posts that will derail my future run for office, vol 38 in a continuing series

When I point out that Newt Gingrich is a gaping asshole, I'm not just saying that to be cute. It's shit like this:
"There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate,"

Don't you just hate it when you work so hard you cheat on your wife?

"And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing it. I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness." Gingrich, whose personal history could hamper his efforts to win over social conservatives in a GOP primary, converted to Catholicism in March, 2009. In the interview, he went on to say that he believes "in a forgiving God."

I guess belief in a forgiving god is pretty appealing when you are constantly doing things that require you to seek forgiveness of the people you allegedly love.

Possibly the most insulting dismissal of atheists is that we lack any sort of moral compass. Frankly, my biggest problem with Christianity is not the fairy tales, but rather this tortured notion of seeking god's forgiveness for all the horrible things you do to other people (and with that, the expectation of forgiveness from people--or at least other Christians--implicit in the belief that god does, in fact, forgive you when you ask.)

When there is no god to forgive you, you have every reason to get it right the first time. When you wrong someone, you have to make it right with the person whom you've actually wronged, rather than with some arcane spiritual proxy. If someone doesn't forgive you--you get to live with that! Maybe it will motivate you to grow and be a better person, and not do that again. But what you don't get is that warm reassuring feeling that no matter what you've done, god forgives you.

"I'm not perfect--just forgiven" is just another way of saying "fuck you--god forgives me."

Let me be clear: I don't think Christianity makes people assholes. But it sure can give assholes a lot of cover. Anyone who takes their faith seriously should be insulted when people like Newt Gingrich use it that way.


Gino said...

" I don't think Christianity makes people assholes. But it sure can give assholes a lot of cover."

true that.

as a Catholic, in order for God's forgiveness to be extended, amends to the wronged parties must also be made, if possible. i'm sure as an adult convert with baggage, this was explained to him.
we have a different idea of how this thing works than your typical reformist Christian.

i have no idea what is in Newt's heart, or what steps he's taken in his personal life to rectify his sinful nature. but i assure you, his priest did indeed deliver him the Gospel, made sure he understood it, and tested him accordingly prior to his conversion being accepted.

one thing in which Catholicism differs from the form of faith he grew up with is more accountability, and not so much of that "i'm saved, so there!"

the best newt, or any newly minted Catholic in his shoes can say, is exactly what Newt is saying now. of course, then there is the test of time. his wife would be wise, given his past, to keep a short leash. as a man attempting to become better than he was, he wouldnt object to said leash.

Brian said...

I think that's one thing the Catholics come a lot closer to getting right than their Protestant counterparts.

I don't know Newt's heart either, but I'd find his conversion a lot more convincing if he weren't still making excuses for his bad behavior. "I was wrong (full stop). I'm trying to do better." Not "I was wrong, but it was partly because I was working so hard and because I love my country so much."

Add that to the problem he seems to have remembering how much Freddie (or was it Fannie?) paid him a couple of years ago, and his general aura of bullshit over the years...I just don't buy it.

Gino said...

yeah, i get you on that. he's a politician in his heart, and i have a low belief in how righteous a man can be in that line of work.

i found his conversion to catholicism rather unique. like i said, i do not know his heart, but a conversion to catholicism wont win you any catholic votes (we largely dont operate that way), and it just might (and likely will) cost you evangelical ones.

it is this reason why i find his conversion to be genuine, or i should say, an honest attempt to be genuine at that one point in time.

men of newt's intellect find a lot to convert for in catholicism if they are looking for a deeper path, and are not likely to find the evangelical theology mind-stimulating enough.

i'm not saying that deep, well thought theology cant be had in the SBC, but the tools (ie, historical writings, doctrinal thesis',church culture, etc...) for it to be found are very hard to come by (if at all) without borrowing from the catholics.