Newt Gingrich Cannonballs Into Another Religious Controversy

On the heels of his vocal opposition to the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero (which a city commission just approved), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is defending four Christian missionaries who were recently arrested for trying to convert attendees of an Arab festival:

Dearborn police said July 12 that the four self-described missionaries "chose to escalate their behavior, which appeared well-orchestrated and deliberate" as they handed out religious literature and talked with people at the festival. The woman and three men are members or founders of a group called "Acts 17 Apologetics."

In a July 28 e-newsletter, Gingrich defended the four.

"They were ... on a public street outside an Arab festival in a way that is completely permissible by law, but, of course, forbidden by sharia's rules on proselytizing," said Gingrich, a Republican, referring to the missionaries passing out literature. "This is a clear case of freedom of speech and the exercise of religious freedom being sacrificed in deference to sharia's intolerance against the preaching of religions other than Islam." ...

"Cases like this will become all the more common as radical Islamists grow more and more aggressive in the United States," Gingrich wrote about the missionaries' case and others pointed out in the newsletter.

Read the full story at the Detroit News.

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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