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. dave

    does anyone still care what these imbeciles say? I pray they will be touched by His Noodly Appendage.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  2. bill.x

    gingrich is a poor excuse for a catholic. labeling palestinians as non-persons is stage one of the usual republican designation for authorizing murder. why not have netanyahu of israel kill them at his convenience – they are not a legitmate people. as a catholic, i think noone other than the pope himself has to respond to this concept of politically expedient solution for a convert to espouse in a conflict that can not escape fundamental catholic teaching and behavior

    December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • John

      He is not a catholic. He is a Gingrite.....

      December 11, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • sharkfisher

      The pope is a putz.

      December 11, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  3. iminim

    Newt was punished by his peers in Congress for ethics violations. Even if you beleive he is truly repentant of ALL his sins (not just the marital ones but also the Congressional ethical ones) do you really believe putting him in the seat of ultimate earthly power as POTUS is a good idea? That's kind of like putting a repentant alcoholic in charge of the still, them piling on enormous stress (inherent in the job of POTUS) & seeing how long he will stay sober.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  4. John

    Herman Cain can't remember any women he has ever met;

    Rick Perry can't remember his political platform;

    Mitt Romney can't remember which position he took on which issue in which week;

    Newt Gingrich can't remember how much he owes to which jewelry stores in what cities;

    Michelle Bachmann can't remember anything of American history prior to Ronald Reagan;

    and THIS is who will lead America into the future? America deserves much better.......

    December 11, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Oh, Really?

      And Barack Obama can't remember whether he listened to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

      He's outta there in 2012!

      December 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  5. Jeff

    So are you people here at CNN going to be followers again and let CNN do their old search and destroy on any GOP candidate. Or are you going to search on your own this time and find out the real true this time?

    December 11, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • John

      GOP candidates destroyed themselves. Quit blaming the media. GOP are nothing but crybabies like yourself.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  6. splasher6

    Newt did very well and will take the nomination. Romney got owned... Perry just kept pushing the Texas typical BS

    December 11, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  7. Lupigon

    Newt Gingrich is using religion to get elected president, Calista and Newt knew that they were breaking the 7th Commandment "THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY when they were having an affair while his wife was dying of cancer. This man is a serial cheater a true hipocrite whose interest are the likes of Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers. WAKE UP PEOPLE SEE THROUGH THIS MAN!

    December 11, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • splasher6

      Just remember these words in November "All this for a dam flag" Thats what we have now

      December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • John

      Gingrich is a paid lobbyist who will say and do anything for a price. He is the ultimate insider and flip flopper. It is laughable that the Tea Party now supports him. He is the poster boy for what is wrong with Washington.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  8. Jamie

    I think it's a damn shame that the headline on your front page this morning is about this disgusting pig of a man, and the religious values of Romney and Perry. First of all, what does any of this have to do with fixing our terribly hurting nation? All the while, the most honest, sincere, steadfast and qualified candidate is up there on the stage (who, by the way, has lived his whole life as a true Christian and pro-lifer, if you care about that kind of thing. He's also delivered over 4,000 babies and served in the Air Force). He's up there with the same message he's had for decades, which has yet to be heeded, which is why we're in this mess we're in today. It's embarrassing to see him subjected to the nonsense politics of all these other clowns while he's up there trying to deliver a plan that could actually turn this country on the brink around. If only they would give him the coverage, America could really have a chance here. So WHY does the media insist on IGNORING or worse, PLAYING DOWN the practicality and POPULARITY of RON PAUL? Resetting polls online? Skewing his standings? All it leads me to believe is that to some very powerful people in this country, bringing America back to life is somehow a threat. Why? I do not understand. When the middle class is happy and productive once again, this country will flourish once again. Which is a good thing for every US citizen. PLEASE stop pandering to and exploiting the extremists with their BS takling points and start talking about someone who has a real plan to help real people. My vote in 2012 will be for LIBERTY and FREEDOM with Ron Paul as our next president–whether his name is on the ballot or not. Remember folks, you don't have to vote for someone just because they won the primaries. Write it in if you must.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Oh, Really?

      You're right, Jamie. We'll fix it next November.

      We'll complete the job we only halfway finished in 2010.

      You betcha!

      December 11, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • splasher6

      wow that will do... yea its worked how many times? Just write in Not the Muslin

      December 11, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  9. Synapse

    To repent requires a deeply personally desired reality based change in behavior.. He still lies "I was a historian- not a lobbyist" and is as far from living a Christian life as before "Suffer the little children" not put them to work to take difficult jobs from heads of families... & 1 more quote- "Tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

    December 11, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  10. revolting peasant

    You know the expression that there is a fine line between cop and criminal. That same fine line is all that separates political leaders and religious leaders. They all thrive on the power and claim to uphold a higher moral standard than the rest of us.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  11. revolting peasant

    The relgious leaders in this country are no different from the Mullahs of the middle-east. They are hateful, intollerant, and they hold up a false moral standard to wield power over others. Meanwhile, they live their own flawed private lives and beg for forgiveness when they get outed.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  12. John

    It is not what you say but what you do. Gingrich is a very mean spirited,egotistical,uncaring individual. He thinks only poor children are lazy and have no work ethics and need to be put to work. I remind Gingrich there are an equally amount of lazy rich children or even more who could easily be placed in that category. These kids you could say have been protected and coddled by their rich parents their whole life and get everything they want from Mommy and Daddy.....I doubt very much Gingrich has changed for the better by his actions and his words. I believe it is just another trick to secure more votes. Time will tell...

    December 11, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  13. olive6768

    What ever happened to seperation of church and state? This shouldnt matter. What should matter are his political ideas, not his repentance. Gingrich is running for a governmental position, not a religious one.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • mike p

      Thank you!!

      December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • John

      He needs the religious rights vote. It is his path to the nomination.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  14. Dennis

    I'm more amazed that Newt isn't in jail than anything else.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Oh, Really?

      I'm surprised Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank aren't in jail.

      Are you?

      December 11, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  15. LeahW

    Frankly, I don't care what he does in his private life. He is the most intelligent candidate. I say get Obama out of office out and get someone in who cares about our country. It will take years to clean up the mess Obama has made since he has been in office. Obama knows NOTHING about economics. Hope and Change - what a joke.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • John

      GOP and the Wall Street boys destroyed America and now they want to destroy what is left of the Middle Class. Do not be fooled.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  16. Faye Bowring

    What a laugh! Where were all the puritans when Roosevelt, IKE, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton were our Presidents? Yes, these men commited adultry before and while they were President of the United States. And then, we have all those who ran for the Office but never made it because they were exposed: Hart and Edwards for starters. Remember Jessie Jackson counseling President Clinton and Hillary during their scandal? Of course, we were not privy to the fact that not only did Jessie have a mistress but he also was the father of a love child while he was laying hands on, praying for and with, and advising the Clintons! Perfect these men were not and yes they had character flaws but would we really want to delete their historical contributions or have a rerun in time and eliminate them from Office? I think not!

    Yes, Newt has made his mistakes but he has been married to this wife for 10 years! I am not necessarily a fan of Newt's but I really believe it is time for him to say to the media and all those who have never made a mistake and without flaws, ENOUGH! Let's move on to how are we going to resolve our problems as a people and a Nation?"

    December 11, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • You Said it, Sister!

      Don't confuse the hateful liberals with the facts, Faye.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Oh, Really?

      It won't matter in next year's election. It'll all be about the Obama economy, which has been a dismal failure.

      At least Ronald Reagan had 6% growth by the end of his first term.

      All Obama has is tax the rich.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  17. Goodguy1

    Look Newt repented enough. The Christian Right will have to be satisfied because their poster child christian family, The Bush family has a lot of war and blood on their hands. What ever happened to pro life? Praise the lawd ! Hallelujah!

    December 11, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  18. Gary

    What we need is a leader not a religious nut.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  19. ggg

    Newt has 3 things besides his morales that would keep him from the White House. He is fat, old, and ugly. Can you imagine him representing the US? Yuk. Not only that, how can his wife even stomach him? She is not that great looking herself but he looks slimy and just, fat. YUK YUK YUK.....At least Obama is nice looking and keeps in shape. Hell, even Biden is nice looking.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • LeahW

      Who cares about looks? Truly, I cannot believe you would write such a comment. I want a president with economic sense which is something the current man in office knows nothing. Out with hope and change and in with a man who could actually run our country. Looks has nothing to do with it.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  20. Jeebus Loves You

    Newt is a serial adulterer and a corporate lobbyist. Which means he's pretty much been in bed with everyone.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:30 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.