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October 27th, 2010
06:27 PM ET

Gingrich at Liberty University: Obama's a secular socialist

From CNN's Dan Gilgoff:

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's mulling a run for the White House, appeared Wednesday at the school founded by Jerry Falwell to address students and to meet with key conservative Christian activists from across the country.

In a speech to students at Liberty University on Wednesday morning, Gingrich said that Americans needed to fight back against secular socialists, including President Barack Obama, at home and against Islamic radicals around the world.

"Imagine a small secular political elite imposing its radical values on a massive majority of worshippers," he said in a passage describing Poland under communism, according to remarks distributed by his spokesman. "You can see how strange Poland was - or maybe you can see how relevant this story is to America today."

"President Obama's secular socialist philosophy is profoundly in conflict with the heart of the American system and is a repudiation of the core lessons of American history," Gingrich told students at the Lynchburg, Virginia, school, according to a copy of his speech provided by spokesman Rick Tyler.

"With God's help," Gingrich continued, "and with our willingness to humble ourselves, to always seek his guidance, and always do his bidding, we will overcome both our radical secular opponents and our radical Islamist enemies."

Gingrich has said he will decide whether to run for president by early next year. He is touring the country in support of Republican candidates.

After his speech, Gingrich was scheduled to meet with some of the most influential Christian conservatives in the country at Liberty, including Tom Minnery, executive vice president of Focus on the Family, Craig Parshall, executive vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters and Jim Garlow, who led pastors in support of California's gay marriage ban in 2008.

Gingrich approached the school with the idea for his visit, according to Brett O'Donnell, a media representative for Liberty.

Gingrich appeared at Liberty in 2007, shortly after Falwell died. The school's current chancellor is Falwell's son, Jerry Falwell Jr.

In recent years, Gingrich has stepped up outreach to religious conservatives.

Last year, he founded a group called Renewing American Leadership, which aims to mobilize conservative evangelicals and Catholics and to strengthen ties between economic and religious conservatives.

In 2007, Gingrich told Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson that he was cheating on his wife at around the same time the House was impeaching President Bill Clinton over his White House affair with Monica Lewinsky, in what was seen as an overture to conservative evangelicals.

On Wednesday, he again appealed to conservative Christians to get more politically involved.

"If every dedicated Christian voted," he told Liberty students, "the elections in most of America would be landslides for our values."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Education • Evangelical • Faith Now • Newt Gingrich • Politics

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. HeappyphemI

    Temple staff periodically undertook meticulous inventories of the material and property of shrines for which they were responsible.

    Articul茅es autour d'un atelier de design culinaire et d'un colloque international sur le th猫me "Cuisine et design: la question du geste, du corps et de la repr茅sentation", ces rencontres sont ponctu茅es par une d茅gustation publique des r茅alisations culinaires des 茅tudiants, les performances participatives et gourmandes de Marc Br茅tillot (designer), Philippe Ch芒telain (plasticien son) et Eric Trochon (cuisinier) lors de Rond de soupe au Man猫ge de Reims, Sc猫ne nationale les 14 et 15 octobre et une exposition consacr茅e aux Paysages Alimentaires pr茅sent茅e 脿 l'occasion du Salon International de l'Alimentation (Food Design, SIAL 2010).

    Giannis Maniatis se retrouve aujourd'hui bien malgr茅 lui au centre d'un dilemne ubuesque.

    "Zlatan Style", 茅videmment..

    Journal of Gambling Studies, 22, 427-442.

    The observations are astonishing detailed.

    Devenir Millionnaire.

    June 20, 2013 at 4:03 am |
  2. World Without Borders

    I strongly believe in the old America–the shining city on a hill that the whole world looked up to and envied in the glory days before McCarthyism and the communist and socialism paranoia. I believe in the America that I never had the chance to witness for myself, except in history books. I wish I could have lived in a country where religion was indeed pitilessly rejected from all law and politics, and I wish I could have seen the days in which the idea of "God" was not used to justify a law or the actions of any leader or official, federal government or otherwise. These days, all I see are these politicians trying to drag the whole country into a theocracy which this nation's founders feared us becoming the most, politicians trying to merge myths and legends into matters that should be based on only the most solid and indisputable facts. This country is not growing, it is dying. It is rotting in this cesspool of religious doctrine, choking us and clouding our eyes to what all humans' rights are in this world. I want the old America.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  3. D. Lowell

    Not to worry about Newt, he has a penchant to self destruct.

    October 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  4. Andrew VA

    Loose cannon blows more bs into a cannon factory. No suprise to anyone. film at eleven.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  5. colson

    These posts are filled with what I would expect from those who follow CNN – a bunch of ad hominem attacks oozing ignorance of people of faith. Newt has several difficulties if he truly wants to be president. Only time will tell, but he chose an ideal location to make his point. It is not the first time Newt Gingrich has spoken at Liberty University. He was the commencement speaker at least once.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  6. Coherent1

    What a way to slam your brother in Christ. How can you then, Newt, love God if you hate your brother? Is this a Christian example of loving thy neighbor? Pharisees watched our Lord's every move and criticized his lessons of love , faith, and tolerance. How much more do we expect your kind to criticize the average man, who happens to be president? Oh holy Newt? Or should I say "ungodly lizard"?

    October 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Shari from Madison

    I do not want to judge anyone because I'm not perfect and I don't like being judged. However, I fear Gingrich's and others sefl righteousness and judgementalism. They would further divide the country. They won't be happy until everone and I mean everyone thinks and acts exactly like them. They are selfish to the Nth degree! They care for no one different from them. Anyone who disagrees with them is not fit to live. I pray they don't get there way!

    October 28, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  8. Ryan

    you heard it here first, folks.....moderate Christianity is too secular for republicans. You have to be a inbred rabid evangelical to even be considered christians to these people.

    Obama tries a little bit more to not offend other religions, but in no way is his policy-making "secular"

    October 28, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  9. Ryan

    Im glad that Newt has seen the error of his ways and had become a more balanced person. What most of you here dont understand (and someday I pray you do) is that Christians are not perfect, far from it. We just have a strong foundation in something that guides us back to what we know is right and are forgiven for all that we have done. This is a daily, yearly, sometimes hourly assessment we make of ourselves with the knowledge that God will make everything right. Its funny how all you socialist talk about how much "fear" we have when you and your party make every kind of safely net known to man to "save" Americans. Talk about fear! For 27 years of my life I was not a Christian, in fact I was more like most of you here, an "anti-Christian". I look back at those years and realize how afraid I really was. I pray that all of you find your way to the Lord, by any means nessesary.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Ryan

      whatever makes you happy....however, stop acting that finding gaud is the answer for everyone. Is it not....and you wonder why evangelicals are found to be bloody annoying

      October 28, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • civilioutside

      Oh, believe me, if there's one thing we know for absolute certain it's that Christians aren't perfect. But neither is anyone.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  10. Joe

    'ey newt, checkout Job 13:16 (KJV):
    'He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.'

    October 28, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  11. SuperD

    These posts are amazingly stupid. Nobody has even addressed that Obama is a secular socialist. You are all worked up over Christians, but don't seem to care about the cancer that socialism brings. How backward can you be?

    Go on Liberals, all your boogeymen! The "Rich" The Banks, the Oil industry, Christians, jeeze you people are sick

    October 28, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • Shari from Madison

      Super D, okay I'll address the 'Socialism' tag put on President Obama. I don't think of it as socialism, I think of it as more Christian than the most rabid evengelicals, because it shows care for those less fortunate. It says enough hatred and fear of those different from you. I know I've bashed the Rich, but I can't bash all of them because some do use their money for good causes, but a lot of them use it to buy bigger homes, faster cars and trips around the world. So Super D, I'd like to hear who you do approve of and who is below you. Your post says to me that you don't give a flying leap about anyone but yourself and those exactly like you.

      October 28, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      SuperD
      Did you know that there is a political movement in Great Britain, tied to the Tories, called Christian Socialists?
      Shari is right – a civil society provides aid to the underpriviliged. It's the "christian" thing to do.
      As a Canadian, I am extremely thankful for for evil, communist universal health care coverage, amongst other socialist programmes.
      In the case of the U.S., are there not large sectors of your economy that are government controlled? The Pentagon comes to mind, not to mention the entire military-industrial complex which has accounted for between 4 and 15% of the US GDP since the 1950's.
      Joe "Better Dead than Red" McCarthy himself was OK with such policies.
      American politics is far too steeped in religion – specifically the protestant puritanism that infects the national subconscious.
      When Kennedy was elected, you yanks were worried that the country was going to fall apart because he was Catholic! Then again, maybe be would've been safer with the Swiss Guard instead of the Secret Service...
      Speaking of Sweden – they're a socialist country you know. Do you believe their society to be cancer-ridden?

      October 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  12. Joe

    And being called a 'secular socialist' is supposed to be a smear how again?

    October 28, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  13. david

    People who think and express stupid ideas like Gingrich represents' what is wrong in America and the world.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  14. Jim in TX

    Newt's another right-wing paranoid fear monger. As long as the GOP lets wingnuts like this take the lead and continues to become more and more exclusionary and divisive, us Democrats will laugh all the way to the polls.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  15. faustina

    Repent, forgive, repent, forgive, blah, blah blah. Christian's use the repent and forgive motto at an alarming rate. The newt must really use this to his advantage. Secular socialist = for the people. Tina in Tempe.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  16. Grundoon

    @mayatesnomas

    Aren't you precious. It is apparent that you wouldn't know an Ad Hominem Tu Quoque if it ran you over. We'll see you and your GOP "brand problem" on 11/3, darlin'!

    October 28, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  17. frasier6670

    I'm not overly religous, but the man has a point. All these posts on here are so anti-GOD, anti-religion, it really is very frightening. What's wrong with believing and praying to GOD? Why do so many people worship each other rather than believe in a higher power? This has nothing to do with Christianity. You people are so lost, it really is pathetic and it's only going to get worse until GOD gets rid of you all.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you could kindly inform us lost heathens when the Rapture is coming, it would be much appreciated. We'd like to mark it down on the calendar.
      When the day comes and the true christians (you know, those who are humble and pass no judgement) are teleported off the planet I'm sure we'll miss both of them.

      October 28, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Peace2All

      @frasier6670

      Well, I for one, and I think my friend @Doc Vestibule would concur......I am sure glad to know that you are 'NOT' OVERTLY RELIGIOUS.!!!

      Because if you were, you know... you would make comments about God getting rid of us heathens, etc.. once and for all.

      Glad to know that you are aware enough to know that being 'too overtly religious' usually leads those people to want God to kill the rest of the non-believers, or.. people of other faiths.

      Wow, I am sure glad we cleared that one up @frasier6670 ..!!!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • Gary

      @frasier6670

      I am in no way lost. I know that I do not want "not that religous" people like you trying to force me to practice your religion. That is the fact that you fundamentalists do not understand. We athiests/agnostics/secularists have no problem with you practicing your religion (even though plenty of us do not understand the need for imaginary friends), our problem is when you try to force us to practice it with you.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  18. John

    This man is a IDIOT. A Christian don't cheat on his wife. If this is the best the REPUBLICAN have is Newt Gingrich and SARAN PALIN they are in trouble in 2012. These two are the biggest lair I ever heard and they try to blow to much smoke up your back side.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  19. Chuck

    A secular socialist versus a christian conservative. Sorry Mr. Gingrich, but the damage that the "christian" community that you are preaching to outweighs the good they do by miles. Conservative christians in this country is the new foundation for American Bullies. No other group in this country tries to bully people, demonize people and dehumanize people as much as the right wing christian conservative movement. It is the ANTICHRIST.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:13 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.