Back in January, I wrote a column for Townhall.com expressing my disappointment that Newt Gingrich appeared to be waving the white flag in defense of marriage.
This time I come not to bury the former House Speaker but to praise him. In the wake of Senator Rob Portman deciding his son’s thoughts on sexuality are more important than God’s, Gingrich was one of several Republican standard-bearers asked to comment on the issue of marriage by the mainstream media.
And in an interview on CNN, Gingrich gave about the best answer a politician in his position possibly could:
”Well, my stance (on marriage) hasn’t evolved. I believe as the Bible teaches, marriage is between a man and woman. I actually think that marriage is between a man and a woman no matter what politicians decide. I don’t think they have the power to change what is a religiously inspired definition. I’m not going to second guess Rob Portman. He’s an old personal friend. I think when you have somebody in your immediate family who comes out, you have three choices: You can say, ‘I believe my principles so much, I’m kicking you out.’ You can say, ‘I still believe in my principles, but I love you.’ Or you can say, ‘Gee, I love you so much I’m changing my principles.’ Rob picked the third path. That’s his prerogative. I’m not going to second guess him. But I would also say that historically in the long run, marriage will be between man and woman, that’s been the definition for thousands of years and I don’t think politicians will change that.”
Gingrich may be Catholic, but this is an answer that even the Protestant reformer Martin Luther would’ve been proud of because this is grace and law at its finest. The fact it came in less 300 words to a culture with a short attention span is a bonus. Gingrich’s approach to this question in this particular interview is one that should be emulated by conservatives that will be forced to follow in his footsteps.