Montana gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Al Olszewski, doesn’t seem deterred by the limitations imposed by the novel coronavirus. The doctor, legislator, and candidate for governor in the Republican primary will be using technology to reach out to voters this evening. His focus for the online event will be God and family.
The Montana Daily Gazette spoke to Olszewski via telephone to get the candidate’s perspective on the topic of religious liberty and family values, as well as to ask him about Governor Bullock’s curious slight to Montana’s churches in his emergency declarations.
Olszewski explained to the Gazette, “I’m a grassroots candidate. My strength is the people and getting in front of them to share my story and share my principles, values, and what I believe in. I not only talk about my principles, but I live them and act and legislate by them. As we come into the fourth quarter of the Republican primary, this is when it’s most important to be in front of people. But this pandemic has turned everything upside down and as a result, we’ve adapted quickly to virtual meet-and-greets and using Zoom events and Facebook Live to reach out to people across the state.”
The candidate is passionate about religious liberty, saying, “As we come into Holy Week and approach Easter, what we’ve been doing as a team is reaching out to people and encouraging them not to lose hope. Jesus encouraged people throughout the Bible to not be afraid. It’s time we all get down on our knees, ask for forgiveness, and ask God to heal our lands. We should pray for recovery from this modern-day plague.”
Olszewski continued, “We want to not only talk about our faith but allow people to drill down hard into what I believe in and how I’ve done things like sponsoring pro-life bills to abolish abortion, co-sponsor the personhood amendment, religious exemptions for vaccines, and school choice, which affects a lot of faith-based schools.”
I believe we all need to remember we’re not only material beings with material needs and wants, but spiritual beings with spiritual needs and wants. Once we recognize that and acknowledge it as our forefathers did, we can get our country and constitutional republic back on track.”
When asked about Governor Bullock’s ‘shelter-in-place’ orders that provided exemptions for abortion clinics and pot dispensaries but not churches as essential services, Olszewski said, “The audacity of the public square secularism that says religion is not essential is really something. I just went down to the hardware store to pick up supplies to work around my house. Is it essential compared to coming together to our community and praying for an end to this pandemic? Religion and our ability to come together is essential.”
Olszewski added, “In most of our churches, there’s plenty of room for the faithful to gather and still maintain social distancing. My hope is that when this is over the churches will be crammed by those who were lukewarm in their spirituality but now that they couldn’t go to church if they wanted to, they’ll see what they’re missing and will return back to God.”
The candidate concluded, “The actions of the governor to say Planned Parenthood is an essential service but the community worshipping is not essential, tells us what his priorities as a governor are.”