Friday, 23 July 2010

Will God Endorse Newt Gingrich?

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Perhaps you missed this one. God apparently has been moved ahead of the Iowa caucuses in the process of choosing the next American president. Newt Gingrich has said about the likelihood of a Newt Now! campaign: "That will be up to God and the American people." When a politician starts talking up leaving a decision about his own political future "up to God," you can bet he thinks he has a gun at God's head.

But some people are no doubt taking Newt seriously and not just among his supporters. Roger Fallihee writing on, says that if God wants Gingrich to be president, "I want a new God."

Well, now, that's an interesting thought. He has been in office a rather long time, longer even than Robert Byrd. But we can't put term limits on God. And He is not likely to endorse Newt for President, anyway.

But if God can be challenged for the office, Gingrich might want to run for that office, too, if he doesn't consider it too big a demotion from the kind of presidency he would create. Forget "strict construction" of the Constitution, folks. Newt isn't even a candidate for President yet and he hasn't been in Congress for a dozen years. Yet he is already rewriting the First Amendment strictures on religion. Newt thinks we should permit as much religious freedoms as the Saudis allow and no more.

That's it in a nutshell. Gingrich has said that the city of New York should not allow a mosque to be built in the vicinity of Ground Zero until the Saudis allow churches and synagogues to be built in their country. Pretty neat, huh? Tit for Tat. Except we're not talking about tariffs or import quotas. We are talking about one of those unalienable rights proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in out Bill of Rights. And Mr. Gingrich appears to be saying that to the extent the Saudis don't permit religious freedom, neither should we. That is setting the bar of toleration awfully low.

It is so ironic: After 9-11, the Republican hawks said the Islamic extremists hate us for our liberties. They're jealous of them. Therefore, they wish to destroy our cherished liberties. But we won't let them. There are still some things we like to do for ourselves in this great land of ours.

To deny people the opportunity to build a mosque at the scene of the 9-11 attack is to suggest that all of Islam is to blame for that horrible event. It appears to be a good way to ensure that we will have religious warfare in our country and the world for untold generations to come. Is that what Gingrich wants? Is that what he thinks God wants? Or is it what he thinks is required to get himself elected President?

Or, as former GOP Presidential candidate Bob Dole would say, "Whatever." Some of us can get worked up about what potential candidates are saying now, but much of the country is not paying attention. The other day I asked a couple of waitresses in a local café if they knew who had just been designated a "Mamma Grizlly."

"What's a Mama Grizzly?" one of them asked.

"She's just been endorsed by Sarah Palin," I said, trying to give a clue to the clueless.

"You know. I was going to say Sarah Palin," the other waitress said.

"Well, the one she endorsed is Kelly Ayotte, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire," I informed them.

"Oh, well we don't follow politics," came the reply.

"Okay," I said, "Try this: Who just went to jail to begin a 90-day sentence?"

"Lindsey Lohan," they said in unison.

Maybe Kelly Ayotte would have done better with an endorsement by Miss Lohan — from her jail cell. But I wonder if God talks to Miss Lohan as clearly as he does to Newt Gingrich. Or if either of them is listening.

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