Keeping religion out of politics in Pennsylvania? Christians to rally on Friday

If you are one of those people who believes the Constitution creates a ‘wall” of “separation of Church and state” this bulletin may alarm you.  Some people just don’t agree with you.  They reject this idea that Christians aren’t supposed to speak about their faith when they speak of legislation or candidates they support.

They didn’t get the memo in York, PA where a conservative Christian group is holding an old fashioned campaign rally for three outstanding candidates who received their endorsement tomorrow, Friday, April 13 in York County, PA.

But before you separationists get totally dispirited I do have good news for you so stay tuned to hear about Steve Welch, who you will see, appears to be your kind of candidate for U.S. Senator.

The “gag order” on Christians which seemingly prohibits them from speaking about their faith in the public policy arena will be ripped off tomorrow night in York, PA.

I have their news release that was issued today and see that Senator John F. Kennedy’s “separation of Church and state” speech in 1960 appears to have left them unconvinced.  They do certainly seem to be tutored by a higher power, these Christian conservatives of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation (ACTIONofPA), who announced support for three specific candidates for state legislature who will speak at their Friday night campaign rally.  A total of 18 candidates for state or federal office have confirmed to speak so far.

One irony for their Friday night campaign rally is that they have as one of their speakers, Steve Welch, the smooth tongued U.S. Senate candidate endorsed by the same GOP state committee which also had previously endorsed Arlen Specter who turned Democrat and before his new Senate term had ended was no longer even a “Republican in Name Only” (RINO).

Why do I call it an irony that Steve Welch is speaking at the Friday night ACTION of PA campaign rally?

Two reasons.

First, he spoke at a candidate’s forum last December 3, along with the other candidates for U.S. Senate.  Alone of the candidates, he made absolutely no reference to his faith in his remarks, something notable in speaking to an openly Christian conservative group such as ACTION of PA.  One of my sources reported to me that they had approached Steve Welch after his remarks, and asked him directly why he had made no reference to his faith?

“His answer sounded like it was right out of Kennedy’s ‘separation of church and state’ speech from 1960” I was told.

In other words, Steve Welch believes together with then Sen. Kennedy and the liberal-left in America, that once you “step out” into the public square you should never refer to your faith or beliefs and should keep that totally apart from your public policy decisions.

Of course, that is a very liberal idea and not at all what our founding fathers had in mind in establishing this Republic.  The very basics of right and wrong are the core ingredient required for good public policy decision making.

But Steve Welsh did it again at the recent Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, the Commonwealth’s local version of the venerable Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC.

A luncheon panel of all seven of the candidates for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senator addressed a variety of questions posed to them by three different moderators.

The first question asked what the candidate would do if he were elected a U.S. Senator on the new threat to religious liberty, the assault on faith by the Obama Administration.

The first candidate (my report does not indicate who) asked, if in his answer he could provide some background or biographical information about himself as part of his answer?  The moderator stated, unequivocally, NO – we have already got that information in our material handed out to the people in the audience and we would prefer to hear your policy response to the question.

Several candidates later it was Steve Welch’s turn to answer and without hesitation he smoothly began to recite his “American success” story as a businessman… and he filibustered with that right through to the end of his time, without EVER answering the question, WHAT will you do as a U.S. Senator to defend our religious liberty as guaranteed under the First Amendment?

Now, I have to note this.

If I were drafting a speech before a Jewish group on December 3 I’d have opened up my Bible to the 2/3 portion called by us Christians, The Old Testament and refer to it, citing beliefs we have in common.

If I were a Mormon speaking to a group of Christians I’d speak about our shared family values.

And if I were an Atheist asked the question of Steve Welch at the recent confab of conservatives, most of whom are strong and devout Christians, I’d have spoken of the Constitution and the religious freedom it guarantees, and the constraint it places on government, restricting their power to throttle our freedom.

But Steve Welsh filibustered his way out of this at the recent PLC, ignored the subject at the ACTION of PA event on December 3 and even said he would not speak to that topic when questioned.

He will speak tomorrow, Friday, April 13 and I can’t wait to see what he will do as his agnosticism on the subject of the threat to religious liberty is becoming increasingly apparent.

Steve Welch, I suspect, is going to find out that he can run but he cannot hide from the conservative Christians who, I am told, have noticed his apparent stand with their enemies on what to them is a very important issue – the defense of faith, the response to the Obama war on religion in America today.

I yield the balance of my time to the news release of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation (ACTIONofPA), York County Chapter, a group that didn’t “get the memo” that apparently, Steve Welch did get, separating men and women of faith – like them and like Rick Santorum – from the public policy arena.  God bless them in their work and if you live anywhere nearby please do join them at their free rally tomorrow night (Friday).

Conservative Christian Group Rallies for outstanding Candidates for Office this Friday in York County

Andy Shaw, Ernie Merisotis, Kelly Henshaw earn endorsement for GOP primary

The York County Chapter of a conservative Christian political action committee has endorsed three candidates for state legislature and will hold a free rally for them Friday, April 13 at 7:15 PM at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and has invited the public to attend.

The endorsed candidates are three of the eighteen candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S Congress and General Assembly who seek the support of the members of the group and will be speaking at “Conservative Victory 2012” on Friday.

The ACTION of PA York County Chapter endorsement went to just three candidates in York County who were cited as outstanding: Andy Shaw for State Senate (31st District vs Pat Vance), Ernie Merisotis for State Representative (93rd District vs. Ron Miller), and Kelly Henshaw for State Representative (94th Distrct vs. Stan Saylor).

“Andy Shaw, Ernie Merisotis and Kelly Henshaw understand that the centrality of faith to them in their personal, family and public life is a core ingredient for public service,” said Ken Gibson, the group’s York county President. “Simply put, they know the difference between right and wrong, and have a strong moral compass to guide them.  They are right on the issues of concern to Christian conservatives, from fiscal responsibility, to upholding the right to life of unborn babies to the defense of marriage from government attack and the full range of issues which conservatives in their districts are concerned about,” said Gibson.

Details about the free candidate forum and rally this Friday at 7:15 PM, the one hour reception preceding it (6 to 7 PM) can be found at the organization’s website, http://www.yorkcountyaction.com. Because seating is limited pre-registration is requested by noon on Friday. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.


Tomorrow I will report on a meeting between two Christian Pastors and another of the candidates who has accepted their invitation to speak to at tomorrow’s campaign rally.

The two are Father Samuel Houser (pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in York City) and Pastor Ken Gibson (the York County Chairman of ACTION of PA, who met with State Rep. Scott Perry on the subject I have written of several times in this space – the “Women’s Right to Know” bill.  Rep. Perry had originally been a sponsor of HB 1077 but then, together with 40 other legislators, he has withdrawn.

Similar legislation forcing Planned Parenthood to allow a pregnant woman to see the ultra sound image/picture that they have taken, has been signed into law in 23 other states.  Why not Pennsylvania?

Planned Parenthood has already admitted that it does conduct an ultra sound in 99% of all abortions that it does.  But the abortion mill – or “healthcare” provider as they prefer to call themselves – is very opposed to any measure that forces them to give the expectant mother/victim the option of actually seeing the image of their own baby.

So, why did 40 state legislators withdraw as sponsors of HB 1077 in PA?

Perhaps you’ll learn the answer in this space tomorrow or from Rep. Perry on Friday night.  Of special interest to readers and those attending the rally on Friday night – Rep. Perry is one of the 7 candidates for the open Congressional seat of retiring, 6 term Rep. Todd Platts.

P.S. Memo to ACTION: I do not know if you will be endorsing any candidate for U.S. Senator, or if Sam Rohrer is as popular with your group as he was where he handily won the PLC straw poll, but if there isn’t an endorsement may I suggest a “negative endorsement” for you to consider; “not Steve Welch.”

HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there. You can also communicate via private mail at Facebook, and I welcome new sources for my articles focusing on the conservative-Christian viewpoint in Pennsylvania.  I appreciate your sharing this article elsewhere and only ask that you include this “disclaimer” in any reprints or sharing you do.  And I thank those whose information have helped me with some of my reports, including those who do not wish to be quoted by name.

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