October 10th, 2011
04:32 PM ET

Straddling the line between church and politics in 2012 GOP race

By Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union"

Washington (CNN) - Thomas Jefferson famously wrote about the wall of separation between church and state. He didn't mention separating church and politics, but everybody knows it's a sticky wicket.

On Friday, Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister, introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at at a gathering of social conservatives, calling Perry a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, as opposed to another candidate Jeffress could and did mention in a later interview.

"I think Mitt Romney is a good, moral man, but I think those of us who are born-again followers of Christ should always prefer a competent Christian to a competent non-Christian like Mitt Romney," Jeffress told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Romney is a Mormon and he has passed this way before: Four years ago, the first time he ran for president, he made a speech to address concerns, rumors, and political analysis of his religion in a speech.

"I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right, so be it."

Read the full story here.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Content Partner • TV-State of the Union

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