Kristi Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, tackled a number of issues in an interview on CBN News on Wednesday, including religious freedom, cancel culture and the coronavirus pandemic.
Noem explained to CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody that she did not implement lockdown procedures during the pandemic because she felt that it would be government overreach.
"I know that when you have a leader overstep their authority in a time of crisis, that's really when you lose this country, and I didn't want to be guilty of doing that," she explained. "I never issued a shelter in place, I never closed a business. I didn't even define an essential business, what would be essential and what wouldn't be because I don't have the authority to do that,” she said.
Noem noted that she believes other leaders, particularly governors in Democrat-run cities, have politicized the pandemic.
"At the beginning of this crisis back in March and April, I don't think it was really politically motivated because these same Democrat governors that are on TV, tearing apart the president today, months ago, were singing his praises,” she said, adding how they were thanking Trump during conference calls for his assistance during the pandemic.
“What I am saying, though, is that what I heard on those conference calls was fear. I was shocked and amazed by how fear controlled people, and how emotional they were. And to me it indicated to me that in this country we’ve lost faith and the steadfast promise of God’s faithfulness in our life every day has real consequences,” she continued. “If you don’t have that in your life then your emotions and fear can control you and make you not have the discernment and wisdom that you need in a time of crisis.”
Noem also noted how people across the country love being offended and use it to wreak “havoc on our culture and our way of life in people's hearts.” Nevertheless, she believes God would ultimately bring unity amongst Americans as well as a renewed devotion to Him.
"So I am hopeful that, while we are seeing some challenges, while we're seeing things happening in America that break our hearts every day, that God will find a way to reveal a healing process that really will bring us together and help us make more progress towards loving each other and seeking after God again than we've seen in decades."
Regarding the “cancel culture” movement and their calls to tear down monuments, including Mount Rushmore, Noem revealed that new statues of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore will be added on the state’s Capitol dome.
Despite their flaws, Noem said that they were “incredible leaders for our country,” and they “met the challenges and led and based their decisions on God's Word and direction.”
When asked if religious freedom was being marginalized by liberal governors' strict lockdown restrictions on houses of worship, Noem replied “absolutely.”
"And so we need to use every tool that we have to make sure that we still have the ability to practice our faith and to gather as we see fit. And we have directly seen in many of these states, where they have allowed other gatherings yet restricted those who want to go to church and worship together," she said.
Noem kicked off night three of the Republican National Convention with a speech on how America's national principles are under attack by the current civil unrest and how President Trump is fighting for the American people.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.