Last night, Iowa Representative Steve King went before the House of Representatives and delivered a long speech in which, among other things, he bemoaned that President Obama doesn't believe in "the pillars of American exceptionalism" as instantiated in "the values that Christopher Columbus brought here across the ocean."

"It has caught my attention, Mr. Speaker, when I listen to the circumstances taking place in Venezuela, I can't help but think about essentially the sister state of Cuba and how they have led the Marxist socialist regime in the Western Hemisphere since about 1959," King said.

"I think of this Western Hemisphere, all of it, as the domain of, as Churchill described it from this hemisphere, Western Christendom; the foundation of Western civilization, Judeo-Christianity; the values that come from the Old and New Testament; the values that Christopher Columbus brought here across the ocean," he continued.

The "values" that Columbus -- who was sailing under the aegis of the Catholic Spanish monarchy -- brought to what would become the Americas included the idea, as articulated in his own journals, that he could "conquer the whole of [the natives] with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased." His pleasure involved the kidnapping and enslaving of native "Indians," the majority of whom died on the return trip to Spain.

King also lauded the American "idea of the Protestant work ethic," which originated with the German Martin Luther, as well as the ideas of "turning the other cheek and building a civilization," only one of which was endorsed by Christ in the Gospels.

He also complained that South American countries like Venezuela, as well as other non-American countries like Egypt, don't understand that the purpose of government is "to provide the best opportunity for salvation to glorify God [because] as our Founding Fathers understood, that our rights do come from God, and to promote that."

"The full-throated Americanism as the leaders of the free world, of Western Christendom, has not been asserted strongly enough in this hemisphere, and certainly not strongly enough in other hemispheres," he continued, before expressing especial concern for the plight of a former beauty queen.

"But it comes home when you see the violence in a place like Venezuela where at least a dozen dissidents have been killed as political enemies to the Maduro regime, and one a beauty queen who was abducted on a motorcycle, shot in the head, and died last week."

Watch Steve King deliver this speech in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 26, 2014 below.

[Image of Rep. Steve King via Flickr user Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]