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Catholic Voters Cool to President's New Outreach to Religious Voters

Even though the Catholic vote helped to propel President Barack Obama into office in 2008, three years of anti-life and anti-family policies decisions combined with his open disdain for the principles of religious liberty has resulted in a chilly response to the president's new outreach to religious voters.

According to the Family Research Center, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced this week the hiring of Rev. Derrick Harkins to lead the party's outreach to evangelicals and the "progressive faith community" in order to win back a vital voting block that has soured on the president.

"In 2008, President Obama built an unprecedented religious outreach operation. We saw gains with Catholics, evangelicals, mainline Protestants and other communities of faith," said Patrick Gaspard, executive directive of the DNC. "The hire of Rev. Harkins to lead our efforts here at the DNC should be a clear sign to everyone that Democrats will be making our case to voters motivated by their faith and values in 2012.”

But winning back those votes won't come easy.

Catholics are particularly outraged by Obama's positions, so much so that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) took the unusual step of establishing an Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty just to fight the programs of this White House. As the FRC points out, this committee is aimed at fighting the constant promotion of taxpayer funded abortion by this administration as well as assaults on conscience rights, the administration's failure to defend DOMA, religious discrimination in government funding decisions, mandated coverage of contraception and sterilization under ObamaCare, same-sex "weddings" on military bases, etc.

"I have offered to meet with the President..." Archbishop Timothy Dolan said, "and impress upon him the dire nature of these actions by government." The White House never responded to his request.

Evangelicals are just as upset with the president. In what is being viewed as a desperate attempt to woo back the evangelical vote, the president met with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) for the first time last week, but never brought up the subjects that mattered most to them, such as abortion.

"No wonder this President has a 94 percent unfavorability rating with Evangelicals!" writes FRC president Tony Perkins. "If the White House thinks it can erase 34 months of hostile policy with a 30-minute photo op, they're grossly mistaken."

Calling the latest outreach a "courtship of convenience," Perkins points out the kind of uphill battle the president is facing in this latest effort. A Barna Research Survey conducted earlier this year shows that President Obama has only a six percent favorability rating among evangelicals. A more recent Quinnipiac survey reports that the President has only a 39 percent favorability rating among Catholics.

"This is a President who speaks little of freedom of religion; and instead says it is freedom of worship that our government defends," Perkins said. "He acknowledges the right to worship for an hour or two on Sundays, but fails to defend the right to live out life according to the dictates of one's orthodox faith. This is a radical departure from our nation's history, one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional and limited."

He cited some of the more egregious examples of the Obama Administrations radical policies on life, religious liberty and marriage include:

* Ignoring basic conscience rights protections, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that Belmont Abbey College, a Roman-Catholic institution, must provide insurance coverage for abortion and contraceptives.

* The Obama administration has worked to overturn other countries' pro-life laws.

* President Obama has issued executive orders that erode conscience protections for healthcare providers, use taxpayer dollars to fund foreign abortion organizations, and use taxpayer dollars for experiments that encourage human embryo destruction.

* President Obama has supported the restoration of funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in spite of the program's poor human rights record and support for China's coercive abortion policy.

* Obamacare bypasses the long standing policy of the Hyde amendment by directly spending money on new programs without any abortion funding restriction and creates tax subsidies for plans with abortion.

* President Obama and his U.S. Justice Department abdicated its responsibility by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The Obama administration routinely ignores and undermines DOMA such as allowing same-sex 'weddings' to be conducted on military bases, and by military chaplains.

The FRC is planning a nationwide Values Voters bus tour that will encourage Americans to elect a president who will help make America militarily strong and secure, economically prosperous and free, and socially healthy and virtuous.

Perkins concluded: "The DNC and the President may hope this effort will reverse his falling poll numbers among religious voters, but I predict that as the fruit of this administration is examined by Christian voters, the President will find little support."

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