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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. Carter

    Dear HawaiiGuest, Here is a link to something that may help. The dead sea scrolls were AMAZING similar to the orginal texts of the Bible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RsYyZIeako

    February 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      How do the dead sea scrolls prove anything? They are merely a collection of texts from the Hebrew Bible and other extra-biblical texts. This does not corroborate any supposed "historical accuracy" of the bible.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Carter,

      The Dead Sea Scrolls only back up the stories of the culture of a group of Middle Eastern Hebrews, and as with the Bible, is a compendium of stories about those people's lives along with all of their myths, legends, superst'itions and fantasies. There is not a shred of verified evidence that any of the supernatural beings or events in those stories are real.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  2. Carter

    Ol Yeller,
    I think you ;might be surprised at what will happen when you receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers. You just might end up being so grateful you will WANT to do what is right and helpful to others. That is the real victory not just doing what is right but WANTING to do what is right. Jesus' love for us can change our heart.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      So your good deeds mean more when your religious?

      February 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      What about those of us who want to do what is right and help others, who live moral lives all without needing your god?

      February 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Carter

    Well Hung Jesus,
    I base my opinions on the Bible. I believe, as my grandfather said, that the Bible is God's love letter to us. We are so fortunate that we have it. It has been proven to be correct and accurate on many occasions. But, most importantly it tells about the death and resurrection of Christ which many have tried to disprove and no one has. The tomb is empty. There is no body. Jesus is alive today in heaven. I hope you will come to that realization. Just ask God to show you the truth. Kind regards, Carter

    February 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • MrApplesauce

      Pretty violent and bloody love letter. Seems to be a bit of an abusive relationship.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Give links for things that have been proven accurate in the bible.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      Impossible to disprove something that never existed. Better yet, prove Jesus DID exist. Funny thing that no Roman records of the period mention him. What was that I heard? Your wife speaking out of turn? Better start throwin stones! Make sure she dies painfully now, just like it says in that "Love Letter" you want everybody to believe in.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Leo

      Hawaii, here are 3 quick ones...

      Physics is the very first verse “In the beginning (Time) God created (Energy) the heavens (Space) and the earth (Matter).

      The expansion and the Fabric of Space “who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain”

      How about Prophesy “‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob.”

      February 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Leo

      Icon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus,.."

      February 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Changing interpretations to fit scientific terms proves nothing. Many different opinions would arise from whoever you asked on those verses. I'm speaking of independent, verifiable facts, that support the events of the bible as being historically accurate.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Leo

      Changing Interpretations???? What is the foundation of Physics? Time, Space, Matter, Energy, In the very FIRST VERSE!!

      Did moses just get lucky?

      When did science come up with the fabric os space?

      Is Israel in place now after being scattered for nearly 2000 years?

      February 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      @Leo, from your very same source: "Scholars have also debated the issue of hearsay in the reference by Tacitus. Charles Guignebert argued that "So long as there is that possibility [that Tacitus is merely echoing what Christians themselves were saying], the passage remains quite worthless" Tacitus' account was written about 116 AD, quite a while after the time of Jesus' and is quite likely only parrotting what the early christians of that time believed.
      Good try, go again?

      February 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      So because a country was established long after the prophecy was made, we are to assume the prophecy is dead on? Sorry but without a date in the prophecy, it is guaranteed that the nation of Israel would have been established at some point in human history. Prophecies tend to be va.gue for that reason, so that it won't matter that it happens, because probability states that it will happen, the only question is when. As for interpretations, yes that is the correct word. Using a book to prove itself using interpretation of the book is bad logic. I asked for independent, and verifiable facts, and you have not provided them.

      February 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Leo

      Icon, What is your criteria for historical records to be accurate? If they are only wrtten within how many years?

      February 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Leo

      Hawaii, you said "I asked for independent, and verifiable facts, and you have not provided them."

      No actually I provided them and then you setup some new criteria that exact dates must be included.

      Tell me how would dates effect the prophesies of Nature?

      February 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Its probability, if it has a chance of happening, then it will happen. The prophecy of Israel states just that the nation will be established. Seeing this in the bible, what are the chances that throughout all of history, no one would want to fullfill this prophecy by creating that nation? Answer: 0%

      February 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Also Leo, you have yet to provide anything so far that would support the events in the bible as "historically accurate".

      February 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Leo

      The problem you have is first this Bible was written by the people that it is promised to first be scattered because of their rebellion, and then the promise of restoration.

      Why would they do that?

      Hey Isaiah lets make up this story that our great nation will be destroyed and scattered throughout the nations and then in the last days we will be gathered together?

      You still never answered on Nature, you don't find it interesting that the first line in the Bible is the foundation for nature?

      Here are a few more

      By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

      “He stretches out the north over empty space
      And hangs the earth on nothing.

      These thing were not verified until the last few hundred years

      February 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Tell me what edition are these verses in? You continue to skirt giving anything of substance. Requireing faith to believe what you are reading in the bible is not a solid argument.

      February 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Leo

      Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning (Time) God created (Energy) the heavens (Space) and the earth (Matter).
      Psalm 104:2 “who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain”
      Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
      Job 26:7 “He stretches out the north over empty space
      And hangs the earth on nothing.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  4. blondie

    eeeeeeeeccccccchhh!!!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  5. Carter

    Robert,
    Yes, we do all need forgiveness, but without some moral guidelines there is no way to figure what we are doing wrong. That is the reason for the 10 commnadments and our current laws which are, to a large degree, based on them. If the US,, for example would finally decide that abortion was murder then,, I think more people would feel bad about it, keep from doing it, and then know to ask God for forgiveness. Laws should reflect what is right/wrong to help us know when we get off track.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Well Hung Jesus

      I am sorry but please clarify by what authority you speak from??????????

      February 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      The need for forgiveness is predicated on guilt which is caused by the arbitrary application of rules based in a society that is so unlike our own as to be alien to us. We can not begin to comprehend that society, yet there are those who cling to these rules as if they have meaning outside the societal context within which they were created.

      Morality is defined within a person, it is not imposed from without. Where groups of people gather and morality is shared, laws arise. Where laws arise, punishment for breaking them is prescribed. This is how society begins.

      I do not live my life based on some societal code from a world that is foreign to me. I have no need of forgiveness for not doing so.

      February 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  6. Robert

    He was wrong on one point. It wasn't academia that Satan went after first, it was the Catholic church. After Christ left the scene, the doctrines were perverted by uninspired men and the world fell into the dark ages, as history so aply records.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • No, you're wrong

      It was actually a Voldemort-Darth Vader-Satan tag team effort. Especially after the Romans made christianity their religion, Lucifer needed some help and had to call in the big dogs.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  7. Carter

    The comments I am getting from my posts are, I think, helpful. I just hope everyone knows just how much God loves us and was willing to send his son, Jesus, to die for our sins. No matter how much hatred we might direct toward God, he will always love us. I want to, with God's help, to be the same way. I want to love others even if they disagree with my religious views. I do believe that America was founded on Christian principles and more we practice them the better off we will be.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      An omnipotent god would not need to commit suicide to prove his love or 'save' anything.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Leo

      There are a lot of elements of Christianity that other religions share. In example Christianity starts with the foundation in the belief in God, as do many other religions especially the other monotheistic religions. Please notice the kind of God I am talking about here is not some force in the universe as is believed in many of the eastern religions, but rather a God that is a person, and this person is different from that which he created. So it isn’t that everything is God which is the case with pantheism of the eastern religions, but again this God created something separate from himself and there is a clear distinction of the two. Part of what he created are personal beings, part of which are human beings in particular and in addition you have all the animals. Human beings are separate and unique from all other creatures. These previous points once again are believed by many religions, but there are also many religions that don’t make this clear distinction as with some forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and others which believe in the transmigration of the soul through reincarnation from humans to animals and vice versa.
      When it comes to Christianity and Judaism God has created human beings as unique and special made in some sense in his image which sets them distinctly apart from all other creatures. There is another observation that can be made of human beings and that is that humans can be both noble and cruel. There is a certain nobility and dignity of human beings that sets him above the animal kingdom, which we can find in the great works of art they produce and the humanitarian gestures that are performed. On the other hand they can be very cruel and there is also something twisted and broken about human beings, so we have this anomaly. The Christian and biblical world view helps us makes sense of this for man in the beginning was made in the image of God with noble characteristics, but through rebellion against God something happened and something got broken and something got twisted. This twisted and broken human being leads to a twisted and broken world.
      There is however great hope for God did not just leave it at that though he might have if he so willed, but rather out of love he reached down to mankind with a rescue effort. This rescue effort was not for him to toss some teaching our way and hope we would live better lives, but rather Gods rescue effort is that he came down himself to communicate in the most clear form possible his intentions and desires, and to make a sacrificial provision for pardon for mans crimes against God. So the incarnation of God becoming a man through Jesus is unique, and what Jesus did was take the penalty of the crimes of man upon himself so that human beings could be freed. He took the rap for the crimes against God, so that those that trust in him then could receive the pardon that the Father offered. This is another unique element, not only does God come down and reach out to man, but he gives him a free pardon of his crimes. The solution to the problem is not in making man better so as to make up for past deeds, for that doesn’t work. The solution is grace, it is an act of unmerited mercy on God’s part. It is not by any moral behavior that we qualify for salvation, it is actually our crimes against God that qualify us for his pardon and rescue. It is a pardon that God is willing to do graciously as we respond to that gift.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Your entire world view is based on an obvious work of fiction and you have been duped and self deluded enough to believe it.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Well Hung Jesus

      Carter, did god talk to you or did you get this info from other men?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Leo

      Jim, Do you believe in Abiogenesis? Guess what it is fiction, and unprovable, but many believe in Faith!!

      February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Leo

      Jim, if you do believe in Abiogenesis "Your entire world view is based on an obvious work of fiction and you have been duped and self deluded enough to believe it."

      February 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      The problem I have with Christianity, is that people who believe they will be forgiven for anything, are capable of anything.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Leo

      The Bible does not teach that since Christians are forgiven they can do anything. Some would take verses out of context to come to that conclussion, but that is not true.

      Jude 1:4
      For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

      February 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  8. Carter

    Santorum aptly states that Satan wants to bring down America because America is one of the best if not the best reflection of the love of Christ to the world. Laws are best that reflect the 10 commandments and culture is best when it reflects the command of Jesus to "love your neighbor as yourself". Jesus died for all who will come to him in humble repentance and acknowledging their need for a Savior. America is truly the last best hope of earth and the more we look like Jesus the better off we and the rest of the world will be. I hope Santorum would keep telling the truth even if it loses him the election. If one person comes to Christ as a result of his candidacy it will be worth every dime he puts into it. Jesus loves everyone and wants all to come to repentance and accept Him as Savior.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      And what, exactly, are the ten commandments? You xtians can't even seem to agree on that. And there are about 600+ commandments in the OT – what about all of the others? Why are you limiting yourself to just 10?

      And where do you see the ten commandments reflected in our laws. Can't murder, can't cheat – got that. Keep holy the sabath? nope. No other gods? nope. Can't lie? Nope – or at least only in extremely limited cases. Not coveting other's wives or things? nope. No idols? Nope. Don't take the name of god in vain? Lord nope. Honor thy father and mother? nope.

      It would seem the US of A is batting about 0.200 when it comes to commandments. You know a nation that probably does a MUCH better job of this than we do? Iran.
      It seems

      February 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Under the law(Old Testament), the consequences for sin or payment for sin required a blood sacrifice. Either a designated animal or the sinner, as the case may be. Under the new covenant brought about by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, his blood paid it all. It pays for the sin today, yesterday, and forever for the believer. For example, adultery was a sin punishable by death, but Jesus told the people if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have committed adultery. The point is that the flesh is sinful by nature whether in thought or deed. No one is good. We all need forgiveness.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • screamin raven

      All I see from Santorum is condemnation for his neighbor, Santorum bears false witness of his neighbor (anyone who differs in religion), and lies...Even when videotaped Santorum accuses the "liberal media" of spinning his words. Anyone that thinks Santorum is "spiritual" is as crazy as Santorum is and a Hypocrite (in the very definition Jesus used when calling out to the money changers in a temple)

      February 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Well Hung Jesus

      God bless the delusional suicidal man called Jesus!

      February 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      @Robert Brown
      So if I go by the OT I need to sacrifice a few dogs because I looked at Mary Jane Rottencrotch with lustful intent, but by the NT as long as I accept Jesus I can do it without impunity forever and ever amen? That sounds like a much better deal. I'm sold. Since I want to sin and be lustful every day... where do I sign up?
      Here I have wasted my time being an agnostic and trying to NOT do these things, when I could do them and have a free pass.
      This religious syuff sounds very contradictory according to which policy one reads.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      @Robert Brown
      So if I go by the OT I need to sacrifice a few dogs because I looked at Mary Jane Rottencrotch with lustful intent, but by the NT as long as I accept Jesus I can do it without impunity forever and ever amen? That sounds like a much better deal. I'm sold. Since I want to sin and be lustful every day... where do I sign up?
      Here I have wasted my time being an agnostic and trying to NOT do these things, when I could do them and have a free pass.
      This religious stuff sounds very contradictory according to which policy one reads.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      No, forgiveness of sin is not a license to sin as Paul taught in Romans. We now have the Holy Spirit and if we let it control we do not desire to sin but to please God. Having said that, we know that only the power of God allows us to resist the temptations of the flesh. Paul wrote a lot about the war between the spirit and the flesh if your interested. Christians don't wan't to yield to the flesh but we all make mistakes whether in thought or deed everyday.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  9. Carter

    Santorum's views on Satan and his attack on America give me more reason to vote for him. Ultimately, our war is spiritual and our leaders should be aware of it. Santorum is aware. I wonder if my comment will be posted since it is so blantanly religious. Only those who accept Christ as Savior can be guaranteed a spot in heaven. America best represents Jesus Christ to the world. Under attack as Winston Churchill so aptly stated is, "Christian civilization". It is the best framework for people whatever religion they may be.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Satan

      When I'm done with America, I am going to cornhole you for eternity.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • They're out to get you

      You might find this useful: http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

      February 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • saopaco

      Carter, you feel that a warlike nation best represents your messiah on earth? Is your messiah from some sort of warlike cult?

      Since the US was founded, we have been in a war or conflicy every 25 years or so. When it got slow in the mid 1800s, we had a pickup war and fought ourselves.

      Is Jesus a war god, that you feel that the US is his best representative on earth?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Ol' Yeller

      I agree Santorum is is beginning an attack on America. Do you believe he is joining satan in his attack, or will they be attacking independently of each other? Also, Why did you choose santorum over satan.. is he truly the lesser of the two evils? I think it is close. As for the rest of your post... W-T-F are you trying to say.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Bob

      Carter
      If you want to vote for someone who attacks America then go vote for the president of Iran.

      So, who wants to go to heaven anyway? Eternity staring at a light being somebody's lapdog. How low an opinion of yourself does a person have to have to want such a thing?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      Spiritual war wouldnt bother me,
      but your religious and conservative leaders always like the real ones.
      No thanks.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Marie E Schwartz

    @BRC: We have free speech. I respect your opinion, although I disagree. Do you respect my choice to voice my opinion?

    February 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • sam

      Cheap entertainment is so fun to come by.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • BRC

      @Marie,
      Absolutely and of course. I'm in the military, and have no problem doing dangerous jobs to protect the free speech of people I don't agree with. Though I wonder how that relates to the topic.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • saopaco

      People do have the right to an opinion. But, if a person's opinion is ridiculous, and that person decides to share, then that person has got to expect some ridicule.

      If I was of the opinion that the Earth was flat, and I posted it in an already snarky Internet forum, then I am going to have to endure the abuse that I have requested.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Bob

      saopaco
      If these Christians were like the flat-earthers you describe they'd be lobbying for laws to prevent our ships from crossing the ocean, and there would be opportunistic presidential candidates like Santorum right there to get their vote.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Pretty much, yup

      "If these Christians were like the flat-earthers you describe they'd be lobbying for laws to prevent our ships from crossing the ocean"

      Kind of like opposing actually teaching science in science class, or stopping stem cell research, or opposing actions to mitigate global warming? Seems pretty spot-on.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Barrak Obama

    God, please let Santorm win the GOP nomination! Against a wingnut like that I cant loose. Please. Please. Please.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • saopaco

      I do not like President Obama, but I am sure that he has better spelling than that!

      February 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Carter

      Barrak,
      You make, what many feel, is a logical point, but it could backfire. A positive effect of Santorum winning will be an enormously energized base of support. Sort of like Ron Paul's base only a lot bigger. As excitement grow more will be drawn to Santorum. My sister does though indicate along your lines. She said she would vote for Romney if he were the candidate but not if Santorum was.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      Yes, especially his own name. hahahahahah

      February 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  12. Marie E Schwartz

    facepalm*

    @FacePalm: I did not say that I speak for God. You said that.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @ Marie E Schwartz

      USE THE REPLY BUTTON!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Idiot on the forum! Everybody out of the water!

      February 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      You're telling people that they are or are not xtian. Shouldn't that be between someone and god? Or did god appoint you his proxy here on earth?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  13. Marie E Schwartz

    @"Chubby Rain": Back it up. Work cited please.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Chubby Rain

      http://www.emcom.ca /health/abortion.shtml

      February 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  14. Marie E Schwartz

    @ Sam: Name calling is so childish.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • sam

      Being unable to properly use the reply link to repond to a post is fucking stupid. Wanna keep playing?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  15. Leigh

    Rick has also said he does not believe consenting American adults have ANY right to privacy, even in their own homes. Look it up, it's there for the reading. When this breaks out into the forefront, those supporting Santorum will finally recover from their senior moment and vote for someone who honors the most treasured American value, and that is the right for Americans to govern their OWN LIVES. This "small government" candidate is for huge, intrusive government...one that invades your bedrooms AND your bodies.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • saopaco

      I agree. Remember though, that President Obama bypassed the bill of rights by signing NDAA 2012 and make it ok for the military to hold us citizens indefinitely outside of the reach of the courts. As a country, we need better leaders.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Carter

      Leigh,
      The government should make laws that help people discern right and wrong. The question becomes from where do we get a moral basis to decide on right and wrong. Since I think we have to use something why not the Bible. It has serve us well as a guide for laws.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Carter, I don't need the government telling me what is right and what is wrong. I'm a grown up. I learned basic reasoning skills as a child.

      February 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  16. RonB

    If Santorium is the Republican candidate, President Obams will win in a landslide, maybe all 50 states.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Wishful thinking does not win elections, votes do. At this late date it is doubtful that President Obama can turn this thing around. The probability of a Santorum victory looms large on the horizon. What you see here, supporting Obama is the extreme minority .

      February 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Chubby Rain

      Ronald, Obama is beating Santorum in every poll I bothered looking at by an average of 6.3%.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Polls don't win elections, votes do. Rick Santorum has a track record of coming from behind. If we believed in polls he would not be where he is today.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @ Chub

      Faux News was reporting that McCain was leading in the poll even the day leading up to the last election. How did that work out?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Yep, that's what I heard, he 'comes from behind'. Ha

      February 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bwahahah

      "Rick Santorum has a track record of coming from behind."

      I love fourth grade humor. This, combined with his alter boy days would explain his current position on gay marriage.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Rick Santorum

      "Polls don't win elections, votes do."

      I'm well aware of this. It's why I'm currently not in public office. PA voters apparently don't like it when you exploit the system for personal gain. Fortunately for me, the uber-right seems to be not too concerned with this.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chubby Rain

      History of coming from behind? "In the November 7, 2006 election, Santorum lost by over 700,000 votes, receiving 41% of the vote to Casey's 59%, the largest margin of defeat for an incu-mbent senator since 1980 and the largest losing margin for an incu-mbent Republican senator ever (Wiki)."

      I didn't know about the Fox news poll. I don't watch Fox News...

      February 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Casey is a Pa. legend, that was a rare opportunity for that state. Barak Obama does not carry the national clout proportionally that Casey carries in Pa.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      Lunatic fringe, i know your out there.

      Wishful thinking does not win elections, votes do. At this late date it is doubtful that President Obama can turn this thing around. The probability of a Santorum victory looms large on the horizon. What you see here, supporting Obama is the extreme minority .

      February 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • BG

      @Ronald "Polls don't win elections, votes do. Rick Santorum has a track record of coming from behind."

      lol Santorum + coming from behind. i c wut u did thar

      February 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  17. Doug

    Not to be blasphemous but on this Ash Wednesday, I would like to ask the Lord to allow Ricky Santorum to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Not because I think he is a good Christian, in fact, given his knowledge of Satan's inner thoughts, he is likely to sit on his (Satan's) right hand side (a.k.a. the anti-Christ) but because if he is nominated, President Obama, the only true Christian amongst those running for the office of the Presidency of the United States in 2012, will win in a landslide. Let there be light; not the darkness that is inside the soul of Ricky Santorum.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      November 2012 = 60/40 projected split favoring Santorum. If President Obama continues his do nothing policies and gives nothing tangible to the electorate in the near future it will go worse than that as much as 70/30. One hope would be a third party spoiler to siphon off Santorum votes.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Marie E Schwartz

      Obama cannot be a Christian. He is pro-abortion, therefore, anti-life. No Christian can approve the slaughter of innocent babies. Life begins at conception.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Marie,

      Good to know that you speak for god. How do you plan to go about telling the roughly 150 million people in this country that think they're Christian that they aren't?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • BRC

      @Ronald- where on Earth are you getting those numbers?

      @Marie- Obama is not pro-abortion. I don't even think he's pro-choice; BUT, he is the President of a country that allows religious freedom, and that means other people are free to make there own decisions. Pro-life means you never choose to get an abortion, it doesn't mean you get to tell everyone else that they're not allowed to get one either. He's not being a bad Christian, he's actually being a good President (I don't always agree with him, but in principle he's right on this one).

      February 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Numbers are projected from current primary conditions, economic conditions and past performance patterns and the lack of competence being displayed by the current administration. Fact, not only can Rick Santorum win the nomination he can win the White House.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam

      What we need a vote on at the moment is who is the bigger idiot – Marie or Ronald.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • BRC

      @Ronald,
      It is also a fact that a hippopotamus farts through its mouth, but neither fact is overly relevant. Yes, he CAN win the election, in the same way that any candidate CAN win an election, it certainly doesn't mean they will. And primary numbers only show how that candidate plays among the members of their own party, that are so enthusiastic about their party they decided to go participate in a fake election. IT does NOT translate into that person's populatiry in a general election.

      The only way Santorum gets elected is if the majority of reasonable people in this country just decide not to vote. In that case you win, all the smart ones are apparently lazy.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Chubby Rain

      @Marie - 50% of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted, naturally, without human intervention. If God really thought human life began at conception, he would probably have made the success rate a little higher.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Try looking at politics with your brains instead of your wishful thinking and see what you come up with. Put your hand on the peoples pulse, not the media but the folks around you, let me know how the enthusiasm stacks up against four years ago, not your own but what are your neighbors or coworkers saying. Examine all the factors and you might just say, oh crap !

      February 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Marie E Schwartz

      God Bless.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • BRC

      @Ronald,
      I was never excited about Obama. I am naturally cinical and don't trust anyone. That being said, many of my friends are very liberal, and were very excited about him getting elected; though they are a littel dissapointed in what has happened since his election (tof course they're smart enough to know that it is Congress's fault the situation sucks). On the other side, my wife and in-laws (big family) are all VERY conservative, and frankly hate Obama. The one thing that they ALL agree on, is that Santorum is bat-siht crazy, and should not be elected. How's that for a pulse?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Fair, now what does it translate into at the voting booth?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      To BRC
      That little disappointment translates into lost votes, an eroded base. A sense of apathy that will keep past supporters from the polls. The country is running an almost 50/50 split right now possibly leaning toward the right following the midterms. How much can Obama lose and still be viable?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • sam

      Don't forget, kids: 'God bless' translates to 'fuck you, heathen' in cases like this.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Several interruptions. Projections are based on today's standings, there is still time for either candidate to drop a bomb and redirect everything, given no major changes the scenario I see is reflected in my first estimates.
      sam get yourself a hobby.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      Your projected numbers come from your butt.

      Ronald Reganzo

      Numbers are projected from current primary conditions, economic conditions and past performance patterns and the lack of competence being displayed by the current administration. Fact, not only can Rick Santorum win the nomination he can win the White House.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Ronald Reganzo

      Going In Circles
      It was one of your kind that told the captain of the Ti tanic , full speed ahead it is only a little ice.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Pro-choice is not the same thing as anti-life.
      Does that mean that pro-life is the same thing as anti-choice and you believe that nobody should be allowed to decide anything for themselves?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • sam

      Aw Ronald! God bless you. 🙂

      February 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  18. patweazle

    COO COO CA CHOO.... My only explanation for this guy's off the chart statements is that he must have become unhinged in the 70s and is now trying to compensate by constantly babbling about his imaginary friends.
    And then, there are those that follow him and believe in Fred Flintstone and Dino as recently as 5000 years ago.
    I almost admire Santorum – one must have a special gift to travel that close to the edge of the world and not fall off!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  19. miller_milk

    At the center of you being you have the answer –
    you know who you are and you know what you want.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  20. JustIn

    I'd like to get behind Rick Santorum and give him my solid support, but until he's more open about all the stimulus that has gone into his package, we won't know for sure that he's a real Republican and a true evangelical Christian like the rest of them, no matter how oral he gets.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sam

      I see what you did there, and I highly approve.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      I just spewed my beer on my desk.
      Funny.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Sue

      Even if Santorum comes clean, in this situation it might not matter. His position might need to be changed though.

      February 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • JT

      I think he's a bit too stiff and rigid and isn't receptive enough to others who are stiff, rigid and erect.

      February 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
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About this blog

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