What happened in the Kentucky gubernatorial race almost a week ago should serve as a clarion call to Republican candidates: Do not run away from social issues – they are not liabilities, they are assets.
Matt Bevin won a stunning upset over attorney general Jack Conway in Kentucky's gubernatorial race. While every poll in the Bluegrass State had Conway winning by up to five points, Bevin won going away, 53-44.
One of the most significant differences between the two candidates was their position on Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk who had been incarcerated by activist judge David Bunning for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses under her name.
Conway, as the state's attorney general, was in a position to come to Ms. Davis' aid but did not. He was perfectly content to let her rot in jail just as long as Judge Bunning wanted.
Bevin, on the other hand, embraced Kim Davis. He visited her in jail, as the Bible instructs us to do. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them (Hebrews 13:3). He defended her constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, and was one of the very first to propose a solution to the problem that would allow Ms. Davis to do her job and protect her conscience and religious values at the same time.
Bevin openly attacked Conway for his "cowardly silence" on the Davis matter as well as his refusal to defend the state constitution when its ban on same-sex marriage was challenged in court. Kentuckians passed their marriage amendment, which defines marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman, with 75 percent of the vote.
Said Bevin during the campaign: "Jack Conway refused to defend our state constitution, and now he is refusing to stand up for the religious liberties of our county clerks. This is unconscionable and, as governor, I will stand up for all Kentuckians, not just the ones who agree with me."
Kentuckians deserved an attorney general who would defend their constitution, and they didn't have one.
Well, now they have a governor who will.
Bevin even enlisted Ms. Davis to make robo-calls for him. The contrast between the two candidates could not have been starker. And the voters in Kentucky made it abundantly clear whose side they took in this fracas.
Bevin has pledged that one of his first orders of business, once sworn into office, will be to formalize an accommodation for county clerks like Kim Davis, whose most deeply held religious convictions are being violated by tyrannical demands that they issue wedding licenses solemnizing behavior which is an abomination in the eyes of God.
According to The Associated Press, Bevin is committed to removing their names from wedding licenses so that their names are not affixed to a license to commit the infamous crime against nature.
Said Ms. Davis' attorney, Mat Staver: "It is refreshing to have someone with the integrity, character, and concern of Matt Bevin leading the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear could have resolved this marriage license issue a long time ago, but he chose to ignore the plea for help. Gov.-elect Bevin's impending executive order is a welcome relief for Kim Davis and should be for everyone who cherishes religious freedom."
There are at least two major takeaways here. One is that Kim Davis won. She has been vindicated. Her stand for religious principle and conscience has been rewarded. Truly, as the Bible says, no weapon that was forged against her was able to prosper or succeed (Isaiah 54:17). Good for her. Matt Bevin is on her side, the pope himself is on her side – and most importantly, God is on her side.
The second takeaway is that conservative values won at the ballot box. This should serve as a clarion call to Republican candidates. Do not run away from social issues. They are not the third rail of electoral politics like establishment Republicans want you to believe. They are not liabilities, they are assets. The American people are hungry for strong moral leadership, and you can offer it to them. They will love you for it.
Sure, the left will assault you from pillar to post for daring to stand for time-honored values in the public square. Well, they attacked Matt Bevin without mercy, and look at what happened to him.
Bryan Fischer hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk (American Family Radio) from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).
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