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January 7th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Reversing JFK: Santorum’s bid to marry faith and politics

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.

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) - It was election night in November 2006, and Rick Santorum had organized a private Catholic Mass in a room at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. The senator from Pennsylvania had just lost his re-election bid.

The Mass, held just before his concession speech, included a priest and Santorum’s close family and staff. Though the occasion was somber, the soon-to-be-ex-senator aimed for a celebratory mood, said Mark Rodgers, then a top Santorum aide.

“Life is if full of what can be perceived as disappointments or hardships,” Rodgers said, “but Scripture tells followers of Jesus that we approach those situations with joy because there’s ultimate redemption.”

Santorum’s younger brother, Dan, remembers that many attendees - including the senator’s children - were weeping over Santorum’s landslide defeat at the hands of Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

But not the senator.

“You’d think he would have been crushed,” says Dan Santorum. “But he wasn’t even bitter. He didn’t complain. He just said it was God’s plan.

“That’s when I knew he was going to run for president of the United States,” Dan continued. “Because I think that God had another plan for him.”

It’s unclear if Rick Santorum, whose strong finish in the Iowa caucuses has breathed new life into his presidential campaign, interpreted his Senate loss the same way.

Santorum concedes his Senate seat in 2006.

But the hotel Mass, and Santorum’s apparent placidity in the face of an overwhelming defeat, illustrate what confidants say is the key to understanding him as a person and politician: a devout Catholic faith that has deepened dramatically through political and personal battles.

“When I first met him he was an observant Catholic but a fairly privatized one,” says Rodgers, who ran Santorum’s first race for the U.S. House in 1990 and served as a key Santorum aide in Congress for 16 years.

“The journey I saw him on was a gradual awakening to the importance of faith at an operational level within a democracy, the idea that free people need to have a moral foundation.

“The journey was also personal - growing in faith and sharing it with others,” Rodgers says.

Many politicians have ideological concerns about issues like abortion or gay marriage, but “in Santorum’s case, it’s fundamentally religious,” says Richard Land, public policy chief at the Southern Baptist Convention. “That’s the genetic code of his life.”

It’s also the part that most inspires his political backers - among them the Iowa evangelicals who helped fuel his stunning Iowa finish, eight votes behind winner Mitt Romney - and most enrages critics, who take deep offense at Santorum’s views on divisive issues like homosexuality, which he once lumped together with bestiality in a discussion of legal rights.

“I think it’s fair to say that he’s sometimes harsh in the way he makes those arguments,” says Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush.

Indeed, even Santorum’s own party is seeing a faith-based split around his presidential campaign, with evangelicals who dominate the primaries in states like Iowa on one side and more establishment Republicans in states like New Hampshire on the other.

As he works to convince skeptical voters he has a real shot at winning the White House, Santorum’s religious faith has emerged as both his chief political asset and his biggest liability.

Kennedy's ‘sealed off’ wall

His Catholicism may have deepened as an adult, but Santorum also has deep Catholic roots.

“Three pictures hung in the home of my devoutly Catholic immigrant grandparents when I was a boy,” he said in a speech last year. “I remember them well: Jesus, Pope Paul VI and John F. Kennedy.”

Santorum attended Mass with his brother, sister and parents virtually every Sunday. “You basically had to be on your deathbed not to go to church,” says Dan Santorum.

Both parents worked in a VA hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania. As teenagers, Rick and Dan would push the wheelchairs of patients to Sunday Mass in the hospital’s interfaith chapel. Rick would serve the Mass as an altar boy, wheel patients up to receive Holy Communion, then help his brother wheel them back to their hospital rooms.

Other than that, it was a conventional American Catholic upbringing in the 1960s and ’70s: The Santorums said grace before meals, sent their kids to Catholic grade school and spent absolutely no time discussing how religion influenced their public policy views.

American Catholics at the time were living in the shadow of John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech in which he insisted that neither his faith nor his church would have any influence on his presidency.

Santorum would spend his political life trying to reverse the effects of Kennedy’s pledge. He argued that Kennedy “sealed off informed moral wisdom into a realm of non-rational beliefs that have no legitimate role in political discourse.”

During college and law school at Penn State, Santorum wasn’t especially observant; neither did his religious faith factor much into his political views.

After college he served as an aide to Doyle Corman, a moderate Republican state senator in Pennsylvania. Religion seldom came up.

“My husband and I are both pro-choice,” Corman’s wife, Becky, told The New York Times in 2006. “One of the interesting things about Rick is, the whole time he worked for us, we didn't know what his views were on that issue.”

Dan Santorum says a turning point in his brother’s faith life was his marriage to Karen Garver. They met in the 1980s while Karen was studying law at the University of Pittsburgh and Santorum was recruiting law students for the Pittsburgh firm where he worked.

“There was just a bond between them,” Dan says. “Part of that was that they shared their faith.”

That bond was on display last Tuesday during Santorum’s speech after the Iowa caucuses.

“C.S. Lewis said, ‘A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words.’ My best friend, my life mate, who sings that song when I forget the words, is my wife, Karen,” Santorum said before embracing her in a long hug.

Santorum bows his head in prayer during an Iowa campaign rally in January.

Sometime after arriving in Washington following his 1990 House victory, Santorum began attending daily Mass before work.

The Rev. Eugene Hemrick, who frequently leads Mass at 130-year-old St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill, says Santorum led Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback - who served with Santorum in Congress in the 1990s and 2000s - to the church.

“Santorum was always dressed up,” Hemrick remembers. “Brownback was in sweats a lot from running.”

The evangelical Brownback wound up converting to Catholicism, and the two were often joined in the pews by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“When you know these people are out there, you do a little more homework before you preach,” Hemrick said of his high-profile flock. “You try to make it a little more meaningful to them.”

Moral codes and absolutes

The 1990 GOP freshman class, a small group that managed to win in a poor year for Republicans nationally, took a confident line in airing grievances to congressional and party leaders.

Santorum was part of the freshman “Gang of Seven” that exposed the House banking scandal, and he kept up his penchant for bold, against-the-grain gambits after his election to the Senate as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution.

Soon he was taking aim at the overriding culture-war issue of our time: abortion.

Santorum helped lead the effort to impose the first federal restrictions on abortion that could survive court challenges since Roe. v. Wade - a ban on the procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.

Faith and politics may have been separate in Santorum’s childhood home and the homes of other American Catholics at the time, but by the 1990s abortion had become the symbol for the infusion of conservative faith into American politics. The issue forged a powerful political alliance between conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants.

On the wall of his Senate office, Santorum kept a picture of William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian whose evangelical faith stirred him to lead the campaign that ultimately ended the British slave trade in 1807.

The senator saw his campaign for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act as his “Wilberforcean effort,” says Rodgers, now a senior adviser to Santorum’s presidential campaign.

Santorum’s comfort with using his faith to shape his politics was partly a reflection of Catholic intellectuals he had met since arriving in the capital, including Richard John Neuhaus, a priest who edited the Catholic journal First Things, and George Wiegel, a theologian.

For Santorum, such figures and books by Catholic writers like St. Augustine instilled the sense that free societies need citizens who are governed by strong moral codes.

“How is it possible, I wonder, to believe in the existence of God yet refuse to express outrage when His moral code is flouted?” Santorum said in a ’90s-era speech at the Heritage Foundation. “To have faith in God, but to reject moral absolutes?”

For Santorum, legalized abortion represented the ultimate flouting of that code.

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act passed Congress in 1995, but President Bill Clinton vetoed it the following year. Santorum led a failed Senate effort to override the veto and helped revive the bill after the election of President George W. Bush, who signed it into law.

Such campaigns helped make Santorum a national hero to the anti-abortion movement and a bogeyman for abortion rights supporters.

“On the morning after the Iowa caucuses, there were millions of pro-life voters who woke up pinching themselves that one of their very own had emerged at the top rank of candidates, making sure it wasn’t a dream,” said the Southern Baptist Convention’s Land.

Around the time of the Clinton veto, Rick and Karen Santorum confronted a tragedy that added flesh-and-bone experience to their anti-abortion stance, which had up until then been intellectual and religious.

By that time, the Santorums had three children. While pregnant with her fourth, doctors told Karen her fetus had a fatal birth defect. In his 2005 book “It Takes a Family,” Santorum writes about Karen turning down the option to have an abortion.

“Karen and I couldn’t rationalize how we could treat this little human life at 20 weeks’ gestation in the womb any different than one 20 weeks old after birth,” Santorum writes. “So instead of giving our child a death sentence, we gave him a name: Gabriel Michael, after the two great archangels.”

The premature baby died two hours after birth. The next day, in a move that has widened the public opinion gap over Santorum, he and his wife took the dead body home so their children could spend time with it before burial.

“Gabriel died as a cherished member of our family,” Santorum writes in “It Takes a Family.”

Karen captured the episode in a 1998 book, “Letters to Gabriel,” describing to her late child the reaction of one of his sisters: “Elizabeth proudly announced to everyone as she cuddled you, ‘This is my baby brother, Gabriel; he is an angel.’”

For Santorum, who now has seven kids, holding Gabriel was a lesson about the fragility of human life.

Santorum, wife Karen, and his seven children.

“At that moment, eternity became reality,” Santorum writes. “After Gabriel, being a husband and father was different, being a legislator was different. I was different.”

Conservatism and the common good

Santorum has received a glut of media attention for how his religion shaped his culture-war stances, but allies say his faith has made him a compassionate conservative.

As a senator, Santorum was known for his work on poverty and combating HIV/AIDS. He says such efforts are rooted in the Catholic notion of working for the “common good.”

“Just as original sin is man’s inclination to try to walk alone without God,” Santorum writes in “It Takes a Family,” “individualism is man’s inclination to try to walk alone among his fellows.”

Santorum and those close to him say that impulse motivated his work on welfare reform during the mid-1990s.

Many conservatives “would have taken a fairly harsh view of welfare reform as a waste of taxpayer dollars,” says Rodgers. “Rick’s view was that publicly funded programs are justified when it’s for the least of these, which comes from Catholic social teaching.

“There’s a compassionate side of the Catholic faith that says you prioritize the poor in public policy, and there’s also the side that says work should be a component of that care, that not working strips you of your dignity.”

Santorum championed welfare-to-work programs in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act that Clinton signed, as well as the idea of charitable choice, which gave states the ability to partner with religious institutions to address social problems like poverty and addiction.

Success on welfare reform provoked Santorum and a handful of other religious Republicans in Congress to begin discussing conservative solutions to poverty and other social problems that had mostly been the province of liberals.

Among the participants in those sessions was Gerson, who would join Bush in Texas as a speechwriter in the run-up to his 2000 presidential campaign and bring some of the ideas of the congressional group with him.

One was a plan to start a federal program to help level the playing field for religious groups applying for government money to address social problems.

For Santorum, employing faith groups in such a campaign was partially grounded in the Catholic idea of subsidiarity, which calls for addressing problems closest to where they are. In many troubled communities, the thinking goes, the strongest local institutions are churches, ministries and other religious organizations.

The notion of outsourcing government programs to religious institutions also appealed to Santorum’s beliefs about government’s limits.

“The problems currently afflicting us reflect an impoverishment of the soul more than the pocketbook,” Santorum has said, quoting conservative education scholar Chester Finn. “Government is simply not equipped to address problems of the soul.”

The idea for a government faith-based program had critics on the left and right, who feared government-backed religion and a welfare system for churches.

“A lot of people have a hard time getting Rick Santorum because they’re used to a debate between liberalism and complete free market approach and he’s not either of those things,” says Gerson, now a Washington Post columnist.

Bush created the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships via an executive order days after his 2001 inauguration. Santorum helped organize a conference to tell religious leaders from across the country about the new program.

“It was on that day that I decided to swallow my constitutional concerns about it,” says Richard Land, who attended the conference despite reservations.

“Seventy-five percent of the people attending the conference were either African-American or Hispanic,” Land says. “They wanted people who lived where the problems were making decisions about what should be done. They were in a lifeboat situation.”

Santorum was also a key Bush ally in creating the president's $15 billion global AIDS initiative, with the senator’s staff sometimes lending office space to rock singer Bono while he was lobbying for the program on Capitol Hill.

President Barack Obama has continued support for both the faith-based office and the global AIDS initiative. The programs are evidence that Santorum can be more than a culture warrior, and their staying power suggests he's gone a long way breaking through JFK’s sealed-off wall between religion and politics.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (2,874 Responses)
  1. tony

    I always thought the right to bear arms as a militia was designed so we could get rid of oppressive regimes like the republican party.

    January 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  2. chedar

    This guy Santorum is delusional. He can have the Jesus Factor. No one does not believe him anymore. This is what that liar Bush win his presidency. American are so gullible they don't know this guy is real or a cult.

    January 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • ensense

      Any body how believes in religon is a follower of a cult. but your guy can believe in the communist manifest but he is still ok.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  3. jimbo

    Every time I see this dbags face I want to punch my screen.

    January 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • ensense

      go ahead and punch yourself not a problem.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  4. Gene

    Santorum for President and let the inquisition begin, led by Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito.

    January 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  5. Jeff Davis

    The nigra beast must be dealt with in 2012. I'm thinking birth control secreted into watermelons might be the most humane way of dealing with those "people."

    January 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  6. paintpaintpaint

    Oh, crap. Now the GOP is going to try to use CATHOLICS to get to the White House? OK, as a Catholic, I reject him and what he says about gays, divorce. He's naive, small minded and just wrong to think he can speak for all Catholics.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  7. tony

    Having a section in a "news" organization for "belief" is an oxymoron. The is no religion" news" any more than there is "Jack and the Beanstalk" news.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Rck Santorum is exactly what our immoral society needs. How can the problems that face our country and the future of our people ever be healed if we elect a President that does not have a strong, faithful and moral character? We need more elected officials with wisdom and the ability to stand up for what's right (morally right) and not be affriad of not being "nicey-nicey" to everyone. Rick Santorum from what I have read, seems to be the real deal and could be the type of President the USA desperately needs. He is a breath of fresh air. I am a Catholic Democrat but I hope to be able to vote for Rick Santorum in November.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He won't even be on the ballot then, dear, but enjoy your delusions while you can.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Chrism

      I agree, Lisa, and well put. As much as I do love and admire John F Kennedy, he chose the expedient path to get elected. Even if Rick Santorum is not on the ballot, he has won a victory which I hope is not lost in this country. These are moral issues. Marriage is for man and wife. Abortion is not for birth control,it is a last resort only when necessary. The p0rn industry wrecks lives and marriages yet hides behind the first amendment. And every time people vote to support these things is a vote that our kids wake up in a world where these things are legal and are told to them as "ok.". Meanwhile their public school teacher would be fired for even mentioning God. And God forbid any young kid so interested in current events and government came to one of these comment sections, I shudder to think of them reading what they'd find here. Rick Santorum has succeeded as you well put in reminding everyone it's not about being nice, it's about bravely standing up for what is right. God bless.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • shut up, herbie.

      god bless. there's your sign.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Chrism

      I'm sure mr there's your sign that I understand your post. You think I am a poster whose gone by "herbie" because he used the phrase "God bless.". Am I right? You are wrong. I am not this other person. I use the abbreviated form of God bless you as do many I know. And on that note, God bless you, whoever you are, and good night.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goodnight, herbie, you troll.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Chrism

      You know Tom, I realize you are an intelligent person. I saw you posted about going to give blood I was in the hospital that day myself visiting my dad was in ICU. I've also given blood many times. Obviously we both believe in doing good. I don't really understand what would compell an intelligent person to attack others. Even people like Bertrand Russell I'm sure they wouldn't spend their time putting down Christians. If you believe in helping other people, Id actually think you'd at least support the moral teachings of Jesus as a wise rabbi. Oh I'm sure you could justify particular positions like not supporting Santorum, I just don't get the vileness. Well, thanks (I assume you meant me, though no I'm not this poster I think you have in mind herbie) and good night to you too.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chrism, you might not be herbie, but you're not much better. I have no time for people like you, who think you're doing good when what you are really doing is attempting to impose your will and your beliefs on others.

      Get someone else to be your BFF. I'm not interested.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Chrism

      I accept even a civil truce. I appreciate your viewpoint and obviously we see things very differently. I don't believe I impose "my" beliefs at all. I actically think I'm not so different in that I simply also try to live by what is right. I also believe as apparently do you and others in fighting for the future of a country where kids grow up in a good and moral environment. But beyond that what can I say other than the obvious, people read the news. Recently I've been curious about people's comments for whatever reason. I put in my two cents. Perhaps it's been a learning experience. I thank God for all that is good and sorry for the rest.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you EVER think before you hit the button, Chrism? It certainly doesn't seem as though you do.

      Really. Have an unexpressed thought once in a while.

      January 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • ensense

      I agree with you Lisa and Chrism Santorum is a real honest guy the way he talks, the way he explains his points, he even explained the trick used by congress to increase the retirement age.. The LEFT think's that their view is the only view, that is the reason we had dictators like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. there are many on the left. ( but i guess it is all ok for them).

      January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  9. partysstink

    Im a beliver but i dont want anyone useing any religion to run our Gov. look how well thats worked in other countries where they keep fighting with eachother over religion. Your belife is yours but you have no right to force that belife on others.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • ensense

      So what are you saying if you believe in a religion you cant become president unless he is from the LEFT.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Go Broncos!

    That is a postive sign marrying faith and politcs.
    Geez, the negative word divorce in the equation?

    January 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  11. ChrisN

    Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, says very clearly
    "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

    January 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • ensense

      It also states that that

      The Treaty also had spent seven months traveling from Tripoli to Algiers to Portugal and, finally, to the United States, and had been signed by officials at each stop along the way. Neither Congress nor President Adams would have been able to cancel the terms of the Treaty by the time they first saw it, and there is no record of discussion or debate of the Treaty of Tripoli at the time that it was ratified.

      So basically this treaty was just some way to get the Barbary pirates from killing christian hostages. because the Muslims were extremely hostile to christian captives. so it was signed and hidden as the objective was met until some guy like you with an agenda took it out as proof positive.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  12. Therese

    I think people are getting too worked up and misrepresenting this candidate's position – e.g. "Judeo-Christian sharia". All laws and government reflect someone's values and it is impossible for ANY candidate not to be formed or informed by their world view – religious or otherwise. This can be as simple as a social conscience towards the disadvantaged, which this candidate seems to have, or environmentalism, or "traditional" family values. All are controversial with someone. As long as a candidate does not seek to rule out another 's religious practice or all religious practice, and have a social basis for their position also, they are welcome to bring their viewpoints to the ballot box and let the majority decide. That's America.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Time to be held accountable for crimes against humanity

      he's a religious lunatic, of one of the most deceitful religions.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • ensense

      If the current lunatic of the deceitful religion of communism is ok for you, then why complain now.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  13. they all scare me!

    ok,so....I just saw people interviewed on tv answering who they would vote for and why.....and apparently religion or political views have nothing to do with electing a President. Apparently 5 out of 6 people asked said they would vote for Mitt Romney ......because he 'LOOKS PRESIDENTIAL" ....America get it together! BTW, every one of these guys scares the hell out of me..

    January 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  14. jespo

    chrism, please try to go 20 posts without quoting anyone and show us on this blog how one exactly supports their assertions intelligently....i know, it'll be hard, and know that i have no faith in you, that you can't...or won't...prove me wrong.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • shut up herbie/chrism/etc/below-average intellect clown

      Chrism–please don't try to sound educated about history when you can't spell "Gettysburg" properly.
      Go steal more money from mommy's purse so you can run to 7-eleven for another 4-loko, and stay off the interweb, dumb a$$.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OK, my curiosity has gotten the best of me. How in the h*8l did Chrism spell "Gettysburg"? I can only imagine.

      January 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  15. Bobb

    To my mind there is too much theism in political campaigning and not enough apatheism.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  16. David Edwards

    In the Catholic fatih a woman is considered a "RIB" and is there to serve. My two girls are NOT somebodies "Rib" and will never be.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Time to be held accountable for crimes against humanity

      the catholic church looks down on women, they can never be pope. You might wonder why women stick with this church.. Reason? They were brainwashed as children. Now imagine so-d-o-mize-d children telling what happened.. Hell is what the child thinkks and the church reminded them too.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Sambo X

      Ribs be good as shiit! I likes ribs wit lots o' BBQ sause.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • ensense

      Well the democratic party itself looks down on women. that's why the made such a fuss about Hillary during the last election. don't vote democratic if you care so much.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  17. David Edwards

    As a Catholic, what he is trying to do is total BS – I will NOT Vote for this so called MAN. A good man once said "I don not speak for my church and my church does not speak for me.
    The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ....", while Article VI specifies that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
    The first thing I say to anybody from the Catholic "hierarchy" pushing politics is to clean up your own shop before you start to try to clean up someone elses soul.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • newsreel

      You are one Catholic who is worthy of your religion's teaching, and have my respect.

      You certainly protected your religion against other radicals and give me a different view. Thanks

      January 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      I second that.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Chris Eagan

      well stated. Still hoping for a catholic candidate to champion all of catholic social teaching and not cherry pick segments.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  18. AvdBerg

    Politics and Religion do not mix – it is after man’s wisdom (1 Cor. 2:4,5) and not according to the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17).

    Consider the following readings, which are according to the Word of God and God’s wisdom.

    Revelation 12:9. … which deceiveth the whole world.

    John 12:25. He that loveth his life, shall lose it (Luke 9:24; 17:33).

    2 Timothy 2:4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life (that includes politics).

    John 17:16. They (the believers) are not of the world.

    Romans 8:5. Human nature and friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).

    1 John 5:4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.

    It should be remembered that even Jesus Christ did not pray for this world (John 17:9; 1 John 5:19).

    The first problem is that mankind is not able to receive the things of the Spirit of God; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2;14).

    The second problem is that mankind prefers darkness over light (John 3:19).

    It is sad but true but all the GOP Candidates claim themselves to be a Christian, which is falsehood as they follow after a false Christ (Matthew 24:24). During the debate in Iowa, Michele Bachmann was one of those candidates who described herself with great swelling words as a “so-called” Christian, but she does not know what it means as she has been deceived by the spirit of this world (Rev. 12:9). All the GOP Candidates do not know that they are spiritually blind and do not know what spirit they serve (Luke 9:55). Their faith does not stand in Jesus Christ but rather they do service unto them which by nature are no gods (Gal. 4:8). As a result of their spiritual blindness they do not know that they are all of the same spirit (darkness).

    Rick Santorum’s effort to marry faith and politics is all in vain as he follows after the teachings and doctrines of men (Matthew 15:9).

    For a better understanding what it means to be a Christian we invite you to read the article ‘Can Christianity or any Other Religion Save You’ listed on our website.

    To give people a better understanding of the principalities and destructive forces (Eph. 6:12) that control the Media, US Politics and the issues that divide this world, we invite you to read the articles ‘CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’ and ‘Influence of the Media’.

    All of the other pages and articles will explain how and by whom this world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9 and they will also explain what mankind must do to be reunited with God and to be able to understand the Bible.

    He that is spiritual judgeth (discerneth) all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor. 2:15; 14:37; Proverbs 28:5; Gal. 6:1; Col. 1:9; John 3:8; 5:30; 8:15; 16:8-11).

    Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7).

    January 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  19. Time to be held accountable for crimes against humanity

    The catholic pope, a p-u-ke.. responsible for destroying childrens lives with threats..Someone should strip him naked and throw him into to the streets, show what a coward looks like. Many children mentally ill and others committed suicide because this man demanded the secret be kept and the child denied help. This pope put the finishing touch on the destruction to children.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • ensense

      What are you smoking?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  20. dm

    Dear Rick Santorum, I'm not Catholic, I don't believe in your version of how things "are supposed to be". I will not live by your idiotic religious lunacy. There is no such thing as "freedom" when one idiot imposes his brand of righteousness on the rest of us. This is why you will never be president. You are a disgrace to this "free" country.

    January 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • 80shiling

      A voice of sanity Thank you for proving there are still some smart, sane people out there!

      January 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • joe

      Could not have been said any better.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ditto.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • David Edwards

      Right On Brother! - a Catholic

      January 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Kana

      I would agree. I am not Catholic and I don't particularly care what religion anyone is. In my opinion there is no religion that is better than another, it is what works best for you. Most religions preach peace and doing unto others as you would have done to you.
      As for those running for elected office I think they should should be held to a high moral standard what ever there faith beliefs maybe.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      I second that, too.

      January 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • ConcernedAmerican

      Well said and I agree 100%

      January 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
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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.