5 faith facts about Jim Gilmore: Staunch supporter of ‘Christian values’

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Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore has entered the 2016 presidential race. Photo courtesy of Reuters

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore has entered the 2016 presidential race. Photo courtesy of Reuters

UPDATE: Jim Gilmore withdrew from the GOP presidential race Feb. 12.

UPDATED: Oct. 16

Yes, the former Virginia governor is still running for the GOP nomination. But you wouldn’t know it from his public presence. His poll numbers were so low he didn’t make it to second debate among the second string candidates in September. And Slate’s Twitter monitor of candidates, on Oct. 9, found him in last place on social media, too.

In one of his few interviews since entering the race, he didn’t see a moral imperative to taking in refugees fleeing Syria. Gilmore told Fox News:  “We have our own problems here. We have people who were born here, raised here, who are having trouble getting jobs, who are having trouble making it in life. What, are we going to bring these folks in, put them on the welfare state and reduce the benefits that are already here for other people? Are we going to try to get them jobs? We can’t get our own people jobs?”


(RNS) James Gilmore III, former governor of Virginia, briefly chairman of the Republican Party and unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008, jumped into the 2016 presidential race Friday (July 31).

Gilmore, 65, who is now president of the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative research group, likely won’t make it to the Aug. 6 televised debate on Fox News, but he spelled out his bona fides by announcing his run at the website of another voice of conservatism — Breitbart News.

Here are five faith facts on James-who-prefers-Jim Gilmore.

1. He’s a lifelong United Methodist (possibly the only trait he shares with Hillary Clinton).

Gilmore’s mother, Margaret Evelyn Kandle, was a Methodist church secretary, and his father, James Stuart Gilmore Jr., was a union butcher at a grocery chain according to profiles at NPR and Newsmax. He’s always listed his church as River Road United Methodist Church in Richmond, his birthplace. He told USA Today in 2007 he attended as often as his travel schedule allowed.

2. Obama’s prayer breakfast speech was an outrage in Gilmore’s eyes.

He blasted the president’s 2015 prayer breakfast speech after Obama cited the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery and Jim Crow as “terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” Gilmore told The Washington Post, those words were “the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime. He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

3. He’s focused on the economy and national security. No mention of testy social issues.

The campaign website, GilmoreForAmerica.com, details his plans to bolster the economy and offers a video of him declaring his candidacy. It attacks what he calls “the Obama-Clinton” administration at length, but God is only mentioned with the politically obligatory God-bless-America end line.

But he has taken positions on abortion and gay rights in the past.

Back in 2007, when he also made a brief run for the presidency, Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life cheered, saying Gilmore as governor had “surrounded himself with pro-life, economic and social conservatives. And implemented pro-life, pro-family recommendations.”

The Advocate led readers to its politics page coverage of Gilmore’s 2016 run by saying “Another Antigay Republican Enters Presidential Race.” The editors said Gilmore had not responded to emails asking if he still opposed gay marriage and civil unions.

4. He’s the Gilmore in the Brown v. Gilmore Supreme Court case on school moments of silence.

As governor, he backed and signed a law adding a mandatory moment of silence in Virginia public schools. Gilmore saw no constitutional infringement in setting aside a minute for “meditation, prayer or reflection” at the start of every school day. The law was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, but the high court upheld it.

5. Gilmore equates conservative Christian values with American values.

The Washington Times, in endorsing Gilmore’s 2008 Senate bid, cited his rebuke of Democratic opponent Mark Warner on values. Gilmore hammered Warner for asserting that four groups — the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association, home-schoolers and anti-abortion activists — were “threatening to what it means to be an American”. To no avail. Warner handily defeated Gilmore, winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.


  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    yup. truth-telling can certainly be unpleasant to the hearer. In my experience, a whole lot of Christians don’t have a whole lot of tolerance for it.

  • “He blasted the president’s 2015 prayer breakfast speech after Obama cited the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery and Jim Crow as “terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

    Gilmore is ignorant.
    Obama was being diplomatic. These crimes were not done ‘in the name of Christ.’
    These crimes were done AT THE DIRECTION of Christ:

    “Execute my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works!” (2 John 1:11)
    “If your brother sins..go and tell him his fault.” – JESUS (Matthew 18:15)
    “ have nothing more to do with him…such a person is warped!.. self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)
    “Let him…be removed!” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
    “..let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)
    “Execute THEM – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “deem them unworthy…remove your peace.” – JESUS (Mat10:13)

    “Don’t waste…on the unholy pigs” -…

  • “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)

    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints hold me back! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    I ask you, decent caring readers, what is this insanity?

  • Be Brave

    Remember, there isn’t one voice in the entire Bible Old Testament or New Testament that supports homosexuality or the homosexual agenda. It isn’t “anti-gay” to live the truth that Christian life has nothing to do with homosexual behavior other than as engaging in sin.

    Abortion is premeditated murder in perfect definition.

    Although these so-called conservative Christians want to believe that America is a Christian nation, that may be just their hopes overriding reality.

    Obviously this man has absolutely no chance at ever being president and I wonder why he would even want to seeing as to how evil our current King Bera is.

  • Re: “He blasted the president’s 2015 prayer breakfast speech after Obama cited the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery and Jim Crow as ‘terrible deeds in the name of Christ.'”

    Oh, the outrage! How dare the President have mentioned historical facts in his speech! Why, it just CAN’T be tolerated!!

  • Re: “Remember, there isn’t one voice in the entire Bible Old Testament or New Testament that supports homosexuality or the homosexual agenda.”

    First … I wasn’t aware that whatever people did in the privacy of their homes was the business of Bible-book writers, or anyone else, for that matter. Who gave them the right to dictate how other people live? And how, exactly, does the existence of gays harm you or any other Christian? I’m not bothered by their existence; why should it enrage you?

    Second … I hear a lot about this putative “homosexual agenda” but have no idea what it is. Can you provide any objective, verifiable evidence it exists? Who started it? Who’s perpetuating it? And what, exactly, is it trying to do to you? If you’re referring to gays’ efforts to get people like you to treat them like fellow human beings, for once, that’s not an “agenda,” it’s “civil rights.”

  • Be Brave


    Why are you so unhinged? You’re hysterical and mentally unstable behavior is unsettling. Though to be expected. The gay agenda was planned and executed with perfect Goebbels precision. From the dark places where homosexuals gather to behave like homosexuals to the White House draped in gay lights, to make abomination a civil right took precision. This gay agenda was handled with great skill. I mean, almost no one remembers the young boy prostitutes that made the Stonewall Inn so gay popular. But, if you want to change history incite the mobs.

    As Paul points out, we are dealing with the powers and principalities in high places. That’s Christian speak for evil ruling the world. Which without doubt is proven sound.

  • John W

    It seems to me that comments are off for more and more RNS posts these days.

    Doubtless these contributors who shy from public discourse will tell us that this is so that “haters” don’t pollute the thread. Of course, it couldn’t possibly be because they have no wish to expose their ideas to the rigours of debate. .

    Whatever happened to the “conversation” I wonder?

  • Mary

    “Be Brave” you are anything but your name’s adjective. Of the above comments, yours are BY FAR the most hysterical, and the most hateful.

    It will not be for you to judge in the end times so act better now.

  • Ben in oakland

    It’s the same reason that most of the Republican runners are running.

    Money. money. and money.

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  • Deane

    For you edification and your delight:

    Thanks to Betty Bowers, homosexuals’ sneaky little secrets are now revealed to the godly: THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA!