Politics

Gingrich Says Religious Leaders Who Supported Health Care Reform Are Socialists

Promoting his new book To Save America, Newt Gingrich sat down with the conservative National Review for an extensive interview, outlining his view that the “secular socialist machine” composed of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress is just as threatening to America as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were.

During the interview, Gingrich claimed that the U.S. is “at a stage where you have the most overt anti-religious bigotry in American history” and lamented a future that is a “successful secular America.” But one National Review editor then threw Gingrich a curveball. “How do you explain all the Christian leaders who backed up ObamaCare?” he asked. Seeming caught off guard, Gingrich just called them all a bunch of socialists:

GINGRICH: I don’t think being the leader of an organized group necessarily means that you’re going to — you will or won’t understand the critique that I just outlined. … A lot of religious leaders who come out of basically a socialist background. They don’t create wealth. They don’t create jobs. They in fact redistribute wealth and so from their perspective this is just one more opportunity to redistribute — this is sort of compulsory charity, what we used to call taxes.

Watch it (starting at 3:06):

It’s odd that in one breath, Gingrich complains about “anti-religious bigotry,” and then in the next, attacks religious leaders for supporting health care reform.

Just as the health care reform fight began to heat up, a coalition of leaders from across the religious spectrum called on Congress to pass reform. And in fact, just before the reform law passed, 25 “pro-life Catholic theologians and Evangelical leaders,” the Catholic Health Association and a group representing 59,000 sisters from Catholic religious orders sent letters to Congress urging them to pass the Democrats’ bill. Apparently, Gingrich thinks these people are just socialists trying to “redistribute wealth.”

And as for Gingrich’s attack on secularism, America is already a “successful secular” state, and has been since the passage of the Bill of Rights. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson once praised the First Amendment for “building a wall of separation between church and state.” Or in other words, making the U.S. “not overtly or specifically religious.”

Transcript:

GINGRICH: I also think you are at a stage where you have the most overt anti-religious bigotry in American history. You have two Democratic state legislators in Connecticut introducing a bill that would basically abolish the Catholic Church. You have a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Massachusetts say “if you’re a Catholic, maybe you shouldn’t work in emergency rooms.” You have a judge saying that a day of prayer is unconstitutional. You go down this list of things and you think to yourself, this is so radically different than the historic America before 1963 when the Supreme Court began to aggressively secularize.

I just think we’re at a crossroads where you either stand up and say, “This is fundamentally wrong and you can’t really imagine a successful secular America because it eliminates the core basis of your power.” Or you say, “I’m happy to live in a country in which politicians and government dominates, in which I have no natural rights but only those rights granted to me by government.” I think those are two radically different futures.

NATIONAL REVIEW: How do you explain all the Christian leaders who backed up ObamaCare? It wasn’t — there were a lot of religious leaders who supported that effort.

GINGRICH: I don’t think being the leader of an organized group necessarily means that you’re going to — you will or won’t understand the critique that I just outlined. … A lot of religious leaders who come out of basically a socialist background. They don’t create wealth. They don’t create jobs. They in fact redistribute wealth and so from their perspective this is just one more opportunity to redistribute — this is sort of compulsory charity, what we used to call taxes.