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GOP Governor Urges Conservatives To Use Churches Not Government To Make Cultural Changes

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) is pushing back against the notion that conservatives should use the government to address so-called culture war issues.

On Sunday, NBC News’ Chuck Todd, host of “Meet The Press,” noted that Republican lawmakers in several states have introduced “culture war bills.” Specifically, he noted one bill which was withdrawn that would have banned schools from incorporating The New York Times’ “1619 Project” in educational material.

He asked, “Why do you think there is so much focus among some members of the legislature… Is this really bubbling up in Arkansas schools?”

“Well, it’s not,” Hutchinson responded. “The fear is about the future, and the fear is also that we’re losing our culture.”

He continued, “And the case I make, though, is that just because you want to keep things as they have been perhaps, you don’t need to use the instrument of the law, you don’t need to use the state to accomplish that purpose in every instance. There is the church, there is society, there is your community, and that’s where the culture is impacted or reflected in the future.”

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“As the Republican Party, it’s the principles of limited government, and it’s pushing freedom and choice in the free market. That’s what the party is about. We’ve got to apply those principles even when it comes to the social war,” he added.

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Hutchinson recently received criticism for his decision to veto a bill that would ban healthcare providers from performing transition-related surgeries or providing treatments to transgender youth.

Former President Donald Trump called him the “lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas” for vetoing the bill. He added, “‘Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!”

Hutchinson told NPR he vetoed the bill because of “my own personal view that this is too extreme, it was too broad and did not grandfather in those young people who are currently under hormone treatment.”

“This puts a very vulnerable population in a more difficult position,” he added.

The Arkansas legislature voted to override his veto, and the new legislation is set to go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, which is April 30.

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