Ohio Faith & Freedom Coalition Rally Features Herman Cain at Ohio Christian University
The Ohio Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) held its annual rally at Ohio Christian University in Circleville for the second year. More than 1600 visitors gathered in the University’s Maxwell Center to hear an impressive line up of speakers that included Chairman Ralph Reed, OCU President Dr. Mark Smith, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Atlanta Pastor Benny Tate. The evening culminated with Presidential candidate Herman Cain addressing the crowd.
Reed, who not only heads the FFC but is also the chairman and CEO of Century Strategies, a public relations and public affairs firm, said that, “Our right to speak out, organize and assemble was purchased by those who shed their blood for our freedom and are continuing to shed their blood.” Consistent with the values of the FFC, which are faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility and helping the least among us, Reed emphasized that never before has it been more critical for us to speak out for these values. If we lose sight of them, America will cease to be great. “We believe that the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people.”
Reed was joined by Dr. Smith who noted that, “Something is happening around America that only God can control. Faith and freedom are undeniably connected and that connection is the concept of liberty. The great American democracy is the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness, but if the American faith community that responds to floods, earthquakes and other disasters is removed from the greatness of America, there will be little left. Our hope is resting in God as we inspire the world. ”
Dr. Smith introduced Pastor Tate whose riveting speech began with one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite biblical passages. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, King James). “A passage,” Tate said, “that is designed to heal our nation.” How will this be accomplished? He continued by providing a plan. “We must conquer our pride, continue to pray and claim the promise that God has made to us.” His motivating message finished on an inspirational note, “God is the hope for America.”
As Mr. Herman Cain entered the auditorium, the audience greeted him with a standing ovation and a thundering welcome that lasted for several minutes. It was clear that they acknowledged not only his professional accomplishments but his position as a leading presidential candidate. His credentials speak for themselves. He earned a degree from Morehouse College in mathematics and a Masters degree in computer science from Purdue University before serving as a civilian employee in the Navy. Cain has proven himself in many business venues by working as a computer systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Company and rising to the ranks of vice president of the Pillsbury Company. As CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, he snatched the faltering company from the jaws of bankruptcy to deliver it to the shores of profitability.
“This nation is in trouble,” he said. “But almighty God has never left us alone. Throughout history, it has been God who has provided leadership when we needed it the most. Our future is in his hands, not a party, but it is God and his people who will decide if I should be president.” He emphasized his message with references to historical roots. “Our founding fathers listened to their hearts when they wrote the Declaration of Independence – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Our founding fathers envisioned the Declaration of Independence” even before they started writing it.
He encouraged Americans to stand strong, that “the United States of America is still the greatest nation on earth despite its problems, and its greatest strength is its ability to change when it needs to change, but,” he added, “the nation is crying out to its leaders. The message from America’s people is, ‘Listen, you might learn something.’ ”
His experience as a talk show host five nights a week, three hours a night, has given him the opportunity to listen to people’s concerns and worries about the state of affairs in our country, and he feels as though he has a good idea where Americans stand and what drives them. As a leader, he is listening.
“In life there are two plans: ours and God’s. I’ve lived the American dream and then some. I listened to my heart, and I also listened to God who said that cruise control (in my life) is not the plan. I was made aware that my journey included the White House, but I felt like Moses. ‘Pick someone else Lord.’ However, once I accepted this calling, I never looked back. When you listen to God, you will be wiser…you learn something each day. And each day you become wiser. In God is our trust; that is America’s greatest hope.”
His conclusion was not only one of encouragement, but expectation. “Reagan said America is like a shining city on a hill, but we must move that shining city back on top of the hill where it belongs by putting the United back into the United States of America.”
His comments ended the way they began, with a standing ovation.