Wednesday, May 17, 2006



Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004

Our next speaker is a very real personal pleasure. He’s a Cincinnati boy, as am I. Ken Blackwell started at Xavier University as a teacher and an administrator, and then he ran for mayor. You might be interested that when he set up his campaign office Barbara and I went over there, you know, for some reason. We looked around at all the volunteers-- we knew every one of them. They were all Right to Life people. So maybe that will tell you something about Ken. He moved up from there. His most prestigious international job was an ambassador to the Untied Nations. He worked under Jack Kemp for a while. Now he came back here. He ran for and became Treasurer of Ohio and now he’s Secretary of State. So, if, and I think it will—understand, and maybe he can tell us the Marriage Amendment should be on the ballot (audience-wooooo!!!!). Aa great deal of that credit will go to our Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. (applause)

Thank you very much. Thank you Dr. Willke. And thank you pro-life activists.

We are told in Ephesians that we should put on the armor of God. And the first thing we are to strap on is the belt of truth. And then we are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. We are told that we are to pick up the shield of faith and go in to battle as the light of the world and the salt of the earth to uphold all of our Godly heritage.

I don’t know any more essential aspect of our nation’s moral foundation than a reverence for life. I don’t know of anyone who has an ounce of sense that could, in fact, not understand what God meant when he told Jeremiah that “even before I placed you in the womb I knew thee.” He was saying that we all are divine beings.

The founders of our country understood that. Implicitly in their expressed explicitly in the documents-- the founding documents-- of this country, not just a reverence for freedom, but a reverence for life. In that first document of independence, we are told that there are unquestionable truths. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” which means any idiot oughtta get it (applause) that all of us are created equal.

Look around to your right and to the left, to your front and back. It becomes obvious that we are not all equal in the non-essentials. We’re not all equal in size or weight, in intelligence or income. Those are non-essentials. We are told that we are equal in the essentials. Remember what God told Jeremiah. We are fashioned in the image of God. We are all accountable to a supreme lawmaker, and we are all equally the beneficiaries of his laws. All created equal. And we are told that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, which means that those human rights are not grants from government but gifts from God. (applause) And that the foundation of those freedoms is instilled in our reverence for life and our thirst for freedom.

And we are given those rights in an order: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. A prescribed order because it is very difficult to enjoy freedom and liberty if we’re dead. It is very difficult to pursue happiness if you are enslaved by ignorance or sin or bigotry or you name it. That order is important. And so brothers and sisters of faith, there is one primary responsibility of government, and that is to protect life, which is the first God-given right. (applause) Protect life. It is the essence of our freedom and it is the cornerstone of our Godly heritage. For the last 40 to 50, perhaps 60 years there have been political, cultural and social forces that have tried to run God and faith and religion out of the public square. Our first president said that the two indispensable supports of our liberty were religion and morality. And so those forces that are trying to scrub God and religion and morality out of the public square take America on a dangerous path.

And there’s a question that is asked in Psalms, Chap. 11 verse 3. It’s a simple question. “If the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” I would hope, brothers and sisters of the pro-life effort, that our answer will continue to be ever since the day of that dreadful decision in 1973, that we, in fact, will put on the full armor of God, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and pick up the shield of our faith and defend the moral foundation of this nation. Defend and protect life and keep us on the path of our Godly heritage, which has made us the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Continue to struggle because as we all know, life is about ups and downs.

This afternoon I’ve met two folks who are struggling with cancer and one other cancer survivor besides myself. And I want to tell you something. When I came out from under surgery and the influence of anesthesia, I saw on a monitor a little dot, and it was going up and down beep beep beep. And I said thank you Jesus for not showing me a flat line (laughter, applause). And I would suggest to you that life is about ups and downs. It’s about victories and defeats. It’s about holding on to our faith, and when we hold on to our faith and our Godly heritage, we as pro-life activists, no matter what our station, what our position, we don’t’ look for valleys in which to rest. We look for mountains to climb. And it’s that that gives us hope and vision for victory and it is for that very reason that I can say to you with the fullest of confidence: victory is ours! God bless you. (applause)

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