A group of evangelical pastors in Iowa is calling on former House Speaker–and current, if nominal GOP presidential fundraiser–Newt Gingrich to sign a pledge of fidelity to his wife Callista and are mocking his previous adultery by comparing him to certain TV character.
“Mr. Gingrich is the Don Draper of 2012: When it comes to his character record, he’s a very fine, empty suit with a broken zipper,” said Dr. Albert Calaway, a retired Assemblies of God pastor who heads a 200-church Iowa group called Truth, Values & Leadership. “Christians in Iowa — and I understand many of his old U.S. House colleagues as well — desperately want to see a changed man, yet we keep on seeing a glib, wordy cheater. On all fronts, Newt should just be faithful.”
But, you ask, didn’t Mr. Gingrich sign the marriage pledge yesterday?
No, the pastors say. He merely stated his intention to sign the pledge while endorsing only a portion of its content. Which is different, they say.
“The press spin says Newt Gingrich ‘endorsed’ The Marriage Vow yesterday, yet he’s neither signed it nor has he even affirmed very, very significant portions of the contents,” Mr. Calaway added. “When you ‘endorse’ a check, you sign it. When you get married, you sign the license. When you sign a contract or covenant, that means you are all-in. But, Mr. Gingrich has yet to sign for many things which Christian Iowa cares about very deeply.”
We won’t get into what the meeting of signing is here, but the full release is below:
Two prominent Iowa pastors today called upon GOP Presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich to “stop cheating” and immediately sign The Marriage Vow, a sweeping pledge to which conservative rivals Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are signatories, yet which Gingrich yesterday tried both to embrace and avoid.
Dr. Albert Calaway, a retired Assemblies of God pastor who heads a 200-church Iowa group called Truth, Values & Leadership, said “It’s like marital cheating, like an unfaithful husband who wants it both ways. Mr. Gingrich is the Don Draper of 2012: When it comes to his character record, he’s a very fine, empty suit with a broken zipper. Christians in Iowa — and I understand many of his old U.S. House colleagues as well — desperately want to see a changed man, yet we keep on seeing a glib, wordy cheater. On all fronts, Newt should just be faithful.”
Via yesterday’s letter to the sponsoring Family Leader, Gingrich declined to sign the Vow while endorsing only a portion of its content. The Rev. Cary Gordon, pastor of Sioux City’s Cornerstone Church, noted that yesterday’s statement from the thrice-wed Gingrich cleverly avoided the Vow’s call for a U.S. constitutional amendment that would nullify gay marriage in Iowa, where the Supreme Court ordered the legal definition of one-man, one-woman marriage altered to include homosexuals.
“The ex-Speaker seems open to protecting traditional marriage at the federal level and possibly to preventing a marital Roe vs. Wade, in which the Supreme Court voids all traditional marriage laws. By dodging Iowa’s Marriage Vow, however, he seems to be saying that homosexual marriage regimes in places like Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire should stand.”
Calaway, who has yet to endorse any candidate for the Iowa Caucuses, said, “The press spin says Newt Gingrich ‘endorsed’ The Marriage Vow yesterday, yet he’s neither signed it nor has he even affirmed very, very significant portions of the contents. When you ‘endorse’ a check, you sign it. When you get married, you sign the license. When you sign a contract or covenant, that means you are all-in. But, Mr. Gingrich has yet to sign for many things which Christian Iowa cares about very deeply.”
Pastor Gordon added, “The Marriage Vow document Santorum and Bachmann signed so courageously last July contains factual and scientific claims which we’d love to see the next U.S. President affirm.” One example:
“Social protections, especially for women and children, have been evaporating as we have collectively ‘debased the currency’ of marriage. This debasement continues as a function of adultery; ‘quickie divorce;’ physical and verbal spousal abuse; non-committal co-habitation; pervasive infidelity and ‘unwed cheating’ among celebrities, sports figures and politicians; anti-scientific bias which holds, in complete absence of empirical proof, that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color; as well as anti-scientific bias which holds, against all empirical evidence, that homosexual behavior in particular, and sexual promiscuity in general, optimizes individual or public health.”
Rev. Gordon said, “The entire Bible, from the Books of Moses through the New Testament, holds that adultery, promiscuity and homosexuality are all very serious sin. It’s there in the Jewish Torah – Genesis, Leviticus, and so forth – and it’s right there in the first chapter of Romans from St. Paul, author of most of the New Testament. Jews and Christians believe that God’s forgiveness is available for any sin – from adultery to homosexuality, from murder to the horrible looting of U.S. citizens that took place on Wall Street through the TARP bailout. But Iowa’s Christians really want to know if Newt Gingrich holds homosexuality to be a volitional sin like adultery, or a fixed trait like race or eye color. I’ve endorsed a Santorum-Bachmann team-up for 2012 because, way back last summer, those two told Iowans very clearly where they stand by signing the The Marriage Vow.”
The Sioux City pastor continued, “When you stand before the altar and say your marriage vows, you either mean it, or you don’t. Sad to say, but by endorsing some of the Vow without signing it, I think Mr. Gingrich is dodging a sacred commitment which Iowa’s Christians really expect from him.” In addition to side-stepping the issue of whether a marriage amendment should roll back gay marriage in Iowa, Gordon noted that Gingrich avoided such Marriage Vow topics as:
- A call for “Cooling-off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce”;
- The “overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.”
- The need for “Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence”;
- “Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.”
- Recognizing “that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security;” and
- “Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.”
Gordon also said Santorum and Bachmann also have announced their intentions to reverse President Obama’s abolition of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, while Gingrich seems to favor open homosexuality in the U.S. military.
Said Rev. Gordon, “Iowa Christians reject the silly notion that any state has an alleged ‘right’ to vote against the natural law of gravity, just as we reject the fallacy any state should pretend the power to vote against the natural law of procreation (it takes a man and a woman to create life) demonstrated in traditional marriage,” said Gordon. “If Mr. Gingrich – the historian – truly believes in the founder’s vision of limited-government, he should publicly acknowledge that the founders believed natural law to be the ultimate government-limiting anchor beneath the rule of law – anathema to the whims of any voting public. By playing games with The Family Leader’s Marriage Vow, he simply reinforces my argument that he cannot and should not be trusted with the American presidency. Newt Gingrich hasn’t even signed the pledge of the National Organization for Marriage, yet even Mitt Romney did that.”
Last week, Gordon announced that a music video calling Newt Gingrich “the GOP’s Kim Kardashian for his many infidelities on marriage – gay, straight and his own” would be delivered, via text messaging to every registered Republican or non-aligned Iowa voter with a cell phone on record. The video has viraled past 30,000 YouTube views to date.
The Iowa Caucuses endorsement of the Family Leader and its president, 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, a crucial evangelical ally of Gordon’s in the defeat of the justices, is still pending – and Gingrich remains under consideration for Family Leader’s backing, even though he (along with Romney and Ron Paul) has not signed the group’s Marriage Vow document as have Santorum, Bachmann and Perry. Also undecided on endorsement is influential U.S. Rep. Steve King, Congressman for the 5th District. Their ultimate picks could prove decisive in the January 3 outcome.
Recently, Gordon called for a marriage of sorts, urging Iowans to rally for a merger between the Santorum and Bachmann campaigns. Gordon wants Santorum to name Bachmann as his running mate now, for the event Iowans launch him to the GOP nomination, in exchange for Bachmann’s merger of her campaign with his. He recently said, “Michele and the two Ricks – Santorum and Perry – have each been polling in single digits for one reason: They’re dividing conservative Iowa voters who delivered Mike Huckabee his upset victory here in 2008. If Santorum and Bachmann can make a deal now for a ticket – many Iowa conservatives don’t care who’s on top … we could easily have a January 3 ‘Rickaboom and Bachaboom’ just as loud as the ‘Huckaboom’ of 2008,” Gordon said.
“Rick and Michele would make a great GOP match, and would defend Judeo-Christian monogamy, while I think it’s quite clear Gingrich simply cannot be trusted with the institution of marriage in any sense,” Gordon said last week. “I think the 2010 Esquire interview with Newt’s second ex-wife and former mistress was very troubling,” he said. In his endorsement video, which popped-up on I-Phones, Droids and other such “smart phones” just as the music video did, Gordon emphatically rejects Iowa’s 2012 frontrunners: “Gingrich and Ron Paul, have refused to sign all pledges against gay marriage, while third-place polling Mitt Romney went out of his way as Massachusetts governor to sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples. Romney wasn’t complying with the law at that point; he was making law for same-sex marriage. He also issued a 2004 governor’s “Gay Youth Pride” proclamation.
Rev. Gordon said, “Any Iowa pastor who fails to warn his flock about Gingrich and Romney, especially, will be abdicating moral leadership in the most important election of our generation.” The Sioux City pastor received national attention last year for “Project Jeremiah,” a statewide campaign involving a controversial letter he sent to over 1,000 Iowa churches. It called for the removal of the three Iowa State Supreme Court Justices for their abuse of judicial authority in imposing same-sex marriage upon Iowans, while promising pro-bono legal defense for any Iowa church harassed by the I.R.S. for exercising their rights to free speech in the pulpit. The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C., called Gordon’s actions one of the most outrageous attempts to politicize a church that he has ever seen.