(CNN) — Newt Gingrich said Tuesday the Obama administration is "intensely secular" and "anti-religious," the former House Speaker's second hard-hitting criticism of the new administration this week.
In an interview with FOX News, Gingrich said he strongly disagreed with Obama's choice of Harry Knox — an outspoken activist for gay rights — to the White House advisory council on faith-based initiatives.
"I think their goal is to have a very secular America in which government dominates everything," he said. "Why wouldn't you put an anti-religious, left-wing zealot on a faith-based group? It's a perfect pattern for this administration."
Since 2005, Knox has served as the director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. He is also a former Methodist pastor.
Obama formally named Knox to the 25-member advisory council on Monday, a move that has not sat well with some Christian conservatives. The conservative Catholic League called him "unfit to serve," especially taking issue with Knox's recent comment characterizing Pope Benedict XVI as a "discredited leader" because of his opposition to gay marriage.
In a statement released earlier this week, Knox said, "The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is eager to help the administration achieve its goals around economic recovery and fighting poverty; fatherhood and healthy families; inter-religious dialogue; care for the environment; and global poverty, health and development."
But Gingrich said the Knox appointment, along with some other moves, proves the administration is trying to "go down in history as a consistently anti-religious, secular group of people who are consciously trying to drive things out."
Two days ago, Gingrich told Politico former Vice President Dick Cheney was "clearly right" when he asserted the Obama administration's national security policies have left the country more vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
For those of you who don't know, Newt has been trying to position himself as the new, new, new face of the GOP. Palin flopped, Michael Steele flopped, Bobby Jindal, so it's Newt's turn. First off, I have a serious issue with him acting like secular is a dirty word. Maybe during the past 8 years of the GW American Christian Theocracy Newty forgot that by way of the very constitution that our country is founded on the US is a SECULAR nation. Secular - by definition - is the state of being seperate from religion. As much as the fundies love to run around screaming about a "Christian America" we are not a Christian nation, we are secular. For him to act like it is somehow wrong for Obama's team not to pander to the religious right the way the Bush administration did is equally as offensive and un-American as Rush Limbaugh hoping for him to fail.
Second, I know that we don't seriously have a Republican trying to pull out the "fox guarding the henhouse" card, right? In case you were asleep, Mr. Gingrich, the last time we had someone from YOUR party in the White House we had the following:
Mitch Leavitt was made EPA director despite his horrendous anti-environmental record and history of extremely lax enforcement of environmental laws including downplaying the release of mercury saying "it's not really pollution" and sponsoring policy resoultions by the Western Governor's Association opposing evironmental regulation of the mining industry. The EPA had to step in dozens of times in Utah to enforce regulations Leavitt refused to, then GW decided to put him in charge of the EPA.
Gale Norton, former mining industry lobbyist, was made Secretary of the Interior, her Deputy Secretary was J. Steven Griles former oil and and coal lobbyist. The Undersecretary of the Interior was Lynn Scarlett - president and CEO of the Reason Foundation, an organization funded by industry groups such as the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Petrolium Institute, American Plastics Council, Chevron, and Dow Chemical.
David Lauriski, long time coal industry executive and lobbyist, was made Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety.
Stan Suboleski was appointed to the Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. Stan Suboleski is an executive with the A.C. Massey Coal Company....
Not to mention the dozens of flatly unqualified cronies he put in hugely important positions such as FEMA director Mike Brown, Small Business Addociation Administrator Hector Barreto, DHS CFO Andrew Maner, Consumer Product Safety Commision Chairman Hal Stratton, DoC Chief Of Staff Claire Buchan, Harriett Meiers, Mark McKinnon, William DeWitt, the list just goes on and on and on. Talk about the pot and the friggin' kettle. Your party's previous leader wrote the book on this type of thing and you had nothing to say about it. Where were you for the past 8 years while George Bush was President, Mr. Gingrich? You were nowhere to be found, you had nothing to say about it. It was all perfectly kosher, nothing to see here, move along.
But a Democratic president assigns a support of Gay rights to the advisory council on faith-based initiatives and now you want to scream from the mountaintops how he's anti-religion. If only we could be so lucky...