Bachmann on Her Faith; Perry Says Farmers Understand God; Santo - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Bachmann on Her Faith; Perry Says Farmers Understand God; Santorum on God and Democracy; North American Lutherans Elect New Bishop

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      Bachmann answers questions about her faith

      DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Fresh off her win in Saturday's Iowa
straw poll, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been grilled about
her faith on NBC's "Meet the Press."
      The Republican presidential candidate reiterated her belief that
the wifely submission the Bible requires means that she respects
her husband, but added that they work as a team.
      Bachmann said as president she would pray for God's guidance as
other presidents have done, because she learned as a girl that she
needs God in her life.
      Asked about her views on gays and lesbians, Bachmann said she
believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but added, "I
ascribe honor and dignity to every person."


      Perry says farmers understand faith in God

      WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry says growing up as a
dry land cotton farmer in west Texas taught him about faith in God.
      Facing Iowa Republicans for the first time since announcing his
candidacy for the party's 2012 presidential nomination, Perry noted
how dry it's been in Texas this year.
      Perry said sometimes as a farmer, "You do everything right, and
the good Lord decides it's just not your year to get any rain, and
then you just wait a while."
      The Texas governor said that in his home town of Paint Creek,
Texas, there was only "a Baptist church and a Methodist church --
your choice."


      Santorum: Democracy can't work without God

      WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Rick
Santorum says democracy without a moral foundation in God will
descend into tyranny.
      The former Pennsylvania senator, who placed fourth in Saturday's
Iowa straw poll, spoke Sunday at a Lincoln Day Republican dinner in
Waterloo, Iowa.
      Santorum noted that the Declaration of Independence says our
rights come from God. He said, "God gave us rights. He also gave
us laws to live by."
      Quoting Abraham Lincoln's statement that states have no right to
do wrong, Santorum said legalizing gay marriage falls into that


      Victims of mass shooting remembered in Buffalo

      BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Hundreds of worshippers have packed a
church service honoring the victims of a shooting rampage outside
Buffalo's City Grill one year ago.
      The mass shootings outside the downtown restaurant killed four
and injured four others. One who had been in a longtime coma
attended Sunday's service at True Bethel Baptist Church in a
      The Buffalo News reports that the Rev. Darius Pridgen asked the
congregants to pray not only for the victims and their families,
but also for forgiveness for shooter Riccardo McCray.
      McCray was sentenced in June to life in prison without parole.
      Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and other dignitaries attended the

      Heavenly visitor forces woman to miss church

      WORTHINGTON, Ohio (AP) - You might call it a heavenly visitor.
      A 94-year-old Ohio woman says she missed church Sunday because a
blimp landed in her backyard.
      The 128-foot-long blimp broke free of its moorings at a Columbus
airport during strong winds early Sunday, then drifted eastward and
landed in Lillian Bernhagen's backyard in Worthington.
      No one was aboard and no injuries were reported.
      Remnants of the battered blimp were draped over Bernhagen's
picnic table and birdfeeders, covering half her backyard. She says
it toppled a small tree but didn't do any major damage to her home.
      As crews dismantled it, Bernhagen snapped photos to share with
relatives and talked about the surprise that forced her to miss her
church service.


      Thousands get free dentistry at Ga. church clinic

      WOODSTOCK, Ga. (AP) - Just over half of the estimated 4,000
people who showed up at a church in suburban Atlanta hoping for
free dental care were treated before the two-day mission ended.
      Some had waited since Thursday morning. The church doors opened
Friday morning at 5 a.m.
      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that hundreds of
volunteer dentists, hygienists and dental assistants treated more
than 2,100 people at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock,
donating more than $1 million worth of services.
      Those who had to be turned away were given information about
dental clinics around the area.
      The clinic, known as the Georgia Mission of Mercy, was sponsored
by the Georgia Dental Association.

      North American Lutherans elect new bishop

      HILLIARD, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio pastor is the new bishop of the
North American Lutheran Church.
      About 800 delegates elected the Rev. John Bradosky of
Centerville as bishop during their convocation in suburban
Columbus. The 59-year-old Bradosky was installed Friday during a
closing worship service.
      The denomination was formed last year by congregations that left
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after the ELCA decided
to allow non-celibate gays into its clergy.
      The North American Lutheran Church says it now represents more
than 250 congregations representing more than 100,000 Lutherans.
      The new denomination says it's committed to the authority of the
Bible as the inspired word of God.

      Parishioners oppose moving 100-year-old church

      WILD RICE, N.D. (AP) - Parishioners of the 100-year-old St.
Benedict's Catholic Church in Wild Rice, N.D., don't want their
parish moved.
      The church was founded by French-Canadian settlers and has
stained-glass windows written in French and a circa-1888 pipe
      But the Catholic Diocese of Fargo may move St. Benedict's as
part of a reorganization plan that would merge two parishes and
open two new schools. A diocese spokeswoman says said no final
decision has been made about St. Benedict's, which has about 215
      Parish member Tom Kenville has offered to pay the priest's
salary and membership at a local golf club to keep the church in
Wild Rice.

      Pope remembers Auschwitz martyr Kolbe

      CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict has marked the 70th
anniversary of the death of a Polish Franciscan friar hailed as a
martyr for volunteering to die in the place of another man at
      Benedict said Maximilian Kolbe's heroic act set an example
"amid the human drama of hatred, suffering and death." The pope
was greeting Polish pilgrims after his Angelus prayer delivered
Sunday from his summer residence near Rome.
      The German-born Benedict, who was forced to join the Hitler
Youth, visited the Auschwitz concentration camp during a trip to
Poland in 2006.
      Kolbe was sent to Auschwitz in 1941 after Nazi officials
discovered he had been hiding Jews. He was canonized a Roman
Catholic saint by Polish-born Pope John Paul II in 1982.

      Michigan Muslim leaders oppose anti-Sharia bill

      DETROIT (AP) - Muslim leaders in Michigan are speaking out
against legislation that would ban the implementation of foreign
laws such as Islamic Sharia law.
      The Detroit News reports that Democratic state Rep. Rashida
Tlaib (tah-LEEB') will oppose the bill introduced by Republican
lawmaker Dave Agema (AY'-jah-mah). Tlaib is the first Muslim woman
to serve in the Michigan Legislature.
      The bill doesn't specifically mention Sharia, which broadly
refers to codes within the Islamic legal system. But Agema says it
would be prohibited under the bill introduced in June.
      Agema, who is not Muslim, says his bill would protect the "vast
majority" of Muslims who "come to this country to get away from
      Similar legislation has been proposed in about two dozen states.

      Muslim sect kills cleric in northeast Nigeria

      MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Authorities in Nigeria say a radical
Muslim sect has shot dead another prominent cleric from the region,
the latest in a string of targeted assassinations.
      Police say 65-year-old Liman Bana died Friday night after
sustaining gunshot wounds while walking home from conducting
prayers at the main mosque in Ngala, a Nigerian town along the
border with Chad.
      A Borno state police spokesman said the gunmen rode away on a
motorcycle and sped across the border after the attack.
      He blamed the attack on a group known as Boko Haram, which means
"Western education is sacrilege" in the local language. The group
is responsible for a rash of killings in northeastern Nigeria over
the past year.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
AP-NY-08-15-11 0337EDT