NYT/CBS Poll: Catholic Religious Leaders Out Of Touch

Today’s poll on President Obama and the economy also gauged voter’s take on two key religious “hot buttons”- and it turns out they’re not so hot:

Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym

Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym (Photo credit: laudu)

Despite the deep divide between some religious leaders and government officials over contraceptives, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found most voters support the new federal directive that health insurance plans provide coverage for birth control.

In addition, most voters said they favored some type of legal recognition for same-sex couples, at a time when the New Jersey Legislature is set to vote on gay marriage and after a federal appellate court ruled that Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage in California was unconstitutional.

A majority of Catholic voters in the poll were at odds with the church’s official stance, agreeing with most other voters that religiously affiliated employers should offer health insurance that provides contraception. Jennifer Davison, 38, a Catholic from Lomita, Calif., agrees with the federal requirement. “My opinion is that it is a personal issue rather than a religious issue,” she said in a follow-up interview.

Unlike Catholics, white evangelical Christian voters were more divided, with half objecting to requiring the health insurance plans of religious employers to cover contraceptives; 43 percent supported it. “It is a religious issue with me,” said Jessica Isner, 22, an evangelical Christian from Elkins, W. Va. “I believe that providing birth control is O.K. if the hospital is not religiously affiliated.”

Gay marriage is another debate in which the Catholic laity disagrees with church doctrine. More than two-thirds of Catholic voters supported some sort of legal recognition of gay couples’ relationships: 44 percent favored marriage, and 25 percent preferred civil unions. Twenty-four percent said gay couples should receive no legal recognition.

Click here for graphic of full poll results

TWO THIRDS. This is bearing out that the sensus fidelium (the sense of the faithful) is much more “common” (read ‘in touch’) than that of the magisterium. And the gap of common sense just seems to be getting wider….

 Read the complete NYT story here