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February 21st, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Santorum and Satan - the devil is in the details

Editor's note: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to CNN apps or the CNN mobile site.

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - A 2008 speech by Rick Santorum at Ave Maria University is making waves this week, in large part because Santorum said Satan had his sights set on America and the country was facing spiritual warfare.

The speech came at the beginning of the academic year at the Catholic university in Florida.  At that point, the 2008 presidential campaign was in full swing.  Then-candidate Barack Obama had recently made a statement about abortion and the issue of deciding when life began, which he said was above his pay grade.

Santorum was using the devil-tinged language after explaining Obama's position on abortion.  He quoted Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, who said at the time, “Catholics who support so-called ‘abortion rights’ support a false right, promote a culture of death and are guarded by the father of lies."

"This is not a political war at all, this is not a culture war at all, this is a spiritual war," Santorum said, according to a recording of the speech on the university's website. "And the father of lies has his sights on what you think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on.  A good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America."

The speech gained a new life this week when it surfaced on the website Right Wing Watch and was then picked up by the Drudge Report and a host of media outlets.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

"If you were Satan, who would you attack?" the former U.S. senator asked the students.  "There's no one else to go after other than the United States, and that's been the case, for now, almost 200 years."

Santorum went on to explain how he thought the devil had attacked the United States in several areas: its foundations, academia, the Protestant Church and government.

Asked about the speech on Tuesday, Santorum offered no apologies. "I’m a person of faith. I believe in good and evil," Santorum told CNN in Arizona.

"If somehow or another because you’re a person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president," he said.

"If they want to go ahead and dig up old speeches to a religious group they can go right ahead and do so," Santorum went on. "I'm going to stay on message. I'm going to talk about the things Americans want to talk about."

In his 2008 speech, the Catholic Santorum said that Satan had relatively little success attacking the founders and the foundation of the country. But time, like an acid, wore away America's great institutions, "using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition," he said.

Santorum said Satan was first, and most successfully, attacked academia.  Once academia fell to pride and its own truths, he said, the Protestant Church fell next in the United States.

"We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country, and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," he said.

From there, he turned to U.S. culture, lambasting the National Basketball Association, rock concerts and movie sets. "They are peacocks on display, and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable," which he said was further evidence of spiritual warfare.

Also fallen to Satan: politics and government, he said.  Specifically, Santorum highlighted a 2004 interview with then-state Sen. Obama did with the Chicago Sun-Times.

Shortly after Obama won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, he sat down with Cathleen Falsani in one of the few extended interviews he has done about his faith.

"What is sin?" Falsani asked Obama.

"Being out of alignment with my values," Obama responded.

In his Ave Maria speech, Santorum seized on this point. "So now we have the first truly post-modern presidential candidate. Clearly, explicitly defining his own reality," he said.

But the reporter who conducted that interview with Obama said Santorum is mistaken.

"Mr. Santorum is conveniently ignoring the fact that was not the opening question I asked him, nor was it the only question I asked. I asked what did he believe, and he articulated his faith and prayer life," Falsani said.

"We had talked about his born-again experience. [Obama's] values are based on his historical Christian faith.  He wasn't talking about, 'whatever I feel like is right in my reality,' " she said.

Falsani said the Santorum-implied dig - that Obama has his own definition of sin outside of traditional Christianity - was wrong. "The answer came in the specific context of having just articulated his Christian faith," she said.

In response, Falsani posted the full transcript of her interview with the president on the Sojourners website, where she now works as Web editor and director of new media.

But what stirred the media and the Internet the most was the notion of all-out spiritual warfare. It made easy fodder for late-night comics.

"If Rick Santorum is the commander in chief, he will do what no other president has had the courage to do: declare war on hell,"  satirist Stephen Colbert said on "The Colbert Report" on Monday night.  "It's simple: All we have to do is take our nuclear missiles out of their silos and put them back in upside-down."

At the time of the speech, Santorum was two years' removed from political office and not running for anything.

Sources who have known Santorum for some time told CNN that this is who Santorum is. He sees the world in black and white, good versus evil, they said.

A big difference between this speech and what he had talked about publicly before, according to some who know him, is that during this time frame, he was out of office and didn't have people with political antennae around him to pull him back from such stark rhetoric.

While his speaking about the devil in a political context may be considered a candidate no-no, Stephen Schneck, a political scientist from Catholic University, says consider the crowd.

"Ave Maria is a unique place," Schneck said. "They are very orthodox in their Catholicism and conservative in their politics."

Donning the language of spiritual warfare can score points with the crowd.  "In some very conservative Catholic circles, that language resonates," he said.

"What he's saying, it's certainly not any heresy," said Father Tom Reese, a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center.

"It's the language some preachers would use that conservative Catholics would be very comfortable with. Is it the kind of language theology professors at Catholic universities would use? Probably not. They would likely see it more metaphorically," he said.

"He's well within the tradition," Reese said of Santorum's talk of spiritual warfare.  Though he added,  "When he starts applying those definitions to specific politicians, those are his own judgments, not the judgment of the church."

As for the candidate today, an aide issued a one-word statement on the flap: "ridiculous."

CNN's Dana Bash and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (1,820 Responses)
  1. dondon898

    "using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition," he said.

    Sorry about the Bevis and Butthead moment that I'm having here, but, when he uses sensuality, root and deeply rooted, in the same sentence, I wonder what might really going on in the back of Santorum's dirty little brain.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • dondon898

      and "great vices"

      February 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • ArkOzark

      Well, I think your Bevis and Butthead "moment" is evidence enough that we have deep rooted evil, be it naivete or abject hatred of Godliness and everything holy.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • dondon898

      Child-molesting priests, protected by a bunch of corrupt bishops who are more interested in birth control, is evidence enough that we have deep rooted evil in this world.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • dondon898

      And, I apologize to Beavis for misspelling his name.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  2. ArkOzark

    Well. 1st, as a Baptist, I should not be offended. Baptists are NOT Protestants, as we were never part of Catholicism to begin with. But since he lumps us all together, as most people do, I think he should reconsider his statements. Does he really think those who call themselves Catholics have done better on average than other religions?

    All your righteousness is as filthy rags (that's from the book called the Bible). For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (that, too). For the wages (pay) of sin is death. But the GIFT of God is eternal life (to believers).

    Looks like most of CNNs readers/viewers do not know or believe that Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking who he might devour. Nor that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities in the air (demons). How dangerous – not to know who your enemy is!

    Santorum – bring America together. Bring Christians together to fight a common enemy. And please learn that Christ is the ONLY mediator between man and God (it's in the Bible). Stop praying to your idols and Mary. Still, I respect your devotion.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Andrew

      ... You do realize that those of us who don't believe in Satan consider your 'how dangerous to not know who your enemy is' to be both silly, and incredibly arrogant and presumptuous?

      It's assuming that your religion is first and foremost correct, and that everyone else is blind. The same thing could be said by followers of EVERY OTHER RELIGION. It's rather arrogant to go 'hey, you may not believe, but I know I'm right and you don't know who your real enemy is, and that's dangerous'.

      Feel free to believe in Satan all you like, but don't go telling everyone else that we should live differently or be afraid of your fairy tale monsters just because you believe them. You are not the arbitrator of truth. I find people like you as annoying as Santorum, who seem to believe that others need to abide by their beliefs or else they're wrong.

      Ever consider your beliefs might be flawed? Maybe?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Chris

      Christ commanded his followers to spread the faith not for this world, but for the next. As such, the work that Satan does (and which, biblically, God allows him to conduct while still in God's presence interestingly, *read the Book of Job) is not the disruption of this world but to test the faith and drive away potential new believers.

      So, who does the work of Christ? There will always be times for tough words and hard truths, but has Christ ever been quoted to speak harshly and drive out the harlots and beggars? Or did Christ not near-exclusively speak against the false righteousness of those who build walls and barriers for others? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, was it the priest (who walked on the other side of the road) who was righteous in the eyes of Christ? No, it was the lowly Samaritan, an outcast in Jesus' society who was righteous.

      And did not Paul write (and I'm paraphrasing in both cases, as I do not not have the exact verses memorized), "do not be quick to judge, lest you be judged in the same manner," and, "do not act in a manner which creates barriers to others, causing them to lose faith."

      February 22, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • ArkOzark

      Andrew, there were those who did not believe Hitler was dangerous, or that we should worry. Our own government set off nuclear blasts and told observers close by that it was safe – nothing to fear. That did not change facts. I realize you don't believe Satan exists. Wish I could convince you. But if he does, if he wants to destroy everything God loves, especially the Savior of the world and his followers, can you agree it would be incredibly dangerous not to know it?

      Your statements are based on your beliefs. Mine are based on my beliefs. It is no more presumptuous and arrogant on my part to state my beliefs than for you to state yours. I did not say your intelligence was less than mine.

      That you find my beliefs "annoying" should show definitively which side is actually the most intolerant.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      *** And please learn that Christ is the ONLY mediator between man and God (it's in the Bible)

      Maybe you should tell that to the pope.
      Maybe he missed that memo.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  3. SurRy

    I want a President who believes in reality and science. Not make-believe and fairy tales.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Chris

      I've always thought that Jesus, as a man renowned in his time for his knowledge and understanding of complex issues, would have absolutely loved to engage scientists in deep discussions about the nature of the universe that would not have been possible in his own time. Christians believe that Christ was the human incarnation of God, but he was also fully a man with the interests and curiosity that is a born trait of mankind.

      I believe that it is the pride of the self-righteous who love to feel that they have all of the answers which drives mainstream Christian thought away from scientific reality so often. Science often shows man that we do not have all of the answers, and that is a hard pill to swallow for those that are used to being praised for their own supposed wisdom.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Downton Abbey 101

      You really ought to learn some history. Jesus was NOT renowned in his time. He did not even rate a mention by ANY contemporary historian. Even the Josephus paragraph is known to be a forgery. Why do believer just make things up ?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  4. Dave

    I would never vote for Rick Santorum. That having been said, I am a little confused. I am not a Christian but I have read some Christian writers, went to Christian church more than a few times and have read the bible more than once. What I am confused about is that his statement does not seem wildly off from what I thought many Christians believe, except it is not just the United States it is the world. Since when has Satan being in a spiritual battle with good ever been completely unheard of in Christianity?

    February 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • ArkOzark

      Answer: CNN readers and viewers do not know that the concept of Satan fighting against good is a standard teaching of almost every religion in the world. How could they know; CNN reporters don't tell them.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  5. Thannak

    "There's been no one else to attack for over 200 years"

    Yeah, right. The United States only became truly important after we asserted dominance in World War 1. Before that, we were the global wild card: nobody knew what to make of us although most just ridiculed us.
    Before the war with Mexico, we weren't even a true world power.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Dave

      I think he may have been referring to the secularization of Europe and not a matter of being a world power. Like God or Satan if they exist cares about those things... I do think, if he thought that was the case though, he has really missed the heart felt and devote Catholicism of the many many central and south american countries though...

      February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Dave

      Also I disagree with your assertion that the United States was not a world power before WWI, our industrial base even before that made that probably not as true as you might think.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  6. eddieVroom

    Santorum is insane.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  7. doug

    We already had a President that saw everything black and white. He started an illegal way, broke our country, and then drove the economy off a cliff. Santorum wants to be Regan but he acts like another Bush.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  8. Huh?

    No, thanks, I don't want a Bible-Thumper as the President of the United States. Last thing this country needs is a 4-8 year C.C.D. class.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • thierry

      seriously. hes a nut

      February 22, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  9. Reality

    Dear Rick S., (and also for Barack O, Mitt R., Newt G. and Ron P.)->

    A prayer just for "you all":

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    February 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      Dude, you need to read your bible and get some ancient history lessons... those "embellished" stories, as you say, were written by men who walked and talked with The Christ. And those weren't the only writings... these writings continued for centuries well beyond Christs death and nothing was over dramatized like you said. You need to get your head out of the TV set... Hollywood has you hook line and sinker.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      February 22, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • jaded

      Weren't the Gospels written some 60 years after the events? If all those miraculous events actually happened, why would you wait 60 years to write them down? It doesn't make any sense.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Doobie Wah

      There is more to the story reality, but you have already driven the christians nuts.
      Jesus was real, but he is not who they think he is.
      Jesus isnt even his real name.
      It will all come out soon.
      It was easy to re-write history, when 99% of the people living then could not read or write.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  10. REAPER911

    well how about that, there are people who beleave in GOOD and EVIL. wow!

    February 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  11. ONE TIME

    Allow me to chime in santorum is a idiot

    February 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      Just for you I had to repeat it again... I hope everyone read his quotes... because if anyone is a person of faith... and that is not just someone that is a fanatic then you know it's true... and those who don't are even more blind and clueless. Is America society better or worse then 50 years ago... killing parents, killing kids, eating legal drugs like candy because they need to feed on something.. it's sad to the think were we are going

      February 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  12. Ateo

    “Lighthouses are more helpful then churches”. Benjamin Franklin
    “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it". John Adams
    "Chritianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man." Thomas Jefferson

    February 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      You're clueless... if really knew what anyone of those three stood for you'd be sitting out in the cold. Even their liberal views were nothing the progressives today. Get a clue the American education system has obviously failed you. Why don't you read more on each of the founders before you pull quotes on your...

      February 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • SurRy

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi

      February 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      True... however that is not every "Christian"... so don't write all of them off.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  13. geETO

    Free speech only works for people who have enough brains to understand what is being said. Faux News was invented to entertain the others.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  14. Mark

    I do not want a psychotic person as a leader of our country. Wake the F#$% America. This guy is dangerous

    February 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • DCPam

      Ditto.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  15. Sanookman

    Hmm, with a few minor changes, this is the same ranting that we see from rabid imams advocating destruction the infidel non-believers. Scary, very scary.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Mike

      Are you kidding me? Where did he call for the destruction of another person or country? He just laid out the truth and you can face the fact of where this country has gone in the last 50 years and it's because of human disgust.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Sanookman

      "This is not a political war at all, this is not a culture war at all, this is a spiritual war," for one.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      What you don't believe in spiritual warfare? Oh ya and you just the guy who believes in voodoo, ghosts and other spiritual things but you mention spiritual warfare and you become smarter then the faith believer. It's called hypocrisy to make yourself feel better about yourself.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Sanookman

      I was wondering why I felt sooo good! I'm going to have to talk to my shamans about this, and maybe do some sacrifices to the great jelly bean. What part of separation of state and church is not clear?

      February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Doobie Wah

      *** He just laid out the truth and you can face the fact of where this country has gone in the last 50 years and it's because of human disgust.

      You are right, we are all pretty disgusted with religion and republicans.
      The world goes forward, not backwards.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  16. Mike

    I hope everyone read his quotes... because if anyone is a person of faith... and that is not just someone that is a fanatic then you know it's true... and those who don't are even more blind and clueless. Is America society better or worse then 50 years ago... killing parents, killing kids, eating legal drugs like candy because they need to feed on something.. it's sad to the think were we are going.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Mike..so having a person who thinks that "satan" is real, and is at "war with the US" and "god' is a rational person. If i remember there were a few people who killed their kids because god told them they were the devil....what level of sanity do both these acts exhibit? how can you tell the difference ?

      February 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      Please that is so weak... so every person that speaks the word God is a Christian? And every person who says God told me to do this is sane.. and that is not to say that those who really do seek God can't find him. Don't use the excuse because of what you see other people say and do in the name of God to trash God or Christianity. That is truly a weak viewpoint. And Santorum whether you believe in his view points or not is not crazy... the left just wants to paint that picture for people that can't think for themselves... it's funny how they don't do that with liberals.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Sanookman

      Hmm – homicide rate in the US in 1962 was 4.6 per 100000, 5.9 in 2007 and declining since the mid-1990's. Not a big change, and the trend is good. I didn't find clear statistics for drug use which would be useful to substantiate these claims.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Phretbuzz

      So you are going to say that we are better off then what we were in 1962... Maybe you should have been alive in '62 to make that statement. I know you'd see it different.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Dave

      I don't know, I thinkwe are better off now that we are not as close to nuclear aniliation as the world has ever been... three words and a number: Cuban Missle Crisis 1962 ;).

      February 22, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • badlobbyist

      Well phretbuzz and Mike, I can tell you at least one area where we are all better off. Minorities are better off because we passed Civil Rights laws.
      And looking around, there are an awful lot of fat Americans. Aint it great that everyone has enough to eat?
      Infant mortality rates are down.
      We've eradicate most childhood diseases.
      I don't know, short of all you scared religious people thinking yet again that the End Times are Nigh ('cause they've been coming every ten years since about 200 AD right?), I think everything is actually going pretty well. Could it be better if we focused on improving THIS world instead of worring about the one that might come after death? Yeah probably, but all in all, a pretty good time to be alive.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  17. Philadelphia

    CNN probably just did this story today because it is a new Moon which many Christians may have a belief that it is a time when Satan has power on earth, being opposite of a full Moon, in the Maya culture this was highly related to a women's menstrual cycle. When there is a full Moon it is a good thing because on that day the women takes over the role of the sun on the only day of the month. But on the day of the new Moon, this is when women used to be in sync with the Moon's light or lack thereof and the menstrual cycle would generally begin. In a weird and twisted way if you combine the Maya culture with the Revelations of John, this would be the time when the Moon is covered with blood, but not a lot of people believe this and this really isn't something that is generally taught by preachers of Christianity. So, I think this may be CNN's big story about Satan on earth with his devil angels fighting Christians in the last and great judgement day. It's actually sort of funny I guess, in a weird way.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Dave

      I would never vote for Rick Santorum. That having been said, I am a little confused. I am not a Christian but I have read some Christian writers, went to Christian church more than a few times and have read the bible more than once. What I am confused about is that his statement does not seem wildly off from what I thought many Christians believe, except it is not just the United States it is the world. Since when has Satan being in a spiritual battle with good ever been completely unheard of in Christianity?

      February 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Philadelphia

      You're right, this battle between good and evil is a very widespread train of Christianity beliefs, I was simply stating that many people have a difficult time trying to tie in Christianity with the ancient Maya beliefs.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Philadelphia

      My statement is more along the lines of what a Mormon would believe who has been more deeply involved with religion. The Book of Mormon, which is Mormon scriptures believe the ancient Indians were Christians. This is sort of ironic in a way I guess because Santorum's main right wing opponent is Mitt Romney and this article discusses Satan in America which is where the Indians lived for many hundreds of years.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Dave

      I mis posted in a reply to you. You seem to know a lot about a lot of things but I will say what I have said to another poster...

      well there seems to be as many notions of Christianity as there are Christians as far as I can tell. Luckily, for all of us, none of us will ever be the final judge of the true Christianity and I am pretty sure that at most only ONE has it completely right. As the priest in Rudy said, "Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him."

      the irony of anyone telling me "the truth" never escapes me and neither does the catholic/mormon/myan/moon/blood string you have pointed out ;).

      February 22, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  18. Pat in IL

    This guy is over the top crazy and the emphasis he puts on his interpretation of the bible and his religion (I am a Christian but not Catholic) has nothing to do with any gifts for leadership that he may have. So far I haven't seen any, and I am especially disturbed that this person, who has no real knowledge of foreign affairs or global finance is actually running for president and has some sort of following.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      His following is religious fanatics like himself. They are a minority and will remain so. A vast majority of Americans find his kind of politics repellent.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  19. SafeJourney

    Just wait until Santorums past starts emerging. NOt a pretty picture

    February 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  20. sarah

    What a bunch of false notions. Santorum, there are no types of different VALUES of Christianity. Jesus lived in a way we are meant to imitate. He traveled with the poor, he ate with thieves, and he respected his Jewish law. But above all, he left us three words that we seem unable to imitate; LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Dave

      well there seems to be as many notions of Christianity as there are Christians as far as I can tell. Luckily, for all of us, none of us will ever be the final judge of the true Christianity and I am pretty sure that at most only ONE has it completely right. As the priest in Rudy said, "Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him."

      February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.