I am not familiar with the book, but I am looking at a review of it on my other screen right now, by John Kyl from the National Ledger.
In my opinion, you were correct in an earlier post when you said that most of the founders were deists. Deism was the accepted worldview among the elite in europe and America in the mid 18th century. Religion was pretty much limited to the masses and the uneducated.
Even Tom Paine, who was often accused of being an atheist, strongly expressed his deist views in “Age of Reason.” Not all, but most of the colonies had very restrictive religious laws prior to the constitution, some even made atheism punishable by death. So far as I know, there was only one conviction under those laws in any state, and it resulted in a short jail sentence.
Anyhow, I don’t know what the Newtster says in his book, and it probably won’t bubble up to the point where I need to find out.
Here is the review:
Winning the Future
By Jon Kyl
Feb 27, 2006
Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, raises some troubling questions in his new book Winning the Future. As is his style, Gingrich also proposes solutions—ones that are worth considering.
He describes five great threats to America. They are (quoting verbatim):
1.That Islamist terrorists and rogue dictatorships will acquire and launch nuclear or
2.That God will be driven from American public life and reduce us to the civilizational ennui that now characterizes a declining Europe.
3. That America will lose the patriotic sense of itself as a unique civilization.
4.That America’s economic supremacy will yield to China and India because of failing schools and weakening scientific and technological leadership.
5. That an aging America’s demands on Social Security, Medicare, and related government programs will collapse the systems.
Each threat can be overcome, says Gingrich, but only if regular Americans are as active as the elites who are driving so much of our policy-making today. He notes that most Americans (91 percent) believe we should be allowed to say “one nation, under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and only 23 percent believe the United Nations should play a leading role in world affairs, with countries deferring to its policies.
Some judges and policymakers however, hold a different view. It’s their position that will prevail if the American people let it.
To answer the above-listed challenges, Gingrich proposes a 21st century “Contract with America,” somewhat like the 1994 slate of proposals that helped Republicans capture the majority in Congress after more than a half century of control by the Democratic Party. Its basic points (again, quoting verbatim):
1.We must commit to a long war to defeat the terrorists and tyrants who would destroy America.
2.We must reestablish that our rights come from our Creator and that an America that has driven God out of the public arena is an America on the way to decay and defeat.
3. We must insist on patriotic immigration and patriotic education based on classic American history and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln.
4.We must transform our domestic institutions in order to harness modern science and technology to create jobs, wealth, and lead the world economy into the 21st century.
5.We must establish the opportunities for a personal Social Security account, a portable personal pension account, and a personal health savings account, so the wealth we create during our working lives is wealth we control.
Underlying much of Gingrich’s thinking is the notion that Americans “must reinvigorate the core values that have made America an exceptional civilization.” He worries, as I do, that our children are no longer taught these values, with the result that they will be ill-equipped to make decisions (including at the polls) that support policies based on our core values.
Gingrich believes the two primary battlefields in this struggle are the courts and the classrooms, and he proposes several reforms to reassert citizen influence over both. One such solution to which I subscribe is to appoint judges who will interpret the U.S. Constitution based upon our founding documents and law rather than the laws or rulings of other countries. Newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito exemplify this approach.
Winning the Future minces no words in identifying the threat we face from the radicals who attack innocents in the name of Islam. Gingrich writes: “If anyone thinks terrorists don’t threaten us, the question is: What could it take to convince you? If nearly 3,000 people dying on American soil in one day does not frighten you, what would?” And he concludes: “the sobering reality is that terrorist leaders are determined to kill Americans and destroy our government and culture.”
We cannot negotiate with the terrorists; our only alternative is to defeat them, and we can’t do that without engaging them – precisely the same point President Bush made in a recent speech. In fact, the book quotes another comment by the President that, “Americans should expect not one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.”
I enjoyed serving in the House with New Gingrich and find even now, that whether you agree with him or not, he presents important ideas in a compelling way. I recommend his book to anyone looking not just for problems, but also for solutions.
I agree with both his point one and with his solution. I don’t believe in the supernatural at all, so his point two is a non-sequitor as far as I’m concerned. Our rights come from nowhere but ourselves, and I dont believe that europe is declining as the newtster believes.
Point three is a joke! Immigratrion is OK as long as we are accepting only new christian republicans, I guess, the rest can stay wherever they are, and in his solution he is proposing once again that in the view of the neocon, atheists, agnostics, and any non-christians can’t be patriotic. What absolute bullshit!
He’s right about point four, the disingenious sob, who the devil is kicking science out of the schools? It sure isn’t the scientists! Which government is waging an absolute war on science as we speak. Do you have any idea how many agency decisions have been made at high levels only after checking with prominant xtian leaders? Do you have any idea how many decisions in the last 5 years have been made because of xtian dogma? This point is a joke. What’s needed is for the religious to get the hell out of the way!
Point 5 is correct, but the solution is not turning the collected money over to the people, the solution is to not collect the damn money in the first place. There is a terrific national sales tax bill (the fair tax plan) on the floor of the house right now. If passed it would be the biggest transfer of power in this country since the constitution. The IRS, the lobbyists, tax lawyers, and the whole infrastructure that supports the income tax would be eliminated with the stroke of a pen.
The only problem is, it would empower the people at the expense of the government, and too many people in this country are too used to uncle running everything, and taking care of them. When that attitude ends, things will start happening, but the politicians, such as the newtster, have to be emasculated first.
Read the federalist papers if you want to see how the government should work. You wont recognize it!