RUSH: Last night CNN aired a special on faith and politics, sponsored by Sojourners/Call to Renewal. It’s an evangelical organization. It was moderated by Soledad O’Brien, and they talked to Hillary Clinton, they talked to Barack Obama, and former Senator John Edwards. They joined the forum. We’ve got audio sound bites of this.
The past ten days have just worn me. In fact, I got here today, didn’t know if I was going to be able to pull this off with energy. I’m always here. I went to bed early last night for me, and I got in bed and I started channel surfing around and I said, ‘I really need to go to sleep.’ So I turned on CNN, and I watched. I saw Anderson Cooper 180 and they were rehashing what had happened earlier on CNN. I’m watching this and a thought hit me. I said, ‘Well, now, wait a minute, the Republican Party is doing everything it can to diminish the role of Christian conservatives in it’s structure.’ Well, not every Republican is, but face it, there are many moderate blue-blood Republicans out there just embarrassed all to hell that there are 24 million conservative Christians in the Republican Party. They’re known primarily as pro-lifers and of course these moderate country club blue-blooders, it’s embarrassing to be in the same party with them. We hear from the Drive-By Media and the Democrats that religious people are to be feared. If they ever get in power, they’re going to do away with separation of church and state. They don’t think; they’re stupid; they’re dangerous. They want to impose their morality on everybody else.
So I’m saying why in the world are these Democrat front-runners showing up to talk about God-d, and why are they showing up on CNN to talk about faith-h, and why are they concerned about it? What brought this on? If Christians and Catholics and Protestants are the death knell for a modern political movement, then what the hell are the Democrats out there doing trying to court those very same people? Well, of course they’re not the death knell. The Democrats would love to peel ’em off. The Democrats would love to get the NASCAR crowd, without admitting it. They’d love to have them vote for them, just don’t want anybody to be embarrassed if that happened, but they’re a large group of people, and they are active and they are engaged and they vote and they care. They’re informed. So this idea that the Christian element of American political society is somehow to be shunned and embarrassed of and so forth is absolute poppycock. The Democrats are out there trying to court them!
I remember after the 2004 presidential election, and the Democrats are doing their postmortem. What happened to us? They find out at the exit polls that morality, moral views, decency on television, these kind of things mattered to a lot of people who went out and voted. So Democrats started saying, ‘You know, we’re going to have to shore up our values base.’ That lasted about two weeks, and they started debating how it was they could show themselves to be more religious. But of course the truly conservative Christians are not going to be fooled by it because you are who you are, not what you say you are. And the Democrats are not. Let’s face it, the Democrat Party for the most part — there are exceptions of course — the Democrat Party resents religion. They don’t like the firm resolve and the faith that people have, it scares them. They are scared by it. They’re scared by people who have faith in a higher power than that which is alive on earth today, or the earth itself. This is no mystery. So I see this last night, and we’ll get some audio sound bites, just to let you listen to what these Democrats are saying about this.
RUSH: All right, let’s go listen to the Democrats now talking about all of a sudden their faith. Now, this group, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, is an evangelical organization. I don’t know this group, but precisely because I don’t know them is why I have questions about them. There are all kinds of religious groups. Religious groups have sprung up that are pro-global warming. I don’t believe that they’re actually religious. I think that they’re libs calling themselves a religious group trying to move forward that particular — (interruption) now, what are you laughing at in there? It’s starting to get distracting. Haven’t said anything funny, well, maybe not funny in at least ten minutes. Are you telling jokes about something in there? Will you clue me in? Who am I questioning? I’m not questioning their faith, I’m questioning their legitimacy.
They can be faithful all they want. I’m just telling you that all of a sudden, out of the clear blue we’ve got religious groups that are pro-global warming? How come I’ve never heard of this before? Then they’re starting to make inroads in the conservative Christian community on global warming, grow government. Hey, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck. I wasn’t born on one so I couldn’t have fallen off one. I don’t know about this group, but when we start talking about Democrats and faith and God-d, I’m telling you it’s a trick. It’s a trick. Otherwise they’d be doing it all the time and wouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Okay, there you have it, US News & World Report describes Sojourners as a liberal Christian group. Well, how many of those are there besides the United Methodist Church, which is my church, so I can say it. Maybe the Episcopalians, they’re sort of off the straight and narrow for a while there, too, but some sects — (interruption) you just quit distracting me in there so I can play these sound bites. People are chomping at the bit here to hear John Edwards and Obama and Hillary talk about their faith in God-d, and so here we go.
Jim Wallis is the founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal and they invited Democrat presidential contenders, Hillary, Barack Obama, and John Edwards to join this forum. Now, it is a little odd. Can you imagine if Jerry Falwell had called up, or Pat Robertson had called up CNN and said, ‘I want to do a religious forum,’ would it happen? Of course not. I’m eating the microphone now so that — (kissing sound). We know what this is, and we know it’s a trick. What’s interesting about it is they think they have to do this. These are the people that run around ridiculing conservative Christians, make fun of them. You people drive the pickup trucks. You live in Mississippi, wear the plaid shirts. You got a bottle of Old Crow sitting next to you. You’re going to go bomb an abortion clinic in a couple of days. You watch NASCAR. You don’t have your two front teeth. That’s what they think of you, and you know it. Now all of a sudden they want you? Ha. All right. Here’s the first question from Soledad O’Brien in this religious series faith and politics, ‘Do you think homosexuals have the right to get married?’
EDWARDS: No, not personally. You’re asking about me personally. But I think there’s a difference between my belief system and what the responsibilities of the president of the United States are.
RUSH: Mario Cuomo.
EDWARDS: There’s a reason we have separation of church and state, and they’re very good people, including some people that I’m very close to. My daughter, who is sitting in the front row here tonight feels very differently about this issue, and I have huge respect for those who have a different view about this, so I think we have to be very careful about ensuring that the president of the United States is not using his belief system and imposing that belief system on the rest of the country.
RUSH: Well, okay, you just failed, dude. If you’re out there trying to attract conservative Christians, you have just blown it sky high. It’s not that conservative Christians want a president to impose his view on the American people. It’s about character, it’s about morality, and it’s about having the courage of your convictions. This is how Mario Cuomo tried to get around with the Catholic Church his pro-choice stance. He went to Notre Dame and he made this big speech, and he said, ‘My personal beliefs are my personal beliefs. I would not ever, ever impose them on the country.’ Really? You’ll impose your tax policy on the country. You’ll impose your pacifist foreign policy views on the country. You’ll impose every economic policy or socioeconomic or immigration policy you’ve got on the country. Why not this? I would ask the same thing of Senator Edwards. (Doing Edwards impression) ‘No, not personally. You’re asking me personally, but I think there’s a difference between my belief system and what the responsibilities of the president.’
Well, if your belief system is that unimportant to you, then why are you running? Most people that run for president — who would put up with this? From the moment you announce, even sometimes before you announce, if they think that you’re interested in it, you get a media anal. It’s not as bad for the Democrats as it is for the Republicans. Who would put up with this? The people that put up with it have this incredible passion and this desire, and you can say about this what you want, but the fact of the matter is the people that run for the office of president believe the country can’t get by without them. You have to have some kind of drive like that. I don’t mean in an arrogant, egotistical way, I’m talking about passionate belief. You love it, and you believe it. It should be as you want it to be, and you want the power of the bully pulpit to take the country in the direction you believe it should go. He’s just sitting here, ‘I wouldn’t impose any personal views.’ I’m not buying this for a moment. This is just his way. ‘I’m personally not for gay marriage, but, but, but, it would not have a thing to do with the way I ran the country.’ Anyway, that’s a question at the religious forum?
RUSH: All right. So, John Edwards just told us what his views of on gay marriage. Let’s go back, shall we? This is Sunday on CNN. Wolf Blitzer is interviewing his wife Elizabeth Edwards, and Blitzer asks her about Bob Shrum’s book. ‘Shrum wrote, ‘More troubling was an exchange I had with Edwards one afternoon. We were throwing around questions and answers in his law firm’s conference room. I said, ‘What’s your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?’ Edwards said, ‘I’m not comfortable around those people.” You were there, Ms. Edwards, at that conversation. What really happened?’
MRS. EDWARDS: I believe that, uh, Bob Shrum brought up the issues of, uh, gays and lesbians, and, uh, John said, ‘You know, I come from a small southern town, uh, Baptist town, you know, as far as I know I don’t know… This is honestly…’ He said, ‘Honestly an abstract issue for me, because,’ he said, ‘You know, I don’t — I don’t really know, as far as I know, know any gay people, um,’ you know?’ So he sort of talked to me about it, and I said, ‘Well, actually you do,’ and I said — I referred to a friend of mine from English graduate school, and how we had been, uh, out — uh, John and I out for the evening. I saw this old friend from English graduate school — this is when we were still in law school — and I went over and spoke to him, and I knew that he was gay, uh, and I said, ‘You know, I’m — I’m engaged, and there’s the fellow over there I’m engaged to,’ and he said, ‘Oh, he’s awfully cute. I might snake him if he wasn’t with you,’ and I told John that. This is where he used the word ‘uncomfortable.’ He said, ‘That made me feel uncomfortable.’
RUSH: Okay. She said it, folks. The gay guy wanted to ‘snake’ John Edwards and that made Edwards feel uncomfortable, and then she continued the explanation with this.
MRS. EDWARDS: So Bob correctly remembers the word ‘uncomfortable’ but incorrectly remembers this — the — the circumstances in which he said it. I mean, all of us feel uncomfortable at someone ‘snaking’ us, I guess — trying to snake us — in the presence — trying to snake us in the presence of our fiancé, uh, and that made him feel uncomfortable, and he was — John talked about that. So he’s just — he remembers it slightly, but he remembers it incorrectly, and I have a — from my book, you’ll know, I remember things very — in quite good detail from — from years ago, and I remember this conversation very clearly, and I have talked to John about that, and he does recall exactly the same thing.
RUSH: So that’s why Edwards got the question: ‘What do you think about gay marriage?’ Let’s move on now, another sound bite here from the Breck Girl. Soledad O’Brien, the host of the show, said, ‘If you think something is morally wrong, though, and you morally disagree with it as president, don’t you have a duty to go with your moral belief?’
EDWARDS: No! I think that first of all my faith, my, ummm, my belief in — in Christ plays an enormous role in the way I view the world, buuut I think I also understand the distinction between my job as president of the United States, my responsibility to be respectful of and to embrace all faith beliefs in this country, uh, because we have many faith beliefs in America — and for that matter we have many faith beliefs in the world — and I think one of the problems that we’ve gotten into is some identification of the president of the United States with a particular faith belief as opposed to showing great respect for all faith beliefs.
RUSH: Now, I assume here that we are talking about Bush and perhaps even Ronaldus Magnus, and of course Bush is one of the most tolerant presidents we’ve had of faiths other than his. Look at what he’s trying to do in the Middle East. Look at the faith he has in the Islamofascist population to straighten out. At any rate, you see what’s happening here. The Democrats continue saying, ‘Well, I’m this and I’m that but I don’t believe it enough to really have my views based on it, my morality or what have you.’ So this is a play for the Christian conservative vote, and to say, ‘Yeah, I believe in God. We’re faithful,’ but I don’t know why they’re doing it, because… Well, I know there’s a lot of bucks in there, but the point is they’re arranging their base. The base hates the Christians. Their base has no desire. I’m talking about these wacko kook fringe base people. We’re constantly told that we’ve gotta deemphasize these people from American politics, and here come the Democrats out now trying to court them. Here’s one more. This is the Reverend Suzan Johnson Cook, president of the Hampton University Ministers Conference. The next question: ”It Takes a Village’ is an African proverb. In fact, one of your colleagues has written about it but it speaks about it, ‘the blessed of us really helping the rest of us. ‘ Now, quite frankly, the African-American community felt with Katrina that our American village disappeared. You are president of the US. What are the first two things that you would do to rebuild the gulf in New Orleans, not just the damage that was done physically but also the hopes of the people that were deferred?’
EDWARDS: Well, let me say first of all, this — this cause of New Orleans is also very personal to me because you may know that I announced my campaign from the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
RUSH: Yeah, why?
EDWARDS: I took 700 college kids down to work during their spring break in New Orleans a little over a year ago, uhh, and I’ve been to New Orleans and to Louisiana repeatedly since the hurricane —
RUSH: Answer the question!
EDWARDS: — including just a few weeks ago. The single biggest thing to be done is the president of the United States needs to put one person — a very high level, competent person in the White House — in charge of New Orleans, and that person, the president should say to that person, ‘I want you in my office every morning telling me what you did in New Orleans yesterday,’ and the next day, say, ‘I want you in my office telling me what you did yesterday. I’m not interested in what you’re going to do six months from now. I want to know what you did yesterday, and I want to know what’s happening on the ground, the president, what’s happening on the ground every single day.’ What has happened in New Orleans is a national embarrassment.
RUSH: Remember, now, this is a conference, a TV show on faith — and what? Faith and politics. So you have somebody in the White House. You know, New Orleans, you’re not in charge of yourself anymore. If John Edwards is elected, it’s going to be somebody in his office at the White House is going to be in charge of fixing you up. Let’s keep going. If I start commenting on all of these things we’re never going to finish this. Soledad O’Brien to Barack Obama: ‘The president talks a lot as you know about sort of good versus evil in war. Do you agree with that?’
OBAMA: There have been times in our history where, uh, that requires that we take up arms. Uh, I think the civil war was a just war.
RUSH: Good. Well, that’s something.
OBAMA: Defeating fascism, uh, and ensuring that Europe was liberated was the right thing to do.
RUSH: How big of you.
OBAMA: What was also interesting about Lincoln, though, during the course of the Civil War was, uh, his recognition that simply because we’ve engaged in something just doesn’t mean that there aren’t times where we may act unjustly. Abu Ghraib obviously is something, uh, that all of us should be ashamed for, even if you were supportive of a war. I believe Guantanamo, uh, the decision to detain people without charges is unjust. And so the danger of using good versus evil in the context of war is it may lead us to be not as critical as we should be about our own actions.
RUSH: Whew. Okay, here you go, folks, these are the people that want to defend you. These are the people that want to claim to you that they’ll do whatever it takes to protect you, and yet whenever these questions come up, what do they do but attack their own country. Next question. Mrs. Clinton gets it. Soledad O’Brien: ‘I’m going to ask you a delicate question. Infidelity in your marriage was very public, and I have to imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with, and I would like to know how your faith helped you get through it.’
HILLARY: Well, I’m not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith, um, and, you know, uh, I take my faith very seriously and very personally, and I come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too suspicious of people who wear their faith on their sleeves.
HILLARY: A lot of the, uh, talk about and advertising about faith, uh, doesn’t come naturally to me. It is something that, uh, you know, I keep thinking of the Pharisees and all of the Sunday school lessons and readings that I had as a child. But I think your — your faith guides you every day, certainly mine does. But at those moments in time when you’re tested, it — it is absolutely essential that you be grounded in your faith.
RUSH: (sigh) Okay. Are you people buying this. Here’s more. She continued her answer with this:
HILLARY: For some people, being tested in cruel and tragic ways leads them away from faith. Uh, for me, uh, because I’ve been tested in ways that are both publicly known and those that are not so, uh, well known or not known at all —
RUSH: We know.
HILLARY: — my faith and the support of my extended faith family, people whom I knew who were literally praying for me in prayer chains, who were prayer warriors for me, and people whom I didn’t know whom I would meet or get a letter from, uh, sustained me through a very difficult time. Um, I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what the world thought, and that’s all one can expect or hope for.
RUSH: All right. All right, she’s got some applause. (interruption) Now, you think there’s something noteworthy about what she just said? I mean, ‘It’s all one can expect and hope for regardless what the world thought, do what I thought was right?’ Well, how come that’s not applicable in Iraq, the war on terror? How come what the world thinks is so damned important to all you Democrats, but when it comes to your faith, you don’t care what the world thinks; you’re going to do it your way? Look, I don’t care whether you’re buying this or not. The point of this is, for those of you who are faithful, for those of you who are deeply religious, you can judge whether or not this sounds sincere to you on your own time. The important thing about this that you have to keep in mind is, that they are courting you, that they are out there trying to make you think that they are one of you, and you have to balance that against all the years and years and years you know of where they have impugned you and laughed at you and made fun of you and wished that you weren’t around. So you can take this and interpret it however you wish, but don’t take the political aspect out of it, because that he does primary point here.
RUSH: All right. We’re doing a little research here to find out about this group, Sojourners whatever it is, Sojourners Call to Renewal. Who are the Sojourners? ‘It’s an evangelical Christian ministry that preaches radical left-wing politics. It championed communist revolution in Central America.’ Is there any wonder CNN found this bunch to cosponsor this business? ‘The founder is Jim Wallis, and the mission statement here is: ‘The Sojourners is professed to a devotion of the pursuit of social justice. Giving voice to Sojourners’ intense anti-Americanism, Jim Walliscalled the United States, ‘The great power, the great seducer, the great captor, the great destroyer of human life, the great master of humanity in history in its totalitarian claims and designs.”’ The founder of this group has that opinion of the United States of America, and by the way, the source on this is DiscovertheNetwork.org. His bio on this site: ‘Activist preacher and editor of the left-wing Christian magazine Sojourner is a Democrat Party operative. He is an apologist for communist atrocities in Cambodia and Vietnam. He’s a dedicated foe of capitalism and contends that biblical scripture calls for a large central government to aid the poor.’
I knew it! I knew it. Just because the guy is on CNN, I knew it. My instincts are such that I didn’t need to read that to know it. I got some details, but I knew it. One more from Mrs. Clinton — and this is a montage of her answer. But she was asked this question by Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities USA. Remember, this is faith and politics. ‘Mrs. Clinton, you have spoken a lot by our need to work for the common good. In an age in which there is oftentimes narrow and excessive individualism…’ This guy ought… Narrow and excessive? This guy. Do you realize this country could not have been built if these people were around in the 1700s and 1800s? What do you think got ’em through to the 1800s? Anyway, let me get to the question here. ‘In an age in which there is oftentimes narrow and excessive individualism, how will you speak to our country about the need for sacrifice and restraint when it comes to the critical issues of taxes, gun control, health care and energy consumption?’ and all this is presented to the CNN audience as ‘faith and politics.’ Here’s a montage of her answers.
HILLARY: Take health care. I think we could get almost unanimous agreement that having more than 45 million uninsured people, nine million of whom are children, is a moral wrong in America. … An uninsured person who goes to the hospital is more likely to die than an insured person. I mean, that is a fact. So what do we do? We have to build a political consensus, and that requires people giving up a little bit of their own turf in order to create this common ground. The same with energy. You know, we can’t keep talking about our dependence on foreign oil and the need to deal with global warming and the challenge that it poses to our climate — and to God’s creation — and just let business as usual go on. That means something has to be taken away from some people.
AUDIENCE: (wild applause)
RUSH: ‘Something has to be taken away from some people,’ and the CNN audience went berserko. ‘Something has to be taken away from some people.’ That’s Mrs. Clinton. Here is Chris in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes. You bet.
CALLER: Listen, I just wanted to comment. When Hillary was talking, you were playing the sound bite, she was talking about how she acts on her faith and all that, something sparked. I was thinking that maybe that might be the most honest thing that she’s ever said because she never said what her faith was in. She said she acts on her faith.
RUSH: I was waiting for this. I said this to the staff during the break: ‘Did any of you guys hear what she said her faith was in?’ I was reluctant. You know, I don’t like to challenge people’s faith. That happens too much. Faith is deeply personal. That’s why this is not a church. I’m not sitting here in a pulpit, and I don’t do sermons. But I know that people who are deeply faithful can analyze what Mrs. Clinton is saying, and they can figure out whether they think it’s legitimate, genuine or not, and you’ve nailed it. What does she have faith in? She didn’t say. Edwards did. Edwards talked about his belief in Christ. Obama didn’t say, and Hillary didn’t say.
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. All right, well, I just want to run that by you, and see what you thought about that.
RUSH: Well, I think it’s a very, very astute observation on your part. In fact, it’s one that I had myself, and anybody that comes up with something I’m thinking before I’ve thought it and therefore before you know it, is pretty bright.
RUSH: You ought to be feeling really good about yourself today, because you’re on the save wavelength as the host without the host having said something to get you on that wavelength.
CALLER: Well, thank you very much, sir. It’s been an honor to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I’m glad you called. This is something to brag about to your friends and family tonight. I’m not kidding. This doesn’t happen much.
CALLER: I’ve got my wife listening on the computer in the other room and she’s going to come in gloating, so… (Laughing.)
RUSH: Well, that’ll get your gold star for a couple hours, at least.
RUSH: But congratulations. That’s really, really, really, really well done. I was hoping somebody in the audience would ask this question and not me, ad the guy was right there.