Newt Gingrich Letter

The (Anti-Religious) Bigotry of the Elites

I got a note this week that reminded me, once again, how much the American people disagree with the Washington elite — and how differently we would run our country if and when we get the chance.

The note told the story of Mrs. Arnold, an 85-year-old grandmother living in Florida.

Every year, Mrs. Arnold looks forward to a Christmas visit to her apartment building by a local Sunday school class. They have a Christmas party and place an angel at the top of the building’s Christmas tree.

But this year, the management of her apartment complex issued a directive: Any and all “religious symbols or religious words associated with Christmas” are banned from the public areas of the building.

The Anti-Religious Bigotry of Lawsuit Expectations

Even the word “Christmas” was banned. The residents were told to use “holiday” instead (an irony not picked up by the elites since the word “holiday” is derived from “Holy Day”).

The management company blamed federal regulations for its anti-religious directive. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) denies that this is their policy, but they say that religious bans like this are commonplace.

Anti-religious zealots have put property owners and managers on the defensive. Rather than risk a lawsuit, they issue blanket prohibitions that amount to nothing less than anti-religious bigotry.

It’s another example of the biases of the elites — in this case, anti-religious bigotry — being imposed on the American people.

Fighting Back With Rediscovering God in America

One of the main reasons I wrote Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation’s History and Future was to combat this anti-religious bigotry.

As I mentioned last week, Rediscovering God in America has now been made into a documentary movie, featuring Callista, me and a host of American historians and commentators.

You can watch a preview of the movie and buy a copy of the DVD here.

The message of both the movie and the book is simple and direct: There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the anti-religious bigotry of much of the nation’s legal and political elite.

Hiding ‘Laus Deo’ Under a Bushel

The anti-religious elites’ attempts to drive God out of America’s public square are serious and ongoing.

For example: One of the places we visit in Rediscovering God in America is the Washington Monument.

The monument’s capstone is one of Washington’s most profound acknowledgements of the centrality of God and faith to our nation. Etched in aluminum, the East side of the capstone reads “Laus Deo,” Latin for “Praise be to God.”

But recently, visitors to the Washington Monument noticed that a display plaque describing the capstone was changed to omit the words “Laus Deo” and any reference to God.

What’s more, a replica of the capstone had been positioned so visitors could not see the side reading “Laus Deo.”

Thanks to an e-mail campaign by outraged Americans, the references to God on the displays have now been restored. But the incident serves as a reminder of the near-constant threat of anti-religious bigotry in America.

When It Comes to Anti-Religious Bigotry, All Religions Are NOT Equal

Of course, when it comes to official anti-religious bigotry, not all religions are equal.

Did you know that, while religious images are under assault across the nation, in nine Western states the courts have ruled it constitutional for public schools to require a three-week course on the Islamic faith — a course in which all junior-high students are mandated to pretend they are Muslims and offer prayers to Allah?

This is the same court, mind you, that infamously ruled (in the case brought by atheist activist Michael Newdow) that it is unconstitutional for students to mention “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

What America Really Believes at AmericanSolutions.com

The anti-religious biases of the legal and government elites are impossible to square with the values and opinions of the American people.

At AmericanSolutions.com, you can view my presentation of six nationwide polls recently conducted by American Solutions that show how out of touch the government elite are on religion and so many other issues.

Far from believing that religion should be banished from our public life, majorities of Americans believe that there is not enough religion and morality in:

  • Movies and television (72%);
  • The home life of children (71%);
  • Public schools (64%); and
  • Decision-making by our elected officials (60%).

The Values of Red, White and Blue America

Here’s a sampling of the American people’s most widely held views. Compare and contrast these views with what you hear and see coming out of Washington today:

  • 96% believe it is important for the President and Congress to address the issue of Social Security in the next few years.
  • 94% believe children should be allowed a moment of silence to pray to themselves in public school if they desire.
  • 93% believe al Qaeda poses a very serious threat to the United States.
  • 93% believe, in the worker visa program, that each worker should take an oath to obey the United States law and to be deported if the worker commits a crime while in the United States.
  • 93% believe it is important to acknowledge today the reference to God in the Declaration of Independence — that we are endowed by our Creator with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • 92% believe our focus should clearly be to provide long-term solutions instead of short-term fixes.
  • 91% believe we should dramatically increase our investment in math and science education.
  • 91% believe we should hold city governments to the same standards for cleaning waste water as are applied to the private industry.
  • 90% approve of a Christmas tree or a Menorah being placed on public property during the holiday season.

Our Veterans: Protecting the Freedom That God Has Given Us

One of the cornerstones of America’s historical religious faith is the assertion, made so clearly in our Declaration of Independence, that our freedom comes from God.

This was a revolutionary proclamation in the history, not only of America, but of humankind. It means that no government or king grants us our freedom — and no government or king can legitimately take it away. Our freedom is ours by virtue of the fact that we are all created by God.

But if our freedom comes from our Creator, it is protected and sustained by the men and women who serve our country when it needs it most.

Our God-given freedom was protected and sustained by my father, who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

It is protected and sustained by the men and women serving in Iraq and throughout the world today.

Everyday, but most especially this Veterans’ Day week, we owe our veterans the acknowledgment that they are the guardians of God’s blessing of freedom. And we are their grateful beneficiaries.


Newt Gingrich

P.S. – A special thanks to all our readers for achieving an important milestone this week: “Winning the Future” is now received by more than half a million people. If you have friends and colleagues on your email list who you think would enjoy this newsletter, invite them to sign up to receive it free of charge here and join the over 500,000 people getting it weekly. And thanks to everyone reading who had already done so.

P.P.S. — Another thanks to all of you who have bought my new book, Contract with the Earth, and all those who have come out to see me on my book tour. I am not surprised (according to our American Solutions poll, 95% of Americans believe we have an obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation), but I am very gratified with how well Contract with the Earth and “green conservatism” have been received by Americans. Thanks again.

P.P.P.S. — Yesterday, my daughter Jackie wrote about her trip with her sister Kathy to Greece to complete a marathon for Arthritis. You can read about their trip here.

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