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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. TJ

    Evangelicals and the radical right will destroy this country with the love and lust of their god money. These people do not know morals if their lives depended on it. They would rather see people homeless, starving, and dying just to protect the bottom line and profits.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  2. Fred Phred

    As far as I'm concered, any conservative Christian that votes for Newt has lost all credibility. They claimed for years that they didn't like Clinton, not because of his politics but because he was immoral and a liar. (which is true)

    Well now the same people are voting for a guy who cheated on his wife and was censured for ethics violations.

    Either your reiligion stands against these principles or not.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • LinCA

      @Fred Phred

      You said, "As far as I'm concered, any conservative Christian that votes for Newt has lost all credibility."
      That should maybe be: "As far as I'm concerned, any conservative Christian has lost all credibility."

      You said, "They claimed for years that they didn't like Clinton, not because of his politics but because he was immoral and a liar. (which is true)
      Well now the same people are voting for a guy who cheated on his wife and was censured for ethics violations.
      Either your reiligion stands against these principles or not.
      "
      In American politics, it is most often that you don't vote for the person you want, but for the one you dislike the least. Evangelicals are in a bind, they have to choose between a bunch of dimwits, a couple of cult followers, and a catholic who's morally deficient. Not an easy choice.

      From a general election perspective, Gingrich may make the most sense. Even a cardboard cutout of Obama should easily win against any of the others.

      December 12, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  3. Athome

    It seems to me that the real problem is that Newt was comfortable trying to impeach Clinton while himself having an affair, the double standard betrays a lack of moral depth, there is a fundamental hypocrisy there and that should give all voters, left or right, cause for concern. The capacity to lie to himself about his own behavior is the most troubling thing about Newt. How does one take what he has to say seriously now, maybe he is just making it up as he goes along, he didn't mind to be a hypocrite in the past and has done nothing to prove he has changed.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  4. Watches-main-stream-media-to-see-what's-censored

    We have a "Top Tier" that doesn't include Rick Perry... God forbid CNN post an article that highlights Ron Paul's values and beliefs... he's the most ethical guy of the bunch... what a joke

    December 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  5. WhoCares

    God doesn't exist anyway.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  6. Sane

    If Newt the Fruit gets the nomination, all Obama has to do is sit back an watch the landslide next November!

    December 12, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  7. Susan Muhlbauer

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This man does not appear to me to have the moral base he would need as president. He seems like a con man to me.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  8. katahdin

    Republicans have never really cared about morality. They only pretended to during the 90s so they could use it as a weapon against Bill Clinton. Now that we have an upstanding and moral Democratic president, they're through pretending to care about morals.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • Sane

      The Democrats are also lacking in morality as well as republicans, or have you not been reading the latest headlines
      oh the Huffington Post won't report those

      December 12, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • todd in DC

      You are right Sane. Newt divorced his wife when she was in the hospital with cancer. What behavior is more moral than that?

      December 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  9. blevins

    Since when do FUNDIES recognize Catholicism as a 'real' religion. Such phonies. And yet, the President, with no baggage, stable same marriage, good dad – is deemed unfit and the white house needs to be 'cleansed'. I am so motivated to fight these brown shirts at the polls.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • WannabeDictator

      If you vote for me I'll cleanse Congress of all corruption.
      And I won't be using pepper spray either if you know what I mean and I think you don't.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Wannabe .. I refer you to a book written by Tom Clancy. "Debt of Honor" .. the last few pages, or the first few pages of "Executive Orders" .. is that what you had in mind?

      December 12, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • WannabeDictator

      Nope. Wrong. Although that would be very interesting and rather convenient, not to mention the sheer dynamic fun the character had in making sweeping changes. Clancy really did a bangup job there. Very fun to read.
      But no. I wouldn't be wiping anyone out of life or even using pepper spray. See how wrong you were? Gosh!

      December 12, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  10. jonasgrumby

    He's running for bloated head, right? Cuz...I would vote for him as bloated head. Yeah!

    December 12, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • WannabeDictator

      roflmao! XD

      December 12, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • todd in DC

      Don't knock it. If you are seated next to him on an airplane that needed to make an emergency water landing, Newt's head would make a great floatation device.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  11. 4th Eagle of the Apocolypse

    If the Evangelicals like an arrogant, lying, adulterous blow hard then god bless them because they get what they deserve. When the GOP returns to sanity they will have a real candidate.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  12. Mike

    Obama will probably win. As a conservative I cannot vote for either of them.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • todd in DC

      Obama is about as centrist as Reagan. Yes, that Reagan. Is Reagan too liberal for you? He did raise taxes, you know.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:47 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 7:10 am |
    • Jon

      Are you really that bigoted and stupid or do you have to work at it?

      December 12, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • shinden58

      What is wrong with abortion? Nothing. It is a woman's right to choose what is right for herself. Why does the religious right say they want less government but they want the government to interfere in women's reproductive choices. Sounds like being a hypocrite to me.

      December 12, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • Reality

      What can BO can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority leader label?

      He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

      And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

      Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

      December 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  14. Steve Gastin

    While Obama ran on Change, Newt actually delivered Change...that's wifes

    December 12, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  15. Steve Gastin

    Have you come across any person who lacks personal integrity but have professional integrity?

    Conservative republicans like me will vote for Obama rather than a person who left wife while she was suffering with cancer.
    Newt makes it easy for Obama.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  16. Wayne Field

    I am a Canadian who has followed American politics for the past 40 years as an interested and concerned observer. God bless America. And I believe that Newt Gingrich may well be on his way to becoming a great American president. I have always been a Liberal voter here and a fan of the Democrat party over there. He is a good bottle of fine wine.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Mirosal

      You say you've followed our politics for 40 years. You think that salamander.. I mean Newt, will make a good President, and yet you claim to be a fan of the Democratic party? I don't think you know who is running in which party. Newt is not fine wine, he's a bottle of Ripple, or Thunderbird

      December 12, 2011 at 7:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: yes we have christards here too...hard to call yourself liberal and support the democrats if you are a turn coat and supporting the reptile Gingrich...not to mention that this particular christard thinks saying god bless America has meaning.
      You should check out CA's hate filled comments on our earlier conversation...what freaktard it is proving itself to be.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Mirosal

      ok I read CA'a posts in the other story. He should get a court-martial, so his rank can be reduced to Private Parts, because he is just one itty-bitty p*nis

      December 12, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  17. cbd123

    "cleanse the White House"...

    Why does it need to be cleansed? Does he think Obama left a ring in the tub or something??? Seriously, Obama's been married to the same woman his entire adult life, and Gingrich is on his THIRD! Oh yeah, when he made his third marriage promise before God, he really meant it this time...

    December 12, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Mirosal

      Like they say, "Third time's the charm" ... and we all know just how effective in reality those charms are don't we? They are as useful as the Oracle at Delphi.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  18. One one

    Three wives, three religions, ethics violations, I don't trust this guy.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  19. Mike Manhattan KS

    40 pages of comments? I can't say anything that hasn't been said. The conservatives are really out of touch with reality is all I can say, and that is being nice!

    December 12, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • AnswerInc

      Yes.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  20. EffortPA

    Are the evangelicals so bent out of shape against electing a Mormon that would prefer to elect a hypocrite sinner instead?

    December 12, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • AnswerInc

      Yes

      December 12, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • One one

      Yes

      December 12, 2011 at 6:34 am |
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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.