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How damaging is the Catholic Church's Obamacare lawsuit for the president?
FILE PHOTO: The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City
May 23rd, 2012
03:48 PM ET

How damaging is the Catholic Church's Obamacare lawsuit for the president?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Catholic Church is suing President Obama for violating the freedom of religion that is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

In what's being called the largest legal action of its kind, 43 separate Catholic institutions filed lawsuits in a dozen different federal courts this week.

They are challenging the federal mandate in President Obama's health care law that requires employers to cover contraception in their employees' health plans.

These Catholic groups include the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic University of America, the archdioceses of New York and Washington - along with those serving Dallas, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

The lawsuits say that the health care law violates the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty.

The Obama Administration tried to smooth things over with the church when the issue first bubbled over.

As a compromise, they said insurance companies would have to provide contraception for employees who wanted it - so Catholic employers could avoid directly providing birth control.

But that wasn't good enough for the church.

So far, the White House isn't commenting on these lawsuits, although one official told The Wall Street Journal that they're still trying to work things out with Catholic leaders: "Lawsuits or no lawsuits, our doors remain open."

Experts are split over whether these lawsuits will succeed, but either way it can't be helpful for the president in an election year.

For those keeping track, President Obama has managed to anger both the black churches - over his support of gay marriage - and the Catholic Church over birth control.

Here’s my question to you: How damaging is the Catholic Church's Obamacare lawsuit for the president?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. jimmy in greenville, north carolina

    No damage at all. In the end all the chickens will come home to roost in Obamaland. Obama lives in that land of immunity.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    Probably not as damaging as it needs to be. We have been forcefed interventions into the health care market since the early 1900's, from the AMA becoming a monopoly and destroying whole swaths of medical professions and schools, to Nixon opening the HMO door. There is no answer to the cost of health care until the free market system – and I don't mean the current crony-capitalist system – is allowed fo flourish.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  3. bonnie from NJ

    Although I am not Catholic, I see most the Catholics around me are not severely religious. They have sex out of wedlock, they divorce, they take birth control etc. etc. etc. However, I do think it could be damaging as far as the supreme court is concerned, they will use it as part of their justification to scrap the Affordable Health Care Act (it is not Obamacare). I think the after the Catholic sex scandal this is pretty ridiculous lawsuitt, they should sit back and shut up.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Jayne in NH

    It's not damaging at all . . . except to the image of the Catholic Church. They were granted an exemption when it comes to contraceptive coverage and that should suffice. You might think they would want to focus on cleaning up their own house of predatory priests before expending energy trying to take reproductive choices away from women.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  5. Sarah

    That is not damaging atall because they are republicans who are trying to hurt Obama but it will fall on their heads,if they really understand the WORD they will not play politics

    May 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  6. Jenna Roseville CA

    How damaging is the Catholic Church's lawsuit over Obamacare for the president?

    It is NOT damaging for Obama but it sure is for the Catholics.

    If you want to EMPLOY people then you have to follow FEDERAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT LAWS.

    Like it or not they are challenging Federal Law and will LOSE.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  7. David of Alexandria, VA

    I think that it would have been very, very easy for the administration to have exempted the catholic church at the outset of this. The way he played it, it appeared to be either arrogantly dictatorial or oafish, or both. I worry about how that kind of arrogance will play out over a four year, lame-duck second term. Whose high moral value or constitutional protection will be trounced next time?

    May 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  8. Karl in Flint, MI

    Negligible damage. If we were to vote right now, the Catholic Church would get voted off the island. It's a few wannabee future Popes trying to make a name for themselves with their fellow wannabee future Popes. Nothing more.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  9. Gary H. Boyd

    Since the Hispanic community is essentially Catholic, it could be significant Jack. Despite their overwhelming Democratic leanings, it forces Latinos to make a choice between religion and politics. If Obama were to lose this segment of his support, he would lose the election.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  10. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    This suit, along with a Supreme Court decision from the state suits about Obamacare, will simply add to a growing list of individuals and groups who are 'fed' up with our government mandating to us. And a sitting President who openly now supports gay marriage. OOPS! And, oh, we haven't even heard much more than a peep from the NRA and its members who oppose Obama and his minions of anti-gun folks. So, Obamacare, Economy, Jobs, Foreign Policy (read Wars and Handouts), Bailouts...and, it looks like the Stock Market is on a major slide again. Wow. Obama is in trouble.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The Catholic Church is still recovering from "PriestCare" and is therefore in no position to point the finger or morality at anyone. Consequently, the damage from their lawsuit will be minimum.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. pat in michigan

    Well in both cases it is about control. Who Has it ?The Church or the State?Personally, in my opinion. Neither has any business in my body or my bedroom. Make all the flowery speaches and sermons you want but keep your hands off my body and my wallet.!My parents raised me with ethics and morality not the church or state!

    May 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Doug Ericson

    I have to start this comment out with some thoughts about the photo. Its a great photo but it looks like they got carried away with the restoration of the paintings. The colors are not right, they are too bright. The Church interior as a whole looks like billboard for a circus or an amusement park. It looks like Disney Land. Back to the question. Lawsuits are a nusience and no doubt embarrassing to the Obama Administration. But I can see the Supreme Court eventually putting its foot down on this whole concept of the Religeous groups suing for Religeous Liberty. The Church doesn't pay taxes, so what ground to they have to stand on? If anything it will help Obama. The Church should not bite the hand that feeds it. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  14. JM from DFW

    Matthew 5:17 – Jesus came to fulfill the Law.
    Matthew 16:13 -20 Peter's confession of Christ (Foundation of Christ Church), foundation for democracy.

    It appears that the Catholic Church and other Religious doctrines want to replace the Pharisees and Sadducees described in the book of Matthew.

    God allows me to make my own choices in all that I do in life (democracy). I don't have Al- Queda, Taliban, Chavez, the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, Mormon Church, Republican Party trying to control my thoughts. I have a one on one relationship with my creator and I will focus on what would Jesus do in these challenging times.

    The Catholic Church should lose it's Tax exempt status. This is not about control, this is about choice!

    May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    No different than any other associated lawsuit. Just another group of elitist individuals not listening to their constiuents, er... I mean congregation in what they really believe in and want. The minority wanting to control the majority, so what else is new.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The Catholic Church is still recovering from "PriestCare" and is therefore in no position to point the finger of morality at anyone. Consequently, the damage from their lawsuit will be minimum

    May 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  17. Matt, Miami

    It's more like the other way around. The church is damaging itself with its recent activist stance.
    It seems like they have been infiltrated by the Taliban. I won't be surprised if goat and sheep sherds start showing up in some parishes. That may be good for the parishioners as some as some shepherds leave the little boys and women alone.
    Threatening to stop serving the poor? Just to show you what their priorities are, our parish announced the deployment of poor boxes for accepting donations for the poor near each door almost two months ago. I have since deposited 3 checks at those boxes. None of the checks had been cashed! I'm stopping all donations to my church and just send them to the homeless shelter....I'm afraid the Catholic Church has lost its way.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Pete in Georgia

    Damaging ??
    Probably not much since the mainstream media will ignore it totally, along with any other truthful lunatic Obama mantra that could fill a library.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  19. lou

    If the catholic church is so dead set against the health care law because it goes against their religious beliefs, then why haven't they challenged divorce law in this country? They claim to be morally apposed to that. Why haven't they brought lawsuits against the big drug companies that make contraceptions that they are morally against? No one is telling the the church's congregation they have to take birth control or have abortions. If the church leaders have led their flock in the 'right' path, they needn't worry.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  20. Brad, Portland, OR

    Not at all. The people who support the Catholic Church on this lawsuit would never have voted for Obama anyway.

    Besides, if you start letting people decide whether their tax money or insurance premiums should pay for things they don't like, and you're allowed to withhold tax payments or insurance payments accordingly, you open up a whole can of worms.

    Maybe Quakers don't want their tax money to be used to pay for Defense.

    Maybe Rastafarians don't want their tax money to be used to pay for the DEA.

    Maybe very religious people don't want their insurance premium money spent to provide other people Viagra.

    Maybe OWS members don't want their insurance premium money spent to give insurance company CEOs big bonuses.

    The point is, both taxpayer money and insurance money represent pools, and you're not going to approve of the way every dollar is being spent. Even if the money is spent in obscene, immoral ways, like on huge CEO salaries and bonuses.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  21. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I think in a close election it may be just enough to cost Obama the election. The 12 Federal lawsuits do not argue the point of contraception. What they argue is that the government has no authority to force religious groups to pay for abortions if it is against their religious beliefs. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), safeguard religious entities from such overbearing and oppressive governmental action.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  22. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Here we go again another Obamacare question. All I can say is Obamacare has been under attack by the insurance companies and special interest groups lobbying Washington. Now it is under attack by the Catholic Church because of its coverage for contraception. Whenever I see these kind of groups trying to destroy a health care plan I know it must be a good plan that benefits me, the average citizen. This plan is the same plan that Romney introduced to Massachusetts and yet there is nothing being said about that by the news media. Maybe your question should be how much damage is there to Romney's campaign because of his health care bill he installed in Massachusetts.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  23. calaurore9

    Old men wearing mitres with impeccable morals telling other institutions what to do?! Not even a blip on most people's screens.

    Carol in Northampton Ma

    May 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  24. Ronald Noe

    It's not damaging to Obama, Jack. It's damaging to the women who need medication! As in most Church related cases, the claims made by the Church are completely wrong! The beliefs of the school are not at question or under attack! It's BS really and all about abortion! WHich also is not happening. For the Christian "Right" to ignore Science and Facts is the Republican way! They make stuff up! Consider, as you probably already do, the teachings of Jesus Christ are without a doubt the highest form of understanding!

    I get so tired of hearing that the difference between the Parties are a, "Difference in Philosophy!" SO: Would Christ accept the following:

    Is it a Difference in Philosophy to vote no to legislation to promote jobs and keep some of your own constituents out of work just to make the President look bad on the economy?

    Is it a Difference in Philosophy to dismantle the New Health Care program, virtually leaving millions without affordable Health care, including children without a viable replacement or Plan?

    Is it a Difference in Philosophy to take from the Poor and give to the Rich?

    Is it a Difference in Philosophy to waste four years of Congress just to make the President look bad and not do the "Peoples" work?

    Is it a Difference in Philosophy knowing that the Bush years put us deeper in debt than ever before and that the Tax cuts for the rich made it worst and then want to go back to those very policies?

    Is it Christian beliefs to let Women suffer the Medical conditions that Birth Control pills help. How can you be a Christian and argue Right to Life and at the same fight to repeal Obama Care and put some 7 million Children without Health insurance and at the same time try to butcher Medicaid? The Catholic Church has no Honor in my house! And I am a Christian!

    May 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  25. marcy from margate, florida

    I don't think the Catholic Church's lawsuit will hurt Obama.
    All of the Catholic females I know use some sort ot birth
    control. They consider themselves good Catholics and go
    to church on a regular basis. They have limited their families
    to the amount of children they can afford to feed, cloth, and
    educate. They are responsible mothers and good Catholics.
    Not that I am one to judge.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  26. Rick

    Good one for the Catholic Church. The dismissal and mocking of religion by the President's action and by CNN's occasional anti-christian guests should be challenged. Religious persecution of Christians is rampant under the term secularism. It's time to not turn the other cheek.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  27. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    These clowns shouldn't be able to sue the government for anything, ever. They pay no taxes and are ruled by a dictator at the Vatican. Sorry catholics, you don't get to push your superstitious agenda down anyone's throat.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  28. jk for Minnesota

    I think it might be more damaging for the Republicans losing more of the women's vote. Speaking a a woman, there is absolutely no way I would consider voting for a Republican given all this waste of time on Contraception, gay marriage legislation, voting rights changes instead of working to fix the economy. I flat out do not trust the GOP party of today – period.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  29. Jen seattle wa

    The Fact Obama elevates Debauchery to a new level and attempts to undermine innocent 1st world culture and customs with rule of law excuses he crafts, I would say "He Needs To Go get an Honest Job He Never Really had his whole life"

    May 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  30. Julia, Fayetteville, NC

    Damaging? I don't think so.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  31. Tom

    How damaging is the lawsuit???
    Answer: More damaging than the mainstream media will ever honestly report. Just wait and see.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  32. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    No more than damaging than misbehaving priests in the Catholic church.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  33. Charles - San Antonio

    The Catholic Church is dead wrong. If the church wants to act like an insurnce company, then they should comply with laws that regulate insurance companies. The Catholic church should be happy to provide birth control because it reduces the number of abortions. They just don't get it.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  34. perry jones

    Both sides need to learn that there are topics that are not and should not be part of the political arena marriage, sexual flavor, abortion, birth control, home owner ship, how much any one makes, were a person puts there money , education I am a conservative person and these are not areas that the government should not be in at all at any time

    Perry jones

    May 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  35. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, I love what Obama's overreaching healthcare law has done. It has ticked off the Catholics, and this will be essential in picking up those electoral college votes in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. This may be the first time I've said anything positive about the democrats' ridiculous healthcare reform.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  36. Frances

    It is very damaging to the Catholic Church. Making this big stink because contraception for women will be covered
    along with other health issues in their health insurance is anti-woman idiocy. Telling women in third world countries that birth control is a sin is so wrong...all these poor women having more babies that cannot feed is horrible.

    The church is sticking its nose into matters of State where it doesn't belong. It is time they lose their tax exemption status unless they agree to go back to their pulpit and preach to those who want to listen.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  37. Bill of New Mexico

    Who pays any attention to what the Catholic Church says after all that the Catholic Church has done.

    Obama has probably lost the election anyway.

    What is it with these parties–that no matter how lousy the president has been, they are behind him 100% for a second term. Well, the Democratic Party is going to pay dearly for supporting Obama for a second term. Maybe, forcing the Catholics to buy "family services" is the icing on the cake of the Democrats' defeat in 2012.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  38. Ed from California

    As a recovering Catholic..as far as I'm concerned, not at all. I just wish he'd grow some hair and cut their tax-free status. That'll shut them up, for good. Besides, the Catholic church is a boy's club.....if you know what I mean!

    May 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  39. METALWORKER

    My question to you is this. Some one has to be brain dead, or on their way out in order to cut, nah, remove vital organs from a person to transplant into some one who may asoon die.
    No, should science or some religion decide if that person is dead or if cutting life support is murder.Should your doctor or team of doctors deciede what drugs you need?
    Me I would rather my doctor than some pissid of bishop.
    With that in mind I hope the suits are tossed out of court, and if so that will not hurt him and if those who won't vote for him because of this they will surly cuss the courts and church if and when they need that help
    With most those things are wronguntill they need them and then they become right. METALWORKER in IL

    May 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  40. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon

    How damaging is the Catholic Church to the progress of women's rights?

    May 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  41. Lee from Guernsey, WY

    Damaging only among Catholics, and probably only a select few of those. American citizens are for separation of church and state, and don't look fondly on any
    religion trying to take over the government -- any religion.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  42. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This issue is gigantic and especially since priests and ministers talk politics from their perch at mass and sermons and people are their flock follow like sheep and guess what, sheep aren't too smart.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  43. thom richer

    I suspect it will be more damaging for the Catholic Church than for Obama. However, the more religion becomes the deciding factor in politics and government decisions, rules and laws, the more damage it will do to our "democracy." One of the biggest and most critical factors in labeling countries "Third World countries," is the fact that they are governed by religion. Soon we will fall under this category if we are not already. On the other hand it is not entirely religion's fault. Congress and the white House should not be making laws that dictate what religions MUST follow. It is also time for "churches" to pay taxes on their property and revenue. Exemptions for charities, churches, hospitals, universities, et al, should be put to an end.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  44. Gordo from NJ

    By so clealry casting their lot in with Republicans on these issues, the old-guard Catholic hierarchy will merely demonstrate its increasing irrelevance. Only a small percentage of Catholics obey Church's rules against birth control, so why would you expect any more of them to follow church directives about who to vote for? This whole episode seems like a very troubling attempt by the Church and GOP to subvert the US Constitution to religion. The Church has also condemned American nuns for paying more attention to the poor and disadvantaged than to promoting Catholic dogma. When I think of the teachings of Jesus that I grew up with, the Nuns get it, the pompous old men in gold and silk robes do not.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  45. tom bulger, canandaigua, NY

    Whereas even 98% of Catholics use birth control, it's the bishops who are out of step not the president. Every time the president stands up for gays, women or anybody not getting a fair deal, it contrasts sharply with Romney who hasn't stood his ground on anything.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  46. Gary in San Jose, California

    It's a tempest in a tea pot, Jack. I'm not the only Catholic that dissagrees with the Church on birth control. It will have no impact on my vote and I suspect it will have little to no impact on my peer group's vote. It's all about the economy.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  47. Gary in San Jose, California

    It's a tempest in a tea pot, Jack. I'm not the only Catholic that disagrees with the Church on birth control. It will have no impact on my vote and I suspect it will have little to no impact on my peer group's vote. It’s all about the economy.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  48. Bill from Fairport

    Not very damaging at all. Maureen Dowd's piece of May 22 "Father Doesn't Know Best" hits right to the heart of the matter "reality is what they portray as an attack on Obama is really an attack on women. There are 28 states that for a number of years mandated contraceptive insurance coverage. Eight of those states do not exempt churches! Why is it now that we start the litigation?

    I was raised Catholic and at a time in my life a seminarian. I still consider myself Catholic but I do not consider my Church to be Catholic. Ever since the passing of Pope John XIII, who opened the windows to rational thought, using common sense guided by informed thought, the Church has been led by a succession of increasingly narrow minded, shallow and rigid old men who have no clue to the realities of modern life and change. They are insulated inside a medieval monarchist system. They are the equivalent of our own political neocon's and teabaggers. I say to the Pope, his Capo Dolan focus on cleaning up your act whether it is focused on resolving those who have been abused,the corruption at the Vatican bank or starting an Inquisition of American Nuns. The focus is on you to demonstrate the teachings of Christ through practice not the ongoing hypocrisy of your ongoing behaviors.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  49. David Gerstenfeld

    "He who has not sinned cast the first stone" Obama should sue the catholic church to open the archives to all. Hipocrasy at it's finest .
    David, Las Vegas

    May 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  50. Andrew in Pinehurst NC

    The damage to Obama will occur this summer, when Obama Care is stricken by the Supreme Court. At that point this question will be meaningless. No matter what does happen one would be hard pressed to find an undecided voter.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  51. cathy in illinois

    Not much of a liability- when a vast majority of Catholics do not agree with the churches doctrine, I really think the church is grasping at straws for some type of control- that's all they want is control

    May 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  52. Larry in Houston

    How damaging is the Catholic Church's Obamacare lawsuit for the president ?
    Answer : In My Opinion, NONE – I'm a catholic, raised catholic, brought up catholic, attended catholic schools til I was smart enough to tell my parents that I wanted to change schools, and start attending a Public School. It was the best thing I ever done, in my opinion. I don't believe you should have "religion" as one of your "classes" year after year after year. (That's ridiculous) In those days – all the teachers were ALL Nuns – not like now days – Those Nuns would "rapp"
    your knuckles with a ruler, if you dropped a book or pencil onto the floor from your desk that you were sitting in.
    It won't be "damaging" because if you took a survey, most "Catholics" may attend Church Services, but after they get home, they do what the heck they want anyway. I'm reffering to birth control / contraceptives / & the list goes on.
    Vote – Democrat 2012

    May 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  53. Steve

    It is very damaging to Obama. They say one thing you don't want to argue about is Sex, Religion and Politics. The person that brings it up always looses. Try it on your wife and see how you do??

    May 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  54. Chris from Florida

    Very damaging. There is nothing more sacred than our religious freedom. Imposing sociual values through policies onto and into Religious institutions is just plain wrong. The argument is not about access to health care, its about imposing social values into the practices of long-established institutions which are tied to the values of the Catholic Church. Right now if I am Arch-Bishop Nolan, I am telling all my parishoners all over America that this needs to be stopped at the voting booth.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  55. Randy

    None. The only religion he worries about angering has annual passover seders in the white house and he just ordered panetta to give them another 70 million in taxpayer dollars for israels defense.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  56. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    It would be damaging to the President only if the rest of the world remains as bitterly ensconced in the 14th century, as the Catholic Church.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  57. Bill

    Why is this not a top story?

    May 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  58. Arlene, Illinois

    Jack , as a lifetime member of the Catholic Church for over 72 years the church should be more concerned
    about Pedifile Priests and dwindling attendance than the Obamacare lawsuit. It will have no effect on the
    President, end of story.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  59. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack, I think the church should shut up, but if it sues, the church should lose their tax exempt status, can't have it both ways.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  60. Barbara Williams in Sherman Oaks, CA

    It's not as damaging to the President's re-election campaign as it is to the Catholic Church, whose image continues to suffer due to the Church's mismanagement of the pedophilia scandal and ensuing lawsuits. I for one, a cradle Catholic, btw, will not step foot into a Catholic Church until the magisterium gets out of the lobbying business. If Holy Mother Church wants to preach hatred for this administration and its mandates from the pulpit, they need to give back the over a billion dollars they got last year in federal funding. I believe the Apostles Creed, and in the tenets of salvation by Christ's death and resurrection, but the issue of infallibility, now apparently stretching from the Pope all the way down to archbishops and bishops is a bridge too far. I think many Catholics agree as evidenced by the ever=emptier pews in every Catholic Church in the nation.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  61. Ruth in Indianapolis

    If these institutions were totally funded by a church, I would not object. This is not the case. They are a "conduit" for funds. I would hope that all women would rise up against this. I do not think it will damage Obama. Rather, it will lower respect for the church and for those who support them.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  62. Greg Turman

    Jack;

    Next month the supreme court will rule against ObamaCare and also rule in favor of the Arizona immigration law.
    Soon Eric Holder will be in court answering questions on Fast & Furious allowing guns into Mexico.
    The Catholic church law suit is just another example of the Obama administration trying to legislate from the bench. Legislating from the bench is not a democratic style of government.
    President Obama is not worried about re-election, he is worried about changing this country against the will of the people.
    Gregory Turman
    noonday,Texas

    May 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  63. andy Lynn, MA

    The Constitution of the United States provides for the separation of church and state. If the Catholic church wants to be involved in secular affairs then they should lose their tax exempt status. With all the church has paid out for the sexual predatory practices of its clergy with altar boys, this is a bad fight for the church.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  64. Norris Wagner (from Alabama)

    For President Obama, probably not very. But it could cause long-termed damage to the Catholic Church. Polls say 98% of Catholic women are using contraception and President Obama has sizable leads among single and divorced women. They've already made up their minds about contraception and won't be swayed by this 'row'. The Catholic Church is hurting for young priests and nuns. At the same time, church attendance is down for younger Americans and polls show that young people believe that church 'leaders' are too political and judgmental. To young people, this conflict re-enforces all of those images and makes them less willing to (regularly) attend or further commit to the Catholic Church.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  65. Gerry

    No affect. The Vatican is not as influential as it thinks it is. The Priest pedophile scandals have dramaticall reduced the influence and credibility of the Catholic Church.

    Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  66. rileyla

    Why the lack of news coverage for this historical action? I had to type "Catholic" in the search bar to find this article and the few others.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  67. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It is damaging from a legal standpoint, but obama supporters willl vote for obama no matter what he does. Blind faith for a man who has done nothing but extend the bush/cheney policies. Watch what he does not what he says.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  68. Gigi Oregon

    What the Catholic Church wants and says and the members do will be the answer to your question. Every Catholic member I know will not let the church make that decision for them. I wonder if God would approve the Catholic Church to have such power... I believe right or wrong that power belongs to the individual and their God. Only God saves and only we can make the decision to follow.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  69. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack, according to you, EVERYTHING that is wrong with the world is Obama's fault, and you'd love nothing better than to see him booted for any reason. You need to work for Fox.

    I'm a woman, I was raised Catholic, and I use birth control because I don't want nor can I afford to have a baby every year for my child-bearing years. Using birth control is not only moral it's being a responsible adult. Birth control is expensive, and for the longest time I had to pay for it out-of-pocket–female birth control wasn't covered in any of the health insurance plans that any of my employers offered, while these insurance companies rushed to be the first to fully cover Viagra when it came out. What's up with that?

    And many women use birth control for other female health problems, not just to prevent pregnancy or to space out the number of children they have.

    I think President Obama's compromise was generous. The Catholic Church won't be happy until women have no control over their fertility and are forced to have a baby every year or die from an ectopic pregnancy. 98% of Catholic women use birth control. This isn't a religious freedom issue, and for all of the hot-air bishops howling over "persecution", that's all political. They'd love to have Rick Santorum in charge, ban birth control, and take us back to the Dark Ages. The Catholic Church has it pretty good here–they don't have to pay taxes, they stick their noses into politics and policies, pay off politicians to get laws passed that favor the Catholic Church, don't have any responsibility for any of the sex abuse cases priests committed against children. If they think having to obey LABOR LAWS is persecution, I would be happy to send them to Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, where any religion except Islam is not tolerated. Then we can have a discussion about "persecution".

    I agree with the exemption for churches (and synagogues and mosques) but once the Catholic Church branches out into other areas (secular education, hospitals), then I think they need to obey the labor laws of this country. Their lawsuits only reinforce my belief that letting the Catholic Church dictate to the rest of us is wrong. President Obama is right.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  70. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    If you're asking this to find out if it will influence voters at election time, win or lose, it won't matter one bit. The Catholic Church's credibility is nonexistent since the pedophile priest scandal and the widely publicized fact that a majority of Catholic women use or have used some form of birth control. IMO, if they can accept federal funds as compensatiofor services they should have to abide by the same laws as any other business that receives federal funds.

    They happily accept federal money from the same government that commits acts which are in direct violation of Catholic Doctrine.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  71. Mike in Minneapolis

    Not very. Most Americans still recall that the Catholic Church is not the most respected institution when it comes to governing sexual mores and practices.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  72. mms55,oklahoma

    it won't hurt the president jack,but it will hurt the bishops and the chatolic church.the church should not be allowed to discreminate agains't women health care.contraception should not be treated any different than any other medication.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  73. Renee, Illinois

    There are two sides to the separation of church and state and the 1st ammendment; protecting freedom of religion and protecting everyone from any church imposing it's rules on those who don't belong to their church. According to Pew Research, Catholics account for 23.9% and Protestants for 51.3% of the population in this country. Counting all the other religions that means the Catholic church does not speak for the majority of people in the U.S. I was raised Protestant but left the church a long time ago because I think the church as an institution has lost sight of the teachings of love, peace and understanding that Christ tried so hard to impart to humanity. When any single religion tries to force their beliefs on the rest of us we need politicians with the guts to step in and remind them that the rest of us have rights too. Cheers to Obama for standing up for everyone's civil rights and jeers to the Catholic church for thinking they, and they alone, know the mind of God.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  74. AB

    The Catholic church's frivolous lawsuit against President Obama is a joke and will not stand up in the federal court. The church has no credibility on this or any other moral issue given its history and actions. Obama will not be impacted by anything the church says or does.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  75. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    It's only damaging to those in the Catholic Church who are still trapped in the Middle Ages. Many Catholic women have begun using contraception in recent decades. Now, if the Catholic Church is so trapped in a time-warp that they would excommunicate these women for making choices that affect their bodies, then its time they take a look at their own track record, or need I bring up the sexual abuse scandals of the late 90s?

    May 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  76. Cee.La

    This is such a severe "non issue' as far as I am concerned......I find it ludicrous that the catholic church could fuss about Insurance plans offering birth control to non catholics.....when Catholics use birth control, have abortions, get divorced, what sort of denial is that? It should not hurt President Obama at all.....

    May 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  77. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Did you EVER in your Lifetime think that WE the PEOPLE would become prisoners to the Government? Obama has undermined more of our LIBERTIES that Any other President in History.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  78. Mark in Houston

    Outside of Kansas and a few other states that despise Obama anyway...it wont be a problem for the President.

    The key sentence is...".But that wasn't good enough for the church." Other than absolute control, nothing is good enough for that church. They have adopted the Republican party as their political alter boy in an attempt to get rid of this "pest" of a President who doesn't dance to their tune or think a bunch of old men have a right to dictate how a woman lives her life.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  79. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    i would ask the hierarchy of the Catholic Church what their thoughts are on the recent story regarding the 33 year old Tennessee man who has fathered 33 children with 11 different women. Perhaps they truly believe that it was "God's Will" that these childrenb were born but I think that not using birth control is the reason for this abomination. Either way, we all know who will be paying for this pathetic behavior for many, many years.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  80. Ed from Texas

    It would be more damaging to oppose contraception for women.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  81. Martha Brooks

    Catholics and some fundy Christians have a beef. Most of us do not. Besides, it's developed into sort of a side-show and should not be taken that seriously considering all the really bad stuff we have to deal with...like jobs, wars, duplicitous banks and so forth.

    Martha,Rew, PA

    May 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  82. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    This should not damage the President but will only further damage the reputation of the Catholic Church and their far-right Republicans attempt to "get something" on the President. The President is doing his job by giving equal coverage to all. The Catholic Church needs to clean up their own house – priests violating boys, the church knew it and, instead of considering the child, hid the sex abuse and transferred the priest to another parish where he cound abuse again. Now there is something the church needs to work on and not the President doing his job. It is disgusting!

    May 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  83. PiedType

    It's a lot more damaging for the Catholic Church and ultraconservative Republicans than it is for Obama.

    Susan R
    Denver, CO

    May 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  84. Annie, Atlanta

    As an ex-Catholic, not only am I ashamed of the church but think it's time they start paying taxes if they want to have a say-so in our politics. I've had enough of them to last a lifetime, and that's not taking protecting their pedophiles into consideration. The best t hing that could happen to the church is put the women in charge. The men are destroying it.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  85. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It should be of no consequence. The Catholic Church is even more out of touch with the American people and more behind the times than the Republicans are, if that’s at all possible. There is nothing in the law that requires anyone to use birth control. There is no infringement on the First Amendment for the Church. It is free to order its followers not to use contraception. And Catholics are free to ignore their church’s teachings as they have for decades.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  86. 2011 Eyes

    The Catholic Church needs to pay attention to their cover-up of the egregious sins that their priest have been commiting for decades. Catholics have been and will continue to control their family size according to what they can afford. When was the last time anyone noticed a priest knocking on any door 3 times a day with a tray of food to feed the starving children. Contraception does not mean you have lost your faith in God. These guys in Rome need to just get a grip and keep busy counting their stash of GOLD.

    Rube (Louisiana)

    May 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  87. Barbara from NC

    Not damaging to the President. But definitely damaging to religions. They made a deal, and now they're suing. Must be all the republican ped. priests.

    I gave up on organized religion once I figured (mathematically) that 10% of each person's salary X 1000 or 500 or 10000 was more than one human needs to live. God has my credit card number if he needs money. No preacher, priest, or any other person with a connection to a church gets ANYTHING. (God knows my phone number if he/she needs my help).

    Religions have no business in our government - unless maybe they want to pay their fair share of taxes on all that money they try to take from us. Think about it.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  88. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Catholic Church's damage to President Obama may be short-term but the damage the Catholic Church has inflicted on others is long-term and who knows what else will come.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  89. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    I'm a liberal but I've never understood the birth control argument. No one is saying these people can't go buy their own birth control... Also, pregnancy isn't a disease...

    Why do I have to pay for someone else to have a kid? If there is an unforeseen complication, absolutely, get a team of surgeons in there. Fully covered. But anything else...? I don't like the idea of having to indirectly pay for other people's activities. Do you see me picketing to have a cab ride home after happy hour be covered? No.

    This is why health costs are rising.

    Broken bones. Diseases. Cancer. This is what should be covered, things you can't avoid.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  90. EdfromMd

    Not at all, Americans generally know freedom of religion does not mean everything is free. We have the slogan "freedom isn't free" and pay taxes. Spiritually, within our own conscience, we can write off the law suit as those crazy catholics at it again...

    May 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  91. Iwannabeinvegas, Houston,TX

    The Roman Catholic Church has a historical record of backing the wrong side politically. This is no different than the Reformation, the Great Schism in which they "excommunicated" the Eastern Orthodox, the French Revolution, and many more. As a former catholic am I surprised? No. They need to start paying taxes like the rest of us if they want to dabble in politics in this country.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  92. Inno

    99% catholic women support. No damaging but misbehaving of priest is damaging.
    From: GA

    May 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  93. Paul in NC

    The damage, as I see it, is not to the president but to the institution of democracy. When are churches going to realize that religion has no place in politics? You can practice any religion you want but please check it at the door when you go to vote. Our forefathers saw very clearly the dangers of a church controlling a government. I am Catholic but I believe the church has grossly over reacted on this issue.leading me to believe they are pursuing a larger agenda. But if the courts allow a religious institution to overturn duly enacted laws we are well on our way to becoming a theocracy.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  94. Pete in Florida

    Same answer as to the Biden question: those that dislike Obama will not vote for him, and those dumb enough to believe and/or like Romney will also vote against Obama. Too many voters will ignore the real issues and the real records, and will instead be swayed by non-issues and dishonest campaign claims. As in the 2010 election, voter ignorance, bias and gullibility will tilt the results; how far is hard to predict.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  95. WR Jones

    When you consider those who will vote for Obama are fine with gay sex, gay marriage, higher taxes, class warfare, unfettered illegal immigration, and the notion that republican women hate themselves, I guess the Catholic Church won't make much impact on the outcome.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Michael Pacholek, East Brunswick, NJ

    It's not damaging at all, Jack. Anybody who won't vote for Obama for this reason has already decided not to vote for him, most likely for an equally ridiculous reason, like the birther, Muslim, Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers nonsense.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  97. Joseph George

    No damage at all. I am a practicing catholic, and never agree with the political arm twisting of the church. Are the Bishops wanting to be the Mullahs???. 98% of the catholics practice birth control, if the catholic church want to do business, they have to abide by the common rules, there should not be any exemption. Their tactics are deplorable!!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  98. Elaine

    (sigh) – What has happened to freedom FROM religion? The Catholic Church has NO right to force their beliefs on the rest of us. This constant meddling in political affairs needs to result in an END! to tax breaks. Enough!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Barbara Turpin

    Since most Catholics in the US obviously practice birth control, I don't think it matters to them what the church thinks about it. They are probably quietly rooting for O'bama to win this and will vote for him in spite of what the church feels.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  100. Noel in Nashville

    These lawsuits aren't damaging at all. He is helped more by those who recognize that cutting women's health care is not a matter of religious expression than he is hurt by lawsuits brought by the morally tarnished Catholic Church.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  101. James Michael Torcivia, Ph.D..

    Jack.
    The central question should be:
    "How damaging is Christianity, and in particular, the Catholic Church, to rational discourse.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  102. Susan - Laguna Hills

    The damage will only be on the Church...I would spare the obamacare and tax Churches since so many of those Church People victimizing our children, ignoring civil rights by discriminating gays, empowering themselves for all political issues but done nothing to fix up the child sexual abuse for decades...

    It's time to Tax the church with no more tax examption....and let them cry...

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  103. John Scanlan

    Yet another loaded question Jack. The real question is who owns personal liberties? Clearly personal liberties belong to the individual, not to any organization. Your decisions on your religious values are yours, not your employers, no matter who the employer is.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  104. John from Alabama

    Jack: Every organization or individual has the right to bring asuit against something that it believes goes against their rights as established in the US Constitution. The Catholic Church has the same right under our justice system. I do not believe it will hurt Obamacare better known as the Affordable Heathcare Act, but it might clarify things. This is what our courts have been doing for over the past 200 years.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Susan - Laguna Hills

    Tax the church would help with our economic greatly....

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Pat Manders, Oconomowoc, WI

    Supposedly 90% of Catholic women of child-bearing age use contraceptives. Clearly the Church is not their only source of guidance.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  107. Chris in South Florida

    This is ridiculous. Religious freedom and health policy are separate. The Catholic Church is free to believe that birth control is immoral. However, as an employer in this country, this can't stand. Birth control is settled law. The Catholic Church is free to teach and believe birth control is immoral. They are not free to impose this belief on their employees. If you are an employer in this country, you provided health benefits and that includes birth control. You are free to have an opinion, not free to impose your ridiculous opinion on free people.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Robin

    I don't think it will hurt President Obama as even most Catholics believe in contraception. Also, what about the women who work in the Catholic Church who need the birth control pill for non-contraception reasons? I know many women who use birth control pills specifically for other reasons besides contraception.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  109. abbydelabbey

    The Catholic Church wants it both ways - they want to sue the federal gov't because they don't want the gov't intervening in health insurance policies in an effort to to provide insurance for birth control. The excuse is religious freedom. Yet, the Catholic Church health care centers don't mind take Medicare, Medicaid, etc. from the same federal gov't.

    I don't care what the Catholic Church has to say over the issue of birth control: they are not paying for my medical bills, they do not feed my family - and, yes, I will vote for Obama -

    What the federal gov't should be doing is suing the Catholic Church for NOT reporting the crime of pedophilia when the priests were sexually abusing boys....

    May 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Valerie

    It's truly appalling that we now have a President that thinks he can tell the Catholic Church to go against their faith in the name of Obamacare. I am a Democrat but I will never give Obama another Catholic vote of mine and I hope that the effects of his anti-Catholic bullying will result in a one term presidency.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  111. Mark Ginsberg

    The Catholic Church has been on the wrong side of truth and progress since before the days of Copernicus. They will never change. If the Church is against it, I'm automatically for it.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Elizabeth Cohen

    The Church continues to damage itself. These Bishops fought against every accuser of pedophile priests, tried not to pay restitution and is now fighting women over birth control. Just look at all of these so called celibate men in robs telling women not to use birth control, then 98% of the women use birth control. They speak for less than 2% of Catholic women, they are pathetic, they should be using the money to feed the hungry, instead of lawsuits. They won't get any more of my money in the basket in Sunday.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  113. Larry M.

    The catholic church is a foreign entity, the pope is considered a head of state, we wouldn't let any other nation sue our government to have an effect on our health policy, why are we letting the catholic church? The fact that a vast majority of catholic women have used birth control not allowed by the catholic church makes me think that this could even work for Obama.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  114. Dr. Julius Theophilus

    Hyprocrisy is the order of the day for the Catholic Church and I am Catholic. First take the speck out of your eye so that you can see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye. The Catholic Church should focus on her Priest that have abused CHILDREN for years and no one has been held accountable or spent time in PRISON. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  115. Patricia Peters

    Where were the catholic church when the young boys were being abused. Springfield Gardens NY.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  116. Prince

    Jack, l'm catholic but I disagree with the Church on this One issue of contraception! He who feels it knows it best. I just wish the just was as vocal as it has been on the child sex abuse scandals as it has been on the issue of contraception!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  117. Jon

    Tell the Churches to get over it. Especially the Catholics. Its ok to molest little boys but not ok for female contraception. Or is it that little boys dont get pregnate.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  118. Liz. Recovered catholic

    The catholic church needs to suck it up and step into the 21 st century. No thinking person cares what they say or do (past the child abuse that is) this will not make a difference to anyone with a brain.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  119. Jjim Vermillion, Tampa, FL

    The bishops of the Catholic Church are extremely divided on these actions, with 2/3 of the dioceses not entering into the lawsuit and written protests of the suits by the bishops of California. Many U.S. bishops fear the alignment of the right wing of the bishops with U.S. presidential politics and think this is hurting the church.

    The Catholic Church seems to be in the midst of a civil war. One side is getting a lot of media attention, but the other side - the one that does most of the work of the Church - is extremely unhappy with both the positions of this minority and the media attention that they're getting. It's a shame that stories like yours don't get "behind the curtains" of the Church to see what's actually going on. Yes, your reporting is accurate, but it's only a part of the story and it may be the part that will put the Church on the wrong side of history and be its demise.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  120. Steve D

    Jack

    This is just another NON issue WEDGE to distract from all thats wrong with the world. Just as Gay Marriage was on the President's side. Madison Avenue election campaigns are designed for kill or be killed. Frame the election as a matter of life or death in your candidates favor damn the countries needs. If you'd listen to all this manure and take it seriously you'd have to come to the conclusion that this world is about to embark on another hundred year religious war. It just isn't the case. We have to do a better job of running on the business of the people and find a better way around our differences.

    Steve D
    New Windsor, Maryland

    May 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  121. Laith F. Gulli

    Laith from Columbus, Indiana

    Hi Jack:

    It should have no impact at all–as a Catholic I know Catholics well and the only reason they spending money on law suits, is the hope they will win and save the money President wants them to responsibly spend on their own employees health. They are using the religion to save a buck and everybody knows it.

    Laith F. Gulli

    May 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  122. Jeremy

    The Vatican already stated ,infallibly, a few months ago that Catholic married couples may use contraceptives. All it would take for a reversal of this action is those married couples who use contraceptives to take action within the church letting American led dissenters know what the greater church already decided upon.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  123. CW from Irondale

    I think the Catholic church should worry more about those who CAN'T get pregnant - like little boys their priests have molested. People will use birth control if they can afford it, whether their insurance companies cover it or not - and they will get abortions regardless. You cannot legislate one group's brand of morality and impose it on others. I used to be catholic before it was revealed that the rumors were true and there were so many perverts in the priesthood. When I was catholic, I took the pill, used an IUD and never felt hellbound for it. If the Supreme court deprives others of birth control because old men in black habits don't like it, they are stepping all over the civil rights of non-Catholics.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  124. cardell

    there won't be any damage to president obama...you would think the catholic church would want every one of their members to have the options as every other citizen has...and leave it to their commitment to catholicism to do what is right....they complain about the mandate in the healthcare law...they're are mandating also...perhaps the priests want a larger pool to pick from..

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  125. Buzz in West Virginia

    Jack, this is just one more example of how out of touch the Catholic Church hierarchy is with today's commonly accepted values. Sure, the mandatory part was an oops on Obama's part, but the Church comes off as desperate and panicky, always a sign of an institution in major decline.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  126. Name*tom

    Is this the same Catholic church that hid sex abuse for years against its young only to address it after being caught. This why there is seperation of church and state, the unfortunate thing in American politics is so many politicians practice Catholisim.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  127. Richard in Costa Rica

    How damaging, and for whom? Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong, even it it comes in the cloak of good ole' boy organized religion. I think the Catholic Church will bury itself with its complaints about this issue. Every hea of a Pope going on tv to denouce pederasty/pedophilia in the Church? We live in a diversified society and that means fair and equal rights for everyone, regardless of one's own views, values, or strangleholds on society. The archaic power elite and dinosaurs are losing their powers. 98% of Catholic women either believe in or use contraception. Big Clue, Jack, REALLY BIG!!!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  128. John, PA

    The lawsuit is just another challenge for this president; a president who has a long list and legacy of failures. The job market is a challenge, the housing market is a challenge, unemployment is a challenge and the massive debt; 5 trillion dollars in three and a half years accumulated is a challenge Mr. Obama cannot overcome. The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  129. Sandy in Easton, PA

    I'm tired of religious entities holding us captive, and, by the way, how is it that so many religious folks use birth control seven days a week but pretend they don't on Sundays? It's time to take away their nonprofit status and look at them for what they are: corporations on the public dole. Gasp!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  130. Ali Sue

    Absolutely no damage for the incumbent. However the Church looks primitive and discriminatory.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  131. CL Davis

    Jack, I don't think it will hurt him at all....the Catholic Church cannot face reality...their women want and need birth control....the Catholic Church lost its respect with me when it refused to punish the ones who violated the young children in their churches....the ones guilty of that should all be in prison.....the president is just doing the job the church won't do....he's standing by the women to give them the help the church refuses to give.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  132. mark

    Jack, America used to be the leader of the world, why are you so far out of touch with the progressive free world, who cares about the churches views, fill the collection plate and carry on citizen nothing new here

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  133. carrie in alabama

    Jack , not very as far as I am concerned as a non catholic. I look at it as a bit hypocritical of Catholics . Mpst catholics that I know , used or have used birth control regardless of the church stance on this issue. Most catholics have sweep this issue under the rug long ago.. Kinda like the Baptist church in the south frowning on acohol (from the pulpit) but Baptists use it anyway. Most people decide for themselves what is best for them , be it birth cpntrol or sinful pursuits. Church is a guide for us to follow , but few do to the letter of its doctrines. We still are a free soceity.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  134. Rose Midwest

    PLEASE.....It won't hurt president Obama at all.
    I think if the calothics and Baptists don't want us to have birth control, then the federal govenment should not give them tax free status.
    Straight people need birth control. We don't need over an populated nation.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  135. Martin Dotcom

    You can't be serious Jack, The Cardinalss both here in the US and Rome are group of perverse woman hating, see Maureen Dowd's editorial, little boy loving freaks. They are creditable with only their blindly loyal adherents. Philadelphia, just another confirmation of their depravity and 80+ % of Catholic couples using bith control reveals how out of touch they are

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  136. Betty from Iowa

    If the Catholic church or any other church in America want to play politics, they should be taxed.
    The Catholic church has already declared War on women--so it is no surprise that they are after Obama on this health issue. Maybe the Catholic women should protest men's health care. Catholic women are being treated like the women in Afghanstan by the Taliban. Could be the Bishops will find the church pews filled with men only.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  137. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    It won't hurt the Pres, because people who vote for Obama are mostly for a womens' reproductive rights. What bothers me is how the Catholic Church thinks it can impose its religious mentality on people it hires under state and federal labor laws. They're acting like their "religious freedom" should outweigh anyone else's. If the Catholic church ever wins any of these lawsuits, they should be prepared from a thousand lawsuits the non-Catholics who feel their rights have been trampled.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  138. tori M

    I do wish the Catholic church would not try to force legislation, Few people have any interest in reducing the advances of science. In my family, women typically died in childbirth before birth control became reliable. Regulating births allowed my family to gain adult women. Enough said.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  139. Roberta Kovacic

    The Catholic Church's lawsuit against Obama's health care law should not be a serious challenge. After all, does the Church's current health care policy prevent SINGLE, UNMARRIED men from filling prescriptions for Viagra? If it does, then they have been violating their priniciples for a long time already.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  140. Bill Pinkus

    Jack, who cares if its damaging or not to his campaign. What I care about is how much is this costing all of us. If he loses the lawsuit and the sumpreme court cases then his campaign should have to repay the american taxpayer for all sssociated costs. His mouth needs to stop writing checks that you and I have to pay for.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  141. Mark in VA

    This is a political non-issue. I know it is endlessly fascinating for the media, but this is strictly about internal Catholic politics. The Obama administration is actually on the side of the majority of Catholics, and the hierarchy is not happy about that, so they would not be satisfied with any compromise on this issue. The real issue is simple. The only religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution is individual religious liberty, not organizational liberty. The church is free to set up any service organizations it likes, but it is the employees of those organizations who have the right not to have their employer's religious views enforced on them.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  142. Yuri from florida

    If anything Jack, I think Obama's administration needs to counter sue catholic church in USA. Catholic church is denying medical coverage to women which in itself violates some sort of discrimination law I am sure. When constitution was drafted it was determined that freedom of religion should be noted in the first amendment. Unfortunately Christians in this country have a puzzling misconception of what that line says. Freedom of religion implies that you are free to believe or disbelieve in a god. Any god really. But any god is not recognized by this country.. only christian god. I think what is happening Jack is that Christianity is losing its stronghold as more people abandon church. Church in turn is doing everything it can to stay in power, even if that means discriminating against women and denying them health coverage that they deserve.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  143. jbenskin

    I wouldn't think it would hurt Obama too much since liberals claim to be intellectuals and are too smart to believe in some mythical, higher power that us old fashion conservatives call God

    May 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  144. three

    Catholic leaders are the biggest hypocrites in the universe. They have acute interests in sexual matters. They should be investigated for those mysterious births occurring behind the scenes in their Convents. Also, aren’t they still on the hot seat for raping Altar Boys and other illegal activities? Let’s examine what their leaders stand on same sex marriage. Let’s talk about that.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  145. Pat Manders, Oconomowoc, WI

    The same Church that can't see the relationship between the celibacy and pedophilia now thinks it can influence a national election. Gimme a break.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  146. Larry Trickel

    Just another example of suits against Obamacare. However this one will be decided in a lower court since it is so obviously a violation of religion freedom. Just look at recent Supreme Court decisions.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  147. Conor in Chicago

    Religious liberty? Are they serious? Oh, ok. Hey guys, I am pacifist who thinks paying taxes is a sin so I guess you don’t get to draft me or tax me. Some guy in the clouds spoke to me and told me I am special so I get an exemption from these rules. Oh, I also run a Hindu temple so I am going to refuse to pay for my employees cholesterol medication because eating meat, which is forbidden by Hinduism, is the primary cause of high cholesterol. Nonsense.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  148. Alex

    Great, so let's all kowtow to ignorance and do what the religious con men / pedophiles say. The Catholic church has no right to dictate anything to the US Government. If they want to try, then they are welcome to give up their tax free status and pay up, like everyone else.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  149. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    If the Catholic Church does not wish to follow the rules of business then they should stay out of business, and mind their own business. The imperious conduct of the church does not hurt Obama at all. It makes him a martyr to all that are fed up with the pride and curruption of the clergy.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  150. John

    Jack, not at all. The church recruits from birth; therefore, birth control is a threat to the church's capital-pipeline. Also, religious institutions employing hundreds if not thousands should be treated as any non-religious institution. The U.S. needs jobs. How many non-religious people work in religious institutions? Jack, it’s a job.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  151. Justice

    It will have a 5% negative effect on the President. The Catholic Church is bias: no gays, no birth control, no women priest, priest can't marry. But the Catholic Church will cover-up priest having sex with boys. Are they gay? (looks like do as I say, don't do as I do).

    May 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  152. Larry Trickel

    Amazing. The majority of the "comments" attack the Catholic Church. The focus of the suit is on the Constitutionality of the law. Courts are responsible for this determination. So far President Obama isn't having much success in the courts. The worse is yet to come in June of this year.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  153. ron breeding

    With all the scandles in the past & present the church does not need to be excited about this .They are coming across as a joke .

    May 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  154. Steven Bissell

    Let me get this straight; the Catholic Church has paid as much as US$600,000,000 to victims of sexual abuse by Priests and other Church employees but objects to paying for birth control? And now the Catholic Church is suing on 'moral' grounds? Give me a break!

    May 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  155. Flower girl

    It won't hurt Obama. If the Catholic or any other church don't like what is happening then shut up and stop the tax free status that you all want. That just makes people pay extra taxes for you and you sue our Government against birth control. We pay for you and you are sueing us for the thing that we want.
    The Pope does not even live in America, why does he have a say in anything? Imagine if Karzi/ Afghanistan, had a suit against us, how far would that fly with the Republicans and Catholics?

    May 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  156. Craig in Washington

    Freedom of religion in the U.S. has long been held to protect the individual’s right to choose their own religion and live their life according to their own religious values. To not be forced to live their lives according to the religious dictates of any government or institution no matter how rich or powerful that institution may be or how capable it is of exerting economic oppression. No employer owns its employees in this country, thus has no right to dictate what religious values its employees live by. Any organization that is unwilling to give its employees the right to choose their own valid medical treatments based on that employees religious values should not be operating as an employer in the U.S. If the Catholic Church insists on using financial or other coercion to deprive its employees of religious freedom it should withdraw as an employer from any field that is serviced by legitimate enterprises in this country. They should not be allowed to compete against businesses that will support those religious liberties.

    The U.S. has a higher death rate among mothers giving birth than 49 other countries in the world. No American woman should have her religious freedom suppressed and her life endangered because a man in Rome believes he talked to God and was told women are meant to be baby machines. The modern Catholic Church in the U.S. seems intent on becoming the same enemy of religious freedom here that it was in the Old Europe our forefathers fled.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |