A new poll of likely Catholic voters found that most believe religious charitable organizations should be free from government coercion in providing services in line with their religious beliefs.
Ashley McGuire, senior fellow at The Catholic Association, said the survey “shows a large majority of Catholics believe the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate goes too far and infringes on religious freedom.”
“It is also telling from this survey that Catholics see God, not government, as the centerpiece of American culture,” she added.
The findings of the poll were released Sept. 10 by The Catholic Association, which seeks to bring “a faithful Catholic voice” into the public square. The group commissioned Magellan Strategies to conduct a survey of 2600 Catholics who are likely to vote in the November election.
The poll, which was conducted Aug. 19-21, asked respondents about their views on several important issues in this election year.
Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents said that “Our rights come from nature and God, not government.”
Furthermore, 57 percent agreed that “The Obama Administration has gone too far in placing restrictions on religious freedom when implementing their programs and policies.”
Sixty-six percent of survey participants believed that “Religious charitable institutions should not be forced by the government to provide or pay for goods and services they morally object to.”
This same percentage thought that “Catholics can disagree about the best way to serve the poor-for example, favoring private charity over government programs – without being 'bad' Catholics.”
In addition, 72 percent agreed that “America’s exploding federal debt hurts the poor the most.”
McGuire commented that the poll overwhelmingly shows Catholics as seeing “the exploding federal debt as a moral issue” that has “a negative impact on the poor and the common good.”
“Most of these numbers are even more dramatic among regular Mass-attending Catholics,” she added.
Of survey respondents who regularly attend Mass, 86 said that rights come from nature and God rather than government.
In addition, 72 percent thought that religious charitable institutions should not be subject to government coercion in facilitating things to which they morally object, and 67 percent believed the current administration has overreached in restricting religious freedom.
Furthermore, seventy-one percent of Catholics who regularly attend Mass shared the view that the debt harms the poor the most and that Catholics can disagree about how to serve the poor without being “bad Catholics.”
McGuire told EWTN News that “Catholics are bound to have an impact on this election.”
She explained that “while Catholics helped carry Obama to victory in 2008, our numbers show that the majority of Catholics think he has gone too far with his policies when it comes to religious freedom.”
“That will surely hurt him on election day,” she said.