By Ken Blackwell
Dear General Powell,
I was disappointed with the clear implication in your Meet The Press interview that those of us, in the GOP who defend life, protect traditional marriage and advance religious liberty are intolerant.
It was obvious to anyone who watched the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, that NO! had it. There was no way the convention chairman could have heard a two-thirds vote for the YES! position. Three times the chairman asked them to vote. Three times they denied God. Denied Him Thrice!
What has happened to the Democratic Party that,in the 1960’s, provided such leadership for the cause of Civil Rights? It was Democrats like John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey who supported the fight for civil rights among the white majority in the 1960s. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, was in good company in his church. Roman Catholic bishops were among the first to strike out against segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was surely a Baptist preacher, but he could rely on thousands of Catholic priests and nuns to join his great March on Washington in 1963. And when he wrote his famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail, he cited St. Thomas Aquinas to make his case that an unjust law was no law at all.
For the Democratic Party of Kennedy and King to vote three times to reject God was a shock to millions of black Americans. And it must have been especially shocking to black clergymen who have been leaders in the struggle for equal rights and equal opportunity for four decades and more. It is bad enough these pastors and their congregations have been given short shrift by the new elites in the Democratic Party, but we now see that God was not put in the back of the bus. God was not allowed on the bus at all.
Only by an obvious power play did the convention chairman overrule the obvious sentiment on the floor. Anyone with ears to hear knew that the spirit of those delegates was against acknowledging God in the Democratic Platform. How far we have fallen from that great Inauguration Day in 1961 when John F. Kennedy said: “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” No one in America yelled NO! on that crisp, clear day in Washington.
What does it mean for a party to reject God? First of all, it means they must reject life itself. We know that God is the author of life. Speaker after speaker demanded abortion, and more of it. No longer would Democrats have any hesitation about abortion. No longer would they say, as Bill Clinton said, it should be safe, legal, and rare. The Democratic Platform dropped those last two words, and rare. Even the usually liberal Cokie Roberts–an NPR reporter–thought the Charlotte convention lineup of pro-abortion speakers was “over the top.”
She pointed out that 30% of Democrats are pro-life. And who would those pro-life Democrats be? Disproportionately, they are black and Hispanic voters. And Catholic and Evangelical voters.
Why should black voters be against abortion? Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, made clear her own plans when she addressed the Ku Klux Klan of New Jersey in the 1920s. She wanted to have more children from the fit, fewer from the fit. When you read about her “Negro Ministers Project,” you learn that Planned Parenthood has been targeting minorities for a long time. Today, in New York City, 61% of unborn children of black mothers are killed before birth. Planned Parenthood is there, pushing abortion all the way.
President Obama’s health care takeover and his HHS Mandate against Catholic and other religious institutions will only increase the daily death toll. Religious freedom is trampled when you force Christians to participate in ending the lives of innocents. Even Herod didn’t do that!
In 1866, as historian Allen Guelzo reports, Tennessee recorded thousands more marriages than in the previous four years. That’s because newly freed black couples were walking to Tennessee to have their marriages recognized by law. How tragic, then, that the Charlotte convention came out against marriage too. They say they only want to add to the number of happily married couples by allowing men to marry men and women to marry women. But we know that wherever these counterfeit marriages have been recognized, true marriage declines. All over Northern Europe, when civil unions were enforced, true marriage ceased to be that special. Just as counterfeit money drives out true money, same sex marriage drives out true marriage.
Some leading liberals know this. George Washington University Law Professor, Jonathan Turley, told an overflowing crowd at the Newseum in 2008 that critics say “gay marriage will lead to polygamy.” He was wildly cheered by the educated, mostly white crowd when he said: “I’m for that!”
President Obama knows that the black community, and especially the black church, is not for that. In North Carolina–just three months before the Democratic Convention met in Charlotte–black voters providing the winning margin for a state referendum that affirmed true marriage. There was no stronger group of voters supporting marriage than black voters.
President Obama seemed reluctant to abandon this constituency that has so loyally supported him. Consider how much has changed and how fast. In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act passed Congress by an overwhelming vote. It won 342 votes in the House and 85 votes in the Senate. It was so strongly supported that it would have been approved if there were no Republicans in either House of Congress. That’s why President Bill Clinton felt he had no choice but to sign it.
President Obama has refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and pledges to repeal it. He has openly joined the Marriage Enders. They’re not changing marriage. They are ending it. If two men can marry, why not three? If gays and lesbians can marry, what about bi-sexual persons and persons who have sought to change their sex? Why can’t they have one spouse of either sex?
After slavery, after Jim Crow, after the KKK, it is fair to say that among the worst things visited upon black Americans have been the targeting of our families by abortionists and the effort to end marriage.
That is why we are in a crisis. This is what happens when a major party rejects God.
Ken Blackwell is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and is a Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, as well as the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow for Public Policy at the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He is a visiting fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the American Civil Rights Union. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union and Pastors Retreat Network. Mr. Blackwell is also the Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and a member of the National Rifle Association’s Public Affairs Committee. He is a columnist for the New York Sun, a contributing editor and columnist for the conservative news and opinion site Townhall.com, and a public affairs commentator for the Salem Radio Network. He served as the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 1979 to 1980 and Ohio Secretary of State from 1999 to 2007.
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