Catholics skew liberal–even the churchgoers

That’s the upshot of a Gallup Poll analysis just released here hooked to Obama’s upcoming Notre Dame commencement address. On the “moral acceptability” of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, Catholics mirror the wider populations, with 4 in 10 saying abortion can be morally acceptable and 63 percent saying the same for ESCR.

But as the graph below shows, Catholics are significantly more liberal than other Americans on a number of other hot-button issues, such as premarital sex, homosexuality, the death penalty, and gambling. (Okay, no surprise on that last one.)

Gallup chart one.gifThe kicker is that even regular mass-goers, while hewing more to church teachings on thes eissues that Catholics overall, are still more “liberal” than regular churchgoers of other denominations. They write:


The accompanying table shows that regular churchgoers who are Catholic are significantly more liberal than churchgoing non-Catholics on gambling, sex before marriage, homosexual relations, having a baby out of wedlock, and divorce. Committed Catholics are at least slightly more likely than devout non-Catholics to say that abortion and embryonic stem-cell research — the two key issues highlighted by those protesting Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame — are morally acceptable. Only on the death penalty are committed Catholics more conservative than regular churchgoers who are not Catholic.

Not sure how to figure that capital punishment one–especially after New Mexicso’s recent ban. Ideas? Anyway, the proof is in the table. Read it…and weep?

Gallup chart two.gif 

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posted March 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Great news in my point of view…means that RC’s are thinking outside the “box” of the RCC teachings. Fresh air blowing through the corridors of the church. Is good.

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posted March 30, 2009 at 9:51 pm

American Catholics are utter apostates, except a few true believers, but passively contribute to the enterprise nevertheless. “Pray, pay and obey” still goes, so I suppose that dogma is just an interesting side show that only harms vulnerable people abroad. In Europe where Catholics care even less, you have a church tax to prop the system up instead.
One little detail, the vast majority of Catholics live in other countries. Its remarkable how loyal the former colonial subjects of the developing world cling to their masters’ religion. But alas, the money isn’t there, which puts the US in an interesting spot.

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Jeffery Ewener

posted March 31, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I’m not clear how to read the death penalty question. It says “moral acceptability of issues” — I read that to mean “moral acceptability of … The Death Penalty”. If I had been among the polled, I’d have said, No. I don’t know how many people who were really in the survey interpreted the question in this way (I always have trouble like this with polls) but I suspect it might have been a lot. Otherwise, I have a lot of trouble accepting that a solid 2/3 majority of all other Christian-identifying Americans is opposed to the death penalty.

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Scott M.

posted March 31, 2009 at 7:38 pm

It’s only interesting because some people are afraid of the truth – to belong to the one and only Church founded by the Son of God makes perfect sense.

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Father R

posted April 1, 2009 at 1:43 am

This is the result of poor catechesis and poor homiletics. I remember a bishop saying: “The only Catholic teaching the vast majority of adult Catholics will ever receive is the homily at the Sunday Mass. And the only piece of Catholic literature they are likely to read weekly is the Sunday bulletin. What does this tell us about the importance of both the homily and the bulletin?” Although there have been some improvements over recent years, it is still rare to hear a homily that clearly conveys Church teaching on many of the important moral issues of our day. I know that the homily should focus on the scripture readings of the day. But when will people hear the truth regarding these moral matters? “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6.

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Your Name

posted April 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Once US Catholics stopped being bleating little immigrant sheep, bowing down to whatever the clergy said, they learned to think for themselves and to recognize truth where they see it.
The clergy of the US Catholic church still hasn’t realized that and hasn’t learned to develop compelling arguments for its positions. They would much rather excoriate, excommunicate and genuflect, genuflect, genuflect to each and ever emenation from The Vatican.

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