In a recent radio interview, Mississippi Lt. Gov. (and gubernatorial candidate) Phil Bryant said that he wholeheartedly supports the “fetal personhood” movement — and that other Christians should, too. During the same interview, Bryant also espoused his view that it shouldn’t be a responsibility of the government to protect children born out of wedlock, and that the unemployed could easily take low-paying jobs typically held by illegal immigrants.
Speaking on The American Family Association’s Matt Friedeman Show, Bryant told guest host Chris Lohrstorfer that he supports “personhood” measures like his state’s Amendment 26. Bryant went on to say that he feels Christians should use elections as a time to “vote their faith”:
I want to make sure that I vote for candidates that are pro-family, who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, who believe that it is not right, and it is not a responsibility of the government, if you have a child out of wedlock, to make sure that all of your needs are taken care of, from the cradle to the grave.
Bryant later said that he often warns people to be careful about what politicians say, because “they’re very good salespersons.”
He also spoke out against welfare, suggesting that welfare recipients will eventually become too reliant and dependent upon the government and that “Christians do not believe … that our rights are given to us by government.”
When asked if he felt that welfare would be beneficial in any case, Bryant said that churches should take the reins: “I believe that churches should do a lot of the work that governments now do. … The care for orphans and for the elderly and for the sick and for the lame is something that conservatives have always said we are responsible for.”
Bryant also discussed the high unemployment rate, arguing that those without jobs could easily get a low-paying job in manual labor. “If you are a strong, healthy male or female, you’ve got to find a job,” he said. “That’s why they hire illegal immigrants because Americans won’t do that work.”
The “personhood” movement has gained steam in Mississippi, where support for Amendment 26 has been strong.
Efforts to put a “personhood” amendment on Florida’s 2012 ballot have not yet been realized. Though the movement has an active presence in the state, its initiative has not yet received enough signatures for ballot placement. Personhood Florida’s Bryan Longworth has said that he still plans on gathering signatures in an attempt to make it onto next year’s ballot.
The movement has received some flack for being too radical, and critics argue that it would ban not only abortion but some forms of birth control, as well. Several Florida legislators and Christian conservative groups are wary of throwing their support behind it, choosing instead to focus on issues on the fringes of the abortion debate, like mandatory ultrasounds and parental notification bills.
Watch the full interview with Bryant: