WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Christian Examiner) – Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is asking pastors and other Christian leaders to exhibit boldness and enter the political arena.
In an address to the American Renewal Project's Pastors and Pews event in Winston-Salem, N.C., Gingrich – who holds a Ph.D. in history – argued that political leftists, academics and judges are actively attempting to reinvent America in a way that disconnects it from its exceptional ideals and its religious heritage.
American exceptionalism, free market capitalism, and faith are those ideals "that made us famous," he said.
"We're now engaged in a two-front war," Gingrich said. "On the one front you have a 'Secular Totalitarianism' that wants to use the power of government to coerce us on every level, to define for us what we're allowed to think, what we're allowed to say, and to establish a politically-correct set of rules for college campuses. To determine even what happens inside of churches and synagogues, and to impose on us left-wing, frequently, atheistic values, and to say in effect, 'You're allowed to sort of, vaguely, believe in your faith as long as you don't talk about it, certainly don't do anything in public about it,' and that religion should be reduced to one-hour on Sundays. And even then you better be careful what you say."
Gingrich said left-wing judges, lawyers and activist groups with "atheistic values" are working to change the way Americans think.
It is a type of brainwashing, he said, which removes values and attempts to reorient the nation's thinking away from religion – to "forget that the Pilgrims came here for religious liberty, forget that the Jamestown Colony, which people think of as secular, actually had church services fourteen times a week, forget that the core of America, as defined by Lincoln, and redefined by Eisenhower, is a nation under God. That has been the heart of who we are, our rights come from our Creator, they don't come from some random thing."
The second front in the war is the threat posed by Islamic extremism. Radical Islamic terror groups, he said, have threatened to conquer the West or at least terrorize it into submission. Gingrich also said Islamists have promised to destroy Rome and reconquer Spain.
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"There, we are told if you tell the truth you are Islamophobic. They want to shut us up again. And yet you look around and you see killings, you see people in a gay nightclub being slaughtered, you see bombs going off in New York, you see problems all across France, across Belgium, across Holland, in Great Britain and, of course, all across the Middle East," Gingrich said.
Gingrich said pastors were at a crossroads and a time as "defining" as any in the Old Testament. Courage is needed, he said, for pastors to tell the truth to their congregations. He also said some people of faith "have to have the courage to get into the public arena themselves."
He added that the formative period of American history, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the American Revolution, was led by many men who had a background in the study of theology. And while not all were Christians, they still exhibited Judeo-Christian values in the formation of American public life.