John Kasich knows he needs some Iowa voters. He’s the midwestern governor running for president, now that Scott Walker has dropped out. He also has an immense instinct for sounding sanctimonious while spouting rhetoric that appeals to liberals. He’s not a liberal. He’s just a condescending conservative who thinks he can embrace gay marriage as the law of the land, emphasize how okay he is with it, and then say he’s worried that without the great religions of the world, people will do whatever they want. Give into a secular society and then bemoan its dangers? Am I being too hard on Gov. Kasich? Watch the video below, and let me know (starts around the 44-minute mark):
JAVIER PALOMAREZ: You stated when it comes to gay marriage, and I quote, ‘The court has ruled, and we’ll accept it.’ I want to get some more clarity on the phrase, ‘We’ll accept it.’ A recent Pew report shows that some 56% of Americans today support same-sex marriage. Is it your view that the GOP should be more cognizant of the views of mainstream America, perhaps more accepting of that, and not fight the Supreme Court ruling?
JOHN KASICH: Well, I’m not fighting it, and we actually had an amendment in Ohio that, uh – but look, it’s decided. We’ve moved on from that, and I don’t support gay marriage. All my friends, a number of whom are gay, understand that, but, you know, it’s okay, we move on – One of the guys who used to work for me, who’s a friend of mine, I went to his wedding.
PALOMAREZ: I heard.
KASICH: Yeah, I said to my wife, ‘What do you think?’ And she said, ‘Well, I’m there whether you go or not.’ So I went with her. And it was good.
Let me just say something here, because it’s appropriate time. There was an incredible article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday in the review section of the paper about the growing drift of the West towards a secular society. People are always trying to pursue happiness and wealth and comfort, and what we’re finding is that this aggressive search for a secular society isn’t working, Javier. Because you know what, embedded in all of us is a sense of meaning.
Now I’ve mentioned God and faith and all that several times. I think the pope did it best when he said we should focus on the dos and not the don’ts, and that’s why people got so excited in America about the potential of religion, which is about grace and purpose and hope and living a life beyond yourself. But there’s a bigger issue here. When the West becomes a fully secularized society, how are we supposed to operate in a free society when everybody wants to pursue things their own way? With two guys walking across a bridge, who gets knocked off? What is the appropriate way for us to be able to guide ourselves with an absence of laws? And if we become a secular society without a sense that there is a set of expectations, morals that are set on high that should guide us, then who’s right and who’s wrong becomes completely subjective. I don’t happen to think that’s how we would have the best society. I don’t think Hispanics would believe that, because I think they believe, and I think most Americans – there’s a change going on in America. All I’m suggesting to you is this – if we become secularists when we face a radical Islam that is the farthest thing from secularist, and when we can’t unite with our friends in the Jewish, the Muslim, and the Christian community to espouse a set of values that is the true way for human beings to conduct their lives and live their lives, we will be at a very severe crisis point, Javier. So I don’t want anybody to try to read any – well, they will – I’m just saying to you that the sense of right and wrong hat comes from the great religions is something that the West should begin to pay attention to and not continue to drive towards a totally secular society. … You didn’t expect to hear that from me, and neither did they. But it’s something we need to talk about.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action.