that? Democrats know how to count votes.

    To wit:

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    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.

    Bottom line: Watching tonight's debate is going to be a waste of your time.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Reality

      From CNN home page:


      "O'Brien grills GOP boss on abortion

      Romney takes heat for abortion talk"

      October 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • bspurloc

      mittens wasnt PROLIFE when he ran for Massachusetts....

      Hi.... I Will do or Say ANYTHING to get elected.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  15. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    If you're one of those people who think President Obama is a "disappointment," I have to strongly disagree.

    We have TWO choices for president; it's not a smorgasbord. You can either work with Obama or you can sit back and watch Romney complete the job of taking apart the social fabric of the country that was first undertaken by Ronald Reagan and perfected by George W. Bush. That is your choice.

    What makes the "disappointment" argument even more irritating is that it's simply not true. He's done nearly everything we elect a president to do, and he did it all with little support from the left, and massive obstruction from the right.

    Is he perfect? No, he's human. Does he deserve some criticism? Of course.

    But what matters is that the president has compiled a STELLAR record given the circ.u.mstances under which he took office. If you can look at this list of the president's accomplishments and not be excited, you have a serious problem with perspective.

    1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.

    2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.

    3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.

    4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.

    5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.

    6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

    He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression

    7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.

    8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%.

    9. Not only did he complete the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.

    10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.

      12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest, returning to its place as the top car company in the world. Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up.

      13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.

      14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

      15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

      16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.

      17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.

      18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.

      19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

      20. Created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.)

      October 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.

      22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital.

      23. Signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to review all federal regulations and remove any unnecessary and/or burdensome regulations from the books.

      24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.

      25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government.

      26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.

      27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.

      28. Crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans

      He Fostered Greater Transparency and Better Government, After the Excesses of the Bush Years

      29. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch.

      30. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      31. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.

      32. Became the first to stream every White House event, live.

      33. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.

      34. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history.

      35. Issued an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. Provides the public with greater access to historic White House doc.u.ments, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.

      36. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests.

      Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

      37. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.

      38. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.

      39. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

      40. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.

      41. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers' interests.

      42. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.

      43. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.

      44. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permit the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders.

      45. Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which closed many of the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore.
      46. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses.

      47. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill const.i.tuting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.

      48. Through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, extended the False Claims Act to combat fraud by companies and individuals using money from the TARP and Stimulus programs.

      He Ushered Through Many Changes That Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

      49. Along with Congressional Democrats, advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her s.e.xual orientation or gender ident.i.ty.

      50. Pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping

      October 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      51. Extended benefits to same-s.e.x partners of federal employees.

      52. Appointed more openly g.a.y officials than anyone in history.

      53. Appointed first openly transgender Cabinet Official in History.

      54. Changed HUD rules to prohibit gender and s.e.xual orientation-based discrimination in housing.

      55. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-s.e.x marriage.

      56. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of g.a.y couples to make medical decisions for each other.

      57. Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.

      58. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.

      59. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.

      60. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees' rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.

      61. Advocated that United Nations adopt a policy supporting g.a.y rights worldwide.

      62. Issued an order requiring hospitals to allow visitation by same-s.e.x couples.

      63. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.

      64. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act.

      He Made Major Improvements in Foreign Relations and American Status Around the World

      65. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.

      66. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.

      67. Helped to restore America's reputation around the world as a global leader that does the "right thing" in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world.

      68. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.

      69. Closed a number of secret detention facilities.

      70. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.

      71. Pushed for military to emphasize development of foreign language skills.

      72. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.

      73. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted.

      74. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.

      75. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

      76. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.

      77. Established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.

      78. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through.

      79. Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called "enhanced interrogation." He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.

      80. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      81. Released the Bush torture memos.

      82. On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention.

      83. In response to the emerging "Arab Spring," he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, and technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them.

      84. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program.

      85. Ended the Iraq War.

      86. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates.

      He Took a More Realistic Approach to “Defense”

      87. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.
      88. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010.

      89. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.

      90. Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty.

      91. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will last until at least 2021.

      92. Through the Defense Authorization Act, reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.

      93. Developed first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

      94. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country.

      95. Negotiated a deal with Afghan government, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country.

      96. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.

      97. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India.

      98. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate.

      His Administration Treated Soldiers and Veterans with Respect That Was Missing Previously

      99. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it. Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.

      100. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.

      101. Provided active combat troops with better body armor.

      102. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care.

      103. Put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date.

      104. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.

      105. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.

      106. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.

      107. Initiated and signed a recruitment and employment plan to get more veterans into government jobs.

      108. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.

      109. Signed the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which ensures that spouses of military personnel who are forced to move because their spouse is posted for military duty will be able to avoid state taxes in their temporary residence.

      He Refocused the Federal Government on Education

      110. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process.

      111. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.

      112. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

      113. Created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them.

      114. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide

      115. Oversaw major expansion in school construction.

      116. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start.

      117. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0

      118. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low income students to go to college.

      119. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds.

      120. Took major new steps to protect students from ineffective for-profit colleges through "gainful employment" measures, whereby schools have to demonstrate that its students actually find work to get federal aid.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      121. With First Lady Michelle Obama, passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier.

      He Pushed Through Improvements in National Safety and Security

      122. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully.

      123. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast.

      124. Has repeatedly beefed up border security.

      125. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

      Reoriented Government to an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care

      126. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.

      127. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.

      128. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.

      129. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.

      130. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Reality

      And after all of that, we are still $16 trillion in debt.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      131. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers.

      132. Obama EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as "guinea pigs" in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics.

      133. Conducted a cyberspace policy review.

      134. Provided financial support for private sector space programs.

      135. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      136. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco. As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”

      October 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      137. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • DustyOnes

      Wow! All this and he still sux

      October 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      138. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      139. Over-saw a 50% de-crease in cost of pre-scription drugs for seniors.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      140. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price.

      141. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.

      142. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months.

      143. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established healthcare.gov, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments.

      144. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26.

      145. Through the ACA, provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small businesses to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance.

      146. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

      147. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.

      148. Provisions in the ACA have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years.

      149. Through the ACA, expanded space exploration and discovery options to more players

      150. Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      He Took Steps to Strengthen the Middle Class and Families, and to Fight Poverty

      151. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.

      152. Cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor.

      153. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, cut taxes for 95% of America's working families.

      154. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950.

      155. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years.

      156. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times.

      157. Provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).

      158. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

      He Took Concrete Steps to Improve Our Environment and Address Our Energy Needs

      159. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards.

      160. Fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade.

      161. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies.

      162. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.

      163. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.

      164. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021.

      165. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers.

      166. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.

      167. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant.

      168. Oversaw doubling federal spending on clean energy research.

      169. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars.

      170. Created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.

      171. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a “hoax.”

      172. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide

      173. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption.

      174. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic.

      175. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.

      176. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.

      177. Oversaw and pushed through amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

      178. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills.

      179. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

      180. Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own.

      181. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.

      182. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.

      183. Through the EPA, attempted to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans.

      184. Through new EPA regulations, he created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gasses.

      185. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%

      186. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards.
      187. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025

      But That's Not All...

      188. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA.

      189. Oversaw funding of the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations.

      190. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

      191. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices.

      192. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.

      193. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule.

      194. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.

      195. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.

      196. Signed an Executive Order that will speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure.

      197. Signed an Executive Order creating jobs immediately by instructing them to reduce the time needed for review and permitting of infrastructure projects.

      198. Signed a bill that provided $4.3 billion in additional assistance to 9/11 first responders.

      199. Signed an Executive Order pledging support for efforts to end the global problem of violence against women and girls.

      And Did You Know?

      200. Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Margaret J

      You know you just made this page unreadable, right?

      October 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @Margaret J

      No. I can read it just fine.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Margaret J

      Well I scrolled right past it all. He's getting things done as President. That's great. But it's not what we really need done.
      He is in his own little world. Mind you, he's a better President than Romney could ever be, but he is not operating at full speed.
      That list should be TEN TIMES AS LONG!
      You can read? Then why not read between the lines? Obama will win, but he's getting bad advice and always has been.
      I did not vote for Obama's lackluster advisors and would much prefer they were replaced.
      TEN TIMES AS LONG. Remember that when his second term is over and tell me how he did then. Right now he's surrounded by people who are winging it without a clue. Like Axelrod. The guy is the biggest liability I have ever seen.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Well I scrolled right past it all. He's getting things done as President. That's great. But it's not what we really need done."

      You mean it's not really what "You" need done, right? Because as you scroll through all the things he's done you are ignoring all those people that are being helped and you are saying "I'm more important than them, I'm more American then them, I deserve more than them!" Well Fvck you Marge.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Margaret J

      Hey, fuck you too. I never said that, did I? The biggest problems were the ones he stayed the farthest away from.
      Corruption? As strong as ever.
      Accountability? Only for a few – the rest still get away with murder – just like always.
      Congress? He has stayed away from them.
      Despite being the CnC, the Executive Officer of the Constitution, the President, and all the other hats he wears, he has done nothing to curb anyone. We still torture people. We still war on primitive idiots. We still kowtow to the Military Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Prison Companies, Big Money, Big Banks, and pretty much everyone except the 99 percent of all Americans.
      As the Chief Executive Officer, Obama has tons more weight he could be slinging around to make some fundamental and sweeping changes to deal with these bigger problems, but he hasn't. Shuffling the deck chairs isn't fixing anything. He has got to start representing all Americans and fight these uber-wealthy criminals and get them off our backs!
      This isn't about me, you twit. This is about why we voted for him the first time. He has not delivered at all.
      Who made up that list anyway? It needs work. Some of those things aren't true.
      Without changing the status quo, that whole damn list is worthless. Totally worthless.
      You need to understand what the status quo really is around here. You sound like an idiot.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • ;p;

      Sorry Margaret, one president can only get so many hundreds of things done in a year

      Can't please everyone, I guess

      October 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  16. The Chief

    I think you are a little late here. The Rummy pirate ship already sank the SS Obama.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Agent 86: Err, ... Sorry about that Chief. I missed it by "that" much!

      October 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  17. Colin

    A quick five question test to help understand Catholicism.

    Q.1 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:

    a. Circular reasoning at its most obvious;

    b. The reason 99% of Catholics believe what they do;

    c. Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or

    d. All of the above.

    Q.2 The best theory we currently have is that Universe was created about 13.7 billion years ago in what is (somewhat misleadingly) called the Big Bang. To understand this we should:

    a. Simply declare that, because we don’t know what caused the Big Bang, the Hindu god Brahma must have created the Universe.

    b. Simply declare that, because we don’t know what caused the Big Bang, God must have created the Universe.

    c. Adopt the Australian Aboriginal belief that the Universe was created by a great snake in the Dreamtime; or

    d. Accept the limits on our current knowledge and just stop there, without invoking a magic act by any god to fill the current gap in our knowledge.

    Q.3 Likewise, we know that life on Earth evolved over the last approximately 3.5 billion years and likely began in a planet wide “organic soup” of complex organic chemicals in the primordial oceans, in an increasingly well understood process. As such, we should:

    a. Look for any limitation in our knowledge and, when we find one, jump up and say “aha, scientists cannot yet fully explain (for example) how DNA synthesis first occurred, therefore the Judeo-Christian god did it.”

    b. Look for any limitation in our knowledge and, when we find one, jump up and say “aha, scientists cannot yet fully explain (for example) how DNA synthesis first occurred, therefore the Hindu god Brahma did it.”

    c. Simply read our Bibles and find the answers there; or

    d. Continue our scientific research and experimentation and not make the bald faced assertion that any god, ghost or goblin must have conjured up life through some inexplicable act of magic.

    Q.4 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Catholic faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Catholic should:

    a. Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.

    b. Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.

    c. Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or

    d. Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.

    Q.5 Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    a. Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    b. When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    c. You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    d. A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • DustyOnes

      You do know that the Father of the Big Bang Theory is a Catholic Priest.....Georges LaMatrie.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Jeff Cox

      Colin, you post this on every single Catholic-related story.

      Hate is going to destroy you, chief.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • HollywoodPR

      Bitter much?

      October 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So Colin, What can you tell us about the history of personal property and the Church's teaching on that?

      October 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  18. Buzz1975

    There is a reason Catholics don't vote in a block. From my experience as one, I think they are split in two camps. Democrats tend to own the social justice issues (outreach to the poor, care of the elderly and sick, illegal immigrants, anti-death penalty, etc, issues) that the Catholic Church, promotes from teachings of Jesus Christ. While the Republicats tend to own the single issue of a pro-life anti-abortion stance. So it depends on one's own moral conscience as to which issues are most important. And that is how Catholics vote.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      To which I am forced to ask; using the catechism of the Church how can you explain social justice without the right to life?

      October 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      As well as the Sacrament of Reconcilliation (a.k.a. Confession). All Men (and Women) are sinners. Politicians included.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Jeff Cox

      Bill, there's a lot more to "respecting life" than focusing solely on the unborn. Each and every one of those "social issues" ... as you call them ... have to do with respecting life. The only one you left out was the environment.

      Besides, this isn't ... nor should it be ... a theocracy. The President is supposed to represent all people regardless of their faith (or lack of one). Not everyone subscribes to the Catholic catechism and I don't believe in forcing my religious beliefs on others in a political format. Instead, I will vote based on those elements of "respecting life" that should apply equally to everyone regardless of their belief system.

      I could just as easily turn the question around on you – how could you focus on protecting fetuses and then bringing them into a country that's governed by a party who has basically written them off because they're catering to the needs of the wealthy?

      Personally? I will continue to donate to unwed mothers charities and to organizations that counsel on alternatives to abortion. But I will never vote for a candidate based solely on his belief that its up to the individual to decide ... based on THEIR beliefs. Not mine.

      And for the record ... the USCCB's "Faithful Citizenship" quite pointedly says that neither party fully addresses the teachings of the Catholic Church. I will continue to vote my conscience and have no problem balancing my choice against my faith.

      My opinion.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Buzz1975

      Bill Deacon:

      And how can you take social justice issues out of Right to Life? Being Right to Life TRULY means being anti-abortion AND anti-death penalty, protecting all life from creation to the natural end of life. So no one political party is truly Right to Life. One may think an anti-abortion stance by a candidate is more important than being anti-death penalty or taking care of the poor, elderly, sick and downtrodden by another candidate. That is why the Catholic vote is split.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Buzz1975

      Jeff Cox

      I did forget the environment! 🙂 Very well said.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jeff, you are correct. The "Formation of Conscience" does state that neither party fully embraces the teaching of the Church. I also agree that right to life issues integrate into social justice issues. That is precisely my point. The fact is that social justice issues are built upon the right to life. My question for thoughtful Catholics is "Can you explain to me the foundation for social justice that does not commence with the right to life?" The answer is you can't. The right to life is also foundational to the concept of personal property rights, which become germane when discussing charity.

      Where we part ways, you and I is that I reject your assertion that conservative are not concerned with the well being of people in general. A short google search will show you that conservative substantially give more time and money to charity than liberals. The argument you make that we don't is simply one of those untruths that keeps getting repeated hoping to gain traction. Add this information to the concept that the proper application of charity should be from individuals and not government mandate and I think the decision to vote for the welfare state party is a mistake

      October 12, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  19. 24 Hour Crisis Center


    Top Ten Reasons to like Mitt Romney:

    1. He is a plastic cliché of what makes white Americans feel comfortable.

    2. He is a good husband, just like Obama.

    3. Robs from the poor and gives to the rich. Can't be concerned about the poor and elderly if it gets in the way of profits.

    4. He can’t really speak. At all.

    5. Highly intelligent. Believes in sky fairies, space aliens and magic underwear.

    6. Has no experience beyond his silver spo.on. Cannot relate to average Americans but he knows the rich quite well.

    7. Lives in the past and is completely out of touch with the 21st century. Just like the evangelical Right likes it.

    8. Has five sons who are not high. Obama has two daughters who do not do drugs too, however they are black.

    9. Oh yes.....he's a MORMON. No need to be afraid of a hom.ophobic, racist, delusional cult that hopes to become Gods.

    10. And one more point.....pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans.

    His dad didn’t help at all except for his privileged lifestyle, personal loans, college education and connections at the highest possible levels to guarantee success via nepotism. Obama only had to do everything on his own.

    The Republican Party. The party that would stop teaching science in schools and hope to return American to the Iron Age.
    Republicans care about…Republicans. Let's keep it that way.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  20. sally

    The Rummy pirate's first mate is goin' DOWN tonight! Soon we'll be hearing about a mutiny and everyone trying to distance themselves from these pathetic losers. The Rummy pirate ship won't last much longer.

    October 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
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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.