09 April 2010

Newt Gingrich: Theocratic Capitalist

Since the former Speaker of the House is so adamantly opposed to what he so consistently labels a "secular socialist" agenda, I can only assume that he advocates the opposite program. It's the inevitable rhetorical escalation and a necessary one since "socialism" alone is bound to wear out its frightfulness from all the mindless repetition. I'd write off the "secular" part as part of Gingrich having to pander to a Southern conservative audience, but the man has written a book with the damning phrase in its subtitle. He must really believe that secularism is a bad thing. He must also really believe that the existence of Jehovah and Jesus is relevant to 21st century American politics. I'd like to see him explain this. I might even borrow the book from a library to find out how he reconciles capitalism with the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps he's a proponent of the "prosperity gospel." Perhaps he's one of the many Christians who believe that Jesus spent his time on earth lecturing on sexual morality. But there's one thing about which I'm somewhat more certain. People who insist on the need for religion in public life don't really believe in human self-government, no matter how they babble about freedom, liberty and so on. They want everyone to believe that the laws that count are neither man-made nor subject to human amendment. They need constructs like "God" and "Natural Law" to cover the fact that all laws are man-made and subject to amendment. They simply don't trust people to deliberate and legislate together without the fools ordering up a golden calf and making human sacrifice to it. That's probably not so great an exaggeration of the nightmare imaginations of those who follow Gingrich. Like Moses in the movie, they say "there is no freedom without the law" -- as long as the law is what they say it is. They and Moses might disagree, however....

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