March 28th, 2011
02:11 PM ET
Gingrich fears 'atheist country ... dominated by radical Islamists'
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:
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.”
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Another GOP presidential candidate explodes on the launch pad.
Awesome. Great analogy and the mental image is even better.
silly boy, wants to be prez.
I guess it doesn't even have to make sense anymore. Next he will say black is white and up is down and he would still probably get 45% of the vote if he is the republican nominee. The far right has gone off the rails in a crazy train.
Well perfect timing as usual, another Repubtard uses religion to invoke the stupidity of the Repubtard/Tea Bagger masses and gain some votes from the Bible Belt. Sadly the supreme idiocy of the typical Ameroman will end up destroying themselves and their country. America was past it's expiration date anyway. Good riddance to America, and welcome the Ameroman Empire and its eventual downfall.
If the United States is going to be overrun with hypocrite Christians like you... I fear that a lot more than Atheists and Muslims..
At least Christians like myself know where Atheists and Muslims stand.. Hypocrite Christians like you only stand on the side that makes you look good and makes your actions justified.. whether they are morally right or wrong..
All you are doing is marginalizing yourself and making yourself more un-electable nationally.. hope you get the GOP nod, so President Obama can mop the floor with you and send you and your ten wives back into that hole in Georgia you crawled out of..
Unacceptable, ignorant and non-factual. America was founded explicitly as a secular republic. You are welcome to be a Christian in America, but the government of this land has never been and never will serve religion or one god over another. Too many have fought and died for this freedom. Gingrich and his ilk are attempting to rewrite history to suit contemporary religious whims. He must fail.
How ironic! I fear an America dominated by Newt Gingrich. Atheist shmatheist, I'm more worried about politicians than people who choose not to believe in God.
Let the fear mongering begin! siggh. new day, same old sh....
Newt is just what we need to lead us – a Christian adulterer and unrepentant hypocrite. Praise God!
I am NOT coming back if you vote for this fool!
How can it be an athiest country...dominated by religion?
Hah, Gnewt says I think Im anouncing in a month (so send me money now, so I dont have to claim it towards my actual election funds.
The is the way that slimy guy supports himself.
And theres only one church Gnewt prays to, and it has a $ on its steeple.
I fear a stupid country, dominated by these a-wipes.
Gingrich is a poster-child for right-wing idiocy. His contradicts himself in the same sentence. "by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists " You can't have it both ways secular are heavily religious ... ridiculous
I live in San Antonio. Hagee is an arrogant bigot that lives the high life in a million dollar home. His mega church looks like a shopping mall and he's the king of that castle. I'm not surprised Newt is trying to court him. Gingrich want's all those conservative christian votes and thinks he can influence them with scare tactics. He is just another one in a long line of possible "do as I say....not as I do" contenders for the Republican nomination. What does his newly acquired Catholic faith have to do with undying patriotism? Last I heard, freedom of religion was one of the pillars our nation stands on. I can't even imagine what a circus this next election is going to be.
How can you be a secular atheist country, dominated by radical Islamists? I'm pretty sure Islamists are religious, especially the radical ones.
Religious conservatives. That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
They should read the Bible sometime. Like, *really* read it. Then report back.
All I can say is....HUH? No makie so sensie....
I thought Gaddafi was crazy?
Could somebody please advise Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens that they need to grow their beards out.
Radical Islamic atheists will take over America if you don't vote for meeeeee.