Ralph Reed: There is a Moral Dimension to Our Economic Woes

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 06:31 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Ralph Reed, the founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, says there can be a "healthy tension" between economic conservatives and social conservatives.

"Our economic travails to some extent are a symptom of a much deeper problem. When you have a $17 trillion national debt, 40 percent of which has been run up in the last five years, and you have the overhang and the train wreck of Obamacare really threatening to destroy the finest healthcare system in the world today, and then you have $65 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities—when you gaze out over something like that… I don't think that that's just an economic or fiscal problem,” he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Tuesday.

"It shows a deeper cultural, spiritual and moral problem and so what we have to do is just offer a compelling critique on both cultural and economic issues."

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But Reed, who was discussing his latest book, "Awakening: How America Can Turn from Moral and Economic Destruction Back to Greatness," said there is good news ahead. "The 2014 midterms are going to largely be a referendum on the failed presidency of Barack Obama generally, and specifically on Obamacare and opposition to Obamacare, which unites social and economic conservatives on both moral and fiscal grounds," he stated.

Reed, who was head of the Christian Coalition in the early to mid-1990s, said the U.S. also has to pay more attention to the persecution of Christians around the world,

"You've got to make that issue a center piece of U.S. foreign policy. If the secretary of state and the president are not jawboning diplomats and heads of state and not making this a priority, it doesn't get the kind of attention that it should. And the problem is it's difficult for this administration to make hostility against Christians a major foreign policy priority because they're conducting their own war against Christianity right here at home," he argued.

"Obviously it doesn't involve violence like it does in the Middle East, but if you look at the HHS mandate, you look at the harassment by the IRS of Christian pro-life groups, it's a serious problem, and this administration has shown insensitivity and at times hostility towards people of faith."

Asked if secularists in the administration are trying to change the notion of freedom of religion, limiting it to a place of worship or home, Reed replied, "Unfortunately, bigotry against Evangelical Christians is the last acceptable form of bigotry left in the country, and frankly even all orthodox believers, including faithful Catholics and many times observant Jews. If you think that's an overstatement, look at Bill Maher's comments this past week about people who believe in the Biblical story of Noah, basically calling them stupid. He's previously suggested that Christians suffer from a neurological disorder, that they're basically mentally ill."

"And with regard to the administration, I talked about the IRS harassment of Christian and pro-life groups where they basically had IRS agents quiz Christians on the content of their prayers. You look at the administration refusing to support the institution of marriage and the US attorney general telling state attorneys general that they're not required to defend their state Constitution and their laws in courts," he added.

As for whether all of this will prompt an outpouring of orthodox and Evangelical voters in the midterm election, Reed said, "Well, obviously we'll know in November, but you have a little bit of a glimmer and potentially a foreshadowing in what happened in the special election in Florida's 13th. This was a district that Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate, won twice. This is a district that Barack Obama won twice. This was a district where the Republican nominee, David Jolly, was outspent 3-1 by his opponent and yet he won."

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