Santorum talks faith with Texas pastors
Supporters pray over Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum during a campaign stop at the Bella Donna Chapel on February 8, 2012 in McKinney, Texas.
February 8th, 2012
03:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum talks faith with Texas pastors

McKinney, Texas (CNN) - The day after winning a three state primary sweep, Rick Santorum largely avoided politics during a visit to the Bella Donna Chapel and instead talked candidly about his faith before a crowd of more than one hundred local pastors.

Due to several last-minute TV interviews added to his schedule on Wednesday morning, Santorum arrived at the chapel nearly an hour late, which shrunk the amount of time his campaign set aside for midday fundraisers in this wealthy, predominantly Republican state. The delay forced him to rush out after his address, skipping a planned visit with several hundred supporters who had gathered outside the chapel, unable to get in to the invite-only event.

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Inside the chapel, Santorum made only a veiled reference to his GOP opponents, telling the pastors that the problems he sees in Washington D.C. are located at the root, and are "not issues of management" - a clear reference to Mitt Romney, who has consistently highlighted his experience as a manager to position himself as the candidate best-prepared to help steer the nation's economy.

"There's not a management problem in Washington, alright," Santorum said. "There's a more foundational problem there that goes to the basic concepts of who we are as a people. And those are deeply moral questions."

In his remarks, Santorum explored what those questions meant to him, discussing the death of his son Gabriel just hours after his birth and the health problems that have plagued his youngest daughter Bella, who was born with the genetic disorder trisomy 18. He also talked in depth about his faith journey, charting a path from the time he was first elected to Congress when faith "wasn't central" to his life, straight through to meeting his wife Karen and the growth of their faith together.

"The institution of marriage saved my life," Santorum said. "Without my wife Karen and the journey that we walked on together, I wouldn't even be near the state of Texas right now. This was a turning point in my life."

Santorum married his wife the same year he was first elected to Congress, and he described how the growth of their religious faith has shaped him into the candidate he is today, a candidate who sees no boundaries between faith and politics.

"I have seen the interaction with faith and public life and to me the bounds there are not boundaries at all," Santorum said. "I can't and I won't check my faith at the door because it motivates me to do things that I believe are best for our country. It motivates me to stand up for those that are the most vulnerable. It motivates me to stand up not just for the unborn child but for that working guy who doesn't have the kind of job that can support his family."

Contrasting this with what he called the "secular left," Santorum railed against the administration of President Barack Obama and its allies for "ostracizing" those who disagree with their secular ideology.

"The intolerance of the left, the intolerance of the secular ideology, it is a religion unto itself, it is just not a biblical based religion, and it is the most intolerant," Santorum said. "Just like we saw from the days of the atheists of the Soviet Union, it is completely intolerant of dissent. They fear dissent. Why? Because the dissent comes from folks who use reason, common sense, and divine revelation and they want no part of any of those things."

"They want their world view to be imposed without question, and if you question them, you're haters, you're bigots, and you should be as a result of that ostracized from the public square," he added.

The message of a war between believers and non-believers was well received in the small chapel, and many in the audience were brought to tears by Santorum's personal stories. Following the event, the chapel's pastor Richard Ellis called on the audience to pray for Santorum's candidacy. But rather than simply bowing their heads at their seats, Ellis directed Santorum to walk to the center of the small congregation and the crowd of pastors stood in concentric circles around him, arms touching, heads bowed, as they called on God to guide the candidate in his campaign for president.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum • Texas
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Looks more like a Klan meeting. . .

    February 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. FIELD1stSGT

    OBAMA SUPPORTERS PLEASE READ THIS PERTSAINS TO YOU: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
    the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.."
    – Winston Churchill

    These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read: Unfortunately, most voters don't know this.

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    February 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Let me guess. He's the annointed one. blah blah blah

    February 8, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Natalie

    This is not only creepy, but extreme. Is this guy running to become the next Pastor of the USA or President? Keep church out of politics; dangerous combination. We will not allow this fool to take women back to the Dark Ages. Yes, very creepy pandering here.

    February 8, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Reason and common sense are not the hallmarks of the Religious Right: as for the claims of hatred and bigotry, well, Santorum has demonstrated his full understanding of those in his exercise of them in his political career.If your faith motivates you in your public life, fine, but assume responsibility when your personal interpretation of Scripture results in your saying and doing things that are no longer considered acceptable in our society. Santorum's obsession with gays conveniently overlooks his Church's own role in rationalizing away behavior they purportedly condemn. He is the last person in American public life to raise the issue of hatred, seeing as how he overlooks his own glaring faults in that department.

    February 8, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. big d

    im so angry at this story he says christains use reason and we dont! i wish christains would just die and go live with jesus and leave the rest of us be

    February 8, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Peace

    Religion and Politics! Amen.

    February 8, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    My Faith is stronger than your Faith. My God can beat up your God. Sounds like Primitive Cultures arguing ?

    February 8, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    I think the low turnout in yesterday's primaries helps President Obama. I'm a little worried.

    @ Truth
    You have EVERY reason to be.
    Obama 2012 for a Second Term.

    February 8, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. papafritz57

    Listening to a committed politician expound of his religious faith is very telling . No where does Religious Rick talk about the filthy lies that come from his mouth. No way does he tell you how he has taken money from the government to pay his living expenses while living in Virginia when he was supposed to be representing Pennsylvania. No where does he mention taking government money to send his kids to private schools. No where does he tell you why he took so much lobbying money to enrich his family coffers. No where does he tell you why the good citizens of Pennsylvania kicked him out of office because he is a religious fraud and was a lousy Senator. When you stand before the country and allow your supporters to tell you the President is a muslim and not an American, and you are too much of a liar and fraud to tell that person that what they are saying is a lie, you are as much a filthy liar as they are. Religious Rick doesn't deserve to be in office because he lies all the time. Exploiting his deceased infant and his afflicted child is shameful. We have all lost children and know that pain, but we don't use it to get a job. Ask Religious Rick how long his list of Americans he hates is. Fraud, fake, Rick is just looking for another way to go back to living off the government he hates so much.

    February 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Texas Doc

    I am pretty sure that his speech goes a little something like: I am the only true Christian.......and conservative in the race.

    February 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    HEY, HEY, HEY!!! Santorum is stealing a page out of MY book here! My clan did this to me way back when I visited my mothership Africa and I have pictures to prove it. Of course we could NEVER do this in Rev. Wright's church (wink,wink) because our hands were always clenched in fists, raised in the air, damning the worlds bully, the USA. Gee whiz, who woulda thought that someday I would be that bully one day?! Yes, America is truly the land of opportunity and snake oil and oh yeah, smoke and mirrors.

    February 8, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Interesting political note: When a candidate find their name linked with the phrase "Texas pastors" it's almost always a bad thing. Why? Because these "Texas pastors" tend to be extreme, racist, rightwing radical nutjobs. Check out how quickly McCain had to run from his Hagee endorsement.

    February 8, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. JHILL

    Omg, this man is a moral dictator, judge, zealot, and bigot. Please dear God, let Obama or Ron Paul annihilate him in an election.

    February 8, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Mikey

    He sounds pretty intolerant of the people he thinks are intolerant. Once you have alienated or vilified poor people, minorities, non-christians, gays, working women, union members, and public workers, it starts getting real hard to get enough votes to win an election.

    February 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Name: DParke

    Wake up America. Romney IS our future. Santorum is a nice enough guy but Obama will eat him like a snack. Like it or not Romney is the only one seasoned and polished enough to beat Obama.

    February 8, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "I have seen the interaction with faith and public life and to me the bounds there are not boundaries at all," Santorum said. "I can't and I won't check my faith at the door because it motivates me to do things that I believe are best for our country.
    ----------------
    You just blew it, Stewart. The noises you hear are the doors coming off of your campaign with independents and moderate Republicans.

    February 8, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Rick Perry did the same before entering the race we know what happened to Rick Perry

    February 8, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Wonderful. We now have a picture of the leaders of the Flat Earth Society.

    February 8, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Jrdz

    Wow another plastic right wing nut job foaming at the mouth about how he is going to single handily save America. Give it up Rick your 15 min were up 14 min ago. Since he keeps bringing up the gay issue one wonders if he is hinting about coming out of the closet???

    February 8, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. anagram_kid

    FIELD1stSGT,
    Please read this as it pertains to you. We are not becoming a Socialist country no matter what Fox News tells you.

    February 8, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    Oh shucks.... more of those stinking religious people that cling to their bibles and guns. Don't they know that the whole church/religion thing is just for show? You know, part of the con? It's one of my biggest smoke acts, like "What would Jesus do? Why raise taxes on the rich!". And then he'd say, "Sure go have that abortion, and I'll get the government to pay for it and we'll call it Obamacare."

    February 8, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    I think the low turnout in yesterday's primaries helps President Obama. I'm a little worried
    ------------------------
    I do believe that might be one of the first truthful things you've posted on this board. Congrats.

    February 8, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    anagram_kid - We are not becoming a Socialist country
    =========================================
    Good job kid! Way to keep up the smoke and mirrors!

    February 8, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ FIELD1stSGT:
    There's a big ol' nurse, with a big ol' butt, and a big ol' needle wearing a dashiki looking for you. She said you can run but you can't hide.
    lol!

    February 8, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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