US Catholics grown more skeptical of Obama on religious-freedom issue
A new survey shows a “noticeable shift” in the opinions of American Catholics regarding the Obama administration’s position on religious freedom.
Apparently as a result of the clash between the White House and the US bishops’ conference on the mandate for contraceptive coverage in health-insurance programs, the number of Catholics who see the Obama administration has unfriendly toward religious freedom has jumped from 15% in August 2009 to 25% in March 2012.
However most Americans continued to say that the Obama administration is either friendly toward religion (42%) or neutral (25%), the poll showed. Evangelical Protestants and Republicans were most likely to fault the administration for hostility toward religious freedom.
The Pew Forum survey also found that many Americans are uncomfortable with religious influence in political affairs. Liberal Democrats in particular were likely to complain over the influence wielded by religious conservatives. The Pew Forum detected “signs of public uneasiness with the mixing of religion and politics.” Interestingly, young respondents were most likely to be comfortable with religious influence, with 50%--more than in other age groups—saying that church leaders should be free to engage in political debate.