Newt Gingrich’s attack on atheism is an extreme math fail

Newt Gingrich’s attack on atheism is an extreme math fail January 30, 2012

His anecdote is weak for many reasons. But listen to his story about the famous 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (later adopted by dozens of other programs).

“If you could drop the 2nd step, we could fund the other 11 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous… [because] the 2nd step is the one that recognizes a higher being.” – Federal Official

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol —that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

That’s 7 out of 12. More than half!

Clearly this story is not based in reality. Maybe it’s a parable? I think it also implies that Newt considers himself powerless with regard to politics (first step). Because he is a godly man, and that’s “why it works.”

He’s known for writing his own stuff. That’s supposed to represent his ‘genius’ or something. I heard him refer to being a firm believer in the Republican ”11th Commandment” – a promise not to attack other Republicans. I believe he may have skipped over the specifics of the first 10 commandments as well; something about not cheating on your wife wives. So he’s consistent if nothing else.

Either way, thanks to the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers for posting it!

“Recorded at the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines Nov 19, 2011

Posted by the Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation of rational thought.”

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