Ahead of presidential bid, Rick Perry and evangelical leaders court each other
Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads a prayer event August 6 in Houston. Thousands prayed for God to save "a nation in crisis."
August 12th, 2011
07:37 AM ET

Ahead of presidential bid, Rick Perry and evangelical leaders court each other

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Evangelical pastor Jim Garlow has met Texas Gov. Rick Perry only once, but the politician left quite an impression.

Garlow, who is based in California, where he helped lead the campaign to ban same-sex marriage in the state, was attending a big prayer rally that Perry sponsored last weekend in Houston when he and his wife were invited backstage with the governor.

“My wife has stage 4 cancer, and Perry ended up talking with her quite a bit and praying for her and her healing,” Garlow said. “We spent a fair amount of time backstage.”

Though Garlow notes that the meeting was personal, not political, he is hardly the only conservative evangelical leader who has begun forming a relationship with Perry in recent days.

As the Texas governor has mulled a bid for the presidency over the last few months – a source familiar with his plans says he will formally announce his candidacy on Saturday – Perry and his circle have reached out to Christian activists who will be influential in the GOP primaries.

At the same time, many of those conservative leaders - underwhelmed by the Republican presidential field so far - have contacted Perry and those close to him to inquire about his commitment to causes like opposition to  abortion and same-sex marriage.

The flurry of meetings and phone calls portends a primary campaign that is likely to rely heavily on evangelical support, presenting a serious challenge to socially conservative candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann and creating the possibility of two-person race between Perry, a Christian Right darling, and the more establishment Mitt Romney.

“There’s been a significant attempt by him and his staff to reach out to conservative Christian leaders and it’s now going to a new level,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Council, a conservative Christian advocacy group, talking about Perry's outreach.

“Perry is not making the same mistake that McCain made,” Staver said. “McCain wanted Christian conservative votes but didn’t want to get too close to Christian conservative leaders.”

Kelly Shackelford, a Texas-based evangelical activist who has been close to Perry for 20 years, says he has fielded roughly 100 phone calls in recent weeks from Christian activists across the country who are eager to learn more about Perry.

“People are calling and asking, ‘Is this guy really a social conservative and a fiscal conservative?’ and it’s easy to say yes because I’ve seen it,” said Shackelford, who runs a conservative legal advocacy group called the Liberty Institute. “As far as proving himself, he’s been the most solid conservative I’ve seen anywhere in the country.”

Shackelford says Perry has signed more anti-abortion legislation than any governor in the country, including a recent measure that requires women seeking an abortion in Texas to view a picture of the embryo or fetus and hear a description of its development before having the procedure.

Perry is also a supporter of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Many of the activists checking in with Shackelford are concerned that Pawlenty and Bachmann, the other Republican candidates popular among conservative evangelicals, aren’t generating enough support and have limited appeal outside the evangelical subculture.

“They want a candidate who is not only socially and fiscally conservative, but who could actually raise money,” says Shackelford. “Perry can bridge the establishment and grass roots sides of the party and that’s really hard to find.”

Perry, who has presided over a state that has seen strong job growth amid the economic downturn, is considered popular among business groups.

“Rick Perry has the potential to energize tea party and social conservatives, as well as attract endorsements and contributions from GOP donors and elected officials,” said Ralph Reed, who leads the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“Not unlike another Texas governor, George W. Bush, he can bridge the establishment wing of the party and the conservative grass roots,” said Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition. “That’s quite a combination, and my sense is he will reshuffle this race in a significant way.”

Romney, the current establishment favorite, is unpopular among many conservative Christian activists because of his onetime support for abortion rights and because of a health care law he signed as governor of Massachusetts that mandates coverage.

And Romney, a Mormon, faces obstacles in connecting with evangelical voters along religious lines, as Perry, Pawlenty and Bachmann appear to be doing.

A CNN/ORC International Poll released Thursday showed 15% of Republican and independent voters who lean toward the GOP picked Perry as their choice for the Republican nomination.

That put Perry, still not officially a candidate, just 2 percentage points behind Romney, considered the front-runner in the nominating process. Romney's advantage over Perry is within the survey's sampling error.

Much of the evangelical organizing around Perry grew out of last weekend’s Houston prayer rally, called The Response, which Perry began organizing last year.

The event, cosponsored by conservative evangelical groups, was aimed at bringing God's help to a "nation in crisis,” and drew thousands of worshippers.

“I got involved in The Response three or four months ago and at that time, the Perry for president push was not the issue," said Garlow, who is supporting Newt Gingrich for president but has been disappointed in the response to the former House Speaker's campaign so far. "It became that way primarily after Huckabee pulled his name out of the race.”

Indeed, many conservative activists began calling on Perry to run only after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced in May that he would not seek the White House.

“I was astounded at the pressure on him to run," Garlow said. "You felt it building and we were trying to plan this prayer event and we’re saying, ‘How do we keep this out of politics because this is about Christ?' ”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (573 Responses)
  1. a person of the Name

    Prayer does work has for me and my family many times and I'm seeing Gods work in my life. We are so blessed.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  2. Sergei Illyvich Matveyev

    We need another 4 years of the Obama regime. Then we can join forces with Mother Russia by 2017 for the New Soviet Century.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Igor Mihailevich

      Durug tebe!

      August 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  3. Satan's Helper

    What we need is a theocracy. Folks who don't agree can emigrate or stay and risk being burned at the stake.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • wakeupAmerica

      What we need is not to have religion involved @ all! All u Christian Conservatives r nuts! Our country was founded on separation of church & state.

      August 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  4. Me

    Religion has no place in the WH, it is the problem.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  5. lee estrada

    Open link and see what happened in San Diego, CA when over 40,000 Christians fasted and prayed for the out come of the 2080 elections. Somewhere along the line they forgot to seek Gods will instead trying to advice him ( Omaba won & prop 8 was overturned). I will never vote for anyone who is using God to exult themselves.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  6. Doctortow

    I generally agree with most of the negative comments here about Perry. I am a Texan and this guy has helped destroy education and healthcare here. I hope he doesn't get the chance to do the same nationwide. We don't need an evangelical grandstander in office. It would be so refreshing to see a normal person with common sense in the white house. Unfortunately, most of those people would never become a politician especially at this level. I might have to shift some attention to Ron Paul....he makes more sense to me than most.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  7. revinger

    doesn't governor rick hold the record number of people electrocuted? something like 250?

    August 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  8. mdmooser

    Look at what the faith base has brought us.................................tax breaks for the rich, faith wars against each other in America with holier than thou rhetoric, unbridled lust of deregulation until they took America down to a bony corpse. Oh yeah go for it. I think some people will not be happy until they pull America down and bury it as their lives fall apart thinking they are right. OMG LOL

    August 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  9. Jeff

    I think it's that we don't have any faith in Obama.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • mdmooser

      If people don't have faith in Obama ( I didn't vote for him) it's because of the hate campaign that began when he was elected. No matter what anybody says, the rhetoric and record stinks of racism pure and simple. As far as presidents go I think McCain didn't want the mess he saw coming at the later stages. Obama has a lot of elected officials who are just basically haters and do not care what happens to the country as long as they try and take him down. Considering what is happening Obama is a great President. This country cannot handle having a black President straight and simple.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Better be careful with these religious nuts. They are fun to poke fun at, for sure. But they have a terrifying "wishlist".

      The Texas history books are rewriting history to give the conservative slant. The objective of this effort, is to create a Christian Nation, a theocracy with Jesus as Head of State.

      A huge campaign is underway, to convince the American people, the founding fathers never intended a separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson's role as a founding father is played down. In some cases Jefferson is smudged.
      Expect an attack on the 1st and 14th Amendments. The founding fathers will weep.

      Most of the Tea Party are for a Christian Theocracy. The Tea Party is in bed with the Christian Right. A vote for any Tea Party candidate, is a vote for Christian Right domination.

      The Republicans are the puppets of the Christian Right and the Rich.

      You will see an amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. The repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell", will be in grave jeopardy. Gay rights will dwindle and die.

      Roe Vs. Wade will be reversed. Women will once again be forced to seek back alley remedies. Men will be forced to buy condoms on the black market.

      Stem cell research will stagnate. The hopes of damaged and sick people will be dashed.
      All scientific research will be scrutinized by the Christian Right. "If a theory is in agreement with Scripture ", will be the new metric. Get use to hearing "God Did It". No one will dare question otherwise.

      P_ornography will be illegal. The Religious Right will decide what is p_ornographic , as well as what is art. You will watch television programs approved by the Evangelicals. Lots of reruns of "Growing Pains", starring that Evangelical darling Kirk Cameron. Thank you Jesus!

      Creationism will be taught in public school, most likely alongside evolution rather than instead of, but no guarantees.

      Vouchers will enable parents to send their child to religious schools. Funds to public schools will dwindle. Quality education will be out of reach for the masses. The finite amount of money, will be spread too thin. But what does it matter? It is the will of the Christian God.

      Little Johnny will believe in talking snakes and Zombie Messiahs. The rest of the world is spending their time learning real science and math. Good luck Johnny. Can you say: "Would you like fries with that?"

      State-sanctioned Prayer will be in our schools. The Christian Right think they know better than the Founding Fathers and want to tamper with the Bill of Rights. They want to amend the U.S. Const_itution, so that the Government would legally sponsor and take over the activity of prayer. Only the one true god, the Christian god, will be given homage. The non-Christians will be allowed to put their heads down on their desks, during the morning worship. They can contemplate their damnation, for not accepting Jesus.

      $ex education will consist of abstinence only. Studies have shown it is a worthless concept. But, it will please Jesus.

      The war against unions, commenced during the Bush administration, will continue.

      Jesus will be the Head of State! He will be represented by an empty chair at the head of the leadership table. Only the Evangelicals will be able to hear His voice. They will tell the rest of us His will. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

      We will be slaves to a make believe god. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.


      August 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @david johnson
      Is all that prophecy?

      August 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      nice observation, I think the hate campaign began well before Obama was elected,and recall fox news leading the mob.

      August 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  10. eightoeight

    What scares me is that it seems that so many in this country would vote for a candidate based on faith, and not as much on the other important qualifications. Is being a good Christian really more important than knowledge, education, intelligence, etc. in leading our country?

    August 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • David Johnson

      The qualifications that the voters believe are important, are important. The people who vote decide how we will be governed. The Christian Right, vote. The people who believe in a secular nation, apparently do not.


      August 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Lynne

      Define "good Christian". Personally, I don't think Perry is one. Jesus said to take care of the least among you. He also said that a hypocrite is a person who does religious works to show others (sounds like his recent rally). By my understanding, you cannot neglect the needy (statistics show Texas has plenty of needy) in favor of the rich and be doing the work of Jesus. Shallow theology and faith based on American tradition are the real problems here.

      August 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Ernest

      Anything! Anyone! but communists! No more antiamericans! No more! Wake up America!

      August 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      ernest,what planet are you on?what would verne think?

      August 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  11. Art

    Where's the pretty Butterfly video?

    August 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  12. Dee

    As a Christian person I am bitterly disappointed how tied religion and politics have become. Perry represents the worst of this. I have enough belief and faith in my views to allow others to have and celebrate theirs. Our country is built on this. The Texas I grew up in is not the one I live in today, fortunately, many people share my beliefs. Sadly, Perry is not one of them. It may kill me, but should he get the GOP nod, I may have to vote democrat. My dad will turn over in his grave, but will respect my reasons for doing so! When will these fanatics understand that it is not a matter of "out-Christianing" your neighbour, it is about love thy neighbour and be at peace with your personal relationship with God.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Ernest

      Anything! Anyone! but communists! No more antiamericans! No more!

      August 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Lynne


      August 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  13. cnnpeace

    Basics to Prayer
    What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?
    Have you struggled with prayer? Does prayer seem like an exercise in eloquent speech that you just don't possess?

    Prayer is not a mysterious practice reserved only for clergy and the religiously devout. Prayer is simply communicating with God—listening and talking to him. Believers can pray from the heart, freely, spontaneously, and in their own words. If prayer is a difficult area for you, learn these basics principles of prayer and how to apply them in your life.
    What Does the Bible Have to Say About Prayer?
    The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis, chapter 4.

    Genesis 4:26
    And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD. (NKJV)

    What is the Correct Posture for Prayer?
    There is no correct or certain posture for prayer. In the Bible people prayed on their knees (1 Kings 8:45), bowing (Exodus 4:31), on their faces before God (2 Chronicles 20:18; Matthew 26:39), and standing (1 Kings 8:22). You may pray with your eyes opened or closed, quietly or out loud—however you are most comfortable and least distracted. Should I Use Eloquent Words?
    Your prayers need not be wordy or impressive in speech.

    Matthew 6:7
    "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again." (NLT)

    Ecclesiastes 5:2
    Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (NIV)

    Why Should I Pray?
    • Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
    If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayer—communicating with God—helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.

    Zechariah 13:9
    I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' " (NLT)

    John 15:7
    But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! (NLT)

    • The Lord Instructed Us to Pray.
    One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.

    Matthew 26:41
    "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (NLT)

    Luke 18:1
    Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (NIV)

    Ephesians 6:18
    And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)

    (See also – Matthew 7:7 and 1 Timothy 2:8)
    What If I Don't Know How to Pray?
    The Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don't know how to pray.

    Romans 8:26-27
    In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (NIV)

    August 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • RonFromNM

      Prayer is simply talking to oneself and hypnotizing oneself to believe in imaginary beings. Except for the religious, it's a mental illness called schizophrenia.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Jesus speaking:

      "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

      "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

      "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

      "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

      James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

      Let's be honest. Don't be afraid to use critical thinking. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

      Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

      Double blind experiments, have all shown that prayer has no effect on illness.

      Because people have believed the promises of the bible, they have withheld medical care for their children. They prayed instead. Evidently, god was not moved by their faith. Their children died. Modern medicine could have saved them. OOoopsie!

      Why aren't Jesus' words true? Can you think of any possibilities? If Jesus' words aren't true about prayer, then how can we depend on anything else Jesus said? Maybe if we could "test" the afterlife claims, they would be no more real than the claims about prayer.

      A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
      1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.
      2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.
      3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

      Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

      1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.
      2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.
      3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

      I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

      Having a prayer answered, appears to require only 3 things: belief, faith and to be totally sure, you need others to pray with you.


      Remember the Gulf oil spill?
      Remember how a ton of people prayed for god to stop the gushing?
      I was spellbound! I watched the real time video of the oil spill. I expected to see it stop. It did not. Human technology eventually capped the well.

      Remember when Rick Perry rallied his state to pray for rain? He issued a proclamation that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
      The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011. Texas is still experiencing exceptional drought.

      Studies have shown prayer does not work. Any miracles or answered prayers are the result of random chance, coincidence and selective observation. Believers tend to remember the perceived positive outcome of prayers and forget the failed.

      Christians MUST contest this. They must rent their clothes and Shout: "Do not put the lord your god to the test!" LOL!

      God, either does not care or does not exist. Personally, I'm checking the second box. LOL.


      August 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Lynne

      But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Matthew 6:6

      August 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Matthew 6:6 has been reviewed by many contemporary NT scholars and judged to be historically unreliable i.e. a single attestation found no where else in the NT.

      e.g. see Professor Gerd Ludemann's comments in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 146.

      August 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  14. Clint White

    Gov. Perry is the answer to prayers. The leader of our country should have high Christian Morals.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Lisa

      Clint, I'm a republican. this guy has zero chance. The is a christian FREAK!

      August 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Clint White

      Lisa, why the need for name calling? What is your definition of "freak"?

      August 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • RonFromNM

      The leader of this country should respect separation of church and state. This is NOT a christian nation and never was intended to be.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Clint White

      Ron, read the back of the dollar bill...or maybe recite the pledge of allegiance. This country has always been a nation under God.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • eightoeight

      The leader of our nation should have high morals, not necessarily high Christian morals. An individual's faith should not be allowed to dictate how this nation is governed, in order to preserve the freedom and liberties of all, Christian or otherwise.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Clint White

      "In God We Trust", was added to paper money in 1956.

      "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

      The founding fathers never sanctioned this. This is a violation of the 1st Amendment.

      I wonder, which god we are under and trust?


      August 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      The office of President should be decided on qualifications,personal opinion Gov. perry is not qualified.

      August 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • wakeupAmerica

      Hey Clint get your facts straight before you talk pal, Francis Bellamy the man who wrote the Pledge did not include Under God in his Pledge. The Founding Fathers most of them anyway wanted to keep religion out of politics, just like most Christians you are ignorant!

      August 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  15. jo an

    Instead of listening to these 'talk show' idiots trying to start fights...I'll use my time working for Progressives...prefer Feingold but will vote for Obama....maybe be will 'wake up'...

    August 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I agree with you. Obama has been a huge disappointment. But, voting for the Republicans is an abomination.

      I will vote for Obama, but my heart is not into it, as it was in 2008.


      August 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  16. Dina

    Gee, will he be a "Christian" like George W. Bush, responsible for the deaths of tens, if not hundreds of thousands, in a needless war? a "Christian" like Michelle Bachmann who has endlessly lied about President Obama? Or a "Christian" like Newt, who dumps his wives for a new one when they become ill?

    August 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • jo an

      I think 'Christian' is hardly the word to describe this one....We all remember the 'loud mouth' bully in high school/college...the one who was a poor student but 'cool' and popular...well that is RICK PERRY...the 'class clown'...do we need a 'class clown'....hardly!!

      August 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • jim roane

      I always wanted to know what God thought about these people. But, why stop there? There are a few more names that you could add, perhaps even some Democrats.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  17. Lisa

    I'm a republican but won't vote for this religious FREAK!!

    August 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • jim roane

      Lisa, in the name of common sense, is FREAK appropriate? He's no freak. He is governor (several times over) of the second largest state in the Union, and one that has produced 37% of all the new jobs in this nation since the recession. So, how about some respect? You remind me of the person who voted against Obama because he has big ears. Get a life. Wise up. You may not agree with his religion or his politics, but name calling will get you nowhere except as a person with a little noteriety on this blog.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Mandelyn

      @ Jim: Freak, freak, freak. So there. As for jobs in Texas, those are minimum-wage with no benefits. Stop voting for people just because they share your religious beliefs and start looking at measurables that spell "qualified." And don't get any of us started on that silly creationism business that Perry bathes in.

      August 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  18. RonFromNM

    Geez, GOP. keep fielding these social conservative lunatics and I'll be voting Obama, though holding my nose as I do it. What part of letting people live in freedom do these social conservatives not get?

    August 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Lisa

      Amen Ron

      August 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Danielle DeLise

    "My kingdom is not of this world." ~Jesus Christ (John 18:26 New International Version)

    August 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Lisa

      You also must have OCD

      August 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • wakeupAmerica

      All religion is a cult and you people who believe are just sheep!

      August 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  20. Gnarlton

    I tend to be conservative when it comes to financial matters, but I can not abide a candidate that will try to legislate their religions morality to force it on others like perry surly will.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Lisa

      Amen!! He's a FREAK. And I'm a republican

      August 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
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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.