Election 2012

Newt Gingrich is a Shitty Historian

Benen reports on Gingrich's claim that America wasn't founded as a secular nation.

Newt writes a lot of historical fiction -- one of his books fantasizes about the Confederates winning at Gettysburg. Perhaps in his old age he's conflating his fiction with his facts.

The quote came from Newt Gingrich, who condemned the very idea of a secular state. “A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have,” the thrice-married, serial adulterer said. “Because we’ve in fact attempted to create a secular country, which I think is frankly a nightmare.”

By every respectable account, the American government was always intended to be a secular one. This has nothing to do with rejecting religion as a personal choice, and, in fact, the Constitution explicitly notes freedom of religion, but the U.S. was formed as a direct rejection of British style government which imposed a state religion (The Church of England). This is a fact.

So there was never any effort to "create" a secular government beginning in 1963. The secular government was already established.