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Gingrich And God: Newt Nuzzles Religious Right At Liberty University
May 21st 2007
In a speech of barely more than 20 minutes, Gingrich offered lots of similar Religious Right bunk.
Only in the minds of fervid Religious Right followers is America a nation of God-haters.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich continued his relatively recent conversion to spewing Religious Right rhetoric with a speech about secularism run amok over the weekend at Liberty University.
Before his death last week, TV preacher Jerry Falwell had invited Gingrich to give this year?s commencement address. As media outlets noted, Gingrich gave abundant praise to Falwell and claimed his passing should in no way lull ?the left? into believing that Religious Right politicos in that mold are a thing of the past.
To prove that point, Gingrich launched into a tired Religious Right rant about a nation that has supposedly made God its enemy.
?A growing culture of radical secularism declares that the nation cannot profess the truths on which it was founded,? claimed Gingrich. ?We are told that our public schools can no longer invoke the creator, nor proclaim the natural law, nor profess the God-given quality of human rights.?
In a speech of barely more than 20 minutes, Gingrich offered lots of similar Religious Right bunk. Only in the minds of fervid Religious Right followers is America a nation of God-haters.
The reality is that the nation remains a place more than welcoming of Christianity. Indeed, some could conclude that government celebrates Christianity to the exclusion of all other religions. This is a nation?s whose motto professes trust in God, whose public school students recite a pledge that acknowledges God and whose currency includes the proclamation, ?In God We Trust.? Fundamentalist Christian personalities are still all over radio and television airwaves, and many of them sell tons of books. It truly borders on delusional for someone to claim that America is somehow anti-God.
Gingrich is not an announced seeker of the White House, but he has spent several years now kissing up to the fundamentalist Christian base of the Republican Party, which despite the gathering media conventional wisdom is alive and well. He recently went on James Dobson?s radio program to apologize for his marital infidelity and to boast of seeking forgiveness from God. He wrote a book last year celebrating the many places in the nation?s capital where God is publicly acknowledged. In April, he took to ABC?s ?This Week? to declare that lack of God in public schools undoubtedly helped produce the rampage killings at Virginia Tech University.
At his Liberty University appearance, Gingrich took full advantage of his microphone to air more of his fatuity. He blasted judges for their rulings upholding the First Amendment principle of church-state separation and lauded Falwell?s Liberty University for being an institution producing cultural warriors to fight the nation?s great ills, which are liberals, gays, supporters of reproductive rights and Hollywood.
Singling out the judiciary for special invective, Gingrich declared ?Too often, the courts have been biased against religious believers. This anti-religious bias must end.?
Gingrich?s shameless suck-up of a speech was all vacuous. None of his claims against the courts and society can stand up to serious analysis. The federal courts have issued plenty of rulings that uphold religious liberty rights for all kinds of Americans, including Christians. And the courts? decisions protecting the church-state wall have not yanked God from the public schools or the public square. What those decisions have done is ensure that parents, not public school officials, decide the religion of their children.
But Gingrich is not concerned about truth; rather he is re-creating his past to cultivate a future with a certain type of follower.
By Jeremy Leaming