Newt Gingrich

Far-Right Televangelist Michael Youssef Endorses Gingrich

Leading The Way ministries pastor Michael Youssef is endorsing Newt Gingrich, whom he once compared to King David. He claims that only Gingrich “truly understands” the “threat to Western civilization, threat to our way of life, threat to the American Constitution.”

A fierce critic of gay rights, he said that America is going to have “the same fate as that of Sodom and Gomorrah” because of “homosexual lobbyists,” whom he claims “know deep down that homosexuality is contrary to God’s creator order.” He contends that America is removing “the land of God’s blessing and protection” by legalizing same-sex marriage, telling Charisma News that “it is very disturbing to see the greatest nation leading the world in abomination”:

Charisma News: What are some of your thoughts on this gay marriage law passing in New York?

Youssef: Here is another one that goes down the tubes. The stats say one in nine Americans are living in states where gay marriage is legal and it’s not going to stop there.

Let’s go to the beginning. When we begin to be immoral people we will cease to be blessed people. God blessed us as a nation through the years because of the faithfulness of the Founding Fathers to God’s Word. It might not be explicit but implicit in every action of their deliberation. Now we come to a time where we are removing the boundaries of our forefathers and as we remove these boundaries we are removing ourselves from the hand of God’s blessing and protection.

It is very disturbing to see the greatest nation leading the world in this abomination. It is very, very sad. This is a group of Republicans that made this happen. This is not a Republican-Democrat issue anymore. It is a moral issue. Those who love the Scripture and God’s ideal for our society must be very repulsed and speak against it. We need to examine every candidate for office from now on—to check not how he is going to help the economy, but how he is going to uphold God’s moral standard.

Youssef also has had strong words for mainline Protestants, arguing that Episcopalians are not Christians and urging people to leave the Episcopal and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and “deliver these institutions to Satan” over their support of gay rights. Moreover, Youssef called for America to be “at war with Islam” and has written about the “peculiar similarities between the Mormon faith and Islam.”

He joins Religious Right leaders Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Don Wildmon, Mat Staver, George Barna, David Lane and Jim Garlow in endorsing Gingrich.

UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign has named Youssef National Co-Chair of his Faith Leaders Coalition:

Newt 2012 today announced that Dr. Michael Youssef has endorsed Newt Gingrich, and Dr. Youssef will be joining the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as a National Co-Chair.

...

“I’m couldn’t be happier in having Dr. Youssef on board,” said Newt Gingrich. “Our Faith Leaders Coalition will benefit tremendously from his leadership as a Pastor, a communicator, and an immigrant to the U.S.”

GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed's...Ring

Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.

“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals.  He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day.  “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders.  Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.” 

The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government.  Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.

Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire.  His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.

The Supreme Court

Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices.  Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers.  Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor.  The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”

Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception

One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married.  Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage.  Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity.  Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”

Threats to “Religious Liberty”

Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists.  Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.”  “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry.  “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!”  Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.

Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics

Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.”  He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God.  The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.

Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)

The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him.  On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case.  Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism.   Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them.  He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families.  Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.”  Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”

Appropriating a Sanitized MLK

Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.”  But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event.  Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”  Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.”  According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.”  He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.

In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes.  According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society.  “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…”   Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender.  And they weren’t the last.

While Santorum wins Religious Right Support, No Signs of 'Strong Consensus'

Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?

Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.

Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”

The real loser of the meeting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who won just three votes in the first ballot. Major Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas last summer where they urged Perry to run for president. Dobson, Perkins, Garlow, Nance and other Religious Right figures all appeared with Perry at his The Response prayer rally and after Perry announced his candidacy, he courted a group of social conservative activists including Perkins, Dobson, Garlow at the Texas ranch of mega-donor James Leininger. John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council who was a Perry campaign chairman, has now even switched his support from Perry to Santorum.

While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.

LaHaye: Obama is Trying to 'Destroy This Country'

Religious Right leader and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye has always reserved strong criticism for President Obama, even going so far as to say that he is pushing the world “closer to the Apocalypse,” continued to lash out at the Obama administration in his letter to South Carolina pastors asking them to support Newt Gingrich. LaHaye and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich yesterday and, like Gingrich’s other supporters from the Religious Right, is warning that America may collapse if Obama wins reelection.

“Liberal secularists had brought our nation to the verge of maylieze [sic] and stagnation because over half the Christians in America didn’t even bother to vote,” LaHaye writes, “Please payerfully [sic] onsider going to the polls and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years”:

The reason I am writing you is because as a South Carolinian, you are in a strategic position to help America at this historic time in our nation’s history. During the last three years our nation has been led by liberal secularists who have tried their best to remove God from our public square and the elimination of the Biblical principles our founding fathers built this nation on. Their financial policies have already brought us to the brink of bankruptcy and their government policies of over regulation has prolonged our recession and will, if continued for four more years, destroy this country as we know it. Some in this government want to tell churches who they can hire or fire to run their church, which is the very thing our forefathers wanted to keep the King and his government from doing. If we do not change our leaders in the next election we will end up being like the godless socialist countries of Europe. That will so destroy our country in four years that many experts believe we will never be able to reclaim it for moral and physical sanity.

That is where you come in! As a voter you can go to the polls and elect the one man in the up coming primary with the intelligence, conservative philosophy and hands on experience in government that is so needed today to return our country to the God honoring principles that made our nation the greatest country in world history. That man is our personal friend, Speaker Newt Gingrich. My wife Beverly, the Founder and Chairman of Concerned Women For America based in Washington D.C., and I believe he is the only man running for the office of President of America who shares our conservative principles who can beat the present leader in open debate and win! As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States. We agree!

In 1980, America was on a decline not unlike our country is today. Liberal secularists had brought our nation to the verge of maylieze [sic] and stagnation because over half the Christians in America didn’t even bother to vote. That’s why we started the Moral Majority that helped elect conservative Ronald Regan and with God’s help he changed the direction of our country. I am one of the two minister board members still living who helped Jerry get that majority started. Today we have no regrets!

Now it is your turn. It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners. Please payerfully [sic] consider going to the polls and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years. Not just for ourselves, but for our children and to maintain the religious [sic] freedom thais [sic] so important today in preserving our nation’s future.

Tim and Beverly LaHaye and Mat Staver Endorse Newt Gingrich

Is the Religious Right beginning to coalesce behind Newt Gingrich? Yesterday, the former Speaker hosted a conference call with the members of his Faith Leaders Coalition: American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, Religious Right pollster George Barna and pastor Jim Garlow. Now, Gingrich is racking up additional endorsements from Religious Right figures just days before conservative activists are set to meet in Texas to see if they can get behind one of the presidential candidates.

Tim LaHaye, the author of the Left Behind series on the End Times and founder of the Council for National Policy, and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich, warning that America may “end up being like the godless socialist countries of Europe,” as did Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, one of the country’s most stridently anti-gay groups, and the dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “America will be unrecognizable if Obama is elected for four more years,” Staver said. “We need a strong leader with domestic, international and political experience who can inspire a new conservative resurgence in the line of Ronald Reagan. Speaker Gingrich is the clear choice.”

Tim LaHaye has claimed that President Obama is a socialist and not a Christian who is bringing America “closer to the Apocalypse,” and Staver has referred to Obama as a tyrant who is making the U.S. “one of the world’s immoral leaders” by opposing countries that criminalize homosexuality. 

Gingrich even appeared in TV advertisements for Liberty University School of Law, and LU ran ads featuring Gingrich in Iowa right before the caucus. While appearing on David Barton’s radio program WallBuilders Live, Gingrich said he would look to graduates of Liberty University when making appointments to the judiciary.

The LaHaye’s, Staver and Wildmon all endorsed Huckabee in the 2008 election. While Rick Santorum has picked up the support of social conservative figures such as Gary Bauer, Maggie Gallagher and Bob Vander Plaats, it appears that Gingrich is winning over Religious Right leaders who are desperate to defeat Mitt Romney.

UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign released this statement from Tim LaHaye:

“During the last three years our nation has been led by liberal secularists who have tried their best to remove God from our public square and the elimination of the Biblical principles our founding fathers built this nation on” said LaHaye.

“Please prayerfully consider going to the polls on January 21 and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years” he said.

Pastor LaHaye also pointed to Speaker Gingrich’s qualifications as the best candidate to defeat President Obama as one of the reasons for his endorsement.

“It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners,” LaHaye said. “As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, ‘Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States”… We agree!’”

"I am honored to have Tim's endorsement. His work as both a minister and author is truly unmatched," said Gingrich. "Tim will be a terrific partner for the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as we work to combat the influence of radical secularism and activist judges."

Gingrich Calls for the Restoration of the 'Church Militant'

Newt Gingrich today joined a conference call with members of his campaign’s Faith Leaders Coalition including Pastor Jim Garlow, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, and Religious Right pollster George Barna where he urged social conservative voters to coalesce behind his candidacy. During the call, Gingrich repeated his claim that religious charities are losing their rights because they refuse to follow codes that prevent taxpayer-funded services from discriminating against people such as married same-sex couples. He even warned that America might go the way of Europe where Gingrich claimed that reading parts of the Bible regarding homosexuality would be a “hate crime”:

Gingrich: The state governments, for example in Massachusetts, which has literally driven Catholic adoption services out of the state, the District of Columbia, which has literally driven Catholic services out of taking care of the poor, the degree to which if you aren’t pro-gay, pro-abortion and pro-secular, you don’t have any rights. If you watch Europe right now, there is an increasing risk of speech becoming illegal, there are sections of the Bible you can’t read anymore in some European countries because it involves homosexuality and the act of reading it from the pulpit would be considered a hate crime.

As he told John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church that America may soon become “a secular country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” Gingrich argued that atheists and Islamists are both waging war against Western civilization by trying to “drive God out of our lives” and “make America safe for Islam and militant religion.” He went on to call for the restoration of the “Church Militant” so civilization can “survive”:

Gingrich: We’re in a two front war for our civilization. At one front are the secular atheists who would seek to drive God out of our lives, and on the other front are radical Islamists who would seek to make America safe for Islam and militant religion. I think that we have to recognize how truly serious a crisis this is for our civilization, I find when I talk that there is a need for the Church Militant once again if we are going to survive. I really do believe that we are in a two front war over the very potential of our society being preserved.

Later, Garlow and Wildmon ended the call by warning that Mitt Romney would inevitably lose to President Obama if nominated because he would have lukewarm support among evangelical voters, which would doom America and “be the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it”:

Garlow: I really, truly believe that this nation is on a very short fuse and the reason I threw my lot in beside, behind Newt Gingrich is that I believe what he brings in the table is what is needed in this particular moment to break through and to be able to keep us from having a candidate like Romney. If we have a candidate like Romney, the evangelical participation will drop, probably from a 2010 level to a 2008 level, that would be from 28 percent to 23 percent, and that would result in the reelection of President Obama and our country cannot possibly, morally and economically, survive that. It would spell, in my opinion, the end of the United States of America as we have known her and consequently the end of Western civilization. Don Wildmon, you’ve heard me say these words, am I overstating the case Don Wildmon or do you believe that is within the range of accuracy?

Wildmon: Jim, I’ve been thinking in the last few weeks, about forty years ago I’ve became travelling a good bit in Europe and I saw what was happening in Europe and the shape that they’re in now and that’s where we’re headed. Let me say this, this is not just another election, and I’m not one to try to blow things out just to get attention. If we lose this election, then it will be the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it.

Garlow Warns Religious Right Voters That Only Gingrich Can Defeat Romney

Yesterday, leading Religious Right activist and Gingrich-surrogate Jim Garlow appeared on The Steve Deace Show, where he joined former congressman J.C. Watts in praising Gingrich. Deace, who recently endorsed Gingrich, asked Garlow why evangelical voters should back Gingrich when many feel there are candidates who are more ideologically pure and do not have Gingrich’s personal baggage. Garlow commented that Religious Right voters continue to be “defeated and frankly humiliated” by “hyper-spiritualizing” elections, when they should be backing candidates who have a chance at winning. He said Bachmann, Perry and Santorum do not stand a chance against “the Romney machine,” and that Christians need to start using a “healthy, biblical, biblically-founded pragmatism” and that “the Holy Spirit can show us” in order to win political fights:

Garlow: The second component is that we do not as Christians assess the problem quickly enough with a healthy, biblical, biblically-founded pragmatism. For example, I see people hyper-spiritualizing this election, they say, ‘well God parted the Red Sea,’ well he did it once! But he told Noah to build a boat, in other words, get in there and float on this thing. So we’re being out-fought, unfortunately, because we hyper-spiritualize way too much. Let me make it real, ground-tested and practical, and this will probably disturb some people. Michele Bachmann is wonderful but she has no cash and no traction; Rick Perry is wonderful, I think he’s absolutely fabulous, I hope he has strong influence in the nation in the future along with Michele Bachmann, he has lots of cash but his articulation skills have harmed him seriously and he cannot overcome them, not now; Rick Santorum is wonderful but he has no cash and no machinery, if he wins Iowa he needs to be spending $3 million a week minimum to carry him through to try keep up with the Romney machine, so Romney’s best interest is to land Rick Santorum right up there at the top. People are not thinking through a strategy and by lack of a biblically-founded pragmatism that the Holy Spirit can show us, the lack of a strategy, we are being defeated and frankly humiliated and our biblical rights are being robbed from us.

Last week, Garlow interviewed Gingrich on a conference call with Iowa pastors that also featured American Family Association founder Don Wildmon and “Restoration Project” organizer David Lane, both of whom previously supported Rick Perry but have since endorsed Gingrich. On the call, Wildmon warned conservatives against splitting their vote (2:45). Gingrich criticized abortion rights (8:15), marriage equality, which he called “a violation of the core framework of our civilization” (9:20), and the judiciary (10:50), warning that “the Obama, European secular socialism is fundamentally different and in a key way threatens our rights as citizens” by turning Americans into subjects of the state:

Gingrich, Wildmon and Garlow Hold Conference Call with Iowa Pastors as Caucus Approaches

Facing a barrage of negative ads and a severe drop in support among Iowa voters, Newt Gingrich today held a conference call with Iowa pastors to build up his support among the state’s social conservative voters. Religious Right leaders Don Wildmon and Jim Garlow, both of whom have endorsed Gingrich, were featured on the call, and David Brody of CBN News obtained Wildmon’s letter sent to Iowa pastors. In the letter, Wildmon stressed Gingrich’s “thrust to remove elitist judges,” including the Iowa justices who “voted in 2009 to impose homosexual marriage on all Iowans;” in fact, Gingrich helped bankroll a campaign led by Wildmon’s American Family Association to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court. Wildmon says that Gingrich is “the one person who can lead us out of the awful environment created by the present occupant in the White House”:

Dear Iowa pastors and friends:

I am inviting you (and select Christian Iowa Leaders) to join me on a Conference Call with Former Speaker Newt Gingrich this Friday, December 30, 12 Noon (CST).

Dr. Jim Garlow will emcee the call, pastor Skyline Church San-Diego, founder of the California Pastors Rapid Response Team, a group of several thousand pastors who led the successful charge for Prop. 8 in 2008, a Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage in California.

These are important and critical days in which to live and serve the Lord. I'm praying that the Lord is doing something dramatic in our time, and Iowa is leading the way on January 3rd.

Newt is leading the thrust to remove elitist judges who ignore the American people, like the 3 Iowa Supreme Court Justices who voted in 2009 to impose homosexual marriage on all Iowans.

On the call we will hear directly from Newt about this historic undertaking and hopefully have a chance to ask him about his plans for his "21st Century Contract With America."

I have been impressed with Newt and have come to the conclusion that Newt is the one person who can lead us out of the awful environment created by the present occupant in the White House. As Newt has expressed it, "America’s exceptional nature is based on the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence. Our rights are endowed by our Creator and they are unalienable." This is the type of understanding and strong leadership America needs.

Our Nation requires courageous, principled conservative leadership now more than ever.....from someone who understands that our rights as Americans are a gift from God, not government.

Please join me on this conference call with Newt Gingrich. Your participation is important to our future.

Thank you for your active participation in these critically important times.

Don Wildmon

American Family Association

Gingrich Floats Choosing Sarah Palin as Vice President, Energy Secretary

Last night during a tele-town hall hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, a caller asked Newt Gingrich if he would consider choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination. Gingrich responded that Palin “is certainly one of the people you would look at” and told the caller that he is “a great admirer of hers,” saying “she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska.” He also floated appointing Palin to a Cabinet position such as Energy Secretary because he “can’t imagine anybody who would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin.” Earlier this week, Gingrich pledged to fill the judiciary with graduates of the far-right Liberty and Regent University.

Caller: If you’re fortunate enough to be nominated, would you consider having Sarah Palin as your running mate?

Gingrich: She is certainly one of the people you would look at. I am a great admirer of hers and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska, she’s somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities. There are also some very important Cabinet positions that she could fill very, very well. I can’t imagine anybody who would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin, for example. Tell her that she would certainly be on the list of one of the people we would consider.

Gingrich Intends to Pack Courts with Judges from Regent and Liberty University, Federalist Society

Newt Gingrich appeared on Monday’s program of WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green, where Gingrich once again praised Barton’s right-wing pseudo-history and activism. In fact, Gingrich gave Barton credit for helping him develop his plan to assault the “judicial dictatorship” if elected president. He told Barton and Green that his plan is sending shockwaves through the “the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in” by legalizing abortion, “driving God out of public life” and making same-sex marriages become “legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”

Gingrich added that he would appoint judges in the mold of Robert George, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and a drafter of the Manhattan Declaration who has called people to defy Supreme Court decisions on issues like marriage that they disagree with, and graduates of Regent University and Liberty University, the schools founded by the far-right televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, respectively. Regent University absorbed the Oral Roberts University law program and teaches conservative Christian interpretations of the law, and the Liberty University School of Law even pressured students to disobey U.S. law if it conflicts with what they believe is “God’s law” in situations such as the Lisa Miller kidnapping case. Gingrich also pointed to the right-wing Federalist Society as a source for judicial appointments

Gingrich: What you have is, the secular left, which has been using the courts to replace the America we grew up in, the secular left which is desperately committed to Roe v. Wade and abortion, desperately committed to marriage between same-sex couples becoming legitimized as if they were the same between traditional marriage between a man and a woman, desperately committed to driving God out of public life, and they are suddenly faced with the possibility that we the people are going to take back our authority, that we are going to take back our rights, that we are going to redress the balance. The level of hysteria, I predict, will grow as they come to realize at the American Bar Association and elsewhere that this really is an effort to limit the power of lawyers to redesign America.

Green: Should you become president, is there a crop of attorneys and judges out there that understand history and understand originalism that you would have to choose from, in other words it’s got to be more than just you and Congress, what about good judges?

Gingrich: You start looking at people of the caliber of Robbie George of Princeton, you look at Regent University, you look at Liberty University, you start looking around and realizing there is a whole crop - Vince Haley of University of Virginia graduate who is a deeply, deeply committed Christian who clearly understands these kinds of issues - I think people would be surprised that the Federalist Society has many members who agree that we need a balance of power between the three, not a judicial dictatorship.

Wildmon Urges Evangelicals to Forgive and Support Gingrich or America may be 'Gone Forever'

On Tuesday, the founder of the far-right American Family Association Don Wildmon endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, citing Gingrich’s stringent attacks against the judiciary and the need to stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination as reasons for his endorsement. Wildmon told AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who has harshly criticized Gingrich, that he was originally “ecstatic” about Rick Perry but decided against supporting him due to his poor debate performances and said that only Gingrich can stop “the homosexuals and the liberals” from their plot to “destroy the family” and “the whole of Western Civilization.”

Yesterday, Gingrich and Wildmon appeared together on The Steve Deace Show, where Gingrich praised the rabidly anti-gay, pro-censorship leader of the ultraconservative AFA and called the endorsement a “very important signal” to social conservative voters that “Newt Gingrich is the one candidate who could potentially stop Mitt Romney.”

Deace: Newt, tell me what you think this endorsement means and what you want this endorsement to say to undecided voters out there?

Gingrich: No one has been a more consistent fighter for Christian freedom to actually practice our religion, for the right to life, stopping abortion, for the protection of marriage between a man and a woman, and I think the degree to which the Rev. Wildmon has been a national leader in these areas, the 2.5 million people who recognize his leadership through his association, this is a very important signal that if you are a social conservative and you’re interest is making sure that we have a social conservative as the Republican nominee, the Rev. Wildmon from his many years of experience is telling you that Newt Gingrich is the one candidate who could potentially stop Mitt Romney. I think that is a very, very powerful and a very important message, and I think it will make a big impact not just in Iowa but across the country. Having watched his work for a number of years, I am very grateful for this kind of support and the courage he’s shown standing up in the public arena for the values that we believe in.

Wildmon said that the election is so serious that if either President Obama or Mitt Romney wins we will “lose this country”:

Wildmon: If we don’t have a strong leadership that knows and believes in maintaining our Judeo-Christian heritage, we’re going to lose it. And let me tell you, don’t load up any buses because there’s nowhere else in the world that what we have can be replicated. It’s gone and it is gone forever if Obama or Romney wins the presidency, it’s gone and it’s gone forever. That’s a strong statement, I’m not trying to scare anybody, I’m not trying to say I got any kind of intellect, but I just see it and it’s there and if we lose this country, it’s gone and it can never again be replicated.

When Deace asked Wildmon how the Religious Right leader came to terms with a supporting a candidate whose last two marriages ended following extramarital affairs, Wildmon pointed to his own conversations with Gingrich where he repented for his past indiscretions and to California pastor Jim Garlow, who has pressed evangelicals to forgive and support Gingrich. Wildmon also reminded Deace that “Paul was a murderer, Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer and for all intents and purposes a murderer,” and were still forgiven and lifted up by God:

Deace: I keep getting questions about someone that has had the past on a personal level that Newt has had, with even Newt has himself described as moral failings in his past, and whether or not we as evangelicals can support somebody like that and do we look hypocritical, I know you obviously wrestled with this, so let me ask you that question.

Wildmon: Yes I think that is a legitimate question, my friend Jim Garlow could answer that more in depth, but let me answer what I can. Go back four years ago, I was sitting in a room in Washington and we asked Newt to come out and discuss the situation, and we did and he said that he had repented, at that time this was four years ago now and if I remember there was a tear or two, I think the man was genuine, I think he was honest, I think he meant what it said. Now and I say this with Newt sitting there, only Newt knows Newt’s heart other than God, I think that he has paid his dues, I think he has accepted his forgiveness, God has forgiven him, I forgive him, let’s go on to do what’s best for the country.

I am supporting Newt because I think he’s the best fellow for the job, as far as sin, we know what’s in Newt’s past, Paul was a murderer, Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer and for all intents and purposes a murderer, the man has paid his dues, he’s been forgiven by God. Am I supporting him? Yes I am. Why? I’ll say it again; I think that everything considered he is the best candidate for the office. Look—I’m taking a lot of heat, a lot of people already tell me ‘I’m not going to support you anymore’—you only live once and you got to do what you believe to be right and best, and you suffer the consequences thereof, and I think this is the right and best what I did. I hope some of my influence in the state of Iowa will help the Speaker carry the state.

Bachmann, Gingrich and Santorum to Participate in Forum hosted by Radical Anti-Choice Activists

Republican presidential candidiates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signed on for a “Presidential Pro-Life Forum” hosted by Personhood USA and moderated by Iowa conservative radio personality Steve Deace. The three candidates along with Rick Perry have already announced their support for personhood laws.

Personhood USA wants abortion and even common forms of birth control banned without exception, and personhood laws may even outlaw in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies. The group launched unsuccessful referendums in Colorado and Mississippi, and has characterized President Obama as the “Angel of Death” and likened opponents to Nazis.

The other organizations listed as hosts of the forum are just as radical, if not more so.

The Call is led by Lou Engle, who has claimed that legal abortion may lead to civil war and is responsible for the Joplin tornado. Engle has also used his The Call prayer rally to bolster Ugandan legislation that would criminalize and in some cases give the death penalty for homosexuals. Moreover, Engle has compared gay rights to Nazism, advocated for Seven Mountains dominionism, and said that both gays and Muslims are demonic.

Another organization hosting the forum is the Oak Initiative, a project of South Carolina pastor Rick Joyner, who has argued that God will imminently destroy California, Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment for homosexuality, “extremist Islam” is God’s judgment for “perversions” and “abortions,” and that very soon “God’s judgment is going to come upon Hollywood.” Joyner also believes that President Obama may be a Muslim and that Muslims are trying to take control of Michigan, school textbooks and Christianity. Like Engle, Joyner is a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism.

Both Engle and Joyner are closely affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes that God is raising up modern day apostles and prophets, and another cosponsor, the Freedom Federation, includes the NAR groups Generals International, led by the self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, and Harvest International Ministries of self-proclaimed apostle Che Ahn.

Three Republican candidates for the nation’s high office including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich have confirmed their participation in the Presidential Pro-Life Forum on Tuesday, December 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm CST. The national tele-town hall and radio simulcast will be hosted by Personhood USA and their partner organizations: National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, Liberty Counsel, Bott Radio Network, Freedom Federation, Frederick Douglass Foundation, Champion the Vote, Oak Initiative, The Call, Georgia Right to Life, Rock for Life, and Iowa Right to Life. An invitation has been extended to the remaining GOP presidential candidates.

The 90-minute pro-life tele-town hall will feature the candidates discussing their views on the rights of the preborn and other issues of great importance to pro-life voters. Pro-life groups around the nation are inviting their members to attend. Callers will have an opportunity to ask questions via email and give instant feedback to thoughts and ideas shared.

Nationally-syndicated radio host Steve Deace, whose influence in the Iowa Caucuses has been highlighted by numerous national media outlets, will broadcast the event live on his Salem Network program. Last week, four candidates, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Gov. Rick Perry, signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Republican Candidate Pledge, declaring their intentions to stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“We’re pleased to see the candidates standing for the rights of every person to live, love, and be loved. The time has come to end the 40-year reign of the abortion industry, once and for all,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “This is an opportunity for everyone who understands that ‘all men are created equal’ to hear from the candidates their plans to recognize the most fundamental rights of every human being, no matter their age. Come, take advantage of this interactive and important event, and be a voice for the voiceless.”

SC Baptist Convention President Says Christians Will Have an Easier Time Voting for a Serial Adulterer Than a Mormon

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been busy spinning bizarre theories about how the media will have to try to make voters uncomfortable with Mitt Romney's faith in order to help President Obama because Evangelical Christian voters would have no qualms about voting for a Mormon.

The only problem with Land's conspiracy theory is that it is constantly being undermined by others, like the new president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Brad Atkins, who says that Christians would have a much easier time voting for a thrice-married serial adulterer like Newt Gingrich before ever voting for a Mormon like Romney: 

The Rev. Brad Atkins, tabbed in November to lead the group for the coming year, told Patch on Friday that while Gingrich's infidelities may represent a major obstacle for some Christian voters, it isn't an issue that necessarily excludes the former speaker from consideration. Rather, it's an issue that calls for prayerful consideration of Gingrich's numerous public confessions to his wrongdoings.

The issue presented by Romney's faith may be more deeply rooted to South Carolinians.

"In South Carolina, Romney's Mormonism will be more of a cause of concern than Gingrich's infidelity," said Atkins, the pastor at Powdersville First Baptist Church in the Upstate.

"Conservatives can process and pray their way through the issue of forgiveness toward a Christian that has had infidelity in their life, but will struggle to understand how anyone could be a Mormon and call themselves 'Christian.'"

Don Wildmon, Founder of American Family Association, Endorses Gingrich

Newt Gingrich today nabbed the endorsement of Don Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, which is now under the leadership of his son, Tim. Wildmon praised Gingrich’s aggressive attacks on the judiciary, saying, “Newt Gingrich recognizes the threat to our country posed by judges and lawyers imposing values upon the country inconsistent with our religious heritage, and has proposed constitutional steps to bring the courts back in balance under the constitution,” and Gingrich welcomed the endorsement by calling Wildmon “one of the most important leaders in the country in the battle to uphold our founding principles.”

Wildmon endorsed Gingrich, who has admitted that extramarital affairs were reasons that ended his first two marriages, despite previously arguing that “adultery is destructive to relationships, to families, and to society.”

Wildmon’s endorsement will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to Rick Perry, who teamed-up with Wildmon to launch The Response and embraced him at the prayer rally, and Michele Bachmann, who has courted Religious Right figures like Phyllis Schlafly and Tamara Scott.

After founding the National Federation for Decency, which later became the AFA, Wildmon led censorship campaigns against shows like Seinfeld and Murphy Brown, along with other movies, television programs and music he found objectionable.

Wildmon also has claimed that “liberals” and those who support the “homosexual agenda” all “hate Christians,” and in his recent book Speechless, he claimed that “homosecularists” are trying to “persecute Christians” and “insert homosexual propaganda into the schools.” He warned that the “homosecularist elite” is using “the schools to indoctrinate children” through “pro-homosexual and anti-Christian” programs to combat school bullying. Wildmon also praised the Boy Scouts for not wanting to “expose its young members to lonely sodomites.”

But Wildmon’s endorsement doesn’t mean others in the AFA have had less than kind words for Gingrich.

Matt Freideman said that Gingrich’s extramarital affairs could disgrace the GOP:

Recently in a phone interview I challenged former Speaker Newt Gingrich with the query If the men of the Republican Revolution and their Speaker couldn't keep their marriage vows why should we now entrust, say, that Speaker who looks to be making a run for the presidency?

It wasn't much of an answer he gave. Evangelicals in power must do better in the future, and cultural conservatives in particular must surely know that the public will hold them to higher standards.

And Gingrich has faced tough criticism from AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who called his extramarital affairs a “show-stopper” and charged that “social conservatives and all those in the pro-family movement must have grave reservations about his candidacy”:

John the Baptist famously rebuked a politician of his day for his problematic marital history, and Mr. Gingrich rightly comes in for similar censure.

King David of the ancient kingdom of Israel kept his throne after his adulterous liaison with the beautiful Bathsheba, but a consequence of his unfaithfulness was that the sword never left his house, never left the dynasty he left behind nor the nation his descendants ruled. There were lasting consequences to the body politic for his moral failures, no matter how repentant he was and no matter how forgiven by God.

Fischer even warned that a Gingrich presidency could undermine American families:

A candidate or president with such a troubled past would have little or no credibility in talking about the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity and importance of the intact family unit. “Who are you,” folks would say, “to be lecturing us about the importance of family?”

And there certainly would be fallout for the American family and the institution of marriage if such a flawed individual served as our nation’s leader.

UPDATE: Wildmon today appeared on Focal Point with Bryan Fischer where he explained that while he was initially “ecstatic” about Rick Perry’s candidacy, he decided that because of the Texas governor's disastrous debate appearances his candidacy “cannot recover.” Wildmon said that electability matters because “we are facing the most critical election this nation has ever seen, the stake in this election is Western civilization.”

When discussing Gingrich’s extramarital affairs, he said that Gingrich “seemed genuinely repentant,” telling Fischer, “we are voting for a president, not a pope, and there is a difference.” He added that his endorsement was personal and does not reflect an endorsement by the American Family Association.

Later in the show, Wildmon and Fischer praised Gingrich’s fight against “judicial tyranny” and Wildmon cited Gingrich’s attacks on judges as one of the major reasons he endorsed him: Wildmon said “the whole of Western Civilization” is in jeopardy because “when you destroy the family, which the homosexuals and the liberals now are trying to do, then you've destroyed the foundation here. All of this business about homosexual marriage, well let’s go to Massachusetts where it started, did the people vote on it? No they didn’t. What happened? Judges, judges, liberal judges passed the law, made the legalization of homosexual marriage in Massachusetts.”

Garlow Assures the Religious Right that Gingrich has Changed

Back when Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign was just getting off the ground and nobody was giving him any chance of winning the Republican nomination, Gingrich had the very vocal support of Pastor Jim Garlow.

As we noted then, Garlow had led the Prop 8 fight against marriage equality in order to save the "sanctity of marriage" and so it seemed rather odd for him to be throwing his support behind a thrice-married adulterer.

Now that Gingrich is among the leaders in the GOP primary, Garlow has penned a long email to evangelicals explaining in great depth just why he is supporting Gingrich and, by extension, why they should as well.

Garlow raves about Gingrich's genius, his record, and even his "Churchillian fortitude" ... but the crux of his argument is that he has spent more time with Gingrich then just about anyone and has had deep, spiritual conversations with him about his past failings and can assure everyone that Gingrich has repented, been forgiven, and changed.

People on the Left may scoff at this, Garlow knows, but those who are "spiritually mature" will surely "get it":

During my private conversations with Mr. Gingrich, I discovered three things:

I found him to be remarkably and unexpectedly transparent – fully and completely acknowledging his spiritual failures, responding to my very personal questions with unflinching honesty. There was no attempt to "whitewash" transgressions. He did not defend them. Nor do I defend them. As it relates to Mr. Gingrich’s past sins, I merely state that were there no sin, there would have been no cross. We all need the forgiveness the cross of Jesus brings. I was once asked a strongly worded question from a nationally known investigative reporter with one of the three major networks, while in their studio in Washington, DC. “Given Mr. Gingrich’s past, and the fact that you are a pastor, why do you associate with someone like him?” the reporter asked. My answer is that, as a pastor, I look for people like Mr. Gingrich. I am a pastor and I have the privilege of telling people who acknowledge their sin that the cross of Jesus provides healing and forgiveness.” In my meeting with Mr. Gingrich about this delicate issue, he made one particular statement that I asked to share with others, thus making it public. He agreed. Here it is: He stated, “On my bleakest days (referring to his indiscretions), I knew that my sin was sin.” Why is this significant? I spend much of my time trying to persuade people that “sin” still exists, and what they are doing is sin (a most unpopular word). Some pastors won’t even use the word today. God does. So I do as well. If a person knows that their “sinning is sin,” then they are halfway toward receiving correction and forgiveness. An additional insight I had was that, as I conversed with Mr. Gingrich, it appeared to me that he understood the difference between forgiveness (which occurs in an instant) and restoration (which involves an arduous process).

Furthermore, Mr. Gingrich was profoundly tender during our conversation. I realize the radical secularists, and Mr. Gingrich’s detractors in general, will attempt to poke fun at this statement, but discerning people will know that this fact is truly significant. Allow me to explain its importance. He placed no blame on any other person(s). Blame shifting is common in failed marriages. As one who has counseled many in the midst of divorces, I listen intently for language that would indicate a failure to take responsibility. He evidenced none of that. He placed no blame on his former wives or anyone else. He shouldered the blame. He spoke very honoring of the wife who bore him two daughters. And when he spoke of his daughters, he teared up. He enjoys a superb relationship with his two daughters and his grandchildren. I have talked to one of his daughters at length about this topic. This is not the same man who is now characterized by his critics as the “bull-in-the-China-shop” type Gingrich who led the House of Representatives in the 1990s. People change. And – if he was as forceful as some say he was – he has changed.

In addition, he was quite teachable. When I probed him on some aspects of bringing "spiritual closure," he responded with thoughtful and reflective questions, wanting to include the person who is serving as his spiritual advisor. Since I do not “want anything out of him” if he becomes our next president, I have no reason to pander. I have confronted him (privately) on some issues, and I have found him to be very teachable. He has never been defensive. Not once. Wise is the man who surrounds himself with many competent counselors. It appears to me that Mr. Gingrich has done and is doing that.

I cannot know the motives of all Mr. Gingrich’s critics, but it appears that one of the reasons some are fixating on his past marital indiscretions is because they do not want to attempt to deal with Mr. Gingrich’s solutions for America’s present day problems. The obsession with past deeds is to distract the discussion for present day crisis that America now faces.

Allow me to ratchet up a bit. I have spent more time with Mr. Gingrich on this issue than 99.9% of the people who will read this email. I have dealt with people with moral failures, sins and mistakes since 1969, when I accepted my first job as a (youth) pastor, 42 years ago. I am not a novice at dealing with people needing to walk from unrighteousness to uprightness. Out of respect for confidentiality, I will not reveal more about my conversations with Mr. Gingrich. But I need to make a summary statement on this: At the risk of being misunderstood, I would suggest that I am in a better (pastoral and otherwise) position to evaluate his present status than most. I have grown weary of “long distance” attackers who have not invested any time with him privately on these issues, yet who consider themselves to be self-appointed experts on his actual spiritual condition. They need to know “his heart,” and they badly need a fundamental course in hamartiology (the doctrine of sin) and soteriology (doctrine of salvation).

In my evaluating his present spiritual status, I made an unusual request of Mr. Gingrich. I asked him if I could worship with him – at his church, the Basilica, in Washington, DC. I am an avowed Protestant evangelical. Mr. Gingrich worships in a Catholic Church. Our worship preferences are substantially different. But we worship the same God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why did I want to worship with him – at his church? You can learn much about a person when you worship with them. You can, if you are spiritually attuned, sense much. I observed him in this tender environment.

Secularists will likely mock this idea, out of their own lack of understanding and discernment. But I was there. I worshipped with him. I saw a man who humbled himself before God. Those with spiritual dullness will not grasp the importance of this paragraph. The spiritually mature will, in contrast, “get it.”

Gingrich, Santorum, and Bachmann All Sign Radical Personhood USA Pledge

Last month, the radical "personhood" amendment in Mississippi was trounced in the polls, with 58% of voters rejecting the Religious Right's effort to implement draconian anti-choice restrictions in the state.

But that has not stopped supporters of this "personhood" movement from moving ahead with plans to try and pass similar amendments in states across the nation. 

And now Personhood USA has announced that Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all signed the organization's pledge to support and promote both state and federal "personhood" laws:

Personhood USA has unveiled a detailed and unique pledge declaring a commitment to advance the personhood rights of every human being, born and preborn. Ahead of the nation’s first presidential caucus in Iowa, Personhood USA is asking the Republican candidates to sign the pledge and declaration.

“I ____________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life,” it reads.

So far, candidates who have returned the pledge with their signatures include Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The "Personhood Republican Persidential Candidate Pledge" reads as follows:  

I __________________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.

I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,” and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

I believe that in order to properly protect the right to life of the vulnerable among us, every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise. I recognize that in cases where a mother’s life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life as well; leaving the death of an innocent child as an unintended tragedy rather than an intentional killing.

I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings.

I pledge to the American people that I will defend all innocent human life. Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited.

If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.

The Family Leader Wants a Winner, While Bachmann Pushes for Religious Right Support

After narrowing their decision to four candidates in the Republican field, The Family Leader is set to announce their endorsement on Monday…or their decision not to endorse at all. With the caucus less than a month away, Bob Vander Plaats claims that their desired candidate must not only be conservative but must also have the strength to defeat Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination and ultimately President Obama. While Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry have all signed The Family Leader’s pledge, Newt Gingrich recently penned a letter committing to their right-wing agenda and pledging faithfulness to his third wife. The conservative Iowa Republican reports:

Bob Vander Plaats and his Family Leader organization plan to make a decision on whether or not to make an endorsement, and whom they might endorse, by next Monday. The group’s backing is one of the most sought after in the GOP presidential race, especially in Iowa.



“That’s going be a great question, because if you read the pledge that he wrote and submitted, there’s a lot of our verbiage in there,” Vander Plaats said. “He takes some strong stances on life, marriage and religious freedom. As we read it, we wondered why he didn’t sign the pledge, but he did almost everything we talked about and used a similar language.”



Vander Plaats says he is looking for an “authentic conservative”, but adds that viability is one of the issues The Family Leader will consider when picking their candidate. “If you’re going to beat Obama, then you also have to beat Romney to get the nomination,” The Family Leader CEO said. “If we were to endorse on what we’re looking for, we’re looking for a very conservative principled, but we’re also looking for someone who can win.”

While Vander Plaats may be concerned about electability, the campaign of the very-unelectable Michele Bachmann organized a group of the state’s Religious Right leaders, including Danny Carroll of The Family Leader, to promote her struggling campaign:

A group of conservative Christian faith leaders are hitting the road to urge conservatives to caucus for Michele Bachmann – not the race’s frontrunner, Newt Gingrich.

 

“Frankly, we’re looking to shake things up a little bit,” former Iowa Rep. Danny Carroll, a conservative Republican from Grinnell, told reporters at a news conference at the Iowa Capitol this morning.

The pastors delicately made it clear that they don’t think Gingrich is the best choice for president. Nor is Rick Santorum, a religious conservative who has been courting the evangelical vote in Iowa.

“(Gingrich) is tremendous in debates,” said Brad Sherman, an evangelical Christian minister with Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville. “Part of me wants to say I’d love to see him debate Obama because I think he would chew him up. But I have to live by principle – and Michele Bachmann has proved it.”



Carroll said during the news conference: “We have determined that Michele Bachmann is Biblically-qualified to be the president, to be a leader. She is capable. She is trustworthy. She fears God and she hates dishonest gain.”

Iowans should to go to the caucuses on Jan. 3 “unless you support someone other than Michele Bachmann. Then you should take the night off,” he said.

Carroll and various faith leaders are embarking on an eight-city tour of Iowa – Oskaloosa, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Mason City, Council Bluffs and Sioux City – to call on Christians “to be informed.”

As Gingrich Courts The Religious Right, Perkins Waves Red Flags

Today, Newt Gingrich sent a letter to Iowa Religious Right leader Bob Vander Plaats detailing his commitment to fight gay rights and reproductive rights, and also taking a vow to stay faithful to his wife Callista, his third wife and former mistress. After vowing to fight against gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry, Gingrich said he would “pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.” Vander Plaats has previously floated supporting Gingrich, who leads in the Iowa polls, and publicly announced that his organization has narrowed its choices to Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

But Gingrich’s problems winning over Religious Right activists despite his best efforts were exhibited in an interview Family Research Council president Tony Perkins gave on Friday with radio talk show host Janet Mefferd. Perkins told Mefferd that Religious Right voters may be viewed as hypocritical if they pick Gingrich over right-wing candidates who, unlike Gingrich, also have both “their personal lives and their professional lives in order” like Bachmann, Santorum and Perry in the Republican primary. However, Perkins said it would not at all problematic for Christian conservative voters to back Gingrich over President Obama if he is the party’s nominee.

Listen:

Mefferd: My question is, Tony do you buy this idea that if Newt Gingrich does end up being the nominee and Christian conservatives end up getting behind him because they want to vote out Barack Obama, which we all do, that that somehow will ruin the reputation of Christians? Are you buying that connection?

Perkins: No, I think the question that does have some legitimacy is in—right now, where it stands, you’re still four weeks away from the vote in Iowa, and there are still solid conservative candidates in this race. You have Michele Bachmann, a strong Christian woman who I know very well and is completely in line with us, Rick Santorum, another close friend again who is perfectly in line with us, as well as Rick Perry, who is in line with us on all the issues. So I think for Christian conservatives to come out now and say, ‘alright well we’re going to support Newt Gingrich,’ when you still have people that have their personal lives and their professional lives in order, I do think that then rings kind of like, ‘well we just want to be with a political winner,’ so I think that charge would stick now.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Gingrich Says Obama's "Ego" Will Force Him to Accept Lincoln-Douglas Debate Challenge

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich addressed some 60 conservative and Religious Right leaders suburban Washington, DC at a gathering organized by direct mail guru Richard Viguerie.

Yesterday afternoon, following the meeting, Viguerie's ConservativeHQ posted a report on the meeting, noting that Gingrich was "interrupted numerous times by applause" as he called upon those in the room to "be with me, not merely for me – because if you are merely for me that implies you can vote and go home and expect me to fix things, but for this level of change to occur I need you working with me every step of the way to make it happen."

Gingrich also talked about his plans for getting President Obama to agree to participate in several Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, predicting that Obama will eventually accept the challenge because of his ego

But if Obama won't accept his challenge, then Gingrich plans to just follow him around the country and "show-up within four hours to take apart whatever he said":

When asked about how he intended to win the general election Gingrich said he expected Obama to have $1 billion to spend, but that he would counter that by challenging Obama to a series of seven Lincoln – Douglas-style un-moderated debates, “…and he'll say yes. There are two reasons: The first is his ego. Can you imagine him looking in the mirror? Graduate from Columbia, Harvard Law, and editor of the Law Review. How is he going to say that he's afraid to be on the same podium as a West Georgia College teacher? Plus, if he says ‘no’ I’m going to say ‘the White House is now my scheduler’ and wherever he goes I will show-up within four hours to take apart whatever he said, that’s how Lincoln got Douglas to debate.”

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Newt Gingrich Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Thursday 04/19/2012, 5:58pm
The Freedom Federation – an anti-Obama amalgam of Religious Right groups, "apostolic" ministries, and the corporate-funded astroturf Americans for Prosperity – is holding its third annual Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Here’s how it describes the event: Uniting our Voices Around Shared Values: Turning Voices into Votes A war is raging against our shared values. Our faith and freedom are under attack. Silence in the face of this war is not an option. Decisive action is needed. Join with others who share the core values that make America a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/23/2012, 11:00am
While campaigning in Louisiana yesterday Newt Gingrich spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, who was upset that the Washington Post wrote “two pages” on Rick Santorum’s ties to Opus Dei and predicted that the media will attack Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith if he is the nominee. Gingrich, who has previously said that America has an “elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism” and railed against the “anti-Christian, anti-Jewish” left, bemoaned that the “elite media” refuses to write about... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/14/2012, 3:39pm
One of the most amazing things about Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign is that the longer it goes on, the less chance he has of actually winning and the more divorced (no pun intended) he becomes from reality. Yesterday, ahead of the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, Gingrich called into Janet Mefferd's radio program for a short interview where they discussed Gingrich's plan to get the price of gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon which he claimed was terrifying liberals because the Left fears energy independence and rejects new technology: Liberals have this desire to ration, to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/01/2012, 6:40pm
Today on a conference call with the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition that included guest speakers Jim Garlow and J.C. Watts, Newt Gingrich claimed that he will push for not only a federal marriage amendment to outlaw marriage equality but also a federal law to prohibit states from legalizing same-sex marriage. He claimed that states with marriage equality are contributing to legal “chaos” and said that “if we are going to defend marriage in the end it will probably require a federal law.” After a questioner asked whether same-sex marriage would lead to people seeking... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/17/2012, 3:41pm
When Newt Gingrich was campaigning in California earlier this week, he stopped by the Hoover Institution where he sat down for an interview with Research Fellow Peter Robinson. Early on in the interview, Gingrich accused the Obama administration of waging "war on religion" and Robinson later asked Gingrich if he really meant to use the word "war" and gave him an opportunity to take it back and clarify. But Gingrich was having none of it, standing by his use of the phrase while accusing the Obama Administration of believing that President Obama is superior to the Pope and... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 02/13/2012, 6:32pm
The main themes from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were not terribly surprising to anyone paying attention to the GOP presidential primary.  According to CPAC speakers, President Obama is a “socialist, Marxist president” bent on destroying the country and the Constitution, and the nation will not survive if he is re-elected.  “Compromise” is a four-letter word. Health care reform is tyranny. Contraception is tyranny. TSA searches are tyranny.  You get the idea. But there were also moments of insight into aspects of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/10/2012, 6:17pm
Newt Gingrich was the last of the remaining Republican presidential candidates to address the audience at CPAC  this year and during his speech, he brought them to their feet by declaring that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who have lost their jobs violates the Declaration of Independence: MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/08/2012, 6:20pm
Yesterday on Family Talk, James Dobson and Daniel Lapin came to the conclusion that ‘the pill’ paved the way for the destruction of civilization by increasing sexual promiscuity and reducing masculinity. Today, Dobson blamed Bill Clinton for the growing acceptance of “illicit sexuality” among politicians. Dobson, a prominent endorser of Rick Santorum, even lamented that the public isn’t having serious problems with supporting “an admitted womanizer,” Newt Gingrich. The Focus on the Family founder earlier claimed that he wouldn’t support... MORE >