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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. George

    I know you think that he is a hypocrite, but nonetheless, if he wins, he will be your president.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      As Obama is your President.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  2. tony

    No there isn't a God – Yet! But a coupla more Mega-corp paid for elections and they will have the technology and the legal right to watch over over us constantly everywhere, and remove any objecting "tares" without remorse, or redress.
    Bless you "Big Brothe"r Newt.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • George

      Awful lot of leaps of logic there.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  3. Don

    “Whatever is the dominant religion in the region he was in, that was his progression..." It's a good thing for his political career that Newt didn't ever move to the Utah; it being 70% LDS. He wouldn't have had near this successful of a career were he Mormon. Look at Huntsman and Romney who are probably the most competent GOP candidates, yet both are held back to some degree by their faith.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • tony

      But then he would have a larger house and "wives" 3 4 5 and 6 all four corners.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  4. thes33k3r

    I greatly look forward to the day when it will be largely irrelavant what the evangelicals think and for whom they cast their vote.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • mollyd

      Amen to that!!!! Who cares about their faith??? Gingrich is a creepy liar. His faith means nothing to me.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • George

      I greatly look forward to the time when we have a true conservative Christian in office.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Observer

      George,

      We just had a Christian president who "talks to God all the time" and see what a disaster he was.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • George

      "We just had a Christian president who "talks to God all the time" and see what a disaster he was."

      He was only a disaster to liberals. To the rest of us, he did America proud.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • tallulah13

      You must truly hate the United States, George.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Observer

      George
      "He was only a disaster to liberals. To the rest of us, he did America proud"

      Was America proud of a president who read "The Pet Goat" while our nation suffered it's worst attack ever on our soil?
      Was America proud of a president who started a terribly expensive OPTIONAL war for false reasons?
      Was America proud of a president who frequently couldn't compose simple English sentences?
      Was America proud of a president who drew record protesters in nations that are our closest allies?
      Was America proud of a president who ignored dying Americans in a major city and then praised the incompetent he hired?
      Was America proud of a president who left the economy is such bad shape that the REPUBLICAN presidential nominee had to suspend his campaign to try to fix it?
      Was America proud of a president who said he wasn't concerned about the person responsible for 9/11?

      Lol. What a joke.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • George

      No, I love the United States. George W. Bush made nations and terrorists afraid to attack the US, and he took the war to the terrorists. I don't see Obama changing those policies that G.W.B. pioneered. He made America strong and proud. And people of faith were always welcome at the White House unlike now.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • George

      @Observer

      Your questions are slanted and partisan. Let's take the first question as an example:

      "Was America proud of a president who read "The Pet Goat" while our nation suffered it's worst attack ever on our soil?"

      He read to children because it was a scheduled event. He couldn't help where he was when the attack occured. And at the time, it was not even clear that it was an attack.

      You also attack his English when Obama can't handle himself without a teleprompter.

      Give up your foolish, partisan questions.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Observer

      George,
      "No, I love the United States. George W. Bush made nations and terrorists afraid to attack the US, and he took the war to the terrorists"

      Wow! What an imagination!
      REALITY: The worst terrorist attack on our soil ever came with Bush ih charge.
      REALITY: Bush had most of the world's support immediately after 9/11 and then led us into a war against a nation having nothing to do with 9/11 and angering many of our allies. Record protests in Canada, Engliand, etc.
      REALITY: Bush wasn't concerned about bin Laden. REALITY: Obama went after bin Laden and got him.

      Fantasy is fun, but it doesn't fit into the REAL world.Get back to reality about one of the lowest polled presidents ever.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Observer

      George
      "He read to children because it was a scheduled event. Obama can't handle himself without a teleprompter."

      PATHETIC EXCUSES. So a scheduled event is more important that trying to find out the status of an attack on our nation? So Bush wasn't bright enough to tell the kids he had business to attend to? What a JOKE!

      Without a teleprompter, Obama beat McCain on all 3 debates acoording to polls. Palin not only uses a teleprompter, hers had to have the words PHONETICALLY spelled and she has to write notes on her hands to remind her that when talking to the Tea Party, she should mention taxes. LOL!

      So THAT was your rebuttal? lol.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The teleprompter idiocy is laughable. Presidents have been using them since the technology was first available, you moron. At the VERY least, Obama doesn't make up words, Georgie. You really are a bit over the top in your act. Tone it down a bit. No one is going to find that level of dimness, even among wingnuts, believable.

      And what people of faith aren't welcome at the White House, Georgie? I mean, other than crazies like you?

      December 12, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  5. barry

    Has this group lost it's mind!. This is pure insanity.
    We are not in Church, we are electing a president. That requires someone that is principled.
    This is who they decided to stand behind? You got to be F'N kidding me. Newt best represents your beliefs
    what you aspire to be?
    There is truly some evil forces occurring for this to be.
    Though it will fall right in suite with all of history, all dirty deeds are done in the name of religion.
    With that in mind, sure send Newt in there I'm sure he will take care of that for your group.
    wake up Ron Paul 2012!

    December 12, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • thes33k3r

      Newsflash: Ron Paul is a religious nutjob too.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  6. Snoot_GingRich

    I've been forgiven, yaaaay !

    December 12, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  7. tony

    Well I've had my fun. Far, far more than you "good" saps who stayed faithful to your one wife, but I want to be President now. So if you'll just forgive me and forget, I can have the job of being in control of all you and be your respected, honest, moral leader.
    (pause for applause)

    December 12, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  8. Jose M. Pulido

    What hypocrisy. Mr. Gingrich is using the name of God in vain in an attempt to gain the Evangelical vote. He portrays himself to be so religious now. I think that in reality, he does not know anything about God and Jesus and he can probably care less about them. All Gingrich wants is to be president to satisfy his own ego. None of the GOP candidates are good enough to be president of the USA. Let's keep president Obama who is a proven Christian who fights against Islamic terrorists. Proof is that he ordered the capture or elimination of O.B. Laden and 32 other Al Qaeda Islamic terrorists.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  9. Seth Hill of Topanga, California

    As far as I know, Pres. Obama married one woman and was faithful. Gingrich has had at least 3 so far, and he wants to "cleanse the White House." Huh? Can someone explain this to me?

    December 12, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Observer

      Republicans seem oblivious to hypocrisy. If they cared about someone demonstrating "family values", they would have voted for Obama. Instead they voted for an adulterous man and a woman with a pregnant unmarried daughter.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  10. OMG

    More drones for the GOP

    December 12, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  11. Kevin

    Really? This is what we've come to – how evangelical or christian does a candidate need to be to get elected? Ever notice that religion isn't brought up in any other modern democracy on the planet besides ours? Why don't these people look at the real credentials of these candidates – like Gingrich consulting for Fannie Mae during its downfall. Or Romney working at places like Bain Capital which broke up companies and helped fire Americans and/or outsource their jobs to foreign countries. Wonder why there have been all these Republican debates so far? Because the majority of these wannabes are very special nut bags in their own way and finding someone who's even close to electable has been pretty impossible.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  12. Frank

    It figures evangelicals would support a hypocrite, lying, deceitful man like this like this, specifically Jerry Falwell they're all the same... have no shame and stab you on the back if you don't follow their false teachings

    December 12, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Observer

      You have cheated Pat Robertson by keeping his name out of that group of heartless hypocrites.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  13. Reality

    Only for the "newbies":

    Hmmm, the infidelity, cheating, lying and theological flaws of Newtown Leroy Gingrich vs. the theological flaws, wishy-wash -on- life of Romney vs. the theological flaws, "vote-mongering", pro-choice/abortion of Obama??

    STOP AND READ CAREFULLY !!!

    Romney believes that the horn-blowing angel Moroni appeared to the con artist Joe Smith. Not good for someone who wants to be president of any group !!! Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and warmongering Michael the Archangel and Satan (Ditto for N. Leroy Gingrich). BO's support of abortion however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting block in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39........ 39 x 2 million/yr = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    December 12, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  14. Mike

    So Gingrich, a flip-flopper on religion and family values, is preferred by the evangelicals over a life-long Mormon still married to his first wife? Seems to me they are secretly praying to the god of electability.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  15. Thomas

    The first thing we missed after winning our indapendace was royalty " KING NEWT ".

    December 12, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  16. Observer

    Gingrich is the poster child for Republican "family values", "Moral Majority" hypocrisy. If he gets the party nomination, at least we won't need to hear phoney claims about their ethics and morals.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  17. ferdie

    GINGRICH IS LIKE OTHER REPUBLICANS...THAY ARE ALL THE SAME PRINCIPLES. WE LEARNED A LOT OF LESSON ..NOTHING GOOD JUST BEING GREEDY..JUST LIKE THE LAST REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION....MESSED UP OUR ECONOMY AND EFFECTING GLOBAL MARKET . HERE WHAT REPUBLICAN MEANS TO EVERYONE... R – stand for rich, E- stand for economy collapsed, P- stand for poor people, U- stand for unemployment, B- stand for bankcrupt, L- stand for low income, I- stand for interest republican rules the whitehouse, C- stand for corrupt party, A- stand for admire
    the republican agenda, N- stand for nothing accomplished

    December 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  18. Rudedog

    Only the Left is Godless, any mistakes by Gingrich are quickly cleansed by the Almighty but similar mistakes by leftists dooms them to an eternity of brimstone fire.
    Or so say the religiofascists.

    December 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  19. LostFound

    As a Christian man, I'm less concerned about that fact that Newt is thrice married than I am about how evangelicals treat the 'least of these' among us. With the way republicans throw around "Obamacare" with such disdain, you would think that this involves writing poor people a big fat check. Seems the whole party has forgotten that this is health care we're talking about, not cash. If your brother is sick, shouldn't you (as a Christian) make every attempt to make sure they can get medical help? Seems like that was a big one for Jesus. Just sayin'.

    December 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Kate65

      I like the quote "whatsoever you have done to my people, you have done to me". Also "the letter of the law giveth death, but the spirit of the law giveth life". Oh, sorry, something the pious religious right/ Republicans conveniently forget. Every time one of the "who would JESUS vote for" pastors scream this from the pulpit in order to convince their parishioners to vote their way, I am reminded on how really clueless they are as to what Jesus actually said.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Michael

      I have been working hard at a new job and will be offered insurance in a month. The catch? It's going to cost me over $500 a month with dental insurance costing extra. I am part of the middle class, I barely have enough to make it by now. It is crazy people try to slam Obama for attempting to give everyone healthcare.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  20. Puzzled in Peoria

    Falwell is mistaken. Read John chapter 4 and tell me where Jesus forgives the woman at the well.

    December 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Student of the Bible

      Puzzled in Peoria is right. The woman taken in adultery was also not forgiven, only told to go and sin no more. We do not read that King David was forgiven.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:33 am |
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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.