Pastor Tim LaHaye has endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, and will be joining his Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as a national co-chair.
In a letter to South Carolina pastors, LaHaye urged them to vote for Gingrich because he is in the best “strategic position” to improve America.
“It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners,” LaHaye said. “As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, ‘Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States”… We agree!’”
"I am honored to have Tim's endorsement. His work as both a minister and author is truly unmatched," said Gingrich. "Tim will be a terrific partner for the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as we work to combat the influence of radical secularism and activist judges."
This development is odd. Gingrich converted to Catholicism some time back, but LaHaye is notorious for his anti-Catholicism. At Catholic Answers, a lay Catholic website, Jimmy Akin writes:
In 1987 Jack Kemp named Tim LaHaye as national co-chair of his presidential campaign, but LaHaye resigned days later when newspapers published anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic remarks he had made. These included references to Catholicism as "a false religion" and to Jews being responsible for the death of Christ. Subsequently it came to light that, during the 1970s, LaHaye’s church had funded Mission to Catholics, a virulently anti-Catholic ministry run by former Carmelite priest Bart Brewer.
Since then, LaHaye has coauthored the Left Behind series. Akin continues:
The Left Behind series also involves a more direct attack on the faith of Catholics. Many passages—particularly in the second volume (Tribulation Force)—are directly anti-Catholic. It is not a particularly skillful anti-Catholicism, for the authors betray a fundamental lack of knowledge concerning the Church, but it is anti-Catholic nonetheless.