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Newt Gingrich’s faith journey: How a thrice-married Catholic became an evangelical darling
Newt Gingrich has spent time as a Lutheran, a Baptist and a Roman Catholic.
December 10th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Newt Gingrich’s faith journey: How a thrice-married Catholic became an evangelical darling

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

(CNN) - There’s an e-mail war raging among some of the nation’s leading evangelicals over whether Newt Gingrich has repented enough for his sins to be president.

One recent skirmish was set off by an open letter urging Gingrich to give a major speech confronting his perceived moral stumbles, including an affair with his third wife, Callista, while married to No. 2.

“You need to make it as clear as you possibly can that you deeply regret your past actions and that you do understand the anguish and suffering they caused others, including your former spouses,” Richard Land, public policy chief for the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote.

Land urged Gingrich to make a public promise “that there will be no moral scandals in a Gingrich White House.”

Rather than galvanizing the faithful, however, Land’s letter provoked an outcry from a handful of evangelical leaders who argued Gingrich has repented enough and deserves forgiveness.

On an e-mail thread among conservative Christian heavyweights, Jerry Falwell Jr. invoked the biblical story of a woman of ill repute who met Jesus at a well. Though the woman had been married five times, Jesus forgave her.

“The woman at the well was fortunate she encountered Jesus that day instead of some of our evangelical brethren,” the Liberty University president wrote, in an apparent swipe at Land.

On the same e-mail chain, which CNN obtained from a conservative activist, prominent Atlanta preacher Richard Lee said the nation’s evangelicals needed to support Gingrich.

Lee called Gingrich “the only forceful Christian candidate who can at this point be elected and cleanse the White House next November.”

The evangelical tussling over Gingrich says a lot about the fractured state of the Republican Party less than a month before the Iowa caucuses officially usher in the 2012 race for the White House.

The sight of influential evangelicals rallying around Gingrich, a Catholic with serious “values” baggage, speaks to the huge political vulnerability of Mitt Romney, who was the perceived GOP front-runner until recent polls put Gingrich at the front of the pack.

Gingrich speaking at the April 2011 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in D.C.

Whether because of Romney’s past liberalism on gay rights and abortion or because of his Mormon faith, many of the evangelical Christians who make up the Republican base just don’t like him.

They’ve been looking for an alternative, by turns telling pollsters of their support for Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain. One by one, they’ve dropped in the polls, or out of the race altogether. Now it’s Gingrich’s turn in the spotlight.

But the argument over Gingrich’s personal life also raises fundamental questions about the candidate himself and his readiness for the nation’s highest office.

Just how much has Gingrich changed since his days as a volatile and philandering House speaker? Does he have the character to be president? And, at least for many of the evangelical voters who will dominate the early primaries: Is he a true believer?

Faith by geography

Gingrich has identified with different branches of Christianity that mirror his surroundings at different stages of life.

Born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, an area settled by the largely Lutheran Pennsylvania Dutch, Gingrich was the son of a Lutheran mom and a Pennsylvania Dutch stepfather who adopted him.

Attending college at Atlanta’s Emory University and grad school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Gingrich became a Southern Baptist.

And as a creature of Washington, where Gingrich’s wife sings in a Catholic choir and where many prominent conservative Republicans have converted to Catholicism in the last decade, Gingrich joined the Catholic fold in 2009.

“I think that was all part of his pilgrimage,” says Ike Reighard, who was Gingrich’s pastor in Atlanta for nearly 20 years. “Whatever is the dominant religion in the region he was in, that was his progression... He was always super inquisitive, searching for deeper meaning.”

Gingrich’s stepdad was an army officer, making for a peripatetic family life that included stretches spent at military bases in Europe and at Fort Benning, Georgia, situated in the heart of the Bible Belt.

Gingrich, who declined interview requests for this story, was raised largely by his maternal grandmother, a devout Lutheran who, he has said, “taught me my most basic lessons about God and Satan.”

But Gingrich left his childhood denomination through an immersion baptism at the Saint Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans while at Tulane, where he was pursuing a Ph.D. in European history.

In a pattern that would last a lifetime, studying religion’s role in history and politics moved Gingrich to deepen his own faith.

Saint Charles Avenue’s pastor, G. Avery Lee, said Gingrich wasn’t a member of any church when the two first met.

“He said that in his study of political theory, he noted how much influence the church had had … and asked if I could explain,” Lee wrote in a 1994 letter to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, describing his first encounter with Gingrich.

Lee and Gingrich grew close, with the pastor eventually baptizing Gingrich even though his church took “a liberal approach to both theology and sociology.”

“It has been suggested by some that in baptizing him, I didn't hold him under long enough,” Wrote Lee, who died in 2009, in apparent reference to Gingrich’s conservative politics.

But Gingrich was more liberal back then, including on questions of separation of church and state.

“As a college student at Emory when the Supreme Court ruled that prayer was unconstitutional … I didn't notice it,” he said in a 2009 interview. “As a graduate student at Tulane I probably would have said it's a good decision.”

‘I don’t think his faith was the driving force’

After Tulane, Gingrich took a job as a history professor outside Atlanta and almost immediately began running for Congress, losing two races in the mid-’70s.

Around that time he joined New Hope Baptist Church, a 100-year old congregation south of Atlanta where Ike Reighard had recently arrived as the senior pastor.

“He had just lost for the second time and he came in and said, ‘I need your help,’” says Reighard. “I said, ‘What did you want to do in politics?’ He said he wanted to be speaker of the House.”

Gingrich won his next race for Congress in 1978. That year also marked the birth of the modern Christian Right.

The movement started in opposition to an Internal Revenue Service campaign under then-President Jimmy Carter to crack down on private schools resisting court-ordered desegregation.

Word of the campaign provoked fear and outrage among evangelical schools. Jerry Falwell joined the successful effort to thwart the IRS initiative and founded the Moral Majority the following year, in 1979. The group’s focus on fighting abortion and gay rights set the Christian Right agenda for decades to come.

Gingrich, for his part, was not considered part of the new wave of proud Christian Right warriors in Congress, some of whom were swept into power in 1980 on President Ronald Reagan’s coattails and enthusiastically blended their religious faith and politics.

For Gingrich, “I don’t think faith was the driving force,” says Reighard. “He realized that you have to look at issues and they can’t always be driven by your personal views and your religious values.”

“I heard a lot of times that people say evangelicals are one-issue people, all about abortion,” Reighard says. “But that’s not true with Gingrich. Education was important for him. Health care was important. The economy was important.”

Indeed, when Gingrich launched the Conservative Opportunity Society, an influential House caucus, in 1983, he focused on fiscal issues and practical electoral politics.

And yet Gingrich was an early ally of the budding Christian Right, even if he wasn’t a card-carrying member.

Ralph Reed, who would go on to lead the Christian Coalition, remembers watching as a libertarian activist advocating for gay rights and abortion rights challenged Gingrich at an early 1980s College Republicans breakfast.

“Newt pushed back hard,” Reed remembers. “It was clearly a position of intellectual conviction. I wasn’t yet a committed Christian and I remember finding that pretty remarkable, that Newt didn’t try to pacify this guy. He said, ‘No, you’re wrong.’”

Gingrich speaking at a 1987 news conference.

The future House speaker also stayed active at New Hope Baptist Church, which was quickly growing from sleepy country congregation to suburban Atlanta megachurch, even as he spent most of his time in Washington. When Reighard’s wife died during childbirth, Gingrich was on the phone with him while the pastor was still at the hospital.

“He was always there on Sunday mornings,” says Reighard, recalling Gingrich’s House years. “And the other thing he was always great at doing was town-hall-type meetings and potluck dinners. He was a grassroots person. There’s no telling how many of those meals I prayed at.”

Christian coalitions

But a lot of those town halls were more political than religious. Televangelist Pat Robertson launched the Christian Coalition in the early 1990s, and the group organized events around Georgia aimed at getting conservative evangelicals more involved in elections.

Gingrich, who counted himself an evangelical, expressed keen interest in the coalition’s work. But he seemed to be operating less as a pious Christian, and more as a strategist looking for ways the GOP could win the House of Representatives.

“We didn’t get into theological conversations that much,” says Patrick Gartland, executive director of the Georgia Christian Coalition in the early 1990s. “I was a grassroots numbers person. I loved the intricacies of grassroots, and he did, too, and he understood it.”

Unlike the Moral Majority in the 1980s, which was made up of pastors like Falwell, the Christian Coalition sought to mainstream the Christian Right by bringing in laypeople. The group’s local chapters were led by Christian business leaders, teachers and retirees, as opposed to pastors.

And Christian Coalition envisioned a big-tent religious conservatism that was as much about lowering taxes as it was about banning abortion.

For the broad-minded Gingrich, that vision was a perfect fit – especially after the Christian Coalition helped usher in the 1994 Republican Revolution, which put the House in GOP hands for the first time in 40 years.

The takeover catapulted Gingrich to speaker of the House, making him the country’s most powerful Republican. He vowed to pay attention to conservative Christians from his first day on the job, seeking to assuage evangelical activists who felt ignored by the Reagan administration after they’d worked hard for Reagan’s political campaigns.

“There was this dissatisfaction among evangelical leaders about [Reagan], and Newt said to me, ‘I’m not going to let that happen.’”

Best remembered for working with President Bill Clinton on fiscally focused deals like welfare reform and balancing the budget - and fiscal fights that led to a government shutdown - Gingrich also checked off major items on religious conservatives’ wish lists.

He brought a proposed constitutional amendment to allow school prayer up for a House vote. He presided over the adoption of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act – the first abortion restriction since Roe v. Wade – and the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing gay marriage.

Speaker-elect Gingrich with then-wife Marianne and his mother Kathleen at a January 1995 Washington church service.

Yet some evangelical leaders who knew Gingrich fretted over his personal life. The hard-charging speaker displayed braggadocio and rough edges even to political allies and didn’t talk much about his own faith.

“There were a lot of conservative Christian leaders who really loved Newt but felt like he hadn’t really turned his life over to God,” says Reed.

Many of those leaders went nuclear over rumors about Gingrich’s 1998 affair with a young House aide named Callista Bisek, while he was married to his second wife, Marianne.

Theose rumors “would break my heart,” says Reighard, who counseled Gingrich and Marianne in the 1990s. “I always believed that Newt could be one of the great leaders in our country, an American version of Winston Churchill.”

Reborn a Catholic

More than a decade later, Gingrich is back in many evangelicals’ good graces, with polls showing him way out in front of Romney among evangelicals in Iowa, who accounted for 60% of caucus-goers four years ago.

What explains the turnaround?

One big factor is Gingrich’s self-described faith awakening since leaving Congress in 1998. A personal turning point was 2002, when a court ruling struck down the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because of its “Under God” clause.

“That was the last straw,” Gingrich said in a 2009 interview with U.S. News & World Report. “And I said it’s time to challenge head-on secular domination in the West.”

Just as studying political history had led a 20-something Gingrich to the Saint Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, political developments like the Pledge ruling and other perceived attacks on religion sparked a round of soul-searching.

Though it was later struck down by the Supreme Court, the ruling led Gingrich to publish “Rediscovering God in America,” a faith-based walking tour of Washington’s key buildings and monuments.

For those close to him, the 2006 book reflected what Gingrich had been preaching for more than a decade: that religion played a key role in the nation’s founding.

“In the ’90s, he talked about this idea that power comes from God to the individual and is loaned to the state,” says Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s former spokesman. “Before that, the European model was that power came from God to the king, and [Gingrich] used to explain why that was corrupt and how Thomas Jefferson turned it on his head.”

By increasing his public attack on the secular “media-academic-legal elite” and promoting his God-infused take on American history, Gingrich was branded a culture warrior during the last decade, gaining appeal among conservative evangelicals.

Gingrich continued the courtship by regularly appearing before audiences of hundreds of evangelical pastors to talk about God, history and politics.

Gingrich delivers the Liberty University commencement address in 2007 following Jerry Falwell

“There’s no question there’s been an evolution in his thinking and speaking and writing on America’s religious heritage, which has become a much bigger part of his lexicon,” says Reed, who leads the Faith and Freedom Coalition and is not endorsing any presidential candidates.

“He’s clearly found his voice on social issues, and less than 30 days from the Iowa caucuses the timing couldn’t be better.”

Gingrich further strengthened ties to grassroots evangelicals in 2009, launching a group aimed at bringing together religious and economic conservatives.

The organization, Renewing American Leadership, poured $150,000 into a successful Iowa campaign to unseat judges who had legalized gay marriage in the state. Many of the Iowa activists who led that 2010 campaign are now bullish on Gingrich.

Admitting to an affair also helped.

At a closed-door meeting with the nation’s top Christian Right leaders ahead of the 2008 election, Gingrich was asked about reports he’d been having an affair while leading the impeachment drive against Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The former speaker owned up to the affair and said it marked one the most shameful periods of his life, a time in which he was “alienated from God,” according to a participant at the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Though he didn’t run for president in 2008, Gingrich went on James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio show to admit the affair to the evangelical icon and a national audience: “There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards.”

Gingrich told listeners he’d since turned "to God to receive forgiveness and to receive mercy."

For many evangelicals, the admission and penitent tone struck a chord.

“It all depends on whether Newt has been rewired, in the theological sense of being born again,” says David Lane, an influential evangelical activist who is in regular contact with Gingrich.

“I was one of the wildest men who ever lived, loved women, wine and song, and I came to Christ,” Lane says. “I’m not perfect, but I read the Bible seven days a week. Is Newt a new man? I think he is. There’s something different about him.”

One difference is that, for the last two years, Gingrich has been an active Roman Catholic. He has described his conversion as a decade-long process inspired by Callista, who sings with a choir at the country’s largest Catholic church, Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Gingrich has said that years of attending Mass there rubbed off on him, with Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit providing the final impetus to conversion.

Gingrich was especially drawn to the church’s millennia-long history and intellectualism. Discussing one of his visits to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Gingrich has said, “You stand there and you think, this is where St. Peter was crucified. This is where Paul preached.

“You think to yourself, 2,000 years ago the Apostles set out to create a worldwide movement by witnessing to the historic truth they had experienced,” Gingrich said in 2009. “And there it is.”

As opposed to being a letdown to evangelical leaders, Gingrich’s conversion away from evangelical Christianity was received as something like a born-again experience.

“Prior to that, he was a sloppy Baptist who didn’t have a clue about what he believed,” says an evangelical activist who is close to Gingrich. “When he converted, he went through Catechism and had to get his faith straight. It took some of the sloppiness out.”

But Gingrich still has to convince some religious leaders he has straightened out morally.

In his letter to Gingrich urging a speech about his marital history, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Land told Gingrich to emphasize his own religious narrative.

“I know something of your faith journey over the past 20 years,” Land wrote. “Do not hesitate to weave that into your speech to the degree that you are comfortable doing so. It will always resonate with evangelical Christians.”

If polls are to be believed, the story of Gingrich’s journey is resonating already.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Catholic Church • Lutheran • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (1,901 Responses)
  1. NhAB

    The Catholic Church, a den of robbers, murderers, and child molesters, rules this country by infiltrating our government, the leadership of other religions, and puts many other subversive elements into every part of world society.
    .....
    Their overwhelming thirst for world domination has not subsided one whit.

    Domination gives them money, power, and unfettered access to child victims.
    They rule with an iron fist over the minds of all Catholics. They use terror to rule.
    They have special intelligence and counter-intelligence arms that infiltrate and manipulate every government – sometimes directly, sometimes using the leverage they have in other governments.

    The resources of the Catholic Church are not only in real estate and "treasure", but also include their spy networks, military spies, political spies, and a vast array of propagandists and other subversive elements incorporated into everyday life.

    Their victims include hundreds of millions of innocent people, including children, throughout the history of the Catholic Church.

    Everywhere a Catholic holds a position of real political power is a place where you can find a Catholic who has been granted "special" status within the Catholic Church as a mark of trust.
    They are the tools of the Catholic Church itself, a vast criminal organization that has ruled countries on both sides of the Atlantic for hundreds of years.

    They are well steeped in the arts of concealment, propaganda, subversion, sedition, and manipulation. The Jesuit arm of the CC has even been inventive in these areas and is known for creating spy networks and working behind the scenes in a truly Machiavellian or.gy of manipulation and subversion throughout the world for the past several centuries.

    Newt Gingrich has taken their money and promises.
    I can guarantee you that he is now "specially favored" by the Catholic Church and welcomed into the semi-secret "Opus Dei" subversion branch of the Catholic Church but kept at a distance because he was not raised a Catholic.
    He will be their tool but they will not fully trust him, just like any intelligence organization would treat a new "convert"/spy.

    They already did the same thing with the British ex-Prime Minister who recently "converted" to Catholicism.

    Anywhere you see a politician "convert" to Catholicism you are seeing the hand of the Catholic Church and it's deadly thirst for power, wealth, and a free pass to abuse any of their victims.
    They seek world domination.
    This aim has never decreased throughout their history.
    They have merely kept working behind the scenes and avoided public scrutiny and accountability whenever possible because they know that to do otherwise is to become a visible target to their victims who they also view as enemies.

    Gingrich is a spy. He was always available to the highest bidder.
    Now he is running for President.
    He is nothing but a self-serving traitor, just like so many before him in history.

    Too bad there are so many Catholics in the FBI, otherwise we might see some changes to this long-standing spy network operating in this country.
    As it is, only a massive change will stop the evil being done by the Catholic Church.
    That massive change will have to be violent.
    We are already at war with the Catholic Church. They declared it on US when we ratified our Constltution – they do not want religious freedom for anyone but themselves.

    And they've been hard at work ever since.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  2. Molly

    At the risk of getting Neutron on my case.............................did I understand that Newt joined the Catholic Church
    and got all his sins/transgressions forgiven? Tsk tsk!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  3. Neutron Grinch

    JON CORZINE: LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, THE FORMER HEAD OF GOLDMAN SACHS...YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T KNOW THAT, I DIDN'T FIND OUT TILL RECENTLY...THE FORMER GOV. OF NEW JERSEY, AFTER HE WAS FINALLY KICKED OUT.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Neutron Grinch

    OBAMA WROTE SOME BOOK, IN WHICH HE MADE SEVERAL MILLION, AT THAT POINT HE BECAME A MILLIONAIRE... WHY DIDN'T THE OCCUPY CROWD PROTEST HIM??? YOU MEAN, OBAMA A MILLIONAIRE IS PART OF THE 99%??? A MILLIONAIRE...
    WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE TO REIGN IN THIEVES LIKE PELOSI, WHO WAS BUSTED BY THE NOT CONSERVATIVE CBS, FOR A VISA IPO, IN WHICH SHE MADE OVER $100,000 ON ONE STOCK DEAL, JUST ONE, THAT WE KNOW OF...
    WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE TO STOP THESE PEOPLE? MY FRIEND, THESE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES WHO CONTROL HIM, THE BIG BANKERS.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  5. Jim

    Well. folks, you have a choice between Gingrich and Obama. Make your choice.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • HereWeGo

      RON PAUL 2012

      December 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • quieteye

      A choice of bad vs good. That's simple.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chach

      Yes! Ron Paul 2012! People that can't afford Health Care should simply die! It would be a Utopia!

      December 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Rainer Braendlein

    Pope Gregory VII, the Antichrist

    A lot of people still may know that the popes had more influence than today in the Middle Ages or dark age (this age lasted from 1076 to 1742 a. D., if you take the pope’s supremacy as indicator). However, they had not merely more influence than today, but they were the highest secular rulers and ecclesiastical rulers at the same time. This was an enormous concentration of power. The first pope, who really presumed to be pope-emperor or superemperor was Pope Gregory VII (1020-1085 a. D.). Below you can read some paragraphs of the docu-ment “Dictatus Papae“, which was probably drafted by him.

    Pope Gregory VII was one of the first men, mixing politics with religion. Like Muhammad he filled the world with blood, in order to increase his earthly power, honour and riches. Muhammad and the pope used religion as smoke screen for their malice:

    Docu-ment “Dictatus Papae” (by Pope Gregory VII, the Antichrist):

    (Extract)

    8. That the pope alone may use the imperial insignia.

    9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet!!!

    10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.

    11. That this is the only name in the world.

    12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.

    19. That he himself may be judged by no one.

    That is without limit: These papal laws are still valid! It’s only that the today secular powers are too strong at the moment and the pope cannot behave like he wishes to behave. I hope the US will recover economically, otherwise the papal monster will seize rule again.

    Joke: “I believe in God, the Pope, the Allmighty!”

    Note: I guess, longterms the papacy and Islam will increasingly get displaced by the Beast (a community of godless states, ruled by the Arch-Blasphemer). That is, what we can observe today (states and their populations become more and more profane or secular), and moreover it is predicted in the book of Revelation of the Bible that finally the whole world will worship the Arch-Blasphemer (the head of the Beast) or the Wicked.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Neutron Grinch

    LIBERALS OF ZERO EFFECT, WAKE UP AND FIRE THE LIBERAL WHO HAS WAY TOO MUCH POWER: OBAMA
    FIRE OBAMA IN 2012...I DON'T CARE IF YOU HIRE KUCINICH...ANYONE WHO AT LEAST WANTS TO PRESERVE THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE.
    FIRE OBAMA IN 2012.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Wholly Mary

    fake...Fake.....FAKE!!!!!

    December 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Neutron Grinch

    OBAMA'S BUDDIES???? LET'S START WITH BILL AYERS: CONVICTED BOMBER/KNOWN 60'S RADICAL TERRORIST, HIS WIFE CONVICTED CRIMINAL, ALL BUDDIES BACK IN CHICAGO. LIBERALS COMMENT
    REV. (WHAT A JOKE) WRIGHT; HE HATES WHITES...HE HATES WHITE PEOPLE, HE HATES THEM... MAN OF THE CLOTH, DIRTY CLOTH.. THIS GUY IS NO CHRISTIAN PREACHER, OBAMA WENT TO THIS GUY'S CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS... OBAMA IS A RADICAL, HE'S A COMMUNIST, THAT'S WHY HE'S BANKRUPTED AMERICA.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • quieteye

      And you vote right – right?

      December 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Linda Lee

      Does your mommy know you're on her computer?

      December 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  10. Jeff

    I thought Jesus was against capitalism...

    December 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  11. Neutron Grinch

    CNN IS CLEARING MOTIVATED BY OTHER THINGS, NOT JOURNALISM...CONVERTING PEOPLE INTO FULL BLOWN COMMUNISTS...SHARE THE WEALTH, THAT KIND OF INSANITY...OR THIS ONE, WHICH YOU'VE HEARD NON-STOP FROM BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, "THEY MUST PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE"...THAT'S STRAIGHT OUT OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  12. Ed Klein

    All you "holier than thou" toads should hop back into the swamp where you belong. You voted for Obama,
    the obomination, and got what you deserve. Liberals always have it better when the right wins and does the right things,
    remember?

    December 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chach

      Oh you are so right! We did SO WELL under 8 years of your Hero GW Bush! I wish he could have been elected again so he would still be in office doing all of the wonderful things he accomplished. I mean, he was just getting started. Yes. Those were the good 'ol days.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Ed Klein

    Newt is the most qualified candidate we have and the most likely to actually do what he says he will do when he's president.

    His personal record has much to do with his work ethic. We need a president with a great work ethic.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Yup, he worked real hard at cheating on one or more wife's and the American people!

      December 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chartreuxe

      Once a hypocritical anus, always a hypocritical anus.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Chach

      If he is the "most qualified" candidate, it speaks volumes as to the inadequacy, idiocy, hypocrisy and counter intellectuality of the Teapublican party.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Thetruth

    I read the democrats chastising GOP candidates. I think Obama is sincere in his way of running the country; However, he is failed as a leader, and I saw the american middle class is suffering more than ever before. I respect the prez, but his performance is below average. It is not neccessary for the majority of the American poeple and the future generations to suffer as well.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jemmas

      President Obama got thrown into a declining economy that was 10+ years in the making. If you think he has failed as a leader what do you think he should do? It is so frustrating to hear Americans and politicians criticise the President for doing such a bad job, but nobody seems to have a detailed plan to do better. Fixing a terribly broken economy and political system takes years or even decades. I implore you to tell me what will fix it in just a few short months or years.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jeff

      See people will actually listen to your opinion if you're sensible and respectful about it. Good job.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • GrouchyKat

      He's had it for long enough that it's HIS. He can't blame someone else any longer. For the first two years, he had a Democrat controlled congress – and he only managed to make things worse. And add more layers of government.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Chartreuxe

      We're suffering because Bush started TWO UNFUNDED WARS. What's wrong with everyone's memory that they can't remember this? We're paying for Bush's mistakes now and we'll be paying for all that crap for the next who knows how many years?

      Are all Republicans that stupid because they believe all the hype and lies put out by Fox Lies? Ronald Reagan passed the law that allows 'news' reports to be broadcast that aren't backed up by the truth. He also allowed Rupert Murdock to become a citizen without going through the usual steps because he was rich and bought a television channel. Look it up for yourself.

      Y'all swallowed all the crap and drivel Bush put out and now we're ALL paying the price for it and we will be for years to come. It's going to take time to overcome this problem. Stop blaming Obama. Bush did it and BTW, 9/11 was Bush's fault. It happened on HIS watch.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • quieteye

      Obama may have prevented a worse disaster considering what was unfolding when he took office. You will never know that of couse as the same politicians who led in creating the conditions that wrecked the economy attempt to convince you how much better they would be in office then the current President.

      Great Depression, Savings & Loan Debacle, Great Recession, 1st Credit Downgrade – Republican position and policy outcomes.

      Learn from history or repeat it, again and again and...

      December 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  15. dave

    are all christians stupid? Newt is a catholic, their faith teaches that it is a curse to say you are saved by grace yet the Bible says we are only saved through God's grace. they teach this because during the reformation many catholics turned to Jesus after Luther and others peached that the Catholic Church was wrong and it is only through grace we are saved. What happened next was the Catholic church tortured and killed those who tried to leave their church. do the history study and stop being a moron. when a false religion wants to befriend you it is to take you over, it is not to be nice to you and build bridges of peace. another thing they teach is that Mary can save you but Jesus says He is the only way into Heaven in John 14:6 " I am the way, the truth, the life . No one comes to the Father except through Me". Catholics made up a money maker- pay your way out of purgatory or hell. pay your way out of hell? then why did Jesus die on the cross for our sins if there is another way to escape hell? is God wrong? The catholic church started the crusades and killed christians during that time. do your history. those evangelicals who are so prideful in their knowledge- the bankrupt yet prideful pastors who go along with this have to then share the other shames of the catholic church like helping Hitler "Google Hitler catholic" you tube "david hocking babylon." the catholic church stems from babylon religion but you go along with it because you do not know your history. do the search above and then be informed.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  16. Get Real

    If you live in this country and have access to all that goes with it, free education etc. and you fall in the 47% who pay no Federal income tax, that needs to be stopped.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    "One difference is that, for the last two years, Gingrich has been an active Roman Catholic. He has described his conversion as a decade-long process inspired by Callista, who sings with a choir at the country’s largest Catholic church, Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

    Gingrich has said that years of attending Mass there rubbed off on him, with Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit providing the final impetus to conversion."

    Lutheran-Baptist-Roman Catholic: The decline and fall of Mr. Gingrich.

    Every real Christian rejects both the re-baptizing sects and the Roman Catholic who-re or har-lot.

    The Roman Catholic Church is the so-called who-re, which is mentioned in the Revelation of the Holy Bible. She has forsaken her bridegroom Jesus Christ and commits adultry with the god-hating pope.

    In what way does the pope hate God?

    The pope has stolen Christ's office as head of the Church. That is an abomination. The de facto God of the Roman Catholic Church is the pope. That is outrageous.

    The true Christian Church knows no (papal) hierarchy and every local church is independent. The pastors or bishops of the local churches may meet sometimes at councils, in order to discuss difficult matters of the doctrine under the leadership of Christ through the Holy Spirit, which Christ has given the Church at Pentecost.

    Mr. Gingrich is an extremly unhappy man. He goes from one misery to another. Let him retire, but not become the most powerful man of the world.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • GrouchyKat

      "'I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.'" Guess, what, it started with one guy – Peter, the first Pope of the Catholic church. You can even find that quote in your Catholic hating Bible.

      December 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @GrouchyKat

      Jesus meant actually the following: Peter you are Peter with all your dreams of worldly rule and power, but my Church I will built on the humble and meek Jesus Christi (the rock).

      Thus, the pope is the successor of the carnal Peter, which had not yet been transormed by the Holy Spirit, which was first given him at Pentecost.

      The true Christian Church venerates St. Peter as an important apostle, but he was never the first pope.

      The first leader of a Christian Church was St. James, a brother of Jesus. It was the Church of Jerusalem.

      December 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Sam

      Ranier,
      Spoken like a true convert, but...Lutheranism is very nearly 500 years old. That is one quarter of the entire history of Christianity. If, after all of that time, the theology still requires justification in opposition to Roman Catholic theology, it has failed. If your conversion requires justification. It is not complete. The theology must stand alone without any reference to any other Christian theology, or it is no more than a derivative of said theology. It short if, after 500 years, the emphasis is still on the 'protest' part of Protestantism, Protestantism does not exist without Catholicism. I do believe that is not the position of the mainline Protestant churches and, most particularly, not the Lutherans.

      December 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  18. Neutron Grinch

    LIBERALS SUFFER FROM CRANIAL RECTAL INVERSION... HEAD UP THEIR A** SYNDROME.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  19. Alan

    Newt is the phony, philandering political hatchet man of yesteryear....even Republicans hate him. Newt was the architect of the politics of personal destruction, a lying, cheating hypocrite who railed against Clinton while he was banging someone else's wife, while his was being treated for cancer. Newt was chased out of politics for his shady, unethical business dealings and was formally censured, No, Newt is morally and ethically bankrupt...and is certainly not fit to lead this great nation

    December 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  20. Neutron Grinch

    OBAMA: THE MOST DIVISIVE, THE MOST INEFFECTIVE, THE WORST PRESIDENT OF ALL TIME!!!! IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE.
    OBAMA MAKES GUYS LIKE JIMMY CARTER AND DENNIS KUCINICH LOOK LIKE CONSERVATIVES.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Get Real

      Here Here Neutron!! You speak the truth!!!

      December 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.