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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. bill

    what self-respecting catholic is a republican anyway? i guess i'll have to start going to a democratic catholic church.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • KMW

      Bl,

      I hate to disappoint you, but I am.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I thought Catholics were supposed to vote pro-life, which implies voting Republican, right?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • JDinHouston

      I would ask it another way, what self respecting Catholic aligns himself with evangelicals who hate his religion? I am a Catholic in the south and I am always shocked at what Evangelicals have to say about my religion, yet they try to co-opt me by saying we are all Christians. Until I see their filthy rich leaders off tv and practicing piety, I have a hard time seeing any Evangelical as a Christian, and as long as I hear how much they hate my religion, basically popping in the same category as Mormon, I see them as just a snake.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Peter

      Ahhh....SO....people do not agree with each other. Next story.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  2. Bob

    Attributing God for your personal successes and failures is pretty spineless as it absolves you of taking any real responsibility. "I lost because God wants me to do something X". No, you lost because you're a loser. Saying "God has a plan for me" is the same as saying "The Devil made me do it!". Be a man and take responsibility for your own actions!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      "Be a man and take responsibility for your own actions!" is an example of misogyny.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • notogop

      Hey Phallusy! How is this misogyny? It shows no hatred toward women, but simply uses the masculine gender to refer to a generalized group or may be referring directly to Santorum, who probably masculine.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  3. Descarado

    You gotta love it when secular atheist CNN tries to write ANYTHINg about Catholicism or Catholics.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Eh?

      u mad?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • KMW

      Amen. CNN must LOVE all the controversy they are generating on this post. No matter what anyone says I will always be a Roman Catholic and wish the best to Rick Santorum.. IFor once, someone stands up to their principles and does not back down.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  4. Jimmy

    If Santorum even wins one primary, I will have no hope for this country. I have bad mouthed Obama since the day he was signed into office and even went to a Tea Pary rally but if this Santorum dbag ends up being the GOP candidate I will have to vote third party. This clown is so full of it its running out of his pants like santorum.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Turn away from the dark side and support the good people instead of the bad ones.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  5. King

    I absolutely despise when politicians call upon their faith when campaigning. I see it as insincere and pandering to the masses no matter how sincere the politician may be. It is commendable when lawmakers use their morals to influence how they make and pass laws, as certain morals can have a very practical purpose (though they should not openly state how their morals affect their lawmaking). But I do not like Santorum and his views on marriage. For him, the only marriage acceptable is the biblical definition and he wants the country's laws to reflect that definition, which is totally wrong. I am religious person but I support gay marriage and abortion because I do not believe in forcing my religious beliefs on others. This is what worries me about Santorum. He openly states that he will impose his religious beliefs through law and subsequently criticizes Sharia law (which isn't even an issue-it is blown out of proportion by the media who take the actions of a few loony individuals and paint those actions as the norm). Also, he is vehemently pro-life but also fervently pro-war. This doesn't make any sense to me. How he can send so many men (in addition to the natives whose lives are torn apart by war) to die in a pointless war and simultaneously be pro-life is incomprehensible to me.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  6. realitybites

    Rick Santorum, Sen, Brownback, Clarence Thomas all going to the same service. Yep, not surprised. Probably all darlings of the FAMILY or whatever that friggin nutjob organiization calls itself today. God save us from those who would try to drag us into the 17th Century agian. People fled people like them to come to this country so they wouldn't be forced to live someone else's moral convictions. And the Cathlic Church has such a great reputation these days. You should see all the new members at my church that just left it.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • OrangeW3dge

      Here! Here!
      I said, last week, round up those Puritans and send them back to Europe on the Mayflower. Take those door-to-door Christians with 'em, too.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  7. Alex

    Santorum wants the U.S. to be a conservative Christian Theocracy–and that is his only goal. Whether he could realistically accomplish that is another matter, but he would certainly push the country in that direction. I wish there was a major political party that only addressed economic and policy issues and ignored religion completely–not oppress it–ignore it. No, that is not currently Ron Paul and the so called Libertarian party either. They have courted the support of bigots and religious wackos as well.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Arnold

      Thanks for pointing out that Paul is in bed with the Republicans on more issues than he lets on. He has his own issues with gay Americans and has signed a pledge along with Santorum to keep gay marriage away from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. They fear that a truly conservative court would not have an iota of a problem with a contract between two consenting adults.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  8. OrangeW3dge

    Hard to believe a Catholic would be so "Born Again"

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  9. tstorm

    To even compare Santorium to John Kennedy is repulsive! Santorium, you crazed right-wing idiot, are no JFK!!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  10. RC99

    Can someone explain why the term "Social Conservative" describes people who want to interject government into every aspect of everyone's lives? Shouldn't they be called Social Liberals???

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • OrangeW3dge

      A disturbing dichotomy, for sure. It's not about "principles" whith that type of person – it's about control. As far back as I can remember (which is like Eisenhower), the Republicans have always been about "being in control" and having the final say on everything. There is, probably, a psychological term for that condition.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  11. c

    While the establishment media has ceaselessly smeared Ron Paul for the controversial content of decades-old newsletters that were not even written by him, the comparatively shocking scandal of Rick Santorum having sponsored alleged child molester Jerry Sandusky has been almost universally ignored.

    Santorum, who has cultivated an image as a clean-cut social conservative trumpeting family values, nominated Sandusky for a “Congressional Angels in Adoption Award,” after Sandusky had already been accused of at least five cases of child molestation.
    “Its philosophy is simple,” said Santorum of Sandusky’s charity, “It is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult.”

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  12. UppityAgainSpeaks

    An awful lot of preachers here!!!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  13. Bible Clown

    "the senator’s children – were weeping over Santorum’s landslide defeat"

    His son was snarling and shooting the bird at the cameras during his concession speech. "I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children." – Sherlock Holmes.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Debbie

      He lost his Senate seat even though he was able to successfully earmark nearly a billion dollars for his home state during his time in the Senate. (Much to the chagrin of John McCain who lambasted him for it) His conservatism was more conservatism than they could stomach. He quickly moved to meld government and religion. He quickly moved to draw a line in the sand for gay American citizens and he quickly moved to alter established abortion law. Surely even the Tea Party will not be interested in this spend thrift candidate who is myopically focused on the bedrooms of American citizens and the wombs of women.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  14. bawana

    good ole frothy

    January 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Distopian

      Ad Nominem attack

      January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  15. musings

    Santorum, in believing that legal abortions are a violation of Christian values, seems ignorant of the arguments in the case. Of course if you believe in the Incarnation as Catholics do, then apparently every fetus gets a soul at conception. This would apply to the fetuses put there by rapists. This would apply to fetuses which come into being in the wombs of dying women who cannot carry a pregnancy to term. This would apply to fetuses without brain tissue. If he is so picky about never aborting a fetus, then he must be picky about never dropping a bomb on another country because last time I looked, people who were collateral damage in Shock and Awe attacks also have souls, and some of them are fetuses.

    So in his perfect consistency, I assume he would never give orders to kill any humans in war or by execution. The targeted assassinations would cease.

    Without war, we'd have to make do with helping women who were pregnant, one way or another.

    But I'm sorry – the boys' club Santorum belongs to wants to protect fetuses and kill babies. Once they're out – let God sort them out.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bill C

      Well you win the award for the most irrational rambling post of the day. This really isn't that complicated. He believes you should not kill babies.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • ensense

      If you are saying let god sort them out , then why are you choosing to abort?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • matt

      No, it is complicated. No one in america believes killing babies is ok. A fetus is not a baby. If it were, we'd call them babies. Rick strangely wants to make the US a theocracy where he is the supreme leader and dictate his off the wall beliefs and impose laws on your bedroom, while touting Iran as a theocracy who shouldn't be allowed to have nukes. He wants to outlaw not just abortion but birth control as well. Its this right wing lunacy that scares rational people away from the GOP.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Bill, are you on a tear? Are you here to set everyone straight, or does him just have a gwumpy feewing today?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Its this right wing lunacy that scares rational people away from the GOP." IMHO Santorum is being encouraged and emboldened by the GOP in order to scare away voters so that they don't accidentally win and find themselves having to admit they can't fix the economy either. They are playing to lose this year.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Marie Rehbein

      Very coherent musings, musing. Not all religions believe in ensoulment at conception, so why should Catholicism's theology on this point rule the day?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Bill C,
      Then why does your God apparently kill babies?

      January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Bill C

    CNN has completely given up on being an impartial reporter of the news and has resorted to being a mouthpiece for the re-elect Obama campaign. As a second tier Republican candidate Rick Santorum has drawn more press from CNN the Barack Obama did when he was the Democratic nominee for President. It is really shameless at this point.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Debbie

      Car wrecks! You can't look at them, but you can't look away.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      CNN and everyone else can see this freak doesn't have a chance. He's too frothy.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • ensense

      Bible froth is better than Communist Manifesto forth.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Well...that's because Santorum is crazier than a sh!thouse rat, and it's hard to ignore.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  17. J.W

    I am hoping the Republican ticket will be Rick Santorum/Fred Phelps.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • musings

      So Obama will win.

      I just wish Obama weren't such a shifty character. I don't like him or the Republicans.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I think at this point Obama doesn't have much to worry about.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      I'm just trying to imagine what the hell those campaign signs would look like. Or what their slogan would be.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  18. Bob D Iowa

    It was god's will that you leave politics why are you now going against his will.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Bob D Iowa

    So where's the beef.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Distopian

      ...in the pasture, where it's always been?!?!

      January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Been There Done That

    He's not Christian, he's Mormon.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Distopian

      You're not Christian, you're protestant.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Terrance

      I'm not your buddy, guy!

      January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Philip

      I'm not your guy, friend!

      January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Eh?

      I'm not your friend, buddy!

      January 9, 2012 at 4:09 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.