Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gingrich's War on 'Secularism'

By Robert Parry
May 20, 2007

All 43 American presidents – even those who doubted religion – associated themselves with the Christian faith. Today, it is still far easier for a politician from a fringe religious sect, such as Mormonism, to be a serious national candidate than it would be for an atheist or an agnostic.

Yet, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is basing his political comeback, in part, on an assertion that the real bias in America is against those who believe in religion and that “radical secularism” is oppressing them.

Read on.

4 comments:

EvilPoet said...

Vintage Newt

[1995] Newt set strategy for Religious Right — 10 years ago!: House Speaker Newt Gingrich set the agenda for the Religious Right ten years ago at a politically important conference in the nation's capital. On October 15-17, 1985, the Rev. Tim LaHaye's American Coalition for Traditional Values (ACTV) held a "How to Win An Election" conference in Washington, DC. Under the banner of "Serve the Lord by running for public office," the conference focused on the Christian's "Biblical mandate" to run for political office. During the conference, LaHaye referred to Newt Gingrich, a fellow Southern Baptist, as "a minister of God." "We need to challenge God's people to run for office," LaHaye said. "If every Bible-believing, Christ-loving church would trust God to raise up an average of just one person over the next 10 years who would get elected, we would have more Christian candidates than there are offices." Gingrich, the keynote speaker on the final night, said, "I think what you're doing is very, very important." He said those "on the left forgot just how freedom is delivered. From their standpoint, the Declaration of Independence did not have a phrase that said, 'We're endowed by our creator,' but rather said something like, 'being gathered together as random protoplasm.'" Gingrich continued, "I think they misunderstood the whole underlying spiritual drive which was key to the American Revolution." Continued here: http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/fw/9502/newt.html

yaakovwatkins said...

Your way of dividing up reality exposes your prejudice. Classifying left wing Quakers or Unitarians with Evangelists (even though all are Christians) is simply ignorant. There are many people who don't believe that their acceptance of a ruling power in the universe should have any discernible link to their actions. To lump those people with Catholics who go to mass every day is stupid.

There is absolutely no rational basis for allowing secular moral instruction in our schools and not allowing religious instruction. Kant and Joseph Smith should be presented on equal grounds.

Martin Luther and Descartes should share a stage in the public arena. Martin Luther King's words are bizarrely dissected to remove the fact of his Christian beliefs.

Any time a biblical precept is PC, it is labeled a secular value. When it isn't PC, it is labeled a religious value. There is no rational basis for the distinction except that one is popular among the self-selected intellectual class and the other isn't.

You insist on taking someone else's belief structure, cutting off the most inconvenient parts, bending the less inconvenient parts, renaming others, and jamming it into a box it doesn't fit.

A good example is the happy holidays merry xmas controvery. I am Jewish and I have been told to my face that the purpose of using happy holidays is to take Jesus out of the holiday season and make me welcome. While I am obviously not a fan of Jesus, I can understand if a religious Christian is offended. And no, Chanukah has a very different meaning than Xmas.

I was equally offended when some idiot wanted to conflate Holocaust Remembrance Day with Juneteenth.

Insisting that someone keep quiet in public is one thing. Lumping Christmas, Channuka, and Walmart's holiday sales together as one religion is as idiotic and offensive as if I quoted Stalin as a representative of all secularists.

EvilPoet said...

yaakovwatkins - Did you read the whole article? Your comment indicates that you didn't.

Sarah said...

"There is absolutely no rational basis for allowing secular moral instruction in our schools and not allowing religious instruction. Kant and Joseph Smith should be presented on equal grounds."

I took these class in high school called "philosophy" and "American history." I learned about Kant and Smith in both classes. You can teach about the different beliefs of the world with indoctrination.

"Martin Luther and Descartes should share a stage in the public arena. Martin Luther King's words are bizarrely dissected to remove the fact of his Christian beliefs."

Neither Luther or Descartes are in the public stage - first, you would have to find 5 Americans who actually know who these individuals are. Plus, King's actions were not entirely Christian - according to the standards of the Right. He supported the removal of prayer in school and donated money to Planned Parenthood. He rightfully attacked the Christian church for allowing slavery and segregation.

"Any time a biblical precept is PC, it is labeled a secular value. When it isn't PC, it is labeled a religious value. There is no rational basis for the distinction except that one is popular among the self-selected intellectual class and the other isn't."

How about seeing if "Biblical" values ACTUALLY hold up to evidence first before declaring them a "truth?" How about being FACTUALLY correct? Our secular laws and our secular Constitution are the only guide we should go by for the public, PERIOD.

"You insist on taking someone else's belief structure, cutting off the most inconvenient parts, bending the less inconvenient parts, renaming others, and jamming it into a box it doesn't fit."

This is what religion has been since its existence. It has been changed so many times by many different individuals, so claiming I should hold them all up as "truth" is nonsense. Belief belongs to the individuals and their conscious - end of story. Don't assume that YOUR belief structure is going to match with the rest of the world, unless you are pompous enough to believe you have the "true" religion on your side.

"A good example is the happy holidays merry xmas controvery. I am Jewish and I have been told to my face that the purpose of using happy holidays is to take Jesus out of the holiday season and make me welcome. While I am obviously not a fan of Jesus, I can understand if a religious Christian is offended. And no, Chanukah has a very different meaning than Xmas."

"Try looking up "holiday" in a dictionary. It means "holy day." You get offended by somebody telling you to have a happy holy day? If you want to get technical, Christmas is nothing but a rip-off of Pagan holiday. Therefore, "Christmas" really has nothing to do with Jesus anyway. By the way, I don't know ONE Christian who has been offended by being told happy holiday - except those with a political agenda."

"Lumping Christmas, Channuka, and Walmart's holiday sales together as one religion is as idiotic and offensive as if I quoted Stalin as a representative of all secularists."

Gee, is that why Wal-Mart caved into the idiots of the religious right? I'm offended that you think everybody celebrates a Christian or Jewish holiday. Hate to break it to you, but non-theists outnumber Jews and blacks COMBINED - but yet both groups get special treatment by the government and the public. Now do you see why secularists are so pissed off?