Voters are split mostly along party lines regarding how genuinely “religious” President Joe Biden actually is despite his professed Roman Catholic faith, according to the results of a recent poll released last week.
The Pew Research Center asked 12,055 Americans between March 1 and March 7 their views on a wide range of questions about the religious faith of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Biden’s faith especially has been a point of contention as several high-ranking Catholic clergy have called for the Church to discipline him for his abortion views by denying him Holy Communion.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents were able to correctly identify that Biden is a Roman Catholic. He is only the second Catholic president, after former President John F. Kennedy. Thirty-one percent were unsure of his faith, while 6% identified him as Protestant, 3% said he was atheist, and 1% said he adheres to an “other religion” not listed. An additional 1% said his religion is “something else.”
Two-thirds of those polled, by contrast, were unable to name Harris’ religion, with just 12% correctly naming the self-identified Baptist as a Protestant. Harris’ faith became a flashpoint during her vice presidential debate with former Vice President Mike Pence, who pointed out how she attacked Judge Brian Buescher during his 2018 confirmation for being a member of the Catholic Knights of Columbus, which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.
“Joe Biden and I are both people of faith, and it’s insulting to suggest that we would knock anyone for their faith,” Harris scolded in response.
The rest of the survey is largely divided along party lines. As Pew reported:
Even among Biden’s fellow Catholics, partisanship permeates views of Biden’s religion. Nine-in-ten Democratic and Democratic-leaning Catholics say they think Biden is at least somewhat religious, including half who say he is “very” religious. Among Republican and Republican-leaning Catholics, by contrast, a 56% majority say Biden is “not too” or “not at all” religious. And while eight-in-ten Catholic Democrats say they think Biden discusses his faith “about the right amount,” barely half as many Catholic Republicans say the same (42%).
The Catholics polled regarding whether Biden should be denied Communion because of his abortion views also split according to party, with 55% of Republican-leaning Catholics in favor of withholding the sacrament, and nine-in-10 Catholic Democrats opposed to such a disciplinary measure.
In an interview published last month in The Atlantic, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann called Biden’s abortion stance “a point of confusion” that is at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Naumann said in part:
If a non-Catholic Christian wants to enter into full communion with the Church, they’re asked to make a profession where they say, “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” Each time we receive the Eucharist, we’re also saying that profession. That’s why it becomes a point of confusion. Obviously, the president doesn’t believe what we believe about the sacredness of human life, or he wouldn’t be taking the actions that he is. And yet, he continues to receive the Eucharist. We can’t judge his heart. But we consider the action itself a grave moral evil.
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