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
3 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.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Woman In California

    FIELD1stSGT

    More fear from you as usual. Intelligent people are NOT buying it so give it up already as we ALL know what you are and what you want this country to be.

    February 8, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He talks about the Soviet Union being intolerant. How about those that rallied around George W. Bush and those crazy neo-conservatives that advocated forced democracy? They never tolerated any decsent either. They didn't do so well for the country. We'd have a lot more members of the military alive if we hadn't gone into Iraq.

    February 8, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    To those that think we are going to become a socialist country, how do you explain the health care plan talking about needing to PRIVATE COMPANY INSURANCE and not having a single government payer plan?

    February 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well they do say that IMITATION is the greatest form of flattery.
    President Obama should be flattered indeed.

    February 8, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    FieldSgt wrote:

    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.
    ------
    1. You can legislate the propserity out of the poor, and give it to the wealthy.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person works without receiving it.

    3. The government can be bought and made to perform at will.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by hoarding it.

    5. When some of the people get the idea that they do not have to go war because the rest of the people will do it for them, that is when the rest of the people realize that it does no good to go to war because somebody has already taken away from you what it is that you are fighting for, that is the birth of revolution.

    February 8, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Wylie-Mike

    Don't we already have a President that pushes legislation and makes Executive orders to mke his Social Doctrine into our 'State Religion'?

    February 8, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    @FIELD1stSGT.............

    As much as I respect your service because I'm a vet as well, you are dead wrong. Since I've been on this earth(1979), middle class incomes have been stagnant and the wealthiest have increased by 275%. So what spreading of wealth do you see going on? I certainly don't see it.

    February 8, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. bff

    Thanking god for his goodness and his grace.
    Thanking god for the goodness and grace that motivates Rick Santorum to run for pres. and care about the USA.
    Thanking god for the goodness and grace that motivates the pastors to seek gods kingdome 1st.
    Pray to god that he will direct Rick's steps as he campeigns for president.

    What are they actually praying for here?

    February 8, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Patriot Awesome

    FIELD1stSGT

    Fortunately Obama is not a socialist. The affordable care act may be a lot of things but socialism it is not. Your other points could also work as OWS points about the rich taking from the rest of the 99%.

    February 8, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. anagram_kid

    "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."
    The operative word in that statement is ‘believe’ as opposed to ‘know’. The difference between the two is one is perception and one is measurable. Under a Santorum presidency will people believe they are employed and have access to healthcare or will they know it?
    Obama 2012 – Because he is for all Americans

    February 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. ThisSerious

    What’s messed up is that 27 states require insurers that cover prescription drugs to cover contraceptive drugs and devices. Missouri and Colorado are one of those states, and somehow Santorum won these 2 states based on the rhetoric of “Obama’s War on religion” (Texas is also one of these states). They should be mad at their state governor and legislature, not Obama for nationalizing a rule that was already approved at a state level.

    February 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. diridi

    bunch of idiots. Enough religion skit.....

    February 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. ProperVillain

    All this guy spews is evangelical bullet points with no actual thought behind it. It both frightens and amuses me that anyone takes this guy seriously as a presidential candidate (or a candidate for any type of office, really...). All he is doing is mustering up members of "his tribe" to vote for him in the upcoming elections. The church in America has turned into a mob of unthinking zealots who would rather have someone do their thinking for them rather than think through issues (and their faith) for themselves....

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. sf

    to FIELD1stSGT

    Same rules can be applied to your right wing nut jobs! "socialism" works both ways moron!

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. sf

    christianity...what a joke! bunch of idiots if you asked me!

    February 8, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. jane

    I am so glad that i have a brain and can think for myself. I also am glad I read and expand my knowledge. I know for a fact that the world is round, science is our friend and that nothing good comes from only seeing one side of things.

    February 8, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. anagram_kid

    Rudy,
    Regarding your response FieldSgt, well said!

    February 8, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. ProperVillain

    "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.""
    "Divine revelation"?
    What??? This alone should show people what a total loon and danger to the world this guy is. So if god gives you a divine revelation to pull the trigger and nuke an entire continent would you do it? What a total and complete nut job...

    February 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. cody

    Santorum, Stay out of Texas. We do not like you nor want you.

    February 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Billionariechronicles

    That billionaire standing next to Rick Santorum? That ain’t nobody. He’s just a good friend. http://www.billionairechronicles.net/billionaire-standing-santorum-good-friend

    February 8, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. PK

    I'm a Christian and a Republican and Texan – and this makes me uncomfortable. As was stated by someone earlier, he's not running for Pastor, he's running for President. His values should be strongly expressed, like all the other candidates, but this visual.....

    February 8, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Obama's Snake Oil on Sale - Git yur lies and deceit here!!

    ThisSerious - What’s messed up is that 27 states require insurers that cover prescription drugs to cover contraceptive drugs and devices
    =============================================================================================
    Yeah but I require the CHURCH to PAY for something that violates the very essence of their religion. How deliciously evil is THAT?!! Yes, I am The One.... the One from below!!!

    February 8, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. ThisSerious

    This is so fake. Evangelicals Pastors, like Pat Robertson, are the same people who claim that God told them that Obama will lead this country into unspeakable horrors! The biggest con are evangelical leaders who feel it necessary to inject their view of politics to their followers.

    February 8, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Grady

    another zealot running for high office...these people are beginning to bore me...

    February 8, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, Truth, what do you believe in? Ayn Rand? My faith gives me hope that eventually the light of Truth will shine its way into the hearts of the haters, like you and the rest of the so-called Religious Right. Hopefully it won't be on your death bed.

    February 8, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
1 2 3