Pence in Iowa: “Donald Trump Will Advance the Cause of Life”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence was in Iowa this weekend where he addressed social conservatives at the annual Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner. During his remarks, Pence reiterated his full confidence in Donald Trump and made the case for Trump’s candidacy as a response to the increasing threats to Americans’ fundamental liberties:

“For the sake of the sanctity of life and all of our God-given liberties, Iowa let’s ensure that the next president making appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States of America is president Donald Trump,” Pence said to a standing ovation. “In these challenging times, Donald Trump will stand for the freedoms enshrined in all of us, including the freedom of religion.”

Pence, who opened with his trademark introduction of describing himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” described Trump as a man motivated by his faith and family.

“We both come from the same place: a foundation of faith, family, and a belief in the boundless potential of the American people,” Pence said.

Pence said he thinks Trump’s candidacy has tapped into a movement that he said is “stirring across America.”

“After years of more government, more taxes and condescending attitudes toward traditional values unfurling out of Washington, D.C., toward people of faith all across Iowa and all across this country by the millions, the hinge of history is swinging in the direction of faith and freedom, and I literally see it every day,” Pence said.

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Cruz: “How Extreme, How Sad, How Radicalized” Dems on Marriage

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit on Saturday, Ted Cruz discussed marriage and religious liberty at length:

In recent weeks, we’ve seen religious liberty come under assault in Indiana and Arkansas as those states acted to protect religious liberty, and the response from the Democratic Party and the mainstream media (although I repeat myself) was hysteria!  You know, it wasn’t too long ago when religious liberty was an area of bipartisan agreement.  Two decades ago, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which passed the United States Senate 97-3.  It enjoyed the support of such famed right wingers as Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer.  It was signed into law by Bill Clinton the Democrat.  The laws that Indiana and Arkansas passed are substantively identical to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  And yet what a sad statement, that today’s modern Democratic Party has become so radicalized in their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all fifty states that there is no longer any room for religious liberty, that there is no room for the first right in the First Amendment to our United States Constitution.

We need to remember, America as a nation, we were founded by people fleeing religious persecution.  They came to seek out a new land where people could seek out and worship the Lord God Almighty with all of our hearts, minds and souls, free of government getting in the way.

In the last year following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, a tremendous victory for religious liberty, where the federal government ruled 5-4, that the Federal government could not force a Christian company to violate the religious beliefs of its owners, and force them to pay for abortion inducing drugs under Obamacare. 

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Walker: “We Defunded Planned Parenthood”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, Governor Walker discussed life, marriage, and religious liberty:

It wasn’t just in those areas either.  Some of these you may have noticed, some you may not, but in our first budget we defunded Planned Parenthood in the state of Wisconsin.  We made sure dollars for women’s health went into the public health systems in the counties and other places where it was less controversial, and we passed major pro-life legislation in the state of Wisconsin as well.

[…]

[On returning power to the states:] That’s not only true on funding of national federal agencies, that’s true on things like marriage.  Marriage is a decision that should be defined by state governments, not at the federal level, and in Wisconsin and other states marriage is defined as one man and one woman and states should be the ones that make that decision.

And when we talk about that we should be standing up for religious freedom.  I’m proud to say in my state it’s actually in the state’s constitution.  Last time I checked, it’s in our nation’s Constitution as well.  It’s about religion, it’s about what our founders thought about in the ten amendments, the ten first amendments in the Bill of Rights.  We need to uphold the Constitution in the United States and uphold the ability to practice your religion whether you’re Christian, or Jewish, or anywhere else. 

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Huckabee on the “Criminalization of Christianity”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit on Saturday, Mike Huckabee took the opportunity to discuss life, marriage, and religious liberty:

The prophet Isaiah said that my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  And today one of the reasons America is in the trouble it’s in is because too many people in this country have a lack of knowledge of, not only, what this country is all about—how it came to be—but also because a lot of people in this country have forgotten that, like it or not, this country was founded on some basic biblical principles and those principles have been forgotten.  Today, we’ve got people who think that Adam and Eve were on season five of Dancing with the Stars.  They think Daniel and the lions’ den is a story that was on NatGeo.  And they somehow believe that David and Goliath was a country music duo.  The reason that this has had an impact upon us is because the arguments that we often have, the debates, the confusion over things that are really fundamental to civilization—things like what is life, what is marriage—these are only confusing because we have forsaken that basic knowledge that was given to us from scripture and passed down unto us through our many, many generations of history.

Huckabee turned his focus specifically to religious liberty:

And when the government begins to decide how much you can believe, I tell you, something is tragically wrong.  

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Perry: Texas Leads on Life, Religious Liberty

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit on Saturday, Rick Perry took the opportunity to discuss life and religious liberty:

And what we’ve been able to do in that state over the course of these last few years, during that decade, whether it was protecting life, and whether it was passing parental notification bills, whether it was standing up and again limiting, limiting to 20 weeks that abortion bill.  That’s the type of leadership, that’s the type of foundation that’s a powerful one, that makes a difference. It says to people, this is a place that believes in liberty.  We believe in freedom, we believe in religious freedom in the state of Texas. We passed that religious freedom bill in 1999, and I was proud to work with George W. Bush as the Lieutenant Governor to pass that. You see, that’s the power of consequence, that’s the power of principle, that’s the power that I think is taught in the bible.

Governor Perry did not discuss marriage at this event.

Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Jindal Killed It on Religious Liberty

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Approximately 1,000 social conservatives in Iowa attended the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kickoff in Waukee, where they were able to hear from nine presidential candidates during the four-and-a-half hour event.

Overall, four candidates stood out as I was watching and live blogging the event: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  Out of those four, Jindal killed it with a message that focused on religious liberty.

I want to be clear that no candidate who attended did themselves a disservice.  The only “losers” from this affair were those who chose not to attend, as it was a missed opportunity to appeal to Iowa’s evangelical base.

Certainly the evangelical base’s issues of concern have broadened over the past seven years since Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Caucus, and the electorate has changed even since former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum’s win in 2012.  That said, religious liberty is an issue of great concern, and the social conservative base, which mostly consists of evangelicals and faithful Catholics, are concerned with current trends whether it is a federal birth control mandate or a state law that dictates participation in a gay wedding.

After describing his journey to faith in Christ, he boldly addressed the issue at hand, challenging Big Business who have been literal bullies in the fight over religious liberty.

Here are his remarks on religious liberty below:

We are seeing an unprecedented assault on our religious liberty rights in the United States of America. 

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Rick Santorum at Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, Rick Santorum took the opportunity to discuss family values:

There have been two books out on the far left and the far right, a guy named Robert Putnam on the left and Charles Murray on the libertarian right. And they both come down to saying, “you know what’s hollowing out the middle of America?”  It’s something I talked about in the 2012 race.

I remember being at Dartmouth College with Charlie Rose, and we had a Bloomberg News debate, all on the economy.  At the end he was going to go to closing statements and I said “Charlie, I’ve got a statement I’ve got to make.  Yeah, the economy’s hurting, Obama’s done a terrible job, but we haven’t talked at all about the real problem in America that’s hollowing out the center of this country.”  And I talked about how the word economy comes from the Greek work oikos, which means home or family.  The fact is the biggest change since Ronald Reagan is the breakdown of the American family, and now a majority of children in America are being raised without fathers in the homes.  You want to talk about the breakup of the most important small business in America?  It’s the breakup of the nuclear family, and America is struggling because of it.

There are things government and society can do and say to help knit that family back together with tax laws and welfare laws, but what both studies show is that the consequences of that are not just the impact on children in the home but also the impact on children in schools. 

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Rand Paul: “We Can Win the Late-Term Abortion Fight”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Continuing our series on what candidates said about life, marriage, and religious liberty at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, here is Sen. Rand Paul on life:

One of the things I’m lucky to do in medicine, I’m able to do in medicine, is examine the eyes of children, babies under a pound or two.

But the thing that strikes me is every time I examine a baby, some of these babies can fit in the palm of my hand, and I think to myself “hmm…do you think Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks this baby has any rights?”  And I say that somewhat flippantly, but I mean it as a very serious question.

Actually most of them do: Once a baby is born, they think the baby has rights. This little tiny one pound baby, that we’re still providing complete life support for, and that survives only because of the things we can do that help this baby survive?  They say that baby has rights but a seven pound baby, they say that has no rights.

And I’ll tell you what I’m tired of: I’m tired of us retreating on this issue, and I’m going to push back.  These aren’t all easy questions, but let’s ask them!  Let’s ask the Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s of the world: “When does life begin? When does the baby have rights?”  And you know what she responded?  I said, “does a seven pound baby have rights?” She said, “that’s between the doctor and the mother.”

Really? 

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Jindal: “An Unprecedented Assault on Religious Liberty”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit that took place on Saturday, Governor Jindal discussed religious liberty and marriage:

We are seeing an unprecedented assault on our religious liberty rights in the United States of America.  A little over a year ago in February at the Reagan library I gave a speech about the upcoming assault on religious liberty.  It’s no longer upcoming folks, it is here.

And it didn’t start in Indiana and Arkansas, it didn’t start in the Hobby Lobby case where the Obama administration wanted to force the Green family to use their own money to pay for abortifacients, to pay for abortions, that violated their sincerely held religious beliefs.  And it certainly didn’t start when the left got so infuriated at Phil Roberts for saying things they didn’t agree with, they tried to get Duck Dynasty cancelled on A&E.  And it certainly didn’t start this week when Hillary Clinton stood up in New York and said those of us that are pro-life need to have our religious beliefs changed.

Now listen to what she said: She said we need to have our religious beliefs changed.  I don’t know how she proposed to do that.  She didn’t say whether we need to go to reeducation camps, or how she intends to do that.  But I’ve got news for her: My religious beliefs are not between me and Hillary Clinton.  My religious beliefs are between me and God, and we’re not changing our religious beliefs simply because they upset Hillary Clinton.

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Fiorina Stands Strong on Life in Iowa

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

At the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit this past Saturday, Carly Fiorina continued her unabashed advocacy for the sanctity of life. In fact, much of the focus of her speech was centered on the issue of life. Fiorina’s willingness to fly in the face of, not only the left’s construct of a so-called Republican “War on Women,” but also many conservatives who feel that it would be best not to talk about life, has elevated Fiorina to a standing that makes her one of the most influential and effective voices on life as of late. During her remarks to the Summit, Fiorina stated:

Everybody has God given gifts. Everybody has potential. Our founders knew that every life has potential and they coupled that insight with what was at the time a radical idea and remains a visionary idea to this day. And that is that here in this country, Americans have the right, the right to fulfill their potential. That is what they meant by the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And our founders said the right to fulfill our potential comes from God and should not be taken away by man or government.

Fiorina went on, discussing her personal connection to the issue of life as well as her run for Senate in 2010:

I met my husband Frank 34 years ago. He started out as a tow truck driver in a family-owned auto body shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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