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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said conservatives may need to turn to physical violence in order to protect the United States against contemporary liberalism.
The Republican governor put forth the controversial suggestion after speaking of the “degradation of society” during an impassioned, 15-minute speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The provocative comments started to gain national attention at the start of this week.
“America is worth fighting for ideologically. I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically. But that may, in fact, be the case,” he told the crowd.
Bevin suggested that if Democrat Hillary Clinton were elected president, she would set the nation on a dangerous course that might require bloodshed to correct. He told the audience that the “candle” of liberty might go out “on our watch.”
To hammer home his point, he paraphrased a famous quote from Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children,” he said. “It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and our indifference, have given away. Don’t let it happen.”
Bevin encouraged young conservatives to speak up, be bold, sound the alarm and wake up others. He told the conference attendees to not keep what they’ve learned from speakers and their books to themselves.
According to Bevin, too many people these days are following the example of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who infamously tried to appease Adolf Hitler and promised “peace for our time,” as opposed to his successor, Winston Churchill, who is widely celebrated for understanding and combating the threat of Nazism.
He said liberals mock conservatives into silence by accusing them of being intolerant when they speak their minds. He lamented, for instance, that many conservatives have remained silent concerning “the atrocity of abortion.”
“It’s a slippery slope. First we’re killing children. Then it’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Now it’s this gender-bending kind of ‘don’t ask, don’t be a bigot, don’t be unreasonable, don’t be unenlightened, heaven forbid, just keep your mouth shut.’”
On Friday, at a banquet in Washington, D.C., Bevin was awarded the Distinguished Christian Statesman Award from the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship, a ministry of Evangelism Explosion International.
Bevin’s office has not responded to a request for comment from Yahoo News, but he did post a statement on Twitter encouraging people to listen to his comments in their entirety. He suggested that the mention of bloodshed in his remarks was a reference to military sacrifice and that “any intelligent person will easily understand the message” if they listen to the speech.