God on the Campaign Trail
Just days after a horrific terrorist attack on Nov. 13 left more than 120 people in Paris dead, Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich stood before a crowd of reporters and unveiled his plan for defeating radical Islam: creation of a federal department to promote “Judeo- Christian” values overseas.
“U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering opponents’ propaganda and disinformation,” Kasich, currently governor of Ohio, said during an address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share.”
Kasich said the agency would target Middle Eastern nations, Iran, China and Russia.
Reaction to the proposal was swift – and not favorable. Liberals blasted the scheme as simplistic, patronizing and a violation of church-state separation. Conservatives complained about expanding the size of government by creating a new agency.
A day later, Kasich backed off. Instead of a new department, he vowed that existing government entities, such as the Voice of America, would undertake the project. But Kasich, speaking at TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Regent University, didn’t back away from his proposal to promote faith-based ideas overseas. In fact, he doubled down on it.
The scheme failed to impress U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a rival for the GOP presidential nomination.
“I don’t think we should be promoting Judeo-Christian values in the Arab world,” Graham, told Real Clear Politics. “I think that was the Crusades.”