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Paul Ryan to Right-Wing Activists: Obama Policies ‘Compromise Judeo-Christian Values’

In a conference call to activists of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Republican vice presidential hopeful painted the president as dangerous to the Christian faith.
 
 
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Photo Credit: A.M. Stan

 

In a telephone conference call Sunday night to activists of the religious right, Republican vice presidential candidate painted the re-election of President Barack Obama as a threat to the principles all Christians and Jews -- not to mention the whole of Western civilization.

The call was organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the voter-turnout group founded by Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, who was disgraced as a political operative in his involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

As reported in the New York Times, Ryan told a reported teleconference audience of “tens of thousands”:

“It’s a dangerous path,” Mr. Ryan said, describing Mr. Obama’s policies. “It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.”’

As AlterNet reported, Reed’s organization is an integral part of the Republican get-out-the-vote operation, involved in mobilizing socially conservative voters through a variety of means, both high-tech and low. At a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., in June, Reed promised that his organization would be contacting some 27.1 million right-wing voters at least seven times in order to drive them to the polls on election day. 

As a non-profit organization, FFC is not required to reveal its donors, but it was reported by Politico that Reed has the backing of at least one organization funded by Charles and David Koch, the multi-billionare brothers who own Koch Industries.

Faith and Freedom Coalition is active in the nine battleground states whose vote tallies will ultimately determine the outcome of the presidential race, including Ohio and Virginia.

Ryan, though a Roman Catholic, is a darling of the religious right for both his no-exceptions position on abortion (even in instances of rape or incest), and his government-slashing ideology, which has become theologized among right-wing evangelicals. Together with Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, Ryan sought to narrow the definition of rape in a piece of legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he serves as a congressman from Wisconsin.

Throughout the campaign, Ryan has taken up the cause of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who argue vociferously that the Obama administration's mandate that all insurance policies provided through employers include coverage for prescription contraception with no co-pay by the insured.

During the vice presidential debate last month, Ryan said of the administration: "Look at what they're doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They're infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals."

At the September Values Voter Summit convened in Washington, D.C., by FRC Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council, Ryan was a big draw, and delivered a speech two days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that was critical of the president’s foreign policy, accusing Obama of treating Israel "with indifference bordering on contempt." He was introduced at that event by fellow Catholic and former secretary of education Bill Bennett, who echoed Mitt Romney’s false accusation that Obama had expressed sympathy toward the attackers who killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three consulate staff.

As Bennett and Ryan spoke, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were receiving the bodies of the slain diplomats at Dover Air Force Base. Bennett’s remarks drew enthusiastic applause from the audience, and were left to stand by Ryan.

Ryan's political career has long been supported by the Koch-founded Americans for Properity, whose president is Tim Phillips, the former business partner of Ralph Reed.

 

Adele M. Stan is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., who specializes in covering the intersection of religion and politics. She is RH Reality Check's senior Washington correspondent.