I told you it was going to be a brutal month for Newt Gingrich.
Exhibit A is a video produced by Molotov Mitchell which Sioux City Pastor Cary Gordon promoted earlier today.
I’m not a big fan of the “Marriage Vow” that The FAMiLY Leader put out mainly because of what it was named, and how poorly it was initially written. For instance I think Tim Pawlenty had some valid reasons for not wanting to sign it and he had some established street cred, in hindsight with Herman Cain… I’m not so sure.
Anyway, Bob Vander Plaats seems to be backing away from his own pledge.
“The centerpiece of our faith is forgiveness,” Vander Plaats, the leader of the Family Leader organization, said during a discussion at a diner here on Wednesday.
Gingrich, he said, has “admitted that he’s hurt people” and “wishes he could do things differently” and therefore Christian voters are open to him.
“They’re kind of thinking, maybe we should overlook some of this stuff with Newt because he might be the best to lead at this time,” Vander Plaats said. “That’s what I think you’re seeing with his rise.”
He added: “Now that doesn’t mean we’re over everything. There’s still baggage we need to address, you know personal and policy wise.”
First off, the centerpiece of our faith is Jesus Christ, and let us not forget the price He paid so that we could have forgiveness. It’s free, but it didn’t come cheap. Secondly, forgiveness is not ours to grant. Gingrich offended God and his former spouses. Thirdly, forgiven people still face consequences. A murderer may be forgiven, but they still face prison time. A sexual offender may be forgiven and perhaps even changed, but that doesn’t mean they should ever work with kids. We’re being asked to trust a man who has proven himself to be untrustworthy and that is to be overlooked because he says he’s forgiven?
Yes we are to forgive (when sinned against), but that doesn’t mean we should immediately trust that person as though nothing ever happened.
It seems, to me, like Bob Vander Plaats is testing the waters on how an endorsement of Gingrich might play. Let me be perhaps the first Christian conservative Iowan to say it publically – The FAMiLY Leader will lose all credibility if they endorse Gingrich for the simple fact he did not meet up with their criteria. Then secondly because of his marital record.
Maybe they’re having an internal debate about this and that is why they have not endorsed. If they endorse Gingrich they have discredited every they have said about standing on principles in the past year, and they are not worthy of support. Also there’s the hint of impropriety behind the endorsement:
A new group called “Progress Iowa” suggests Gingrich may get the backing of Vander Plaats because Gingrich donated $200,000 to the campaign Vander Plaats led to target two Iowa Supreme Court justices who signed onto the opinion which legalized gay marriage in Iowa. Those justices were voted off the court in 2010.
Now I don’t think that would be why The FAMiLY Leader would endorse, but that question would always linger. The simple fact is Speaker Gingrich with even his positive attributes and ideas simply does not qualify for their endorsement.