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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. Frank fox

    No catholics in power, soon we will have the pope seating in the white house !!!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Patricksday

      Prophecy says that there will be one more Pope before the collapse of its power.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  2. Brian

    I'm confused so much... What about separation of church and state. So he is not going to make decisions on freedom and justice for all, but from an old book and words from a old man on a chair in Rome?? Taking your died child home to visiti with the family, that is not sane!! I don't want this man in charge of anything, yet alone the country!!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Dave in Portland

      Agreed. Go read some of his past quotes for some more examples of insanity. This guy is downright scary.

      January 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  3. Muri

    Imagine if a Muslim senator proposed the same ideas...

    January 8, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Antony

      Bingo!

      January 8, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  4. Carol

    I would vote for someone with values over someone without, any day! Lack of values is what's wrong with this world. It's time to make this world a better place for everyone!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • NeilPeart

      What if Sanitorium's brother was gay? Would he hate him too?

      January 8, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • sybaris

      Actually things are no different today than there ever have been. Study history and anthropology and you might sleep better.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Muri

      And do you think 1 set of "values" is the right thing to do for everyone?
      I sure hope you supported universal health care talking like that and if you are true Christian then taking some of your wealth to help the poor is also a good thing right? See where this is going or are you simply ok being ignorant AND hypocritical in the light of your own faith.

      Just to drive the point home, which I know is about impossible at this point, I would also like to better understand the rating system you are using to decide that YOUR values are better than MY values. Until I have said data to review I, and most of reality, will continue to exercise our rights of free thought and choice.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Jim

      Carol,
      The problem with your statement is whose "values". As any Al Qaeda member and they'll tell you they're fighting for their values. Would you accept them because they have "values."

      What you are really saying is you'll take anyone with YOUR values, and the rest of American can go to hell.

      Thanks for displaying what "tolerance" really means in the evangelical christian community.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • JT

      Of course "values" is simply code for "someone who is a Christian wingnut like myself".

      January 8, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Knucklehead

      Like Bush, you mean? Someone whose principles would lead his country into a nasty, protracted, how-do-we-get-out-of-this war? Someone who puts his principles above his country? That person should not be President.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Lovey

      AMEN CAROL!!!!!!!!

      January 8, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Lovey

      Sybaris, so there was no need for people to be screaming 'HOPE AND CHANGE HOPE AND CHANGE" because things were the same as they had always been? Wow, then those people were fools. Who did you vote for?

      January 8, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Antony

      Lack of values has nothing to do with whether a person is religious or not. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker come to mind.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  5. NeilPeart

    Whatever happened to separation of oil and vinegar??

    January 8, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  6. Antony

    No theocracy for the United States of America. Period!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Why change now?

      January 8, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  7. mshub8

    He's a member of the American Taliban – Christian extremists who want to gain political power so they can subjugate the bulk of the population so as to force them to comply with their narrow view of how things should be for Americans, without regard for the fact that Americans are Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, Muslims, etc., etc. Extremists need to be kept out of power – allowing them to run things will only result in war and cruelty, as we see in other theocracies. But then, maybe he's the best person to support as a conservative candidate, if we want the Democrats to win!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Dave in Portland

      Stop it! You're talking sense. This is a CNN post about religion. You can't talk sense here! Sheesh, some people...

      January 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  8. Lovey

    Finally! Somebody with a moral backbone who LIVES his convictions! Love it!

    January 8, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Muri

      Funny, the Taliban said the same things of Osama.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • NeilPeart

      I know more morally superior agnostics and atheists that religious fanatics, many of whom drink, curse, are racist and hatemongering, and cheat on their wives with escorts!

      January 8, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Jose

      This Bozo wants to triple the child deduction.
      That would turn the US into Mexico del Norte within 10 years.
      Just f....g great.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • mshub8

      When he staunchly and blindly supports his fantasies about how things should be, without showing a willingness to see things as they are and compromise on those convictions, he shows that he's not able to grasp the simple fact that all things change. Nor does he understand that he needs to represent all of America. Someone with such a rigid mindset that "lives his ideals" is living in a dream world and is unfit to be a leader.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Lovey

      Muri, try love on for size and your views might change.

      NeilPert, yes, thank you! That's why I said it was refreshing to see somebody LIVING their faith.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Brian

      Moral based on who?? The Bible, don't forget you can't shave, slavery is still ok and no seafood ever!!

      January 8, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Lovey

      Brian . . . ummm . . . huh? Seafood?

      January 8, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Jim

      Lovey – you, and Carol are the reason that the term "christian" has negative and frightening connotations to anyone not living in your cult.

      Your intolerance is destroying your religion.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Lovey

      Jim, ahem...the only ones being "intolerant" on this forum are the vitriolic Christian haters. I'm actually smiling as I read the anger and hate because I know from where it emanates.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Jim

      Lovey – I said nothing hateful, you merely perceive anything that you do not agree with as hate.

      How is you forcing your "values" on people that do not want them any different than muslims or the taliban or al qaeda any different from them forcing their "values" on other people? Because YOUR values are "right" and "good"? They believe the same thing.

      I have nothing against ANY religion. I just don't want them forcing it upon me solely because they think they are superior. Which is precisely what you are doing when you say "anyone with "values" gets your vote."

      You are hateful and intolerant, and do not even realize it because you mask it behind your "values." You can have your values, just don't hurt other people by forcing upon them or claiming that you are somehow superior because they don't believe as you do.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Lovey

      Jim, I am not standing over anybody shoving "values" down their throats. However, many things have been shoved down MY throat over the years. For example, I am staunchly against abortion. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for them. I guess I am not given my freedom of religion rights and am FORCED to pay. Regarding this article, I am GLAD to see a candidate who has a moral conviction. By the way, while people are nitpicking the faith of the candidates, our present president signed NDAA 1031 under everybody's noses on New Year's Eve? Do you understand that under that law American citizens can be arrested and detained without evidence and be put away for life without a trial . . . legally?

      January 8, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Lovey

      Oh yes, and Jim, your comparison of a normal church-going Catholic to the violent, bomb-strapped al-Qaeda members is highly offensive. The lack of civility is what causes arguments on this forum, not religious values.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Rick

      @Lovey, maybe if your Catholic church hadn't harassed my gay nephew so much, I'd pity you more for the comparison.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Antony

      Lovey said:
      "However, many things have been shoved down MY throat over the years. For example, I am staunchly against abortion. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for them. I guess I am not given my freedom of religion rights and am FORCED to pay."

      Lovey, of all the things that your godocracy has shoved down MY throat over the years, I find war to be the most repugnant of them all (aside from your godocracy itself). I am staunchly against war. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for them. I am not given my right to freedom FROM religion, and I am FORCED to pay for them anyway.

      War is over, if you want it. War is over, now.

      January 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  9. haseeb

    Anyone asking my vote on the basis of religion, get my middle finger.!
    Keep your religion inside your home and come and discuss where you stand on how to improve the life and economy.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  10. Light In The Black

    The days of throwing sacrifices into volcanos is gone.
    Rick Santorum has every right to his beliefs as an american,
    but he has made it clear he would use his power to legislate
    his version of morality on the rest of us.
    Not only un-american, but very very dangerous.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  11. Change

    @Mike

    First of all, I do not believe that CNN is a friend of President Obama because for three years now this Republican owned and operated mainstream establishment has deliberately and purposely reported on the issues biasly and overwhelmingly in favor of the GOP and their Tea Party. And if two deadly and costly wars and the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression were bad for America, you just couldn't tell because since President Obama has taken office CNN has behaved as though the President created these problems. And this is solely why the GOP and their Tea Party won the midterm elections by a landslide in the first place. And while President Obama has been left with the daunting and complex task of fixing these problems and moving the country forward, CNN continues to defend the right as they continue to set up roadblocks and stall progress to see to it that this administration fail. So you say CNN supports President Obama? I don't think so.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  12. Frank S

    There is one thing we can all agree on is that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Take Rick Perry - please! I seem to recall a big ballyhoo when he first tried to break out on the national scene by appearing in Houston at some faith conference and declaring that he had been "called" to run for President. I guess the Lord wanted to "test" Governor Zero (referring to his showing in New Hampshire)

    Sen. Santorum, please wall up your public pronouncements of faith back behind your private life, where it belongs. Would I want a Bhuddist elected official publicly extolling the virtues of Bhudda in my face at every photo op and news conference? HECK TO THE NO! So I likewise prefer not to be burdened with Santorum or any other religico's personal visiion/revelation of his private religiious views in my face, thanks so much.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  13. rexy

    Rick Santorumis the anti christ we have been warned about.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  14. Patricksday

    Blind allegiance to the Catholic Church is how so many Children suffered abuse by those who were suppose to be Holy Men, who betrayed the Trust of Children. Now Santorum like so many Right Winged Conservative Catholics who want to take us back to the 1950's era and surrender our personal power back to Rome. Sorry those days are over Rick.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  15. Victor

    Every era of history's watermarks show an ever increasing evaporation of religion. However, its counterproductive undertow to the advancement of a peaceful society remains remains a healthy target for those seeking power and control of its gullible subscribers.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  16. nunyabiz

    There is no place in politics for religion. Al Smith lost an election because he was Catholic. John Kennedy wisely built a Chinese wall between his religon and his politics.
    The first time a pol puts that front-and-center people should flee them. This country is up to it's armpits in troubles of every stripe largely because of the so-called Christian Right.
    By the way...the Nazi were the Christian Right in Germany...just for the record.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  17. Guest1m

    "The problems currently afflicting us reflect an impoverishment of the soul more than the pocketbook'\

    Hmmm... let me just say that I am OUTRAGED that Santorum thinks he knows what's best for us. The hubris!!! (dripping sarcasm)

    January 8, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  18. merecat

    Volatile mix... won't work..

    January 8, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  19. Muri

    Great idea! Let's align our laws with a framework that has been knowingly hiding child molesters. And not just a couple here and there but 10's if not hundreds for who knows how long.

    Furthermore, can somebody explain to me how this isn't the EXACT same thing as a push for Sharia law....just a different flavor? We'll swap out the hating women for hating gays and non-christians.....you people that support this man blindly are simply deplorable.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  20. Dragon

    0How in the world would any sane person vote for this thug. He is anti- American all the way. He is not and can never be JFK. JFK represented all Americans. It is sad that a guy like this can run for President these days. It shows how really stupid we are....

    January 8, 2012 at 9:03 am |
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About this blog

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