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January 18th, 2012
11:20 AM ET

Evangelical for Mitt: A South Carolina power broker promotes the frontrunner

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) – You’ve probably never heard of her, but Cindy Costa’s tablemates at a Sunday prayer breakfast here hint at her influence.

Inside a hotel ballroom bulging with 400 socially conservative activists, Costa is seated with the headliners: White House hopeful Rick Perry and political operative Ralph Reed.

And when Rick Santorum and his wife Karen arrive at the Sheraton’s Ballroom E about 10 minutes into the program, they join her table, too.

It’s doubtful that many of the press photographers descending around Costa to snap pictures of Santorum and Perry, heads bowed in prayer, could identify her. But the power players seated around Costa know she’s a South Carolina Republican institution.

“In a critical early primary state, Cindy has bridged the historic divide between faith-based grassroots activists of the party and the old guard,” says Reed, who’s known her for 20 years. “That can be a much more difficult mating dance than it appears.”

Indeed, with the South Carolina presidential primary just days away, Costa – perhaps more than anyone in the state – embodies the mix of establishment party power and evangelical fervor that will determine the outcome here.

If she has her way, that outcome will be a victory for the candidate whose name she wears in a bright blue pin in her lapel: Mitt Romney. Costa says her support for the candidate is largely rooted in her evangelical Christian faith.

For 15 years, Costa has served on the 150-member Republican National Committee, the party’s governing body. But she says it’s her relationship with God, not politics, that guides her life.

“Happy New Year. God bless you!” she tells Republican activists swinging by her table at the prayer breakfast to say hello.

“My faith is the most important thing – my husband and family are second,” the mother of four says later, crossing the street outside the Sheraton to pick up her credentials for the following night’s presidential debate.

For Costa, Romney is a brother in Christ and a devoted family man – and the one candidate with the intellect and organization to defeat President Obama. “If Romney gets the right Congress,” she tells many activists she meets, “you’re looking at another Ronald Reagan.”

And yet Costa is clear-eyed about the challenges the former Massachusetts governor faces among many Bible Belt evangelicals, who are expected to constitute around 60% of voters in the Saturday primary here. Many are wary of Romney’s religion and past support for abortion rights.

Despite Romney’s strong showing in recent South Carolina polls, more than a few activists at the Sheraton are backing Santorum, the dyed-in-the wool culture warrior.

Whether Costa can coax people like them over to her side will go a long way in determining whether South Carolina anoints Romney as the all-but-certain Republican nominee or derails his march to the nomination, handing a victory to Santorum, Perry or Newt Gingrich.

No one knows that more than the Romney campaign, with senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom calling Costa a “good friend to Mitt and Ann Romney.”

“She's very down to earth, honest and sincere,” Fehrnstrom says. “Having her on the team is a big boost for us.”

For Costa, any concerns about Romney’s Mormonism were put to rest at a 2008 forum she attended in upstate South Carolina, an evangelical stronghold, at which the candidate spent half a day taking questions from pastors.

“They asked who he thought Jesus Christ was, and his answer was that Jesus Christ was his Lord and savior,” Costa says. “And I said, ‘OK, here we are. That’s what I believe.’”

Many evangelicals part company with Costa on that point. Though Mormons consider themselves to be Christian, surveys show that about half of white evangelicals don't think they are.

“I will let Romney define who he is,” Costa says. “If he says Jesus Christ is his Lord and savior, who am I to say ‘No, he’s not?’”

Roots of Mormon support

There are other reasons Costa is keen on Romney and comfortable with his religion. A day spent campaigning with Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, and a Romney daughter-in-law, Mary, in 2008 made Costa’s support for the candidate personal.

The committeewoman crisscrossed South Carolina with Ann and Mary on a campaign bus, with Ann delivering speeches at stops along the way.

“Relationships are a powerful thing,” Costa says. “When I was on the bus with them, I just felt like I was with people in my church. I felt like they were no different than me.”

Four years ago, plenty of other South Carolina evangelicals appeared to feel differently, with Romney placing fourth behind John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson.

Costa, for her part, tends to be open to people from other religions. Her stepfather, who she has called “Dad” since he moved in with her family when she was 2, is Jewish.

Her mother had Southern Baptist roots, and the couple largely ignored both traditions, making for a secular household. But when an aunt took 7-year-old Cindy to a Baptist church one Sunday, she was hooked – though not necessarily on Jesus.

Costa says she grew up poor – her stepdad was a mail sorter – and she fell hard for the church’s supplies of crayons and orange juice.

The Charleston church’s Sunday School teacher, whom Costa knew as Miss Hopkins, would pick her up from home and take her to church every Sunday morning for the next decade.

“She saw a child that needs support in a household where she’d not been given that opportunity,” Costa says. “She will get credit for me in heaven.”

Costa’s dad didn’t bring up his Judaism much, except when his adolescent stepdaughter once asked why he hadn’t formally adopted her. “I didn’t want you to live with a Jewish name because I know it could be a really negative thing,” he told her. “It could affect who would even date you.”

Costa was grateful: “What great love that he was looking out for me.”

‘A culture in a moral decline’

Costa wasn’t too interested in politics until she saw Ronald Reagan. It was 1976, and he’d come to the Charleston County Republican Convention seeking support for his bid to wrest the party’s nomination from President Ford.

Smitten by Reagan, the 20-year-old Costa was miffed to find she couldn’t get a seat as a delegate at the convention. The reason: Her voting precinct had never been organized.

So Costa vowed to organize it, setting in motion her decades-long rise through county, state and national party machinery.

A stay-at-home mom in the 1980s, her budding activism was motivated largely by her born-again faith and her growing family. The fledgling “family values” movement, bent on restoring school prayer and overturning Roe v. Wade, spoke to her.

When Costa stumbled upon Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” on TV, she thought she’d found President Reagan’s successor: “He was the first one that seared into my heart that we were a culture in a moral decline.

“That was around the time we found out about AIDS, and Robertson was telling people you can’t do this,” she says, referring to homosexuality. “It seems like a simple thing, but no one wants to say that because it could hurt someone’s feelings.”

Costa volunteered for Robertson’s 1988 presidential campaign. Though the candidate faded after a strong finish in Iowa, he put evangelicals like Costa on the political map.

She would go on to help launch the South Carolina chapter of the Christian Coalition, which rose from the ashes of Robertson’s campaign, and she became state prayer chairman for the group in the 1990s.

Her eldest daughter, Jenny, remembers watching her parents being interviewed on NBC News on Election Night 1994 about the swelling ranks of evangelical voters. Hours later, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

“There were some evangelicals at the time saying that politics is dirty and they should stay out of it,” says Jenny Costa Honeycutt, now a Charleston lawyer who was 15 at the time. “And my parents were willing to stand up and be heard. That was a big night for me.”

For Cindy Costa, the moral drift that Pat Robertson discerned wasn’t limited to politics. She saw it in her church life, too.

The same year she joined Robertson’s campaign, the Costas left their longtime Episcopal church amid talk that Episcopalians would start ordaining gay clergy.

“Once you do that, you have to ordain any sinful person,” says Costa, who wound up co-founding a nondenominational, evangelical-style church with her husband Louis and others in James Island, just south of Charleston. “The Bible is very clear on that.

“You start hacking up the Bible and take out this little thing you don’t like and that little thing, and you have something that’s not the Bible anymore.”

All together now

If she sometimes talks like a culture warrior, Costa hardly looks the part.

A former Mrs. South Carolina who is often introduced as a “true Charleston belle” at political events, Costa has high cheekbones, shoulder-length blonde hair and looks at least a decade younger than her 56 years.

The wife of a plastic surgeon, she says she's "benefitted from her husband's services" but won't discuss specifics.

She favors black scarves, knee-high boots and Ann Taylor dresses that are inexpensive enough that she can discard them with a clear conscience after a single season.

Costa, in other words, has the style of a card-carrying member of the national political establishment, which she officially joined in 1996 when she was first elected as one of the state’s three members of the RNC. (She is currently seeking a fifth four-year term.)

Like many of the political rebels who campaigned for Robertson against George H.W. Bush almost 25 years ago, Costa is now a party insider, balancing ideological stances on abortion with practical concerns like party unity.

“That’s a big change,” says Reed, who led the Christian Coalition in the 1990s. “These are no longer folks with funny hats whose noses are pressed against the glass of the party. Now they’re on the inside, they’re the party leaders.”

At a pre-debate reception on Monday sponsored by Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Costa watches Reed and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint throw out rhetorical red meat for a crowd of conservative donors before taking the floor herself.

But Costa strikes a decidedly different tone, calling on fellow Republicans to start thinking about the need for party unity after the brutal primary season passes.

“The eyes of the nation are on us tonight,” she says. “So behave yourselves, and smile for the cameras.”

Afterward, walking to a Faith and Freedom Coalition rally at which she’ll lead the Pledge of Allegiance before the five remaining Republican presidential candidates deliver remarks before the debate, Costa says the quest for unity is a hallmark of her life that’s rooted in the Bible.

She explains how she and her husband apply the principal at the plastic surgery center they run in Charleston, asking employees to resolve differences among themselves before coming to them for help. Cindy is the center's business administrator.

Perhaps nothing illustrates Costa’s pursuit of party unity – a preoccupation for any establishment leader - as much as her support for Mitt Romney, who many grassroots conservatives distrust in part because of his establishment backing.

After watching Romney deliver a well-received speech at the pre-debate rally, she darts off to be interviewed by a young evangelical radio host who broadcasts in the most solidly evangelical part of South Carolina, around Spartanburg and Greenville.

The host, Josh Kimbrell, is a Santorum supporter but asks Costa to talk about Romney.

“I had the opportunity to do a bus trip across the state with Ann Romney, and it was a real bonding experience,” she says, leaning into the microphone and wearing a pair of big headphones upside down so it doesn't mess up her hair before the debate.

“I’ve come to respect the family tremendously and just know he’d be a great president.”

When Kimbrell asks what she expects to happen after Saturday’s primary, Costa again picks up the banner of unity, sounding about as far away from a Pat Robertson culture warrior as you could imagine.

“As Republicans, we need to be winsome in our message, be kind and loving,” she says.

“There’s no reason to be hateful. That’s just not who we are.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Politics • South Carolina

soundoff (1,003 Responses)
  1. yanni

    They could have at least photo shopped the flames of he11 we can all see burning in her eyes!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  2. Barry G.

    Consider:

    Early in the fourth century C.E. the emperor of the Roman empire, Constantine, embraced Christianity. This is a fact and cannot be denied. The Roman Empire went from persecuting Christians to protecting and supporting Christians.

    When the Roman empire fell on or about 410 C.E. and 476 C.E., this left a terrible void in the great empire, and the church (particularly in the west) was the system that provided order and stability for the empire.

    Over the years this complex relationship between the church and the state evolved and changed, but it cannot be denied.

    It would be a fool’s errand to claim that religion has no place in society, or in the system of governance.

    The Rennaissaince and the Enlightenment notwithstanding—the ethics of the Judeo-Christian faith are now a part of civilization—whether one believes or not.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Barry. You are smoking crack.

      The Christian infiltration of the Roman Empire is known as the begining of the DARK AGES.

      Your "Christianity" brought anarchy, war, pestilence and slavery to MILLIONS of people.

      Your cult damn near destroyed civilization. Parasites! Soon we shall purge them once and for all.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      Barry, no one will argue with you that churches are attempting to force their views onto other Americans. I suspect we'll disagree whether this is good or bad. The federal judge who revoked the 2008 California H8te Vote has in his possession a letter Catholic bishops wrote to Mormon leaders agreeing to hide from public scrutiny and refuse to report their illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the H8te Vote as required by California law. The letter serves as proof they knew by refusing to report these massive contributions they were violating campaign finance laws, as well as the letter itself being an act of criminal collusion. I think committing CRIMINAL ACTS meant to THROW AN ELECTION is bad.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Right on WD.

      (oh, and I'm back)

      January 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Tanker

      Welcome back dude!

      Been busy myself, but I stoped in for some cult bashing!

      January 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      Along those lines, Barry, we have the challenges to the triune concept of God, to the unique and eternal Divinity of Jesus Christ. In the 3rd century, the Unitarians broke off, a few hundred years latter, Mohammadians claimed to have come to correct that misunderstanding of Christ's divinity, then in the 18 hundreds, Joseph Smith decided that all the Christian denominations were divided remnants of an apostate Christiandom, and his mission was to "restore" the original Christianity, with Jesus Christ, a created being, considered divine only in the sense that we all can become gods. So Barry, we have this Judeo/Christian heritage, but apart from David Barton, few would say this is a Christian nation with all the diversity concerning what that implies.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      William, having taught history of Wester Civilization, I did not get the impression you suggest. Rather, with the onslaught of the Barbaric peoples up north (my folks), the Catholic Church was instrumental in preserving the written treasures of Greece and Rome. It did tend to interfere during the 15th Century Renaissance, but today accepts science, the Big Bang and Evolution.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Barry G.

      Wm D.,

      I thought the fall of the Roman Empire ushered in the Dark Ages, and that the fall was brought about by numerous invading groups–Goths, Visogoths, Vandals, Barbarians, etc..

      What history books are you reading?.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Barry G.

      The actual history.

      The fall of Rome was a direct byproduct of the intrusion of the cult of Christianity.

      In fact the cult continued its behavior through the dark ages and the Crusades.

      Great Empires, like Rome (or the US) only fall from a roth within. In both of these examples, the rot within was Christianity.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  3. ramomto4

    Jeremiah 10:23 – "Man will dominate man to his own injury."

    January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  4. brian

    just the thought of mutt being the presumptive nominee, makes me long for the good 'ol days of Idi Amin...

    January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Meanwhile, back to the article...

    It is fascinating to see evangelical voters try to reconcile their support for Romney with their support for "Christian" candidates. There IS a Christian candidate. His name is Barack Obama. His Christian testimony is on YouTube and on the web in written form. It is a very straightforward, very unambiguous Christian testimony. He consciously disavows both his father's Islamic background and his mother's new age spiritualism and turns to Christianity after discussions with some of the pastors with whom he worked as a community organizer. If he were not who he is, he would be welcome to speak in any Baptist church in America, based on his testimony.

    If you're a conservative, then fine; support a conservative. Support Romney, Gingrich, or whomever you choose. But if you believe, as many do, that Mormonism is at best an offshoot of mainstream Christianity, then don't try to claim you're voting for Romney on religious grounds. If it comes down to Romney vs. Obama, the traditional Christian in the race will be the Democrat, and a lot of "Christian" voters will make hypocrites of themselves.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      Very well said Leave,
      the distinctions among religions are clear enough, with Mormonism having a unique history and theology, quite in contrast with the traditional Christianity it rejects. But I would not call my sister a hypocrite for voting for anybody who gives voice to her concern for violating the privacy rights of families to rescue her unborns, esp. with Supreme Court nominations coming up. I just object to Mormon.org obfuscating the distncitions, using traditional Christian terminology to deceive potential converts.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  6. it ain't true

    Another blond bimbo who pretends to put God above family. "Get the right congress and we have another Ronald Reagan." She probably has no clue that Reagan worked with Tip O'neil... a liberal democrat... and Reagan was also in favor of taxing the millionaires at a higher rate. I am sure she is just another one of those christians who has visions from god... not realizing it is the effect of bad cold meds.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  7. P.G

    Mitt's real name is Willard. Just like the rat in the movie.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Jim

    The cross is held high in every Christian church. Mormon's hold Joseph smith's supposed angle moronie on top of every mormon temple. That is the true difference. The cross is nowhere to be found in the mormon cult. The CROSS folks.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Yes, a medieval torture device. What of it? Why do you worship that cross as an idol?

      January 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • ldean5o

      I agree. I wonder if "cindy" would be so supportive of a Mormon president if she knew that Mormons believe in three levels of Heaven, the highest being labeled, "Celestial" heaven. A woman who is not married cannot enter Celestial heaven, because she has sinned against their god by not being married. Mormons believe their god performed the first marriage ceremony between Adam and Eve – a "commandment' and any woman who is unmarried at death is unworthy to enter the "Celestial" level of their heaven. They also interpret "God created man in his own image," means their god is not omnipotent, but made of flesh and blood – as is man. He lives and rules a planet in the universe and their idea of Jesus lives on the planet next to him. When a man dies, if he is a good Mormon and has been issued a "temple pass" (which involves an in-depth, recorded interview given by the local Bishop – of which, Romney is one) then that "man" gets his own planet to rule and propagate – right next door to their god and jesus. They do not believe in the Holy Trinity and they perform "secret ceremonies" in their temples – they maintain these ceremonies are secret in order to maintain their sacredness; but, in truth – those ceremonies are secret, because non-mormons would judge them to be blasphemous. A Mormon is not 'saved' based on his faith in Jesus Christ (ie protestant teaching), but can only be saved based on his/her obedience to the church. A vote for Romeny is a vote for a Theocracy. He has sworn in the temple, an oath of blood atonement in the early 1980s (Mormons deny the oath of blood atonement which also involves the idea that slitting the throat of a non-moron [sinner] saves that victim from hell- as of the 1990s, Mormons insist that this blood atonement rite is figurative not literal, but in the history of the church it was a literal practice- killing the enemy of the church and avenging the deaths of their saints, joseph smith, brigham young, parley pratt [mitt romney's ggggrandather is part of the blood atonement, secret ritual. Romney's first alligence is to the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, aka LDS, Mormon. Do not let the phrase "jesus christ" mislead you. Inform yourself – do some research.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Cyril Wolfe

      Jim, you're an idiot. It's spelled "Moroni."

      January 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • LL

      Yes, the cross is in every Christian church, but without Jesus on the cross, the meaning of it is deluted.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • ldean5o

      to "cyril" ... relax. One mans Maconi is another man's macaroonie, macaroon or whatever. A typo does not bestow upon any typist the label, "idiot." Now, if you will kindly return your attention to the blackboard and read your homework assignment. thank you.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      Well said IDean, hopefully this election will bring to light the underside of both religions so folks will not lump them together. Will Mitt listen to his Apostle; he has sworn to do so; did Kennedy defer to the Pope's dogma, who knows. God speaks directly to both, so hard to ignore.
      So much about cross; yes, Protestants focus on the resurrection that focus on the promise of salvation and eternal life, Catholics on the sacrifice that won our salvation. Unitarians have a spire; no cross; and Mormons have the heavenly messenger Maroni. All revealing focus.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  9. SeparationofChurchandState

    This women likes to say "pick apart the little pieces of the bible you dont like, and you end up with something that isn't the bible", yet she goes and changes herself from the way "god made her" with plastic surgery. This woman reeks of WASPy, judgemental, everyone-is-a-sinner-and-the-government-shouldnt-allow-sinners mentality.

    Religion has no place in politics, especially not when it's extremist, non-inclusive religion. Keep evangelicals out of the whitehouse please....

    January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  10. sf

    evangelicals and christians can suck it...no religion will ever power the engine that is my life! with loons like this in the world..who would want to be part of that?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      You can reject all the organizations, but that leaves values and purposes to be determined, and it does not hurt to inquire into how others have dealt with that in the past. It is no virtue in any trade to be ignorant of the thought and practice that has gone on before, in religion, or music, or art, and engineering. Be hostile with the organizations, yet you may still be religious in your beliefs.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  11. Monbois

    I believe Costa is honest – an honest zealot and religious fascist who wants to impose her own radical personal religious beliefs onto the rest of us. People like her don't have any concept of the wisdom of the separation of church and state, and they're usually grossly ignorant of the horrors perpetrated by governments "in the name of God" upon the very populations they're supposed to serve.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • ldean5o

      There is a big difference between a Mormon Zealot and a Christian Zealot – one is much more dangerous/judgmental than the other. I hope when people go to the polls they will choose the lesser of what they, like you, perceive as two evils.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. OldMo

    An establishment GOP insider and (supposed) evangelical for a liberal Dem attempting to pretend he's a conservative Rep (where have we seen that act before?) who thinks he's going to become a god. Yup, sounds about right. Folks neither the Reps or Dems aren't interested in fixing anything, they're the very ones who screwed everything up. The system has to collapse for them to herald in a new order. The work for the new order began a long time ago and we're on the threshold of seeing it happen.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  13. nightsun2k7

    “If Romney gets the right Congress,” she tells many activists she meets, “you’re looking at another Ronald Reagan.”

    I can only see that being very, very bad for your country. Will they never learn. "Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it"

    January 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Monbois

      Another Ronald Reagan? I have news for you, not every American was wild about the original.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • nightsun2k7

      Monbois

      That was my point. Trickle down didn't work out to well for you americans.....can't see it working a second time around. Your country needs to get religion out of your politics.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • ldean5o

      thank you "Monbois". I agree. Wasn't Reagan the president that after congress voted "no" on supplying arms to the Sandinistas (sp), Reagan went behind their back, broke the law, and did it anyway – then, was not prosecuted because he was leaving office and used ye 'ol "I cannot recall" defense? and wasn't Reagan the president that closed the majority of long term mental hospitals and magically created what became a "homeless crisis?" Ah, we do forget – but, do we forget by conscious choice, or do we forget due to the Reagan as Saint propaganda machine – just like General Custard – crazy man made into a saint thanks to the power of the written word.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  14. P.G

    God told me to squirt this botox in my face to be more like his image.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Mer'tan

      Portrait of two fascists...

      January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  15. zzz

    What was her stepfather's last name? What is so onerous about this Jewish name that he did not want to adopt her for fear that, "it could really be a negative thing". What does this say about her and her family and the community that they live in? Mr. Gilgoff, please let us know.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      The lady is so blind in her bigotry, yet does not make a distinction between her brand of Christianity, and the Mormonism that rejects it.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • LL

      Unbelievable that she was 'grateful' she didn't end up with a Jewish name! And that comment about ordaining gays means you have to ordain all sinners! Is she so ignorant she doesn't understand that ALL humans, (ordained or not), are sinners?

      January 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  16. LostinSLC

    Face it, he will be running against Obama. Get used to seeing his face around....

    January 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  17. ThisSerious

    Everybody is good at something, and Mitt Romney has an ability to look you straight in the eye and just lie or distort the truth. He is taking advantage of people's ignorance and telling you what you want to hear. Don't you want to know what the truth so that you can here what his solutions are for the country? I'd be real careful putting your weight behind this guy, you might have a rude awakening when the truth gets exposed in the General Election debates. Obama is going to correct every distortion and lie that Romney has been telling to the uninformed voter during the GOP debates. What will be Romney's fall back then?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      Yes, we have to be more forceful in our support for our President and the future of our great nation.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  18. Pete

    Why are h0m0sapiens so susceptible to believing in imaginary friends???

    January 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      Good point Pete. With all the matter in the universe making up only 4% of what exist, and with no rational explanation for the enigma of existence itself, mankind over the centuries has attempted a variety of esoteric explanations. One may choose to ignore these, or one might find some enlightening. People who believe in the incarnation of Khrisna or the discovery of Joseph Smith are not more weird than those who buy the whole package of Christ's sacrifice on their behalf, with all the varieties of Paradise. Chose to believe, or reject, but everyone must chose, or sniff glue.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  19. Drinker

    “My faith is the most important thing – my husband and family are second,” Isn't that really the opitome of selfishness? Since there is no imaginary man int he sky it's all for yourself. That is the core of moral decline in this country.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Cyril Wolfe

      "epitome," dork.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Drinker

      Wow Cyril, just wow.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  20. Fladabosco

    Anyone who puts their faith above their family is a sick person. Why would you put more value on something you read about and were preached to about above the people you love and can touch and are real?

    Sick sick sick sick.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • The MagusNYC.

      I think that the sickness is in putting faith in a human organization or ideology, like the "Christian Coaltion" or The Church of Latter Day Saints. Faith in a Supreme Being, the source of love of family, friends, and community seems not to be a self-centered thing. It is perceived as the source of that great love we feel for others and of our sense of duty and service.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • it ain't true

      Don't lose sleep over it... it was just a sound bite to grab more attention. She has no desire to serve god or her family, she is all about her.. it is only her that matters in her life. Will love seeing the books her family writes about her... but she is so vain she will love the negative attention.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.