How many times have we heard that presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is smart? I would pay money to watch a debate between Mr. Gingrich and Pres. Obama.
People can convert, grow, change, mature, etc. We should not be Donatists when it comes to other people’s mistakes in life, as if they are perpetually and irremediably damned to hell forever in the court of public opinion. We pray, after all, that people will sincerely convert. We should be pleased when they do.
I have followed Mr. Gingrich over the years and read some of his books with interest. This new development, however, leaves me puzzled.
The former Speaker is fully capable of saying a really dumb thing in the midst of a hundred really smart things. But this leaves me severely puzzled.
Mr. Gingrich is a fairly recent convert to Holy Church. He is a huge fan of Pope John Paul…. I hope not merely for the late Pontiff’s geopolitical achievements.
There is no way that Newt Gingrich does not know that the Catholic Church teaches – what John Paul II made crystal clear – that human life begins at conception, not implantation.
Before I add anything else, let me add one of my major points of consideration for my vote in November 2012: judges.
The overriding point about judges is not “Whom would Mr. Gingrich appoint to the bench?”. The overriding point is “Pres. Obama must be defeated so that he cannot appoint another judge.” If the President’s opponent is, as Mark Levin puts it, a frozen orange juice can, the judges the can would appoint would be better.
I’m just sayin’…
Catholic Vote has a transcript. However… are they talking across each other?
In a story published this morning, Gingrich told ABC News that life begins at implantation. Which not only puts him at odds with the pro-life community, but also [At odds with…] the Catholic Church which Gingrich joined as an adult just two years ago. [Did he mispeak? Will he clarify himself? Is this what he really thinks? If so, is that a dealbreaker for smart Catholic voters?]
APPER: Abortion is a big issue here in Iowa among conservative Republican voters and [Catholic] Rick Santorum has said you are inconsistent. The big argument here is that you have supported in the past embryonic stem cell research and you made a comment about how these fertilized eggs, these embryos are not yet “pre-human” because they have not been implanted. This has upset conservatives in this state who worry you don’t see these fertilized eggs as human life. [Quaeritur…] When do you think human life begins?
GINGRICH: Well, I think the question of being implanted is a very big question. My friends who have ideological positions that sound good don’t then follow through the logic of: ‘So how many additional potential lives are they talking about? What are they going to do as a practical matter to make this real?’
I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life. because otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions. [Soooo… therefore?]
TAPPER: So implantation is the moment for you.
GINGRICH: Implantation and successful implantation. [Not conception?] In addition I would say that I’ve never been for embryonic stem cell research per se. I have been for, there are a lot of different ways to get embryonic stem cells. I think if you can get embryonic stem cells for example from placental blood if you can get it in ways that do not involve the loss of a life that’s a perfectly legitimate avenue of approach. [When does life begin?]
What I reject is the idea that we’re going to take one life for the purpose of doing research for other purposes and I think that crosses a threshold of de-humanizing us that’s very very dangerous.
This is a pretty slippery slope, Mr. Speaker. I might not have the million Twitter followers you have and the vast soap box you stand on, and the extensive media attention, but I have what I have, which isn’t nothing.
I will be listening carefully, Mr. Speaker, for your additional explanations of your thoughts about the beginning of life and implantation, and I want to know more about your thoughts on judges in the context of this issue.
One might expect a recent adult convert – and that is what you are, Mr. Speaker – to be informed about and zealous for the whole of Catholic doctrine, not just certain bits and pieces. A presidential candidate who is a recent convert to Catholicism doesn’t have to run as a Catholic, but isn’t it reasonable to assume that his positions will be consistent with the Catholic Faith he recently and solemnly embraced?
Mr. Speaker, you are obviously a great fan of Pope John Paul II. In a conversation with him, how do you think the late Pope would respond to your statement about implantation? Would you need to clarify what you really meant to say?