Widely criticized by the Virginia press and many fellow Republicans for a history of controversial statements, Bishop E.W. Jackson nonetheless got a hero's welcome last weekend when he spoke to the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C.
In a stirring denunciation of liberals for their assault on religious freedom, Jackson brought the audience to its feet several times in a scene reminiscent of the Republican State convention last month that nominated him for the Old Dominion's second-highest office.
"Freedom doesn't mean 'Do whatever you want,'" declared Jackson. "It's the pursuit of character, integrity, decency, honor. Now we're being told freedom is license."
Coupled with a recent press conference Jackson held explaining past statements such as his belief that Planned Parenthood has harmed more black people than the Ku Klux Klan, the warm welcome by the friendly audience is further evidence he is not going to relinquish the Republican nomination.
Founded by onetime Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, Faith & Freedom seeks to bring together evangelical conservatives and newer tea party activists. Joining Jackson as speakers were Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former presidential hopeful Herman Cain, 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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