Christopher Buckley on Newt Gingrich’s Catholic conversion

Christopher Buckley, son of William, takes a non-too-gentle look at Newt Gingrich’s pending change of religion in the Daily Beast:

Brace yourselves for a tsunami of punditry this weekend, when the much-married Newt Gingrich is received into the Catholic Church.

This would ordinarily be a private occasion, but Newt Gingrich is not ordinary. He is (I hedge) probably the most interesting putative candidate person on the Right at this point. Google “Gingrich” and “2012” your hard drive will melt under a trillion hits. So attention to this event must and will be paid.

Buckley goes into some unkind detail about Gingrich’s personal life, but finally strikes on this weird but strangely satisfying assessment of the former House speaker:

His website’s motto—“Real Change Requires Real Change”—seems quite apt to the present occasion, even if it sounds like it was lifted from Peter Sellers’ Chance The Gardener in Being There. Gingrich is a protean fellow—continually evolving and re-inventing himself. He’s like another of his fellow Catholics—Madonna, only, well, different.

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86 comments Add your comment

J

March 26th, 2009
7:07 pm

How is this news?

brent a.

March 26th, 2009
8:13 pm

Why does the AJC pay this guy to search the internet and post news snippets on this site?

30% staff cuts? I’m looking this direction.

D-Mac

March 26th, 2009
8:24 pm

Hardly a article based on length alone!

Pierce Randall

March 26th, 2009
8:24 pm

There goes his White House hopes. There are too many 1-issue religious voters in the Republican party for that to work.

Although, he might not lose votes were Pat Buchanan to run…

Jo

March 26th, 2009
8:30 pm

Except Madonna is not Catholic. Matter of fact she is publicly anti-Catholic. She adheres to a form of Juduaism (Kabulah?).

Pierce Randall

March 26th, 2009
8:35 pm

How is this not news? What are you all talking about? Newt Gingrich is a very large public figure, if also kinda a jerk. He’s got big political aspirations, and religion plays in to how his message appeals to voting demographics. Will this facilitate the suggested move by Catholics away from part of the Democratic base coalition? Or will this just marginalize Newt among protestants among Republicans? (This probably less likely unless they’re actually asked to think about voting for him.)

Do you need to be told what to think, too, to call a piece news? You’d probably complain about that, too.

david b

March 26th, 2009
8:45 pm

Who cares !? The less we hear of this snake the better we all are.

24

March 26th, 2009
9:33 pm

Pierce, I think you’re reading waaaaaay too much into this.

Dan

March 26th, 2009
10:01 pm

I dont get it? What is he switching to be a militant muslim or devil worshiping? Whats wrong with converting to the Catholic church? Isnt the Catholic Church the church Jesus directly requested Peter to start ( upon this rock build by church)? If he was part of any other Jesus worship faction wouldnt he then be a descent of the Catholic Church and support the King James Bible? A bible that took chapters out of the Catholic Bible to make it better fit their ideals?

BB

March 26th, 2009
10:08 pm

Does it really matter? Newt is nothing other than a hypocritical ideologue. I would imagine that even the choice of his religious affiliation was strategically released to garner the most political capital possible.

This man would sell his own soul for a vote.

He will never get mine. His past history proves that his actions are nothing other than “smoke and mirrors” carefully placed to get exposure.

His 15 minutes are up..

the real OLD GOLD

March 26th, 2009
10:10 pm

I love Newt, but who cares?

yeahwell

March 26th, 2009
10:12 pm

Does he understand he can’t be elected Pope either?

rightofcenter

March 26th, 2009
10:14 pm

BB,
Uh, he hasn’t run for any office in years. He seems to be doing quite well out of office. So this is between him and his God. Your opinion is not relevant.

I'm An Independent

March 26th, 2009
10:36 pm

This amazes me, as most of the Rs think the Catholic church is not “Christian.” Of course, they are totally stupid. But most of the Rs are uneducated and only listen to Hannity and idiots like him. Newt’s multiple (is this 3 or 4?)marriages amaze me that the Rs still accept and want him as a poster child. He is a heathen by all biblical standards. Check it out.

Dave

March 26th, 2009
10:45 pm

Pete`

March 26th, 2009
11:31 pm

Georgia. That’s the place where the governor took members of the National Guard and invaded a Catholic Trappist monastery because they heard there were cells in the place. People being held against their will and all that nasty stuff. They don’t like Catholics down there so Newt is going to be hated big time. Their state flag should have the words “Home of ignorance’ on it.

Crazy Diamond

March 27th, 2009
12:19 am

Technically, anyone can be elected Pope.

Crazy Diamond

March 27th, 2009
12:22 am

Technically, any baptized Catholic can be elected Pope.

Uncle Sam

March 27th, 2009
12:32 am

It wouldn’t surprise me. These days, what dares to call itself the Catholic Church excepts everyone and everything (i.e: pedophile priest, Nancy Pelosi, Vice-President Biden, ad nauseum). So what will it mean if Newt becomes Catholic? Nothing!

BB

March 27th, 2009
12:40 am

Right of Center @ 1014.

Last year, Newt explored the possibility of a presidential race. Most legitimate media sources consider him one of the frontrunners for the 2012 presidential races. Are you THAT blind to his ambitions? He will NOT rule out a campaign. This past election’s campaign season started sooner than any other presidential election in history. Is there any reason to believe that the next one won’t start any earlier?

Keep dreaming. I believe he has too much baggage to ever be elected, but he still has his ambitions. He also keeps trying to influence policy. I would figure any of his actions are not looking at the present, but rather at 3 years down the road. Your opinion of the present is not relevant. Try to look a little ahead.

You know, the best chess players are 7 or more moves ahead of the current turn. Are you so dense that you refuse to acknowledge the sheer chutzpah of this man still being in the public eye trying to determine policy?

You have the right to your opinions. So do I. I feel my opinion to be relevant. I also won’t be swayed by you superficially dismissing it. Try thinking for yourself for a change.

Tonto

March 27th, 2009
12:41 am

Newt Gingrich is a very brilliant man. Flawed? Yes, but aren’t we all?
Newt Gingrich is no George Bush(thank God). He has ideas that if adopted would really help this country.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why morons like BB(posting here)reject someone that advocates that people(BB included)keep more of their rights and money and aren’t forced to give up control of their lives to big government.
Simply because someone has a (D) or (R) behind their names is the determining factor to morons like BB.

Tonto

March 27th, 2009
1:16 am

Sorry, BB. I just read my post and my ad hominem characterization(moron) of you was unfair and probably not accurate. The sentiment stays, but I withdraw the term. Again, I apologize.

Chuck

March 27th, 2009
1:32 am

Hey Independent, here’s a newsflash for ya… Hannity’s a Catholic too.

S

March 27th, 2009
1:35 am

So Newt wants to become a Catholic…what better place for this hypocrite to place himself. Brilliant, that is a laugh, he’s one of the reasons this Country is in such a mess. Yea, it started way back then with Phil Graham, Delay, and the other moron’s running around now, without a leader, OH wait, I forgot Rush is their leader or is it Palin, I just can’t keep track. No matter, all are self serving hypocrites and oh yes good Christians. Old Newt the toot would probably still be there but of course he just couldn’t help himself with the woman up there in Washington.

Halimaw

March 27th, 2009
2:18 am

He should never be allowed to take Holy Communion, based on his divorce history. He divorced his first wife while she was recuperating in the hospital from cancer surgery. He also divorced his second wife. I know he will be able to get annulments based on technicalities, but it is just plain wrong.

AtlantaWalker

March 27th, 2009
5:03 am

Ok, 1-How is this news? 2-If the AJC would focus on more relevant issues than this, they might not have to eliminate staff.

Joe Biden

March 27th, 2009
6:08 am

This is news? And one wonders why the AJC is having layoffs?

mike

March 27th, 2009
7:02 am

Galloway just wanted to regurgitate the snide remark about Gingrich’s marriages.

Are there any staffers at the AJC who are not partisan liberals?

edge770

March 27th, 2009
7:17 am

I’ve engaged in conversation with “Newtie”.. he is flawed, but is vastly smarter than 99 percent of the politicians out there.. I think he could make a great impact. But one thing I noticed was that while he might sound “normal” or moderate, some of his supporters say some looney stuff and that’s what the press harps up on. I also would like to see if he has ADHD or something.. because he always has great ideas, but never carries through. So keep the looneys away from the microphone, and increase Newtie’s attention span, he might can get somewhere..

Gunluvr

March 27th, 2009
7:22 am

Welcome Newt!!

Jose Scrotum

March 27th, 2009
7:26 am

The Catholic Church has numerous shady characters as members, such as Leona Helmsley Pelosi and Plugs Plagerizer Biden. What’s one more?

Bitter EX democrat

March 27th, 2009
7:34 am

Learn how NO one is required to file/pay TAXES

Google: the great IRS hoax

learn all about it if YOU are fed up!

kitty

March 27th, 2009
7:52 am

Wonder how many annullments he is going to buy as his marriages fail?

Copyleft

March 27th, 2009
7:58 am

Whoops, almost forgot this site, which directly addresses Hansen’s favorite “Subtitle A” dodge:

http://evans-legal.com/dan/tpfaq.html#section861

Jim

March 27th, 2009
7:59 am

I live in Georgia. I am Catholic. No one hates me that I aware of. The Catholic Church has strict rules when compared to other christian churches. I think it is great that Newt is switching churches. He isn’t switching religions as incorrectly stated. Catholic isn’t a religion it is simply another Christian church. There are simply more baptists in the south and Catholics in the north due to historical reasons. It has nothing to do with anything else. Good for you Newt!

bull-gator

March 27th, 2009
8:07 am

who cares? another weak ass story from the ajc. no wonder their subscriptions are dropping faster than you can say bho is an idiot.

Jim

March 27th, 2009
8:08 am

Obama is ruining this country. Trillion dollar budgets? Do you like to pay more taxes? Bigger government telling you what to do? Cant take care of yourself? TeaPartyDay.com – check it out. Unless you like paying more taxes.

M Anthony

March 27th, 2009
8:10 am

Isn’t a newt part of the reptile family that changes colors according to the environment? I used to change them out of my yard but my neighbor said I should stop since newts eat the bugs around the foundation. How appropriate.

Kimberly

March 27th, 2009
8:11 am

Did the ajc actually PAY someone for this non-news article?

OneFreeMan

March 27th, 2009
8:17 am

He’ll fit in just fine. Hypocrit.

Linda

March 27th, 2009
8:17 am

I really don’t think this is news, but Newt can certainly become a member of any church he desires. There are many Democrat and Republican Catholics. If Newt wants to deal with his former marriages and join the faith of his current wife so be it. I am not Catholic, but I do have respect for the faith of others.

Mark Windsor

March 27th, 2009
8:23 am

President Kennedy was a Catholic…maybe Newt sees something here..what a crook..and a Jerk..Whatever became of his wife that was ill with cancer when he cheated on her…

Jim

March 27th, 2009
8:33 am

Actually, if you Google “Gingrich” and “2012″, you get just a shade over 265,000 links. Not really the excitement I was expecting to see.

Carol G

March 27th, 2009
8:39 am

Well, we do call ourselves “the Church of sinners, ” LOL! I guess one more won’t sink it.

Jay Butler

March 27th, 2009
9:06 am

I bet Mark Windsor cheats on his wife.

Jay Butler

March 27th, 2009
9:11 am

Barack and Newt should get together. With Newt’s ideas and Barack’s charisma, they could lead this country to a much better place. Too bad that could never happen with the divide we have today. Achievers vs non-achievers.

Russ

March 27th, 2009
9:30 am

Its inexplicable to me why people make nasty comments about Newt. Whether or not you like him, he’s is doing something that he believes will make him a better person. I have no idea if he is sincere or commited to catholicism, but making nasty remarks about him or “evil Republicans” won’t make your life better

SpaceyG

March 27th, 2009
9:40 am

Different than Madonna? In what way?

Edward

March 27th, 2009
9:44 am

Newt is a perfect fit for the Catholic church. the Catholic church is directly responsible for more suffering and death and destruction for millenia than any modern “terrorist” organization could ever hope to accomplish.

Russ

March 27th, 2009
9:50 am

Edward…Can you cite some specific examples, because I am Catholic and have never terrorized anyone?