In an open letter, the Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote, "I have been very impressed with the spiritual maturity of this man and am convinced that he has been honest and forthright in clarifying his past failings and his quest, as a Christian, for God's forgiveness."
Rev. Falwell went on to say, "I well remember the challenge we evangelicals faced in 1980 when our candidate, Ronald Reagan, was the first presidential candidate who had gone through a divorce. We wisely made allowance for God's forgiveness and America was the beneficiary of this historic champion."
Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation amplified Rev. Falwell's sentiment. He thinks social conservatives will embrace Gingrich and told the Wall Street Journal, "He says he has gone down on his knees to ask God's forgiveness for his weakness. Our people are very oriented toward accepting that."
Also, there has been little discussion of Gingrich's latest book, "Rediscovering God in America," which gives a scholarly review of the foundations of faith in our historic public square. The book is part of a grander conversation Gingrich is having with the American people. That conversation is continued at Newt.org where he states, "defending God in the public square," is the nation's second greatest challenge after defeating our enemies abroad.
I know, from personal experience, the yearning within the conservative base of the GOP for Gingrich's type of leadership. With undeniable fallibility on his path through life, he nonetheless acts like a man who knows where he is going and where the nation needs to be taken.
King Solomon said, "A good name is rather to be chosen than riches." Can Gingrich's good name among conservatives transfer into electoral riches? I don't know, but his understanding of the nation's essence -- devotion to God, traditional family and American nationalism -- makes Gingrich a potentially formidable presidential contender.
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