Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 17:33:03 PDTGOP candidate for Ohio governor, Ken Blackwell, spoke at an event, yesterday, where secular Americans were accused of being 'Nazis' and images of Hitler were shown to incite the crowd.
The event was sponsored by the Ohio Restoration Project, and was part of project founder Russell Johnson's 10-city "Patriot Pastors" tour.
The key speaker, Johnson incited the crowd multiple times--at one point saying that Christians in America were under threat from a 'secular jihad'-- turning a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration into a night of hate.
Ken Blackwell, if he had any shame at all, would apologize to Ohio and denounce Russell Johnson. Ah, but this is the Ohio governor's race. So Blackwell must thinks that the fastest path to the governor's mansion is to hang with the folks who call other Americans 'Nazis.'
Here's the story from the Beacon Journal by By Doug Oplinger and Dennis J. Willard, Beacon Journal staff writers:
HARTVILLE - About 330 Christian faithful rallied at the Hartville Kitchen to sing praises of America, to remind themselves of the dangers of complacency, and to hear gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell preach on God's call to action.
Against a large U.S.-flag backdrop and flanked by large projection screens, Ohio Restoration Project founder Russell Johnson brought his 10-city Patriot Pastors tour to the Akron-Canton area Tuesday.
A choir and a gospel quartet brought the audience to its feet with praise songs as images of American landmarks, heroes and troops moved across the screens.
Johnson warned that Christians have allowed a ``secular jihad'' to remove prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Bible from public places.
This Johnson is a piece 'a work, eh? But it gets worse. Johnson also tried to claim that Christians who were not fighting against this 'secular jihad' were like bad Christians during the Nazi period who ignored the extermination of the Jews:
[Johnson] likened it to Nazi Germany, where church congregations would sing so that they could not hear the passing of trainloads of crying Jews headed for a nearby concentration camp.
Too many Christians lead ``Neville Chamberlain lives,'' Johnson said, referring to the British prime minister who signed a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
A picture of Hitler and Chamberlain flashed on the screens.
``We're calling God's people to pray, to serve, to shine and to be salt and light,'' he said.
So...it gets kind of hard to follow who we're supposed to see as 'the Jews' and who we're supposed to see as the bad 'church congregations' in Johnson's paranoid, Nazi-laced lunacy. But the basic idea is this: Chrisians are the new Jews being exterminated by non-Christians who are the new Nazis (got all that?)
Now, here's where Ken Blackwell, GOP gubernatorial candidate fits into all this savory stuff:
The Restoration Project and a separate organization -- Reformation Ohio, headed by the Rev. Rod Parsley of Canal Winchester -- are strong supporters of Blackwell, who often is the keynote speaker at their events.
On Sunday, a coalition of 31 pastors representing a variety of religious denominations signed a letter asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Johnson and Parsley to determine whether their groups have gone beyond their religious designation and have become political organizations.
Johnson repeatedly praised Blackwell's leadership skills, his support of Issue 1 in 2004 that banned same-sex marriage, and his positions on other issues important to the Ohio Restoration Project such as opposition to abortion and support of free enterprise and school choice.
In attendance were: Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O'Donnell of Cleveland; Medina Republican William Batchelder, who last fall resigned as a 9th District Court of Appeals judge to attempt a return to the state legislature; former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, a lobbyist who is planning another run for Congress this year; state Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, a candidate for attorney general; and Sandra O'Brien, a candidate for state treasurer.
O'Brien, of Ashtabula County, gave the opening prayer; Grendell delivered the closing prayer.
So, apparently in this part of Ohio, to get elected you better come up with a way to get the "secular-people-are-the-new-Nazis" vote. Mhmmm.
But it wasn't all fun and hate. Blackwell took time weave Martin Luther King, Jr.'s memory into this warped political religious election hall putsch:
Blackwell spoke of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to be more than observers. He said Christians must ``define, fortify, help shape, influence the mores'' of the culture.
He said Christians must be on the front line, causing change. They must bring behavior in line with what they say they believe.
Blackwell also criticized the ecumenical group that has challenged the tax status of the Ohio Restoration Project. ``There are political and social forces trying to run God and faith and religion out of the public square,'' he said.
He recalled his father leaving inspirational quotes for him to find. One was from abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who said, ``Those who are whupped easiest are whupped most often.''
Christians should show that they are not going to be whupped, Blackwell said.
Yep. I'm no expert on Martin Luther King, Jr.--but I am sure he never inteded his words to be used in this context.
But what about the obvious point: a GOP candidate for governor is the keynote speaker at an event where pictures of Hitler are flashed on a screen and voters are told they are being hunted by Nazi secular jihadists?
What an ethical guy. But what else can we expect from Blackwell? After all, he was the Secretary of State in Ohio when Bush won the state by a suspicious number of votes--an election were voters waited in line for more than tweleve hours to cast their ballots--a fiasco that made elections in places like Haiti look fair and progressive.
So, anyway...vote for Ken Blackwell--because he thinks you're being persecuted by secular jihadist Nazis.
That's good enough for me.