Re: Gingrich Warns of ‘Secular Tyranny’

by Andrew Stuttaford

Katrina, thanks for noting those comments from Newt Gingrich. Pagans! This segment caught my eye:

“The great danger is that you’re going to see a real drive to outlaw and limit Christianity,” Gingrich said at a National Review breakfast briefing. “It’s okay to be Christian as long as you’re not really Christian. It’s a very serious problem.”

“You can’t actually have an adoption service that’s run by Catholics unless they’re willing to be not Catholic,” Gingrich remarked, alluding to the Catholic organizations that refuse to consider gay couples for adoptive parents and have had to close as a result.

“That should bother people,” Gingrich continued. “You’re now beginning to see a secular tyranny begin to set in that is very dangerous, and we need to have a national debate about it.”

How do we draw the line between the (thankfully) constitutionally protected right of Americans to the free exercise of their religion and the need to preserve the broad principle that the United States is a nation where the law should apply equally to all? The further that this country moves away from the latter, the closer it comes to a form of confessional “balkanization” that is unlikely to end well, particularly in a land that now plays host to a sometimes seemingly infinite variety of faiths. Debating how to strike the correct balance between maintaining the essential unity of this country and the proper defense of religious liberty within its borders is, as Mr. Gingrich suggests, well worth doing.

In that spirit, I wonder if Mr. Gingrich would have been prepared to put forward his proposition in the following terms:

The great danger is that you’re going to see a real drive to outlaw and limit Islam . . . It’s okay to be Muslim as long as you’re not really Muslim. It’s a very serious problem.

Food for thought, perhaps.

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