Newt Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in what appears to be a fairly non-religious family of Lutherans.
But as a history student, Gingrich became interested in why religion had such an affect on politics and began investigating it. He interviewed a Baptist preacher in New Orleans and eventually converted.
While married to his second wife, Marianne Ginther, Gingrich converted again to her religion–Catholicism, saying:
People ask me when I decided to become Catholic. It would be more accurate to say that I gradually became Catholic and then realized that I should accept the faith that surrounded me.
Love 'em and leave 'em
Despite being Catholic (at least for today), Gingrich doesn’t really follow their idea of not getting divorced and is now married to his third wife.
He had no problems with cheating on his previous wives, he’s even admitted it. In fact, when asked about why he left his first wife, he said:
She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.
The politics of an amphibian
Newt is a smart guy. He was even a college professor of history and geography.
As strange as this is to say, many of his political views are well-reasoned and Newt isn’t scared to break with the Republican party from time to time.
Gingrich doesn’t join his party-mates when it comes to the environment or climate change, many of which claim is a liberal conspiracy. And he’s OK with stem cell research and abortion–as long as the mother was raped.
Other than that, he’s pretty much a standard Republican. He thinks drugs are bad, that the U.S. should drill its own oil, that any entitlements including Medicare and food stamps are communist. Oh, and he’s pro-business–especially the business of Gingrich!
Newt’s got no problem with a little political corruption. He took $1.6 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in “consulting” fees just before those two institutions brought the American economy to its knees.
He once said about campaign money:
The problem isn’t too little money in political campaigns, but not enough.
And here’s another good one:
The idea that a Congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.
Gingrich Puts a Price on His Family Values: He sheltered his $4 million book bonanza from his struggling, non-trophy ex-wife ↩︎
Examples of Gingrich comments in favor of federally-funded abortion, stem cell research ↩︎