Gingrich to Christians: We’re surrounded by “paganism”

posted at 3:37 pm on June 8, 2009 by Allahpundit

Via Greg Hengler. I couldn’t decide whether to lead with Newt talking about this or Huck insisting at the same event that God interceded to protect Prop 8 in response to Christian prayers. I went with the former because the latter’s point is easily dispensed with: If Huck’s right, how to explain gay marriage passing democratically in New Hampshire? Weren’t Yankee Christians praying hard enough? In any case, both vids are embedded below.

I don’t think Gingrich means capital-P Paganism, as an honest-to-goodness Pagan blogger at Beliefnet understands him to mean. He means lowercase-P paganism, i.e. worshipping any false idol above God. That could mean money, fame, status, power, etc, not just rocks and trees or whatever; by that definition, Christians who devote more of their lives to work or pleasure or what have you instead of to spirituality would be guilty of “paganism” too. Which is perfectly fine and unexceptional for believers — it’s just another way of saying “love God above all things” — but not so fine for nonbelievers, as more than one has noted today. Then again, Newt has never cared much about the sensitivities of atheists, declaring in a speech two years ago at Falwell’s university that the reverend’s death wouldn’t stop the quest “to convert all of America.” I guess when you belong to a party where that constituency is negligible, you can afford to neglect them. Don’t think it goes unnoticed, though. Exit quotation: “I am a citizen of the United States because only in the United States does citizenship start with our Creator.” Isn’t the Koran the constitution of Saudi Arabia?


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Newt to apologize in 5,4,3…..

xblade on June 8, 2009 at 5:51 PM

They are both trying to pander to Christian vote to upstage Palin but they don’t know how to do that.

promachus on June 8, 2009 at 5:57 PM

I don’t, myself, interpret Gingrich’s comment as directed at atheists, per se. I honestly think it is directed at the political motive of many in the ACLU to put the power of the state behind repudiations of God.

Christians are actually quite rare who feel like it’s a big threat to human life that some people are atheists. Only some equate being atheist with being pagan, and Gingrich has always been smarter than to make such a simplistic link.

It’s not “atheists” whom I hear Gingrich calling out as pagans here, but the politically motivated who want to turn their questioning of God-centered morality into action by the state — as well as the growing number of Americans who no longer have any philosophical defenses against that trend, and give their fealty more to sources of income and entertainment than to ideas of virtue and self-government.

Gingrich and I would probably agree that atheism, in itself, offers no unbreachable philosophical defenses of that kind. But that doesn’t mean that either he or I think all atheists are out there being pagans. Atheists may or may not behave like pagans, in the sense of running after whatever “god” looks like he’s scored the most touchdowns recently.

Maybe I’m wrong about Newt, but I’ve never considered him shallow in this way. Bottom line: I don’t think he was talking about “atheists.” Many atheists are thoughtful, discriminating people who recognize paganism from miles away, and actively try to avoid sinking into it. I think Newt knows that.

J.E. Dyer on June 8, 2009 at 6:02 PM

J

.E. Dyer on June 8, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Dude, you really need to stop posting while high. Did you actually read that bit of drivel before you posted it?

The conceit that any God is the ONE TRUE GOD is beyond parody. There are many Gods, all with their followers, and you are welcome to your beliefs. However, if you want respect for your own views, you ought to respect other’s views as well.

This nation was founded in order to PREVENT the sort of religious tyranny that you allude to in your post. Thank the Gods that it was.

Respects,

AW1 Tim on June 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Given the lead-in about the ACLU, I think by paganism he meant secularism. Just the usual boilerplate about the menace of actually respecting the first amendment.

RightOFLeft on June 8, 2009 at 6:16 PM

However, if you want respect for your own views, you ought to respect other’s views as well.

+1

ronsfi on June 8, 2009 at 6:24 PM

A.P. is right about Huckabee, but he quoted Newt out of context:

“I am a citizen of the United States because only in the United States does citizenship start with our Creator.” Isn’t the Koran the constitution of Saudi Arabia?

What Newt said:

I am not a citizen of the world,” he said. “I am a citizen of the United States because only in the United States does citizenship start with our Creator.”

I do think Newt misspeaks by saying that “citizenship” starts with our creator. Theoretically, all human beings are ‘endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights’ (“natural rights”).

But the Koran comparison doesn’t make sense either. Saying you are ruled by a supreme being is not the same thing as being endowed with natural rights. And the Saudi constitution is not literally “the Koran”.

Buy Danish on June 8, 2009 at 6:30 PM

AW1 Tim on June 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Simple question to show the fallacy of your comments:

How many times in perusing the Founders’ writings do you come across plural terms for divinity, and how many times do you see singular terms?

cs89 on June 8, 2009 at 6:34 PM

I do think Newt misspeaks by saying that “citizenship” starts with our creator. Theoretically, all human beings are ‘endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights’ (”natural rights”).

But the Koran comparison doesn’t make sense either. Saying you are ruled by a supreme being is not the same thing as being endowed with natural rights. And the Saudi constitution is not literally “the Koran”.

Buy Danish on June 8, 2009 at 6:30 PM

You nailed it on both points. The Saudi Con is based on the Koran and supposedly divinely inspired by it ( and Mo )

Our Con is based on limiting government because it was our Creator who endowed us with our UNALIENABLE rights which government cannot take away–or pretend to give us in the first place

Janos Hunyadi on June 8, 2009 at 6:38 PM

AW1 Tim on June 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM

BTW, you have every right to hold and express your beliefs as you wish. I would only ask that you carry a few towels with you to wipe up the condescension dripping off your remarks directed toward those who believe something different than you do.

cs89 on June 8, 2009 at 6:42 PM

I don’t, myself, interpret Gingrich’s comment as directed at atheists, per se. I honestly think it is directed at the political motive of many in the ACLU to put the power of the state behind repudiations of God.

Then why doesn’t he say THAT.

Leave Pagans alone. I am conservative as well as many Pagans I know. This dumps on one ‘group’ to curry favor with another. It’s a stupid tactic, if it was even a tactic.

Like I said, Newt has his socks stuck in his teeth, and I’ve lost a lot of respect for him and Huck if this is the way they feel.

Spiritk9 on June 8, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Which is perfectly fine and unexceptional for believers — it’s just another way of saying “love God above all things”

For a “God loving” or “God fearing” man, he sure has not shown much of either.

MB4 on June 8, 2009 at 7:53 PM

When he refers to Pagans, he is refering to those who aggressively attack Christianity. He even mentions the ACLU as an example of this. I don’t think he means it be of all those whom are not Christian. Speaking out against this is not an attack on non-christians. It is however, a warning to Christians of those that would attack them for their views. Again, he states they are on the offensive. Personally, I don’t like Newt giving this kind of message. His personal life has/does not reflect that he lives what he preaches. If he wants to talk politics, fine. But don’t talk religion when you let your first wife know that you were divorcing her to pursue an affair with your secretary by leaving her a note on the kitchen table the day she was to get a masectomy due to breast cancer. Most pagans would treat their spouses better. PRICK!
My question to non-believers, why do you feel your freedom is best defined by restricting those of us that believe from being able to express it? Seriously, he said this in a Church! And you still want to police what he said? If you think we should simply agree to disagree, then this is not the video that would support your arguement.

MichiganMatt on June 8, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Newt has never cared much about the sensitivities of atheists

With all due respect, you can take your narcissistic “sensitivities” and jam them into your cat box.

Exit quotation: “I am a citizen of the United States because only in the United States does citizenship start with our Creator.” Isn’t the Koran the constitution of Saudi Arabia?

Wonderful. Enjoy the heat, jackass.

TMK on June 8, 2009 at 10:23 PM

However, if you want respect for your own views, you ought to respect other’s views as well.

AW1 Tim on June 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM

AW1, can you specify what, in my post that you comment on here, was disrespectful of anyone else’s views?

J.E. Dyer on June 8, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Did you know Frederick Douglas said that the loudest Christians beat their slaves the hardest?

LevStrauss on June 9, 2009 at 9:29 AM

He means lowercase-P paganism, i.e. worshipping any false idol above God. That could mean money, fame, status, power, etc, not just rocks and trees or whatever; by that definition

Yeah because you sure as hell won’t find any of that stuff being discussed in the megachurches.

LevStrauss on June 9, 2009 at 9:33 AM

I think Newt’s an intelligent guy but when he talks about religion he looks no better than those ranting televangelists with the goofy hairstyles. Conservatives don’t get it…a growing segment of the population hates religion and consider it lunacy, myself included.

Most people are centrist (like me) and Conservatives could really dominate in elections if they became a secular party (dump the religious loons), since it’d draw in independents and liberals.

I find Newt’s remarks revolting and insultive. Esp. since christians like him believe humanity is a product of incest and began with a dirt-man sleeping with his genetic clone rib-sister. Or who considers that the Bible which condones slavery, baby-killing, stoning, genocide, as the divine perfect word of the creator of the universe. Its all bronze age myths and fairy tale nonsense.

Or as someone else put it: Christianity-the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…yup that makes sense.

thinkagain on June 9, 2009 at 10:53 AM

I don’t think Gingrich means capital-P Paganism, as an honest-to-goodness Pagan blogger at Beliefnet understands him to mean. He means lowercase-P paganism, i.e. worshipping any false idol above God. That could mean money, fame, status, power, etc, not just rocks and trees or whatever; by that definition, Christians who devote more of their lives to work or pleasure or what have you instead of to spirituality would be guilty of “paganism” too.

Long time listener – first time caller.
Allah. Mad props. You hit the nail on the head. I’m willing to bet that Newt didn’t mean “paganism” in those terms (his track record for imitating Christ is rather sad), but you said it the way it needs to be said. If valuing the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and boastful pride of life are the symptoms, there are many “Christians” that have the disease.

Andalusia on June 9, 2009 at 10:54 AM

That could mean money, fame, status, power, etc, not just rocks and trees or whatever; by that definiti

Yeah because you sure as hell won’t find any of that stuff being discussed in the megachurches.

LevStrauss on June 9, 2009 at 9:33 AM

I find such stuff all through mega churches shown on cable. I consider it to be paganism, as a rejection of the tenets of the faith as surely as building a golden calf to worship

The greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all your heart, might and soul. The second was to love your neighbor as yourself.

The churches that spend their time with prosperity sermons, self forgiveness sermons, self esteem sermons are all placing Self above God and Neighbor. I am not surprised they are successful, because they offer the devil’s temptations in place of the hard guidance offered by the faith. To me they are all the harlot church

So I find myself surrounded by pagans, and paganized churches. Nothing new since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah

My faith tells me to expect this always, in this fallen world.

I wouldn’t call Newt down for his womanizing. That makes him simply a sinner. I call him for saying Powell is a Republican. Now that is suspect

As for Saudi Arabia, they are governed by the Koran which concerns a Creator that does not match the Creator described in the Bible.

The Creator of the Bible populated the earth with humans and gave them free will to choose good or evil, and this independence from God, which translates through the theology to inalienable rights for man, is necessary to give value to man’s relationship to his Creator. There is mercy and salvation consistently in old and new Testaments, and trickery and lies are no part of this Lord

The Creator in the Koran, represents a view of faith that gives man choices, yet everything is already cast in the book, and deceit and trickery are acceptable, and different rights are given different populations.

All Creators are not the same, and I as a believer, believe only one is true.

For non believers, there are results to consider. Which world view of man on earth gives more liberty and justice? Semantics plays a role here, because both faiths use the word ‘justice’ differently.

In America, the definitions come from the Christian (and therefore Jewish) faith and not from other books

entagor on June 9, 2009 at 11:02 AM

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