Rick Santorum may be the social conservative darling and Rick Perry may have his prayer warriors, but no one attacks secularism and those who believe in it more gleefully than Newt Gingrich. He says we’re in league with the reactionary Islamists who would, of course, put us to death if they took power. What, you expected something coherent from him? Here’s his latest tirade, delivered on a conference call with Donald Wildmon and others:
Gingrich: We’re in a two front war for our civilization. At one front are the secular atheists who would seek to drive God out of our lives, and on the other front are radical Islamists who would seek to make America safe for Islam and militant religion. I think that we have to recognize how truly serious a crisis this is for our civilization, I find when I talk that there is a need for the Church Militant once again if we are going to survive. I really do believe that we are in a two front war over the very potential of our society being preserved.
He has it backwards, of course. I couldn’t care less about getting God out of his life or anyone else’s; I care about getting government endorsement of belief in God out of everyone else’s lives. I would happily fight for the religious freedom of Christians, and I often have. But religious freedom does not mean hegemony and it doesn’t mean that the government should endorse or enforce those views.
Interestingly, on the same call Jim Garlow admits what I have identified for the last year or so as the real problem for Republicans. Mitt Romney is going to get the nomination, but he will not get the full-throated support of the religious right. A percentage of them will refuse to support a Mormon. The same is true of a portion of the tea partiers (there is some overlap there, of course). This is the dilemma of the Republican party. Nominate someone who could fire up the religious right and the tea party and turn them out at the polls in big numbers and you lose the middle; nominate Romney and you see turnout drop and possibly provoke a third party run that would ensure Obama’s reelection. Oh, and that would destroy civilization itself:
Garlow: I really, truly believe that this nation is on a very short fuse and the reason I threw my lot in beside, behind Newt Gingrich is that I believe what he brings in the table is what is needed in this particular moment to break through and to be able to keep us from having a candidate like Romney. If we have a candidate like Romney, the evangelical participation will drop, probably from a 2010 level to a 2008 level, that would be from 28 percent to 23 percent, and that would result in the reelection of President Obama and our country cannot possibly, morally and economically, survive that. It would spell, in my opinion, the end of the United States of America as we have known her and consequently the end of Western civilization.
Well as long as you’re being rational about this.