Blackwell Joins Cruz Religious LIberty Advisory Council
Former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell is among the group of advisors Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz named to an Advisory Council on Religious Liberty last week.
The Council’s 19 members also include Catholic marriage advocate Ryan Anderson, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, former HGTV stars Jason and David Benham, Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Carol Swain, political science and law professor at Vanderbilt University
Blackwell, who has also served as Ohio State Treasurer, Ohio Secretary of State, and US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, is now Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. A conservative Christian think tank, the FRC has been called a “hate group” by the far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center.
Blackwell serves on the Board of Directors of the Timothy Plan, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the United States Air Force Academy Foundation, the Club for Growth, Grove City College, the National Rifle Association, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the National World War II Museum, and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.
He is also member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Advisors, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
Cruz, an Evangelical whose father is a minister, created the Council to help him “reverse the unprecedented attacks on freedom both at home and abroad” if he is elected president, according to a press release from his campaign.
“Religious liberty is the first freedom guaranteed to Americans under the Constitution, and ensuring the protection of that right has been a priority my entire adult life,” Cruz said in the release. “Increasingly, renegade government officials seek to coerce people of faith either to act in a manner that violates their faith or forfeit their career. When I am elected President, that will change.
“The right to religious liberty built America, and denying that right is both un-American and morally wrong. People of faith must be free to live according to their convictions without being second-guessed or shut down by the federal government. Today I am proud to be joined by such a knowledgeable and committed group of leaders to advance our first freedom.”
The Council, which has not met or issued any statements, was immediately condemned as “anti-LGTB” by numerous advocacy groups.
Cruz Religious Liberty Council Members:
- Chairman: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
- Dr. Ryan Anderson, William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation
- Dr. Tony Beam, Vice President for Student Services and Christian Worldview, North Greenville University
- David Benham, entrepreneur
- Jason Benham, entrepreneur
- Ambassador Ken Blackwell, Former US Ambassador to the UN for Human Rights
- Teresa S. Collett, Professor, University of St. Thomas
- Jim Garlow, Ph.D., Pastor, Skyline Church, San Diego, CA
- Dr. Mark Harris, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC
- Pastor Jack Hibbs, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, CA
- Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church, Bishop, International Communion of Evangelical Churches
- Dr. Richard Lee, President, There’s Hope America
- Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
- Dr. Jay Richards, Assistant Research Professor, School of Business & Economics, The Catholic University of America
- Dr. Steve Riggle, Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church
- Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
- Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO, First Liberty Institute
- Dr. Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University
Businessman Donald Trump won Kentucky’s Republican caucus last week, with 17 delegates, while Cruz came in second with 15. Ohio holds its primary elections for both parties next Tuesday. Indiana holds its primaries May 3rd.
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