Ordinary Catholics more liberal than church hierarchy on gay rights, abortion and embryonic stem-cell research


A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that American Catholics generally are no less supportive of gay marriage or same-sex civil unions than are non-Catholics, despite the Catholic hierarchy’s opposition.

Other studies have shown that the views of rank-and-file Catholics on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research also are in line with those of non-Catholics.

In this sense, ARGUES Jamelle Bouie, it’s kind of pointless for political scientists to refer to the so-called Catholic vote. The Catholic vote, for the most part, is pretty much like the overall vote.



  1. shawnnews

    I doubt there is a singular Christian position anywhere.
    I suspect that if someone were to look at the U.S. from the outside, they might make the mistake of calling the Republicans or the Democrats the Christian political parties. In fact, none of them take an official religious position in their platforms but the people within them do.
    The same honest mistake is made when someone calls the US a Christian nation. It’s obviously full of Christians of one sort or another, but there is no statute requiring Christian beliefs or mentioning Jesus Christ.

  2. shawnnews: Your point is well-taken.

    There are hundreds of Christian denominations, and they don’t all agree among one another on political matters — or even on theological matters.

    And yet, there are countless people who claim that they represent the “Christian viewpoint” on whatever is at issue. Some of them are so arrogant that they assume for themselves the authority to decide who’s really a Christian and who’s not.

    For example, if you put “Catholics are not Christians’ in a Google search field, you get 285,000 results. “Mormons are not Christians” well get you 266,000 results — despite the fact that Mormons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If “Jesus Christ” appears in the name of the denomination, it’s a Christian outfit, no matter what its critics say.

    And then, of course, there are all those folks who say that Barack Obama is not really a Christian, despite his claims to the contrary.

    The inescapable fact is that there is no single Christian point of view on anything, not even on the divinity of Jesus.

    Anyone who says “I am a Christian” is not declaring a clearly defined theological, moral or political point of view. He or she is merely staking out a rather amorphous identity.

  3. shawnnews

    John’s reasoning is limited to the Catholics he knows. The study that Pat’s American Prospect article is using is right here.

    I’m not sure if anyone who says they are a Christian or a Catholic or any other religion is actually a practicing adherent. I think you actually have to follow the behavior of the religion or at least a large percentage of it and believe a lot of the creed. I think Jesus says in the Bible that people who love him do as he says. That indictaes a behavior.
    Also a lot of supposed Christians will quote the old testament or St. Paul or Revelation but completely ignore the specific teaching of Jesus.
    Some will even invent ideas and opinions of Jesus. I think in the 90s There used to be a sign someowehere downtown that had a picture of Jesus claiming abortion was murder or something similar. Jesus never speaks about the specific act of abortion.
    I think when people say they are Christians they often are talking about the religion nthey were born into.
    Are saving religious topics for Sundays? Clever.

  4. Poor john! Just because he doesn’t know “a single Catholic [who] would agree with this so-called research,” he presumes that there are none.

    I, on the other hand, know many, many Catholics whose views comport with the research at issue. And there have been numerous other polls showing the same thing.

    But then, john is also one of those wingnuts who’s very concerned about the establishment of Sharia law here in America, as he made clear in a previous comment.

    By the way, John, I’m still waiting for you to come up with evidence to back up your claim of a few weeks ago that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn “releases hardened criminals before they even get to jail.” I’ve asked you several times to produce such evidence, but you’ve offered nothing.

    Put up or shut up!

  5. Speaking of differing religious points of view, here’ a story about two guys in Wisconsin who have been arrested for beating infants with wooden rods on the basis of a presumed biblical admonition to do so:


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