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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. CJM

    It's great to see Bigotry alive and well here in America. Romney just got my vote.....

    February 27, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. Ian

    It's surprising how similar Romney's beliefs are to Clark's and how opposed Clark is to Romney. Clark's beliefs on the creation and family listed in here are identical to Romney's. Romney also believes that "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son.". The bible is a major part of Romney's faith just like Clark's.

    I wish people would focus on the similarities in beliefs that can bring better understanding and love for each other no matter which church they belong to.

    February 27, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. ruemorgue

    If I was Romney, I would be *very* happy that this religious kook does not like me.

    February 27, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Just goes to show that the whole Santorum crowd is loony tunes!

    February 27, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  5. WhereIsPalin

    Where do they find these whack jobs?

    February 27, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. enuff

    You do not need to act like the Pharisees to be a Christian. While you are told to recognize God, you are also not to stand and proclaim yourself and your faith above all others to make it a spectacle.to others. by doing this, it can become a stumbling stone to brothers in their own walk.

    February 27, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. Vin Dicated

    No candidate should attack another candidate's faith, either directly or through a proxy. I guess Santorum doesn't believe in freedom of religion.

    February 27, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. OrangeW3dge

    "GOP governors find common ground with President...many of the nation’s most conservative governors spoke to reporters outside the White House on Monday and said that they’d heard some things they liked in the president’s message."
    Many Conservatives think that Barack Obama is more conservative than any of the Republican candidates.

    February 27, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. David

    Sorry, but the wall between church and state has already been set by the 1st Amendment to the United States of America. It's called the Establishment Clause, not subject to interpretation, just like "your" Bible.

    February 27, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. OS Bird

    This is *exactly* why we have to keep religion out of government. "Believe in *my* god *my* way or else!"

    February 27, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  11. CSX

    Of course he is not a Christian by their own definition, LDS very existence claims that ALL other churches are in apostasy.

    February 27, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Keith A. Sillsbury

    You act like that's a bad thing. I'm proud not to be a christian. have you seen their history. not good.

    February 27, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It just shows that the Mormon church has a problem with the rest of Christiandom. I don't think that someone's religious background should make or break who someone votes for. It should be their policy platform and character issues. If religion was one of my litmus tests, then I'd have been voting write in candidates for years.

    February 27, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  14. dave

    Please. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's," overturning the marketplace at the temple, and the story about the difficulty of the rich man entering heaven is Christianity. None of these "Christian" Republicans are Christian. All just a bunch of CINO's!

    February 27, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. anthony78

    It's ok Mitt, they said the same thing about Obama. Theyre good at judging others even though it states clearly in that book of theirs not to. I almost hope that at the end of Obama's 2nd term, he comes out and says he IS Muslim. That would be hilarious. The religious Right would lose their collective minds. hahaha. "I was President AND Muslim and nothing will ever change that history". Man.. thatd be a kicker.

    February 27, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. Tyler

    Wow! So does Pastor boy Kent Clark speak for God? If anyone looks at Mormons and their belief on the family, they would recognize that those stances on family values are the positions America needs right now. Sure Rick is a good guy, but he doesn't have half the faith of Mitt Romney. As for not being Christians, well, mr. pastor has a lot of studying to do as it's called the "Church of JESUS CHRIST of latter-day saints." Somehow he must have forgotten the Christ part in that. Also, since when did evangelicals decide who was christian? Catholics view mormons as christian and according to evangelicals, Catholics are the original christians. Instead of breaking up into different sects, evangelicals should return to their core truths of the gospel of jesus christ instead of beating down other christians. somethings gone awry with those evangelicals.

    February 27, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Matthew Meilstrup

    I don't know whether to find this story humorous or sad. Perhaps it's a little of both. It's humorous because all the things that this pastor says to describe his Christianity are elements that we "Mormons" believe in. It's sad to see that he thinks that we are the "accidental creation of gas and dust." This is ignorance at its worst–incorrectly characterizing our faith to try to disparage us. Is it too much to ask for pastors who don't think we're Christian to at least get the facts right? I guess so.

    February 27, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. John J. Puccio

    The GOP is now reduced to candidates trying to prove to the electorate which of them is the most "Christian." Nothing about jobs, the economy, the price of gasoline, the problems of poverty, etc. The GOP has become anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-union, anti-labor, anti-women, and now anti-education and anti-anything but Christian. Even Romney's Christian church is suspect because it's not "Christian" enough. Pathetic.

    February 27, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  19. neine, neine, neine

    These so called "Christians" are no better then those who rejected the Savior. I would bet my life that Romney is more Christian then Kent Clarke will ever be. Regardless, Romney is the best man for the job of President and the best "Christian" among the GOP candidates.

    February 28, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. Frank Cardenas

    God has truly gifted President Obama. No matter who wins the GOP nomination, this will be a landslide victory for Obama!

    February 28, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. belindar

    Another low for Santorum, using the Preacher in politics. How low will this guy go. He is already at the bottom of the pit.

    February 28, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  22. refman sees

    Romney believes that we are all Gods and that we can become like Jesus. Jesus died for our sins but Mormons believe that iur works here on wearth will determine our staus in the next life. Ask Romney who will call out his wife from the grave to join him if she is a good enough wife. If she is not then he can choose to leave her in the grave. His sons all represent Gods that have come to earth. Mormonism is a cult folks plain and simple! They are baptizing all the dead folks now including Anne Frank who died in the holocaust. The Jews are up in arms about that one.

    February 28, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  23. Thomas

    Five sons who avoided military service.

    Ones faith is as important as is commitment to cause.

    February 28, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  24. ned

    I'm a Christian, and Clark seems to have his head in the sand. Does he really think that the only Christians are those that line up with his particular brand of theology? That's pretty closed minded. And "waking the sleeping giant of Christianity" seems a poor choice of words in a political arena. What we need are guarantees and protections for freedom to believe as we see fit without government and societal intervention, and to embrace our heritage as a nation–whether we are believers or not, Christianity IS our main cultural heritage, with strong values that made our nation great. You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate that.

    February 28, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  25. MrManhattan

    Last time that "sleeping giant" was awakened, we got the Crusades. Do these people really want to go to war with America? We're ready for them.

    February 28, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
1 2 3 4 5