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Is It Unchristian to Not Trust Newt?

Pat's been pretty tough on Newt here and he's gotten some pretty nasty hate mail in return on that. But we're cool with that. You want to see hate mail, check out the times that Pat said nasty things about Ron Paul. Whew.

But I must say. I'm completely with Pat on the Newt thing. I get a little tired of hearing that all that infidelity occured before Newt became a Catholic. Hooray. I'm all for Newt's conversion. But when did conversion become an eraser of worldly consequences?

You can't tell people you've done horrible things but that was before you became a Christian so all those things don't matter. I think they do. And to weigh the fact that Newt has been a serial philanderer when choosing a President is not out of bounds. And it's not un-Christian to bring it up.

Maggie Gallagher wrote:

The great pro-Newt meme now floating is that Christianity is all about forgiveness. Yes, it is. But isn’t there something…oh forgive me, I’m Catholic, this scripture quoting is so hard. Something about, “First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (True, it says nothing about ex-wives, a harder case.)

Truthfully, it’s not about forgiveness. Gingrich did not injure me, he doesn’t require my forgiveness. It’s a judgment about his character and trustworthiness with power that each voter will have to make.
Look, I've known some alcoholics and junkies in my life. There were a few times where I spoke to them and they said they rediscovered their faith and they seemed clean. They told me they were clean. They told their wives they were clean. And you know what...they were. For a while. And then they slid back and became worse than ever before.

I'm not saying that Newt's conversion isn't real. I'm saying that all Christians fail at times. We're all sinners. Christianity is not an innoculation against bad behavior and it certainly isn't immunity from the past. I hope Newt Gingrich is a better person than I think he is. I don't believe he is. Hey, part of me wants to. But I don't.

Just last year, Newt told David Brody on CBN that he cheated on his wives because he loved his country so much.
“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 things happened in my life that were not appropriate.
That was last year.

Even to think something like that is weird. Saying it is weirder. And saying it on camera is way too weird for me. A shfiting of responsibility is not what I want to hear. He doesn't have to convince me. I'm not asking him for anything. He's asking for my vote. He's asking me. And at this point, I remain unconvinced.

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28 comments:

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Newt may have access to all the graces the Chrch can bestow pon him through the sacraments, but they can't bestow instant maturity. He has beheaved in a very immature way most of his life, so he has a long way to go before he is ready for another leadership position.

Blackrep said...

Steve - you are exactly right.

We can't think of the sacraments as a sort of magic wand, or a "get out of jail free" card. We wish. It seems we have to do the hard work of confirming ourselves in virtuous habits over a lifetime.

Carol said...

Hate mail - wow.

"Just last year, Newt told David Brody on CBN that he cheated on his wives because he loved his country so much."

LOL.

I think he is saying he worked too hard which ultimately lead to an abandonment to his marriage. Some of the forefathers of this country left their wives here in Massachusetts lonely, etc. I'm not sure that's virtue or patriotism exactly, but it can lead to trouble, especially these days in Washington.

When it comes to men and the things of the flesh, that I can understand. If it's good enough to admitted to the Sainthood of Christ's Church, it's good enough for me.

I'd much rather have that than a lying chameleon and narcissist who is using us to get elected.

What we need right now in this country is somebody who can take the media to the woodshed. Beat them back. Newt is what we've got. Rick has the virtues and comes in a close second.

I don't care which. Romney is going down baby!

:)

Used to post said...

Another check to Santorum for 12 bucks.

What? You haven't donated even 5 clams? Better get on it, before its too late!

Used to post said...

Oh and if you have more cash than the $12 bucks, you may also want to check out his Super Pac:

http://rwbfund.com/

Red White and Blue Fund.

Anonymous said...

"But I must say. I'm completely with Pat on the Newt thing. I get a little tired of hearing that all that infidelity occured before Newt became a Catholic. Hooray. I'm all for Newt's conversion. But when did conversion become an eraser of worldly consequences?"

When are the Archbold's going write about the full acceptance of the Catholic Church of adultery that is unrepentant?

It goes on everyday.

Get the Heck(I mean the other word but have chosen not to write it) of Newt's back on this, if you are going to give the American Bishops and the Pope a pass on this issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a FACT that unrepentant adulterers are treated as couples by the Catholic Church in all but a wedding ceremony, to the great detriment of valid marriages and in an open mockery of the fidelity of abandoned spouses.

The horrors that abandoned spouses go through every day are meaningless to our lousy Pope and our lousy bishops.

Like you, I do think Newt is a far less thqan perfect candidate and I would much rather see Rick Santorum be elected president. But I do not think Rick will beat Newt. Consequently, I pray that Newt will beat Romney and then be elected president and THEN I hope his conversion is seen to be true.

All I have is hope.

But, you are disingenuous regarding what the Catholic Church is REALLY doing to marriage.
Their message is different than their practices, in the trenches.

Ask Bai Macfarlane, go ahead!!!!


Karl

Paul Zummo said...

It's funny, but I didn't even have to read all the way to the end to know who wrote the 3:39 pm post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby_horse

Staying Aglow said...

Dear Matthew,

I really struggle with Newt. As a young Catholic woman I really struggle with liking or voting for a guy who has cheated on two out of his three wives. Just having three wives alone makes me a little uneasy.
I am the only republican in my family. All my sisters, their husbands, and my parents voted for Obama. I would have a very hard time talking my parents into voting for Newt. He only confirms and solidifies their negative stereotypes about republicans. I really don't see Newt pulling the independent moderate voters with all his baggage and his image of being the brilliant but arrogant old white man. I think he will be a divider and not a uniter.

He may be a debater, but presidents are not made (except Obama) by their debate skills. Good presidents are people who make sound decisions and is dependable even through the tough times. When he was in office he was forcibly removed for his decisions.

I am a Rick Santorum person. He is the first candidate in my adult life that I have truly supported. Right now I wouldn't mind Romney except that he is too rich for independents/ moderates, and he flips flops on too many important issues.

I like Callista. I think she seems like a classy lady, but I struggle with her willingness to break up a marriage. Also, on a Catholic canon law note did Newt and Callista have to get alot of annulments to be able to receive communion?

Paul Zummo said...

Also, on a Catholic canon law note did Newt and Callista have to get alot of annulments to be able to receive communion?

Yes, at least Newt did.

Anonymous said...

Newt; he may be a serial adulterer, liar, so corrupt that his own party evicted him in the '90's but now he's Catholic and a changed man. That Freddie Mac pay to play? Piffle, what's a million or two here and there, it's only tax money, he's Newt, after all.
Santorum: he may have been voted one of the most corrupt members of Congress back in '06, so despised in PA for his arrogance and support of abortion and Obamacare advocate Spector (he bragged about his endorsement getting Spector elected over Toomey)he can't get elected dog catcher in PA, revealed a complete lack of character in warning an adulterer buddy about the cuckolded husband going public with it when the husband emailed him for help, is so ravenous for blood and power to assassinate private citizens he's irrational...but he's Catholic and he's OUR corrupt phoney madman(please, spare us the crud about his "virtues").

Anonymous said...

Matthew: I'm an alcoholic and I've been sober for 27 years, married once after I got sober, professional engineer, son in top 10 college. Not all blacks play basketball, not all alkies relapse.

amom said...

Neither Gingrich nor Santorum are on the ballot in all States. Due to lack of organization, they both missed several deadlines so neither one of them can possibly acquire enough delegates to capture the nomination. Therefore, fundraising will continue to be difficult for them and likewise, organization non-existent. The race is basically between Romney and Paul. Paul is obviously the only acceptable choice for practicing Catholics and the only candidate that could steal the Catholic vote from Obama as well as the majority of his (disillusioned) voter base from 08.

Carol said...

There are plenty of delegates to capture the nomination.

If you believe that the author of Obamacare, the author of forcing Catholics to pay for abortions and hand out abortifacients, the author of gay marriage whom the grassroots Catholic prolife voter or evangelical is not going to vote for, come what may, can steal the White House, you are swimming in a river of denial and we cannot help you.

We are really finished with the GOP retooling people like Romney as a prolife Catholic agenda. We thought they learned that lesson last time but if we have to give it to them again, we shall.

selkie55 said...

No matter who he slept with, cheated on or lied to, does no one remember what he was like when he was Clinton's Speaker of the House? He was a moronic fascist then and was investigated and run out of the House. All the time vilifying Clinton for his infidelity. So, now he's Catholic (the denomination is sadly lacking mention on most "Christian" sites) - somehow I don't think a major miracle has occurred. He looks, acts and sounds just like he did back in the early 90's. And I still don't want a fascist for a President.

Elliot Blu said...

Does not anyone care that Newt has no intention of "changing" anything. That he is bought and paid for like the rest and is dead set on taking us right into another war, possibly World War III? Get over his infidelity and start looking at the insanity of his politics. The arrogance and fear mongering that has destroyed the reputation of this country. The pandering to big banks and big money to where most of our public funds have been transferred into private hands and those hands aint yours and mine darlin. This country was specifically founded on NOT Christianity, but freedom of religion. Get your religion out of politics and start respecting the rest of the ppl as having a right to chose their beliefs and vote for someone that might actually make decent choices to improve our current circumstances. It is not about God judging America and if we just get a righteous man in there, we will have God's blessing again. It is that we, the people, have not done our job in holding our leaders accountable and we have let freedom after freedom slip through our hands to the point that the elite have the majority of the benefits that are supposed to rest in the hands of, well, the majority. God didn't do this, our politicians did it and we let them and now WE, not God, need to fix it. Get over the infidelity and start looking at the actual politics. Newt is psycho and paranoid and will destroy this nation. BTW, there is not a single candidate, other than Ron Paul, that will not conduct business as usual, including Obama. GOP or Dem. Not that I am all into RP, but he is the only one that actually has a bit of sense in how to mind our own business in foreign policy and how to respect our freedoms as people. There is much I don't agree with him on, but he walks his talk and I can at least respect him.

Anonymous said...

I like Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum doesn't seem to have solid support (noting events in New Hamshire and SC). The support for Gingrich seems to be growing.

Only real CONVERSION of HEART on the part of our citizens will really change our country in the way that it needs to be changed.

In the meantime, I will support Gingrich with prayer and....remembering that God has often chosen some of the worst for His greatest works (St. Paul, St. Augustine, Mary Magdalene, etc...etc).

KM

Anonymous said...

"We are really finished with the GOP retooling people like Romney as a prolife Catholic agenda. We thought they learned that lesson last time but if we have to give it to them again, we shall."

They didn't learn that lesson last time, won't learn it this time, and never will learn it. The reason is because of all of the lemming Republicans who will always vote for the establishment's nominee no matter who it is. The establishment knows that they can pick whoever they want, tell Republican voters that they have no choice but to vote for that nominee, and the vast majority of the sheeple will obey them. You need to look no further than the CMR blog, where in 2008, we heard nothing but "John McCain this" and "John McCain that," and the basic message that anything other than a vote for McCain was immoral. The same thing will again happen this year, when CMR rallies around Romney once he gets the nomination. In fact, if Gingrich somehow found his way to the nomination (which he won't), CMR would rally behind him too in spite of everything that's been said here. The sheeple always obey, and that's exactly why the Republican establishment will NEVER learn or change anything.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate a canonist's forensic explanation of the processes and protocols for situations like this. Without knowing whether the Gingrich's (current) situation demanded testimonies as to the former dispositions of previous marriages, it occurs to me that an analogous scenario might be that of the persons who repeatedly take advantage of the judicial system in bankruptcy court to divest themselves of the bulk of personal responsiblity for failing to live up to their fiscal commitments. And, of course, these sorts of actions have all sorts of costs, repercussions, and burdens placed upon others besides the petitioners and their creditors.
Would you want someone who self-professed incompetency to manage their personal fiscal affairs and laid that burden significantly upon the nebulous back of "the system" re-appearing after a systematic makeover and with the zeal of a born-again soul, offering their expertise to run the largest financial institution on the globe?
This is the nexus of the connundrum. By what criteria is the electorate expected to divine the ethical fitness of a potential executive who has had to call upon the resources of the legal system to deliver himself from himself?
OK, he's Catholic, he's repented, he's forgiven, he's reconciled and now received. But by what earthly institutional dialectic did he prevail upon for that deliverance?
Or am I out of bounds?

Mary De Voe said...

If Newt abandoned his wife and his marriage, why did he not abandon his lust for his passionate patriotism? Or how can Newt be passionately patriotic and focused on the common good while indulging himself? These positions are inimical to each other. I refuse to be the scapegoat for Newt's indiscretions.

Mary De Voe said...

@Anon @1:48AM but I will bet you never blamed your obsessive compulsive behavior on anyone but yourself which is why you are able to deal with it. Newt is still blaming everyone and everthing for his failure to be upright.

bill bannon said...

Anonymous,
Church proceedings are confidential in this area but one can surmise pretty easily. The second wife of Gingrich was married prior to marrying him and so that second marriage to Newt would be annulled by the Church because she was married spiritually to another....like the Samaritan woman at the well whom Christ told she was with a man who was not her real husband.
The Church may well have annulled Newt's first marriage because Newt himself was defective in terms of moral maturity wherein he for years didn't grasp what marriage really is in Christian terms and so his vow was probably rejected by God.
Annullment asks this question: did God accept the vows of these two people regardless of whether the Church accepted their vows. If John Paul II trusted Macial Maciel Delgollardo for years and was wrong, you can see how the Church can often marry people who secretly are incapable of a vow morally. Since God sees the heart and nothing is hidden from Him, he rejects some marriages that the Church ok's at the time but later sees were a hidden problem

Mary De Voe said...

@Elliot Blu. CONGRESS DECLARES WAR. CONGRESS MAKES LAW. CONGRESS ACTS ON THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Obama has committed treason against our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Obama has redefined the human being as property of the state, no rational, immortal soul, no unalienable civil rights, only from whom to extort taxes to fund Obama's orgasms and orgies. HV Observer wrote: “We will not pay our own money to have babies executed without trial.” …because every member of the human species is guaranteed the right to trial by jury. Those members alive today have benefitted from this civil right and must, in Justice, extend the right to trial by jury to every member.

Mary De Voe said...

God bless

Anonymous said...

As someone who made a horrible mistake in a first marriage (annulled) and learned enough from it that my second marriage worked (25 years, three kids), I find this pious "I just can't trust Newt" commentary disingenuous. Judge not, lest ye be judged, I seem to recall. I'm not all that crazy about the guy, but why is it so hard to take his word on his conversion? His first two marriages were prior to becoming Catholic.

Most of the arguments against Newt can be boiled down to, "I'm Christian and believe in forgiveness, and I want to be able to wear my forgiveness on my sleeve, but in Newt's case, I want to be able to demand perfection." Or something like that.

Meh...

Kreps Neklo said...

As a Catholic, I want to be able to demand more from Newt by way of evidence he is a changed man. But also my faith informs me that I too am a sinner and it is not my job to judge him, that is for God to do.

As a pragmatist looking for more moral leadership of this nation however, I must also consider whether this quest that discards the good in search of the perfect will actually ultimately leave us further from where we want to be, in the re elected personage of President Obama. It is true that our leaders are fallible, but it also true that the other side simply will not hold their leaders to anything resembling a personal moral standard so long as their views fall into line. At the same time we are condemning Newt for having three marriages over 30 years, Bill Clinton appears to have been bedding 3 new women per week with antics which qualify him for the Adultery Hall of Fame, and there will be no admission from him much less remorse or contrition.

God uses us who are imperfect for His own purposes. That certainly describes Gingrich it would seem. Notwithstanding his numerous unmentioned weaknesses, is it still possible that Gingrich is the best (electable) candidate for people who want to see Christian values returned to our highest office?

Tony said...

Newt has converted, he has entered into the Church, this assumes sacramental confession, confirmation and first communion (don't know if he were baptized). He had any prior marriages annulled, and has sacramentally married his current wife. If Saul of Tarsus could turn it around, why not Newt?

That having been said...

Most likely Jesus has forgiven him. But he still has to pay the temporal punishment for his prior infidelities. It may be that that punishment is that he loses the nomination.

I don't think it's un-Christian to distrust Newt, we'll have to make up our own mind about that.

Bill Meyer said...

OK, so Newt was bad. And now is converted, and in charity, we must grant that he is learning and practicing the Catholic faith. Or we can sit here, with little to no real knowledge, and judge him. That would suit the Dems just fine, as we'd find ourselves going to the polls in November to vote for Romney, who is far from conservative, hasn't (and perhaps cannot) earn my trust, and comrade Obama. Oy!

We have seen a sequence of front runners, each of them, in turn, all but destroyed by the media, and to some degree, to the degree we lap it up, we are complicit.

I'd love to see the race come down to Santorum vs. O. But I don't think it will, and am unsure Santorum could win.

My worst nightmare is that Ron Paul will run on a third party ticket, and we get 4 more years of O, from which I doubt our country will ever recover.

amom said...

If that is your worst nightmare, perhaps you should work on helping Paul win the Republican nomination, so that practicing Catholics will have an acceptable candidate to vote for in good conscience. It would be nice for a change to be able to vote for a non-liar, non-thief, non- murderer, non-idolater for the first time in my adult life.

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