Newt Joins Huck On The Godless Trail

Former House Speaker and relatively new Catholic Newt Gingrich has joined the Arkansas preacher and former governor on the meme that America’s not religious enough. Mr Gingrich:

When you have an anti-religious, secular bureaucracy and secular judiciary, seeking to drive God out of public life, something fills the vacuum.

Rev Huckabee earlier said:

And since we’ve ordered God out of our schools, and communities, the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn’t act so surprised … when all hell breaks loose.

In terms of any measurable sense, the United States ranks very high among the world’s most Christian nations, but still behind Muslim nations, plus most of sub-Saharan Africa. It has ranked so in the past, but we didn’t avoid disasters like this factory fire. Evangelicals would probably suggest it was the fault of those Catholic and Jewish women who worked there. Someone’s always to blame, it seems. And some people seem eager enough to instill fear in others.

If Huck and Newt were up on their Bible, they would know that the Judeo-Christian tradition has always wrestled with the conundrum that the wicked prosper and the just suffer. The Psalmist offered up an entire composition on the question. I think you have to go far deeper than politicians are willing to wade to get at the core of the problem. A serious look will always find the sinner within one’s own skin. And a serious look will likely find a believer in the shoes of a person like Father Bob Weiss, who has distinguished himself for his service to grieving families.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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6 Responses to Newt Joins Huck On The Godless Trail

  1. John McGrath says:

    The more right wing Catholics like Newt talk like sour bitter jerks, the more people will find the Catholic church repulsive. Where are the Dorothy Days?

  2. Charles says:

    Todd, does it concern you at all that many of your public utterances of late are harshly and undeniably judgmental? “Newt” certainly has more than one target permanently etched on his backside, but even “relatively new catholic” is irrelevant a descriptor of anyone received into the Church as I understand it. And, for the record, I disagree with you, Fran, that Huckabee is proffering and selling “bytes,” his record is long and one of conviction.

    • Todd says:

      Mr Gingrich is beyond “neophyte,” traditionally about a year after Full Communion.

      I’m disappointed that a new Catholic, even a Republican, would utter an opinion not quite in alignment with the Catholic theological or pastoral approach to disaster.

      And as for Mr Huckabee, he has progressed in careers from ministry, to politics, to television entertainment punditry. The latter two are designed for “bytes,” not substance. If he were a minister, it would be just bad theology. It’s still bad theology, but it’s also opportunistic.

      I will grant that Mr Huckabee back-pedalled somewhat from his first statements.

      • Charles says:

        I’ll take all that as a “yes, I’m being judgmental and okay with that.”
        You and I are likely both “disappointed” that I’m almost grossly obese at over a C#+ my ideal weight. Do you need to characterize that reality with who I am as a person and Christian?

  3. Todd says:

    Charles, I’m judging the words, and if I get a bit of time later this weekend, I’ll explain how I think Catholics should respond.

    My identification of Mr Gingrich as a recent Catholic is germane to the underdeveloped view that godless America is to blame for Mr Lanza. Mr Gingrich, from what I hear, is a brilliant thinker and a good teacher. He had his day in politics, too. Mr Huckabee is an evangelical minister who became a politician, then a television entertainer.

    Read more carefully, my friend. I’m very critical of their positions. I’m sure each is a fine Christian man. I think each is out of his depth when it comes to a modern, nuanced, Roman Catholic approach to sin, justice, the wicked & the innocent, an accurate assessment of the US compared to other nations and cultures, and a pastoral approach as public figures who seem to suggest they want to make a difference.

    I’m fine with what I’ve written so far. I don’t think I’m being judgmental so much as critical. If it were my parish’s children, I would be a bit stronger in my language.

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