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Gingrich: Challenge 'radical secularism' (Liberty University commencement speech)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/19/07 | Bob Lewis - ap

Posted on 05/19/2007 10:54:58 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Liberty University's graduating class Saturday to honor the spirit of school founder Jerry Falwell by confronting "the growing culture of radical secularism" with Christian ideals.

Gingrich, who is considering a 2008 presidential run, quoted Bible passages to a crowd of about 17,000 packed into the university's football stadium four days after Falwell's death.

Despite the somber tone of the day, graduates who covered the football field chanted "Jerry! Jerry!" in tribute to Falwell.

"A growing culture of radical secularism declares that the nation cannot profess the truths on which it was founded," Gingrich said. "We are told that our public schools can no longer invoke the creator, nor proclaim the natural law nor profess the God-given quality of human rights.

"In hostility to American history, the radical secularists insist that religious belief is inherently divisive and that public debate can only proceed on secular terms," he said.

Liberty's commencement has become a forum for conservative politicians. Last year's address came from Republican presidential candidate John McCain (news, bio, voting record), who made amends with Falwell after attacking him by name during McCain's failed 2000 White House bid.

It was the first commencement without Falwell, the Baptist preacher who established the church-based university in 1971, before he founded the Moral Majority that helped elect Ronald Reagan president in 1980.

On Tuesday morning, the 73-year-old Falwell was discovered without a pulse in his office at Liberty and pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later. His physician said Falwell had a heart condition and presumably died of a heart rhythm abnormality.

His funeral was set for Tuesday.

His son, Jerry Falwell Jr., addressed Liberty's students Saturday as the school's new chancellor.

"No one can replace dad, but ... ," he said before he choked with emotion. Applause rippled across the crowd as he struggled to regain his composure. "But there's a team here ready to carry on and we're going to give it everything we have as he did for so long."

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: challenge; commencement; falwell; gingrich; libertyu; libertyuniversity; newt; radical; secularism

1 posted on 05/19/2007 10:55:01 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

I’ve looked around and it seems the text is not yet published.

2 posted on 05/19/2007 11:29:37 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: knarf

I attended (and graduted from Liberty University); thanks for posting this (quite a few friends) graduated today! I am thinking about heading up to Lynchburg for the funeral/service at Thomas Road (Baptist Church) Tuesday! Thanks, Jerry was definately a servant of Christ, and 90% of what I hear the secualar media write about him is false!! HE WILL BE MISSED; but at least I know where HE IS (in our Lord’s presence), now so I know he is enjoying Himself!>

3 posted on 05/19/2007 1:58:27 PM PDT by JSDude1 (
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To: B Knotts


4 posted on 05/21/2007 2:54:36 PM PDT by good old days
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