I couldn’t resist highlighting that Newt Gingrich, the architect of the Contract with America and the man who helped the GOP recapture the House in 1994 is converting to Catholicism on Easter. There’s a lot of haymaking over Newt’s thrice-married past, particularly by Christopher Buckley, but good for Gingrich. Let’s hope the Church provides him the strength to curtail that predilection.
It’s a good step for Catholics, too, in making more inroads among conservative American politicians. Time was, mixing Catholicism and politics was a Democrat’s game. The movement is not focused solely on conservatives, though. Tony Blair became a Catholic on Christmas of 2007, and more than a few have recommended poping myself out. As I see it, Catholics are doing a stellar job wooing intellectuals of all ages and political stripes. The push is sure to help to shore up the Roman Church’s foundations against the erosion of religious support amongst intellectuals, and to guard against the brain drain damaging other Christian denominations in America and Europe.
Me? I’m splitting the difference between the East and the West and staying Anglican. Our recruitment and retention game is admittedly weak, though.
-Michael E. van Landingham