Religion and faith are important elements to presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s life, but how will his faith impact his campaign?
Senator Marco Rubio, representative of Florida, announced the start of his campaign on April 13. Many feel he can steal minority votes from Hillary Clinton, who is also running in the 2016 presidential election. Rubio has a strong, Hispanic background intermixed with a range of different religions, though he is primarily Catholic now. According to Pew, 23% of the voters in America label themselves as Republican, a party that is currently trying to get more minorities and youths involved. Rubio, 43, is so far the youngest person running. His main platforms involve immigration reform, education, health reform, and government reform. However, he disagrees with most federal funding.
Throughout his life, Marco Rubio’s faith has evolved immensely. Even though he was originally born to a Catholic family and baptized in the Catholic faith, when the presidential candidate was 8 years old, his family moved from Southern Florida to Las Vegas, which held a large Mormon population that his mom felt was so wholesome and welcoming, she had her son baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He felt called to leave it four years later.
Furthermore, he has donated around $50,000 to the Christ Fellowship in Miami, and regularly visits the Baptist church with his wife. The church caught Rubio’s attention because of its children’s programs and strong preaching. Between 2000 and 2004, Rubio attended the megachurch exclusively. According to his memoir, An American Son: A Memoir, he shared that on Saturday nights, he attends Christ Fellowship, and then attends St. Louis Catholic Church for Sunday mass.
However, Rubio wrote that he missed certain aspects of Catholicism when attending protestant services. In particular he missed the transubstantiation of the body and blood of Christ writing, “I craved, literally, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the sacramental point of contact between the Catholic and the liturgy of heaven.”
I just recorded this quick video on my phone. Thank You all for the awesome support. pic.twitter.com/4dfOG5oQ6U
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 14, 2015
Marco Rubio has somewhat pushed away several different groups. He alienated the Tea Party after his push for immigration reform, which they refer to as amnesty plans. The religious right point out his trips back and forth between Catholic, Mormon, and Baptist. And he once alienated atheists by claiming the most important value common to all Americans is God.