BY: B. Keith Plunkett | UCF Staff   @Keithplunkett

Presidential hopeful John Kasich was visiting the Magnolia State today to tout his budget prowess in the nineties during his time as a member of the House and an “architect” of the balanced budget. But, while he’s talking about his involvement in political decisions 20-plus years ago, there are a few questions about his more recent record and stated positions that conservatives should hope to get answered.

Kasich is attempting to pass off some of his policy positions that rub conservatives the wrong way as based on his Christianity, as if that takes those things off the table and we aren’t allowed to question them, lest we be not as “Christian” as Kasich.

1. ObamaCare – While Kasich is talking about a balanced budget, someone may want to ask what kind of shape the projections of the budget in his native Ohio looks like. As governor of Ohio, Kasich decided to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare citing his Christianity, as if the majority of Americans who oppose the increased welfare state are somehow un-Christian.

But, while Kasich may have bolstered Ohio’s bottom line in the short term using taxpayer funding of ObamaCare, the mess he is leaving will be a budget busting nightmare to clean up for taxpayers, future governors and legislators in his state.

Is it “Christian” to force people off of private insurance and into a government system that is shown to provide health outcomes worse than those who have no insurance at all?

Kasich worked behind the scenes with progressive activists to generate positive headlines and editorials in Ohio supporting ObamaCare expansion to limit the political fallout from conservatives, and he and his progressive alliance used PR to pressure hospitals to accept it despite the fact that Ohio hospitals would lose more via the government expansion than they do by giving services away for charity care.

All of this, and Kasich still has the temerity to tell voters that he is against ObamaCare? Medicaid expansion IS ObamaCare.

2. Planned Parenthood – While Kasich has always taken a pro-life political position, his dedication to life stops short of cutting off the spigot of taxpayer funds to cronies in Washington. It appears Kasich’s Christian love only goes so far.

Kasich says under no circumstances would he shut the government down over funding of Planned Parenthood despite the organizations felonious use of the unborn as merchandise in a for-profit meat market. Kasich instead supports “vigorous investigations by Congress”.

Yeah. That’ll show ’em.

It’s further insulting to Christian Conservatives intelligence when you consider that a shutdown of the federal government results in a shutdown of only 20% of government functions referred to as “non-essential services”. If these services are “non-essential” why are we funding them to begin with?

3. Religious Liberty – Maybe one of the more revealing aspects of Kasich’s brand of political Christianity is how quickly he “moved on” following the ruling of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. In fact, two months before the ruling he was already suggesting that whatever the Supreme Court ruling was going to be then Americans should accept it and “move on”.

The Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling was over 40 years ago. Have we moved on from that? Is the supposedly “pro-life” Kasich suggesting we should? Does this fit with his stated position of fighting for life? Does he expect the people to “move on” from our religious liberty and the freedom of our convictions because of a few judges?

Since the ruling there have been numerous instances of Christian business owners coming under attack for practicing their faith. The promotion of same-sex marriage and the freedom to practice a persons religious convictions are incompatible. Regardless of where you stand on same-sex marriage, we all know that. Some are willing to say it and face it, others like Kasich would rather we “move on”.

The question for Kasich is this: Do you believe, as a Christian, in the guaranteed Constitutional right to the freedom of religion? Do you think we Christians can just “move on” from this?

4. Iran Deal – Still considered by State Dept as a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran held the annual “Death to America” day yesterday to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the invasion of the American Embassy. Yes, that is a real thing in Iran.

Kasich agrees with Obama’s Iran policy, a policy that will allow Iran to continue simultaneously working towards becoming a nuclear power and calling for “Death to America” at the same time.

The question is simple: Should we, as Kasich says, allow Obama’s diplomacy to work? Or, should we accept the fact that a nation so bent on our destruction, and the destruction of Christians, and who still celebrates “Death to America” day, maybe isn’t really showing a desire to negotiate in good faith?

What John Kasich doesn’t understand is that social conservatism, that is Christian conservatism, and fiscal conservatism are connected, deeply connected. One can’t simply say my position is the “Christian” position and expect that questions about controversial positions disappear. One has to prove it by presenting facts.

The facts don’t support Kasich’s “Christian” political position.

The conservatives of Mississippi expect a candidate and his political supporters to stand for something other than politics of personality. Does Kasich’s Mississippi team understand this? Or will they, like Kasich, dismiss questions and disagreements as being un-Christian?

Keith Plunkett is Co-Chairman of the Cruz Campaign Mississippi Leadership Team. He is also the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett


6 thoughts on “PLUNKETT: Christian conservative questions for Kasich.

  1. Keith, this is just awful. (1) Kasich is a member of a parish of the Anglican Church in North America which is the conservative alternative to The Episcopal Church. He is a Christian, and a Christian who is a theological conservative. (2) You presume to speak for and define Christian conservatives. I am an evangelical conservative Christian and a political conservative, and what you write is something with which I do not at all identify. (3) So far as I know the only time Kasich has related his Christian faith to his advocacy of a particular policy is in his decision to expand Medicaid in order to cover more people under the AFA. (BTW that decision forced no one off private insurance. People were forced off private insurance by the AFA itself.) Now we can disagree with Kasich about whether the Christian faith would lead to expansion of Medicaid, but the truth is that a significant part of the Christian tradition has favored the care of the poor, and not just by voluntary charity but by society itself. I presume Kasich has in mind such teaching of Jesus as are found in Matthew 25. In doing that he is simply reflecting a legitimate view within historic Christianity.(4) Underlying your article and your political views in general is a glib and unexamined assumption that you know what Christianity requires one to believe and do on these political issues that are for the most part matters of political philosophy, policy, preferences, and tactics. I will say it directly – you don’t speak for Jesus (and if you are wondering I do not think I do on political matters – rather I have opinions). Your political views are your political views, not the Bible’s. And while you speak, perhaps for a certain type of conservative Christianity, you don’t speak for conservative Christianity. It would be more honest and less hurtful to the Christian witness if you would just say, “I disagree with Kasich. I don’t like him. I hope you won’t even consider voting for him.” When you presume to speak for “conservative Christianity, and say with with respect, you do harm to the cause of Christ which I presume you love.

    1. Mr. Smith,

      With all due respect, it was John Kasich who gave the impression that anyone disagreeing with him on government health care was unchristian. What you are accusing Keith Plunkett of doing is actually what Kasich did. I think that was the point of point number one.

      You did not deal with points 2, 3, and 4. I would be curious to know how you think Kasich’s views on funding abortion providers, ignoring religious liberty, and giving in to those who have vowed to destroy Christianity fits within the realm of Biblical Christianity.

      1. Point 1. I will grant that it is neither Christian nor un-Christian to favor or oppose the AFA. It is a matter of political philosophy, prudence, policy and preference. Will you grant that? Point 2. What Mr. Kasich opposed is shutting down the government in what would in any case be an unsuccessful attempt to defund PP. If memory serves the largest pro-life organization in the US took the same stance.Se the second sentence above re politics. Point 3 Does religious liberty mean that any individual citing any religious reason is fee to do or not do as he sees fit? But the point Kasich makes is that the decision was made. It stands now in the same place as Roe. Christians or any other citizens are free to seek to restrict the right or to pass a Constitutional amendment. Homosexaul pratice is immoral. Homosexual marriage stands the concept of marriage on its head. However, at present the decision is the decision. Homosexual marriage is legal in all 50 states.Point 4. What do you want Kasich or any others to do? There is no legislative or judicial remedy. The only way to undo it is for a future POTUS to renounce the agreement. See the second sentence unper point 1.

    2. Where in Matthew 25 do any of the parables allow you to draw a conclusion that Jesus advocated for a statist mandated charity? Out of context Biblical support of one’s position is a tired act. Kasich may very well be a saved man by the grace of God. I hope he is, but his public policy and his public professions are incongruent. He is in good company, but his ostensible hypocritical justification is worthy criticism.

      1. Do you believe Roman Catholics should follow the teaching of their church regarding abortion? Do you oppose homosexual marriage as a Christian? Do you believe you have that right? If Kasich on the basis of what he believes is Biblical teaching, which has been held by many Christians and Christian churches in history advocates government provided healthcare for the poor (which is what Medicaid is whether expanded or unexpanded), do you have to right to condemn this religious conviction and decision based on it?

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