Catholics up in new Congress

Protestants, Jews down
Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard

The following comes from a PewForum analysis on January 2.

The new, 113th Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate, the first Hindu to serve in either chamber and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none,” continuing a gradual increase in religious diversity that mirrors trends in the country as a whole. While Congress remains majority Protestant, the institution is far less so today than it was 50 years ago, when nearly three-quarters of the members belonged to Protestant denominations.

Catholics have seen the biggest gains among the 533 members who are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3.Catholics picked up seven seats, for a total of 163, raising their share to just over 30%. Protestants and Jews experienced the biggest declines in numerical terms. Jews now hold 33 seats (6%), six fewer than in the 112th Congress, where Jews held 39 seats (7%). Protestants lost eight seats, though they continue to occupy about the same proportion of seats (56%) as in the 112th Congress (57%).

Hank Johnson

Hank Johnson

In addition, the Protestant share of each political party in the new Congress is about the same as in the 112th; roughly seven-in-ten Republicans are Protestants, compared with fewer than half of Democrats. However, the members sworn in for the first time in 2013 are less Protestant than the group that entered in 2011; 48% are Protestant, compared with 59% of the previous freshmen.

Mormons continue to hold 15 seats (about 3%), the same as in the previous Congress.

Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Mormons each make up a greater percentage of the members of Congress than of all U.S. adults. The same is true for some subgroups of Protestants, such as Episcopalians and Presbyterians. By contrast, Pentecostals are a much smaller percentage of Congress than of the general public. Due in part to electoral gains in recent years, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus now are represented in Congress in closer proportion to their numbers in the U.S. adult population. But some small religious groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are not represented at all in Congress….

Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who has served on the Honolulu City Council and in the Hawaii state legislature, represents Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Gabbard takes over the seat held in the 112th Congress by Rep. Mazie K. Hirono (D), who on Nov. 6, 2012, became the first Buddhist elected to the Senate.

In 2006, Hirono and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) became the first Buddhists to be elected to the House. Four years later, they were joined by a third Buddhist member, Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii). Johnson and Hanabusa were re-elected to serve in the 113th Congress.

The first Muslim to serve in either the House or the Senate, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), was elected in 2006. Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) became the second Muslim in Congress when he won a special election in 2008. In 2012, Michigan Democrat Syed Taj lost his bid to become the third Muslim member of Congress. Ellison and Carson were re-elected….

To read the entire analysis, click here.


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  1. Clinton R. says:

    “Catholics have seen the biggest gains among the 533 members who are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3.Catholics picked up seven seats, for a total of 163…”

    Oh boy, with all these Catholics in Congress, for sure we’ll see laws that are consistent with Catholic teaching, right?

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Please see the First Amendment.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        More secular Catholics you mean. More lukewarm and more liberal laws coming our way.

      • YFC, please see the Second Amendment which guarantees the First Amendment. Then go to Wikipedia and look up The Battle of Athens. After reading that, if you still fail to comprehend, then find a way to repair your mind …say a year in a monastic cell.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        Please see the Catechism of the Catholic Church!

        Please stop calling yourself “Fellow Catholic”, your supposed Catholicism has NOTHING in common with the Catholicism I love and practice!

        Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      That depends on how you define “Catholic”!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  2. There are 163 Catholics in Congress, good, but the number alone is is not what is important. One of those Catholics is Nancy Pelosi, another is Loretta Sanchez, both from California. They do not vote as faithful Catholics. Pelosi, when speaker of the House, bulldozed Obamacare into law. That’s the healthcare law which demands that Catholic institutions provide employees with health insurance that covers abortion, contraception, sterilization and the morning-after pill.

    • The only actually faithful Catholic in Congress I’ve ever heard of is Chris Smith from NJ. If there are others, then why the ultra low profile on them?

      • Chris Smith of New Jersey is a kind, compassionate, faithful Catholic if there ever was one, and a hard worker too. He does a lot for children with autism and is not a warmonger. He does not seem to feel the need to drag us into every war someone else wants us to fight, except the “war” against abortion.

    • Give her a break…. isn’t Pelosi the one who said she hadn’t read the bill before she voted for it? How could we even dream of holding her accountable for supporting something she had not (and most likely has still not) read…

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Pelosi does not need a break, every time we give her a break, she continues to suppress those of faith convictions. So no, sorry no break for her!

      • You have to ask yourself, was Pelosi taught reading in Catholic schools or public schools. And then you have to ask whether she has five empty chambers or all six.

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      The word Catholic is meaningless. Joe Biden is a Catholic. So are/were all the Kennedy’s. Let’s see how all those Catholics vote.

  3. It does not matter what religion people state – if they are heretics and/or schismatics to that Faith.

    Every Catholic member of Congress must have read/studied the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.

    Those who CONTINUE to defy Church teaching and cause SCANDAL should be publically excommunicted “ab homine”.
    * * * * * Bishops do your own job – Save Souls from being lost due to scandal, relativism, and secularism.

    Instead of being involved in politics, every Diocese Bishop should be requiring all the Religious in their Diocese to study the CCC in entirety;
    and encourage all literate persons over age 16 to read the CCC.

    Has your Diocese scheduled lectures on the CCC and Vatican II so that you may be eligable for a plenary indulgence in this Year of Faith ?
    In not, on the internet go to:
    “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” , then click on ‘Year of Faith’.
    Afterward call your Bishop and ask when and where he is scheduling this. (Also mention this to your Parish Priest.)

    (The USCCB has the CCC available in many languages. There are no excuses.
    Teens aged 16 and under should read the “Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church”, and those between the ages of 11 and 16 should study YOUCAT.
    Parents you are responsibile for the religious education of your children and will be judged by God accordingly.)

    • OSCAR, nice plan, but you’re overlooking one small thing, maybe they do not want to read the CCC or any other Catholic instructive document.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai is right or if they read it, they mock it, just like those who have bibles at home but never care to open them. But I do appreciate OSCAR for always encouraging others to read them. We do need to continue to encourage and we need to continue to persevere to teach them not only through reading but also how we live our lives.

        BUT it must always begin with us….before we preach, we must first begin with self.

      • All Priests are ordained by a Bishop.
        CCC # 1576 “….. priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him.
        The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience. ”
        Even if they don’t want to read the CCC – they must do so if ordered.

        This gets back to each Bishop using appropriate discipline in his Diocese, or Order. Defiant Priests can have their Priestly duties suspended. If every Priest did whatever he pleased there would be no unity or order in the Mass, other sacraments, or anything else – including teaching the Truth of our Faith.

        Abeca, you are right that it begins with each of us.
        I have read the CCC from cover to cover. Sometime this year, EWTN will have a new program on the CCC as well.
        Due to our responsibility when writing in this public media and the section in the CCC regarding ‘use of the media’, everyone writing who is Catholic should have already read the CCC and continue to use it as a frequent reference.

  4. St. Christopher says:

    These statistics are meaningless, except to Satan. He delights in knowing, as will certainly be the case, that many Catholics are non-practising and, even if self-described as “faithful,” are very likely to be Democrats. This means that these “Catholics” in Congress will be voting for abortion, for homsexual rights, and for other moral debasements. And, of course, where are the bishops in all this? Cheering for the success of Obama, for abortion providers, for homosexual rights advocates, all of that. Not so expressly, of course, but the dig does not need to go deep to see the true “blue” color here. Congress has become a killing field, with about $542MM going out to Planned Parenthood, based on very recent numbers. Does anyone see a difference here and what Nazi Germany did, with all its laws, process and the like, that sent millions of Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, and others to concentration camps (all very legally, of course)? The true tragedy in all this is that the Holy Innocents are killed by their own mothers, and the Church in America — lead by its bishops — does so very little to stop it. Congress, Ds and Rs, are there, too, all chatting up the lies of “health care” benefits provided by Planned Parenthood, and others, making them worthy of Federal monies. Yes, Satan is clever all right. Welcome to Washington, D.C., the 113th Congress; more Catholics than ever on the Hill!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      It’s true, I agree St. Christopher….it kinda makes us look bad I would think. It means nothing if we continue to stray away from the faith.

  5. If you are a Catholic Democrat you are jeopardizing your soul. The Democrat party stands for abortion from conception to birth. It stands for the changing of marriage to include everything listed under GLBT spectrum. . It believes in teaching in all public schools that these people are right and good and that their activities should be protected. It believes that all employers except for a very narrowly defined exemption for religion must provide sterilizations and contraception for all employees.( When will sex change operations be included. ) It believes in embryonic stem cell research. There is more that is against the Life, the Way and the Truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Repent and get out of that party now or stay in and jeopardize your soul.

    • “If you are a Catholic Democrat you are jeopardizing your soul.”

      well, isn’t that special.

      i suppose THE ALMIGHTY is a registered republican now?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        max stop! Are you ignorant? Do you not know what the the Democrat platform is spreading? I would think you already knew through many news articles and comments from here.

        I don’t expect this life to get any better, your sarcasm is proof of that.

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


          I am sure you already know this, but max(with a small “c”) knows what the Demoncrat Platform says, he just doesn’t give a hoot!

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Mr. Fisher telling from his many comments I suppose you are correct to assume that he does not care. It’s sad, he is how many Catholics think today.

            “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

        • ABECA, of course i am ignorant — about many things.

          as are you — and KENNETH, and each person on this planet.

          we all know some things and are ignoratn of other things.

          however, to say something like “all democrats are going to burn in hell” is ridiculous. even communists in the old soviet union sometimes were good people. we are all a mix of good and bad.

          • Max, if you stay in a party that supports all of those anti life and you are jeopardizing your soul. Does Jesus want you support abortion, homosexual marriage, sterilizations and birth control? If the Republican party said in their platform that they were for these things then Republican Catholics would be jeopardizing their souls. You cannot sit idly by and be a member of Godless organizations. Do you remember that Democrats voted God out of their platform? Oh yes you can be personally against these issues, but not force others to feel the same way. Who are you and what do you believe in. Time is short and you must take a firm stand in your life or be rolled over by the Democrat progressive agenda, which is anti Catholic and anti life.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            max again you are avoiding the real issue..I didn’t say you were ignorant about many things..I only mentioned about the Democrat party…I’m sure you are not ignorant about their platform, which is very anti-God! Knowing about their platform and still supporting them…is not coming from a place of good will. Just saying.

      • Maryanne Leonard says:

        Max, this response is simply sophomoric sarcasm and does not address any of the points made. Therefore, an impartial thinker would award the debate to lisag. If you have factual points to make to contract the statements made, go ahead and make them, and we as readers will evaluate the content. If you simply want to argue on the level of reducing God to a silly level, your comments would be better left unmade as they are unworthy of successful debate and attempt to denigrate God and lisag while you’re at it – a very poor debating approach always.

      • max,
        The latest Democratic Platform clearly and strongly supports abortion for convenience, and supports Homosexual marriage.
        Jesus does not support either the murder of innocent babies, or sodomy.
        If Jesus had to vote today, I can guarantee he would not support the Party of Death.

        If you read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” at least you would not be ignorant of the Catholic Faith as you admit you are. There is no excuse for laziness in the literate USA.
        You must not take anything out of context in the CCC, and everything must be applied in entirety.

        Please go to the web site: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” for more info. At least watch the short video before you insert your foot again.

        CCC: ” 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility.
        This is the case when a man takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.
        In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. “

        • Abeca Christian says:

          max OSCAR is right, you have personal responsibility to be informed…as stated in the CCC and holy scripture.

  6. Maryanne Leonard says:

    You say you are a Catholic politician? May I see your voting record please?

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