Sharron Angle delivered a religiously charged speech at a church in Gardnerville, Nevada earlier this month and appeared to lump social programs such as Social Security and welfare along with what she called the "wicked ways" of abortion, divorce and gay marriage that had overtaken the nation.
During her speech, Angle cited a passage from the Bible and seemed to be confessing the sins of the nation in hopes that God would "heal" the land:
"I confess that we are a nation who has killed our children. I confess that we are a nation who has walked away from the family and allowed divorce even among our ranks. We have walked away from the biblical definition of marriage; one man, one woman, the two become one flesh," Angle said. "We as a nation have been walking away from our constitutional freedom and relying on government instead to take care of the widow and the orphan...we're saying 'well, the government we have all these programs now, aid for families with dependent children and medicare and social security."
Angle then continued, saying that it should be the duty of the people, not the government, to "care for the least among you."
Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen told Politico that there was no connection between the social programs and her "wicked" remarks.
"There's nothing in that [statement] calling entitlement programs 'wicked,'" Agen said. Rather, the remarks convey "that the programs are fine, but we should be caring for our community," Agen said. "Go to any church in America and you'll hear a sentiment like that."
"Any leaked 'secret recordings' at this point in the campaign are highly suspect and very desperate," Agen also told Politico.
Whatever the actual intent of Angle's address, her words add a wrinkle to what has become an identity crisis over the Tea Party-backed Republican's views on programs such as Social Security.
Angle came under fire in August when Nevada reporter Jon Ralston uncovered an interview of her on a Christian radio station claiming that the government was "violating the First Commandment" by creating entitlement programs that were "built to make government our God."
As election season drew nearer, however, Angle seemed to change her tune significantly. In an interview earlier this month, she said she instead wanted to improve, not dismantle, Social Security, and that unemployment benefits, which she had earlier framed as handouts to "spoiled" and lazy people, were an appropriate "insurance policy."
In a debate between Sen. Harry Reid and Angle in October, Angle continued with this amended attitude, saying that important safety nets needed to be available -- and solvent -- for their recipients.
Audio of the appearance was uploaded by Democratic National Committee's Accountability Project on October 13.
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