Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast on South Carolina evangelicals:
By John Sepulvado, CNN Radio
(CNN) - More than 150 influential evangelical leaders went to a ranch outside of Houston over the weekend to pick an alternative to GOP presidential front runner Mitt Romney. They emerged backing former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
But in the early primary state of South Carolina, with voters scheduled to go to the polls on Saturday and candidates working the state furiously this week, local evangelical pastors are using their influence to rally church members towards salvation, not electioneering.
"You won't hear me giving any political commentary at all," says Lexington Fellowship Baptist Pastor Don Bell. "I mean, I'll never say never, but God's word is where it's at."
Martin Luther King Jr. was born just blocks east of Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta, where he joined his father as co-pastor in 1960. Were he still alive, he would have turned 83 on Sunday. For the first time on this national holiday, Ebenezer church visitors will be enjoying the newly renovated landmark.
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN)– Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was writing an advice column in 1958 for Ebony magazine when he received an unusual letter.
“I am a boy,” an anonymous writer told King. “But I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls. I don't want my parents to know about me. What can I do?”
In calm, pastoral tones, King told the boy that his problem wasn’t uncommon, but required “careful attention.”
“The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”
We know what King thought about race, poverty and war. But what was his attitude toward gay people, and if he was alive today would he see the gay rights movement as another stage of the civil rights movement?
By Dan Merica, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
The Christian conservative leaders eventually decided on Santorum as their endorsement.
CNN: Christian conservative leaders vote to support Santorum
A meeting of Christian conservative leaders resulted in the group backing GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins announced Saturday.
CNN: Pastors protest New York ban on religious services
Pastors and their congregants took to the streets of New York on Thursday to protest and to pray for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse a ban on religious groups' use of public schools for worship service, scheduled to go into effect February 12.
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.