Union Leader Endorsement Adds Wind to the Sails of the Campaign of Newt GingrichNovember 28, 2011 No Comments
Union Leader Endorsement Adds Wind to the Sails of the Campaign of Newt Gingrich
November 28, 2011 | (Catholic Online)
As support for his candidacy grows so will the efforts to denigrate him. It is here Catholics must be careful. I have received letters from those who bring up wrong choices made by Newt Gingrich in years past. I remind my readers that when a man or a woman enters into the full communion of the Church, they receive the Sacraments, including the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The process involved in allowing the Church to shine her light on past relationships associated with the past life of a convert is a serious one – and one which fellow Catholics should respect.
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) – On Sunday, the Union Leader Newspaper of New Hampshire endorsed Newt Gingrich to win the Republican Presidential nomination. The Newspaper’s publisher, Joseph McQuaid, wrote:
“This newspaper endorses Newt Gingrich in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.
“He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President. A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again.
“We sympathize with the many people we have heard from, both here and across the country, who remain unsure of their choice this close to the primary. It is understandable. Our nation is in peril, yet much of the attention has been focused on fluff, silliness and each candidate’s minor miscues.Truth be known, many in the liberal media are belittling the Republican candidates because they don’t want any of them to be taken as a serious challenger to their man, Obama.
“Readers of the Union Leader and Sunday News know that we don’t back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job. We don’t have to agree with them on every issue. We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear.
“Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running. In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times. He is worthy of your support on January 10.”
Reaction to this endorsement filled the media. The other Republican candidates, either in person or through their surrogates, sought to make their case for their own candidacy over the Gingrich campaign. For the most part, they did so with respect. In addition, opponents of the former Speaker on the Democratic side expressed their strong opinions about his qualifications as well as his positions on issues. All of which was appropriate.
However, a tiny segment of the pundit television class in Washington DC engaged in insult and derision in the name of politics. The newest “star” among this small group is Chris Hayes. He hosts an odd show on MSNBC entitled “Up with Chris Hayes”. Reeking with smugness he engaged in sarcasm and condescension. He led his hand selected guests in what pretended to be political discourse.
I have written about several of the Republican candidates, including the former Speaker of the House. I have pulled no punches concerning my tremendous respect for Rick Santorum. I write on the presidential campaign as a private citizen. Catholic Online has not endorsed a candidate.
I could never endorse the reelection of a President who fails to respect the fundamental human right to life, refuses to defend marriage and disregards the fundamental right to religious freedom. Those concerns are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other reasons I will do everything I can to see that President Obama is not reelected. This election is one of the most important in American history.
However, I want to now consider the Republican candidate named Newt Gingrich. I have followed his political career for a long time. He was the architect and “idea man” behind the historic “Contract with America”. He is an intelligent man, a history Professor with an earned Doctorate. His grasp of public policy issues is like few others in politics. I have long been impressed with his willingness to propose fresh solutions for ever challenging public needs.
His proposals in the early 2,000′s for person, family and free market based health care reforms are just now being given the due consideration they deserve as the ominous cloud of federal government run “health care” looms large. His genuine concern for those who are in need of medical care is one of the areas where he has not received the recognition he deserves.
He is a man who is not afraid to speak his mind, even if it might cost him votes. Take for example his recent “controversial” willingness to express a concern for illegal immigrants who have long lived in this country and raised families. This is what he actually said: “I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them.”
Newt Gingrich did not endorse “amnesty” or support illegal immigration. He raised a concern about human persons which cries out for a solution. Now, he offers to help the Nation find that solution. That is his stock in trade.Anyone who has listened to him in the 2012 Presidential debates – if they are being honest – agrees he is well informed on every issue of public policy. The man is articulate- and prolific. He has written twenty three books – including thirteen New York Times bestsellers. He is comfortable with creative ideas and unafraid of big picture thinking.
Newt Gingrich has a hopeful vision for the future. This defies the stereotypes too often associated with “conservative” politicians. I recall years ago when the amazing rise in communications technology had just begun, I searched for a “futurist” among the ranks of the then “conservative” leaders. I found just such a “conservative” futurist in Newt Gingrich.
However, I must admit that it was his faith journey in later life which made my respect for him become something more, admiration. I have learned in my own life that the past is either a tutor or a millstone. For Newt Gingrich, a man comfortable in his own skin, the past has become a tutor.
This Professor has learned that we are always students. His response to questions concerning his own past reveal the wisdom borne of experience, infused with real faith. It is not how many times we fall down, but whether we get up and learn how to walk. That is to me, the most compelling thing about the “new” Newt Gingrich.
In an article in the National Catholic Register in 2011 entitled “Why I Became a Catholic” Newt bore witness to the journey which brought him into the Catholic Church. It is the story of an intellectual – who is also a “down to earth” man. It is also similar to numerous other journeys in the history of converts to the Catholic Christian faith.
Newt’s Catholic journey was not a dramatic “Damascus” experience such as the one recorded in the Acts of the Apostles which captured the Apostle Paul for Christ and His Church.(See, Acts 9) Rather, it was a slow and steady attraction to the fullness of truth – and the beauty – contained within the fullness of Christianity found within the Catholic Church.
He began – and ended – this wonderful account with these words, “I am often asked when I chose to become Catholic. However, it is more truthful to say that over the course of several years I gradually became Catholic and then decided one day to accept the faith I had already come to embrace. After a decade-long – perhaps lifelong – faith journey, I was finally home.”
In between, he tells of how his intellect was satiated and his desire for happiness fulfilled in the Catholic Church. As a “revert” to the Church – one who questioned my way back into the faith of my childhood – I understand. I am moved by such accounts.
As the first primary quickly draws near, we should only consider candidates who respect the fundamental human right to life and will do everything they can to end the scourge of abortion. Candidates who will help to build a culture of life which respects the dignity of every human person along life’s spectrum up to natural death.
We should only consider candidates who respect marriage for what it is by both nature and grace, a loving union between one man and one woman, intended for life and open to the bearing and rearing of children. We should only support candidates who recognize the family as the first society, first school, first church, first economy and first mediating institution.
It comes as no surprise that Newt Gingrich’s poll numbers are beginning to climb. His performance in the Presidential debates demonstrates that he is competent, consistent, calm and convincing. He is clearly Pro-Life, defends the primacy of marriage and the family and society founded upon it and is a passionate defender of authentic freedom. He is also a man with ideas and the ability to articulate them.
However, as support for his candidacy grows so too will the efforts to denigrate him. It is here Catholics must be careful. I have received letters from those who bring up wrong choices made by Newt Gingrich in years past. They seek to disqualify him for them. I would like to remind my readers that when a man or a woman enters into the full communion of the Church, they receive the Sacraments, including the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
In addition, the process involved in allowing the Church to shine her light on past relationships associated with the past life of a convert is a serious one – and one which fellow Catholics should respect. I believe that the Catholic Church has the authority to pronounce on whether a relationship in one’s past was a valid marriage. Further, that the finding of nullity by a Tribunal of that Church is trustworthy and final.
I believe that the absolution granted in every Sacramental Reconciliation is always efficacious and enables us all to begin again. Newt Gingrich is now a Catholic. With him we share a common Baptismal and Eucharistic bond which gives us the highest of obligations toward one another.
We are all invited into a life of continual conversion. All of us have matters in our past which required a Savior. Thank God He sent one, Jesus Christ! The question is not whether we have sinned or made mistakes but whether we have repented of past sin and corrected past errors. Have we sought sacramental absolution where needed – and allowed time to become a tutor, leading us toward the future?
In short, are we are making progress in growing into the Image of the Lord as we receive the graces which come to us, mediated through the Sacraments of the Church? Are we making progress in our life within the Church by responding to our specific vocation as participants in her ongoing mission?
Finally, we should consider the admonitions contained in our shared Catechism, particularly in our relationships with one another. For example, are we following the clear direction contained in the following paragraphs of the Catechism, found within “Life in Christ” and entitled “Offenses against Truth”:
“Christ’s disciples have “put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. By “putting away falsehood,” they are to “put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.”(#2475)
“Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty: – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them; – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.”(#2477)
“Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.” (#2479)
We should pray for Newt Gingrich as the scrutiny of a very fierce presidential campaign is unleashed against him.
*The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of MariaNews.com.
MariaNews.com does not endorse any political candidates.
Subscribe to MariaNews.com
Tags: Catholic Conversion, catholic news, Catholic political blog, GOP nomination, Joseph McQuaid, New Hampshire Primary, Newt Gingrich, Newt's Catholic Journey, Poltiical, Presidential election 2012, Presidential Race, Pro Life news, republican candidate, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Union Leader Endorses Newt GingrichPoltiical, Reflections