Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'
February 26th, 2012
05:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

Cumming, Georgia (CNN) – Vying for evangelical support in the GOP primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum appeared at the same Georgia church on consecutive Sundays.

Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman, is favored to win Georgia on Super Tuesday, March 6, but Santorum, who appears to be gaining ground in other early nominating states, poses a threat to the former House speaker.

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Gingrich spoke for about 40 minutes during a regularly scheduled service Sunday morning at First Redeemer Church with about 2,300 people in the audience. The former Pennsylvania senator drew a much larger crowd when he spoke there in the evening a week ago.

Founding Pastor Dr. Richard Lee, a Gingrich supporter, introduced Gingrich as a "true American," with more veiled references to President Barack Obama in his opening remarks.

"An America led by a man who truly understands what it means to be the leader of the free world. One who does not bow down to dictators or despots," said Lee. "A man who bows daily to God. I believe such a man is the man who is with us today."

Rich with historical background, Gingrich's remarks focused primarily on what he described as the pervasive threat on religious liberties.

"The other side will fight back and they will fight back on two fronts. You will have radical Islamists who want to kill us and you will have secularists who want to coerce us, and that's why, for example, recently you saw the Obama administration trying to coerce the Catholic Church because it is the inevitable nature of the left to use government to impose on us their values," said Gingrich.

"That's why, for example, the Catholic Church could no longer offer adoption services in Massachusetts because it is inappropriate," he said of opponent Mitt Romney without mentioning his name. "Because what happens is you go from a request for toleration to the imposition of tyranny, and you do it with remarkable speed."

Gingrich criticized the Obama administration's "apologist" policies toward radical Islam. He told the congregation, "We need to stand up for ourselves."

"Saudi Arabia allows no open worship by Christians or Jews, period, and then lectures us. And we don't today in our elites have the nerve to stand up and say this is baloney. We are not going to have a one-sided offensive against our civilization in which we're supposed to accept defeat, we're supposed to accept humiliation, and we're supposed to accept the death of our young men and women, and we have to accept those who are killing us? I don't think so," said Gingrich.

"I don't come here as a religious leader and I don't come here as a saint. I come here as a citizen who has had a life that at times has fallen short of the glory of God who has had to seek God's forgiveness and had to seek reconciliation," he said at First Redeemer. "And I speak to you as a citizen while I'm in the pulpit, for today I'm not speaking as a religious leader, I'm speaking as a citizen."

The 20-year Georgia congressman and former House speaker is banking on a Georgia win to keep his candidacy afloat. Sunday evening he holds a "God and Country Rally" at Rock Springs Church in Milner.

Also see:

Arizona governor endorses Romney

Limbaugh front and center in pro-Santorum mailer

Gibbs: Santorum has 'legitimate chance' at nomination

Graham, McCain predict big primary night for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Georgia • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Max

    Multiple marriages

    Why didn't Pastor add a man who truly believe in "MULTIPLE MARRIAGES' and ' EXTRA-MARITAL SEXUAL AFFAIRS'?

    February 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. ja

    their is a place for redemption, but would these same folk allow president Obama to run on the democratic with the same scandals newt has, say maybe Jessie Jackson, a resounding NO, hypocrisy, are they really evangelicals or just evil

    February 26, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. wgf

    - "We are not going to have a one-sided offensive against our civilization in which we're supposed to accept defeat, we're supposed to accept humiliation, and we're supposed to accept the death of our young men and women, and we have to accept those who are killing us? I don't think so,"

    OK. But what are you talking about, and who are you arguing against ? Because I don't recognize this situation, nor do I know of any US politician who would support such a situation. But that's Newt - bravely arguing against things that don't exist, and the people he has unilaterally designated to support such things.

    February 26, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Redleg56

    A "true American"? I was not aware that serial adultery and a commitment to physical cowardice in the fact of Communist aggression were characteristic of "true Americans".

    February 26, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. nothing new here

    TAX the churches.

    February 26, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. jerryball

    So how did this trice-married skanker get bunched in with the Evangelicals? How low the fake-Christians have fallen.

    Mathew 15:8-9″These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” 

    Conservative “Christians” are driving people from Jesus in droves. The stench of their hypocrisy is like a dump on an August day. As sad as it makes me, I can’t blame folks for running. But the Pharisees don’t and never did speak for Jesus. 

    Matt 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

    Pharisees: members of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. • a self-righteous person; a hypocrite.

    February 26, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. judy

    isn't there somthing wrong with pushing political believes on Sunday during worship service. ???? Vote all the nut jobs out!

    February 26, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. jon

    A politician in the pulpit preaching hate. So much for separation of church & state.

    February 26, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Jake

    Gingrich would pander to and polish a turd if he thought it'd get him votes.

    February 26, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Spoken like a true right wing secular McCarthyist, hell bent on dividing America.

    February 26, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. james kennedy

    Does Gingrich now believe, as he suggested by the last sentence in the penultimate paragraph, that at times he's a religious leader?
    And pray tell, what is a preacher doing, other than politicking, when he takes verbal pot-shots at the president?
    Perhaps it is time to truly delineate the lines between religion and state by removing the tax free status of any religious organization that feels it has the unfettered right to enter into the arena of politics. Social commentary from the pulpit is one thing, actively participating in politics is another.
    I vote we tax them.

    February 26, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Are Evangelicals in Georgia stupid enough to believe this serial liar? Can Republicans always rely on "finding Jesus" as a means of getting voters to forgive their dishonorable acts? He's lying – you know in your heart he's lying.

    President Obama is a devout Christian – no matter how many time politicians try to make you believe otherwise. He's a good family man who's been trying really hard to help America pull out of the economic mess created during the Bush Administration – in spite of the obstructive efforts of the Republicans in Congress. Those are facts you just can't ignore. The Republicans filibustered 95 times in the Senate – blocking even their own initiatives from debate or vote. The House caused America's bond rating to be lowered – for political purposes only.

    Think about it folks – would you trust Newt Gingrich with your daughter? Really? How about your money?

    The "swift-boat" tactics now common-place in the Republican playbook are nothing but evil and most certainly do not reflect the tenets of Christianity. If you're looking to vote for a true Christian who isn't crazy and lives his life as an honorable man – President Obama is your only choice in 2012.

    February 26, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Evangelicals are a radical group who oppose any and all other types of religions even those within the Christian group. Stand up for themselves? They do that already because they try to stomp out everyone else! These people are not intelligent. They think the world is 6000 years old, and that alone should tell you their mindset. I grew up around these right-winged radicals, and none of them should ever get elected to public office. They're too dangerous to common sense and the Constitution because they want to get rid of both.

    February 26, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. arale norimaki

    the federal endorsement of a deity or religion violates the united states constitution

    February 26, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. MrManhattan

    Newt, if you want in a primitive, orthodox religious republic,

    I would suggest Iran.

    February 26, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |