…forthcoming today on James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio show, Newt Gingrich acknowledges and says he has gotten on his knees to seek God’s forgiveness for, the extra-marital affair he was having while simultaneously leading the charge against President Clinton’s impeachment.
“The honest answer is yes,” Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired today, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press. “There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There’s certainly times when I’ve fallen short of God’s standards.”
Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton’s infidelity.
“The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge,” the former Georgia congressman said of Clinton’s 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges.
There are at least two things that will jump out in discussions about this. First, that here is just another glaring “Christian” hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another thing. Second, that all of this is simply a political ploy as he prepares to run for president in a field that does anything but excite social conservatives.
Beyond that what is there to say? This:
– Newt should be forgiven. He has asked for forgiveness and it should be granted him. He stumbled. We all stumble.
– Newt should behave as Jesus talked about the forgiven behaving – with even greater forgiveness for others.
– Newt and Bill Clinton – who has also sought forgiveness – should get together and pursue humanitarian help for the poor, perhaps through Clinton’s foundation. Together they could be a shining example of what Christ’s healing can do – reconciling even former enemies.
Here is what Newt should not do: He should not parlay this forgiveness into a on-going campaign to Christian voters flaunting his redeemed life and faith as rationale for supporting him for the White House in 2008. Nothing would so undermine the sincerity of his admission than that.