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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. George1234

    CNN has really gone down the toilet in terms of news. Pierce ( phone tap) Morgan, Anderson (I am employed by every daytime talk show and news agency in the country) Cooper, and Erin ( Chairman of the Banking Wife's and Kept Women's Tea and Coffee Society) Burnett and now this; the Belief Blog.

    December 11, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • El Flaco

      CNN is not in the News business. CNN is in the business of selling advertising and maximizing Time-Warner profits.

      December 11, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  2. mark

    i don't care how many woman hes married or how many men he's slept with .He would still make a crappy president as well as ahuman

    December 11, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  3. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    I have a few questions. So, Mr. Gingrich says he was "working too hard", and that is his excuse for his serial infidelity with his latest wife. Is that also his excuse for his infidelity with the first wife, when he was cheating on her with the second wife ? SIX YEARS of "working too hard ? Right. So the explanation for his serious character problem does not fly. Most of all, I want to know by whom, and in what Roman Catholic diocese, was he married to Callista ? (isn't "Callista" a pagan Greek god? How is it that a Catholic woman, who was supposedly baptized, has the name of a pagan god? ..oh I guess there is a St. Callista...anyway...someone, somewhere had to give Gingrich not one, but TWO annulments. That means, the Roman Church, that bastion of intellectual honesty, and consistency, had to actually stand there and state, the his TWO, EACH 20 year long relationships), repeat EACH 20 year relationships, were not valid marriages. OMG, this country needs a Defense of Marriage Act. Oh wait, we have one. Anyway, who granted him the annulments, and on what basis were they given, by the church, (which says that there is no divorce), and HOW MUCH DID HE HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM ?? It is a continuing public scandal, by a high profile public figure, and by the Roman Church's standards, (see the case of the Kennedy who was receiving communion in New Hampshire), he should be EXCOMMUNICATED! 😈

    December 11, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  4. EddyL

    Repenting is a private matter. His history is there; the facts are the facts. Newt is a slimeball.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  5. Dave

    Newt is Newt. He belives only in Newt. He only loves Newt. He trades in and trades up. He is always looking for a dollar and, inside, there is a burning anger

    December 11, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  6. Carlton L. Mott

    I am hopeful that the day will soon arrive when religious folks refrain from putting their sin-stained noses into politicsl matters.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Warren Talbot

      Amen, Carlton (sorry, couldn't resist). I would love to have an election in this country where religion played absolutely no role and the candidates would spend their time discussing the issues that matter and upon which the government of our country should be making decisions. Religion is a personal matter to each individual and has no place in the discussion.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  7. Amazing

    First, Newt Gingrich is the one of the most profound examples of corruption, poor ethics, bereftness of morality, lying to achieve whatever goal is immediately disrable, and overall undesirability.

    Second, belief in sky fairies (aka "god") and the subsequent dogmatic rhetoric that flows from such is the most profound example of delusion, insanity, and unacceptable justification for errant and judgemental thinking and behavior the world has ever known.

    Thus, asking if Gingrich has "repented enough" to be President is like asking if receiving three magic beanstalk beans is sufficient reward for drinking a beaker of acid.

    In that this "story" has an audience makes me weep for the future of humanity.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  8. Mighty7

    HA...so now SUDDENLY being a Papist is not an issue. Wow. Apparenty Evangelicals morph their ideals as they see fit.

    But then again, seeing how this "block" of hypocrites and clowns had Ralph "I paint my face and travel at night" Reed as their leader for many years, seeing how all their leaders with rare exceptions have been busted commiting fraud and adultery or worst....nothing surprises me.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  9. dave

    Why not Newt? The evangelicals were played the fools by W. You folks should join the Amish and leave the direction of
    the country to those of us who want to make the world a better place. You dont have the sense to be voting anyway.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  10. HeyLookatMeImRepublican

    Newt Gingrich is todays flavor of the week for the GOP. Who knows, maybe the forgotten Rick Santorum will come out in the wash of all of this and eventually become the GOP nominee(?).

    December 11, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  11. NotHimPlease!

    He could never apologize enough for being who he is...an elitist/racist frak. His marriages aside, he's dangerous.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  12. El Flaco

    So evil old Newt Gingrich has repented and has rediscovered Jesus just in time for this election? How convenient for the Evangelical leadership who wants to influence national leadership, regaining some of the power and influence they had during the GW Bush years.

    Evangelical leaders would embrace Satan Himself if He could beat Obama.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • MaryM

      Good point El

      December 11, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  13. Walt

    This blog is concerning – Gingrich is running for President, not a religious post. We should work hard to keep the separation of church and state.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Warren Talbot

      Hey Walt, I not sure I understand you point. The goal of the article as I read it was to highlight a challenge of how or if the Evangelical right can support or endorse Newt as a candidate for president. At issue, at least for this piece, is not if he can run or his qualifications but whether an adulterer can get the endorsement of a group that espouses "family values" as the core for what they attest to for America.

      It seems to me to be a very good topic as I cannot see how they can justify supporting him and then expect anyone to take them seriously again when they use the "family values" argument to justify everything else they are against.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  14. Donaldbain

    How can anyone take Gingrich seriously? In my opinion, he is playing the Christians like a fiddle. Glad handing and saying all the things they want to hear just to get their support, as if that is all it takes to gain the White House. If he gains the nomination, he will lose and he will use his new "legitimacy" to make money off the Christians for years. Someone needs to remind these desperate religio-politicians that their faith has no place in government or the working of the nation. This is all the Republican party espouses, "look how holy I am" to get elected. The fact any of them get into office is a national disgrace.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • cindy lo who

      looks like alot of people are taking him seriously

      December 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • NotHimPlease!

      I completely agree. That is what Republican politicians do these days. It isn't the issues, it's their twisted sick values they want to foist on the rest of us.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  15. Rick1948

    People make mistakes – simple as that. You make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time. Sometimes that information changes. What would they have rather Newt done? Stayed in a marriage where both he and his wife were miserable?

    December 11, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Brian

      Would you make your wife sign divorce papers on her death bed?

      December 11, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • Warren Talbot

      We're not advocating anything, only pointing out the hypocrisy of a group that claims "family values" are important but only when it is convenient. I could care less that Newt wants to cheat on every wife, but for a group of people to seriously consider given him their votes when they try to impose their moral superiority on us in this country is when it is a problem.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • cindy lo who

      how many people know these facts: the tumor was benign...she is still alive...and the divore was decided upon weeks beforehand....not many

      December 11, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • El Flaco

      As a Catholic who does not believe in divorce, I would expect him to reconcile with his wife.

      As a human being, I would expect any husband to sit by his wife's deathbed until she passed away.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • El Flaco

      I just had a vision. It has been revealed to me that Gingrich is the Antichrist!

      December 11, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • Joseph B

      Yes Rick – People do make mistakes. Newt makes way too many mistakes about important issues for me to feel confident about his decision making ability, particularly in such a role as President of the United States.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I would have preferred that Newt fully comply with his cult's rules and that he be punished accordingly, again, according to his cult's rules. Believer cults and their members preach accountability – I would like to see them clearly and consistently follow their own rules before I trust them to govern others.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  16. 2aa

    Not even close to how much he'd have to repent. He's just an old has-been, lying new world order SOB. G-d help us all if he's our alternative to Obama!

    December 11, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  17. cindy lo who

    ahhhhh...I love it.....this now proves how scared cnn and liberals are afraid of newt......2012! I would request a new white house....the stains left by the current occupant are indelible

    December 11, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • NotHimPlease!

      Your comment is stupid. Get a brain. The fact that you support such an evil, twisted sick political party shows that you are a misguided fool. NO one has the right to force their values on another person. It is the concept of free will, did you miss that bible lesson?

      December 11, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • danny

      cindy we are no where near getting over the stains the last administration left on us with their rigged elections,phony wars,outing of cia agents,trashed economy and not to mention the morale of the country as a whole.its amazing to me that repubs seem to forget the 8 years of failed policy before obama.if the repubs are relying on gingrich you guys might as well vote for obama.the only republican with a snowballs chance in hell is ron paul.gingrich lol

      December 11, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  18. MaryM

    Newt is NOT presidential material. period And his wife is certainly NOT first lady material. What kind of example would she be ?

    December 11, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  19. lastofall

    The just [sincere] may fall several times, but shall rise right back up into their sincerity toward God; but it is the wicked [insincere] who are the ones that when they fall, fall into mischief.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry, I accidentally hit "abuse" – I think my comment will indicate I don't think your question is abusive.

      I'm no evangelical but..

      The unfortunate reality is that there probably are numerous parents, regardless of which cult they belong to, who would sacrifice their daughter and their morals to have virtually unfettered access to the Prez and all that goes with it. And some would even wrap themselves in the flag and swear on The Babble that they are doing for the country and their imaginary friend.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yikes -I'm all over the shop this AA!

      The above was supposed to be a reply to Russ139 below.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  20. Russ139

    Hey evangelicals who support Gingrich...one question. Would you want your daughter to marry him?

    December 11, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm no evangelical but..

      The unfortunate reality is that there probably are numerous parents, regardless of which cult they belong to, who would sacrifice their daughter and their morals to have virtually unfettered access to the Prez and all that goes with it. And some would even wrap themselves in the flag and swear on The Babble that they are doing for the country and their imaginary friend.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:39 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.