home
RSS
March 28th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Gingrich fears 'atheist country ... dominated by radical Islamists'

Newt Gingrich at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Hours after declaring Sunday that he expects to be running for president within a month, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he's worried the United States could be “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” in the foreseeable future, according to Politico.

Gingrich was addressing Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, led by the Rev. John Hagee, an influential leader among American evangelicals. Hagee's endorsement of then-presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 was plagued by controversy.

McCain ultimately rejected the endorsement over remarks Hagee had made about the Holocaust, in which he appeared to say that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel, in accordance with biblical prophecy.

"God says in Jeremiah 16: 'Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. ... Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.' That would be the Jews,” Hagee had said in an earlier sermon.

“Then God sent a hunter,” his sermon continued. “A hunter is someone who comes with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter."

McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement of his campaign after learning about the comments in May 2008. "Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them,” McCain said at the time.

Hagee then withdrew his endorsement of the Arizona senator, which he had offered three months earlier.

One irony of McCain rejecting Hagee’s endorsement over his Holocaust remarks is that the Texas evangelist leads the Christian Zionist movement. Hagee is founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, which features Elie Wiesel and other Holocaust survivors at its events.

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.

On Monday, Hagee released a statement praising Gingrich's appearance at Cornerstone. “It was such a great honor to welcome Mr. Gingrich to our church, and hear him describe the centrality of faith in our nation,” he said.

The statement also included praise for Hagee and his wife, Diana, from Gingrich.

“It was truly an honor to be with John and Diana at Cornerstone," Gingrich said. "Their dedication to serve is inspirational.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Texas

soundoff (2,228 Responses)
  1. RichardSRussell

    Support for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were martial indiscretions. Abandoning 2 wives — one in a hospital bed at the time — are what we oh so charitably call "marital indiscretions". In addition to ditching his inconvenient wives, Gingrich was also apparently willing to abandon his original church to become a Catholic. And as recently as last year he said he had no further interest in the presidency. Based on his track record, there appears to be absolutely no position or principle that he isn't willing to flip-flop on when the mood strikes him. And, compared to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, he's supposed to be the smart one!

    March 29, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  2. Peggy Munro

    Did he say he will run for President or run from President? Is he serious? Well!

    March 29, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  3. Kellie in Ft. Worth

    "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."

    I'm offended by this drivel on many levels – as an American, as a Patriot, as an Atheist, and as sentient being. But I'll only address it as the sentient being.

    Newt, 1) radical Islamists tend toward the non-secular; 2) radical Islamists tend toward being theists; 3) Atheists are generally against radical Islamists (and radical Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc, ad nauseum), just like you; and 4) a government that is secular is anything but Atheistic or theoretically overrun by Islamic radicals.

    I would go so far as to call Newt's fear mongering triumvirate "items that are mutually exclusive from one another".

    Sell your hatred and "white real America" to someone else, Newt. This town isn't buyin

    March 29, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  4. Razo

    Atheist and islamic, he's a moron.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  5. M.K.

    I am a life long Georgian [not very proud of it right now though] and have been keping up with Newtie Boy for a long time. I live in the district he once represented, and I can tell you flat out that this idiot is one scary politician. Shame on us if he gets elected to any political office. I would vote for a blind, deaf, and mute person before I would vote for this would be romeo and wife changer.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  6. sly

    Did newt mention WMD?

    March 29, 2011 at 12:39 am |
  7. Who next gop

    I fear an adultery United States Newt!

    March 29, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  8. KF

    Don't think I'd ever vote for a guy named Newt. Salamander, Froggy, Toad or Lizard – maybe. ^_^

    March 29, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  9. Amar Wason

    simply said.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-913sWxZ7g

    March 29, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  10. SayWhat?

    "by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists " Does that seem contradictory to anybody else?

    March 29, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  11. Sean Russell

    This guy needs to decide which one it is: an atheist country or one ruled by islamists. It can't be both. By definition, an atheist country wouldn't allow Islam either. Is this guy completely clueless? I'm an atheist and I don't want any religion ruling this country. And I'm certainly not going to give up drinking alcohol and eating pork...

    March 29, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  12. Amar Wason

    search "Amar Wason- More Faith Less Religion" in youtube. The song is not meant to offend anybody, please read the caption if there is any confusion. im 18 and been rapping for a few months tell me what you guys think. Subscribe if you like it, there will be more music coming. thanks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-913sWxZ7g

    March 29, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Always with the Founding Fathers' great Christianity...
    A) They were deists. They kept their religion to themsleves. In fact, American politicians did NOT publicly profess their faith until about 1900, and even Eisenhower was never baptised and didn't go to church.
    B) The founding fathers were slave owners, and didn't even remotely consider women as having equal rights either. If we want to return to the Founding Fathers' 'Christian' values, should we return to their discrimination against blacks, women, Catholics, or anyone who wasn't a white, male, protestant, Anglo-Saxon land owner?

    March 29, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  14. pithymcgee

    Lord knows us Godless heathen atheists want to replace our Christo-fascist tendencies with ones of the Islamo-fascist variety.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  15. Amar Wason

    search "Amar Wason- More Faith Less Religion" in youtube. The song is not meant to offend anybody, please read the caption if there is any confusion. im 18 and been rapping for a few months tell me what you guys think. Subscribe if you like it, there will be more music coming. thanks

    youtube.com/watch?v=N-913sWxZ7g

    March 29, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  16. rgr

    if anyone still believes in this nutjob anymore, then I guess I will agree with him, we have lost this country. Let keep religion out of politics, and this nutjob out of ANY office. More hate speech from the republicans, how did they win the last elections?!?!?!

    March 29, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  17. Jude

    hagee and gingrich, two guys who are really gross in so many levels those suits they were do not cover up the stink. both manage to pull the wool over the eyes of their little lambs, it's sad and disgusting all at the same time. the public is so gullible and these two guys know it.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  18. morpunkt

    LOL. These same people Newt's addressing also are afraid of a Mormon becoming president, let alone Muslims in our country.
    The presidency is purely for Protestants only. Catholic JFK was a fluke in our country's history. Newt became a Catholic, so I guess Mr. Hagee was just holding his breath, like the rest of his congregation.
    The Evangelicals will always hold the GOP back, because they keep trying to promote one of "their own", in the likes of your Palins, Huckabees, Barbers, etc.
    Barak will be another shoe-in winner again in 2012. Thank you Evangelicals.
    Praise the Lord.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • IbelieveInTruth1

      You must be talking about Barrack the most Liberal Senator in the entire Senate. You must be talking about the man who attended and believed in the words of praise by "God Damn America," Jerimiah Wright who spews Racism, Socialism, and Marxist ideology that Barrack loved so much, he was married in that Church of Evil. The loses that the DNC took at mid-term elections was a referendum to get rid of him. He's gone...Toast! He will absolutly will not get reelected. It won't be Ginrich either, but maybe Obama will invite Muslum Terrorists to help build a Gigantic Mosque next to Ebineezer Baptist Church.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  19. Windrays

    A secular country... run by Islamists?

    Okay then! Sounds COMPLETELY logical and free of contrary statements to me! Ugh.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  20. Desparye

    So wait.. he says the US is going to be a secular country potentially run by Islamic radicals. Doesn't he realize that's a contradiction?

    March 29, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Daltxn

      I was thinking the same thing and re-read that statement several times to ensure I understood it as written.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • AES

      Exactly! He has no idea what the word atheist means

      March 29, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • D

      He probably doesn't understand the contradiction because all things non-Christian are probably all the same to him. What a maroon!

      March 29, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      He also fears the blizzards that will come with global warming, which doesn't exist, but look for it next summer.

      But what can you expect from someone who can say, with a straight face, that tax cuts lead to a balanced budget?

      Next up: His plan to have your favorite team (whoever you are) win all its games next year.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • IbelieveInTruth1

      I believe that the Blue Angels did a low level Fly By over your heads. What Ginrich is aluding to is that the more liberal and Socialist America becomes, doing away with "In God We Trust," "One Nation Under God," or allowing the Socialist Liberal Elites of America allow us to become such a Godless Society, while cow-towing to the Socialist Crap that we should build a great big Mosque next to Ground Zero where 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamic Terrorists. Also, look at the Whining Muslums complaining about the FBI monitoring and investigating Mosques in America. I'm sorry, but that's plain racist UnAmerican actions towards a City that took the brunt of the 9/1/1 attack, including my Cousin who fortunately was 20 minuites late that day he was going to work at the WTC. I'm sick and tired of all of you Politically correct people, and the Socialists, Communists, and Terrorists who are allowed to teach in our Colleges and Universities.Bottom line is if we become so secularized and anti-Christian or anti-Morman, while our Muslum-American friends keep building more Mosques, that's what Ginrich is talking about. He is a History Scholor with great insight on the history of Islam, and understands how intolorant thier religion is to Western Society. I believe secularism is on the rise, and so is Islam in the US. However, I'm not so sure if you can draw a corilation between the two. Anybody who donsn't understand the facts and stats concerning these two variables.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Desparye

      @IbelieveInTruth1

      So basically, you're assuming that since I pointed out one flaw in his logic, I'm suddenly a "politically correct" person grouped among liberals, which is absolutely hilarious since you have no idea who I am or what my social status and standing is. My question for you- how do you feel about the ruling of the Westboro Baptist Church case?

      March 29, 2011 at 1:23 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.