Newt Gingrich: Kids should be required to study the ‘Creator’ in the Declaration of Independence

Though not unexpected, former U.S. House speaker and presumptive presidential candidate Newt Gingrich picked up a formal, advance endorsement from U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, on Saturday.

Said Price at the 6th District GOP convention:

”I know of nobody, nobody, brighter more brilliant, who has a greater respect for fundamental American principles than this gentleman. And I want to tell you, if and when he stands up and throws his hat into the ring, I’m going to be standing there right with him.”

The endorsement puts Price and Gov. Nathan Deal on the same side of a candidate – after a nasty split during the race for governor. Price, you’ll remember, was a Karen Handel fan.

The 6th District represented by Price is Gingrich’s old congressional seat. Gingrich also spoke to a 9th District gathering in Lawrenceville.

Here’s the account of Gingrich’s doings from Ray Henry and the Associated Press:

Roswell, Ga. — Republican Newt Gingrich tried winning over social conservatives Saturday in his old home state of Georgia, where he called for restrictions on abortion funding and requiring that students study religious references in the Declaration of Independence.

He also supported recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Gingrich’s back-to-back stump speeches in north Georgia come as the former House Speaker raises money for a possible presidential run. He expects to make a decision early next month on whether to enter the race.

Although Gingrich has not lived in Georgia for more than a decade, he came to Atlanta last month to announce the start of his fundraising effort and spent Saturday rehearsing in front of mostly friendly crowds.

“How many of you volunteered on one of my campaigns at some point?” Gingrich asked a crowd in Roswell, which included many of his former constituents. Dozens of hands went up. “Well, you may have a chance to do it again in the very near future.”

Between signing books, shaking hands and posing for photographs, Gingrich previewed what could become campaign promises to social conservatives — a key constituency if he wants to win the Republican nomination. In preparing a run, Gingrich must quell criticism over his messy personal life, which includes three marriages and an admission of infidelity.

During his first speech in Lawrenceville, Gingrich said a Republican elected president next year — he didn’t specifically offer himself — could sign a series of executive orders on his first day in office that abolish so-called federal policy tsars, ban taxpayers from paying for abortions as part of foreign aid and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We recognize that the only stable democracy in the Middle East deserves some respect,” Gingrichsaid, drawing applause.

In another promise to social conservatives, Gingrich said every state Legislature should require that public school students be taught annually about the Declaration of Independence, particularly its 18th-century invocation of rights endowed by the “Creator.”

“I challenge the ACLU to explain why it is inappropriate to teach that our founding political document says that our rights come from our Creator, and that teachers ought to be able to explain what the word ‘Creator’ means as a matter of historic accuracy and understanding America,” Gingrich said.

He urged that the United States allow more drilling for offshore oil. He targeted social-assistance programs, saying that unemployed workers should be enrolled in job training programs to get public money.

“We’re not giving you money for 99 weeks while you sit and wait,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich gave a wide-ranging critique of the Obama administration, including its handling of military strikes against the forces of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. He said he supported abolishing the capital gains and estate taxes and lowering the corporate income tax rate. Gingrich said businesses should get more aggressive tax breaks for buying new equipment.

Local Republicans had mixed reactions to Gingrich as a potential presidential candidate.

Members of the 9th District Republican Party picked Gingrich as the winner of a presidential straw poll on Friday, chairman Doug Grammer told The Gainesville Times. Gingrich spoke to the group as part of his Saturday tour.

That enthusiasm was not shared everywhere.

“He’s got a problem,” said Jeanette Bean, 70, of Snellville who listened to Gingrich’s first address. “I love him dearly, but he’s got baggage. He’s got too much baggage, I think, to be elected. Women, wives, mistresses.”

Trudy and Jefferson Davis asked Gingrich to autograph one of his books after his speech in Roswell. Both said they view Gingrich favorably, although they would also consider voting for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump.

In particular, they supported Gingrich’s call for more offshore oil drilling. Trudy Davis said she believed Gingrich’s personal problems appear to be behind him.

“He’s pretty much walked the walk since he talked the talk all those years ago,” she said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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75 comments Add your comment

Norman Thomson

April 17th, 2011
11:21 am

When will Newt Gingrich learn that taking on governmental responsibilities will interfere with his miscreant behaviors. I am wondering what his “creator” thinks about his pandering and lack of morality.

Dash Riptide

April 17th, 2011
11:29 am

Either kids know who the “Creator” is and don’t need to be told or they don’t know who the “Creator” is and government schools aren’t the ideal place to become acquainted with the concept.

Politicians. Geesh.

JPo

April 17th, 2011
11:45 am

This headline really sensationalizes a fairly benign and small part of the story. Of course, “journalists” being the fair and inherently unbiased people that they are this is expected.
The “Creator” is part of the narrative. There’s nothing wrong with students learning about the religious context of the Declaration of Independence. It’s not indoctrination and they’re free to not believe if they choose in any religion. But to ignore the context is to ignore a fundamental part of the founding of the nation. Liberals want to erase this context which is patently absurd whether you’re an atheist or a devout. It betrays, however, an agenda. Does Newt have an agenda as well? Of course, he’s a politician. Journalists, however, shouldn’t. Which is why there are so few real ones left.

Phil C

April 17th, 2011
11:54 am

The Declaration of Independence is a great document but it is not the law of the land; the Constitution is. Too bad this neo-fascist thug hasn’t bothered read the Constitution (as much as he likes to deliberately mis-quote it), it might conflict with his self-serving demagoguery and his head might explode. Oh wait, it already has exploded with out-of-control hypocrisy, narcissism and amorality.

SLBushway

April 17th, 2011
12:04 pm

“There’s nothing wrong with students learning about the religious context of the Declaration of Independence.” Yes there is, because you won’t find anything religious in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration refers to “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” and “Divine Providence.” These are all terms used in the sort of deism which was common among many of those responsible for the American Revolution as well as the philosophers upon whom they relied for support. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, was himself a deist who was opposed to many traditional Christian doctrines, in particular beliefs about the supernatural. In fact Jefferson was more likely to refer to the Qur’an than he was the Christian Bible. Regardless of the level of faith you like to assign to the founding fathers – their acts in terms of pro-slavery, pro child labor and pro-women being second class citizens – means that even if they claimed to be religious they didn’t walk the talk and so in the end weren’t religious. I can say I am an apple – doesn’t mean I am. Finally, the Declaration of Independence cited the moral reasons for our split from England – once that happened the purpose of the document was fulfilled and ends there.

Dash Riptide

April 17th, 2011
12:09 pm

Now if Newt wants schools to teach how politicians and nations have shamelessly used religion to rally popular support for political aims grounded in economics rather than morality, then that’s another story. And yes, based on what we know about the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence is no different in this respect.

Gannon, Haggard, & Mehlman

April 17th, 2011
12:32 pm

Now there’s a campaign slogan, “Women, wives, mistresses”!
Instead of asking “How many of you have volunteered for one of my campaigns at some point?”, I think a better question from Newt might be, “How many of you have been embarrassed by my actions?”

Centrist

April 17th, 2011
12:34 pm

While I agree that Gingrich is extremely bright and has the credentials to run, I am not a social conservative and immediately turned off by his pandering to this right wing. Furthermore, his personal life misconduct, political pandering toward Iowa ethanol special interests, false term limits inclusion in his “Contract with America”, and outsized ego will certainly derail any presidential ambition.

Gannon, Haggard, & Mehlman

April 17th, 2011
12:34 pm

Oh and by the way Newt, that Herbert Hoover reference the other day was hilarious. Nice try though.

Away With The Far Right Idiots

April 17th, 2011
12:48 pm

By continuing to bring their personal religion…bet it doesn’t include Mormons, Jews, Uniterians, United Church of Christ members, and such…they cater to the lowest denominator of the far right fringe groups. Forget religion. Shouldn’t be in the game. We have issues to deal with, and no one will deal with them…education, jobs, foreign aid, taxation, term limits and more. Rs need to stop using wedge issues such as religion, abortion, gay rights and such, and deal with real issues…oh, but their followers don’t know anything about real issues. Sad.

Away With The Far Right Idiots

April 17th, 2011
12:50 pm

Sorry for the spelling above…should have been Unitarians.

David

April 17th, 2011
12:52 pm

Newt is pandering to the snake handling irrational crowd yet again and doesn’t deserve to be president.

Gannon, Haggard, & Mehlman

April 17th, 2011
1:28 pm

DashRiptide @ 12:09 pm
The only thing Newt used religion for is to shamelessly seek an annulment of his former marriage so that he could marry his most recent mistress.
Sad that he just doesn’t even get that he has nothing in common with common Americans. He is in bigger trouble than that record parole giving Mike Huckakis.

Rule .303

April 17th, 2011
1:46 pm

Jim, I really wish you would have a separate blog for Newt, kind of like how Rodney Ho has a separate one for American Idol. Newt is irrelevant to the rest of the nation. I don’t even think he’s relevant in Georgia.

Concerned Voter

April 17th, 2011
1:51 pm

Gingrich would not last in a public high school setting very long. The social issues of a high school classroom would eat him alive. If he really wants to teach, he needs to build his own school and only enroll students from families of his ilk.

Eli

April 17th, 2011
2:25 pm

What makes man…man? Not god…but reason. Reason is the “creator” of man. Not some mythological god.

Of course Newt and Price will refer to the “creator” as god. They make their livelihoods because they keep their support base in the dark and enslaved into a system in which the only winners are the top few percent of income earners.

JD

April 17th, 2011
2:26 pm

This is why I could never, ever, ever, ever vote for a Republican again.

Centrist

April 17th, 2011
2:34 pm

While Gingrich has many faults and I will not support his candidacy for president, he did very well teaching at the University of West Georgia, KSU, and Rheinhardt in Waleska (north of Canton). He had waiting lists, online viewing, and rave reviews. The Democrats demonized him over dozens of issues and only one stuck in the House over his “Renewing American Civilization” college course claiming it violated federal tax law. The IRS cleared him.

Forester

April 17th, 2011
2:57 pm

“…Gingrich said every state Legislature should require that public school students be taught annually about the Declaration of Independence,…”

Can’t wait to hear Newt’s take on last week’s passage by the California state senate of an act that requires the teaching of Gay History in all public schools.

Last Man Standing

April 17th, 2011
3:11 pm

JD:

“This is why I could never, ever, ever, ever vote for a Republican again.”

It was the unholy trinity that made me absolutely positive that I would NEVER, under any circumstances, ever vote for a dim-ocrat – that unholy trinity being Hussein, Pelosi and Reed.

ATF

April 17th, 2011
3:23 pm

Teaching about the Creator, as that word was used in the Age of Enlightenment, and by many of those who were Masons – that would be interesting for kids and, ummm, enlightening. The “Creator” of Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t look exactly like the “Creator” of fundamentalist Christians of today.

Forrest

April 17th, 2011
3:25 pm

Newt is a hoot.

B. Thenet

April 17th, 2011
3:28 pm

It appears Newt has not familiarized himself with the first 10 words of the Bill of Rights.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

Does this numbskull think the state legislatures should do what the Congress can’t?

Newt is a walking talking example that anyone regardless of intelligence level can get a Doctorate in this country if they really want to.

Just Wait

April 17th, 2011
3:36 pm

I couldn’t support Newt to begin with. Now that Price is backing him, I’m even more sure.

catlady

April 17th, 2011
4:01 pm

BecomingPt2

April 17th, 2011
4:01 pm

This bs is going to embarrass our state even more…

Sam I Am

April 17th, 2011
4:09 pm

Last man’s old enough to vote, who would have thought it.

Capitol Idea

April 17th, 2011
4:17 pm

Gingrich/Palin/Trump – 2012

Make it a threesome. They’re meant for each other. Smear a little mayo between the layers and the GOP base will just eat ‘em up.

DannyX

April 17th, 2011
4:42 pm

What are you reading Newt? Perhaps you skipped a few pages?

God hates divorce, Jesus says so. Its in the Bible.

Divorce is a CHOICE!

God created “Adam and Eve,”…NOT…”Adam and Eve, then Adam and Jane, followed by Adam and Jenn.”

What part of “Until death do us part,” do you think God doesn’t understand? Do you think God is stupid? x3?

Divorce will one day lead to people/animal marriage/divorce.

Will

April 17th, 2011
4:49 pm

Typical big government republican – making the government the teacher, rather than leaving that to the parents, of children regarding the Creator.

No thanks, butt out big government and stay away from my children and my religious beliefs.

I don’t want nor need govenment to supplant me but can understand why a person of such questionalble moral direction would think this should be a function of government.

JD

April 17th, 2011
4:59 pm

Last Man Standing,

The difference between you and me is that I studied. Grow up and think about politics like an adult.

The Snark

April 17th, 2011
5:12 pm

The Snark is all for kids studying the religious references in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and the religious beliefs of the men who wrote them. That way, our kids will learn that their beliefs have almost nothing in common with the shallow blather being tossed around by the religious right in this country today.

I wonder if Newt, the Trailer Park Trosky, knows that Tom Jefferson spent his spare time editing the New Testament to take out all the events and sayings that he believed to be untrue. (Google “the Jefferson Bible.”)

jd

April 17th, 2011
5:18 pm

I’ll take jefferson over Newt, Mitt, Sarah, Michelle, Herman, and the rest of the diatribes any day. Shall we teach the Jefferson version of the new testament? (No red text allowed)

Last Man Standing

April 17th, 2011
6:10 pm

JD:

“The difference between you and me is that I studied. Grow up and think about politics like an adult.”

No, the difference is that I learned when I studied. I learned what type government the U.S. was given, and the limitations that were imposed upon that same government by the founders. I also learned what economic engine was to drive this Republic. I know of the warnings issued by the founders with regard to the government and the penalties this Republic would pay if the citizenry were ever allowed to vote money for themselves from the national treasury. I learned, too, of their warnings against banks and their feelings towards the borrowing of money.

I suggest you might want to study further . . .

WillieRae

April 17th, 2011
8:02 pm

“Neo fascist thug”?
Talk about a little over the top rhetoric!
Are you suggesting that it would somehow be fascist or thuggish to teach the Declaration of Independence in school? Even including the religious context?
Has the left fallen so far as to be incapable of either civil discourse or rational thought?

Carole

April 17th, 2011
8:04 pm

“I challenge the ACLU to explain why it is inappropriate to teach that our founding political document says that our rights come from our Creator…

Does Newt think that the ACLU wrote the Constitution? How odd for a professor of history to think such a thing. Next we’ll hear that the Supreme Court wrote the Bible or something.

JD

April 17th, 2011
8:36 pm

Last Man,

Blah Blah Blah. No you didn’t. The founders were not as brilliant as you think they were. Most of their generalizations have proven false with the invention of probability theory and modern econometrics. When I said study I meant works of non-fiction and science…not the garbage you hear on the radio in text format.

JD

April 17th, 2011
8:37 pm

Well Willie, their is no religious context.

td

April 17th, 2011
9:12 pm

JD

April 17th, 2011
8:36 pm

I am sure your studies also told you that the 2nd amendment was only written to apply to the military. You my friend have studied the progressive/socialist views of the world. You really need to go back and read the primary source documents and not the interpretation by those socialist.

Flash

April 17th, 2011
9:18 pm

Could this man possibly embarrass our nation any more than he already has? Has the republican party fallen so out of touch with the American people that this is all they have to offer? Dear God help us all. Any monkey with an acrid tongue and an evil wit and they just line up and cheer. The complete lack of substance does not seem to matter. Let’s hope Newt goes the way of Anne Colter, one acrid comment to many and they lock her away in a closet.

ComradeAnon

April 17th, 2011
9:30 pm

Newt, Price, Deal. God, Georgia has a bunch of idiots for politicians.

td

April 17th, 2011
10:16 pm

Flash

April 17th, 2011
9:18 pm

He is not Obama so the answer to your question is no he is not an embarrassment.

vuduchld

April 17th, 2011
10:17 pm

I agree, that’s why I’m for teaching the real Creator, Satan, in the public schools. Let the devil have his day!

td

April 17th, 2011
10:19 pm

ComradeAnon

April 17th, 2011
9:30 pm
Newt, Price, Deal. God, Georgia has a bunch of idiots for politicians.

Obama, Pelosi, Reid. God, our Federal government has a bunch of idiots for politicians.

Legend of Len Barker

April 17th, 2011
10:22 pm

Comrade, you haven’t even gotten into the representatives.

The Legend is doubly lucky in that the home district is represented by Jack Kingston and the current city of the Legend is repped by Paul Broun.

middleoftheroader

April 17th, 2011
10:56 pm

Newt, surely all the times you cheated and married taught you that a woman’s body is her own and that you do not have the right to control her. And the Declaration of Independence says “their creator” which does not in any way limit a person’s creator to a Christian creator. Once again you feel you have a right to impose your beliefs onto others. Each of us has the right to believe in whatever we want. There would be innumerable “creators” and since all could not be included it is not in the Declaration or Constitution that we teach about a Christian figure. The Christian Bible quotes Jesus calling for the separation between church and state and so does our constitution. Maybe you should study that in the ethics training you so desperately need. Are you going to require religious training in university teaching curricula too? Or just bring in the local Baptist preacher to teach his beliefs in the public schools?

middleoftheroader

April 17th, 2011
10:57 pm

Add Boehner, Bachman, etc., to the idiots in DC list.

middleoftheroader

April 17th, 2011
11:00 pm

And there is no evidence the founding fathers crafted either the Declaration or Constitution as “religious documents.” I bet many of them are spinning in their graves at how their words are distorted and their sacrifices for our freedoms ignored.

john

April 17th, 2011
11:18 pm

Surely we can do better than Newt.