Florida lawmakers were urged to demonstrate courage and be a strong voice for the faith community when serving the public. Former Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered the keynote address Tuesday for the Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition annual prayer breakfast.
Bachmann told about 200 attendees, including CFO Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and House Appropriations Chair Richard Corcoran, that freedom of conscience is under assault and that the faith community was revving up for battles on social issues this election cycle.
Bachmann served in local, state and federal office and encouraged lawmakers to rely on their faith as a guide when voting on issues of conscience and not to be concerned about the next election.
“Inevitably you do not lose the next election. You see miraculous votes occur that you never thought would occur. Why? Because of courage,” said Bachmann. “The number one commodity of any one serving in government, the number one attribute is courage. Because your fellow man saw in you that you would be their voice.”
A delegation of Florida House members attended the breakfast. In addition to Corcoran state Reps. Ray Costello, Manny Diaz, Jay Trumbull, Scott Plakon, Jay Fant and Fred Costello were in the audience.
Freshman lawmaker Fant provided a definition of conservative for attendees. He explained his response to people who tell him that they are a fiscal conservative but not a social conservative is, “then you are no conservative.”
Fant said the House’s freshman class was instrumental in passage of a bill last week allowing private adoption and foster care agencies to turn away gay couples on moral or religious grounds.
“We are going to be here for a while and we have quite a bit of work to do here in the state of Florida,” Fant said. “And as we go about this work with the help of people in this room this country will look and say, yes, it is Floridians who will lead this nation back to prosperity and back to Biblical values.”
The Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition has set a goal of registering 250,000 evangelical and faithful Catholic voters for the 2016 election. A spokesman said it currently has 2 million names in its Florida voter file.
“If everyone of us got 10 new voters it will change the world,” Baxley told the group. “People, (we) can make a big difference.”
F&FC is conducting a pilot program in Miami’s Congressional District 27 to test strategies and procedures for turning out socially conservative voters.