Most U.S. Catholics believe the church should focus more on social justice and the obligation to support the poor, even if it means focusing less on issues like abortion, according to a new poll released Monday by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.This will no doubt come as a shock to the Catholic bishops and their Republican puppets in Congress. After all, the Church and the GOP have worked together for most of this year to tell us how women's health care is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of humanity, right up there with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. That's why we've seen Republicans organize congressional panels so the bishops can come explain how Jesus dies all over again every time a woman takes a birth control pill. Or something like that.
The 2012 American Values Survey finding on Catholics goes against the focus of many U.S. Catholic bishops, who have been stressing the church's ban on abortion and artificial contraception in public policy statements. The poll found that 60 percent of Catholics believe in a greater focus on social justice issues rather than abortion, while 31 percent say the opposite.
For the better part of a year, we've watched the Republican Party, including Mitt Romney, accuse the president of waging a war on the Church and "religious liberty," all because of women's health care. We've seen hunger strikes, lawsuits, even calls for armed resistance—all, supposedly, in the name of protecting the nation's Catholics, who can't practice their faith freely as long as women can visit doctors. Or something like that.
Except American Catholics think their religious liberty is just fine, thank you very much, and they'd like to see a little less whining about vaginas and a little more focus on those things Jesus actually did talk about: the poor, the hungry, the sick, the weakest among us. You know, those people the Republicans have been trying to screw over. Those people the Ryan budget specifically targets because it's better to let a family starve than depend on government assistance, sayeth the Lord.
Because Republicans only care about what the Church says when it comes to restricting rights. When it comes to things actually mentioned in the Bible? Things, it turns out, American Catholics care a lot more about? Well, that's when, in the words of Paul Ryan, they "respectfully disagree."
Think it's time for the Catholic Church to stop focusing on lady parts and for Republicans to stop doing the Church's bidding? Then help send more, better women to Congress to fight for women instead of against them.