Frank Beckwith Exercises Common Sense

…and points out to Catholics with astoundingly bad judgment that the Presidency is not supposed to be a reward for penitence or a vehicle for a Generation Narcissus moral drama of personal redemption. It is supposed to be an office for stable and honest human beings to administer justice for the common good and not for those who enrich themselves and routinely lie.

For those who imagine that Christians owe Newt Gingrich a vote on pain of being declared “unforgiving”, Beckwith replies with eminent common sense:

It seems to me that a man whose sins arose as a consequence of the pursuit of political power and the unwise use of it after he became Speaker of the House should not be seeking the most powerful office in the world.

The logic of those who feel it is “unforgiving” to keep Gingrich away from what he himself has declared is a near occasion of sin is like the logic of those who think it “unforgiving” not to let a pedophile go back and work with children or an alcoholic resume his job at the tavern or a gambling addict go back to work at the casino. Gingrich should be nowhere near the White House. He should be nowhere near DC. Catholics who believe that reception into the Church is magic and not grace don’t really seem to have internalized the lessons of the Kennedys, Kerry, Pelosi, and Biden. Trusting any of these people, including Gingrich, is spectacular folly. Attacking as CINOs those who warn foolish Catholics about trusting Gingrich is, well, par for the course for the people who have made the same braindead mistake of anointing a Catholic folk hero and declaring him to be beyond question (see: Maciel, Euteneuer, Corapi). I can see somebody reluctantly holding their nose and voting for Gingrich. What I can’t fathom are those who declare that anybody who criticizes him is a bad Catholic and an enemy of Righteous. How blind can you be?

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  • Tom Connelly

    Beckwith in the comments’ section: “Everyone, I didn’t say I would not vote for Newt if he won the primary. Of course, I would, for some of the reasons you offer.”


  • Richard C.

    Mark, can we remember what Gingrich’s ethics violation was about? It was about disclosures for the fundraising he did for a college course he taught.

    Is that really supposed to be a big-deal “sin that arose from the pursuit of political power”?

    While the ethics committee lawyer said he broke tax law, he was never charged, let alone tried, let alone found guilty. So we don’t know he was guilty of that.

    Even the $300K he paid was labeled not as a fine, but as reimbursement for the committee’s expenses after Gingrich admitted he’d failed to disclose something on some forms.

    I wouldn’t care about such a violation even if Nancy Pelosi had done it.

  • Richard C.,

    I think Beckwith (and Mark Shea) are referring to this:

    not the House Ethics charge.

    • Mark Shea


  • Thomas R

    “For those who imagine that Christians owe Newt Gingrich a vote on pain of being declared ‘unforgiving'” Mark Shea

    TR: I’m wondering who is actually doing that. I didn’t really see anyone mentioned as saying “you must vote Gingrich or you’re unforgiving” in his article or yours. I think there’s some who feel you shouldn’t hold his past against him, but I don’t think that equates to “so you must vote for him.” It’s easy to judge him on what he says now, his political positions, his flaws post-conversion, etc and decide he’s not an acceptable candidate. I am mixed on him, but he still seems about the best of a bad lot to me so far.

  • SKay

    Kennedys, Kerry,Pelosi, Biden–I believe they are pro abortion as is Obama and most of the Democrat party. I would never consider voting for them just because they say that they are Catholic.
    As far as I know – Newt is pro life and wants to overturn Obamacare.
    Although he is not my first choice-if he turns out to be the nominee-at this point I would vote for him.