November 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Rick Perry’s long faith journey culminates in presidential run

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.

Austin, Texas (CNN) – Rick Perry’s new church is not like his old church.

At his new church, several hundred worshippers showed up in jeans on a recent Sunday to listen to high-decibel Christian rock from plush stadium-style seats.

The crowd, mostly under the age of 40, raised their hands to Jesus in between sips of freshly brewed coffee from the java hut in the lobby.

Outside Lake Hills Church – situated on 40 acres about half an hour’s drive from downtown Austin – a dozen sheriff’s deputies managed the Sunday morning traffic rush.

Back in town at Perry’s old church, a graying, neatly dressed crowd of several dozen gathered for services in a stately sanctuary, singing old hymns and reciting communal prayers from hard wooden pews.

There is no java hut at Tarrytown United Methodist Church – and not nearly enough traffic to justify sheriff’s deputies.

Perry’s jump from Tarrytown to Lake Hills mirrors some of the big recent changes in American Christianity: From cities to suburbs, from a formal mainline worship style that relies on liturgy to a more casual evangelical approach that’s all about connecting to Jesus.

The Republican presidential candidate’s 2007 church switch also may mirror something much more personal: The culmination of Perry’s journey from a mainline Protestant upbringing to an evangelical-flavored faith built on close relationships with Baptist preachers and giving public testimony about God.

How Mormonism helped shape Mitt Romney

Politically, his faith evolution creates an opportunity for Perry to connect with the evangelical voters who constitute the Republican Party’s base at a time when some say he’s the only candidate who stands any chance of derailing Mitt Romney’s bid for the GOP nomination, even as he has fallen behind Romney and Herman Cain in the polls.

Perry speaking at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum in October.

The Texas governor has made his faith a centerpiece of his presidential campaign in ways both overt and subtle – hardly the first time he has enthusiastically mixed religion and politics.

At a time when Americans have grown accustomed to hearing public officials invoke a kind of generic national religion that’s sensitive to diverse faith traditions and nonbelievers alike, Perry has often gone a big step further, telegraphing a distinctly Christian message.

For instance, when Perry lent his signature to a Texas ballot initiative to constitutionally ban gay marriage – an effort that didn’t even require the governor’s endorsement – he did so on a Sunday from inside an evangelical Christian school.

Opinion: Why Perry needs Palin

And the four-term governor often speaks of a culture war between the nation’s Christians and secular humanists, who he says are trying to stamp religion out of the public square.

“America is going to be guided by some set of values - the question is going to be whose values,” Perry said in a speech at Virginia’s Liberty University in September. “I would suggest … it is those Christian values that this country was based upon.”

Now, as he wages an uphill battle for the Republican nomination, Perry is emphasizing his Christian commitment even more than in the past, trying to line up support from conservative Christian leaders and religious voters nationwide.

Some friends of the governor say he sees his presidential quest as a kind of mission from God.

Rick Perry talks to CNN's John King

“He said he didn’t want to do it, but he felt the Lord was calling him,” says Kelly Shackelford, who recently heard Perry discuss his campaign with religious activists.

“His wife and him were both reluctant,” says Shackelford, an influential conservative activist in Texas. “But as Christians, when you know you’re called to do something, there is no doubt, no hesitation. You just do it.”

“In those days, the churches were full”

Rick Perry grew up in tiny, isolated Paint Creek, an unincorporated farming community on the dusty plains of central Texas.

Paint Creek “was on a farm to market road where they had this Methodist church on one end and a Baptist church on the other and the school in the middle,” Perry’s wife, Anita Perry, told CNN.

For Rick Perry, “life revolved around school, church and – for most boys – the Boy Scouts,” he wrote in his 2008 book, “On My Honor.”

Paint Creek’s Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code, prohibiting school dances and Halloween carnivals, reasoning that carnival games were tantamount to gambling.

“The school board was nearly all Baptist, and they drew up a dress code every year that was very concerned with hair and short pants and exposing too much skin,” says Wallar Overton, a childhood friend and Perry’s neighbor in Paint Creek.

Overton’s parents, who were Methodists, once held a prom in their house to get around the school’s ban on dancing.

Wallar Overton, Perry’s childhood neighbor from Paint Creek, Texas, says Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code.

Bud Adkins, the current pastor at the community’s Baptist church, calls such bans “pretty characteristic. That’s how everyone in the area grew up.”

“A lot of parents just felt that dances were where bad things took place,” Adkins says. “Drinking and fighting and carousing and things you shouldn’t be doing.”

Perry said his family was active in both churches when he grew up in Paint Creek in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Perry’s campaign declined interview requests, but his religious friends say his early exposure to both Methodists and Baptists initiated him into the two main branches of American Protestantism – mainline and evangelical.

Mainline Methodists tend to stress good works, while evangelical Baptists focus on personal relationships with God.

“It’s a mix of looking out and looking in,” says David Barton, a Texas-based evangelical activist who has been close to the governor for 20 years. “And it’s why [Perry’s] comfortable in so many different settings, whether it’s a Catholic or a Hispanic or a black church.”

When Perry was growing up in Paint Creek, there was a Methodist and a Baptist church. Only the Baptist congregation survives.

Perry has spoken in scores of Texas churches since becoming governor in 2000, including visits to black churches for Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the arrival of news that President Lincoln's had ended slavery.

Perry’s ties to Texas’ black and Hispanic communities are largely built around faith-related issues such as abortion and gay marriage, on which polls show minorities tend to be more conservative than whites.

Though Perry attended the occasional Baptist revival in Paint Creek and appears to identify as an evangelical today, Overton says the governor was raised squarely in the Methodist church, attending Methodist services and Sunday school, taught by Overton’s mother, every week.

“Baptists taught doctrine,” Overton says. “My mom taught Christianity. ... Her God was a loving God.”

Years later, when Gov. Perry actively supported the death penalty and cuts in government programs for the poor - positions that clashed with the more progressive stances of the United Methodist Church - some fellow Methodists speculated that Paint Creek’s cultural conservatism shaped the governor more than his church did.

“This was a pretty good Bible Belt when we grew up,” says Adkins, who is a few years older than Perry and grew up in Rochester, about 30 miles away. “In those days, the churches were full and the parents were really conservative.”

Going evangelical

When Perry landed back in Paint Creek in the late 1970s, after college at Texas A&M and a four-year stint as an Air Force pilot, its small-town ways helped provoke an identity crisis for the future governor.

Then 27, Perry had been around the world flying huge C-130 cargo planes for the military. But in 1977, he found himself back on the family farm helping his dad.

After a lifetime of structure – Boy Scouts, the Corps of Cadets (a Texas A&M program similar to ROTC), the Air Force – Perry was adrift, struggling to find a path in the face of a wide-open future.

“I was lost, spiritually and emotionally, and I didn’t know how to fix it,” he told Liberty University students in his September appearance there.

Anita Perry, who was dating Perry at the time, said he “came home and all of a sudden he kind of had this world of independence.”

“He went to farm with his dad, who had been farming successfully for many, many years,” she says. “He didn’t really need Rick to come in and tell him how to do the farming.”

For someone who had served as an aircraft commander, the move home felt like a demotion.

“I came back into my old room. I swear to God I know mother cleaned it, but it looked exactly like it did the day I left,” Perry said at a May fundraising event for a Christian prayer rally he helped organize.

“It had my football number on the door, and it had the all-star football game program still stuck on the bulletin board,” he said. “It was an eerie moment for me to move back home.”

Perry says that he found resolution, while still 27, by turning to God.

“My faith journey is not the story of someone who turned to God because I wanted to,” he told students at Liberty, in what has become a mainstay of his speeches to Christian audiences. “It was because I had nowhere else to turn.

“I spent many a night pondering my purpose, talking to God, wondering what to do with this one life among the billions that were on the planet. What I learned as I wrestled with God is that I didn’t have to have all the answers, that they would be revealed to me in due time and that I needed to trust him.”

At other public appearances, Perry has said his soul-searching ended when he realized “I’d been called to the ministry.”

But that turned out to be a call to enter politics. “I’ve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was going to have,” he said at the May fundraiser. “I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will.”

While being “born again” is considered an important milestone for many evangelicals, Perry isn’t known to describe his experience in 1977 Paint Creek in such terms.

As his wife puts it, “He’d already found Jesus because he had been baptized.”

“I don’t know really how to classify it,” she says of her husband’s experience. “I wasn’t in on that with him. … But I think he found the answer he needed.”

Church with the Bushes

Despite the evangelical overtones of Perry’s life-changing encounter with God, he and his wife joined a Methodist church when they landed in Austin in the mid-1980s, continuing his mainline childhood tradition.

Perry had been elected a state representative as a Democrat from a rural West Texas district in 1985. He was following in the political footsteps of his father, who was a county commissioner at the time.

In 1990, after switching to the Republican Party, Perry was elected agricultural commissioner, his first statewide office. Later, one of the capital’s other prominent families – the Bushes – joined the Perrys at Austin’s Tarrytown United Methodist Church.


The Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, where the Perrys attended until 2007.

George W. Bush was elected Texas governor in 1994, and he, Laura and their two daughters began attending Tarrytown.

By that time, Tarrytown had gained a reputation as a conservative alternative to Austin’s First United Methodist Church, which is right next door to the state Capitol and boasted high-profile Democratic attendees like Ann Richards, the governor of Texas from 1990 to 1994.

During the 1990s, the Perrys and Bushes were among the worshippers who made a tradition of distributing Holy Communion during Tarrytown’s Christmas Eve services. The Perrys also helped lead confirmation classes as their two children prepared to be confirmed in the church.

Perry was elected lieutenant governor of Texas in 1998, inheriting the governor’s office two years later when Bush left Austin for the White House.

Jim Mayfield, senior pastor at Tarrytown from 1988 to 2006, says the Perrys generally kept a low profile at the church.

“We weren’t close, but it was very cordial,” he says. “They attended worship, and that’s about all they did.”

Perry and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush attended the same Methodist church in Austin.

At the same time, Perry was forming close relationships with evangelical pastors across the state.

“I’ve known the governor in a personal way for 20 years, since he was agricultural commissioner,” says Ed Young, a prominent Baptist preacher based in Houston. “I see God’s hand leading him and working in his life.

“He has grown in his faith,” says Young, who regularly talks and visits with Perry. “During crises, we look in every direction, and more and more the governor has looked up. Not in some pious God-told-me way, but in humility.”

In 2007, when the Perrys moved to a rented house in West Austin during a governor’s mansion renovation, Young encouraged them to check out an evangelical-style church a protégé had started nearby.

That congregation, Lake Hills, has been Perry’s church home ever since.

For some of Perry’s evangelical friends and supporters, his jump from a mainline to an evangelical church was a sign of spiritual growth.

“Lake Hills is a very strong church, and I’ve seen him get stronger in his faith,” says Shackelford, the conservative Texas activist. “Methodist churches are all over the spectrum. One could be really strong and conservative and the next one could be liberal.”

Anita Perry, meanwhile, says she misses her old church, Tarrytown.

“I miss those traditional hymns,” she told CNN during a recent campaign visit to Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian school in South Carolina.

“The contemporary music [at Lake Hills], you know I hear it and I hear the beat. I hear the words, but I don’t know the words,” she says. “I didn’t grow up in that church; I grew in a traditional church.

“So that transformation for me was hard,” she says. “But I’m truly able to bring something back from the message [at Lake Hills] when I walk out of there.”

Pastors and presidential politics

In late 2004 as Election Day approached, polls showed the country about evenly divided between Perry’s political ally, President Bush, and Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Perry was worried. He headed to a dry creek bed somewhere outside Austin and called his friend James Robison, a Dallas-based televangelist.

“I’m out here in the middle of nowhere, a place so remote I'm surprised I get a cell signal,” Perry said, according to Robison. “I’m sitting down by myself, and I want to pray about the direction of the country.”

Robison had been friends with Presidents Reagan and Bush and had fielded many calls from Gov. Perry. The Baptist preacher said he was moved to learn his state’s chief executive was spending a day alone in the wilderness, praying.

For Robison, the call was “strictly spiritual.” But it could also be seen as evidence of Perry’s effortless fusion of faith and politics.

Perry, center, at a memorial for the crew of the space shuttle Columbia in Lufkin, Texas, in 2003.

In Austin, Perry’s political fans and foes alike say that fusion is best reflected in his track record on abortion.

Since taking office in 2000, Perry has signed laws mandating parental consent for minor girls who want an abortion, slashing state funds for Planned Parenthood and requiring a woman seeking an abortion to first view a sonogram of her fetus. (A federal judge recently issued an injunction effectively blocking that law’s enforcement.)

Supporters say the record testifies to Perry’s faith-based commitment to life.

“He has passed 20-odd pieces of pro-life legislation,” Shackelford says. “He was vilified by the media for it, and he didn’t stand his ground [just] because it was a good policy position. It really all emanated from his faith.”

Critics say the governor has overstepped, compromising women’s basic health care in the name of ideology.

They note that state funding for Planned Parenthood was barred from going to abortions even before he cut it. And they say the sonogram law Perry signed requires doctors to read biased information to women seeking abortions.

“As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has pursued a single-minded agenda: Take away women's health care, destroy Planned Parenthood, and block women's access to safe abortion care,” the Planned Parenthood Action fund wrote in a recent petition drive.

More recently, Perry has become an outspoken advocate for religion in the public square and a vocal opponent of those who don’t believe in God.

“The life of the secular humanist has a depressing end,” Perry writes in “On My Honor.”

“All their possessions will be left behind, and the only thing that will matter is what God thinks of their life in the face of eternity.”

Elsewhere in the book, which tracks what Perry calls a secular war against the Boy Scouts, he characterizes evolution as an inherently atheistic idea.

“Even if one goes along with the atheists’ argument that life evolved from previous forms,” Perry writes, “where did the previous forms come from?”

Many scientists and believers would no doubt disagree with the governor. Polls show that tens of millions of Americans back evolution and also believe in God.

Perhaps Perry’s most audacious religious gesture as governor came in August, when he organized a prayer rally in the stadium where the NFL’s Houston Texans play. The event came a few months after Perry had proclaimed three days of prayer for rain in Texas amid the state’s long drought.

Robison, who helped launch the Christian Right in 1980 when he organized a meeting between then-candidate Reagan and pastors in Houston, says he approached Perry with the idea for the rally late last year to confront what Robison said was a national moral crisis.

“I simply said that we don’t seem to call for prayer anymore, and I referenced the biblical book of Joel, when he calls a solemn assembly after locusts had stripped the crops,” Robison says. “I said to the governor, ‘No one’s called a solemn assembly.’

“I was surprised when he called one,” Robison says. “There just are not many leaders who do that.”

The August prayer event, called “The Response,” was financed by the conservative evangelical American Family Association and was intended to acknowledge that, in Perry’s words, “America is in crisis.”

Perry at The Response prayer rally in Houston.

"We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism and a multitude of natural disasters," Perry said in the run-up to the rally, which organizers said drew 30,000 people.

Billed as a “day of prayer and fasting,” it also involved dozens of conservative Christian leaders whose support is coveted by most of the Republican White House hopefuls.

But Perry's aides insisted The Response had nothing to do with presidential ambitious.

Aides say that calls for Perry to consider a White House run came only after other big-name Republicans, like Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour, announced they would not run. And that happened after Response planning was already well under way.

Skeptics argue that Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, had to be at least pondering a White House run since late last year.

Either way, the prayer event created a major political opportunity for Perry. Intense media coverage allowed him to broadcast his Christian commitment to a national audience just one week before formally launching his presidential campaign.

Perry’s Christian messaging could be especially important because Romney, the perceived Republican frontrunner, is a Mormon. Many evangelicals don’t consider Mormons to be Christian, and flaunting his faith could be a way for Perry to distinguish himself.

Last month, a Baptist pastor who introduced Perry at a major conservative gathering stirred controversy by calling Mormonism a cult. Perry has said he disagrees.

Hours with the faithful

In the months since The Response, Perry’s courtship of national Christian leaders has intensified. With Romney locking up support from much of the Republican establishment, Perry is working overtime to shore up his party’s socially conservative base.

Just a few weeks after the Houston prayer rally, roughly 200 religious leaders from across the country, mostly evangelicals, descended on a San Antonio-area ranch for the chance to meet Perry and his wife.

Over the course of a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning, Rick and Anita Perry talked up the governor’s record and took questions from the audience. James Dobson, founder of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, served as moderator.

Robison, one of the attendees, said the Perrys talked to them for six or seven hours.

“People who were there were stunned,” Robison said. “I’ve spent time with lots of candidates, and I’ve never seen one take that much time.”

Another attendee, Christian activist David Lane, said one audience member asked Anita Perry what people would be most surprised to learn about her husband.

“He’s more spiritual than you probably think,” Texas’ first lady responded, according to Lane. “He reads the Bible every day.”

For the Texas-based pastors and activists in attendance, that was hardly news. But to scores of others who were just getting to know Perry, it was reassuring information.

“As governor, people are not asking you, ‘Tell me when you came to the Lord,’” says Shackelford, who has known Perry for more than a decade. “The people you hang out with every day already know.

“But now he’s running for president,” Shackelford says, “and all of a sudden there are these Christian leaders meeting him for the first time, and they want to know: How did you come to know the Lord? What was your journey?”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (3,096 Responses)
  1. goodegyptian

    God? There's no such thing as a bad leader praying to God. George W. Bush is a mass murderer and war criminal. If Rick Perry becomes the next president of the United States, he could become the same as George W. Bush. They are both corrupted natural born killers.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  2. Les

    Please CNN, no more religious hype.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  3. karina

    spare us another politician using God to promote his personal agenda. God is not telling Perry to do anything because God wants us just to love each other and help each other through life. God does not subscribe to capitalism, God loathes it. And God is not male gender, nor female. God is pure love and compassion and omnipotent.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. JP

    Yeah, that's just what this country needs – another bible thumpin' hack that believes in non-existent beings and lives in his own little dream world like that idiot Bush.

    Anybody remember what happened with him? Surely there are enough sane voters in this country to keep this from happening again.

    On the other hand....

    November 6, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  5. Whatever

    Please. This puffed up charlatan has coasted on his good looks and lack of intelligence for years. He is wrapping himself in religion in order to appease his extremist base of religious nuts. He does not care one bit about religion or God... just himself and how he can attain more wealth through public office.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • L J

      Agreed – this is Christian Shiria! BTW not everyone in this country is Christian, take a look around Perry!!

      November 6, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  6. John

    Why does god never talk to intelligent people, just buffoons like Rick Perry.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  7. BigSir

    The ayatollah perry. God told me not to vote for him.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  8. kayjulia

    Where for and why this article? How come in this country one can declare they speak for god and no-one blinks an eye? In saner times one's lucidness would be held in question and one would run the peril of being put in a sanitarioum until one came to one's senses. In this time we talk about someone's mission from god like it is a normal thing to have happen..... IT IS NOT NORMAL to hear VOICES from god or who ever you hear them from .... YOU'RE NUTS !!!!

    November 6, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  9. keith

    what....does he think he is a Blues Brother now or something?? geeez what an idiot...he is not a church man by any means....he steals from those who need it and gives it to those who dont.....no wonder he has pushed Texas down the proverbial toilet

    and btw, that speech of his is NOT normal for him....he was definitely on something! He's never given a speech in Texas while governor like that.....he's just done very stupid things instead

    November 6, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • mendacitysux

      The band Elwood! The Band! Take them any day over this guy.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  10. Kenneth

    Another politician using their alleged "faith" to sucker gullible voters. Too bad more people don't see through this sham.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Kenneth

      Matthew 6:5 – “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."

      November 6, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  11. mike p

    A personal God helping you to do good by you, and good by others, is fine. But once you juxtapose faith with politics you have major issues.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  12. Haji

    If you believe in some fake god, your not mentally capable of leading a country.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • chuckly

      I have no problem with people believing in God and being in politics. It's the one's who want to Jamb everything down everyone's throat that I have the problem with. They don't consider that there are others out there besides them who feel differently. They feel everyone should live their way and have no choice in the matter. They have no concept of what compromise means, and that is HEAD ON what is happening with the far right running the country right now.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Mike

      It is beyond me how anyone can consider this person a viable candidate when they allow this much faith to influence their political ideals. To believe #1, that your God is the only God, and #2 to rely on this pretend God to help you out of a mess. This is absolutely shocking. It's not different, and I mean absolutely NO DIFFERENT, than believing in Santa Claus and hoping he'll bring your kids presents on x-mas morning.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  13. chrisg

    After reading this article, it is obvious that Rick Perry is just another Christian Taliban.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  14. Ponies

    I'm gonna vote for him just to troll all you atheists. Besides you people put your faith in a manmade system of measurements called science that's always changing and can explain just as much as anything else. I won't be back to respond to you, I have some Joyce Meyer to watch and also Ponies.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • What?

      Science is changing? No, science is the same as it was when the scientific method was first introduced. It is what we know from science that is changing. The fact that scientific knowledge keeps changing is the reason it is so powerful. Science is not a know it all. It is okay to realize a past assertion was wrong when a new discovery puts an old one to shambles. Science promotes discovery and changeling of the status quo. It is this change that generates growth in ones or a societies self. So, believe in a system where some one tells you whats true and you must believe blindly or a system were you observe and discover for yourself what is true with past observations as your guide.

      November 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Hannibal

      I'm gonna vote for him too! I'm gonna change from dem to repub just so I can vote for him.... IN THE PRIMARY!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

      November 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  15. chuckly

    Here is my view on Christianity and politics. If you feel that God is leading you to be president or hold any other office out there, then by all means if you feel that God is truly leading you, then go for it. BUT......you should align yourself with a party that actually holds 'christian values' in every area, no so called 'certain' areas, but not in others. I feel if you are truely lead by God, it will show in what you do, not what you 'claim'. And if you do decide to run for any office, as soon as you align yourself up with the Republican's, you just lost any and all credibility you may have garnered before hand. Am I saying you should be Democrat? NO, but a true christian would not align up with the Republican's either.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  16. Haji

    I personally dont want some overly religious holy roller as my president. Organized religion in any way, shape or form is bad for society.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • cykill


      November 6, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • JP

      Damn right!

      November 6, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  17. Candyw1

    Religion has absolutely NO place in politics. Politicians pull on their religious coats when running for office to get votes. We need people in Washington that are smart enough and honorable enough to get our country out of this hole and back on track. Rick Perry is not smart enough nor honorable. You would think that in a country of about 320 million people we could find around 500 that could not be bought and paid for by special interest. And that includes the people that peddle religion because they are for sure a special interest group just like banks, wall street, big oil etc.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • adam

      Ok Candy, you are obviously watching too much lib-tard TV. Big Banks, Big Oil, and Wall street are not the only people lobbying the president. What about GE and "green" companies??? Oh I forgot, Obama likes them so they don't count.
      Btw, Obama gets millions from big banks and wall street daily....dont fool yourself....

      November 6, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • PulTab

      Well said Candy.

      November 6, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  18. Revrant

    Can we get this crap off the front page? There are important stories and this is taking up like 1/8th of the whole page, I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone's "faith", especially not Rick Perry who has done nothing but blindly follow it all of his very fortunate life, it's easy to have faith in the midst of fortune.

    Now get us more information about the status of the Oakland vet, and opinions from the Greek people.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • CanOnTo

      I agree it is crap, but it is important to be seen what kind of wacko wants to be a president. Let it stay up.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  19. James Duncan

    Stop using GOD's name in Vain. GOD hates poltices. remember what jesus said:"give unto ceasor what is Ceasor, give unto the Lord what is the Lord's."
    The only time Jesus got mad was when the capitalist was selling goods in the chuch..
    Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain does not just apply to using it in curse words, ANY mis use of his name is wrong.
    even in poltices just to get elected.
    Funny tat buchmenand newt also told them that GOD told them to run

    November 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • norman

      hey good to see you about God's words....alright better call israel people flee now then destroy holy old city ..as possible soon ... because alert smog and low raining Amen

      November 6, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  20. Green Eyeshades

    Considering that Rick Perry wears his religion on his sleeve and makes his Christian faith a center piece of his campaign by offering a very public prayer just before announcing his candidacy, one can't help but wonder if it's his religious devotion that helps define his presidential aspirations or if it's the other way around.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.