Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
As reported already in the National Catholic Register, the Blunt amendment has done down to defeat in the US Senate largely on party lines with 51 Senators (mostly Democrats) voting against religious liberty an 48 Senators voting for a return to the status quo.
But to say the vote broke down along party lines does not paint a complete picture. This has been painted by the media as a Catholic issue because the contraception mandate is mainly directed against and primarily impacts Catholic institutions. But the fight for religious liberty is not just a Catholic one. Senator Blunt himself is a Baptist. Those standing up for religious liberty included many Senators who voted for these protections were not Catholic.
Baptists voting for conscience protections include Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John McCain (R-Arizona), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).
The only Baptist voting against religious liberty was Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas).
Methodists who voted for liberty include Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
Methodists voting against religious liberty include Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico).
So as can be seen, the large majority of Baptists and Methodists in the Senate voted for religious liberty. The same cannot be said about Catholics in the Senate.
Catholics who voted for Freedom include Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pennsylvania), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), David Vitter (R-Louisiana),Susan Collins (R-Maine),John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska),Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
Catholics voting against were Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), Patty Murray (D-Washington), and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).
If you do the math 11 Catholics in the Senate voted for conscience protections and 13 voted against. A majority of the Catholics in the Senate voted against conscience protections for their Church institutions and the religious liberty of all Americans.
Catholics defeated the Blunt amendment.