February 1st, 2012
06:55 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, bringing to the Senate the ever growing charge that President Barack Obama and his administration are violating the rights of religious Americans.
The bill looks to repeal health care reform mandates that “violates religious liberties and conscience rights of faith-based institutions,” Rubio said in a news release.
The main concern from religious organizations has been the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to finalize plans that would require church-affiliated organizations to offer private health care that would include contraceptives.
“The Obama Administration’s obsession with forcing mandates on the American people has now reached a new low by violating the conscience rights and religious liberties of our people,” said Rubio, a Florida Republican.
January 8th, 2012
08:24 PM ET
By Peter Hamby, CNN
Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - As he launched a last-ditch effort to rescue his flagging candidacy in South Carolina, Rick Perry made clear Sunday that he will make an aggressive play for Christian voters in a state where nearly six out of 10 Republican voters call themselves "born again" or evangelical.
Almost 100 people turned out to see Perry at the Beacon Drive-In, a greasy spoon in Spartanburg famous for its sweet tea and burgers.
It was Perry's first appearance in the southern primary state since his underwhelming fifth-place finish in Iowa last week.
Perry, in his shirtsleeves and joined by his wife, Anita, walked into the restaurant and promptly ordered the house specialty – a chili cheeseburger buried underneath a pile of onion rings and french fries.FULL STORY
December 7th, 2011
06:26 PM ET
(CNN) – All but one of the Republican presidential candidates made their case to Jewish voters Wednesday, voicing their support for Israel and criticizing Iran while uniformly hitting President Barack Obama's strategy of appeasement on the world stage.
Speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C., the candidates stressed the importance of the United States standing with Israel, something they charged Obama has failed to do in his first years in office.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has said he will zero out all foreign aid from the United States if elected president, appeared to fully reverse course on the issue during his remarks.
"Strategic defensive aid in all forms will increase to Israel," Perry said, after calling Israel America's strongest ally in the Middle East.Read the full post on CNN's Political Ticker
December 7th, 2011
04:54 PM ET
By Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) – Rick Perry doubled down on his religion-based attack of President Barack Obama Wednesday, saying the president was preventing students from celebrating Christmas in schools. But just last year, Perry issued a holiday statement as governor of Texas that omits any mention of the Christian holiday.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Perry said Obama and the political left were waging a "war on religious traditions," including preventing students from praying in schools and having Christmas parties.
"What we're seeing from the left, of which I would suggest to you, President Obama is a member of the left and substantial left-of-center beliefs, that you can't even have a Christmas party. You can't say a prayer at school," Perry said in an interview airing on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
But in a holiday statement to troops issued by his office on Dec. 22, 2010 and posted on the governor's website, Perry fails to mention Christmas at all, sticking instead to more general terms like "holiday season."FULL STORY
December 7th, 2011
12:35 PM ET
(CNN) – Rick Perry says that if he's elected president, he'll end what he calls President Barack Obama's "war on religion."
Perry makes the comments in a new TV commercial that's sure to create controversy.
"I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school," says the Texas governor and Republican White House candidate.
"As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again."Read the full post on CNN's Political Ticker
November 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.
Austin, Texas (CNN) – Rick Perry’s new church is not like his old church.
At his new church, several hundred worshippers showed up in jeans on a recent Sunday to listen to high-decibel Christian rock from plush stadium-style seats.
The crowd, mostly under the age of 40, raised their hands to Jesus in between sips of freshly brewed coffee from the java hut in the lobby.
Outside Lake Hills Church – situated on 40 acres about half an hour’s drive from downtown Austin – a dozen sheriff’s deputies managed the Sunday morning traffic rush.
Back in town at Perry’s old church, a graying, neatly dressed crowd of several dozen gathered for services in a stately sanctuary, singing old hymns and reciting communal prayers from hard wooden pews.
There is no java hut at Tarrytown United Methodist Church – and not nearly enough traffic to justify sheriff’s deputies.
October 18th, 2011
10:29 AM ET
Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary.
By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) - Vote for me or burn in hell.
I can't imagine someone running for office saying that.
And yet four candidates - Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum - have said they had a sense that God was leading them to run. How far can we be from "vote for me or burn in hell" when it seems we're already comfortable with "vote for me, I've been called by God"?Read LZ Granderson's commentary
October 12th, 2011
04:46 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service accusing Pastor Robert Jeffress of violating the law when he posted his endorsement of presidential hopeful Rick Perry on the First Baptist Church of Dallas website.
Jeffress, the head of First Baptist Church, endorsed Perry at Friday's Values Voter Summit, the same event where he called Mormonism a 'cult.' After the event, Jeffress went on a media blitz and posted a video of himself explaining his comments on the church's website.
The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said when Jeffress posted the endorsement on the church's website, he was offering an endorsement from the church, a violation of IRS rules for tax-exempt organizations like churches.
"The tax code has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to campaigning for candidates," Lynn said. "If you put something on your church website, it is not enough to put a disclaimer on it."
October 9th, 2011
07:42 PM ET
By Richard J. Mouw, Special to CNN
Some prominent evangelical pastors have been telling their constituents not to support Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidential nomination. Because Romney is Mormon, they say, to cast a vote for him is to promote the cause of a cult.
I beg to differ.
For the past dozen years, I’ve been co-chairing, with Professor Robert Millet of Brigham Young University – the respected Mormon school - a behind-closed-doors dialogue between about a dozen evangelicals and an equal number of our Mormon counterparts.
We have talked for many hours about key theological issues: the authority of the Bible, the person and work of Christ, the Trinity, “continuing revelations” and the career of Joseph Smith, the 19th century founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), better known as the Mormon Church.
September 27th, 2011
10:22 AM ET
(CNN)–Video of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry dancing with a group of rabbis during Hanukkah surfaces on YouTube.
About this blog