The Quiet Tribulations of a Christian Candidate for President

I am far from choosing a favorite candidate for president. Yet I could not help but be struck by the series of videos shown below, which I never would have seen had my source for Presidential campaign news been the usual (mainstream) media.

Please do not mistake my purpose in showing these videos. I am not pushing a particular candidate (yet) for President. What I would like you to learn from these videos is exactly how encouraging and refreshing a Christian worldview can be in the very midst of secular politics. It is a view that never flinches from telling the unvarnished truth -- whether about oneself, or about others who are getting all the attention.

With those caveats firmly in mind, you should now watch this perfectly articulated response to the entire "Occupy ____ " movement (fill in the blank with a location near you):

And having delivered that resonant message, the candidate next allowed himself some Christian candor, as you will experience about three to four minutes into following video:

The candidate was also asked why the current secular media so attacks and persecutes any public figure who dares to confess his religious faith as a part of a campaign for office. In response, he unassumingly instructed his questioner by drawing on his time spent in the classroom, as a professor of history:

Now, before all the partisans pile on with their comments, I would like to be permitted this one observation. Newt Gingrich is decidedly a sinner, no better and no worse (a sinner, that is!) than most of us. His track record still makes a lot of people very angry. To the extent, however, that anger about Gingrich's past doings spills over into one's judgment about the current crop of presidential candidates, I would urge a good deal of careful, and measured, response to those inclinations. "Judge not, lest ye be judged"; or perhaps, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I see very few in the race who are as willing as Newt Gingrich now is to speak to an election-year audience the plain, Christian truth about any topic. Rather than admit their faith-based perspective, most candidates dance around their religion, or shy away from any probing inquiry, because of legitimate fears for how any honest response will be treated in the secular media. But those candidates, I suggest, are the ones who are truly uncomfortable with their faith, who are in need of assistance to be able to integrate their religion with their public life, and who therefore, in my view, are not yet ready for high public office.

I would rather have, any day, an avowed and repentant Christian for a political leader than I would someone who still thinks they can do it all on their own -- with (of course) what they estimate will be sufficient (but even so, only secular and human) help.

As I say, the race is still young, and doubtless there are many surprises ahead. At this stage, I am simply expressing a word of appreciation for a candidate who can sincerely articulate, unabashedly and in public, his faith and the confidence it gives him, while knowing that there are many who have yet to forgive him his past transgressions. The proper response in that situation is a sincere Christian humility, and I think Newt Gingrich in his latest appearances is exhibiting such a response. And for that, I can be thankful -- no fellow Christian should wish for anything less.

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