Newt Gingrich’s Meanness Is The Secret Of His 2012 Success

There will be no shortage of after-the-fact election analysis following Newt Gingrich’s win in South Carolina’s Republican primary on Saturday, and instead of examining what the candidates’ campaigns did, or did not, do right, it is helpful to look at why voters gave Gingrich their votes. Willard Romney’s loss is stunning to many pundits and observers, but there were ominous signs Gingrich would prevail based on his inflammatory statements about the media, African Americans, children, and his views toward women.

Exit polls reveal that Gingrich’s debate performances earned him late-deciding voter support as well as religious right evangelicals’ votes; there is a connection between the two that cannot be denied. It is possible that one voter summed up best the reason nearly three-quarters of evangelical voters supported Gingrich over the rest of the pitiful Republican field. An 85-year-old man said, “I think we’ve reached a point where we need someone who’s mean,” and Gingrich, the man said, “was the only one mean enough.” About two-thirds of voters surveyed at different South Carolina polling places said Gingrich’s debate performances  were the most important aspect in their decision to choose him, and that he distinguished himself, in part, by assailing debate moderators for their questions. However, Gingrich gave voters plenty of meanness during the debates besides lambasting moderators, and his mean-factor resonated with equally mean and racist evangelical voters.

It is now in the permanent record that Gingrich regards African Americans as lazy people who rob white Americans of their wealth and enjoy living in opulence subsisting on food stamps. Gingrich further displayed meanness evangelicals revere when he proposed forcing poor children to work cleaning toilets of affluent children in schools, and he upped the ante by demeaning school janitors, cafeteria workers, and office help as a waste of taxpayer dollars. But it was Gingrich’s attitude toward women that evangelicals, especially male evangelicals, may have appreciated the most.

Back in late November, a conservative talk-show host, Steve Deace, compared Gingrich to biblical King David who, like Gingrich, contrived to commit adultery and won forgiveness by begging for compassion. Of course, god forgave David and allegedly Gingrich as well who followed some unsolicited advice from a Southern Baptist Convention lobbyist who told him, “You need to make it as clear as you possibly can that you deeply regret your past actions and that you do understand the anguish and suffering they caused others including your former spouses. Make it as clear as you can that you have apologized for the hurt your actions caused and that you have learned from your past misdeeds.” That is the beauty of the Christian religion for men; commit adultery, beg forgiveness and you are a heroic figure. For women though, the pain and betrayal of an adulterous husband is not washed away by phony confessions and acts of repentance; but that is the price for belonging to a patriarchal, mean religion.

The Christian religion’s avatar of light, Jesus Christ, did preach charity, forgiveness, love for fellow man and peace, but in the final analysis, non-compliance results in everlasting burning in a lake of fire. For the past three years, the religious right supported Republicans who assaulted women, gays, the poor, and Muslims because they do not conform to Old Testament rules that are inherently harsh and punitive.  Christian Dominionists and fundamentalists floated the idea of death for homosexuals, stoning women for having sex before marriage, and punishing proponents of same-sex marriage by presidential commission. Now, one might think that evangelicals stoning non-compliant Americans is harsh, but according to scripture, when Jesus returns, he will resurrect those dead sinners and condemn them to burn in everlasting Hell. There cannot possibly be a meaner religion, and the religious right found an equally mean candidate in Newt Gingrich.

There is a reason Gingrich ramped up the mean factor in South Carolina by attacking the poor, gays, the media, and African Americans; he knew there was an abundance of mean-spirited, racist, religious right voters searching for a mean candidate to implement their brand of theocracy. Gingrich promised to pack the courts exclusively with graduates of Liberty and Regent University if elected to “assault the judicial dictatorship” and return America to its previous glory after courts replaced Christian America “by legalizing abortion, driving God out of public life, and making same-sex marriages become legitimized.” Liberty University School of Law, for example, pressured students to disobey U.S. law if it conflicts with what they believe is god’s law and evangelicals hardly recognize any law except for the bible. The last thing Americans need are Dominionist, religious right judges enforcing biblical law. Unfortunately, evangelicals are not content following god’s law in their lives and seek to force every American to conform to the religious right’s interpretation of “god’s law” and, apparently, they believe Newt is mean enough to make it happen.

Gingrich is hardly a good Christian; or any kind of Christian but he is mean and South Carolina voters rewarded him for his meanness. America doesn’t need a mean president, they need a compassionate president, and it is highly probable the religious right detests President Obama because he has compassion for all Americans; not just religious right fanatics. Not all Christians are mean. It is heartening that many Christians assailed the religious right for opposing health care for all Americans, supported cutting programs for the poor, seniors and children, and attempting to eliminate organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Newt Gingrich is a perfect fit for the religious right and it is not surprising they found their mean candidate after his contemptuous display during the South Carolina debates. Gingrich epitomizes hate and it is obvious why hateful religious right voters rewarded him with a primary victory. Florida is rife with mean-spirited, religious right voters and it remains to be seen if Romney can challenge Gingrich for the meanest candidate title. It is notoriety decent men would avoid like plague, but then again, the Republican field is devoid of decency. They do, however, have an abundance of mean candidates and South Carolina’s religious right picked one of the meanest men as their champion.

Image: dangerousminds.net

52 Replies to “Newt Gingrich’s Meanness Is The Secret Of His 2012 Success”

  1. Yes, it is mean to believe in a religion that metes out eternal punishment for the “sin” of non-compliance. We get maybe 80 years here on this earth but according to christianity, we either suffer or bask in glory for all eternity according to whether or not we play by the rules. I know many christians are good, kind, blah blah blah, giving, generous, etc etc, but the very crux of their religion is IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE YOU BURN IN HELL FOREVER. Definitely not a nice religion. And Newtie is definitely not nice. He and his ilk would gloat as they cavorted on streets of gold knowing the 99% were hurting and hurting bad DOWN BELOW. Not nice and not good. If there is a guiding benevolent spirit in this universe (doubtful) I do hope it doesn’t let Gingrich become our president.

  2. I’m Christian, and that is NOT the crux of my religion whatsoever. People who believe as we do (admittedly not mainstream “Christians”) don’t even believe in hell!!!

  3. Mainstream Christians do NOT believe this nasty view. Even a significant number of Evangelicals do not.

    After the 2004 election, the first person to speak out against such cruel and anti-Christian attitudes embodied by Bush and his Dominionist supporters was Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine. An evangelical, his entire focus is on economic and social justice, nothing new or radical about his faith. While mainline and progressive Protestants may well disagree with him and with Catholics on sexual justice issues, we are ALL in alignment on economic and social justice. Catholic social justice teachings are centuries old, devolved to the Protestants in many cases, were carried forward through many denominations to this day. Newt represents a very small, narrow, and power-mad perspective on religion that is very recent and ill regarded by most Christians.

    Why you don’t know this is because no matter what we do, the MSM pay no attention. None. Writing an Op Ed signed by (sounds like the start of a joke) a minister, rabbi, and priest about the critical importance of having a living wage, we sent it to the liberal San Francisco Chronicle that did not print it. When I asked why, the editor said it was “boring” because we were liberal so of COURSE we believed that. I said the RW Christians got huge coverage for their predictable stands, and he just shrugged it off. They get press and TV because they are outrageous in their hate. Those who speak passionately about justice aren’t interesting.

    That does not mean the mainline and progressive groups aren’t doing huge amounts of pushback against this nasty RW view of democracy – it does mean you will not hear of it very often. We send press releases, have events with media present – and as often as not, we wind up on the cutting room or editorial floor. When marriage equality became legal briefly in CA, we were at the County Hall to celebrate with the people getting married. Across the street RW opponents from ONE church demonstrated in an empty lot. Collectively we represented over 2 million people in SUPPORT of marriage equality – and none of us could get an interview with the Sacramento Bee or TV. The ONE church and 30 angry people got tons of coverage. That leaves the impression faith people universally oppose marriage equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the US mainline Protestants support GLBT rights including the right to lifelong loving partnerships in the MAJORITY according to the Pew Center on Religion. Where do you ever see that?

    As for our attitude about people in need? Our commitment to justice, not just charity, requires us to find means not just to help people temporarily but to remove the cause of want and deprivation so that charity is no longer needed. We want to retain the compassion for human beings that charity offers by staying connected to people as human beings, but supplying those basic needs of food, shelter, medical care, etc. must be systematic and not based on whether our food pantries have enough today. Newt tosses off a “let churches take care of the needy”, but even he fundamentally embraces the sneering disregard of Ayn Rand and the “objectivists” who think caring at ALL for those in need – those whom the private sector has thrown away – is actually dangerous and immoral becaue it erodes the individual’s right to accumulate riches off the poor. More to the point, it violates the RW notion of The Elect – the Chosen. They have reverted to Social Darwinism so the poor should just be left to sink or swim as the market demands. That will weed out the “unfit”.

    Newt’s converstion to Catholicism apparently did not mean a conversion to social justice. He has long expressed racist and classist hate, and he’s honing it to a fare-thee-well to win. What is scary is trying to figure out how many Americans buy into this nasty view and want to kick those who are already down. He built this win on these views – is that just South Carolina or is it the nation?

    Unlike the religious right, the religious progressives do not lobby for partisan issues or candidates since we believe in the separation of church and state and obey the laws of our land. So it is up to us to lay the moral foundation for consideration – do we want a nation of angry class and racial divisions, accumulation for the few at the expense of the many – or do we want a nation that shares its bounty more equitably and with compassion for all our people?

    We represent the latter. We hope this is the will of the majority as well.

  4. Religion has become too political! While I am a Christian, I don’t force my beliefs onto others. You are what you are, just don’t tell me what I should be or where my soul will rest upon my death. Gingrich was mean when he was Speaker and he is mean now. I am disturbed that this is where we are as a country. What makes me sick is the applause these Republicans are getting with their outrageous comments. The term “united we stand, divided we fall”, well folks — I think we’re falling.

  5. I, too, consider myself a Christian who feels the animosity from both the non-believers and the christian right because our beliefs are different than their’s. My belief teaches acceptance and respect for all, not hatred and division, and because of that I am proud of my faith. Please don’t generalize, as I agree with this article, and could never vote for a candidate that displays so much hatred and ignorance.

  6. The irony of it all is that Gingrich and other members of the far right are anything but Christ-like in their words and actions. Apparently, they didn’t read the verse in the Bible in which Jesus said that as they do to the least among us, they do to Him. That means that their mean-spirited actions and attitudes toward the poor, women, racial minorities, religious minorities, and gays are in direct contradiction to Christ’s example. In addition, since they love to spread lies and hatred, they also flagrantly violate the commandment not to bear false witness against others. And they most certainly have a god they fervently worship, namely wealth. This is why folks like these gravitate toward the likes of Newt Gingrich. He validates them in their visible and vocal hatred toward those of us they consider “others.” The saddest irony of the whole thing is that people who truly exemplify the spirit of Christ are overshadowed by those who get more attention because of their loud belligerence and their insistence that it’s their way or the highway.

  7. Why is it that I think that if President Obama tried to be “mean” they’d call it “uppity” and get a rope?

  8. I myself find it funny that Newt Gingrich acknowledged his transgressions in the past yet when one of his ex-wife speaks all of a sudden she is lying. How many times can you ask for forgiveness and still get it? I say the number is infinite and the forgiveness is all in your own mind.

    to a true Christian it is my opinion that newt should’ve said yes I did it, I asked for an open marriage and I’ve also told you that I have asked for forgiveness and I have received it. I will released a letter from Jesus along with my taxes on Tuesday. Instead what Newt did was call her a liar and go right back to his heavy-handed lean on a lectern heavy jowled self and slam against the wife.

    after South Carolina I am convinced that religion is no longer playing a part other than in name only of this primary season. Because now all you have to do is say I’m a Christian and you are in the door. You don’t even need a history to back it up. Poor Rick Santorum tries to back up being a Christian and he comes in last along with Dr. Paul who doesn’t even mention it. Memo to Dr. Paul, please at least stand up and admit that you’re a dominionist and get it over with. You might find yourself in first place again.

  9. I have read the bible cover to cover. Not once did I see the phrase “Forgiveness is exclusive to Republicans in the USA.” I’d like to be able to say that the Christian doling out of forgiveness is, at best, arbitrary, but even that is no longer applicable. It is a Republican owned concept.

    The Evangelicals, Baptists & Newt Catholics (+) do not follow the teachings of Jesus. They follow their clergy who interpret and regurgitate their own rabid version of “truth” for their flocks. (And don’t forget to pass the tithing basket.)

    Bill and Hillary Clinton are still married. Apparently Hillary found it in her heart to forgive Bill. (must stick in their craw) Too bad they’re not Republican, eh?

    No doubt about it – Newt is mean and by biblical standards, he’s a sinner. Good for him that he’s a Republican Christian. Whew!

  10. I’m sorry, but i couldn’t stop laughing at that photo. It DOES reflect my belief that Newt is a joke–as well as being the Gin-Grinch!

  11. The most effortless speed is in free fall; just so, the most effective demagog is the catagog- the one who urges us into free fall towards the depths of our nature. Anagogic leaders require effort from us; catagogic ones require only that we step over the edge of the precipice, and- whee! We’re flying! When we’re sane, we know that the end of this wild careen is a terrible smash; that is why the catagogic leader tries to distort our reason and destroy our fear of the abyss both, just as, bit by bit, the sexual predator grooms his intended victim towards the unthinkable. That is Newt: seducing his audience to the pleasures of injustice.

  12. I suggest that you re-read my post… I’m not generalizing, I’m talking about the people who follow the path we (my wife and I and the people we know who are like us) do.

  13. Speaker Gingrich (don’t let him sweep his disgrace under the church carpet) is the father of government by temper tantrum and the GOP’s contract on the American People.

    Confession doesn’t make that right.

  14. Is that photo for real (not retouched or anything)?

    It reminds me of the Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars.

  15. I “don’t let him sweep his disgrace under the church carpet.” The Republican Christian church does. The Republican voters in South Carolina do.

    To me, he is a loathsome misogynist, a racist, and a card carrying member of the 1% that is bad for America.

  16. No, it was retouched: a little green under the eyes, rather more red on the nose and in the pupils. I see traces of drawing on the rim of the ears. Maybe the teeth were blunked out a little. The blotchy skin and piggy expression are real.

  17. I am in complete agreement with you. I too am a Christian and feel that there is such a huge disservice being done to the true tenents of Christianity in ths Country. Unfortunately, what’s portrayed to society is this brand of “right wing” christianity that does not conform to anything that I believe. It really is sad. “Right wing” Chrisitaity is really giving true Christianity a bad name. I find that people that voted for Newt that proclaim Evangelism are being SUPER hypocritical.

  18. For Newt to slam John King on his own sins that he himself has acknowledged and have asked forgiveness for is absurd. He has heralded his third wife and ex mistress as the next first lady of America. This wife requires at least a half million dollars in jewelry alone. The question that should have been asked by John King is why did you go after President Clinton spending millions of taxpayer dollars to impeach him while you were sleeping with your mistress preaching moral family values? More important is why does the extreme right need such a mean spirited attack dog for a compassionate, smart, family man with leadership strength and moral integrity? Who are these people and what do they stand for? Why do they hate America? Why do they love greed, racism and bigotry? They are not the whole and they are embarrassing America around the globe.
    God help us!

  19. Great article, by the way. Newt wants to be the big bad attack dog to feed the red meat and scare anyone from really challenging his many disastrous truths!!! Hopefully Brian Williams won’t be afraid to be a real journalist and serve the American people. Newt did have to leave the House of Representatives in disgrace. That has to matter to the American people on a much deeper level. And anyone with any sense knows that the audience is bated with angry extremists.

  20. Cathy, when are the moderate and liberal Christians — those who are tolerant, forgiving, accepting, and compassionate — when are these people going to stand up and confront these hate mongers who call themselves “Christian”?

    As long as you allow these people to be the voice and the face of your religion while you stand by and let them do it, you can’t blame anyone for lumping you in with them. For the past decade, the Christian voice has been one of exclusion, hatred, retribution, intolerance and Old Testament fire and brimstone and I ahve not seen or heard one single moderate or liberal Christian rise up in idignation against it.

    Where are they? Why hasn’t anyone formed an organization to counter this image? I do beleive that the tolerant and accepting Christian are the majority of your religions, but where are the hundreds of thousands of these people who should be in the streets proclaiming that they are the true religion and that they are the true face of Christianity?

    Until the rest of the country and the world see that, do not be surprised or angry that Christianity is seen as the most hateful, intolerant, violent and oppresive religion in the world.

  21. Not even for a half million dollors worth of jewlery would I stand beside this fat, ugly, mean nasty piece of human flesh and claim him as my husband, let alone a lover for years before he married me.

  22. Echoing my reply to Cathy — so why aren’t the True Christians coming out in force against this misconception? What do you expect people to beleive when all they hear and see are these haters and fear mongers?

    As long as you and your fellows are not willing to confront these people, their power will only grow. Remember that many Muslims insist that the Shiite sect is not the majority of their religion, but look how they gained power in Iran and Afghanistan.

  23. We no longer have a political environment of anger. It is now an evironment of hate. The vitriol spat at Obama is person and designed to do damage to the man, not his policies or his actions — those are not and ahve not ever been the issue. The only issue is that he is a Blck man whodared to become the leader of this country and too many whites see their world fading into a well-deserved past.

    We are are the most critical crossroads in this country since the Civil War, and it threatens to become just as violent and bloody. There are, as of December of 2011, more than 1000 active noted hate groups in this country, almost all of them aimed at people of color, immigrants, LGBT, and non-Christian religions. Most of these are small, numbering maybe a couple of hundred members. Add to that the 300,000 – 400,000 Patriot and Sovereign Citizen Movement members and realize that most of these groups advocate, buy and store arms for the “coming revolution” and you have a potentially formidible force on your hands.

    Either we get the politicians to foreswear the politics and anger and hatred, and to disavow the very people to whom they are playing simply to get elected, or we will — trust me — face a second civil war in this country.

  24. Politicus USA often writes those stories so you should send them to them and maybe they would publish it! We need that message to permeate instead of the hate. The media is so predictable. If it bleeds it leads.

  25. Here’s the litmus test for the evangilicals and those who professed to be Christians. Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-48 or Luke6:1 -34) whereby Jesus gives the Beatitudes. If you still consider yourself a Republican, Evangilical Conservative, then perhaps you need to read about the scribes,Pharisees,Herodians, and Sadducees. Afterall, they were truely the ones that persecuted him. The Roman Soldiers simply carried out the ordered, performing the task the religious leaders wanted. Poor Mattrew and some of the others were simply sinners who were frowned upon from those who practiced religion on there sleeves. I see no difference (….and I’m not judging) today from those on the right. Simply because you go to church doesn’t make you a “follower of Christ” just as standing in a garage doesn’t make you a car or going to the hospital makes you a doctor. I ask you to re-examine your thoughts and patterns and then ask WWJD. Get wisdom & understanding, then decide whether you’re right.

  26. This! Like times 100. Their personal hate for Obama makes me sick and repulsed. I can’t even listen to them without my skin crawling in repulsion. One day I realized it was because my instincts were telling me that they were inciting hate.

    Anyone who votes for them empowers hate and the devil, if they believe in that which I didn’t until they started their prayers for Obama’s death.

  27. Newt Is an expert at turning things away from his own transgressions. In his mind he did absolutely nothing even though he said he apologized and got forgiveness. It’s always someone else. Just like Sarah Palin. It’s always the media, it’s always an individual. It’s never Newt Gingrich and less he is comparing himself to Pericles

  28. I am thinking that all that jewelry is bribe money to keep her from advertising that she’s up for free sex.

  29. deGrene, I’m one. Paid the price for it too.

    Confronting the “Good Christians” is necessary, but it IS dangerous.

  30. There’s a Facebook group called “Christians tired of being represented.”. Not sure if they have any organization beyond that…

  31. There are also an increasing number of misogynist hate sites advocating violence against women- any women. Two different ones on the same day advocated that “mouthy” women be subjected to the scold’s bridle, an obscure torture device that had to be researched. They’re passing this stuff around- and those are just two I heard about from someone with the stomach to monitor these sites. In short, we could be looking at the armed counter-revolution of the Mean People, who are being nerved to it by the likes of Newt and Rush.

  32. “That is the beauty of the Christian religion for men; commit adultery, beg forgiveness and you are a heroic figure”.

    What nonsense. You are not a hero when you sin and confess. You are misrepresenting christianity. I agree that this may be the way it is being expressed by these conservatives, but you smear the rest of us by claiming that what Gingrich is doing is what happens in christianity.

    The whole thing with Gingrich (and the others) is a sad farce that brings dishonour to Christ.

  33. What is the risk of not confronting them? As a former Christian I lerned about the martyrs who had courage enough to die for their faith. I do not know how you confronted them nor what the price was, but speaking of Christians in general, where is that courage now? While I am not a Christian I can still aprreciate the teachings fo Jesus. Who is standing up for them now? who is ofering themselves as a martyr for the Truth.

    When I say Crhistians need to confront this segment of their religion, I mean you need to be in the streets, protesting against them whenever they gather, you need to confront them at their own protests and challenge them with their own weapons (the Bible), you need to make sure that others feel that they are truly the majority instead of a quiet, frightened minority and that they can and should join other voices in shouting down these so-called holy warriors.

  34. You’re right, Reynardine, and I was sadly remiss in not including women in my post. Thank you for bringing it up and correcting me.

  35. You can’t underestimate the power of the media. Loving, caring, compassionate, social justice just don’t cut it when it comes to exciting news. Most liberal Christians are not “in your face” people. When we do get passionate, its about justice, and we are part of a larger group which is not just Christian. When we do stand up, we are ignored. Did you hear about the Christians who surrounded and protected mosques after 9/11? I thought so. Have you seen the Christian churches with their banners marching in gay pride parades? I thought so. We are lovers, not haters. Lovers aren’t exciting.

  36. Price I’ve paid: (1) Threats to elderly family members and threats directed at myself through them.
    (2) Electronics workshop torched – total loss, no insurance. All the equipment I’d collected in 15 years of business up in smoke, along with parts I’d also collected and a library of reference books that was fabulous (not to mention parts, books, and equipment belonging to one of my best friends). It would take several tens of thousands of dollars to replace what I’d lost. Most of it was thrown-away junk that I spent evenings and spare time rebuilding. Some of it was near state-of-the-art and all was far in advance of what you’d find in most radio shops.
    (3) Hate graffiti in front of driveway (racist).
    (4) Kitties poisoned.
    (5) Driven from the church we used to attend, partially because of our race (American Indian), but partially because I would not cooperate with the extreme right – on the last day I was told I couldn’t be Christian and accept evolution, and another leader advocating stoning GLBT people (I think he knew I had gay friends). The church had brought in the “Intelligent Design” nuts and I’d tried to contest their bullshit.

    I’ve also been preached against by name in some of the local dominionist megachurches, been internet stalked, and received death threats – all because I spoke out.

    Oh, and I’ve suffered physical injury at the hands of the damned dominionists too. Documented aural damage by one of my ears shoving one of those “canned air” horns to my ear and pushing the button.

    These are the things we KNOW about, and know were a result of my speaking out.

    I still speak out frequently, but choose my battlegrounds and words carefully because I do wish to have a life sometime (I can also claim that the damned dominionists ruined/stole 25 years of my life and are directly responsible for much of the hell we’ve gone through in the last 12 years).

    I’ll also say this – several times when confronting the real right-wing nutcases, Christians came to me afterward and said that they appreciated my speaking out, even though (as in one situation) I got screamed at and felt fear for my life (the guy was getting in my face). I wish they’d had the guts to speak out too – in that case the guy was trying to “PROVE” young-earth creationism, and I knew enough about the topic to completely disprove everything he said.

    It’s not fun being the single target of a maddened individual, much less a crowd of angry fundamentalists.

    Personally, I’m tired of the fight. I fought it without knowing what was really going on for decades (since I Walked in 1982), and then after learning about dominionism and what being a Walkaway was about, I’ve been very active trying to expose them – for the last 8 years. I’d LOVE to see others take up the banner, but people are so uncomfortable speaking out or even sharing their own story and it’s hard to get people to share, much less document some of the things they’ve gone through – and actually confronting dominionists seems to terrify most people.

    Not to mention most Americans are programmed to think “But it’s a CHURCH, it can’t be THAT BAD!!!”

  37. I was thinking of how foolish it is for the GOP electorate to pin their hopes on Gingrich’s (aka ‘The Jerk”) winning debates–and I said to my mate, “He only ever looks like he’s winning because he knows how to get knee-jerk applause from an audience whose political leanings he is absolutely certain of. In presidential debates, no on gets to applaud, so the ridiculousness of most of his ‘winning’ points will be much clearer.”

    Lo and behold this morning he said he would not agree to any debates in which the audience is not allowed to applaud.

    Ham actors used to hire claques to applaud them in their bad performances. The porcine Newt wants the same, though he doesn’t want to pay them.

  38. Jolene, what are you really getting at– the deliniation between denominations which are or are not strict literalists as the only source of their theologigal ideas, or what?

  39. Cathy, I’m proud of your devotion to this, also. My late father was a United Methodist theologian (I’m Episcopalian) and I grew up with very clear adherance to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesleyan_Quadrilateral. four different sources in coming to theological conclusions. Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments), Tradition–the two millennia history of the Christian Church, Reason– rational thinking and sensible interpretation, and
    Experience – a Christian’s personal and communal journey in Christ. The other big way in which Dad influenced me was that after he retired from local churches, he moved to occupied Palestine to volunteer and live in solidarity with the Christians who now refer to themselves as “The Living Stones”, there are so few of them who haven’t emigrated or gotten lost in the refugee camps. The Christians from ancient Nazareth called themselves “The Old Stones”. Oh, Gingrich has done some very wrong things in the past 3 months regarding peace in the Middle East, and I am so frightened by his political momentum.

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