Gingrich’s French Revolution Theory

Newt Gingrich.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5843847473/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


The Thanksgiving Family Forum on Saturday wasn’t really a debate per se; it was more of a “Jesus is even better than Ronald Reagan” powwow hosted by noted pollster Frank Luntz.

For instance, Herman Cain said that people of faith “have been too passive” and that “we haven’t fought back” enough for the right to “express [our] faith in any setting.” He also inserted an applause line that took a swipe at the “political correctness police” who have allegedly kneecaped religious liberty in the country. That basically set the tone for the rest of the Republican candidate get-together (sans Mormons Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney).

Family values paragon Newt Gingrich followed-up with his patented critique of effete, soulless secularism, putting his background as a historian to good use:

“None of the Founding Fathers would have said education without character is useful; they would have said it was in fact dangerous,” Gingrich said. He went on to assert that “what we have now [in American society] is an outgrowth of the French Revolution,” which the former House Speaker defines as the wholesale “rejection of the larger world in favor of secularism.” This is the same anti-faith decadence that pollutes the US court system, Hollywood, public education, and so on, Gingrich insisted.

Gingrich’s effort to breathe new life into the so-called culture wars has been ongoing for quite some time now. His professed fear of America devolving into a “secular atheist country” was his go-to rhetoric since the beginning of the Obama era, and the book title To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine doesn’t leave much to the imagination regarding where he stands on “values.”

It’s still worth noting that the latest supposed front-runner in the GOP 2012 field continues to claim that school teachers, activist judges, and George Clooney are all dragging American society right back into the dark ages of the Reign of Terror.

Perhaps all the comparisons to Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia were finally wearing a tad thin.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.