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.
well this means plain and simple you can have any other religion than Islam, and you can't be without a religion. Time for me to become Buddhist I think.
What baloney. Baloney, and more baloney. Not voting for this lawyer.
"one of martial indiscretions and divorces"
"Martial" indiscretions? Presidents have those (such as the invasion of Iraq) 😉
Let's not forget that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who also attended a radical Christian church for 20 years. See, you can have it both ways, just like having atheist Muslims.
God save me from those that want to save me...
Good job, Newt. You opened your big mouth and lost the election five meinutes after you started running...
How can you be atheist and Islamic? Whatever scares the Christians I guess?
i dont know why people pay attention to idiots like him
How in the world can it be atheist AND dominantly Islamic? You can't be atheist AND Islamic....
Wow, the USA is blessed with such wise and godly leaders! Save us from the crazy atheists and Muslims (who happen to get along somehow in your pretend future, but anyway). Save us Mr Gingrich!
How in the hell would a secular Atheist country also be a radical Islamic country? Those two go about as well together as oil and water do. If this kind of moron is the best the GOP can do, I think you'll see trees and dogs being elected over the GOP candidates. What does it say about your candidates in the last election if one of the most bigoted nations on EARTH elects a Black man as president? Maybe we don't want someone with their finger on the button if they believe Armageddon is necessary for their imaginary Jesus to come back to party? Get these fundamentalist idiots out of your party or prepare for a 1,000 years of democrat leadership. Hmm...teaching my kids that man walked with dinosaurs 6,000 years ago, or acknowledging all evidence suggesting the Earth is billions of years old and man has only inhabited it for a fraction of that?
Gingrich is the smartest guy to ever manipulate a congregation! Way to go, Gingy!
I believe netanyahu calls people like Hagee, "useful idiots"
So let me see if I get this straight. A politician who openly sinned by brazenly breaking the holy sacrament of marriage is worried about a nation of sinners?
That's the height of hypocrisy at its best. Obama is not my candidate but neither are you Mr. Gingrich. Even Jimmy Carter, for all his faults was at least a better practicing Christian than you. You left your chance in some soiled bed in DC or Georgia hotel years ago.
Gingrich is the enemy of normal Americans.
Better be careful those religious nutcase Muslim atheists are out to get you. Is there a single brain cell working in the GOP anymore?
What I fear is politicians who try to advance their political aspirations by peddling fear and hatred. This buffoon wants to be President so bad he can't sleep nights ... or tell the truth during the day.
Get these two some White Robes and a room at the same nut-house! They can study Hagees stupid "Rapture Charts" all day! We will blessed to be rid of these two heretics for a while! Hey! Maybe they will have room for a Mormon Heretic, Glenn Beck!
What Newt said, "an atheist country, dominated by radical Islamists", is an oxymoron. Wait, he IS a moron.
I too am trying to figure out what atheism and Islam have to do with each other. Is this guy retarded?
Atheism and Islam, two things evangelicals do not understand and fear. He's just feeding their fears, thereby motivating them to vote for him. He's a smart man, he knows exactly what he's doing. The Republicans' Machiavellian approach to politics should make us all realistically fear a rise in Right-wing extremism that is manipulated by these Republican politicians (who show by their actions that they are not religious, but instead use it as a manipulative tool). Right-wing extremism leads to a rejection of reason and science, which leads to book burning and violence, which leads to exactly what happened in the Germany in 1929.