Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Eye Of "The Newt"

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

Maybe this guy will just go away? Probably not. We in the real conservative/Libertarian movement couldn't be so lucky. The Newt will likely stick around awhile to stir up the ultra conservative religious right into a frenzy. I'm thinking this guy never really understood the founding fathers position with respect to religion mixing with politics.

Sure, I have done my share of offering rational warnings with respect to the dangers "Extreme Islam" presents our country. I stand by them and will continue to do my best to keep the issue open for rational discussion. Having said this I also clearly see the dangers in any irrational or extremist positions in any religion. And that includes Christianity. So yes, I am beginning to see danger points within the ultra conservative religious based Christian political movement. Something our founding fathers fully understood, and in fact took great efforts to avoid. Religion is personal. And it should be kept that way.

The Newt gives reason for pause.

From CNN:

Here’s what Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church on Sunday evening, according to Politico:
"I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

The former House Speaker held up his own faith (he converted to Catholicism two years ago) as proof of his undying patriotism. He lashed out at the college professors and mainstream media he says are seeking to wipe out the Founding Fathers' Christian values. And he targeted the judges who he charges are effectively re-writing the Constitution.

But Gingrich was mum on his own controversial past, one of martial indiscretions and divorces that have made courting religious conservatives a tall task as he nears a likely presidential run.

Gingrich’s church appearance comes amid a broader campaign to court religious conservatives.


Via: Memeorandum


  1. Well, afterall, a Newt is a reptile..
    an ambitious one and a loquacious one, but still....

  2. "I'm thinking this guy never really understood the founding fathers position with respect to religion mixing with politics."

    and what was the founding father's position with respect to religion and politics, Les?

  3. Les,

    I am curious as to how you are going to answer The Griper. It is a valid question, to be sure.

    With respect, Donald in Bethel, CT

  4. Valid question? Perhaps so. Unfortunately I wish I had more time to debate the issue. Since I don't in a nutshell:

    The founders were essentially deists. They believed in a creator and were in many cases quite devout.

    I believe it also clear that given the influence the Church of England had on the politics of the time {and thusly the lives of the Crowns subjects and the resulting state sanctioned persecution} the founders intentionally, as you know, designed a constitution to insure there would be no state sanctioned religions nor any restriction placed on the practice of any religion.

    Perhaps this is "progressive interpretation" to you, and if it is so be it, but religion is a highly personal matter. It is properly left to the churches, synagogues, mosques, somebodies living room gathering, den, whatever.

    My point really, and I did not express it with the clarity I might have is that a politicians personal religious beliefs should not affect their political judgment and churches should have no political clout.

    It seems that it is always the extremes that are the most vocal in any religion. It is these extremes I see developing in this country that I referring to.

    What I know about the founders, born of the Enlightenment, leads my thought process to conclude that were they alive today they may be raising their eyebrows.

    Do I know absolutely positively each and everyones exact position. No. Neither does anyone else.

    There is interpretation involved in many things. I guess I stand by my interpretation. Opinion is often a matter of considered interpretation of data. This was an opinion piece.

    Hope I answered your question Griper and yours as well Don.

  5. BB - That is great! ROFLMAO.

    He's a frigging hypocrite as well.

  6. i'm not worried about what each person thought, Les. i'm seeking clarity in regards to the intent of the Constitiution.

    and it seems to me that inorder to come to a conclusion as you did would require a person to take the attitude that the Constitution is a "living document" rather than by original intent. nor does history back up your interpretation, Les.

  7. Can you guide me to where the constitution has any verbiage with respect to religion playing a part in, or consideration being given to religion. Specifically as part of the governing (or law making) process.

    I acknowledge that, and I paraphrase, Congress shall make no law with respect to religion or the free exercise thereof... the purpose of which was to prevent religious persecution.

  8. As to the the "living document" versus "original intent" ongoing discussion I would argue the Constitution is a contract and therefor must be read with an eye to original intent. A laws constitutionality should be determined on hat basis.

    The "living" part of the document is,in my opinion the ability it gives the nation to amend it when deemed appropriate. A process intentionally made quite difficult and for good reason.

    Having said this. Many of the founders were of scientific mind as well as philosophical. Given this they must have entertained the thought neither the universe nor people remain static forever.

    Science has pretty much proven the universe is changing, dynamic, and even chaotic. Life in it is likely a bit the same. Adaptability at times can be quite important.

    But what do I know. I'm just a traveler trying to do the best I can with the resources available to me.

  9. As regards "Science has pretty much proven the universe is changing, dynamic, and even chaotic. Life in it is likely a bit the same. Adaptability at times can be quite important.", you are in most excellent company:

    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." -Thomas Jefferson

  10. "Can you guide me to where the constitution has any verbiage with respect to religion playing a part in, or consideration being given to religion. Specifically as part of the governing (or law making) process."

    Les, the founding fathers did not set up a nation. they set up a federation of independent and sovereign States. and the federal constitution applied explicitly to the federal government not to the States. it established what powers and authority the federal government was to possess. so, if you see the constitution as a contract then as you read that contract you'll read that the federal government only posssessed powers and authority in the area of foreign affairs. and those powers and authority were limited by the fact it could only conduct foreign affairs with the advice and consent of the Senate, the house representing the States not the people.

    domestic affairs were implicitly declared as falling under the powers and authority of the individual States. and religion is recognized as a domestic affairs issue thus no verbiage would be in the federal constitution in regards to its role in government affairs.

    but if you 'll notice from your reading there is a section in the original connstitution that mention religion and that section is article 6 section 3. if you use reason to ascertain its purpose and its intent you'll see that the founding fathers did see that religious beliefs had a role in government decisions. it is a section that prevents the federal government from banning persons of certain religious beliefs from participating the the affairs of government. and the only reason for this would be that the person might cast a vote based upon his personal religious convictions.

    a good example of this would be a Quaker who by religious conviction was a pacifist thus would vote no each and every time a vote for war came up. everyone would know that he did so out of religious conviction.

    so, in my opinion, the founding fathers understood that religious beliefs had a part in the governmental process.

    i'll add more to my argument later. but just think on this little tidbit.

  11. The last resort of this failed man has been to run around the nation touting his faith...

    I totally agree that it won't be soon enough for the true conservative/libertarian movement to see this guy go bye bye!


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