WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – Republican presidential candidate and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich said during a speech to the National Press Club Nov. 18 that if elected president he will establish another federal agency with a "mandate" to promote an American foreign policy built on "Judeo-Christian values."
Kasich said the agency's purpose would be to counter propaganda produced by radical Islamists, such as the Islamic State (ISIS). In multiple Islamic State videos, democracy is named a particularly vile "religion" to radical jihadists. The agency would also be used to challenge the agendas of China, Iran and Russia, which Kasich said were based on a different set of values.
The values the new agency would promote would include human dignity, democracy and the freedoms derived from the First Amendment – freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of association. These, he said, will strengthen relationships with America's NATO partners.
"Our allied relationships are rooted in shared values, such as respect for human life, freedom of thought, expression, religion and equality and the right of every person – every person – to have the chance to learn and grow and achieve," Kasich said.
"These are handed to us by our Judeo-Christian tradition which has guided our civilization for centuries, yet it is fair to say that at times we seem to have forgotten them or have become afraid to stand up and proclaim them. If we don't know what we believe, how can we know what we want in life?"
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Kasich said failing to promote Judeo-Christian values creates an opening for extremism to take root in normally bright, educated young people abroad. The U.S. shouldn't be afraid of offending people by speaking of these ideals.
"Values are a compass that can help us as an individual and society navigate personal challenges in an increasingly complex and dangerous world. We need to rediscover them, we need to recommit ourselves to them with passion and without apology," the candidate said.
Kasich made the comments Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, as part of a speech on national security. Kasich said the U.S. is currently "failing to advance our values in the battle of ideas" as the Islamic State continues its march across the Middle East. That, he said, is perceived as weakness by the world.
Kasich, while still among the top eight Republican candidates, is lagging in the polls. During his address, he admitted the polls have not been kind to him, inspite of his "good heart" and "a pretty good brain." He is currently polling between 3-4 perecent, behind Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush.