Religion, Politics, and the Catholic Church in 2012

This is just going to be a quick post. The New York Times recently published a piece in the wake of the 2012 US Presidential Election entitled Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues. It’s a worthwhile read. A few things jumped out at me.

For one, this quote:

“I think good Catholics can be found across the political spectrum,” Bishop Soto said, “but I do think they wrestle with what the church teaches.”

Yep, we have seen this before, when I wrote Being Catholic, Believing Whatever. The idea of a Catholic who believes and acts just as the Catholic church wants is not an accurate one.

Despite this, Mr. Obama retained the Catholic vote, 50 to 48 percent, according to exit polls, although his support slipped from four years ago.

That’s a really weak margin.

In a development that highlighted the diversity within the Catholic Church, the “Nuns on the Bus” drove through the Midwest warning that the budget proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, would cut the social safety net.

That’s the first I heard of it, but good for those nuns. Lately Catholic nuns have been drawing some ire from the Vatican for taking positions different than the old Italian dudes’. It’s exciting, really; it would be a long time if we had for wait for the funny hats to move the Church forward. Thankfully, every couple hundred years, someone forces the issue.

The younger generation is even less religious: about one-third of Americans ages 18 to 22 say they are either atheists, agnostics or nothing in particular.


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