The Multnomah County Republican Party today issued a statement Monday intended to clarify the controversy the party ignited last week, when it announced plans to raffle off an AR-15 rifle to honor President Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The subsequent outcry caused the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church to tell the party to find another venue for the its Lincoln Day dinner, scheduled for Feb. 15.
This morning, the Multnomah County GOP tried to shed some light on its intentions:
In our enthusiasm for celebrating Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution, our Multnomah Republican Party issued a press release that was unfortunately easily misunderstood. The GOP stands for individual liberty, lower taxes, smaller government and individual responsibility. We apologize if people were hurt by the message being marred by insufficient wording and/or cynical misinterpretations by those who disagree with us politically. We will certainly endeavor to communicate more clearly in the future, and learn and grow from this experience.
The release went on to attempt to draw a parallel that could seem like a stretch (emphasis added).
Today, powerful elements within our political establishment are working to suppress the Constitutional rights of all Americans. Our rights to freedom in choosing our own medical care, our freedom to build businesses to enhance the lives of ourselves and our neighbors, our freedom to be free of debt, our freedom to be free of oppressive taxes and misguided regulations, and yes our freedom to defend our lives under the Second Amendment - all are under attack.
The great political issue today is whether or not the American people of all creeds and races will live free or live as slaves - slaves to their own overreaching government. 50 years ago, Martin Luther King's great speech was an appeal for freedom for African Americans. Today, those same words he spoke 50 years ago are an appeal for freedom for all Americans.