Pastor backing Santorum claims Romney is not a Christian
February 27th, 2012
05:58 PM ET
2 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. Andybee

    It is beyond me how the term "christian" has become a term thrown around so widely that its original definition is lost. If christian means that you have to be a member of a catholic or protestant church, than the statement that Romney is no christian is accurate. If christian means a fundamental belief in Jesus Christ than all of the claims about him or any other mormon not being christian is entirely false. The entire religion is built around the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth. The name of the church happens to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How could a church bearing such a name not be christian in those terms?

    February 27, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Jeffrey Plate

    Is Santorum running for President, or Cardinal? Evangelist-in-Chief? Enough, already! We were not intended to be a theocracy.

    February 27, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Rev. Thomas G.

    "Awaken the sleeping giant of Christianity"...? Sounds like an ad for Crusades & Inquisition 2012.

    February 27, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. amt

    Campaigning for or endorsing particular candidates is a violation of conditions for tax-exempt status. How do pastors/churches manage to keep their tax-exempt status when they campaign for particular candidates?

    February 27, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. Squealy

    So tired of all the "Christian" stuff. Christianity is a religion, a lovely religion in many ways, and if it is yours, good for you, But please, stop trying to one-up each other over how "Christian" you are. Please accept for once and for all that you cannot run a country filled with people of various religions on just one of those religions.

    February 27, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. MTATL67

    I saw this coming a mile away. Santorum adds religious bigotry to his long lists of prejudices. God I wish the decent people in the Republican party would stand up and fight for their party.

    February 27, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. davec.0121

    I thought non-profit, tax-exempt organizations like churches were not allowed to endorse candidates it they wanted to keep their tax exempt status. Is his church going to start paying taxes since he is so clearly a Santorum partisan?

    February 27, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. RobbieG

    Santorum and these holier than though FAKE Christians are disgusting bigots!! AMAZING that ALL 5 of the Ambassadors to the Vatican endorse Romney and NOT either of the Catholic candidates!! Speaks Volumes!! TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT ROMNEY HAS ONLY ATTACKED OTHER CANDIDATES ON ISSUES YET ALL HAVE ATTACKED HIM PERSONALLY!!

    February 27, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Rita

    Saying Mitt Romney is not a Christian is the most ridiculous thing you can say about this wonderful man. He has been a devoted follower of Christ his whole life, and he will lead this country in the direction it needs to go, not Santorum. People should not listen to remarks made above as they are TOTALLY FALSE, and the man who made them obviously does not understand what Christianity truly is or what the Mormon Church actually believes. For those of you who wonder about his remarks, go to Mormon.Org and find out for yourselves. There you will find out the truth about this and what these wonderful people actually believe.

    February 27, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. Martha

    Neither was Jesus. He was Jewish. We love Mitt and tire of the bigotry.

    February 27, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. Texas Doc

    Romney is a pagan idolater and reprsents a cult hell bent on destroying God and America with alien demons from the Planet Kolob.

    February 27, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. Red Storm

    Romney is a Mormon, not a Christian. Look it up. It is a cult.

    February 27, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Canuck

    "We have built a wall of separation, that is an imaginary wall, between church and state"

    I'm not even American but this is scary stuff.

    February 27, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. PJ/TX

    They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I have two for Santorum – religious bigot.
    If this Pastor thinks Christianity is a "sleeping giant", then he has failed in his profession to awaken the people to
    Christianity, probably because he does not follow it himself.

    February 27, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Parker Long

    His definition of a Christian goes hand in hand with what a Mormon is. Us Mormons are tired of hearing slander against our religion. We have a freeedom of religion in this country and while we have freedom of speech, there should be no place for the slander of other religion in politics.

    February 27, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Robert St. Jacques

    cross off another candidate off the short list, Santorum is a bigot introduced by another bigot. not EVER getting my vote.

    February 27, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. nothing new here

    What in the @#$%
    Is this Pastor kidding?
    Of course Santorum believes in using BIG government for his own personal church.
    I telling you people, this election year is getting to be one loooonnnnnggggg nightmare. I just hope that this country survives this ordeal.

    February 27, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. sandy

    I'm getting sick of these people! I'm no fan of Romney, but who cares if he's not christian? Oh, that's right, republicans care.

    February 27, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. AK_steve

    What ever happen to the division of church and state. Christians are republicans. It is no secret. They don't believe gov't should tell you what to do. That's the churches job!

    GOP and Christians – SHEEP!

    February 27, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Lilyrosalie

    The sleeping giant of Christianity? Is that the one that spawned the inquisition, the crusades, the conquistadores,(mass slaughter of native americans), slavery, the wars of the reformation, the internationally widespread molestation of children and the force behind white supremacy and the Nazi's?? It is. That was the reason the Pilgrims and others came to this country, seeking relief from the oppressive state religions in the countries of Europe. It is THE REASON that the founding fathers specifically set up the seperation of church and state, so that one person's "truth" did not become another persons nightmare. Let sleeping giants lie
    .

    February 27, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. ourjungle

    Santorum,I can see Jesus as your VP.

    February 27, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  22. Blindersoff

    If There is a hell below, we are all going to go, with Santorum and most of the republican party, leading the way. As for Romney, spontaneous combustion. LOL!

    February 27, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. hankers

    "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.... Sounds like Iran, but upside down.

    February 27, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. NoTags

    The pastor's statement is a not a big surprise. 99 out of 100 Christian pastor's will tell you that Mormonism is not a Christian religion.

    February 27, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    there is only a small section of the country that want religion an politics to mix or even care what faith a possible POTUS can practice. And they are NOT enough thank God to put an idiot like Santorum in the White House. Besides if it was so true then Rick Perry would be our next president since he claimed the Almighty told him to run and God NEVER makes mistakes to my knowledge.

    February 27, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
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