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The faith factor: Religious liberty is GOP mom's big issue

Faith and religious liberty is a big factor in GOP mom Rosemary McDonough's politics, even if she's not in lock step with all church teaching.

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Rosemary McDonough is as cheerful of disposition as they come, but sometimes she feels a little under siege. She's a mannerly Republican surrounded by often-opinionated liberals: She's a family-minded columnist in her left-leaning local paper. She's a conservative volunteer amid many with a social justice bent.

Married for 32 years and the mother of two nearly grown children, Ms. McDonough has had a long career as an academic fundraiser. She graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and got her master's degree at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. She's a lifelong Roman Catholic who goes to mass and attends a weekly Bible study. From time to time, she takes an online theology course from Boston College. And even when her faith has seemed to fail her, she's dealt with it by ducking into church, empty at midweek, to clear the way in life's static for God.

Early in her marriage, as she and her husband got on their feet financially, she used birth control, knowingly breaking with church teaching. But that has no bearing on her opinion of the Obama administration's birth control insurance mandate – she vehemently opposes it.

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