How Catholic Is Capitol Hill?

Catholics in Congress are at an all-time high, but the majority are pro-abortion Democrats

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. • ChurchMilitant • January 4, 2017

WASHINGTON – A new poll shows that while the number of U.S. congressmen who identify as Catholic is at an all-time high, the majority of these are members of the pro-abortion Democratic Party.

The Pew Research Center released a study Tuesday, January 3 — the same day the 115th Congress was sworn into office — revealing 31 percent of lawmakers claim to be Catholic. This is the highest concentration of Catholics on Capitol Hill since 1961, when such records were first available.

Of the 144 congressmen who profess to be Catholic in the U.S. House of Representatives, 74 belong to the Democratic Party, while only 70 are members of the pro-life Republican Party. The same study showed that of the 24 senators who claim Catholic affiliation, 15 are Democrats and nine are Republicans.

As the new Congress is sworn in every two years, Pew puts out a report tracking the religious composition of the legislators. They found that about the same percent of the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators of this year’s 115th Congress claimed to be Christian, as did back in 1961 with the 87th Congress.

While the overall percentage of generic Christian affiliation in Congress has dropped only slightly in 50 years, the bigger shift is from Protestant to Catholic. In 1961, 95 percent of U.S. congressmen were Christian as compared to 91 percent today. The big difference is that in 1961, 75 percent of those Christians claimed some sort of Protestant affiliation, while only 19 percent were Catholic. Today, 31 percent of Christians in the federal Congress claim to be Catholic, while Protestant affiliation has fallen to 56 percent.

Pew also pointed out the religious disparity between electors and the elected. While 91 percent of legislators on Capitol Hill claim some Christian affiliation, only 71 percent of adults in the country do so. The most underrepresented religious group of the electorate were the so-called “nones,” who claim not to have any religious affiliation whatsoever. The study showed that while only 0.2 percent of U.S. representatives and senators profess no religious affiliation, a whopping 23 percent of voters identify as “nones.”

The study further reveals that Republicans tend to be Christian more so than Democrats. All of the Republicans elected to the 115th Congress were Christians except for two. Only 80 percent of Democrats now serving as U.S. senators or representatives identify as Christian. The other religious affiliations claimed by federal legislators included Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Unaffiliated or Nones.

The Democratic Party, also called the Party of Death for its stance on abortion and euthanasia, is seriously at odds with Catholic morals on several issues, including abortion, assisted suicide, so-called same-sex marriage, transgender identity and forcing employers to provide employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives. The Republican Party is in line with Catholic moral teaching on these and many other issues, as iterated by its 2016 GOP platform.

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  1. I wonder how many Senators and Congressmen could pass a pre-V2 college exam on either moral or sacramental theology?

    I’ve seen the appellation “Catholic” used too frequently as voter bait to have much hope for all but a handful of members of either house.

  2. No news here. The “How Catholic” question of the day is currently centered in Rome, Mikey.

    Rome? Oops. Sorry. Nothing to see. Move along…

  3. Quote: “A new poll shows that while the number of U.S. congressmen who identify as Catholic is at an all-time high, the majority of these are members of the pro-abortion Democratic Party.”

    Obviously there are some aspects of a Bell Curve here and “sin makes people stupid.” But it must also have something to do with Vatican II and American culture. It would be interesting to know how the stats for Catholics compare with Protestant denominations (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, etc.). It would also be useful to poll fake Catholic politician who are pro-abortion to see how many claim a “personally opposed, but” position and what their reasons are for their position. The vast majority of nominal Catholics in the U.S. today have received very little adult-level education in Catholic philosophy, theology, and ethical reasoning. Even at many of the older Catholic colleges and universities, orthodox, pro-life Catholics tend to be in the minority on the faculties. Why does the USCCB do so little to address this? Why does Joe Biden still walk around telling people that he is prohibited and prevented from being pro-life politically due to the secular humanist urban legend of “Separation of Church and State” while his bishop does not inform him that the Church’s teaching on abortion is not a revealed article of faith but a rational conclusion of natural law philosophy, common sense, reason, and direct observation well within the capacity of any rational human being to grasp and understand? This has something to do with the way Catholic teaching has been taught, creating the anti-intellectual impression that Catholic moral teachings are non-rational and based only on faith (i.e., fideism). Only an uneducated person who has never studied Catholic teaching thinks that the Church’s teaching on abortion contradicts reason, as Biden apparently does. But why do the bishops not correct him PUBLICLY? That’s a spiritual problem with the progressive modernists who run the USCCB for the Democrats. Abortion was illegal when the U.S. was a predominantly Protestant nation. Was that because Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, and Episcopalians were overwhelmed by exclusively Roman Catholic articles of faith? Duh.

    Why is this never clarified with public corrections of pro-abortion Catholic politicians by the bishops of the USCCB? To understand that abortion is morally evil does not require a leap of faith. The murder of adult human beings is also considered morally evil by Catholic moral teaching. Do the laws regulating that violate Separation of Church and State because they agree with Catholic teaching?

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