Newt Gingrich is an old fashioned Christian hater, one of those like the fifth century Egyptian monk Shenoute who feels “there is no crime for those who have Christ.” This is a man who has proven he can justify literally anything based on his twisted understanding of religion, a man with all the warped morality of a medieval Pope.
This is in evidence with his nearly every utterance these days. Perhaps he realizes that Rick Santorum has his head where he wants his to be – so far up the butt of the Christian fundamentalism that you can’t tell where Newt ends and the Bible begins. What better way to pry them apart than to be meaner and nastier than Santorum? It’s a chore, as he realizes; Santorum isn’t being denigrated as a serial adulterer. Newt has learned the hard way that dropping trou for God and country might get him new wives but it won’t get him votes. And he needs Florida and has only a few days to get it.
And to judge from how badly the debate went for him last night (see Jason Easley’s analysis here), Gingrich needs to get all the votes he can get just to justify having shown up in the first place. Santorum did very well for himself, playing off Romney, and Gingrich’s few fundamentalist supporters won’t stay with him once the Ship of Newt starts to go down.
With last night’s debate still a day in the future, and knowing CNN’s Wolf Blitzer wasn’t going to ask these types of questions, Gingrich got on a conference call to Evangelical supporters and took a shot at marriage equality and at the same time, everybody who isn’t a Christian. It’s very Old Testament and it’s been a very effective method of rallying the troops for 2,000 years, since the time it was used against the Canaanites. Newt says that marriage equality represents perfectly natural pagan behaviors and are somehow a fundamental violation of our civilization. And he’s at least part right – toleration is a perfectly natural pagan behavior.
Listen to Wednesday’s press conference call from Right Wing Watch:
It’s pretty simple: marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a historic doctrine driven deep into the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it’s a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.
Actually, Newt, that’s between a man and a woman, or a man and multiple women, or a woman and her rapist, etc. You get the idea.
Now remember that a Pagan is anyone who isn’t a Christian or a Jew. The ancient Jews called Pagans “Gentiles” and the early Church adopted that term – despite being Gentiles themselves in Jewish eyes – for use against the Roman Empire’s Pagan population. Only later did Gentile give way in the Church lexicon and morph into “Pagan.” So you’re a Pagan, he’s a Pagan, and I’m a Pagan. We’re all Pagans, not just us modern-day reproductions of the ancient variety. That puts you in select company no matter how you look at it.
Turns out the only reason Gingrich is running for president is to save America from us Pagans:
I want people to understand, I’m a volunteer. Callista and I had very long talks for over a year and then we talked with our two daughters and our two son-in-laws because we knew if we tried to offer help the country that we would be subjected to news media assaults, we’d be subjected to vicious gossip, we’d be subjected to people on the web saying horrible things and we’d be subjected to negative ads from our opponents. And we concluded that we are in so much trouble and we are in such grave danger of losing the America that we grew up in and the lack of Republican ability to articulate and communicate and defend is so great that both of us – this was a dual decision – we both concluded that we had a moral obligation to endure whatever comes and to at least offer, as citizens, to try and be of service.
You have to admire how he so shamelessly embraces his hypocrisy. Here is a man with proven contempt for the institution of marriage and he is shoving this crap down our throats and acting the martyr as he does so. The man’s got balls of brass and Callista’s not the first woman he’s proven that to.
Right Wing Watch tells us that according to the rest of the conference call, the fundamentalist leaders supporting Gingrich are doing so because they believe an Obama victory will “spell the end of Western Civilization” which is pretty funny since that’s what they’re working toward too. What these guys and gals want is a return to the pre-Enlightenment Western Civilization we’re all well rid of, back when the church could tell everyone what to do and priests could put their willies wherever they wanted and nobody could complain, when, by God, righteous Christians could attack anyone they damn well pleased and pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
The thing is, the Western Civilization they claim to be protecting doesn’t exist. It hasn’t existed since the European Enlightenment banished the Church’s Dark Age-thinking into the shadows cast by the light of science. Without the Enlightenment their Western Civilization would have existed and they want to go back to that fork in the road, derail the Enlightenment, and have at the world again with all the religious savagery they can muster – which history has shown is quite a bit.
What the Enlightenment did was break the Church’s hold on our minds and freed people to question for the first time since the original 9/11: September 11, 364 CE, when an imperial edict prescribed the death penalty for all Gentiles that worship their ancestral Gods or practice Divination (“sileat omnibus perpetuo divinandi curiositas“). Three additional edicts, dated 4th February, 9th September, and 23rd December ordered the confiscation of all properties of the pagan temples and the death penalty for participation in pagan rituals, even private ones.
The ensuing fourteen centuries were a dark age, the true dark age of Western Europe. For Gingrich and his fundamentalist supporters to speak of Western Civilization as though they are defending is a joke, because what fundamentalists like him have fought for is not what Western Civilization is about and hasn’t been since the seventeenth century. Western Civilization went off on a new tangent and I think it is one appreciated by most of us. The idea of going back to the thinking behind that original 9/11 won’t appeal to many, because let’s face it, most people don’t consider the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and the Witch Burnings to be the highlights of Western Civilization.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.