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The Ohio Race for Governor: Ground Zero in

The Ohio Race for Governor: Ground Zero in "Values" Battle


In 2004, especially in Ohio, the term "values voters" became popular as they were the difference in the presidential election.  The presence of the Ohio state Constitutional amendment protecting marriage as solely between a man and a woman proved to be the deciding factor in the presidential race.  Quickly pundits entered the fray and tried to tell us what these "values" were or should be.  As Christians should we be more concerned about protecting marriage, and ending abortion, or the changing face of values like healthcare (including abortion rights, and birth control), education, taking care of the poor (through government programs), and tolerance and diversity (the homosexual agenda)?


On November 7th, in the Ohio Governor's race, there is a colossal clash between the values of Biblical Christianity and liberal Christianity.  Ohio will have the choice between two professing Christians: J. Kenneth Blackwell, and former Methodist minister, and prison psychologist Ted Strickland.   This governor's race provides a perfect juxtaposition between Biblical values such as defending marriage and the sanctity of life against the politically correct values of diversity (the homosexual agenda), and reproductive rights (abortion on demand).  Ohio stands unique in that it has the opportunity to elect the first Black Republican Governor in American history, current Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.


What makes Blackwell different as a Republican is that he is both fiscally and socially conservative, and he is not afraid to take on his own party.  He has frequently stood against raising taxes, and as Secretary of State in 2004 stood courageously for the state marriage amendment even at risk of alienating his own party.  Perhaps it is his effort on behalf of marriage that scares the left the most.


On abortion, Blackwell is right on Biblically. He is against abortion in all cases including rape and incest. "I come from a people who historically witnessed and experienced some brutal sexual assaults, but women's first instinct was not to take the life of the baby that might have been a consequence of that assault." (Columbus Dispatch Oct.1st) While this may scare off more moderate Republicans, it is the just position.  "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin." (Deuteronomy 24: 16) Civilized countries do not put children to death for what their fathers have done.  The guilty party (the rapist or molester) should be punished, not the innocent baby.


On embryonic stem cell research Blackwell again demonstrates the correct Biblical position that life begins at conception, and that it is unjust to kill one human being in the hopes of saving others.  The ends never justify the means.  "You did form my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13) You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)  Blackwell favors the promising and ethical adult stem cell research as opposed to the unethical and unproven embryonic stem cell research.


Blackwell is clearly Christian in his views on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.  However, his opponent is equally making headlines about his religious faith.  A recent article in the Columbus Dispatch touted Strickland's faith, "Strickland's Concern for others springs from his family and faith." (Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 1, 2006), and he is frequently quoting scripture on Ohio Christian radio.  For this reason Christian voters must be vigilant.


Though trained as a minister and introduced at virtually every forum as a "former Methodist minister," there is no evidence that Ted Strickland EVER served as a minister of any church at any time. He has however, served as an administrator at a Methodist children's home. Today he is not a member of any church and attends church only occasionally.

On Oct. 1, 2006 the Columbus Dispatch, after documenting how both candidates were driven by their "convictions," went on to list what these convictions were.  Strickland supports abortion, homosexual unions, and experimentation on human embryos.

Strickland is endorsed by the National Abortion Rights Action League - Pro-Choice America, one of the nation's largest and most radical pro-abortion organizations, and has already promised to veto any pro-life legislation if he is elected Governor.  Strickland is also endorsed and supported by NOW, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign, probably the most powerful organization in the country "working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights."

Here is a list of Ted Strickland's votes which are a part of the public record.

  • Ted Strickland voted against a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (Vote 484, 9/30/04)

  • Ted favors homosexual "civil unions" which confer on same sex couples the same benefits and privileges as traditional marriage. "This is an evolving situation," said Strickland, who believes it is only a matter of time before gay marriage is widely recognized. "I absolutely believe that adults should be able to enter into legal relationships which give them the legal rights and privileges that are usually associated with the marriage relationship," he said. (Paul M. Krawzak, Copley News Service, 7/14/04)

  • Ted Strickland voted multiple times in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions and the taxpayer-funded development of an abortion pill. (Vote 136, 5/10/06-Vote 216, 5/25/05-Vote 362, 7/15/03-Vote 115, 5/16/01-Vote 292, 7/16/98-Vote 373, 7/10/2000-Vote 173, 6/8/1999-Vote 260, 6/24/1998)

  • Ted Strickland voted repeatedly against amendments to require more funding for abstinence education programs. (Vote 157 5/1/03, Vote 379 10/11/01)

  • Ted Strickland voted against a measure that permitted the public display of the Ten Commandments on government property. (Vote 257 6/15/05)

  • In 1999 Strickland voted 'Present' while 355 Members of the House voted YEA with zero nays to a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 107) expressing the sense of Congress rejecting the conclusions of a recent article published in the Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychological Association, that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children. (Source:


The last vote not condemning pedophilia is certainly the most startling for voters, and it has recently been part of the firestorm that has been lit in the Ohio Governor's race, as it has been revealed that Ted Strickland employed a man in the early 1990's on his staff that was convicted of exposing himself to children.  He even went on a trip alone with the man to Italy.

In true Clintonesque fashion, Strickland responded, "I have never knowingly hired or employed someone on my staff, either my campaign or congressional staff that did not share my values of protecting children and honoring young children and their need to be protected by adults."(Columbus Dispatch, Oct 17, 2006) Not including the unborn of course.  

Whether these recent developments will impact the race for Governor it is hard to tell, but things are certainly heating up in Ohio, and the eyes of the nation will be on Ohio.

On November 7th voters will decide whose "values" will win, Blackwell's sanctity of life and marriage, or Strickland's homosexual agenda, and pro-abortion rights.

Ohio can be an object lesson for Christians around the nation.  Someone's values are going to win.  Legislation is going to be either an imposition of someone's morality or immorality.  Whether in Ohio or around the nation, Godly men and women must vote their consciences, and prefer Christians in office.

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."


John Jay, First Chief Justice of the U.S


The hard part is figuring out who they are.  "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16)


In Ohio, the choice is clear.



Nicholas A. Jackson


Nick is Executive Director of Reform America. In addition, he spends time as a free-lance writer articulating the Christian viewpoint into our culture.

"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:12


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