Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now with the Family Research Council, said that the House GOP’s massive food stamp cuts that could remove around 4 million people from the program next year was an act of Christian compassion.
While many churches and Christians organizations denounced the move, Blackwell told the Christian Post that there was “nothing more Christian” than kicking low-income families off food stamps. He referred to food aid as part of the “plantation of big government” and said that churches and charitable organization will replace such government assistance.
Of course, the conservative news outlet also quoted Rev. Gary Cook of Bread for the World, who criticized the Republican plan and noted that the work of churches “is worth $4 billion dollars annually, which is essentially equal to the annual cut Congress is proposing in food stamps.”
Rev. Gary Cook, the Director of Church Relations at Christian anti-hunger advocacy group, Bread for the World, has told The Christian Post that he is worried that the latest cuts could further marginalize the most vulnerable, rather than mobilize people back to work.
"The people who take advantage of this are some of the poorest of the poor people in the country," Cook told CP. "Their average annual income is $2200 a person. They are among the most difficult to employee. If the government says our economy works well, when we have five or six percent unemployment, because that's our policy, at least they can eat." But according to Ken Blackwell, who is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the conservative Christian lobbying group, Family Research Council, programs like food stamps prevented people from being truly empowered.
"I think through empowering others and creating self-sufficiency…there within lies the path to sense of worthiness," Blackwell told CP. "When I was growing up, there was fundamental belief, that there were times in people's life when they needed a hand up…there were temporariness to hose programs, where they were structured so that they didn't breed so that they didn't breed dependency."
Blackwell also suggested that there was "nothing more Christian" than "not locking people into a permanent dependency on government handouts, but making sure they are participants in their own upliftment and empowerment so that they in fact through the dignity of work and can break from the plantation of big government."
"America is such a compassionate nation, nothing in history that suggests that churches and communities and our families would let people die of hunger, there is absolutely nothing," said Blackwell.
"We are not lacking in churches in church communities across this nation in making sure that basic human needs are met without creating another government program that establishes rules that have very low expectations for self-discipline," said Blackwell. "I think we should have an honest debate and discussion in the church community…[on a host of social issues] Christians have been in the forefront, without government prodding or dominance."
Cook's biggest worry though, was that the food stamp cuts would offset the thousands of hours and dollars that these very church ministries spend annually supporting their communities through soup kitchens, bread lines, and food pantries.
"What churches do in terms of the kind of generous giving to poor, hungry people is amazing," said Cook. "But their work is worth $4 billion dollars annually, which is essentially equal to the annual cut Congress is proposing in food stamps."
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) is slated to appear at an upcoming anti-gay summit in St. Charles, Illinois, with African-American conservative activists including Harry Jackson, Star Parker, Ben Kinchlow and Ken Blackwell. Sponsored by groups such as the Heritage Foundation, World Congress of Families, Coalition of African-American Pastors and Illinois Family Institute, the “Black Conservative Summit” plans to train activists in how to fight the “homosexual agenda,” legal abortion’s “black genocide” and “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.”
The summit has also invited Herman Cain, Allen West, Ben Carson, Jesse Lee Peterson, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former Rep. JC Watts and Fred Luter to appear. Its promotional video warns that “social engineering has ushered in the destruction of our roots” and promises new momentum in anti-gay activism in Illinois: “On May 31, a new coalition of Americans stood against the effort to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, and it failed, but the fight for the soul of America did not end there.”
After watching the Republican presidential candidates lose the last two elections, right-wing activist Ken Blackwell cooked up a scheme whereby states would move away from winner-take-all allocations of electors to a system in which Electoral College votes would be assigned according to congressional districts.
The result would be that a Republican presidential candidate who does not win the overall popular vote in the state could still end up receiving a majority of that state's electoral votes simply by virtue of winning the popular vote in more individual districts.
Today, Blackwell appeared on "WallBuilders Live" to promote this scheme, where it was met with enthusiastic support from Rick Green and David Barton. As Blackwell explained, if every state had implemented this plan for the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have won despite the fact that he lost the overall popular vote by nearly 5 million votes.
That, of course, is ridiculous ... and the fact that people think it is outrageous is, according to Blackwell, a sign that it is a good idea:
Blackwell: There's an old farmer's tale that if you throw a brick at a pack of pigs, the one that squeals is the one you hit. Well, when we put this out there, the Left started squealing, the New York Times started squealing, so we must be on to something.
Green: You must be on to something. No doubt about that. I haven't had a chance to look, I don't if anyone has done a map, I'd be real curious to know if every state did this, how would the last few elections [have gone]? Have you had a chance to look?
Blackwell: I already know. If every state did it, Romney would have won the election. And so that's another reason that the Left just instinctively dislikes it.
Barton: This actually is a way to give the people a greater voice rather than just having the majority slap it to the minority every time you turn around. And I really like what he's proposed here with reverting back out of the winner-take-all philosophy of the states, going back to congressional district take all, which is a good way to do it.
Only to David Barton could a scheme designed to ensure that a Republican candidate who loses the national popular vote would still win the election be a good idea because it supposedly give "the people a greater voice."
While it is becoming extremely unlikely that the GOP will be able to muster enough votes to filibuster Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary, Religious Right groups and their Republican allies continue to make new and more over-the-top overtures to activists hoping to block his confirmation.
For example, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that “we can’t afford to allow someone who has been that cozy with the terrorist groups that are out there to become Secretary of Defense.”
Inhofe went on to say that Hagel wants to “disarm us” and shows “hostility” toward the U.S. and Israel. Inhofe also cited Sen. Ted Cruz’s questioning of Hagel where he egregiously misrepresented the nominee’s speeches and interview with Al-Jazeera.
Inhofe: That is what is so scary about this; we’d be confirming a secretary of defense—
Perkins: That wants to basically disarm.
Inhofe: Who wants to disarm us. Before I run out of time, Cruz came up with something just great, he’s a new senator from Texas and he’s on my committee, the Armed Services committee, and he came out and he actually used…a spot that came from Al-Jazeera, this was Chuck Hagel being interviewed on Al-Jazeera a short time ago when he agreed with the call-ins at that time that Israel committed war crimes; Hagel admitted that Israel committed ‘sickening slaughters’; admitted that America is the world’s bully. And this is the guy that is trying to become the secretary of defense; it’s a scary, scary thing.
Perkins: Senator before I let you go, just one question: do you know why he seems to be so indifferent if not hostile toward Israel?
Inhofe: And the United States, Tony. I just don’t understand it. Of course, he denies that he is and you know the record confirms that he has this hostility to it. By the way, almost every group in Israel is lobbying us and calling us and saying, ‘please don’t let this happen.’ They’ve been just as concerned about Obama, this is the first time that any President of the United States has trashed Israel in my memory. So I can’t answer that question.
Matthew Hagee, the son of televangelist John Hagee who has been lobbying with Christians United for Israel against Hagel and called him “dangerous to America’s security,” said on the Hagee Hotline that Hagel’s contentious confirmation hearing was an answer to their prayers.
At the end of the day, Pastor Hagee and those 400 [pastors] who joined him were very confident that what they had done was all that was in their physical power to do to not only represent their views as Americans but the views of the body of Christ and the kingdom of God and to stand up on behalf of God’s chosen people, Israel. All that was left to do was to remain in prayer and to be hopeful that the actions that they had taken would make a difference. If you saw any of the headlines following the Senate committee’s interview of Chuck Hagel, you know that a difference was made. You saw that the Senate firsthand was able to expose Hagel’s weaknesses and you saw the difference that the prayer of the righteous and faith in action can make.
Just today the Family Research Council asked activists to pray for Hagel’s defeat and FRC senior fellow Ken Blackwell said Hagel’s nomination invites “chaos and confusion at a time of international peril.” Eagle Forum told members in an action alert that “Chuck Hagel is a threat to America’s strength and safety” and Rick Santorum claimed “his confirmation would be a direct threat to our national security.”
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer also weighed in, saying that Iran “loves” Hagel because he wants to “disarm” the U.S.
The Family Research Council is organizing another Religious Right bus tour to bolster Todd Akin’s campaign for Missouri against Sen. Claire McCaskill. The “Repeal and Replace McCaskill Tour” will feature prominent conservative figures like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins and Phyllis Schlafly and lesser-known activists like Stephen Broden.
The Faith, Family, Freedom Fund, a super PAC associated with Family Research Council Action, is bringing a statewide bus tour through Missouri, October 28th - November 2nd, with one clear message: Senator Claire McCaskill’s policies are harmful to Missouri families .
Come help us cheer on the Repeal & Replace McCaskill tour as the bus stops near you! We must fight to bring the truth to the people of Missouri!
The Fund is joined in this effort by other prominent leaders and groups such as Phyllis Schlafly, Governor Mike Huckabee, Ken Blackwell, Tony Perkins, Pastor Stephen Broden, The Honorable Marilyn Musgrave, Susan B. Anthony List, Eagle Forum PAC and several more.
Broden is a failed Republican candidate for Congress who garnered national attention when he floated violent insurrection against the Obama administration.
While Akin seeks to distance himself from his past support for militia groups and radical anti-abortion rights groups and their leaders, the inclusion of Broden on the bus tour only highlights Akin’s close relationship with the most extreme elements of the far-right.
Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council yesterday spoke to VCY America’s Crosstalk where he, like FRC president Tony Perkins, again tried to link both the Obama administration and the Southern Poverty Law Center to the tragic office shooting last month. But that wasn’t the only thing Blackwell told host Jim Schneider, as he also warned that all those who oppose the FRC and its mission are trying to form a “totalitarian state” and “destroy the family.”
Blackwell: We at the Family Research Council, we are a conservative Christian organization, we have answered the call, it’s a biblical call, in Psalms 11:3 the question is asked, if the foundation be destroyed what shall the righteous do? As an organization we have advanced these biblical truths, we defended them and as a consequence we have become despised by those who would recreate this country into something that its founders never expected it to be, and that is a big welfare state, a totalitarian state or an authoritarian state. In those models and the state-craft of those national models they’ve had to chase God and faith out of the public square and they’ve had to destroy the family as the basic unit of governance because they replace it with an all-powerful state.
The FRC senior fellow even agreed with a warning that the SPLC may start labeling churches throughout America as hate groups, based on the false claim that opposition to same-sex marriage was the reason the FRC received the designation, and suggested that President Obama and his allies are setting up the conditions for a “totalitarian” regime.
Schneider: If Family Research Council has been labeled as a hate group because of the position that you’ve taken on traditional marriage, that we have known since the beginning of this country, that thirty-some states have certified in their own constitutions, if FRC has been labeled as a hate group, aren’t we just a step away from our individual churches all across this nation being on this same hate list?
Blackwell: Oh absolutely. That’s why I started out by saying if you look at the various models of governance throughout human history we have shown in terms of a democratic Republic driven by constitutional governance that limits the reach and intrusion of government and puts an emphasis on individual liberty and is based on the fact that there is a moral foundation of this country, if you can compare that to totalitarian states, authoritarian states, big welfare states, there are a couple things that have had to happen for these states to consolidate power and use and misuse their power. They’ve had to destroy or weaken the family and they’ve had to run God and faith out of the public square, or at minimum they have had to silence the church. I don’t think it’s a step to far to say that this is a President that has carried out that strategy in the advancement of the reintroduction of the welfare state.
As we noted the other day, Tony Perkins, Jerry Boykin, and Ken Blackwell, all of the Family Research Council, penned a joint op-ed in which they accused the Southern Poverty Law Center and others on the left of leading "an open assault upon those with whom they disagree," and blaming "this type of demonizing" for the shooting that recently took place at FRC headquarters.
Today, Blackwell discussed the topic with WNDTV/Radio America where he, like Tony Perkins before him, also placed the blame on President Obama and his administration for supposedly working with the SPLC "hand-in-glove" in the effort to demonize conservative Christians "as haters and bigots":
We think that there is more and more evidence that the Obama Justice Department and the Southern Poverty Law Center work hand-in-glove and that's disturbing because it's investing an enormous amount of power that is subject to misuse in an organization that has a political motive in attacking those of us who are strong in our pro-life ethic and strong in our support of traditional marriage. And a Justice Department that is supposed to be neutral is, by all measure, an active participant in this clash of visions; not only this clash of visions but in this mislabeling of people who are exercising their fundamental human rights and constitutionally guaranteed rights as haters and bigots.
Every day of his presidency, [President Obama] has done whatever it takes to undermine the Constitution and to empower a strong central or federal government which, by definition, has to be predicated on the weakening and the destruction of the family and chasing God and faith out of the public square or, at a minimum, silencing the church.
So I see this as an extension of that sort of mischief and that sort of wrongheadedness when he attacks those organizations that defend the pro-life ethic, defend traditional marriage, and defend strong families, and who advocate putting a harness on the growth and the reach of government.
Last week, Peter wrote a post wondering if Family Research Council president Tony Perkins might just be "the most disingenuous Person on the Planet" for his on-going efforts to exploit the recent shooting at FRC headquarters for political gain by accusing those who criticize the bigotry of his organization of inciting violence against him, his staff, and those who share their views.
Today Perkins proves that point yet again as he has joined Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin in penning a joint op-ed published by Fox News in which they blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for a "shooting that could have been perhaps the deadliest act of domestic terrorism ever driven exclusively by a social issue":
The past month highlighted issues in America’s culture war, culminating in a shooting that could have been perhaps the deadliest act of domestic terrorism ever driven exclusively by a social issue. Several related episodes showcase the nexus between these social controversies and economic prosperity.
This war of words launched by the SPLC as cover for its allied organizations on the left has led to an open assault upon those with whom they disagree. This type of demonizing must stop.
FRC’s belief in marriage has prevailed in 32 states where the voters have spoken, is the official position of the Republican Party, and until three months ago was Mr. Obama’s position. If the religious foundation of our convictions makes us a “hate group,” then every other Christian ministry or historically orthodox church could be likewise designated.
SPLC’s tactics are intended to intimidate and ultimately silence. Nothing could be more threatening to the future of our republic.
Keep in mind that all three of these men work at FRC alongside people who want to export gays and criminalize homosexuality, while Perkins himself says gays are intolerant, hateful, and vile pawns of the Devil and calls his enemies "cultural terrorists," whereas Blackwell compares homosexuality to kleptomania and bestiality, and Boykin seemingly spends the majority of his time spreading conspiracy theories and demonizing Muslims.
So it is a little ironic that they would end their op-ed by calling for contentious social issues to be debated "with civility" and for all involved to "eschew name-calling and marginalization."
Maybe they ought to start by taking their own advice.
Today on Washington Watch Weekly, Family Research Council senior fellow Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Republican politician and one-time candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, chatted with FRC president Tony Perkins about the GOP’s adoption of an ultraconservative party platform. Blackwell said that the Republican platform offers a “direct contrast” with the vision of President Obama, whom Blackwell believes is “dead set” on “destroying families” and advancing the belief that “the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government.” He contends that the Democrats have embraced ideas that are un-American and “run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.”
President Obama and his party want to transform our market economy into a government-controlled economy but most importantly, they are dead set on making sure that they transform our national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the individual and the supremacy of God to one founded on the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of the central government. Our document, the GOP document, is a direct contrast; it provides the American people with a choice, not an echo. That is so important because there are two paths that we can go down: we can reinforce our fundamental belief that when we are God-centered, free men and free women and free markets can accomplish much and overcome most hurdles thrown in our way or do we want to go down the path of being a government-controlled economy, destroying families, replacing it with bureaucrat decision makers that would run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.
In our 237th year as being an exceptional nation we are at risk of losing it all. We just can’t afford to have four more years of a President that one, doesn’t understand the nature of our exceptionalism, and two, has a worldview and a set of guiding principles that are in direct contradiction with what has made us an exceptional nation. I’ve always enjoyed the push and pull of the whole process, I think it’s now incumbent upon us to make sure that this is not a document that is put on the shelf and our candidates across the country can just let collect dust and ignore. There is a fault line from the Pacific to the Atlantic and one side are those who believe in big government and who believe that the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government, and that’s a problem.
In an interview with Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell slammed the Obama campaign’s effort to expand early voting procedures in Ohio, saying that the President is running “probably the most bareknuckle campaign I’ve seen”.
Blackwell also accused democrats of exploiting the “Voter ID controversy to gin up their base” and energize minority voters in their favor. The controversy surrounding early voting in Ohio centers on a new special exemption that the state extends to military voters. The Obama campaign filed suit, seeking to restore early voting procedures for all citizens, including servicemen and women.
Despite decrying the so-called “bareknuckle” tactics of the Obama campaign, Blackwell is no stranger to political combat. His 2006 gubernatorial campaign smeared his opponent as gay, and Blackwell worked tirelessly to suppress minority voting in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.
Perkins: To me it suggests that they’re pretty desperate, that they see every vote as being, as counting, in the state of Ohio, that they cannot spare a single vote in that state.
Blackwell: Well you’re absolutely right, and just think about, there is an alarming pattern. They are actively opposed, and in the case of what I’m getting ready to say, the administration is actively opposed to Voter ID. And they are using the Voter ID controversy to gin up their base because they are running a base turnout campaign and its imperative that they get a high voter turnout from blacks and Latinos and that they get a substantial disproportionate share of their vote, so they are basically creating the conservative republican boogeyman by saying, you know, voter ID requirements suppress votes. They then, on the other hands, they’re suppressing the votes on the military because they know the numbers are against them. So you begin to see, or the Obama campaign and their friends going after chick-fil-a. You know, it is, this is, probably the most bareknuckle campaign that I’ve seen from a sitting President, it is Chicago-style politics, and there are no rules. It’s a no-man’s land.
Jerry Boykin has been going on a media tour to all the usual Religious Right outlets to play the victim after deciding to withdraw from an event at West Point following uproar over his virulently anti-Muslim rhetoric. Boykin told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his “views on Islam have been grossly misrepresented”:
Boykin has issued frequent warnings about the threat of radical Islam and Sharia law, a position the left-wing political action committee views as "Islamophobic."
"My views on Islam have been grossly misrepresented," Boykin told CBN News. "I do fear Sharia. I do believe we need to stop the encroachment of Sharia."
"But I have also said consistently that there are many Muslims in America that reject Sharia as well, and those are the people we need to be reaching out to," he added.
How exactly have his views been “grossly misrepresented,” by quoting him verbatim? Like when he said that Islam “should not be protected under the First Amendment”:
We need to recognize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.
Or when he called for America to ban mosques?
No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion. … But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.
Surely it doesn’t take any distortions of Boykin’s own words to show that Boykin is an anti-Muslim extremist.
But that hasn’t stopped other Religious Right figures from buying his cries of victimhood hook, line and sinker.
Kenneth Blackwell yesterday said Boykin had to drop out of the West Point event purely as a “because of his Christian beliefs.” Blackwell said that only the “far left” was angered by his speech in uniform framing the military as involved in a holy war against Islam, when actually, his remarks drew a rebuke from President George W. Bush as he was making exactly the same claim as groups like Al-Qaeda. He even tried to bring President Obama in the mix, saying Boykin’s own decision to withdraw is proof of “the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith”:
Jerry Boykin has done it all. He’s been in battle as part of America’s most elite fighting force, then rose to command those troops as a general, and also served in the CIA and Pentagon on the strategic planning and management side of this equation.
He is also a Christian evangelist who speaks at churches nationwide. As a private citizen retired from the Army, General Boykin was invited to speak at a prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He seems like an ideal choice, as someone who has served as the tip of the spear at the highest ranks, who is also a man of profoundly deep faith.
But the Far Left exploded. Boykin has cast America’s war against radical Islamic terrorists as fighting Satan. So his religious language has made strange bedfellows of various Islamic groups joining with atheists to call on West Point to disinvite this American hero who risked and achieved so much for this country. Evidently it’s not politically correct to suggest that blowing up children is the devil’s work.
After heavy pressure, General Boykin chose to withdraw. This soldier fears no foe, but the situation evolved in a direction where his message of faith and courage would be overshadowed by controversy to the possible detriment of the West Point cadets.
This sad episode is yet another example of the Obama administration’s ongoing hostility to people of faith, especially Christians. President Obama’s pick to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a lesbian activist who says that homosexual rights should always trump religious liberty. This is the same EEOC that argued it had the power to order a church to reinstate as a minister a person the church had fired for violating church teaching, a position the Supreme Court unanimously rejected. And the administration has enacted regulations under Obamacare forcing Evangelical and Catholic universities and hospitals to provide contraceptives against the religious beliefs of those church-affiliated institutions.