First, this survey suffers from what I call the “Nonsmokers smoke Marlboros” problem. At the top of a survey, ask: “Are you a smoker or a nonsmoker?” and lots of people who smoke will self-identify as “nonsmokers.” Later, ask, “What brand of cigarettes do you smoke?” and they will say, “Definitely Marlboro Lights!” Ergo, nonsmokers smoke Marlboros.
The results are even more skewed if you ask people at the top of a survey what religion they are. People who have never darkened the door of a Catholic Church will happily mark “Catholic” on such a survey. The behavior they report will count for or against Catholics the same regardless of their actual contact with Catholicism.
This particular survey even admits that less than a third of its “Catholic” respondents even go to Mass once a week.
So, what do we know from the start: We aren’t dealing with practicing Catholics. In fact, a two-thirds majority of the Catholics in the survey are not eligible to receive communion, according to the U.S. bishops (see page 9), since they skip their Sunday obligation.
McGrew directs us to more problems, in the asterisk at the bottom. There we learn that the survey is: “Restricted to sexually active women who are not pregnant, post-partum, or trying to get pregnant.”
So think of who would be included and excluded from this study:
- Included: Unmarried teens and young women who sleep with their boyfriends.
- Excluded: Unmarried teens and young women who follow the Church’s teaching on chastity.
- Included: Married women who are actively avoiding pregnancy.
- Excluded: Married women who are not particularly watching whether they get pregnant or not.
- Included: Promiscuous party girls.
- Excluded: Nuns.
They got that by subtracting the 2% of NFP users in their chart from the 100% of respondents. But look at the chart. It says 11% are using “no method.” By my math, it should be at least 13% not using contraception.
The most shocking news, though, is that the White House is spreading false information about Catholicism in order to provide cover as it removes religious liberties for Catholic organizations.
White House: Retract this statement and correct the record. Stop misinforming the public about my religion for your purposes.