President Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame on Sunday has drawn national attention over the intensity of anti-abortion activists’ dissent.
Those dissenters, however, are in a distinct minority among Catholics and the population at large.
Sixty percent of Catholic voters are supportive of the President’s appearance at the nation’s bellwether Catholic university on Sunday, according to a national poll released yesterday by Quinnipiac University.
The sample size of roughly 2,000 people revealed a larger degree of support for Obama amongst Catholic voters depending on church attendance. Weekly or more frequent church attendees support Obama by a 49-43 margin. For infrequent attendees, Obama enjoys broad support by a 70-26 margin.
Protestants surveyed are more critical of Obama’s pro-choice positions, although there is still majority approval – albeit slight – amongst white evangelicals.
The survey also addresses abortion issues in general, asserting that the majority of Catholics fall within majority U.S. opinions.
“What is interesting and often forgotten about the abortion issue is that despite church teachings, Roman Catholics’ views on abortion are pretty much the same as all Americans on the issue,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.”As in many cases, the opposition to the President’s invitation to Notre Dame comes from more outspoken members of the Catholic community, but does not represent the overall view of Catholics.”
It also won’t – and shouldn’t – limit the rights for Christians and non-Christians alike on both sides of the debate to speak their minds.