The Catholic Association is taking to task a pro-Obama group for
an "incredibly intolerant" polling effort in Ohio, suggesting
Catholics should not support Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon.
A group calling itself "Catholics for Obama" is conducting
push-polling in The Buckeye State, attempting to make Romney's
Mormonism an issue. Obama supporters making phone calls on behalf
of the group have several Catholic organizations outraged about the
nature of the calls. In a scripted phone message, Catholics are
being asked: "How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in
Maureen Ferguson is senior policy advisor for The
"We're deeply concerned about it, but frankly not that surprised
given this president's abysmal record on religious liberty," says
Ferguson. "He has chosen to pick a fight with people of faith over
and over again in his administration. So it's very disappointing
and a very disturbing report."
Ferguson's group has described Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP
vice-presidential candidate, as a "smart, serious Catholic [who]
has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle - defending
religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage." Contrary to
what Catholics for Obama contend, Ferguson says many Catholics
support the Romney/Ryan ticket.
"This [polling by Catholics for Obama] is incredibly intolerant,
not to mention the fact that the Constitution prohibits any
religious test for office," says the senior policy advisor. "And
also just shocking in that it comes from a president who has done
nothing but try to divide people based on religious grounds."
An Obama campaign spokesperson issued the following statement to
U.S. News, which broke the story: "As a campaign, we have
made it unequivocally clear that a candidate's religion is out of
bounds. The activity that is being attributed to the Obama campaign
and our Catholics for Obama program is categorically false."
Stephen Schneck, professor of political science of The Catholic
University of America and director of the University's Institute
for Public Policy and Catholic Studies (IPC) and the acting dean of
social work, is a co-chairman for Catholics for Obama.