Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich and the secular state

I do not watch the Republican "debates". I agree with blogger Pam Spaulding who calls the Republican slate the "clown car". When did it because a point of honor for the Republicans to look for the most inept, unqualified extremists and think that somehow they are equipped to run a nation?

In any case, last weekend there was a "debate" on "family values" (which in Repub-speak, means values that exclude anyone who doesn't fit the Christian conservative phenotype).

And as Steve Benen writes,
Newt Gingrich... condemned the very idea of a secular state. “A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have,” the thrice-married, serial adulterer said. “Because we’ve in fact attempted to create a secular country, which I think is frankly a nightmare.”
You remember, Newt, right? The disgraced former Speaker of the House, who recently converted to Roman Catholicism and arranged to have his first two marriages annulled. For a fee, one presumes.

Benen goes on,
.... Gingrich doesn’t have to like it, but we haven’t “attempted to create a secular country”; the secular country was created more than two centuries ago. Our entire system of government is based on a secular Constitution that guarantees a separation of church and state.

I’m curious, though, what Gingrich would prefer we replace our “secular country” with, exactly. There are some countries that endorse Gingrich’s worldview and intermix God and government — Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan under Taliban rule come to mind — but they’re generally not countries the United States tries to emulate.
Of course, it's not just Newt. Rick Santorum, conservative Roman Catholic, has called for there to be a theocracy. He's not quite sure how this is different than Muslims imposing Sharia, however:
Now, unlike Islam where the higher law and civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.

Our civil laws have to ... and that's why, with the issue of abortion, as long as abortion is "legal" - at least according to the Supreme Court, "legal" in this country - we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God's law which says that all life has value, all life is created by [God,] I knew you in the womb.

And as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.
The mind, it reels.


JCF said...

Please nominate Newt, GOP. Oh please, please, PLEASE! ;-D

Scoop said...

I second JCF. Newt as official candidate would be the best way to wake up the rest of the country. Unless Adlai Stevenson was correct....