Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Thinking About Candidates

Monday, June 6th, 2011 by JEL

Another day, another GOP presidential candidate. Or so it seems. Rick Santorum entered the fray today. It should be another interesting, fatiguing, completely soul-sapping presidential race from now until next November. And religion will surely play a large role. Obama’s Christianity (or perceived lack therof). Romney’s Mormonism. Newt’s devout Catholicism (following closely on the heels of being a devout Southern Baptist). Santorum’s claim that he’s more Christian than any of his competitors.

But in their platforms and agendas, are any of these candidates truly Christian? Are they really following Jesus’ message to help the poor and the needy? Are they lovers of peace, or flexers of American muscle?

Martha Woodroof posted a great piece over the weekend only tangentially about Newt and his wife’s diamonds:

“As I’ve said before in On Faith, I am a person of faith who is not religious. As I’ve also said before, I am a complete fan of Jesus Christ, largely because, according to the Gospels, the guy was so not a hypocrite. He flat-out lived his faith, putting into practice all those inconvenient rantings about inclusiveness and giving a damn about the poor; gunking things up for the rest of us with bothersome statements about rich men, needle eyes and camels.

At no point did Jesus say thou shalt covet diamonds that cost more than the houses a lot of Americans are losing.Of course, Newt’s not the only politician who exudes the toxic glow of Christian hypocrisy. Almost all American presidential candidates claim to be fans of Jesus. So what are they fans of? The man’s outfits? His hairstyle? His commitment to walking everywhere and thus getting regular exercise?

It’s obviously not his selfless poverty, which, to me, non-Christian admirer of Jesus that I am, appears to be the heart of his message.”

Keep this in mind as the mud flies.

Mind Your Own…Faith

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 by JEL

I happen to be a big proponent of the separation of Church and State. Believe in whatever God/faith you wish, but please don’t impose your beliefs on me or others who don’t share those beliefs. Sounds pretty simple, and it’s worked pretty well here in the US for over 200 years.

Others disagree. Newt Gingrich for one. Newt, who has a long history of behavior inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ, feels there is currently a “crisis of secularism” in America:

“The American elites are guided by their desire to emulate the European elites and, as a result, anti-religious values and principles are coming to dominate the academic, news media and judicial class in America.”

And then there’s Vishal Mangalwadi, a Christian scholar in India, who thinks the Antichrist is going to come from the U.S.

“If America does not return to the Bible as the cultural authority – having influence over the Congress, over the courts, over the universities – if that does not happen, then the antichrist in the 21st century will come from America.”

And of course there’s Gary North’s Reconstructionism that seeks to institute Old Testament Biblical law throughout our system of government and schools (kind of like the Taliban does with the Koran). Adherents shoo away Jesus’ commands to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and heal the sick, and claim that the Bible is against any form of welfare. Capitalism is what it’s all about.

The Public Religion Research Institute released a study on April 21 where they investigated whether people thought capitalism was in conflict with Christianity. People who thought they were in competition beat out those who thought they were compatible by 44% to 36%. 53% of Democrats see capitalism and Christian values at odds, while only 37 % of Republicans have trouble with the combination.