Former Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke in Columbus at the World Harvest Church, Center for Moral Clarity.

Ashcroft appeared before 1200 “Ohio Pastors & Christian Leaders,” a third of whom are Black. Telling many jokes throughout his short speech, Ashcroft began by giving a brief history. He graduated from Yale in 1964 but began as “a preacher’s kid – raised in church” in Hartford, Connecticut. “I don’t want government hostile to our churches,” he explained, insisting that he is “opposed to passing laws for spirituality.” “It’s against my religion to impose my religion.” He later characterized those who attacked us on 9/11, without naming them, as “want(ing) to impose their religion” on the world.

“I can’t overemphasize the value of energized and motivated pulpits,” Ashcroft continued. “Thou and thy seed – for generations – make a difference.” Several times he urged congregants to “operate at your highest and best” level and to inspire rather than impose on others.

Ashcroft is the main architect of the Patriot Act, which allows federal authorities to invade citizens’ homes, without judicial review, oversight, or published reason, to spy on the contents and remove anything they desire. Citizens never have to be told this occurred. The Patriot Act also allows authorities to kidnap anyone and hold him or her without charge, without contact, and for as long as they desire. US citizen Jose Padilla was held for over three years without charge by the US government. The Center for American Progress believes that “secret detention is the gateway to torture.” (Al Franken Show, Dec. 5, 2005)

Ohio Representative Linda Reidelbach (R-21st District), gave the breakfast address on pending legislation that seeks to limit adult-oriented business (HB 23). She explained they are opposing the stem-cell and cloning bills (SB 210 and HB 355), the expansion of gambling (HB 158), and the bill legally requiring the clergy to report abuse (SB 17). This group supports requiring judges to keep disabled and life-supported people alive if they didn’t declare their wishes otherwise (SB 130), creating Youth Sex Abstinence Week (HCR 8), and creating a “faith-based task force” to reduce penal recidivism.

In 2004, Reidelbach introduced the failed initiative to teach “Intelligent Design” in high school science and successfully introduced the ban on gay marriage.

Other Ohio public officials in attendance included Jim Jordan (R-21st Dist.), Mike Gilb (R-76th Dist.), Larry Flowers (R-19th Dist.), and Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb. Pittsburgh Judge Cheryl Allen was one of a few public officials from outside Ohio.

Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell passed along a welcome and was excused by “Pastor Rod” for not being there, since he must raise money, something Parsley admitted that pastors are also wont to do.

In mid-October founder Rod Parsley gained statewide attention when he brought a delegation of several hundred people to the Ohio State House and used the steps to launch his campaign, Reformation Ohio. His three goals by November 2008 are to:

  • Preach to 1 million people
  • Gain 100,000 converts
  • Register 400,000 people to vote

  • Parsley’s lengthy revivalist sermon preceded Ashcroft’s speech, and included a video. Within a few frames of showing a gay pride march, which the video called a sin, Osama bin Laden was then seen with his fellow jihadists, posing to shoot their AK 47s. The video linked gays and lesbians with Al Qaeda terrorists. Another video focused on abortion, and called for compassion for those who suffer from “post-abortion syndrome.” Debby Stacey explained, “Abortion is sin and there is no justification for it.”

    Parsley’s speech was expectedly energetic and radical, being an evangelist. “The modern church is more recognizable for its adultery.” He later stated, “Our society is collapsing under the weight of corpulent corruption.” Then he warned, “There’s about to be a revolution, a reformation… We’re ready to lock and load; we’re ready for revolution.” He then quoted Kansas Representative Sam Brownbeck (R), “Freedom without religion is dangerous and unstable.”

    For students of democracy, he offered, “History is never ruled by the majority, but by a dedicated minority.” He twice mentioned, with reverence, President George W. Bush and Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. In closing, Parsley stated, “We’re not Democrats. We’re not Republicans. We’re Christocrats!” The audience thundered its appreciation.