Pastor backing Santorum claims Romney is not a Christian
February 27th, 2012
05:58 PM ET
3 years ago

Pastor backing Santorum claims Romney is not a Christian

Lansing, Michigan (CNN) – A Michigan pastor who introduced Rick Santorum at a Monday campaign event in Lansing claimed that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and said Santorum is the one Republican candidate who can awaken "the sleeping giant" of Christianity.

Kent Clark, the CEO of Grace Centers of Hope, a faith-based homeless outreach facility in Pontiac, warmed up the pro-Santorum audience by calling the former Pennsylvania senator "a man who believes in a creator rather than we being the accidental creation of gas and dust."

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After Santorum's rally, Clark told CNN he is supporting Santorum because he is a person of faith who understands that social ills are best cured at the family level and not by "big government."

Clark predicted that Romney's Mormon faith will be a factor for Republicans in Tuesday's Michigan primary, particularly in the western part of the state where evangelical Christians are expected to make up a larger share of the GOP vote.

Asked if he believes Romney is a Christian, Clark answered: "No."

"Those if us who are Christians believe very strongly that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and we base all our values around that," Clark told CNN. "And we believe that real change is a spiritual change from the inside out."

Clark said he agrees with Santorum's assertion that faith has a rightful place in the public square.

"We have built a wall of separation, that is an imaginary wall, between church and state," he explained. "I believe there is a sleeping giant out there called the church, the Christian church. If it gets activated, it's going to turn this country upside down and that's what this man does," he said, referring to Santorum.

Asked if Santorum agrees with Clark's characterization of Romney's faith, campaign spokesman Alice Stewart told CNN he does not.

Also see:

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

Limbaugh front and center in pro-Santorum mailer

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

Graham, McCain predict big primary night for Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. jack leddy

    It sounds like that Michigan pastor who supports very conservative Roman Catholic Santorum is a Protestant. What does conservative Catholic Santorum think about Protestant "heretics"? Does he want to convert them to "the one true faith"? What does he think about the fact that the Catholic Church had those "heretics" burned at the stake in earlier centuries? What does he think about the fact that many conservative evangelicals and fundamentalist consider his pope, the anti-Christ? Wow, these are the kind of issues that drive the 15th century mind crazy!

    February 27, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Bootstomper

    Sleeping giant of Christianity, YA HOO! Are these guys serious? I can't believe the majority of Americans,Republican,Democrat, Independent, would actually vote for either Romney or Santorum. All I can tell my friends on the other side of the Asile is try again in 2016. Vote Obama-Biden 2012.

    February 27, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Rhyno

    These people are scary.

    February 27, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. MaryM

    Just keep talking GOP/TP, Just keep talking.

    Obama 2012

    February 27, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. ARTRaveler

    What this country doesn't need is an American Taliban, forcing their right-wing religious views on everyone else. We fought them in Afganishstan to have them come out of the ReTHUGlican Party here? We don't need or want a theocracy. If Santorium wants to be pope, there is a plane leaving tomorrow for Vatican City but those Swiss Guards have sharp tools.

    February 27, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Shannon

    What a suprprise, Santorum belongs to a cult of bigots!

    February 27, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    'Awaken" Christianity? When did it ever go to sleep? The Evangelicals have been waging a holy war against everyone else for years. And the evangelical sect isn't even Christian because they don't adhere to the true Christian values. These are people who believe in fairy tales and not science or fact. They believe that knowledge and intellect is an evil because then they have difficulty brainwashing the intelligent and well-read.

    Actually, I don't care if Santorum wins the nomination. Someone as insane and ludicrous as him going toe-to-toe with an intelligent individual like President Obama? Santorum will be even greater fodder for the late night comics! He's utterly ridiculous! He's the Mr. Collins to President Obama's Mr. Darcy! One's a fool and the other is currently president. :)

    February 27, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Russ

    So what makes any candidate think his religious beliefs should be a one shoe fits all? That's why religious ideals should not be considered important for any President. I don't care if he's an atheist as long as he can balance the budget and keep America safe and can run a country. I certainly don't want some zealot like Santorum pushing his crap on me. If Republicans don't like big government want government out of your lives, why are they so hell bent on pushing their crap on the country to get elected?

    February 27, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. KimK

    Dear Rick, Jews vote, too.

    February 27, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Cody Fire

    God save us from these Christians

    February 27, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. HenryB

    My, oh my, these people are something to behold. They run to the right and then, when the other runs past them, they run further to the right. These Republicans candidates of today are further right than the most right wingers themselves. What a show.

    February 27, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Ken_In_ATL

    "Clark said he agrees with Santorum's assertion that faith has a rightful place in the public square."

    I would say to all who feel this way MOVE TO IRAN where the church is in charge. This is America where we have a secular democratic republic. If you don't like it, there's several airlines who can accomodate.

    February 27, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Greyman

    And the self-cannibalization of the GOP continues....

    February 27, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. Norchal

    "I believe there is a sleeping giant out there called the church, the Christian church. If it gets activated, it's going to turn this country upside down and that's what this man does,"
    ----------------------------------
    ...turn the country upside-down? Let's look at a couple of definitions in this context.
    As an adjective:
    "Informal confused; muddled; topsy-turvy"
    As an adverb:
    "In a chaotic or crazy manner"
    Yop, I guess he'll try to do that, on the off chance he becomes the president...

    February 27, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. fernace

    Personally, I don't care what religion our elected officials are; christian, jew, muslim, atheist, as long as s/he can handle the job we vote them in to handle! The job of a president is to govern the nation, not "awaken a sleeping christian giant"! Yes, Kent Clark, there IS a wall separating church & state & it's not imaginary! It's the law of the land & it's called Separation of Church & State! Also, I do want a leader who believes in the scientific facts that are established in the 21st century! Santorum should just establish his own super church where his christian ideology is better suited & would be better recieved!!

    February 27, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Strange1

    Welcome to the American Taliban where there is only one religion and that one religion is the basis for science, history, and the legal system. All hail RS. I suppose all those "liberal professors" should start adjusting their lectures to reflect the truth as the American Taliban dictates it to be. The rest should hide their books, destroy their labs, and deep six their research.

    February 27, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Ron

    Well, I'll bet that pastor is a college-educated snob who thinks all children should have the opportunity to attend college! You know, like slick rick and his baseball team of kids. Only, slick rick thinks only the children of college-educated snobs (like him) should get the opportunity to go to college. The rest of you peasants can continue to mow his lawn and clean his house.

    February 27, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. Larry L

    One cult against another... Christianity has become nothing more than another of the radical cults that plague to world. Jesus would be ashamed of how modern Christians have used and abused his name.

    February 27, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. CAWinMD

    I wonder if Kent Clark knows that Mormons also believe that God came to Earth in the form of Jesus Christ? Or is that an inconvenient truth?

    February 27, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  20. Russ Wilson

    I'm so tired of being told that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and that this type of
    news continues to be reported. It's an insult to me and every other member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be told we are not Christians. The one critizing us doesn't even have the name of Jesus
    Christ in the name of is so called "church."

    February 27, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. Howard

    Romney is a Christian ... but, obama is NOT.

    February 27, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. logicnLA

    I am a Chrsitian and I don't believe anyone calling themslevs a Christian should put down another perosns faith. what's more if the man has committed himself to God's calling, then he should stay out of politics- the two do not mix.
    Why is it OK for him to be part of a splinter sect (all protestant groups came from the original "Catholic" form)yet it's not OK for Romney. Hypocrites have no place in our religious organizations and definitely no where n our government.

    February 27, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. grahame rhodes

    Yeh Sure! A
    ccording to this guy even Jesus wasn't a Christian

    February 27, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. Susan Prock

    Santorum is a Christian Reconstructionist!

    February 27, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. JnCnde

    So believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, savior of the world, and came to die for our sins so that we could be saved just doesn't cut it for this guy.

    February 27, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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