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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 • Newt Gingrich • Politics

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. tony

    I think Socialism is the Freedom of Citizens to be treated as almost equal to a US Corporation. There is no freedom when everyone but hereditary millionaires are economic slaves to Corporate wishes.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
  2. Don Wuerl

    Here we go with the psycho talk from a former House Speaker! I am sure that since he is on Fox News payroll that he is simply spewing jargon that Murdoch wants spewed. My question for Murdoch and Friends is this: WHERE IS YOUR PROOF?!

    October 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  3. Marla

    I attended public schools over thirty years ago, and they were definitely secular. As I remember, I first heard secular humanism mentioned in a class discussing world philosophies in junior high school. At that time, teachers had not problems presenting many ideas to students. Science was taught matter-of-factly, with no concern about creationism. I don't think that such an idea even existed back then. Religious beliefs were taught only in Sunday school, where they belonged.
    I would like to see a return to those "good old days". The religious right has caused all of this concern in the last few years. It needs to be stopped.

    October 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Marla

      Yes, I remember those days as too. Well said...

      October 28, 2010 at 1:51 am |
    • neil

      @Marla

      This country has been in decline ever since the liberals took religion OUT of schools and restricted it to church. Everyone who thinks this country is better off with religion out of schools and the left wing calling the shots is going to have a more serious heat issue to worry about than their 'global warming.'

      October 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  4. ATL Guy

    I think a nice follow up question from a student should've been "Thanks for telling us how to handle secular socialists. Now can you take some time to tell us how do we deal with rabid racists like you and your Tea Party friends?"

    October 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @ATL Guy

      LOL.. Nice..!!!

      October 28, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  5. Bob in Baton Rouge

    America has really devolved. People actually listen to this man and others like him. They KNOW he is a hypocrite and do not care. Same for Vitter. But the right wing only cares what OTHERS are doing. Point fingers so people don't look at them too hard. The right wing counts on the stupidity of the american public. And the public does not disappoint.

    October 27, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  6. tony

    Secular Socialism. Isn't that what the Jews crucified Jesus for?

    October 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • usualone

      The Jews did not crucify Jesus; the Romans did that.

      October 27, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    Code words........Socialist, Secular, Radical, Sharia Law. Keep em scared Newt.....that is how you control them.

    Knowledge is power people. Seek your own wisdom, don't rely on newsradio or cable TV. They are for the feeble minded.

    October 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    I just watched Keith Olbermann. He did a commentary on the Teabag candidates. It was very good.

    I cannot understand how anyone could vote for these complete idiots. *sigh*

    October 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Why was it good? can you get us a link to said show.

      October 28, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Newt certainly couldn's be asking conservative "Christians" to get down in the dirt with him because first they are Christian and second they are converservatives. Try again Newt, you get a big "F" for failure.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  10. Iqbal khan

    This man is not to be Trusted, When he was the speaker of the house and has power he could'nt solve anything! he and his buddies want another chance to do What? You had your chance sir.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      OMG!
      He speaks! 😯

      October 27, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Iqbal khan

      See @Sum Dude's post above... 'ditto'.... 🙂

      October 28, 2010 at 1:48 am |
  11. Jim

    Of course he's calling Obama a "socialist". For a teacher (I can't bring myself to call him a professor) of History, he knows very little about true socialism and how to recognize it. This bloated excuse of a man doesn't deserve to have the ear of the Christians, but they tend to forget about how he and other so-called "Christian" conservatives are such hypocrites. Scratch one and you will their true color... green, the color of money. And these are the people who are going to get us out of this economy?

    October 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Jim

      Well said.

      October 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • pat

      I think he is very well aware of what he is doing. He's playing the old fear card, trying to convince people that President Obama doesn't care about this country and is trying to destroy it. It's time for this one to retire and stop dreaming of becoming president. He didn't make it in Congress and he won't make it to the presidency. Gingrich is out of step with America.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Well, they are the ones the got the USA, and to some extent the rest of the world, into this mess, so maybe they can. NOT!!

      October 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • civilioutside

      I'm certain he knows the definition of Socialism. But he also knows the word was included in the official name of the old Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and most people know absolutely nothing about it other than it's a word associated with those "evil Communist dictators." It's a word he can use to make people scared of his opponents, and that's the only value the word has to him.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  12. Newt is Clueless !

    Newt the Grinch is still talking ! Would somebody please inform him that his time has long past ! I'm still looking for the socialist he's talking about ! Obama Is more of a moderate if anything ! I wish old buzzard Newt would do us all a favor and retire !

    October 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  13. Carol

    What aboutr him and his life allows him to prech about Christainity. Served divocre papers on his first wife while in teh hospital treating her cancer? His multiple marriages and divocres? This seven year adultery? His ethic violations? Et al.
    Maybe he should humble himself before God befor telling everyone else they need to.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Carol

      I was under the impression that 'fundies' just have to accept Jesus as your savior, and that he died for your sins, because.. ya' know, we are all sinners, or something like that. Once you have accepted Jesus, you are a 'christian' and.... will go to heaven, regardless of your sins, as we humans are imperfect.

      CALLING ALL FUNDIES....... Open for comments here, if I didn't get your 'path to salvation' right.

      Please feel free to set the record straight...!!!

      October 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Peace, I think you did a good job of getting it right. The rub always comes in that we do not know peoples true heart. And accepting that Jesus came in the flesh die for our sins and was resurrected will lead to a heart change. The bible clearly warns that those who call on the Lord, the Lord may have never had an acceptance of this fact. Matthew 7. That the church is full of wolves looking to devour this truth. Acts 20 I believe.

      We can not work our way into heaven for if we could there would be no need for a savior and we would just gain what we rightfully worked for.

      October 28, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Mike, not me

      Hi Mike, not me.....

      YOU SAID-–

      "Peace, I think you did a good job of getting it right. The rub always comes in that we do not know peoples true heart. And accepting that Jesus came in the flesh die for our sins and was resurrected will lead to a heart change."

      ME-–So, given that you said, the rub always comes in that we don not know peoples 'true heart.' And accepting that Jesus came in the flesh to die for our sins and was resurrected will ....'lead to a heart change.'

      My question to that is..... How 'do' you know then, that someone has a heart change...? Especially, accepting the 'original sin' doctrine, and as you stated below, we can't 'work' our way into heaven... why would we need a saviour...? Seems to me that it would be awfully hard to tell who is 'truly saved' and who isn't given that they will always be sinners and most likely a lot of them will continue to sin.

      I am curious... How do you christians see that, or... work that dilemma out in your faith/world-view....?

      YOU SAID-–

      "We can not work our way into heaven for if we could there would be no need for a savior and we would just gain what we rightfully worked for."

      ME-– Again, I guess my question posed to you above is applicable here as well.

      Thanks again @Mike, not me for engaging in a discussion with me.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  14. steven harnack

    Sounds like treason to me, telling them that they have to overthrow the duly elected President of the U.S.A.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  15. usualone

    Gingrich uses flash words like "radical" "socialist", etc. to scare young people. Of course he is going to use the word "Christian" because he is addressing a school founded by Jerry Faldwell and is attended by Christian activists. This is offensive to others who are fine American citizens who are not fundamentalist Christians, and may not be Christians at all. These people fight for our freedoms in wars and stick up for the rights of all Americans. The President is trying to help all Americans with the Health Care program. The TEMPORARY reduced taxes were to expire in Jan. 2011, no matter who would be President at that time. Gingrich is putting his influence on impressionable young minds who attend this church and has always been only out for Gingrich. His Christian values were not evident in how he treated his wife whom he divorced when she had cancer. Those are a few examples of the merits of this man.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • pat

      And he asked for the divorce before she left the hospital.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Pat

      Come on, don't be so mean to a christian. He just has a lousy sense of timing – probably can't dance either. Other than that, I'm sure he's a nice guy. NOT!!

      October 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • unforgotten

      Words are just that, words. They are meaningless when they came out from the mouth of an hypocrite, pathological liar and of such kind. But some people still bother to listen to him...
      What does that make of them?

      October 28, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  16. Tam

    Anything out of his mouth is foul.

    October 27, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  17. A Wife

    He lost all credibility when I found out he was cheating on his wife duirng impeachment proceedings against then President Clinton. Can you say hippocrite!

    October 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • Ain't life strange?

      No! Its ok for a conservative republican to cheat as long as the say I'm sorry... I've sinned... and ask for God's forgiveness. Everyone else is basicaly screwed.

      October 28, 2010 at 6:18 am |
    • gobrowns08

      Newt Gingrich was forgiven for his sin of adultery because he called upon Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, and Jesus speaks to God the Father in defense of all those who have trusted Him in faith, regardless of the magnitude of their sin (1 John 2:1). Anybody can put their faith in Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness of their sin, as well as eternal salvation.

      November 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  18. independent

    A hypocritical, serial philanderer.

    October 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  19. Sum Dude

    "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."

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    What a joke! To tell them how much of a hypocrite he was and is - and how that makes him "one of them"! hahahahaha!
    What values does he mean? Obviously unethical ones – no surprise there. LOL

    October 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  20. HotAirAce

    I was beginning to get bored, reading the same old "god is great" crap in here, but this article will probably cause me to continue to read and point out the silliness of religion 'cause the threat of the USA becoming a theocracy just took one giant step forward. It's important to know what the crazies are thinking!!

    October 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You are so right. I have feared this, for over a year. If the Christian Right puppets, the Republicans, win big in November, it will be the beginning of a theocracy. Jesus will the the head of state. Only the Christian Right will be able to hear Him. They will tell us his will.

      I really don't want the Christian Right to run this country.

      October 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @HotAirAce

      Totally agree with you and DJ.. This whole radical fundamentalism by the christian right is extremely disturbing to say the least.

      I am hoping that our pal.... @JohnQuest doesn't come in with his "End of Days" republican party, which reads like a who's who for the zealot fundamentalists gallery.

      Scary...!

      October 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • bluemeat

      The hemorrhoid called newt needs a headoutofrectum operation.

      October 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @bluemeat

      You said...."The hemorrhoid called newt needs a headoutofrectum operation."

      LOL..!!!! 🙂

      October 28, 2010 at 3:34 am |
    • civilioutside

      It will be a sadly ironic day when people start emigrating from the US to escape religious persecution.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @civilioutside

      YOU SAID--

      "It will be a sadly ironic day when people start emigrating from the US to escape religious persecution."

      ME- Now THAT is one scary and sad thought...

      October 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bob

      What a bunch of overeducated idiots!
      Athiest liberals have to be the blindest, most narrow-minded people I've ever known.

      October 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
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About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.