In early February, the star chamber of the Christian Right
and ultra-conservatives -- the Council
for National Policy (CNP) -- met at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island,
Florida. As The New York Times reported,
after the meeting CNP members
�were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next
of Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell
of Liberty University, and Paul
Weyrich, the founding president of the Heritage
Foundation and now chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation,
are among the CNP�s luminaries. Perhaps these three �brothers� imitated the
three witch sisters in MacBeth to
conjure their ideal candidate. The characteristics and ingredients certainly
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. . . .
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder�s fork and blind-worm�s sting,
Lizard�s leg and owlet�s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
On March 9, Newt Gingrich was the guest of honor on James
Dobson�s syndicated radio show. During the interview, in a Swaggart-like �I
have sinned� confession, family values champion Gingrich -- whose dark side is dark indeed --
admitted having an extramarital affair with Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide more than 20 years his
junior, at the same time he was leading the �hell-broth� charge against
President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
The �I� of Newt used
the �tongue of dog� to quickly assert that he should not be deemed a hypocrite,
even though he obviously is one, as are so many other CNPers and self-righteous
leaders of the Christian Right.
How telling is it
that one such �Christian� leader expressed grave
concerns about Rudy Giuliani�s divorce: �Southern Baptist Convention
leader Richard Land, for example, described Giuliani�s breakup with Hanover as �divorce
on steroids.� Hanover learned her husband was seeking a divorce from television
after he announced the decision at a press conference.
��To publicly humiliate your wife in that way, and your
children -- that�s rough,� said Land. �I think that�s going to be an awfully
hard sell, even if he weren�t pro-choice and pro-gun control.��
Yet, Land had nothing to say about Gingrich�s confession,
his �divorce on steroids,� or the public humiliation he caused his family:
Gingrich, who frequently campaigned on
family values issues, divorced his second wife, Marianne, in 2000 after his
attorneys acknowledged Gingrich�s [extramarital] relationship . . .
His first marriage, to his former high
school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, ended in divorce in 1981. Although Gingrich
has said he doesn�t remember it, Battley has said Gingrich discussed divorce
terms with her while she was recuperating in the hospital from cancer surgery.
EVANS, Associated Press]
In addition to asking for �God�s forgiveness,� perhaps
Gingrich should pray for a better memory.
Another CNP luminary who was �moved� by Gingrich�s public
repentance -- and his political motives -- was Jerry Falwell. On March 10,
�I decided earlier this week to invite Mr. Gingrich to come to Liberty
University on May 19 as our graduation speaker. This will be his second
commencement speech at Liberty, previously addressing graduates in 1991.�
Falwell added, �In recent years, Mr. Gingrich has dedicated
much of his time to calling America back to our Christian heritage . . . There
has been a war on God in our nation in recent years and the effort to rekindle
our national commitment to God is urgently needed . . . I�m proud to call Mr.
Gingrich my friend and I will continue to pray for him and his family as he
contemplates a run for the presidency . . .�
Of course, the former leader of the Moral Majority added a
disclaimer: �this is an invitation for Mr. Gingrich, not an endorsement.� But
seem more than clear, especially on Gingrich�s website that features sucking-up articles such
as �Abolish 9th Circuit, Gingrich tells Dobson.� The 9th Circuit Court, which
often upholds civil liberties and civil equality, has been a frequent target of
the Christian Right and their political minions.
Newt.org also features an
article titled �Not in race, Gingrich still has right stuff.� Well, Newt
certainly has got a lot of �stuff,� and his political rhetoric always has that
holier-than-thou smell. Also to his �credit� is the fact that he�s a �pro-family�
hypocrite of the Dick Cheney kind. Cheney has a pregnant lesbian daughter, yet
he vehemently opposes gay marriage despite that position�s implications for his
future grandchild. Newt�s lesbian sister, Candace, is an equal rights activist,
yet �family values� Newt opposes equal rights and especially gay marriage. If
he showed the slightest conscience in that area, Dobson and Falwell wouldn�t be
So get the cauldrons ready. Campaign 2008 could well feature
�eye of newt� and �tongue of dog.� But take heart. MacBeth�s play for power
didn�t work out too well either.
My apologies to canines everywhere. Dogs are honest and don�t pretend to be
what they�re not.