The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

Cleansing the White House with Newt Gingrich

with 3 comments

Here’s something worth sharing. It get’s to the differences that exists among Christians (one could say between left and right, but I’ll leave such distinctions to those in the pews). It’s from Andrew Sullivan.

There’s been some internal debate among evangelicals over whether to forgive Newt his past – and the consensus seems to be yes. Note why:

On the same e-mail chain, which CNN obtained from a conservative activist, prominent Atlanta preacher Richard Lee said the nation’s evangelicals needed to support Gingrich. Lee called Gingrich “the only forceful Christian candidate who can at this point be elected and cleanse the White House next November.”

Don’t you love that word “cleanse”? The current president is a devoted family man, devoid of any personal scandal, and a committed Christian, as his speeches and books testify to. And this must be “cleansed”? The reason is that Obama represents a more liberal and live-and-let-live version of Christianity, and believes in the separation of church and state. That’s what needs to be cleansed (assuming we are not talking bald-faced racism here).


Our language matters, and it should be used carefully. So, to those who want to win the Presidency by “cleansing” the White House, you might want to think twice about how you put that.

This comes back the Rick Perry advert, too, in which President Obama is  warring against the Christians who are actually Christians, not “christian” like the President.


Written by Christopher ZF

December 12, 2011 at 11:41

3 Responses

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  1. First off, comments like from Richard Lee disgust me. Obviously, he is entitled to his private political opinions, but the way he says it makes it sound like getting Obama out of the White House has special sanction from God (and maybe it does– he shouldn’t just presume to know.) Among other things.
    But unless he knows something more about Lee than his connection to the south, Sullivan’s suggestion of possible racism in this case is every bit as bigoted as the racism he means to disparage. Every bit.


    December 13, 2011 at 13:34

    • I get your point. I don’t know that I would say it is ‘every bit’ as bigoted, because it is quite easy to have a conversation about the uses of the ‘cleansing’ and see a racial bias there. That is probably the most common use of the word in today’s usage, other than for colons.

      But your point is apt and taken well. Again, assuming Sullivan doesn’t know more about Lee than we do.


      December 13, 2011 at 20:37

      • Fair enough– I hadn’t thought about it from quite that angle. “Cleanse” might connote an ethnic context, though I do doubt that is really the case. “Cleanse” has a different meaning in a religious sense, and Lee might have been speaking out of that. Besides, I highly doubt a “prominent preacher” of presumably a large church really has the kind of monochromatic flock, even in the south, that could bear such an implicitly racist statement.


        December 14, 2011 at 14:11

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