SAN ANTONIO — Newt Gingrich stood before thousands of evangelical churchgoers Sunday night to deliver a dire warning that nation’s Christian roots are under attack.
“I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”
The former House Speaker held up his own faith (he converted to Catholicism two years ago) as proof of his undying patriotism.
Sigh is right. One of the reasons its hard to even identify myself as a conservative anymore.
I second that sigh!
One of the reasons I no longer am a conservative.
I doubt that Gingrich believes this crap, any more than he believes most of what he says. This is a guy who was cheating on his wife while leading a crusade to impeach Bill Clinton for cheating on his wife, so it’s not like he has a long history of being genuine.
What frightens me, for the health of our republic, is that Gingrich thinks he has to do this. This means that either a) he and his advisors believe the rank-and-file to be exactly the sort of buffoons who would respond to this message, or b) worse, the rank-and-file actually is composed of exactly the sort of buffoons who would respond to this message.
This means that either…
No, it means he’s a has-been and has to light himself on fire and run around in circles screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” to get any attention.
Really, his whole presidential run is about keeping his speaking fees up. The same is true of Guliani, and no doubt will be true for Palin as well.
Well, which is it? Will we be a secular atheist nation or one dominated by radical Islamists? It can’t be both.
This is too bad. I was an admirer of Gingrich when he was speaker, where he governed as a libertarian in all but name. Then he realized that to win the nomination, he also had to appeal to the religious right, so he is shamelessly pandering now. Either that, or he really believes it, but I think he’s too smart for that.
I agree that Gingrich is doing this to drive up his speaking fees and book advances, as is Palin. I don’t think Palin is going to run, but I doubt she’ll make that announcement till a few months after Bristol Palin’s “memoir” is published this summer.
The appalling thing is that we’re going to have witness more of the same–in varying degrees–from any Republican candidate, since they’re all terrified of alienating the “base”.
Michael Scanlon, Communications Director for Tom Delay, once said “The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees …Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.” That to me sums up the relationship between thinking Republicans and the religious cranks. I don’t think for a moment Newt Gingrich actually believes that particular line about a secular atheist Islamist radical nation.
Gingrich has no honor. If being a conservative means anything, it ought to include traditional family values. On that score, he’s a zero.
Wikipedia confirms what I’ve heard all along: In 1980, he visited his first wife in the hospital while she was recovering from cancer. According to her, the purpose of the visit was to discuss their divorce. This was after his affair with the home-wrecker Marianne Ginther, whom he married shortly afterward. Then, in the mid-1990s he began an affair with Callista Bisek, a 23-year-junior congressional staffer. This affair corresponded in time with the Lewinsky scandal, during which he attacked the president’s character (that is not just weakness; it’s genuine hypocrisy). Then in 2000 he divorced the home-wrecker Marianne to marry the home-wrecker Callista, to whom he has managed to remain married.
He is a moral disgrace. No one concerned with family values–presumably including the congregation of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio–should give him any attention. Shame, shame on him.
Newt just plays into many American fundamentalists’ obsession with the idea that a foreign leader will take over the U.S. and impose a new religion at the expense of christianity. You see this nuttiness in the “Left Behind” novels, in the character of the Romanian-born politician and cult-leader Nicolae Carpathia.
Fundamentalists already think that a foreign leader has taken over the U.S.: Barack Obama.
I don’t know which is more ridiculous: that he predicts a “secular-atheist” America dominated by radical Islam, or that he cited his Roman Catholic faith as proof of his patriotism! He obviously doesn’t know how some Fundamentalist Protestants feel about Romans…
I don’t understand why pols think they have to do this. If I were running for office I could make an honest speech about the dangers of radical Islam and the double-standard liberals have when dealing with different religions that would have the crowd clapping, and I wouldn’t need to toss my dignity in the toilet.
Don, for a substantial number of fundies, the primary qualification for the presidency is that the candidate be a devout Christian, or at least convincingly affect to be one.
Remember the woman at the Iowa caucus in 2008 who said she couldn’t vote for either Romney or Giuliani because she was a Christian?
Catholic Newt paid good money to get the annulments he needed from the RC church. The best way for his competitors to attack him would be to concentrate on the fact that he’s a twice-divorced Catholic preaching ‘family values’ to a largely Protestant base. IMHO.
@Polchinello: No, it means he’s a has-been and has to light himself on fire and run around in circles screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” to get any attention.
I don’t disagree with you; Gingrich seems to need the attention, whether for money, ego or other reasons, so he re-emerges every few years with another batch of ideological snake oil to sell. (My favorite: him encouraging new GOP reps in 1994 to read Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock.” You can’t make this stuff up.)
My point was merely that he is pandering in a particular manner, and that manner tells us either that he believes the base is superstitious and stupid, or that the base really is superstitious and stupid. (Scanlon’s quote in John mark’s comment could be taken to mean either.)
No matter how you slice it, it’s hard to take seriously a party that caters to the political will of people who think that dinosaurs and humans once cohabitated, or that the Constitution is a “Christian document.” Whether Gingrich, et al. believe it or not, it is profoundly unhealthy for the country that this is a legitimate election strategy.
I predict that nobody will be able to get out of the GOP primaries alive without saying some profoundly anti-intellectual things along the way, whether they believe them or not. (You can bet there will be another show of hands on creationism during one of the early debates, for instance.)
(You can bet there will be another show of hands on creationism during one of the early debates, for instance.)
THAT you can blame on a hostile media that would never put analogically similar questions to the Democrats, such as a “Truther” related question.
As for what Gingrich said, it’s not THAT loony. There is a New Atheist movement dedicated to the very end he describes. Really, most of us would sympathize with it, too, though we’d prefer a more conservative bent than someone like Dawkins. As far as being “dominated by radical Islamists”, what religious group gets the lion’s share of ass-kissing from the secular left. It ain’t the Baptists.
Yes, it’s silly overheated rhetoric, but you can get that from the other party, too, in it’s paranoid delusions about Rupert Murdoch or the insidious Koch Brothers. Of course, that party is also the same party that treats a proven libelmonger and riot-instigator like Al Sharpton as a serious statesman.
No matter how you slice it, it’s hard to take seriously a party that caters to the political will of people who think that dinosaurs and humans once cohabitated, or that…
How exactly are these people “catered to” for that belief? Very few creationists are full on Young Earthers. They mostly accept some form ID and theistic evolution, which is what all presidential candidates subscribe to in the end, both Democrat and Republican.
…the Constitution is a “Christian document.”
Most of the writers were orthodox Christians, and its origins are in Protestant Christian civilization. That’s not the worst belief around. It may be mistaken, but it’s not a breed of flat eartherism.
THAT you can blame on a hostile media that would never put analogically similar questions to the Democrats, such as a “Truther” related question
What’s your alternative? Not find out if the person running for President is an idiot? I submit that, in a field where half of the candidates doubt evolution, it is appropriate to get that information. Sometimes the media isn’t being “liberal,” you know. Sometimes they do their job.
As for the “Truther” thing: name me ONE prominent Democrat who has publicly come out as a “truther” who wasn’t immediately shunned. The reason the media won’t ask that question is because they know that no Democrat with national aspirations would be caught dead advocating the “Truther” position. Period. The same obviously cannot be said for Republicans regarding creationism.
I don’t know anyone on the left who considers Al Sharpton either “serious” or a “statesman.” Maybe they are out there, but they aren’t driving opinion. But Al Sharpton certainly makes for a convenient, if dated, straw man for someone like yourself.
“catered to”: I was referring to the fact, stated more than once in this thread by both myself and others, that Gingrich somehow feels the need to say these untrue things to appeal to his audience. If that’s not “catering,” feel free to insert a word that means “catering” so that you understand what I’m saying. “Pandering” might be a candidate.
Most of the writers were orthodox Christians, and its origins are in Protestant Christian civilization
Two points: A) where the hell do you get the notion that “Most of the writers [of the constitution]were orthodox Christians”? If that’s the case, you’kll have to cite something that trumps the overt irreligiosity of the document itself. B) Even if that were the case, that would not make the statement, “the constitution is a Christian document” any more true, because Christians are perfectly capable of writing non-Christian things. The proof is in the document itself.
As for the Koch brothers, they really do spend lavishly to get conservative ideas into the public sphere, and to get sweetheart deals for their industries from the government.
I have to say that I find it hilarious when right-wingers act as if Al Sharpton or Bill Ayers exerts enormous influence on the left with their combined worth of what, a few million dollars?, while the well-documented spending sprees by the Kochs, Scaifes and Bradleys of the world (who have been very open about their strategy of using their money to influence politics) are merely “paranoid” obsessions. It’s not paranoid to look at the Koch Brothers and notice that they have spent, and are continuing to spend, huge amounts of money on politics, while doing much to hide the specifics. Is that degree of behind-the-scenes influence by one person something you are comfortable with? Do you think that’s what Madison and Jefferson had in mind when they founded this country? If not, then why aren’t you also angry at the Koch Brothers, and the political situation that allows them to flourish? I’m no fan of George Soros!
Finally, when has the left “ass-kissed” radical islamists? Just because Hannity thinks we do, doesn’t mean we ACTUALLY DO. I suggest you look at the reasons why leftists defend who they defend. You’ll find that these supposedly “radical islamists” are often perfectly unradical muslims unreasonably hassled by our own government because they look dress funny or have the wrong name. We defend ordinary muslims against the charge of “radicalism” when it doesn’t apply. And for our efforts, simpletons like yourself go around believing that your fellow Americans are “coddling terrorists.” Asshole.
I’m no longer a fan of Newt but I’d like to see an original source for that quote. Unless someone has a recording, I’m not inclined to believe it.
Also, @ Sean, Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached for cheating on his wife.
As for the “Truther” thing: name me ONE prominent Democrat who has publicly come out as a “truther” who wasn’t immediately shunned.
That’s the point, Sean. It isn’t that they believe in it. It’s that raising the question could alienate some of their supporters. Anywhere from 20-37% of Democrats have bought into one version or another of trutherism. I don’t remember one serious presidential candidate ever backing full on YEC, not even Huckabee did this. Yet the question gets popped again and again. It’s an obvious ploy from a biased media to create divisions and dishearten the GOP base.
I don’t know anyone on the left who considers Al Sharpton either “serious” or a “statesman.”
He was at every Democratic debate and given full deference. He gets to come to the conventions as a full member in good standing. Hell, in Chicago, Louis Farrakhan is treated as a respected member of the political community. Our own little Farrakhan here in Houston is given the same ass-kissing treatment and deference. The fact that Obama could get away with sitting in Wright’s chruch for 20 years, singing his praises for just as long and titling a book with one of his catch phrases speaks volumes to what sort of kookiness the Democrats will coddle and their allies in the media will bury.
Two points: A) where the hell do you get the notion that “Most of the writers [of the constitution]were orthodox Christians”? If that’s the case, you’kll have to cite something that trumps the overt irreligiosity of the document itself.
The Faiths of our Fathers lists the beliefs of many of them. They ran from providentialist (not deist) like Washington and Franklin to orthodox Roman Catholic.
B) Even if that were the case, that would not make the statement, “the constitution is a Christian document” any more true, because Christians are perfectly capable of writing non-Christian things. The proof is in the document itself.
It’s a product of a Christian culture, which itself is the product of a Christian civilization. You may find this debateable, and that’s fine. That’s all I’m trying to say. My point is that you can make a case. Whether you want to accept it or not is beside the point.
If not, then why aren’t you also angry at the Koch Brothers, and the political situation that allows them to flourish? I’m no fan of George Soros!
If we must suffer with the George Soros then you have to deal with the Kochs. You should be happy with them anyhow, given how much they contribute to NOVA and are helping fund a museum with exhibits on evolution. Even Christopher Hitchens lauded them for that.
I have to say that I find it hilarious when right-wingers act as if Al Sharpton or Bill Ayers exerts enormous influence on the left with their combined worth of what, a few million dollars?
You’re understating Sharpton’s influence. His influence, per se, isn’t my point, though. It’s that the Democrats tolerate scum like him and Ayers, while sh*tting themselves over far lesser villains on the right, like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.
Good job not actually citing a prominent Democrat on the truther thing, but somehow imagining that this doesn’t prove my point. No matter how many “democrats” (citation, please?) believe that crap, the responsible wing of the party has nothing to do with it. On the right, questioning Obama’s nationality won’t even get you an unkind word from the Speaker of the House.
If you’re going to ague that Dems “tolerate” scum, you might want to have more evidence of actual influence than the overblown, desperate rhetoric of right wing pundits desperate for anything with which to tar an obvious moderate as a radical. Bill Ayers had NO PART in the Obama campaign. Al Sharpton is mostly an embarassment, but he has his supporters. Much like Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, David Vitter, Ralph Reed, George Allen, Mike Huckabee (on the record supporting the teaching of ID), Sarah Palin… I could go on. Two has-beens with almost no access to the levers of national power does not a coterie of radicals make.
Is the constitution a Christian document? No, but that doesn’t matter to your fevered mind because it was written in a Christian culture. Apparently everything written in a Christian culture is Christian, then. You should explain that to the writers whose books were burned for being heretical.
So, do you despise Soros or not? I can’t tell, because you defend the Kochs on the same terms. If you don’t, why did you bring him up? Just to score a cheap point on the off-chance I wouldn’t bite at the low-hanging fruit? And where is your condemnation of the Kochs’ use of their money to get themselves no-bid contracts from the government (cf, Wisconsin public utilities)? Most conservatives are eager to condemn someone lying to get $200 a month in food stamps, so I’d assume you think the Kochs and big business welfare recipients like him are that much more awful. (Trying to keep a straight face….)
I’m sure Soros has lots of conventional charity cred too. That proves what, exactly? Oh yeah: Hitchens never mentioned it. That makes sense.
“Lesser villains like Limbaugh and Coulter”? OK, so what major Republican has condemned either of those two for anything they have said in the last 2 years? Limbaugh has millions of listeners. Coulter makes the best-seller list on an almost yearly basis. The list of Democrats distancing themselves from Sharpton and Ayers is long, but in the bizarre world you inhabit, those two are huge influences, while two of America’s most popular pundits of any stripe are relatively negligible to those who lack the balls to condemn them. Or is it that the GOP generally thinks those two are peachy? Either way, it doesn’t inspire confidence. You, apparently, find it worth defending.
[Newt] obviously doesn’t know how some Fundamentalist Protestants feel about Romans…
You got that raht–the dirty south doesn’t care too much for the RCC, excepting maybe the creole sorts during Mardi Gras. ol Newt joined the …Marians? why he might as well join the reds, and speak f-ing spic
Tactically tho’ Gingrich might have made a decent move: he might win over some hispanic voters, at least over a hick such as Hucklebee, or Mitt the mormonic
Good job not actually citing a prominent Democrat on the truther thing, but somehow imagining that this doesn’t prove my point.
Your “point” was irrelevant to the discussion. That you admit there’s a “the responsible wing” is relevant, though. That means there’s an irresponsible wing, and the same can be said of the GOP, unsurprisingly. The difference is, come primary time, the biased media does everything it can to highlight the GOP’s kooks while ignoring the left’s. So your groaning about the GOP dealing with evolution in the presidential is just self-serving blather, and I think I you know it.
Al Sharpton is mostly an embarassment, but he has his supporters.
The New York Daily News writes:
President Obama looks to Rev. Al Sharpton for help in 2012 reelection bid
Oo, look, there’s even a color picture of Obama with his arm around Sharpton. Yeah, real mariginal figure, Sean.
No, but that doesn’t matter to your fevered mind because it was written in a Christian culture. Apparently everything written in a Christian culture is Christian, then. You should explain that to the writers whose books were burned for being heretical.
LOL. You do know that heretical writers considered themselves Christian. Maybe you mean apostates and anti-Christians.
As I said, and you seem to want to ignore, I don’t need to prove the document is Christian, only that the argument can be made.
OK, so what major Republican has condemned either of those two for anything they have said in the last 2 years?
Aside from some of Ann’s greater fireworks, such as the “faggot” thing, which did draw condemnation, there’s no serious reason to condemn either. Neither commited a long running slander or instigated lethal riots, which Obama’s pal Sharpton (see pic at NY Daily News!) did.
That’s game, set, match. You have no moral right to bitch about the GOP and its kooks when your party shelters and succors far greater villains. But, of course, you’ll net let a minor thing like moral consistency get in your way, Sean.
“Game, Set, Match” Yes, a picture of Obama with his arm around one bad pol makes the dems much worse thaqn the party that nominated a blithering idiot for VP and still defends the decision.
You may be right aboput Sharpton: maybe he still wields some influence. But he’s clearly not in the leadership’s inner circle. He’s not a major player. Now, try and make that claim for David Vitter, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and the legislatures of any number of red states. You’ve managed to find one bad bad apple. I admit freely that he is one, and that there are others.
The difference is that on the Dem side, they don’t pander to people who believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, Christianity is enshrined in a document that goes out of its way to affirm the opposite, or that Obama is a communist. You can find each of these points expressed loudly on the right, with nary a whiff condemnation (or even distancing) from any official organ of the party, or the movement.
Aside from some of Ann’s greater fireworks, such as the “faggot” thing, which did draw condemnation, there’s no serious reason to condemn either.
Really,how old are you? You obviously weren’t conscious during the 90’s, or you would know that she made her name flinging wild accusations at the President of the united States, then wrote several factles books (occasionally pilloried even in the National Review, which booted her from NRO in 2001, but has printed her in the magazine a number of times since.)
I’m not going to go into all of the things you clearly didn’t check on before making that statement. Suffice it to say that it takes a special kind of fool to type the above sentence before doing a bit of background research to make sure you’re not defending something horrible. especially in the age of google, when that research takes seconds.
Moral consistency? Well, I’m happy to condemn Sharpton, but I won’t play your guilt-by-association game (the same tired game the GOP has been playing my whole adult life). A picture of a politician hugging another politician is less evidence of influence than the appointments that politician makes, or the policies he pursues. Obama is, demonstrably, not a radical, so it is illogical to assume that he is based on a picture.
To me, being “morally consistent” means looking at all of the facts, not just the ones that make my a priori conclusions seem reasonable, and applying the same standard to both sides. Your willful ignorance of Ann Coulter’s history (or blind faith
that she isn’t a despicable person with a long history of saying abhorrent things) shows that you lack the discipline to even google an impossibly broad claim.
I’m going to take the example of this blog’s authors and ignore you henceforth. The other commenters here are much better interlocutors.
I hatye the tiny keyboard on this stup[id laptop. I keep huitting the wrong keys…. 🙂
I don’t think anyone takes Palin seriously but for her acolytes, who appear to be dwindling in strength and number anyway.
Sarah Palin isn’t running for anything.
She’s on a book tour disguised as a campaign.
I don’t think her prayer warriors have figured that out yet, Randy.
Yes, a picture of Obama with his arm around one bad pol makes the dems much worse thaqn the party that nominated a blithering idiot for VP and still defends the decision.
Let’s see, the guy instigated a riot that killed five people and was involved in a months’ long libel against innocent public servants. Now that Obama is hugging him, all you can do is scream “SARPALIN !!1!!!1!!1!!”
The difference is that on the Dem side, they don’t pander to people who believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old…
No, they pander to people who think vaccinations are the tool of the [white, corporate] devil (RFK, Jr.) and wink 9/11 Truthers, as well as every other crank conspiracy that comes from the Congressional Black Caucus.
You obviously weren’t conscious during the 90′s, or you would know that she made her name flinging wild accusations at the President of the united States…
I’ve read quite a few of Coulter’s books. She can be silly and wrong (on evolution and foreign policy in particular), but often less so than any given pundit. So all in all, she’s worth a read. She’s certainly more on the ball than you are.