Evangelical leaders quiz McConnell during issues forum - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Evangelical leaders quiz McConnell during issues forum

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Abortion, gay marriage and the Hobby Lobby case - those were some of the hot issues covered in a forum held for the Kentucky U.S. Senate candidates.

But only one candidate was there to answer the questions.

Both Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes were invited to attend an evangelical issues forum at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, but only McConnell appeared.

They are perhaps the state's most influential evangelical figures; Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and Bob Russell, the retired pastor of Southeast Christian Church, where McConnell is a member.

They say they held the forum to broaden the debate in a senate race dominated by economic issues.

At this point, the very clear differences between the two candidates on issues of crucial importance to the Christian community, they need to be talked about," said Mohler.

For just over a half hour, the three quizzed McConnell on those issues - primarily social and cultural - including the hot-button issue of abortion.

Chitwood asked McConnell to, "very clearly communicate for us, your position on abortion rights."

"I'm 100% pro-life," McConnell replied.

On same-sex marriage, McConnell said, "For me, marriage is between one man and one woman."

McConnell did note Grimes' absence. "I'm sorry my opponent was not here to express her views," he said.

The Grimes campaign has not said why she declined to attend.

It did issue a statement saying, in part, "Her faith is deeply important to her daily life and grounds her work to serve the greater good."

Mohler says the invitation is still open for Grimes to take part in the two remaining forums.

"What we want is an honest understanding of her position on these issues. It would be a most respectful conversation and, I think, would clarify things tremendously," said Mohler.

While McConnell fielded questions on stage, he did not stop to speak to reporters after the event.

The next forum is set for Wednesday, Aug. 20th in Louisville, and then finally August 28th in Somerset.

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