Full text of Gov. Blunt’s address
November 1, 2005
The Apostle Paul was inspired to greet the Thessalonian church with words of encouragement. I offer these words in greeting you today, to express my admiration and appreciation for you and your service. “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father; Knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God; For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance…" (1 Thes 1:2-5 NKJV)
I am humbled to speak from this pulpit, which is most often used by my pastor and friend, John Marshall. I asked John to speak at a prayer service the morning I was inaugurated as your Governor. His eyes and words bore into my soul, and I remember what he said. He said it well, and I am sure there were more requests for Dr. Marshall’s sermon than for my own Inaugural Address.
I am deeply grateful for what you all do to uphold the Gospel and spread the Good News. I am an inadequate, but committed follower of Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only hope for mankind and the only way for individual men and women to be reconciled with God.
In our age, when society and popular culture are often hostile to faith, it is easy for a Christian to feel alone. We are not alone. We take strength in Chrstian fellowship, as did Paul and the early Church.
The story of my salvation is very radical and very exciting to me:
• Jesus Christ died on a cross and was resurrected to life.
• The most important event in history.
• Everything else centers around it.
• It sustains the universe and sustains me.
• However, I realize that my individual story is – blessedly, by God’s grace – not rare and not remarkable.
• The basement of the First Baptist Church in Strafford is not exactly the road to Damascus.
• Begin a walk with Christ
• At times I have walked closely, non-Christians have assumed I was a Christian because of my behavior.
• At other times – fallen short and essentially betrayed Christ.
• Betrayed Christ may seem strong, but I do not believe any other words express it. When we disobey his teachings we essentially deny him. Is falling short different from saying, as Peter did, “Who? I don’t know Jesus." The Bible tells me it is not different.
When we believe that God exists, that He created the universe, that He created us, He separated Himself from all his Godly perfection and became like us, then endured tremendous physical pain to redeem each and every one of us. It is so terrifying, so awesome, so spectacular that nothing but obedience is possible.
• But in moments of practical atheism, I essentially behave as if none of that is true, and none of that happened.
• I fail to follow. Like Peter, essentially, I deny Christ.
• Denying Christ is painful.
• I try to follow – The one true Guide to doing that is His Word.
– At 25, begin to read and study the Bible with an intensity that I lacked.
– Christian literature also has influenced me.
• Proud to be known as a Christian
• Some trepidation – I am in the public eye
• I do not want to fail Christ.
My Christian life is defined by my conduct as a husband, father, son, church member, citizen, neighbor, and public officer, the Governor.
I strongly commend this Convention for encouraging active citizenship by Christians. Like each of you, it is against my belief to seek to impose my belief on others. At the same time, I share your conviction that Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of America’s greatness, in the past and the present and the future.
As Governor, I am mindful of Peter’s standard of good government – to praise and uphold those who do good, and to stand against those who would do evil (I Peter 2:14). Peter was restating Old Testament truth.
At a prayer breakfast on the day I announced my candidacy my Mother chose to read Amos 5:15, “Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate."
A Governor, like any public servant, is a person, not merely a list of positions. We cannot and should not separate our values from who we are, as individuals, a state, or a nation … despite the efforts of liberal activist judges, and others, to impose their values on society. I am a Bible-believing Christian, an evangelical, and a Southern Baptist. I strive to ensure that my faith is present in every part of my life. I look to my faith for strength, guidance, and wisdom in all of life.
The faith of Missourians is present in their daily lives and their response to suffering. When Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Missouri government began responding to the needs of suffering people. I could sign orders knowing what is scarcely reported by the secular media, but should be reported fully – that Christian people are indispensable to this work. I did not say “convenient" or “useful." Rather: indispensable. Up and down the coast, believers from Missouri and elsewhere are living Acts 1:8 and Matthew 25:35-36.
Thank you, Lord, for Christian people. To know there are many doers of the Word … this gave me the knowledge in signing orders that a full and healing relief could be accomplished.
Because I seek to make the right decisions, and because the relief of suffering is among our most basic values, I consulted my faith, conscience, and the Scripture in considering medical research on new treatments and cures for terrible diseases. I support a ban on human cloning. Like this convention, I support research on stem cells from adult tissue. I believe that public dollars should support research with adult stem cells. As to SCNT – somatic cell nuclear transfer – I do not believe that life has been created since there is no fertilized egg. If I believed the process created life, I would oppose it.
There will be a great deal of discussion about this issue from many others in the days ahead. Let me identify a course that I believe is good as discussion proceeds: to present one’s position to the people, in place of attacking those with whom we disagree. Christians have a special obligation to study and pray over increasingly complex issues. This is no exception.
Here is a course that is not good: to stand with Planned Parenthood against bills to prevent abortions, in the hope of coercing me to abandon the position I held on research as a candidate and hold as Governor. I will not be coerced, and I will insist on new bills against abortion. That is why I called the special lawmaking session this fall, and new pro-life laws were enacted.
The values that spring from faith are reflected in Missouri’s public policy in many areas, but are most evident, I believe, in the protection of innocent human life. From the moment I learned what an abortion was, I understood fully and immediately that it takes an innocent life. This knowledge was terrible and acute, and so remains.
As a young man, I concluded that Roe versus Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned.
As a member of the General Assembly, my votes to protect innocent life reflected my beliefs, as well as the pro-life sentiment of Missourians. As governor, I have signed into law measures to reduce the number of abortions. I am the first governor in more than a decade who will sign legislation to protect the lives of the little ones who are the most vulnerable members of our society
We have had a dozen years of abortion-on-demand leadership. This is a statement of fact, not of politics. I wish it had been otherwise. The time of abortion-on-demand leadership is ended. I will continue to seek pro life laws from the legislature … sign pro-life acts … establish pro-life policies in the executive branch …appoint state judges who do not legislate from the bench … and continue to stand fast against pro-abortion attacks in the courts.
Next year, I will propose and hope to sign into law …
… tax credits to encourage private gifts and donations to the precious resource of pregnancy support centers …
Next year, I will propose and hope to sign into law …
… conscience protection for pharmacists who choose life … no health care provider should be compelled to take innocent life.
Next year, I will propose and hope to sign into law …
… a new policy that abortion providers may not use public funds to teach in our classrooms. We need more abstinence education. We do not need propaganda that seeks to disguise abortion as birth control.
Recent events have vindicated this Convention’s support and my own for the new constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage in the state Constitution. We still need a similar amendment to the Federal Constitution. It is time for Congress to act.
While the pro-abortion lobby was taking its usual taxi ride to a federal courthouse, to fight the new pro-life laws I signed, a Missouri state judge decided to beat the abortion drum, and ruled that the parental consent law is unacceptable under the Missouri Constitution. Of course this is not so. I am reminded of the same-sex marriage issue – if you give liberal judges an inch, they will take a mile.
The judicial assault on the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments also come to mind. The timeless wisdom of the Old Testament is always good, and never harmful. We are blessed when we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our nation.
We had 12 years of liberal judicial appointments to the state bench. The time for those appointments is ended. Judges that I appoint will follow the law.
The Missouri Constitution – remember? – is the property of the people. It is entrusted to the courts for faithful, strict interpretation. It is not signed over to the courts as judicial property, to be changed at their will.
Our founders envisioned three co-equal branches – not one branch that rules over the other two. The legislature, the executive and the will of the people are not superfluous to public policy and public action.
This governor and administration stand for the sanctity of life. We will stand up for the sanctity of life and I am mindful of a profound moral and ethical duty to reduce the number of abortions. We must do what we can … now, not at some vague undefined moment in the future.
I will continue to propose new laws to respect life, and other foundational values. I will continue to resist Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and activist judges, as in the Vandalia prison case. I will fight for Missouri’s majority values until the Mississippi and Missouri rivers freeze solid. Then I will fight on the ice.
Through the Psalmist God told us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. "Psalms 33:12 NKJV) May we always be such a people.
May God continue to bless our Convention, the State of Missouri, and the United States of America.