(CNN) - Newt Gingrich said Tuesday the Obama administration is "intensely secular" and "anti-religious," the former House Speaker's second hard-hitting criticism of the new administration this week.
In an interview with FOX News, Gingrich said he strongly disagreed with Obama's choice of Harry Knox - an outspoken activist for gay rights - to the White House advisory council on faith-based initiatives.
"I think their goal is to have a very secular America in which government dominates everything," he said. "Why wouldn't you put an anti-religious, left-wing zealot on a faith-based group? It's a perfect pattern for this administration."
Since 2005, Knox has served as the director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. He is also a former Methodist pastor.
Obama formally named Knox to the 25-member advisory council on Monday, a move that has not sat well with some Christian conservatives. The conservative Catholic League called him "unfit to serve," especially taking issue with Knox's recent comment characterizing Pope Benedict XVI as a "discredited leader" because of his opposition to gay marriage.
In a statement released earlier this week, Knox said, "The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is eager to help the administration achieve its goals around economic recovery and fighting poverty; fatherhood and healthy families; inter-religious dialogue; care for the environment; and global poverty, health and development."
But Gingrich said the Knox appointment, along with some other moves, proves the administration is trying to "go down in history as a consistently anti-religious, secular group of people who are consciously trying to drive things out."
Two days ago, Gingrich told Politico former Vice President Dick Cheney was "clearly right" when he asserted the Obama administration's national security policies have left the country more vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
What's wrong with a secular government? Is that not what we are supposed to be anyways?
I like the idea that our country will not be dictated by religious beliefs, but rather by rational, secular decisions. That is how it should be done.
People will still be religious, but the governments should inherently not be.
Pardon me while I yawn. Back to the 90s here for some far-right trash talk from a man who lived and died in the 90s.
Newt holds no public office, was widely discredited, even in his own party, as one of the most hypocritical public servants in the nation's history, and has no discernible constituency. Yet he seems to hang on as somehow relevant in the eyes of certain media, such as CNN and Fox News.
What gives? Can't we just move on?
Anti-religious? I think not. Including all groups and members of our society sounds like pro Democracy to me. When did that concept stop being a good thing...
No. They aren't anti-religious. Their religious beliefs just aren't consistent with Newt's. This is fear mongering, attempting to stir fundamentalist/conservative zeal by reinforcing the simple-minded us-and-them mentality that was so effective for the Bush II administration. Those days are past, and the religious right needs to get over it. Most of us recognize that there are plenty of seats at the Lord's table, and not all of them, if any of them, are reserved for bigots.
One more thing: Newt is an intelligent man, and this shameful pandering is beneath him. You'd think he's looking to run for office again.
Gingrich calls the Obama administration "asecular group of people who are consciously trying to drive things out."
Funny. You could accuse the Bush administration of the exact same thing, but in reverse. If you didn't believe in God under the Bush administration, you didn't count. At least the Obama administration makes room for divergent opinions instead of the catatonic group-think of Bush and his fellow Evangelical cronies!
This country was BASED on SEPERATION OF CHURCH & GOV'T..
Go back to England you idiot!!!!!!!
I commend this appointment. Obama's method is to put people who disagree with each other at the same table so they can work it out. There are 25 people on this advisory council, shouldn't at LEAST one of them represent the GLBT Americans?
Lord knows the far-right and the GLBT community has been fighting each other for so long, its time to work out those differences. I think people like Newt Gingrich would prefer to just keep fighting, but the rest of us are getting SICK of it!
The Obama adminstration IS less focused on religion, as they should be. Religion has no place in our government. Hello... Separation of church and state?
Its called.....~ahem~... separation of Church and State.... maybe Newt hasn't heard of it.... but as a politician, you would think there are far more important things that actually NEED attention, that he has chosen to ignore over the years.... maybe its time for his type of closed minded politicking to move on
So, where is the problem ? In this age of humanism people have learnt to distinguish between priests and pedophiles and when they are not willing to being preached to from the pulpit that evolution is heresy.
After Georgie Porgie Pudding and pie, who used to talk to God regularly, and yet screwed the nation up, what's so wrong ?! Gingrich, humanism is the best form of religion.
Secularism is NOT anti religious!! It is meant to keep peace among people of differing beliefs. Some Christians are not anti-gay, but unfortunately, many are. To reaffirm one groups religious beliefs by, for example, banning same sex marriage so that pasters won't be "forced" to marry same sex couples or be sued for descrimination (which is not true!) has the effect of forcing pasters who WANT to marry same sex couples from being able to do so. Who's religous beliefs are being violated here? The government should treat everyone fairly, without taking sides.
It's people like these that make seperation of Church and State impossible.
what happened to separation of church and state
What's wrong with these people? Seriously.
It's one thing to legitimately question or even complain about something, but it's quite another to begin each day with a brand new, FOUNDLESS gripe.
These constant and ridiculous complaints can't possibly be about the country's well being. Surely their goal is to somehow benefit the Republican party.
Can I honestly be the only American who is beginning to HUGELY QUESTION THEIR SANITY AND THEIR MOTIVES???
I was also disppointed when the President placed Knox on his faith-based advisory council. It is not because he is gay. It is because of his obvious and outpsoken anger and intolerance for those who hold views contrary to his. He sounds like a real hypocrite, angrily denouncing the Pope and others for their views, calling them names, accusing them of all sort sof things, and therby showing that he, himself, is the one most guilty of all he is condeming.
Duh...separation of church and state. Thank goodness there will be no "favortism" toward any religion under this administration.
But by all means lets try to scare all the Christians so that Newt can get votes in 2012.
Gay people can be religious too, you know. Some are even Christian. Is that a mote in your eye? I can't see it so well past this beam in my own.
There's a huge difference between "secular" and "anti-religious". I can see where some republicans are shocked at the secular tone being set now as opposed to the evangelical one they're used to. However as someone who is truly "anti-religious", I don't see the administration attacking outdated tax breaks on fundraising organizations that call themselves churches. I don't see any proposals to limit religious extremeist speech to present as a model to other countries. The only anti-religious thing I can hope for is increased focus on real education reform which might teach free thinking instead of standardized testing (as more educated people tend toward less religious affiliation).
I'm afraid it will be a long time before we can get a truly anti-religious president...
It's the 21st century people get over it, you couldn't stop women, Irish-Americans, nor blacks from being equal in our society...what makes you think gays will be any different?
Fear, fear, fear...all these people do is strike fear where it actually hurts us the most...wake up!
Is this guy grasping at straws or what? The more desparate the wingnuts get. the more ridiculous their rhetoric becomes. If it wasn't so funny to watch them self-distruct I'd feel sorry for them.
Why is "religion" defined in terms of gay marriage, abortion, etc? There is so much more to religion, such as ethics, morals, spirituality and social conscience.
When people start forcing their "religion" on other people it is not a good thing.
Although I love Obama, I seriously object to a gay rights activist heading a faith-based organization. I object to someone trying to paint current Christian leaders such as the pope as "discredited" whilst generally trying to integrate gay and transgender agendas into religion. I find it an absolute abomination.
With all this said, however, Newt Gingrich is still a moron, and his chances of becoming president of this country are virtually non-existent.
I agree with Newt Gingrich. It looks like Obama is becoming anti-religious. A gay bishop made a speech during the eve of his inauguration. Surprisingly gay couples are going to attend easter celebration in the white house.
Obama and his administration are acting as the voice of reason. There's no legitimate reason for any religious entity to have any control over any aspect of our government. The administration isn't "anti-religious", they just are aware of fundamental importance of keeping PRO-RELIGIOUS RIGHT WING ZEALOTS out of the process.
Gingrich's statement is just more of the same fear-mongering posturing we've come to expect from the GOP. The statement is completely baseless. That said, I'd rather have the government in charge of a secular America than the Religious Right in charge of a Christian nation. At least you can vote out the government.