Pew Poll: Obama vs. the Bishops

Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past inactive to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.

Related Post Roulette

37 Responses

    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Ryan Bonneville says:

      Not a yawn if losing the Catholic vote loses Obama the presidency.  Wake up, Ryan, and try not to be so pissy. ;-PReport

      • I guess. You may or may not know this, but I’m not exactly manning the bulwarks for Obama. I don’t care all that deeply about his reelection. I care more about getting policy right, and he did it (this one time, thank God [oh!! puns!!]).Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        According to the 2008 Exit Poll by CNN, Obama got 54% of the vote of Catholics. I’m perfectly willing to bet today that Obama will not get less than 50% of the vote than either Romney or Santorum according to the 2012 National Exit Poll from CNN.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          Ditto this.  An important question here is how intense is the opposition to the policy among opposing Catholics?  Polls are useful, but they really aren’t very good at measuring intensity.  So of that 55% of Catholics who favor an exemption, it’s possible that a substantial portion of them aren’t saying, “it’s an evil conspiracy and I’m going to sell my home so I can give the proceeds to the anti-Obama campaign,” but, “yeah, the Church should probably get an exemption…hey, shiny object!”Report

  1. Kimsie says:

    So, you’re saying that the Catholics, of all people would vote against Obama? Over this little thing?

    The bishops have already been busy denying communion to those catholics (like kerry) who support abortion in their voting.

    they’ve already called for people to not support Obama, or people of his ilk.

    didn’t work the last time.

    … do you remember when Romney would win in a landslide?Report

  2. Liberty60 says:

    The bishops have very little real control over the elusive “Catholic vote”.

    Unlike the bishops, with their laser-like focus on uteri, most Catholics care about a range of issues, from Afghanistan to taxes, and contraception is pretty far down that list.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Liberty60 says:

      Yeah, I think old white guys in the Beltway and conservative commentators underestimate how much the average Catholic parishioner just doesn’t give a fuck about what the Bishop’s say about anything after the last 30 years of child sex scandals.Report

      • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Lib60 & Jesse, the furor is over religious liberty, not contraception.  I’m surprised Barack Obama could do anything to get American Catholics on the side of the bishops, but it looks like he might have succeeded.


        • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          I point to my post further up this thread.Report

          • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            Yes, Jesse, your ho-hum was noted the first time.  Ho-hum.  😉

            I’ll take yr bet for a buck.  I’m not predicting the electorate’s reaction, I’m hoping that it reacts to this stunt correctly.

            I’m at arm’s length from the actual theological or moral truth claims; I don’t care about contraception itself either way—I don’t oppose it, I don’t think we owe free contraceptives to anyone as a human or political right.

            I think Cathy Young of Reason gets it right:

            The issue is where the line should be drawn; and, for many Americans, that line is crossed when Catholic institutions such as hospitals, schools and charities—with a narrow exemption for churches—are forced to buy employee insurance policies that cover services prohibited by Catholic teachings. Catholics who use contraception, and Protestants who have little sympathy for the Catholic Church’s anti-birth-control stance, may still be offended by the state dictating to the church in such matters.

            President Obama has picked the wrong fight. Rather than expand birth control options for women, this policy may undermine already shaky support for the health reform legislation. Suddenly, predictions that ObamaCare will result in less freedom and more bureaucratic authority do not seem so outlandish.

            And bingo that last bit double.



  3. BSK says:

    “Lib60 & Jesse, the furor is over religious liberty, not contraception.”

    48% of Americans, which is a non-majority, agreeing that one predominant faith deserves exemption from an aspect of a controversial health reform is hardly evidence that the furor has to do with religious liberty.

    Americans will demonstrate a true belief in religious liberty when they overwhelmingly support religous liberty extended to each and every faith.Report

    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BSK says:

      Catholics siding with the bishops over Obama 55-39% is the interesting part.  I would not have thought this possible on any issue.

      What it means, we shall see.  Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything.  We’re into some virgin territory here.  The Obama Admin’s attack on the Roman Church here is without historical precedent.Report


        It’s true. This is the worst thing anyone has ever done to the “Roman Church”. Good God, get a freaking grip, you awful troll.Report

        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Ryan Bonneville says:

          Ryan, the Obama’s Admin’s attack on the Catholic Church is without precedent in American history.  Dude, pls, it’s a comments section and charitable reading is mandatory.  😉Report

          • David in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            I would hardly characterise this as an “attack on the Catholic Church.” If you want one of those, you need to come across the pond and take a trip back in time a few centuries over here, to back when we were actually banning them from worship and putting their leaders to death.

            From our perspective, you are just being silly. So businesses that happen to claim to be “Catholic” have to obey the same laws that businesses run by Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists, Pastafarians, Professed Jedi, Messianic Reformist Calvinists, and any other religious persuasion do, and it’s an “assault” on the Catholic Church? You’re being far too silly, and to an outsider’s perspective it is painfully, possibly in a sadomasochistic way obvious that this is more about reaching for any possible straw of an issue to wedge against a very popular sitting presidential figure.Report

          • Blaine Amendments in the late 19th century were explicitly created to block public funds from being used for parochial schools. This to my mind is a substantially greater attack on Catholicism than requiring insurance companies to cover contraception if the employer won’t provide that coverage.Report

            • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

              Nob, Blaine failed on the nat’l level.  The Obama Admin’s attack on the Catholic Church is worse, as it’s purely ideological and contrary to the spirit of the First Amendment.

              Even if Blaine was worse, that’s an academic discussion.  Obama has American Catholics siding with their bishops.  This is quite a political achievement.

              Good point of order per history, though.   Perhaps some other time…Report

              • James in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Obama has American Catholics siding with their bishops? On what planet?

                The Catholic Church is so out of date and so out of touch that they can’t even get 10% of their membership to show up for church the weekend of christmas. The polls you’re quoting are assuming that the people answering are actual catholics and not just right wing goons claiming to be Catholic to tilt the poll.

                98% of Catholics use contraception. Less than 50% of any “Catholic” hospital’s employees are actually Catholic, and you know damn well even less than that of the patients are. Treat ’em like any other employer, they don’t have the right to force employees to worship their fake god or follow their phoney baloney religious code.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        What is the context for “without historical precedent?”  While I enjoyed Ryan’s quip, I suspect Tom wasn’t using such a broad context.  My mind immediately went to the denial of plural marriage for Mormons.  But Tom may not even be referring to a religious oppression context at all (even though it’s easy to assume that, given his “attack on the church” language), but perhaps only an electoral context.  And if it’s only an electoral context, I can’t immediately come up with a counterfactual to his claim.

        Care to clarify for us, sir?  I am curious.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

          OK, so tom and I were writing at the same time.  But if he’s talking about American history, what about the Mormon issue?Report

        • Even electoral contests had the Nativists and Know-Nothings, like Fillmore’s doomed 1856 campaign. So there’s been electoral contests where attacks on the church were quite common. There’s also JFK’s questions about Rome, the fact that there were laws prohibiting office holders from being Catholic at the state level well into the 1890s and incorporation of the 1st amendment….etc. etc.Report

      • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        The Obama Admin’s attack on the Roman Church here is without historical precedent.

        I suppose that depends on what you mean by “historical,” and what you mean by “precedent.”

        This is a rule that has been in place since 2000, for institutions that employ more than 200 people (which would certainly include most hospitals).   The HHS ruling simply changed the threshhold to institutions that employ at least 15 people.

        So, while I have some sympathy for the “religious freedom” argument, I personally think the administration drew the line at pretty much the right place.   You are, of course, free to disagree;  but this is not some historic attack on religion, or anything close to it.

        You know, the dial doesn’t always have to be turned to eleven.Report

      • BSK in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        Prove that this shows a popular furor over the first Amendment. Until you can do that, please stop saying it.Report