Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin gave a speech at the NRA-IRA Leadership Forum in Louisville on Friday that some categorized as focused on religion and guns, telling people that gun rights have preserved other rights. He also nodded to attendees for "taking time to celebrate the greatness of America."
"We know that this (the sacrifices that have been made for America's greatness) is what preserves our way of life," Bevin said.
The speech moved from patriotic to religious to patriotic again, reports the Courier-Journal.
"We had an invocation where we're able to pray unapologetically and unfearfully in the name of Jesus. How blessed we are to be Americans, how blessed we are to have freedom and liberty. Let us not forget that these things did not come freely," Bevin began his speech.
Bevin, a military veteran, said freedoms are under attack, which is not a development to be taken lightly. He referenced the 1.5 million people who gave their lives since the inception of the United States so the rest of us can "gather freely, speak freely and not fear for our lives when we leave."
He said 99 percent of the world that has ever lived, or will ever live, will appreciate the degree of freedom Americans have right now.
Saying he visited Europe recently, Bevin indicated he believed government representatives there try to do too much. "Europe is crumbling in some respects," Bevin said.
"The liberties, the freedom, the degree of regulation, the suffocation of government, the overreach, the encroachment, not only on their right to bear arms, but on so many individual liberties and freedoms, it's suffocating that continent. The world is being suffocated, we are being suffocated even in this nation. This is why these elections matter."
He said he hoped those in attendance wanted a better America, because the country's founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. "We owe it to our children, and that's going to require sacrifice from us in the form of many things."
"We are under assault from regulation and liberal ideology. We are the ones who have to stand in the gap; this is our time," Bevin said.
"There is a verse in scriptures about the watchman on the wall. It doesn't do any good if we see what's coming if we don't sound the alarm. If we don't sound the trumpet, shame on us," he said. "You are here because you recognize the threat, but what are you going to do about it?"
He urged the crowd to take family and friends to the polls in November. "This is not a game. We have got to quit being so apathetic. It is the greatest threat that we face," Bevin said.
"I commend NRA for taking an organized stand to defend our constitutional right to bear arms. This right, like all rights, was considered important by our forefathers. 'Give me liberty or give me death,' wasn't a bumper sticker. It was their creed. If freedom is not that dear to us, we don't deserve a better America."
He ended his speech by proclaiming: "May God continue to shine his grace on America."