posted on December 01, 2009 09:40
Not every politician can straddle a fence standing on one leg, but Newt Gingrich can do it and make it look easy.
For over a decade Newt’s enthusiasts and supporters have been saying his ‘Contract with America’ was why the Republicans swept the 1994 election – but, in fact, right here in North Carolina just before the election a candidate took a poll and asked voters how they felt about Newt’s ‘Contract with America’ and voters said, Huh? Come again – what’s that? They’d never heard of it.
But, nonetheless, after the election Newt and his admirers – no doubt believing it – went right on telling how the ‘Contract’ won the election and, in an example of how history is written, fiction became legend and legend became myth.
Last week, Newt stepped onto center stage in American politics again – this time to talk about religion and politics.
He started his Thanksgiving message by describing a painting in the Capital of the Pilgrims praying on the deck of the Mayflower, then added how on Thanksgiving Day Americans should offer prayers of thanks to the God of Washington and Lincoln but, then, right in the middle of his homily he said “That doesn’t mean we’re all Christians. It means we’re Americans; lucky citizens of a nation uniquely rooted in faith in our Creator.”
It sounded odd – right in the middle of all that piety politics reared its ugly head and Newt slipped into covering his flanks with Buddhists and Muslims and so on.
Now I reckon most folks would say that was open-minded and big-hearted but it sure sounded like Newt – not meaning to – had demoted the God of Washington and Lincoln with a politically correct bromide.
And that’s politics in American today.
We’ve become a nation of religious fence-straddlers whose primary goal is not to offend anyone from atheists to Hindus when talking about our Christian heritage.
Compare that to General Washington – when he was praying during the winter of 1777 here’s what the Father of Our Country said to his soldiers at Valley Forge: “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the distinguished character of Christian.”
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