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5 Faith Facts About Gov. John Kasich: 'God Is With Me Wherever I Happen To Be

Published by Huffington Post on Tue, 21 Jul 2015

(RNS) Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, a former altar boywho grew up to be an abortion opponent who backs the death penalty, is expected to throw his hat in the 2016 presidential race on Tuesday (July 21). Here are five faith facts about Kasich: 1. He started out Catholic, and the faith isalways going to be a part of me. In one of his two books about faith, values and politics, Kasich, 63, describes growing up as a card-carrying Catholic child of immigrants in working-class church-abiding McKees Rocks, Pa. Kasich writes: I drifted away from religion as a young adult. Then I looked up one day, and there was a huge hole in my life where God and religion had been. He turned back to faith after his parents were killed by a drunken driver. His 2010 book, Every Other Monday, gets its name from the biweekly Bible study hes attended for two decades. The book was pannedbyPublishers Weekly, which called Kasichs approach to Scripture therapeutic and concluded, The Christianity that emerges from these pages is tame and has nothing profound to say. 2. He doesnt find God in church. Instead, Kasich writes: Hes with me wherever I happen to be. I go to church because thats what you do. I find God in the stories of the Bible, in the random acts of kindness I see every day, in the choices I make and the ways I interact. But he does belong to a churchSt. Augustine in Westerville, Ohio, part of the conservative splinter group the Anglican Church in North America. The denomination broke away from the Episcopal Church after that denomination consecratedan openlygay bishop. The ACNA does not permit female bishops or ordain LGBT priests. 3. The Bible resonateswith him. Greed and charity, ruin and redemption, misery and hope. Its all right there. Its accessible, and at the same time its beyond knowing, and I cant for the life of me figure how anyone gets along without it, he wrote in his 2006 book, Stand for Something. In Every Other Monday, he describes taking Scripture word for word: I believe there was indeed an arkand not just any ark but an impossibly, unfathomably huge arkand that Noah undertook this impossibly, unfathomably huge task and completed it heroically. 4. Hes not afraid to lob Scripture at critics. The Columbus Dispatch, covering his 2014 re-election campaign, noted that he cites God regularly,as when he justifiedthe expansion of Medicaid to more than a quarter-million Ohioans. Indeed, he felt free to stand up for that Medicaid expansion in a conference room full of Republican mega-donors last year. According to Politico, Randy Kendrick, a major donor whose husband owns the Arizona Diamondbacks, questioned the decision and Kasichs God-based rationale. Politico writes: The governors response was fiery. I dont know about you, lady, he said as he pointed at Kendrick, his voice rising. But when I get to the pearly gates, Im going to have an answer for what Ive done for the poor.' 5.Gay marriage' Time to move on, says Kasich. Kasich voted for the Defense of Marriage Actyears ago and supported Ohios ban on gay marriage.But he was pragmatic after the Supreme Court ruling June 26 overturned state bans. Two days later, he was interviewed onFace the Nation and said: I believe in traditional marriage, but the Supreme Court has ruled. Its the law of the land, and well abide by it.Its time to move on. He then called for conservatives to refocus on other urgent issues, such as jobs, national defense and healing the division between races. Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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