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Newt Gingrich and his Classical Christianity
By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonApr. 1st, 2011more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson
Not to be outdone in the race to be as extreme as possible (and probably to kiss up to the man who criticized his patriotic lusts), Newt Gingrich told Bryan Fischer that he would put a stop to the “homosexual agenda” (whatever that is) by being “pro-classical Christianity” which is apparently (at least according to Gingrich) a set of values shared by most Americans (I doubt it).
Part of the dialogue here plays to the Christians as a persecuted minority meme I mentioned yesterday in relation to Mike Huckabee. If Huckabee can call on those poor persecuted spiritual warriors, so can Newt, by Newt! It’s almost as if there is a race to see who can fuel the persecution complex faster.
Newt is also upset that civil rights get between a Christian’s god-given right to persecute “the other” and the intended victim. How dare your civil rights trump my right to belittle and marginalize you!
It’s easy to imagine that if you held up a copy of the Constitution in a debate with these people, you would found yourself beat to death with Bibles in response.
You see, those Catholic adoption agencies discriminate against the LGBT community. In Washington D.C. the archdiocese refused to comply with the District of Columbia’s legalization of same-sex marriage. The obvious result of equality is that same-sex couples can also adopt. Not so fast! Says the Archdiocese of Washington!
So far, no homosexual agenda has revealed itself in all this salacious griping. Civil Rights, however, have intervened. Is there such a thing as a Constitutional Agenda? Because that’s what it is, Newt and Bryan: the individual human rights promised and guaranteed by the United States Constitution. And that’s what really has your undies in a bunch: how dare the Constitution trump your misinterpreted (and irrelevant) Bible!
Well, the Archdiocese claims it has the “religious freedom” to put down anyone they want to put down but gay rights advocates point out that if you receive public funding, you absolutely don’t have those religious rights. Do what you want with your own money, but these are tax dollars.
Newt also whined about President Obama’s decision with regards to DOMA:
“If there is a rule of law, it means that if the congress passes a bill and the president signs it, the president has the obligation to support and sustain the laws of the United States.”
Of course, Newt is simply doing what Palin and McCain did in 2008: ignoring the facts in favor of spin: Obama is upholding the law. But it is entirely within his purview to decide it should not be defended on Constitutional grounds if it is, in fact, unconstitutional (as the DOJ itself has concluded).
There is a little issue of public officials being obligated to uphold not the Bible, but the Constitution. Newt seems to have forgotten this pesky detail.
Another problem for Newt is his definition of “classical Christianity.” I grew up a mainstream Lutheran (LCA – now the ELCA). I didn’t begin to believe even a fraction of the crap these Christofascists want to push on us. My extended family remains Christian, what I would call mainstream Christian, and they don’t agree with Newt and Bryan either. So what, if anything, can be meant by a term such as “classical” Christianity?
One thing classical Christians apparently believe in is selling life insurance. Yes, Newt Gingrich’s outfit, Renewing American Leadership, sells life insurance. This doesn’t exactly square with end of the world apocalyptic “classical” Christianity (because if there is one thing the first Christians believed in, whether Jewish or Gentile, was that the End Times were right around the corner) but looks like Newt is willing to cover his bases. If Jesus doesn’t come back tomorrow, Newt can pack a few more bucks into his bank account so he can afford to wine and dine the next future Mrs. Gingrich (you never know when patriotism will cause his zipper to burst open and embroil him in another expensive relationship).
In the ancient world, there were many kinds of Christianity. There are probably at least as many today. Even defining “Christian” is problematic, let alone arriving at a definition for a “classical” Christian. Let’s face it: if there is such a thing as a prototype Christian they would be apocalyptic Jews, and those folks didn’t much like people like Newt, the serial adulterer. And in the Bible Newt likes to quote, the penalty for adultery is death.