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.
Hello – is there anybody inside of that delusional mind – Islamists are not atheists. They want to assimilate the entire planet into their religious cult just like the Christians do. Keep your religious beliefs out of my government.
Wow...I'm impressed that Gingrich sees this...the end goal of atheism is NOT secular humanism. People like Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and others think so...in the REAL world, the end goal of atheism (whether intended or not) is Islam. Call me names...you know, the obligatory racist, kook, knuckle-dragger, etc, but then grow up and take a look at Europe. If nothing changes, many countries in western Europe will be Islamic in less than 50 years.
You are an idiot. Pick one. Will we all be atheist or will we be dominated by Islam? You can't really have both.
Also, our founding fathers, founded this nation on the idea that we would be free from religious persecution. Which means I have the right to be atheist, Muslim, Islamic, Buddhist or any other Dam# thing I want without worrying about you attacking me for it. THAT IS BEING AMERICAN!!
YOUR vision of America is a nation of Nothing but "good" christian folk, which is really completely Against what it means to be American.
Please go away and shut up.
You're definitely not "Reason," because the real Reason understands Truth...and the truth is, atheism leads to Islam...it's already happening in Europe. Stop reveling in your own self-proclaimed brilliance and open your eyes. You must see Truth before you can understand Reason.
Atheism leads to Islam? Wow. It should really hurt to be that stupid...
Do you have any proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist – please enlighten us with your scientific evidence and rock solid logic that Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist. Hint...you can't. You can prove there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster about as much as I can prove to you there is. So there
Newt = Nutt
Everyone look busy or the flying spaghetti monster will get you...
I've no problem with religious belief, but these clowns are all the same. "God told me to tell you what to do. God has put me in charge. Follow me – or DOOM will befall you all!" They want a religious populous for one simple reason. Power. Get real. Athiest, or not – if we don't all start being free-thinkers, we're screwed.
How embarassing for the Republican party. This is how far they have fallen!
The "Founding Fathers Christian Values"?????/ The Founding Fathers weren't Christian per se. Gingrich is a rube. Also a "Secular Athiest Country potentially dominated by Radical Islamists? Which is it, Newt old boy?
Nice political move, Newt, but you're too sinful for Hagee's endorsement.
Religion, the greatest threat to the survival of mankind. Religion, the greatest killer of them all.
he's disgusting. he will say anything that will get votes from the religious right. how dare that church even let a politician talk in it.
What did you expect, he is a Republican, and the Republicans have consistently shown they have no morals.
Gingrich – out.
And stay out.
What a bunch of nonsense. There is no correlation between "Atheists" and "Radical Islamists." Islamofascists, like their Christian counterparts in the Republican Party, are completely RIGHT-WING. The only difference between a gay-bashing, woman-hating, religiously-intolerant Muslim Extremist and a guy like Newt Gingrich is the name that he calls his "God" when he prays to him. And the idea that the Founding Fathers were all devout Christians is absurd. Read Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" if you doubt me. It's probably the most Anti-Christian book ever written. The Founding Fathers set up a secular society where there would be FREEDOM OF RELIGION...something that guys like Newt despise just as much as Osama bin Laden does...
Usual fear-moingering nonsense from this brainless party that has nothing else going for it. If we did have an atheist majority there would be less 'respect" for ANY religion so "radical islam" would probably be marginilized more so than it is now.
Uhhh.... an "atheist country dominated by Radical Islamists?" If it is an atheist country, how can it be dominated by any religious group?
"A secular country dominated by radical Islamists'." ?????
That's like saying a gay pride parade organized by Republicans.
The country is dominated by politicians and corporations, who does he think he`s fooling? Oh yeah, all of you people!! 🙂
Um atheist AND radical islamist? contradiction anyone? Anything for a vote
Yeah – atheist AND Islamic. Newt is a walking talking oxymoron! A career built upon doing whatever he can do to spread fear among the ignorant. Makes as much sense as Religious Right and philandering divorcee. Newt, please shut up and sit down.
I fear the Christian Taliban taking over the US...they already started it
It is funny, sad, and true at the same time that according to the quran and hadith, it is the obligation and duty of a true believing Muslim to kill any atheists on the spot.
99% of muslims can see that following an ancient book is crazy. Why can't you? If a prominent Christian wrote a book in the 1930's, it would have "radical" viewpoints by today's standards, and following it would make you, crazy. Who pays you people?
It's just sad that you believe that nonsense.