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. Good grief!

    We are not electing a head of the church. We are electing a President of the United States. Different responsibilities apply.
    I guess some religious nuts don't know the difference.

    February 28, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  2. Shelby

    Regarding Clark's assertion that Santorum is a Christian, I have to ask what this preacher man thinks about Santo's wife having dated an ABORTION DOCTOR before her marriage to Rick. AND what does Mr. Preacher Man think about Rick's statement that he was PRO-CHOICE until he ran for congress?!

    Ricky is a phony!

    February 28, 2012 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  3. Joxer the Mighty

    It really ticks me off that these pastors will blindly follow this guy because of what he says when they aren't even looking at what he has done, AKA his "fruit". Why would you trust a millionaire to be God following when he only gives 2% of his money to charity?

    February 28, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Now lets see, jobs and the economy never mind, lets concentrate on proving religon has a place in politics and that BHO wasn't born in the USA, god forbid he's a muslim, ooops freedom of religion, his Obama theology is different to Santorums, of course thats a sin he did not confess... "AWE shucks" And now he outright lies about Obama's policy on education, college, and vocational training to a cheering (QED uneducated) audience who are these people who listen to and cheer lies and rubbish.
    I am losing my faith in the certain parts of our voters!! see the CNN AC 360 KTH segment.
    Regards,
    Hodgson. Not opinion or debate recorded realities.

    February 28, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  5. FactChecker

    WARNING! We don't want a government run by the Pope. This is exactly the type of thing that people were worried about when JFK ran for president. Kennedy had the good of the U.S. as his first priority. Santorum - not so much.

    February 28, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Only catholics (and the worst kind) are good for this clown.
    BTW little brain ricky, if you had listened to the President's State of the Union a couple of years ago you might have heard him say, that "snob", that it wasn't only about going to a four year college, but that Americans should educate themselves in a community college, vocational school, etc., etc.
    Oh yeah, right, you were too freakin' busy hating and lying. Nice to see your crowd of rethugs who are as clueless and uneducated as you seem to be.

    February 28, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  7. A little sad

    "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.

    God will not let this happen.

    February 28, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  8. Belinda R Higgins

    So does that mean that Santorum supports ONLY Christianity? There are many (E Pluribus Unum) formidable, organized religions in this country. Many are non-Christ based.

    February 28, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  9. Lou

    Here we go again, another evangelical claiming that members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints is not Christian because it does not conform to his brand of Christianity. Mr Clark – How dense can you be? Take your head out of your a – – and do some "real" research before you open your mouth to speak. Mormons do not believe in an accidental creation of gas and dust. Start by speaking the truth, then you might have some credibility on your political views or anything else.

    February 28, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  10. bess moore

    Fools--ALL!! OMG!!!

    February 28, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. GRAHAME RHODES

    According this guy even Jesus would not be a Christian given the dichotomy of love your enemies and turn the other cheek

    February 28, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  12. Sorensen

    Sanatorium is the real accidental creation of stupidity and hate and irrelevance.

    February 28, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. Sergo Jean

    I do not believe there is anyone on earth who has power to say to someone is not Christian. if there is one that power belong to the devil, lucifer. God power is to love one another even the one who do bad to you

    February 28, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  14. Bystander

    This people give Christian a bad name. We're selecting a prisident, not a Pope.

    February 28, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. DaveC

    Does Grace Centers of Hope receive one cent of taxpayer money? If they do, that is a crying shame. I for one am sick and tired of supporting these so called "church based" political groups who suck up taxpayer dollars and blame the government for all of their ills. Time to shut off all the flow.

    February 28, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  16. curious

    Romney, seems to have two masters, the Morman church and American political office. Romney, has given more to the LDS than the USA. Instead of going to Vietnam, he got a past and when to France for the Morman church. His sons refused to volunter to go to Iraq or Alghanistan to defend our country, but each serviced the Morman church in Europe. Do not turn America over to the Mormans. You can't possibly hate President Obama that much.

    February 28, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    -----------–
    On that note, the Santorum campaign finally implodes and Mitt Romney wins Michigan.

    February 28, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. stars

    Yes he will turn this country upside down, inside out if he bring christanity into it. we will be just like the middle east this guy is dangerous. Rick u missed your calling u should be preaching not president. so get lost u nut.

    February 28, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. Puddin

    It appears the good pastor doesn't even know the scriptures real well. To believe or not to believe is a personal decision. Don't criticize, and then you won't be criticized. For others will treat you as you treat them. Any why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a plank in our own?" In other words, judge not, lest you be judged. Matthew 7:1

    February 28, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. John in Brooklyn

    That's what we need...in an era of a technology-driven economiy....a president who doesn't believe in science.

    February 28, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Jeetu

    Who cares if Romney is a Christian or not? That is not the question in the democratic elections. The question is: can Romeny govern the country? And are his proposed policies better than Santorum's and can he deliver on them? Therefore, I think both Santorum and his pastor are wrong to bring this question of Romney's religion as an issue for the elections. In fact, the whole position held by Santorum about the overlap of religion and state is wrong.

    In fact, for a variety of reasons, I do not think any of the four republican candidates are fit to be US President. Religion is not the reason and should not be the reason.

    February 28, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. teacher

    Isn't this election about choosing a candidate for President of the United States and not the leader of a religious country. Christians are only those who believe Christ is the Son of God. Christianity came about in about 30 AD when Jesus began his teachings. What about the Jewish religion whose religion began with Genesis. Or other religions who believe in monotheism. Just because they have a different name for their God does not make them heathens. In England in the middle ages the people had to worship the way the king wanted them to. One year you might be catholic, the next protestant. Is this what we are becoming? Isn't that why this country was settled? My ancestory came from Germany in the early seventeenth hundreds to get away from religious persecution. I sure do not want to disappoint them after all these years by turning this country into exactly what millions of immigrants came here to get away from.

    Santorum has lost touch with the whole concept of American government. The second amendment says that no part of government can force religious views on its people. It gives its citizens the right to worship the way they want with no interference from government. Therefore, religious topics should not even be a part of this campaign. Santorum wants to be a religious dictator. Pennsylvania was 100% right in getting rid of him.

    February 28, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. Bill

    Apparently there's no limit to how low Santorum will stoop.

    February 28, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    Interesting given that most evangelicals think that Catholics are not "real" Christians...

    The only sane choice: Obama/Biden 2012

    February 28, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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